No announcement yet.

Hello Pinnacle; Hit Points and Shaking

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • #16
    Others have mentioned plenty of ways you can deal with the wound penalties if that's not something you want in your game, so I figure I'll see if I can't help w/ the damage over time.

    Damage over time is pretty important in Darkest Dungeon, particularly as a way to damage highly armored enemies. I think you can pretty easily replicate that "feel" by ruling DoTs as such:

    Damage over time effects such as Bleed and Blight apply a condition to the target that forces them to make a Vigor roll at the start of their turn. If they fail the Vigor roll, they take a wound. More powerful DoTs apply penalties to the roll, and very weak DoTs may grant bonuses to it.

    And I think that'll about do it. It will be a little bit more swingy of course, and you'll definitely want to play around with the base difficulty (i.e. maybe by default there is a +2 or something to the roll and stacking more Bleed/Blight eats away at that penalty) but the base mechanics should get you what you want, again without rewriting half of the system to make things work.


    • ValhallaGH
      ValhallaGH commented
      Editing a comment
      Great suggestion! I'd have just used the burning rules with a trapping change, but this is really good for mystical diseases, high lethality toxins, and similar effects.

  • #17
    Augusto Antunes I spent a while using the new Shaken rules. Where rolling a success negates all the penalty. Hated that, as it made Shaken practically irrelevant in combat. Base Spirit d6 characters could practically ignore the condition, as they recovered completely 75% of the time. It made tricks and tests of will even more useless than they already were. After a session where my players were wailing on a group of vampires and getting really tired of Shaken not meaning anything to someone with +2 to recover, we changed it. Characters suffered a -2 penalty when they succeed the roll, no penalty if they succeed with a raise.

    Of course the 'stuck in shaken' thing mostly applied to failing the roll after heavy Wound penalties. Once a character's at 2 Wounds that d6 character now has a much lower chance of actually making it out of shaken (somewhere in the area of 20%).

    Originally posted by Deskepticon View Post
    I'm a big fan of having options, so you will never hear me say, "Don't do this," but it's the cascading changes that make me question whether the change is entirely worth it.

    I also disagree that "only thing" wound levels have going for them is penalties. The penalties are just symbolic of the amount of injury the character has suffered, but the system itself creates intermitant tension and decision-making, even without suffering penalties. Becoming Shaken means you need to seek cover and gather your wits about you, or you will become wounded the next time you get whacked.

    This is something you lose with a hit point system, which pretty much lets you "take the hit" without needing to consider any consequences unless you drop below a certain threshold.
    I actually rather disagree. Shaken is a nice system, I agree, but my system still includes it. If any blow deals a decent amount of damage it still creates that moment of tension.

    In my experience, however, all Shaken does is stop players from doing things. Either a player succeeds their roll and the Shaken condition was irrelevant, or they fail it and do nothing. Retreating in slow-motion is usually meaningless, and if in melee it's generally more dangerous than just standing there and hoping you live.

    Originally posted by Oneiros View Post
    I've gotta question the reasoning behind this as well. Is it based on rule reading or experience? I understand you've played the game before, but how often did the scenario you're trying to address come up? And did it involve the old Shaken rules?

    In play, players rarely get to exactly 3 wounds. 1 or 2 isn't a huge penalty, especially for Wild Cards, who will mostly be focusing on skills they have higher dice in and probably Edges to boost things as well. And you're still including a "wound" level anyway, with negative hit points for Wild Cards.

    Also, do your players take advantage of things like Gang Up bonus, Aiming, etc. to counter Wound penalties?

    And, man, every time a PC increases their Vigor, they're bumping their total hit points by 8! A vigor d12 is effectively 48 hit points! Adding in Armor damage reduction (and I'm assuming you're making Edges that adjust Parry instead add to damage reduction?) potential Soaks, and Edges related to survivablity, and you've absolutely created a Hit Point attrition system similar to D&D. Also, longer battles to whittle down points, which doesn't sound that Fast, Fun and Furious to me.

    Small wounds still happen in the existing rules. A small wound just usually isn't life threatening, and is represented by being Shaken, or by Soaking damage.

    I also disagree with your conclusions about the benefits you think this will bring.
    • I think SW models "damage over time" effects just fine, basing it on Vigor rolls and specified time intervals.
    • The range of things healing and damage can be? They'd be the same, you'd just varying a range of hit points.
    • I'm not sure what you mean by increasing/decreasing survivability being easier, but there's plenty of ways to do that currently; just check out the Setting Rules section.
    • I can imagine a point-based ablative shield spell (or space ship technology, etc.) being made without any other changes.
    • Adding more and less powerful Healing spells 1) just seems more D&D like and 2) something that's only an outcome of your proposed system, not necessarily a improvement.
    • In general, your system adds book-keeping, and doesn't sound easier to run, modify or work with. Just different.
    Then there's other rules that I'm wondering how your Hit Point method works with. Is Bumps and Bruises a thing in your system? What about Fatigue?
    Based on experience, definitely. I mean, I could give you an exhaustive list, but suffice to say I've had it come up every two sessions or so.

    There was a game I played in (different GM). Rippers. My friend plays a samurai for hire; d10 Fighting, Sweep, Quick, First Strike. Used a greatsword flavoured as a giant katana. First session he's introduced he charged a group of undead reanimated vikings. Runs into two guys, both have First Strike. Two attacks. One misses, the other hits. Aces the damage dice, inflicts 4 Wounds on the player (who had d6 Vigor and chainmail, so 7 toughness). Player soaks, fails the soak. Bennies for a success, lowers it to 3. He's still standing, but he's at 3 Wounds. Uses the last benny to unshake himself, wild attacks at -1, barely hits but fluffs the damage dice. Gets hit again and Shaken. Spends the next 7 turns trying and failing to unshake at -3. The GM has the enemies pretty much ignore his character out of pity. My socialite character ends up dragging him out of the fighting after those 7 turns, because he just got too frustrated trying to be useful and failing.

    And yes, my players do. Most of them are fairly tactical players. But once you're seriously Wounded there's almost nothing that can be done.

    Battles are still fairly short due to the amount of damage being done. Parry isn't changed at all, so I don't know why Parry-altering abilities would grant damage reduction. Seems a bit silly to me that an acrobat would have abs made of steel. Toughness-boosting abilities grant +4 HP now, similar to an increase in Vigor. Or +8, technically, for Wild Cards.

    Originally posted by ValhallaGH
    Hi! It has been a little bit.
    Hello! Nice to see I was remembered ^-^

    Originally posted by ValhallaGH
    Huh. I'm guessing there were a lot of low die types for the injured characters (d6 or lower), few or no in-combat healing options (usually healing powers, but some settings have fast-acting medicines that also remove wounds withing a combat round), and a general lack of mitigating tactics being used (Gang Up, Wild Attack, Aim, etc.) or abilities (Nerves of Steel, Berserk, etc.).
    Fairly competently built characters, actually. Characters I play with usually have at least a d10 in whatever they're built to do, sometimes d12. A d8 in support skills. Healing tends to be rare, though, yeah. And my players are usually tactical enough to use Gang Up, Wilds Attacks, and the works. Seasoned players, most of whom have been playing for at least a couple of years.

    Originally posted by ValhallaGH
    Well, I'm glad you're getting results you like.
    This will make the Nerves of Steel edge absurdly powerful. For a single Edge, a build completely negates all penalties from damage. It also makes Improved Nerves utterly redundant.
    Conversely, abilities that boost Toughness (Brawny, Obese, Berserk, Tough As Nails, etc.) seem to get shafted. I'm curious how they interact with this calculation. I would expect them to grant +4 HP each, but that's speculative.
    Nerves of Steel and Improved Nerves of Steel were removed for the sake of clarity. Toughness Boosts did indeed translate to +4 HP a piece. Not sure that counts as being shafted though, it's a fairly solid boost. Especially for wild cards.

    Originally posted by ValhallaGH
    I know hit points have been tried a few times but I never saw any "after action" reports.
    I remember a system inspired by Green Ronin's d20 stuff where characters just made Soak rolls automatically. Static bonuses to Toughness (edges, armor, etc.) became bonuses on the Soak. Not sure if this was using the old static weapon damage rules. The conclusion was that it took too long to resolve attacks, and was generally more trouble that it was worth.
    Zadmar came up with an interesting damage variant, but it didn't change Toughness or Wounds at all.
    Interesting. Shame it didn't work out. I've worked with some opposed roll stuff before, and it does indeed become somewhat more clunky. SW's greatest asset is it's speed (Fast! Furious! Fun!) and usually anything that breaks that isn't worth it.

    Right, running out of space. May respond to some other people through comments, but this post feels a bit bloated as is. I've tested this system some more in the mean time, so I may do an 'after action report' in a bit.


    • ValhallaGH
      ValhallaGH commented
      Editing a comment
      If Toughness increases didn't affect HP then they'd be shafted. Since they're providing +4 HP, they're about as useful in your variant as they are in the core rules.

  • #18
    I actually rather disagree. Shaken is a nice system, I agree, but my system still includes it. If any blow deals a decent amount of damage it still creates that moment of tension.
    But... why?
    Why include Shaken when a) that was supposedly one the main reasons for the change, and b) hit points inherently provide the same benefit Shaken is meant to abstract (little wounds that can generally be shrugged off)?

    In my experience, however, all Shaken does is stop players from doing things.
    Well, yeah. I think that is one of the design goals. You're rattled or in pain or dumbfounded or whatever... gather your wits and pull yourself together before you can act again.

    Either a player succeeds their roll and the Shaken condition was irrelevant, or they fail it and do nothing. Retreating in slow-motion is usually meaningless, and if in melee it's generally more dangerous than just standing there and hoping you live.
    The difference between a success and failure when in comes to Shaken is a binary affair. It's getting grazed by a bullet and either succumbing to the pain or powering through it. That's what the Spirit roll represents: can you overcome the condition? That's either yes or no. That's also better represented by the updated Shaken rules, where there is no longer an "inbetween" condition of not being Shaken but also unable to act.

    Not sure what you mean by "retreat in slow-motion" Characters can move their full Pace while Shaken. They also aren't helpless; they still gain their Parry (and any Edges that affect Parry) so they aren't in any more danger in melee than they normally would be; they just cannot attack back. If they're in a pinch, they can still yell for help, hoping a teammate can drop their foe before it makes a second attack. These are all part of the tension and decision-making I mentioned the Shaken condition imparts.

    Your example with the samurai illustrated two things. 1) The player didn't know they could move while Shaken; you didn't need to "drag" them off the field, and 2) your issue is with wound penalties, not the wound system. Have you tried just playing without wound penalties before rewriting half the book?