Hit Points.

Hit Points.

Hit Points.

Are they a measure of how much blood you can lose before going into shock, or a gauge of how much fate smiles on you (not to be pushed too far), or how much one can focus on the battle before slipping up and making a fatal mistake, or what?  How long until your gear falls apart, leaving your fleshy bits exposed to their pointy bits?

Is it fine to mix these for different characters?  Can the armored fighter come out of a battle battered, bruised, bleeding and smiling (50% HP) while the Thief staggers out, physically untouched but pale faced and shaken from the arrows that passed within inches of his face(50% HP)?

This is meant to provoke a ‘this is why A works better than B’ type discussion, not a search for a conclusive answer as to what is “Right”

13 thoughts on “Hit Points.”

  1. You haven’t even gotten into the descriptive stuff like the ranger leaving his leathers in tatters exhausted (at 50% of HP) why can’t it look like ones gear has been through the wringer but it kept you alive?

  2. I agree with Jay.  It’s more fun to push the description on the players, and it adds so much character.  The barbarian crawling out of the fight with a dozen arrows sticking out, while the elven wizard just has one small cut on the cheek, and their hair isn’t in perfect order anymore, maybe a tear in a robe.  It shows off who they are.

  3. Healing bring up an interesting point.  If your cleric worships a god of death, does your arm grow back as necrotic flesh?  Is the ranger’s healing poultice different from the fighter’s?  Does one contain berries that make you feel less pain, while the other has a sewing kit and make up?  Things get way more interesting (and admittedly, probably more complicated) when you let individual characters flavour their health.

  4. Some time ago — there’s a link on my site, I’ll dig it up when I get to a computer — there was a blog post about what happens when you get healing from a cleric of the spider god that plays into that idea, Kevin Farnworth

  5. Jay Vee  I haven’t given this subject sufficent thought in the past, but that sounds like the ideal way to do it.  More buy-in from the players.  And like Mark Tygart seemed to imply, it’s not super critical what they represent anyway.

    Eric Duncan  I like it.  It’s now on the list, albeit rephrased to fit the list’s existing style.

    Keith J Davies I LOVE YOUR HEALING LIST.  I’m going to scratch up a few similar lists at some point to represent different healers who get their powers by different members of different pantheons.  (Snake list’s pretty cool too, albeit maybe too extreme in some of its consequences for my group)

    Your first link articulates both of the main arguments over what a HP is extremely well.

    Kevin Farnworth You say “complicated” like that’s a bad thing in DW!

  6. Sean Fager only the KJD-IMC link is my writing (and I admit to being pretty proud of it, I tried to articulate what hit points are and I think I did a good job here.. and I like the implications of it in play). The second link was from someone else entirely, and I really dig that sort of thing — I’d originally included it in my links of the week[1] for that reason.

    [1] sadly on hiatus for going about two years now, way too busy working on something else to spend the time reading blogs that I used to.

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