Hi Dungeon People

Hi Dungeon People

Hi Dungeon People,

I’m working on a hack that doesn’t include the full numbers of stats, just the STAT. To that end I’ve tossed together some ideas, one of which I’ll post here now. Be gentle, I’m new to hacking.

Hit Points – Your HP is equal to your CON + (Class Base). When your HP is depleted through damage, the GM will tell you which Debility to mark. After marking the Debility your HP returns to its maximum amount. When you mark your last Debility, take your Last Breath.

If you live through your Last Breath, the Debility you marked last will likely bear some lasting effect. Your GM will tell you if and what.

The Bases will likely be 3 (for Wizard types) up to 5 (for Fighter types).


23 thoughts on “Hi Dungeon People”

  1. So one problem with just having+stat I see is levelling up and increasing the stats. Having to increase the large number means that by level 10 you have only got one or two stats at +3. If you just have +stat how would you stop multiple +3s?

  2. Zen Ferno​ when you hack a system, you should first explain why the hack is necessary.

    * Does the hack correct a problem in the original system? If so, what problem?

    * Does the hack support a theme you are trying to explore in the narrative? If so, what theme?

    * Does the hack simplify a mechanic?

    With this context established, reviewers will be able to better evaluate your idea. Maybe you are trying to fix a problem that isn’t a problem others experience. Maybe there are examples or references we can point you to that solve your problem.

    Also: don’t ever ask reviewers to be gentle. You want them to be brutally (but respectfully) honest. If your idea is trash, you want it to die a quick, horrible death so you can either pivot or move on to the next hack. Brutally honest criticism of an idea is not a reflection on you; it takes courage to put yourself and your ideas out there. You should value it.

  3. Zen Ferno​ I’m absolutely with you. The old D&D characteristic numbers 3-18 are really useless, a heritage of the past (and of course they kept them as an homage), but that have no meaning in DW, as in any other PbtA game. So go for it, remove them, and adapt those (few) things you need to, in order to keep the things running. I did it for a game of mine, worked like a charm.

    PS: if you have children, or new gamers that ignore D&D (a blessing, for me), when they are at the table, they always ask: “what are hose strange 3-18 numbers?” “they are pretty useless, those numbers have no weight in the game engine “. And they are completely right.

  4. Robert Jacobs​​ I agree with your sentiment, but honest, bad-idea-killing opinions can be delivered in a gentle way.

    I’m also not a fan of the 3-18 characteristics and I would support an attempt to move away from the D&D baggage while keeping the other core rules and moves. I wouldn’t say that the numbers are useless though. They add some granularity and balance to the advancement system which I really appreciate, but that’s only one way to do it. Check World of Dungeon’s advancement table for an alternative that wouldn’t have a big impact. You could even throw out stat increases entirely and that would also be ok. Make it an option alongside moves? I’d pick funky moves over stats any day.

    3-18 statistics probably do a lot more that we rarely think about so be careful when you’re unraveling core mechanics like that. And definitely take to heart what these guys are saying about intention. Great advice.

    Your HP-Debility-cycle sounds like a refreshing idea and I don’t see anything wrong with it on its own. It would create a death spiral where losing hp actually makes it harder to fight instead of being a binary in or out. Good for some types of games, I’m sure.

  5. Mark Tygart​ and others on “Why?”. After a few sessions with my players, I aggregated their comments on the game. I checked online and most of what confused them was pretty universal, like the statistics for statistics sake.

    Eventually I will type out what I come up with, and put out a hack on the pan-Asian inspired fantasy setting I run for my players.

  6. Tor Droplets​ Thanks for the feedback.

    You mentioned other affected systems. The only other one I could find was subtracting Charisma from purchases. I’ll address that with a custom Haggle move, which I will post in another thread.

  7. Zen Ferno Giving the stats every other level was a suggestion I had as well. If you start at 3 then that is normally when you could get your +2 to a +3 so it makes sense. You are on the right track there!

    An easy method for the Charisma issue is to just make it where if you have a certain modifier, just reduce it by that modifier’s highest amount in normal Dungeon World.

    +3 = 18

    +2 = 17

    +1 = 15

    0 = 12

    -1 = 8

    You could make it more or less depending on how you wanted. I’m not trying to tell you not to make your Haggle move, it sounds like a cool idea. 10+ for a 10% discount would be pretty sweet lol

  8. I totally get the motive for removing the base stats, but I’m not really seeing the intent of the HP >> Debility system. I’m not even 100% sure I’m understanding it correctly.

    I read the procedure as:

    * When you take damage, reduce your HP

    * When the GM tells you to (???), mark a debility and restore your HP to max

    * When the GM tells you to mark your last debility, you roll Last Breath.

    What are the GM’s parameters for telling you to mark a debility & heal? (When you rest? When you drop to 0 HP? Is there a player controlled move that makes this happen?) What happens if I drop to 0 HP without marking a debility? Do I still regain HP by Making Camp? Using Bandages or Poultices/Herbs? Do I still need the Recover move (and 1-3 days of rest) to remove a debility?

    But those are just details. What are you trying to accomplish with this mechanic?

  9. Jeremy Strandberg I’ve amended it to (hopefully) make it clearer.

    Hit Points – Your HP is equal to your CON + (Class Base). When your HP is reduced to 0, the GM will tell you which Debility to mark. Immediately after marking the Debility, your HP returns to its maximum amount. When you mark your last Debility, take your Last Breath.

    I’m trying to remove the need for the full Constitution score. CON will still need to have some kind of additive base (because it can be negative.)

  10. Zen Ferno​ so like someone said the problem eith this is that it creates a death spiral where you are more likely to do worse since your taking away stats all the time.

    Original HP in DW does not do this, only certain fictionally appropriate monsters give out devilities to show there level of threat.

    I see this as a problem since its not the same

  11. The issue I have here is fictional. Under normal DW rules, you mark the condition that makes sense based on what fictional thing happened to your character.

    Got hit on the head? Mark Stunned. Poisoned by a manticore? Mark Weak. Caught mummy rot? Mark Sick. Etc.

    Having the GM pick a condition to mark when a character drops to 0 HP works at first. The GM can pick whatever condition makes sense. But what happens when two or three conditions are already marked, and the GM has to pick ones that don’t make sense? That’s not following the fiction.

    Also, when and how do conditions clear?

    Lastly, why remove the full Constitution score? What about it is causing problems for your players?

  12. If the extent of your goal is “compensate for the loss of the Constitution score in HP,” then Andrea Parducci’s approach is way, way simpler. Just use a different formula.

    Like, take a class’s base HP and double them, then add (2 x CON).

    A fighter with -1 CON would have 18 HP, same as a bog-standard fighter with 8 Constitution. A fighter with +3 CON would have 26 HP, just a couple points lower than usual.

    Shrinking the HP range and adding in “take a debility at 0 HP” still has a bunch of weird ripple effects in play.

    The PCs will actually be more resilient, because they’ve really got about 3 times as many HP as they would in standard rules. (E.g. a 10 Constitution fighter would normally have 20 HP. Your +0 CON fighter would have 10 HP x 6 debilities.)

    A single big hit would actually do less damage to PCs, because it’d drop them immediately to 0 HP and debility land. The wizard taking 15 damage vs. 8 damage would have the same result: a debility.

    You’d have to re-calibrate the various ways to heal: bandages, poultices & herbs, healing potions, cure X wounds, Make Camp, Lay on Hands, Hospitaler, etc. Do any of these heal debilities now?

    The HP/Damage economy is way more deeply embedded in the rules of DW than it appears at first glance. Tinkering with that economy ripples out a LOT.

  13. Chris Stone-Bush​ Fictionally, “health” and debilitation are never separate. When a character in a story is hurt, it always results both in damage and to some noticable degradation in performance. It would actually make more sense if all damage was represented by debilitation rather than HP.

    “As Golarl pulled his hammer out of what was left of the Hobgoblin Prince, a searing heat arched through his shoulder, the tell-tale bite of a blade. Roaring, he spun to strike his cowardly assailant, but the blade had struck something vital. The hilt slipped from his weakening fingers as he locked eyes on her, The Shade of Xeteraad.”

  14. Chris Stone-Bush​ needing to mark the same Debility is a fair criticism.

    Debilities would clear the same way they do currently.

    My players (and myself) didn’t get why 2 out of 6 stats are treated differently than the rest. It also caused confusion when setting Loads, as some players thought they’d get their full Strength score. The two (HP and Load) look the same on the character sheet.

  15. There have been some good alternative ideas here, and whatever makes the game more fun for your group is the way to go Zen Ferno​​. To me though, this seems like a lot of work, with a lot of ripple effects as Jeremy Strandberg​​ points out above, just to “fix” two stats. You add the STR bonus to your load, but your full Constitution score to your HP. It’s just something you have to remember.

  16. Jeremy Strandberg In my OP I stated that the bases would change (3 for Wizards, up to 5 for Fighters).

    Magic Healing would probably be upgraded to heal Debilities.

  17. Zen Ferno Classes could have a base health that is just 10 more than usual. Then modifiers add the following:

    +3 = +8

    +2 = +6

    +1 = +2

    0 = 0

    -1 = -2

    This keeps things fairly close to the minimum and maximum health of classes in regular Dungeon World.

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