I am not a huge fan of HP in dungeon world for PCs, so I have been fiddling around with an alternative. This is my current way to do that, i’d love feedback on what you guys think.
Note that it is not completely original as it borrows a lot from other alternatives that people have suggested here and elsewhere.
You can have 3 types of injuries:
– Light (max 3), nothing too serious. Bruises, small cuts, etc.
– Serious (max 2). Hurts like hell. Think twisted ankles, broken bones.
– Deadly (max 1). Needs tending to as soon as possible.
If you take another injury of a type you already have the maximum of, you take a more serious injury instead.
If you take a second deadly injury, you go to the black gates.
There are two basic moves attached to this:
Whenever you take harm, roll and add any ARMOR that protects you from this harm to the outcome
On 10+ You take a light injury
On 7-9 You take a serious injury
On a 6- You take a serious injury and a debility
Tell the GM how you are injured and what happens.
Whenever you take enough time to recover, roll+CON
On 10+ Choose 3
On 7-9 Choose 2
On 6- Choose 1
– One deadly injury is reduced to a serious injury
– One serious injury is reduced to a light injury
– One light injury no longer affects you
– One debility no longer affects you
(you can pick the same option multiple times)
– Like with any move, sometimes the GM might decide you don’t roll. Instead, simply tell the player to take an injury (of type X) if that makes sense for the fiction.
– My players like rolling for the damage THEY do. So monsters can still work with HP, I don’t mind that as much as I dislike hp for characters. I have to add that I rarely track my monster HP in detail. Many monsters die in 1 hit (feels epic) and more difficult monsters (leaders, bosses) tend to go down in 1-2 succesful hits as well, but require more rolls to get into a position to get those hits in.
– I would consider renaming ‘armor’ to ‘defense’, as I can think of many different examples of spells and abilities that enable you to avert harm from yourself that have nothing to do with shields and breastplates.
What I personally like about this system
– Mathematically, it still works out more or less the same as HP on average. In my mind, a light injury would be about 3 damage, a serious injury about 5, and a deadly injury about 10, making this equivalent to about 20 hp in line with the average PC.
– It removes RNG from incoming damage rolls (although you don’t need this system to do that, it is a benefit nonetheless in my mind).
– It gives ARMOR a much more similar mechanical use as all other modifiers in the game.
– It makes CON a more interesting stat
– The recover move feels more natural than saying ‘ ok now you regain X hp’. It is also a very easy move to affect with other skills that allow you (or others) to remove more quickly.
– It is very easy to attune healing spells/potions to this system. For example, the cleric already has three types of healing spells, one to match each level.
– More use for debilities
I’d love feedback, suggestions, comments…anything! 🙂