Did we ever have a discussion on using Debilities as a replacement for HP?

Did we ever have a discussion on using Debilities as a replacement for HP?

Did we ever have a discussion on using Debilities as a replacement for HP? I feel like we did at some point, I just can’t find it.

By this, I mean when you take damage, you mark one or more debilities instead of HP. HP would just be for NPCs.

15 thoughts on “Did we ever have a discussion on using Debilities as a replacement for HP?”

  1. I’ve seen it kicked around. Not personally a fan, because I don’t generally like death-spiral mechanics (where getting hurt makes you less effective and thus more likely to get hurt).

    If you were going to do it, you’d have to recalibrate everything damage-related to work on a scale where 6 damage was roughly equivalent to 20 damage now. Armor would need to be rethought, a lot. All moves that modified damage would need to redone. Monster stats, healing spells, etc. would all need calibration.

    Might work, might be cool. Would look pretty darn different from DW, though.

    I seem to recall that the Worlds of Adventure gang was talking about something similar. (Yochai Gal? I can’t seem to tag Cameron.)

  2. It’s a neat idea, and I think it works rather well in Fellowship (where your stats are HP), but it’s not going to be used in the next version of Worlds of Adventure, no.

    Fantasy World is looking to do something similar, though, with a system somewhere between Debilities and a Suffer Harm move. Alessandro Piroddi

  3. Yeah, in #FantasyWorld the harm mechanics are 100% fictional, and the whole system has been modified to support this.

    Which looks not at all as vanilla DW.

    And for me personally is good… the damage system in DW was never something I liked 🙂

    Effects of this new system:

    – monsters have no stats

    – equipment is important and relevant BUT players end up giving it waaaaay less importance and attention

    (no stats to min-max means they only care about the fictional positioning it offers)

    – combat is deadlier and faster.

    A bunch of elements help the PCs to usually have the upper hand and feel powerful… but it never feels “easy” or “risk free” and if they waste their i am a protagonist resources today they will not have them available tomorrow, and getting them back is NOT easy or free.

    Fresh and arrogant adventurers will soon learn caution and start thinking that finding ways to avoid violence is often a worth investment of brain power.

    – by design there is no such thing as free/instantaneous healing.

    A broken arm will stick for at least 3 Long Rest moves, and only assuming you someone always spends their 1 utility action AND a Supply point to patch you up … or you have a Cleric working a miracle (which is a roll, which risks causing a World Move, which could fuck up and interrupt the Long Rest move)

  4. I’m looking at implementing a light version of this. Essentially to have each time the PC loses hit points noted with the type of injury. Ex: The kobold manages to get past your shield and his spear bites into your leg, mark -5 hp as spear wound to left leg. This would help keep the fictional consequences of various injuries in mind without having to re-write the whole game system. If you later try to defy danger by running quickly I may ask “don’t you still have a nasty spear wound on your leg?” and assess a disadvantage or conditional -1 penalty on the roll. When you heal the wound you can erase the tag that came with it or reduce it from a -5 hp spear would to a -1, now it’s just a scratch and probably won’t hinder you quite as much. Players could also have some fun choosing what wounds they want to try healing first.

  5. Casey McKenzie in my experience that sounds good on paper, but a drag at the table.

    As long as you have HPs they will be the only real focus, turning everything else into a nuisance, rather than a cool feature.

    Especially if it translates into the GM having yet one more thing to keep an eye on.

    But you can try it out for yourself, and maybe it fits the natural playstyle of your group 🙂

    As far as general design considerations go… I don’t recommend it. It adds complexity instead of reducing it. It doesn’t really shifts the focus from numbers to fiction. And expresses the idea that the GM is out to get the Players, as “just losing hps” is not enough to offer them a real challenge (of course it is not, for many reasons).

  6. You can do harm as “conditions”. Each hit = one descriptive injury, sometimes decided by the GM, sometimes it’s the players hard choice. Each condition is a -1 to a roll, and must be healed separately. Maybe limit it to 1+level conditions?

  7. I’ve fooled around with a few things along these lines. If I were writing something like Dungeon World from scratch, I’d probably make wounds and injuries something you can voluntarily “suffer from” in exchange for experience. (“Mark experience when your wound flares up,” along with a suitable mechanical effect, for example.)

    This allows the heroic function of “ignoring your injuries” (good for heroic drama) but also means the injuries matter at appropriate times.

  8. Alessandro Piroddi, I’d like to hear more about how harm works in Fantasy World. Is there an older version of the rules or a discussion anywhere? If not, can you give us the short version here?

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