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  1. #1
    Site Moderator geeman's Avatar
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    I`m curious what opinions are about using a Vitality/Wound point system in
    BR rather than hit points.

    For those of you who aren`t familiar with Vitality/Wound points, its the
    system that a few D20 products use that replaces hit points. Essentially,
    characters have Wound points equal to their constitution score, and
    Vitality points that work much the same way that hit points do. Damage is
    taken off of vitality points first, and when a character runs out it is
    assigned to would points. Certain attacks (things like critical hits) do
    wound damage rather than vitality damage (making them even scarier than 3e
    critical hits.) Wound point damage is much more serious than just losing
    vitality (or hit points.) Wounded characters behave as if fatigued, and
    must make a Fortitude save (DC 5 + amount of wound damage) or lose
    consciousness. Wound damage also takes longer to heal, and may require the
    attention of characters with better than normal healing abilities to
    recover. Wound points don`t increase as a character increases in level,
    except if constitution is increased and/or as the result of a couple of
    special feats or class abilities, but vitality points are increased just
    like hit points. That is, according to a hit die based on character class.

    A vitality/wound system is sometimes described as "cinematic" in that
    characters take no actual damage as they lose vitality points. From time
    to time, however, someone will use an explanation of hit points that is
    very much like vitality/wound (that only the last few hit points damage are
    real wounds, the rest being abstract psychological, evading, whatever
    "damage") so I don`t really think vitality/wound is really all that much
    more cinematic.

    Anyway, I bring this up on the BR list because I think using a
    Vitality/Wound system might be useful in portraying
    bloodtheft. Specifically how it might be useful in portraying bloodtheft,
    I`m not quite sure, but it seems a bit more apt. Also, the Vitality/Wound
    system seems to open up the option of having particular abilities (spells,
    class abilities, things like that) with a vitality point cost per
    use. There`s no reason why hit points couldn`t be used in the same way,
    but "vitality" seems easier to justify. This concept might work in
    conjunction with certain blood abilities, for instance.

    Anyone have thoughts on this?

    Gary

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  2. #2
    Site Moderator kgauck's Avatar
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    I don`t use bloodtheft, in the sense of kill a scion get bloodstrength, but
    I do use a vitality wound system. Mine started out during 2e, and so has
    had to endure a revision to 3e. Still, I do have a few more sources of
    wound damage.

    Falling automatically does as many wounds as it does dice of hip points
    (vitality).
    The assassin`s Death Attack is a kind of attack the bypasses hit points and
    goes directly to wounds with primary damage.
    A critical hit does primary damage to wounds, and all bonus damage is
    vitality damage.
    Undead attacks don`t begin to drain levels until wound points are gone, but
    level draining undead have a +4 threat bonus to critical hit probablities.
    Especially nasty diseases or poisons can do wound damage.

    Unlike the wound/vitality system described in some d20 games (such as Star
    Wars) I treat hit points like standard D&D hit points, rather than as the
    kind of damage the D&D core rules describes as subdual. Typically vitality
    is recovered at a rate of 1 point per level per hour, but I don`t do that.

    I recover damage normally as follows:
    subdual is one point per level per hour
    hit points are one point per level per day
    and wounds are one a day.

    Kenneth Gauck
    kgauck@mchsi.com

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  3. #3
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    On Tue, 2002-07-30 at 00:09, Gary wrote:

    I`m curious what opinions are about using a Vitality/Wound point system in
    BR rather than hit points.

    For those of you who aren`t familiar with Vitality/Wound points, its the
    system that a few D20 products use that replaces hit points. Essentially,
    characters have Wound points equal to their constitution score, and
    Vitality points that work much the same way that hit points do. Damage is
    taken off of vitality points first, and when a character runs out it is
    assigned to would points. Certain attacks (things like critical hits) do
    wound damage rather than vitality damage (making them even scarier than 3e
    critical hits.) Wound point damage is much more serious than just losing
    vitality (or hit points.) Wounded characters behave as if fatigued, and
    must make a Fortitude save (DC 5 + amount of wound damage) or lose
    consciousness. Wound damage also takes longer to heal, and may require the
    attention of characters with better than normal healing abilities to
    recover. Wound points don`t increase as a character increases in level,
    except if constitution is increased and/or as the result of a couple of
    special feats or class abilities, but vitality points are increased just
    like hit points. That is, according to a hit die based on character class.

    A vitality/wound system is sometimes described as "cinematic" in that
    characters take no actual damage as they lose vitality points. From time
    to time, however, someone will use an explanation of hit points that is
    very much like vitality/wound (that only the last few hit points damage are
    real wounds, the rest being abstract psychological, evading, whatever
    "damage") so I don`t really think vitality/wound is really all that much
    more cinematic.



    It`s not new. I introduced it in Noncon 84 (a gaming convention that was
    held in Brisbane, Australia 1984) and have used it ever since. Even then
    I stole the idea from Gygax`s explanation of hit points and damage below
    zero hit points - just rewording and expanding it. (see an original 1st
    Edition DMG - about page 76 from memory)

    I have notes on changes to poison, falling damage, spell damage, healing
    spells and items, regeneration, backstabbing, assassination, monster
    wounds, non-lethal combat, special magic weapon (e.g. vorpal sword) and
    energy drain as well as a modification to combat resolution that relies
    on this system (but not vice-versa). All notes are in 1st Ed/2e rule
    sets though. (way too much to post here - but I`ll email anyone that
    asks)

    When published, I originally used CON as the wound points although Gygax
    used a flat 10. But more recently when searching for a better combat
    resolution (esp for high level characters), I changed back to the Gygax
    10 - but modified it by plus or minus your CON bonus. This changes the
    range for wound points from 3-18 to 8-12(14) which is more `realistic`
    and makes it less critically important to have a `high` constitution. I
    also changed the name to `life points` (because not all losses are
    `wounds`).


    Anyway, I bring this up on the BR list because I think using a
    Vitality/Wound system might be useful in portraying
    bloodtheft. Specifically how it might be useful in portraying bloodtheft,
    I`m not quite sure, but it seems a bit more apt. Also, the Vitality/Wound
    system seems to open up the option of having particular abilities (spells,
    class abilities, things like that) with a vitality point cost per
    use. There`s no reason why hit points couldn`t be used in the same way,
    but "vitality" seems easier to justify. This concept might work in
    conjunction with certain blood abilities, for instance.

    Anyone have thoughts on this?

    Some spells have had such `costs` associated with them - e.g. permanency
    when cast on a character - which can affect either vitality or wounds.
    Many BR blood abilities mimic other D&D features (regeneration, healing,
    wither touch etc).

    I`m not sure what you are getting at here though - do you mean some kind
    of partial bloodtheft a draining or reducing of bloodline score and/or
    abilities ? Or are you thinking of a connection between bloodline and
    vitality/wound ? I mean, bloodtheft generally results in death for the
    victim.

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  4. #4
    Site Moderator geeman's Avatar
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    At 10:37 AM 7/30/2002 +1000, Peter Lubke wrote:

    >I`m not sure what you are getting at here though - do you mean some kind
    >of partial bloodtheft a draining or reducing of bloodline score and/or
    >abilities ? Or are you thinking of a connection between bloodline and
    >vitality/wound ? I mean, bloodtheft generally results in death for the victim.

    I`m not really sure what I`m getting at here either, I`m afraid. It wasn`t
    so much a connection between bloodline and vitality or wound points, or a
    partial bloodtheft/draining thing, though. What I was thinking was that
    when a character takes wound damage then it becomes pretty obvious he`s
    near his end, so a character attacking him could then perform his "called
    shot" or whatever is required for a specific type of "stab through the
    heart" attack. As to specifics for how that would be done, however, I`m
    not so sure.

    Gary

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  5. #5
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    On Tue, 2002-07-30 at 11:20, Gary wrote:

    At 10:37 AM 7/30/2002 +1000, Peter Lubke wrote:

    >I`m not sure what you are getting at here though - do you mean some kind
    >of partial bloodtheft a draining or reducing of bloodline score and/or
    >abilities ? Or are you thinking of a connection between bloodline and
    >vitality/wound ? I mean, bloodtheft generally results in death for the victim.

    I`m not really sure what I`m getting at here either, I`m afraid. It wasn`t
    so much a connection between bloodline and vitality or wound points, or a
    partial bloodtheft/draining thing, though. What I was thinking was that
    when a character takes wound damage then it becomes pretty obvious he`s
    near his end, so a character attacking him could then perform his "called
    shot" or whatever is required for a specific type of "stab through the
    heart" attack. As to specifics for how that would be done, however, I`m
    not so sure.

    Oh okay.
    Well, usually the number of wound points that you have lost starts to
    slow you down. Using the old D&D official (1st Ed), -1 to -3 wasn`t such
    a horrific deal -- you could still function although at a reduced
    ability. From -4 to -6 you were pretty helpless but still conscious,
    it`s possible to drag yourself away at this time but you really need to
    be binding wounds etc. At this point it`s simple matter to strike
    someone through the heart - they can`t resist your efforts - so
    bloodtheft at this point is a simple affair. Ditto of course for -7 to
    -9, the character isn`t even conscious.

    I play that one-third of your life points (LP) aka wound points is a
    light wound. Any number of wounds up to and including the one-third
    value is a lightly wounded character/creature. Lightly wounded creatures
    can still attack and defend but they do so at a penalty of 5% for every
    wound point - i.e. 2 wound points and you attack at -2 on a d20. If you
    do, then this exertion will aggravate the original wound(s) by one
    point. This will happen even if neither the character nor his opponents
    score a hit in that round. A character with a constitution of 16 would
    have a life point total of 12 (10 + 2 for CON), and a light wound range
    of 1-4.

    A serious wound is from there up to two-thirds. A serious wound is just
    that - serious. For every round unattended the character bleeds
    out/worsens by one point - so moving can still be a good idea but get
    there fast before you drop unconscious from blood loss. These are the
    guys lying on the field of battle moaning and slowly bleeding to death
    (dying from shock etc)- sticking your sword right through them is a
    piece of cake.

    A critically wounded character can`t do anything - someone else must
    help them. They suffer the effects of being seriously wounded as well of
    course. Most critically wounded characters are unconscious or even
    comatose. Recovery, even with a heal spell, will require a complete days
    rest - this was once standard in 1st Ed.

    Now this ties in nicely with weapon damage too. A dagger does 1-4 point,
    using a hypothetical character with 10 wound points - it has only a 25%
    chance of inflicting a serious wound. (assuming a start point of 0 hit
    points - which I can show is statistically average), while a longsword
    does 1-8 points, with 5/8 hits doing serious damage. A backstabbing 5
    level thief has (IMC +3 to damage in others triple damage) for either
    4-7 or 3-12 respectively - in both case the chance of a serious wound
    has increased significantly.

    In any case the first wound usually decides the outcome of a combat -
    even if the wound itself is not mortal. This is good news for the winner
    because now he can gloat at a captive audience - or choose to dispatch
    his opponent completely. It`s good news for the loser because there`s
    still a chance he can talk or walk his way out. It`s good news for
    gaming because players have options beyond simply killing their
    opponents.

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