Thursday, August 11, 2011

Death and Dying, Revisited!

(keep death simple, stupid.)


Within days of writing these extensive set of rules (On Death and Dying), I realised they were just too much. So much that it defeated some of the tenets of OSR--fast & simple rules. It solved the problems, but replaced them with different problems. I over-thought it. I'll keep them posted for reference, but I decided to refine them even further. I'm keeping the basic principles, that death doesn't always happen from the initial blow (it does sometimes!) it comes from bleeding, shock and eventually infection. I want to reflect Constitution, Character Level, and a bit of luck. I didn’t want to change standard HP rules. I skipped infection because that's not what this game is about. These rules can be amended to Save or Die effects with a little work.

Instant Death

If a character takes their constitution score, plus level, in damage from a single attack, and it drops them below 0, they make a Saving Throw (vs Death) or die instantly. If they make their save, they're fallen.

Dying or possibly Dead

A character that is dropped below 1 hp has fallen, is considered dying and possibly dead. Every round that the character is not healed or treated increases the possibility of the character's death. The fallen PC keeps track of how many rounds pass while they are in this state.

Checking the Fallen

If another PC can get to the fallen PC during combat, the fallen PC can make a saving throw negatively modified by the number of rounds they have been fallen plus their constitution modifier. If the Saving Throw is successful, the character is still alive, but unconscious with 0 hp, and can be healed or treated.

Gaining Consciousness

Once per combat, a dying PC can try to make one last effort. They must first make a Saving Throw (vs Death). If they succeed, they can attempt one action at -4 then they fall unconscious with 0 hp. If they fail, the character is dead.

After the Battle

If a fallen character, that hasn't already been checked during combat, is checked after the battle is over, has a slight chance to be alive. The fallen PC makes a Saving Throw (vs. Death) with a -10 modifier. If they succeed, they're unconscious with 0 hp. If they fail, the fallen PC is found dead.

Natural Healing

If the PC makes their saving throws, and survives the night, natural healing occurs.

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