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Mephs

hitpoint systems AKA beating a dead horse!

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I'm aware that I'm covering ground here that has been discussed time and time again, but I'm looking at the hitpoint system for my game and trying to find the right combination of realism and fun. Below is an overview of my system. The player is allocated a number of hitpoints. As the player loses hitpoints, they become closer to death. The GM has the ability to add a luck buffer to these hitpoints, which effectively gives the player a surplus of hitpoints so that they are not killed instantly. This allows the GM to make a mission more or less difficult dependant upon how he would like the game to be played, by distributing more or less luckpoints to the players at the beginning (or indeed any time during) of the mission. If players are hit and wounded successfully, then a luck point is lost. If however, their opposition scores a critical hit, then the luck points are bypassed and wounds removed directly from the players’ actual hitpoints. When the character reaches zero hitpoints, they are considered dead or incapacitated, regardless of how many luck points still remain. Hits from an opponent may cause more than one wound if they are successful (dependant upon weapon and opponent strength), however, the chance of a wound becoming a critical applies to each and every wound inflicted. In this way a strong creature with a good weapon has a chance of dealing a lot of damage with a single hit, however, to stop player rapidly losing hitpoints upon a single critical wound, each wound inflicted may or may not be critical, rather than the whole lot being critical. Players will purchase wounds just like any other statistic. Wounds will be a capped statistic as there are limits to how powerful players should be allowed to become in order to keep a fair balance for player vs player. I feel that this system is flexible enough that a player could get extremely lucky and kill an opponent in one blow if all of their hits caused critical wounds, but that the average attack will more likely than not just remove a luck point. Luck points can also be replenished by the GM if he feels a player has earnt it, so in this way, players are not likely to die often, but must be wary at all times in case that killer string of critical wounds shows up! I feel that this is in some ways quite realistic, because players do not have a huge number of hitpoints that mean they can sit back and soak up damage. However, they will most likely not die the instant somebody touches them, as I feel this would create a CounterStrike style of play, which although interesting, is not everybody's cup of tea. I do realise that essentially my luck and hitpoints are almost one and the same, but I think the addition of the critical hits bypassing the luckpoints adds in the factor that Heros are exceptionally lucky (I mean heck, no real person is ever going to be as lucky as the standard RPG character!), but it can't always save them! Is there anything you would do to improve this system, to make it more fun (hopefully without going to the point of destroying suspension of disbelief!). Cheers, Steve

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I think it's simple enough to most likely work. It would of course take playbalancing if there are "classes". Or else it gets min/max'd into make the biggest guy, with the biggest weapon, and the most hit point. First to crit wins.

If luck possibly = armor rating, and I mean REAL absorbtion it might give you more wiggle room. And then balance advantages vs. disadvantages. Armor does not = hit/miss ratio.

Slashing a short sword against plate armor, would not do much damage, unless (your luck system) gets a crit and slides through a crease in the armor.

I'd keep the base system, which you have now, as simple as possible, because it will get very complex as you build on the layers that are skills, stats, weapons, and armor.

In terms of your realism, I like it. I've always thought it silly to hit something 20 times with a big ass 2h axe and see it's only half dead.

D

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The zero sum basied system I've been developing uses two sets of "hit points"...one representing the physical body, the other mental stamina...when both are zero the character dies, when either one is zero the character simply falls unconcious...additionaly both are percentile basied, meaning they range from 0 to 100, they both automaticly recover over time (although the mental side recovers at a much faster rate)...as they are percentage basied they effect core attributes when performing actions...if body hit points is down to 50% then any action requireing strength, dexterity, and/or constitution reduces those values by 50% for any die rolls...same goes for mental hit points and related attributes.

Armor is also percential basied with two rateings, one for body, the other for mental...additionaly weapon damage, and certain attacks/spells have the duel damage rateings too.

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