Mar 19, 2012

New Major Wound Table for Openquest

I would like to use the major wound rules in Openquest, but they are far too brutal in actual play to draw on all that often. For those unaware of the rules, whenever one takes a hit that inflicts more than half of one's maximum HP after damage reduction for armour, one takes a major wound. One rolls a d10 on the major wound table and gets one of ten possible results.

HP is calculated as the average of SIZ and CON (round up), so most characters have between 10 and 13 HP. This total does not increase very often, and requires CON to be improved enough to increase the average, since one cannot improve SIZ. Critical hits ignore armour and inflict damage, so they are almost guaranteed to inflict a major wound. It takes three improvement points to increase a stat one point.

The problem comes in that major wounds are too great a penalty. One loses on average 4 stat points to a major wound, as well as other penalties. This might be massive skill loss, permanent paralysis, etc. This means it costs at least 12 improvement rolls to recover from a major wound. Healing skill checks and certain divine or sorcerous magic spells can heal major wounds, though it's unclear if they restore the stat or skill penalties (the spells seem like they would, the skill does not). This can be extremely problematic in games without easy access to these types of magic. In some cases (permanent paralysis), they are severe enough that they effectively remove the character from play until they can be magically healed.

I don't want to remove major wounds entirely, as they help contribute to the deadly feel of the game. However, they are too deadly. I also want more variety, especially around unconsciousness, as major wounds represent a quick way to knock someone out and potentially capture them. Finally, there's a collection of supplementary rules that happen when a major wound is inflicted that I think should be major wounds themselves rather than happening on all major wounds.

I therefore propose the following rules:

1) Characters should be able to improve their SIZ with improvement points like other stats, representing adding bulk and mass, rather than height.

2) Whenever a character inflicts a single wound that deals damage that is greater than half the target's maximum HP, the target receives a major wound. Which major wound is discovered by rolling 2d10 and consulting the Major Wound Table below.

3) "Regenerative magic" when referenced below means Divine Heal, Regenerate, and any other spells the referee feels are appropriate. It specifically excludes the "Heal" battle magic spell.

Major Wound Table

2 Severe Brain Damage: The character's INT drops to 1d6 and all skills that use INT to calculate their starting percentages are at -50%. This condition requires regenerative magic to cure. Regenerative magic will heal the INT loss and remove the penalty.

3 Minor Brain Damage: The character loses 4 points of INT and all skills that use INT to calculate their starting percentages are at -25%. This condition requires regenerative magic to cure. Regenerative magic will heal the INT loss and remove the penalty.

4 Arm Severed: The character's arm is severed above the elbow. Anything it was holding is dropped. Roll percentiles for which arm: 1-50 Right Arm 51-100 Left Arm. They begin losing 1 HP per round until a successful Healing check is administered to staunch the bleeding. This injury requires regenerative magic to cure.

5 Nerve Damage: The injury damages the character's nervous system. They lose 4 points of DEX and counts as fatigued. They must succeed on a Persistence or fall unconscious for 1d10 minutes. A Healing check can wake them if they fall unconscious, but regenerative magic is required to heal the DEX loss. They have to recover all lost hit points before they count as "resting" for the purposes of recovering from the fatigue.

6 Eye Gouged Out: The character loses an eye. All Perception tests are at -25% permanently. Losing both eyes blinds the character. The character begins losing 1 HP per round until a successful Healing check can be administered. Regenerative magic is required to heal this injury.

7 Concussed: The character must succeed on a Persistence test or fall unconscious for 1d10 hours. Whether they succeed on the test or not, they are now fatigued. If they do fall unconscious, they do not count the hours of unconsciousness as rest for the purposes of recovering from fatigue. A successful Healing check will restore them to consciousness but not cure the fatigue.

8 Stunned Fugue: The character must succeed on a Persistence test or can do nothing but stumble around for 1d10 hours helplessly. They move at 1/4 their normal movement rate. They drop anything they are holding, and must be led by hand to move in a single direction. They must make a Persistence check or lash out with a punch or kick at anyone who grabs them roughly. Such an attack is at -50%. A successful Healing check will restore them to consciousness.

9 Arm Mangled: The character's arm becomes useless. They drop whatever they are holding in it. Roll percentiles to determine which arm: 1-50 Right Arm, 51-100 Left Arm. This injury requires a Healing check or regenerative magic to cure.

10 Blackout: The target must succeed on a Persistence check or immediately fall unconscious for 1d10 minutes

11 Crippling Pain: The target must succeed on a Persistence check to attempt any action other than writhing on the ground and screaming. A separate Persistence check is required for each action. This continues until a successful Healing check is administered.

12 Agony: The target must succeed on a Resilience check or immediate fall unconscious for 1d10 minutes

13 Leg Mangled: The character's leg becomes useless. They drop prone and require support (a cane, crutch or another person) to move at 1/4 their normal rate. Roll percentiles to determine which leg: 1-50 Right Leg 51-100 Left Leg. This injury requires a Healing check or regenerative magic to cure.

14 Hemorrhage: The character begins losing 1 HP per round until a successful Healing check is administered to staunch the bleeding.

15 Broken Ribs: All skills whose starting percentages are calculated with STR, DEX or CON are reduced by 50% from pain and weakness. To start recovering from this, a successful Healing check must be performed to set the ribs. The penalty goes away when all hit points lost in the attack are recovered.

16 Internal Bleeding: The character begins losing 1 HP per round until a successful Healing check is performed. The character becomes fatigued. The character does not count as "resting" for the purposes of removing the fatigue until all the hit points lost in the attack are recovered.

17 Organ Damage: One of the character's vital organs is pierced. They lose 4 points of CON and begin losing 1 HP per round. The HP loss continues until a successful Healing check is administered. Regenerative magic or Improvement Point expenditure are required to heal the CON loss.

18 Leg Severed: The character's leg is severed above the knee. They drop prone and will required a prosthetic or other support to move at 1/4 their normal rate. They begin losing 1 HP per round until a successful Healing check is administered to staunch the bleeding. Regenerative magic is required to heal the injury.

19 Severe Lower Spinal Injury: The character is permanently paralysed below the waist and may not attempt any skill check that requires their legs. This condition requires regenerative magic to cure.

20 Severe Upper Spinal Injury: The character is permanently paralysed below the neck and may not attempt any skill check that requires their limbs. This condition requires regenerative magic to cure.