Feb 25, 2012

My Dying Rules for Swords and Wizardry

In my Emern game, I use the following sets of rules to adjudicate healing and dying:

1) When you reach 0HP you are incapacitated through pain, unconscious, or otherwise inactive except for rolling around on the ground, spasming, screaming, crying, clutching at the stump of your ass and other non-purposive movement.

2) If you reach -10HP, you are dead, no exceptions.

3) If you are between 0 and -9 HP, you roll a d10 every round, at the start of your turn (we use group initiative, so all the PCs go at once). First round - you survive if you get anything but a 0. Second round - you survive if you get anything but 0 or 9. And so on until you are either healed or dead.

4) Healing takes you back up to 0, and then restores the amount of HP rolled on the die.

5) Going to 0HP, even if you live, usually means some sort of horrendous scar or occasionally mild mutilation. In game so far, this has included having all of your skin burnt off, having your ass cheek bit off, being half-swallowed by a toad, bleeding out of every pore in your body, and so on.

6) Constant use of Cure spells can lead to a weakened immune system, since the Cure spells only cause red blood cells, platelets and plasma to be created. If you go down to 0HP, you may, depending upon where you are, need to make a saving throw the same day to find out if you catch something while your white blood cell count is artificially low.


  1. Thanks for sharing. Mine is very similar just when they go below 0 they bleed out at 1hp/round.

  2. Holy crap, the artificial healing rule there is brilliant. I like it!

    Also I know you mentioned not having gotten to look into ACKS yet, but they have a neat little thing about Mortal Wounds that are left once you get healed or such.

    1. Cool. The PCs have occasionally had a net profit from their injuries - the guy with a transparent chest is much easier to diagnose than an ordinary patient, while the guy who had his skin burnt off had a nanosuit stuck on by a patron god in exchange.