Hit Points, Injuries, and Major wounds

I just got Crypts & Things Remastered. I also have the original rule book. I like the hit point system in this game. In a nutshell characters have hit points along the lines of classic D&D but, these hit points represent superficial damage and fatigue. They are recovered faster. You can even recover some  hit points by taking a strong drink. When your hit points are reduced to 0 you lose Constitution points, this represents serious injury.

To be honest I have yet to play this version of Old School Revival style D&D. That said I really like the look of this system. It has a an inner logic that makes sense to the story and game world. It doesn’t have characters going from full fighting to dead in one hit.

There is an optional rule in the game where characters taking Con damage suffer a major wound along with an accompanying table. I like this a lot and would like to expand on this idea. I was always a fan of the Arduin Grimoire Critical Hit Table. I’d like to port this over and merge it with the Major Wound table in C & T to make a longer table full of more “interesting” wounds.

I’m imaging a campaign where players might have several characters sidelined due to major injury. Your current band might seek out Grondor who tells the story of how he lost his right arm to a Dire wolf in the caves of Chaos and had to beat it to death with his shield.

While this doesn’t sound “heroic” I feel it might add a new dimension to game play. Hopefully encouraging players to avoid major wounds. From a player perspective no one wants to play Rogue who’s missing a hand, and it’s probably not fun to lose a leg in the middle of a dungeon. In Game Thrones when Jaime Lannister lost a hand that was a major turning point and added a lot of depth the character. Could you role play that?

“Heroic” games tend to have situations where a player is down, zero hit points, then they are up with a heal, then they are down, heal, and they are up again etc. Which doesn’t feel that heroic really. Imagine you are down not dead and have a major would to prove it. It’s the same situation with the addition of lasting effect to prove the point and make going down something to avoid. As a player imagine going into a fight with the possibility of taking home a permanent reminding of that encounter.

Major wounds to monsters are not that big a deal. What’s brain damage to an orc? I feel as DM/GM/CK you’d have to keep in mind that monsters would want to avoid major injuries. They would be willing to surrender or flee before losing an eye.


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