Content of the article: "Hypothetical homebrew situation regarding character health and wellbeing."
It's always struck me as strange that a character could be on death's door, two failed saves down, only to naturally stabilize and have a night's rest to get to full health, potentially without any magic involved. Which led me to question, what is HP?
Best answer I could come up with is stamina. The reason why a level 20 character has more HP than a level one character isn't because they can take sixty bolts to the chest before going down, it's because they're capable of avoiding fifty nine bolts only to be overwhelmed and hit by the sixtieth. But if that's the case, what represents a character's actual health?
And after that, I came up with an idea that could be extremely irresponsible. And I'm curious as to if it sounds like a good idea to anyone else.
The idea, as it stands, is as follows. Death isn't three saves after getting knocked to zero HP, it's getting your constitution dropped to zero. The methods for dropping one's constitution to zero are basically any scenario wherein you would get a critical hit.
Instead of doing twice the damage, it does its normal damage to the target's HP, and 1/4th of that to the targets con, with any reductions in max hp due to con loss are also taken out of current HP. Rounded down.
Additionally, were a hit to reduce a target's HP below zero, one forth of the excess would also be dealt to the target's con.
Narratively this would be because any hit that reduces health but doesn't reduce a target's health to zero is one that has to be actively avoided, while a critical hit is one that actually lands.
This con damage wouldn't be repairable via cure wounds, but a casting of revivify, raise dead, or resurrection without the need of material components would reverse it(revivify as though a cure wounds two levels lower, raise dead as though a cure wounds at that level, and resurrection fully healing it) (They also maintain their normal functionality).
Edit due to forgetfulness: Additionally, you'd regain con slowly over long rests.
So question the first would be: Feasible idea or no?
Part the second would be, based on the above, bleeding out after an encounter.
If we were to assume that what was already mentioned isn't completely insane, what might happen after a battle wherein a character received severe wounds and was at risk of dying from them?
The idea here is that, every ten minutes, the injured individual makes a con saving throw. DC10 + the amount of con damage they've already taken-The number of times they've succeeded on this check. Once the check would be reduced down to ten, it no longer has to be made, but if they fail it by five or more, they take an additional point of con damage. They have advantage on the save if they've received magical healing during this period, and disadvantage if they're currently unconscious.
Additionally, every ten minutes, another PC can attempt a medicine check, again DC10+the amount of con damage taken-the number of successful attempts to stabilize. On a failure of five or more, future attempts are made at a disadvantage, and on a second failure of five or more the character becomes fatigued and can't continue treating until completing a short rest(after which they no longer have disadvantage). Advantage can be gained by being assisted by another PC with proficiency in medicine.
This would, in my head anyway, lead to situations where small amounts of damage taken would be dealt with somewhat easily, but if a character was on death's door, even if they finished the battle fully conscious, they could wind up dead an hour or so later after some dramatic rolls. Ideally with the average tipping point being somewhere around four con remaining?
Barring the possibility that the numbers are too high or too low, I'm curious as to if this would be a positive or a negative homebrew system for a group who wanted to feel a bit more like mortality is a thing.
- Legal RAW, but too cheesy? (Swallowed barbarian)
- Insane player ac
- Thrown Weapon Fighter Archetype: Swordslinger
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