Friday, August 17, 2018

GLOG: Rules: Death & Dismemberment

I kicked off my Hot Spring Island campaign last Sunday over discord. The PCs were hired by the Bootstrap Bay Trading Company to track down and kill a Dire Boar that had been wrecking the company's expeditions left and right. 

Eventually they discovered the boar's lair and lured it out, were they discovered that this particular specimen was more magnetic than your average boar. With their pistols nearly being ripped from their hands, and the weapons of failed expeditions flying at them like shrapnel from a furry IED, the PCs eventually slew the beast. But not before Lorens D'Arron was impaled by a giant ivory tusk.

This is when my Death & Dismemberment rules came into play, and the point that I realized I never put them to writing. And with Death & Dismemberment being a hot topic of late, I thought I'd take this opportunity to do just that.

Death & Dismemberment

When you're dropped to 0 HP or less, roll 1d6 + Excess Damage and reference the result on the appropriate table of Courtney's "A Table for Avoiding Death." Any Bleed, Internal Bleed, and Pain dice are taken as Death Dice.

If you're dealt damage while you have Death Dice, roll 1d6 + Damage + Death Dice.

Critical hits as well as attacks that deal max damage also cause characters to gain Death Dice. Roll 1d6 + Damage and reference the results as above. 

Every round in which you have Death Dice, if you exert yourself make a CON check. If you fail, you gain a fatal wound.

If you have a fatal wound, you're unconscious, and you'll die in 1d6 + CON mod rounds. Your fatal wound can be stabilized by rolling a 1 on a d6. Alternatively an ally can attempt to stabilize your wounds by rolling under half their Intelligence. Regardless of the method, if you're stabilized you won't regain consciousness until your Death Dice are cleared and you're healed to 1 HP.

Magical Healing clears 1 Death Dice for every 2 points of HP healed. Death Dice can also be cleared by resting for at least 6 hours.


Round 1
Lorens D'arron is staring down the snout of the Dire Boar. It wins initiative and charges. It's Attack roll hits and it rolls a 12 for maximum damage.

The DM makes the Injury roll. The result is a 13. Lorrens' nose is pierced by the boar's giant tusk and ripped off, giving him 2 Death Dice and the Shaken status.

Unfortunately it gets even worse for Lorens as he only had a max HP of 4. So a second Injury roll is made. He rolls 3d6+8 (3d6 because of his 2 Death Dice and +8 because of the excess damage.)

The result is 15. 1 of his fingers is ripped off and his arm disabled as the boar's tusk impales his limb. His pistol clinks against the ground. Additionally he is staggered, loses 1 point of DEX, and gains another 2 Death Dice.

Now it is Lorens' turn. Despite his great injuries, he bravely presses forward, pulling his dagger out of its sheathe. He makes his Con check. And he makes it with a 13!

Round 2
Lorens has carved into the boar and decides to keep it up. He wins initiative this time and moves in for the attack. He makes his second Con check, and fails with a nat 19! His wounds get the best of him and he falls unconscious, and he will die within 2 rounds if he is left unchecked.

Round 3
Lorens' ally, Shuren Qin-Zheng, attempts to stabilize his compatriot. He succeeds with a nat 1! Lorens may be out for the count but his life is saved.

Later that night Lorens awakens to the smell of pork roasting over a spit.

by Ludvik Skopalik

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