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Monday, November 28, 2011

Hit Points as Real Damage

Working off the supposition that Hit Points are purely how much damage a creature can sustain before being killed, the Constitution ability can serve as more than just a Hit Point adjustment for hit dice gained when levelling up. Constitution can be used to affect natural healing as well in a definable way.

Ability ScoreAdjustmentNatural HealingFast Healing

Like normal, Adjustment affects the amount of Hit Points per HD the character has. Natural Healing is the amount of hit points a character regains for a day of rest, while Fast Healing is a slower but similar ability of regeneration.

Likewise, Clerical healing magic would work by using the character's Natural Healing rate. The more robust/tough/quick to mend/etc the character is, the more damage healing magic repairs, speeding up the recovery of wounds through holy power, like so:

Cure Light Wounds
Spell Level: Cleric, 1st Level
Range: Touch
Duration: Instant
Immediately cures wounds and injuries equaling 1 point, plus the recipient’s natural healing rate. Optionally, this spell can remove paralysis but when cast in this fashion no damage is cured.

So a Cleric casting Cure Light on a character with an average Constitution (9-12) heals 1+1d3 hit points of damage, while a more robust individual (Constitution 15-16) would be healed 1+1d6 points of damage.


Dalamon WolfMage said...

If a Cleric cast Mass Cure Light on the group, each individual would obtain their CON adjustment for healing right?

Mage with a 12 CON gets a 1+1d3 of HP back.

Fighter with a 16 CON gets a 1+1d6 of HP back.


James Bobb said...

combined my responses into 1 and corrected the CURE CRITICAL WOUNDS reference

That's the general idea, yeah. Instead of hit points being a pie in the sky catch all for combat ability and wound potential, they become actual physical durability for characters, just like it is for moneters. So, when a cleric casts a healing spell, it's more like holy power enhancing the target's natural healing ability for a moment

To lead into this further, Cure Serious Wounds does double (2 dice at +2 each) the healing Cure Light wounds does (using your example, classes are irrelvant though):

Character with a 9-12 CON gets a 4+2d3 of HP back.
Character with a 13-14 CON gets a 4+2d4 of HP back.
Character with a 15-16 CON gets a 4+2d6 of HP back.
Character with a 17-18 CON gets a 4+2d8 of HP back.

and a Cure Critical Wounds would heal 2x the amount of a Cure Serious Wounds (4 dice at +4 each):

Character with a 9-12 CON gets a 16+4d3 of HP back.
Character with a 13-14 CON gets a 16+4d4 of HP back.
Character with a 15-16 CON gets a 16+4d6 of HP back.
Character with a 17-18 CON gets a 16+4d8 of HP back.

It's a better reflection for tougher more robust (ie, higher CON) characters in that the additional HP per HD character gets from high CON shows how tough they are, this shows their ability at recovery as well in a simple way without creating a new subsystem (the spells already heal the smount of dice and extra points indicated, now you are merely changing the dice used for each character beased on his own attributes).

A couple other things to consider - Normal Men possess 1-6 hp and average in the 9-12 range for ability scores. So an average man with 3 or 4 hp that takes 2 points of damage (a grevious wound!) and then healed 2-4 points (1+1d3) by a Cure Light spell would seem miraculous indeed!

Adventurers are cut from a different cloth than the Normal Man, so when the average person sees a 2nd level adventurer walking with wounds that would fell his neighbor twice over and then healed by a Cleric, it makes the spiritual world seem more miraculous indeed!