Saturday, 26 April 2014

Hit Points as a resource?

A few weeks ago, we talked about Stamina points as a resource players can spend. Today, we're going to look at a different method, namely burning hit points for effect in more heroic games.

One of the oldest topics of D&D is what Hit Points actually represent, and while it's inconsistent and imperfect, it's generally accepted that it's a vague mix of health, luck, endurance, luck and general good fortune.

Under these rules, characters can elect to sacrifice hit points to obtain rerolls and other benefits. By definition this will mainly benefit more experienced characters but it serves to give players another, mechanical, escape valve in a bad situation and it presents an interesting decision. While losing a hit point is almost always preferable to losing a saving throw, it will still leave you worn down by the end of the adventure.

These all reflect things that can come about through extreme efforts, whether pushing yourself physically or presenting a supreme effort of will.

Only one option from the below list can be selected in any given combat round. DM's discretion if they must be spent before or after actions are resolved (in the case of rerolls)
Please note that you could assign higher costs to some items. I elected to keep it simple.

By spending 1 hit point, a player may do any of the following:

Make an additional melee attack.

Move an additional 20% of their movement rate.

Leave a combat without taking a "free swing" from the enemy.

Reroll a failed saving throw.

Take a hit for a comrade in the same melee (or adjacent if missile fire)

Reroll a failed thief skill.

Act before any other characters in a combat round (and simultaneously with characters that magically act first)

Negate the effects of surprise for 1 combat round.

Inflict 2 additional damage with a successful hit (melee or ranged).

Reroll the damage dice or healing dice for a spell.

Reroll any skill  or proficiency check.

Get one clue from the GM regarding a puzzle or situation.

Reroll a reaction roll.

Negate the effect of a critical hit.

Too radical? Not radical enough? Other things that should go on the list?
Let me know in the comments!