HD Complexity House Rule

alternative title: Blood and Breath

In this house rule, both your hit dice and your hit points may effectively be decimated given the mechanics that follow.

Assumptions

  1. HD is short for hit dice.
  2. HD measures the amount of dice to be used to determine Maximum HP.
  3. HP is short for hit points.
  4. This house rule assumes a ruleset that applies a cap or limit on regaining hit points.
  5. This house rule assumes a ruleset that utilizes frequent re-rolls of hit points.

CON Bonus

Your modifier from your Constitution’s ability score will no longer be applied to your hit points. Instead, it will be treated as either a penalty or a bonus for any damage done directly to your hit dice. Hence, when you express your HD, it should look like this:

HD 8(-3)

Hit Points

Thus, being that CON scores no longer modify hit points, their rate of results should now be more or less uniform among those of the same class. This is especially important for house rules where hit points are periodically re-rolled.

Hit Dice Decimation

Currently, there are only two direct or ordinary ways of damaging HD. These are through critical hits and backstabs. By themselves, these two will behave mechanically as they ordinarily do given an OSR ruleset.

Hit points serve as a sort of damage soak as well as a measure of combat effectiveness for any given creature. Where a hit is critical, or a backstab is successful, hit points are ignored and damage is directly delivered to hit dice.

As a general rule, loss of hit dice will not immediately affect a creature’s hit point value. Instead, the following things may occur.

0 HD

If a creature is reduced to zero hit dice, it must now make a save against death. If it fails this save, it dies from the hit. If it succeeds on this saving throw, it must now roll from the critical injury table below.

Critical Injury Table
1d6 Result Description
1 Maiming suffer permanent ability score loss to an ability appropriate to the situation
2 Organ Failure creature incapacitated, must make save against death everyday until major surgery is performed
3 Minor Internal Bleeding 1d3 hit point loss per round of combat or per turn of dungeon exploration until major surgery is performed
4 Major Internal Bleeding 1d6 hit point loss per round of combat or per turn of dungeon exploration until major surgery is performed
5 Partial Crippling Minor loss of limb, suffer -2 penalty on all actions or reduce movement speed by a third until lost appendage is regrown
6 Total Crippling Major loss of limb, inability to perform actions or inability to move until lost appendage is regrown

After applying the injury, the creature shall remain at 0 HD until major surgery is performed or decides to convalesce. At 0 HD, a creature is only ever entitled to 1 hit point should a re-roll apply.

In the meantime, whatever hit points remain after hit dice decimation shall benefit the creature for as long as it lasts or until it is re-rolled.

0 HD and 0 HP

If a creature is ever reduced to 0 hit dice and 0 hit points at the same time, said creature dies immediately without save or exception.

Hit Dice Decimation Rate

When hit dice is decimated, the rate of reduction is not directly proportionate to the damage delivered. Instead, we follow the HD decimation rate table below.

HD Decimation Rate Table
Damage Decimation
1 to 5 1 point of decimation
6 to 10 2 points of decimation
11 to 15 4 points of decimation
16 to 20 5 points of decimation
21 or more 6 points of decimation

Alpha 408c Playtest 1.5

I haven;t actually yet decided just what or who these Ogres are. Would I make them the second sentient race to occupy this world? But first, let’s ask some World Building questions to confirm some ideas I have in my head.

ORACLE
Me Is the [Human] race native to Mauba’na’?
ORACLE Yes.
Me IS the [Nonhuman] race native to Mauba’na’?
ORACLE Yes, but, with complications. A piece of gear has failed to work for either the hero or an NPC.
Me Interest. Was this [Nonhuman] race once human?
ORACLE No.
Me I’m going to interpret this as a race that had once been something else, but changed due to the failure of used artifact. What was the nature of this failure?
ORACLE Treachery because of History and Duty then Coins.
Me Interesting. What is the nature of their relationship with the World Creator?
ORACLE Despair then Guilt. Innocence and Fear then Courage.
Me What is the nature of the relationship between the native [Human] race and with the world creator?
ORACLE Honor. Pride. Blindness and Seizure and Poison.
Me Did the World Creator also create the races?
ORACLE Yes.
Me Oh wow, that is a very interesting turn of events. Ok. Did the World Creator have anything to do with the Artifact?
ORACLE No, but a fact the hero thinks they know is actually wrong.
Me Oh wow, which means the Artifact and its use and consequent failure remains a mystery. Ok. Well, this settles it. The Ogres are the [Nonhuman] race of Mauba’na’.

That said, some ideas I’d like for an [Ogre] race:

  • A monstrous looking race. They have spines for hair.
  • An enourmous race. They have six arms.
  • An insectile race. Explains the six arms. Vestigial wings as secondary set of arms; used to hold equipment. Smaller, more dextrous tertiary arms beneath the primary ones, serve as communicative aids and fine-tool using arms. Tertiatry arms can’t hold weapons, Secondary arms can’t use weapons. Also, they grow carapace instead of skin, an exoskeleton instead of a skeleton. Still, the appearance is tempered somewhat with more homonid features. Almost like a six armed giant wearing powerarmor.
  • An Arthurian Ogrish race, they are bearded and extremely magical.
  • Carapace Color Spectrum: Red, Orange, Yellow. Red is Boss. Orange is Mage or Elite. Yellow is Minion. Some of it is dazzling, most of it is dull and basic.
  • Ogre; No. Appear: 1d6 (2d6); Armor Class: 5; Attacks: 1 fist +4 or 1 weapon +4; Damage: 1d6 or by weapon; Move: 30’; Morale: 9; Hit Dice: 4; Skill Bonus: +2 Treasure: H3 (H4)

That’s enough for now. Next entry, we progress the plot.

Technological Aspect Generator Alpha 1.5

Just a little something to generate classes.

Flexible tag allows multi-classing
This is a Fantasy Class System Generator
TAG Type Purpose TAG
Base Your most significant determinator of abilities Race, Tool, Magic, Skills, Profession, Archetype
Treatment How it translates mechanically as Class, and Class, is Class
System How it behaves mechanically as a Class System Absolute Might and Magic Classes, Flexible Might and Magic Classes, Flexible Holy Trinity Classes, Absolute Holy Trinity Classes, Flexible Holy Trinity+1 Classes, Absolute Holy Trinity+1 Classes, One-Class, Job-Class
Mechanics How the system operates
Pick five tags
Defensive Subclassing, Offensive Subclassing, Support Subclassing, Utility Subclassing, Control Subclassing, Niche Protection, HP: Flesh and Grit Points, HP: Meat Points, HP: Plot Armor, Tiered Abilities, Leveled Classes, Gold XP, Kill XP, Skill XP, Ascending AC, Descending AC, AC: Damage Reduction, AC: Damage Rejection, Skill Sets, Traits and Abilities, Skill Trees, Proficiencies
Spectrum The spectrum of traits and abilities these classes are expected to abide by. [Splat] vs. [Splat]; [Splat] vs. [Splat]; All Access [Splat]
Splats: Offensive, Defensive, Support, Control, Utility, Gimmick
Usage How widespread is its use Adventurers Only, Social-Class Only, Birthright Only, Everyone is Classed
Fluff How is it fluffed? High Fantasy, Low Fantasy, Historical Fantasy, Modern Fantasy, Techno-Fantasy

Alpha 408c Playtest 1.4

ORACLE
Me Did my laborer get out?
ORACLE No
Me Oracle, do they capture us alive?
ORACLE Yes
Me Why did they capture us alive?
ORACLE Shame
Me Could you elaborate on that, I’m afraid to ask.
ORACLE Rot because of Pride but Duty.
Me A bit more detail please.
ORACLE History: Wealth.
Me Oh, okay, I think yeah. That gives me something to work with, thanks.

No, my laborer did not make it out. They took most of my equipment, actually, all of it, leaving me only my clothes and my pride. Their purpose? To shame me, to leave me to rot in their dungeon. To swell their pride, but duty demands they keep me alive. The history that exists between this Ogre race and that of my own, a human, involves a great deal of wealth. At least that’s what I could gather from their arguing and jostling. A few did want to eat me. But the boss, the Boss Ogre wanted ransom. Wanted debts paid.

I think this would be a great time to elaborate on the peoples of this setting; and I think I’ve established enough facts, now, to help me shape the world.

ORACLE
Me Did they eat my laborer?
ORACLE Yes
Me Why?
ORACLE Naiveté because of Rapacity; Loyalty. Foolishness but Longing because of Honor.
Me Ooh, that makes for a great dynamic among the Ogres. The young ones are rapacious, and the Boss Ogre hands them the human meat to repay their loyalty. This is foolishness, no doubt, and may cause war with the humans, but honor dictates he satisfy their longing for human flesh. Oh, it has been so long since the Ogres have tasted human flesh.
0R.1.Zen Wouldn’t you like to know about the laborer you let them eat?
Me Not particularly, no.
0R.1.Zen Then let me tell you, my treat.
Me Unless it’s a way out of this shit, I’m not particularly interested.
0R.1.Zen Oh, but I insist. Here, feast of facts now established, of a man now dead.

They wished to ransom me, but I knew none would follow. I chose Outsider for a trait, pooled all two of my traits, because I believed it would make for a great cheat. I was wrong, of course. I don’t know how to use it, to be honest, because I haven’t defined the fucking trait yet.

Hence, I have very little time in my favor. Best I plan accordingly. Take stock of my prison, take stock of this academy, and take stock of the area around it. The more facts I establish, the bigger the world I create, the more I collect in certainty.

I think that makes for a great non-cheat mechanic for playing solo. Certainty of a quesiton being directly proportional to the number of facts you’ve established. Hmm…very interesting.

ORACLE
Me Oracle, did they post guards? I believe they would.
ORACLE Yes
Me How many?
ORACLE Kinship. Confusion and Stupidity.
Me I’ll interpret that as a skeleton crew of relatives. It’s been a long time since anyone actually been locked up in their dungeon, and they’re not sure how to go about it. The Ogres end up bullying their younger relatives into doing shifts.
Okay, I try and talk to one of the guards. I get zero bonus from my charisma. Obviously, these assholes are unfriendly.
ORACLE Qualified Consent: Innocence.
Me Great, we start talking. I start asking about general things.
ORACLE Ignorance. Inheritance.
Me Fuckin’ A. Shitbreath has shit for brains. I ask some more general questions about the academy and the surrounding area.
ORACLE Skillfulness then Illegality then Truth.
Me Man, well, that’s enough for now. Time to do some interpretations.

Since I did manage to get this guy to open up, that should allow me enough leeway to establish some more facts, specifically, about this place and about the Ogres in general.

The Demon-ruled academy belongs to what nation?
The Nation of Uo was first established as an excavation site. After centuries of projecting its influence and power, all while acquiring territory from its neighbors, it became a NEAR-FUTURE MARCH. Led by a trusted and respected citizen at the head of what is ostensibly a powerful TYRANNY, this valley nation survives on easy access to metal, infrastructure, and hard labor but needs trade to acquire fauna, wealth, and flora.
The look and feel of this nation is a mix of Arthurian mythological themes mixed with Aztec cultural materialism and aesthetic.
A RESIGNED people, they lack ambition or hope, and endure their present difficulties with stoic patience while OPPRESSION strangles society. FREEDOM OF CONSCIENCE does not exist; all are expected to subscribe to the religious beliefs of the dominant group even if the freedom was once held. Although said freedom is blamed for some great disaster. More than a few rulers and officials secretly sympathize with the malcontents.

Hmm, that’s enough for now. I’ll do some more interpretations later.

Alpha 408c Playtest 1.3

I’ve done some relearning and finally took a look at the Red Sorcery section for Scarlet Heroes. I’m not in the mood for planning my character thoroughly, so I randomly chose my spells. They are

  • The Least Alchemy of Forms
  • Lens of the Enlightened Scribe
  • Calling Forth the Spirit Slave
  • Seven Small Thunders

And again, randomly deciding the spell for the day: Calling Forth the Spirit Slave. Now, let’s regard our combatants. There’s me, then there’s the boss, his Elites, his Minions.

All in all, that’s 14 hit dice; 7 hit dice for the boss and 7 for the Minions and Elites. Well, I can’t help but feel outnumbered. So, being that I have the initiative by default, let’s do this. I cast Calling Forth the Spirit Slave. Then, I say, “Peasant, away. Out the front door!” To the Spirit Slave, I say, “Spirit Slave, slow them down mischievously!”

ORACLE
Me Oracle, does my ploy work?
ORACLE No
Me Shit

Round ends, and inevitably, they make short work of the Spirit Slave. I really don’t think I can survive this one. Rolling out the battle seems moot, now that I think of it. That said, I’ll end this session here for now.

Alpha 408c Playtest 1.2

Academy
Demon-ruled School
6 zones each with 20 locations
Ogres
+★★★★+

Demons, I figure, of a threat level way above my character’s own. This may very well be a suicide mission. The fluff may explain it away, but then again, my character’s an Outsider. Premise is that my character is an otherwordly visitor made manifest; it comes with advantages but only within the context of what the game might allow. He’s still just a first level Magic-User.

First things first, I’d imagine it to be an academy for the raising of Ogres. Hence, for this world, I’d imagine Ogres to be am intelligent demonic race capable of harnessing the complexities of magic. But, keep in mind, in this world magic comes at a terrible price. I’ll have to keep that in mind.

So, onward.

First Room
You enter the Lecture Hall. It is guarded by a Boss with T+3 hit dice and 3+T hit dice worth of Minions and Elites. You find a dangerous intruder or beast who had entered the site. You find a path making for a more compact dungeon.

Oh, shit. This may turn out to be a much shorter adventure than I expected. I should have turned back, considering the threat level, but it’s just a game and I’ve really haven’t invested much emotionally in my character anyway. Still, I feel some questions for the oracle are in order.

ORACLE
Me Oracle, I believe the Ogres are fighting off an intruder. I’m not going to mince the likelihood of it with you but I feel I must ask. Had my character just happened upon a fight between two forces?
ORACLE No
Me Oh, shit, well. Did they just kill the thing?
ORACLE No
Me Fuck. Are they friends?
ORACLE No
Me Then what the actual fuck?
ORACLE Habit but Fury because of Broken object because of Dominance.
Me Well, that’s needlessly complicateded, but thank you nonetheless. If I were to attack, will the beast fight me as well?
ORACLE No
Me Good to know.

Alright, time to roll for surpise. I don’t want to fight these assholes right now, so let’s see if I could stretch this session a bit before dying. So, let’s do a stealth check. I believe being an Adventurer is an applicable bonus, so that’s a 2d8+1 roll as against a DC of 11+T with T being the threat level for this dungeon.

Stealth Check
DC 15
2d8+1 6

Shit. The fuckers see me. Time for battle, I guess.

Edit: And oh, yeah I forgot. I brought an unskilled laborer along to lug my shit. I’ll have my Companion A.I. play him.