Saturday, 13 September 2014

Injuries for Dungeons & Dragons 5E

"I'm OK, all I need is one long rest and I'll be good as new!"

What ho, Adventurers! I've been looking at the way damage and healing is currently handled in Dungeons & Dragons 5E, and I'm finding it... insufficient. My aim here is to outline a slightly more realistic system, one that will attach more threat to being reduced to zero hit points. 

The system I am proposing to use in my upcoming campaign would be as follows. Once you are reduced to zero hit points, you roll on the wound table below, using this formula:
  • roll 1d20 + CON mod
Then you consult the table to see the effect. These effects are in addition to the usual death saving throws from being knocked down to zero. Of the effects, the most likely outcome is that you will simply gain a permanent scar. I love the idea of adventurers sitting around telling stories and showing each other their old wounds. Some outcomes require a second roll to determine if the limb can be saved. The ongoing effect is described underneath the injury. Higher rolls are better, lower rolls are worse. 

1) Lost nose 

  • Disadvantage on all social charisma based rolls, unable to detect scents and aromas. Permanent.
2) Lost eye 

  • Disadvantage to all perception rolls involving sight. Disadvantage on social charisma rolls unless eye is covered by some sort of patch. Permanent.

3) Lost ear / deafness in one ear 

  • Disadvantage to perception rolls involving sound. Permanent.

4) Leg broken  (roll 1d10, and on a roll of 1-2 lose leg)

  • For 1d8 weeks the character's movement is halved, and they have disadvantage on Dexterity checks. Effects are permanent if leg is lost, and requires the use of a crutch or some form of prosthetic such as a wooden leg.

5) Arm broken (roll 1d10, and on a roll of 1-2 lose arm)

  • For 1d8 weeks the character cannot use a shield, fight two handed, or use two handed weapons. Effects are permanent if arm is lost.
6) Hand broken (roll 1d10, and on a roll of 1-2 lose hand)
  • For 1d8 weeks the character cannot fight two handed or use two handed weapons. Effects are permanent if hand is lost. Character may gain a special attack or feature by adding a prosthetic such as a hook.

7) Foot broken (roll 1d10, and on roll of 1-2 lose foot)

  • For 1d8 weeks the character has their move reduced by 1/4. Effect is permanent if foot is lost, and requires a crutch or prosthetic such as a custom boot.

8) Broken rib

  • For 1d8 weeks the character only has 3/4 of their normal maximum HP.

9) Blurred vision (concussion)

  • For 1d6 days disadvantage to all perception checks involving sight, and no proficiency bonus to attack rolls.

10) Ringing ears (concussion)

  • For 1d6 days disadvantage to all perception checks involving sound. Magic users have more difficulty maintaining concentration, and any attack that strikes them will cause them to lose a concentration spell currently in effect.

11) Amnesia (concussion)

  • For 1d6 days the character has no memory of anything that occurred prior to their injury. They can conduct themselves normally, but have no idea who they are, what their goals are, or who anyone else is. 

12-20) Scarred

  • The character has a distinctive scar that can used to identify them. 
I hope that this system will add a greater threat to being knocked unconscious than what is in place at the moment. It will also add some nice flavour and role playing opportunities to the campaign. I really hope we get a one eyed, peg legged, hook handed character with amnesia at some point in our game!

Any thoughts or suggestions are much appreciated.

Edit - If you're looking for a more detailed and sophisticated system for healing and injuries in 5E, check out this awesome system from R. Scott Kennan.