An idea for healing in 5th edition D&D:
In 4th edition D&D, I find the question about when a character should use his Daily abilities to be a bit problematic. I would rather that most abilities be At-Will or Encounter.
I wanted to come up with a way for a character to recover from damage without needing to use a daily resource, such as the Healing Surges of 4th edition D&D.
D&D Gamma World deals with the problem by simply giving a character full recovery of all hit points during a short rest. This is convenient, but rather too good, and makes the consequences of injury almost unimportant. Certainly traps that deal damage would be useless outside of combat.
The following rules can work with any D&D game, though with the importance of healing surges in 4th edition, perhaps it would be best considered for use in the upcoming 5th edition D&D.
These rules can also be made to work with OGL-based games, such as 3rd edition D&D. Note, however, that it increases the characters' healing rate quite a bit without use of magical healing, and effectively doubles the effects of magical healing. Therefore, you might want to make adjustments to compensate.
Injury is tracked in two simple ways. A character has Hit Points, which start at his maximum (uninjured value), and Damage Points, which start at zero and are accumulated.
Whenever a character takes damage, it is added to his Damage Points.
If the character's Damage Points ever exceed his current hit points, then the character gains the dying condition and may expire if not helped.
When the character takes a short rest, he recovers some of his vigour -- half the Damage Points are subtracted from his Hit Points, and his Damage Points drop to zero.
If the character is healed a number of points, say with a spell or potion, then the healing is applied to both the Damage Points and the Hit Points -- Damage Points get reduced (minimum zero), and the same number is added to his current Hit Points (up to his normal maximum).
An alternative version of healing may be equivalent to a short rest, as described above.
Natural healing occurs after a short rest has occurred (when the character has zero Damage Points and less than maximum Hit Points). A character naturally heals 1 hit point per day for each character level.
For example, suppose a Fighter is uninjured and starts combat with his full 63 Hit Points and 0 Damage Points. After sustaining a couple hits, he has accumulated 16 Damage Points. He still has 63 Hit Points, however. After winning the fight, he takes a short rest. His Hit Points drop to 63-(16/2)=55, and his Damage Points drop to 0. As you can see, he has partially recovered from his injuries, but has been weakened to an extent. During a second combat encounter, if he is badly injured, and his Damage Points exceed his current 55 Hit Points, he may die. If he imbibes a healing potion that heals 5 points, then his Damage Points are reduced by 5 points and his Hit Points are increased by 5 points. Thus, a character who needs healing badly gets more benefit than one who is at maximum Hit Points or has accumulated no Damage Points.
To maximize magical healing benefits, a character may choose to use magical healing after combat but before he begins his short rest.
This method allows a character to recover from injuries quickly, but not completely. Damage that occurs during combat is no more or less deadly when using these rules. However, injuries can still carry over from one combat to the next until a character has sufficient time (or magic) to fully recover. The only resources expended are those which accelerate healing (such as healing spells and potions), and a character never has to worry about running out of healing surges. With every new injury, he has the ability to recovery partially, but not completely.
Thus healing still has its limits, yet effectively becomes an Encounter ability.
on Mar 09, 2012 - 06:19AM