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.
To maximize magical healing benefits, a character may choose to use magical healing after combat but before he begins his short rest.
Thus healing still has its limits, yet effectively becomes an Encounter ability.
You lost me with your premise. I like daily resources, which you don't, so I reject a system that is based on doing away with them.
Change the font / tags then people might actually like to read this. Thanks.
Why do I get the feeling nobody read past the OP's first paragraph?
I think it's not a bad idea, actually, with a few caveats. First of all, applying healing to damage AND hitpoints is doubling it's effectiveness,
which he recognizes is a problem for stuffing the rule into a system not balanced for it. Unfortunately it's also necessary to prevent healing
during the first encounter from being half as effective (unless you instead let it heal twice as much damage as it would HP, in which case in
combat healing becomes much more potent and you have a different balancing problem). Personally, though, I would sooner mess with the
effectiveness of in-combat healing than the effectiveness of all healing all the time.
The other problem I have is with daily healing at 1HP/level. I know there are some realism problems with full healing overnight, at least if
you're wedded to the idea of HP as physical damage, but slow natural healing just results in story-destroying periods of down time while the
party chills and licks their wounds in town for weeks and the BBEG puts his world domination plans on hold until you're ready to foil him (or
worse, has to be someone who would be a total pushover if only the party could reach him fully rested).
At the end of the day, though, it isn't easy to apply this as a simple fix to old editions, and if you're starting from scratch it doesn't make my
top list for best ways to handle the problem. You've still got a fairly rapid draw-down of HP in even moderately challenging fights, so there's
still huge incentive for the 5 minute workday and all the problems that go with it. You've halved the problem rather than ripping it up from
the root. I think there are ways to solve it completely without making damage stop hurting. My favorite quick fix to 4e is just to dramatically
reduce surges per day and that allow players to regain them when they achieve certain victory conditions (letting them go on forever provided
they never take more than their bloodied value in damage, but making damage beyond that point or out of combat pull from a very limited
resource). If starting from scratch, I'm rather intrigued by another thread's dual pool idea (HP regenerates by the day, but a second pool of
tempHP that forms the other half of your damage absorbing capacity recharges by the encounter, thus achieving much the same effect as my
idea while maintaining a flavor of HP as physical damage, which healing surges destroyed). Making it all damage above a threshold instead of
half damage all the time means smart play or easy encounters drain no resources at all, so there's no need to rest after beating up the gate
guards and fighting your way to the real threat, while still making damage hurt.
Post Your Reply
Please login to post a reply.