member, 1324 posts
Wed 11 Apr 2018
at 21:00
Interest check, heavily modified Pathfinder/D20
There are many concepts that I brainstormed in creating my system, many of which were just bad or horrible, but some I really liked but wouldn't fit, thus I figured I'd take Pathfinder and modify it with some of my favorite ideas. It also takes place in a rather unique setting of mine, certainly not a generic fantasy.

These changes include,
-Injuries and health. HP measures "Non-lethal" damage which is basically any damage that isn't a severe injury, thus cuts, bruises and similar. When attacked with lethal weapons/attacks, you make a defense roll to avoid lethal injury, success means only hp is lost, failure means you gain an injury of some sort, such as a broken arm, severed leg, etc. Much of it is mechanically overlapped to keep it simple to use.

-Advancement and power. I separated out power from level, so now you have Power level and Character level. Character level is about versatility, while Power level is about raw power (i.e. more damaging sneak attacks, more powerful magic, etc. Thus, you could reach level 100 and still be within a gritty power level though you'd be very versatile (though you could in theory start as unskilled but innately powerful superheroes). It would be xp based, but that is because you could learn a new class at a lower cost than learning a high level of a single class. This also means that certain stats, like bab, are no longer attached to class or no longer exist at all.

-Spheres of Power. Not my rules of course, they were designed by others, but this magic system is well developed and tested and fits my setting much better than slots. Be comfortable with this, as my setting has common low level magic. Even farmers use simple magics and warriors near always use it in some form. This is a setting where mundane warriors are rare and looked at as inferior. Luckily, anyone can learn magic. However, I do plan on casting magic to be skill-based rather than auto-success on casting (again, the mechanics are stacked for simpler play).

-Dice and Ability scores. The d20, ability modifier, and skill ranks (not other skill bonuses) are replaced by three dice. Ability score modifiers are altered to not only better suit this, but so that there are no modifiers less than zero.
 member, 519 posts
Fri 13 Apr 2018
at 21:57
Interest check, heavily modified Pathfinder/D20
Hmmm, if I could give this the attention this deserves, I'd be applying. That said at least the injuries section needs fleshing out. Otherwise, a dagger wound would threaten a full health high level warrior with incapacitation. Regarding die rolls, try looking at Unearthed Arcana's bell curve of 3d6. Maybe use Spellcraft to enhance magic? The better the roll the better the results.
 member, 1328 posts
Fri 13 Apr 2018
at 22:09
Interest check, heavily modified Pathfinder/D20
Well, they all have greater detail, I just put up a basic summery to see if anyone even wanted tk go into further detail.

Is there a reason a dagger should not be able to kill?

Granted, a high level character in d20 is normally a demigod and far beyond anything a real world human could dream of, and while I split that demigod-ness from level, a demigod would still be much harder to outright kill than a natural human.

Unearthed Arcana's 3d6 is well known to me, but I like how this option has each die represent something and how the "bell" curve changes during skill growth from novice to expert is really neat.
 member, 49 posts
Fri 13 Apr 2018
at 22:31
Interest check, heavily modified Pathfinder/D20
I would really have to interact with the rules to see if I would enjoy the proposed changes.  I'd be willing to give it a try.
 member, 51 posts
Sun 15 Apr 2018
at 05:04
Interest check, heavily modified Pathfinder/D20
Have you looked at Vitality Point / Wound Point system as well? Sounds similar to what you want (getting stabbed is GETTING STABBED), with enough cinematic flair to keep your players alive.

Quick breakdown (I apologize if your already familiar with it) essentially uses converts HP pool to Vitality Points and taking damage to them represents insignificant or minor wounds, or hair-raising near-misses with deadly weapons.

Then you get a pool of Wound Points equal to your Constitution (not ability modifier, the whole stat). So Con 11 (+0 modifier) gets you 11 wounds points. Damage to them represents significant damage, automatically tacks fatigue effect onto victim in addition to any other effects. Wounds points are affected only after Vitality Points are completely expended (any extra becomes wound points), OR when an attacker successfully makes a critical hit. In this system, there are no critical damage multipliers, but attacking Wound Points directly is pretty lethal enough here.

You could tack on extra penalties for specific types of wounds etc as per your idea too, but I figure this seems similar to what your going for.

This message was last edited by the user at 05:05, Sun 15 Apr 2018.

 member, 1329 posts
Sun 15 Apr 2018
at 12:14
Interest check, heavily modified Pathfinder/D20
Wounds/Vitality certainly helps maintain a gritty feel, but it doesn't let you have wounds that feel like wounds. No one gets a broken leg in wounds/vitality, nor go blind, jor become an amputee, nor die after the battle is over.

Generally, with magic in thd world, such injuries can be fixed. I would not want characters to be alive but "unplayable" in the player's eyes. I would like these kinds of injuries to occur and be something a character has to learm to deal with for a while before getting healed up.

Besides, I've never been one to believe that PCs musg be heroes. I watch movies a lot where the protagonists are ordinary people. In Alien (or was it Aliens) you even had a neat character that was bound in a wheelchair. Or Pandora, for that matter. I think such things can add wonderfully to the characters and story, as long as the players aren't those rigidly bound to the idea of playing superheroes.
 member, 195 posts
Sun 15 Apr 2018
at 18:02
Interest check, heavily modified Pathfinder/D20
I use Courtney Campbell's Table on Avoiding Death to replace the normal Pathfinder death rules. It eliminates negative hit points, and when a character would be reduced to 0 or below, the damage taken below zero is added to a d6 roll and the table is consulted. Results vary between cool scars, lost limbs, and instant, gruesome death.
 member, 52 posts
Sun 15 Apr 2018
at 18:17
Interest check, heavily modified Pathfinder/D20
Makes sense, but there is a system for critical injury's with Vitality/Wound Points, or at least there is in the Spycraft 2.0 system I favor.

The system: If total damage dealt by an attack (whether to vitality or wounds, doesnt matter), is between 25-49 points, then the victim rolls a Fort save (DC equal to 1/2 the total damage), and if he fails he rolls a d20 and adds the total damage again and then consults their so-called 'Table of Ouch' which is essentially a critical injury table.

If 50+ damage is dealt, you do the same (obviously the save DC and table result will be higher), but in addition to that, even if the victim survives, if they fail the Fort save they are immediately set to -9 wound points, and imminently close to death.

Table of Ouch looks like this

D20 result
up to 35      - Bleeding
36-40         - Broken Limb (lose use of arm, or lose 20ft movement speed from leg)
41-45         - Internal Rupture (permanent -2 damage to highest of STR/DEX/CON)
46-50         - Maimed Limb (same penalties as broke limb, harder to repair)
51-55         - Brain Damage (permanent -2 to highest of INT/WIS/CHA)
56-60         - Massive System Damage (permanent sickness effect)
61-65         - Neural Damage (permanent nauseated effect)
66-70         - Spinal Injury (permanent paralysis effect)

Again, not saying you have to use any of this, just mentioning it because it sounds similar to what your going for. Take what you like, modify and twist it to your liking, discard the rest, if its something you find interesting. You could modify the values for critical injuries for example if you want them to be more prevalent (like they start at 20+ damage or 15+ damage or something) and you could drop the result values on the table of Ouch by 5 or 10 or whatever, similarly making the effects more common. You could also take out maimed limb and just replace it with severed limb or something, or have a secondary roll on a maimed limb with a fail meaning its severed.

:) I enjoy tweaking systems to my preference as well, hence my interest here.