Terigia: A World Under Sway
Vitality and Wounds
Vitality And Wound Points
The system allows for characters to improve the amount of punishment they can withstand as they go up in level, while still allowing for a single lucky attack to take down a character. Characters using this system should be more wary in combat, which can turn deadly in the space of a few lucky rolls.
A very weak creature in this system tends to be tougher to kill than in a standard d20 game, since its Constitution score is often higher than the number of hit points it might have had. Very big creatures are also more durable, due to their size modifier. This is reflected in the CR adjustments given in the variant rules.
Creatures capable of dealing a large amount of damage on a single hit become significantly more deadly in this system, since a lucky attack roll can give a deadly blow to almost any character.
Cstitution damage is especially deadly under this variant, since every point of Constitution damage reduces wound points by 1 and every 2 points of damage reduces vitality by a number of points equal to the character’s HD. If a character’s Constitution is reduced to 0, he dies even if he has wound points remaining.
Vitality points are the life force of a character and a measure of a character’s ability to turn a direct hit into a graze or a glancing blow with no serious consequences. Like hit points in the standard d20 rules, vitality points go up with level, giving high-level characters more ability to shrug off attacks. Most types of damage reduce vitality points.
Characters gain vitality points as they gain levels. Just as with hit points in the standard Pathfinder rules, at each level a character rolls a vitality die and adds his Constitution modifier, adding the total to his vitality point total. (And, just as with hit points, a character always gains at least 1 vitality point per level, regardless of his roll or Constitution modifier.) A 1st-level character gets the maximum vitality die result rather than rolling.
Wound points measure how much true physical damage a character can withstand, whether that damage be noticeable or internal. Damage reduces wound points only after all vitality points are gone, or when a character is struck by a critical hit (see critical hits below). A character has a number of wound points equal to her current Constitution score.
This campaign uses the critical hit deck (and the fumble deck) from Paizo publishing. The cards are played just as they are written, but affect wound points if they deal regular hit point damage.
Injury And Death
Vitality and wound points together measure how hard a character is to hurt and kill. The damage from each successful attack and each fight accumulates, dropping a character’s vitality point or wound point total until he runs out of points.
This system doesn’t differentiate between lethal and nonlethal damage. Attacks and effects that normally deal nonlethal damage reduce vitality points, except on a critical hit, in which case they reduce wound points (see critical hits above).
Cost of Power
Harnessing the power of the sway is taxing on the body. Most of the time, this manifests as a loss of vitality points, but a sway caster can attempt to use more power than his lifeforce can withstand cause traumatic damage to the mind and internal organs of the body. To cast a swayspell the character must spend vitality points equal to the total cost of the spell. If the spell’s cost is greater than the caster’s level, he pays the cost in vitality points up to his level and pays the remainder in wound points. If the spell’s cost is more than twice the caster’s level level, he pays the complete cost in wound points. In this way it is possible for a swaycaster to create a spell so powerful that channeling the magic outright kills him.
0 Vitality Points
At 0 vitality points, a character can no longer avoid taking real physical damage. Any additional damage he receives reduces his wound points.
Taking Wound Damage
The first time a character takes wound damage, even a single point, he becomes fatigued. A fatigued character can’t run or charge and takes a -2 penalty to Strength and Dexterity until he has rested for 8 hours (or until the wound damage is healed, if that occurs first). Additional wound damage doesn’t make the character exhausted.
0 Wound Points
When your current wound point total drops to exactly 0, you are disabled.
You gain the staggered condition and can only take a single move or standard action each turn (but not both, nor can you take full-round actions). You can take move actions without further injuring yourself, but if you perform any standard action (or any other action the GM deems strenuous, including some free actions such as casting spell with the quicken mote) worsen the character’s condition to dieing) you take 1 wound point of damage after completing the act. Unless your activity increased your wound points, you are now at -1 wound points and dying.
Healing that raises your wound points above 0 makes you fully functional again, just as if you’d never been reduced to 0 or fewer wound points.
You can also become disabled when recovering from dying. In this case, it’s a step toward recovery, and you can have fewer than 0 wound points (see Stable Characters and Recovery in the core rulebook).
Dying (Negative Wound Points)
If your wound point total is negative, but not equal to or greater than your Constitution score, you’re dying.
A dying character immediately falls unconscious and can take no actions.
A dying character loses 1 wound point every round. This continues until the character dies or becomes stable.
On the character’s next turn, after being reduced to negative hit points (but not dead), and on all subsequent turns, the character must make a DC 10 Constitution check to become stable. The character takes a penalty on this roll equal to his negative wound point total. A character that is stable does not need to make this check. A natural 20 on this check is an automatic success. If the character fails this check, he loses 1 wound point. An unconscious or dying character cannot use any special action that changes the initiative count on which his action occurs.
Characters taking continuous damage, such as from an acid or bleed effect, automatically fail all Constitution checks made to stabilize. Such characters lose 1 wound point per round in addition to the continuous damage.
You can keep a dying character from losing any more wound points and make him stable with a DC 15 Heal check.
If any sort of healing cures the dying character of even 1 point of damage, he becomes stable and stops losing wound points.
Healing that raises the dying character’s wound points to 0 makes him conscious and disabled. Healing that raises his wound points to 1 or more makes him fully functional again, just as if he’d never been reduced to 0 or lower, but he remains fatigued until he gets rest. A spellcaster retains the spellcasting capability she had before dropping below 0 hit points, but will still have to pay for their sway spells with vitality or wound points.
When your character’s current wound points drop to a negative amount equal to his Constitution score or lower, he’s dead. A character can also die from taking ability damage or suffering an ability drain that reduces his Constitution score to 0.
Stable Characters and Recovery
Recovery works the same way it does in Pathfinder substituting wound points for hit points.
Special Damage Situations
The vitality point system changes the way some special damage effects work.
Coup de Grace
A coup de grace functions normally in that it automatically hits and scores a critical hit (and thus the damage dealt is applied to the target’s wound points). If the defender survives the damage, he must make a Fortitude save (DC 10 + the amount of damage dealt) or die.
The massive damage rule does not apply under this system.
After taking damage, a character can recover vitality and wound points through natural healing (over the course of hours or days), or by magic. In any case, a character can’t regain vitality points or wound points above his full normal totals.
With a full night’s rest (8 hours of sleep or more), you recover all lost vitality points and wound points equal to your Constitution modifier (minimum 1 per night), or twice that amount with complete bed rest for 24 hours. Any significant interruption during your rest prevents you from healing that night.
A character who provides long-term care doubles the rate at which a wounded character recovers lost vitality and wound points.
First, a swaycaster cannot restore his own vitality points with sway magic. He can however restore his own wound points. Additionally, sway spells are paid for before their effects are applied, so if a swaycaster pays wounds for a spell and that payment would kill him, he dies before receiving healing from that spell. The Healing sway mote field has been designed with this system in mind. Other effects that heal a variable amount of hit point damage based on a die roll (such as cure light wounds spell-like ability), apply the actual die roll as restored vitality points, and any modifier to the die roll (such as caster level) as restored wound points. For example, a cure moderate wounds potion heals 2d8 points of damage, +1 point per caster level (maximum +10). Under this system, a 5th-level Alchemist could create a potion that heals 2d8 vitality points and 5 wound points. Spells or effects that return a number of hit points not based on a die roll, such as heal, apply the healing to lost wound points first, then to lost vitality. Additionally, any vitality point healing beyond a character’s maximum vitality points is applied to lost wound points at a two for one basis. The restriction on self healing with swayspells applies to this wound healing.
Most monsters have both wound points and vitality points. For Small, Medium and Large creatures, a monster’s wound point total is equal to its current Constitution score. Creatures smaller or larger than that have their wound point total multiplied by a factor based on their size, as indicated on the table.
Size Wound Point Multiplier
A monster’s vitality point total is equal to the number of hit points it would normally have, based on its type and Constitution score. The GM may choose not to assign vitality points to creatures or characters that pose little or no threat to PCs, such as domesticated herd animals.
Creatures without Constitution Scores
Some creatures, such as undead and constructs, do not have Constitution scores. If a creature has no Constitution score, it has no vitality points. Instead, it has wound points equal to the number of vitality points it would have based on its HD and type. Such creatures are never fatigued or stunned by wound damage.
Damage reduction functions normally, reducing damage dealt by attacks. However, any critical hit automatically overcomes a creature’s damage reduction, regardless of whether the attack could normally do so. For example, a critical hit against a skeleton (DR 5/bludgeoning) overcomes the creature’s damage reduction even if it was hit with a weapon that does not deal bludgeoning damage. Damage reduction never reduces vitality or wounds lost by paying for sway spells.
Creatures with fast healing regain vitality points at an exceptionally fast rate, usually 1 or more vitality points per round, as given in the creature’s description (for example, a vampire has fast healing 5).
If a creature with fast healing has no Constitution score, fast healing restores lost wound points instead.
All damage dealt to creatures with regeneration is vitality point damage, even in the case of critical hits. The creature automatically heals damage (wounds then vitality) at a fixed rate per round, as given in the entry (for example, regeneration 5). A regenerating creature that runs out of vitality points becomes fatigued just as if it had taken wound point damage. Excess damage, however, does not reduce its wound points. Certain attack forms, typically fire and acid, automatically deal wound damage to a regenerating creature.
Monster Challenge Ratings
Increase the CR of any Gargantuan or Colossal creature by +1, unless the creature does not have a Constitution score.
Monsters with fractional CRs move up to the next highest fraction. The kobold (ordinarily CR 1/4) becomes CR 1/3, for example, while the goblin (normally CR 1/2) becomes CR 1.
You are especially hard to kill. Not only do your wounds automatically stabilize when grievously injured, but you can remain conscious and continue to act even at death’s door.
Benefit: When your wound point total is below 0, but you are not dead, you automatically stabilize. You do not need to make a Constitution check each round to avoid losing additional wound points. You may choose to act as if you were disabled, rather than dying. You must make this decision as soon as you are reduced to negative wound points (even if it isn’t your turn). If you do not choose to act as if you were disabled, you immediately fall unconscious.
When using this feat, you are staggered. You can take a move action without further injuring yourself, but if you perform any standard action (or any other action deemed as strenuous, including some swift actions, such as casting a sway spell with the quicken mote you take 1 point of damage after completing the act. If your negative wound points are equal to or greater than your Constitution score, you immediately die.
Normal: A character without this feat who is reduced to negative wound points is unconscious and dying.
You have enhanced physical stamina.
Benefit: You gain 1 wound point for every level or Hit Die your character has.