Thursday, May 26, 2011

House Rules: Healing, largely inspired by Judges' Guild

My old copy of City State of the Invincible Overlord and my PDF of the Ready Ref Sheets both have some house rules for healing that I remember having made some inway into my AD&D playing back in the early 1980s even though none of us remembered where the rule came from.

The particular rule I'm talking about is the rule on bandaging wounds. The particular rule essentially goes like this: if you spend a turn immediately after combat (before looting, disarming traps, etc.) bandaging your own or someone else' wounds immediately after combat, doing that will heal 1d3 hit points, or just 1 hit point if you are interrupted. This made sure we kept a steady supply of bandages in our packs. Oddly, my discovery of where this rule came from is only fairly recent.

So, here I am thinking about low-level play in xD&D and thinking that I do like the general vulnerability of low-level characters, but I'm less pleased with how damned long it takes to heal. I want a war of attrition, not a game in which every scratch sends the PCs crying home.

So, reiterating stuff I have hashed over in other places, I think that any xD&D game to fit the kind of pulp action I like needs a little more minor healing, not to overshadow healing potions and spells, but to make it easier for people to keep going and not depend constantly on clerical healing. Conan would have just sucked it up and gotten back to the fight, after all.

So my thoughts on healing:
  • Bandaging wounds: 1d3 after 1 turn of time immediately after combat. Interrupted, heal 1.
  • Healing spirits: once per day, a drink of grog/dwarven ale/etc. heals 1d6 hit points.
  • Nightly rest: heals 1d3 + level hit points, twice that for full bed rest.
  • Standard healing potions could be for sale, but maybe they take 1d6 rounds to take effect. They don't help as much in combat, but make good options between fights to recover.
I'll have to think about which ones I want to use if I put it all into place for my next game.