Saga of the Northlands
HP and Wounds
To facilitate a more lethal tone to this campaign, the standard hit point and Massive Damage rules are modified as follows.
Starting Hit Points
Hit points are rolled as normal at 1st level, rather than each character receiving the maximum value for their class.
Negative Hit Points
Each character’s maximum negative hit point value is equal to their Constitution score plus their level, to a maximum of their normal hit point total. For instance, a 3rd-level character with Con 10 would normally be able to survive until reaching -13 HP, but if he only has 7 hit points he would die at -7 HP instead; meanwhile, a 10th-level character with Con 18 and 100 hit points could survive until reaching -28 HP.
A character’s wound threshold is equal to its hit dice + Constitution bonus, to a minimum of 1; creatures with a Wyrd score add +5 to this value, and certain other class features or abilities may modify this value as well. If a character ever takes damage from a single attack equal to or greater than his wound threshold, he suffers a wound. For each multiple of his wound threshold that the damage exceeds, he suffers an additional wound; for instance, a character with a wound threshold of 9 would suffer 1 wound if he took 9 damage from a single attack, 2 wounds if he took 18 damage, 3 wounds if he took 27 damage, and so on.
When a character suffers a wound, two things happen. First, he takes an ongoing penalty to all rolls and target numbers (d20 rolls, damage rolls, armor class, spell saving throw DCs, and so forth) based on his current number of wounds, as given below:
Additionally, while he has 3 wounds a character is reduced to half speed and may not run or charge, and while he has 4 wounds a character may only take either a single standard action or a single move action each round (no swift actions, immediate actions, or attacks of opportunity) and his speed is reduced to 5 feet.
Second, he has a chance of dying or falling unconscious from his wounds. If the wound taken is his 5th, he dies, regardless of his current hit points; otherwise, he must attempt a wound save, a Fortitude save against DC 10 + 2*current wounds. This saving throw is rolled after inflicting the wound and determining total wounds, but before applying the wound penalties from the new wound(s); for instance, a character at 1 wound who suffers 2 more wounds would roll against DC 16 for having 3 total wounds, but would only take a -1 penalty to that roll for having 1 wound instead of a -5 penalty for having 3 wounds.
If the character succeeds on his wound save, he suffers no further ill effects. If he is currently at positive hit points, failure by less than 5 means he begins bleeding for a number of hit points equal to twice his current wounds, and failure by 5 or more means he immediately falls to -1 HP and is dying. If the character fails a wound save by any margin while currently at negative hit points, he dies immediately.
Wounds can be healed with the Tend Wounds use of the Heal skill.
A creature subject to a spell or effect that heals its hit points may forego the hit point healing to attempt to heal its wounds instead. The healer rolls a Heal check and adds the amount of hit points that the effect would have healed as a sacred bonus to the check; any time the healer could take 10 on the Heal check, he may also take the average hit point result, if he wishes. The maximum number of wounds that can be healed at once in this way is equal to the lower of the spell level (or equivalent) and 1/3 the healer’s ranks in Heal, so for instance to heal 2 wounds the healer would need to cast cure light wounds (a 2nd-level spell for the Pure Heart sphere) and possess at least 6 ranks in Heal.
Regardless of the source of healing, a creature may only benefit from one wound-healing check or effect per day unless the healing ability being used specifically notes otherwise.
It is possible for a character to heal from a wound naturally over time without aid, but this has great potential for complications. If a character’s wounds are not healed, he must make a wound save every (2d4 – number of wounds) hours, with a result of 0 or lower meaning a save is required after a half-hour; taking any efforts to clean and bandage the injuries without actually healing the wounds increases this interval to (3d6 – number of wounds) hours. A failed save means the wound becomes infected, causing the character to either contract a disease, gain a minor condition, or be subject to a 1-wound called shot, based on the last wound inflicted. Successive failed saves worsen the effect by 1 stage, while successful saves decrease the effect by 1 stage; the character must continue making saves until he either fails 4 in a row (which inflicts a permanent impairment of some sort) or succeeds 4 in a row (which heals 1 wound and prevents him from making more checks).