Things are moving ahead on YARC. My players have the first draft of the rules hacks and I’m awaiting their comments. Now for this blog post. What about Death?
A few things have changed since I first mentioned Death Saves so let me start there. I decided to make Death Saves their own saving throw. For this category, I also included instant death or death-like effects like Petrification and some powers of really nasty undead.
So when I was thinking about how I was going to handle death, I looked at the original way (0 HP), a negative HP threshold, and the current 5E Death Save mechanic. Since half of my players only have experience with 5E, I decided to lean in that direction. But let’s face it. The 5E method is just too easy.
First, I made it a more normal Saving Throw with a bonus. To keep in line with the other Saving Throws, I needed to use an Attribute. But I decided since this is such an important one, I’d make a variable one. The character uses the highest of CON (You’re healthy), WIS (You’ve got a strong will to live), or CHA (You’re just a lucky bastard). Additional bonuses for Death Saves are far and few between but a character can gain some at the expense of not increasing other Saving Throws. So what’s the DC? Well, I dug back and thought, “Hey, this just might work!” Here’s where the player keeps track of Negative HP. That’s right. Your Negative HP is your Death Save DC, and not the arbitrary 10 from 5E. Sure that makes it really easy of a character is at -1 HP and damned frightening if not impossible at -20 HP. But wait there’s more.
I was inspired by Warlock from Fire Ruby Designs. If a character goes to zero or fewer HP then they may opt to tough it out. What happens? Well. they keep on going but when they do get hit again, they still accumulate Negative HP and thus making that Death Save DC higher. They also have to roll on a Grievous Injury Table (still working on a final version) but this everything from the character drops any way, to broken or severed limbs, organ damage, or the character gets killed outright. Yes. this is very much the DM saying, “Sure. Go right ahead.” Evil grin.
And finally. I wanted to make things a little quicker and interesting. 5E boils down to the best 3 out of 5. I’m reducing that to the best 2 out of 3. And there’s another option. A character may sacrifice their armor for an automatic success. Yes, even if it’s magical. Is that +1 Leather really worth your life?
Keep those dice rolling, folks!