Monday, March 5, 2018

Pathfinder: Lingering Injuries

I discovered that 5e D&D has a "Lingering Injury" table, so of course I immediately went  to find out more about it, because part of being a good GM is shamelessly stealing from other game systems and incorporating them into my game.

And not only did I find the d20 table in the 5e DMG, but I found a d100 table which I think is clearly much better.

Now, the original rule gave the recommendation that this chart be rolled when a creature takes a critical hit, drops to 0 hit points but isn't killed outright, or fails a death saving throw by 5 or more, but I don't like that.

Instead, it'll work like this:
  • Lingering Injuries only affect PCs and named NPCs (followers, boss monsters, etc.)
    • Un-named NPCs just get hit with damage to speed things up. 
  • The table is used only for critical hits or when their hit points fall below zero. 
    • If a PC suffers a critical hit, they have a choice: take normal weapon damage and roll on the table, or take the increased damage from the crit. 
    • The choice is made after the critical is confirmed, but before damage is rolled. 
    • Ultimately it's a gamble, but one that gives the players some agency to avoid character death:
      • If they're certain a crit will kill them, they roll on the table and suffer an injury which will hamper them for the rest of the fight (as well as taking regular weapon damage);
      • Or they take the damage and hope it doesn't kill them. Maybe the damage dice will roll really poorly?
  • If a PC is in negative hit points, they're dying and something had to put them that way, so they need to roll on the table to determine just how messed up they are. 
  • I may also use this for when I want to mess up PCs for failing to avoid a trap instead of just dishing out hit point damage. 
I know that some people will complain that many of the lingering injuries can be cured with magical healing, and my answer is So what? If the PC took a critical hit, that would also be cured with magical healing. It's a resource drain either way. 

So here's my version of that d100 Lingering Injury table, converted to Pathfinder:
The Google Docs version can be grabbed here.

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