Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Flesh Wounds (House Rule)

Sometimes I want to run a more ‘epic fantasy’ campaign. And while Pathfinder is already a very heroic game (especially at high-levels where you easily cross to a ‘super-heroic fantasy’, something I never remember reading in novels of the genre), I’m normally aiming for a more traditional style of heroism. “Sword & Sorcery heroism” if you like. Other times, I just have a party without any cleric or healing-capable player character. In both situations I use the following house rule.

Flesh Wounds
After any combat encounter, all Player Characters recover a number of hit points equal to their Character Level. These hit points are not actually “healed”, just ignored. They reflect bruises, minor wounds and battle fatigue that are quickly ignored after a short rest.

The logical limitation to this rule is that a PC can’t recover more hit points than those lost during the last encounter. For example: a  6th level Fighter has a full HP score of 50 and is down to 35 hps before getting into a fight with a trio of goblins. During the combat he suffers only one strike and loses 3 hps. After the encounter he’ll recover only those 3 hps, not 6 (his Character Level).

This house rule requires a little extra bookkeeping (and trust in your players), but I found that it simulates nicely a more cinematographic or swashbuckling  style of play. It’s also a good way to make ‘healing-less’ parties work without constant interruptions to rest and heal.