Tweaking the Mortal Wounds Table

So here’s a couple of tweaks to the mortal wounds table. Mostly it’s the same, but it changes up the modifiers a bit.

Add 15 to all of the breakpoints on the d20 roll. The bounds go:0-10, 11-15, 15-20… up to 41+

Keep healing and CON bonuses as-is.

Timing adds Nd4:
5d4 within 1 round
4d4 during the combat
3d4 immediately after combat
2d4 up to an hour later
1d4 within 24 hours

Hit Points adds Nd4:
4d4 if exactly zero
2d4 if negative less than 1/4 hp
1d4 if negative between 1/4 and 1/2 hp

These basically match the current bonuses, but are purely additive.

As an option, perhaps the HP bonus dice should be based on the Hit Die instead of using d4.

unless I'm misunderstanding something, this seems to heavily emphasize time of attention over strength of healing and strength of body (no accounting for how dead you end up).  If my friend goes down, it's MUCH more advantageous for me to kick his corpse than to wait 1 round and let the cleric get up to the front to cast a powerful heal.

This is actually exactly what already exists, except each 2.5 bonus/penalty points are turned into a d4, and everything is a bonus instead of some plusses, some minuses. The penalties for being super dead for a super long time just turn from -15 into “no dice” while what was originally the zero bonus/penalty situation… a little dead for a couple rounds… now looks like 6d4 bonus. 6d4 has an average of 15, which is what the table categories got shifted by. The bonus dice going away is kinda like your chances of survival…

Con bonus and healing bonuses are static just because converting a con +1 bonus into a dice roll is tough. If it looks like a lot less than you think it deserves, maybe the table generally has that problem, and levels of healing and CON bonuses should add/subtract dice. That’s like doubling or tripling their impact, though.

What's the benefit of this method? As Jard points out, it makes the bonuses for timing and hit points far outscale the bonuses for consitution bonus and treatment. Do you find those things tend to be ignored in the campaigns you play in? It also makes the results slightly swingier, which makes abilites like the Barbarian's savage resiliance a bit more valuable.

(Tangentally, I rather like the whole "positive numbers mean you're alive" thing that the mortal wounds and tampering with mortality tables have going on.)

Hrmmm… I don’t know that there’s a strong advantage implicit in the thing, except insofar as it might yield some insight. It’s definitely swingier, but I’m not clear how this method does something to make existing 10-15 point swings due to hp and time more dominant, unless you mean the idea to upgrade the d4s to use the HD.

In trying to find an equivalent change for con/healing magic, the equivalent would be a single die upgrade for each point.

[quote="DrPete"] Hrmmm... I don't know that there's a strong advantage implicit in the thing. [/quote]

But there must be a reason it interests you, right?

[quote="DrPete"] I'm not clear how this method does something to make existing 10-15 point swings due to hp and time more dominant. [/quote]

In the ACKS core rules, the bonus for being treated within one round is +2, and the bonus for being treated by healing magic is +1 per level of the spell. In your rules, the bonus for being treated within one round is something between +5 and +20 with an average of +12.5, and the bonus for being treated by healing magic is still only +1 per level of the spell.

In the core rules, it's worth waiting a round or two for someone with access to healing spells and the healing proficiency to heal you, because it improves your roll on the mortal wounds table by at least +1. In your rules, it's always better to recieve first aid in the first round, even if the only character available to give first aid is Unwashed Pete the war dog, because the average bonus for recieving prompt treatment is always higher than the (maximum +9) bonus for quality of treatment recieved.

Since there seems to be a sense that this increases the impact of timing and hp, let me reframe it in terms of the means…

Timing adds Nd4:
5d4/+12.5/+2 within 1 round
4d4/+10/+0 during the combat
3d4/+7.5/-3 immediately after combat
2d4/+5/-5 up to an hour later
1d4/+2.5/-8 within 24 hours
0d4/+0/-10 after 24 hours

Hit Points adds Nd4:
4d4/+10/+5 if exactly zero
2d4/+5/+0 if negative less than 1/4 hp
1d4/+2.5/-2 if negative between 1/4 and 1/2 hp
0d4/+0/-5 if negate half max or more

As you can see, there’s an overall shift of 15 (10 from timing and 5 from hp) but the rest is really just smoothing the modifiers and making it swingier, not adding power.

The big breakpoints in this method would be at 15 for “alive, but dying” and 30 for “gonna make it”.

On reflection, characters with HD larger than d4 might be able to upgrade 1 bonus die to their HD type(d6, d8) per level, up to the available number.

Healing magic should be stated out in terms of BHR. For each BHR of healing it provides, one bonus die may be upgraded by one type (d4 to d6 to d8, etc).

Healer skill grants one upgrade per rank of skill.

CON bonus allows one die upgrade per point, and each point of CON penalty cancels one die upgrade or requires a d4 to be downgraded to a d2.


The apparent increase in power is compensated for by shifting all the categories in the table by 15, so there are no negative numbers at all.

This was really the result of messing around while proctoring a 3 hour exam to see what would happen. It was inspired by things like the d6 bonus die for Heavy Helmets and noticing the progressions of the hp/timing penalties were really in steps of 2.5 with rounding.

Somewhere on the board recently there was talk of giving higher hd classes a bonus on thus table, too.

Found an app that’ll give dice probabilities, so…

Say a character is down to -1/3 hp, and you want to know if it makes sense to wait a round and get a person with 2 ranks of healing and a cure moderate wounds spell in there.

By the book, it’s +0 to be woken by random guy, and +2 to be healed by the healer. Assume everything else is a wash. This means:
MW: 25%/15%
GW: 25%/25%
CW: 25%/25%
Sh: 25%/25%
KO: 0%/10%

With this new method, the probabilities are trickier, but immediate would give 6d4 bonus, and waiting would give 4d6+1d4 bonus (one less die, but 4 dice upgraded)

IK: 5.3%/4.0%
MW: 19.8%/15.0%
GW: 24.9%/23.7%
CW: 24.9%/24.8%
Sh: 19.8%/21.2%
KO: 5.2%/10.0%
Dz: 0.1%/1.5%

Now, I definitely note that this adds a little danger of instant death added in. Dunno if that is good or bad.