Friday, May 17, 2013

Musing About Health Systems

Wednesday's post on the Shaken rules in Savage Worlds got me thinking about health systems in games. I've been thinking about how certain systems, like D&D/Pathfinder's Hit Points, abstract damage to make things easier and how other games go for a more realistic damage system to represent how taking a hit would actually affect a character.

For awhile now, I've been toying with a post-apocalyptic game. Instead of going the more "gonzo" route of Gamma World, I wanted to make a game that was more gritty and lethal. I want it to be a game where combat is the last option because when two people pull out guns, one of them is going to die quickly and the other will probably die slowly and painfully of an infected wound.

So, I've been trying to figure out a way to handle this kind of damage without making the system extremely complex. However, that's easier said then done. I was thinking maybe it there could be three types of wounds (like major, minor, and moderate) that vary in deadliness. A character could take a certain amount of each wound before becoming incapacitated or die. However, determining what deals what kind of wound and if the location of the hit should effect the severity of the wound has made things difficult.

Really, this is just me thinking out loud. Maybe I'm trying to do something that just can't be done. However, I always like a challenge and some help would be much appreciated. If anyone has any ideas on how I could handle this and make it work, I'd love to here them.