Monday, July 11, 2016

Taking Damage Sucks

I just want to highlight this post from Power Score

"The Player Perspective: I'm so glad I am a player in this. It's so easy as a DM to fall into the trap of becoming numb to what it is like running a character. As a player, taking damage is very harrowing! What seems like nothing to you, the DM, is a major ordeal for the player.

This makes me want to ease back on my own players quite a bit. It can be unpleasant when you are getting pummeled on a regular basis. Not that we are in this game at all, it's just eye-opening when your character is in serious peril.

As a GM, it's worth remembering how much it sucks to take damage when it's your guy. And that games where you have a bunch of disposable PCs for one player are a nice change because it's not your only guy getting whacked. When it's you're one of one it can be a bit stressful.

Just the threat of PCs taking damage or taking losses can be effective - and actual damage pretty concerning.


  1. That's one reason I built Mo to be able to operate at -93HP :)
    Do need to get Recovery one of these days, after ST 21

    1. You know how that'll go - "It's a waste of points, we can just cast Awaken on you until it works."

      That said, even being generous with "awake = fine" it's hard to imagine how someone well into -HP from injury is able to get up and then adventure normally. I should just come up with a basic, blanket penalty for skill checks, Climbing rolls, DX rolls, etc. when you've been magically snapped out of unconsciousness with should-be-mortal wounds and then get tasked with carrying loot, two other delvers, and then need to climb stealthily out of a hole in the dark with a morningstar in your teeth.

  2. Bah! Humbug! No pain, no gain! Mwahahahahahahaha!

    Seriously, I try not to beat-up my Players' characters too much . . . but how else do you kill the "bad guy?" Occasionally my Players are plagued with a series of bad rolls, which is why I use a DM screen; it allows me to fudge my own rolls to keep their PCs from dying.

  3. It's all a question of attitude, baby. My last character was a walking sack of Hit Points designed to get stuck in and tank like a beast. Taking damage meant he was doing his job.

  4. That dude is obviously playing as a striker or a wizard. When I played D&D, I only found it remarkable when my fighter got below Bloodied, as it was very rare. Taking damage was my job, and I was very good at it.

    GURPS is a different matter, of course. If you're taking damage, that usually means something has gone terribly wrong. I've regularly seen players on the front line walk away without a scratch if they play their cards right, and I've seen a single blow turn a fight from a winning one to a losing one.

  5. This is why I put effort into adjusting the ballistic defenses in my game. Speaking of which, I hope to put out another one today...


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