I Want Enough 5e to Hack

Here is the sign that I’m digging 5e. I am so hungry for the actual rules that I am pondering hacks for no other reason than I desire to play with the toys.

For example, i was pondering injury rule. Something simple like:

  • When you take damage, you can reduce that damage by 1 hit die (2 hit die if you’re level 11 or above) by taking an injury.
  • Each time you take an injury, mark a failed death save. It remains filled in until the injury is healed. A character may fill all three boxes in this fashion, but if they are reduced to 0hp while injured, they immediately suffer the consequences. As such, if all 3 boxes are filled and the character drops to 0 HP, death is instantaneous.
  • While injured, the character is at a disadvantage in all physical activities.
  • Injuries can be treated by the Medicine skill (dc 5 +5 per number of boxes filled). This does not cure the injury, but removes the dsiadvantage so long as the character takes it easy (taking twice as long to do things and does not dash or otherwise engage in heavy exertion).
  • If a character is at full HP and takes a long rest under medical supervision (Wisdom (medicine)DC 15) and has only one box checked, that box can be unchecked and the injury cleared.
  • A second box extends that time to a week, A third extends it to a month. All boxes clear at once.
  • 10 points of magic overhealing (healing beyond maximum HP) clears all boxes and removes the injury.

That seems maybe a little too fiddly, but if I was going for a certain kind of bloody feel, it’d be a pretty good match.

I’m also pondering the language of time. A short rest is now about an hour long, but there’s still a conceptual space that’s about 10 minutes long which is the time it takes to cast a ritual spell. In my mind, I’m calling that a “pause” and considering it the amount of time it takes to “take your time” with something (enough to get an advantage on an action which could be done in a round). Not sure if there are other ideas to hang off this, but I’m keeping in my back pocket.

There’s more. But the point is, seriously, I want to get my hands dirty!

8 thoughts on “I Want Enough 5e to Hack

  1. Jason Pitre

    Very neat. One alternative hack, riffing off your idea?

    1) You can take an Injury to negate any single instance of damage, no matter the size. Check off a Death Save when you do so.
    2) Each time you take an injury, mark a failed death save. It remains filled in until the injury is healed. A character may fill all three boxes in this fashion, but if they are reduced to 0hp while injured, they immediately suffer the consequences. As such, if all 3 boxes are filled and the character drops to 0 HP, death is instantaneous.
    3) While injured, the character is at a disadvantage in all physical activities until you receive a successful medicine check at DC15. Low-level magic healing doesn’t do the trick, though regeneration or the like might cure these.
    4) It clears when you spend an Inspiration during a long rest. Since you can’t store up Inspiration, each injury needs at least one long-rest to be dealt with.

    Reply
    1. Rob Donoghue Post author

      The “Negating one instance of damage” thing was actually my first thought when I came up with this, but I think it might be a bridge too far when you get to things like a massive dragon’s breath attack. Having it reduce damage means that it’s still valuable for massive attacks if only to keep you from dying from massive damage. I;;m not sure “one hit die” is the right alternative, but it needs to be something. Reduce damage by half?

      Reply
      1. Jason Pitre

        My thinking is that it would be a way of intentionally blocking the deathblows. The corollary is that disadvantage (they are stuck with) and then need to save up their inspiration would ensure that future deathblows continue to occur. You can only do this three times, and the fourth blow is auto-kill.

        Functionally, I was modelling it after “Iceblock” in Hearthstone. This would be the kind of thing you leave in your back pocket to stop this killing blow, rather than simply reducing massive damage.

        Reply
  2. JasonLW

    The DMG is supposedly being approached as a kind of hacker’s guide with a ton of stuff like this (in fact, they have confirmed an injury system is in it). It should be a cool book. Of course that’s still four months away and there’s plenty of stuff in it I want for my Starter Set campaign…

    Reply
  3. Thiago

    Nice! I’m tempted to make a “Next Age” hack. Both the DDN (5e) as the 13th Age has great things that can (and should!) be used together.

    Reply
  4. Alex

    I remember an early playtest draft did include the idea of a 10 minute ‘tea break’ rest stop, which I really liked. I’d be quite interested in seeing if it can be retrofitted into the current 5e system.

    Reply
  5. Roger

    Injury also looks like an obvious replacement effect for suffering a critical hit, too, which is pretty swell.

    Your “pause” reminds me a lot of the old Take-20 rule (in a good way.)

    Reply

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