Dice for Accumulative Hits (Hit Dice): This indicates the number of dice which are rolled in order to determine how many hit points a character can take. Plusses are merely the number of pips to add to the total of all dice rolled not to each die. Thus a Super Hero gets 8 dice + 2; they are rolled and score 1, 2, 2, 3, 3, 4, 5, 6/totals 26 + 2 = 28, 28 being the number of points of damage the character could sustain before death. Whether sustaining accumulative hits will otherwise affect a character is left to the discretion of the referee. [ Emphasis added. ]I can see interpreting that last sentence at least two ways, hinted at in the questions I asked above. One may be the GM's option to rule that the amount of damage a character has suffered, or even the kind of damage last suffered, has caused some additional effect. The other is a suggestion that death isn't always the outcome of taking more damage than the character's hit points can sustain. Certainly, the rules for subduing a dragon, which could be generalized to other enchanted beasts or to intelligent foes, could be taken as a sign that "death" isn't always death.
Sunday, October 24, 2010
Meditation on Hit Points
So, in LBB OD&D: does a character automatically die when he takes damage equal to or greater than his hit points? Does a character go into a death spiral as wounds accumulate, or does he stay at maximum ability all the way to the end? Consider this quote from Vol. I, p. 17: