Injury and the risk of death are constant companions of those who explore fantasy gaming worlds. The thrust of a sword, a well-placed arrow, or a blast of flame from a fireball spell all have the potential to damage, or even kill, the hardiest of creatures.
Hit points represent a combination of physical and mental durability, the will to live, assorted skills and training, and luck. Creatures with more hit points are more difficult to kill. Those with fewer hit points are more fragile. Hit points do not suggest or say anything about a creature’s appearance – a massive creature may have only a few hit points, while a tiny one may have hundreds.
A creature’s current hit points (usually just called hit points) can be any number from the creature’s hit point maximum down to 0. This number changes frequently as a creature takes damage or receives healing.
Whenever a creature takes damage, that damage is subtracted from its hit points. The loss of hit points has no effect on a creature’s capabilities until the creature drops to 0 hit points.
Some spells and special abilities confer temporary hit points to a creature. Temporary hit points aren’t actual hit points; they are a buffer against damage, a pool of hit points that protect you from injury.
When you have temporary hit points and take damage, the temporary hit points are lost first, and any leftover damage carries over to your normal hit points. For example, if you have 5 temporary hit points and take 7 damage, you lose the temporary hit points and then take 2 damage.
Because temporary hit points are separate from your actual hit points, they can exceed your hit point maximum. A character can, therefore, be at full hit points and receive temporary hit points.
Healing can’t restore temporary hit points, and they can’t be added together. If you have temporary hit points and receive more of them, you decide whether to keep the ones you have or to gain the new ones. For example, if a spell grants you 12 temporary hit points when you already have 10, you can have 12 or 10, not 22.
If you have 0 hit points, receiving temporary hit points doesn’t restore you to consciousness or stabilize you. They can still absorb damage directed at you while you’re in that state, but only true healing can save you.
Unless a feature that grants you temporary hit points has a duration, they last until they’re depleted, or you finish a long rest.
Each weapon, spell, and harmful monster ability specifies the damage it deals. You roll the damage die or dice, add any modifiers, and apply the damage to your target. Magic weapons, special abilities, and other factors can grant a bonus to damage. With a penalty, it is possible to deal 0 damage, but never negative damage.
When attacking with a weapon, you add your ability modifier—the same modifier used for the attack roll—to the damage. A spell tells you which dice to roll for damage and whether to add any modifiers.
If a spell or other effect deals damage to more than one target at the same time, roll the damage once for all of them. For example, when a wizard casts fireball or a cleric casts flame strike, the spell’s damage is rolled once for all creatures caught in the blast.
Some attacks do not target Hit Points, and instead have an effect on Psyche, Vitality, Heart, or Mana, directly.
Losing points from these abilities has a ripple effect, with the most obvious sign for all of them being that for each point lost, there is a degree of fatigue incurred.
The final impact is a Comatose state, which is an unconscious state that requires some special way to wake them up, that particular way being related to the ability score concerned and recovering it.
In such a state, someone who has lost the ability themselves to recover from such a loss will remaining a comatose state.
Some creatures and objects are exceedingly difficult or unusually easy to hurt with certain types of damage.
A Creature that has a weakness to a particular type of damage takes a +1 on each die of damage.
A Creature that has a Pleasure for a particular type of damage subtracts 1 from each die of damage done.
A creature that is Warded moves a damage die down the die chain by one (d4 Minimum) and takes half damage.
A creature that is Allergic moves the damage die up the die chain by 1 place.
A creature that is Resistant takes one half the damage.
A create that is Vulnerable takes double damage.
A creature that is Immune takes no damage.
Multiple instances of resistance or vulnerability that affect the same damage type count as only one instance. For example, if a creature has resistance to fire damage as well as resistance to all nonmagical damage, the damage of a nonmagical fire is reduced by half against the creature, not reduced by three-quarters.
There are Several different kinds of damage on can experience on Wyrlde. While all are capable of affecting hit points, some will also affect your ability scores or other aspects of your character.
The most common forms of damage encountered are Concrete Energies – these are what weapons and falling can do to you. Crushing, Bludgeoning, Piercing, Poisoning, and Slashing are the five basic types of Concrete, or common damage. They will always reduce hit points, though poison may add additional effects.
Abstract Energies are also sometimes called Role Playing damage. While they may do damage to your hit points, they will also impact or involve your derived scores. Corruption impacts Honor and Piety, as your will and thoughts are filled with malice, cruelty, cowardice, and dishonor. Heart Damage affects your Heart score, in much the same way, though it doesn’t have long term effect or impact the way you engage with others. Heart damage can lead you into depression, despair, surrender, and hopelessness. Manic Damage does not make you go wild, it reduces your Mana, and can affect your score. It sucks the magic out of you, in essence. Pain is exactly that and reduces hit points, but it adds in the increasingly debilitating effects that can leave you unable to act or move without causing yourself more damage. Psychic damage invokes your Psyche, disrupting your ability to act or think, causing muscle spasms and such – think the worst headache you have ever had, or seizures. The reduction in hit points represents this effect.
Planar Energies are caused by exposure to the raw stuff of the Planes and Dimensions. In the broader game, “Radiant Damage” is what we call Celestial Damage here, coming from the Celestial Plane, a cool energy that burns. Radiant Damage on Wyrlde causes a change in your luck or fortune – it may shift a die, or cause advantage or disadvantage, or a penalty to a roll. Infernal Damage is just that – it is the hot energy that freezes, that of Hell and the Abyss. Necrotic energy is like have invisible worms or foul odors around you and in you, eating at your flesh and your very life essence. It feels slimy and invokes disgust and carries the chill of death and the grave with it. Nethic Energy and Shadow energy are protean, dreamy, nightmarish, shifting; Nethic is a sense of blandness and emptiness Shadow is a sense of secrecy and hidden things, they care the absence of emotion and the heightening of it. Spectral Energies are ice cold, frigid, and immaterial, snatching at the very spirit that animates you.
There are 12 types of Elemental Damage. They can come from an environment as well as magic; a dust storm may cause sand damage, which is based in particles, or a forest fire may bring both Fire and smoke damage, while a blizzard may bring Frost, Sand, Smoke, and more. Magic also has an impact.
Examples of these kinds of damage:
Bludgeoning. Blunt force attacks—hammers, falling, constriction, and the like—deal bludgeoning damage.
Piercing. Puncturing and impaling attacks, including spears and monsters’ bites, deal piercing damage.
Poison. Venomous stings and the toxic gas of a green dragon’s breath deal poison damage.
Slashing. Swords, axes, and monsters’ claws deal slashing damage.
Acid. The corrosive spray of a black dragon’s breath and the dissolving enzymes secreted by a black pudding deal acid damage.
Frost/Cold. The infernal chill radiating from an ice devil’s spear and the frigid blast of a white dragon’s breath deal cold damage.
Fire/Heat. Red dragons breathe fire, and many spells conjure flames to deal fire damage.
Force. Force is pure magical energy focused into a damaging form. Most effects that deal force damage are spells, including magic missile and spiritual weapon.
Lightning. A lightning bolt spell and a blue dragon’s breath deal lightning damage.
Necrotic. Necrotic damage, dealt by certain undead and a spell such as chill touch, withers matter and even the soul.
Psychic. Mental abilities such as a mind flayer’s psionic blast deal psychic damage. Psychic damage reduces Psyche, unless psionics is used or the effect states otherwise.
Thunder. A concussive burst of sound, such as the effect of the thunderwave spell, deals thunder damage.
Physical Damage can be broken down into one of the four types of common damage.
Crushing can result from a fall, or a great weight placed upon one, or being squeezed between two forces. It is akin to bludgeoning damage but operates slightly differently.
For every 10 feet fallen, 1d6 damage is taken from the fall.
Blunt object damage, related to crushing damage but not quite the same. The big difference is crushing damage is typically environmental, although bludgeoning damage can also include abrading.
Piercing damage pierces.
This damage is cutting.
Energetic damage affects the entire body – like an electric shock, for example – and always has a condition attached to it as well as a damage score.
This is damage from poisons that are more general for the most part. The term “poison damage” without a specific poison is usually meant to indicate an effect or element that is having an effect and harm throughout the body, similar to or as a result of the introduction of poisons, parasites, disease, and related harm.
Nebulous damage types have a notable impact on ability scores and their derivatives. They cause additional effects above and beyond simple loss of hit points.
Corruption Damage increases the chance of madness or rage, and reduces Honor and Piety, slowly turning the character against others. Restoration, Atonement, and Remove Curse can address this kind of damage.
Corruption inflicts a Status on the affected that causes them to begin experiencing certain emptions more frequently, depending on the nature of the corruption (Infernal, Nethic, or Necrotic). This is a role play effect akin to a curse, and the DM should secretly ask the player to begin to display one or more emotions from the list associated with each plane.
Corruption damage spreads through the character over time, changing their personality and their behaviors, causing them to “stop being themselves” as a direct result of the corruption.
If a Character that is corrupted encounters a Denizen, the denizen will begin to feed from the Corrupted person. Devils will seek to cause hit point damage, Demons will seek to drain Heart, Hags will seek to drain Mana, Miasma’s will drain Vitality, and so forth (see monsters in adventures). There is no save to this attack, and the rate is 1 point for each round in proximity (90’) of the Denizen.
Heart damage causes a reduction in Heart. Heart Damage is very difficult to heal or recover from.
This is damage specifically to one’s mana, reducing the number of points one has available or impacting the recovery or cost of using magic.
Pain Damage causes an additional condition or status to reflect the agony that is invoked and can reduce Vitality or increase Fatigue. Pain damage can be mitigated by the use of healing spells, and a First Aid can reduce Pain by one.
Psychic damage derives from a peculiar convergence of the Shadow and Nether Planes, and is linked to Dreams and Nightmares, Wights, Wraiths, and such fearsome creatures.
Causes a reduction in Psyche and can include a condition. Psychic damage is recovered from addressing the condition and long rests. For every 3 long rests, 1 point of psyche is recovered.
Acid eats through things, dissolving them, Causes hit point damage, plus can damage equipment, weakening it or destroying it.
Often a form of crushing or bludgeoning damage, impacts hit points. Can also make it hard to breathe, resulting in coughing or choking.
Cold damage. Can result in frostbite condition if damage is more than 20% of total HP. Impacts HP.
Also called Spirit Damage, Force damage comes from shaping magic as a tangible force. While not technically an element, it operates as such. Impacts HP.
Burns can cripple or slow, causing Pain damage in addition to hit point damage (1 pain to 10 hit point).
Electrical damage. Has a chance to result in a stunned condition (5% per level of the force), impacts hit points.
Abrasive damage, plus it can slow through accumulation in joints and other uncomfortable areas, creating a distraction. Impacts hit points.
Smoke obscures vision can make breathing hard (so choking and coughing), impacts hit points.
Stone damage is always crushing damage and applies to hit points.
This is the light of the Sun, and is inimical to underground dwellers and certain Denizens, as well as some critters. Sun damage affects hit points.
Thunder damage has a chance to render someone soundless, impacts hit points, chance to stun, confuse, befuddle, or stupefy.
Chance to suffocate, impacts hit points.
Spectral damage is done by creatures tied to or derived from the Astral or Ethereal (such as Specters, whom it is named for). Spectral Damage impacts Heart.
Celestial Damage comes from the Celestial Plane. It is potent against infernal powers. Celestial Damage strikes hit points.
Infernal Damage comes from the Infernal Plane and is potent against celestial powers. Infernal Damage strikes hit points and has Corruption effects.
Radiant damage comes from the Radiant lane and is potent against necrotic powers. Radiant Damage impacts Heart.
Necrotic damage comes from the necrotic Plane and is potent against Radiant Powers. Necrotic Damage impacts hit points, and has a chance of impacting Psyche, depending on the attack, and has Corruption effects.
Shadow Damage comes from the Shadow plane and is potent against Nethic powers. Shadow Damage impacts Hit points, and some will impact Vitality.
Nethic damage comes from the Nether Realm and impacts Psyche and has Corruption effects.