Wound and Vigor
Determining Wound Points and Vigor Points
Instead of hit points, delvers have a number of wound points and vigor points. These two replacement scores are kept track of separately, and represent different ways a delver handles the damage inflicted on him. The following are descriptions of these scores and how they work within the variant system of damage tracking.
Typically a delver has a number of wound points equal to twice its Constitution score. It also has a wound threshold equal to its Constitution score.
Wound points represent the amount of physical punishment a delver can take before it dies. When a delver’s wound points drop to or below one quarter of its wound threshold, that delver becomes wounded. When a delver is wounded, it gains the staggered condition until it is no longer wounded. Furthermore, when a delver is wounded, if that delver takes any standard or move action on its turn, its remaining wound points are reduced by 1 and it must make a DC 10 Constitution check. If the delver fails that check, it falls unconscious.
When a delver reaches 0 or fewer wound points, it is dead.
- Wound Points and Constitution Damage, Drain, and Penalties: A delver’s wound points and Constitution score are intrinsically linked. For each point of Constitution damage a delver takes, it loses 2 wound points, but this damage does not affect the delver’s wound threshold. When a delver takes a penalty to its Constitution score or its Constitution is drained, it loses 1 wound point per point of drain or per penalty for the duration of the penalty or drain. A penalty to Constitution or Constitution drain has no effect on the delver’s wound threshold.
Vigor represents a delver’s ability to avoid the majority of actual physical damage it might take from an attack. When a delver takes damage, the damage typically reduces its vigor points first. Some special attacks either deal wound point damage directly or deal both vigor and wound point damage (see Critical Hits).
With each level gained a delver gains a number of vigor points based on its Hit Die type. Use the delver’s Hit Dice to generate its vigor points, just like you would hit points, but without adding the delver’s Constitution modifier. A delver always gains maximum vigor points each level. When a delver no longer has any vigor points, any additional damage it takes reduces its wound point total and the delver is fatigued.
Regaining Wound Points and Vigor Points
A delver can regain wound and vigor points in a number of ways, but in general it is easier to regain vigor points.
- Healing Spells and Effects: When casting healing spells or using an ability with a healing effect (such as channeling holy energy on living delvers or the paladin’s lay on hands ability or a healing potion) wound points are always healed first, once the recipient has his/her maximum amount of wound points then vigor points are healed up (for example a delver has taken 2 wound points in damage and 5 vigor points in damage, and then drinks a healing potion of cure moderate wounds the potion gets a result of a total of 6 points healed. First the 2 wound points are healed so the delver is again at maximum wound points, and then 4 vigor points are healed using up the remaining points of healing from the potion).
- Rest: Extended rests are not permitted while delving a dungeon, (the fate of the world rests in your hands and you think you have time to take a nap?). However when the delvers are not in combat, engaged in a skill challenge or puzzle, they may take a 10 minute rest which restores ½ their total vigor. Wound points are only restored through extended rests or magical healing.
- Restoration and Similar Effects: When a delver regains Constitution points by way of the restoration spell or a similar effect, that delver regains 2 wound points for every Constitution point regained. Relieving a Constitution penalty or Constitution drain regains any wound points that were lost from that penalty or drain.
Attacks that Deal Wound point Damage
Some attacks can be used to deal wound points damage directly.
- Critical Hits: When a delver is subject to a critical hit, the critical hit deals the damage normally, reducing vigor points first, and then reducing wound points when vigor points are gone. It also deals an amount of wound point damage equal to its critical multiplier (for example, 3 wound points for a weapon with a ×3 modifier), on top of any wound point damage the delver might take from the critical hit.
- Negative Energy Damage: When a delver deals negative energy damage to a delver with a spell or effect, it can choose to deal wound point or vigor point damage (but not both) with the spell or effect. If that delver chooses to deal vigor point damage, the spell or effect deals negative energy damage normally, and that damage reduces vigor points only, even if it deals more damage than the target has vigor points. If the spell or effect deals negative energy damage to wound points directly, it deals an amount of wound point damage equal to the number of dice the delver would roll for that effect; if the effect deals a number of points per caster level (such as the harm spell), it deals a number of wound points equal to the caster level of the spell.
The following are a few other considerations to take into account when using the wounds and vigor system.
- Temporary Hit Points: When a delver would normally gain temporary hit points, it gains temporary vigor points instead. When that delver takes damage, it loses these temporary vigor points first. If an attack deals damage to wound points only, these temporary vigor points are not lost.
- Nonlethal Damage: When a delver takes nonlethal damage, it takes that damage in vigor points only, even if the attack deals more damage than the delver has vigor points. If the delver has no vigor points (and no temporary vigor points), each time that delver takes damage from an attack that deals nonlethal damage, it takes either 1 wound point of damage, or a number of wound points in damage equal to the attack’s critical hit modifier if the attack is a critical hit.
- Spells or Effects with Hit Point Triggers: When using this system, if a spell or an ability has an effect that occurs when you reduce a delver to 0 or fewer hit points (such as the disintegrate spell), that effect is instead triggered when a delver is wounded. In the case of the harm spell or a similar effect where a delver cannot be reduced below 1 hit point by the spell or effect, a delver’s wound points cannot be reduced to or below that delver’s wound threshold.