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The wounds system is no longer in use in any campaign, it was decomissioned in 2013

As young warriors becomes battle-hardened soldiers, they accumulate wounds that turn into scars. Some are mainly showing how much punishment these brave (or stupid) men and women survive on a regular basis, some are an actual hindrance when it's cold and wet outside.

The D&D Wound system is meant to increase the feeling of mortality in players, but without just adding more ways for pointless deaths. It's also meant to give more insight into fighting for your life and recuperation from injuries as well as appreciating the power of magical healing as well as making scars something to remember and be proud of. It's used with a couple of additional house rules for more balance, including minor alterations to natural healing. This system uses the idea of Hit Points as the average battle luck and skill rather than actual physical damage representation. If you are damaged in a sword fight, it's more likely than not that you will lose the fight (and probably die) rather than accumulating loads of tiny injuries that are easy to treat and heals quickly.

Table 1:1 - Wound Damage threshold

The Wound Damage of a character is the *highest* one of these options:

  • 5 points of damage (or 1/2 HD)
  • 2 + 1/lvl points of damage
  • CON modifier + 1/lvl points of damage*
  • DEX modifier + 1/lvl points of damage**
  • Fort modifier*
  • Ref modifier**
The following modifiers only applies to the matching asterisks (*):
* Diehard adds +1
* Endurance adds +1
* Toughness adds +1 each
** Combat Expertise adds +1
** Dodge adds +1
** Evasion/ImpE adds +1 (each)

Wound Rules

Each character has a *Wound Damage* threshold (calculated below), and if she recieves tat much damage in a turn (between the beginning of her turn through to the beginning of her next turn), a *Wound Roll* (Table 1:2) is made which decides if she gets wounded or dodges it. A Wound Roll is also made every time she recieves a Critical Hit or if the player takes a *calculated risk* (more on that below). The type of penalty is decided with a *Wound Penalty Roll* (Table 1:3). The DM can decide a fitting location for the wound, or make a *Location Roll* (Table 1:4).

In some of the cases, the character is very close to a mortal or devastating blow, but dodges or deflects it in the final moment and gets a rush of adrenaline. This is represented by a *Morale Boost Roll* (Table 1:3).

In all other cases, the character recieves a blow that creates a wound which will affect her in one way or another. Regardless of the penalty, she will have to roleplay the fact that she has a wound (either by visibly attempting to ignore it, or whine about it), as well as taking care of it as long as it's an *Open Wound*.

Table 1:2 - Wound Roll

The Wound Roll is a percentile roll. Add damage in excess to the Wound Damage recieved on to the roll. If a Wound is inflicted, you recieve the "base" (your Wound Damage) and the "excess" (the damage exceeding your Wound Damage). Note that severe Wounds apply the base Wound Damage more than once before adding the excess. It doesn't alter any rolls - only healing time and effort.

0-5 % Make two Morale Boost Rolls
6-25 % Make one Morale Boost Roll
26-50 % Wound (base), rp only
51-75 % Wound (base + excess), -1 until Heal Check
76-90 % Wound (base x2 + excess), -2 until Heal Check
91-95% Wound (base x3 + excess), -4 until Heal Check
96-100 % Wound (base x4 + excess), -4 until Heal Check.

Also: FORT DC20. Fail = 1 rd stun.

Fail >5 = stun 2D2 rds.

Fail >10 Unconscious (Heal Check DC15) 3D6x10 min to wake or 3D6 hours without Heal Check (violent wakeup deals a D4 ability damage from CON or INT, whichever is the higher ability).

101-105+% Wound (base x5 + excess), -6 til Heal Check.

Also: FORT DC25. Failing = (same as above).

Fail >15 = Shock (Heal Check DC20).

Any wound penalty greater than -2 will instead be multiple -2 penalties for two (or more) different things.

A player with new or old Wounds can ignore selected Wound penalties for one round by using their body at full capacity, but it deals them the penalty ignored in nonlethal damage.

Wound Healing

Table 1:4 - Morale Boost Roll


  • 20 Special Event *
  • 19 One Extra move action/turn
  • 18 Initiative +10 **
  • 17 HP (5 + clvl) ***
  • 16 Attack (+2)
  • 15 Damage (+2)
  • 14 Armor Class (+2)
  • 13 Combat Maneuvres (+2)
  • 12 STR, DEX & CON (+2)
  • 11 Extra Attack, once ****
  • 10 Attack (+1)
  • 09 Damage (+1)
  • 08 Armor Class (+1)
  • 07 Combat Maneuvres (+1)
  • 06 Base speed (+10)
  • 05 Deflect a hit, once *****
  • 04 STR, DEX & CON (+1)
  • 03 Extra Move action, once
  • 02 Saving Throws (+2)
  • 01 Skill checks (+2)
* DM's discretion. See section below.

** Can result in doing two turns in one round or none.
*** Hit Points in excess of your maximum counts as temporary Hit Points.
**** On your turn, make a Free Attack. If you used two-weapon fighting in your last attack, you may also do a secondary attack.

***** If an enemy rolls a hit against you, you can choose to deflect it. You need to declare this before damage is rolled.

Table 1:3 - Wound Penalty Roll


  • 10 Free shot & reroll *
  • 09 Max HP (x5)
  • 08 Initiative (x5)
  • 07 Attack Roll
  • 06 Damage **
  • 05 Armor Class
  • 04 Combat Maneuvres
  • 03 Base speed (x10) ***
  • 02 Saving throws (x2)
  • 01 Skill checks (x5)
* Attacker (only) gets one attack of opportunity against the wounded that does not count towards her limit of attacks of opportunity per turn.

** Multiply by 2 if two-handed weapon.
*** If lowered under 10 feet unencumbered, instead lower to 10 feet and fall prone once.

Wounds need to heal to go away. They heal after all lethal and non-lethal damage the PC has is healed, and then spread evenly amongst the wounds. The mechanics for healing Wounds is otherwise identical to regular Hit Points loss.

Open Wounds

A Wound is also an *Open Wound* until at least 50% of it has healed, at which point it becomes a *Closed Wound*. If the Wound has a penalty, it's either lowered by 1 point or is halved when it becomes a Closed Wound (whichever is higher). Any remaining penalties will stay until the Wound is healed completely.

An open Wound needs to be kept clean and requires a DC 15 Heal Check at least every 12 hours or has a chance of infection (Fort DC 5 + half the hours since last successful Heal Check; can take 10 or retry). New and/or sufficiently clean bandages cost 1cp. A failed attempt soils or ruins the bandage. A Closed Wound does not require this treatment.

Magic Healing

Table 1:4 - Location Roll


  • 20 Head
  • 19 Throat
  • 18 Left Shoulder
  • 17 Right Shoulder
  • 16 Left Upper Arm
  • 15 Left Upper Arm
  • 14 Right Upper Arm
  • 13 Right Upper Arm
  • 12 Left Lower Arm or Hand
  • 12 Right Lower Arm or Hand
  • 11 Torso
  • 10 Torso
  • 09 Stomach
  • 08 Groin
  • 07 Left Upper Leg
  • 06 Left Upper Leg
  • 05 Right Upper Leg
  • 04 Right Upper Leg
  • 03 Upper Right Leg
  • 02 Lower Left Leg or Foot
  • 01 Lower Right Leg or Foot

Magic healing always heal the most serious injury first, so the worst Open Wound is closed with one point of magical healing. More powerful healing magic closes more than one Wound at a time: 1 point or D8 close one, 2D8 close 2, 3D8 close 3, etc.

Special Event

If a "Special Event" is rolled, it could be any number of things: like something falls on the enemy and knocking him out, making an inferior combatant submit, lightning strikes close, stunning him one round and deafening after, you cut off an arm from a tentacle monster, knock a weapon out - at DM's discretion. The player *also picks a morale bonus effect from the list*.

  • Weigh it fairly:*
  • An inferior foe will have a significant disadvantage such as losing a large percentage of HP (50-100%), knocked unconscious or somehow else out of the combat
  • An equal opponent would have a decent disadvantage such as losing a significant portion of HP (10-30% or two hits) knocked prone, stunned a round etc
  • A superior foe would get a noticeable disadvantage such as losing a portion of HP (like an equal foe) losing a weapon (or more than one weapon) or breaking a piece of armour.
  • If the event would be of no great benefit to the person doing the roll, she picks a second effect from the list.

Calculated Risk

A combatant who is afraid to be killed or knocked unconscious in combat can avoid Hit Point loss by trying to dodge an attack using a Calculated Risk. The downside is that she may instead recieve a Wound.

To use Caculated Risk, declare it in an opponents turn, before she is rolling to hit. If the attack hits, instead of dealing normal damage, roll a Wound Roll. If a wound is dealt, roll damage to see if it's in excess to the Wound Damage threshold and deal with it normally. The damage from this attack does not count against other Wound Damage threshold, nor does the combatant lose those Hit Points. If the attack misses, the Calculated Risk paid off, and the character recieves a bonus instead, as normal.

Mortal Wound

If a character dies and is resuscitated or is the victim of a Death Attack, she recieves a Mortal Wound. A Mortal Wound is a Wound at base x4 with a -4 penalty (no Heal Check, since the character already would have recieved magical healing or a heal check to survive).

House Rules* & Roleplaying nav.. (e)


RP Intro
DnD 5e
Pathfinder 2e
DnD 3.5





Hero Points
Magic items

New Concepts



Kingdom creation



CoS 2
CoS 1
Coin & Blood



Death Attack
Magic (D20)*
  Residue Table*
Magic residue
  Rogue talent
Spell Trickery
Skill bonus
Skill training*
Damage Conversion

Other notes

From damage and healing, originally


Wounds are not used in all campaigns!

In an attempt to bring some realism and keeping as much as possible of the relatively quick gameplay of DnD, I added Wounds. These are actual injuries on a player and these takes a lot longer time to heal than "just a loss of hit points", while at the same time mostly have a pretty small impact on gameplay. In worst case scenarios, however, they DO affect gameplay, and to keep having to fight day after day will bring a character to a point where they will be easily defeated or even die.

This mechanic adds the requirement of the players to find a way to heal up before the next encounter, be that through expensive magical services or through spending days or weeks in bed taking it slow.

Because most wounds simply accumulate, and are "manageable", a character can have several at once without a massive issue. However, if she is unlucky and receives another wound which gives penalties, it will take a very long time for the body to heal that wound, since it's also healing all the other wounds at the same time.

Wounds then don't become a massive nerf or killability of characters, but a somewhat realistic system to make them slow down their pace, or at least be very careful, if they have a couple of wounds.