House Rules-Vitality and Wound


Current Tasks




House Rules


Vitality and Wound Points

For a more “cinematic” feel for health and damage, this campaign will use the vitality and wound point variant. The basics of the system will be outlined below, but for the full variant rules, see the SRD documentation here

The Basics

Here are the Basics for the variant health system.

Vitality Points

  • Vitality points represent a heroes ability to turn a hit into a graze or a glancing blow with no serious consequences. For purposes of level and class, the Vitality points function just like Hit Points in the standard system. They increase with each level based on character class and constitution score. They are calculated exactly the same as Hit Points are.

Wound Points

  • Wound Points are a representation of how much damage a character can actually take. A characters wound points are equal to that characters CON score.
  • A first level fighter with a CON score of 16(bonus +3) would have 13(10 +3) Vitality Points and 16(CON Score) Wound Points. Upon adding fighter level two, he would add (d10 +3) Vitality Points but his Wound Points would remain at 16.

Dealing Damage

Basic Hits

  • Each hit dealt to a character is dealt first to his Vitality Points then when those reach zero, to the characters Wound Points until both are zero.

Critical Hits

  • Critical hits function differently in this system. Rather than multiply damage, a critical hit instead deals normal attack damage directly to Wound Points.
  • Critical hits bypass any damage reduction, regardless of whether or not the attack would normally do so.
  • Because critical hits do not multiply damage, no weapon in this system has a critical multiplier. Instead, for every multiple above X2, add 1 to the threat range instead. Factors like keen and improved initiative can then be taken into account afterwards.
  • Bonus Damage attacks(Such as a flaming weapon, or a sneak attack) deal an additional 1 damage per dice(d1-d10) or 2 damage per dice(d12<) on a critical instead of the normal d6 or more that they may receive. On non critical hits, they function normally as a basic attack and add their full bonus.
  • Bonus damage that only applies on critical hits (Flaming burst), applies the 1 or 2 points of damage to the critical, and adds a full dice roll to the Vitality point damage. If the full damage dice cannot be applied to Vitality points it is lost. For example, a + 1 Flaming Burst Longsword (d8 + d6 fire + 1 dmg) +d10 on crit would deal d8 + d6 + 1 damage on a normal successfull attack and those would be distributed to VP then WP as normal. On a critical, the weapon deals d8 + (1) + 1 dmg straight to WP. An additional d10 is dealt to VP if possible. If not, only the WP damage is dealt.
Multiplier New Threat Range
X3 19-20
X4 18-20
X5 17-20

Sneak Attack

  • For a successful sneak attack, deal normal damage and sneak attack damage to the vitality points in the same manner as a basic attack. See the rules for critical hits for a critical hit that involves sneak attack dice as well.

Taking Damage

Non Lethal Damage

  • No distinction is made between lethal and non-lethal damage in this system. Non-lethal damage takes from Vitality Points first except on a critical in which case it removes Wound Points.

Wound Point Damage

  • After the first Wound damage a character takes(even 1), he becomes fatigued (-2 STR, -2 DEX, no running or charging) until 8 hrs of rest or all the Wound Points are healed(whichever is first). However, additional Wound Point damages do not cause the character to become exhausted.
  • Additionally, after each instance of Wound Point damage, a character must make a Fort Save (DC 5 +Wounds lost) or be stunned for d4 rounds.
  • Although Wound Points initially equal the CON score of a character, Wound Point damage does not affect the characters actual constitution score. So taking Wound Points from a critical say, does not lower your Constitution score(And by result, Vitality Points, Fort Save, and other CON based attributes).

Constitution Damage

  • Although Wound Points do not reduce the base Constitution score, CON damage DOES reduce Wound Points. For every point of Constitution damage, a Wound Point is removed. For every 2 pts of Constitution damage, Vitality Points are also reduced by the characters HD.

0 Wound Points

  • Wound Points cannot be reduced below 0. If an attack would reduce Wound Points below 0, they are simply set at 0.
  • At 0 Wound Points, a character must make a DC 15 Fort save. If he succeeds he is merely disabled" but if he fails he becomes unconscious and begins dying
  • A disabled character is conscious, but can only take a single move or standard action each turn (but not both, nor can he take full-round actions). He moves at half speed. Taking move actions doesn’t risk further injury, but performing any standard action (or any other action the GM deems strenuous, including some free actions such as casting a quickened spell) worsen the character’s condition to dying (unless it involved healing; see below).

Death and Dying


  • A dying character is unconscious and must make a Fort Save(DC 10 +1 per turn after first).
  • * If the save fails, the character dies.
  • * If the save succeeds by less than 5, the character must make another save next round.
  • * If the save succeeds by 5-10, the character is stable but unconscious
  • * If the save succeeds by 10+, the character is conscious and disabled.
  • Another character can make a dying character stable by succeeding on a DC 15 Heal Check.


  • A stable character is unconscious but must make a series of Fort saves to recover as well. For more information see the SRD


Natural Healing

  • Vitality Points are healed naturally at a rate of 1 VP/char lvl/hr
  • Wound Points are healed naturally at a rate of 1 WP/char lvl/ 8hrs rest

Assisted Healing

  • A Long-Term care Heal check can be made to double the rates of natural healing

Magical Healing

  • Magical healing functions slightly differently in this variant as well. Spells that apply a varied amount of HP gain based on dice rolls apply those points to restore Vitality points, any fixed number bonus applies to Wound Points.
  • For Example, a third level cleric who casts Cure light wounds heals (d8+class lvl). The d8 heals Vitality Points and the +3 heals Wound Points.
  • Spells with a fixed number of health restored(Heal for example) apply first to Wound Points then to Vitality Points.

House Rules-Vitality and Wound

Adventures in Arda wolma