Here it is! Alternative Death Rules for ICRPG
- When reduced to zero hit points, you are now “Dying.” You can move Close and act, or you can dash and move Near. (Basically movement is cut in half)
- On your next turn, roll a d6 for a Dying timer. In that many of your turns you are Dead.
- To Stop the Dying countdown, an Ally must reach you and help, making a “Don’t die on me man!” attempt of some kind.
- If you take damage while Dying and you reach -10 HP. You are now Dead.
The idea for this was to change the dynamic of dying a little bit. I didn’t like how when a player was Dying they were effectively out of the game. So I decided to figure out a solution of some kind.
One option is to have the player die as soon as they reach 0HP. While that would mean they only play if there is something they could do, It also means there is no “Emergency State” in the system to signal to the player that it might be a good time to retreat and recover. Having a player die because of a bad dice roll is part of the game, but I didn’t want it to be quite that lethal.
Another option is one that a lot of games take, and that is to replace instant death with falling unconscious. While this does prevent the character from dying suddenly from a bad role, and this does provide an “Emergency State” for the player. It also means the player doesn’t get to play the game when they are “down”.
The falling unconscious method provides a “Emergency State” for the player, but it only kicks in when the character can no longer do anything about it. So rather than have the switch for the “Emergency State” happen then. I decided upon a third option, which I present here.
This way, the character can still be their reckless, adventuring selves. And when they push their luck too far, the system kicks in with an “Emergency State” that alerts the player that they better do something before their timer runs out, or they will die. This changes the threshold from below the level of unconsciousness and dying, to above it. They get to act in this state, trying to heroically save themselves or a friend. And this happens while the player can still do something about it.
I realize that this might seem like I am just doubling character’s HP. But I don’t think it will play out that way, because the Dying Timer is going.
Anyway, just thought I would share. What are your guys thoughts about dying in RPGs?