Author Topic: Wound system  (Read 23206 times)

NON

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Wound system
« on: April 28, 2014, 08:26:57 AM »
I have an idea for a new wound system that I'd like to see your opinions on. This is intended for my game Infra Arcana, but could be applicable for most roguelikes.

In the current version of IA, a wound is received when you take a hit that does at least 6 damage. As Vanguard pointed out in this thread, this system can seem like you are being randomly penalized. I can agree with this. I suspect it would work better in a pen-and-paper RPG, where you roll the dice yourself and clearly see when and why wounds are happening.

If the idea explained below seems fun and solid, I would remove the "Wound" status effect from IA.

You have your regular cur/max HP:
HP:16/16

Now I was thinking that "critical" wounds could have the effect of lowering your maximum HP. For example you might have critical wounds corresponding to 2 HP. This could be represented in the interface like cur/max/potential HP:
HP:10/14/16

Your HP will regenerate naturally over time, up to the current maximum HP. To heal your critical wounds and raise your max HP to the potential max HP, you need to spend many turns healing, consuming medical supplies.

When should critical wounds be received? What I'm concidering is that this happens when you take damage while your HP is below 50% of maximum. For each HP lost below 50%, your max HP is also reduced by one.

For example:
You are at 10/20/20 HP. You take 4 damage. You are now at 6/16/20 HP. You have 4 HP worth of critical wounds.

Another example:
You are at 18/20/20 HP. You take 3 damage. You are now at 15/20/20 HP. No critical wounds was received in this case.

Yet another example:
You are at 12/20/20 HP. You take 4 damage. You are now at 8/18/20 HP. You have 2 HP worth of critical wounds.

This should make it much easier to see exactly when and why this is happening right? No hidden randomized numbers. You know that below 50% is the "danger zone".

It also makes (at least some) logical sense since HP is usually viewed as your general fighting ability, fatigue, and minor wounds, bruises, and sprains. Low HP would then mean that you are no longer in top fighting condition, and is unable to "ward off" attacks.

What do you think about this idea? Is there some game/roguelike that does something similar to this?

An alternative presentation could be cur/max(potential) HP, for example:
HP:10/14(16)
Maybe it's clearer.

Edit: If this system is too harsh, it could be tuned for example by halving the critical wound rate. For example if you lose 4 HP, your max HP is only reduced by 2. (This could also be implemented as Traits you can pick when gaining levels).
« Last Edit: April 28, 2014, 10:50:24 AM by NON »
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Endorya

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Re: Wound system
« Reply #1 on: April 28, 2014, 09:03:49 AM »
I don't see a problem with your system but I would still need to see it at play to understand how harsh it turns out to be. How fast will HP regenerated? How easily will you loose it? What skills can intervene in the process? I don't see any faults if properly balanced, though I still prefer having a more detailed damage system with limbs being cut off, wounded legs penalizing movement speed, eyes penalizing sight, punctured lungs or broken ribs heavily affecting stamina etc...
« Last Edit: April 28, 2014, 11:05:08 AM by Endorya »
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Endorya

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Re: Wound system
« Reply #2 on: April 28, 2014, 11:44:05 AM »
Your wounds system could track pretty much anything and not only critical hits. For example, if your char gets his HP to half it means he has suffered some decent damage and this should be taken into consideration in the penalization's formula, in fact I think it should be more about general damage received than special critical hits. Every hit the character would suffer could have a chance of producing a penalization wound. Graver hits would naturally have better chances of turning themselves into graver penalty type wounds. There could be even a skill, like thoughness, which could reduce the chance of having these physical conditions and the same thing could be said of having skills to increase the penalization rate when striking your foes - assuming foes are equality treated as far as damage mechanics is concerned.

In practical terms a list with types of wounds could be created and attached to attacks modes (or not) and then the character himself would have a list with all active penalties which could arouse during battles. So the following wounds could be resulted after a battle (since you are not tracking local damage to specific body parts, wound description bellow is kinda vague):

- 2x Light bruise
- Heavy muscle strain
- Minor bleeding
- Concussion
- Fractured bone
- 3x Minor cut
- 2x deep cut

Some or all these conditions could have an internal timer for healing by themselves and / or require a particular skill or item or a doctor type NPC to remove them.

Sorry, I just tend to add complexity to everything I do because I tend to view the simple stuff as boring and unimpressive. This is not always a good thing but I simply can't help it.

« Last Edit: April 28, 2014, 12:01:10 PM by Endorya »
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NON

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Re: Wound system
« Reply #3 on: April 28, 2014, 12:08:32 PM »
The system you are describing is pretty much exactly what I have now. You just differentiate wounds into subtypes.

Quote
Every hit the character would suffer could have a chance of producing a penalization wound.
That's exactly how it is now, and that's what I want to get away from (random, unpredictable penalties).

Also, I prefer a simpler, more abstract system, rather than "fractured bone", "deep cut", etc. Explicit wounds draws too much attention to how the character can survive multiple axe wounds, stabbings, getting shot with a pistol, etc, and in just a short moment heal up to perfect health. With hit points or a very abstract "wound" counter I'm more Ok with this.

I know wounds like the one's you listed can be interesting, and make the game more gritty and realistic. But it really shines a strong light on the more implausible aspects of it.
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NON

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Re: Wound system
« Reply #4 on: April 28, 2014, 12:13:12 PM »
Quoting myself here, from the first post:
Quote
Your HP will regenerate naturally over time, up to the current maximum HP. To heal your critical wounds and raise your max HP to the potential max HP, you need to spend many turns healing, consuming medical supplies.
Alternatively, critical wounds could also regenerate, just very slowly (something like 200 turns for 1 HP). This would give you at least a chance to surive if you run out of medical supplies.
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Zireael

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Re: Wound system
« Reply #5 on: April 28, 2014, 12:23:50 PM »
I like the idea and you could combine it with the Wound status or some other log message or something for greater immersion.

AgingMinotaur

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Re: Wound system
« Reply #6 on: April 28, 2014, 12:47:09 PM »
It's been months since I had the chance to have as much as a cursory glance at my own project (Land of Strangers), but I've been thinking about a similar idea. Health would be divided into "Wound levels", which in turn contain a number of "Hits". Let's say a normal human being has 3 Wound levels, each of which can take 2 Hits (easy to mark up like this: [2,2,2]). If you take a single Hit, it will regenerate in the next round, but if a Wound level goes down to zero remaining Hits, it won't regenerate until you get medical attention. My original idea was to have each attack deal a flat amount of damage. What I'll probably try out, however, is to assign two values to any kind of damage: First, how many Wound levels it affects, secondly how many Hits is taken from each Wound level. Going unharmed for one turn regenerates one Hit in a single Wound level. A table of damage might look something like:

Fist blow: 1/1 (1 Hit taken from 1 Wound level, puts a human down to [2,2,1])
Club: 2/1 (1 Hit taken from 2 Wound levels, puts a human down to [2,1,1])
Knife: 1/2 (2 Hits taken from 1 Wound level, puts a human down to [2,2,0])
Sword: 2/2
Derringer: 3/1
Six-shooter: 2/2
Hunting rifle: 2/3
Falling boulder: 3/2
Train: 4/3

This would be for a system where combat is quite deadly. Ie. the player would be expected to shoot first and ask questions later (and never, ever get hit by a train), if s/he expects to live for any extended period of time. It's also to be sewn into a system where characters are defined by traits ("scrawny" means you have only two Wound levels, "fat" gives you an extra Hit per Wound level, "vigorous" means you regenerate Hits at twice the normal rate, etc.)

It's mostly on paper for now (there's a prototype with a thorn bush doing (1,1) damage), so I'll have to experiment to see how it works out in practice. Some fights might be non-lethal, ending once someone loses a Wound level, for instance. So you might not die from a bar brawl, but perhaps wake up in the desert, stripped of your possessions and one Wound level short of what you'd like.

As always,
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Endorya

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Re: Wound system
« Reply #7 on: April 28, 2014, 01:25:02 PM »
That's exactly how it is now, and that's what I want to get away from (random, unpredictable penalties).

Well if you want to avoid random penalties then you just need to create a damage template. Set a percentage for wounds based on the character's current HP. Assuming the character's maximum HP is 20 and the wound factor is 40%, when he gets to 50% the character will have a total of 20% of wounds over his maximum HP, in other words 4hp penalty to his maximum HP. Anyway, AgingMinotaur's suggestion seems also to be a good solution for what you seek; add wound levels or efficient levels based on the character's current health. I would make it 5 levels, i.e. steps of 20%.

Quote from: NON
I know wounds like the one's you listed can be interesting, and make the game more gritty and realistic. But it really shines a strong light on the more implausible aspects of it.

Yeah, I see what you mean and I fully agree with it. The descriptions I posted are indeed for more realistic combat mechanics. For an "arcadier"game play you should definitely be less detailed about injuries. I guess the words: wound or injury are the ones you seek.
« Last Edit: April 28, 2014, 01:34:08 PM by Endorya »
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Rickton

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Re: Wound system
« Reply #8 on: April 28, 2014, 01:55:39 PM »
It sounds like a pretty good idea (though I would have to see it in practice), but I don't think it should be 1 for 1 when you're below 50%, that seems really harsh, and that if you took too much damage, even if you survived the encounter you're pretty much screwed.
Also once the max HP is reduced, is the 50% mark still the original MHP or the new MHP?
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NON

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Re: Wound system
« Reply #9 on: April 28, 2014, 02:01:56 PM »
Also once the max HP is reduced, is the 50% mark still the original MHP or the new MHP?
I imagine it would be 50% of the current max HP. Otherwise if you were at 10/10(20) for example, you'd receive critical wounds for any damage at all, even just a little bite from a rat.
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Legend

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Re: Wound system
« Reply #10 on: April 28, 2014, 04:57:22 PM »
Personally, I don't see an issue with how wounds work now in the game.  A chance of receiving a wound when you receive a critical hit is pretty fair and still adds challenge.

The thought of receiving a wound for every single point of damage done below %50 health seems like it will turn out quite annoying. The player is often swamped by enemies and the opportunity to use the medical bag to treat those wounds uninterrupted seems very slim.  Especially considering that by the time you get them, you are already low on health. It also sounds like it will make healing potions less effective in the middle of a fight when they are needed the most.

I could see it being more reasonable if the current wound system was combined with the idea of having them occur after the player has reached below %50 or even %75 health. But as a chance of happening and 1-2 wounds for each critical hit that resulted in a wound.  Not for every single point of damage done.
« Last Edit: April 28, 2014, 05:00:40 PM by Legend »

NON

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Re: Wound system
« Reply #11 on: April 28, 2014, 06:13:39 PM »
Personally, I don't see an issue with how wounds work now in the game.  A chance of receiving a wound when you receive a critical hit is pretty fair and still adds challenge.
That's good to hear. Sometimes when you only see one or two negative opinions on something, and no positive, it's easy to think it's universally hated :P

I could see it being more reasonable if the current wound system was combined with the idea of having them occur after the player has reached below %50 or even %75 health.
Yeah I was thinking about that option as well. It could very well be applied to the current wound system, that you can only receive wounds below 50% HP. It could give some opportunity to back away before you take a wound. Thus adding some tactics and predictability to it.
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Vanguard

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Re: Wound system
« Reply #12 on: April 29, 2014, 04:41:03 AM »
One thing I've wanted to try for a while is a long-term injury system where every 10 points of damage you take causes your max health to go down by 1.  Maybe that would work for you?

If you go with the critical wounds thing, make sure you set the threshold low enough that people are being penalized for mistakes rather than just losing being punished arbitrarily.

I think the old wound system would work fine if you could only receive wounds when your health is below a certain point.

Legend

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Re: Wound system
« Reply #13 on: April 29, 2014, 04:56:58 AM »
One thing I've wanted to try for a while is a long-term injury system where every 10 points of damage you take causes your max health to go down by 1.


Really?  That sounds insane!  The only way I can see that working is if there was no actual goal in the game other than to survive as long as possible.

Vanguard

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Re: Wound system
« Reply #14 on: April 29, 2014, 05:45:24 AM »
Really?  That sounds insane!  The only way I can see that working is if there was no actual goal in the game other than to survive as long as possible.

The idea was to make a game built around attrition and endurance.  Most roguelike fights have no long-term meaning.  Either you win and recover or you die and the game's over.  With this system the outcome of one fight would affect future fights.

There'd be several dungeons and your max health would be restored whenever you returned to the overworld, but that would also cause the dungeon to repopulate/regenerate.  To clear one a dungeon you'd have to get through the entire thing in one go.