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Page 725 in Cocoyashi Village
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Average Rating: 5
Number of people who have voted: 2

By the same author as Grand Line 3.5


10th Aug 2015, 12:53 AM

Probably one of the biggest glaring flaws in the D&D system is that you need to go to 0 nonlethal damage in order to be knocked out non-lethally, which becomes rather tedious when you're dealing with characters that have massive amounts of HP. It's a mechanic that's incredibly unrealistic but exists for good reason, if it didn't things would become massively broken and rendering things unconscious non-lethally would be the go-to means of dispatching enemies.

I suppose one way of getting around this would be to implement a second HP scale, the usual for lethal and one (smaller, I'd say 1/10th the size of lethal HP but harder to knock your points down without grappling or using sneak attacks) scale for nonlethal damage, but that just adds another stat to keep track of.

What do you guys think?

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10th Aug 2015, 1:26 AM

I've seen something similar for non-D&D systems: GURPS 3e had an optional rule called "Stun Points" which would be based off of HP. Unsurprisingly given that GURPS handles most of this different, the actual concept made "Stun Points" a multiple of Hit Points (GURPS HP scores are far lower than D&D) and instead had attacks do varying stun damage versus real damage.

Attacks thought of as particular lethal (like bullets) might do their usual HP damage and then massive amounts of stun damage. Attacks often used more for dramatic effect (like unarmed attacks) might have their usual damage apply only to Stun Points while a fractional amount (if any) applied to actual HP.

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10th Aug 2015, 2:39 AM

I'm just gonna go ahead and link you this, since you're talking about realism.

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10th Aug 2015, 9:31 AM
"3.5 Player's Handbook p.146"

I think it's a damn shame that nobody reads the player's handbook.
"when your nonlethal damage equals your current hit points, you’re staggered, and when it exceeds your current hit points, you fall unconscious."

I am assuming you are referencing the all too common mistake that in 3.5 people have two hit point tracks, one for lethal and one for nonlethal, that do not interact at all. When in fact your hp gets lowered by lethal damage and when nonlethal damage exceeds your current hit points you fall unconscious.

That said, yes, it can still be a pain to get the tank to go down, whether it be to lethal or nonlethal damage.

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10th Aug 2015, 1:38 PM

No I'm fully aware that there's only one HP pool, that's what I'm saying the problem is. There's no way to do a quick stun or silent takedown on someone with a bucketload of HP because nonlethal and lethal damage come from the same source in D&D, and even trying to do so without magic or something would take for-friggin-ever!

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10th Aug 2015, 2:13 PM

I'm not sure I understand the complaint.

Is there a way to do a quick and noisy lethal takedown on such a character with those same restrictions?

What would be the point of making a tanky character if there were an easy way for Joe Smith to just knock him out?

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11th Aug 2015, 11:35 AM

The complaint is that you can't simulate those movies where someone wants to avoid detection and not kill people can knock out people with a hit to the head. It's not for something that can be pulled in combat...

There are rules to choke someone with a wire, but they are far from feasible, as the do little damage, characters can hold breath for minutes, and it requires grappling, which would rarely work out for the sneaky thief.

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11th Aug 2015, 4:08 PM

Hm, a rogue should be able to do that very thing, to the mooks. Unless of course the DM does not want this to be a sneaky stealth mission and/or hates the player.

Let's do a thought experiment, you want to be the sneaky guy who goes in by himself and knocks out any guards he comes across. Let's see if we can make that happen. I'll use Pathfinder since that's what I know.
At level 1, a rogue with a sap can deal 2d6+Str nonlethal with a sneak attack. A level 1 warrior npc should have about 6 hp. Even without a strength mod, you should knock him out 72% of the time. Say you have a strength mod of 1, that jumps to 83%. Say you took the feat Sap Adept from Ultimate Combat, that's another point of damage. 91% of the time, you are dropping that npc guard in one blow. At level one, especially if you're a burly rogue, this is entirely feasible.

Let's jump ahead a couple levels. Level 3. Let's say you took Sap Master as your feat, so you roll double the dice for sneak attack against a flat footed target. So for a sneak attack with your sap you are rolling 1d6 from sap, +2d6 sneak attack +2d6, Sap Master, +2 from Sap Adept, +1 Str. So 5d6+3, average damage for that should be 20.5.
A guard, from the gamemastery guide, is a warrior 3 and has 19hp. So over half the time, you can knock one of those guys out in one blow. And there are good odds you'll go before them in Initiative since their Init is +0, so before they can do anything, you will likely get a chance to smack them again. Of course, if that is not your build, then that's only 3d6+1Str. Will you knock that 19hp guard out in one go like that? Almost certainly not. So if the guards are of comparable levels as you, you're kind of SoL.

Now, I don't know 3.5 too well, but I would be shocked if there was not a way to do this or better using it. And ultimately, it depends on the type of game your DM is running. If you're both on the same page then sneak attack bonking your way through an area will work just fine, but if you're trying to do that and it is not that type of game. You will run into some troubles.

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15th Aug 2015, 4:22 AM
"Secret Agent Greatsword Rogue"

A buddy of mine is running us through Fangwood Keep. I'm playing a level 4 Rogue with an 18 Strength and a +1 Greatsword. We have been sneaking around and taking out any guards we've come across. Thus far I have personally one shotted 2 hobgoblins and a goblin snake before they could make a sound, the rest of the party dealt with their partners, and thus we have raised no alarms. It's been amazing that this happened immediately after we just talked about doing this.

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9th Apr 2016, 4:39 PM
"HP as a concept"

This whole discussion attached to *Sigh*'s comment brings me to another discussion that often gets overlooked.

How do you typically depict HP loss on your character? It definitely should vary from system to system, but I've heard even among my friends different ways of thinking of it.

Some people treat it like a life bar in a video game. Take a hit, fine, take a hit, fine, take a hit, fine, take a hit, dead.

Some paid attention when 4e made a big deal about the halfway point. "Oh, I'm bloodied now. I was fine up until two hit points ago, but I passed the threshold with that love tap."

Some like to think that they slowly become more disabled as the HP drains. "Well I'm down by about a third of my health, so I'm kinda limping along." GMs tend to discourage this by noting the disparity between HP and called shots/permanent limb injuries.

I like to think of it as an overall battle weariness. Taking hits in combat doesn't even necessarily mean you've taken damage, in my opinion, just that you're wearing yourself out with combat prowess, dodging and blocking and surviving. Combat featuring weapons and living beings is usually a single hit sort of affair. So the way I figure, 0HP is the mark at which the character finally takes a wounding blow, something that if untreated will leave them to bleed out and die. (Or other variations, depending on what is killing them.) I tend to roleplay a combat after which I survive with a single digit sum of HP as having been particularly harrowing, whereas if I drop sub-zero hard enough, I'll take that opportunity to see if my character should be disabled thereafter, per the GM.

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10th Aug 2015, 3:14 AM

Pretty sure the pathfinder rule is that if non lethal damage exceeds CURRENT hp the person is knocked out so you could just attack someone normally until they were almost dead and THEN knock them out.

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Yuko Hoon

Yuko Hoon

10th Aug 2015, 6:32 AM

To tell the truth... It's easier to get them under 0 hp with normal damage and then heal them to 0 hp. Of course, if you want to make sure you don't kill the poor guy, yeah, the rules would work that way. Or at least, my group considers that's how they work.

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Joe the Rat

10th Aug 2015, 9:08 AM

That's how it worked in 3.5 as well. Your hit points go down, your non-lethal damage went up, and when B exceeded A you passed out.

The problem with easy knockout rules is coup de grace: Tap on head, target is helpless. Bypass all their hit points in two rounds.

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10th Aug 2015, 9:40 AM

Somebody actually read the rules! I'm so happy!

Yes, Pathfinder Core page 191, "when your nonlethal damage equals your current hit points, you’re staggered (see below), and when it exceeds your current hit points, you fall unconscious."

Yeah, in this scenario I think it is safe to say that Zoro's hit points are probably pretty low.

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10th Aug 2015, 5:22 AM
"Tell a Story: About your own Leroooooooooooooy"

We all have that one time. When we had the party member who said, "Okay, fuck them, and fuck you guys. I'm charging." Thereby screwing up all the (overly) carefully laid plans the party had been setting up.

Tell us about your glorious victory, or more likely, the shitstorm that fell upon you all.

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10th Aug 2015, 8:19 AM

Well, if charging straight from character introduction into a shootout with the cops which got the character hospitalized and the player kicked from the game counts, then that from the Call of Cthulu game I spectated and mentioned a couple times over on Friendship is Dragons.

Technically though the party hadn't gotten a chance to make any plans yet.

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lemme tell y'all about-

10th Aug 2015, 9:02 AM

Nikolai Morgan. otherwise known as Morgue.
A super villian who was tough enough to tank an M1 Abrams shell to HIS FACE and could duel wield said tank(s).

He didnt really have the smarts to NOT run into the jaws of the enemy trap, but NOTHING was bringing him down easy.

The other two players? The super mage and the FORCE CONTROL green lantern analogue? THEY PLANNED AROUND MORGUE. We tried one plan. ONE.

Morgue died and the 'green lantern' was tricked to going back into space. Then the mage BURNED DOWN A CONCRETE BULDING OVER AND OCEAN. out of spite.

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17th May 2016, 7:13 AM

Alright, so we were playing 5e D&D, and our characters (about level 4) were trapped in a Drow prison. We get out of the cell, and start opening the other cells until we have a nice mass of prisoners. Unfortunately, this is when the BBEG (a CR 9 Drow priestess) decides to show up.

Whilst the party is in various stages of crapping themselves, my Half-Orc Fighter/Cleric steps up, casts light on his glaive, and screams "CHAAAARGE!" The entire force of prisoners charge the priestess...

...And all die to an insect swarm. My character just about survives, and takes a swing which (because I cast light it gave disadvantage) ended up hitting and setting the barbarian up for another huge hit. With more than half her HP gone, the Drow was forced to run away, and the riot began in earnest.

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10th Aug 2015, 11:44 AM

The way I understood the rules was as follows:
PC has 50hp. They take 20 lethal (from multiple stab wounds). They then take 25 non lethal from multiple sap attacks. If they more than 6 points of damage (either lethal or non lethal) then they go unconscious.

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Kip Shades

10th Aug 2015, 4:18 PM

As many issues as 4e has, the fact that you can choose whether the finishing blow is lethal or non-lethal is pretty nice, reducing the numbers you have to keep track of and streamlining it down to "Do you leave them for dead or opt to spare them" Of course, that still creates the issue of dispatching someone non-lethally only slightly harder than dispatching them lethally.

Though I do think the GURPS thing is pretty cool but that's because I actually like GURPS.

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11th Aug 2015, 12:41 AM

Pulling a Leeroy Jenkins is admirable, but only if you win.

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Unknown Fool

11th Aug 2015, 1:21 AM

If it's stupid and works, it's not stupid.

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11th Aug 2015, 2:31 AM
"The Seventy Maxims of Maximally Effective Mercenaries"

43. If it's stupid and it works, it's still stupid and you're lucky

And for reference.

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17th Aug 2015, 2:32 PM

I like FATE because you just need to point out your knocking unconscious the target not killing them.
Its really good that way.
Iron Kingdoms its a Physique check vs a DC based on the weapon & strength of the person trying to knock them unconscious

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