I know we have had this conversation before.
D&D: HPs. All good until down. I know we have talked about the 'no penalties' on the way down. Star Wars Saga introduced a Condition Track to go with it (which I liked). I also know I returned to liking D&D's simplicity.
Savage Worlds: we had the wounds system, but minor penalties too. This was good except where creatures had really high Toughness. But wounds were immediate and real.
Cypher System: Uses the same pools for wounds as to fuel powers which is interesting.
AGE Engine: Health like D&D but armor reduces the damage. So when powerful you will be in fights vs creatures that can hit but not harm you. Not ideal.
The main thing I have been worried about is a system with guns. Taking many shots just doesn't seem right sometimes. That's what made Savage Worlds satisfying, esp vs mooks, but even PCs could accumulate wounds that mattered.
Cypher System is fun, but again with such set damage (which is low vs PCs on starting pools) it gets odd describing taking so many 'shots'.
Some cool developments I am seeing in this area:
Year Zero Engine: (Used for Coriolis & Mutant:YZ) seems to make getting shot = bad. Your health is not very high in the 1st place. But the really cool part is that armor reduces damage (like AGE), BUT only sometimes. Your armor rating = dice pool, just like attacks. So for every 6 you roll you eliminate a point of damage. I love this, as it is not a guarantee and minor enemies can still hurt you.
I am receiving Fragged Empire soon, so I am interested to see how they handle it.
But, I came across this today:
Alternity Damage & Health
This looks awesome. (I will talk about return of Alternity game as a whole elsewhere). I don't need to explain, they do it all in the link, but how cool is that?
Health & Wounds are a pretty core mechanic to all games. I am fine with the whittling down HPs for D&D, but when the guns come out, I am looking for a little more. Even the Cypher System (which I love) still does not reflect this well.
I know 'health' can also be luck, near misses, energy spent avoiding etc, but as a GM it does get weird stating this over and things like, "The slikk shoots his flechette rifle at you. Hits. Take 4 damage!" which could be nothing for a healthy PC.
Anyway, just putting it out there how systems do things to simulate this and how Alternity sounded great. Coriolis is cool too.
“It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit.” – Harry S. Truman