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Injury Threshold

Injury Threshold for player characters is going back to being an optional thing and I expect most players to not use it. It's 100% optional complexity and no longer something anyone has to deal with.

The default injury threshold is now zero so if you don't read this page, it works exactly as normal: you go down when you hit zero.

Recording a higher injury threshold is optional but can have some benefits and drawbacks. Read on if you're interested.

Standard Rules 0

HP is all fencing around and fun and games until somebody can't pay anymore, which means a real "hit" is recorded.

But a drawback is that we lose out on the trope of being damaged but awake.

With our rules, you feint the same second you get your leg chopped off.

The same goes for the pretties, they're unhurt & happy & healthy until they have 0.

Exceptions

Zombies have their own rules for this in the Monster Manual (making them harder to kill) and there are also some traps and attacks that kill outright at 0 hp.

And of course when a pretty or other non-player-character goes to zero, the DM can choose to not roll death saves and instead have them die right away. That's up to the DM.

With an Injury Threshold

The new rule separates the injuring hit from the hit that makes you faint. You take the injury when you hit your injury threshold.

If you do take a hit without fainting, you get 1 insp. You get it in time to use on the lingering injuries roll, but you don't have to use it for that, you could also use it for other things such as striking back at your foe (adrenaline rush!) or creating drama.

Here is an example with an injury threshold of 3.

You take the lingering injury when you go from strictly over your injury threshold, to at or below your injury threshold.

The default injury threshold is 0, i.e. you usually faint from most injuries.

But you can choose any injury threshold, as long as it's strictly lower than your max HP, at character creation or at level up. (When you level up you might lower or increase it as you wish.) However, you need to keep track of it. It's mandatory — when you go down to your injury threshold you have take the insp+injury, it's not an optional deal.

The best way to keep track of it is to divide your HP into two boxes. Let's say you have 24 total HP. You could write 12 in one box and 12 in the other box.

A recommended threshold (PHB page 197) is half your HP.

Benefits of a high injury threshold

  • Higher chance of you getting insp and if you use it on the lingering injuries roll you'll have a lower chance of arms & legs getting chopped off
  • Higher chance of enemy needing to spend 2 pieces of ammo to take you down
  • With a low injury threshold (such as zero), if you go down, get up again, go down, get up again — that's a lot of lingering injuries. With a high injury threshold you're not at risk of getting a new lingering injury until you've been healed to above your original injury threshold.
  • Most important: you get to look brutal af if you take a hit and still stand up and fight!