Dire Damage (5e Variant Rule)

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Dire Damage[edit]

Design Note: This variant rule can be extremely punishing, including permanent damage, or changes to characters. Players may also incur many changes to ability modifiers, and other gameplay mechanics that must be actively tracked. It should not be used lightly, or without a full understanding of the rules by each player, and the DM.

This rule completely changes the way that damage is received for player characters, placing an emphasis on body parts, and adding additional effects based on damage types. This rule is most easily used with humanoids, or other similarly structured creatures. Creatures such as oozes, or creatures with additional limbs, when compared to a standard humanoid, may require an imaginative adaption of these rules.

Divide your max HP by 8 you will get a number. (if your max hp is 80 then that number is 10) every time you take that amount of damage OR if your attacker crits then you take a wound. The effect of set wound will depend on the type of damage and the body part.

(note if you have more than one wound that cause the same effect then the effects stack. example a wound that cuts your movement speed in half from 30 ft to 15 ft when stacked would cut it in half again from 15 ft to 7 ft) , Lastly before listing the types of wounds there is wound levels. If a body part that already has a wound gets another its wound level goes up. The wound level is the amount of time the wound will naturally last unless healed. , etc.

Note: I decreased the number so that way wounds happen at a more realistic rate, you can change them in your games.

(NOTE! If your hp drops to 0 BUT the final blow struck an arm or a leg AND your not bleeding then you don't have to make death saves!)

WOUNDS STACK Note: If you have more than one wound that cause the same effect then the effects stack. (example a wound that cuts your movement speed in half from 30 ft to 15 ft when stacked would cut it in half again from 15 ft to 7 ft).

HEALING WOUNDS. Because wounds happen when you take an 8th of your HP it takes that much Hp in healing to remove the wound. BUT the wound must be targeted by the healer. If you have more than 1 wound the healer must choose which to heal. (unless they have enough healing points to cover both at once) If you drink a healing potion then the wound(s) it heals are random or chosen by the gm. Pouring a healing potion on a wound will cause that wound to heal.

WOUND LEVELS If a body part that already has a wound gets another its wound level goes up. The wound level is the amount of time the wound will naturally last unless healed. In an attack you can cause multiple levels of wounds(For example if the creatures number is 5 and you deal 11 damage and crit the creature will gain 3 wounds on that body part).

Table: Wound Level[edit]

Number of Wounds Result
1 If a body part has one wound it can be healed normally.
2 If a body part has 2 wounds a short rest is required before the wound can be removed.
3 If a body part has 3 wounds then a long rest and care (varying on the wound type) is required before the wound can be removed.
4 (AT ONCE the body part stops working can't holding any thing with this hand can think with this head!) If a body part has 4 wounds then The body part requires medical care within the next hour either enough healing magic to restore hp to full spent solely on this body part, or care likely involving Medicine cheeks of DC 16s or higher. And a long rest or else the body part will die. (once a body part is dead only powers that can bring the dead back can heal it) ALSO if a body part is dead it 100% unusable.
5 (AT ONCE the body part stops working can't holding anything with this hand can think with this head!) If a body part has 5 wounds it requires the same type of care as level 4 but with the Medicine rolls likely being 19 or 21. AND it requires this happen within the next 1d4 turns or the body part die.
6 Same as 5 but the body part will die in 1 turn instead of a 1d4.
7 The body part dies at once and depending on the type of damage is likely removed from the body.
8 The body part is destroyed.

Wound Types[edit]

If it is not clear which body part an attack will hit, the table can be used to determine it randomly. (NOTE if you take an amount of damage that would normally cause your death but it hits a part of your body you don't need to survive you may still live.)

If a player wants to aim for one of the body parts on the d4 chart then just let them, but if they want to roll for a body part only found on the d20 chart raise the AC of the target by 3 for that attack and if they hit then they hit the body part they wanted. (IF they want a very small body part like the crotch or eyes then raise it by 6)

Table: Generic Wound Location[edit]

1d4 Wound Location Effect
1 Back Getting back up from prone now takes an extra action.
2 Belly make a Constitution cheek dc damage taken or else you throw up which will basically make you count as prone and unable to act for one turn.
3 Chest -3 Constitution (rolls) until wound removed.
4 Legs roll 1d2 to see which one: Movement speed and jumping distance is cut in half

Table: Specific Wound Location[edit]

1d20 Wound Location Effect
1 Upper Head this wound causes a -3 to Intelligence and Wisdom until the wound is gone.
2 Right Eye this wound causes you to be unable to see out of this eye, meaning you can't see anything on your right most side. Giving foes on that side advantage to hit you.)
3 Left Eye same as right eye but for your left side.
4 Right Ear You can't hear sounds coming from the right.
5 Left Ear same but for the left.
6 Mouth Any roll or action that would require you to speak (this includes spells with a verbal factor) receives a -5 penalty.
8 Neck Bleed effects on this body part deal double damage to you for each wound on this body part.
9 Upper Right Arm -3 to str cheeks and or attack rolls. (using the right arm or 2 handed weapons)
10 Upper Left Arm same as right but for left.
11 Lower Right Arm -3 to Dexterity cheeks and attack rolls. (using the right arm or 2 handed weapons)
12 Lower Left Arm same as lower right but for left.
13 Right Hand The moment you get this wound you must make a will saving throw using the damage +2 as a dc or drop ever is in your hand.
14 Left Hand same as right hand but the +5 becomes a +7 ((unless your left handed in which case right becomes +4 and left +5)
15 Upper Front Chest -3 Constitution (rolls) until wound removed.
16 Back Getting back up from prone now takes an extra action.
17 Belly make a Constitution cheek DC damage taken or else you throw up which will basically make you count as prone and unable to act for one turn.
18 Right Leg Movement speed and jumping distance is cut in half.
19 Left Leg same But as right leg but for left.
20 Crotch Make a will saving throw vs damage taken +5 or be stunned for 1d4 turns. (you may repeat the saving throw each turn to end this effect) BUT if your female the dc is damage taken -5 and it only lasts for 1 turn.

Damage Types[edit]

NOT only does the body part that is getting the wound cause an effect BUT the type of damage causing the wound also causes an effect that stacks on the body part effect. BUT it doesn't count as another wound so don't worry it will heal normally with the body part wound. (these wound effects go off either when the damage type listed deals enough damage to cause a wound OR when an attack of that type crits. IF its something the targets rolls again like a spell dc IF they roll a nat 1 then that counts as a crit for this ruling)

NOTE some of these will ask you to divide damage taken by a number THAT dose not mean to lower the damage taken It is asking you to do this math to find out what an effect will be an effect based on the damage of the attack divided by X.

Acid[edit]

When receiving acid damage, if the body part struck has armor, divide the amount of damage dealt by 5. The AC of the armor covered that body part is permanently lowered by that number. Otherwise, the creatures' Constitution and Charisma scores decrease by that number until wound is healed.

Bludgeoning[edit]

When receiving bludgeoning damage, the target must make a Constitution or will saving throw (player choice) vs the damage taken -4 (so if the damage was 15 the DC is 11) or else the bone in set body part be broken making set body part unable to move until the wound is healed. If the neck, back or upper head is the target then the creature becomes unable to move at all until they are healed.

Cold[edit]

When receiving cold damage, the target has their movement speed lowered by a number of feet equal to half the damage taken. If their movement speed is lowered to 0 they become frozen and unable to move or act at all. These effects are removed if the target takes any fire damage, or if the wound is healed. A fully frozen creature may also attempt DC 18 Strength saving throw at the end of each of their turns to break out.

Fire[edit]

First the target is set on fire dealing a flat 5 damage to them per turn (this can be put out by a bucket of water, taking any amount of cold damage, going under water or spending ones whole turn stop dropping and rolling) BUT if the target has metal armor on the metal heats up enough to cause them 2 damage per turn until the armor is removed Or until they take any frost damage. Lastly Constitution and Charisma are both lowered by 5 until the wound is healed.

Force[edit]

The target makes either Dexterity or Strength saving throw DC the amount of damage taken -4, or else they are pushed backwards a number of feet equal to the damage taken, and they take fall damage equal to how far they flew if they hit a solid standing object.

Lightning[edit]

Roll Constitution or will saving throw (players choice) vs a DC made from the attacks damage -4 or be stunned for a d4 turns. You may repeat the roll each turn in an effort to end the stunned condition however.

Necrotic[edit]

THIS WOUND CAN ONLY BE HEALED BY HOLY MAGIC! The HP can be healed normally but if the effect of this wound is not healed by Holy magic in 24 hours it becomes permanent! The DC is the damage taken -4. The target must make a Constitution or will saving throw vs this dc if they fail their maximum hit points are lowered by the amount of damage taken rolled as a dice. (Ex. If you take 12 necrotic damage, you'd roll 1d12 to see how much the max hp is lowered.) Also, if you roll a natural 1 against this effect DC then you age 2d10 years.

Piercing[edit]

If a piercing attack hits the upper front body there is a chance it will strike the heart or lungs. If the attack strike the heart then the target makes a con saving throw vs damage taken -6 if they fail then they get a level 6 wound on their heart. If it hits a lung the target makes Constitution saving throw vs damage -4 if they fail target starts to drown/die of lack of air under drowning rules until the wound is removed. (the likelihood of hitting those 2 targets is.) (( 1 heart, 2 right lung, 3 left lung, 3 NA 4 NA 5 NA 6 NA 7 NA 8 NA)

Poison[edit]

Make a Constitution saving throw vs the damage -4. If you fail you become poisoned, and come under the effects of whatever type of poison this poison is.

Psychic[edit]

Psychical healing does not remove the effects of this wound, the effects of this wound require either special magic or therapy up to the gm to heal. Make either a Wisdom or Intelligence saving throw vs the damage taken -6 or forget something. Roll-able examples.

  1. Who and where you are.
  2. Some key facts of your past gm's choice.
  3. One of your skill proficiencies.
  4. One of your class abilities such as a spell if your a magic user or weapon proficiency if your a warrior.
  5. Some of your education -2 to Int.
  6. Some small detail of little importance up to the gm, like 'where is the remote')

Radiant[edit]

(ONLY HOLY MAGIC CAN HEAL THESE EFFECTS) Make a Constitution or will saving throw DC the damage taken -4 or else your blinded depending on your alignment. You're blinded for 6 seconds if you're good, 12 seconds if you're neutral, and 24 seconds if you're evil.

Slashing[edit]

Divide the damage that this attack caused by 5. (so if it was 15 our number is 3). The target takes bleeding damage equal to that amount of damage every turn until the wound is healed. Bleeding damage is unaffected by resistance to slashing damage.

Thunder[edit]

Any glass items or crystal items that are in no way harder than normal on your person shatter when you take a thunder wound and then you roll Constitution saving throw vs damage -4 and if you fail you can't hear until this wound is healed.


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