Greetings, folks. First-timer here. Recently came across Open Legend RPG and I was impressed enough to purchase my own physical copy along with the Banes and Boons decks.
I’d like to present alternate rules for taking damage below zero hit points.
Alternate Rules for taking damage below Zero Hit Points
Whenever a PC or NPC created via a complex build reaches zero hit points, make a Toughness resist roll vs. CR 10 + any excess damage remaining from the attack that brought you to zero hit points.
If you succeed, you suffer no further effects. If you fail, you take one level of the Fatigued bane for every 3 points you failed the roll by. If you lose consciousness due to reaching Fatigued level 5 from taking damage below zero hit points, recovering from unconsciousness takes 2d4 hours instead of 24 hours.
If you want to represent the effects of lethal damage as presented in the core rule book with this house rule, make it so that when a character is not in combat, they don’t have access to their hit point pool (making them effectively having zero hit points). Taking damage outside of combat, then, should go by the rules of taking damage at zero hit points listed above.
NPCs created via a simple build fall unconscious at zero hit points. If the damage they took from an attack exceeded their current hit points, they must make a Toughness resist roll vs. CR 10 + any excess damage or die.
This house rule makes it so that hit points represent a buffer to the debilitating effects of injury (as represented by the Fatigued bane), making them behave more like plot armor. It also makes taking damage outside of combat more consequential.
If you find that this house rule makes hit point totals too large, you can subtract hit point pools by 5 (or even 10) to compensate, since characters can still function at zero hit points but are much more vulnerable.
Alternate Lethal Strike (I-IX) feat
This re-write of the Lethal Strike (I-IX) feat is meant to be used in conjunction with the “Alternate Rules for Taking Damage below Zero Hit Points” house rule.
Under this house rule, Lethal Strike (I-IX) is re-written as follows:
- Cost: 3
- Tier 1-9: Agility 3
- Effect: Under certain conditions, you can take some of the damage you deal and convert it to lethal damage, forcing the target to make a Toughness resist roll vs. CR 10 + any damage you deem to convert to lethal (up to the maximum dictated by the tier of Lethal Strike you possess or less). Also, meeting the required conditions for a Lethal Strike will grant you advantage dictated by the tier of Lethal Strike you possess.
- Tier 1 – Advantage 1, can convert up to 3 damage into lethal damage.
- Tier 2 – Advantage 2, can convert up to 3 damage into lethal damage.
- Tier 3 – Advantage 3, can convert up to 6 damage into lethal damage.
- Tier 4 – Advantage 4, can convert up to 6 damage into lethal damage.
- Tier 5 – Advantage 5, can convert up to 9 damage into lethal damage.
- Tier 6 – Advantage 6, can convert up to 9 damage into lethal damage.
- Tier 7 – Advantage 7, can convert up to 12 damage into lethal damage.
- Tier 8 – Advantage 8, can convert up to 12 damage into lethal damage.
- Tier 9 – Advantage 9, can convert up to 15 damage into lethal damage.
- You must meet at least one of the following conditions in order to utilize Lethal Strike:
- Your target is caught off guard or otherwise unaware of the attack, such as when you are hidden from them, disguised as a friend, or have successfully deceived them.
- Your target is within melee attack range of an ally.
If an NPC created via a simple build fails their Toughness resist roll from the Lethal Strike feat, they simply die.
The inspiration for this house rule came from the way The Expanse RPG dealt with taking excessive damage that you couldn’t cancel with Fortune Points. The Fatigued bane seemed like the perfect bane to emulate compounding injury, so it seemed like the best existing rule to integrate.