Monster damage and death

2 questions.
-From what I have found so far, PC when going to 0hp go unconscious. Do monsters just die at 0hp? or do they also go unconscious and do you have to deal a finishing blow?
-How do you deal as a GM with you own dice exploding against a player. What do you do if you roll a 70 on an attack roll vs a PC. Do you vaporize them? I can imagine that as a player it is kinda shitty to die from 1 dice roll, one you couldn’t even roll yourself.
I was thinking about, maybe making all the damage dealt lethal? so healing will be hard to do?

1 Like

For the most part, I’ve let my players choose whether enemies are killed or not. I think that, technically, it would follow the same rules as for PCs. Open Legend isn’t really supposed to be about technicalities, though. It’s about story. I don’t really feel that the story benefits, in general, from requiring players to finish off incapacitated enemies after a battle.

Some exceptions apply.

There may be times when the players want prisoners. Awesome; enemies go unconscious at 0.
There may be a time you want the players to make a moral choice about whether or no they finish helpless foes. Awesome; enemies go unconscious at 0.
There may be any number of other reasons that the story dictates they have to explicitly finish someone off. Awesome; enemies go unconscious at 0.

From my view, it’s all about the demands of the story.


I think it depends on the DM. If the monster/npc is important then let it drop unconscious or if the players want to keep it alive, let them keep it alive.

I think saying double the players max health in damage is an instakill. And while it is unfortunate, that’s a risk with dice explosions.

I would avoid all damage being lethal damage. There is a reason the system is in place, but i agree, healing is very easy.

I kill off unimportant NPCs. Bosses and important NPCs require a finishing blow.

PCs always get a finishing blow. I think character death should be meaningful to the story. That said, the possibility of death adds tension to encounters. Players think twice about jumping into fights if they understand the PCs can easily die.

With regards to the exploding attack vs. a PC, play it out naturally. Don’t add or fudge lethal damage, since, if you ask me, the possibility of ANYONE getting murdered in one shot makes every attack meaningful.

1 Like

I think you are confusing the word meaningful with cheap in regards to vs players.

As for dice explosions, I think I simply won’t let my mooks get any on their d20. Their attribute dice can explode, but a 20 remains a 20, it’s going to hurt enough already. Or maybe getting a 20 lets them apply an additional free bane on top of their attack. That’s a whole different story for bosses of course.

As a rule of thumb, surprise/meaningless character death is not fun. Regardless of how high I roll, a PC will never go directly from conscious to dead.

For a grittier game, I’m kind of considering making healing more difficult (1-2h instead of 10 min, use of medical supplies). Maybe giving PCs a level of Fatigue if they fall unconscious and are healed back to consciousness without getting their “normal” few hours of forced rest.

@LupNI this comment doesn’t match up with Open Legend’s mechanics. It’s not possible in ANY situation to go directly from conscious to dead.

No matter how high the roll, you go first to 0 (never dead) and second, a “finishing blow” is required for killing the character.

I love the idea of the Fatigued bane being applied when you go unconscious. Also, you could consider applying Fatigued at the end of any combat in which you take damage in a Zombie Apocalypse survival game. That would negate the “super heroes” / “fight infinite times in a day” aspect of the core mechanics.


Thanks, my comment was actually a reaction to:

but maybe I answered in the wrong place :slight_smile:

Also thanks for the feedback, I’m really curious about how well a zombie apocalypse would work in OL!

1 Like