You probably don't want HP then.
You want something along the lines of "Wound Levels"
Also, it doesn't matter if you have a concrete enough view of what you want or not.
Seriously, go to the Den and start talking about what you want.
I find that working in isolation and without expressing yourself tends to lead to poorly-developed ideas. I don't design PrCs or base classes without getting feedback. I also find that once the "flavour" of what I want to see has been expressed, then the "mechanics" are a lot easier to determine and create. Since the game's rules should reflect what the creator wants; and not be developed indepentantly of what the flavour-design for the game is.
Heck, even Frank is too smart to fall for the "I'm good enough at game design, that I don't need anyone else's input" trap that the people at WoTC fell into when creating 4E, and that Paizo fell into with their "Faelfinder" system.
On the Den we've been discussing a completely new game system over on the Den for.... a few months now (nearly a year I think). So far we've discussed a wide range of things, from "how we want people to get killed" to "Classes? Why and/or how?"
The New Edition's take on killing targets:
Everyone at the Den haets
rocket tag, Kieth and Frank included. The solution (after 100's of posts and 100's more views) is that "HP doesn't exist" (there's a form of wound levels that's either linked to your own power level, or independant) and "attacks are de-buffs
". Once you've "weakened" an enemy enough, you can go Voltron on their ass with your "nova move" and end the fight. So, fights against equally powerful opponents start off with weak moves that, as characters/creatures become more and more injured/weakened, build up to someone trying to end the fight with a big move.
TNE's take on classes:
Classes yes. Your class doesn't dictate what you are
, as all adventurers are essentially the same role "Humanoid that Uses Weapons and Magic". Instead, your Class dictates what you do
So, your "class" isn't Barbarian, or Wizard. It's Green (And you create walls of brambles; or grow massive fangs and claws; or create a rain of fish; or you summon an army of animals) or Black (you turn living things into dust, you make the dead walk, you terrify your enemies). Or Red, or White or Blue or Brown.
The amount of time and argument back and forth (and back and forth) that it took to come up with the above was ludicrous. In the end however, we've all agreed that it's the best of all possibly presented systems.
Hmm, here's a list of things regarding TNE that have been discussed; even if you don't read any of the threads, they're a pretty good example of the kind of work that you need to do to create a decent game system that does exactly what you want it to do:
I suppose those are all the TNE threads made so far. Please tell me if I missed any.An idea about Per Encounter and Daily PowersBAB v. AC: Is it a war we need?Competing AbilitiesEnding TNE Work StoppageIn-Combat RechargeInitiative: if you go first then you went first.Movement and MayhemNew EditionNew Edition: ActionsNew Edition: Continuity vs. RailroadingNew Edition: Iconic CharactersNew Edition: MonstersNew Edition of RulesNew Edition: SettingNew Edition: WikiNew: Master Ability and Condition ListsNew Setting: Lies, Mutants, and other offbrand setting elements
(Fbmf, please check.)Racial Determinism: TNERadical Idea: ArmorReviving TNESetting: Morality?Setting: Temples, Sites, Ruins, and EmpiresThe Feeling of EpicThe Five Cornerstones to AdventuringTNE: Ability FormatTNE: Action ResolutionTNE: Art, MarketingTNE: A Sensible Magic Item SystemTNE: Combat Advantage NumberTNE: Cool StuffTNE: DefensesTNE: How do you solve a problem like melee?TNE: How often should your schtick be completely useless?TNE: Multi-abilitiesTNE: Skills?TNE: Tactical ConceitsTNE: The Feeling of Epic, Take 2TNE: Wealth, Power Sites, and ArtisansTNE: What effects do you want?Wealth and PowerWeapons and Damage TypesWhat Power Sources do we Believe in?What roles do monsters actually have?
That's about 43 discussions; some are no more than 30 Posts; while others go for as much as 100. On average 65 posts per discussion; coming to be about 2,795 posts just for the creation of a system. That's not including any of the spin-off threads where people speculate about existing discussions.
Also, you're contradicting yourself, in your own post.
I did. My point is that Frank has a lot of brilliant ideas, and I don't have a concrete enough idea at the moment to be able to explain it so that he designs what I'm looking for, as opposed to something roughly along those lines.
Is Frank's design skill awesome? Yes. Does that mean that I could communicate what he needs to know to design what I want? No. Will I ask him until I can? No.
It'd be pointless. Not because Frank can't design, but because he'd be designing something that wouldn't resemble what I want to create/ask him to create very well.
As for PC death: I want it to be painful for the characters and the players.
Death as something where you wait fifteen minutes and you come back to life (whether that's fifteen real life minutes or in game minutes) is not a sacrifice of anything but time.
If death involves "alas, poor _____, we knew him well. God rest his soul."...that is meaningful. If it involves "Okay, did Chris prepare raise dead? Resurrection? True ressurection? Miracle? ANy of those things?"...not so much.
Player pain is not all that important. Character death meaning something as far as that character is dead...not unconscious, not seriously hurt, not anything less than dead is what I want.
One thing I also want that D&D does not represent at all is (temporary, though how temporary may vary) penalties for being hurt. For instance, to use the simplest example of such a thing: When at 50% or less of your base hit points, you're at -4 to all d20 rolls.
Doesn't have to be death to be an injury that sucks.
What do you want?
How do you want it to happen?
Why do you want it?
Where do you want it?
Who do you want it to happen to?