Not too long ago, I was discussing the merits of a variant VP/WP system where the idea was to allow moral-boosting effects to heal VP, as it wasn't really physical damage. I then got to thinking that I might be able to accomplish the same thing using Non-lethal damage. This is a very rough draft, but I'm hoping you'll help me polish it up!The basic idea
- Through various rules, some sources of damage will partially deal non-lethal damage
- Certain moral-boosters will be able to heal non-lethal damage (such as a new bardic music ability)
- Everyone will have a "second wind" mechanic to heal some non-lethal damageConverting lethal to non-lethalArmor
As a combatant gets battered around in his armor, a portion of the damage is converted to non-lethal damage, representing brusing and general stamina drain. Every time a person wearing armor takes physical damage (excluding falling, constricting, and similar types of damage), a number of points equal to the Armor bonus to AC and the Enhancement bonus (if any) is converted to non-lethal damage. So, a suit of leather armor would convert up to two points of damage to non-lethal damage, and a suit of +2 fullplate would convert ten points.
Mage Armor, Bracers of Armor, and other spells or items that grant an Armor bonus AC behave this way as well. This does not apply to shields.
(Perhaps this should be a static percentage, like half the damage, so it scales at higher levels...)Damage Reduction
A creature with damage reduction can convert some lethal damage to non-lethal damage from attacks that do not overcome their damage reduction. This converts a number of points equal to their damage reduction rating, which is added to any damage converted from armor (if any). For example: a barbarian with Damage Reduction 2/- wearing +1 Breastplate (+6 AC) would convert up to eight points of damage to non-lethal damage per attack.
This does not apply against attacks that can overcome the damage reduction. So, a werewolf would not convert damage to nonlethal damage if attacked by silver weapons.Energy Resistance
Any time someone with energy resistance takes damage from that type of energy, half of the damage they take is converted to non-lethal damage.Evasion
In addition to the usual benefits, any time someone with Evasion takes damage from an effect that offers a Reflex save for half damage, half of the damage is converted to non-lethal damage.RecoveringSecond Wind
Every character gets a second wind once per day (or per encounter?). By spending a swift action, the character can use their second wind to heal 1d6 points of non-lethal damage for each of their Hit Dice.
(Should this instead heal all non-lethal damage?)Motivate (Diplomacy)
As a standard action, you can attempt a Diplomacy check (DC 15) to motivate your allies. If the check succeeds, all of your allies within 30 feet heal 1d6 points of non-lethal damage per two of their Hit Dice (minimum 1d6). If your Diplomacy check is at least 25, each target is instead healed 1d6 points per each
of their Hit Dice, and if your check is at least 35, the range also increases to 60 feet. You may use this ability once per encounter.
This is a sonic, language-dependent ability.Boost Morale (Bardic Music)
A bard with 3 or more ranks in a Perform skill can use his music or poetics to heal non-lethal damage of one target within 60 feet (including the bard, himself). As a standard action, roll a Perform check. The target is healed an amount of non-lethal damage equal to your Perform check. If you roll a 30 or higher, you heal half of the target's non-lethal damage, or 30 points, whichever is greater. If you roll a 40 or higher, you heal all of the target's non-lethal damage.
This is a sonic, language-dependent ability.ExceptionsImmune Creatures
Creatures immune to non-lethal damage do not convert damage in the ways described above. They take lethal damage as normal.Conclusions/AnalysisLow Levels
I figure this will have the biggest effect at low levels, really helping with both survivability and stretching healing farther (remember that when healing lethal damage, an equal amount of non-lethal damage is also healed).High Levels
I think this might just become annoying bookkeeping at higher levels as the damage gets higher proportionately to the amount converted. Perhaps instead of using the raw AC value, I should use a percentage based on the armor type (light, medium, or heavy). The problem with that is it involves multiplication each time the target takes damage, and that can really slow things down.Cinematics
I think this could be more cinematic, especially with the second wind mechanic and the Motivate use of Diplomacy.Fresh Each Fight?
Should second wind be per day or per encounter? I suppose it could be left up to each DM. Per day makes it a special resource you have to ration, just like many other things. Per-encounter means that it's a once-a-fight occurrence, but it can be used once a minute outside of combat. So unless fights happen back to back, this means people will enter each combat with no non-lethal damage. I don't see it as a problem, but I might want to present it as a side-bar, or something.Martial Spirit/Crusader's Strike
Should these Crusader abilities only work on non-lethal damage? I think it really fits the bill of not healing real wounds, but it weakens those abilities considerably. I hate to do it. What are your thoughts?
So, tell me what you think.