I expect to get some criticism over my hit point system. First off, I wanted characters to start out with a few more hit points at first level. Secondly, I wanted Constitution to play a greater role in hit points. Thirdly, I wanted to do away with the luck of the dice in something as important as hit points. It kills me when I see an otherwise good character crippled by a few bad hit point rolls.

Characters start with a base of ten HP. For each of the four classes they add the class adj + the con bonus for each level they have in that class. The class adjustments are: 10 for Fighters, 8 for Clerics, 6 for Rogues, and 4 for Wizards. So a 10th level character, with a 16 Con, that was 4 Ftr/3 Clr/2 Rog/1 Wiz, would have:

10 + 4*(10+3) + 3*(8+3) + 2*(6+3) + 1*(4+3) = 10 + 52 + 33 + 18 + 7 = 120 HP

A 10th level Wizard with 16 Con under my system would have 80 HP. A 10th level Fighter with 16 Con would have 140 HP. Under 4th edition rules, those two characters would have 63 and 85 respectively. That’s quite a difference. Taken by itself it is a lot. But with my other changes, it works nicely for us.

Death and Dying

When a player reaches zero hit points, she is considered unconscious and dying. Characters that are dying take one additional point of damage each round until they are stabilized (another character makes a successful First Aid skill check to bind wounds), or reach -10 hit points, at which point they are dead. Any effects that were on the character that do ongoing damage continue to do damage but the character, even though unconscious, still receives saving throws to end these effects.

Healing

Since this is a pre-4e ruleset, we do not use healing surges. For the most part, Clerics are responsible for healing party members through spells. Potions and other magical items can augment this. Clerics and Paladins have access to feats that increase the amount of healing that they do. Dwarves have access to a feat as well that increases any healing that they receive.

Natural Healing

All characters naturally heal a number of hit points equal to their level plus their Con bonus after each hour of an extended rest. (A negative Con bonus is ignored). Those on guard duty receive natural healing as well so long as they are simply sitting and watching for intruders. Any interruption voids all healing for the hour that was interrupted. Up to ten hours of extended rest can be taken at a time and only one extended rest can provide natural healing each day.

Life Drain

Certain creatures have special attacks that drain life essence from their victims. Any hit points lost to a life drain attack cannot be healed by heal spells or magical items nor can they be restored through natural healing. A Cleric must cast a Restoration spell to restore these lost points.

When a dead character is brought back to life, not all of their life essence is restored. A number of hit points equal to the character’s level are life drained just as if the character had suffered a life drain attack. These points must also be restored through a Restoration spell.