The Ascension Project
Injury and Death
Hit points measure how hard a creature is to kill. No matter how many hit points lost, a character isn’t hindered in any way until their hit points drop to 0 or lower.
Loss Of Hit Points
The most common way for a character to get hurt is to take lethal damage and lose hit points (HP), whether from weapon fire, a grenade explosion, or a fall into molten lava. You record your character’s HP total on your character sheet. As your character takes damage, you subtract that damage from your hit points, leaving you with your current hit points. Current hit points go down when you take damage and go back up when you recover. What Hit Points Represent: Hit points mean two things in the game world: the ability to take physical punishment and keep going, and the ability to turn a serious blow into a less serious one.
Effects of Hit Point Damage:
Damage gives you scars, bangs up your armor, and gets blood on your clothes, but it doesn’t slow you down until your current HP reach 0 or lower. At 0 hit points, you’re disabled. If your current HP are negative, you are unconscious and dying.
Dying (Negative Hit Points)
Instant Death: Massive damage can kill you instantly. When damage reduces you to 0 hit points and there is damage remaining, you die if the remaining damage equals or exceeds your hit point maximum. For example, a creature with a maximum of 12 hit points currently has 6 hit points. If it takes 18 damage from an attack, it is reduced to 0 hit points, but 12 damage remains. Because the remaining damage equals its hit point maximum, the creature dies.
Falling Unconscious: If damage reduces you to 0 hit points and fails to kill you, you fall unconscious. This unconsciousness ends if you regain any hit points.
Death Saving Throws: Whenever you start your turn with less than 0 hit points, you must make a special saving throw, called a death saving throw, to determine whether you creep closer to death or hang onto life. Unlike other saving throws, this one isn’t tied to any ability score. You are in the hands of fate now, aided only by features that improve your chances of succeeding on a saving throw. Roll a d20: If the roll is 10 or higher, you succeed. Otherwise, you fail. A success or failure has no effect by itself. On your third success, you become stable (see below). On your third failure, you die. The successes and failures don’t need to be consecutive; keep track of both until you collect three of a kind. The number of both is reset to zero when you regain any hit points or become stable. Rolling 1 or 20: When you make a death saving throw and roll a 1 on the d20, it counts as two failures. If you roll a 20 on the d20, you regain 1 hit point. Damage at 0 Hit Points: If you take any damage while you have 0 hit points, you suffer a death saving throw failure. If the damage is from a critical hit, you suffer two failures instead. If the damage equals or exceeds your hit point maximum, you suffer instant death.
Stabilizing a Creature: The best way to save a creature with 0 hit points is to heal it. If healing is unavailable, the creature can at least be stabilized so that it isn’t killed by a failed death saving throw. You can use your action to administer first aid to an unconscious creature and attempt to stabilize it.. As an attack action, a successful Treat Injury check stabilizes another character. The stabilized character regains no hit points, but he or she stops losing them. The character must have a medical kit to stabilize a dying character. A stable creature doesn’t make death saving throws, even though it has below 0 hit points, but it does remain unconscious. The creature stops being stable, and must start making death saving throws again, if it takes any damage. A stable creature that isn’t healed regains 1 hit point after 1d4 hours.
Dead: When your character fails 3 death saving throws or takes massive damage, they’re dead and besides a massive cybernetic reconstruction that can cost billions, there is no hope of bringing the character back. A character can also die from taking ability damage or suffering an ability drain that reduces his Constitution to 0.
Recovering with Help: One hour after a tended, dying character becomes stable, roll d%. He has a 10% chance of becoming conscious. If he remains unconscious, he gets a new roll every hour with a 5% chance increase per previous roll. Even if unconscious, he recovers HP naturally, automatically regaining conscience if his HP reaches their maximum.
After taking damage, you can recover hit points through natural healing or through special healing. In any case, you can’t regain hit points past your full normal hit point total.
Natural Healing: With a full night’s rest (8 hours of sleep or more), you recover 1 HP and 1 Plating HP per HD. Any significant interruption (such as combat or the like) during your rest prevents you from healing that night. If you undergo complete bed rest for an entire day and night, you recover twice the amount indicated above.
Special Healing: Various abilities, such as the Treat Injury skill, can restore HP. Regeneration also falls into this type of healing.
Healing Limits: You can never recover more HP and Plating HP than you lost. Special healing won’t raise your current HP higher than your full normal hit point total.
Healing Ability Damage: Ability damage is temporary, just as hit point damage is. Ability damage returns at the rate of 1 point per night of rest (8 hours) for each affected ability score. Complete bed rest restores 2 points per day (24 hours) for each affected ability score.
Temporary Hit Points
Certain effects give a character temporary HP. When a character gains temporary HP, he effectively gains new hit points that are added to his current hit points, even the total hit points a character has when uninjured. When the effect that granted such temporary hit points ends, the character’s HP drop to his current HP. When temporary hit points are lost, they cannot be restored as real hit points can be, even by special healing. Multiple gains of Temporary HP stack. Increases in Constitution Score and Current Hit Points: An increase in a character’s Constitution score, even a temporary one, can give her more hit points (an effective hit point increase), but these are not temporary hit points. They can be restored by natural or special healing.
Sometimes you get roughed up or weakened, such as by getting beat in a fistfight or tired out by a forced march. This sort of trauma won’t kill you, but it can knock you out or make you faint. If you take sufficient nonlethal damage, you fall unconscious, but you don’t die. Nonlethal damage goes away much faster than lethal damage does.
Dealing Nonlethal Damage: Certain attacks may deal nonlethal damage. Other effects, such as heat or being exhausted, also deal nonlethal damage. When you take nonlethal damage, keep a running total of how much you’ve accumulated. Do not deduct the nonlethal damage number from your current hit points. It is not “real” damage. Instead, when your nonlethal damage equals your current HP, you’re disabled, and when it exceeds your current HP, you fall unconscious. It doesn’t matter whether the nonlethal damage equals or exceeds your HP because the nonlethal damage has gone up or because your current HP have gone down.
Nonlethal Damage with a Weapon that Deals Lethal Damage: You can use a melee weapon, thrown weapon, or melee attacks, that deals lethal damage to deal nonlethal damage instead, but you take a –4 penalty on your attack roll because you have to use the flat of the blade, strike at non-vital areas, or check your swing. You cannot do this with ranged weapons without specialized ammunition
Disabled and Unconscious: When your nonlethal damage equals your current HP, you’re disabled. You’re so roughed up that you can only take one action each round. You cease being staggered when your current HP once again exceed your
nonlethal damage. When your nonlethal damage exceeds your current HP, you fall
unconscious. While unconscious, you are helpless (see Helpless Defenders).
Healing Nonlethal Damage: You heal nonlethal damage at the rate of 1 point per hour per character level. When you are cured HP damage, you are also cured an equal amount of nonlethal damage.