After the discussion that took place over in the questions thread, regarding massive damage and the spell Harm, culminating in this post,
Thanks for the phase-by-phase breakdown. It kinda puts things in perspective. Ok, I'll be using harm very sparsely in future play then, as I'm not a big fan of insta-kill spells.
TPK is easy
, it is almost
killing everyone that is difficult (and fun).
My players and I discussed Massive Damage as a game mechanic and as a narrative element, and came to the conclusion that it increases tension, but in a way that is very unsatisfying to the player that suffered it, and more frustrating than scary for the remaining players. We thought back to the times it had led to character deaths in our campaign,
-- one character died from a great explosion that he was far enough from that it would not have killed him otherwise, which was especially frustrating for the player since he built his character to be a bulky, tanky damage-sponge bodyguard. Another character died when he suffered a souped up Guillotine Kick combined with Combat Focus all powering-up a Dragon's bite-- definitely a dangerously powerful move, but had it not been for the Massive Damage, this character still would have been kicking. Ironically, he was also a high-Constitution damage sponge, plus he had Regeneration II--
and tried to figure out how we could rework Massive Damage to increase the tension dramatically, without outright removing characters from the story/game. So for right now, we have the following, which I wanted Crafty-ite feedback on!
When a character suffers 50 or more points of damage in a single hit, he makes a Fortitude save (DC 1/2 the damage suffered, rounded down). With failure, he is reduced to -5 wounds, falls unconscious, and begins dying. Additionally, a critical injury is rolled, and any result other than Bleeding and Grave Wound becomes permanent, indicating limb loss or impairment, physical weakening, and a reduced ability to recover. A permanent critical injury resulting from massive damage may only be repaired with powerful magic; such as Regenerate II, Wish III, or a Resurrection II or III spell if the injured character is to then die.