Describes the state of having a health expressed in less than zero hit points, which all creatures or combatants may possess inherently as a part of their biological units (BU). See Hit Points.

The presence of negative hit points differs depending upon whether or not the subject possesses an experience level. Those without a experience level are designated below as 'creatures'; those with experience levels are designated 'combatants.'

Creatures Without an Experience Level

For creatures that do not possess experience levels, death occurs at negative 4. This means that at -1, -2 and -3, the creature is still alive, though in increasing levels of distress. During combat, at -1 hit points, a creature will be panicked and will turn berserk if that is a part of their nature (bears, boars, norkers, etcetera). As well, at -1 hit points, the creature's strength, intelligence and wisdom (treat wisdom as equal to intelligence), as well as other stats if they are known, should be assessed at 30% below normal (treat as 7/10ths). Most importantly, a creature's action points (AP) are also lowered!

If a creature had an wisdom of 4 normally, at -1 hit point the creature's wisdom would be rated at 2.8.

At -2 hit points, ability statistics are reduced further (4/10ths of normal), so that the same creature would have a wisdom of 1.6. This will challenge the creature's consciousness, so that a wisdom check must be made based on its present wisdom. The creature would need to roll a 1 on a d20 to remain conscious.

At -3 hit points, ability statistics are reduced still further (1/10th of normal). As before, creatures must make a wisdom check if reduced to -3 hit points - but unless the creature has 10 or more wisdom normally, a wisdom check at -3 hit points will automatically fail and the creature will fall unconscious.

Note that if a creature has been reduced to -2 hit points, and makes its wisdom check and is subsequently reduced to -3 by damage, another wisdom check must be made.

Combatants with Experience Levels

Negative HP Effects.pngOnce a combatant has obtained sufficient experience to obtain first level (impossible for any combatant with less than a 3 intelligence), that same combatant will not be killed unless they are reduced to -10 hit points. Generally, reducing a leveled combatant to less than zero hit points works much the same as the description above - except that each negative hit point below zero reduces the combatant's ability stats and AP by 10%. Thus, in the example, the combatant's 18 wisdom drops by 1.8 as it drops lower in hit points.

Between -1 and -3 hit points, the combatant will be able to remain conscious, though all ability stats will be lowered and bonuses for strength, dexterity and so on will be lost. Note: constitution hit point bonuses should not be adjusted, however, though the constitution stat will be lowered. For game purposes, assume that loss of hit points due to constitution dropping is inherent in the damage the combatant has taken.

Once a combatant is lowered to -4 hit points, however, then a wisdom check must be made, based on the combatant's present wisdom. Like with creatures, combatants must also make a wisdom check every time they are struck for damage reducing them to -4 hit points or less. Moreover, once a combatant has been rendered unconscious, they must make a check against their wisdom so long as they remain below zero hit points, even if they are healed!

For example, Albert, who possesses an 18 wisdom, is struck for 5 damage and lowered to -4 hit points. He rolls a 9 on a d20, so he remains conscious - but as he is armored with chain mail and encumbered, at -4 hit points his AP has been reduced to 1 (fractions are ignored). Therefore, the most he can do is move away or attempt to attack, knowing he will not have a chance to hit until the following round (assuming action points can be spread over two rounds). Albert chooses to fall back one hex - but then he is hit again for 3 damage, lowering him to -7. Now he must make another wisdom check. He rolls a 6, one above what he needs, and falls unconscious.

As he does, however, Bala casts cure light wounds and touches Albert, restoring five of his lost hit points, bringing him to -2 hit points. Because his status has been altered, Albert makes another wisdom check. He needs a 14 to regain consciousness, but unfortunately for Albert, he rolls a 16 and remains unconscious. Resolved, Bala retrieves a healing salve and feeds that to Albert. Thankfully this gives him 2 more hit points, bringing his total to zero. Once Albert is at zero hit points, he automatically awakens without needing to make a wisdom check.

Partial Action Points

The DM may, reasonably, allow a combatant some ability to perform part of an action point depending upon what action is chosen. In the example above, when Albert is lowered to -7 hit points, even if he had succeeded he would only possess 0.9 action points. This should still be enough to express three spoken words instead of four, or perhaps drink a lesser part of a healing potion, getting a fifth of it inside him each round until the whole potion is drunk.

See Attacking