Up to D&D

Classic D&D injury table

Roll on this table in the following circumstances:

There is no need to keep track of negative hit points. A character reduced to less than zero hit points is considered at zero hit points.

Typically, NPCs will still be considered “dead” at zero hit points. Important NPCs, however, might use the table.

Roll 2d6:

2no effect
3stunned, lose next action
4knocked down
5knocked down & stunned
6knocked out for 2d6 rounds
7broken limb bone (arm, leg, hip, shoulder, &c. DM’s choice or roll randomly) 2d4+9 weeks to heal
8crush limb bone, 2d4+9 weeks to heal, but will never be 100% (exact effects up to DM)
9broken ribs (or similar injury) (what’s the effect?) 2d4+9 weeks to heal
10severed limb (DMs choice or roll randomly) will die in 3d6 rounds unless tourniquet applied, wound cauterized with fire, or Cure Serious Wounds cast (CSW used for this will not restore lost hp.)
11fatal wound (gutted, stabbed through the heart, broken neck/back, &c.) die in 2d6 rounds
12instant death (decapitation or other grevious wound)

When using this alternative, the DM may want to allow hp to heal at an accellerated rate. Say, a full night’s rest restores all hit points.

Upon suffering a broken/severed limb, broken ribs, or fatal wound; a character is “in shock”. Each round they may make a save (type?) to attempt to overcome the shock & take some action.

When an arm is broken/severed, it cannot be used to weild a weapon or use a shield effectively.

When a log is broken/severed, the character cannot walk. (Movement rate?) If the character gets a wooden leg, their movement rate will be half(?) normal.

I had lots of ideas for making this more complex, but I want to keep it simple.

Advice from the DM: When playing with this variant, if your PC falls to zero hp but remains alive, either flee or lie still & pretend to be dead. The point is not to keep fighting until you die; the point is to have a chance to get away to fight another day. (^_~)

Of course, retreating before you have to roll on the table is even better...

What’s the purpose of this?

Additional injury table notes

It was pointed out to me that this is somewhat like the Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay critical hits rule, which I had completely forgotten about.

Need to think more about how healing magic works with this. Perhaps any healing spell or potion should have some effect...

Possible Limb subtable (1d8):

1 to 3weapon/primary arm
4 to 5secondary arm
6 to 7primary leg
8secondary leg

Feedback from Frank Mentzer:

Not to be a spoilsport, but broken ribs and other bones of similar narrow dimensions are less incapacitating (and heal quicker) than large/heavy broken bones and/or major ball joints.

Suggest you recategorize the breakages from small/minor to large/serious.

Thanks, Frank!

Also thanks to the other denizens of the Dragonsfoot’s classic D&D forum for their feedback.

Possibly ribs effects: No bending/lifting. No exersion. Reduced encumberance capacity. Cannot use two handed weapons or carry a shield. No throwing or drawing a bow.

Another alternative: Instead of 2d6, roll weapon damage + 1d6.

I have to say that the first time a PC lost a limb, I wasn’t too happy about it. Maybe the table is harsher than what I want?

Then there was the death by banshee wail. It didn’t make sense for it to cause phyiscal injuries, and I wasn’t prepared to improvise non-physical injuries.

See also

House rule collection

On multiple attacks