This is a draft for a kind of HP-system for a game with serious regeneration for characters, in a style reminiscent of say, Alexander Anderson from Hellsing, or maybe like the ghouls from Tokyo Ghoul, or whatever inspiration you want. These people can be shot to bits and become a tattered pile of flesh, just to stand up a few seconds later. Sounds interesting?
Regenerating characters are relatively common in anime/manga, and appear in other mediums as well. Someone able to recover from wounds incredibly fast, maybe with the exception of a single weakness… Sounds like a vampire (Alucard anyone?), or a werewolf. There’s a lot of folkelore and popular culture where creatures exsist that can somehow shrug off massive amounts of damage. It might be one of the primal fears of humans: a beast that cannot be harmed or defeated.
Now on to the rule idea I had. A while ago I thought a bit about how to do this. And by a while ago, I mean like two years ago or something. I had recently read Tokyo Ghoul, and there were other stories that I liked (one of them which I have already mentioned twice in this post), where regenerating characters or creatures had a role. I wrote a bit on it, but ultimately that part of the document didn’t go anywhere. Until now. The un-tested idea I had went something along the lines of this…
A character has two statistics that describe their regeneration:
- A Regeneration Speed is how many HP the character can recover per round.
- An Essence Pool that is how many HP that can be regenerated in total.
When a character takes damage, only an amount exceeding their Regeneration Speed in a single round comes off their HP. All else comes off the Essence Pool. This represents magical energy, mutant blood cells, captured souls, whatever fuels the regeneration, being spent. The pool can be refilled in a way appropriate to what it represents. The excess damage that can’t be recovered instantly would be the first to recover the following round. Depending on how you want things to work you could allow people to die when they hit 0 HP but still have Essence left, if the regeneration only works when alive, or you can have characters resurrect from being just spatters on the walls. It depends on what style you desire, or possibly what traits a character has.
This system would probably work decently for simpler games, and be a bit quicker than just reducing and increasing HP each round. But I don’t think regeneration is used to its full potential in the variant here…
One cool thing with regenerating characters is them having their limbs torn off, only to regrow them quickly. It really drives home the point of them being far more (or less) than human. For this a locational damage system is needed. I’ll use these stats:
- Toughness. How much damage must be dealt to incapacitate a limb, and then how much it takes to destroy it.It should probably be doubled for the torso.
- Essence. Regenerative resource, like before.
- Regeneration Speed. How much is recovered each round.
Let’s say a regular human has a Toughness of 5. This means that once their arm has taken 5 or more points of damage it is unusable, and at 10 points it is torn off and no longer able to be damaged (as it isn’t actually connected to the person anymore).
For regenerators the damaged locations should be noted, preferably at a piece of scrap paper to not rip the character sheet to shreds. At the end of each round the recovered HP could be spread as evenly as possible across damaged locations, costing Essence as normal. This would require a little more bookkeeping, but could be quite cool in the right circumstances.
Now I’m sitting here wanting to write a system based on regenerating monsters, in the vein of today’s inspirations. Might do a post on that soon. Oh, an about posts. Haven’t made one in two days, I know. Actually I didn’t expect to make one post per day for so long. I just took my chance. Now I’ll probably try for maybe three posts a week at least, we’ll see. Until then!