Hitpointless combat

Hitpointless combat for Swords of Cydoria
Inspired by Fire and Sword by Ray Turney


When a combatant is wounded, instead of tracking hitpoints, the character makes a resistance roll of Resilience vs. maximum weapon damage, after armour has been subtracted. If he fails, he is incapacitated for the rest of the fight. At the end of the fight the character will be in one of several wound states based on a CON check.


average of CON, SIZ, POW (or alternatively: (hitpoints + POW) / 3) a successful check vs. a greater damage gets you a check to increase POW at the end of the session. Just use hitpoints as Resilience for normal creatures.

Resilience check

Roll on the Resistance table Resilience vs damage taken (adjusted for armor). A roll of 01-05 for named characters only is always successful. Success means keep fighting, failure means they are out of the fight at the end of the current combat round. A critical failure (a failure where units die ends in 0) indicates a major wound. A fumble always fails.

50% + ((Resilience – damage) x 5%)

Effect of hits, specials and criticals

a normal hit (unparried)

does a base damage of: maximum weapon damage + max. damage bonus – Armour rating (fixed)

NOTE: ‘Primitive’ armour is only half effective vs. firearms.

Defender must make a Resilience check vs. this total

a special attack (1/5)

has the normal effect for the weapon, ie. Bleeding, Crushing, Entangling, Impaling or Knockback as per BGB pp.194-7, with the following changes:


Instead of inflicting extra hit points, it requires a Resilience check each subsequent round at the same level as the original, until staunched (see BGB p.195)


Base damage increased to the maximum for the next damage bonus level, as per BGB p.195.


Doubles max weapon damage, as per BGB p.196. Armour still counts.

a critical attack (1/20)

attack ignores armour; the Resilience of the target is halved for this attack.

Works for weapons too

A critical parry vs attack success or critical attack vs. normal parry means weapon must resist vs. damage or be destroyed. Use weapon hitpoints for resilience. Weapons not designed to parry make a Difficult check.

How injured are you?

At the end of the fight, make a CONx5 check:

  • critical or
  • special success – Healthy (knocked out by pain only)
  • success – Walking Wounded
  • failure – Badly Wounded
  • special failure (failure with 1 or 2 on the units die) – Dying
  • fumble – Dead

Medical conditions


Character is in good shape

Walking Wounded

Character functions normally except that odd die rolls are reduced one success level, for all skill rolls except lore and communication skills. When a recovery roll is announced, make odd die roll below or equal to CON and the character gets better. Even die roll above CON and the character deteriorates to Badly Wounded/Out of It.

Badly Wounded

Character cannot walk unassisted or use skills. When a recovery roll is called for, make odd die roll less than or equal to CON, and the character becomes Walking Wounded. On Even failures the character’s state becomes Dying


Like Badly Wounded, except that a decline will be to Dead, and an increase will be to Badly Wounded


Cannot breathe, move, think, or fight. Once dead, you stop getting CON rolls to get better. Also, unless it is specifically stated in the spell description that a healing item affects dead characters, it has no effect.

Recovery Roll

Make a CONx5 roll

odd success — you get better by one level
even failure — you get worse by one level
any other result — you stay the same.

when you roll

  • at the end of the episode when you got wounded
  • each day thereafter
  • if you receive a successful Physick roll from another player (doesn’t work on dead characters) up to once per day. A critical Physick gives you a free success. A special Physick gives you two rolls. With a successful Physick you can ignore the bad results. A fumbled Physick means you roll and ignore the good results.

Hitpointless combat

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