I got rid of HP.

I have been running my home ruleset for some folks, focusing more on travel this time. This ruleset was made within a philosophy of characters being translators for players. Essentially they are the method by which the player interacts with the world. Roleplay, tactics, etc all come second to that first goal of translation. One example of this is removing Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma from a D&D. Players don’t need those translated since they can interact with the world with their personal player stats” OR their own facsimile for those stats if they’d like to roleplay. Having said that, I got rid of HP. If you think about it, removing HP doesn’t exactly align with characters as translators” or player-centric characters”. After all, I am not attacking my players every time a goblin does. Weirdly enough I found the idea of HP and the legacy it has in the metatext of RPGs to be limiting, not that it didn’t fit. The game I was running was more focused on travel than your usual dungeon fare, and I think travel gets the short end of the stick from a systemic standpoint a lot of times. It either gets gamified to a point where the act of travel could be anything if you slapped a different coat of paint on it OR it is ignored and essentially only crops up when a random encounter happens in the crawl. Thus I decided to go a bit more simulationist for once, I just needed an impactful dial to turn”. HP is one of, if not the most important dial, so I started there.


Stamina is one part of the representation of a character’s overall well-being. At its basest level, it represents your character’s energy levels and how fatigued they are. Unlike HP it does not represent meat, and when a character runs out of it they do not necessarily die.

Determining starting Stamina.

At character creation, roll a number of D6 equal to the character’s number of Traits. (We’ll talk about Traits another time. For now, think of them something like Levels + Skills.) Do this again any time the character gains a new Trait. If the character’s new Stamina total is less than or equal to their original value, add one to their original value and make that their new maximum Stamina.

Using Stamina.

A character must spend 1 Stamina to make any roll. Any time a character moves from one hex to another they must spend 1 Stamina. A character may spend 1 Stamina to gain +1 on a roll. A character may reduce their maximum amount of Stamina by an item’s Load to carry it. Subtract damage dealt to a character from their Stamina.

Running out of Stamina.

If a character ever goes below 1 Stamina they pass out and gain a new Scar Trait. Recovering Stamina Eating recovers 1D6 Stamina + the Grade of the meal. Sleeping recovers 1 Stamina plus the Grade of their resting situation (bedding, shelter, temperature, etc). Magical means. The above gives us a ton of flexibility in what we can use this very important mechanical dial for. We can track exertion, time, effort, exhaustion, hunger, etc. Technically we could call it HP and just treat it all like damage but sometimes renaming a metatextual pillar within a community can be more powerful than coming up with a wholly new mechanic. Since I was focusing on Travel and making it a bit more simulationist, I decided I wanted to wear down characters, make choosing what you bring with you meaningful, and make upgrades to basic travel equipment impactful. Hence Stamina, Load (How much Stamina something costs to carry.), and Grade (How good this thing is at being that thing, eg the +2 in a +2 Sword”.). Anywho, I got this schpeal out of my system and finally wrote something on here! I’ll try to do it more. I have a longer post about player-centric characters” in the drafts but I don’t knkow if it will ever see the light of day. I’m having trouble putting it into words. Thanks for reading folks!

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