Friday, June 1, 2012

Resolving ACKS' Quantum Death

One complaint with ACKS voiced by the Rpgist is the problem of 'quantum death' which results from the way the Mortal Wounds table works.  When you're reduced to 0 HP, you wait until you receive treatment to see just how badly injured you are.  This means that people may burn Cure spells or actions on someone who's very likely splattered everywhere, which is both a waste of resources and kind of silly.  I will be honest in saying that I don't address this part of the problem directly; however, there is a secondary problem, that of description, to which I have something of a solution.  This issue is that when someone goes down with a mortal wound, you as the DM can't very well describe where or how they've been hit until they're treated and the injury is rolled; if you say they got hit in the head and they instead lose an arm, that's no good.  My solution to this is as follows:

Roll the d6 when the person takes the wound, and the d20 for severity when treated.  The columns of the chart, corresponding to the results of the d6, are well-correlated with different hit locations.  Hence, if someone rolls a 6 on their d6 for hit location, you can safely say "Bob's been hit in the head with a spear."  5 is face, 4 is legs, 3 is arms, 2 is lower torso, and 1 is upper torso.

I tested this idea briefly when Joe fell into the 'cube last week.  He went below 0 while being pulled out, so I ruled that it was a mortal wound to the legs and that rather than rolling a d6, he got a 4.  Seemed to work.


  1. I still think you would have a rough idea of severity. My suggestion: assume they roll a ten and describe it as being about that severity (with modifiers). Later, when they are treated, actually roll the d20. It may be much worse than it seemed, or much better.

    1. I think if I were to do that, I would want to phrase it as something like "You expect his spine might have been broken by the force of the blow." But honestly, the expected severity is something that players can figure out for themselves, and not something I need to tell them.

  2. I'm glad someone noticed that the wounds line up with the D6 rolls!!!