Character Resources – Hit Points and Focus Points
This is the first post in a series where we introduce various slight modifications to the 5e SRD rules in Hyperstorm RPG. The rules are currently in development & testing and can change, be tweaked or dropped altogether along the way. We feel that the 5e rules set is already quite good as is, but what we are trying to accomplish with our changes is to add certain flavor to the rules and include some sci-fi -ish game mechanics that do not already exist in the SRD or are introduced very briefly.
In Hyperstorm the characters have two essential resources representing the character’s physical and mental endurance and capabilities. Hit Points are equivalent to the classic Hit Points in a certain hugely known fantasy roleplaying game . They represent the character’s physical prowess and resourcefulness in dangerous situations. Focus Points, on the other hand, are a measure of the character’s willpower, mental fortitude and discipline.
These points are not trying to directly simulate the characters mental or physical health as the experience of a character is also an important factor. A more experienced character knows better how to reserve their energy and invest it with less effort. Also, Hit Points and Focus Points are more of a heroic and narrative approach to see when the character is taken out or mentally broken. In other words, these points are not an absolute measure of the character’s health or mental state. They can be rather seen as a narrative tool to measure the relative capabilities between characters in a situation.
Hit points are mostly related to life or death situations where the character has to fight or avoid harm to their best ability. A character with a high Hit Point total is not necessarily more robust or stronger, but they are better at avoiding getting hit and tougher. They are more used to pain and discomfort and tolerate minor injuries better.
0 Hit Points
When a character runs out of Hit Points, they are incapacitated and in threat of dying, but they also suffer two levels of Exhaustion representing the wounds the character has suffered.
Recovering Hit Points
Hit Points and the Exhaustion caused by wounds can be healed with rest or with various advanced medical treatments or psionic powers. Instead of healing magic potions Hyperstorm has nanomedic injections and automated medpods that can heal injuries in just a matter of seconds.
The Focus Points are used when the character tries to concentrate their efforts on a specific task, use an ability that requires well-practiced discipline or tries to overcome severe mental fatigue or stress. Most typically Focus points are used to:
- Gain an Advantage.
- Trigger a special effect after a successful Skill Check.
- Activate a Class or Species special ability.
- Activate a psionic or nanokinetic power.
- Equip or activate specialized equipment, like fractal technology or xeno-artefacts.
The Focus Points are also used to measure the character’s mental and emotional stability and alertness. Shocking events or sleep deprivation, for example, can drain the character’s Focus Points.
0 Focus Points
When a character runs out of Focus Points they find themselves mentally broken, desperate and unable to concentrate. As a result, they suffer a level of Exhaustion. For instance, a character who has spent all their Focus on Psionic powers will be overcome by an unbearable mental fatigue and migraine and a character who has been interrogated will submit or reveal hidden facts by accident.
Recovering Focus Points
As Hit Points, Focus points can be restored with rest. If a faster recovery is required, various stim-patches and more potent, but addictive psyburn injections are available.
Determining Hit Points and Focus Points
Characters’ Hit Die is based on their Species and modified by the character’s Constitution modifier, as usual.
- Humans: d8
- Druski: d8
- Louhos: d10
- Nibirans: d6
- Qu’ari: d8
Focus Die is based on their Class and modified by the character’s Intelligence modifier.
- Starblazers: d6
- Mercs: d6
- Avatars: d8
- Savants: d8
- Voyants: d10
- Nanokinetics: d10
Hit Die and Focus Die Modifiers
Species and Class features can upgrade or downgrade the Hit and Focus die types by changing the dice into a die with more or fewer sides. For example, a d8 can be upgraded to a d10 or downgraded to a d6. The Hit and Focus dice cannot be upgraded above d12 or downgraded below d4 die types.
EXAMPLE: Baseline humans have a Hit Die of d8, but the Merc Class upgrades that by one step to a d10. Merc Class’ Focus die type is d6 and Human species do not have any modifiers to the Focus die type.