Character Resources – Hit Points and Focus Points
UPDATE: This post has been updated on 27th of October to reflect the latest design.
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. The character needs to start making Death Saves and be stabilized before it’s too late.
When a character suffers a critical hit or they drop to 0 hit points, they suffer a level of Exhaustion representing the severe wounds the character has suffered. This Exhaustion from wounding stacks with Exhaustion the character has accumulated previously from any other source – by getting wounded or otherwise.
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.
Determining Hit Points
Hit Points are determined by a character’s Class, level and Constitution modifier.
The Focus Points are used when the character tries to concentrate their efforts on a specific task or tries to overcome severe mental fatigue or stress. In practice Focus replaces the Inspiration in Hyperstorm RPG.
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.
Most typically Focus points are used to:
- Gain an Advantage or a +5 bonus to the roll (after the roll), including Initiative checks, Saving Throws and Death Saves.
- To resist a character Flaw.
- To overcome one of the following conditions: Charmed, Frightened or Stunned. Requires an Action in addition to spending a point of Focus.
- To recover from one level of Exhaustion. Can be used only once before a Long Rest.
0 Focus Points
When a character runs out of Focus Points they find themselves mentally drained, vulnerable and inconfident. As a result characters cannot anymore resist various conditions or hardships to heroic proportions.
A character’s maximum for the Focus points is equal to the characters Proficiency Bonus.
Recovering and Gaining Focus Points
A character will reset to 1 Focus point after a long rest. Focus points can be gained by achieving something that is relevant to the character’s personality traits or ideals, or by acting heroically or giving in to your characters Flaws or Bonds.