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So then what did your "prestige classes" look like? I'm curious because you have all at once a bit of an aversion to specific "character builds", preferring more organic character development, but also, as far as I can tell, love developing unique "crunch" for your games. So it's hard to imagine what you might have done with your Deudeu "prestige classes".
Dial: Seriousness levelAn important thing for the group to determine before play is the seriousness level of the game. Donjon is a very different sort of game in that the players have the ability to create as much of the outcome as the GM.Playing a game with high humor can be rewarding, but can also be grating if attempted with the wrong players. Likewise, some players may not enjoy the visceral horror of a grim rust-and-blood sort of game.This dial must be set before the game begins, and has the settings of: Monty Python and the Geeks (over-the-top), Slapstick (lots of funny), Tongue-in-Cheek (full of allusions to role-playing cliches taken deadly seriously by the characters), Black Humor, Serious, and Rust-and-Blood (fantasy horror). This dial should be set by agreement between the GM and players.
All that seems good to me. I wouldn't allow a skill check to remove a critical mark (a death cross) myself, but that's largely a matter of how one views their strategic role...A character might e.g. take a swim in a powerful healing magic pool to remove one cross, or take a break of 1d6 years from adventuring - that's the scale of effort I prefer for characters to take, should they desire to remove crosses
So we sort of have three types of injury: mere hit point loss represents loss of stamina and fighting spirit, succeeding in a save vs. injury results in lesser wounds, and failure results in a cross plus effects similar to what your table here indicates. I mention this in case you want to make similar lists of concerns for those "lesser injuries", too. Stuff like -2s to attacks made with an injured arm, or whatever.
It occurs to me, particularly after running another session on IRC today, that there are some interesting side-effects to a "hygienic" approach based on aleatoric processes. The GM disclaims decision-making and leaves a lot of decisions to the dice: like, for example, which character a monster with no clear preference might decide to attack. This allows us to construct a really neat set of procedures for a GM to follow, and to create a certain play culture. This is all a really cool effect, especially on a longer or larger scale, as we've discussed previously.
I applaud Johann's selection of Eero Quotes on his blog. Perhaps it could be an idea for us to dig out those pieces of advise most useful and offer them up for the record?
4. On the topic of "Save vs. Injury": this is something I've given a fair bit of thought. I think the nice feature of D&D-style hit points which is hard to replicate with a "Save vs. Injury"-style mechanic is, perhaps ironically, the predictability of physical harm and injury.For instance, take a typical first-level D&D character. Let's say she has an average or better HP roll (e.g. 4 or 5 hit points).If she gets hurt by some kind of attack or trap (typically 1d6 damage in our game here), she will mostly like survive the first blow, and almost certainly be killed by the second. There is a chance the first blow will kill her, yes, but that's a minority of situations. Similarly, her odds of surviving three blows are extremely low. (If she has 4 hit points, for example, the chance of her surviving three successful attacks is 3/216, or about 1%!)With almost any kind of Save vs. Injury system, you will always have a decent chance of dying from any given blow, and often characters will be able to survive many, many attacks, due to lucky rolls. Whether that's desirable or not is a good question. But it certainly feels very different.(Yes, you could replicate this effect somewhat with Injury saves with increasing penalties, but then you just have hit points in a different form - the growing penalties - with an added randomizer on top.)