“major injury” rules for Pathfinder 2e

(A response to this post on /r/Pathfinder2E / “Are there any rolls or homebrew rules for injuries”…)

Inspired by Dael Kingsmill, I’ve been trying to craft some for my Agents of Edgewatch game.

I think the current rule is something like…

A “major injury” is a single strike that does ?75% of the character’s max hp.

Roll probably a Fortitude or Will Save¹ against a level-based DC of the creature or effect that caused the damage, with the following results:

  • crit pass: no effect
  • norm pass: flavor effect (eg. limp, scar)
  • norm fail: flavor effect + temporary effect (eg. -5 speed penalty, -1 on situational rolls for 5 days)
  • crit fail: above + major/permanent effect (eg. -1 Dex; permanent “Doomed 1”, &c.)

¹: maaaybe Reflex, but it’s hard to see how a hit-that-has-already-landed-and-done-damage can be a Reflex save, here

A Save is chosen because it should scale as a function of the character and their proficiency.

The original idea was the following probability distribution of effects:

  • no effect: 5% (nat 20)
  • eg. limp: 45%
  • eg. (above) + “5′ speed penalty” / “Enfeebeled 1 for 1 week” / &c.: 35%
  • eg. (above) + -1 dex / “Permanent Doomed 1” / &c.: 5% (nat 1)

The level-by-DC chart basically loops around close to that:

| *ADJ/prof* | *Trained*       | *Expert*      | *Master*      | *Legendary*  |
|------------+-----------------+---------------+---------------+--------------|
|         +0 | 14+0-2=12 = 45% | 14+0-4=10 55% | 14+0-6=8  65% | 14+0-8=6 75% |
|         +1 | 14+1-2=13 = 40% | 14+1-4=11 50% | 14+1-6=9  60% | 14+1-8=7 70% |
|         +2 | 14+2-2=14 = 35% | 14+2-4=12 45% | 14+2-6=10 55% | 14+2-8=8 65% |

So those are the probabilities for an at-character-level enemy, and it should get better/worse based on the level of the effect.

I don’t have pre-defined tables for effects based on type, I think it’s more interested to figure it out based on the circumstance and narrative; Dael’s version is a /bit/ too crunchy for my tastes, but maybe I’ll get there in time. ;)

u/PoisonedDM suggests a good idea in response, that it might scale as a function of how “hard” the hit actually is:

  • ≥50%: very easy (-5 DC)
  • ≥60%: easy (-2)
  • ≥75%: normal (±0)
  • ≥80%: hard (+2)
  • ≥90%: very hard (+5)