Critical Wounds

Alternative take on Mortal Wounds in Adventurer Conqueror King System.

(See this for context.)

This is a provisional house rule sketch. We’ll see how it goes. Primary goal is to roll the moment the character goes down in order to avoid Shrödinger’s Corpse effect, while keeping the mortality rate roughly on par with the RAW. Very roughly. I don’t claim to have run any sort of analysis on this.

Zero Hit Points or Less

The player (or Judge for NPCs and monsters) rolls d20+d6 with the following modifiers:

Hit Points: Zero hit points gives a +5 bonus. Any negative hit points apply as a direct penalty, any non-lethal damage applies as a bonus. (If someone is at zero or below hit points, any further damage they suffer will be considered lethal, no matter the source.)

Constitution: CON modifier applies directly.

Refer to standard Mortal Wounds table, using the sum of both dice and the above modifiers, re-using the d6 to determine the additional effect as per RAW. Results saying “You recover with…” mean the character will recover on their own in d12 turns, or when treated.

NPCs and Monsters

The Judge may elide the roll in favor of gory kills, but should make it if the NPC or monster is to possibly survive.

Recovery Period

During the indicated recovery period the character moves at half speed. Any actions they take are at -4, and a roll of 1 indicates they have hurt themselves: roll for 1d6 points of damage every time this occurs, which also necessitates another roll on the Mortal Wounds table.


  • Rolling immediately means a cleric will not have to potentially waste a healing spell on a corpse — which should help keep the mortality down.
  • Applying negative hit points as a direct penalty makes low-hp characters slightly more durable, since currently a 2hp character rolls at -5 when at -1 hit points.
  • Vice versa, it makes high-hp characters less durable, as hitting -10 hit points is now a huge deal even if you have 30 hit points.
  • Adding the d6 to the roll means that a CON -3 character can survive — without healing — being taken to -7hps. It’s a slim chance, but it’s a chance.
  • Similarly, even a CON +3 character risks instant death from blows that take them to -5 hit points or below.

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