- Rather than dying when a subject reaches -10 HP, a character dies when they reach a negative number equal to their constitution score, or ¼ their maximum HP, whichever is higher. For example, Lucia Di’Mato is a paladin with 220 HP. She is dying between -1 and -54 HP, and dies at -55.
- The feat Diehard still only allows someone to take actions until -10 HP.
- The heal DC to stabilize a dying character is 14+Hit Dice. For example, Lucia Di’Mato is a 14th level paladin. She is dying after being mauled by a paragon dire bear (Don’t laugh, I’ll do it). The DC to stabilize her is 28.
- Each character has a unique massive damage threshold. The massive damage threshold is (Con Score*3)+Hit Dice. Whenever they take enough damage from a single attack to meet or exceed this threshold, they must make a Fortitude save (DC15+1 for every 5 points of damage above the threshold), or be reduced to -1 HP instantly. For example, Lucia Di’Mato is a 14th level paladin with Con 20, so her massive damage threshold is 74. She takes 112 damage from an evil cavalier’s unstoppable charge. She now has to make a DC 22 Fortitude save or be dropped to -1.
- A character receives a bonus or a penalty to their massive damage threshold based on size. For every size larger than medium, the character receives a +10. For ever size smaller than medium, it’s a -10. For example, Gia the 15th level halfling barbarian rides Wiggles, the 22 HD wyvern into battle. Her massive damage threshold is 69 ([18*3]+15), while his is 118 ([32*3]+22+30)
- A character with the racial or class ability “Powerful Build” counts as one size larger than they actually are for calculating massive damage threshold.
- If a character takes enough subdual damage to exceed their massive damage threshold, the are at risk of being knocked unconscious for 1d4 minutes. The save is handled the same as if it were lethal damage.
I'll start posting larger swaths of my house rules (all of which are based on 3.5 D&D), or better yet, find someplace to plop down all 17 or so pages of it. I'd love input from those who have it. As a side note, I'm applying as few of these changes as possible right now, to avoid confusing or stressing my players (the above listed rules have been applied, since those situations come up time and time again).
(Points to anyone who gets the M:TG reference.)