GURPS101: Alternate HP and Healing

So +Peter V. Dell’Orto threw down this interesting post about an alternative approach to how HP can affect your healing. Normally, at HP 20 you multiply all sources of healing by two, at HP 30 you multiply them by three, and so on. Now, that works well enough – if you have monstrous HP then you get monstrous reincorporation. But what if even a small increase in HP were useful? Well, I got a few ideas.

The Decimation of the Hit Point
Every HP you have above 10 increases your total healing by 10%; round down. For most creatures this isn’t going to matter unless they receive 10 HP or more (such as a 10 HP casting of Major Healing by someone with at least Magery 5). Where it gets interesting (and useful) as Peter notes is when you get to HP 15 at which point even a relatively minor 2 HP restored gets you another 1 HP of healing.

Alternatively, the GM can easily say that the reverse is true as well and that low HP reduces the healing multiplier by an equivalent amount. So an HP of 9 means you heal 10% less.

This might not seem like much, but imagine if creatures had an affliction like this:

Enervation: One of your natural attacks has a follow-up that reduces your HP for the purposes of how fast you heal only. Affliction (HT; Disadvantage, Modified HP, +3%; Extended Duration, x30,000, +180%; Fixed Duration, +0%; Margin-Based, +0%; Follow-Up, Natural Attack, +0%; PM, -10%) [28]. Notes: Modified HP is simply HP -2 (Accessibility, only for determining healing threshold, -80%) [1]. 28 poins.

Picking Over the Bones
I think that while adding such a rule would add some complexity to game play (e.g., “What’s your HP again? Okay, so you gain back an extra HP because you have a HP of 17”), but it could also be very useful! Imagine a cinematic game where the scrappy fighter heals just as fast as the brusier or where Regeneration (Slow) becomes actually useful (Note: It does let you heal faster, but it’s usually a bit to slow for most games I run). Regardless, how do you muck about with healing in your games? Any special rules you use for HP or just healing in general?

Posted in GURPS 101 and tagged , .


  1. In the upcoming campaign I am going to run (MH flavored MiB) I plan to be reducing healing magic so we can actually experience natural healing times. In the campaign healing spells will be limited to the equivalent of First Aid but with no time cost for immediate action, after that healing spells will confer the rapid healing advantage as long as the caster is attending (like the rules for a physician attending) and will stack with normal medical procedures. I am also making each player develop two PCs so they will have a stand in for long convalescences. We are also trying out a couple of things from Alternate GURPS IV and I also want to see how those rules effect character generation

  2. Very cool. If I may offer an alternative. In my urban fantasy campaign healing magic is constrained by the lunar cycle to some degree. Because of this, no one may supernaturally heal more than their HPx5 in a single month. Anymore than that requires a HT roll at -1 per multiple of HP healed. Failure results in a permanent -1 to HT as too much healing leeches out the body's natural ability to heal itself. You could use some other multiple of HP as the threshold or a higher penalty to HT. Speaking purely as a GM, this simple rule made my players VERY consciousness about taking damage. 🙂

  3. I had been doing something like this unofficially for a while. Particularly treating Regeneration as 10% (100% for Extreme) of Max HP per time unit. Rounds off to the same value turn to turn, but if several turns pass I'd include the fractions and the player (or monster, muhahaha) gets a few extra HP.

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