|Lord Chivalrous suddenly wonders whether|
he left the kettle on.
And there's nothing innately wrong with that. There's no real reason that you can't be the final arbiter of your character's skill, that two Fighters with 10 hit points can't be narratively different, with one not even noticing the stab wound in his arm as he kicks the orc in the chest, and the other skillfully dodging under the minotaur's clumsy, overhand hack and body-slamming the brute. Mechanically, according to D&D, there's no difference. And that's pretty cool, actually.
But there is something innately dissatisfying with the idea that this abstract representation takes so long to heal up. 1 hit point a day? Seriously? What am I "healing", anyways? Conan famously requires nothing more than breathing room and a swig of wine to ignore his wounds, and that's the sort of thing we should emulate, not Final Fantasy time and money drains.
In short, I've been considering adding Wounds to Labyrinth Lord, and they'd work fairly simply. You keep track of your Wounds separately, with each one reducing your maximum hit points by one. You take a wound whenever you get damaged by something. (Alternately, you could take a Wound for every 4 damage you take. Or, if you like, damage equal to half the class' hit dice size- so every 2 points for wizards, 3 for clerics, and 4 for fighters. This helps your tougher classes stay in the fight longer, if you're so inclined.) In this way, a hit means a hit, and Wounds represent real, physical damage. Whether you get hit by a stray arrow, an orc's sword, or the like, Wounds hurt, and they need to be healed.
To make up for your rapidly dwindling health, you regain all of your Hit Points by simply catching a breather of a minute or two. But not your Wounds. Your Wounds disappear at a rate of 1/level every time you get a good night's sleep. So, in other words, your Wounds represent the very real scrapes, cuts, bruises, gashes, concussions, and other sundry ailments that a life of hardship and pain brings. It represents the fact that even a knife cut hurts.
Clerics and other sources of healing magic can heal Wounds at a rate of 1 Wound per 5 HP healed, if they so choose. Of course, their healing is still useful, as it keeps a man from dying in combat, and is extremely useful for bringing a man up from the prone position, so to speak.
So you're tougher, and you can fight for longer in a day, but you still can't fight forever like some adventurers in "other games" can. But you're not any stronger in a straight fight than generic LL, so it's not like you have to redesign fights, encounters, or any sort of adventures. It puts a higher cap on what you can accomplish in a day, and that's always a Good Thing.