|Just a flesh wound?|
I talked it over with my buddy Tony, and we came to the same conclusion that Alexis did; humans are pretty tough to kill, overall, and not even your average firearm will kill a man in one hit. This is a fairly common fact, actually; firearms simply do not kill men frequently. They wound, disable, and stop. I heard a story once that the reason that the US military switched to 9mm bullets as opposed to the (unspecified) smaller calibre pistols they had used beforehand was that the 9mm bullet would stagger even the largest and most berserk of attackers, and drop them when hit in the center of mass.
And as for the common 5.56 round used in M16s and M4s, it has a similar purpose. It's common knowledge that older rifles had a significantly larger round to produce more stopping power and increase range, but many people question why we would use the smaller round when it has less killing power.
The answer, of course, is that we're not trying to kill the people. Which sounds silly, but we're really not. We're trying to disable them, so they quit fighting. The smaller round means that we can carry more ammunition on each and every soldier, so we can disable yet more enemies. It's beautiful. The fact that the rounds fragment and tumble is entirely irrelevant.
It makes intuitive sense that medieval warfare would be the exact same way. Combat is not to the death, but to the disable. If you've stabbed a man in the chest, as long as he no longer wishes to fight, it doesn't matter if he'll make it or if he bleeds out. You've defeated him, and now it's time to move on.
So I guess my position is somewhere in between. I don't see a problem with 1d4 hit points, when you consider that zero hit points doesn't mean death, it means disabled, and that a man can be brough back from near death with medicine, time, and a little luck. And I don't honestly see a problem with zero level humans having more hit points, although I've never particularly been a big fan of hit points as health. You can look at my house rules for wounds for a little bit on this. I've long been toying with the idea that only hit points at first level are actual "health" and that maybe you only get the one level of actual hit points and everything else just adds, I dunno, some sort of other toughness type thing and it's only a flesh wound until you get to actual health. It's what I was trying to do with a simple wound system, anyways.
But before I digress further, I have a busy day ahead of me- gotta look at some new houses (I'm moving!) and then go to class before they scratch me off the roster. I already paid, so I have to go sometimes.
This is an interesting enough topic to potentially get two parts.