Villain Health - Revealed?

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Chilly Steke
Chilly Steke's picture
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Villain Health - Revealed?

Maybe a quick question-- do the players get to know the villain's health? I don't see anything about it in the rulebook (what we've seen of it). The players get to know the size of minions and lieutenants, so this would suggest that yes, they do get to know it, but in the RPG run by Christopher, it seemed like he was keeping the Villain's health a secret from the players. I imagine it significantly changes gameplay decisions one way or the other. Thanks!

PlatinumWarlock's picture
Last seen: 1 hour 37 min ago
Joined: Feb 10, 2013

That's something that's been a GM-choice for pretty much every game out there, so it's likely going to be left to GM decision.

I'm of the mind where I'll use relative hp descriptors to show a villain getting worn down: 

  • "That was a tangible blow; his power armor is cracked and smoking, and you can see a laser burn across his chest" 
  • "Your blade glances off the power armor, but the impact of your blow shivers up his arm.  He's still up and fighting, though."
  • "Your blast knocks him backwards, and he's slow to rise to one knee.  What was a trickle of blood from his broken nose has covered the lower half of his face, and he just spit out what you're sure was a tooth..."

I will, however, at the end of a combat (particularly if it's gone on for a while), break down and say, "Look, he's got 12 hp left.  You don't have to be fancy here; just take him out.", but I'll often follow that up with some degree of final-blow description (or, better yet, hand that description off to the player in question).

TakeWalker's picture
Last seen: 2 hours 38 min ago
Joined: Feb 26, 2016

I'll never forget the time we wasted a fully grown dragon with Ray of Frost because the DM told us it had 1 HP left. :B

It's all about how much tension you want to have in the game, and/or how tired you are of running the darn fight. XD

Missingno's picture
Last seen: 5 months 1 week ago
Joined: Jul 28, 2018

I'm likely to run this the same way I run my Pathfinder games.  For humanoids, and I'm counting the alien races as humanoids since PF/SF tend to do so, you get to see the bar for free.  For anything else, you need to take one out first before you get to see the bar so you can see how it responds to damage.

I'll put things in here later.

Chilly Steke
Chilly Steke's picture
Last seen: 1 week 5 days ago
Joined: Jan 25, 2018

Makes sense-- I like the idea of giving the heroes a vague idea through narrative description. Thanks!

Rabit's picture
Last seen: 3 hours 42 min ago
Joined: Aug 08, 2011

For more than a decade, now, I've used indicators in our D&D games (and other games that use minis, like Pathfinder) that showed if someone was slightly injured (yellow), fairly injured (orange) and very injured (red). (Specifically Alea Tools.) That's all the information the players ever have, but it does a decent job representing how poorly their opponents are doing. (I include descriptions, too, of course. :-) 

(That's about all the PCs know about their own health, in fact, which ramps up the drama a lot when they don't actually know if that long sword is going to be enough to take them out... ;-) 

"See, this is another sign of your tragic space dementia, all paranoid and crotchety. Breaks the heart." - Mal

Until we have an H emoticon:

Last seen: 7 months 4 days ago
Joined: Oct 17, 2019

In my games, it's all about the narrative description.

The villain might go from perfectly healthy with a very nice super suit

to bruised and scraped by a few glancing blows

to battered and wounded with a damaged suit

to bleeding and ragged breath with a good chunk of their suit destroyed