November 16, 2010
I realize hit points are an abstraction themselves, but to allow for a more precise determination of the relative health of a character (without resorting to hp numbers) would require me to set up multitudes of descriptors; lightly wounded, heavy wounds, kirk-scratch, grazed, etc. I find it much simpler to allow hit point totals to show the relative health of a character. This can be translated as such; the character is down 10hp which is 15% of his hp, so I could describe this in character as “I am feeling about 15% of normal” but to keep it easy I just allow the characters to say “I am down 10hp”.
Note that I use this quick determination of relative health during combat when things are moving fast and furious. Outside of combat they can freely state their hit point totals.
How do you handle the question of characters/players knowing the hp total of another character?