|This material is published under the OGL|
The Grim-n-Gritty Hit Point and Combat System is a “realism”-based combat system, rather than a cinematic combat system. “Realism” is in quotes because these rules are not realistic in the sense of accurately modeling wound trauma in the absolute sense. Instead, they offer a slightly less abstract means of modeling damage that maintains a high degree of threat for characters of any level.
A brief explanation of the changes to standard combat follows.
Changes to Hit Points
At lower levels, characters have more Hit Points than their standard counterparts do. At higher levels, they will have much, much less Hit Points. Characters do not roll dice to determine their HP totals. They receive only a small amount of HP as they progress in levels.
The size of the character or monster has great impact on its HP. The larger the creature, the more HP it will possess. Monsters tend to have more HP than a humanoidcharacter. This makes monsters extremely tough, moving them towards the literary ideal of Monster.
(The GnG system assumes that the primary conflict of the campaign will be character v. character, rather than character v. monster. A monster can decimate even a well-armed and armored party.)
Changes to Armor
The GNG system does not use the term “Armor Class.” A character’s ability to avoid damage is Defense. A character’s ability to absorb or reduce damage is Protection.
Because Hit Points no longer represent a character’s ability to avoid damage, characters possess a new class-based statistic called Defense. Enemies perform Attack rolls opposed by a character’s Defense score to determine whether an attack hits.
Because characters have fewer Hit Points, armor now absorbs damage, rather than preventing hits upon a character in combat.
Changes to Critical Hits
In this system, critical hits do not exist.
Why? Because of the author’s presupposition that skill—more than weapon selection—determines how much damage a weapon inflicts.
Instead of critical hits, the system introduces the concept of Relative Degree. You add the difference between your attack roll and your opponent’s defense roll to the damage of your attack. In other words, the greater the success of your attack roll, the more damage you inflict.
Changes to Actions
The system provides a new category of actions: abort actions. You can perform these defensive actions when it is not your turn. For example, you can use an abort action to block an opponent’s attack or roll with his blow.
Characters can suffer severe trauma from a wound.
Called Shots have an important role in the system.