Oct 21, 2010

Second Wind Option in My Campaign

My current D&D campaign uses the 3.5 rules. At the same time, I'm interested in the new 4.0 rules, but don't have a lot of experience playing it (other than a few D&D Encounters sessions at my FLGS).

While reading up on the new system thanks to the Rules Compendium for 4.0/Essentials. When I came across the detailed description for Second Wind, I realized that this was something I could easily incorporate into my 3.5 game.

One of the things that makes it easy to use a Second Wind-type mechanic is that my game already uses the Reserve Points optional rule (from Unearthed Arcana). I use this option since for most of the campaigns, I didn't have a full party, and even now, the group doesn't have a healing cleric. Since there isn't a steady pool of healing magic available, I think Reserve Points nicely fills that gap (and allows players to play what they want, instead of someone feeling like they must play the walking band-aid).

Since players have this Reserve Point pool that they would normally draw from between encounters (assuming a short rest), adding a Second Wind draw on Reserve Points during an encounter seems like an easy choice, and shouldn't upset game balance too much.

So, here's my write up for this option. If you are familiar with the 4.0 rules for Second Wind, you'll notice that it doesn't follow that mechanic exactly.

Second Wind (of Reserve Points)

This action can only be used when the PC is bloodied, and only usable if the PC has unused Reserve Points.

By spending a full round, the PC can immediately convert a number of Reserve Points to hit points equal to 1/4 of the PC's max hit points (round up). Unlike the normal rules for Reserve Points these are converted immediately to hit points and can be done during an encounter. During this time the PC is considered to be using the Total Defense action.

Second Wind can only be done once per encounter.

If the number of Reserve Points the PC has is less than 1/4 of the PC's max hit points, then only those available are converted.

Between combats, the normal rules for Reserve Points are still in effect, possibly providing additional hit points to the PC.

If you have a moment, please review and comment on this rule. I haven't used this yet in my game, but based on your feedback, I may be adding this option starting next session.