Health and Resolve
This is an adventure game, which means that two very important qualities are key to your survival: the amount of punishment you can take without dying, and your ability to stick to your convictions in the face of adversity. These are tracked through three different systems of points: Hit Points (HP), Stamina Points (SP), and Resolve Points (RP).
Hit Points and Stamina Points are tightly intertwined: while Stamina Points represent how many bruises and dings you can reliably shake off without suffering any lasting damage, Hit Points reflect how many actual injuries you can sustain while still staying upright and conscious. In contrast, Resolve Points (RP) are more of an indicator of your willpower and gumption, and this pool measures your ability to overcome your physical limitations as well as to employ core tenets of your training, even when the odds seem long.
Each system of points is described in detail below.
Hit Points and Stamina Points
Hit Points (HP) measure how robust and healthy you are—a reduction in Hit Points represents physical wounds, illness, or another serious physical impairment. Stamina Points (SP), by contrast, measure your readiness and energy, and they replenish more quickly and easily. When you take damage—whether from an attack, a spell, a disease, or some other source—it reduces your pool of Stamina Points first, and any damage beyond your remaining Stamina Points comes out of your Hit Points. Think of Stamina Points like your ability to shake off a punch; the first one may not do any lasting damage, but eventually you get worn down and start hurting. If your Hit Points ever drop to 0, you are dying and must become stable, or you might die for good.
You replenish your Stamina Points by spending 1 Resolve Point and taking 10 uninterrupted minutes to rest and catch your breath. Up to once per day, you can regain some Hit Points and all of your Stamina Points after 8 full hours of uninterrupted rest (see Regaining Daily-Use Abilities and Spells; an 8-hour rest counts as a 10-minute rest to regain SP), but you can also regain them through the use of magic or technology. Sources of magical and technological healing state in their descriptions whether they restore Hit Points or Stamina Points. Usually, healing can restore points you’ve lost, but can’t raise your total capacity, though certain types of magic may temporarily ignore this restriction (see Temporary Hit Points below).
Calculating Hit Points
At 1st level, you gain the number of Hit Points listed in your race entry + the number of Hit Points listed in your class’s description, reflecting the overall durability of your race as well as the hardiness you’ve gained from your training.
At 2nd level and at every level thereafter, you gain the number of Hit Points listed in your class’s description, reflecting the greater influence your training and experience has played in your toughness.
Calculating Stamina Points
Your Stamina Points are determined by your Constitution score and your class. At each level, you gain a number of Stamina Points equal to the SP value listed in your class description + your Constitution modifier (even if your Constitution modifier is negative, the total amount gained can never be less than 0).
Temporary Hit Points
Some forms of magic can give you temporary Hit Points that last for only a limited amount of time, and can even exceed your normal number of Hit Points. If you have any temporary Hit Points, whether or not they exceed your maximum, you lose these temporary points first before you lose Stamina Points. Temporary Hit Points can’t be restored through healing.
Let’s say you’re making a brand-new 1st-level character: a human soldier. You find the entry for humans at Human and see that a human receives 4 Hit Points at 1st level. You then look at the soldier in the Classes, which tells you that a soldier gains 7 Hit Points at each level, giving your character a total of 11 Hit Points at 1st level. The class entry also tells you that a soldier receives Stamina Points equal to 7 + his Constitution modifier at each level. You go back and check your abilities. Let’s say that after rolling and applying your soldier’s racial traits, he has a Constitution score of 14, which means his Constitution modifier is +2. So your soldier has 9 Stamina Points (7 + 2) at 1st level. Remember, you’re adding only his ability modifier (+2), not the ability score itself!
Once your soldier has gone on a few adventures and gained enough experience to advance to 2nd level, he gains additional Hit Points based on his class. In this case, he gains 7 more Hit Points—remember, your character gets Hit Points from his race only at 1st level! For his Stamina Points, you do the same thing you did at 1st level, adding 7 Stamina Points from his class and 2 Stamina Points from his Constitution modifier. So your soldier now has a total of 18 Hit Points and 18 Stamina Points.
As a hero, you have resolve—an intrinsic reservoir of grit and luck tied to your talents and often enhanced by your class. Your pool of Resolve Points (RP) allows you to carry on even when everything seems lost.
Calculating Resolve Points
You have a number of Resolve Points equal to half your character level (rounded down, but minimum 1) + the modifier of your key ability score (the ability score that is most important to your class). Even if you have a negative modifier, you always have at least 1 Resolve Point.
For example, let’s say you’re creating a 1st-level mystic (whose key ability score is Wisdom) with a Wisdom score of 16 (a modifier of +3). Half your character’s level rounded down would normally be 0, so thank goodness for that minimum of 1! Add in the 3 from your Wisdom modifier, and your mystic has a total of 4 Resolve Points.
Spending and Regaining Resolve Points
Resolve Points can be spent in a number of ways, and many classes let you spend them to activate class features and regain resources. Some abilities don’t require you to spend points, but are active only as long as you have a minimum number of Resolve Points available—for instance, an envoy with at least 1 Resolve Point remaining in her pool can use her expertise class feature to roll an extra die on Sense Motive checks without spending the point. Your Resolve Points can never drop below 0. Dying causes you to lose Resolve Points. If you would lose Resolve Points due to dying and don’t have any remaining, you’re dead. (See Injury and Death for more information.)
Up to once per day, characters can regain any spent Resolve Points by getting a full 8 hours of uninterrupted rest.
General Uses for Resolve Points
Besides expending Resolve Points to activate class features, they are useful for a few key general purposes. Any character with Resolve Points can use them to regain Stamina Points, to stabilize after sustaining grievous wounds, or to rally and stay in the fight, as described below.
Regaining Stamina Points
- You can spend 1 Resolve Point to regain lost Stamina Points, up to your normal maximum. Using this ability requires 10 minutes of uninterrupted rest—if you’re interrupted partway through this process, you neither regain your Stamina Points nor lose the Resolve Point. You must take 10 consecutive minutes of uninterrupted rest to use this ability and cannot simply rest in intervals that total 10 minutes.
- If you are dying and you have enough Resolve Points, you can spend a number of Resolve Points equal to one-quarter your maximum (minimum 1 RP, maximum 3 RP) on your turn to immediately stabilize. This means you’re no longer dying, but you remain unconscious. If you don’t have at least 3 Resolve Points remaining when you are dying, you lose Resolve Points as per the dying rules (see Injury and Death).
Staying in the Fight
- If you are stable and have enough Resolve Points, or if you were knocked unconscious from nonlethal damage, you can spend 1 Resolve Point at the start of your turn to heal 1 Hit Point. You are no longer dying, you immediately become conscious, and you can take your turn as normal. You can spend Resolve Points to regain Hit Points only if you are at 0 Hit Points and are stable, and you cannot heal more than 1 Hit Point in this way. You cannot spend Resolve Points to both stabilize and stay in the fight in the same round.