House Rule Musing: Serious Scarring

Adventuring is a dangerous, difficult pastime. Injuries – even severe injuries – are commonplace. Some injuries are so severe, they leave permanent scars.

By V Shane
By V Shane


This house rule is a reworking of a little known 1st edition AD&D rule that first appeared in the Dungeon Master’s Guide (page 82).

Permanent Scarring

If a character is reduced to a negative hit point total greater than half his Constitution score the injury is deemed so severe even magical healing cannot remove the resultant scarring. Determine randomly which body part is scarred and note such on the character’s description.

To determine randomly which part of the character’s body is scarred either roll on the table below or use a hit location die.


1-2 Right leg

3-4 Left leg

5 Abdomen

6-7 Torso

8 Right arm

9 Left leg

10 Head

Final Thoughts

You might be wondering what’s the point of this rule. After all, it doesn’t mechanically affect a character in any way. You’d be right; it doesn’t affect a character’s abilities in any way. It has no real game application; I just think it’s a cool piece of flavour to add to your character.

Finally, I leave you with a section from Krorz the Killer’s character sheet. Krorz is probably the most played character in my Borderland of Adventure campaign. He’s survived roughly 64 sessions, but has had some close shaves along the way!

Krorz's Many Injuries

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Creighton is the publisher at Raging Swan Press and the designer of the award winning adventure Madness at Gardmore Abbey. He has designed many critically acclaimed modules such as Retribution and Shadowed Keep on the Borderlands and worked with Wizards of the Coast, Paizo, Expeditious Retreat Press, Rite Publishing and Kobold Press.

2 thoughts on “House Rule Musing: Serious Scarring”

  1. I have been toying with the idea of scars, but I had not decided how to implement the process.
    My reasoning for the scarring rules was to give an extra source of income for deities of beauty and a reason to worship a deity of healing as those “heals” would not leave scars.

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