Image by Jankolas from here.
The last 101 post was on critical hits
In the “101” series I … your dungeon master … explain some basic ideas in the game for listeners who enjoy the show but have never played table-top RPGs before.
The game features a lot of action and when combat breaks out we use the dice to create random elements and excitement. There is a combat system. Hit points are the measure of a character’s health.
At level one the characters start with between 4 and 12 hit points, depending on their class, such as fighter or wizard. Every time they go up a level, they can increase these points and become harder to kill and able to fight tougher monsters. When they are hit in combat, they take damage. If they fall below zero points they may die.
The most standard of fantasy setting weapons, the sword, does between 1-8 points of damage. So you see, at first level a character may be killed by one or two hits only. In our show we always state our rolls and damage etc, and we give hit point status updates too, so you should be able to get an idea of the stakes when action occurs.