Grit & Flesh

“Grit and Flesh” is something that other systems have already experimented with, and I like how it looks. The Mountain at the End of the World has gotten rid of a couple of stats, and I sort of like how that looks, too.

Here’s what I’m thinking: Get rid of Constitution and replace it with Flesh. Grit can come along, too, but Flesh is the important part. Whenever you would roll Constitution, instead you roll Flesh—but when you take damage to Flesh, then you’re going to have a lower bonus.

Right now, this is how HP looks for levels 1-4 (which are the only levels that affect HP):

  1. (Constitution x 2) – 4
  2. (Constitution x 2) – 2
  3. Constitution x 2
  4. (Constitution x 2) +2

What this means is that somebody with Constitution +5 has HP 6, and then, over the course of leveling, has HP 8, HP 10, and finally HP 12.

With Grit and Flesh, Flesh would remain constant while Grit would increase every level at a rate determined by Flesh:

  1. Flesh – 4
  2. Flesh – 2
  3. Flesh
  4. Flesh + 2

Someone with Flesh +5 would always have Flesh +5 (except when they’ve been hurt, of course), but Grit 1, Grit 3, Grit 5, and Grit 7 over the course of their four levels.

Take #2

Alternatively, what about separating Grit from Flesh and tying it to Save? Right now, Save is equal to Charisma + a bonus based on PC Level, but I’m considering getting rid of Charisma and making Save its own rolled stat, like Flesh.

Currently, the PC Level bonus starts at +1, increases to +2 at Level 2, to +3 at Level 5, to +4 at Level 8, and to +5 at level 10.

If Grit were based on e.g. (1/2 Flesh rounded down) + Save, then our example PC would have Grit 2, then Grit 3 until Level 5, and so on. This is way too slow. On the other hand, if Grit were based on Save and the original progression that I posted, then someone with Save +5 (before the PC Level bonus) would have Grit 2, Grit 5, Grit 7, and Grit 9 over the course of their first four levels, then increase to Grit 10 at level 5, to Grit 11 at Level 6, and to Grit 12 at Level 10.

Yes, yes, it seems to be a mainstay among GLOG hacks that HP doesn’t increase past Level 4, but honestly, I’m okay with that, and tying Grit to Save feels satisfying on other levels: It partially separates HP from Constitution/Flesh, which smooths out the HP spread among the party and reduces the unviability of  particular builds, and it makes more sense to me than tying Grit to physical stamina (yes, yes, part of your “don’t get hit points” is about physical stamina, but presumably that already makes up some amount of what Flesh is measuring).

Take #3

Last idea, though, just to put it out there: let the player tie Grit to any stat they choose, from Flesh to Save to Strength to Intelligence. Grit, being abstracted representation of something that’s mostly/entirely non-physical to begin with, could arguably be based on a number of different factors and vary from person to person.


I got the idea of dropping some core stats from Vayra’s GROG. I first came across Grit and Flesh via Dan / Throne of Salt, but it’s fairly widespread and I’m not going to pretend to know who first came up with it.

1 thought on “Grit & Flesh

  1. Pingback: GLOG Class: Barbarian (Revised) | WMB Saltworks

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