In the Wizardry series of games, Hit Points (also shortened as HP) refer to one of the attributes of the player's characters. This attribute measures the amount of "health" the character has; the more HP a character has, the better will be the chances of surviving an enemy's attack, and hence the chances of survival in a dungeon.
Hit Points are an attribute all player characters have. It is a numerical value that represents the amount of "damage" a character can receive before it dies. The value is composed of two numbers: Current Hit Points and Maximum Hit Points.
Maximum Hit Points are a fixed numerical value, a way to refer to the maximum amount of Hit Points a character has according to its current character level. Upon the creation of a character, he or she has a specific amount of Hit Points which are determined by the the class the player chose for its character upon character creation; a Fighter will have an amount of HP usually between 4 to 15, while a Mage may begin play with an amount of HP between 3 to 6. Vitality may influence the amount of the character's beginning HP. The amount of HP received by the character is chosen at random, so no two characters will begin with the exact same amount of HP even if they belong to the same class and have the same attributes. With each level gain, a character will receive an increase of its Hit Points based on the chosen class and its Constitution.
Current Hit Points are a numerical value that fluctuates depending on certain conditions. The current HP of the character fluctuate between 0 and the character's Maximum HP. The current HP number is crucial because it determines how "healthy" the character is; this means it determines how serious are the character's wounds from battle, and how close it is to dying.
Certain conditions cause HP to deplete. These are:
- Receiving damage from an opponent. Be it an attack, or an enemy offensive spell, if it hits the character this will lose an amount of HP depending on the enemy's attack or spell used. Most of the time, the character will receive damage by this method, and the amount of HP lost will be based on a set interval of numbers (for example, a spell cast by an opponent may deal between 1 point of damage and 8 points of damage; the spell will not always reduce 1 or 8 HP because of damage)
- Traps. Chests left behind by enemy monsters may be trapped, which causes a couple of effects if the trap manages to trigger. Some of these traps (such as Crossbow Bolt, Exploding Box or Poison Needle) may cause damage to the character that triggers the trap, or to the entire group of player characters.
- Status effects. Sometimes, a trap or enemy spell doesn't deal direct damage, but instead cause special effects that affect the character's status. Some of these status effects include Poison, which causes the afflicted character to slowly lose HP depending on the action. Also, some traps and enemy abilities cause Instant Death, which depletes an enemy of its entire set of HP.
- Cursed items. Sometimes, an equippable item may be cursed, and this curse causes the enemy to lose HP. Some of these items cause HP to be depleted only when they are worn, others cause HP depletion merely by being held. When an equippable item is cursed, it is very hard to remove, sometimes requiring spells or going to a nearby town to remove the item. Equipping a cursed item (or merely holding one) can be very dangerous to a player character because it causes at times much more HP depletion than the former actions.
- Level Drain. Separate from other status effects, a player character may be depleted of levels instead: the loss of level may imply a loss of HP as well, relative to the current class of the player character.
As well, there are ways to recover HP. These are:
- Spells. There are some spells (like the Priest spells of Dios/Heal Wounds) that allow a player character(s) to recover an amount of HP determined by the spell itself.
- Resting. This way of recovery has changed with the games. In the Llylgamyn and Duhan sagas, the party recovers HP by resting at the nearby inn; however, while on the Duhan saga games the party recovers full HP with a one-night rest, in the first Wizardry games the amount of HP restored depended on the room taken by the character, and each healing was individual. The more expensive the room, the more HP per week was recovered. In the Dark Savant saga games, resting was done in-dungeon for the first game of the saga, and then the others provided towns to rest. The amount restored per rest was minimal.
- Use of items. Some items (such as Potions of Dios/Potions of Cure Light Wounds) are consumable and provide some healing; others are used from specific pieces of equipment, and the equipment runs a chance of breaking up with said use. As well, some pieces of equipment provide the ability to Regenerate the wounds of the user.
- In some games, the Lord class has an ability to regenerate the wounds of allies over time. The amount recovered is minimal.
When the amount of Current Hit Points reaches 0, the character suffers the Death status. This status prevents recovery of HP by usual means, and requires powerful spells or the use of powerful items (and in some games, it requires visiting special places and paying) to resurrect the character.