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Call a Hit Point a "Smeerp"

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"You gained a love" doesn't quite roll off the tongue in the same way, unfortunately.note 

As we all know, there are many conventions of video games, like Hit Points, extra lives, high scores, money systems, Energy Points, respawning, loot collection, and so on, which are almost universal.

Some games, however, try to avoid some of these conventions because they don't fit in with the genre. For example, superheroes don't usually collect loot or use expendable items like healing potions, realistic characters don't function normally up until the brink of death and then suddenly die, resurrection doesn't exist in all settings, and lots of character types wouldn't use money to buy items. But what if the genre of game calls for something like that, or the designers want or need such a mechanic for balance?

One way to handle the issue is to keep the errant mechanic, but offer a simple (or not-so-simple) "fluff" explanation. Superheroes might collect "flashbacks" or "trophies" from defeated supervillains that act like standard loot; realistic characters might have "Fatigue" or "Vitality" that represents near-misses or luck; and death can be smoothed over as "unconsciousness," with resurrected characters brought back to their feet by slightly more realistic restoratives.

Be careful when employing this trope in your games. Using tasteful quantities of proprietary terminology can give the game a unique flavor that stands out, but overusing it can cause players to have to constantly refer to a guide just to figure out what all of your unique terms mean.

This trope has been around since the days of Dungeons and Dragons, usually by game systems switching up their terminology just to be not-Dungeons-and-Dragons.

Named after the trope Call a Rabbit a "Smeerp", which is when an in-universe concept has a silly name.

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Video-Games Examples

  • Assassin's Creed has "synchronization" instead of health, as part of the game's framing device — that is, whether your character's situation matches up with what that character did. This also explains why stabbing random innocents or staying outside the game areas' borders to causes you to desynchronize, and why helping random citizens increases your life bar. It also implies Altair's entire life as a No-Damage Run.
  • Assassin's Creed II: "Synchronization" works a bit differently. Ezio can desynchronize by (directly) killing civilians frequently enough, dying, staying outside the game areas' boundaries or failing missions. He has a conventional health meter; instead, Synchronization refers to how far along you are towards 100% complete synchronization with Ezio's life.
  • Donkey Kong 64 has a pretty weird example: watermelons! Yep, your character's life is represented by a watermelon, adding up to three as you progress through the game. If you get hit, you lose a slice (four slices per watermelon). From the same stable, Banjo-Kazooie uses Honeycombs, and Conker's Bad Fur Day uses Anti-Gravity Chocolate. It also has dismembered "squirrel's tails" as lives, which hang around at random places on meat hooks. The actual ingame explanation given to you by a grim reaper is that it's "according to the powers that be", and continues implying that he doesn't really know why either.
  • Fear Effect had a "fear meter" rather than a life bar. The more afraid the character was (measured by their heartbeat), the closer they were to death. It's an interesting idea, but in practice works pretty much like a life bar, with each hit speeding your heart up until, when it's really pounding, one hit will kill you. The only real difference is that there are no health packs; there are a couple different ways to "calm down," like moving away from enemies and winning fights.
  • Classically, the Castlevania games use hearts not as health restoring Power Ups, but as mana points (in that hearts are spent by firing your subweapon). The second game in the series instead uses hearts as currency.
  • In Psychonauts, as most of the gameplay takes place in the form of Astrally projecting yourself into the unconscious minds of those around you, mental health is used as HP, "Astral projection layers" are extra lives, and mental aggression is ammunition. Strangely, though, these still work like this in the real world, so you lose "mental health" after being slaughtered by a very real cougar or the damned kamikaze rats.
  • As American McGee's Alice takes places inside Alice's mind, it has sanity and will for Health and Mana respectively. Main source of them are the enemies: killing makes her more sane. Makes a bit more sense when you realize the enemies are Anthropomorphic Personifications of her mental issues, with symbolic significance ranging from the obvious to the obscure.
    • In the sequel, Alice: Madness Returns, Alice's health is represented by roses. When wearing the DLC Hattress dress, her hitpoints are turned to the game's "currency", which is Teeth.
  • Ōkami and its sequel, Ōkamiden, use Solar Discs for hit points and praise for skill points. There's also ink that works kinda analogous to mana, but as the spells are drawn with a celestial brush, this one is more than window-dressing.
  • Max Payne doesn't actually have a health meter, but a "pain bar" which represents how much pain he is currently in. When his pain reaches maximum level, he's dead. Luckily, popping a few painkillers will make him right as rain.
  • The video game version of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows is basically a third-person shooter, with firearms and bullets replaced by wands and spells, except since you still need to cast each spell several times for it to have its effect, you're still basically firing bullets. Also, since about half the spells all serve the same purpose of knocking enemies out, the main difference is in speed of casting and effect area (analogues to fire rate and bullet spread). This even goes so far as to have Confundus zoom in like a sniper rifle (why Harry is so much more accurate with this particular charm is never explained). Potion bottles also act just like grenades.
  • In the Devil May Cry series the games equivalent of money and experience points (it's used to upgrade equipment, buy new items, and learn new techniques) is called red orbs, which are supposed to be crystalized demon blood. They can be earned both by killing monsters and by just finding them lying around (or by smashing the furniture), which is how money is often obtained, but you get more orbs for defeating enemies with more combo points, which makes them sound a bit more like experience points. You can also get red orbs from health pickups if you have max health.
  • Conversely in Bayonetta, Halos serve the same purpose as Devil May Cry's red orbs, being quite literally the halos looted off the many, many angels Bayonetta murders in the line of duty. These are used to pay Rodin for his various services. Bayonetta 2 introduces combatable demons, which exactly like Devil May Cry drop crystalized demon blood referred to as Orbs, but are treated 1:1 as Halos by the game when collected. Bayonetta 3 pits Bayonetta against the Homunculi, which drop Seeds instead as the main currency, with Orbs (this time treated as separate from Halos) acting as experience points for the Infernal Demons and earned by racking up combos. With angels now a rarity, Halos are treated as an extra source of currency, used to purchase cosmetic items.
  • I Have No Mouth, and I Must Scream has the Psychic Barometer, which measures how much pressure your mind is suffering. Doing immoral or emotionally stressful things causes it to drop, while righteous behavior and fixing/coming to terms with the mistakes of your past causes it to rise. While this has little impact on the characters' initial scenarios, it will translate into conventional health in the endgame, allowing the characters to take more pain and injury before dying.
  • The Superman Returns video game, while a dud otherwise, at least had a novel idea for not removing Superman's invulnerability, while still making him have to take care - it is Metropolis itself that is his "health meter", and if too much damage is caused to his surroundings during a fight, he loses.
  • In the Uncharted games, luck serves as Drake and Chloe's "health". When they're "hit", their luck gradually runs out. Once they've lost enough luck, it takes one more hit for an enemy to get a clear shot and kill them instantly. Of course, if they're not "hit" for a while, their luck regenerates over time.

    Eastern RPG 
  • This is common in the German adaptions of RPGs since different groups translate the English term "Hit Points" differently. Strangely, the English words "Ability" and "Item" are still used.
    • Which is similar to Spanish translations of video games, which when referring to health usually use either "Puntos de Salud" (Health Points) or "Puntos de Vida" (Life Points), while Final Fantasy translations pretty consistently use the simple term "Vitalidad" (Vitality).
  • 7th Dragon uses "Life" (LF) to refer to Hit Points. Somewhat downplayed with Mana (MN), which refers to MP, although it's still a deviation from the usual RPG jargon.
  • Anachronox has "NRG" instead of MP. Notably, though, it doesn't make up its own currency: it uses the Canadian Loonie as its inter-planetary currency.
    • Instead of Save Points, it has "Timeminders", strange aliens that can perceive their entire timeline simultaneously. By touching one, you make it take an interest in you, so it can go back to the point in time when it met you. Also, their tears can reverse a person's individual timeline (so if they have died, you can rewind their time to a point where they haven't), thus serving as a variant resurrection device.
  • Beyond the Beyond has a system of "Vitality Points" AND "Life Points" to replace the traditional HP system. When a character's VP drops to 0 during battle, they are stunned for a turn and have to expend some LP to get back into fighting shape. If both their VP and LP fall to 0, then the character is "dead" and has to be revived in a church.

  • Destiny of an Emperor for the NES revolves around you recruiting famous generals from the Three Kingdoms' Period to fight for you. Instead of hit points, your generals (and enemy generals) have "soldiers" that represent the number of, you guessed it, soldiers who follow and fight for the them. Instead of magic spells, there are tactics, which consume "tactical points."
    • The fact that your HP are actually your soldiers becomes a clever gameplay mechanic - as you take damage and become low on HP/soldiers, your damage output decreases because, in-universe, your general has fewer soldiers to attack with.
  • The Digital Devil Saga duology uses "Solar Noise" (I) and "Solar Data" (II) rather than the usual Moon Phases, and Experience is called "Karma". Completely justified in-game for all three cases.

  • Final Fantasy:
    • Starting with Final Fantasy IV, characters no longer "die" when they run out of HP, but "swoon" or are "KOed." This was probably because this is where real plot lines became a staple with characters dying. This should remove the question of "Why don't they just use a Phoenix Down?" but many people don't notice the distinction. The fact that the spell to restore KOed characters is still called "Life" probably contributes to this.
    • Final Fantasy in general is very inconsistent with how downed characters are referred as. While Final Fantasy IV had "Swoon", Final Fantasy VI made a bit more sense by referring to characters with 0 HP as "Wounded". Final Fantasy VII literally referred to downed characters as "Dead", which also brought up debate over why Aeris can't be brought back with a Phoenix Down. By Final Fantasy VIII and later, "KO" is always used to described a downed character rather than being outright dead.
  • The FromSoftware Action RPG Souls series gives a reason for respawning with you being cursed with a form of immortality that if you don't break you'll disappear into nothing but a stray bundle of souls or go into a form of madness known as hollowing. They also created an experience monetary hybrid and termed them "Souls" in Demon's Souls & the Dark Souls Trilogy. Souls are given lore reasons for their purpose and dialogue suggest it's what keeps some of the merchants alive and sane. You can also use special souls received from bosses as a key to create special weapons that they wielded/based on them or just for more experience/currency. The main healing item in the Dark Souls titles is known as the "Estus Flask", it is a rechargeable health potion that can be upgraded to give you more charges as well as become more effective. The usually automatic check points in modern games are places you must manually activate known as bonfires, which are given lore reasons as well. Instead of typical faction systems you get Covenants some of which that are almost pseudo-religions in the lore and all have their own rules, some which can help you save other wise doomed NPCs or reach special areas otherwise locked. Most in depth of all is the online multiplayer system, which explains itself through means of parallel worlds that exist beside your own that you can interact with in several ways. To explain it all in-depth would require a separate page to itself.
    • In Dark Souls 3 , they've included "FP" or "Focus Points" Meter which is the From Software version of Magic Points but subtly different in that it used for the skill techniques that are arguably non-magical. This also comes with it's own Estus variant for restoring FP known as the "Ashen Estus Flask", which the lore treats like it's always existed and not special to the player character.
    • Then, in the spin off/spiritual successor title Bloodborne they replaced souls as the experience monetary hybrid with "Blood Echoes", as blood in that universe is a source of supernatural strength. In the game's lore & story it's revealed later on, that it's power is truly from the blood of several ''Old Ones'' straight out of From Software's version of the Cthulhu Mythos. The Bonfires are replaced with Lanterns, but you can no longer rest at, only travel to and from the Hub Level, a place called the Hunter's dream, or respawn at via death or special items which also tie into the lore. Blood vials act as healing potions, with specialized variations that act as temporary buffs as well and have lore specific purposes. Also it gives new context as to why you can die and respawn, namely you're trapped in a living nightmare of the ''Old Ones'' and the only way to get out is via killing the creatures who are 'dreaming' this world into existence. With other players & NPC helpers you can summon also being in that same situation, just their own variation of it.
    • The trend continues in the spin off/spiritual successor Elden Ring, changing the context of why we can respawn with lore reasons that the Rune that is apart of the titular ring and responsible for controlling death for all things has been stolen, so we as can not truly die. A new experience monetary hybrid known as "Runes" are pieces of the Elden Ring itelf, and the specialized item dropped by the boss that can be used to gain a lot of Runes or a special weapon/spell is now referred to as a "Remembrance". The game also gives us a replacement to the Estus with two variants based on if you're restoring health or "FP", like in Dark Souls 3. Known as the "Flask of Crimson Tears" for Health and "Flask of Cerulean Tears" for FP. Much like their Souls counterparts Flask can be upgraded, but now have a special enemy for each type spawn in the world, that if killed will restore a charge. Most notable change though is the bonfire replacement is called a "Site of Grace", a self-standing ray of golden light that appears at certain places and can point the player toward the next major objective in the area. Lore wise, the Grace is notable in that some NPCs mention how they use to be able to see the Graces, but can no longer though some will seek it out still. On top of all those, they've added mini-check points called "Stakes of Marika", which now allow those who wish to re-fight a boss after losing an easier and quick path back then coming from the nearest Grace. They've also added a new system of FP using skills called "Ashes" with two variants one to summon helpful monster or special human NPCs known as "Spirit Ashes", notably separate from summoning other human NPCs like in previous From games and the other variant to give weapons special skills called "Ashes of War".
  • The Golden Sun series uses Psynergy in the place of Magic and thus replaces Mana Points (MP) with Psynergy Points (PP).

  • Jack Move:
    • Normal attack is "Hack", special skills is "Execute", using items is "Patch", and Defend Command is "Cache". Justified by battles taking place in Cyberspace.
    • Physical attack is "Toughness", physical defence is "Guts", special attack is "Grok", special defence is "Sass", and speed is "Synapse".

  • Legend of the Ghost Lion uses "Hope" to represent the main heroine's Character Level, "courage" for her hit points, and "dreams" in place of magic points (which are primarily used for Summon Magic).
  • In The Logomancer, the premise is that battles are rhetorical debates rather than life-or-death conflicts, so this applies to everything by necessity. Defense is "confidence", Hit Points are "willpower", special attack is "elocution", and so on. This extends to skills and other gameplay elements as well, which are all named based on rhetorical techniques and terminology.
  • In Lunar: Dragon Song, experience points are called "Althena's Conduct."
  • Madou Monogatari: Big Kindergarten Kids switches out the common gold currency for cookies.
  • The Mother series has PP rather than MP, since the characters are using psychic powers rather than magic spells.

  • In Pokémon Scarlet and Violet, the "barrier" that Tera Raid Battle bosses can use is never called as such — it being put up is referred to as "energy [beginning to] gather around" the boss, and it being broken is the boss "[breaking] its stance".

  • Rakenzarn Tales and Rakenzarn Frontier Story use Rune Points instead of MP.

  • Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey uses macca as its in-game currency, much like in the other games. However, its implication is nothing short of genius. Macca is a form of energy used by demons which is compatible with the batteries on the Mobile Base. Because the protagonists are on a sensitive mission deep in another world, the player is charged macca to make up the difference in using the ship's energy to treat injuries or synthesize new equipment (aka: buy items). They can also use forma harvested from demons to synthesize new equipment and break down old items into energy to gain more macca (aka: sell items). In short—it's a complete and immersive justification for an RPG economy and a total aversion of Adam Smith Hates Your Guts.
    • The health stations on the world map don't get an explicit reason why they need macca to run, but a bit of thought points out that they aren't hooked up to anything, so you'd have to charge them yourself - and since you already know that macca can run your ship's batteries...
  • Super Mario RPG and the Paper Mario series have "flower points" for magic points, and the latter series furthers this with "heart points" for hit points and "star power" for Limit Break points.
    • The first two games in the Paper Mario series has "star points" for experience, whereas experience points in Super Paper Mario look like old-fashioned arcade-style point bonuses.
    • Mario & Luigi games have called Mana different names: Superstar Saga and Dream Team used Bros Points (BP), Partners in Time didn't use mana, and Bowser's Inside Story used SP for Special Points, while the remake returns to the standard BP, calling them Brawl Points for Bowser.
    • Mario and Luigi also gives the brothers 'Stache Points, which serve as a combination of Skill/Luck (raising chances of Critical Hits) and Charisma (lowering store prices, presumably by impressing the shopkeeper with the moustaches in question). When Bowser's playable in Bowser's Inside Story, he has equivalent Horn Points.

  • In Uncommon Time, consumable items are named after musical notation — Healing Potions are "Sharps", mana potions are "Flats", and so on. Weirdly, they actually do seem to be literal potions, just given odd names.
  • Valkyrie Profile calls its hitpoints DME, or Divine Materialize Energy, representing Lenneth's ability to temporarily grant the dead souls accompanying her physical form. Later games in the series have living party members, and so revert to normal HP.

    First-Person Shooter 
  • Cryostasis describes the health meter as internal body temperature. You warm yourself up by being near sources of heat, and it dissipates (slowly) by being in cold areas. You also lose health when attacked by an axe-wielding enemy, but recover from said injuries by going back to a heat source.
  • Jurassic Park: Trespasser has no explicit hitpoints. Instead your character has a heart-shaped tattoo on her breast, which you can see by looking down. The heart's condition reflects your remaining Smeerps.
  • The Golgo 13 light-gun arcade games reward/punish for accuracy instead of whether you (playing as Golgo) get hit. You start the game with 100% "reliability". Do well on a typical mission and you will gain 30% reliability, up to the 100% maximum but no further. Miss the mark and your reliability goes down 80%. When your reliability goes down to 0%, you can't get a job because you're, well, not reliable, and you'll have to continue or accept a game over. All in all, it's a reasonably clever way of justifying a Hostage Spirit-Link: you won't take damage for hitting the wrong people, but nobody will trust you enough to hire you as a hitman.
  • Dungeons of Daggorath measures player health with a beating heart at the top center of the command/status area. When enemies hit you, your heartbeat gets faster. One of the game's few healing flasks slows your heartbeat. A poison flask speeds your heartbeat, sometimes fatally. Physical exertion, including swinging weapons and moving, especially moving with lots of backpack items, also speeds your heartbeat. Your heartbeat slows with time and rest. Let your heartbeat increase too much and you will "faint" — your screen fades to black, and monsters (if any) might get enough time for a free attack (or two) before you recover. Let your heartbeat increase further and your game ends.
  • Duke Nukem Forever doesn't have a health bar. Instead, Duke's well-being is represented by his massive EGO: getting hit reduces it, doing something awesome (like killing things) restores it, and doing something really awesome (like bench-pressing 600 lb or admiring yourself in the mirror) boosts his ego permanently. Should the ego fall down to zero, Duke dies, unable to cope with himself anymore. However, this causes Regenerating Health to make even less sense than usual, because it would mean Duke's confidence is boosted after doing nothing or even running away to hide.
  • Brothers in Arms Hell's Highway has luck instead of health. If Baker, the protagonist, stands in the open while being shot at, his luck will go down, as represented by a red tint at the edges of the screen, as the bullets strike closer and closer to him. It can be can be replenished by taking cover behind obstacles, or avoiding gunfire in general. If he continues to take fire, his luck runs out, and he dies as one of the bullets hits home.
  • Unlike the previous game, Killing Floor 2 replaced British Pounds with "dosh". Partly because it doesn't only take place in Britain anymore (not that converting between Euros and Pounds would be an issue for grey-market gun dealers, but whatever), and partly because that's all the players called it in the first place.
  • In PAYDAY: The Heist, XP is called "Reputation" and is measured in cash, which is earned when completing objectives and stealing loot. PAYDAY 2 separates reputation (which is gained by completing a heist, granting access to better gear as you level up) and cash (gained by stealing loot, used to buy and upgrade weapons and masks), and introduces a prestige system called "Infamy" - maxing out and resetting your reputation makes you more "Infamous".

    Massively Multiplayer Online RPG 
  • World of Warcraft introduced Holy Power for the Paladin class in 4.0/Cataclysm. It works similarly to a Rogue's Combo Points, with a few major exceptions: it's generated and spent by relatively few abilities, it accrues on the Paladin instead of his target (which allows the points to be generated by attacking one enemy and then spent on another,) and the points cap out at three instead of five. For whatever reason, this angered a small section of the playerbase who thought the two were too similar. Presumably any resource generated by any action, spent with any other action and stored up to a small cap would generate similar complaints from players.
    • It should be noted as well that this was part of a broader effort to give every class a more interesting secondary mechanical effect to add complexity and decision points to game play. Before Holy Power was added, a Paladin's healing game consisted of pressing one button over and over. After Holy Power, Paladin healers had a rich toolbox of moves that interacted with the new resource mechanic in interesting ways. Of course, any drastic change in a long-running game is bound to upset some people, especially those who think purely from a player's perspective and not a game designer's perspective, no matter how well-implemented the change.
    • Cataclysm also brought a "new" resource mechanic to hunters: Focus. This is the same resource used by a Hunter's pets. It works roughly the same way as the Rogue's Energy, the main differences being that it's a bit slower to regenerate, it only regenerates while standing still, while Rogues' Energy can regenerate while moving, and certain attacks restore it instead of depleting it. The colors of the resource bars are even pretty similar.
    • The monk class, introduced in Mists of Pandaria, uses two resources: Energy and Chi. The former works the same way as for rogues, and the latter is basically the monk equivalent of rogue Combo Points. Now that Combo Points are no longer tracked per-enemy, there is little functional difference between them and a monk's Chi.
  • City of Heroes has this in spades. Money is referred to as "Influence," but it works exactly like money mechanically, to the point of being able to walk into stores and purchase items using influence, and to sell items for Influence. There are also "Enhancements," which are implied to be non-tangible items like training or genetic mutations that improve your powers, but they can still be looted, traded, sold, and transferred just like physical items. Even Inspirations, single-use "boosts" that are implied to represent internal resolve, can be purchased and sold. This is a particularly notable example because early developer interviews stated that they wanted to avoid the "loot collection" mechanic because it did not fit with the superhero theme. In later issues, on the other hand, even more "item-like" elements were added, such as "crafting" new Enhancements, places where Enhancements could be "stored" and then "picked up" by other guild members, and even auction houses.
    • Ironically, Hit Points still have their normal name.
    • Rather than influence, villainous characters will trade in infamy, and inhabitants of the morally-gray utopia dimension Praetoria traffic in information. That all three begin with the letters "inf" is entirely intentional.
  • Drakensang Online: HP is called Health and the name for Mana differs by class: only Spellweavers retain the term, Dragonknights' is called Rage, Rangers' is Concentration and Steam Mechanicae's is Steam.
  • The Lord of the Rings Online calls hit points "morale" and has songs, etc. that can restore "morale". Again, morale works just like hit points, with armor mitigating damage to "morale" and weapons hurting it. Rather than dying, characters are stated to be "retreating", but this again works just like death in most MMOs - you have to "retreat" all the way back to a respawn point, and you stay in the same position (in case someone wants to heal you) until you respawn.
    • This has the rather amusing side effect that minstrels are the game's healers. Instead of physically curing your wounds, though, a minstrel heals you by singing a really really inspiring melody.
      • Which makes sense, given the "morale" conceit. As does the Captain's words of courage and rallying cries. As does the Runekeeper's pet rocks... wait, what?
    • "HP = Morale" also makes sense given that the grimmer areas of Middle Earth (covered in unholy altars, Black Speech carvings, and gruesome sacrifices) reduce your HP - i.e., demoralize your character. The above-mentioned Runekeeper's rock is covered in shiny elf-runes, and the sight of them (presumably) restores your character's faith in Good.
    • Unfortunately while it's often justified in terms of the player characters, it tends to fail rather badly when it comes to enemies. Reducing morale to zero by playing a lute makes considerably less sense when the end result is a pile of bloody corpses ready for looting.
    • In addition, parties are known as "fellowships", as per Tolkien tradition. The guild version of this is the "kinship".
    • Toontown Online has a similar approach to hit points. Rather justified—making a cartoon character depressed would certainly take them out of the action.
  • The Matrix Online uses "information" for currency.
  • Kingdom of Loathing uses "meat" for currency, because the creator didn't have a picture of gold, whereas he did have a picture of a steak. And because of the oft-parodied thing about giant monsters randomly having currency...
    • Mana Points are called different things for different classes: Mysticality uses Mana Points, but Muscle classes use Muscularity Points (for special damaging techniques) and Moxie classes use Mojo Points (for songs and dance moves).
  • Perfect World calls the RMT currency Zen before it's transferred to a server, rewards Spirit instead of Training Points or Tech Points for beating monsters, and has Chi instead of a Rage/Adrenaline meter. Yes, it's a game where you beat the snot out of bad guys and pay money to become more spiritually aware.
  • In Anarchy Online, nanotechnology is functionally equivalent to sword-and-sorcery style magic. Mana becomes nano points, mages become nanotechnicians, and so on. Handwaved that the local Phlebotinum is just that special.
  • Champions Online uses 'Resources' as currency, with Local, National, and Global Resources for different denominations. Mana is 'Endurance'.
    • Justified as resources can be used to REFER to "money", and since most superheroes aren't magically powered, Mana would not be an appropriate term. Endurance is also the term used by the parent, Tabletop game Champions.
  • In EverQuest, that stuff you use to cast spells is called Mana. In EverQuest II, the stuff has been renamed Power. Justified, in that in EQ2 all abilities beyond basic attacks, not just magic spells, have a power cost, but still confusing for players of one game trying the other. Also, in story, magic became very difficult or outright impossible because the gods were the source of much of the world's magic. Only until a faction of Monks discovered a method of using inner power to fuel their abilities did some magic start to return to the world.
  • Battlestar Galactica Online has Hull Points for HP (look ma, same short form!), power for mana and different types of currency. Tylium is used for basic purchases and doubles as fuel for Nitro Boost or FTL jumps, Titanium for repairs, Cubits for high-end purchases (which you can also convert real-world cash into) and Merits are used for the highest-end purchases like nukes.
  • Guild Wars 2 calls dead players "defeated", since the world no longer has access to resurrection magic and thus players are never really dead, but rather suffer a Non-Lethal K.O..
    • In addition to the standard gold, the game also features a currency called "karma" that can be obtained by completing events around the world and spent at specialty vendors.
  • In Star Wars: The Old Republic, the "resource pool" for special abilities goes by different names and different mechanics depending on your class. There's Force power, energy cells, rage, etc. The game also has numerous currencies; the most common is of course good old credits, but there are many, many others (command tokens, fleet commendations, rakghoul DNA, to name a few), all of which are earned in different ways and spent at different vendors.
  • Final Fantasy XIV has several examples in its currency. Normal money is gil, as is standard for Final Fantasy, but there are other types of currency for different purposes, such as several varieties of "Allagan tomestones" acquired from high-end duties and used to buy end-game gear, several different types of items traded in with vendors among the beast tribes you can help out, and MGP specific to the Manderville Gold Saucer. Occasionally, the player can also find old money pieces used by the Allagans and trade them in for specific amounts of gil (e.g. a silver piece is worth 500 gil).
  • Albion Online has "fame" as the equivalent of Experience Points.


  • Kid Icarus (1986) uses hearts as currency, and strangely enough there's a credit card as well.
  • Ape Escape has, of all things to measure your health, cookies!
  • Beacon of Hope uses heart-shaped lightbulbs for your hit points.
  • While it uses a conventional points system, Robot Unicorn Attack uses "wishes" in place of "lives". You get three "wishes" per game, apart from in challenge mode, where it bizarrely switches back to "lives".
  • The Ratchet & Clank series uses "Nanotech" to represent HP. In theory, this means that the characters have nanomites inside their body that will instantly repair any damage taken - until the supply runs out and the character succumbs to their injuries. In practice, this functions identically to a standard health bar.
  • Putty labels Putty's Life Meter "pliability."
  • Viewtiful Joe refers to its lives as "L.I.V."s, which stands for "Life is Viewtiful".

  • SOUND VOLTEX and MÚSECA refer to the timing ratings as Critical (perfect), Near (slightly off), and Error (miss).
  • In CHUNITHM, the highest three judge ranks out of four are called "Justice Critical" (perfect), "Justice" (great), and "Attack" (good). Only the "Miss" judgement is Exactly What It Says on the Tin.
  • In Chunithm's sibling game O.N.G.E.K.I., the judge ranks are called Critical Break (highest), Break, Hit, and Miss (lowest).
  • RAVON:
    • The game has a non-conventional Gameplay Grading system: the ranks are, in order of lowest to highest: M, K, G, F, A, B, O. Yeah that's right, a B rank is higher than an A rank. Also, F rank is actually a relatively adequate grade in this game, obtained with 900,000 points (out of 1,000,000) to 949,999. This actually has an explanation: the grades are themed after stellar classificatons.
    • What other games call a "full combo" or "no misses" is called a Nova. What other games call "all Perfect" is called a Supernova.

  • Air Combat and Ace Combat 2 have fuel meters that act as disguised timers; no matter how fast the player flies, the meters depleted at a steady rate, with missions that had more strict time limits starting you at half fuel or less instead of making it deplete faster. Later games switched to a traditional timer.
  • Landing Series:
    • In Midnight Landing, each stage is referred to as "Flight n", where n is the current stage number.
    • In Landing High Japan, the loading screen for the takeoff stage shows "Now Boarding". For the landing stages, the loading screen reads "Now On Final Approach". The idea is that during the time it takes for each stage to load, the displayed action is what's going on in-universe, as it's a passenger jet simulation game.
  • Roots of Pacha:
    • The game has "Contributions" in place of money since it takes place during prehistoric times, long before currency was invented. The produce and resources that you would normally "sell" in other Farm Life Sims are actually added to the tribe's potluck, which is used as payment for goods and services.
    • The quest log is called "Smoke Signals" while quests are called "Ideas" and are represented by a campfire.
    • Marrying a romanceable villager is called "forming a Union" with them, and proposals are done by giving them a Union Wreath.
  • Later games in the Silent Hunter Series use renown to pay for upgrades, new submarines and rebasing.
  • Star Control uses "crew" in place of hit points. Every time the ship is struck, you lose some crew. Ships with larger crew complements therefore have more "health". Rather than currency, "Resource Units" are used to purchase (build) new ships or get more crew, and trading with other races is done on a barter system rather than with money (although the Melnorme do use a system of "Credits" when trading, nobody else uses these Credits).
  • The Star Trek: Starfleet Command series uses "Prestige" as its currency. Wanna upgrade your ship? Congratulations, you've just gone from being the most famous captain of a scout ship to being just an unknown Constitution-class officer.

    Stealth Based Game 
  • The Art of Theft: Although Trilby gets money from his various heists, he never actually does anything with it. Instead, in-game skill upgrades are purchased with "Reputation Points," which he earns for particularly impressive exploits.
  • The first two Splinter Cell games use enemy alarms as an analogue to lives: even outside of missions or sections where the player is absolutely required to stay undetected or immediately fail the mission, having the alarm pulled three times will still result in Mission Control arbitrarily pulling the plug. The only other difference between these and regular Video-Game Lives is that guards start wearing body armor after the first alarm. Chaos Theory and beyond did away with this.
  • Thief does this in an interesting way in that there is apparently no term for the setting's currency. When currency is brought up (such as when mission objectives tell you how much money's worth of stolen goods you need to collect), only the amount is referred to.

    Turn Based Strategy 
  • Yggdra Union has Morale instead of HP, yet one enemy has an ability referred to as "HP Control System".
  • In the Star Control series, your spaceships have "Crew" instead of HP. This is actually used meaningfully in certain cases. The Syreen have the ability to pull crew into space and pick them up (if they're not picked up after a time, they die). The Ur-Quan Dreadnaught launches fighters at their enemies, but these fighters have to be crewed, so they each reduce the crew of the ship by 1. The Druuge have slow energy regeneration, but can transform crew into fuel. In story, this is called "feeding the furnace". And so on.
  • In Sengoku Rance of the Rance series, the number of soldiers under an officer is used as their health, attack power, and defense power.
  • Soul Nomad & the World Eaters doesn't rely on conventional money, because all your abilities are handled by Gig, and he doesn't want that crap. Instead you're on the Gig Point standard, essentially an absurdly complicated favors exchange that just kinda looks like a monetary system.
  • The XCOM from XCOM: Enemy Unknown is a military organization tasked with defending the Earth from aliens. As such, levels are called ranks, and are named Rookie, Squaddie, Corporal, Sergeant, Lieutenant, Captain, Major, and Colonel. Leveling up is called earning a promotion.
    • Ditto for XCOM2, except that the troopers with Psychic Powers use a more fantasy sounding rank system (ending up the same thing as the regular troopers, just with different names such as Magus being equivalent to Colonel) and XCOM's Attack Drone use knightly ranks, both being a Mechanically Unusual Class. They still "earn a promotion" instead of levelling up.
  • Many of the core mechanics of Civilization: Beyond Earth are renamed versions of familiar mechanics from Civilization that function basically the same. Energy is gold in all but name (it is accumulated from trade routes, can be spent on purchasing units and buildings, etc.), health is happiness from Civ5, virtues are social policies under a new name, etc.

    Western RPG 
  • In OFF, skill/mana points are called "Competence Points" (with skills being called "Competences"), and basic items have odd names as well (basic health-potion items are "Luck Tickets", for example).
  • Undertale has a fairly complex and spoilery example. When you're introduced to the fight mechanics, you are told that finishing a fight lethally will give you EXP. Get enough EXP and you get LV. Fairly standard, except for Flowey saying that "LV" stands for 'love' instead of 'level' and it's actually more like Call a Karma Meter a Smeerp. The 'ex' in 'EXP' stands for execution, not 'experience', and LOVE turns out to be an acronym (not The Power of Love as Flowey was trying to make you think) standing for Level Of ViolencE. Since monsters' mental state is directly tied to their physical state, Killing Intent is what really matters for hitting hard. LV measures the amount of It Gets Easier you've experienced. It also measures how badly the game is going to punish you for being a murderous maniac- get no LV and you get the Golden Ending, get some LV and you'll get some guilt-tripping and No Points for Neutrality, get the largest amount of LV possible and the game will do its level best to be as horrible an experience for you as possible.
  • The Elder Scrolls:
    • The series uses "Magicka" to refer to Mana.
    • Morrowind and Oblivion use "Fatigue" to refer to Stamina. (Skyrim drops this and uses Stamina outright.)
  • In Mass Effect 2 and 3, guns use 'thermal clips', which are ejectable heat sinks used to absorb the waste heat of the internal mass accelerator and keep the gun functioning, and behave like ammunition in any other shooter. This is part of a complicated in-universe Hand Wave (verging on Voodoo Shark) to explain why guns suddenly need ammunition, when in the first game they had Bottomless Magazines and were limited by heat rather than ammo.
  • In Alpha Protocol the Shield part of Regenerating Shield, Static Health is called "Endurance".
  • In the Roguelike Dungeonsof Dredmor all the stats have been renamed to more humorous things like Burliness, Sagacity, Nimbleness, Caddishness, Savvy, and Stubborness, they work identical to stats from other RPGs.
  • Septerra Core is a game that revolves both thematically and mechanically around what is called "Core Energy" - essentially a magical force that radiates from the "core" of the world and powers both magic and technology. "Core Energy" is the game's term for MP/SP as well, as it's consumed to both cast magic spells and use individual skills, but instead of each individual character maintaining their own Core Energy, each party member's base CE gets pooled together into a single value. In addition, the game uses a magic system where the player can combine what are known as "Fate Cards" together - one per character in battle, so up to three - to create a wide range of spells.
  • With the exception of the first game in the series, in Risen your Experience Points are called "Glory" instead, most likely because the setting involves Caribbean pirates and sailors and their glory-hound mentality.
  • None of the stats in Sunless Sea and its sequel Sunless Skies are named conventionally. "Hull" stands for the hit points (after all, the player sails a ship), and the traditional stats are named after Masters of the Bazaar: Iron stands for attack, Veils for stealth and speed, Pages for knowledge, Hearts for morale and healing and Mirrors for observation and illumination.
  • In BoxxyQuest: The Gathering Storm, HP stands for “Heart Points,” and mana/magic is called RP, which means “Rawr Points.”
  • Bug Fables, much like the series that inspired it, has unique names for their Mana and Experience Points. The former is called TP, or "Teamwork Points", and the latter, while still abbreviating as EXP, are called Exploration Points. Levels are also called Ranks here, while Level Ups are called Rank Ups.

    Wide-Open Sandbox 
  • [PROTOTYPE]'s experience points are called Evolution Points, or EP, because Alex is ostensibly adapting his body to counter threats more efficiently after every fight. His health bar also technically represents how much biomass he currently has at his disposal - he loses mass when he's injured and gains it by absorbing other living things.
    • The hp/biomass thing is even reflected in the damage of enemy weapons; bullets and small blades, no matter where they hit or how deadly they'd be to a normal person, hardly remove any mass from the target and thus are almost useless against Alex. Meanwhile a punch from a Hunter or an explosive attack would scoop away a lot of mass, and reflect this in their damage.
  • Both Grand Theft Auto 2 & Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas have a Respect based system in place, in GTA2 it was simply a 'reputation' meter replacement for the factions in the game. In San Andreas it's expanded in some ways and de-emphasized in others, it's more a background factor here it's generally awarded for passing missions or doing side activities with some small gains for wearing certain clothing, tattoos and hair styles. the major deductions come from losing territory in game or having members of your gang killed by you or enemies. Gaining enough will allow the player to recruit more nameless NPC characters.
  • Saints Row has Respect, gained for completing missions/activities and buying all sorts of things, complete with added bonuses for things like buying and wearing clothes in your gang's color. Depending on the game, Respect works as either a secondary currency that determines if you can undertake a mission in the (first two) games, or as the game's equivalent to an experience bar that allows you access to more and better upgrades for your character as you level up in the (last two) games. For what little sense either interpretation makes, the latter is a better fit because it doesn't lead to you somehow losing respect for agreeing to help out your gang and then gaining only a fraction of that lost respect back for actually doing it.

    Other Genres 
  • Bungo to Alchemist: Author hitpoint is called "corrosion" value, and their Mana is called "epiphany".
  • The Professor Layton games don't have hit points, but your score is measured in a unit called "picarats." The number of picarats a puzzle can earn you is based on its difficulty (the more picarats it's worth, the tougher it's going to be). The more times you try a puzzle and get it wrong, the fewer picarats you can earn by getting it right, although after the second incorrect answer it stops lowering the score. They don't affect the outcome of the game as far as winning or losing, but you must earn certain numbers of picarats to unlock bonus material like character profiles.
  • Cirno, the main character of Yousei Daisensou ~ Touhou Sangetsusei, is a fairy who always revives after dying. As such, it makes little sense for her to have a limited number of lives, so instead they're called "motivation" and expressed as a percentage (so she'd have 300% motivation instead of three lives, and drop down to 200% if she takes a hit). When you run out of motivation, Cirno wanders off to do something else.
  • In Theatrhythm Final Fantasy instead of calling perfectly hit note "Perfect" or "Excellent", they are called Critical Hits. This is because a large amount of the songs are played in a mock turned based battle setting.
  • Hellsinker seems to be allergic to standard video game terminology. Just to name a few examples: "Discharge" means "bomb", "segment" means "stage", "away" means "exit game", "bootleg ghost" means "autobomb", "Stella" means Dynamic Difficulty, "Sol" is your Smart Bomb stock, "Luna" is your shot power, and so on. Even the options men—sorry, Tuning Dipswitches are a chore to decipher.
  • REFLEC BEAT, as part of its emphasis on player-versus-player gameplay, refers to each stage as a "Round" instead. This is despite the fact that you won't necessarily be playing against the same player for every stage of your credit.
  • FTL: Faster Than Light uses "scrap" as its currency. However, the scrap you pick up can also be used within your own ship to make upgrades, rather than just purchasing goods.
  • Ace Attorney has several names for the Life Meter throughout the series:
  • Vangers: One for the Road is a good example of what happens if you heavily overuse this trope in addition to letting the story be written by someone who may or may not be a lifelong LSD abuser. You drive mechos (heavily armored and armed offroad vehicles) and run tabutasks (mission contracts) in order to get beebs (money). But not before you undergo ruBeecation (a sort of punitive initiation) and do the Eleerection (a race) in a raffa (a tiny mechos). Confused yet? No? Oh, don't worry, the entire game is like this, all the time, for everything.
  • The Dillon's Rolling Western series uses scrogs as its hit-point stand-in, and the grocks that attack you steal or eat them when they breach your barricades. This is actually justified in-universe as something actually worth defending, as the scrogs themselves are a food source for the villagers that hire you to help them; losing them means the village goes without food, forcing them to relocate or risk starving.
  • I Am Bread uses the bread's Edibility as a life meter stand-in. The cracker uses Integrity for the same.
  • Fall Guys calls each game sessions "Episodes", and experience points are called "Fame", befitting the TV gameshow theme.
  • Fans of Blaseball have datamined the stats that govern a player's star rating. Who knew that Shakespearianism was a factor in your pitching ability?note 

Other Examples

    Card Games 
  • Magic: The Gathering
    • The original collectible card game simply has life, but your starting life total in a battle in Shandalar is determined by how many "mana links" you have.
    • It also uses the term "tapping" to refer to turning a card sideways to indicate it's been used for that turn. Many other card games, as well as board games that include some cards, have cards that can be used once per turn, which is almost always indicated by turning them sideways (or sometimes, upside-down). Pretty much all those games have their individual terms for this action ("activating", "exhausting", etc), and yet pretty much all the players use the word "tapping" anyway.

      Wizards of the Coast has trademarked the word "Tap" when it refers to turning a card sideways to signify that a once-per-turn effect has been used. Other Wizards games can use the word, but not those from other companies. Legend of the Five Rings, meanwhile, though a Wizards game, has been using "bow/straighten" to mean "tap/untap" since before this was the case, and since it fits thematically, it hasn't changed. This has had the humorous effect of making a T-shirt sold by Penny Arcade, stating "I'd (World of Warcraft TCG symbol for "exhausting" a card) that," make no sense at face value, since the terminology is so embedded in the TCG community that no-one involved in the shirt's design ever even bothered to remember it's not called tapping in the WoW game.
    • For an example within a single game, there's the Portal set, which was intended to teach new players. It used different terminology from the regular game; for instance, the "library" and "graveyard" were referred to as the "deck" and the "discard pile", and "blocking" was referred to as "intercepting".
    • The imaginary sci-fi version of Magic, Space: The Convergence, pointedly uses different terms for almost everything. Life is "control"; mana is "psi", which comes in five "alignments" rather than colors; lands are "resources"; graveyards are "voids" and so on. "Tapping", however, is unchanged.
  • The Adventure Time card game, Card Wars, has a system similar to tapping cards, referred to as "flooping." You floop a card to use its effect, and activate it (basically turn it the other way) if it's used for combat. It should be noted that the episode this card game comes from had it as more or less a parody of card games like Magic.
  • Netrunner plays this trope. Some of it is inevitable due to the asymmetric nature of the game, but it's also applied to the parts that aren't; draw, discard, and hand have six names between them.
  • At the beginning of a match in the Pokémon Trading Card Game, both players set aside the top 6 cards of their deck face down as their Prize Cards. Whenever a player knocks out an opponent's Pokémon, they take one of their Prize Cards. As soon as a player claims all 6 of their Prize Cards, they win the game. Prize Cards, therefore, simultaneously represent the player's score, as well as the opposing player's "life" and the status of their team (a reference to the Pokémon video games, where players can only carry up to 6 Pokémon with them at a time).
    • When a card is "exiled" from the game (i.e. removed from play entirely), it is referred to as having gone to the "Lost Zone".

    Fan Works 
  • In With Strings Attached, experience points are called Stress Experience, or S Ex. This leads to a lot of goofy language, of which the gamers are fully aware.


    Live-Action TV 
  • Legends of the Hidden Temple used "Pendants", which could be used to fend off Temple Guards in the final round.
  • On National Lampoon's Funny Money, a short-lived Game Show Network original where contestants competed to earn points related to standup comedy routines done during the show. Points were referred to as the extremely unwieldy "X billion National Lampoon Funny Money Dollars" (or "bazillion" in the pilot).
  • The point system on Save to Win referred to every correctly-answered question as "an item in your cart".


    Tabletop Games 
  • Many Follow the Leader tabletop role-playing games have made use of this trope. The most common and understandable term is calling a Dungeon Master a "Game Master," "Arbiter," "Referee," etc., done since Dungeon Master is trademarked. On the other end, you have extremely out-of-the-way terminology like "forging hecka" for "casting spells," or referring to the Game Master as the "Game Overlord Deity," "Adeile," or "Hollyhock God."
    • Similarly, tons of games have traits that offer conditional bonuses to characters. Depending on game, these might be called Feats, Traits, Gifts, Stunts, Abilities, Advances, Moves, Talents, Refinements and so on forever.
  • The Order of the Stick adventure game measures health in "wounds". When your character runs out of wounds, he/she must retreat. Taking damage causes you to lose a wound, and Durkon's curing spells heal them — thereby restoring a wound to make your character healthier. Extra irony points for being based on a comic that uses the term "HP".
  • The main miniature games from WizKids use the "clicky" base concept, where a character's stats are represented by a dial on the character's base. As the character takes damage (or is healed), the player turns the dial to reveal a different set of stats. Each turn makes an audible "click" — thus Hit Points in these games are generally called 'clicks'; i.e. "my Superman hits your General Zod for 5 clicks".
  • Champions has Stun Pips and Body Pips instead of hit points, but they really do work differently. While running out of Body kills you, running out of Stun merely knocks you unconscious. Additionally, Body isn't "abstracted hit points" like it is in D&D — it really represents the ability to withstand physical injury. A very experienced character is not expected to have more Body than a novice character, unless his super-powers call for him to be (say) 50 feet tall and made out of stone. Champions Online, on the other hand...
  • This trope was used for entirely different reasons in the old "'80s Roles Aids and Judges" Guild products for D&D, as "hit points" was then a fiercely-guarded trademark of TSR. This forced writers from other game companies to use terms like "HTK (Hits to Kill)" as a transparent stand-in for hit points.
  • Palladium Books:
    • Various RPGs use Hit Points, but also Structural Damage Capacity, or S.D.C., which is both the hit points of inanimate objects and the superficial bruise and scratch damage a character can take before the damage rolls over into hit points. And just to make things more complicated, the sci-fi settings of Robotech and Rifts add Mega-Damage Capacity, or M.D.C., which is Hit Points at two levels of magnitude higher, to be applied to mecha, armored vehicles, some Power Armor, and spaceships.note 
    • There's also P.P.E, Palladium's name for Magic Points. P.P.E. stands for Potential Psychic Energy, and is said to be an energy that exists throughout the universe and resides in all living things. In the case of humans, most of a person's P.P.E. is channeled into skills and talents he develops throughout his life, which is essentially their Handwave for why it's called that, and not Magic Points.
  • Warhammer and Warhammer 40,000 use "Wounds" for hit points. Most basic units have only one. As of 6th edition vehicles in WH40K have two to four "Hull Points" that function the same way.
    • As of eighth edition, even vehicles have wounds, which is weird because most vehicles in 40,000 are not an unholy abomination made from the screaming remains of some damned souls forged into a walking horror that can smash a main battle tank, a machine possessed by a bloodthirsty demon that wants to grind flesh beneath its treads and slick its armor with blood, or a sarcophagus holding a warrior whose deadly wounds keep them in a coma except when they are awakened to rampage through a killing field. Some are those things, of course.
  • The Witcher: Game of Imagination comes with Vitality. It's further divided into four stages: Healthy, Beaten, Wounded and Dying, each corresponding to a quarter of total Vitality. Healthy and Beaten represent situations when the character is out of a fight or has sustained some minor bruises during a fist fight and are rather harmless. Wounded makes your rolls progressively harder, while Dying seriously lowers your stats and skills and requires medical attention in a short time or the character will die, even if not receiving any further damage. Reaching 0 Vitality or below it is instant death.
  • Dangerous Journeys is one of the most egregious offenders. After leaving TSR, Gary Gygax wrote a new RPG, and in an attempt to avoid lawsuits he changed around pretty much every game term there was ("K/S Area" instead of "Skill", "Dweomercræfter" instead of "Wizard", "Physical Muscular Power" instead of "Strength"). It didn't help, as Gygax and GDW were still sued by TSR, with the list of things considered infringements including things like "the concept of adjusting stats based on age" and "rolling dice to see if you succeed".
  • Star Wars d20 has Vitality instead of regular hit points, as well as Wounds. If someone shoots at you, you could've been hit, but you expended some of that Vitality to avoid it just in time. (Thus explaining why Stormtroopers keep missing in the movies — the heroes just have a lot of Vitality.) If you suffer real damage, though (usually from a critical hit), you take Wounds — and you have far less of those (equal to your constitution score) before you die.
  • The hard-to-find first-edition Immortal: Invisible War changed everything. Even basic terms like 'point' got the treatment (in this case, they used 'mote'). Granted, they used terms that fit the descriptions for how things worked in the setting, so it all made sense once you wrapped your brain around the new terms. It even had to include a glossary in the quick-start booklet.
  • In Anathema, players' health is measured in "anathema", rather than health or hit points.
  • Nobilis and Chuubo's Marvelous Wish-Granting Engine, as well as calling the GM "Hollyhock God", use MP to stand for Miracle Points rather than Magic Points. They still work similarly, but the name change does help emphasise that these aren't wizards, they're gods.
  • Victory in the Pacific - hit points become "armor" and victory points become "POC" (Points Of Control).
  • Fate Core: Characters have two Stress meters for the physical and mental damage they can absorb without personal harm, which reset at the end of every Scene. Damage in excess of their Stress capacity inflicts Consequences with potentially much more long-term effects.
  • The One Ring: "Endurance" points represent a creature's overall mental and physical capacity to keep going, so Endurance loss is distinct from a life-threatening "Wound".

    Web Comics 
  • MS Paint Adventures:
    • Problem Sleuth: This happens a lot. For example, the durability of armor is represented by the "Treacle Aegis", a candy cane which becomes shorter as the armor takes damage (To be fair, the armor WAS made of candy, but it still counts), the amount of time during which a character can stay in their super-powered candy monster form is represented by the freshness of a pumpkin, and the Limit Break meter is a bird which gets more agitated as a character's Gender Bending alter-ego takes damage.
    • Homestuck: Used with the game mechanics of the in-universe video game SBURB. For example, the seldom-appearing Health Vials at full health appear as a bar in a background bar of gel of a color appropriate to the character, and the bar empties and leaves the gel as players get hit. The system for leveling up, referred to as climbing one's echeladder, increases the "gel viscosity", making it harder to knock the vial out of the gel.