While roleplaying last night MattInTheHat pointed out one notable flaw in Heroes By Trade. The trouble that he saw was that combat and noncombat encounters were so strongly differentiated. The simplest example was one that came up in a previous campaign: The characters opened a secret door and found a villain hiding in a small room with a crossbow pointed at them. The crossbow fired hitting the lead character for 10 damage and then the villain was quickly captured. The injured character had 30 HP so they were not really injured and rapidly healed back to full since in HBT the only way to take serious damage is to lose all of your HP first. The trouble with all of this is that there is simply no danger whatsoever in a random villain with a crossbow. Everyone can just laugh, take it in the face, and move on. The potential drama of the moment is lost.
I wish that this wasn't true and that such encounters could be tense but the solution of making the mook with a crossbow potentially dangerous is fraught with issues. If Big Fucking Heroes can be really threatened by a single mook then one must assume that if they end up in a battle with four mooks they are reasonably likely to die. I want a system where Big Fucking Heroes can walk into an ambush set by a handful of bandits with crossbows and survive and these two scenarios cannot reasonably coexist. To be fair, there is a way to get close to it, which is to have very small chances for very extreme outcomes of combat actions. I could for example set it up so there is a .1% chance of an instant kill on each attack which would definitely make a single mook more dangerous and wouldn't change the odds much for a band of mooks but it would mean that the characters would just be outright killed on a semi regular basis and that holds no appeal. If combats are somewhat predictable and characters have a chance to react to bad things that happen then a mook with a crossbow just can't be dangerous.
Other systems solve this problem by having magical healing. In DnD you likely won't lose to a mook but if he hits somebody you have to expend resources to heal that damage. It isn't a particularly big deal but it means that the characters have *some* reason to be concerned. I really hate the idea of ubiquitous magical healing though and HBT is built around the idea that it doesn't exist, or at least that it is so limited that it doesn't cause the problems normally associated with magical healing. One possible solution is to change the way HP regenerates after a battle. Right now it all comes back without any cost at all but I suppose I could change it so that HP regenerates only if the character spends actual Wound Points to make that happen. For example, if a character takes 10 HP damage during a fight they might have to take 1 Wound Point damage to get their HP back to full. This would add a new layer of complexity to healing but would certainly make people hesitant get shot at with a crossbow because although it won't kill them it could cost them resources. It is a possibility worth considering at any rate.