It's amazing how admitting that you have nothing to say let's you think of things unsaid. Perverse that.
I have been reviewing the rules of Under the Dying Sun as I may get a real live group to play soonish. And I came across this: "Hit Points are an abstract measure of vitality, ability to withstand pain, defensive skill, and luck." Nothing new or earth-shaking there, but that's actually kind of the point. Hit Points have always been abstract, but that is one of the most overlooked parts of Ye Auld Game's system. I mean, they are called hit point, for Gary's sake; obviously they represent how many hits you can take! Right? And that's why we have the crazy stuff about high-level guys shrugging off arrows, becoming immune to a knife in the throat, and easily surviving falls from high place. Ah, the arguments in Dragon magazine back in the day; how I miss ye.
As I mull this over in my head, I think that the name may be a large part of the problem. So what if you called them something else? What if you called them, for example, "Fortune" or "Luck Points"?
You get this:
Luck Points are an abstract measure of vitality, ability to withstand pain, defensive skill, and good old-fashioned luck. At the conclusion of combat, all characters who still have at least 1 Luck Point regain half of those lost in the bout (rounding down). Thus if a character takes a total of 5 points of damage, even if from different opponents, he regains 2 points once the fight ends and he can catch his breath.
Characters fall unconscious when they drop to 0 Luck Points or less and suffer from a Wound.
That's from the section on Injury & Death with the appropriate substitutions. And I rather like it. Instead of saying, "You are all out of hit points; you're dead", you could now say, with some brutal understatement, "Your luck has run out; you're dead."
On the other hand, that terminological shift might be a bit too much for some players. Hit Points are a fairly intrinsic piece of the game's history. God knows how much the shift to ascending Armour Class bothers some people. Hmn, something to think about.