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Vowtz
2014-08-03, 08:43 PM
I hate this so much!!!


Ok, let's start again.

Hello, i am from Brazil and i've been playing dungeons and dragons for more than 20 years, since the first one until now, just skipped 4e, that was not for my tastes.

Today me and my friends tested DnD5 basic rules, and so far we like what we see.

EXCEPT FOR......

The damned healing!! I cannot understand why everyone has to be a @&$!& wolverine!!

If you finish a short rest you can recover a lot or all hit points you lost, how that works?!

Let's put an example: suppose first level warrior is fighting a giant monster, and suffers an attack that render him near death, with 1 hp, then he and his friends manage to slay the monster.

With one hour of rest he can recover 1d10+1 hit points, with great chances of full recovery.

But wtf??? Wasn't he almost dead? How can be he be just fine with just ONE HOUR of rest?? He doesnt even need to rest, he can spend his time reading a book or taking a shower!

I can accept healing magic doing that, because it's not natural, it is magic after all...

This super healing is frustrating because every wound seem irrelevant. If a children is pierced in the chest by a spear, that's no problem at all, she can recover in one hour and come back to school after lunch.

For the already mentioned warrior it is even worse, he can recover his pierced chest immediately with his "second wind"! It seems he was fine all along, that spear was just a minor incovenience.

And then comes the Long rest... Here does not matter if you have been fighting for 5 days against hordes of demons inside a pool of acid, once you end a long rest all your damage is restored.

If this healing rules remain unchanged I will never be able to enjoy DnD 5, everybody having mutant regeneration is too great a problem for me to ignore.

Maybe even with all it's flaws, I'll just stick with 3.5.

Prophet_of_Io
2014-08-03, 08:58 PM
A short rest in 5e is an hour long process that can't have any activity more strenuous than sitting, eating or tending to your wounds.

The hit dice healing system isn't all that powerful so especially at early levels you only get 1 or two worthwhile rests. Not to mention you have to have a place to safely stay for an hours time. In a dungeon with wandering monsters that can be hard to find

It doesn't look like wolverine healing to me. My group usually finds the lack of healing to be the biggest obstical thru have to overcome (none of them wanted to be the cleric).

MeeposFire
2014-08-03, 09:04 PM
Also if you look at the history of hit points it has never been about just physical injury. In fact physical injury becomes a very minor part of HP as you level (and less of it as you level). This would explain how a 20th level character can always survive a fall at terminal velocity since if it was only wounds then there would be no way he should survive (something else is at work here)

This has been a misconception for a long time if you look at old Dragon Magazines from the 80s you have Gary Gygax saying this exact thing and telling players that HP is mostly your luck, stamina, being mythic, etc. It is something that clearly is hard for many to stop thinking but it makes the game make more sense.

Theodoxus
2014-08-03, 09:09 PM
I felt this way too at first, thinking what's the point of healing - and what's the point of hit points; this is more like vitality. I even went so far as to consider using a modified wound point idea from 3x. (And I still might.) But, if one considers that the multiverse of D&D isn't like our own; a place where magic infuses everything, then sure, why not give everything accelerated regeneration. The Weave heals that which isn't dead. Death is only temporary where magic is concerned. Plus, it harkens back again to online gaming - where serial "death" is common place and healing is quick.

So, there are definitely options for a grittier game play - outside of just going back to 3x.

As it is, I'm planning on cobbling together various rules from 3, PF and 5 to create a simplified, yet coherent whole that can use the vast wealth of products already out. No need to scrap everything just because new rules come out. d20 is extremely modular, and I'm going to take every advantage I can with it.

HorridElemental
2014-08-03, 09:32 PM
Also if you look at the history of hit points it has never been about just physical injury. In fact physical injury becomes a very minor part of HP as you level (and less of it as you level). This would explain how a 20th level character can always survive a fall at terminal velocity since if it was only wounds then there would be no way he should survive (something else is at work here)

This has been a misconception for a long time if you look at old Dragon Magazines from the 80s you have Gary Gygax saying this exact thing and telling players that HP is mostly your luck, stamina, being mythic, etc. It is something that clearly is hard for many to stop thinking but it makes the game make more sense.

I can't help but quote this since so many people take HP and run with the idea that it is only physical wounds, hell in 3.5 the only cure spell in core that actually effects the meat... Would have to be Regenerate and that is a level 7 spell... I think...

rlc
2014-08-03, 09:59 PM
man, i wish i had an hour long lunch when i was in school

akaddk
2014-08-03, 10:11 PM
I wish I had 1c for every time someone gnashes and wails about how hit points represent physical damage.

Slipperychicken
2014-08-03, 11:18 PM
I wish I had 1c for every time someone gnashes and wails about how hit points represent physical damage.

Because getting stabbed doesn't involve physical damage, right? And zombies, constructs, walls, and objects are "destroyed" at 0hp because they're so tuckered out from all that fighting?

Fable Wright
2014-08-03, 11:23 PM
If this healing rules remain unchanged I will never be able to enjoy DnD 5, everybody having mutant regeneration is too great a problem for me to ignore.

Maybe even with all it's flaws, I'll just stick with 3.5.
In my mind, it's like this: Hit points are your ability to turn major wounds into minor ones. Here's the straight facts: If a giant hits any character head-on with a club made from a tree, that character goes splat, period. Your ability to take a tree to the face is not what hit points are. Hit points are your ability to turn the blow of a tree to the face into minor damage. Perhaps your HP represents your ability to block the brunt of the damage with your shield, or your ability to narrowly tumble under the tree rather than being squashed. You're still taking scratches and bruises from each hit, but you're not taking major damage. Your Hit Dice? Your hit dice represent your overall energy reserves. After a huge battle with an ogre, where the character is left with just one hit point? The character avoided dying by the skin of his teeth, but he doesn't have life-threatening injuries. He then spends his hit die recovering, catching his breath. After the next fight with the ogre? He's got nothing left in him. He's exhausted. Without proper sleep for the night, he's not going to have any more strength to dodge further blows, and the next time the club comes his way, he is going to take a huge wound that couldn't be healed without intensive medical care or magic.

But if you don't like this interpretation, there will probably be an optional rule in the DMG to revert HP to your actual, physical ability to withstand blows.

akaddk
2014-08-03, 11:26 PM
Because getting stabbed doesn't involve physical damage, right? And zombies, constructs, walls, and objects are "destroyed" at 0hp because they're so tuckered out from all that fighting?

You should play another game since abstraction is obviously too difficult a concept for you to wrap your mind around.

Sartharina
2014-08-03, 11:42 PM
I was going to say something, but DM of Darkness said it best.

That said, even with the physical damage aspect of HP, hit points are more 'system shock' than 'physical damage'.

A guy with a missing arm, bandaged gouges, a missing cheek, half his teeth, a black eye, half his skin blackened/melted, and a splinted leg can still be at 'full health' hitpoint-wise because his body's had a chance to acclimate to and adapt around the damage he's sustained.

You only take 'critical' wounds if you drop below 0 HP - at which point you can't use nonmagical healing. For the 'kid that gets pierced through the chest with a spear', once she's gotten the damage contained and is no longer dying, sure she can go back to playing with others, even if she has to wear a bandage.
Because getting stabbed doesn't involve physical damage, right? And zombies, constructs, walls, and objects are "destroyed" at 0hp because they're so tuckered out from all that fighting?
Any stab that doesn't drop you below 1 HP deals superficial damage at best. And zombies, constructs, and the like are 'destroyed' at 0 HP because that's when their luck/plot armor runs out and the next blow kills them.

If someone says they were just stabbed times, do you assume that someone pulled a knife on them, put it to their chest, and stabbed them through the heart thrice? Or do you assume that the attacker merely jabbed and missed them three times?

akaddk
2014-08-04, 01:11 AM
akaddk's Quick Guide to Hit Points & Healing

Full Hit Points

https://i.imgur.com/jaFxiBB.jpg


1 hit point, short rest, all hit dice used to heal

https://i.imgur.com/mJEI84D.jpg


1 hit point, no hit dice, long rest required

https://i.imgur.com/ewiDUf5.jpg

Inevitability
2014-08-04, 02:03 AM
Ah, the old Martial Healing debate. OP, you have done well avoiding 4e if you don't like what you are describing here, as 4e had martial characters who were among the best healers in the game.

Look: Hit Points Aren't Meat!!!

A 20th level fighter does not survive having his head chopped off any more than a 1st level fighter. They both die. A 20th level fighter does not survive being stabbed in the heart any more than a 1st level fighter.

It is not as if a 20th level fighter is a raging berserker bleeding from over a hundred wounds all of which could be deadly, which then spontaneously disappear after a short rest.

Instead, when the 20th level fighter is 'hit', he isn't really hit. His resolve may have been weakened, he may be fatigued from dodging, but he does not gain one little wound for every hit.

Heck, WOTC even said themselves that someone above half HP shows no signs of battle. Only past half HP does one show bruises, cuts, stabbing wounds...

Knaight
2014-08-04, 03:58 AM
I can't help but quote this since so many people take HP and run with the idea that it is only physical wounds, hell in 3.5 the only cure spell in core that actually effects the meat... Would have to be Regenerate and that is a level 7 spell... I think...
Sure, but this gets into issues. Falling damage makes way more sense as actual damage. Healing spells being less effective against high level characters (proportionally) makes more sense with actual increased toughness. Any attack that deals hit point damage is able to inflict poison if a poison weapon is used, and you don't get poisoned by getting worn out by dodging a poisoned weapon. The HP rules simply are not consistent with much of anything other than meat. Whether it's an abstract "generally being beefier" deal or a "having the willpower to shrug off worse wounds without fainting" deal or even Lord Gareth's "each hit point is literally one gallon of blood, and you can totally bleed way more than actually fits in your body because of stylized presentation", HP as physical damage makes more sense.


You should play another game since abstraction is obviously too difficult a concept for you to wrap your mind around.
What a convenient dodge. This can be used to protect almost any game mechanic from criticism. The actual quality of the abstraction need not be addressed, you can just insult the intelligence of whoever criticized it instead.

This also still doesn't address the main issue, which is that people who are seriously wounded recover highly quickly. The "HP isn't meat" position pretty much comes down to people never getting seriously wounded in the first place, which is pretty unsatisfying. Plus, the healing still happens when one is actually knocked to negatives, and that doesn't even make sense without either a lot of small wounds or something sizable.

akaddk
2014-08-04, 04:03 AM
What a convenient dodge. This can be used to protect almost any game mechanic from criticism. The actual quality of the abstraction need not be addressed, you can just insult the intelligence of whoever criticized it instead.

No, it's not. Hit points have been abstracted in D&D since day dot. Nothing has changed in any edition since. People who can't grasp the concept of how they work should either find another game or use an alternate rule. Either way, they should STFU about it.

Knaight
2014-08-04, 04:25 AM
No, it's not. Hit points have been abstracted in D&D since day dot. Nothing has changed in any edition since. People who can't grasp the concept of how they work should either find another game or use an alternate rule. Either way, they should STFU about it.

The problem is not "People who can't grasp the concept of how they work". The problem is people who think that they are a lousy model, particularly with how they interact with the rest of the system. As much as you might like to split people into the groups of "people who like HP" and "people who are too dumb to understand HP", that's not even remotely accurate. There's a "people who understand HP and dislike it" group.

As for how people "should STFU about it", that's another convenient dodge. It leaves your system so that it can only be praised or ignored, and is another way of putting it above criticism.

akaddk
2014-08-04, 04:42 AM
As for how people "should STFU about it", that's another convenient dodge. It leaves your system so that it can only be praised or ignored, and is another way of putting it above criticism.

FFS, it's CORE to D&D. If you don't like it, then you don't like D&D. So go play another game. I don't like ****-covered french fries so I don't eat them. Why is this such a difficult concept for people to understand?

DrBurr
2014-08-04, 06:17 AM
I've always viewed it this way, HP is based off your Constitution or your immediate Physical State this includes things such as physical wounds and exhaustion. So whenever a skeleton attacks you and gets a "hit" It doesn't really mean you've been stabbed it means hes depleted your Stamina as you attempt to dodge out of the way or raise your heavy shield to block. If damage is enough it may be a knick in arm or other superficial wound which would heal naturally. So Once an enemy has hit you with a serious blow dropping you to 0 or lower your character has either reached the point of exhaustion from dodging and weaving so much or your character has failed to properly defend himself making the blow fatal. Once you've reached 0 or lower your character is bleeding out depending on the severity of the wounds you may die quicker, is instant death -10 or -1/2 HP can't remember. Or you may lose the will to resist Death embrace by failing your Death Saves.

It doesn't take much to kill a person one wrong move and an arrow could easily take out a human being and those only do 1d6 damage, so if HP represented Physical wound you'd never have more than 6. (Four actually seeing as a well place bullet from a sling could also do the trick)

So your Fighter going down to 1 HP then spending an Hour to take a long breath, get some nourishment and bind what wounds he has then going to full isn't that strange. He's a seasoned warrior he's seen plenty of battles and knows how to prep and be back on his feet to do a forced march for 8 hours.

Your complaint about Long rests is a bit odd though seeing as that's how they work by default in 3rd as well. But if that really bugs you along with Hit Dice there were optional rules in the Playtest to run deadlier healing games where it took months to regain HP. Chances are those will be in the DMG as optional rules seeing as they've already been written and healing hasn't changed much since the playtest.

SpawnOfMorbo
2014-08-04, 07:40 AM
Sure, but this gets into issues. Falling damage makes way more sense as actual damage. Healing spells being less effective against high level characters (proportionally) makes more sense with actual increased toughness. Any attack that deals hit point damage is able to inflict poison if a poison weapon is used, and you don't get poisoned by getting worn out by dodging a poisoned weapon. The HP rules simply are not consistent with much of anything other than meat. Whether it's an abstract "generally being beefier" deal or a "having the willpower to shrug off worse wounds without fainting" deal or even Lord Gareth's "each hit point is literally one gallon of blood, and you can totally bleed way more than actually fits in your body because of stylized presentation", HP as physical damage makes more sense.


But... On the note of poison... How exactly to you explain injury poison on a person wearing full plate? Most slashing and bludgeoning weapons won't ever touch person (though bludgeoning damage is the way to go).

No. HP rules aren't constant with anything other than a little bit of meat and a lot of other things (luck, endurance, etc...). This accounts for falling damage in a fantasy game just as well.

The AC and HP rules are weird but trying to tie it to just meat is silly. So how many HP is worth a finger? An arm? A spleen? If HP is just meat it would explain for injuries for this. Low level cure spells can't heal broken bones and arms, only HP, but if hey worked only on meat they should be able to... Hmm weird right?

Sorry but HP has never ever been about just meat and from what I can see it never will. You can not like it all you want but there is to much writing on the wall and if you shut your eyes, the writing is still there.

So how much weight does a single point of HP weigh? If it is meat, then there must be a weight to it.

hawklost
2014-08-04, 08:14 AM
So how much weight does a single point of HP weigh? If it is meat, then there must be a weight to it.

Haha I am just picturing all retired high level fighters now looking like this!

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-CEJpMrCVzlw/T-fmZ1CIDDI/AAAAAAAABhk/z3XDqWbbeYk/s1600/theblob.jpg

Doug Lampert
2014-08-04, 08:29 AM
Sure, but this gets into issues. Falling damage makes way more sense as actual damage.

Except that about five people are known to have survived falls out of airplanes at tens of thousands of feet altitude. Including at least one stewardess who then got up and walked to help.

Did that stewardess survive wounds that would kill 10 ordinary people dead, dead, dead and walk away afterward? Was she a level 14 fighter in secret?

Or did luck, divine favor, endurance, and the ability to turn major wounds to minor wounds save her?

I find it hilarious that people insisting HP are meat so often fall back on two things:
1) Magical healing, when in other arguments those same people will insist that magic doesn't need to make sense and that high level characters are more resistant to magic.
and
2) Falling damage. When falling is a case where we KNOW luck can reduce their allegedly HAS TO BE MEAT damage to almost nothing.

HP are not meat.

akaddk
2014-08-04, 08:36 AM
HP are not meat.

Unless they are.

Seriously, nobody seems to get that hit points are a plot mechanic with no direct correlation to anything other than necessity. If your character dies then whatever reduced him to minus hit points was a fatal injury. Guess what. Here's the abstract part. It's coming. Are you ready?

If he didn't die, due to whatever plot element occurred to stop him from dying whether it's non-magical healing, magical healing, or rolling a natural 20 on a death save, then it wasn't a fatal wound.

BOOM!

Blew your mind, didn't I.

da_chicken
2014-08-04, 08:48 AM
Maybe even with all it's flaws, I'll just stick with 3.5.

Tell me this: How many campaigns in 3.5 have you played in where the first and most common purchase is a wand of cure light wounds, wand of lesser vigor, or wand of faith healing? Have your parties essentially always had one or more, and always replaced them as needed? Pretty much every game I've played in resulted in the first 750gp of party gold going towards a healing wand. Did you find it game breaking? Or merely a necessity or convenience?

WotC noticed players do this in 3.x. That's why healing surges happened in 4e. Pretty much everybody gets a cure want in 3.x. It's not broken to heal more quickly out of combat. All slow healing does is slow down the game. So: make the game work like the players play the game. It's stupid to make players jump through a mechanical hoop to play the game the way they want when they could just be playing the game. The 5e rule is that now everybody has their own wand of cure wounds. Indeed, you could just play the game that way: you must have a divine instrument to be able to spend Hit Dice. It could be a wand or a holy relic or an estus flask.

If you want, of course, you can certainly use 3.x's healing rules. Eliminate Hit Dice recovery. Regain 1 hp per level per 8 hours of rest or 2 hp per level per 8 hours of rest with aid. Change Second Wind to once per long rest or to using Hit Dice. (Although between the Life Cleric, Paladin, and Ranger the Fighter really shouldn't get punished.) Just be advised that magical healing is less effective in 5e, probably sitting somewhere between 2e and 3e. Life clerics, however, get significant bonuses that make them closer to a PF cleric.

obryn
2014-08-04, 09:02 AM
I think the whole debate pretty irrelevant, given that there will be stuff in the DMG to let you tweak healing to how you want it.

Also? It's insane how this argument always goes back to weird philosophical stances about the "meanings" of hit points - as if they're anything other than a game construct. Forget all the words about meat, forget "divine luck" and whatnot - they're the Monopoly money your character spends in order to not-die. They're points on a Cribbage board. They're the stack of chips in front of you for poker (okay, that last one is a bad example). They have no correspondence whatsoever with anything observable in the real world.

They do, however, change up how an RPG plays. Damage and healing are two of the major changes among editions (and games!), and a chief contributor to any gameplay differences among them.

So, OP - if you have gameplay concerns about the rate of healing, that is that faster healing will negatively affect the sorts of campaigns you want to run, the good news is that the DMG will give you the ability to tweak healing however you want it. If you have philosophical concerns about "wolverine" or whatnot, the mechanical switch should allay that. Maybe.

Sartharina
2014-08-04, 10:39 AM
HP is sort of meat, sort of not. A hit is a hit - but what could be a crippling hit to a low-level character is not even a scratch to a high-level one.

Furthermore, hitpoints are not surface damage. Hitpoints are ability to keep fighting. Just because you're at full health doesn't mean you aren't scarred, missing bits, or covered in surface burns. It just means those wounds aren't hindering your survivability, and they've been reduced to 'flesh wounds'.

HorridElemental
2014-08-04, 11:55 AM
HP is sort of meat, sort of not. A hit is a hit - but what could be a crippling hit to a low-level character is not even a scratch to a high-level one.

Furthermore, hitpoints are not surface damage. Hitpoints are ability to keep fighting. Just because you're at full health doesn't mean you aren't scarred, missing bits, or covered in surface burns. It just means those wounds aren't hindering your survivability, and they've been reduced to 'flesh wounds'.

One big problem is that a hit is not always a hit. Sometimes it is a glancing blow sometimes a miss is a glancing blow.

They call not achieving AC a "miss" but that doesn't mean the strike missed the target.

Like HP, AC needs to be better.

obryn
2014-08-04, 12:18 PM
FWIW, they've already already promised a VP/WP system for 5e, if that floats your boat.

(However, much like "Hey 4e guys! Facing! You love facing, don't you!?!" failed to win over 4e guys, I have a feeling VP/WP will fail to win over the slow-healing crowd, so I'm expecting more options than just this.)

Kerrin
2014-08-04, 12:51 PM
Also? It's insane how this argument always goes back to weird philosophical stances about the "meanings" of hit points - as if they're anything other than a game construct. Forget all the words about meat, forget "divine luck" and whatnot - they're the Monopoly money your character spends in order to not-die. They're points on a Cribbage board. They're the stack of chips in front of you for poker (okay, that last one is a bad example). They have no correspondence whatsoever with anything observable in the real world.
Back when I started playing AD&D it took me a long time to reach this point in my thinking about Hit Points.

Thankfully, for my own sanity over the years, I've been thinking of D&D Hit Points as merely an abstract game mechanic construct and nothing more. I have been at peace for a long time on this topic.

I've also played games with damage systems that are clearly more geared toward replicating reality. In those game, it is clear that a result of "shot in the head" means pretty much the same as suffering that bodily injury in real life. (Thank you Twilight 2000 for shooting multiple characters of mine in the head over the years)

Demonic Spoon
2014-08-04, 12:51 PM
One big problem is that a hit is not always a hit. Sometimes it is a glancing blow sometimes a miss is a glancing blow.

They call not achieving AC a "miss" but that doesn't mean the strike missed the target.

Like HP, AC needs to be better.


If there's a problem, it's with the way the DM describes the "miss".

If you have an AC of 18 from full plate and no dex mod, and a target rolls a 15 to hit you..They didn't miss, the blow failed to penetrate your armor.



(However, much like "Hey 4e guys! Facing! You love facing, don't you!?!" failed to win over 4e guys, I have a feeling VP/WP will fail to win over the slow-healing crowd, so I'm expecting more options than just this.)

VP/WP has to do with how characters get wounded, not with how they heal. If your perspective is that HP damage heals too fast, then what you want is a variant rule in which you need a long rest or something to heal meaningful amounts of HP damage...Such a system may be in the DMG, but even if it isn't, it's easy enough to houserule.


Personally, I like the fact that having someone in the party with a bunch of healing magic prepared isn't mandatory. I hate rule-enforced party composition with a fiery passion.

HorridElemental
2014-08-04, 01:00 PM
If there's a problem, it's with the way the DM describes the "miss".

If you have an AC of 18 from full plate and no dex mod, and a target rolls a 15 to hit you..They didn't miss, the blow failed to penetrate your armor.


Well one of the problems is that they call a miss a miss in the rules when it doesn't actually mean " miss".

A DM could be better but everyone is reading the rules and it says "miss" and that is where you get full plate giving you the ability to dodge better than anyone else.

As stupid as that is.

hawklost
2014-08-04, 01:08 PM
Well one of the problems is that they call a miss a miss in the rules when it doesn't actually mean " miss".

A DM could be better but everyone is reading the rules and it says "miss" and that is where you get full plate giving you the ability to dodge better than anyone else.

As stupid as that is.

If we defined a DnD miss as "Creature did not have to do any discernible effort to avoid injury" would that work better?

PC with 16 Armor and a Shield could look like this

On a 1: Enemy completely swings away from PC
On a 9: Enemy misses PC without PC using any effort in movement
On a 10-15: Enemy glances a weak blow off of armor, PC did nothing special to block or move out of the way
On a 16/17: Enemy glances a weak blow off of Shield, PC took no real effort to get shield in place

On a 18+: PC has to do something, Dodge, Block a hard blow, take a hit to the armor that hurts a little ect... PC loses some HP due to Effort involved

When PC goes below 1 HP: Blow punches through PCs defenses and PC actually takes a possibly life threatening blow (or gets knocked out).

On Death Checks:
Failure: Yup, seems life threatening (3 failures) Yup, that is too much blood for a human to lose and live
Success: hmmm, maybe its a flesh wound (3 successes) hmmm, the blood stopped but he is still breathing, guess it wasn't as bad as original thought

1: Oh look, is that his intestines? (succeed(3) after that? well, guess that wasn't his intestines)
20: Wow, I for sure thought you were out, guess those wounds aren't that bad after all

omniknight
2014-08-04, 01:19 PM
Also? It's insane how this argument always goes back to weird philosophical stances about the "meanings" of hit points - as if they're anything other than a game construct. Forget all the words about meat, forget "divine luck" and whatnot - they're the Monopoly money your character spends in order to not-die. They're points on a Cribbage board. They're the stack of chips in front of you for poker (okay, that last one is a bad example). They have no correspondence whatsoever with anything observable in the real world.

We are not talking about the "real world," we are talking about the "in-game world." HP is both a gameplay mechanism and an abstraction of the state of the character. There are plenty of official D&D descriptions of this, going back to when Gygax created it (http://www.dragonsfoot.org/forums/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=33732#p696791). It is useful to conceptualize HP in this way as it assists players and DMs in roleplaying the damage they sustain or inflict. Suffering 2d6+4 "Cribbage board slots" is less than helpful for visualizing the in-game reason or situation that caused the HP loss.

obryn
2014-08-04, 01:28 PM
We are not talking about the "real world," we are talking about the "in-game world." HP is both a gameplay mechanism and an abstraction of the state of the character. There are plenty of official D&D descriptions of this, going back to when Gygax created it (http://www.dragonsfoot.org/forums/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=33732#p696791). It is useful to conceptualize HP in this way as it assists players and DMs in roleplaying the damage they sustain or inflict. Suffering 2d6+4 "Cribbage board slots" is less than helpful for visualizing the in-game reason or situation that caused the HP loss.
And so long as the visualization is kept flexible and you're not too picky about it, that's pretty much how it has to be. No argument there. :smallsmile:

My argument isn't with "how is this narrated?" Narrate it however your table finds fun, just with a minimum of limb loss and other disfigurement.

My beef is with using "THIS is what hit points MEAN!" in an argument which should fundamentally be about gameplay, and the gameplay effects of different (a) hit point quantities, (b) damage totals, and (c) system-wide healing rates. I agree that these are all pretty fundamental to the flow and feel of an RPG.

HorridElemental
2014-08-04, 01:43 PM
If we defined a DnD miss as "Creature did not have to do any discernible effort to avoid injury" would that work better?

PC with 16 Armor and a Shield could look like this

On a 1: Enemy completely swings away from PC
On a 9: Enemy misses PC without PC using any effort in movement
On a 10-15: Enemy glances a weak blow off of armor, PC did nothing special to block or move out of the way
On a 16/17: Enemy glances a weak blow off of Shield, PC took no real effort to get shield in place

On a 18+: PC has to do something, Dodge, Block a hard blow, take a hit to the armor that hurts a little ect... PC loses some HP due to Effort involved

When PC goes below 1 HP: Blow punches through PCs defenses and PC actually takes a possibly life threatening blow (or gets knocked out).

On Death Checks:
Failure: Yup, seems life threatening (3 failures) Yup, that is too much blood for a human to lose and live
Success: hmmm, maybe its a flesh wound (3 successes) hmmm, the blood stopped but he is still breathing, guess it wasn't as bad as original thought

1: Oh look, is that his intestines? (succeed(3) after that? well, guess that wasn't his intestines)
20: Wow, I for sure thought you were out, guess those wounds aren't that bad after all

I run games more fluid than just hit/miss but I run into soooo many players who freak over the idea that miss and hit are exactly just that... Contact and non-contact.

If the nomenclature or something on WotC end changed, then it could help.

There is no perfect way to do this... But making damage on a miss (missed AC) as part of a core mechanic could help. This ties into the WP/VP stuff.

Roll 1: Swing and miss completely. Badly.

Roll < AC: minor contact, minor damage (1/2 minimum damage or ability mod damage only?)

Roll > AC: full contact, full damage (roll for it)

Critical Hit: extra damage.

This shows that even blocking with a shield can tire you down and that HP is not just meat.

Knaight
2014-08-04, 02:02 PM
FFS, it's CORE to D&D. If you don't like it, then you don't like D&D. So go play another game. I don't like ****-covered french fries so I don't eat them. Why is this such a difficult concept for people to understand?

You're not saying that people should play another game. You're saying that people should play another game and not criticize games they dislike. I'd agree with playing another game, but I happen to think that one should be allowed to talk about systems they dislike, including the particulars about why they dislike said systems.


Well one of the problems is that they call a miss a miss in the rules when it doesn't actually mean " miss".

A DM could be better but everyone is reading the rules and it says "miss" and that is where you get full plate giving you the ability to dodge better than anyone else.

As stupid as that is.
If you hit the plate and not a gap in it, it generally is a miss - there's a minor exception regarding hitting thinner parts of the plate (particularly with bludgeoning weapons), but with the vast majority of weapons one tries to go around armor, the actual target areas are gaps, thin points, and vulnerable areas through the armor. If one ends up hitting elsewhere on said armor, it's a miss. That gets a bit weird once size categories get brought in, as the sort of force a huge creature swinging a huge weapon produces should utterly trivialize armor, but that's more an issue with AC applying with no regard to size.

Lokiare
2014-08-04, 02:05 PM
Well one of the problems is that they call a miss a miss in the rules when it doesn't actually mean " miss".

A DM could be better but everyone is reading the rules and it says "miss" and that is where you get full plate giving you the ability to dodge better than anyone else.

As stupid as that is.


You're not saying that people should play another game. You're saying that people should play another game and not criticize games they dislike. I'd agree with playing another game, but I happen to think that one should be allowed to talk about systems they dislike, including the particulars about why they dislike said systems.


If you hit the plate and not a gap in it, it generally is a miss - there's a minor exception regarding hitting thinner parts of the plate (particularly with bludgeoning weapons), but with the vast majority of weapons one tries to go around armor, the actual target areas are gaps, thin points, and vulnerable areas through the armor. If one ends up hitting elsewhere on said armor, it's a miss. That gets a bit weird once size categories get brought in, as the sort of force a huge creature swinging a huge weapon produces should utterly trivialize armor, but that's more an issue with AC applying with no regard to size.

Due to physics bludgeoning weapons are more effective against plate armor than other types of weapons precisely because you can still do serious damage to the person inside even if the armor itself is not damage one bit. In fact during ancient times long handled hammer weapons were used against armored knights because a solid hit to the head would instantly scramble brains and kill the knight while leaving their armor relatively intact.

Theodoxus
2014-08-04, 02:08 PM
One could take that idea and expand even more - hardness of armors, hit points for them - a near hit that rolls on armor would compare the weapon/claw/bite/slam - whatever - material vs the hardness, roll the damage and start damaging it. It's a fairly common tactic in on-line gaming, and would give the crafters something to do other than build magic items.

BUT, it's a LOT of maths, and not particularly interesting and super slows combat down, plus probably need hit locations at that point and it all quickly becomes not-D&D and players would complain and fighter types would carry 8 sets of armor for when they start falling to pieces (plus thresholds for wear and tear - does plate armor with 1/3 its starting HP value still provide full AC?)

Wow, that gets complicated really quick. But it would lend more realism, no?

HorridElemental
2014-08-04, 02:14 PM
Due to physics bludgeoning weapons are more effective against plate armor than other types of weapons precisely because you can still do serious damage to the person inside even if the armor itself is not damage one bit. In fact during ancient times long handled hammer weapons were used against armored knights because a solid hit to the head would instantly scramble brains and kill the knight while leaving their armor relatively intact.

No duh, however not all weapons are bludgeoning. Plus if the hammer hits the shield it will slide off, usually harmlessly, unless you have something stupid on the shield like the Paladin preview did.

I'm fully in support of armor giving resistance to a type of damage though.

Lokiare
2014-08-04, 02:24 PM
No duh, however not all weapons are bludgeoning. Plus if the hammer hits the shield it will slide off, usually harmlessly, unless you have something stupid on the shield like the Paladin preview did.

I'm fully in support of armor giving resistance to a type of damage though.

That only works if the shield is at an extreme angle to the blow causing it to slide off, if its not, the person with the shield will probably end up with a broken bone or get knocked down. This is due to the way the thing most able to absorb the shock does absorb it and in this case the bone is more likely to absorb it than the steel of the shield.

I would be in favor of doing that, but it would slow the game down. One solution would be to have 3 damage lines for each attack on the monsters and character sheet and then bake in the reduction in damage. Maybe something as simple as your die size is one larger if your target is weak against this type of damage or your die size is one smaller if your target is strong against this type of damage. So that a long sword would look like this:

Great Sword - Heavy, Piercing 1d8, Bludgeoning 1d6, Slashing 1d10

HorridElemental
2014-08-04, 02:32 PM
That only works if the shield is at an extreme angle to the blow causing it to slide off, if its not, the person with the shield will probably end up with a broken bone or get knocked down. This is due to the way the thing most able to absorb the shock does absorb it and in this case the bone is more likely to absorb it than the steel of the shield.

I would be in favor of doing that, but it would slow the game down. One solution would be to have 3 damage lines for each attack on the monsters and character sheet and then bake in the reduction in damage. Maybe something as simple as your die size is one larger if your target is weak against this type of damage or your die size is one smaller if your target is strong against this type of damage. So that a long sword would look like this:

Great Sword - Heavy, Piercing 1d8, Bludgeoning 1d6, Slashing 1d10

I think that would be slower than the resistance cause you have to keep track of different dice and all that jazz. People (specially new) will roll the wrong dice or whatever.

The resistance idea is already used for monsters, letting it apply to PCs shouldn't slow down the game as much. Give each armor 1 resistance and go from there.

From what a little birdy told me, armor tables shouldn't be so bland anymore. I'm hoping something like good happens.

Sartharina
2014-08-04, 03:24 PM
[QUOTE=Theodoxus;17881699
Wow, that gets complicated really quick. But it would lend more realism, no?[/QUOTE]No, because it doesn't take an hour of discussion and math to resolve a hit in real life. The amount of extra paperwork would break the flow of the game.

omniknight
2014-08-04, 03:50 PM
My beef is with using "THIS is what hit points MEAN!" in an argument which should fundamentally be about gameplay, and the gameplay effects of different (a) hit point quantities, (b) damage totals, and (c) system-wide healing rates. I agree that these are all pretty fundamental to the flow and feel of an RPG.

Ah, okay. Agreed!

PinkysBrain
2014-08-04, 04:23 PM
I've always viewed it this way, HP is based off your Constitution or your immediate Physical State this includes things such as physical wounds and exhaustion. So whenever a skeleton attacks you and gets a "hit" It doesn't really mean you've been stabbed it means hes depleted your Stamina as you attempt to dodge out of the way or raise your heavy shield to block.

That's just as extreme a position to take as the weeaboo one where you're just fighting on with swords and arrows sticking out your body. The pure avoidance interpretation causes many problems, injury poisons, bleeding attacks, massive damage etc etc.

IMO in 5e because of the huge amount of non magical healing you're basically forced as DM to say that all hits (except the final one which truly kills you) are superficial. When the superficial hits stack up high enough you drop unconscious (and subsequently lose death saving throws). With mostly magical healing you can inch a little closer to the weeaboo situation, occasionally declaring that a particular high damage attack made a deep cut or something (you're just too bad ass to bleed much or let it affect you). I personally find that more fun, but it's not really an option in 5e.

archaeo
2014-08-04, 04:38 PM
IMO in 5e because of the huge amount of non magical healing you're basically forced as DM to say that all hits (except the final one which truly kills you) are superficial. When the superficial hits stack up high enough you drop unconscious (and subsequently lose death saving throws). With mostly magical healing you can inch a little closer to the weeaboo situation, occasionally declaring that a particular high damage attack made a deep cut or something (you're just too bad ass to bleed or let it affect you). I personally find that more fun, but it's not really an option in 5e.

Well, of course it's an option. I took a deep cut; the martial healing or whatever I receive makes it easier to ignore that cut.

I don't want to dismiss the idea that the system's rules imply things about the world it describes. But I don't see how the HP abstraction needs to be a straight-jacket on player/DM creativity and interpretation.

akaddk
2014-08-04, 05:07 PM
You're not saying that people should play another game. You're saying that people should play another game and not criticize games they dislike. I'd agree with playing another game, but I happen to think that one should be allowed to talk about systems they dislike, including the particulars about why they dislike said systems.
Dude, I don't know how old you are or how long you've been playing D&D or how long you've been participating in forums, but this argument is as old as D&D itself. It has been brought up a bajillion gazillion ****million times and every, single, goddamn, time, the same arguments get trundled out as if they're somehow new and fresh and not the stale old carcasses of Ebola infected fruit bat meat.

The game creators themselves have unequivocally stated, very clearly and on numerous occasions, how hit points are meant to work. So this is not a matter up for debate. It's not something that has even changed throughout any of the editions. It's a core mechanic that is baked into the very heart of D&D. Saying you hate it is essentially the same as saying you hate D&D. Which is fine, but short of pulling it out or altering it to suit your tastes, complaining about it does nothing to serve you or the hobby.

There are two types of gamers in the world. Those who accept hit points as they are and those who play GURPS.

Alefiend
2014-08-04, 05:13 PM
There is no perfect way to do this... But making damage on a miss (missed AC) as part of a core mechanic could help. This ties into the WP/VP stuff.

I didn't take part in the playtest, but I've heard from several sources that they originally included damage on a miss. It was cut, possibly because people couldn't cope with such a change to the expectations of a D&D system.

obryn
2014-08-04, 05:23 PM
I didn't take part in the playtest, but I've heard from several sources that they originally included damage on a miss. It was cut, possibly because people couldn't cope with such a change to the expectations of a D&D system.
It was more like people went silly, stupid crazy about it. It was embarrassing. Two people were banned from ENWorld for being asses about it, and the discussion even got sent off to a separate sub-forum so it'd stop polluting general conversation.

Morty
2014-08-04, 05:24 PM
This is one of those threads that remind me why I believe hit points in D&D don't work. You can describe them as 'meat' or 'luck', or something in-between, but whichever way you go, you're going to bump your head on some problem or other.

akaddk
2014-08-04, 05:39 PM
This is one of those threads that remind me why I believe hit points in D&D don't work. You can describe them as 'meat' or 'luck', or something in-between, but whichever way you go, you're going to bump your head on some problem or other.

The only time I've ever experienced a problem with it is when someone makes an issue out of it not conforming to their expectations of "hit" and "miss" and "damage". That these are merely conveniences of language and hold-overs from the original design and not meant to be taken literally seems to be the only real issue. In games where all the players "get" that hit points are nothing more than a plot device represented as a game mechanic, there are never any issues at all.

da_chicken
2014-08-04, 07:12 PM
As I've said before, hit points mean whatever they have to mean. Whatever damage represents, hit points represent a resistance to or absorption of.

Details are not important.

MeeposFire
2014-08-04, 07:55 PM
This is one of those threads that remind me why I believe hit points in D&D don't work. You can describe them as 'meat' or 'luck', or something in-between, but whichever way you go, you're going to bump your head on some problem or other.

Actually I think history shows that hit points work really well since they are so common in so many different games. However every once in a while when somebody actually thinks about them they figure out that they cannot just represent physical damage, like so many do at first, and they either learn to accept it (often by either accepting the abstraction form where it represents many things like Gygax did or by just saying "it is a game mechanic to determine whether you are alive and leave it at that") or they decide to hate it. If they hate it they either just grudgingly acccept it , complain about (but do nothing), or create their own system to deal with wounds. Of that last option it is usually (it seems very often) more complicated than straight HP and does not seem to catch on as well with the gaming community at large (my evidence is that wound based systems have been around a while and they are far less common and some even go to a HP system later).

HP is nice because it is easy to use in a game which is way more important than how "realistic" it is to most people that is why it is so popular. The abstraction allows a lot of versatility in how it can explain what a "hit" is and even though if you think about it hard enough it breaks down the benefits to game play far outweigh its problems.

That is why HP has never been about just physical damage. If you don't like that it is OK but I don't think a wound system will get very far in D&D.

Vowtz
2014-08-04, 08:38 PM
Okay, judging from the posts here we can safely say there are two groups of understanding the matter about hit points.


MEAT GROUP believes that when you take damage, you are damaged. If you have 1 hit point left then you are injured and almost dead. If you are hit with a battleaxe you bleed, break bones, get concussions or a mixture of those. Here a healing spell put your organs back where they belong with magic.


EMOTIONS GROUP believes that when you take damage what really get hurt are your feelings, if you have 1 hit point left you are sad, without any motivation. You only get hurt when you die, if someone hit you with an axe in the morning, leaving you with 1 hp, then later you are bitten by a rat and die, now the damage you have taken from the weapon before becomes physical. Here a healing spell represent wise words that inspire you and remove melancholy.



It is clear that EMOTIONS GROUP is leading the argument, after all the game is being designed that way. In dnd5 a fighter can recover the "motivation" he lost from his enemies swords and claws once every rest.


I am unmistakably inside MEAT GROUP, I can understand the other explanations, but they are boring to apply when you actually play the game.

In my opinion the real problem here, apart from these interpretations, are CONSEQUENCES. If your character was bitten and then swallowed by a dragon then cut his way through the creatures throat with 1 hp, he will be completely fine 8 hours later, without any magical or even medical help! It is like nothing happened at all, there are no consequences, it can't get lamer than that!

And since the books are almost out, most likely these rules won't be reviewed, every creature is equipped with super regeneration, that is final.

Only house rules can turn humans back from the mutant gene.


And finally here is a quote from Player's Handbook 3.5 page 145:

"LOSS OF HIT POINTS
The most common way that your character gets hurt is to take lethal damage and lose hit points, whether from an orc’s falchion, a wizard’s lightning bolt spell, or a fall into molten lava."

akaddk
2014-08-04, 08:40 PM
MEAT GROUP believes that when you take damage, you are damaged. If you have 1 hit point left then you are injured and almost dead. If you are hit with a battleaxe you bleed, break bones, get concussions or a mixture of those. Here a healing spell put your organs back where they belong with magic.


EMOTIONS GROUP believes that when you take damage what really get hurt are your feelings, if you have 1 hit point left you are sad, without any motivation. You only get hurt when you die, if someone hit you with an axe in the morning, leaving you with 1 hp, then later you are bitten by a rat and die, now the damage you have taken from the weapon before becomes physical. Here a healing spell represent wise words that inspire you and remove melancholy.

https://i.imgur.com/5WeXKT3l.png

obryn
2014-08-04, 08:59 PM
Okay, judging from the posts here we can safely say there are two groups of understanding the matter about hit points.
I would say you haven't read the thread at all, because (a) you're missing the "don't look too closely at the game mechanic" group, and (b) you seem to have missed that there will be official modular rules for slowing the healing rate. And (c) that's not at all what the not-all-meat folks say. Oh, and (d) what akaddk said.

MeeposFire
2014-08-04, 09:10 PM
Okay, judging from the posts here we can safely say there are two groups of understanding the matter about hit points.


MEAT GROUP believes that when you take damage, you are damaged. If you have 1 hit point left then you are injured and almost dead. If you are hit with a battleaxe you bleed, break bones, get concussions or a mixture of those. Here a healing spell put your organs back where they belong with magic.


EMOTIONS GROUP believes that when you take damage what really get hurt are your feelings, if you have 1 hit point left you are sad, without any motivation. You only get hurt when you die, if someone hit you with an axe in the morning, leaving you with 1 hp, then later you are bitten by a rat and die, now the damage you have taken from the weapon before becomes physical. Here a healing spell represent wise words that inspire you and remove melancholy.



It is clear that EMOTIONS GROUP is leading the argument, after all the game is being designed that way. In dnd5 a fighter can recover the "motivation" he lost from his enemies swords and claws once every rest.


I am unmistakably inside MEAT GROUP, I can understand the other explanations, but they are boring to apply when you actually play the game.

In my opinion the real problem here, apart from these interpretations, are CONSEQUENCES. If your character was bitten and then swallowed by a dragon then cut his way through the creatures throat with 1 hp, he will be completely fine 8 hours later, without any magical or even medical help! It is like nothing happened at all, there are no consequences, it can't get lamer than that!

And since the books are almost out, most likely these rules won't be reviewed, every creature is equipped with super regeneration, that is final.

Only house rules can turn humans back from the mutant gene.


And finally here is a quote from Player's Handbook 3.5 page 145:

"LOSS OF HIT POINTS
The most common way that your character gets hurt is to take lethal damage and lose hit points, whether from an orc’s falchion, a wizard’s lightning bolt spell, or a fall into molten lava."

Nobody has said that HP is all about emotions that is your own prejudices getting in your own way.

What was said is that HP is more than just physical damage because if you look at HP it cannot be just physical damage or it falls apart completely.

At level one your wizard has 4 HP and gets hit by an ogre for 15 damage and dies. At level 20 he gets hit by the same ogre for the same damage.

If HP is just physical damage then your wizard should be dead since he was hit just as hard. We of course know that is not the case so how can it be? Well obviously the HP must model something different as you level. How you describe it depends on the person and what most of us is saying is that it is purposefully left nebulous so that YOU can decide on what that HP means in this case.

Perhaps the wizard only got partially hit by the attack and so while the damage is still the same the difference is shown in the proportion of HP loss. Perhaps the magic that constantly surrounds a high level wizard cushions the blow (this defense is not shown by an actual reduction in damage but is shown instead by how the same blow is less effective against the wizard). Perhaps the wizard got lucky and it actually a near miss and the damage given is showing how it is fatiguing the wizard which may set him up for an eventual deadly blow for the wizard (the deadly blow being when he hits 0 HP).

Or I guess you could go with the "the wizard gets hit by the giant club and takes 15 damage. Despite being hit directly by a wooden club with enough force to splinter a rock the wizard acts completely unaffected because 15 HP is a pittance at this point" which is essentially what happens if you don't realize that HP is an abstraction that represents more than just physical damage.


By the way that quote you have from the 3.5 PHB does not say what you think it says. Things like attacks, environmental hazards, and spells are the most common way to get hurt in D&D. In fact that is how you lose HP but the sentence does not actually say anywhere that each HP represents an actual physical wound. Further at lower levels you can say that each HP is a physical wound in 3e since your HP is so small compared to weapon damage but this falls apart as you level. Considering that low levels are the most common and teh one that the rules actually work best with it is no surprise that the idea that HP equals physical damage only is so common because at that point it still works.

Pex
2014-08-04, 09:29 PM
Realism should not trump the fun of the game.

Allowing characters to regain hit points on their own relieves the pressure on the cleric to do all and/or only healing. This is a good thing.

It's not a crime against humanity for the party to be at full hit points for the non-first combat of the day. The opponents of those non-first combats are at full hit points themselves. Enabling characters to get back to full hit points encourages them to continue adventuring and not have a 15-minute work day. The DM also has less worry about accidentally doing a TPK even when dice are rolling "normally".

Theodoxus
2014-08-04, 09:43 PM
Considering that low levels are the most common and teh one that the rules actually work best with it is no surprise that the idea that HP equals physical damage only is so common because at that point it still works.

And that's why I think a wounds/hit point dichotomy would work so much better. Not in the 3x/PF way, where crits chip away at your wounds, somehow bypassing that meat/luck padding, but a reserve of meat, where you get down to it, you're probably better off dropping unconscious, just to save your bacon flavored bacon.

Here's how I envision it. You have HPs - just straight up the same as you have now, with the same bonuses and feat pumps and whatnot. Hit Points are luck, endurance, toughness, grit, that bit of meat that allows you to get scraped up and bleedy, but not hurt.

Then you have wounds. Which are equal to your Con score. Wounds come into play when your hit points are gone. You go to zero wounds, you're dead - no Death Saves, just gone. Additionally, when you hit zero HPs, you can fall unconscious - which typically (not always) means you're not molested by monsters. But you don't have to. Probably when you drop below half your wounds score, you'll need to start rolling Death Saves (just for sake of naming convention). Succeed, you can remain awake and mobile. Fail, and you drop unconscious.

You could make it grittier - every wound point leaves a scar, every x# of scars drops your Cha in regards to relations with gentle folk, but raises in with the rough and tumble crowd. Drop below half wounds and might pick up a disfigurement - or not, depending on how realistic you want to make it.

Wounds would also play a part in the nastier physical ills described as problematic to the meat crowd when making HPs abstract: poison damage, bleeding attacks, etc. I would say these things directly, but proportionately affect wounds. Meaning, a bleed might start off knocking a point of wounds off a round, but after 1/4 wounds are gone, go down to 1 point a minute, then an hour, then a day - your meat body will eventually staunch the flow of blood - even if you're in the middle of combat. Poison is nastier, but then, poison typically is nastier and deadlier than D&D typically makes it - getting poisoned and suddenly losing wounds would probably make one take a moment to get that checked out.

I like a bit more realism to my games - but I'm also perfectly happy to have the 'it's magic, we all just wake up fully refreshed, its really hard to die here' stance too.

da_chicken
2014-08-04, 09:44 PM
Realism should not trump the fun of the game.

Allowing characters to regain hit points on their own relieves the pressure on the cleric to do all and/or only healing. This is a good thing.

It's not a crime against humanity for the party to be at full hit points for the non-first combat of the day. The opponents of those non-first combats are at full hit points themselves. Enabling characters to get back to full hit points encourages them to continue adventuring and not have a 15-minute work day. The DM also has less worry about accidentally doing a TPK even when dice are rolling "normally".

More to the point, as a DM you have an infinite bag of monsters. If you find you need to do more damage, just reach into your bag and put more damage on the table. Unless they're actually immortal, the DM can always deal damage faster than the players can heal.

Knaight
2014-08-04, 09:51 PM
Actually I think history shows that hit points work really well since they are so common in so many different games.

The constantly escalating hit point total is a D&Dism, and basically exists in D&D games and almost-D&D offshoots. It happened to get into RPG videogames, but tabletop RPGs are far more likely to have some small amount of hit points that doesn't go up with any frequency (GURPS, Qin, L5R), or a non-HP system (WoD, Fate, Mutants and Masterminds). I don't think history shows what you think it does.

obryn
2014-08-04, 10:32 PM
Some brilliant soul on another forum dug up this gem. From "the more things change..." department:


Halaster Blackcloak; 8/18/00 posted:

Well, the more I read into the [3e] PHB, the less I feel like switching. For every thing I say "Yeah, cool!" to, there are three things that I say "Oh gods no!" to. Or at the very least, the "Oh gods no!" comments weigh more heavily than the "yeah, cool!" ones.

What seems to be one of the major nails on the coffin is the sheer amount of invincibility of players. First of all, they start with max hp. Not a big deal, but it just starts the snowball rolling. Then we have spells like Mass Heal, where a cleric can heal 2,000 hp of damage in a single spell. Add to that the death's door rule where each round the charcter gets a 10% chance to stabilize and even begin healing, and also the way clerics can swap other spells for healing, and we now have the equivelant of a bunch of Xmen Wolverine healing factors. The assault on a dungeon no longer becomes dangerous, it's simply a matter of attrition. Go in, kill what you can, retreat, heal everyone, go back in. Never has this tactic been so easy. Hell, now you don't even need to retreat, just heal on the run, why not? Just takes a short time to memorize new spells anyway. There's no longer any need to retreat as charcters can heal as they explore. There's virtually no limit to the #of healing spells available. I hope the DMG doesn't list healing potions, because they're an unneeded redundancy.

And this horses*** about characters healing 1hp/day/level?!?! Good gods, that means a 10th level charcter heals 10 hp per day, 15 if he has bed rest! In 2E, a character got 21 pts per WEEK with total bed rest, otherwise just 7 pts per WEEK. These 3E powerhouses (gods) can get morehealing in a day than a 2E character got in a WEEK! That's before taking into account the overglut of magical healing available.

It seems to me that 3E is obsessed with superpowered characters, with unkillable PCs who never need fear death. Never have characters had such potent and plentiful healing potential. In the old days, the cleric haad a handful of healing spells at best, and if you were lucky, a few healing potions. You went into a dungeon or on some other type of adventure, and relied on your wits to keep you alive. The healing was just there as an emergency measure. You had to be careful, and you knew there was a limit to the healing ability of the team. Gods forbid there are two clerics on a team in 3E...you no longer need to worry about damage, since you never need to go more than a few hours with less than full HPs.

I truly, honestly fail to see how a DM can challenge a team of 3E characters without working his ass off just to balance out this single powergaming aspect. I can't make heads or tails of that damned cleric spell list, but I take it if I'm reading it right, that a cleric gets Mass Heal (an 8th level spell) at 15th elevel? Ok, that is a pretty high level, but by the time the team is around that level, they're automatically healing 15 hp/day WITHOUT magic. Given that an average fighter at that level will have about 60 hp, that's a hell of a lot of automatic healing! And if he gets bed rest, that's 22 hp healing per day. A cleric at 15th level can also trade in what...25 or so spells towards healing spells?

No, I think I'm staying in 2E, where the charcters at least have a CHANCE to die.

Tholomyes
2014-08-04, 10:37 PM
Some brilliant soul on another forum dug up this gem. From "the more things change..." department:

*Fast forward to 2074' with the release of 16e*

"Man, back in my day, characters only had Fast healing 5; how will death even be possible with Fast Healing 7? I want to play dungeons and Dragons, now Wolverine and... Wolverine"

obryn
2014-08-04, 10:46 PM
*Fast forward to 2074' with the release of 16e*

"Man, back in my day, characters only had Fast healing 5; how will death even be possible with Fast Healing 7? I want to play dungeons and Dragons, now Wolverine and... Wolverine"
There won't be a 16e.

The cockroach-people will have taken over the world by then, ruling over the irradiated wastes.

MeeposFire
2014-08-04, 10:47 PM
The constantly escalating hit point total is a D&Dism, and basically exists in D&D games and almost-D&D offshoots. It happened to get into RPG videogames, but tabletop RPGs are far more likely to have some small amount of hit points that doesn't go up with any frequency (GURPS, Qin, L5R), or a non-HP system (WoD, Fate, Mutants and Masterminds). I don't think history shows what you think it does.

Considering what is more popular I would say my theory still bears out. What is more popular out there D&D, video games, and D&D variants or those other RPGs? Many of those games were created because they cater to those that do not want D&D or want that extra levels of realism, etc.

pwykersotz
2014-08-04, 10:48 PM
Some brilliant soul on another forum dug up this gem. From "the more things change..." department:

And then char-op got ahold of the game and...well...this guy is pretty right. :smalltongue:

But yeah, point well made.

Tholomyes
2014-08-04, 10:50 PM
There won't be a 16e.

The cockroach-people will have taken over the world by then, ruling over the irradiated wastes.

Fine, Gamma World, then.

Knaight
2014-08-04, 10:53 PM
The extent to which the numbers were off in that quoted post was amusing. 60 HP averages for level 15 fighters, really? Even at Con 10, there's an average of 87. At Con 14, there's 117.

With that said, it's not really wrong. The rate at which characters recover has been increasing as the game goes on, and 5e marks an increase over 3e.

obryn
2014-08-04, 11:13 PM
The extent to which the numbers were off in that quoted post was amusing. 60 HP averages for level 15 fighters, really? Even at Con 10, there's an average of 87. At Con 14, there's 117.

With that said, it's not really wrong. The rate at which characters recover has been increasing as the game goes on, and 5e marks an increase over 3e.
It was more the similarly overwrought approach than the actual numbers that I found hilarious. :smallbiggrin:

Knaight
2014-08-04, 11:16 PM
It was more the similarly overwrought approach than the actual numbers that I found hilarious. :smallbiggrin:

The overwrought edition warring is always entertaining, and comes up every time. Honestly, that case seems pretty mild - there was a classic post on the WotC forums in 2008 to the effect of "playing simpler systems is going to make you stupider because they're dumbed down and you're not doing as much math", which is just hilariously ludicrous now that it's blown over. At the time, it was obnoxious, but hey.

obryn
2014-08-04, 11:18 PM
The overwrought edition warring is always entertaining, and comes up every time. Honestly, that case seems pretty mild - there was a classic post on the WotC forums in 2008 to the effect of "playing simpler systems is going to make you stupider because they're dumbed down and you're not doing as much math", which is just hilariously ludicrous now that it's blown over. At the time, it was obnoxious, but hey.
What we need now is some good 2000-era "OMG MONKS R OVERPOWRD" stuff.

Tholomyes
2014-08-04, 11:22 PM
The overwrought edition warring is always entertaining, and comes up every time. Honestly, that case seems pretty mild - there was a classic post on the WotC forums in 2008 to the effect of "playing simpler systems is going to make you stupider because they're dumbed down and you're not doing as much math", which is just hilariously ludicrous now that it's blown over. At the time, it was obnoxious, but hey.In all honesty, 5e edition warring seems pretty tame (granted, we haven't really gotten to the PHB release, where a lot more of the posters will come out of the woodwork), relative to 3e and 4e. A lot of the bad emotions (with some notable exceptions) towards the new edition seem less anger and more disappointment. I wonder if this is a result of Pathfinder and Retroclones being around, or if it's just that 5e hasn't revolutionized much, and more just grabbed stuff from older editions, so you don't have the reactionary breaking-from-tradition outrage, that you tended to find with 3e and 4e, or what it is.

da_chicken
2014-08-04, 11:48 PM
The overwrought edition warring is always entertaining, and comes up every time. Honestly, that case seems pretty mild - there was a classic post on the WotC forums in 2008 to the effect of "playing simpler systems is going to make you stupider because they're dumbed down and you're not doing as much math", which is just hilariously ludicrous now that it's blown over. At the time, it was obnoxious, but hey.

I distinctly recall people complaining that the loss of THAC0 if favor of BAB was bad for the game because it made it too easy to play. With THAC0, you have to put effort into playing the game and learning the rules. It's so easy with BAB that anybody could play without investing significant time! THAC0 is a bar to entry to keep the fan base high quality and using it is a badge of honor!

Sartharina
2014-08-05, 12:55 AM
That's just as extreme a position to take as the weeaboo one where you're just fighting on with swords and arrows sticking out your body. The pure avoidance interpretation causes many problems, injury poisons, bleeding attacks, massive damage etc etc.

IMO in 5e because of the huge amount of non magical healing you're basically forced as DM to say that all hits (except the final one which truly kills you) are superficial. When the superficial hits stack up high enough you drop unconscious (and subsequently lose death saving throws). With mostly magical healing you can inch a little closer to the weeaboo situation, occasionally declaring that a particular high damage attack made a deep cut or something (you're just too bad ass to bleed much or let it affect you). I personally find that more fun, but it's not really an option in 5e.Or, you can have your hitpoints be independent of your visible physical state. Deep wounds stop feeling so deep after your body acclimates to them (If you want, you can track and have them inflict performance penalties until they heal realistically- but they're not detracting from your max HP)

Using Hit dice represents your ability to grit yourself and carry on despite injuries - but you need a bit of time to adapt to the injuries - taking too much damage at once sends your body into shock (Being dropped/killed with Hit Dice remaining), when your actual durability's dependent on the total of your daily HP (Hit points, Hit Dice, and Second Winds).

Knaight
2014-08-05, 01:54 AM
I distinctly recall people complaining that the loss of THAC0 if favor of BAB was bad for the game because it made it too easy to play. With THAC0, you have to put effort into playing the game and learning the rules. It's so easy with BAB that anybody could play without investing significant time! THAC0 is a bar to entry to keep the fan base high quality and using it is a badge of honor!

I distinctly remember that from now, along with from archives. D&D tends to have fairly explosive edition wars, though they aren't the only one (Shadowrun 5e has been interesting).

Morty
2014-08-05, 05:47 AM
Actually I think history shows that hit points work really well since they are so common in so many different games. However every once in a while when somebody actually thinks about them they figure out that they cannot just represent physical damage, like so many do at first, and they either learn to accept it (often by either accepting the abstraction form where it represents many things like Gygax did or by just saying "it is a game mechanic to determine whether you are alive and leave it at that") or they decide to hate it. If they hate it they either just grudgingly acccept it , complain about (but do nothing), or create their own system to deal with wounds. Of that last option it is usually (it seems very often) more complicated than straight HP and does not seem to catch on as well with the gaming community at large (my evidence is that wound based systems have been around a while and they are far less common and some even go to a HP system later).

HP is nice because it is easy to use in a game which is way more important than how "realistic" it is to most people that is why it is so popular. The abstraction allows a lot of versatility in how it can explain what a "hit" is and even though if you think about it hard enough it breaks down the benefits to game play far outweigh its problems.

That is why HP has never been about just physical damage. If you don't like that it is OK but I don't think a wound system will get very far in D&D.

I see you've decided to conveniently lump me with people who 'just don't get it' and demand realism, and whom you disagree with. So I'm going to be exceedingly clear from now on. After all, dividing everyone in an argument into two opposing 'camps' is not an uncommon thing.

Yes, I'm perfectly capable of imagining hit points as an abstraction. No, I do not demand realism or simulation, those bogeymen of D&D discussions. Having made that (hopefully) clear, no, I still don't think hit points as D&D uses them (italicized because it seems it needs to be stressed that hit points can be used differently) don't work. Like I said, which you mostly ignored in favour of throwing me into the "silly realism people" bag and appealing to popularity, you run into problems regardless of how you choose to interpret them.

If you choose to treat hit points as representing actual, physical damage, the problems are rather obvious - characters can take ludicrous amounts of punishment before even reaching high levels. And if you use healing the way 4e or 5e do, they recover at a rate to make The Nameless One or Wolverine jealous. If you go the way 3e handles it, though, they're entirely reliant on whichever party member got saddled with being the healbot. Obviously, tremendous durability and quick regeneration, or both, are hardly inappropriate for a high fantasy game... as an option for high-level warriors, or granted by magic. Giving it to everyone, like it or not, leads to bad situations.

Now, if you decide to treat them as luck instead, you bump into a different set of problems. You end up with a situation in which characters have cartoonish reserves of luck, somehow lucking their way out of a barrage of crossbow bolts. Except when their luck suddenly and arbitrarily runs out and they go down. But it can also be regained via healing magic which, for some reason, is labelled "cure X wounds" instead of "cure X amount of fatigue and strained probabilities". Or it can be reset by resting. More than that, we end up with a big terminology problem - a "hit" isn't an actual hit, but rather a miss slightly less ineffective than if you'd rolled below the target's AC. So all in all we end up with sometimes describing them as luck, sometimes as actual physical wounds. It's inconsistent and messy. It's also not an actual explanation or narration - it's rationalization of a dysfunctional system.

Another view put forward, one I'm actually inclined to take seriously, is not to worry about it and just treat it as a purely gamist construct. Unfortunately, I don't think it works either. There's only so much you can handwave before combat becomes just number tracking. And, more importantly, it's not even exciting number tracking. You hit above the AC, you chip away at some of the target's hit points until they keel over. Unless you use magic, it works exactly the same way no matter how you attack, and no matter how the target defends itself. Whether you heft a two-handed poleaxe and try and hit a nimble assassin, or scurry around with a thrusting sword to try and get through a monster's thick hide, it's the same thing. 4e takes some steps to make it a bit more exciting, but it still comes down to that. And its approach has its own problems.

Another assumption you've made is that I'd like to use a 'wounds' system like the alternate one in Unearthed Arcana, which 5e is apparently going to include in the DMG as an optional module. That's not what I'm after, because I don't think it's enough. What I would do, perhaps, is to simply scale down hit points to a relatively static number, provided a character doesn't invest resources in increasing them. Then I would emphasize active defences, while also making them more variable and tactically deep than a binary hit chance or passive damage reduction. This way, the focus would be on avoiding injury, and if you lose hit points, it means those defences failed and the enemy actually struck home. Which, of course, wouldn't be a one-hit-kill, because that's not what the system should be about. Increasing your hit points would effectively increase the number of times you can afford to let the enemy get past your defences (be they dodging, parrying, shields, armour, ridiculous natural toughness or protective spells) before your wounds overcome you.

akaddk
2014-08-05, 05:49 AM
Like I said, which you mostly ignored in favour of throwing me into the "silly realism people" bag and appealing to popularity, you run into problems regardless of how you choose to interpret them.

You might but hundreds of thousands of others don't.

Millennium
2014-08-05, 07:53 AM
Another assumption you've made is that I'd like to use a 'wounds' system like the alternate one in Unearthed Arcana, which 5e is apparently going to include in the DMG as an optional module. That's not what I'm after, because I don't think it's enough. What I would do, perhaps, is to simply scale down hit points to a relatively static number, provided a character doesn't invest resources in increasing them. Then I would emphasize active defences, while also making them more variable and tactically deep than a binary hit chance or passive damage reduction. This way, the focus would be on avoiding injury, and if you lose hit points, it means those defences failed and the enemy actually struck home. Which, of course, wouldn't be a one-hit-kill, because that's not what the system should be about. Increasing your hit points would effectively increase the number of times you can afford to let the enemy get past your defences (be they dodging, parrying, shields, armour, ridiculous natural toughness or protective spells) before your wounds overcome you.
This sounds kind of like the old Grim-N-Gritty ruleset for 3e. The last version of this that I saw (Revised & Simplified) went something like this, though please keep in mind that this is the tl;dr version: All characters a static "lifebar" of 25 points. No more, no less.
At 20 points you take a general -1 penalty. At 15 this increases to -2, and at 10 this increases to -3. At 5 you fall unconscious, and at 0 you die.
Many of the things that increase your HP or AC in the standard ruleset instead give you points of a thing called "soak" (which is kind of like DR/-, but it works even against magic). Armor gives soak instead of AC, for example, as does your Con modifier. Barbarians get extra soak instead of DR/- (which is a boost for them, since soak works against everything).
Most to-hit rolls are against something roughly equivalent to touch AC (armor gives you soak instead).
Most damage values remain completely unchanged.
The idea was to make person-to-person combat consistently dangerous, and combat against big monsters deadly: dragon's breath will usually kill you dead even at Level 20, and this is a feature, not a bug. Cover becomes your best defense, followed by Dex and things that let you dodge, followed by armor and things that let you soak. I never got to test it out in a real game, but I remember it being quite popular back in The Day.

Theodoxus
2014-08-05, 07:54 AM
You might but hundreds of thousands of others don't. care

FTFY

obryn
2014-08-05, 08:01 AM
This sounds kind of like the old Grim-N-Gritty ruleset for 3e.... I never got to test it out in a real game, but I remember it being quite popular back in The Day.
Boy, that's a blast from the past. I remember people talking that up in the early 00's. I think it fell away by 3.5, when expansions popped up and damage numbers kept inflating beyond the system's assumptions, to where it was utterly unusable with any degree of optimization.

Vowtz
2014-08-05, 08:02 AM
Okay, let me pose another question. I know that a lot of people already answered, but some (myself included) got sidetracked.


Regardless if hit points represent phisycal or mental durability, drive, luck, a combination of those, or any other concept. Don't you think that hit points recover too fast?

"Short rest" and "long rest", don't you think that these resources DIMINISH THE DANGER of adventures?

Morty
2014-08-05, 08:07 AM
This sounds kind of like the old Grim-N-Gritty ruleset for 3e. The last version of this that I saw (Revised & Simplified) went something like this, though please keep in mind that this is the tl;dr version: All characters a static "lifebar" of 25 points. No more, no less.
At 20 points you take a general -1 penalty. At 15 this increases to -2, and at 10 this increases to -3. At 5 you fall unconscious, and at 0 you die.
Many of the things that increase your HP or AC in the standard ruleset instead give you points of a thing called "soak" (which is kind of like DR/-, but it works even against magic). Armor gives soak instead of AC, for example, as does your Con modifier. Barbarians get extra soak instead of DR/- (which is a boost for them, since soak works against everything).
Most to-hit rolls are against something roughly equivalent to touch AC (armor gives you soak instead).
Most damage values remain completely unchanged.
The idea was to make person-to-person combat consistently dangerous, and combat against big monsters deadly: dragon's breath will usually kill you dead even at Level 20, and this is a feature, not a bug. Cover becomes your best defense, followed by Dex and things that let you dodge, followed by armor and things that let you soak. I never got to test it out in a real game, but I remember it being quite popular back in The Day.

That sounds interesting, but my goal (inasmuch as I can be said to have one as I ramble) is not quite grittiness or realism. PCs are still not supposed to be threatened by a lucky shot from a common enemy. The point is a defence and health system which is more engaging, easier to narrate and less prone to causing the kind of argument we're having now. Maybe this system could be reverse-engineered to achieve that, I'm not sure.

obryn
2014-08-05, 08:14 AM
Okay, let me pose another question. I know that a lot of people already answered, but some (myself included) got sidetracked.

Regardless if hit points represent phisycal or mental durability, drive, luck, a combination of those, or any other concept. Don't you think that hit points recover too fast?

"Short rest" and "long rest", don't you think that these resources DIMINISH THE DANGER of adventures?
It depends on the assumptions of the system, the danger of encounters, and the general adventure genre you're going for.

If you are going for a 1e-style dungeon campaign, then it's too fast. If you're going for a a 3e-style "CLW wands all around!" game, then it's actually slower and more time-consuming than you're used to. If you're looking for 4e-style, healing is distressingly unlimited, since there's no daily cap on how many HP characters can recover. Any way you cut it, an hour's an awful long time for a "short rest" so I don't think there'll be as much per-day HP recovery as you evidently do.

I have absolutely no doubt that adventures will be plenty dangerous. The default healing rules may just be a poor fit for the genre you're aiming for. (In which case, the devs have promised on several occasions that they'd have modules for slower & faster healing.)

Millennium
2014-08-05, 08:28 AM
Okay, let me pose another question. I know that a lot of people already answered, but some (myself included) got sidetracked.

Regardless if hit points represent phisycal or mental durability, drive, luck, a combination of those, or any other concept. Don't you think that hit points recover too fast?

"Short rest" and "long rest", don't you think that these resources DIMINISH THE DANGER of adventures?
No. If anything, they make it easier to make dangerous adventures.

A good DM wants the players to win, but knows that the risks still have to be real: it's not as fun if nothing is at stake. Balancing encounters, even in 4e, has long been one of the biggest DMing challenges, because you have to consider the problems your players might have to face at different levels of resource drain. If you can assume that the players go into every fight at full resources, this concern vanishes, and you no longer have to worry about being quite so gentle.

Honestly, I do think short rests are a little quick to get back up to full. But healing to full after a night's sleep (the rough equivalent to a "long rest") may be the most common house rule that DMs made in earlier editions. Critical fumbles (and critical hits, for editions which didn't have them) are the only house rules that likely even came close. It's there to make the DM's job easier, much more than for the players.

PinkysBrain
2014-08-05, 08:30 AM
Well, of course it's an option. I took a deep cut; the martial healing or whatever I receive makes it easier to ignore that cut.

Given how much "mundane" healing you can get you could go a pretty long time without any magical healing ... and you will end up with the situation where your body is lacerated with deep cuts from top to toe while you keep on trucking (for days).

archaeo
2014-08-05, 08:31 AM
Okay, let me pose another question. I know that a lot of people already answered, but some (myself included) got sidetracked.

Regardless if hit points represent phisycal or mental durability, drive, luck, a combination of those, or any other concept. Don't you think that hit points recover too fast?

"Short rest" and "long rest", don't you think that these resources DIMINISH THE DANGER of adventures?

Why let your players take so many rests? Where are the wandering monsters? Where is the kobold ambush? Where is the archlich, getting closer to the MacGuffin every hour?

It'd be easy enough to say "houserule," but I don't think you need to modify the rules at all. Just increase the danger if you feel like your players have it too easy. Use difficult encounters and structure the plot/dungeon such that resting is impossible without lots of hard work.

From a design standpoint, I think HP regeneration is right where it should be: entirely in the hands of the DM. It has a baseline of fairly generous HP regen, since it's much easier to say "no" to existing mechanics than invent new mechanics out of whole cloth. But outside class features and spells, healing is relegated to resting, which is child's play to modify or prevent. I mean, the enemies don't even have to be on the scene to prevent a rest; by RAW, a short rest requires a full hour to get any healing at all, and as DM, I would rule that anything non-restful (say, barricading the doors against the kobold army out for revenge) resets that clock.

I also just think it's funny how opinions differ. I've seen people complain 5e is too swingy and too likely to kill PCs. I've seen people complain it's way too easy, now, too. I think I can pretty much take it as a given that the DMG will provide advice on modifying the difficulty of the game, but for the most part, it's intuitively obvious how to slide the difficulty scale.

edit: and I notice that other people have already responded more succinctly than myself. Oh well. Let me address PinkysBrain then:


Given how much "mundane" healing you can get you could go a pretty long time without any magical healing ... and you will end up with the situation where your body is lacerated with deep cuts from top to toe while you keep on trucking (for days).

Presumably, you take a short or long rest at some point, since that "mundane" healing will run out; I don't think it's immersion-breaking nonsense to suggest that during a rest, players break out the bandages and the salves and whatnot.

Frankly, however you want to slice it, you can either accept HPs as a total gameist abstraction, handwaving it like the D&D designers have done across editions, or you can stress yourself out trying to fit HP into a coherent narrative. I prefer to do the former because I don't need to worry too much about the realism of my elf games, but if you're hung up on the latter, my only suggestion would be to find a system that doesn't torture you with its abstractions.

PinkysBrain
2014-08-05, 08:37 AM
Using Hit dice represents your ability to grit yourself and carry on despite injuries

Given just how much mundane healing you can get, you could get in a situation where you're gritting your teeth with a body which if you sum up all the different hit descriptions of the DM should be more visible bone than flesh. That's an awful lot of gritting.

It's easier to just describe every hit, no matter how many hitpoints it shaves as superficial ... or alternatively that using hit dice to heal is an Ex ability aking to regeneration.

PinkysBrain
2014-08-05, 09:02 AM
Presumably, you take a short or long rest at some point, since that "mundane" healing will run out; I don't think it's immersion-breaking nonsense to suggest that during a rest, players break out the bandages and the salves and whatnot.

I do think it's immersion breaking, because I can get the same healing trapped in a featureless void with no items. That said, if it was actually in the rules that you needed those bandages and salves and whatnot it would go a long way to making hit dice healing more palatable.

I'd also give a small bonus if the care is supplied by someone with medical proficiency (I'd say rerolls for low dice rolls at higher proficiencies). Also a penalty when care is self administered (not always easy to bandage yourself or sew yourself up).

Millennium
2014-08-05, 09:11 AM
I do think it's immersion breaking, because I can get the same healing trapped in a featureless void with no items. That said, if it was actually in the rules that you needed those bandages and salves and whatnot it would go a long way to making hit dice healing more palatable.
Papering over the minutiae of tending to wounds is more immersion-breaking than the bookkeeping required to track every bandage and salve?

PinkysBrain
2014-08-05, 09:43 AM
Papering over the minutiae of tending to wounds

You aren't papering over them ... to say anything is being tended is prima facie ridiculous. Either enforce that wounds have to be tended or create flavour text which backs up how you want the ability to work (ie. you will yourself to heal).


is more immersion-breaking than the bookkeeping required to track every bandage and salve?
Just have a single generic medical supply, doesn't even have to be consumable.

I don't mind abstraction ... I do mind flavour text which is prima facie not applicable and just written because it fits some metagame concept irrelevant in the game, one of the reasons I don't like 4e.

Millennium
2014-08-05, 10:57 AM
You aren't papering over them ... to say anything is being tended is prima facie ridiculous.
Why? What makes it so ridiculous? Your assertion of prima facie doesn't hold up very well.

Human Paragon 3
2014-08-05, 11:06 AM
I played the starter set last night, and our party declined to take a short rest when we should have. We all died. Wish we'd taken the rest.

Sartharina
2014-08-05, 11:06 AM
"Short rest" and "long rest", don't you think that these resources DIMINISH THE DANGER of adventures?No, they increase the danger of adventure, because encounters no longer have to be designed to only cut off a small chunk of your remaining hit points - they can be designed to have a risk of dropping someone to 0, knowing they can be back on their feet next encounter if they survive, instead of having All Early Encounters be safe.


Given how much "mundane" healing you can get you could go a pretty long time without any magical healing ... and you will end up with the situation where your body is lacerated with deep cuts from top to toe while you keep on trucking (for days).The only 'mundane' healing I'm aware of are the Fighter's second wind (Which almost never recovers more than he takes in the encounter, and is limited to once per encounter) and Hit Dice, which are limited per day. Even then, Hit points have NEVER represented physical wounds - the amount of time it takes to heal in older editions doesn't correspond with how long it takes an injury to heal - it corresponds with how long it takes an Athlete to recover from a strenuous exhibition (Such as the Olympics).

obryn
2014-08-05, 11:46 AM
Per the leaks I posted in another thread, both resting and second wind have official tweaks in the DMG.

PinkysBrain
2014-08-05, 11:52 AM
Why? What makes it so ridiculous?
The rules ... it works naked in a void.

obryn
2014-08-05, 12:03 PM
The rules ... it works naked in a void.
How many adventures take place naked in a void?

PinkysBrain
2014-08-05, 12:05 PM
Even then, Hit points have NEVER represented physical wounds

I know, but that branch of the conversation originated with my opinion that I sometimes consider it fun to describe a big hit as a physical wound any way ... when most healing is magical it doesn't really matter, you'll get some magical healing soon and that just closes wounds in an instant just because or you don't get healing and after a couple big hits you drop dead.

Sartharina
2014-08-05, 12:07 PM
How many adventures take place naked in a void?More of mine than you might think.

That said, this line immediately conjured a bunch of "Your Mom" jokes.

PinkysBrain
2014-08-05, 12:08 PM
How many adventures take place naked in a void?

Shackled in a prison cell ... better?

Vowtz
2014-08-05, 12:38 PM
Shackled in a prison cell ... better?

I guess players nowadays want infinite healing, and developers gave them just that, without any regard to coherency.

Human Paragon 3
2014-08-05, 12:58 PM
Shackled in a prison cell...

I guess players nowadays want infinite healing, and developers gave them just that, without any regard to coherency.

It's just a pulpier way of doing it. It's like Rambo. Or Die Hard. Imagine a tough SOB getting clobbered and dragged to a dungeon cell, shackled to the wall. He's left there for over an hour to brood. When they stuck him in there, he was barely conscious, but he's a tough mother with revenge on his mind, and some time to steel himself for what needs to be done.

When the door opens and those shackles are taken off, he doesn't give them time to react, he just attacks, smashing them with everything he has, shaking off blows and bashing heads until the guards are unconscious. He grabs his dagger off the belt of the big guard and narrows his eyes. He'd fight his way through 100 guards for the chance to get his hands on the bastard who sucker punched him and tossed him in that cell to rot.

obryn
2014-08-05, 01:00 PM
Shackled in a prison cell ... better?

I guess players nowadays want infinite healing, and developers gave them just that, without any regard to coherency.
Coherent with ... what? Your preferred definitions of the "meaning" of hit points? Those are unpersuasive at best, except for folks who already agree with you.

Strictly from a gameplay perspective it seems like it will work fine. The key is measuring out challenges appropriately. And if you prefer slower healing (maybe because you're going for 1e-style long-term campaigns vs. a dungeon environment, composed of skirmishes and incursions), there's going to be modules for that.

Millennium
2014-08-05, 01:14 PM
The rules ... it works naked in a void.
So? Why should I care? I'm not naked in a void. Any adventure that took place naked in a void would be so mind-bogglingly contrived that it frankly doesn't make much sense for the rules to cover that case.

Morty
2014-08-05, 01:22 PM
As critical as I am of D&D's health and defence model, I agree that 'chained naked in prison', much less 'floating in a void' aren't situations to be balanced around. In the majority of cases, resting and healing will occur when the characters have the means to do so. Situations in which the DM decides it's impossible can be decided on a case-by-case basis if and when they crop up. There's a lot of problems with D&D's hit points - this isn't one of them.

da_chicken
2014-08-05, 02:17 PM
I don't see a problem with a DM ruling that you can't take a short rest without clothing or warmth, or can't take a long rest without shelter, food, or water (as examples, not strict rules to be nit-picked). It's reasonable to require rest to be restful. Now, if he does so continually or repeatedly uses it to deny characters the ability to benefit from a rest then he's just being a jerk.

PinkysBrain
2014-08-05, 02:25 PM
As critical as I am of D&D's health and defence model, I agree that 'chained naked in prison', much less 'floating in a void' aren't situations to be balanced around. In the majority of cases, resting and healing will occur when the characters have the means to do so. Situations in which the DM decides it's impossible can be decided on a case-by-case basis if and when they crop up. There's a lot of problems with D&D's hit points - this isn't one of them.

I wasn't talking about resting ... I was talking about tending wounds. My whole point is that it's the short rest which triggers the ability to use your HD to heal, not the ability/resources/opportunity to tend wounds. It's easy to come up with situations where you can sleep but can't tend your wounds.

hawklost
2014-08-05, 02:39 PM
I wasn't talking about resting ... I was talking about tending wounds. My whole point is that it's the short rest which triggers the ability to use your HD to heal, not the ability/resources/opportunity to tend wounds. It's easy to come up with situations where you can sleep but can't tend your wounds.

When you use your HD to heal, the narrative could be that you are using the time to tend your wounds and catch your breath.

Would these times consist of 8 hours of rest and/or light activities only? I am sure that hanging by your arms in a dungeon might not constitute a light activity. Nor would waking up every hour to move for 20 minutes and then go back to sleep. (Although you would be able to get a full 8 hours rest by doing that technically).

If you consider your HP not to be deep wounds but instead your stamina and minor lascarations (small cuts that just need to be washed quickly and bandaged with anything if that). Then a short/long rest makes great sense.

Its true that you could say something like "I sleep for 6 hours and then immediately get up and read a map for the next two, doing nothing else at all". At this point the DM could say "then you don't get your HP back (or only half or whatever)" or could say "well, even though you said that, I will assume that you take a few minutes to wash yourself and quickly asses your wounds. none of them seem serious enough to need bandaging though. get your full HP back"

da_chicken
2014-08-05, 02:47 PM
I wasn't talking about resting ... I was talking about tending wounds. My whole point is that it's the short rest which triggers the ability to use your HD to heal, not the ability/resources/opportunity to tend wounds. It's easy to come up with situations where you can sleep but can't tend your wounds.

Actually the game doesn't distinguish between resting and tending wounds. Indeed, I suspect the game assumes you are tending wounds during a short rest, since it says a short rest involves "nothing more strenuous that eating, drinking, reading, and tending to wounds." The spending of Hit Dice is the result of the hour of rest, not an ability that triggers and goes on the stack at the end of it. Neither are you squatting and screaming like a Dragonball Z character until you build up enough power to recover hit points.

Knaight
2014-08-05, 02:54 PM
Okay, let me pose another question. I know that a lot of people already answered, but some (myself included) got sidetracked.

Regardless if hit points represent phisycal or mental durability, drive, luck, a combination of those, or any other concept. Don't you think that hit points recover too fast?

"Short rest" and "long rest", don't you think that these resources DIMINISH THE DANGER of adventures?

I wouldn't say they diminish the danger of adventure so much as they constrain the effects of individual parts. The system is likely to recommend harder fights because of the healing, but the healing also makes it so that there's less continuity - one rest after a fight, and it's almost like it never happened.

It's a stylistic thing. I'd prefer it if a wound taken in one fight is still relevant in another a week later, provided that it isn't some superficial scratch, other people don't.

ZeshinX
2014-08-05, 03:07 PM
Meh. The concept of self-healing is one I will be house-ruling utterly out of any 5e games I intend to run. I do like Second Wind, sort of the heroic surge of will quantified in some healing, but the full recovery of HP after a long rest and Hit Dice-based recovery of short rests....goodbye, you silly video game-esque rules you.

I suspect my games will be something to the effect of this:

-8 hours of sleep gets you your Con modifier (those without a positive mod, or a negative mod, get nothing)
-Clerical Cure Wounds spell and similar effects (Domain powers, Paladin lay-on-hands, etc)
-Healing potions of varying strengths
-Second Wind will be given to all characters, one/day (more at DM's discretion based on role-play), as for the Fighter ability, I'll likely replace it with something else

Subject to change once I get my hands on and read the PHB (then likely tweaked again if the DMG has some interesting options) of course.

Vowtz
2014-08-05, 03:09 PM
I wasn't talking about resting ... I was talking about tending wounds. My whole point is that it's the short rest which triggers the ability to use your HD to heal, not the ability/resources/opportunity to tend wounds. It's easy to come up with situations where you can sleep but can't tend your wounds.

And remember that farmers, teachers and children will also recover to full health easily.


If your character crush a den of evil cultists that use innocent human blood for macabre rituals of torture, provided that the tortured people are concious with more than 1 Hp, they will all return to absolute health after 8 hours, and some of them will need just one hour.

Demonic Spoon
2014-08-05, 03:12 PM
If your character crush a den of evil cultists that use innocent human blood for macabre rituals of torture, provided that the tortured people are concious with more than 1 Hp, they will all return to absolute health after 8 hours, and some of them will need just one hour.


If the only mechanism you choose to use to represent macabre torture rituals is hitpoint damage then you're missing the point.

Vowtz
2014-08-05, 03:14 PM
Meh. The concept of self-healing is one I will be house-ruling utterly out of any 5e games I intend to run. I do like Second Wind, sort of the heroic surge of will quantified in some healing, but the full recovery of HP after a long rest and Hit Dice-based recovery of short rests....goodbye, you silly video game-esque rules you.


And THAT is what I am talking about! Please let me play your game!

obryn
2014-08-05, 03:16 PM
And remember that farmers, teachers and children will also recover to full health easily.

If your character crush a den of evil cultists that use innocent human blood for macabre rituals of torture, provided that the tortured people are concious with more than 1 Hp, they will all return to absolute health after 8 hours, and some of them will need just one hour.
This is kind of weird logic. HP does not model permanent, debilitating, or long-lasting injuries, unless you want to argue that the dude who lost his hand in the war can just sleep it off.

Regardless, two points.
(1) D&D rules are not meant to model "torturer-on-commoner" interaction, so it's no surprise it does it poorly. It's like trying to model macroeconomics using 3e's Profession skill.
(2) I find it hard to think of an edition of D&D where it would take longer than 1-4 days, anyway. Any situation of "evil torture" where 1 day is insufficient seems equally silly for 4 days.

SiuiS
2014-08-05, 03:19 PM
Almost dead is not a lot of damage. Almost dead is "a bad concussion". Almost dead is "a knife wound to the leg that's bleeding a lot".

An hours rest can help with the concussion and clear the fog that leaves the fighter on Death's door. An hour of rest can let the muscle heal enough when bound that the fighter won't bleed out by seeing a scary shadow and getting his heart racing.

It's that simple. "Dying" does not mean holding in your intestines and bleeding all over, burns and cuts and seepage. It means you will die if you suffer another wound. The end.


E: you guys do realize that NPCs aren't characters, aren't heroes, and don't use hero adventurer rules, right? The tortured farmer won't recover after a few hours; he will recover in days or weeks, if at all.

Sartharina
2014-08-05, 03:22 PM
It's a stylistic thing. I'd prefer it if a wound taken in one fight is still relevant in another a week later, provided that it isn't some superficial scratch, other people don't.Hit points is a bad representation of this sort of thing. You want to apply long-lasting disadvantages instead.

Hit points are nothing more than how long you can last in a fight.

Knaight
2014-08-05, 03:25 PM
Hit points is a bad representation of this sort of thing. You want to apply long-lasting disadvantages instead.

GURPS handles this sort of thing reasonably well with HP, though I do agree that either a wound system or something like Fate's Stress/Consequence system does a whole lot better.

Sartharina
2014-08-05, 03:26 PM
GURPS handles this sort of thing reasonably well with HP, though I do agree that either a wound system or something like Fate's Stress/Consequence system does a whole lot better.

Yes - Stress and Consequence are much better for long-term damage, but terrible for short-term staying power.

Lokiare
2014-08-05, 03:31 PM
I played the starter set last night, and our party declined to take a short rest when we should have. We all died. Wish we'd taken the rest.

The question here is do you like super deadly games where you can die easily based mostly on random dice rolls or not? If so then this is normal and you should just bring a stack of characters with you to save time, don't bother naming them until 3rd level though.


Meh. The concept of self-healing is one I will be house-ruling utterly out of any 5e games I intend to run. I do like Second Wind, sort of the heroic surge of will quantified in some healing, but the full recovery of HP after a long rest and Hit Dice-based recovery of short rests....goodbye, you silly video game-esque rules you.

Lets not using insulting rhetoric. You find short rest healing to be unrealistic and dislike what it does to the game. No need to start calling things silly or video game-esque. I could easily call many things that you like from 5E silly or video game-esque, but I choose not to.


I suspect my games will be something to the effect of this:

-8 hours of sleep gets you your Con modifier (those without a positive mod, or a negative mod, get nothing)
-Clerical Cure Wounds spell and similar effects (Domain powers, Paladin lay-on-hands, etc)
-Healing potions of varying strengths
-Second Wind will be given to all characters, one/day (more at DM's discretion based on role-play), as for the Fighter ability, I'll likely replace it with something else

Subject to change once I get my hands on and read the PHB (then likely tweaked again if the DMG has some interesting options) of course.

I'm sure there are going to be optional rules in the DMG to address this issue. I wouldn't be surprised if one of them is that you have to use one healing kit charge for each hit die you heal and that each hit die takes an hour of bandaging to work.

Tholomyes
2014-08-05, 03:41 PM
And remember that farmers, teachers and children will also recover to full health easily.Why? Nothing in the rules says NPCs follow the same Healing rules as PCs. This is your own biases getting in the way; nothing to do with the actual rules.


If your character crush a den of evil cultists that use innocent human blood for macabre rituals of torture, provided that the tortured people are concious with more than 1 Hp, they will all return to absolute health after 8 hours, and some of them will need just one hour.Nothing says this. The closest you can get is that the starter set says that an NPC can be stabilized the same way a PC can. It does not specify that that NPC gets any Hit Dice, or that that NPC heals up to full in 8 hours. In fact it doesn't say anything with regards to NPC healing, meaning it's entirely in the DM's room to decide.

ZeshinX
2014-08-05, 03:48 PM
Lets not using insulting rhetoric. You find short rest healing to be unrealistic and dislike what it does to the game. No need to start calling things silly or video game-esque. I could easily call many things that you like from 5E silly or video game-esque, but I choose not to.


Fair enough, though I will offer that that is my opinion of such rules. I ask no one else to share them, agree with them, or even to acknowledge them. I don't much care if someone is upset or offended by them, it's how I feel about them.

Should you disagree, cool. Should you hate my ideas/thoughts, cool. Should you be indifferent to them, cool. All is cool.

Demonic Spoon
2014-08-05, 03:53 PM
I don't think slow-healing HP damage actually resolves the problems you're saying it resolves.

Say we go back to the scenario of villagers being tortured by evil cultists and we're playing a system where it takes them, say, a month to regain back all their lost HP.

they will be easier to kill off in combat for that month while they regain their HP, but otherwise they suffer no ill effects from their torture. They don't take a penalty on any checks, ability scores, or anything else that you would expect them to after being put through intense physical and mental trauma. That doesn't make any sense, no matter how slow their HP regenerates.


What is really being argued for in this thread is a mechanism in D&D to model more permanent wounds suffered in combat...but, as I'm sure we all realize from any discussions on called shots, trying to do that is pretty difficult and would at best be suitable for a variant rule.

hawklost
2014-08-05, 04:02 PM
I don't think slow-healing HP damage actually resolves the problems you're saying it resolves.

Say we go back to the scenario of villagers being tortured by evil cultists and we're playing a system where it takes them, say, a month to regain back all their lost HP.

they will be easier to kill off in combat for that month while they regain their HP, but otherwise they suffer no ill effects from their torture. They don't take a penalty on any checks, ability scores, or anything else that you would expect them to after being put through intense physical and mental trauma. That doesn't make any sense, no matter how slow their HP regenerates.


What is really being argued for in this thread is a mechanism in D&D to model more permanent wounds suffered in combat...but, as I'm sure we all realize from any discussions on called shots, trying to do that is pretty difficult and would at best be suitable for a variant rule.

Even in 3.x it was extremely hard until the Fumble variant came out and the Book of Vile Darkness appeared. Then I feel it became a little too easy for the most part.

Human Paragon 3
2014-08-05, 04:06 PM
Even in 3.x it was extremely hard until the Fumble variant came out and the Book of Vile Darkness appeared. Then I feel it became a little too easy for the most part.

Hey, did you guys notice there are exhaustion rules in the Basic PDF?

There are six levels of exhaustion that give worse and worse penalties to various checks, regardless of your HP. It might make sense to use something like this for the tortured people (or even for PCs if that's your style).

Knaight
2014-08-05, 04:14 PM
What is really being argued for in this thread is a mechanism in D&D to model more permanent wounds suffered in combat...but, as I'm sure we all realize from any discussions on called shots, trying to do that is pretty difficult and would at best be suitable for a variant rule.

It's really not that difficult. A whole bunch of systems do it just fine, often while being simpler than D&D. GURPS does it with HP, and the HP end of the damage system is no more complex than D&D (though that's not system wide).

Demonic Spoon
2014-08-05, 04:20 PM
It's really not that difficult. A whole bunch of systems do it just fine, often while being simpler than D&D. GURPS does it with HP, and the HP end of the damage system is no more complex than D&D (though that's not system wide).


GURPS isn't D&D; such a system would need to be balanced and work well and be intuitive in the context of the rest of the system.

Note that I don't object to such a system - if it was well-implemented it could be really cool for PCs to have longish-lasting wounds after combat - but that's an entirely separate thing from hitpoints regenerating too quickly. Hitpoint regeneration isn't the reason wounds aren't modeled well in D&D, the complete lack of a wound modeling system is why wounds aren't modeled well in D&D.

the reason I say "variant rule" is that it seems like it would add a bunch of complexity and make D&D a bunch more punishing, which isn't necessarily for everyone.

hawklost
2014-08-05, 04:24 PM
Hey, did you guys notice there are exhaustion rules in the Basic PDF?

There are six levels of exhaustion that give worse and worse penalties to various checks, regardless of your HP. It might make sense to use something like this for the tortured people (or even for PCs if that's your style).

True, and it could be interesting to use the levels of Exhaustion and just say that depending on how much torture the person has had, they are effectively stuck at that level of exhaustion (explained away by the body having to cope with the torture). Course, then you have to come up with a method for removing it over time, but that is the kind of thing I think depends on how the DM decides to play it (which is perfectly fine by me)

akaddk
2014-08-05, 04:28 PM
I think the greatest disservice that Gygax & Co. ever did for D&D is calling hit points hit points, damage damage, and healing healing. People just can't get past these terms no matter how much you try to bash it into their thick skulls.

archaeo
2014-08-05, 04:45 PM
I think the greatest disservice that Gygax & Co. ever did for D&D is calling hit points hit points, damage damage, and healing healing. People just can't get past these terms no matter how much you try to bash it into their thick skulls.

About two seconds of googling (I say that not to imply it was easy and I'm a genius, but that I'm lazy and I didn't look very far), it sounds like Dave Arneson took the concept of "hit points" from some kind of naval wargame. It's sort of the most simple way to model life and death; you have a meter, and when the meter empties, you are down. I suppose simpler would be a single life "status," which you have or you don't, but that's real life right there, and who wants to play real-world-elf games.

It just surprises me there's still so much pushback on the issue. You would think that three decades or so of "HP" would get everyone acquainted with the subject.

PinkysBrain
2014-08-05, 04:45 PM
I think the greatest disservice that Gygax & Co. ever did for D&D is calling hit points hit points, damage damage, and healing healing. People just can't get past these terms no matter how much you try to bash it into their thick skulls.

I don't think it would have mattered. In the end I think most people simply don't want combat where only the last hit can be described as inflicting serious damage.

Demonic Spoon
2014-08-05, 04:49 PM
I don't think it would have mattered. In the end I think most people simply don't want combat where only the last hit can be described as inflicting serious damage.

But it doesn't really work that way now. It's just that the "serious damage" doesn't actually impair your ability to fight. Think things like burned skin (hit by a fireball), deep but not incapacitating wounds (hit by a sword), etc..

Morty
2014-08-05, 04:49 PM
Or maybe people do want that, and would like a system that actually lets them describe it. Crazy, I know.

Gygax and his fellows certainly made decisions, while designing the original rules for Dungeons & Dragons, that we can call mistakes, in hindsight. In fact, most of their decisions can be called that. But that's hardly fair, since nobody had actually done it before, so it's not like they had anything to compare their new thing to. The people who repeat those mistakes after all those years don't get this excuse.

Vowtz
2014-08-05, 04:51 PM
I don't think it would have mattered. In the end I think most people simply don't want combat where only the last hit can be described as inflicting serious damage.

I think most people like to believe that when you take damage from a slashing weapon you are damaged because you were slashed.

hawklost
2014-08-05, 04:52 PM
Or maybe people do want that, and would like a system that actually lets them describe it. Crazy, I know.

Gygax and his fellows certainly made decisions, while designing the original rules for Dungeons & Dragons, that we can call mistakes, in hindsight. In fact, most of their decisions can be called that. But that's hardly fair, since nobody had actually done it before, so it's not like they had anything to compare their new thing to. The people who repeat those mistakes after all those years don't get this excuse.

If you really consider them a mistake after years, why do you keep coming back to a game like DnD? Why not find something that doesn't have those mistakes in it? (I am not telling you to go play another game, I am asking why you choose to play a game you think is so full of mistakes).

Sartharina
2014-08-05, 04:59 PM
But it doesn't really work that way now. It's just that the "serious damage" doesn't actually impair your ability to fight. Think things like burned skin (hit by a fireball), deep but not incapacitating wounds (hit by a sword), etc..Right - and while they can accumulate and send you into shock in that combat, after an hour the short-term debilitating effect on you is diminished and you can kick ass for just as long as someone without the new scars.

The damage should be shifted from the "Hitpoint Damage" pool to some long-term consequence, if it's significant.

obryn
2014-08-05, 05:00 PM
I think it's important to remember that hit points, for all their flaws, are a wildly successful mechanic. They're featured across TTRPGs, CRPGs, MMORPGs, video games, board games, and so on. It's fair to call them a staple.

They're simple and they work fine, so long as you don't stare too long into the void. They're just a problem when you try and treat D&D as a high-sim system (which it most assuredly is not) instead of, fundamentally, a game.

micahwc
2014-08-05, 05:09 PM
In past editions of this game level 1 wizards could be killed by ferral house cats. I always wanted to swarm the party with house cats for a TPK just for fun.

Demonic Spoon
2014-08-05, 05:12 PM
I think it's important to remember that hit points, for all their flaws, are a wildly successful mechanic. They're featured across TTRPGs, CRPGs, MMORPGs, video games, board games, and so on. It's fair to call them a staple.

They're simple and they work fine, so long as you don't stare too long into the void. They're just a problem when you try and treat D&D as a high-sim system (which it most assuredly is not) instead of, fundamentally, a game.

Just because something works and is popular doesn't mean it's the optimal solution

Morty
2014-08-05, 05:13 PM
They're simple and they work fine, so long as you don't stare too long into the void. They're just a problem when you try and treat D&D as a high-sim system (which it most assuredly is not) instead of, fundamentally, a game.

That's not really true. It's one thing to be fine with hit points as D&D uses them, but it's inaccurate to say that the only problem one can have with them is that they're bad at simulation. A pool of points you lose before you die is a staple, yes, and for a reason - but there's a lot you can do with that simple template.

Tholomyes
2014-08-05, 05:22 PM
Just because something works and is popular doesn't mean it's the optimal solution

Not necessarily optimal, but what it does mean is that the vast majority of people don't have enough of an issue with it to have it impede on their games. While I would prefer an elegant and mechanically interesting Vitality/wound point system, I'm perfectly fine abstracting HP to mean what they need to mean in the context of a high fantasy setting. And I'd rather have an abstract system than an unnecessarily complex system, when it comes to stuff like adjudicating damage or such.

obryn
2014-08-05, 05:45 PM
Just because something works and is popular doesn't mean it's the optimal solution
I'm pretty sure I didn't say it was. Just that it's achieved much more cultural penetration than most rpg mechanics, and it's familiar even to non gamers.


That's not really true. It's one thing to be fine with hit points as D&D uses them, but it's inaccurate to say that the only problem one can have with them is that they're bad at simulation. A pool of points you lose before you die is a staple, yes, and for a reason - but there's a lot you can do with that simple template.
No, there are certainly other problems you can have with them.

DiBastet
2014-08-05, 08:13 PM
It doesn't help the fact that all translations and national systems here in brazil translate HP as Pontos de Vida (literaly Life Points) instead of Pontos de Acerto (that would be a literal translation to Hit Points).

When I first changed the term in my games to Pontos de Acerto instead of Pontos de Vida players began to understand that HP meant more than physical injury.

Vowtz
2014-08-05, 08:48 PM
It doesn't help the fact that all translations and national systems here in brazil translate HP as Pontos de Vida (literaly Life Points) instead of Pontos de Acerto (that would be a literal translation to Hit Points).

When I first changed the term in my games to Pontos de Acerto instead of Pontos de Vida players began to understand that HP meant more than physical injury.

Rapaz, não importa se você chama de pontos de vida ou pontos de acerto, se você leva dano de uma arma cortante significa que você foi cortado, essas outras explicações não colam não, é muita frescura e pouca objetividade.

pwykersotz
2014-08-05, 09:11 PM
Rapaz, não importa se você chama de pontos de vida ou pontos de acerto, se você leva dano de uma arma cortante significa que você foi cortado, essas outras explicações não colam não, é muita frescura e pouca objetividade.

You don't think that a level 20 that barely dodges a blade and now has a small gash in his forearm is a suitable explanation for 20 lost hit points out of 250?

Pex
2014-08-05, 09:29 PM
I distinctly recall people complaining that the loss of THAC0 if favor of BAB was bad for the game because it made it too easy to play. With THAC0, you have to put effort into playing the game and learning the rules. It's so easy with BAB that anybody could play without investing significant time! THAC0 is a bar to entry to keep the fan base high quality and using it is a badge of honor!

OMG I remember that! :smalleek:


How many adventures take place naked in a void?

That'll be in the 5E Book of Erotic Fantasy module coming out June 9.

Sartharina
2014-08-05, 09:40 PM
That'll be in the 5E Book of Erotic Fantasy module coming out June 9.Awkward... that's my boyfriend's birthday.

But when I saw that line, I immediately thought of about a million "your Mom" jokes.

Slipperychicken
2014-08-05, 09:49 PM
But when I saw that line, I immediately thought of about a million "your Mom" jokes.

Good thing the 5th edition BoEF is bringing back the Innuendo skill.

Vowtz
2014-08-05, 09:57 PM
You don't think that a level 20 that barely dodges a blade and now has a small gash in his forearm is a suitable explanation for 20 lost hit points out of 250?

I agree with you, 20 damage in a character with 250 is a minor wound, a small cut. If he lost 240 in one hit I would say he was vomiting blood and his intestines were about to fall off his body.

But on this thread I learned from my lovely coleagues that it is not the case. When you take 240 slashing damage your luck run out, you are out of breath and lost your will to fight.

If we think like that we can explain how is it possible that a mundade fighter can recover all his lost hit points on the same day without any help with a Long Rest, and we won't say he has great healing power, he was never hurt after all.

hawklost
2014-08-05, 10:04 PM
I agree with you, 20 damage in a character with 250 is a minor wound, a small cut. If he lost 240 in one hit I would say he was vomiting blood and his intestines were about to fall off his body.

But on this thread I learned from my lovely coleagues that it is not the case. When you take 240 slashing damage your luck run out, you are out of breath and lost your will to fight.

If we think like that we can explain how is it possible that a mundade fighter can recover all his lost hit points on the same day without any help with a Long Rest, and we won't say he has great healing power, he was never hurt after all.

If you don't mind mundanes being able to magically heal their damage, then you can say it as slashing your guts out. If you have a conceptual problem with them healing like that (which some on this thread do) then you need a different explanation. I am playing with a DM right now who loves to talk about how we get stabbed and slashed and all that. When asked by a player about how we heal it all, he shrugged and said "Does it really matter? Isn't it cool to describe it this way when you take lots of damage?" Since none of us have a problem with HP just being a game mechanic, we all just went along with it.

Visivicous
2014-08-05, 10:23 PM
I posted my thoughts on HP and healing in another thread, but I'll post a (hopefully) more well-thought-out version here, spoilered for length.

I like to split HP into two categories: 'Meat' (I prefer health but meat seems more popular), and 'Metaphysical Toughness'. Basically, Meat is the first Hit Die + Constitution Modifier: the amount of HP a creature/character/NPC has at its lowest level. Everything else gained through increasing levels/temporary spell effects/magic items/etc., is the 'Metaphysical Toughness' which must be burned through before Meat can be affected. Characters and NPCs in a fantasy world would probably be aware of this, and plan for this, because - hey, magic and dragons and stuff exist and that's how their world works ;-)

(This part could be tweaked to whatever makes sense and/or whatever is fun for your group.) Healing anything above 'Meat' would just replenish the Metaphysical Toughness, like recharging a battery. Actual 'Meat' damage, once the MT is gone, would then be represented by things that a Restoration spell could only fully cure - missing appendages, broken bones, etc. Cure spells would only restore non-vital soft tissue - all the superficial Meat damage. Thus, a short or extended rest could reasonably restore significant Metaphysical Toughness, without breaking immersion - your character is aware of what is going on. (I am not sure if Restoration spells are represented in 5th Edition, so I might need to rethink this once I am more familiar with the material.)

As for the undead, I am assuming that 5th kept the whole 'animated by negative energy' thing, so they would still have Meat and Metaphysical Toughness, the same as living (animated by positive energy) creatures.

Constructs on the other hand are all 'Meat', and every nick and scratch should show: they have to be repaired, and cannot heal. It's just that, they are so tough and well built, they can function perfectly well while horribly mangled. Plus, no pain receptors. Same goes for flesh golems: imagine skin as tough as boiled leather, and muscle tissue as tough as super-dense rubber. Certain exceptions would be made for living constructs, such as the Warforged.

Sure, you can run HP as divine intervention, dodging, luck, endurance/stamina to continue a fight, but this breaks immersion for me. It just seems too implausible. (Note: I am not trying to fit 'realism' into a fantasy RPG, as that would be tedious.) What I mean is this: in a world where magic exists, and heroes or villains can essentially raise themselves to demi-god status by killing things and completing challenges, the dodge/intervention/luck/endurance thing just does not seem to fit. If such did apply, how would you explain a high-level Fighter, trapped in a tiny cell, eating multiple fireballs in one round? Those fireballs definitely hit, no dodging or whatever, and endurance/stamina can only explain so much. Was it all divine intervention? Or has all that adventuring taught the Fighter how to deny the fire's ability to damage him/her in a mystic monk/The Matrix style? It seems too much like applying rare and circumstantial occurrences (read one-in-a-million), to everything that does not end in death.

Actually, that Matrix thing seems neat: HP is the ability of the character's will to bend reality into such a shape so as to avoid death - but it is strenuous and tiring, therefore the HP pool dwindles... I may have to switch to this. Seems like it might be fun having the players describe exactly how they avoided that damage!

Opinions surely vary, and this is just my own. Run your stuff as however you and your players enjoy.

TL;DR - I run all HP above first Hit Die as a dwindling pool of mystical Damage Reduction. The miniscule amount left is 'Meat'.

- Edited for formatting.

Vowtz
2014-08-05, 10:23 PM
If you don't mind mundanes being able to magically heal their damage, then you can say it as slashing your guts out. If you have a conceptual problem with them healing like that (which some on this thread do) then you need a different explanation. I am playing with a DM right now who loves to talk about how we get stabbed and slashed and all that. When asked by a player about how we heal it all, he shrugged and said "Does it really matter? Isn't it cool to describe it this way when you take lots of damage?" Since none of us have a problem with HP just being a game mechanic, we all just went along with it.
I think that wounds that heal too fast or can be easily ignored lose their importance, but I now realize that it is just my personal opinion, and it's not shared by many.

Most people want to ignore wounds/heal easily/recover their drive, and that is exactly what is going to happen, by raw.

In the end everybody is happy (and healthy).

For me this thread already fulfilled it's purpose.

Visivicous
2014-08-06, 02:56 AM
I was watching a classic movie and a great scene came up that I think depicts overcoming HP 'meat' damage fairly well.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d5TiaQeuNO0

akaddk
2014-08-06, 03:06 AM
I was watching a classic movie and a great scene came up that I think depicts overcoming HP 'meat' damage fairly well.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d5TiaQeuNO0

Perfect example of Second Wind :D

What I find most fascinating is that when push comes to shove, most of the people who complain about hit points more often than not end up being the ones who desperately want to play the Die Hard, Drizz't-style heroes who take epic levels of punishment and yet keep on going. It's almost hypocritical.

Morty
2014-08-06, 04:57 AM
One time I came up with an idea to basically make hit points replace all defences. Let there be a 'hit points' pool, 'dodge points' pool, 'armour points' pool, 'parry points' pool et cetera. Then, no rolls to hit, just dealing damage and trying to deplete or bypass the 'upper layers' of defence so you can start removing those precious meaty hit points.