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Kompera
2007-10-21, 04:54 AM
Seeing the RPG Motivator poster with the caption You rolled poorly (http://www.geneticanomaly.com/RPG-Motivational/slides/1d4hp.html) reminds me of a houserule a GM of a while back used which I thought was a very friendly response to the suckage which is rolling a 1 for your new HP after leveling up.

When you level, roll a new hit die and add as usual. A 1 still sucks, but it will be a temporary set back. Each game session you again roll all of your hit dice, and take which ever is higher of your current or the new roll.

This did allow for the new level giving you only additional HP, but it would be very likely to last only a single play session. It also has the benefit of giving the players a higher average HP during the lower levels, while not being as arbitrary as the GM who feels pity on the Barbarian whose D12 came up a 1 at second level and grants a re-roll. If you roll poorly, you're fairly likely to not have to deal with it for many play sessions. And if you roll very well, you basically are rolling for fun and the slight chance of a higher roll until you again level up.

squishycube
2007-10-21, 05:23 AM
So this is like getting max HP each level, except it takes a while before you actually get the maximum?

Kompera
2007-10-21, 05:44 AM
The laws of probability make it highly unlikely that any player will ever achieve max HP at any level over 4th or so, assuming that their game isn't advancing so slow as to give a few hundred re-rolls. The system is kinder to those with lower die types, which could be the strongest objection to it as it's not entirely 'fair' across the Hit Die types.

As I said, the poster reminded me of this GMs system. It's one I've never seen used since, and I've played a lot of D&D over the years. The most typical system used is either Tough Love - You Get What You Roll, or Fudge Factor, where the GM arbitrarily allows a re-roll or assigns a number if the player rolls a 1.

Any other Hit Die alternative systems in use out there?


Edit: Typo

Riffington
2007-10-21, 06:53 AM
Any other Hit Die alternative systems in use out there?

Edit: Typo

I sometimes play with a group that uses the "box game".
The DM rolls secretly, and you roll openly. You can keep your roll, or take what's in the box.

Driderman
2007-10-21, 07:00 AM
No need to roll dice, just take the average and add con modifier.

Starsinger
2007-10-21, 07:16 AM
I usually give my players full hp/level.. I don't particularly see the harm in it.

Rad
2007-10-21, 07:17 AM
No need to roll dice, just take the average and add con modifier.

Seconded; any dice rolling in character creation is evil.

Citizen Joe
2007-10-21, 07:37 AM
Rolling for HP is just one extra step of randomness that isn't really necessary. If you're rolling for damage, that should be enough randomness that you don't need it at both ends.

BrotherMick
2007-10-21, 07:53 AM
My group usually goes by the rule that if you roll equal to or under your Con Modifier then you can reroll.

Swooper
2007-10-21, 08:03 AM
If I'm not using Grim'n'Gritty, I'll propably just give everyone max HP every level. Monsters and NPCs too. The high-HD types benefit more from this than the lower HD ones obviously, but in general the high HD types can use the help more (without going into yet another discussion about melee-vs-caster balance).

Swooper
2007-10-21, 08:04 AM
My group usually goes by the rule that if you roll equal to or under your Con Modifier then you can reroll.
Must suck playing a wizard with 18 Con then, huh? Reroll untill you roll a five :smalltongue:

Ralfarius
2007-10-21, 08:07 AM
I enjoy the variant of all classes rolling 1d4 and adding a kicker based on whatever hit dice they normally had (in addition to CON modifiers). I think it's used in iron kingdoms?

For instance, the wizard rolls only 1d4, a cleric rolls 1d4+4 and a barbarian rolls 1d4+8. This way, a barbarian's 'average' roll is 10.5 rather than 6.5, and he doesn't have a chance of potentially getting less health than the rogue, or even the wizard. It leaves an element of randomness, but keeps respective classes in a range that's more appropriate for their style.

Reinboom
2007-10-21, 08:07 AM
A group I'm playing in, and I use as well for the two groups I run, either take average (4.5 for a d8, 5.5 for a d10, etc.) or roll, but you can't choose to take average after you roll. With average, if you have a ".5" hp extra - for in game purposes, round down. You still have it when you add another hit die however.
Even with that, I'm thinking about permanently removing the rolling option.

Lord Zentei
2007-10-21, 08:16 AM
Heh, this reminds me of the madness of earlier editions when you had to roll hit points for your first level also. I still recall that wizard with 1 hit point who then had the misfortune of encountering an angry goat (I wasn't the player of that character, BTW). The sad thing was that almost 25% of all mages started out like that, since in those days you didn't get bonus hit points from Con until Con 15, which not everyone who played a mage was able or willing to boost to that level.

Anyway:


No need to roll dice, just take the average and add con modifier.

Either that, or allow the player to choose whether s/he wants to roll or take the average. Sort of in the spirit of "taking 10". Of course, if the roll is then a 1, that's too bad. :smallwink:

If you always take the average, I'd recommend rounding up half the time (for instance, as you technically get 5 hit points, rounded down to 5 for one fighter level, you should get 11 hit points per two levels). Or putting it differently, the hit point is kept "in reserve" until another similar bonus brings it up to a full hit point.

Nu
2007-10-21, 08:23 AM
If you're REALLY generous, you could say "roll the HD, take half if it's lower than half."

Kompera
2007-10-21, 09:46 AM
I sometimes play with a group that uses the "box game".
The DM rolls secretly, and you roll openly. You can keep your roll, or take what's in the box.My current GM uses this method, both for Hit Die and initial stat generation. It's decent, but it involves a bit of gambling. If you chose the GMs roll, that's what you get, even if it's worse than your own. I personally never take his roll unless my own is on the middle point of below average or worse. My last Hit Die roll was a 6 on a D20, and I said immediately "I'll keep mine". If I'd have rolled a 1-3, I'd take his, but I'd keep a 4 rather than his possible 1-3.

@those who have said variations on "why roll at all?":
While knowing exactly what you're going to get is nice, and certainly prevents the lousy 1 roll, there can be an extreme to things. I'll assume that you all also use a stat buy system, or there's already some irregularity in your methods. But in combat do you assume a D20 roll of 10.5, add BAB and other modifiers, and see if you hit? And then assume an average damage die roll, and add any modifiers? Or assume an average skill roll and add your modifier? That last would make obsolete the need to 'take 10', and would also make buying skills much more of a sure thing as far as putting enough points in a skill to be sure to always make a certain DR goes...
Some randomness is fun, and rolling a character, or a hit die, or a combat hit or damage die is a lot of fun for a great many players.

As long as the characteristic die rolling method is modified a tiny bit from "Play what you roll", some variation between the players total stats should not pose any significant issue to the game. Too poor a roll? The character becomes a barrel maker, roll again. Too high a roll? The character goes on to greatness naturally, not needing the player to get him there, roll again. And the boundaries should be well defined, so that no one has cause to be upset should they fall off of them, on either end.

I wish I'd used some such system a very long time ago, after the Unearthed Garbage was originally released. In my naivetee I used the system proposed there for rolling 9d6, 8d6, 7d6, etc. for the character stats. I was wise enough to have rolled several sample characters ahead of time, but not wise enough to realize that my sample size was too small and the variations too, er, varied. My sample characters were all above average, and a couple had a few very nice stats, but none were exemplary. The party of 5 ended up with multiple 18s all around, 3 characters with an 18 STR, and that left the Fighter, who rolled in the 1-50% for his STR, feeling rather lame when the Magic-user could hit nearly as hard as he could and nearly as well (at 1st level).
I don't want to saddle a player with a set of stats which will be simply un-fun to play, but neither do I want to see a group of prodigies running around, especially when it tends to blur the lines between the classes and prevent a player from standing out in a specific arena.

Jack Mann
2007-10-21, 10:08 AM
I sometimes play with a group that uses the "box game".
The DM rolls secretly, and you roll openly. You can keep your roll, or take what's in the box.

"Let's see what's in the box! Nothing! Absolutely nothing! Stupid! You're so stupid!"

Rex Blunder
2007-10-21, 10:22 AM
I remember that Skip Williams once said that in early games of OD&D, they actually rerolled all their hit dice every game session. So you could have a lower max HP on one day than you did the day before. The OP's system is actually kind of a synthesis between that and the standard method.

Swordguy
2007-10-21, 10:45 AM
I enjoy the variant of all classes rolling 1d4 and adding a kicker based on whatever hit dice they normally had (in addition to CON modifiers). I think it's used in iron kingdoms?

For instance, the wizard rolls only 1d4, a cleric rolls 1d4+4 and a barbarian rolls 1d4+8. This way, a barbarian's 'average' roll is 10.5 rather than 6.5, and he doesn't have a chance of potentially getting less health than the rogue, or even the wizard. It leaves an element of randomness, but keeps respective classes in a range that's more appropriate for their style.

Going once, going twice...Sold! To Swordguy's new campaign!

SilverClawShift
2007-10-21, 10:50 AM
my entire group was new to D&D when we started playing. We all liked neverwinter nights and similar games, so we decided to try it out. Sounded like fun.

In our second campaign, when we were still on shaky legs, we had the following combo in our party. A wizard and a ranger. By level 5, the wizard had 28 hitpoints, the ranger had 22.
Our DM (new, remember) scratched his head and said "That can't be right".
So then we tried playing with a "Half your hipoints minimum" rule. Then we've got a fighter and a rogue with 40 hitpoints each. "Er, that can't be right either".

So our DM spent a bunch of time crunching numbers, fighting himself, seeing how it played out, ect.

Finally we just opted for max hitpoints. When you have chaos in the number of each attack, the amount of each hits damage, the question of each and every saving throw and skill check...
I understand that the game thrives off of dice rolls and all, but if there's one thing that your character should have stable and predictable, it's "How hard am I to kill?".

*edit*

As an addition to that point, there's saving throws. You don't roll for your base saving throws, you get them based on a list. You don't roll for how many skill points you get, you plan on how many you get for each class. Hitpoints being the same seems fair, personally.

The 1d4 + Kicker thing seems to work very well too though.

jameswilliamogle
2007-10-21, 10:54 AM
In 1st ed, we rolled every level, but during levels 1-3 we allowed a reroll if you got less than 1/2. If you rolled again and got less than or equal to 1/4, you got a second reroll.

I'll never forget the Fighter that rolled a 4, decided to reroll, got a 2, decided to reroll, and got a 1, but usually it worked for the betterment of the party.

Laurellien
2007-10-21, 11:30 AM
I just give my players max hp, and the same goes for NPC's and monsters.

MrNexx
2007-10-21, 03:43 PM
Must suck playing a wizard with 18 Con then, huh? Reroll untill you roll a five :smalltongue:

Gnomish wizard with a 20 Con. Reroll untill you hit a 6 on a d4.

You're playing a wizard, after all. ;-)

However, the way our group always did it was "3/4 maximum". Wizards always got 3. Rogues got 4 then 5, repeating. Fighters got 7 then 8. Never had to roll for HP, since it wasn't in your favor to do so. Of course, you added Con modifiers to this.

Snadgeros
2007-10-21, 04:15 PM
The way my group does it (usually quite effectively) is that any time you're rolling major, permanent things such as HP or ability scores, if you don't like your roll, you can do one complete reroll (as in reroll ALL stats, not just str or dex) but you MUST accept the new roll.

I rolled crap on my first time, rerolled, and got average (11-14) scores the second. better than 9-15 I suppose. Also, I was a monk (shut up!) so I needed more than one 15 and a bunch of 9-12 scores. My HP has been rolled fairly well thus far though!

kaairn
2007-10-21, 04:51 PM
In the groups I've been in, there's been a couple of different options used to deal with lower HP. I like both methods and would be tempted to use both combined for any games I run (but then again, I like powerful PC games :smallbiggrin: ) both these options gave you max HP at first level

first option was the "Half HP or Roll" method. The very base meaning as it says, either you take half your max HP's for your class, or you can roll for it and accept the roll, even if it's lower than half your HP. This did get modified after a couple of campaigns to include an escape clause if you really didn't want to accept the roll. you could purchase the half HP option after rolling by giving up 1/4 of your XP for the next level or end of adventure (whichever came first)

The other option I've come across was described as basically a "hero's soul" feat given automatically to all PCs (and NPCs with PC class levels) which grants +20 hitpoints. This was great at lower levels, and made rolling a 1 for HP much less painful as you now wouldn't die if a kitten sneezed in your direction :smalltongue:

Azerian Kelimon
2007-10-21, 04:59 PM
I mostly use the DMG's average HP system. I really don't like rolls for HP because they make meleers utterly craptastic. And max HP makes encounters for meleers drag eternally unless a spellcaster intervenes, which is bad too. But average usualy means that encounters will last enough to wear the party down, and still leave them enough to finish the job for the day.

Kurald Galain
2007-10-21, 05:03 PM
I fail to see the point of permanently screwing a player because of an unlucky die roll at character generation (or at level-up). Hence I fully agree with "average plus con mod".

deadseashoals
2007-10-21, 05:10 PM
A group I'm playing in, and I use as well for the two groups I run, either take average (4.5 for a d8, 5.5 for a d10, etc.) or roll, but you can't choose to take average after you roll. With average, if you have a ".5" hp extra - for in game purposes, round down. You still have it when you add another hit die however.
Even with that, I'm thinking about permanently removing the rolling option.

This is what I do in my campaigns, and in a couple of other campaigns I play in. So far, only my beguiler and a druid who has a knack for rolling high have opted to roll, in about 15 or so characters that have been created since the inception of this rule.

Ralfarius
2007-10-21, 05:47 PM
Going once, going twice...Sold! To Swordguy's new campaign!
Glad I brought this to your attention. Perhaps there is some sort of punch and/or pie in my near future as thanks? :smallbiggrin:

Collin152
2007-10-21, 05:57 PM
Must suck playing a wizard with 18 Con then, huh? Reroll untill you roll a five :smalltongue:

Note the word can. You keep rolling till you get a 4. Max hp!

Curmudgeon
2007-10-21, 06:35 PM
I figure hit points after first level as point above average on each die:
3 HP for each d4 http://home.comcast.net/~ftm3/JHtB/d4.gif
4 HP for each d6 http://home.comcast.net/~ftm3/JHtB/d6.gif
5 HP for each d8 http://home.comcast.net/~ftm3/JHtB/d8.gif
6 HP for each d10 http://home.comcast.net/~ftm3/JHtB/d10.gif
7 HP for each d12 http://home.comcast.net/~ftm3/JHtB/d12.gif

As Rad said, "any dice rolling in character creation is evil".

Kompera
2007-10-21, 07:01 PM
As Rad said, "any dice rolling in character creation is evil".
Why?

I gave some thoughts on why a certain amount of randomness isn't evil. I'd like to hear the other side of this die's thoughts, not just their position.

BardicDuelist
2007-10-21, 07:24 PM
I roll dice for character creation most of the time, but I use a slightly less random system.

2d6+6 for ability scores. We used average HP or roll, whichever is higher, but I think I will go to the 1d4+x system mentioned, since I like it much more.

Thorguy
2007-10-21, 08:01 PM
Re Kompera:
Die rolls in the normal course of play, attack rolls, saves, etc, are one thing. A bad roll will damage or inconvenience you. When you roll dice in character generation, however, a bad roll will screw up your character for the entire rest of the game. It sucks being the weakest member of the party just because you rolled bad stats or natural ones on all of your barbarian's hit die. That's why I always use point buy.

Clementx
2007-10-21, 09:26 PM
It sucks being the weakest member of the party just because you rolled bad stats or natural ones on all of your barbarian's hit die.
Bah, at least you don't have to roll to see if you survive puberty. That being said, I use point buy and average hit dice as well. No one wants to be that screwed up and disparate from your party/NPCs.

Kompera
2007-10-21, 09:38 PM
Re Kompera:
Die rolls in the normal course of play, attack rolls, saves, etc, are one thing. A bad roll will damage or inconvenience you.Or kill you outright. I'm not sure I see the difference.


When you roll dice in character generation, however, a bad roll will screw up your character for the entire rest of the game. It sucks being the weakest member of the party just because you rolled bad stats or natural ones on all of your barbarian's hit die.Sure. That's why I said "a certain amount of randomness". There have been several systems described which prevent a player from being forced to play a sucky character or to have to deal with a '1' on a Hit Die roll. They still provide for some randomness. Unless the players are in a game where PvP is a possibility, there's not much to kick about if the guy sitting to your left has 4 more stat points than you while the guy sitting to your right has 2 less than you. It's a game, after all. If you were playing cards, would you insist that all opening hands be preassigned from an arranged card list?

I dislike point buy systems for the min/maxing which they encourage and even reward. Some form of random stat rolls tends to discourage this.