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View Full Version : A dagger through the heart is a dagger through the heart (concept)



Charlie Kemek
2008-03-02, 08:36 PM
I think that the hp system in DnD is very unrealistic. A fighter level 20 with 12 con can survive a dragon's full attack like it was nothing. Do any people think that this is very realistic? I personally believe that all you should get each level is your con mod to hp, and instead get DR 1/ every x levels, but adding alignment weapons (brb, brd, would get /cold iron, etc.)
{table=head]HP die type|DR every|AC bonus every
d4|6 levels|5 levels
d6|5 levels|4 levels
d8|4 levels|3 levels
d10|3 levels|2 levels
d12|2 levels|1 level
[/table]

What does the playground think?

Sstoopidtallkid
2008-03-02, 08:39 PM
Take it to homebrew.:smallannoyed:

Animefunkmaster
2008-03-02, 08:41 PM
A fighter level 20 with 12 con can survive a dragon's full attack like it was nothing.

I disagree. A fighter with 12 con is going to be hurting very badly after a full round attack.

The hp system is unrealistic, sure... but its fun over realism. How much fun would it be if you saw a dragon, lost initiative and then died instantly? For that matter how realistic is a dragon?

holywhippet
2008-03-02, 09:19 PM
HP isn't just the raw toughness of your body. It's a measure of how much pain and injury you can absorb and still keep going. It's also an indicator of how good you are at minimising damage by dodging, ducking, taking cover etc.

Say a level 2 fighting and a level 10 fighter get hit by the same orc for the same amount of damage. The level 2 fighter doesn't yet know how to roll with the punches as well and isn't as used to shrugging off the pain. They take the same amount of damage, but the level 10 fighter is less affected.

Riffington
2008-03-02, 09:21 PM
Semi-Standard answer: until the fighter is down to 11 or so hp, he's not really getting hurt. Those claws are just barely missing or just barely drawing blood; only the last bit of damage actually starts puncturing organs.

Alternative:
the real problem isn't that you can take a dragon claw and live... you want your heroes to do that. The real problem is that if townfolk aren't 1st level, and someone pulls a knife in a bar fight, nobody's really at any risk. Plausible Solution: if someone isn't Actively Adventuring, they just have one hit die. Once they resume Active Adventuring, they go to full HP. This way, assassins are actually useful in the world (with poison, traps, or even crossbows), but PCs don't drop like flies.

Draz74
2008-03-02, 09:27 PM
What does the playground think?

I like ideas about reducing the level-based gradation of HP (and thus I'm still big on WP/VP systems), but yours doesn't resonate with me so much.

Oh look, I have CON 8, so now I actually lose HP every time I level up? :smallconfused:

And I don't at all understand the flavor justification of a Barbarian with /cold iron DR. It was enough of a stretch when WotC decided demons had /cold iron DR, just because they were still on the same end of the ethical alignment axis as Fey.

Jayngfet
2008-03-02, 10:05 PM
Take it to homebrew.:smallannoyed:

to the homebrew

EvilElitest
2008-03-02, 10:15 PM
to the homebrew

and away
from
EE

Number 6
2008-03-02, 10:18 PM
Take it to homebrew.:smallannoyed:

To coin a phrase, rude much?

Number 6
2008-03-02, 10:24 PM
I agree. The whole "level and hit point" system is not very realistic. I'm disapointed that almost all computer RPGs have started using the system too; by the end of the game, combats can last an hour as you pick away those 600 hit points that level 40 monster has. I hope that they go to something better in 4 e.

Anyway, I experimented with increasing the AC as characters advanced levels and awarding just 1 -2 HP. This works a lot better, and it solves the other completely unrealistic feature that a level 10 fighter wearing chainmail parries an attack exactly the same i.e. has the same AC has a 1st level fighter that is wearing chainmail and parrying.

I don't expect games to be too realistic, but come on!

Quorothorn
2008-03-02, 10:30 PM
I think that the hp system in DnD is very unrealistic. A fighter level 20 with 12 con can survive a dragon's full attack like it was nothing. Do any people think that this is very realistic? I personally believe that all you should get each level is your con mod to hp, and instead get DR 1/ every x levels, but adding alignment weapons (brb, brd, would get /cold iron, etc.)
{table=head]HP die type|DR every|AC bonus every
d4|6 levels|5 levels
d6|5 levels|4 levels
d8|4 levels|3 levels
d10|3 levels|2 levels
d12|2 levels|1 level
[/table]

What does the playground think? (Emphasis added.)

...Spellcasting dominates so much at higher levels that a 20th-level Fighter is basically superfluous, and you're actually suggesting that we NERF the FIGHTER? To the point where a CR-appropriate challenge one-shots it? Is that really what you're suggesting here?

Look, in a world where there are dragons, 90-ft Megalodons, Zeus labeled as Chaotic Good, Elves who take racial INT penalties, and freakin' Maximized Disintegrates, realism does not enter into it, at all.

Ranting aside, DnD characters at high levels are super-human: deal with it, please.

Riffington
2008-03-03, 07:28 AM
Anyway, I experimented with increasing the AC as characters advanced levels and awarding just 1 -2 HP. This works a lot better, and it solves the other completely unrealistic feature that a level 10 fighter wearing chainmail parries an attack exactly the same i.e. has the same AC has a 1st level fighter that is wearing chainmail and parrying.

I don't expect games to be too realistic, but come on!

I want to make sure we understand what you guys are doing. Are you removing the wizard from the game, or does Magic Missile let you auto-kill a few high level rogues with no attack roll and no save? Does a successful save vs a fireball just mean that you die but your equipment survives the blast?

When one fighter charging-power-attacks another fighter, does a hit=death?

Or is there some catch we're missing? Maybe now that you're level 8, a difficult encounter becomes 10 level 1 orcish warriors? Maybe no PC can possibly go toe-to-toe with an ogre... you have to outsmart it or outrun it? Has spellcasting been banned?

Caracol
2008-03-03, 09:23 AM
Did you take a look at Vampire RPG, or the other White Wolf stuff? They have the health status or levels (full health- scratched - wounded and so on...), with penalities to the ability and actions checks deriving from their state. This is more realistic that the hp system, but better than the OP method (which makes dying too easy). What about converting this system for the d20?

teennerd4684
2008-03-03, 05:24 PM
(Sarcastically) Yeah, the H system sucks. We need to have level 1 fighters having 1 to 3 HP, level 1 rogues need 0 to 2, and a level 1 forest elf (with a penalty to con) to have what, -1 to 1 HP? This with the orc warrior in the MM dealing 2d4+4 damage, for an average of 9? Sure, let's put the level 1 fighter to -6 or less HP in one blow.

Okay, sorry, had to rant. Now that I'm calmed down, I'll explain that hit dice are a way to even out class power, and for an example, I'll take the characters chapter of the DMG which kindly states on pg. 174 that the barbarian needs the d12 HD (among other things) to remain as powerful as the fighter.

...(I hate when I get ahead of myself)

teennerd4684
2008-03-03, 05:28 PM
(Sarcastically) Yeah, the HP system sucks. We need to have level 1 fighters having 1 to 3 HP, level 1 rogues need 0 to 2, and a level 1 forest elf (with a penalty to con) to have what, -1 to 1 HP? This with the orc warrior in the MM dealing 2d4+4 damage, for an average of 9? Sure, let's put the level 1 fighter to -6 or less HP in one blow.

Okay, sorry, had to rant. Now that I'm calmed down, I'll explain that hit dice are a way to even out class power, and for an example, I'll take the characters chapter of the DMG which kindly states on pg. 174 that the barbarian needs the d12 HD (among other things) to remain as powerful as the fighter.

...(I hate when I get ahead of myself)

Fiery Diamond
2008-03-04, 12:27 AM
I'm always very amused by people who complain that the HP system isn't realistic. Well, yeah, it isn't. But, as someone above me said, it's fun over realism. And it's a fantasy game with magic and monsters in the first place, so it isn't like we actually expect it to be realistic. I also find the whole "hp doesn't actually mean how much damage you can take, but how well you can avoid/minimize the damage" argument to be very humorous. If that's so, then why don't healing spells scale at the same rate as HP? (Cure light, healing 1d8 +1 at first level, should be healing 20d8 +20 at 20th level, for example) Let's just all acknowledge that it isn't realistic and get over it. I understand if you want to create a system that's more realistic- fine by me. Just don't complain about how the current one isn't.

-Fiery Diamond

Stycotl
2008-03-04, 01:57 AM
first of all, there is no problem with him complaining about the current system. that is one of the finer motivations of many of the homebrew threads in the first place. how many of the brilliant works here have started out with 'variant,' 'remake,' or some variation? quite a few.

if he wants to make it better, more power to him. those who want to help, chip in. those who don't, take your whining somewhere else. if you want to use the system that is in place already, go for it, but there is no need to become offended because he is thinking outside of canon (blasphemy to some...).

do i like his alternative? has some basis in good ideas, but overall, i think i'll stick with the original. i like coming up with fluffy ways for why the fighter survived the building collapsing in on him.

to each his own.

aaron out.

Fiery Diamond
2008-03-04, 10:02 AM
Oh, I'm not saying he shouldn't come up with a new system if he wants to. In fact, I think his system is quite good. I don't see anything wrong with wanting a more realistic system. I'm just saying that the stated motivation shouldn't be the tired old complaint that the current one isn't. Basically, I see significant difference between saying:
"The current way is unrealistic. I mean, look at X,Y,Z. Don't you agree? I think it should be this way instead."
And
"Because the current system isn't realistic (and really, who'd expect it to be), I thought I'd come up with an alternate system that works better with keeping realism. Here's my idea."
The first one I see as whining, the second one I can respect.

-Fiery Diamond

Alfryd
2008-03-04, 04:40 PM
The hp system is unrealistic, sure... but its fun over realism. How much fun would it be if you saw a dragon, lost initiative and then died instantly?
Right- so there should be no spells which cause instant death if you fail your Fort save.

No, Hit Points are not neccesary in order to survive epic encounters, nor are they neccesary to have fun. You simply use defensive skills to dodge and parry attacks rather than standing there and getting beat like a human pinata. These skills do not currently exist in D&D, but...

Look, in a world where there are dragons, 90-ft Megalodons, Zeus labeled as Chaotic Good, Elves who take racial INT penalties, and freakin' Maximized Disintegrates, realism does not enter into it, at all.
...I don't subscribe to the philosophy of 'If it's broke, don't fix it.'

For that matter how realistic is a dragon?
There is a difference between the fantastic and the surreal. It is plausible that one can dance around a dragon or deflect his more glancing blows so that you never take the full brunt of his assault. It is not plausible that you take scratch after scratch after scratch after scratch, until you die the proverbial 'death by a thousand cuts'.

Secondly, if this game isn't bound by realism, why does it have so many rules about what I can and cannot legally pull off in the first place? If a game is going to burden me with so many regulations, I would like it to have the courtesy not to insult my intelligence.

HP isn't just the raw toughness of your body. It's a measure of how much pain and injury you can absorb and still keep going. It's also an indicator of how good you are at minimising damage by dodging, ducking, taking cover etc.
No, it isn't. How, exactly, do you dodge, duck, or take cover against falling damage? Or disintegrate spells? Or rolling around in molten lava?

When one fighter charging-power-attacks another fighter, does a hit=death?
Yes, essentially. So make sure you don't get hit.

Or is there some catch we're missing? Maybe now that you're level 8, a difficult encounter becomes 10 level 1 orcish warriors? Maybe no PC can possibly go toe-to-toe with an ogre... you have to outsmart it or outrun it? Has spellcasting been banned?
Right, sure- because at present, primary casters are fully balanced with Monks and Fighters, and don't have to be drastically revamped from the ground up at all.

That was sarcasm.

I agree. The whole "level and hit point" system is not very realistic. I'm disapointed that almost all computer RPGs have started using the system too; by the end of the game, combats can last an hour as you pick away those 600 hit points that level 40 monster has. I hope that they go to something better in 4 e.
Yes. This is particularly vexing given that CRPGs can easily afford to favour computational load over simplicity, (assuming it were neccesary in the first place.)

Anyway, I experimented with increasing the AC as characters advanced levels and awarding just 1 -2 HP. This works a lot better, and it solves the other completely unrealistic feature that a level 10 fighter wearing chainmail parries an attack exactly the same i.e. has the same AC has a 1st level fighter that is wearing chainmail and parrying.
I always thought that a character's Reflex saves should tie directly into touch AC in some fashion.

The_Dead_Legion
2008-03-06, 01:45 AM
I love a grim and gritty setting. I sit shoulder-to-shoulder with all my friends and eat up the dirt under a characters nails and the mud in their wounds as the cold rain pounds down on their tired backs worn raw by their heavy chainmail. Nothing better.

The key, in my opinion, to a gritty setting is hit points. Hit points in DnD is like superman. It's entertaining, and fun. If you want players to cringe when swords are drawn, and have bloodletting be dangerous work, then I have found no better system than A Game of Thrones RPG. It's the same build as Dnd (thus if you know dnd, you know AGOT), but the style is totally different. It's an Rpg based off a gritty novel fantasy series, and thus combat is deadly and very dfferent.

DnD= hit over and over until hit points run out
AGOT= attack and parry over and over again until you hit and do the 5-8 damage required to cause a vital hit, and drop them. You can still scratch and cut all your hit points away and die at -10, but it rarely happens. And people have much fewer hit points. (Fighters get 3+con mod per level) You have a defense roll to block attacks, and armor acts as DR. Shields are very powerful also. Often you can more than double your defence from wearing a shield.

If you like DnD but hate the hit points, you'll love AGOT. You can buy it, or Pm me and I can give you some more info.

Yakk
2008-03-06, 11:21 AM
HP: You have HP equal to your constitution plus your level.
DR: You have DR equal to your con mod. This can be negative.

DEF: There are multiple kinds of defense points.

In each case after you take damage from an attack, you can burn DEF points to attempt to block the attack.

Roll d20+BURN vs the attack roll. If you win, block BURN points of damage.
You lose your DEF points in any case.

ARCANE DEF: Blocks arcane damage at 1:1 ratio, other damage half as effectively.
DODGE DEF: Blocks Reflex and AC attacks at 1:1 ratio, other damage half as effectively.
PARRY DEF: Blocks melee attacks, or any attack that comes from someone you threaten, at 1:1. Cannot block other attacks.
BLOCK DEF: Blocks Fort and AC attacks at 1:1 ratio, other attacks half as effectively.

Wizard/Sorce: 2 Arcane DEF per level.
Rogues: 1 Parry 2 Dodge DEF per level.
Monks: 1 Arcane, 2 Dodge, 1 Parry DEF per level.
Clerics: 2 Arcane, 1 Parry, 1 Block DEF per level.
Rangers: 1 Arcane, 1 Dodge, 2 Parry DEF per level.
Paladin: 2 Parry, 1 Arcane, 1 Block DEF, and 1 HP per level.
Fighter: 1 Dodge, 2 Parry, 1 Block DEF, and 1 HP per level.
Barbarian: 2 Dodge, 2 Parry, 1 Block DEF, and 1 HP per level

Saves: 2+1/2 levels boosted to 2+1 per level.
1/3 levels boosted to 3/4 levels.

Arcane Attack Rolls: Caster Level + Attribute + Level of Spell

Active Defenses:
Avoid: d20+Base Reflex+Dex mod vs attack

Weapon Counter: Make an attack against your attacker. If you beat their roll, they don't hit, and you use the same roll for an attack.

Shield Counter: d20+BaB+Str mod+shield AC vs attack. If you beat their roll, your shield takes damage, and you get a free shield bash.

Spell Counter: Make a concentration check: if you beat their attack roll, you can cast a spell against your attacker. If you beat their roll, they don't hit, and your spell is evaluated on them.

Characters get 1 counter per round, plus one every 4 levels.

...

There: a system whereby when you block an attack, you know how you did it. :p