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purepolarpanzer
2008-06-12, 08:35 PM
Having just got my books, and just recently played around with 4th, I had a touch of (insert inspiration or idiocy as you see fit) on the matter of the new HP system. It's been established that HP is more abstract than last edition, so, in playing a bit, I thought it might be nice to tell the character who is hit that they are hit, what damage they take, and of what type. Then they roleplay what happens. This allows them to personalize it to their character.

Example, using two different characters.

DM: The snake spits its acid across the room. (rolls, hits, hurts.) ([ooc] it hit you for 7 damage, Mialee (elven wizard))
Mialee: Deeply chanting, Mialee barely manages to duck underneathe the blast of acid, her heart racing as she feels flecks of the corrosive spray glance her arm.


DM: The snake spits its acid across the room. (rolls, hits, hurts.) ([ooc] it hit you for 7 damage, Redgar (human fighter))
Redgar: The acid splashing onto his chest, Redgar looks down and smirks, simply brushing away the corrosive liquid with his hand. The burning sensation he feels is nothing to him as adrenaline pulses through him.

This allows the characters to respond to the damage personally. If your a big old fighter, your armor or shear toughness may make blows pinpricks, while a fragile rogue or wizard will be doing alot of dodge, dip, dive duck, and dodge. When they hit bloodied, the blows can stop being irrelevant or start wearing you out, hitting closer to home.

The DM can do this, but I like the way it personalizes a character to how they accept damage. Helps build up your character, rather than have the DM repeat over and over again how they invision it.

Thoughts?

Chronos
2008-06-12, 08:40 PM
I think it's a good idea in general to let players describe the details of their exploits. This applies not just to 4e and HP specifically, but to any mechanic, in any role-playing game.

One danger, though, of abstracting HP too far, is that HP might be abstract, but healing spells or potions aren't. Characters look rather silly drinking a potion, or asking for a spell from the cleric, when they just dodged the spray of acid.

JaxGaret
2008-06-12, 08:44 PM
It's been established that HP is more abstract than last edition

I think I missed where that was established, what page did you find that on?


, so, in playing a bit, I thought it might be nice to tell the character who is hit that they are hit, what damage they take, and of what type. Then they roleplay what happens. This allows them to personalize it to their character.

Example, using two different characters.

DM: The snake spits its acid across the room. (rolls, hits, hurts.) ([ooc] it hit you for 7 damage, Mialee (elven wizard))
Mialee: Deeply chanting, Mialee barely manages to duck underneathe the blast of acid, her heart racing as she feels flecks of the corrosive spray glance her arm.


DM: The snake spits its acid across the room. (rolls, hits, hurts.) ([ooc] it hit you for 7 damage, Redgar (human fighter))
Redgar: The acid splashing onto his chest, Redgar looks down and smirks, simply brushing away the corrosive liquid with his hand. The burning sensation he feels is nothing to him as adrenaline pulses through him.

This allows the characters to respond to the damage personally.

Sounds good to me, as long as the players like it.


If your a big old fighter, your armor or shear toughness may make blows pinpricks, while a fragile rogue or wizard will be doing alot of dodge, dip, dive duck, and dodge.

The five D's of dodgeball are a prestigious inclusion in any post.


When they hit bloodied, the blows can stop being irrelevant or start wearing you out, hitting closer to home.

I treat Bloodied as a condition that is noticeable to everyone involved. It could be the character limping, looking a bit wobbly or winded or woozy, they could be nicked and bleeding a bit, or any of a myriad of other descriptions for a condition that enemies can take advantage of and is noticeable to friends and foes alike.


The DM can do this, but I like the way it personalizes a character to how they accept damage. Helps build up your character, rather than have the DM repeat over and over again how they invision it.

Thoughts?

It really depends on the players' preference. Some players would prefer the DM to describe it, instead of making it up themselves.

But if your players are into it, by all means, go right ahead.

purepolarpanzer
2008-06-12, 08:52 PM
I think I missed where that was established, what page did you find that on?


Eh sorry. Might not be firmliy established. But the fact that 6hrs of sleep brings you to full HP leads many to think those "hits" from the orc weren't too solid. Either that or your character is just friggin awesome :smallbiggrin: . But I know people talked about this at one point, and I agreed- later on you may take 30 axe wounds to the face and sleep it off, but at Heroic or Paragon I see the loss of HP as more of a loss of energy thing than a you got cut thing. Then again, you could be a walking kobold-spear-pin-cushion. Depends on your game, but the concept of allowing the players to describe damage still appeals to me, no matter how abstract or fantastic you are playing.

JaxGaret
2008-06-12, 08:58 PM
Eh sorry. Might not be firmliy established. But the fact that 6hrs of sleep brings you to full HP leads many to think those "hits" from the orc weren't too solid. Either that or your character is just friggin awesome :smallbiggrin: . But I know people talked about this at one point, and I agreed- later on you may take 30 axe wounds to the face and sleep it off, but at Heroic or Paragon I see the loss of HP as more of a loss of energy thing than a you got cut thing. Then again, you could be a walking kobold-spear-pin-cushion. Depends on your game, but the concept of allowing the players to describe damage still appeals to me, no matter how abstract or fantastic you are playing.

I see what you're saying, but that doesn't necessarily mean that 4e's HP system is established to be more abstracted than 3e's. You could certainly describe HP damage in 3e as more abstracted than in 4e without breaking any rules. It's really a matter of DM & player preference.

Sir_Dr_D
2008-06-12, 09:54 PM
I think it's a good idea in general to let players describe the details of their exploits. This applies not just to 4e and HP specifically, but to any mechanic, in any role-playing game.

One danger, though, of abstracting HP too far, is that HP might be abstract, but healing spells or potions aren't. Characters look rather silly drinking a potion, or asking for a spell from the cleric, when they just dodged the spray of acid.

In 4E, to me healing spells and potions seem less like healing and more like reenergizing.Especially most of these only work by using the targets healing surges, and thus using the bodies on natural reserves.


To me 4e does seem to have a more abstracted hp system then previous editions, but that is me. Other people seem to prefer to see hp loss as actual damage, in which case the healing surge system and resting restoring all hp probably doesn't make a lot of sense to them.

Siosilvar
2008-06-12, 10:00 PM
...And this requires 4e how? I'm sure most people have been RPing this way for years (if not since OD&D came out). The only place it doesn't really work is PbP on a forum (such as this one) because that almost doubles the amount of posts required.

EDIT: Sorry if I came across as a bit hostile.

Saph
2008-06-13, 05:49 AM
Other people seem to prefer to see hp loss as actual damage, in which case the healing surge system and resting restoring all hp probably doesn't make a lot of sense to them.

Yes, but if you don't see it as actual damage, then the death saves don't make any sense.

Here's a 4e situation (which actually happened in our game, BTW). The cleric has gone down and is on negative something HP. He's failed two death saves and is about to die. However, the fighter is nearby, and he just happens to have Heal as a trained skill.

If the fighter gets to him in time and does a Heal check (standard action, DC 10, doesn't require equipment), the cleric can spend his second wind and heal up to consciousness again. So the damage was only a stun with no real effect, and the cleric's just lying there needing only a little encouragement to wake up.

But if the fighter doesn't get to him in time and the cleric fails his next save, he dies instantly. So that damage was actually a lethal wound right through the torso, and the cleric's bleeding internally and just about to expire.

Basically, damage in 4e is some weird quantum mechanical thing where any piece of HP loss may be a life-threatening wound and may be completely trivial, and you don't know which it was until the combat's over. My solution? Just don't think about it. Like lots of D&D rules it doesn't make any sense, so there's no point worrying. :)

- Saph

Tsotha-lanti
2008-06-13, 06:20 AM
One danger, though, of abstracting HP too far, is that HP might be abstract, but healing spells or potions aren't. Characters look rather silly drinking a potion, or asking for a spell from the cleric, when they just dodged the spray of acid.

Don't see a problem - the healing potions don't just mend cuts and bruises, but also refresh and invigorate you, rather like Elrond's miruvor brandy, or the orc-liquor of Middle Earth. If your rogue is down 50 hp, he's not necessarily even wounded - but it exhausted and barely able to keep fighting.

This is even more appropriate in 4E than it was in 3E, since HP recovery is a "second wind" - you don't suddenly heal wounds, you just get your second wind - find more energy to fight.

It's not a representation of damage, but a representation of your ability to keep fighting.

And of course it's a weird quantum state - just like enemies who have been "killed" (since the player can decide that they only knocked the enemy unconscious, and there's no pressing reason to make that decision until after the fight is over).

nagora
2008-06-13, 06:21 AM
Eh sorry. Might not be firmliy established. But the fact that 6hrs of sleep brings you to full HP leads many to think those "hits" from the orc weren't too solid.
You're confusing "less realistic to the point of stupidity" with "more abstract".

Being hit with an axe can still kill you but the system doesn't say how it kills you (head's off, slit throat, shock, whatever) so it's still pretty well as abstract as ever.

Was it just me or was the original system where it took only four weeks rest to fully recover from being beaten to within an inch of your life already actually quite generous?

Azerian Kelimon
2008-06-13, 06:40 AM
Yes, but if you don't see it as actual damage, then the death saves don't make any sense.

Here's a 4e situation (which actually happened in our game, BTW). The cleric has gone down and is on negative something HP. He's failed two death saves and is about to die. However, the fighter is nearby, and he just happens to have Heal as a trained skill.

If the fighter gets to him in time and does a Heal check (standard action, DC 10, doesn't require equipment), the cleric can spend his second wind and heal up to consciousness again. So the damage was only a stun with no real effect, and the cleric's just lying there needing only a little encouragement to wake up.

But if the fighter doesn't get to him in time and the cleric fails his next save, he dies instantly. So that damage was actually a lethal wound right through the torso, and the cleric's bleeding internally and just about to expire.

Basically, damage in 4e is some weird quantum mechanical thing where any piece of HP loss may be a life-threatening wound and may be completely trivial, and you don't know which it was until the combat's over. My solution? Just don't think about it. Like lots of D&D rules it doesn't make any sense, so there's no point worrying. :)

- Saph

You're confusing being knocked prone with trying to stave off the effects of death. If you got down to the negatives, you took a life threatening blow (Or a dozen), you're not just weakened. If the fighter succeeds on that skill check on the cleric, he has just managed to actually heal his wounds enough for him not to die, not given him a pep talk. He's still not able to fight or do anything. Don't confuse different status.

Saph
2008-06-13, 06:47 AM
You're confusing being knocked prone with trying to stave off the effects of death. If you got down to the negatives, you took a life threatening blow (Or a dozen), you're not just weakened. If the fighter succeeds on that skill check on the cleric, he has just managed to actually heal his wounds enough for him not to die, not given him a pep talk. He's still not able to fight or do anything. Don't confuse different status.

Eh? Being knocked prone gives you -2 to hit and grants combat advantage. Nothing to do with taking damage. I think you're the one who's confusing status conditions. :)

With a DC 10 Heal check you can let someone use their second wind without spending an action. So the cleric CAN fight, because all of a sudden it's not a serious wound, just something anyone with average Wisdom can fix with their bare hands. (Unless that person isn't there, in which case it's a deadly wound after all.)

- Saph

Azerian Kelimon
2008-06-13, 06:57 AM
Eh? Being knocked prone is a status condition that grants combat advantage. I think you're the one who's confusing status conditions. :)

With a DC 10 Heal check you can let someone use their second wind without spending an action. So the cleric CAN fight, because all of a sudden it's not a serious wound, just something anyone with average Wisdom can fix with their bare hands. (Unless that person isn't there, in which case it's a deadly wound after all.)

- Saph

Nope, that second wind will knock him into the middle of bloodied. That means he can fight, but he's exhausted, broken, not really in his prime. It doesn't mean he's suddenly back into action. Maybe after using his Healing Word on himself twice, he's more or less battle ready, but being back into action doesn't mean every bone in your body doesn't ache after the Tarrasque almost ripped your spleen out.

I feel sad from being away from my books though. I have this feeling using a healing surge knocked you into 0, not give you HP. That was with TWO surges.

Jimp
2008-06-13, 07:58 AM
...And this requires 4e how? I'm sure most people have been RPing this way for years (if not since OD&D came out). The only place it doesn't really work is PbP on a forum (such as this one) because that almost doubles the amount of posts required.

EDIT: Sorry if I came across as a bit hostile.

What he said. It works for any system that has some kind of health rules.

Hoggmaster
2008-06-13, 08:06 AM
Ive been listening to the Iliad on my hour commute the past week, listening to the descriptions of the battle, I kind of get where 4e is going. Every so ofter one of the greater heroes or deities kindles new fire in a hero so that he can continue fighting, even if they were to the point of death. However, once 'darkness veiled their eyes' no words could bring back fighting spirit in them.

One way to look at it is that HP > 0 could be considered morale. Once 0 hp has been reached your end is near.

Of course I still need to finish reading that section of the phb...

Philistine
2008-06-13, 08:21 AM
In 4E, to me healing spells and potions seem less like healing and more like reenergizing.Especially most of these only work by using the targets healing surges, and thus using the bodies on natural reserves.


To me 4e does seem to have a more abstracted hp system then previous editions, but that is me. Other people seem to prefer to see hp loss as actual damage, in which case the healing surge system and resting restoring all hp probably doesn't make a lot of sense to them.

So... in 4E, heal pots = energy drinks?

DM: Player1, the orc clobbers you upside the head for 8 damage.
Player1: I drink a healing potion. It gives me wings!
(From around the table various things - from crumpled pieces of paper to broken bricks and Molotov Cocktails - are hurled at Player1. Player1 dies, which makes everyone else feel better.)

Roderick_BR
2008-06-13, 08:27 AM
One take I have on HP is that they are the "Hoolywoodian" way of taking damage. The "flesh wound" for example, is the most typical one. The damage is not really hitting you hard, I mean, you are not taking lasting damage, or having your internal organs hurt. Cue the fighter with dozens of arrows dangling from his body, and still fighting hard, while a single arrow is enough to kill most comoners. Lightweight characters roll with the damage, reducing the impact, getting exhausted with every jump. In some way, the character uses a "reserve of stamina" to turn deadly blows into "just" HP loss. Bloodied is when you stop being able to shrugh off said attacks, you are weared down, and the wounds are really starting to hurt now.

Now, back to the actual question: Yeah, let the player say how he survived the attack is interesting to increase player's immersion in the game.