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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    OldWizardGuy

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    Default Easy damage re-scale?

    I want to play a very low HP game, starting at about 8-15 HP at level 1, and by level 20 only having up to around 40 HP. I want to rescale magic damage so that I can still use it, but obviously even a 10d6 fireball could destroy a mid-level group.

    I'm trying to find a simple way to convert spell damage scaling that makes spells not ridiculously over powered in a low HP setting.

    The best idea I can think of is to say that spells only ever deal one die worth of damage, and each additional die you would have rolled (per the spell text) add +1 to the damage of that one die roll. So a fireball would deal 1d6 damage +1 additional damage per level, up to 1d6+9. Scorching ray would deal 1d6+3 instead of 4d6. Heal moderate wounds would likewise only heal 1d8+1 plus and additional +1 per level up to 1d8+11.

    Would this work?

    Spoiler: How Hit Points are Determined
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    Hit points equal your (constitution score+bonus hit points by level/hit dice)*size modifier+additional hit points.

    Medium size creatures have a 1x size multiplier, and only medium races will be playable in this campaign.

    Classes/Monsters with a d4 hit die will gain 14 hit points over 20 levels; those with d6/d8 will gain 18 hit points over 20 levels; and d10/d12 will gain 22 hit points over 20 levels.

    Additional hit points would be from things like temporary hit points or feats like toughness.


    The group I play with is a very low optimization, dare I say no optimization, group. Class favorites tend to include many tier 4 and 5 classes, and they rarely are doing more damage than base weapon damage plus standard modifiers.

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Halfling in the Playground
     
    VelociRapture12's Avatar

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    Default Re: Easy damage re-scale?

    The only idea that comes to mind would be a spells damage is 1d6 + Casting Stat, per spell level, this will top off around 58 Damage at 17-18th level (9th level spell for 9d6+4). My reasoning is that the spells are what are more powerful, not the caster, a fireball should just about always deal more damage than a spell of a lower level, at higher levels the damage being over "Max HP" is only a problem if no buffs have been cast/ no items are prevalent to dispel/ neutralize high level magic. However spells will still deal a lot of damage cast from lower level spell slots.
    Last edited by VelociRapture12; 2019-05-16 at 07:21 AM. Reason: Grammar corrections/ Explantion
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  3. - Top - End - #3
    Troll in the Playground
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    Jun 2015

    Default Re: Easy damage re-scale?

    the problem is that multihitting spells becomes way more deadly: for example magic missile now still deals its full compliment of damage and schorching ray deals a total of 4d6+12 damage with its rays that can all be aimed at the same target(: it is separate attacks on which resistance and so on applies).
    Furthermore resistance to an element becomes near equivalent to immunity at roughly 20 and is impossible to differentiate at 30(I mean who gets 25 dice on a spell? only polar ray users)

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: Easy damage re-scale?

    Have you thought about E6? It keeps people squishy because it caps at level 6 and thereafter you just get more feats. If you also took out the con bonus to hp they would have much lower hp too. Or you might use the wound/vitality variant so death by crit is always a risk.

    What is your goal with this change?

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Troll in the Playground
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    Jun 2015

    Default Re: Easy damage re-scale?

    Quote Originally Posted by Glimbur View Post
    Have you thought about E6? It keeps people squishy because it caps at level 6 and thereafter you just get more feats. If you also took out the con bonus to hp they would have much lower hp too. Or you might use the wound/vitality variant so death by crit is always a risk.

    What is your goal with this change?
    make rocket tag possible without needing optimisation thus allowing the same playstyle as high optimisation groups without all the headache going with it.

  6. - Top - End - #6
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    OldWizardGuy

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    Default Re: Easy damage re-scale?

    Quote Originally Posted by Glimbur View Post
    Have you thought about E6? It keeps people squishy because it caps at level 6 and thereafter you just get more feats. If you also took out the con bonus to hp they would have much lower hp too. Or you might use the wound/vitality variant so death by crit is always a risk.

    What is your goal with this change?
    My group dabbled in E6 and everyone hated it because the lack of progression felt bad. My group is pretty entrenched in D&D and don't want to learn a new system. So I'm trying to come up with a way to tweak HP so fifth level fighters aren't jumping off 50ft cliffs because the player knows that they have enough hit points to survive the fall.
    Last edited by tedcahill2; 2019-05-16 at 08:21 AM.

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    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    Seerow's Avatar

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    Default Re: Easy damage re-scale?

    Quote Originally Posted by tedcahill2 View Post
    My group dabbled in E6 and everyone hated it because the lack of progression felt bad. My group is pretty entrenched in D&D and don't want to learn a new system. So I'm trying to come up with a way to tweak HP so fifth level fighters aren't jumping off 50ft cliffs because the player knows that they have enough hit points to survive the fall.
    Don't you think cutting scaling at the knees is going to cause the same sense of no progression?

    This isn't the sort of change you can make with a quick fix.
    If my text is blue, I'm being sarcastic.But you already knew that, right?


  8. - Top - End - #8
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Daemon

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    Default Re: Easy damage re-scale?

    Lowering HP while also lowering damage creates a constant effect: disabling is better than killing.

    But since you haven't mentioned lowering weapon damage I have to wonder if you're okay with high level fighters one-shotting people (pretty easily I might add).

  9. - Top - End - #9
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    RedWizardGuy

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    Oct 2013

    Default Re: Easy damage re-scale?

    You'll need to look at things with hitpoint limits as well, not just direct damage

    Power Word Kill would kill anyone unwarded. In 1e/2e where you stopped rolling HD at about 10th level (variable by class), it had a 60hp limit. Which still was enough to drop the enemy wizard, but not the fighter.

  10. - Top - End - #10
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: Easy damage re-scale?

    The size of the numbers, by itself, is irrelevant.

    You can simply define absolutely everything that currently does "HP damage" adds to HP or otherwise changes HP or damage to instead do "Micro-HP" (μHP) and declare that damage is tracked to integer μHP rather than to integer points.

    Poof, the numbers are one millionth as big, and yet everything stays the same except that you have to add μ in front of HP or damage all over the place.

    The size by itself doesn't matter, the important part is the relative value.

    Rather than saying "I want to reduce the numbers size" explain what you want the relative values to change to do.

    Do you want longer or shorter combat? Do you want to increase or decrease the effects of weapon damage vs. spells? Do you want higher level characters to not be able to casually ignore threats that take out lower level characters?

    If it's the last one, have you considered just playing 5th edition? There are lots of ways for high levels to ignore low levels in D&D 3.x land and HP aren't the most important of them.

  11. - Top - End - #11
    Troll in the Playground
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    Default Re: Easy damage re-scale?

    Quote Originally Posted by Doug Lampert View Post
    The size of the numbers, by itself, is irrelevant.

    You can simply define absolutely everything that currently does "HP damage" adds to HP or otherwise changes HP or damage to instead do "Micro-HP" (μHP) and declare that damage is tracked to integer μHP rather than to integer points.

    Poof, the numbers are one millionth as big, and yet everything stays the same except that you have to add μ in front of HP or damage all over the place.

    The size by itself doesn't matter, the important part is the relative value.

    Rather than saying "I want to reduce the numbers size" explain what you want the relative values to change to do.

    Do you want longer or shorter combat? Do you want to increase or decrease the effects of weapon damage vs. spells? Do you want higher level characters to not be able to casually ignore threats that take out lower level characters?

    If it's the last one, have you considered just playing 5th edition? There are lots of ways for high levels to ignore low levels in D&D 3.x land and HP aren't the most important of them.
    It is probably for getting weapon to work easier: if you only have to land one hit to kill and that you swing your sword 5 times you have higher odds of killing than when you need to hit four times especially since people walks around with mirror image and greater blink(especially other fighters unless you have weird weak fighters)

  12. - Top - End - #12
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    GrayDeath's Avatar

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    Default Re: Easy damage re-scale?

    Preface: Are your Players on board with the goal and the method?

    As there are actually very few reasons to not allow medium Level martials to e tough". After all, what else do they have?

    Now as for the methods suggested:

    If you only nerf Damage Spells Disabling Spells and Full attacks will be king in combat.
    If that is what you like, good. If not, how about you simply redo some of the "physics" (say if its only falling damage or generally §Natural" damage you can easily upscale them without making changes to other central parts of D&D).
    A neutron walks into a bar and says, “How much for a beer?” The bartender says, “For you? No charge.”


    Later: An atom walks into a bar an asks the bartender “Have you seen an electron? I left it in here last night.” The bartender says, “Are you sure?” The atom says, “I’m positive.”

  13. - Top - End - #13
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Mato's Avatar

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    Default Re: Easy damage re-scale?

    Quote Originally Posted by tedcahill2 View Post
    I want to play a very low HP game, starting at about 8-15 HP at level 1, and by level 20 only having up to around 40 HP. I want to rescale
    "everything so that I can still use it"

    Just tell them all damage taken is reduced by 5% per level. So at level 5 they reduce all damage taken by 25% and by level 19 they reduce it by 95%. You may need to increase the reduction a bit more, but it's simple and achieves what you want.
    Last edited by Mato; 2019-05-18 at 09:16 AM.

  14. - Top - End - #14
    Troll in the Playground
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    Default Re: Easy damage re-scale?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mato View Post
    "everything so that I can still use it"

    Just tell them all damage taken is reduced by 5% per level. So at level 5 they reduce all damage taken by 25% and by level 19 they reduce it by 95%. You may need to increase the reduction a bit more, but it's simple and achieves what you want.
    It does not works well because there is a huge discontinuity at high levels: by going from 80% reduction to 85% reduction you are removing a quarter of the damage you take and even more silly is that by going from level 18 to 19 damage is divided by half.
    I suggest a damage formulae that does not gives those gigantic differences at high level.

  15. - Top - End - #15
    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Jun 2018

    Default Re: Easy damage re-scale?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mato View Post
    "everything so that I can still use it"

    Just tell them all damage taken is reduced by 5% per level. So at level 5 they reduce all damage taken by 25% and by level 19 they reduce it by 95%. You may need to increase the reduction a bit more, but it's simple and achieves what you want.
    Level 20 has 100% damage reduction or damage immunity. This is horrible.

    Always use fixed values if you want to scale for large levels.

    Bonus Damage = Level.
    Damage Reduction = Level.

    Thus, Damage = Weapon Dice + Level. A dagger is d4, a short sword is d6, a long sword is d8, a bastard sword is d10, a great sword is 2d6.

    Spells should use the Cure X Wound system of dice scaling.
    Level 1 Spell does 1dX + caster level.
    Level 2 Spell does 2dX + caster level.
    Level 3 Spell does 3dX + caster level.
    Level 4 Spell does 4dX + caster level.
    Level 5 Spell does 5dX + caster level.
    Level 6 Spell does 6dX + caster level.
    Level 7 Spell does 7dX + caster level.
    Level 8 Spell does 8dX + caster level.
    Level 9 Spell does 9dX + caster level.
    Level Point System 5E
    Poker Roll
    Tier 1 Master of All
    Tier 2 Lightning Bruiser
    Tier 3 Lethal Joke Character
    Tier 4 Master of None
    Tier 5 Crippling Overspecialization
    Tier 6 Joke Character

  16. - Top - End - #16
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Mato's Avatar

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    Default Re: Easy damage re-scale?

    Quote Originally Posted by HouseRules View Post
    Level 20 has 100% damage reduction or damage immunity. This is
    Intentional!

    Quote Originally Posted by tedcahill2 View Post
    I want to play a very low HP game, starting at about 8-15 HP at level 1, and by level 20 only having up to around 40 HP.
    As the OP said, they only have 40hp at level 20. A Tarrasque and Pit Fiend average out to killing two characters per round and the Balor is just going to use PW:Stun to kill them all. The other CR20ish monsters in the MM1, the true dragons, can kill even more. I mean, you could even crack open the terrible 15th level sword & board fighter using only a simple +3 weapon example out of the DMG and it deals enough damage to kill a 20th level character each round if it could actually hit anything.

    The problem on his table top isn't going to be blasting spells are useful, the problem on his table top if everyone dies in one round because the entire game is built on a scale where a 40hp loss is meant to be trivial.
    Last edited by Mato; 2019-05-18 at 02:34 PM.

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