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    Default Classless D20 with Character Levels

    I was watching the Outlander television series and was wondering, if they adopted an RPG game for it base on d20, what would it be? Seems to me that a classless D20 system would work. Outlander is set in the 18th century, so we're talking about gunpowder weapons, muskets, pistols, and swords.

    There is a certain level of heroism, so I'm assuming people accumulate hit points as they gain levels. The hit dice they use depends on size.

    If a person is 7 to 8 feet tall, they use d12s
    If a person is 6 to 7 feet tall d10s are used
    If a person is 5 to 6 feet tall d8s are used
    If a person is 4 to 5 feet tall d6s are used
    If a person is 3 to 4 feet tall d4s are used.

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    Default Re: Classless D20 with Character Levels

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Kalbfus View Post
    I was watching the Outlander television series and was wondering, if they adopted an RPG game for it base on d20, what would it be? Seems to me that a classless D20 system would work. Outlander is set in the 18th century, so we're talking about gunpowder weapons, muskets, pistols, and swords.

    There is a certain level of heroism, so I'm assuming people accumulate hit points as they gain levels. The hit dice they use depends on size.

    If a person is 7 to 8 feet tall, they use d12s
    If a person is 6 to 7 feet tall d10s are used
    If a person is 5 to 6 feet tall d8s are used
    If a person is 4 to 5 feet tall d6s are used
    If a person is 3 to 4 feet tall d4s are used.
    That... Seems a really poor way to adjudicate HP.

    So a tall, lanky, spindly nerd gets more HP than a squat, compact, and kick-ass body builder.
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    Default Re: Classless D20 with Character Levels

    Quote Originally Posted by JNAProductions View Post
    That... Seems a really poor way to adjudicate HP.

    So a tall, lanky, spindly nerd gets more HP than a squat, compact, and kick-ass body builder.
    Body mass is roughly proportional to the cube of height, so a 3 foot tall midget is going to have fewer hit points than a 7 foot tall guy. The hit points have only a linear relationship to height, that is why you need only an elephant gun to kill an elephant and not a bazooka.

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    Default Re: Classless D20 with Character Levels

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Kalbfus View Post
    Body mass is roughly proportional to the cube of height, so a 3 foot tall midget is going to have fewer hit points than a 7 foot tall guy. The hit points have only a linear relationship to height, that is why you need only an elephant gun to kill an elephant and not a bazooka.
    So mass=HP?

    That seems... Iffy, at best.
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    Default Re: Classless D20 with Character Levels

    Maybe have hd size among a selection of qualities that you purchase for points?
    Last edited by gooddragon1; 2019-08-22 at 07:08 PM.
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    Default Re: Classless D20 with Character Levels

    Quote Originally Posted by gooddragon1 View Post
    Maybe have hd size among a selection of qualities that you purchase for points?
    This seems like the best way to go about it.

    Especially since, under your system, dwarves (known for being hardy and tough) would have less HP than elves (known for being willowy and tall).
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    Default Re: Classless D20 with Character Levels

    If you're going classless, just make your hit die one of your chassis choices to be decided at character creation along with whatever you're doing for skill points, attack bonus, saves, etc.

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    Default Re: Classless D20 with Character Levels

    Quote Originally Posted by JNAProductions View Post
    So mass=HP?

    That seems... Iffy, at best.
    No, that is not what I said. Basically, what I am looking for is a system that is proportional to both size and level, but without classes. You can have levels without classes. You could have one class that you would call "creature" or "character". Like the D&D monster manual, larger creatures have more hit points and use larger or more hit dice. Basically a Small creature would roll a 1d4 for hit points, and I would define Small as those creatures that are from 2 feet to 3 feet and 11 inches tall.

    A Medium creature is from 4 feet tall to 7 feet and 11 inches tall.
    In the Medium range for each 1 foot increment in height, you go up a hit die increment. So any one who is from 4 feet to 4 feet 11 inches uses a 1d6 modified by Constitution to determine hit points. A person who is from 5 feet to 5 feet 11 inches uses a 1d8 plus Constitution adjustment to determine hit points. A person who is from 6 feet to 6 feet 11 inches uses a 1d10 plus constitution adjustment to determine hit points, and a person who is from 7 feet to 7 feet and 11 inches uses a 1d12 plus constitution adjustment to determine his initial hit points.

    When a character advances a level he gets another of his hit die as determined by size and adjusted by his constitution score to get additional hit points.

    With each level advanced, a character gets to roll additional hit dice for additional hit points, and he gets additional skills and at some levels he gets additional feats or gets to increase an ability score by one point.

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    Default Re: Classless D20 with Character Levels

    Quote Originally Posted by JNAProductions View Post
    This seems like the best way to go about it.

    Especially since, under your system, dwarves (known for being hardy and tough) would have less HP than elves (known for being willowy and tall).
    That is not unreasonable, but dwarves do get bonuses to their constitution scores and that can make up for the lower hit dice that they roll. For instance, under my system a dwarf would roll d6s for determining hit points, a halfling would roll d4s, an elf or a human would roll d8s, or d10s, and a half-orc would roll d12s, this is all based on height or creature length for quadrapeds.

    Now a dwarf that is for 4' to 4'11" rolls d6 (if he was an unusually tall dwarf say 5'1" for example he would roll a d8.) Dwarves get a +2 bonus on constitution so while the average human is rolling 1d8 for hit points, the average dwarf is rolling 1d6+1 for his hit points. The average rolled for a human is 4.5 hit points, the average rolled for the dwarf is also 4.5 hit points with his constitutional adjustment. An elf gets a -2 when he rolls his constitution, so then average hit die he rolls is 1d8-1, and his average hit points are 3.5 because of that. Some humans who are very tall use d10s or d12s, half-orcs range toward the tall end on the Medium size scaLe so they most often use d12s for their hit points. Creatures that are large roll double hit dice for their hit points. Large ranges from 8 feet tall to 15 feet and 11 inches tall.
    Last edited by Tom Kalbfus; 2019-08-23 at 07:18 AM.

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    Default Re: Classless D20 with Character Levels

    Quote Originally Posted by JNAProductions View Post
    This seems like the best way to go about it.

    Especially since, under your system, dwarves (known for being hardy and tough) would have less HP than elves (known for being willowy and tall).
    One can buy height under the point system and get larger hit dice that way. Basically, I want tough looking creatures to be harder to kill. Dwarves also have high constitution scores which makes up short stature.

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    Default Re: Classless D20 with Character Levels

    I get what you're saying about creatures' overall size and hit points, but in my view it's a mistake to try to tie Hit Dice specifically to height in such an inflexible and weirdly granular way.

    Edit to add: In a game where characters gain hit points as they level, hit points scale up rapidly, and it becomes increasingly difficult to conceptualise "hit points as meat" for such characters, even when other creatures in the game world could have similar hit point that are easy to justify as being "hit points as meat" (ogres, elephants, etc.). Tying hit points so strictly to height at a high level of granularity seems to be trying to fix the "hit points as meat" concept - but most characters aren't getting any taller/stockier as they gain levels.

    Edit to add:
    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Kalbfus View Post
    One can buy height under the point system and get larger hit dice that way. Basically, I want tough looking creatures to be harder to kill. Dwarves also have high constitution scores which makes up short stature.
    Toughness seems to be a better metric to use. It also allows some correlation with height or overall size - although I would still recommend not making the correlation that strict in a game.

    For instance, the 5e defines an elephant as a Huge beast. So far, no WoTC published source that I'm aware of has a statblock for a 5e giraffe, but it would be fair, based on its height, to also define it as Huge. Nevertheless, despite being considerably taller than an elephant, it does seem quite a bit less "tough" than one, and therefore ought to have fewer hit points.
    Last edited by Composer99; 2019-08-23 at 07:43 AM.
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    Default Re: Classless D20 with Character Levels

    Why are you binding HP to size? HP doesn't strictly represent a creature's body. You might be better served with a Wound Point/Vitality Point system where the creature's wound points is tied to their Con and size, and their Vitality Points represent their plot armor etc and are determined by their level and hit die and con score.

    i apply a creature's size modifier to their Wound Points, so even a high constitution character of small size has fewer WP than an equal con character of medium size, and they have less than a equal con character of large size. I use .75x for Small, 1.0x for Medium, and 1.5x for Large. I've used this in a 3.5 variant using WP/VP and a modified version of Star Wars Revised based on 3.5 and using a WP/VP system. It is also roughly the approach I'm using for my custom classless RPG.

    Using a WP/VP style system you could have your child hero who has a poor Con, is size Small, so has very few WP, but because they are a hero they might have a significant amount of VP whereas the Ogre that is trying to smash them is large and has a high Con and therefore a good number of WP, but isn't very heroic and may not have many VP or even none at all.

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    Default Re: Classless D20 with Character Levels

    Quote Originally Posted by Zman View Post
    Why are you binding HP to size? HP doesn't strictly represent a creature's body. You might be better served with a Wound Point/Vitality Point system where the creature's wound points is tied to their Con and size, and their Vitality Points represent their plot armor etc and are determined by their level and hit die and con score.

    i apply a creature's size modifier to their Wound Points, so even a high constitution character of small size has fewer WP than an equal con character of medium size, and they have less than a equal con character of large size. I use .75x for Small, 1.0x for Medium, and 1.5x for Large. I've used this in a 3.5 variant using WP/VP and a modified version of Star Wars Revised based on 3.5 and using a WP/VP system. It is also roughly the approach I'm using for my custom classless RPG.

    Using a WP/VP style system you could have your child hero who has a poor Con, is size Small, so has very few WP, but because they are a hero they might have a significant amount of VP whereas the Ogre that is trying to smash them is large and has a high Con and therefore a good number of WP, but isn't very heroic and may not have many VP or even none at all.
    One could also draw a chart showing body locations and assigning a pool of wound points for each part and assigning a probability for each hit location, but it gets very complicate from there. Hit points are much simpler. It is not strictly size, but size is the starting point. One's level also determines how many hit dice. Assigning wound/vitality points makes the system incompatible with the Monster manuals.

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    Default Re: Classless D20 with Character Levels

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Kalbfus View Post
    One could also draw a chart showing body locations and assigning a pool of wound points for each part and assigning a probability for each hit location, but it gets very complicate from there. Hit points are much simpler. It is not strictly size, but size is the starting point. One's level also determines how many hit dice. Assigning wound/vitality points makes the system incompatible with the Monster manuals.
    That is why you abstract the Wound Point pool, no need to track the exactly location of the hits unless you are looking for some kind of lasting wound mechanic. The mere separation of Wound Points from VP or HP is enough granularity to capture what you are looking for.

    If you're abstracting HP, why on earth are you required to tie it so strongly to something arbitrary like body size? The conceptualization of taking damage really begins to strain credulity as numbers increase.

    If you want size at the starting point to be represented, then you give them a fixed pool of HP for their size, ie a small character gets 4 + the hit die/level they buy, Medium gets 8 + hit die/level they buy, Large gets 12 + hit die/level they buy, huge gets 16 + etc. etc. etc.

    If you are using abstract HP, you want their hero juice, their plot armor, etc to represent a lot about them and their suitability, not just how big they are.

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    Default Re: Classless D20 with Character Levels

    Size is only the starting point. The main difference is d&d starts with Character class instead of size, I start with size.

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    Default Re: Classless D20 with Character Levels

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Kalbfus View Post
    Size is only the starting point. The main difference is d&d starts with Character class instead of size, I start with size.
    And there’s a lot of flaws with that.
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    Default Re: Classless D20 with Character Levels

    as a starting point it could work...

    but you'd have to be pretty open to it being highly modifiable .

    if working in the d20 type system having feats that give you "virtual height" should probably be a thing...for those super tough dwarves...or any point where you have a monster or race that is build extra dense...like say an earth infused race that gets the feat for free...because you want some way to separate the tall football players and tall basketball players and tall fashion models I would think.

    also...if you have no classes but levels...ask yourself what you are getting when you advance a level...because when you level with classes you get HP AND other stuff....and how much HP you get is, in theory, balanced against the "other stuff"... so you if you are small and you level you are just being shortchanged under your system...there should be some sort of opportunity cost for the benefits of being tall.

    and you just have to be open to messing with races as given to make it feel right...either make elves smaller and lighter and the like...or perhaps give them a level adjustment and con bonus...to make them more Vanir/Tolkieneque (since they were more disease and environment resistant in Middle Earth etc)
    Last edited by sktarq; 2019-08-23 at 01:44 PM.

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    Default Re: Classless D20 with Character Levels

    Quote Originally Posted by JNAProductions View Post
    And there’s a lot of flaws with that.
    That is how most of the creatures in the Monster Manual are presented. The creatures that have lots of hit points mostly have them because they are big, and not because they have advanced alot of levels. Most characters in most d&d settings are first level, the nonadventuring npcs are. So without having a high level, creatures have hit points based on their size and toughness.

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    Default Re: Classless D20 with Character Levels

    Quote Originally Posted by sktarq View Post
    as a starting point it could work...

    but you'd have to be pretty open to it being highly modifiable .

    if working in the d20 type system having feats that give you "virtual height" should probably be a thing...for those super tough dwarves...or any point where you have a monster or race that is build extra dense...like say an earth infused race that gets the feat for free...because you want some way to separate the tall football players and tall basketball players and tall fashion models I would think.

    also...if you have no classes but levels...ask yourself what you are getting when you advance a level...because when you level with classes you get HP AND other stuff....and how much HP you get is, in theory, balanced against the "other stuff"... so you if you are small and you level you are just being shortchanged under your system...there should be some sort of opportunity cost for the benefits of being tall.

    and you just have to be open to messing with races as given to make it feel right...either make elves smaller and lighter and the like...or perhaps give them a level adjustment and con bonus...to make them more Vanir/Tolkieneque (since they were more disease and environment resistant in Middle Earth etc)
    When a character advances a level he rolls his hit die, whether its a d4, a d6, a d8, a d10, or a d12 to gain additional hit points for that next level. The next step beyond d12 is 2d6, that is for a large creature with a height from 8 feet to 9 feet 11 inches, if that creature advances a level it gains another d6 for each level it advances, not another 2d6. The next increment for large sized creatures is from 10 feet to 11 feet and 11 inches and they roll 2d8 for their initial hit points and an additional 1d8 for every level they gain thereafter.

    A creature that stands 12 feet to 13 feet 11 inches gets 2d10 for initial hit points and a 1d10 for each level above 1st.

    A creature that stands 14 feet to 15 feet and 11 inches tall rolls 2d12 for initial hit points and a 1d12 for each level above 1st, this is much how you assign character classes to monsters with racial dice. Basically here I am giving racial dice to player characters instead of class based hit points. I see no reason wny a wizard should get a d4 to roll his hit points and a barbarian gets a d12, I figure basing it on size makes more sense, as not all wizards are going to be 3 feet tall.

    Another thing you get when you advance a level are feats and skill points. I can create feats that simulate a level in a character class such a wizard for example. I can have a feat called wizard 1, when a player picks that feat, he gains the spell casting ability of a first level wizard. Another feat called wizard 2 has having wizard 1 as a prerequisite. A player can pick the feats for his characters however he likes so long as his character meets the prerequisite.

    Another thing character get when they advance a level is 2 saving throw points. They can assign those points as bonuses to whichever saving throws they like, this is added together with ability score mods to get the total saving throw mods when they roll a saving throw. Those would be for Reflex, Will, and Fortitude.
    Last edited by Tom Kalbfus; 2019-08-23 at 06:44 PM.

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    Default Re: Classless D20 with Character Levels

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Kalbfus View Post
    When a character advances a level he rolls his hit die, whether its a d4, a d6, a d8, a d10, or a d12 to gain additional hit points for that next level. The next step beyond d12 is 2d6, that is for a large creature with a height from 8 feet to 9 feet 11 inches, if that creature advances a level it gains another d6 for each level it advances, not another 2d6. The next increment for large sized creatures is from 10 feet to 11 feet and 11 inches and they roll 2d8 for their initial hit points and an additional 1d8 for every level they gain thereafter.

    A creature that stands 12 feet to 13 feet 11 inches gets 2d10 for initial hit points and a 1d10 for each level above 1st.

    A creature that stands 14 feet to 15 feet and 11 inches tall rolls 2d12 for initial hit points and a 1d12 for each level above 1st, this is much how you assign character classes to monsters with racial dice. Basically here I am giving racial dice to player characters instead of class based hit points. I see no reason wny a wizard should get a d4 to roll his hit points and a barbarian gets a d12, I figure basing it on size makes more sense, as not all wizards are going to be 3 feet tall.
    So, just to be clear-a level 1 creature that's 7'6" gets a 1d12 hit die. And an 8'6" creature at level 1 gets 2d6.

    But, at level 2, the 7'6" creature gets 2d12, while the 8'6" creature has 3d6-for averages of 13 and 10.5, respectively. So you want to be tall, but not TOO tall, or you lose HP.

    And while I certainly agree some creatures have lots of HP because they're big, notable exceptions are PCs. A level 20 Wizard has, even in 3.5, 50 HP before Con Mod. That's not all meat.
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    Default Re: Classless D20 with Character Levels

    I think an better solution should be something closer to what is laid out in darkness and dread, which uses a wound/vigor system.

    You get your set HD, then that is multiplied by a set number based on size

    So like for example.you get 1d8 wounds and for a medium creature you multiply by 1, small by 3/4, and large by 1.5 and so on.

    That is all you ever get for wounds, but everybody gets vigor which goes up every level. Which you can make any die size you want.

    that way you get the level of heroism, allow thing to be deadly AND you get your hit points base off of solely how tall you are to an extent.


    I mean, your method for Hit points based on actual height to me is downright ludicrous. At least base it on creature size as that is an already established ruled in d20 rules.

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    Default Re: Classless D20 with Character Levels

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Kalbfus View Post
    That is how most of the creatures in the Monster Manual are presented. The creatures that have lots of hit points mostly have them because they are big, and not because they have advanced alot of levels. Most characters in most d&d settings are first level, the nonadventuring npcs are. So without having a high level, creatures have hit points based on their size and toughness.
    Several problems, some of which relate to the post to which I am replying above, and some of which don't (but are still relevant):

    First, you brought up strictly linking Hit Dice to size in the context of player characters, not monsters. In the editions where monster size sets Hit Dice (only 5e if memory serves), PC and monster Hit Dice and hit point progressions are built on very different mechanics, and in 3.5 monster Hit Dice are based on their type rather than size, so there's no particular reason why referring to how things work in the MM is relevant. At any rate, I would think you'd need more to go on than simply referring to the fact that 5e monsters' Hit Dice depends on their size.

    Second, monster Hit Dice scale by size category in the 5e MM. "Big" in the context of monsters means things ranging from ogres to dire bears to dragons to the Tarrasque - it's simply a whole other scale than "this character is three feet taller than that one".

    Third, in one post you mentioned not wanting to muck around with WP/VP mechanics on account of making the system incompatible with the Monster Manual (which one, by the way?). But later you're talking about handing out non-standard Hit Dice to creatures that are 10 feet tall and up, implying that you're now making your hit point system incompatible with the content of the Monster Manual. In other words, two of your apparent aims in this system appear to contradict each other.

    Finally, in reality, being seven feet tall versus four or five feet tall doesn't really translate into being twice as difficult to kill: a blade between the ribs that gets a few inches in, or a slashing blow that catches the jugular, getting eviscerated, a stout clubbing that crushes part of the skull, or the physical trauma from a musket-shot penetrating one's vitals: all are likely to be instantly lethal, or very nearly so, to people in both size ranges.

    I just don't see how the degree of granularity you're assigning to Hit Dice as a function of height is justifiable from the perspective of either mechanics or verisimilitude. (And it's clear from the bulk of replies that I'm not alone in this regard.)
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    Default Re: Classless D20 with Character Levels

    Quote Originally Posted by Composer99 View Post
    Several problems, some of which relate to the post to which I am replying above, and some of which don't (but are still relevant):

    First, you brought up strictly linking Hit Dice to size in the context of player characters, not monsters. In the editions where monster size sets Hit Dice (only 5e if memory serves), PC and monster Hit Dice and hit point progressions are built on very different mechanics, and in 3.5 monster Hit Dice are based on their type rather than size, so there's no particular reason why referring to how things work in the MM is relevant. At any rate, I would think you'd need more to go on than simply referring to the fact that 5e monsters' Hit Dice depends on their size.

    Second, monster Hit Dice scale by size category in the 5e MM. "Big" in the context of monsters means things ranging from ogres to dire bears to dragons to the Tarrasque - it's simply a whole other scale than "this character is three feet taller than that one".

    Third, in one post you mentioned not wanting to muck around with WP/VP mechanics on account of making the system incompatible with the Monster Manual (which one, by the way?). But later you're talking about handing out non-standard Hit Dice to creatures that are 10 feet tall and up, implying that you're now making your hit point system incompatible with the content of the Monster Manual. In other words, two of your apparent aims in this system appear to contradict each other.

    Finally, in reality, being seven feet tall versus four or five feet tall doesn't really translate into being twice as difficult to kill: a blade between the ribs that gets a few inches in, or a slashing blow that catches the jugular, getting eviscerated, a stout clubbing that crushes part of the skull, or the physical trauma from a musket-shot penetrating one's vitals: all are likely to be instantly lethal, or very nearly so, to people in both size ranges.

    I just don't see how the degree of granularity you're assigning to Hit Dice as a function of height is justifiable from the perspective of either mechanics or verisimilitude. (And it's clear from the bulk of replies that I'm not alone in this regard.)
    From the standpoint of practicality, the wp/VP system is cumbersome for the DM to implement. Why? Because you now have to write down two numbers seperate by a slash instead of just one number. If an encounter involves 10 orcs, you need 20 numbers. Usually the only thing different about each individual monster is its hit points, but not you got to track two numbers, wound and vitality points for each creature, and that takes up more space and takes longer to write down, and it also makes low level monsters harder to kill. For example if a giant rat has 4 hit points, if you add wound points, not only does it have 4 vitality points, you also have wound points equal to its constitution score that you have to knock down to zero in order to kill that particular rat.

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    Default Re: Classless D20 with Character Levels

    Quote Originally Posted by Composer99 View Post
    Several problems, some of which relate to the post to which I am replying above, and some of which don't (but are still relevant):

    First, you brought up strictly linking Hit Dice to size in the context of player characters, not monsters. In the editions where monster size sets Hit Dice (only 5e if memory serves), PC and monster Hit Dice and hit point progressions are built on very different mechanics, and in 3.5 monster Hit Dice are based on their type rather than size, so there's no particular reason why referring to how things work in the MM is relevant. At any rate, I would think you'd need more to go on than simply referring to the fact that 5e monsters' Hit Dice depends on their size.

    Second, monster Hit Dice scale by size category in the 5e MM. "Big" in the context of monsters means things ranging from ogres to dire bears to dragons to the Tarrasque - it's simply a whole other scale than "this character is three feet taller than that one".

    Third, in one post you mentioned not wanting to muck around with WP/VP mechanics on account of making the system incompatible with the Monster Manual (which one, by the way?). But later you're talking about handing out non-standard Hit Dice to creatures that are 10 feet tall and up, implying that you're now making your hit point system incompatible with the content of the Monster Manual. In other words, two of your apparent aims in this system appear to contradict each other.

    Finally, in reality, being seven feet tall versus four or five feet tall doesn't really translate into being twice as difficult to kill: a blade between the ribs that gets a few inches in, or a slashing blow that catches the jugular, getting eviscerated, a stout clubbing that crushes part of the skull, or the physical trauma from a musket-shot penetrating one's vitals: all are likely to be instantly lethal, or very nearly so, to people in both size ranges.

    I just don't see how the degree of granularity you're assigning to Hit Dice as a function of height is justifiable from the perspective of either mechanics or verisimilitude. (And it's clear from the bulk of replies that I'm not alone in this regard.)
    Quote Originally Posted by ngilop View Post
    I think an better solution should be something closer to what is laid out in darkness and dread, which uses a wound/vigor system.

    You get your set HD, then that is multiplied by a set number based on size

    So like for example.you get 1d8 wounds and for a medium creature you multiply by 1, small by 3/4, and large by 1.5 and so on.

    That is all you ever get for wounds, but everybody gets vigor which goes up every level. Which you can make any die size you want.

    that way you get the level of heroism, allow thing to be deadly AND you get your hit points base off of solely how tall you are to an extent.


    I mean, your method for Hit points based on actual height to me is downright ludicrous. At least base it on creature size as that is an already established ruled in d20 rules.
    What happens if a 100 hit point mosquito lands on your nose and starts sucking blood? How many times are you going to have to hit it before it's dead?

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    Default Re: Classless D20 with Character Levels

    Quote Originally Posted by JNAProductions View Post
    So, just to be clear-a level 1 creature that's 7'6" gets a 1d12 hit die. And an 8'6" creature at level 1 gets 2d6.

    But, at level 2, the 7'6" creature gets 2d12, while the 8'6" creature has 3d6-for averages of 13 and 10.5, respectively. So you want to be tall, but not TOO tall, or you lose HP.

    And while I certainly agree some creatures have lots of HP because they're big, notable exceptions are PCs. A level 20 Wizard has, even in 3.5, 50 HP before Con Mod. That's not all meat.
    So maybe the second creature should roll 4d6.

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    Default Re: Classless D20 with Character Levels

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Kalbfus View Post
    What happens if a 100 hit point mosquito lands on your nose and starts sucking blood? How many times are you going to have to hit it before it's dead?
    Well, that is an asinine question if ever.

    To answer; how ever many hits it takes.to deal 100 damage.

    In regards to your wounds/vitality being 'too much work' for the DM. It not nearly as much as your outlandish idea on HP. take your example. Instead of rolling 11 dice for hit points for the 10 orcs. 1 for wounds then 10-1 each for the 10 orcs, for vitality.
    You end up rolling 40 dice. Then having to count each dice and add them up to get their hit points.
    Let's not forget that wounds and vitality can be for the PCs and unique NPCs only and nooks don't get the same treatment.

    Again, d20 already has sizes for creatures
    Why you are making up a new sizing system that is needlessly convoluted and nonsensical goes completely against the 'it is too much work' you have griped about in this thread.

    Your inability to take constructive criticism is similarly mind boggling.

    Why there is a high level mosquito around anyways. In either system that 100 HP thing would be up there in levels. And most likely be larger than the PCs.

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    Default Re: Classless D20 with Character Levels

    Quote Originally Posted by ngilop View Post
    Well, that is an asinine question if ever.

    To answer; how ever many hits it takes.to deal 100 damage.

    In regards to your wounds/vitality being 'too much work' for the DM. It not nearly as much as your outlandish idea on HP. take your example. Instead of rolling 11 dice for hit points for the 10 orcs. 1 for wounds then 10-1 each for the 10 orcs, for vitality.
    You end up rolling 40 dice. Then having to count each dice and add them up to get their hit points.
    Let's not forget that wounds and vitality can be for the PCs and unique NPCs only and nooks don't get the same treatment.

    Again, d20 already has sizes for creatures
    Why you are making up a new sizing system that is needlessly convoluted and nonsensical goes completely against the 'it is too much work' you have griped about in this thread.

    Your inability to take constructive criticism is similarly mind boggling.

    Why there is a high level mosquito around anyways. In either system that 100 HP thing would be up there in levels. And most likely be larger than the PCs.
    Why would you end up rolling 40 dice for 10 orcs? I wasn't aware that orcs were 4 hit dice creatures. Even with a Wound vitality point system, you still end up rolling 10 dice for 10 orcs, the wound points equal the orcs constitution scores, they start out the same until some orcs take wound damage, and that is why you have to list them.

    Anyway, I like treating npcs and PCs the same, this is why I like 3rd edition, because they get treated the same, while 5th edition hides some stats and character classes of npcs. I don't know why you would want a Wound vitality point system just for PCs and give npcs only hit points. That is just a different way to treat critical hits.

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    Default Re: Classless D20 with Character Levels

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Kalbfus View Post
    From the standpoint of practicality, the wp/VP system is cumbersome for the DM to implement. Why? Because you now have to write down two numbers seperate by a slash instead of just one number. If an encounter involves 10 orcs, you need 20 numbers. Usually the only thing different about each individual monster is its hit points, but not you got to track two numbers, wound and vitality points for each creature, and that takes up more space and takes longer to write down, and it also makes low level monsters harder to kill. For example if a giant rat has 4 hit points, if you add wound points, not only does it have 4 vitality points, you also have wound points equal to its constitution score that you have to knock down to zero in order to kill that particular rat.
    Umm, tracking two pools isn't nearly as cumbersome as you're making it out to be, and IMO the gain in verisimilitude is worth it.

    Also, as I said earlier, the lowest level enemies, the mooks, don't need VP at all. Low level monsters harder to kill? You're making a new system, fix it. Maybe WP doesn't need to exactly equal Con. It all depends on how you are structuring and scaling damage. IMO a good balance point is that one solid hit, especially from a larger weapon, should drop a human sized mook in one. But with VP a low levels Heros will survive two to three of those hit.

    That rat is quite small, even with a hearty Con it'll have like 1 WP after a size modifier, maybe 6 for a Giant Rat. So, one decent swing against its body. So, mook giant rats could down in a hit. Maybe they're special in some way, feral, and have some VP too, now it'll take three or four hits or one crit to drop one.


    Sometimes when you write it is hard to distinguish if you're trying to modify an existing system, or fully create a new one and it would be helpful for you to articulate the particulars.

  29. - Top - End - #29
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    Default Re: Classless D20 with Character Levels

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Kalbfus View Post
    From the standpoint of practicality, the wp/VP system is cumbersome for the DM to implement. Why? Because you now have to write down two numbers seperate by a slash instead of just one number. If an encounter involves 10 orcs, you need 20 numbers. Usually the only thing different about each individual monster is its hit points, but not you got to track two numbers, wound and vitality points for each creature, and that takes up more space and takes longer to write down, and it also makes low level monsters harder to kill. For example if a giant rat has 4 hit points, if you add wound points, not only does it have 4 vitality points, you also have wound points equal to its constitution score that you have to knock down to zero in order to kill that particular rat.
    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Kalbfus View Post
    What happens if a 100 hit point mosquito lands on your nose and starts sucking blood? How many times are you going to have to hit it before it's dead?
    I must admit, the "100 hit point mosquito" remark comes across as arguing in bad faith. As far as I am aware, no edition of D&D provides a statblock for individual insects. 5e does provide statblocks for three arthropods in the MM - the crab with 2 hp, and the scorpion and spider that each have 1. Clearly, the D&D design intent is that, a few exceptions notwithstanding, interacting with normal insects does not require the mechanics of combat, and, all else being equal, if it's important in a 5e campaign to interact with individual insects using the combat mechanics, they also would presumably have 1 hp. If a DM designs a 100 hit point mosquito that is still Tiny, they must have some reason why they want it to be that difficult to kill. You or I might not agree with that reason, but it's their game, so whatever.

    Back on topic, it seems to me that there are two issues at hand:

    First, the particular level of granularity you have assigned to Hit Dice by linking them to very narrow tranches of size, and especially with respect to how the mechanic applies to player character hit points.

    Second, the interaction between this mechanic and/or proposed alternatives and monster hit points.

    The reality is that the second issue is something of a non-issue. Save for 3e/3.5, in no edition of D&D have NPC/monster-building mechanics been functionally identical to PC-building mechanics. In a system where PCs got separate wound point and vitality/hit point pools, there's no reason why NPCs and monsters couldn't just have hit points, unless they were special in some way ("Big Bad Evil Guys", NPCs and monsters with class levels, dragons, Tarrasques/kaiju monsters, and the like).

    Edit to add: I see from a comment that I only skimmed before typing up these remarks that you prefer the 3e/3.5 system. That's fine, as far as it goes, but as I noted previously, even in that edition, NPC/monster hit points don't use exactly the same mechanics as PC hit points - PCs always use class, while NPCs/monsters almost always use type (and not size) as the basic determinant of Hit Dice, unless they have class levels along with or instead of "racial/type" Hit Dice. So perhaps the remarks I have struck out are still relevant.

    That leaves us with the first issue, the issues with your proposed Hit Dice mechanic. Although I have indicated it's primarily a problem for the PCs, it is still a problem for NPCs/monsters. Save for 3e/3.5, D&D aims for a certain degree of simplicity in monster design, with some editions being simpler than others.

    I and others have remarked upon the problems the mechanic poses, as regards both game mechanics-as-mechanics, and as regards verisimilitude. You disagree, as appears clear from your responses, which is fine, but simply disagreeing with a remark is not the same as addressing it. If you don't care about addressing either those problems or our remarks, that's fair enough - you're the one designing the mechanic. But in that case, I daresay you could save yourself, and us, a great deal of time by saying so. If you do care about addressing them, then I feel like it would be most productive to try to distill the mechanic and some of the objections raised against it into a few bullet points (carefully constructed so as not to misconstrue the objections) and make an effort to address them, rather than suggest "spot" patches fixing holes in it (as per your discussions with JNAProductions) or resorting to red herrings such as the 100-hit-point mosquito.

    (I also think that doing so would help re-centre the discussion, since, as inevitably happens when trying to reply to a bunch of people on a contentious issue, it feels like it's starting to get into the weeds.)
    Last edited by Composer99; 2019-08-24 at 09:26 AM.
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    Default Re: Classless D20 with Character Levels

    Quote Originally Posted by Composer99 View Post
    Good Stuff
    Well put, Composer. I do tend to get bogged down in details when discussing stuff reasonably often, so this is good for me to hear too.
    I have a LOT of Homebrew!

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