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Mega Man 2 is pretty hard to beat; heck, if you Google/YouTube something like "Top 10 Old School Video Game Music" or some such thing, you'll see a lot of inclusion of MM2, especially Wily Castle stage.
For SNES, Super Mario RPG and Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest both have a lot of amazing tracks.
How about we just get this thread back on topic. Dice fudging is a never ending debate that will not be solved here.
Well, we weren't trying to decide whether fudging was okay, we were exploring whether its use as a GM tool was a default assumption or not.
How much cheating do you tolerate? What cheating do you tolerate?
I think it got established pretty early that most folks won't tolerate the things they call cheating, and the differences of opinion center on what actually counts as cheating. This led to the related subtopic of expectations and social contracts (after all, if you join a game with full knowledge that the GM will fudge, you can't really complain about fudging). That led to the current discussion about what's the "default state" that goes without saying, versus a houserule that it would be jerkish to not discuss ahead of time. Since that's tied in to expectations and therefore definitions of what constitutes cheating, it's entirely on-topic. :)
I definitely did not think to look under a heading of "rolling dice". Thanks for adding to the discussion. That definitely changes the picture a bit.
You just don't want to admit that "the Game Master is the final arbiter of the rules" is the trump phrase in that entire paragraph, when relevance is distilled.
Or maybe you're not really reading carefully, because your pre-biased filters are so thick that you can't take the paragraph for what it is? Honestly, how can you read an entire paragraph all saying the same general message of "everybody work together to mold the rules for maximum fun" and say that a single clause "trumps" that entire message rather than thinking maybe it means something within that paragraph?
I think you're starting with what you believe, finding a phrase that can support it, and bending everything around into compliance; instead of starting with "What does this say?", reading for the "big idea", and interpreting any given phrase within the context of the sentence and paragraph in which it appears.
Quit being a jerk; I made no such accusation. Anyone who's ever followed me on the rules forums knows I ask for references so I can learn more. If you can't read "I can't find that line" without assuming I'm accusing you of lying, that's on you, not me.
I believe you that it exists on that page. Perhaps you'll also believe me that it doesn't come up in searches of the PRD, and therefore understand why I asked.
Yes, that paragraph does suggest more authority on the part of the GM. Added to what else we've read, it does change the net result. That's why I was interested in finding it: to see and understand what information you were working with, not to accuse you of making it up. I'm trying to end up learning something here.
Thanks for providing the whole quote this time; it's interesting that in the very same paragraph as the "his word is the law" part it also says that the GM "should be impartial, fair, and consistent in his administration of the rules". I'm very curious how the type of fudging you're talking about fits into "impartial, fair, and consistent", as well as your interpretation of the "big picture" painted by a paragraph whose general description of the role of the GM includes both "his word is law" and "impartial, fair, and consistent".
Nope. Look again:
"Remember that these rules are yours. You can change them to fit your needs
For one thing, you seem to be implying that this quote is addressing the GM. It's not. This passage is from the Core Rulebook, and is addressing everyone.
So you could say "Remember that these rules are the players'. The players can change them to fit their needs.", and it would be just as true as what you're claiming on behalf of the GM.
So no, that does not "override" what I was saying earlier.
... Although the Game Master is the final arbiter of the rules ... "
Well, Mr. AccuseMeOfCherryPickingQuotes, at least I didn't cut any sentences in half. Here's the full line:
The full version of what you sculpted down for your purposes wrote:
Although the Game Master is the final arbiter of the rules, the Pathfinder RPG is a shared experience, and all of the players should contribute their thoughts when the rules are in doubt.
This line is explaining how to handle unclear or disputed rules, and sets the GM as the "arbiter" (i.e., the judge, or the person who would arbitrate a dispute between parties) within the context of everyone at the table having a discussion.
So, this ALSO does not "override" what I was saying earlier that the default assumption is that any houserules (such as not following the d20 mechanics, aka fudging) need to be discussed up front, and anything not discussed up front would be naturally assumed to be as written.
Look real hard at what you did: you took a quote saying that the rules belong equally to everyone and a quote that lets the GM arbitrate table-wide discussions, and you tried to make them look like the opposite.
Oh, and ... here's another: "The Game Master must be the arbiter of everything that occurs in the game. All rule books, including this one, are his tools, but his word is the law."
Where are you getting that quote? I can't find it anywhere, despite multiple searches of the entire PRD.
I'd actually say that the above is the default, and that players who want it differently would have to negotiate to change that.
I'm gonna type my way through a train of thought that I haven't figured out the end of yet:
The norm for games in general is that "the default" is whatever is written in that game's rules. Deviations are houserules, and can't be assumed to of anyone who hasn't agreed to them. When you say "Let's play game X", by definition you're agreeing to go by the printed rules of that game.
So, what rules are printed for Pathfinder?
Well, one rule that's printed for Pathfinder is how saves work: roll a d20, add a specific modifier, and the result has to equal or exceed the DC in order to save.
So if that's what's printed, then that's "the default", right?
Now lemme dig out a quote that I don't remember very clearly... ah, here it is:
The Pathfinder rules also wrote:
Most Game Masters have a number of “house rules” that they use in their games. The Game Master and players should always discuss any rules changes to make sure that everyone understands how the game will be played.
So here we have a printed acknowledgement of the possibility of houserules, with a printed expectation that any such houserules are discussed in advance.
So, "the default" for Pathfinder is that the rules are followed as printed except in such ways as the group discusses in advance. Since this is "the default", then this is what is reasonable to assume a player will be expecting.
Therefore, that whole "the GM is entitled to do whatever" sentiment that you said was "the default" is, well, not. That is, unless the GM discusses that notion with the group in advance.
So, a reasonable expectation is that a player comes to your game with the knowledge that you might have some houserules, and also that anything not discussed will be assumed to be done "by the book".
So if we're talking about "the default", the GM has a social responsibility to openly discuss his/her desire to run a game in which he or she can alter/fudge the game's mechanics. If you fail to mention it, players have a right to be surprised and upset when they later find out, because it wasn't reasonable to assume they'd be expecting that.
As I said before, a happy medium where wants/desires from both sides of the screen are communicated and respected is best.
Agreed; I said so myself, in fact.
But humans will be humans, and despite the best of intentions it periodically breaks down.
In those cases where you can't maintain communication and respect, there are two options. Players laying down the law, or the GM.
No.In those cases where you can't maintain communication and respect, someone needs to grow up and learn to be a better person than they currently are. And the person who needs to do so is most likely the person who thinks there could ever be a situation in a (non-professional) game where the it's truly necessary for someone to "lay down the law".
A group of people who, when getting together to play a game, actually manages to come to a point of one or more parties wanting to lay down the law, is a socially dysfunctional group that has bigger things to fix than GM/player role expectations.
I think the GM avenue is better for the same reasons that chains of command in emergency response/military organizations aren't committees.
See above. The need for one gamer to tell another gamer "submit or leave" is a sign of problems, not a necessary or fundamental element of gaming dynamics.
A terrible GM is one that allows the players to run the table.
That's not mutually exclusive with what I said, you know. There's a whole lot of fun to be had in the ENORMOUS space in between "GM is god" and "players run the table". That's where the good GMs are. The terrible ones populate the two situations you and I have now identified (and probably some other spaces as well).
And yes, GM's are the gods at their tables. What they say goes, period.
Unless of course the GM is a healthy, high-functioning adult. In that case, the GM makes adjudications where needed but listens to complaints/rebuttals and is willing to accommodate reasonable requests.
I saw someone mention GM's and cheating, so I figured I'd add my $0.02. A GM can not cheat. GM's are the god at your table and they can do what they want. I almost always roll behind the screen and if I think a miss would have been a hit, it will be. Especially if I need to knock a player off of their high horse. To me this is no different that adding the advanced template to creatures.
This whole quote is a perfect example of terrible GMing, and the part I bolded is a good illustration of the level of blindness required to not see it.
What are you suggesting? That communication is central to healthy relationships? That conflicts can be resolved through clear communication rather than needing to teach the other person a lesson or abandoning the relationship? Nonsense!
What's in the box? wrote:
The adjustment to the "prepared" spell casting system is SO much better (which is similar to the Arcanist method of spell casting recently released for PF) than the old 3.5 method. SO. MUCH. BETTER.
There's sooooo much that I like about spellcasting in 5E. What you mentioned is one part of that.
Another part is the combat viability of cantrips. A sorcerer shooting a fire bolt cantrip has the same chance of hitting and only slightly lower average damage than a fighter swinging a sword. No longer do casters say "Oh crap, I'm down to just cantrips!". Instead, cantrips are the default, the caster's bread and butter. Since you know your cantrips are "good enough", you don't feel like all your spell slots have to be devoted to combat power; there's room for utility stuff too.
And speaking of utility stuff, ritual casting is awesome. Instead of 4E's total division of spells and rituals or Pathfinder's dilemma of needing to spend spell slots on boring and situational spells, 5E has things like identify as normal spells which also have the "ritual" tag. Such a spell can be cast "for free" by a ritual-capable class by simply adding 10 minutes to the casting time.
I could go on; maybe I'll come back to this. :)
As I talked about before, it's as simple as this: whatever the group agreed (explicitly or not) was going to be happening is "fair", while any deviation from that is "cheating".
So, for example, suppose the players build their characters under the impression that encounters will be CR-appropriate, or X level of challenge, or whatever. Maybe they lowball their optimization because they want a gritty meatgrinder that forces them to think tactically, or maybe they optimize highly because they want a fun roflstomp of carnage-joy, or maybe they go somewhere in between with an understanding of a sandbox world where they'll be constantly gauging their own power against that of potential obstacles.
If the GM then goes outside that group agreement by providing encounters that are different enough as to provide a different play experience (such as turning the meatgrinder into something easier, or the roflstomp into something harder, or the open sandbox into "everything is a level-appropriate encounter no matter where you are"), then the GM has betrayed the other people at the table. Maybe you use the word "cheating" or maybe not, but either way, the GM's being a selfish jerk.
Emmit Svenson wrote:
Related to players cheatin’ with dice: Can anyone recommend a source for polyhedral dice that are both fair and exceptionally readable cross-table? I’m thinking oversized, high-contrast dice with simple numerals and no distracting detailing.
Have everyone use that giant red d20 that has flashing LEDs when it rolls a 20. ;)
For myself, I generally use Chessex dice, such as those which come in a little plastic rectangle with one of each type of die (d4 through d20). As long as I pick a set whose color scheme offers good contrast, I find they're readable from across the table fairly easily, despite not being oversized.
As for being "fair", what's your criteria?
I think this has less to do with role play definitions and more to do with not being a rude ahole in public games.
Well, when some people's trigger to "be a rude ahole in public games" is seeing someone violate their roleplay definitions...
Well, anyway, enough with the downer derail. I'm currently having lots of fun with some 5E PbP, and that's what counts. :)
As it happens, how much fun I had would sometimes depend in part on whether or not tablemates within a certain demographic thought I (or my other tablemates, for that matter) was roleplaying. Thus, the two notions are not as entirely independent as you make them out to be.
Part of the reason I'm not playing PFS anymore is that the folks who believe in how the game was meant to be played were gaining both presence and influence in the campaign, both globally and in my local area.
"Who cares?" and "Did you have fun?" ended up being kinda connected. :/
I did not accuse you of that. I accused you of lumping "makes sense for that character but not for modern me" in with "doesn't make sense for that character".
I was saying that what's strategically optimal given the circumstances isn't optimal given the needs of the game.
I. Never. Disagreed. With. That.
Heck, I never even mentioned "strategically optimal" (or even "strategic" or "optimal" by themselves). You inserted that all on your own. What post were you reading?
I think it's great roleplaying to go ahead and do things that you know are bad but appropriate to the game/genre.
I agree with this.I'm just saying that there are some things which, though they often show up in a given genre, are still stupid and/or don't match the established characterization of the character performing the action.
It's not "what I would do in that situation", but it's what the character in that genre would do. Wanting what you want from a game isn't bad. I want it too sometimes.. but because we have different opinions I indulge in those wants in a wargame rather than in a roleplaying game.
Acting in accordance with your character is something you go to a wargame for? Because that's what you just said.
If you can't hear about a divergent opinion without taking it as a personal attack, then I suppose I should go ahead and be done trying to talk with you. You seem to only want to be talked at so you can argue.
If you ever decide to read one of my posts start to finish and reply to what I actually wrote instead of replying to a party line that you're assuming I represent, then I'd be happy to have a discussion with you. But yeah, if you make s@!! up about how when I say "do what makes sense for the character" I somehow meant "do what's strategically optimal even if it's contrary to the character", then I guess I'm gonna keep looking argumentative.
Not at all what I'm talking about.
Character motivations, such as a samurai's honor, are part of the "logic" that I want in a good story. Or to use the slasher horror example from earlier: if the guy who ventures out alone to investigate a noise while he knows there's a killer looking for him has already been identified in the story as a stupid person, then we're all good.
No, I'm talking about genuine nonsense.
What's the cultural explanation for why Voldemort (the movie version) wasn't spamming the killing curse in his fight against Dumbledore?* I mean, he's confirmed to know the spell, has no qualms about killing, knows Dumbledore is a threat, etc. So why, when Dumbledore fights him, does he not just spam that unblockable, instant-death spell? Now, we have a good reason why Dumbledore doesn't do that; it's well-established that nice people don't use that spell. But Voldemort uses it willy-nilly elsewhere, so why not here?
Because exploding glass and a giant fire snake look really cool in a climactic movie showdown.
When a character is already established as being ready, willing and able to do X at the drop of a hat, and they encounter a situation where X is the obvious thing to do, failing to do so is NOT the kind of cross-cultural roleplaying experience that you're talking about.
Either you're blind to think the "not what I would do" moments are all culturally appropriate with no genuine nonsense, or you're deliberately being dishonest by lumping cultural differences and genuine nonsense together in order to make me look anti-roleplaying.
Either way, stop it. There's no culture that produces BBEGs whose HP might or might not spontaneously double depending on how fast they're losing a fight.
In the book, Voldemort actually does spam the killing curse at Dumbledore, which got me pretty excited to see a villain acting in congruence with their own established character.
These statements are contradictory.
A story that leaves you wondering why in the world a character would do X instead of Y is not a good story. The fact that such situations have shown up in a lot of stories does not make them any less terrible.
Hiding from a known homicidal psychopath but then leaving your hiding place alone just because you heard footsteps, doesn't stop making for a stupid story just because it's been done a lot.
Just because something is common enough to be a familiar trope does NOT mean it's an ingredient to a good story.
I generally buy whichever item/upgrade is cheapest of what's left.
So, first I get masterwork weapons/armor.
And so forth.
Certain key consumables will be in there too, usually before 3rd level.
Does that help?
There's a very particular reason (though others probably exist as well that I'm forgetting) why I personally don't like it when the GM fudges the dice or does other things that are sometimes called "cheating".
You see, when I watch a movie, I see things. I see the situation the characters are in, I see the resources they do or don't have, I see potential solutions to obstacles.
I very frequently watch a movie and think, "Wait, why don't they just do X? Wouldn't that solve the problem?"
Or, "Oh man, can you imagine if someone they had someone with skill/tool X here with them? That would totally change how this plays out."
Or, "Wait, he can do X? Why hasn't he done that before? Why is he not just spamming that right now?"
And so forth, both on the side of the heroes and on the side of the villains. These head-scratchers often really bother me.
Now, why do those types of moments exist? Sometimes it's a simple oversight, but usually it's deliberately done to either make the current scene more dramatic or to make a future dramatic scene possible. Basically, it's that this was supposed to be this kind of scene, but it's not turning out that way, so we'll just force it.
I can let that slide in movies to some degree, but the main reason I play roleplaying games at all is so that I can make real decisions that let me do the things that I keep wondering why the characters in the movies didn't do.
Then a GM says "This was supposed to be this kind of scene, but it's not turning out that way, so I'll just force it." They fudge the save, they double the HP, whatever. They take away the main thing that separates RPGs from movies for me: the ability to genuinely influence how things happen.
If you've decided ahead of time that (for example) the BBEG fight is gonna be this grueling, multi-round climax; and no matter what I or my tablemates do, that's exactly how it's going to turn out. Well, at that point, I see it as more of a movie/book than an RPG, because you've removed both the "roleplaying" AND the "game" from the "roleplaying game". And if I was gonna spend my time with a book, I'd have chosen one that's much better written than yours; if I was gonna spend my time with a movie, I'd have chosen one that's got much better special effects than yours.
Don't tell me we're gonna play a roleplaying game, and then instead give me a movie where you already know how each scene goes.
So, here's the thing about Take 10:
It's a mechanic that's supposed to be optional in place of rolling a d20. Therefore, there are clearly supposed to be circumstances in which choosing to T10 will have a real advantage over rolling (otherwise, you would never choose to do so).
So it is intended that, at least in some circumstances, taking 10 is supposed to be better than rolling.
A great many people can't stand that idea.
In discussing Take 10, one might even consider first asking the other person to list some circumstances in which T10 would be flat-out better than rolling. If they can list some examples, you're probably fine, even if their rulings are technically a little off. If they seem a little confused and can't think of anything, they might be redeemable with a little discussion. If they balk at the concept that there should ever be a time when T10 is the better option, then they can't be reasoned with and you probably shouldn't even try.
Steve Geddes wrote:
Pffft, those goblins are dropping like flies, and your melee force has barely even gotten started! What could possibly go wrong? :D
Kirth Gersen wrote:
As DM, though, I'm usually very careful not to. The BBEG always has rules-legal abilities, strict WBL, and mooks allowable under his Leadership score, for example. NPCs' skill points and other stats are carefully derived. Dice are rolled in the open, no fudging from me. Etc.
Heh, I'm running a 5E PbP right now, with a party picked from an open recruitment thread. I announced in the first post of said thread that I owned only the PHB, and therefore all the "GM stuff" like monster stats and environmental effects and so forth would all be shamelessly pulled out of my arse.
We're having a blast. :)
If you've never found a GM who was able to prioritize your own enjoyment of the game experience over the sanctity of what's written on pages of text, then you truly haven't enjoyed everything the RPG hobby has to offer you.
Where did you get the idea that I've never found such a GM? Why does the fact that I don't like GM cheating mean that the only GM's I've found are treating text as sacred? There are lots of GMs who are NEITHER the "GM, may I?" type you described NOR trying to preserve the sanctity of the text. The fact that you seem to think those are the only two types of GMs is mind-boggling.
You really haven't been the same since that dhampir paladin ruling didn't go your way. It's as though that one experience of what you thought was an airtight rule in your favor getting overturned, shattered your rules-oriented worldview and convinced you that the final sovereignty of the GM is the only way to go, and launched you on some kind of crusade to show everyone the evils of RAW (seriously, people don't describe rules with terms like "sanctity" or "holy scripture" unless they're on a mission to demonize).
I liked you better before. I'd like you even more if something would break you out of this new mold so you could settle into something more moderate and reasonable. :(
To the OP:
Cheating is when everybody agrees to X, and somebody deliberately goes outside X in order to make things go how they want.
It might be that there's an explicit agreement to go by printed rules but somebody takes a feat (on purpose) that they don't qualify for because they want to have an ability sooner or on a different character.
It might be that there's an assumed agreement that the save mechanics work a certain way, but the GM calls a different result than those mechanics would produce because he wants the fight to last longer.
I have zero tolerance for either.
Why? Because the difference between "cheating" and "houserules" is honesty.
If a player says "I'd really like to have this feat even though I don't qualify" and the group decides they're fine with it, that's a houserule, not cheating. But if the player either doesn't trust his friends enough to have that conversation, or doesn't respect them enough to abide by what the group decided, then he's cheating, and he's a jerk.
If a GM says "I'd really like the BBEG fight to last a little longer, could we leave out the save-or-sucks?" and the group agrees, that's a houserule, not cheating. But if the GM either doesn't trust his friends enough to have that conversation, or doesn't respect them enough to abide by what the group decided, then he's cheating, and he's a jerk.
I'll make all kinds of allowances for people who ask. But if you try to simply take, then you're being a jerk, and I'm not okay with people treating me like that.
There's a scene in Firefly where the Alliance questions the crew of the Serenity. Each crew member is questioned alone, so they do a montage of each character's interactions with the official that's questioning them. This does a good job of highlighting differences in personality.
For instance, Zoe is giving short, minimalistic answers to the questions she's asked. She comments that she and her husband are "very private people". We then immediately cut to her husband saying "Her legs, definitely her legs; oh man, have you ever been with a warrior woman?"
And so forth.
One of the characters, Jayne Cobb, is sort of the "dumb muscle" of the crew. He gets one clip in the montage: leaning back, arms folded, glaring silently at the questioner. He does not speak a word. Now, some folks in this thread would contend that as long as you made it clear that this is the scene that's unfolding, you're roleplaying. Others, however, seem to be of the opinion that since you didn't speak any lines of dialogue, you did not roleplay.
I disagree strongly with the latter position.
Seems like so many take 10s involve the PC putting in routine effort, like climbing or crafting. This involves the character knowing they are doing the activity, and using their level of skill to be on autopilot.
When a character makes a Knowledge check, they're not even putting in effort; it's literally the players finding out whether or not the PC knows something. And yet, you can Take 10 on Knowledge checks.
If you are walking down the street, not actively perceiving, can you take 10 on the perception check when someone jumps out at you?
Not only can you do so, but actually makes more sense in-character than rolling, because when you're just walking down the street, you're in a constant state of just putting in average effort to knowing what's around you.
Is there anything preventing you from taking 10 in a surprise round before your init?
The rules say that threats or distractions (such as combat) prevent T10. Any time the character has no clue there's anything dangerous around, it would be hard to argue they're distracted. That said, just because someone hasn't acted yet in combat doesn't mean they've not yet become aware of combat, so the ability to T10 in the surprise round is unlikely.
However, the check to determine whether or not they're surprised in the first place happens BEFORE the surprise round; by definition, it's outside of combat.
I have some friends I know from outside of gaming, who also like to play games. Sometimes we try out new games (or teach each other games that only one of us knows) together, like Dominant Species or Smallworld or Pandemic or Ascension or... you get the idea.
Everyone's always working together. Usually one person has the rulebook, but everyone gets involved in trying to get the rules right: people remind each other of things it looks like they forgot, they ask if something doesn't look right, and so forth. Everyone happily accepts this communal back-and-forth about the rules, because we're all there to have fun.
If I were to respond to this common practice in the manner I've seen people on these boards suggest to GMs whose players questioned them, I'd be seen as a child having a tantrum. Conversely, I've seen people on the boards mention rules-related behavior comparable to the above except it was at a Pathfinder table, and they get crucified as an entitled, GM-hating rules lawyer.
There is a certain demographic of the Pathfinder playerbase that is deeply dysfunctional, in ways that are very much NOT universal to all players of games. If you're starting to wonder about your own group, have some friends over who aren't serious gamers and have a "game night" (yes, non-hardcore people have those too) and play a board game or two. Pay close attention to how people interact with each other. What you see may be enlightening.
Chain lightning explicitly targets objects, and deals 11d6 damage baseline for wizard. weapons tend to average 10hp, on a successful item reflex save average damage from chain lightning is 19.25, - the average hardness (also 10). more often than not, you can disarm the BBEGroup's leader in the first round of combat, and finish group's weapons in the second round.
Careful: at the level you have chain lightning, the enemies are likely to have magic weapons, which have boosted HP and hardness.
Also, you forgot to apply the half-damage-to-objects rule.
On the contrary, I think I demonstrated pretty well that converting zubats to Pathfinder rules makes them even worse. ;)
Cave full of zubats.
GM: What do you do now?
You're only thinking of the endgame; before you get to that point, there will be several rounds of "You cannot grasp the true form of Giygas' attack!" What Pathfinder group will keep playing after that?
Mark Hoover wrote:
I just feel like my game is a lot of fluff but then the crunch amounts to: You go here... fight... you crawl back out. Hooray, you survived. Count your loot in town.
Aaaahhhh.... That sounds less like "too soft" and more like "too plain". Not the same thing. ;)
Google "big list of RPG plots". You should find a wonderful list of condensed plot hooks, each with at least a couple of variations/twists. Find ones that involve the PCs not understanding something or trying to figure something out, and try those.
Now instead of "go here, fight, go home, shop", it becomes "raise questions, pay attention to the setting, try to find answers, have a satisfying revelation, and oh yeah some combat happened in there somewhere too but whatever".
Maybe that could shake things up for you. :)
Petty Alchemy wrote:
Stone and metal don't have DR, they have hardness. ;)
And you know what? They also have HP. And they have different amounts of HP per inch from one another. So even if you have the ability to bypass hardness (such as with an adamantine weapon), there's still a difference in the relative ease/difficulty of destroying different things, and that difference exists in the mechanic of hit points, completely independent of hardness. There's not a single, universal HP/inch for all materials, with their varying levels of resistance to destruction being represented solely by hardness.
Why can't meat be the same?
@thejeff—Perhaps I can help with the healing thing.
Suppose you have a plastic cord, about a quarter-inch thick. With a sharp knife using X amount of pressure, it takes about Y time to cut through it.
Now, suppose I have some sort of advanced cable: it's also a quarter-inch thick, but is made of a bundle of tiny, thin fibers. Thanks to being a special material, each of those tiny, thin fibers is just as strong as your plastic cord (it takes Y time at X pressure for a sharp knife to cut through just one of the fibers in my cable).
So someone swings a knife, twice. One swing cuts through your quarter-inch-thick cord, while the other cuts just one of the fibers in my cable.
Both items have sustained the same amount of damage, yet mine has not been destroyed. That's damage versus HP.
With healing, it's like the healing spell is able to reconnect (for example) 1d8+1 strands. If all you've even got is the one thick, crappy cord then that's going to be a complete repair. If instead you've got a dense cable made of dozens of strands, repairing 1d8+1 of those strands could leave plenty of remaining damage—and yet simultaneously leave a finished product that's tougher than your plastic cord.
Does that help?