"Seeing" HP: Are the rules specific on this point?


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I think I am very much in the minority as a GM who allows the PCs to know exactly how many HP an enemy has remaining.

I know other GMs who don't share any such information, including keeping AC a secret. I have no issues with this approach at all.

Policies regarding stat disclosure might make an interesting topic for discussion, but I am most interested to know if the Pathfinder RPG rules are specific about HP disclosure (or AC disclosure for that matter) in any of the text? Has anyone seen something to the effect of "The Players should not be told exactly how many HP are left" or "the GM should give the players a rough description of the enemy's state of health" or "the Players can be told exactly how many HP" or any variation on this? Something in print?

Liberty's Edge

There may be something that I’ve missed, but I do not recall seeing a printed rule or guideline on this matter either way.


I think it's possible this is one of those issues that Paizo's designers intentionally left unspecified to accommodate style of play. If so, I'd really appreciate a word from someone official on that.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Evil Lincoln wrote:
I think it's possible this is one of those issues that Paizo's designers intentionally left unspecified to accommodate style of play. If so, I'd really appreciate a word from someone official on that.

allowing players to know i don't think is RAW, for reference i would suggest the existance of the Status line of spells.

Silver Crusade

Looking back, I don't think there's ever been a rule for hp/AC disclosure in any edition of D&D.

I really think it's one of those things that will always depend on GM description to get across.

"Your sword scrapes along the scales of his armor, just shy of his neck."

"The guy's just has a scrape. Looks a little winded, but that's it."


Evil Lincoln wrote:
If so, I'd really appreciate a word from someone official on that.

Seems to me their official word is, "If it ain't in the book, it's the DM's judgment call - by design." They've very nearly said that exact thing, more or less, on many threads.

As for the actual question here, why on earth would Paizo or any othre game company ever tell a DM what to do or not do in that situation? The most you're ever likely to see is "We do it this way" or "we think it works better this way" or maybe even "we suggest to do it this way". Something as basic as divulging NPC/monster stats or not really is a judgment call.

As for me, I don't see why you would do it, and I would never want my DM to do that to me.

1. It breaks my immersion. I think there are some things my character shouldn't know, and it's awkward to pretend he doesn't know things that I know. I don't want to know if the monster I am fighting is almost dead or not. I don't want to know my exact chance, rounded to the nearest 5%, that I have to hit an enemy.

2. I'm a lightning-calculator, at least when it comes to the simple math in this game. Tell me an opponent's armor class, and about 2 seconds later I can tell you whether my DPR will be higher or lower with Power Attack. I can't even help it; I ca't turn that off. Tell me the enemy's remaining HP, and I will know it about 1 second whether I should go with magic missile or scorching ray or lightning bolt, etc.

Yes, I can Roleplay my character like he doesn't know this stuff, but then I start second-guessing myself. "Hmmm, I won't power attack because I he has been hard to hit and I want my full attack bonus. And besides, my normal damage should kill this guy with only 10 HP left. Awwwww, crud, wait a minute. Did I decide not to power attack because I already figured that out? Am I metagming subconsciously? Or did I really decide to keep my best attack bonus before I metagamed?"

Usually, I don't know the answer to that. I figure this math out so fast in my head that it's all one and hte same, so I am always accusing myself of metagaming when I know this kind of stuff. It's bad enough when the fighter on round 1 with a 23 and on round two the rogue missed with a 22, so from then on I know the monster's AC is 23. I hate it when that happens, so I would really hate it if I just always knew.

Liberty's Edge

While you're waiting for something official, here's my take:

I don't tell my players how much HP an enemy has left. Depending on the situation, I'll give them an approximation such as "he's on his last legs" or "he looks to be at about 50%" or "one more solid blow and she's done for" or "it's on its last legs...literally, you've chopped off all the others". Sometimes I have them roll a perception or knowledge check to figure it out, othertimes it seems like it should be obvious and I just tell them.

Also, I'll often write down how much damage an enemy has taken, and this number is usually visible to the players, allowing them to guess at the enemy's status. I have no problem wth this, as it's basically providing them with info that their PCs would have in-game.

As regards AC, I'll sometimes give hints on close misses. If it missed normal AC but would've hit touch or flat-footed AC, I'll say "he just barely dodged out of the way" or "she narrowly deflects your attack with her shield". Once the fight wears on (4-5 rounds in), I'm likely to just let the group know the AC. They've probably got it narrowed down to an approximate number anyway, and in larger groups, this allows the players to save time by just telling me whether their attacks hit or miss.

Scarab Sages

Personally, this is one of the few situations where I think something from 4E should be used in Pathfinder. That being the whole 'bloodied' idea. Change the name if you want, but just have a term to use when something is at or below half health. And that's all you give out to the players unless they have a way to magically detect differently. If there's three things with 80 hp each and they're at 17, 39, and 77, you would say two of them were bloodied (or whatever) and leave it at that.

Scarab Sages

I'd suggest you take the example from the beginning of the book.

Seelah: The skeletons take 7 points of damage, but they get to make a dc 15 will save to only take half damage.

GM: Two of the skeletons burst into flames and crumble as the power of your deity washes over them. The other four continue their advance. Harsk, it's your turn.

Throughout the example, the GM gives descriptive text to portray a visual of what happened with damage.

One of the players takes a cut on their arm.

A crossbow bolt seems to deal less damage, but still breaks a skeleton apart.

Without giving specific numbers, the GM is still able to convey the idea of how much effect resulted from the pc's actions.

As per that, I'd say you don't reveal the exact hp total, but you would note when an opponent appeared weakened by a blow, bloodied, so on and so forth.

Liberty's Edge

Evil Lincoln wrote:
I think it's possible this is one of those issues that Paizo's designers intentionally left unspecified to accommodate style of play.

I agree, though I don't know if it was so much a conscious decision for PF as this has been the intent through previous (all?) editions of the game.

Evil Lincoln wrote:


If so, I'd really appreciate a word from someone official on that.

Don't know that its really required - if its not in the rules it is GM / groups call. And I don't think its something that needs to be or should be in the rules.


Evil Lincoln wrote:
I am most interested to know if the Pathfinder RPG rules are specific about HP disclosure ... in any of the text? Has anyone seen something to the effect of "The Players should not be told exactly how many HP are left" or "the GM should give the players a rough description of the enemy's state of health"

I don't know if there's anything specific in the PF-CR or PRD, and given the serious editing of "fluff" from the PF-CR in order to pack as much material into the page-count as possible, I doubt they would address it.

But, the PRD does say:

"Hit points are an abstraction signifying how robust and healthy a creature is at the current moment."

As an "abstraction", I don't believe it's something that Players need to specifically know, and certainly not something the PCs could tell by simple observation without a spell or other ability/power that specifically tells them.

That said, I know there has been more philosophical discussion of the nature and meaning of HP in older editions ... can't recall if it was 1st Ed. DMG or a Dragon article by E.G.G. ... in which HP was considered not only to be the purely physical ability to take damage, but also the combat skill to block, dodge, parry and generally avoid getting hit in the first place. Higher-CON characters can take more damage, but higher-HD Classes know better how not to get hit in the first place. It's the "near-miss" factor, hence I tend to refer to "real" HP and "whoosh-points" that don't cause damage but make your heart skip a beat ... enough of those and your nerves get frayed, however, and then you take a real hit because your nerves are shot and your reactions are blown. In D&D terms, however, both are simply "hit points". The ability to recover "whoosh points" quickly also explains why high-Level character "heal faster" than low-Level ones. The physical healing might be the same rate, but high-Level characters have more combat experience and more "whoosh-points" and so regain their "nerves" faster/better.

IOW, simply looking at someone is not a fair way to evaluate their HP.

Personally, I've allowed characters to make a Spot check followed by either Heal or Sense Motive (based upon my judgement of the circumstances, the types of damage taken, and the better mods of the observer) to determine their opponent's status within 25% increments, usually with the preface "around" or "probably a little over/under" or "should be" or "looks like about". Of course, if there are other factors such as DR or Temporary HP or Fast Healing or Diehard or whatever then that might cause the PCs to mis-judge the situation (aka, I lie).

Basically, I just wing it.

However, if there is any "Official" suggestion on this sort of thing, I'd start looking for it in DMGs.

FWIW,

Rez

Paizo Employee Creative Director

How a GM handles transparency on a monster or NPC's hp is up to him/her. It's not something we wanted to hardwire into the rules. My preference is to describe to the players what the foe looks like—"He seems barley scratched" or "He seems like he's almost dead."

I also don't bother hiding how much damage they've done to a foe, since that's something the players could track if they weren't lazy about it. :-P And besides, telling them, "You've done 134 points of damage to him so far," is a great way to let them know they're up against a really tough goblin.


James Jacobs wrote:

How a GM handles transparency on a monster or NPC's hp is up to him/her. It's not something we wanted to hardwire into the rules. My preference is to describe to the players what the foe looks like—"He seems barley scratched" or "He seems like he's almost dead."

I also don't bother hiding how much damage they've done to a foe, since that's something the players could track if they weren't lazy about it. :-P And besides, telling them, "You've done 134 points of damage to him so far," is a great way to let them know they're up against a really tough goblin.

I think I came across that goblin he smacked our party around a lot. Strangely he died very quickly after I passed the GM the M&M's I was hoarding.

Liberty's Edge

I prefer that a DM stays descriptive. Otherwise, how can I fake being in the negative so that my opponent stops paying attention to me ?

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I tend to describe HP loss as "scratched/bruised" "injured" "bloodied" "close to dropping" and feel free to tell them how much HP damage they do.

I don't tell players ACs until they are in combat, but once they are fighting I let them know the AC as a time saving measure.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber

I allow a Perception check as a free action anytime during combat, to find out how beaten an opponent is. DC15 until half hp, DC10 beyond that.

I would have no problem telling my players the exact AC of an oppponent, because they are about to find that out during combat anyway.

What really scares players is, if you keep their own hp a secret to them, and just describe how hard they got hit. Relying only on the DMs description of their status makes combat a whole new experience, and I normally use this system, when I have HORROR-Parts in my campaigns/adventures...

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Dryder wrote:

I allow a Perception check as a free action anytime during combat, to find out how beaten an opponent is. DC15 until half hp, DC10 beyond that.

I would have no problem telling my players the exact AC of an oppponent, because they are about to find that out during combat anyway.

What really scares players is, if you keep their own hp a secret to them, and just describe how hard they got hit. Relying only on the DMs description of their status makes combat a whole new experience, and I normally use this system, when I have HORROR-Parts in my campaigns/adventures...

Secret PC HP, something I've never considered, but an excellent tool.


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

I let my players see degrees of health (inspired by D&D computer games like Baldur's Gate).

For most monsters, if my PCs ask me I give them this:
Perfect: 100% health
Good: 81-99% Health
Hurt: 21-80% Health (an intentionally huge range)
Very Hurt: 6-20%
Almost Dead: 1-5%

I don't struggle with the math, or use a calculator, to determine the percentages because I don't promise it is exact. Just what my best 1 second in head calculation can determine.

For some monsters where it would be particularly tough to tell (in 3.5 I did golems, undead and elementals) I do a simpler calculation:
Good: 51-100%
Bad: 1-50%

Probably if one of my players with a great spot/perception or heal check wanted to make rules for greater accuracy I would let that player use those rules, but it's never come up.

I do feel that if the players are fighting the same kind of monster the party should always be able to ask who is most hurt. If 20 ogres charge the party, and the archer wants to know who is most hurt I tell them. Basically, I do that because odds are I'm running all 20 ogres with identical hit points. And if my player's did better bookkeeping they would know which one they had hurt the most. But I don't want my players to have to do that bookkeeping.


I tend to have a pad/pencil next to the laptop for critter's HPS all in full view of players and count up so all they know is who much damage they have done but not what the critter's have left.


James Jacobs wrote:

How a GM handles transparency on a monster or NPC's hp is up to him/her. It's not something we wanted to hardwire into the rules. My preference is to describe to the players what the foe looks like—"He seems barley scratched" or "He seems like he's almost dead."

I also don't bother hiding how much damage they've done to a foe, since that's something the players could track if they weren't lazy about it. :-P And besides, telling them, "You've done 134 points of damage to him so far," is a great way to let them know they're up against a really tough goblin.

Don't you hate when you get a nasty barley scratch? Personally I get a worse reaction when I get cut by rye, but those grain-wounds can be annoying ;)

In all seriousness, while I sometimes joke "That knocked him from orange into red", aside from the descriptive quality of wounds, I only offer more specific information in response to direct questions. Even then I limit it to a brief description rather than actual hit point numbers.

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32, 2010 Top 8

I tend to avoid giving exact HP and AC, though I do get descriptive with hits and DR.

Spoiler:
PC: Thinking they're fighting slow moving elves Ok, rolled a 20! Confirmed the crit, aw crud, only 14 points of damage damage 5+1 for the hit, another 8 for the crit
Me as evil DM. Excellent shot. The elf looks down at the arrow sticking out of its chest, clearly a heart shot. It takes pulls the arrow out, and then shoots back at you.3.5 zombies, so the crit didn't count and DR 5/slashing takes care of all but one point, I don't tell the players this.
PCs: Oh #$^#$^#$#$%&$%&@@%

For ACs I usually use Dodge then shield, then armour/natural armour.

Spoiler:
Lets say that the LBEG is wearing chain mail (+6 AC) a Heavy Shield (+2 AC) Dex of 14 (+2 AC) and an amulet of natural armour +2 (+2 AC) for a total AC of 22.

1-11 = clean miss, he wasn't even touched.
12-13 = Your swing is blocked by his shield
14-19 = His armour protected him from the brunt of the blow.
20-21 = you hew through his armour but his tough hide withstands your blow.
22+ = You hit him!

This allows the astute player to plan accordingly. (sundering shield, grappling, etc.)

Sovereign Court

In the AP I'm playing we are usually asked to make a heal check to decide how hurt the opponent is. Actually that check is often made by the GM (in secret), so that we don't know if we botched it. I think it works pretty well. The description is still almost dying, doing pretty good or sometimes..."well he looks sort of 3/4 wounded" (if in that mood).

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber
Karui Kage wrote:
Personally, this is one of the few situations where I think something from 4E should be used in Pathfinder. That being the whole 'bloodied' idea. Change the name if you want, but just have a term to use when something is at or below half health. And that's all you give out to the players unless they have a way to magically detect differently. If there's three things with 80 hp each and they're at 17, 39, and 77, you would say two of them were bloodied (or whatever) and leave it at that.

For as much as I personally hate 4E (personal opinion, not starting the edition war), the "bloodied" condition is an utterly fantastic idea. I've discovered it provides the players enough information to know how well they're doing (they can do math after all), but it keeps things sufficiently vague to leave at least an air of mystery.

We even go as far as marking bloodied critters with tokens to really let the players know what's going on. It's worked fantastically.

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber
Matthew Morris wrote:

I tend to avoid giving exact HP and AC, though I do get descriptive with hits and DR.

Lets say that the LBEG is wearing chain mail (+6 AC) a Heavy Shield (+2 AC) Dex of 14 (+2 AC) and an amulet of natural armour +2 (+2 AC) for a total AC of 22.

1-11 = clean miss, he wasn't even touched.
12-13 = Your swing is blocked by his shield
14-19 = His armour protected him from the brunt of the blow.
20-21 = you hew through his armour but his tough hide withstands your blow.
22+ = You hit him!

I try to do this as well with my hits. Letting players know they're getting to close to the AC target number without flat out telling them (your AC 14 hit misses the AC 16 guard), lets them plan feat usage more appropriately. A big one for me is letting them know when their power attack made them miss the hit via the descriptions of the fight, not via a straight-up number crunching response.


Interestingly enough, my decision on whether or not to make combat numbers public to my players depends on the level of play we're currently at.

I prefer to keep numbers such as AC and HP of foes secret from the players, to better immerse themselves in the role-play, and rely on descriptions of the battle as it progresses, upon which the players can make decisions. I even go so far as to keep the individual HP of my players secret from each other. I describe a hit if an individual player has been hit and show them the actual damage on a calculator such that only that player can see it. They respond in kind with a role-play reaction to let the others know if it was severe or not.

Spoiler:
To enhance the role-play experience, I even encourage the players to keep their general statistics like Level, Str, AC, saves, etc., a secret from each other, but don't enforce this as a rule.

HOWEVER, in high level play, (above say 14th level) it becomes increasingly straining to keep track of everything, so my general approach of keeping actual stats secret gets put by the wayside to keep the game moving at a decent pace. I end up divulging more information to the players so they can help me keep things straight.


THE OFFICIAL ANSWER: (...more or less)

If PCs were meant to know how many hit points a monster had, the deathwatch spell would be pointless. See below.

The PSRD ([i wrote:

deathwatch[/i] spell description)]

"Using the powers of necromancy, you can determine the condition of creatures near death within the spell's range. You instantly know whether each creature within the area is dead, fragile (alive and wounded, with 3 or fewer hit points left), fighting off death (alive with 4 or more hit points), healthy, undead, or neither alive nor dead (such as a construct). Deathwatch sees through any spell or ability that allows creatures to feign death."

The text explicitly states that the spell reveals wether or not a creature has 3 or less hit points, 4 or more hit points, or no damage.

If PCs were intended to know the hit point totals of creatures, this spell would be redundant (and the status spell would be a lot less useful as well). The argument that "the books don't say that PCs don't have this knowledge" isn't really an argument. The books don't say that the PCs don't know the layout of a dungeon as they enter it, or the spells that the BBEG has prepared.


ZeroCharisma wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
"He seems barley scratched"
Don't you hate when you get a nasty barley scratch? Personally I get a worse reaction when I get cut by rye, but those grain-wounds can be annoying

When I read James's post I was thinking, "There's an ale joke in here somewhere ..."

It's just too early in the morning for me, so I'm sorry I can't think of it.

R.


Rake wrote:

THE OFFICIAL ANSWER: (...more or less)

SNIP
... the deathwatch spell ...

Good catch.

R.


My GM has always used heal checks for us to tell how badly beaten a foe looks. He also makes the healers do it for allies, and doesn't let us tell eachother how much HP we are down to in combat, just relative scales. I find it works really well. Its really nasty when you are fighting something and have done 1000+ damage to it and he tells you your not sure if its at half... The last campaign was to kill off his pantheon.


Thank you for the response on the deathwatch and status spells. Those are exactly the kind of implicit definition I thought I might be missing! Very helpful guys.

I totally agree that this should be up to the GM, but I'm working on something right now that I want to accommodate all of those different play styles, so understanding the baseline assumption is important. It's even more important because my own HP disclosure policy is so weird.

So to be clear: I started this thread to find out the baseline assumptions, not to suggest paizo or anyone else should conform to a single style. (If you know me on these forums, you know I would never suggest such a thing)

I'm still curious to hear about specific disclosure policies that people use at their own tables. Post yours! (and respect the posts of others)


Caineach wrote:
My GM has always used heal checks for us to tell how badly beaten a foe looks. He also makes the healers do it for allies, and doesn't let us tell eachother how much HP we are down to in combat, just relative scales. I find it works really well. Its really nasty when you are fighting something and have done 1000+ damage to it and he tells you your not sure if its at half... The last campaign was to kill off his pantheon.

I find this one really interesting.

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32, 2010 Top 8

For PCs, I've given up on obscuring hitpoints for sake of fun. We mostly keep a 'mental clock' running when a PC gets dropped into negatives, which I can't stop, and it makes for more tension at times '
Dave's at -7 and falling. Can I drop this guy in two rounds, or do I suck up an AoO now to heal Dave?'

It might be more realistic for Dave's trip down negative HP lane to be secret. "Ha! I dispatched the baddie! Oh poor Dave!" but it's more heroic to make the last minute save.


Matthew Morris wrote:

For PCs, I've given up on obscuring hitpoints for sake of fun. We mostly keep a 'mental clock' running when a PC gets dropped into negatives, which I can't stop, and it makes for more tension at times '

Dave's at -7 and falling. Can I drop this guy in two rounds, or do I suck up an AoO now to heal Dave?'

It might be more realistic for Dave's trip down negative HP lane to be secret. "Ha! I dispatched the baddie! Oh poor Dave!" but it's more heroic to make the last minute save.

Well, It has resulted in failed a heal check on my part when 2 PCs were down resulting in 1 PC dieing. I had 1 potion, and the GM told me "you saw her throat get cut out" (awesome crit card) after I failed the check and "You think it will bring him up" for the other guy. She had 1 negative left. OOC I knew she was still alive, but IC she was too far gone.

As far as when we are still up, I find it speeds things up if the healers just get told "I'm looking pretty wounded" or something similar. It may result in them healing a little more than they normally would, but that helps keep us going.

Scarab Sages

At my table, I let the pcs know how much damage they eat from various effects out loud. It's fun to hear the occasional gasp or *holy crap!* remark from players when the bbeg knocks one of them down to 1/8 of their life with a single well-planned blow.

As for the monsters, if a player asks, I'll tell them how much damage the party has done to the creature, but I don't tell them how many hps the creature has left. The closest I'll do is descriptive text about how the creature is reacting.

I also frequently flip stat blocks with creature descriptions to keep the more knowledgeable players from saying to themselves "Oh, a dire lion? I know those stats, and the best way to fight... wait. Did that lion just sprint in at the party? AND pounce/rake? What's going on HERE!!!?! :p

Dark Archive

MisterSlanky wrote:

For as much as I personally hate 4E (personal opinion, not starting the edition war), the "bloodied" condition is an utterly fantastic idea. I've discovered it provides the players enough information to know how well they're doing (they can do math after all), but it keeps things sufficiently vague to leave at least an air of mystery.

We even go as far as marking bloodied critters with tokens to really let the players know what's going on. It's worked fantastically.

Ditto on using "bloodied" in 3.5E/Pathfinder RPG.

(Though I have played and DMed 4E and find it fun, too, especially for combat, but prefer PF RPG for the variety of things that can be done outside combat or creatively in combat with spells.)

Shadow Lodge

Karui Kage wrote:
Personally, this is one of the few situations where I think something from 4E should be used in Pathfinder. That being the whole 'bloodied' idea. Change the name if you want, but just have a term to use when something is at or below half health. And that's all you give out to the players unless they have a way to magically detect differently. If there's three things with 80 hp each and they're at 17, 39, and 77, you would say two of them were bloodied (or whatever) and leave it at that.
MisterSlanky wrote:

For as much as I personally hate 4E (personal opinion, not starting the edition war), the "bloodied" condition is an utterly fantastic idea. I've discovered it provides the players enough information to know how well they're doing (they can do math after all), but it keeps things sufficiently vague to leave at least an air of mystery.

We even go as far as marking bloodied critters with tokens to really let the players know what's going on. It's worked fantastically.

Golbez57 wrote:
Ditto on using "bloodied" in 3.5E/Pathfinder RPG.

Yup, here as well, that's what my group does. Bloodied and Minions were the only things we kept out of 4E, we liked them so much.

Evil Lincoln wrote:
Caineach wrote:
My GM has always used heal checks for us to tell how badly beaten a foe looks. He also makes the healers do it for allies, and doesn't let us tell each other how much HP we are down to in combat, just relative scales. I find it works really well. Its really nasty when you are fighting something and have done 1000+ damage to it and he tells you your not sure if its at half... The last campaign was to kill off his pantheon.
I find this one really interesting.

Also something my group uses, albeit I'm a bit more lenient on the party sharing information between themselves while they're still conscious (someone's unconscious, though, you're rolling the check). I generally set the DC somewhere around 10+the critters HD or CR, though for the ones who have max ranks in Heal and are usually making the check it's rare they fail. The few times they have, it's been fairly amusing at least.


Man, I don't like telling the other players how many HP my character has left.

Annoys a lot of people, I've noticed.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I just give descriptions that depict the severity of the damage. In the Second Darkness campaign I am running, Pigsaw (boar) is at -11 hit points right now after getting shot by 2 arrows, slashed by a sword and hit by a fire bolt. I described that his injuries should have killed him but he was still gnashing and frothing, bleeding from several wounds.

Boars are actually proving to be quite resilient. They need to do 35 damage to kill him when he had 18 hit point. (17 con)


Jonathon Vining wrote:

Man, I don't like telling the other players how many HP my character has left.

Annoys a lot of people, I've noticed.

I have a player who *never* gives his HP total out. Even if his PC is bleeding out everywhere.

Cleric: How many hits do you have !?!
Player: Have you got Deathwatch running?


Golbez57 wrote:
Ditto on using "bloodied" in 3.5E/Pathfinder RPG.

For those of us who have never played 4E (and are unlikely to), a definition of the condition would be helpful.

R.

Scarab Sages

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Lost Omens Subscriber

I don't really allow the players to tell one another their HP, just because I like watching them describe how beat up they are rather than say "I'm down X hit points". When it comes to monsters, I usually let out a damage total near the end. DR is usually handled with the line "Your blow lands, but the beast seems to shake off some (or all) of it" or something to that effect.


Evil Lincoln wrote:
I'm still curious to hear about specific disclosure policies that people use at their own tables. Post yours! (and respect the posts of others)

We don't use exact terms and definitions, but we do let the players know what their opponents look like with some general terms (when they ask):

"Looking pretty good": >75% hp remaining
"Still decent": >50%
"Okay": around 50%
"Not so good": <50%
"Looking woozy/horrible/etc": <25%

At the same time, the DM doesn't track the PCs' hit points - when asked (i.e. an intelligent opponent looking to smack down the weakest), the DM usually expects the same sort of general response, nothing more.


Rezdave wrote:
Golbez57 wrote:
Ditto on using "bloodied" in 3.5E/Pathfinder RPG.

For those of us who have never played 4E (and are unlikely to), a definition of the condition would be helpful.

R.

A character or creature which is bloodied has half of less of its hit points remaining. 100% through 51%: healthy. 50% through 1%: bloodied. 0% or less: dead.

We use "bloodied" as well, and we usually don't give exact hit point amounts to other PCs when asked, but rather "he looks pretty beat up" or "I'm fine" or "not gonna survive another round like that", etc. Although, now that we're in the higher levels, our cleric has greater status up most of the time, so that's less relevant.


My group uses damage counters for both PCs and NPCs. It's simple yellow/orange/red tokens with black for disabled or dying. It lets the PCs have an approximation of the enemy's overall health and lets even inattentive players know who needs healing/protection.


Evil Lincoln wrote:

I think I am very much in the minority as a GM who allows the PCs to know exactly how many HP an enemy has remaining.

I know other GMs who don't share any such information, including keeping AC a secret. I have no issues with this approach at all.

Policies regarding stat disclosure might make an interesting topic for discussion, but I am most interested to know if the Pathfinder RPG rules are specific about HP disclosure (or AC disclosure for that matter) in any of the text? Has anyone seen something to the effect of "The Players should not be told exactly how many HP are left" or "the GM should give the players a rough description of the enemy's state of health" or "the Players can be told exactly how many HP" or any variation on this? Something in print?

It's an abstract concept, and I don't let them know HP either. I will tell them he looks capable, or he looks bad off, but never an exact number. It crosses the 4th wall to me.


Zurai wrote:
Rezdave wrote:
a definition of the condition would be helpful.
A character or creature which is bloodied has half of less of its hit points remaining.

I got that much. But what does the "condition" mean? Does it have any mechanical effect, or is it just a synonym for "less than half HP remaining"?

R.

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber
Rezdave wrote:
Zurai wrote:
Rezdave wrote:
a definition of the condition would be helpful.
A character or creature which is bloodied has half of less of its hit points remaining.

I got that much. But what does the "condition" mean? Does it have any mechanical effect, or is it just a synonym for "less than half HP remaining"?

R.

In 4E there are some effects that can be triggered by a bloody status. In our interpretation in PF play, it means you're at 50% hit points, nothing more.


Rezdave wrote:

I got that much. But what does the "condition" mean? Does it have any mechanical effect, or is it just a synonym for "less than half HP remaining"?

R.

It's just a label or keyword like any other. It has no effects in and of itself, but in 4E some things have different effects against enemies that are or are not bloodied.

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