Why are we worried about point buy vs 4d6 when the real issue is...


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion

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Interestingly enough, as a player I prefer games like L5R and WoD for hit point systems. My character's defenses increase but his ability to survive an actual hit never really increase much. Gritty is fun when that is the style of the setting.


We use max HP for players and monsters. We like our fights long . . . if we wanted them shorter we'd use half HP for players and monsters. Just seems a little strange to me that when you level, you only have one random element. Maybe skills points should be random too. 1d4 for 2 point characters, 1d6 for 4 point characters, and 1d10 for 8 point characters, or something like that. Wouldn't that be fun. Damn, my rogue only got 1 skill point this level, poo. Maybe a 50/50 chance of getting that feat every other level. Come on baby, fighter needs a new feat! lol I think that would completely change the way we level and how we view it, but it would be interesting.

Anyway, random can be fun


Jim Cirillo wrote:


At my table complaining and bargaining doesn't happen with HPs because there's an established social contract that we've had regarding HPs since we started playing. Of course there's disappointment with a low roll but it's usually evened out over time anyways.

Yeah, sadly no social contract for FLGS games. But, those experiences are for another thread...

Quote:


It wouldn't exactly call it roleplaying HPs as coming up with an in-game explanation as to why the character progressed slowly or quickly on the HP track when the roll was made.

Example: Barbarian rolls a "1". Player says "well I guess that disease I contracted a couple weeks ago took more out of me than I thought" or "I've hated the food here in the Mwangi, look at me I'm all skin and bones." Usually it's something fun or silly like that to provide an in-game explanation.

I've seen those at the moment, laugh it off and move on situations but, I've had far too many people come to me after the session and ask for a re-roll. It's an uncomfortable situation for both the Gm and the player.

I have tried many different kinds of rolling systems and static systems for this problem. In my opinion this choice is no different than forcing players to take average. The choice to remove rolling reflects that fact that I don't see this random factor as benefiting my game. Choosing to give them the maximum result allows my crunch focused players to focus on other tactical matters and my more fluff oriented players need not worry about their mighty warriors having a glass jaw.

Does rolling benefit your players? Is this any different than forcing averages or any other system that guarantees higher than average Hp?

Dark Archive

It benefits them because they like rolling dice and having a chance at hitting high numbers with them. To be quite honest with you I've never seen a character die because they did not have class-appropriate HPs. Over a number of levels it seems they are around where they should be in HPs.

I've never had any player come to me and ask for a reroll. Leveling for the most part is a pretty dull affair. They already have in mind the direction their character is going to take in feats, skills, spells, class abilities, etc... About the only thing that's an unknown is HPs. And its never once been a problem at my table.


Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
ronaldsf wrote:
Max Mahem wrote:
We always take the average rounded normally (that is up, on a side note we also ignore the rules and round everything else normally as well, that is, .5 rounds up). One of the advantages of this is it makes it easy to audit character sheets. At any point in your characters history it is easy to calculate what his hitpoints should have been, without having to have kept a running total of what your hp rolls were for the last X levels.
Pardon my perhaps-noobish question, but why would you need to track the history of a player's HP in Pathfinder? Perhaps to track level drain in older versions of D&D? But in PF aren't we just operating with negative levels now, which penalize a player a standardized 5 HP each?

So you can be sure that the current total is correct. In other words an Audit. When a player hits level 15 how can you be sure his current HP total is correct? Maybe he accidently added a HP total in twice? Or maybe he forgot to add it one level. When you roll HP there is no good way to Audit this, aside from keeping track of what he rolled every level. Having a staticly determined HP every level makes recalculating HP easy.

Maybe you guys are better than us, but I (and my players) have a heck of a Time keeping our HP total correct, even with static HPs/level.


When I start running PBP games here (for Pathfinder) I intend to do Roll your HP, get Average minimum. Seems fairest to me, and is easy enough to do.


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Ross Byers wrote:
I removed an attempt to start an edition war.

...and where's your parade man? Where man? Where!?

*shakes fist*


My DM gives us a choice. We can take the average, or we can roll twice and take either roll. Once it's set, it's set, but rolling twice tends to average it more.
You can still end up with extremes, though. End of last campiagn my Rogue/Fighter had more hp than the Barbarian (out of Rage; in Rage he was a bit higher).


Irranshalee wrote:
Kain Darkwind wrote:
However, I disagree that low hp rolls mean something more than once while poor saves and attacks mean something only once. Both of them can mean something for the rest of the character's life. And in both cases, you have your party to back you up.

Would you like to give us some examples instead of just voicing an opinion?

And I too agree with you on PV's premise of a fix.

Never saw that I got a response to this. Sorry.

Example. You roll a natural 1 against finger of death. You die. Your poor roll has thus meant something for the rest of your character's life.


Kain Darkwind wrote:
Irranshalee wrote:
Kain Darkwind wrote:
However, I disagree that low hp rolls mean something more than once while poor saves and attacks mean something only once. Both of them can mean something for the rest of the character's life. And in both cases, you have your party to back you up.

Would you like to give us some examples instead of just voicing an opinion?

And I too agree with you on PV's premise of a fix.

Never saw that I got a response to this. Sorry.

Example. You roll a natural 1 against finger of death. You die. Your poor roll has thus meant something for the rest of your character's life.

Firstly, a Finger of Death is not an instant kill spell in Pathfinder.

This spell instantly delivers 10 points of damage per caster level. If the target's Fortitude saving throw succeeds, it instead takes 3d6 points of damage + 1 point per caster level. The subject might die from damage even if it succeeds on its saving throw.

Secondly, even if you fail the save and take, at minimum, 130 damage, you are not guaranteed to die from it (though most likely you will).

Finally, even if you die in this way, you can be raised by your party. It is a reversible process.

Rolling a 1 for HP upon leveling is not a reversible process.

I think I covered it thoroughly enough.


Nigrescence wrote:
Kain Darkwind wrote:
Irranshalee wrote:
Kain Darkwind wrote:
However, I disagree that low hp rolls mean something more than once while poor saves and attacks mean something only once. Both of them can mean something for the rest of the character's life. And in both cases, you have your party to back you up.

Would you like to give us some examples instead of just voicing an opinion?

And I too agree with you on PV's premise of a fix.

Never saw that I got a response to this. Sorry.

Example. You roll a natural 1 against finger of death. You die. Your poor roll has thus meant something for the rest of your character's life.

Firstly, a Finger of Death is not an instant kill spell in Pathfinder.

This spell instantly delivers 10 points of damage per caster level. If the target's Fortitude saving throw succeeds, it instead takes 3d6 points of damage + 1 point per caster level. The subject might die from damage even if it succeeds on its saving throw.

Secondly, even if you fail the save and take, at minimum, 130 damage, you are not guaranteed to die from it (though most likely you will).

Finally, even if you die in this way, you can be raised by your party. It is a reversible process.

Rolling a 1 for HP upon leveling is not a reversible process.

I think I covered it thoroughly enough.

Mmhmm. Except the part where you refute what I said. "You fail the save and die" is the scenario. I'm aware of how the spell works, I didn't feel required to go into extreme detail on it; we all have access to the PRD. The scenario could also be a failed Will save vs dominate that leads to you slaughtering your party, or a Reflex save that caused you to fall to your unrecoverable body death. Doesn't matter. So let's skip ahead to the part you begin with 'finally'.

You can be raised by your party. A treatable condition with a 7th level spell (resurrection) plus some cash. 10,000 gp, to be exact.

Low max hit points. A treatable condition with 2nd level spells (Aid, bear's endurance) or some cash invested in potions of false life. 10,000 gp worth gets you 33 of those. Or 4000 for a belt of mighty Con +2, which provides +1 hp per HD, and only buy 20 potions of false life.

In any event, your failed save that resulted in death still affected you for the rest of your life.

Contributor

Posts removed.

Keep it civil, please—personal remarks about other posters will not be tolerated.


In my game, the players get to choose every level:

1. Roll your HD once and keep whatever is shown
2. Take the average, save the fraction

In play, 0.5 hit points counts as 0 hp. However, if the player chooses to take the average again at some point, they can combine the 0.5s for another single hit point.

Mathematically, as long as the dice are fair (not loaded), the person rolling will arrive at the same point as the person choosing the average.

Law of Large Numbers

Four of my players always take the average, one always chooses to roll. I expect more will choose to roll when they reach higher levels, but only time will tell.


My current campaign started in 3.5, with rolled stats and HP. The druid was tougher than the paladin. So, after when I gave everyone a reset at 3rd level after the first adventure, and when we swapped systems to Pathfinder (with 20 point buy), I offered my players the choice of either average HP, or max HP each level... with the caveat that I'd apply the same rule to the mobs.

They chose max. The only complaint I've ever heard since then (just about 6th level now); <insert expletive here>, that <insert mob here> is still up? Kill it!

Not frequently heard, neither. (also, is usually uttered when I know the mob has single digit HP left)

But, ya'll's mileage may vary. I'm happy with the fixed system, mainly because EVERYTHING else in chargen is selected (under current running).

I do miss some of the elements of random generation, but with the wealth of options out there now, I'll let char generators/CRPG's do the randomness. P&P takes extra time, so I'll take the extra control.

Also, props to the one who suggested maxing heal spells out of combat... I may work that in as well. Thinking maximized OOC for spells cast, and fixed half of die for items.

Contributor

This is the second time I've had to step into this thread and remove posts (including some earlier that I had missed). Stop making it personal—agree to disagree and drop it.


Liz Courts wrote:
This is the second time I've had to step into this thread and remove posts (including some earlier that I had missed). Stop making it personal—agree to disagree and drop it.

My apologies for my part in that, Liz. You do good work and don't deserve that disrespect.


In games that I have been in, we do max HP for the first 3 levels, then after that we roll, however we have a rule, where you always re-roll ones (on cure spells) and you cannot get less than your con modifier on a hp roll (always re-roll 1s).


Maximum hit points at 1st level. Thereafter they roll hit dice as normal. If they don't like the result they're allowed a re-roll, but they must take the second result.


wraithstrike wrote:


What we do: The player rolls. If he does not like his roll he can ask the DM to roll for him, but if he ask the DM to roll he has to take that roll.

+1

This is what we do for the 3 groups I run.

Works like a charm


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

I usually do the following...

First 3 hit dice, Max HP. This tends to prevent the classic Dice Gods Hate Me character ends at low levels. After that, roll normally.

I also, however, usually add a Luck stat. Each positive modifier is a reroll per game session (So someone with a 14 luck could reroll twice per session). So, that could be used on an HP roll. Of course, every negative modifier is a chance for me to force a reroll (an 8 luck would be one reroll I can force per game session). And I allow luck to affect HP. I don't normally force a reroll on HP, but I usually allow one if they want to use it. Of course, the new result stands.


When it comes time to level up and roll hit points, the player rolls and the GM rolls. Neither can get ones (you reroll), then you take the higher of the two results. At least, that is what two GMs and myself rule. I haven't seen an unhappy player yet.


Ever since I had a 2nd edition 5th level paladin with less hp than the wizard, I have disliked rolling for hp. I rolled 1 or 2 for 5 levels in a row. IMO, such a fundamental part of a character needs to be less random.


Jim Cirillo wrote:

It benefits them because they like rolling dice and having a chance at hitting high numbers with them. To be quite honest with you I've never seen a character die because they did not have class-appropriate HPs. Over a number of levels it seems they are around where they should be in HPs.

I've never had any player come to me and ask for a reroll. Leveling for the most part is a pretty dull affair. They already have in mind the direction their character is going to take in feats, skills, spells, class abilities, etc... About the only thing that's an unknown is HPs. And its never once been a problem at my table.

As should be obvious form my previous posts, I disagree with the above on every count. I have seen many players die simply from bad HP rolls, especially at lower levels. Leveling may be dull but, it is in in-of itself a reward. Leveling is the key reward for players time and efforts on their characters, why taint it. Why allow a single bad roll disrupt what should otherwise be a 100% good event for the players, they have obviously earned it.

It may just be me but each attempt to inject artificial randomness into this system seems to just be a halfhearted attempt to alleviate what is obviously a problem for many players. That regardless of storyline, backgrounds, concepts or themes, having low hp (a 1 on a die roll or even less than average for some) is jarring for players confers no real benefit, roleplaying or otherwise.

Other than those championing "let the dice fall as they may", Each houseruled system seems to be an attempt to ease back from a base system that they deem inappropriate for the game.

Do you think the base system is too harsh? Or is it that heroes with an inappropriate glass jaw do not fit with your views of the setting? Or is it something else entirely for you?


I don't think the current system is too harsh. My group likes the little bit of randomness. While we did have a melee type roll low, as did I on his HPs. He took Toughness and bought his character some Con gear and brought him up enough to be viable.

Is it fair to him to have to take a feat and pay for gear? Maybe not but he did have 3 or 4 max HP rolls later on and shot up a ton. He was a most happy HP Sponge after that.

As long as everyone at the table is having fun, it doesn't matter what system you use.. If it works for you, roll with it (No pun intended).

Have Fun out there!!

~ W ~


LazarX wrote:
PF has hit dice... whether you roll them, or use some kind of standard formula, (for example PFS uses full hit dice for first, half plus one for rolls byond first) is up to you.

This.

Also, for our group, rolling for hit points are fun. That won't be going away.


I give maximum per level, also go with the beta option of adding your Con score at first level (I find this almost necessary at 1st level play now, unless you just like the one encounter a week scenario). Want my players to live and avoid the downer of rolling that 1. Really even over 20 levels, the most you are gaining over average +1 is 100 HP, at that level that is like a round and half of combat at most, so no big deal.

Dark Archive

evadragon wrote:

As should be obvious form my previous posts, I disagree with the above on every count. I have seen many players die simply from bad HP rolls, especially at lower levels. Leveling may be dull but, it is in in-of itself a reward. Leveling is the key reward for players time and efforts on their characters, why taint it. Why allow a single bad roll disrupt what should otherwise be a 100% good event for the players, they have obviously earned it.

It may just be me but each attempt to inject artificial randomness into this system seems to just be a halfhearted attempt to alleviate what is obviously a problem for many players. That regardless of storyline, backgrounds, concepts or themes, having low hp (a 1 on a die roll or even less than average for some) is jarring for players confers no real benefit, roleplaying or otherwise.

Other than those championing "let the dice fall as they may", Each houseruled system seems to be an attempt to ease back from a base system that they deem inappropriate for the game.

Do you think the base system is too harsh? Or is it that heroes with an inappropriate glass jaw do not fit with your views of the setting? Or is it something else entirely for you?

I'm not sure how you can disagree with actual play experience for my group. Your experience can be different than mine and I have no doubt you've had issues with players being upset about HP rolls but at our table it has never been issue for my group. No one has ever said to me "My 2nd level fighter would have lived if I had rolled better for my HPs this level." We take the game mostly seriously but not ourselves very seriously so leveling is never tainted by a low HP roll.


I quite like the idea of rolling your hit dice every level. All of them, every level. The only catch is you can't lose hit points, so don't worry about rolling low.

Example: at level 1 you roll 1d6 and get 1HP. Well that sucks, but hopefully you'll make it through the level (I may even grant full HP at level 1). At level 2 you roll 2d6 and get 10 -- nice. At level 3 you roll 3d6 and get 14, at level 4 you roll 4d6 and get 11, so you keep the 14 and so on. Don't forget CON modifiers on top of that.

It does mean that you're rolling a lot of dice when you level up, so I'd recommend sticking to d6s because they tend to be plentiful and adding a modifier: wizards get d6-1 (sorry wizards, you get d4 hit dice in my game), clerics get d6+1, fighters get d6+2, barbarians get d6+3.

The result of all this is that you tend to stick around average, but you don't tend to go below average. Plus, you can totally remove the effects of a string of bad rolls, as the effects don't ride. Also, low variance helps the fighters and barbarians, especially at later levels. I don't like characters with too many HP, because what the players get the monsters get, and lots of HP means combat drags on.

If I didn't do that, then I'd give half hit die each level, i.e. wizards get +2, sorcerers +3, clerics +4, fighters +5, barbarians +6. It's very slightly below average but I'd be generous and give you +con score at 1st level.

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