"Your largest hit die is maximized, not your first": Does this present any issues?


Homebrew and House Rules


Also is there any particular reason this wasn't added alongside killing the non-retroactiveness in the skill system?


It seems relevant only for the first couple of levels. After a character gains a couple more hit dice, the difference is within the margin of the subsequent random HP rolls.

Seems like a fussy thing to keep in mind for a marginal advantage, so it's simpler to just go with the first hit die for simplicity's sake in order to avoid having an unlucky 1st level character with just 1 HP.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

The real problem is that your largest HD will change. How do you justify the d6 hd going from 6 to 2, when you gain a d8?

Dark Archive

This rule would work well for a character starting at a higher level, but changing hit points after the fact just doesn't seem right.


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All it would really mean is that when you first add a larger HD class, you gain bonus HP equal to the difference and then roll your old HD size for one level. Which is fair, logical and balanced, but not very intuitive.


Dajur wrote:
This rule would work well for a character starting at a higher level, but changing hit points after the fact just doesn't seem right.

If changing hit points doesn't work, the entire level up system is already pretty broken .

@Emo Duck, @Makeitstop
There are people that actually roll for HP instead of taking the average (either rounded down or alternating between +/-.5)?


The people I used to play with, used half the die plus one.
Maxing the largest die, instead of the first, is annoying, but not worth walking away from the game. Actually, a bard/rogue would not be very affected. A ranger/sorcerer is something that this might discourage. A level of sorcerer that gives you true strike and only 1 freaking hit point, is it worth it?


Because it's unnecessarily complicated? Because whey you take a level in Barbarian, you don't want to roll a d6 hit die?
We're talking about at most 3 HP difference if looking at averages, and 6 HP is looking at maxima. And that's for Barbarian/Arcane full caster multiclasses, for most cases, it's merely +1/+2 HP.
The real question is why HP rolling was ever included as the default system!


If you want to go for it, won't matter much unless we are talking about 2nd level games where you go from a d6 to a d12 and even then not THAT big.


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I was thinking, "Will this persuade everyone to take one level of barbarian?"

Then I thought, "Do some Munchkins have their wizard start out with a level of barbarian now?"


Why not just make all hit die maxed less hassle and no worrying about rolling a 1 for your hit die.


Because that results in characters with HP significantly different from the expected. Which is not the case for a calculation based on the average.


Derklord wrote:
Because that results in characters with HP significantly different from the expected. Which is not the case for a calculation based on the average.

Yes but it helps alleviate some of the issues that rocket tag brings into existence, less one shotting if both players and monsters have full hp.


Max HP shifts the balance, making making spells and other effects more powerful (especially save-or-suck effects). It decreases relative healing, meaning the GM has to alter treasure as well, otherwise, it makes the party weaker compared to enemies. It also increases the differences between HDs, i.e. the HP difference between a Rogue and a proper martial class will be more pronounced (that may be a good thing when it makes martial classes relatively better, but can be problematic when Rogue, Ninja, cMonk or Vigilante are used).

In addition, it can lead to long (real time) lasting combats, depending on the characters and players.

Of course it's possible, and I'd say it's better than rolling HP, but the changes are big enough to not simply implement it in an afterthought.


That makes things more fun longer combats so things don't end in 2 rounds and a lucky crit from an enemy is less likely to bring some one from full hp to dead, and as far as treasure our group has been doing fine with no very few consumables, this past campaign is the 1st one were we have even used more than a small handful of healing pots but then again we have 3 over zealous barbarians this time around so that's to be expected we have yet to even touch a wand of any kind and like you said it pronounces hit die values a lot better so picking barbarian makes you actually feel more durable than a wizard.


What works and is fun for your group might not work or be fun for another group. An "average HD" rule is suitable for every single group.

In general, max HP leads to longer fights, which means more damage taken by the party. Either the party needs to heal more, or has to start (more) combats with less than max HP, at which point the party doesn't profit from the houserule, but the enemies do; a shift in power away from the PCs. That's just basic math.

Don't get me wrong, I've played in a campaign where I really wished we'd used max HP (because it was indeed too rocket tag-y). But to pick up the thread's original question, it does present issues!


Since humanoids are class levels, drow straight up wizards are hurt as much.


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Our table adds Con *score* to starting hit points (as 4th edition did), and that hasn't presented any problems. Monsters get the same benefit, so it just smooths out combat in the early levels and makes it so that a PC can't be easily killed in one shot due to an unlucky crit.


Goth Guru wrote:
The people I used to play with, used half the die plus one.

Which is basically approximate to PFS' max at 1st, then half-round-up thereafter.

It's difficult to plan any martial build in a game whose GM mandates rolled dice for HP. Roll lousy twice, and that character would prudently retire from adventuring.


Sorry for cutting in but I wanted to ask... How exactly does HP work in the first place? I just assumed you maximized all of their hit dice.


Warriorking9001 wrote:
Sorry for cutting in but I wanted to ask... How exactly does HP work in the first place? I just assumed you maximized all of their hit dice.

They're dice. You roll them.

Except the first PC class level's hit die is maximized, and NPCs and PFS characters take the average of any non-maximized hit dice. Or something. And there's retraining for hit points.

...Yeah, I can see how it might be a bit confusing.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Don't look at me, I've been giving my players maximized hit points for years it's much nicer for a fighter to have 8 hit points above a wizard at 2nd level than 6, and even better to have 80 hit points more than a wizard at level 20.


DM_aka_Dudemeister wrote:
Don't look at me, I've been giving my players maximized hit points for years it's much nicer for a fighter to have 8 hit points above a wizard at 2nd level than 6, and even better to have 80 hit points more than a wizard at level 20.

I once had a party were we had to roll, the wizard ended up being the party tank because they had both the highest ac and the most hp because they mostly rolled 5s or 6s for their hp while the fighter and barbarian were only rolling 1s and 2s it was not fun.

Lantern Lodge

I have been maxing hit points for PCs and major NPCs since 1980; only lowering Hit points to half for extra enemies when I want large numbers of enemies. I have GMed every edition from OD&D to Pathfinder; and 5th. I have never had a problem with Combat Encounters taking longer then I want them to and the only thing that slows down combat at my table is players who care more about the rules then about having fun.

The campaign I run has been going for 22 years now every Saturday or Sunday; unless my wife or I get the flu. I have six players; although they have changed over they years. The players who stay prefer to have characters who are not one hit wonders.

The hit dice rule works for society when I GM, but Society is not a positive roleplaying experience for most players. It is tabletop wargaming, with a story. I find Society is best for people who want to find other players or have limited gaming time.

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