View Full Version : [4e] Con to HP

2009-07-14, 10:23 AM
This is an attempt to keep con important to HP after the low levels in 4e.

At level 1, your HP is roughly (4*PerLevelAmount)+(2*ConBonus), plus or minus a few points. So one way to do it would be to grant ConBonus to HP every even level.

However, in 4e your Con climbs to extremely high levels. I don't want the con-lock to have stratospheric HP compared to the sword-fighter, as that could step on roles.

In addition, we run into the problem that a HP inflation in other character renders "low con" characters more vulnerable.

So after tweaking the numbers a bit, I ended up with:
At level 4, 8, 14, 18, 24, 28, you apply your Constitution Bonus to your HP. Improvements to your Constitution apply retroactively.

In addition, at level 11 and 21, you add your Constitution Score to your HP.


I used a "Con 8 Wizard" as my baseline. The HP ratio of a character at level 1, and at level 30, remains relatively stable. If you fail to invest stat points in Con, the ratio decays to a certain degree towards 1 (down about 10% to 20%). If you do invest in stat points at every chance, the ratio goes up (about 10%-20%) compared to level 1.

Even 8 con characters get a few moer HP under this system. By Epic, your con is average (so you get no penalties from the 4/8/14/18/24/28 levels), and you have added 20 extra HP at level 11 and 21.

The most extreme case would be a level 30 wizard with 30 con.

Before, she would have 156 HP. After, she would have 276 HP (77% increase).

A 30 con level 30 warden:
Before 250 HP.
After 370 HP (48% increase).

For this to not break the game, you'd also have to increase the damage output of enemies. And there would probably be some power bias towards "con builds" because of the extra HP such builds generate.

Inferno and Vestige warlocks, in particular, become quite tanky.

A 30 con level 30 warlock has 307 HP instead of 187 HP.

To be fair, at level 1 that Warlock had 32 HP, while the Warden had 37 HP -- at level 1, the warlock is 86% of warden, and at level 30 the warlock is 83% of warden under this system. Under the RAW rules, the importance of con fades -- by level 30 the warlock has fallen to 75% of the Warden's HP.

A more typical case might be a 14 con fighter. Starting with 29 HP, under the RAW rules the fighter ends up with 205 HP, and under these rules the fighter ends up with 255 HP.

I also played with an even smaller impact system -- where you get Con bonus to HP at level 4 8 14 18 24 28 and no extra HP at 11/21. It results in "HP ratio decay towards the mean" unless you invest every attribute increase in constitution. Which might not be a bad thing.


2009-07-14, 03:46 PM

Remember that Con applies to Healing Surges, too. Our level 30 Warlock with 30 Con is sitting on 16 healing surges, which is equilivant to 1216 HP in a day.

This makes abilities which heal via healing surges better (Cure Light Wounds), while abilities which grant a flat HP bonus are worse (Invigorating Smite).

I'm not sure if I would implement something like this. One problem in 3E was characters with hundreds of HP making melee pretty useless. The idea of a wizard going from 150 HP to 275 HP isn't appealing, especially when the highest HP class in the game doesn't currently have that much. Yes, that's an extreme example, but a 20 Con Wizard is still +70 HP, and probably puts them over 200 HP.

What about adding to healing surges, possibly allowing more than one second wind at higher tiers? X + Constitution modifier/tier will grant our Warlock an impressive 36 healing surges, but keep him below the 200 HP mark.

Of course, this could just promote the 15-minute day syndrome all over again, as squishy wizards and strikers would burn through their surges faster than everyone else. :smallannoyed: I think my idea needs work.

2009-07-14, 04:19 PM
The issue is the warlock really.

As it stands, a level 1 con-lock has 32 HP, while the dex-fighter has 29 HP.

By level 30, the warlock is 187 to the fighter's 205. Gone from 10% more HP than the fighter to 10% less HP than the fighter. That makes me feel ... like it is questionable.

The most conservative option grants an extra 6*con bonus HP at level 30. So that is at most 60 HP. And it does take the 20->30 con warlock, and keep the ratio of HP with the fighter identical.

The highest HP in 4e as written in a PC is a 30 con warden, at 250 HP.

There is the quite real danger that this will make "bad guy damage" utterly trivial, I agree. I'm actually poking at this because the DM in a game I'm playing in wants to add con bonus to HP, and I decided to crunch the numbers to see how it impacted the game.

2009-07-14, 04:38 PM
A Warden can get over 280 as is.

Hows about we just play 4e like it is, and stop trying to turn it into 3e? Yeah, that sounds good.

2009-07-14, 04:42 PM
My experience with playing 4e lead me to the conclusion that monster damage is already trivial. Monsters start to do non trivial damage only if they are 5+ levels above the party.

Now I am all for changing the rules to make CON a significant factor, however you might want to think of reducing the amount of HP a character gets, not increasing.

2009-07-14, 05:10 PM
Hows about we just play 4e like it is, and stop trying to turn it into 3e? Yeah, that sounds good.

There's no reason for that kind of rudeness here. I don't even see anything in Yakk's suggest houserule that's close to 3.x.

Personally, I'm not really a fan of it. I mean, you point out the Con-based Warlock problem (i.e., becoming almost as tanky as the Fighter), which is, I think, more of a problem than Con being LESS important at high levels. If I were going to try to make Con more important, I think it might be easier just to say that you add your Con score to HP at 1st level as normal, and then again at Paragon (11th) and Epic (21st) levels. By the end, the Con-'Lock still has quite a few HP, but it hasn't overtaken the Fighter or other actual Defender classes.

Doug Lampert
2009-07-14, 05:10 PM
My experience with playing 4e lead me to the conclusion that monster damage is already trivial. Monsters start to do non trivial damage only if they are 5+ levels above the party.
And I've had equal CR encounters with equal level monsters one shot a character so she never got to act prior to being down. Concentrated fire is your friend, as is recognizing that the standard "patrol" encounter for 5 characters is five monsters, no one monster needs to be able to hit all that hard.

At mid to high levels NPCs (for example) have more HP than the PCs, and do more damage with their daily and encounter powers that are more likely to hit, they just have far fewer daily and encounter powers and far less ability to heal in combat. The monsters are similar IME. So if monster damage is trivial what do you call PC damage?

2009-07-14, 05:27 PM
I've never heard of, or experienced, anyone using con as a dumpstat. Every character has chosen con over strength to raise their fortitude defence, unless their class required a high strength, and even those characters ended up with a decent con for healing surges and feat prerequisites. That's enough for me, I see no reason to make con a priority required like in 3E.

2009-07-14, 07:10 PM
IMO monster do alright damage compared to the PCs. The problem is that damage compared to the ease of regaining hp is too small. A encounter 4+ levels higher then the party will tip the scales and start doing more damage then the party can heal. Then the party has to use more then basic tactics to survive such a encounter.

I admit my experience is only from the heroic tier, but what Ive seen shows to me that there are more and more ways to get healing later on. My party is compromised of a infernal warlock, archery ranger, laser cleric, staff wizard and me being a weapon talent fighter and we routinely take on encounters 4+ levels above us. And such encounters are not the only ones in a adventuring day. So while on those encounters we use daily powers we do not do so easily and some are already expended when we reach them.

Equal level encounters (with equal level) are frankly a joke expending perhaps 1-2 healing surges in the entire party, or even none depending on the dice rolls .

Mando Knight
2009-07-14, 07:20 PM

Paladin. They're already MAD enough, why force them to invest the points they need to stay viable defenders? Unless you have the "Born Under A Bad Sign" or "Auspicious Birth" traits and let those apply to HP like Con now does.

Also, Assault Swordmages and Blade-based Fighters end up with the same problem.

2009-07-14, 07:43 PM
Yeah, the numbers do make it tricky. If you leave damage as it is, then it becomes mostly meaningless to high-Con characters. If you increase it to deal with the higher HP levels, then characters like the Rogue or 2WF Ranger can be dropped that much easier, possibly in only 2 or 3 hits.

More realistic numbers are going to be 26 CON at level 30, from what I've seen. A 26 CON Warlock would have the same HP as a 20 CON Fighter, using just the 'add CON bonus every 4 levels' rule, which seems closer to what you're going for. +50 HP or so is around 2-3 hits with an at-will, so doesn't seem like much in big fights. Many-on-one against a solo becomes a lot easier, though.

Perhaps add part of the CON bonus to the amount of HP gained each level? Or drop the HP gained each level by 1, so the added bonus HP isn't as big of a change?

I'll be honest, I don't find it too big of a deal to begin with. Fighters go out and get themselves beat up for XP; Warlocks summon Eldritch magics to do so. I don't see such a problem with fighters becoming tougher over the long haul, but then again, I felt that CON had too large of an impact on HP in 3E. (It was very possible for a Wizard to have the most HP in a group, assuming you focused on boosting its CON.)

Mando Knight
2009-07-14, 08:27 PM
Again, Paladins. They have to have a decent Wisdom and Charisma even if they're Strength Paladins (though Divine Power helps with that), so even 15 Con at level 30 is normally rather high for them (well, Str Paladins, anyway. Depends on how much the Cha Paladin wants the extra bonuses from having a high Wis, or if it wants some of the Heavy Blade feats). This puts them quite a bit behind Infernal Warlocks and a lot of Fighters.