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View Full Version : Bad HP rolls and trading XP for HP.

Gnaritas
2010-04-12, 02:41 AM
So, one of my players is playing a Sacred Fist (homebrew class) level 6.
It has d8 HD and he has a con of 12.
His average HP would be 36.5, but he rolled 5 ones and a 8 to get 26.

He was planning on being in the frontlines, but with only 70% of his expected HP he feels he cannot live up to that.

He asked me to trade XP for HP, and i told him to look into that.

Whatever i chose, i want the others to be able to have the same option, but i also do not want them to profit as much from it, in such a matter they probably will not use it.

I was going to suggest the following:

You can pay your CL times 50 xp, to half the difference between your current HP and average expected HP (rounded to nearest, or if .5 down)

In his case he would lose 300 xp to get 5 HP. He could do this another time to gain 3 hp.
36.5-26=10.5 divided by 2 = 5
36.5-31=5.5 divided by 2 = 3

Is this too easy or harsh?

I am leaning towards too easy and maybe upping it to 75 xp per CL.

DwarvenExodus
2010-04-12, 02:44 AM
Or, you could, y'know... give him a reroll or two...

krossbow
2010-04-12, 02:46 AM
hah. My thoughts exactly. Just tell them that the next time they roll five ones they can reroll a couple too. I doubt they'll see that situation pop up.

Angelmaker
2010-04-12, 02:53 AM
We houseruled hit dice as following:
D4 = 1D3+1
D6 = 1D4+2
D8 = 1D6+2 ( we considered using D5+3, but it kinda got awkward. )
D10 = 1D6+4
D12 = 1D8+4 ( Same as D8 - there are no D7. *g* )

Because, after we found that our barbarian had less hit points than our warlock at level 8 ( and similiar incidents ), we considered luck ( or the lack of ) at hit dice rolling simply character destroying. Of course, you can always roll a 1 at a saving throw, but it doesnīt need to be that bad.

Of course, itīs clunky and in no way perfect, but punishing him with XP loss without actually gaining anything ( only actually being able to perform the role he would serve the groups best interest in ) is... in no way fair.

Think of it as this: If you have him pay XP, he delays leveling, which in turn would net him another hit dice, effectively having a greater chance at gaining more HP than 5 simply by rolling. ( And some other beneficial side effects like Class Levels, advancing spellcaster progression or whatever his class has as feats. )

Kaiyanwang
2010-04-12, 02:58 AM
Let him reroll.

Aaaaw... come on!

Jon_Dahl
2010-04-12, 03:59 AM
*We* have always houseruled that you have to roll until you get minimum of half of your max hp. I'm considering some way to roll hp's so they would favour fighter (the poor forgotten fighters...) more but I haven't figured anything out.

Kosjsjach
2010-04-12, 04:19 AM
We houseruled hit dice as following:
D4 = 1D3+1
D6 = 1D4+2
D8 = 1D6+2 ( we considered using D5+3, but it kinda got awkward. )
D10 = 1D6+4
D12 = 1D8+4 ( Same as D8 - there are no D7. *g* )

*We* have always houseruled that you have to roll until you get minimum of half of your max hp.

As a hybrid of these two, you could employ what I recall seeing in the Iron Heroes book:
d4 --> 1d2+2
d6 --> 1d3+3
d8 --> 1d4+4
d10 --> (1d10/2)+5
d12 --> 1d6+6

Though "reroll 'till you get at least half" works too.

Gnaritas
2010-04-12, 04:32 AM
As a hybrid of these two, you could employ what I recall seeing in the Iron Heroes book:
d4 --> 1d2+2
d6 --> 1d3+3
d8 --> 1d4+4
d10 --> (1d10/2)+5
d12 --> 1d6+6

Though "reroll 'till you get at least half" works too.

This also answers Jon_Dahl's other question, since this favors the fighter (or higher hitdice) most.
assuming CON 10:
d4 averages to 3.5 (normally 2.5) an increase of 1 HP or 40%
d10 averages to 8 (normally 5.5) an increase of 2.5 HP or 45%

PhoenixRivers
2010-04-12, 04:32 AM
Alternately: level 1 HP auto max.

Level 2+, rolled as normal, however, after rolling, you can opt to obligate XP to increase the roll (to a max of the die type)

1d4 = (80xp*ECL) per +1 (max result of 4, before Con)
1d6 = (60xp*ECL) per +1 (max result of 6, before Con)
1d8 = (40xp*ECL) per +1 (max result of 8, before Con)
1d10 = (30xp*ECL) per +1 (max result of 10, before Con)
1d12 = (20xp*ECL) per +1 (max result of 12, before Con)

If you do this, the XP is deducted from future earnings until accounted for. If you do not, you may not go back and change the choice.

Example: a 7th level rogue gains a level in rogue. When he rolls HP, he rolls a 1d6 and gets a 2. He wants good HP, so he opts to get a +3 to that roll, bringing it to 5. He obligates 1440 xp for the privilege (3*(60xp*8)). He will earn no XP until he's repaid that 1440xp.

The cost is supposed to be high, as increased HP DO make a character more effective. A rogue with maximized HP every level is essentially like having +5 Con.

Gnaritas
2010-04-12, 04:34 AM
Alternately: level 1 HP auto max.

Level 2+, rolled as normal, however, after rolling, you can opt to obligate XP to increase the roll (to a max of the die type)

1d4 = (80xp*ECL) per +1 (max result of 4, before Con)
1d6 = (60xp*ECL) per +1 (max result of 6, before Con)
1d8 = (40xp*ECL) per +1 (max result of 8, before Con)
1d10 = (30xp*ECL) per +1 (max result of 10, before Con)
1d12 = (20xp*ECL) per +1 (max result of 12, before Con)

If you do this, the XP is deducted from future earnings until accounted for. If you do not, you may not go back and change the choice.

Example: a 7th level rogue gains a level in rogue. When he rolls HP, he rolls a 1d6 and gets a 2. He wants good HP, so he opts to get a +3 to that roll, bringing it to 5. He obligates 1440 xp for the privilege (3*(60xp*8)). He will earn no XP until he's repaid that 1440xp.

The cost is supposed to be high, as increased HP DO make a character more effective. A rogue with maximized HP every level is essentially like having +5 Con.

1440 xp for 3 HP at level 7 is quite expensive. I would at least half those values...

Sure, it's like +5 CON, except for the other stuff CON does (Skills, Fort-save, ability based check,...) and the XP keeps adding up.
You have paid 60*2*2.5 at level 2 (on average) = 300 XP
450 XP at level 3
600 XP at level 4
750 XP at level 5
900 XP at level 6
That's 3.000 XP, that's half a level for 12.5 HP.....!!

The Barbarian on the other hand spends on average 2.200 XP at level 6 to get it's full HP, which results in an extra 27.5 HP.

PhoenixRivers
2010-04-12, 05:10 AM
1440 xp for 3 HP at level 7 is quite expensive. I would at least half those values...

Sure, it's like +5 CON, except for the other stuff CON does (Skills, Fort-save, ability based check,...) and the XP keeps adding up.
You have paid 60*2*2.5 at level 2 (on average) = 300 XP
450 XP at level 3
600 XP at level 4
750 XP at level 5
900 XP at level 6
That's 3.000 XP, that's half a level for 12.5 HP.....!!

The Barbarian on the other hand spends on average 2.200 XP at level 6 to get it's full HP, which results in an extra 27.5 HP.

Yes, it is. Maintaining Max HP under this system is effectively LA +1. That was intentional.

And weighting it so that it's more expensive for lower die types? Well, melee needs nice things too. Weighting it means that if a wizard wants average HP, and is rolling low, and a barbarian wants the same, they're going to spend about the same amount of XP.

If the barbarian gets more out of it? Well, his average is higher. But at level 5, turning a 1 to a 6 (for a barb)? 500xp.

At level 5 for a wizard, turning a 1 to a 2? 800xp.

Yes, it costs the character. Why?

Because a barbarian that has Max HP is more powerful than one with average HP. Probably about +1 LA worth.

Look at 2 barbs, level 5. One has max hp, one has max at first level, then average thereafter. Both have a con mod of +3.
Max HP Barb: 75 HP
Average HP: 53 HP

At level 10?
Max HP Barb: 150 HP
Average HP: 100 HP

You're looking at 50% more HP. That's a boost in power, and it should have an investment cost.

Sinfire Titan
2010-04-12, 11:39 AM
You're looking at 50% more HP. That's a boost in power, and it should have an investment cost.

Except that a 50% increase in HP costs a feat at the lower levels, and about 10-20pp at the mid-high levels. Making it cost a full level is a bit much, since the people who will be needing the extra HP are the ones up front.

And dumb Wizards.

Lin Bayaseda
2010-04-12, 11:51 AM
He asked me to trade XP for HP, and i told him to look into that.
There's a feat for that. Forgot the name, but what it does is "you gain HP equal to your current HD". Just allow him to retrain another feat, and he'll have 32 hp. Not great, but better.

Oh, and our houserule is that if you don't like your HP roll, you can roll a lower die instead (if a fighter doesn't like the 2 he rolled on d10, he can roll a d8 instead. If he doesn't like the d8 result as well, he can dump it and roll a d6, etc.). It keeps things relatively abuse-free, while giving a second chance at life for those unlucky low-rollers.

2010-04-12, 11:51 AM
*We* have always houseruled that you have to roll until you get minimum of half of your max hp.

Pretty much what I was going to say.

PhoenixRivers
2010-04-12, 11:55 AM
Except that a 50% increase in HP costs a feat at the lower levels, and about 10-20pp at the mid-high levels. Making it cost a full level is a bit much, since the people who will be needing the extra HP are the ones up front.

And dumb Wizards.

So you're saying that we should just max all melee hit dice, and give wizards a 1 for all HP, and get rid of any magic that gives HP unless it targets someone that has a sword in their hand?

Yes, I know melee don't get nice things. The system is designed to allow characters to push for max HP if they want them... but really? It's for that barbarian that rolls a 1 on his d12.

If we just give away the HP, what's the point of the HD? Let's just say:

D4 = 3 (1 if in a fullcasting class)
D6 = 4 (1 if in a fullcasting class)
D8 = 6 (1 if in a fullcasting class)
D10 = 9 (1 if in a fullcasting class)
D12 = 11 (1 if in a fullcasting class)

And tell everyone to add their con mod and that's what they get.

There, now melee aren't having to pay anything, and they get all their HP. And those evil, evil casters have to pay.

Are we done advocating throwing the freebies around like candy? The whole point of the thread is XP trade for HP. If the cost is trivial, the benefit should be trivial. So if you want to make it so it only costs 1-10 XP per HD, then you shouldn't be able to get higher than 25% of your HD's max roll. It should be a save mechanism for the abysmal rollers, and shouldn't do much more than turn the horridly crappy into only kinda crappy.

If the cost is substantial, the benefit should be substantial.

If we make the cost trivial, there is no logical justification for a substantial benefit. Other than, "let's make the game easier, and reward players who stick their characters in bad situations".

If that works for you, great. In my experience, coddling people and setting low expectations yields low performance.

Kylarra
2010-04-12, 11:56 AM
There's a feat for that. Forgot the name, but what it does is "you gain HP equal to your current HD". Just allow him to retrain another feat, and he'll have 32 hp. Not great, but better.
Improved toughness.

We always say roll and you get that or half max, whichever is higher.

Telonius
2010-04-12, 11:59 AM
For all character-building rolls (stats and HP), I allow a reroll of each 1, once. The player has to take the result (whatever it is). Level 1 gets max HP.

I've encountered one "cooler" in my DMing career so far. Whenever he was building a character - didn't matter how many times he rolled, didn't matter whose dice he rolled - he could never get above 14 for a stat or the halfway mark for HP. Just for cases like that, I allow the players to choose at level 1 whether or not they want to take the average result for HP and an array for stats, or risk the luck of the dice. Whichever choice they make, they have to stick with it for the rest of that character's life.

Sinfire Titan
2010-04-12, 12:08 PM
So you're saying that we should just max all melee hit dice, and give wizards a 1 for all HP, and get rid of any magic that gives HP unless it targets someone that has a sword in their hand?

Yes, I know melee don't get nice things. The system is designed to allow characters to push for max HP if they want them... but really? It's for that barbarian that rolls a 1 on his d12.

1: I'm actually for reducing a Wizard's HP to 1+Con/level. Or, hell, just 1/level. At least then they are encouraged to buff.

But bad luck should never be used to take away levels. It's the reason I highly discourage the Rez spells in the PHB, and instead plant the two from the Spell Compendium in treasure. That, and my players are capable of compensating for bad luck.

Really, leaving something like HP to chance is a bad idea. And anyone who plays a Barbarian without pumping Con and Str is going to know why. 2d6>1d12.

If we just give away the HP, what's the point of the HD? Let's just say:

D4 = 3 (1 if in a fullcasting class)
D6 = 4 (1 if in a fullcasting class)
D8 = 6 (1 if in a fullcasting class)
D10 = 9 (1 if in a fullcasting class)
D12 = 11 (1 if in a fullcasting class)

And tell everyone to add their con mod and that's what they get.

You didn't understand me. Here's my point. I'll make sure it's nice and visible, so others can see my angle too:

WotC used HD and BAB as a balancing point of the class.

An optimized Wizard would hardly bat an eyelash if you gave him a d8 HD. In all actuality, BAB is meaningless outside of three things (PreReqs, attacks/round, and Power Attack).

Magic of Incarnum taught me both of these things. The more I looked at it, the more I realized these two stats made a difference in character creation under 5th level, where everyone is still playing Rocket Tag.

PhoenixRivers
2010-04-12, 12:16 PM
You didn't understand me. Here's my point. I'll make sure it's nice and visible, so others can see my angle too:
No, I understand you perfectly well.
Casters are broken, melee classes are horrible, and because everything that melee classes use is strictly worse than the one thing caster classes use, that nothing melee classes use matters.

An optimized Wizard would hardly bat an eyelash if you gave him a d8 HD. In all actuality, BAB is meaningless outside of three things (PreReqs, attacks/round, and Power Attack).

Magic of Incarnum taught me both of these things. The more I looked at it, the more I realized these two stats made a difference in character creation under 5th level, where everyone is still playing Rocket Tag.
So, if HP and BAB are meaningless, why have them?

Let's just say now that wizards die if they get hit.
Clerics/druids die if they get hit twice.
Bards die if they get hit thrice.
Everyone else dies if they get hit four times.

There, that takes care of HP.

Now for BAB.

If you're a full BAB class, you hit anyone you attack, if you can move next to them with a move action, or are already adjacent.

For 3/4 BAB, you hit 3/4 the time (this includes spells).

For 1/2 BAB, you hit 1/2 the time (this includes spells).

There, now we can reduce the game down to coin tosses. That should speed up the combat round, at least.

Sinfire Titan
2010-04-12, 12:24 PM
The Devs, as I said. They put it into the system. DMs are better off not using the HD rules. BAB is a little harder to remove, since so many things have it as a prereq.

A DM is better off assigning HP based on class tier. In order:

Tier 1: Con/Level
Tier 2: 1+Con/Level
Tier 3+4: Average+Con/level
Tier 5+6: Full+Con/level

Truenamer: 1d100. Because it's funny.

Skaven
2010-04-12, 12:25 PM
In my games, martial classes get to reroll 1's and 2's (and scouts just ones)

Evil the Cat
2010-04-12, 01:05 PM
I just give everyone average (rounded up) in my games. I got annoyed at the combination of the person who always rolls bad, and the person I think cheats on all his die rolls leading to annoying disparities in party hp. In the long run, its theoretically approximately what they should have rolled anyways. I switched to this about the same time I switched to point-buy stats, and for pretty much the same reason.

PhoenixRivers
2010-04-12, 01:13 PM
The Devs, as I said. They put it into the system. DMs are better off not using the HD rules. BAB is a little harder to remove, since so many things have it as a prereq.

A DM is better off assigning HP based on class tier. In order:

Tier 1: Con/Level
Tier 2: 1+Con/Level
Tier 3+4: Average+Con/level
Tier 5+6: Full+Con/level

Truenamer: 1d100. Because it's funny.

This method is basically treating Tier 1 like Devs did when they made Item Familiars.

Balance extreme power by "sucks to be you if someone breathes on you wrong".

How'd that work out for everyone?

2010-04-12, 01:52 PM
There's a feat for that. Forgot the name, but what it does is "you gain HP equal to your current HD". Just allow him to retrain another feat, and he'll have 32 hp. Not great, but better.

Oh, and our houserule is that if you don't like your HP roll, you can roll a lower die instead (if a fighter doesn't like the 2 he rolled on d10, he can roll a d8 instead. If he doesn't like the d8 result as well, he can dump it and roll a d6, etc.). It keeps things relatively abuse-free, while giving a second chance at life for those unlucky low-rollers.

To me, this is the best strategy that has been mentioned.