Starting hit points?





View Poll Results: How many starting hit points do you give out in your Pathfinder games?

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  • Standard (Max. HD, + Con mod)

    88 33.72%
  • Double [(Max. HDx2) + Con mod]

    27 10.34%
  • Racial (Standard + bonus depending on race)

    49 18.77%
  • Flat [Standard + a number of points (6 suggested)]

    16 6.13%
  • Constitution (Max. HD + Con stat)

    69 26.44%
  • Other (Please specify)

    12 4.60%
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  1. #1
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    Starting hit points?

    I would post it on the Paizo playtest forums, but they don't have (or I can't find) a poll option, so here it goes

    Which option from the ones proposed do you use for starting hit points in your Pathfinder 1st-level games? Is there a difference between what you do in PFRPG and what you do/did in 3.x? Do you have your own, better-than-anyone rule?

 

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    For the Pathfinder game that I'm running I made the pre-gen PC's with CON + Max HD and it's working pretty well. The PC's get banged around but only once have I come close to dropping a few of them to 0. And that was against some goblins in the Glassworks in BURNT OFFERINGS.

    They'd be more banged up if they didnt have a cleric in the party but for now I like the fact that I dont have to treat the PC's like made of glass at first level. theyre
    Last edited by ShinHakkaider; Monday, 24th November, 2008 at 11:38 PM.
    I'm thinking you're totally out to lunch on this one. Find another form of foreplay that doesn't involve 3 hours of explanation and a pocket calculator.

  • #3
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    My new game is incorporating a lot of pathfinder and 4eisms into a 3.5 base.

    It is first level and I'm using non random hit dice (average round up) plus con bonus plus 10 bonus hp. 1st level does not max out the HD so this eliminates another issue of 1st level choice in multiclassing the same end build creating character differences.

    We've been doing non random HD for years but I wanted to get rid of that 1st level choice factor influencing higher level numbers when double checking PC math. PF skills solved that for skill points elegantly. My choice was inspired not just by PF but also by Hackmaster which gives PCs and monsters +20 hp for extra hacking goodness.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ShinHakkaider View Post
    For the Pathfinder game that I'm running I made the pre-gen PC's with CON + Max HD and it's working pretty well. The PC's get banged around but only once have I come close to dropping a few of them to 0. And that was against some goblins in the Glassworks in BURNT OFFERINGS.

    They'd be more banged up if they didnt have a cleric in the party but for now I like the fact that I dont have to treat the PC's like made of glass at first level. theyre
    I'm curious what you did for NPCs and such. Did you also bump up their 1st level hit points? I debated going with one of the alternate hit point schemes, but I decided in the end that it would just create more work if I also had to adjust the hit points of all major NPCs and opponents in the adventure path (I was going under the assumption that it would be a level playing field with players and NPCs treated the same).

    Spoiler:

    The players didn't really have any problem with the Glassworks using the standard Pathfinder hit point array. They did have a lot of problems with the quasit in the "semi-optional dungeon". It took three different forays to finally defeat her, and she came pretty close to achieving a TPK on one the first attempt.

    So far the only permanent death was one player at the hands of Nuala.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Zil View Post
    I'm curious what you did for NPCs and such. Did you also bump up their 1st level hit points? I debated going with one of the alternate hit point schemes, but I decided in the end that it would just create more work if I also had to adjust the hit points of all major NPCs and opponents in the adventure path (I was going under the assumption that it would be a level playing field with players and NPCs treated the same).

    Spoiler:

    The players didn't really have any problem with the Glassworks using the standard Pathfinder hit point array. They did have a lot of problems with the quasit in the "semi-optional dungeon". It took three different forays to finally defeat her, and she came pretty close to achieving a TPK on one the first attempt.

    So far the only permanent death was one player at the hands of Nuala.

    The rules I only bump up the HP if they're classed level NPC's. So Tsuto he got a big HP bump as I also average out HD. Example: a class that uses a D6 HD averages out at 3hp per level + con bonus.

    Spoiler:
    So far they've had a skirmish with Tsuto and some goblins in the glassworks but when the PC's started cutting through his goblins ( I bumped up the number in that encounter from 8 to 12 because there were something like 6 PC's instead of 4) he bugged out.


    Altering the HP for NPC's isnt that big of deal for me. At this point I'm doing it with a Post-it pad and a pencil and figuring out the HP in less than a minute or so. Then again I still do prep work with a published adventures, I print out the PDF of the adventure and make changes on the printout. I use the original copy for reading on the train or in bed. The printed PDF is my "work" copy for lack of a better word.

    Like I said I find the extra HP for the PC's liberating because I dont have to feeli like I'm handling them with kid gloves. Also and I dont know if this is a good thing or not, a few of the spellcasters (there are only 2 fighter types a Dwarven Fighter and a Half-Orc Barbarian out of 6 players...) are taking risks in combat that I dont think they would have normally and it's actually making the game a little more exciting. One of the sorcerers was still almost dropped to zero anyway.

    We'll see what happens when they fight classed leveled monsters and other NPCs.
    Last edited by ShinHakkaider; Wednesday, 26th November, 2008 at 01:37 AM.
    I'm thinking you're totally out to lunch on this one. Find another form of foreplay that doesn't involve 3 hours of explanation and a pocket calculator.

  • #6
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    I was thinking of trying HD (random roll) + Con mod + Con score, instead of max HD + Con score. L1 PCs would still get a lot more hp than now, but not a whole lot more - they're still 1st level, after all.
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    Sorry, I see now that your poll says, "starting hit points". In that case, I would be using choice #1: Max + Con Bonus.

    I just started CotCT a couple sessions ago and if we hadn't gone this route, the fighter with 12 hit points (or took 11 points of damage in a single attack) would've been dead meat.

    I tend to run pretty deadly games. I play the creatures intelligently, as appropriate for their Int score, but some players aren't ready for that. Because I tend to have tough combats, the PCs get Max+Con at first level, then 75%+Con at each succeeding level.

    Calculating 75% is a bit of a pain when it doesn't work out cleanly on the die, though. For example, 75% of a d8 is 6 -- easy. But 75% of a d10 means taking 8 points one level and 7 points the next (averaging to 7.5).

    I'm also leaning towards providing Max+Con if a PC should choose to take a level in a class they don't have yet (so no multiclassing penalty). But my players don't seem interested in that so far.

    This means I need to bump up other creatures, too. I typically give them Max+Con at first level and then 50%+Con at succeeding levels. So the beasties last a bit longer at 1st level, but the advantage goes away at higher levels. That's because at higher levels I typically use more intelligent bad guys, so the focus changes from brute force to tactics.

    I have a Perl script that I can type in a dice string (like "3d8+3") and it'll figure out what the hp should be for either a PC or non-PC.
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  • #8
    Con score + HD for 1st. That's beein in my 3e house rules (and others' too, no doubt) from way back. Don't see why it should change, if I end up running some 3.PF some time.

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    I like the racial HD bonus. Its simple and provides a further difference between the races without any additional clutter.
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  • #10
    I agree with the racial hit die and class hit die at first level. If you feel you need to increase the hit points of starting characters the is a nice way to incorporate it.

    If you use the fixed method there is little variation... and a little variety is a good thing. If you add constitution score there is going to be too large of a difference between the starting characters possible.

    Letting dwarves and half orcs get a extra D10. Humans and half elves get an extra d8. And the "frailer" races (Elf, Gnome, Halfling) get and extra d6. These are in addition to the class hit die and the con modifier. This allows the Half Orc Barbarian player to be pretty tough and scary at first level without having to completely overshadow the halfling wizard.
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