D&D Next (5E) Why the HP Threshold on Spells is a Bad Idea - Page 6




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  1. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ratskinner View Post
    I've suggested that such magical effect deal special damage. So Sleep deals 2d8 (or whatever) "sleep" damage. If its more than the target's current hp, they fall asleep instead of getting injured. Might need some tweaking for some of the other effects, but basically...
    best way I've heard so far.

 

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ahnehnois View Post
    Given the modularity they've hyped, I would expect multiple alternate health systems to be supported in the initial release. At the very least, some version of anything that's in Unearthed Arcana (i.e. vp/wp, injury by failed save, reserve points, altered massive damage thresholds...).
    I don't know whether or not they plan to support alternatives to hp straight out the gate. But I think we can rest assured that, if they do, hp thresholds will be given an alternate mechanic, just like pretty much every other spell and attack form in the game will have to be given.

    I'm not saying I love hp thresholds, just that I don't think their inclusion in the game will stop the designers from offering alternative hp systems (if they plan on doing so).

  • #53
    Quote Originally Posted by slobster View Post
    I don't know whether or not they plan to support alternatives to hp straight out the gate. But I think we can rest assured that, if they do, hp thresholds will be given an alternate mechanic, just like pretty much every other spell and attack form in the game will have to be given.

    I'm not saying I love hp thresholds, just that I don't think their inclusion in the game will stop the designers from offering alternative hp systems (if they plan on doing so).
    Regardless of which side of the fence you sit on, I hope that there is at least enough dis-approval of this rule in the community in general and that WOTC is listening enough to understand that this is one hell of contender for optional ruling.

    I hope they do have alternatives out of the gate.

  • #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by GreyICE View Post
    See, some of us don't like being sold a car where the engine doesn't work unless you get out and gently massage it every few miles. The car is the system. The DM is the driver. And I want to be going places, not stopping every few miles to get out and gently massage the engine because without that it falls to pieces.
    That's just it.

    Using your analogy of the D&D system as a car, I don't want to be sold a car at all.

    I want to be sold a frame, some wheels, an engine, and a bunch of other more or less useful parts that will more or less fit with each other and with the wheels-frame-engine; and then build my own damn car.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ratskinner View Post
    I've suggested that such magical effect deal special damage. So Sleep deals 2d8 (or whatever) "sleep" damage. If its more than the target's current hp, they fall asleep instead of getting injured. Might need some tweaking for some of the other effects, but basically...
    Would XP you if I could, but this makes the most sense by far on this thread.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ratskinner View Post
    I've suggested that such magical effect deal special damage. So Sleep deals 2d8 (or whatever) "sleep" damage. If its more than the target's current hp, they fall asleep instead of getting injured. Might need some tweaking for some of the other effects, but basically...
    The problem I see with using hit points to govern other effects is all those other effects - spells that used to bypass the hit point attrition - just become additional ways to bash down the opposition. I want an alternative to that.

    Maybe effects like sleep could target an alternative condition track (a bit like Star Wars Saga Edition). Sleep and other effects could knock you a couple of steps down that. If you wanted to incorporate hit point attrition making a character more vulnerable, hit point damage thresholds could take you steps down the track as well. But some effects could target the condition track directly.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ratskinner View Post
    I've suggested that such magical effect deal special damage. So Sleep deals 2d8 (or whatever) "sleep" damage. If its more than the target's current hp, they fall asleep instead of getting injured. Might need some tweaking for some of the other effects, but basically...
    That's 2d8 damage to several targets, non-lethal if it reduces them to 0hp. Does it do any damage if it doesn't reduce them to 0hp? If it does, you'll want to give some rather hefty damage on spells that only do damage if you want them to be worthwhile. And if you do that, that's going to make it interesting to see how much damage non-casters can put out - though I'm sure plenty of people will be delighted if casters can out-damage, out-effect, and out-utility any non-caster. If it doesn't do damage unless it reduces targets to 0hp, then it's rather a gamble to use it, which isn't necessarily a bad thing if you're trying to get the feel of AD&D/BD&D back.

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    Quote Originally Posted by billd91 View Post
    The problem I see with using hit points to govern other effects is all those other effects - spells that used to bypass the hit point attrition - just become additional ways to bash down the opposition. I want an alternative to that.
    I understand, its a big part of how D&D traditionally views the mechanics of magic. But honestly...why? The whole "casters do it different" thing is part of what makes the whole balancing act more problematic.*

    HP are supposedly this big abstraction that amounts to: "Your ability to keep fighting" or perhaps more accurately "Your ability to not be taken out of the fight." Sleep damage would just represent a reduction in that ability due to magically induced drowsiness. All damage can then be viewed as simply "the ability of this attack to take a target out of a fight" and "any ability to take a target out of a fight is damage." Differences in vulnerability between targets and attack types can be represented by special saves (or NADs), resistances, damage reductions, and immunities.

    Quote Originally Posted by billd91 View Post
    Maybe effects like sleep could target an alternative condition track (a bit like Star Wars Saga Edition). Sleep and other effects could knock you a couple of steps down that. If you wanted to incorporate hit point attrition making a character more vulnerable, hit point damage thresholds could take you steps down the track as well. But some effects could target the condition track directly.
    Condition Tracks are one of those things that I love(d) on paper, but not in practice. I'd much rather make a note in HP-tracking box: "8 Sleep" and know that if I get them back when I wake up. Rather than having to establish and know what several condition tracks do (and how they interact), I get a fairly easy-to-interpret "sleep", "poison", or heck "petrification" damage, and only when needed.

    I'm not a big fan of having HP in general, I think its a lousy system (especially when combined with D&D's traditional healing magic.) However, I haven't found one that I particularly like better. Given that we're going to be riding this sacred cow, I think we might as well accept them as a combat pacing mechanism and be done with it.

    *Charm, Illusions, and some similar related effects, are one area that I don't think are modeled well by dealing damage, especially out of combat....but then, I'm not sure these spells should work during combat, either.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bluenose View Post
    That's 2d8 damage to several targets, non-lethal if it reduces them to 0hp. Does it do any damage if it doesn't reduce them to 0hp? If it does, you'll want to give some rather hefty damage on spells that only do damage if you want them to be worthwhile. And if you do that, that's going to make it interesting to see how much damage non-casters can put out - though I'm sure plenty of people will be delighted if casters can out-damage, out-effect, and out-utility any non-caster. If it doesn't do damage unless it reduces targets to 0hp, then it's rather a gamble to use it, which isn't necessarily a bad thing if you're trying to get the feel of AD&D/BD&D back.
    ...hence my "2d8 (or whatever)". The numeric and mechanical details of the different spell and effect types would be hashed out through playtesting/design. (or possibly a modular switch..."For a more old-school feel...") Also, given CS dice, it sounds like the non-casters will be rolling plenty of damage dice, as well.

    Which is a good thing...I think.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ratskinner View Post
    I've suggested that such magical effect deal special damage. So Sleep deals 2d8 (or whatever) "sleep" damage. If its more than the target's current hp, they fall asleep instead of getting injured. Might need some tweaking for some of the other effects, but basically...
    You don't need conmversion just do nonlethal damage:
    So 2d8 nonlethal to all targets in area, Will save for 1/2?

    Obviously then it will make them asleep (nonlethal above current hp does that). This works well. If not injured, they might be tired (nonlethal damage), but not asleep (nonlethal below current).
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