Constitution variant: fast healing instead of extra HP?

Sammael

Adventurer
To preface this post, I do not have a problem with the concept of HP (such as it is). I am not interested in various wounds/vitality systems. I want to keep HP.

However, I am not a fan of huge piles of HP. From my perspective, one of the main reasons for those huge piles of HP in D&D 3.x games are the ridiculous Constitution scores for both monsters and PCs. I tried several variants of my own devising, for instance: "instead of bonus HP, whenever you suffer damage, a number of points of damage equal to your Con modifier is turned into subdual damage." Sounded nice and balanced enough, turned into a bookkeeping nightmare

So, I've decided to ditch Constitution from the hit point total; however, doing so means that it will serve no meaningful role other than adding to Fort saves and certain skill checks, which will turn it into the most useless attribute of all.

What if Constitution provided fast healing instead of bonus HP? Remember, hit points will be considerably lower without the Con mod added in. What about the negative Con modifier - should it automatically cause the Bleeding condition (when injured)? Should Con-induced Fast Healing work only during combat encounters (to prevent PCs from entering every encounter fully healed)?

It seems to me that this change would increase the survivability of low-level encounters (a good thing, in my book), while (at the same time) speeding up high-level encounters.

Bob the 5th level fighter with Con 16 would normally have an average of 47 HP. Under this proposed system, he would have 32 HP and Fast Healing 3.

Merlin the 5th level wizard with Con 8 would normally have 9 HP (*shudder*). Under this system, he'd have 14 HP and suffer from Bleeding 1 every time he is injured in combat.

Again, the system seems a bit more favorable towards classes that have lower HP on average.

Opinions? Ideas?
 

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Dandu

First Post
Fast healing does not work when you are at negatives. Lower HP totals make it more likely for you to get sent into the negatives since monster damage is, theoretically, still calibrated for people with more HP.
 


Dandu

First Post
Basically, all fights will start with the party at full health, but it now becomes easier for people to be one-shotted.
 

anest1s

First Post
Sounds like a bad, bad idea.

  • Monsters with huge CON would be much harder to kill.
  • Monsters that have already fast healing or regeneration, would be much, much harder to kill.
  • Your PCs will never again buy healing potions (they will have some strong ones for extreme situations but they won't usually need them) and also,
  • They will be able to stand more than the average battles per day without spending the expected resources (even fast healing 1 will have this effect)
  • The bleed system has a tiny problem, -x damage per attack isn't equal to -x hit points per level. It is not the opposite of fast healing either. On the other hand, in a world where everyone has fast healing, not having is punishment enough.
It will be a hell of a mess :hmm: fast healing is way too strong.

What you don't like about piles of hps?
 

Sammael

Adventurer
I agree that it will be theoretically easier to one-shot PCs. I have, on the other hand, tried very hard to scale down monster damage as well, so hopefully that will balance it out.

As for Fast Healing while in negatives, let's say (for the sake of balance) that it doesn't work, or works at a greatly reduced rate (e.g. Con mod per hour instead of per round).

Incidentally, the cheapness of Wands of CLW makes me wonder if starting each encounter with full HP isn't what the vast majority of people are doing anyway.
 


Sammael

Adventurer
Monsters with huge CON would be much harder to kill.
A normal combat encounter usually doesn't last more than 6 rounds.

Under normal rules, a 10th level monster with Con +10 effectively starts the encounter with +100 HP. Having Fast Healing 10 will reduce this to about +60 HP in a normal combat encounter.

Monsters that have already fast healing or regeneration, would be much, much harder to kill.
I will obviously have to tone those abilities down.

Your PCs will never again buy healing potions (they will have some strong ones for extreme situations but they won't usually need them) and also,
Not sure about this one. Receiving a huge amount of healing at once in a battle is a big advantage, compared to receiving a tiny bit of healing every round. Plus, I'm not too bothered about PCs not having to spend money on healing potions.

They will be able to stand more than the average battles per day without spending the expected resources (even fast healing 1 will have this effect)
My sessions rarely have more than one or two combat encounters per day, so not too big of a deal. I don't do dungeon crawls.

The bleed system has a tiny problem, -x damage per attack isn't equal to -x hit points per level. It is not the opposite of fast healing either. On the other hand, in a world where everyone has fast healing, not having is punishment enough.
Since Bleeding can be stopped fairly easily, and the character will have more HP, I think it's better than having a negative Con modifier under normal 3.x rules.

What you don't like about piles of hps?
They are too anime for my liking. And they lead to ridiculous exponential damage growth at high levels (which I have already dealt with).
 
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anest1s

First Post
Incidentally, the cheapness of Wands of CLW makes me wonder if starting each encounter with full HP isn't what the vast majority of people are doing anyway.

:uhoh: I can't remember the last time I had full HPs. With d12s and +5 CON I need like a ton of cures- and my party runs out of curing magic every single day. (That happens when spellcasters go to the front line. And when you don't have a cleric. lol)

Now, if I had a bit less HPs and fast healing 5 I am confident I wouldn't need so much healing. Or I would, since the DM would have to pile me till I dropped.
 

Dandu

First Post
They are too anime for my liking.
The Illiad
The Odyssey
The Aenied
Herakles
The Spartans at Thermopylae
Gilgamesh
Beowulf
Sampson
Cú Chulainn
King Authur and the Knights of the Round Table

Seriously.
 
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Jack Simth

First Post
The Illiad
The Odyssey
The Aenied
Herakles
The Spartans at Thermopylae
Gilgamesh
Beowulf
Sampson
Cú Chulainn
King Authur and the Knights of the Round Table

Seriously.

Hey now: Personal preferences never have anything to do with logic anyway. Perhaps (s)he said it funny, but it reminding him/her too much of anime for his/her tastes is not invalidated by a listing of non-anime traditional characters that had similar things occur.


As to the OP and the effects:
1) Things will die much easier, both players and monsters. This will increase the lethality of the game. Reducing damage across the board... just puts you back to the pre-existing situation with larger grains (a given HP means more, but when your HP pool is cut in half, and the damage being dealt to you is also cut in half, the net effect is pretty negligible). Reducing the damage monsters can deal without reducing the damage players can deal has the effect of making monsters easier to kill.
2) If you survive an encounter, you'll be fully healed for the next at negligible resource cost. Fighters, Rogues, and other classes without significant per-day abilities are boosted slightly compared to classes with significant per-day abilities... but only when doing boring grindfests.
3) Casters become even better. Fireball + Flame Strike (Wizard, Cleric, in the standard team) will end most encounters outright, mostly regardless of the number of opponents (without con to HP, almost nothing will survive two Xd6/level spells). Once Maximize becomes available, a simple Maximized Fireball becomes Save-Or-Die for the vast majority of opponents of appropriate CR. Forget using mobs.
 

Dannyalcatraz

Schmoderator
Staff member
In a 3.5 campaign, my Geomancer uses the original Sacred Healing feat to grant his allies Fast Healing. It is so effective that he almost never casts a Cure Wounds spell.

You may really want to rethink this. If you think piles of HP are anime, what would you think of PCs- all of them- having a healing ability that is just shy of true regeneration?
 


Visigani

Banned
Banned
Here's your solution...


Remove Con Bonus to HP, save for first level. Give players max hp per level.



"...Tis only a flesh wound.


Add Con Bonus to AC, and Reflex Saves. This applies in all circumstances except touch attacks, when rolling to confirm critical hits, when unconscious or when denied your dexterity bonus.

Further, Con acts a standing form of resistance against all damage types


In this instance Con score acts as a kind of "Soft DR". When you have the chance to brace for impact, shrug it off, or tough it out some other way your con score comes into play.


Even characters with obscenely high Con scores still aren't invincible, nor will it protect you from a host of hazards.

It will, however, dramatically increase your survivability.


This buff won't be "insane" either. Someone walking around with 30 consitution SHOULD be superhumanly difficult to kill
 

Belzbet

First Post
I think that the Con Mod. Fast healing thing is an AWESOME idea! It sounds like you are the DM so I am sure you can make it work, and if it seems overpowered change it. I may use it myself... Yeah they will be healed up, give them more battles in a row, or make it a Supernatural ability and send them into an anitmagic field. OR like you say, make it only work for combat or maybe only up to 3/4 max (1/2 max may be too low). No matter you can for sure make it work...
 

Sammael

Adventurer
The Illiad
The Odyssey
The Aenied
Herakles
The Spartans at Thermopylae
Gilgamesh
Beowulf
Sampson
Cú Chulainn
King Authur and the Knights of the Round Table

Seriously.
I was, of course, being sarcastic. However, the point stands that high-level 3.x characters and monsters have a ridiculous amount of hit points when compared to their previous edition counterparts, which makes the power curve that much steeper; one of my system redesign goals is to flatten the power curve. Also, higher hit points necessitate higher damage outputs - an arms race which, in the end, result in characters that can level a small town in 1 round - and this is not an effect I wish to have in my games.

I have already dealt with the damage output of both characters, monsters, and spells. It's all back to relatively reasonable levels. My current solution to Con is to only apply it to HP during even levels, and it works - but I feel like that's not elegant enough.

Fast Healing is just a new idea I wanted to bounce off to see the reactions and pros/cons.
 



Visigani

Banned
Banned
1/2 Con mod to HP every level seems more elegant than Con mod to HP every other level.



And really neither solution really addresses the problem of having gobs of HP.


My proposed solution is simply the better idea.

By reducing the damage before it comes in without having to constantly subtract based on DR you go a long way towards reducing the "bookkeeping" involved with gobs of HP... and allows the DM to create significantly dangerous situations.

And crits are a terrifying thing.
 

Sammael

Adventurer
Adding Con to HP only at 1st level while increasing the overall amount of HP (by giving max HP per level) seems like a decent idea. But I'm not sure it's enough:

Ftr 20 with Con +6: 206 HP (new system) vs 234 (default 3.x)
(Theoretical) Mage 20 with Con -1: 79 HP (new system) vs 31 (default 3.x)

The fighter still has way too much HP. The Mage is, indeed balanced better. But is the low Con penalty enough? I'm still tempted to add that Bleeding penalty for negative Con.

The Simulationist inside me can accept adding Con to AC, perhaps as a Natural AC bonus. He's iffy on adding Con to Reflex saves, though.

"Soft" DR against natural hazards and such is something I'm already using, though it's a bit difficult to adjudicate properly.
 

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