D&D 5E Hit Point Maximum Damage House-Rules


The High Aldwin
I've seen reduction to HP max done two ways, curious which way you are applying it.

A PC had 50 maximum HPs and currently is down 10 to 40 HPs. They take 5 points off their maximum reducing it to 45. Do their current HPs stay the same because it's still lower than max HPs, or do you track "they are down 10" and stay with the same damage taken so it also reduces their current HPs to 35?
If I am tracking them separately, I prefer their current HP is unaffected unless the reduction to the HPmax brings it below the current HP. In such a case, the current HP would be reduced to the current HPMax.

However, depending on which option you look at in the OP, odds are it would be a reduction to both, with the original damage applied to HP and HALF the damage also applied to the HPMax.

If so, I would figure DR into it as well.
Currently in our mod, critical damage is reduced by DR (equal to AC value - 10). In this case, that would probably reduce the damage to the HPMax instead of HP.

Generally though it would make it damage on a crit or critcial failure of a saving throw. Or revise to the PF2 version of +10 / -10 for crit success / fail
You could certainly approach it this way, but since we don't have critical "hits" or failures any more, it is just on a failed save, critical damage, etc.

Not a fan of this, but if you're going to use this I would consider changing the Hazard damage to half against max HP, the other half to regular HP. Maybe so far as it only going against max HP if any relative save is failed.
THANK YOU for the positive feedback even if you aren't a fan of the concept! It is much appreciated and noted. :)

I'm assuming that if someone's max HP is reduced to 0 they can't recover - does that mean they're dead? How would this work with resurrection-style magic, if at all?
Yes, with this idea HPMax = 0 = Death. We aren't using Death Saves with this system.

Magic that would restore life would restore HPMax to a set value, perhaps just 1 for Revivify, half HPMax for Raise Dead, and full HPMax for Resurrection? Those are my initial thoughts anyway.

I think the big elephant in the rule is how the max HP gets restored....without knowing that, its hard to really guage how intense this rule is.
Yes, and that is something we are currently discussing, but with the holiday over we might not reach any conclusions until this weekend.

It will be long, that much I know. My current thoughts are 1 HPMax per spell level used, maybe your level in HPMax per long rest??? (Although that penalizes high HD classes so I am not comfortable with it). Perhaps a check after a long rest to restore 1/4 the HPMax? I really don't know--sorry. :(

"Whenever you fail a saving throw, your max hp is reduced by the number of damage die".
This is also a nice option, and not nearly as hard on the players... :unsure:

Secondary support rules:

Cure Wounds and Healing Word restores your Max HP by the spell slot level. Use it at 1st level you get 1 Max HP back. Cast it at 5th and you get 5. Same goes for Mass Healing Word and Mass Cure Wounds, but everyone targeted gets their Max HP back.

Regenerate restores Max HP equal to the regular HP restored.

Heal restores full Max HP. As does Mass Heal.

Long Rests recover your Proficiency Modifier in Max HP.

Healing Potions recover your Proficiency Modifier in Max HP.

And, of course the following rule applied to everyone but the PCs:
Anything that deals damage in d4s now deals d2s.
Anything that deals damage in d6s now deals d4s.
Anything that deals damage in d8s now deals d6s.
Anything that deals damage in d10s now deals d8s.
Anything that deals damage in d12s now deals d10s.

Because in this system Magical Healing needs to slightly outpace incoming baseline damage since practically every fight is going to see Max HP reductions for multiple party members and this system DRASTICALLY FAVORS MONSTERS who don't bother recovering HP ninety nine times out of a hundred.
Yes, something along those lines are in the running. :)

I really like the idea of screwing with HP max if the damage dealt is poison or necrotic.

I’ve just had the idea of using the loss of HP max to reflect being wounded from taking 10+ points of any type of damage or dropping to zero HP.
Yeah, I get this. I also like it for things I consider "aggravated" such as fire, etc. which humanoids normally can't "soak" (to use the Vampire parlance...)

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Morkus from Orkus
My immediate curiosity is how this intersects with damage sources that already do damage to your max, like the touch of a wight. In theory it would not have to be changed at all, but if you want it to be different and scary compared to baseline damage and baseline now does damage to your MAX as well, it'd need adjusting.

For example, in my game energy draining damage from your max can only be recovered with an "Extended Rest" (a week of long rests in a safe and comfortable place) or healing magic applied while caster and target are on sacred ground (like a temple).
You remove the save to stop it. They simply do damage and max hit points lower on every hit. That would make them freaking terrifying under this system.

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