D&D General Hit Points. Did 3.0 Or 3.5 Get it Right?

jgsugden

Legend
They got him down to 3 HP. That's not "no chance".

That's too close if you are going to do it often.
You're overlooking that I stacked the deck in favor of the commoners. One javelin. No surprise round. The first attack of the orc misses.

Sit down and run the scenario over and over and over. See how often the orc goes down. Hint - it won't be often at all. And if you want to make it fair, don't assume the orc only brought the one javelin. Allow him to have 2 or 3 and use them in a way fitting for average wisdom. The orc is on the hunt ... why would it not be armed? And allow the orc a chance to get a surprise round ... If you want this to be fair ...

  • Orc has at least a 50% chance to get a surprise round. Likely 75% chance as the humans should have a passive perception of 5 due to disadvantage on detecting the orc at a distance of 60 to 120 feet in the dark.
  • Orc should have multiple javelins and should be able to maneuver around in the dark where they can't see him in order to launch all 3 (with advantage?) before the commoners can close.
  • The orc could also use tactics like extinguishing the torches or fire to make it even more of a slaughter. If the orc charges in and puts out the fire on round 1 instead of attacking with a javelin, those commoners can't light torches to see and they'll all die with maybe one hit on the orc.

You're saying the commoners should have no chance. They do not.
 

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jgsugden

Legend
Nope.

All classes share a structure is not the same as being 'essentially reskins'.
This has been 'litigated' extensively. We won't resolve our disagreement by rekindling it. However, I had a player that forgot what class his character was. I am comfortable with my position.
And that description... was garbage.

4e added systems and nurtured game design that focused on narrative control ...
4E was criticized HEAVILY for the tendency for characters to take a 'choose from the menu' approach to combat that discouraged free thinking that contributes to creative narrative storytelling.
...and on the design of the game itself and it didn't sit well with people who preferred the simulationist design of 3e and in turn went around describing how the game worked from the point of view of not being simulationist rather than it's own terms.
The terms of 4E were pretty simple: It encouraged you to look at the powers you had and pick one. People often opened up with their encounter, or daily, and then spammed at will abilities (often the same one) over and over.

As a DM, I constantly encouraged players to stop thinking about which power to use and start thinking about what they wanted their character to do. It was a huge problem. While there are some DMs that say they never saw the problem - there are a huge number of old Enworld threads that describe the situation over and over and over by so many different groups.

4E is a fine system for certain type of games - but for an evolving game that models a bunch of different types of characters that are meant to feel very different ... not so much. I built a system off of 4E to run modern style games (spies, cowboys, etc...) and I really like how it works ... but those PCs work because they're supposed to feel similar.
 

Micah Sweet

Level Up & OSR Enthusiast
You're really hurting your credibility when you say that people seriously answering those questions would not answer them the same way. In a real scenario, we wouldn't even ask those questions because the answers are obvious.
"Difficult" and "hard to calculate" are the definitions to which I am referring. No one likes things that are difficult or hard to calculate, so of course they'll all answer the same. But what one person calls difficult or hard to calculate is not necessarily the same as what someone else would call those things.

Are you one of those people who think newer stuff is always better than older stuff?
 

Minigiant

Legend
Supporter
You're overlooking that I stacked the deck in favor of the commoners. One javelin. No surprise round. The first attack of the orc misses.

Sit down and run the scenario over and over and over. See how often the orc goes down. Hint - it won't be often at all. And if you want to make it fair, don't assume the orc only brought the one javelin. Allow him to have 2 or 3 and use them in a way fitting for average wisdom. The orc is on the hunt ... why would it not be armed? And allow the orc a chance to get a surprise round ... If you want this to be fair ...

  • Orc has at least a 50% chance to get a surprise round. Likely 75% chance as the humans should have a passive perception of 5 due to disadvantage on detecting the orc at a distance of 60 to 120 feet in the dark.
  • Orc should have multiple javelins and should be able to maneuver around in the dark where they can't see him in order to launch all 3 (with advantage?) before the commoners can close.
  • The orc could also use tactics like extinguishing the torches or fire to make it even more of a slaughter. If the orc charges in and puts out the fire on round 1 instead of attacking with a javelin, those commoners can't light torches to see and they'll all die with maybe one hit on the orc.

You're saying the commoners should have no chance. They do not.
Again I am not accepting you scenario because it doesn't match the lore.

Orcs are canonically raiders.

But their stats are too low to not take significant loss to resistance from commoners. And if you upgrade to a few guards or tribal warriors, they will lose way to many. The town bully thug or a retired veteran could kill a few on their own.

Even a 1st level rogue could melee with one for a while.

So the orc stats are too low for the lore.

However if you increase their HP, you put them out of cleaving range.
 

jgsugden

Legend
...Are you one of those people who think newer stuff is always better than older stuff?
I'm one of the people that thinks that when smart and experienced people have an opportunity to learn from the past, the creations they make tend to be better - and if after 10 years of reflection they decide to continue with the same path and we see widespread support for it, there seems to be a huge amount of support they made the right decision.
 

jgsugden

Legend
Again I am not accepting you scenario because it doesn't match the lore.

Orcs are canonically raiders.

But their stats are too low to not take significant loss to resistance from commoners. And if you upgrade to a few guards or tribal warriors, they will lose way to many. The town bully thug or a retired veteran could kill a few on their own.

Even a 1st level rogue could melee with one for a while.

So the orc stats are too low for the lore.

However if you increase their HP, you put them out of cleaving range.
I'm done after this because I keep repeating myself and you're not considering what I am saying. A ravaging orc that can consistently take down four of the people he is raiding with little chance of being taken down is perfectly in line with the lore. That is exactly what you, and the books, describe.

Similarly, the actual descriptions of the NPCs you mention tells you why they are more than a match for an orc. The town thug or a retired veteran are also experienced combatants. The name "thug" is misleading - the description called these enforces skilled in violence. They're not a drunk guy with a club you give a couple coppers to rough someone up. They're the hired gun you pay highly to do a professional job.

And a veteran are also professional fighters. An old soldier is someone that was good enough to survive to old age, right? This isn't the guard that never saw any action - this is the special forces troop that has 50 missions under his belt.

Compare a bandit to an orc. The orc is a much stronger threat with more hp, better AC, better AB, better damage and a greater ability to get that first melee strike.

You want to talk about PCs versus orcs? A first level rogue has 9 or 10 hps. the orc deals that about 50% of the time with the greataxe. The rogue can deal 3d6+3 damage with 2 hits with 1d6 melee weapons in each hand and a sneak attack. The odds of landing both of those is much less than the orc landing one hit - and even if it does land both hits, the odds of it being enough to take down the orc are less than the odds of the orc dealing enough damage to take down the rogue in one hit.

Seriously - Wyvern Tor has taken a lot of PC lives. You are significantly underestimating how significant an orc is.

However, as I said - I've said it enough. I'm done.
 



You're really not seeing this as it is. Do the simulation I suggested. In 5E, this is almost a guaranteed win for the solo orc.

Rd 1: Orc throws a javelin at the commoners from somewhere outside the light ring of the fire. It has both advantage and disadvantage - so just an 80% chance of a kill. Let's say this is the miss and his next 4 attacks hit. Let's also say he only brought one javelin, so he needs to use his axe on the rest.
Rd 2: The commoners grab their clubs and torches and race off to attack the unknown attacking force. They double move - and don't reach him. He charges in and melee attacks one of the commoners. We're down to 3 commoners now as any hit is a kill - and they're all engaged in melee combat.
Rd 3: Commoners get to go and surround the orc. They attack at +2 for d4 damage. They need an 11 to hit, so a 50% chance. Let's say they get 2 hits for 5 damage. Orc is down to 10 hps - when it gets his second kill.
Rd 4: Commoners continue the attack and get another hit for 3 damage. Then the orc gets another kill.
Rd 5: The last commoner gets lucky and deals 3 more damage. The orc took more damage than expected due to bad luck, but still has 4 hps. That is when he kills the last commoner.

That sounds like something out of a Friday the 13th movie. The stranger charges in out of the night and hacks up a family of 4 in less than 30 seconds.

Orcs are terrifying when you consider what a commoner is. It takes fledgling heroes to have a chance to stand up against them - and I'll tell you right now, if you play LMoP a few times, it is not uncommon to have a few PC graves dug on Wyvern Tor.
so, i just got home from work about half an hour ago, and...maybe the map i got is too small (i did pull it off the internet in about 2 minutes), or maybe it's because i had the commoners hide instead of run out into the forest in the middle of the night at a guy throwing javelins at them (seriously, who the hell would do that?), or maybe it's because commoner 4 was a god damn crit machine and belted out 2 of them in a row, but uh...the orc died, with 2 commoners to spare.

i'm gonna keep running through this because honestly it's kinda fun, but i found it amusing that the first time i did i got exactly the opposite result you'd assert someone would get.
 

jgsugden

Legend
so, i just got home from work about half an hour ago, and...maybe the map i got is too small (i did pull it off the internet in about 2 minutes), or maybe it's because i had the commoners hide instead of run out into the forest in the middle of the night at a guy throwing javelins at them (seriously, who the hell would do that?), or maybe it's because commoner 4 was a god damn crit machine and belted out 2 of them in a row, but uh...the orc died, with 2 commoners to spare.

i'm gonna keep running through this because honestly it's kinda fun, but i found it amusing that the first time i did i got exactly the opposite result you'd assert someone would get.
While there can be some variance and bad luck - but not repeatedly. People can say whatever results they want, but statistically this is unlikely to be even close. Especially if you allow the orc to have basic wisdom and tactics as I discussed in a later post. Yes, a max damage crit or two can change things. If you get a different result it is because you're cheating in favor of the commoners.

If the commoners hide, they are likely to be found by the orc. It has all the advantages being out in the dark. If they're separate he can run in, kill one and withdraw to repeat the cycle. If he puts out the flames there is no hope. One commoner likely dies before the commoners go. You're down to three. The orc can control engagement, so that is a second commoner down before the commoners get a chance to attack. In reality, even with crits, the commoners are not going to get enough chances to hit unless that orc that has an 80% or 96% chance to hit is foolish.
 

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