D&D General How does your PC interact with hit points?

Which of these is closest to how your PC relates to their hit points? Clarify in the replies.

  • The PC knows if they're fully functional (>0) or out of it (<=0 ) and that's it.

  • The PC knows if they're fully functional (>50%), bloodied (1-50%), or out of it (<=0%).

  • The player has the PC act on the metagame information the player has about the HP.

  • The PC roughly knows their "health status" (corresponding to HP) since they've been getting "hit".


Results are only viewable after voting.

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen (She/Her/Hers)
As I understand it, for the 3rd, some/many play that the characters themselves have no idea how close to death they are since there is no required in world narration or consequences for damage besides hitting 0. So, if the character acts differently based on a hit or hit point total it is purely metagame action by the player.
That sounds like a very difficult thing to police.
 

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beancounter

(I/Me/Mine)
As a player, I express my HP with whatever specific attacks I've faced, defaulting to stamina. So if I take a short rest, it's because I'm "exhausted." If I need a healing spell without a specific injury, it's because I'm "in pain." This seems to equate healing spells with Tylenol...
Maybe I misunderstood the OP question, but I thought it was about the DM hiding the PC's hit points from the player.
 




beancounter

(I/Me/Mine)
No it wasn't. It is about what the character knows. Presumably the player knows the precise HP total in all the scenarios.

That seems like a distinction without a difference. The character is going to know their hp because the player knows.

I think it would be challenging for the player not to act on that knowledge. And, IMO it's an unnecessary attempt to avoid metagaming.
 


beancounter

(I/Me/Mine)
No, not at all.


Are they? How does this knowledge manifest? If your fighter with 54 total HP is down to 23 HP, how do they feel, and how will they communicate their state to the other people in the setting in-character? That's what the poll is about.

Yes, and what I was saying is that the player would say "I only have 23 hp left". IMO, indicating exact hp isn't too metagamy. I've never met anyone IRL that had a problem with it.
 

Yes, and what I was saying is that the player would say "I only have 23 hp left". IMO, saying that isn't too metagamy.
But does the character say that? Do the people in your setting have a concept of hit points, do the people in the setting talk using game mechanical terms? Also, how does the character know that they have 23 hit points? How does it feel to them to have 23 hit points? How does that feel different from having 40 hit points?
 

Yaarel

Mind Mage
I went with option 2, because "fresh", "bloodied", or "downed", are the defacto conditions to roleplay.

But in a sense, option 4 applies as well, because between "fresh" and "bloodied", the character knows exactly how fatigued and careless one is getting. And between "bloodied" and "downed", one knows how beat-up and sloppily punch-drunk one is getting. So, the character knows exactly what the hit points are. Meanwhile, when being "downed" at zero hit points, the character becomes unable to defend against a lethal injury, and that too is unambiguous.
 

Vaalingrade

Legend
But does the character say that? Do the people in your setting have a concept of hit points, do the people in the setting talk using game mechanical terms? Also, how does the character know that they have 23 hit points? How does it feel to them to have 23 hit points? How does that feel different from having 40 hit points?
They feel it the same way we feel that we're not okay. We know there's degrees of being not okay and what they indicate: are you tired, woozy, physically injured, anxious, like you're losing the fight. You don't know discreet numbers and percentages, but you know enough that you can describe it usefully in words.

Of course, of HP were meat, you could weight the viscera scattered around you whenever you lose an HP as a percentage vs your starting body weight too.
 

For those who don't reveal PC HP, how do you handle healing spells or short rests?
While I was not a player in this game, I did know of one campaign where the players knew nothing about the mechanics of the game, with all numbers being given in general terms. The DM rolled up a bunch of characters using 4d6 in order, then describing them results for the players to pick, then add race & class. The players never knew their HP either, as those were rolled as well. The players determined their actions, never rolling a single die; everything was rolled by the DM behind the screen. The players were completely at the mercy of the descriptions by the DM, determine how and when to use healing based solely on this. I think with the right DM and group, this could be really fun, but I'd have to trust the DM to actually be rolling the dice and describing things correctly (I don't want to just have free form storytelling).
 

Bill Zebub

“It’s probably Matt Mercer’s fault.”
While I was not a player in this game, I did know of one campaign where the players knew nothing about the mechanics of the game, with all numbers being given in general terms. The DM rolled up a bunch of characters using 4d6 in order, then describing them results for the players to pick, then add race & class. The players never knew their HP either, as those were rolled as well. The players determined their actions, never rolling a single die; everything was rolled by the DM behind the screen. The players were completely at the mercy of the descriptions by the DM, determine how and when to use healing based solely on this. I think with the right DM and group, this could be really fun, but I'd have to trust the DM to actually be rolling the dice and describing things correctly (I don't want to just have free form storytelling).

I agree it could be fun. But I also enjoy the gamey side of the game.
 


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