5E ludonarrative dissonance of hitpoints in D&D

apparently im new to this
Well, you're not a fossil like Garth & me.

Be happy about that, BTW.

It is funny that, far from the stereotypical new fresh perspective, you're retreading some well-trodden ground, though.

see the problem with cutting up the quotes of someone your responding to so much is that your removing a lot of important details for someone else reading it later to understand when they are reading your responses. so i recommend reading my reply to tony vargas before you read his rely to me.
Thing is, I write really long posts, myself, so I kinda get it, but you really do just go on about talking up what you've said, and talking down what others have said, and almost-finishing-stating the same thing three times when you could've just said it once, concisely.

So, yeah, I'm trimming your posts, trying to get down to the actual points. Which involves a certain amount of guesswork, because you do go far beyond the point of diminishing returns when it comes to signal vs noise.
 

Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
see the problem with cutting up the quotes of someone your responding to so much is that your removing a lot of important details for someone else reading it later to understand when they are reading your responses. so i recommend reading my reply to tony vargas before you read his rely to me.
I presume you mean this?
You make a good point about how D&D's description of what hitpoints is, is unsatisfying given what we know it depends on, which it never mentions, being that of experience as a related concept to class, class granting hitpoints at every level with verying degrees.
Yes and we are discussing the patterns that show it does indeed mean skill is contributory to the evading and minimizing of nasty effects so they they do not impact one till hit points equal zero right? just as it did in 1e. I am much more thrilled with descriptive elements of 2e in general but Gygaxian rants/descriptions about hit points were as extensive and comprehensive as we have.
 

Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
Well, you're not a fossil like Garth & me.

Be happy about that, BTW.
Be very very happy.

It is funny that, far from the stereotypical new fresh perspective, you're retreading some well-trodden ground, though.

Thing is, I write really long posts, myself, so I kinda get it, but you really do just go on about talking up what you've said, and talking down what others have said, and almost-finishing-stating the same thing three times when you could've just said it once, concisely.

So, yeah, I'm trimming your posts, trying to get down to the actual points. Which involves a certain amount of guesswork, because you do go far beyond the point of diminishing returns when it comes to signal vs noise.
He is mostly complaining about me trimming because I have failed badly at least once directly on the post I trimmed.
 

Arch-Fiend

Explorer
Well, an emergent quality of the game, that emerges from those mechanical & other properties ('victory conditions') and how players use them.

Doesn't seem in any way abstract, though.
Abstraction in its main sense is a conceptual process where general rules and concepts are derived from the usage and classification of specific examples, literal ("real" or "concrete") signifiers, first principles, or other methods.

"An abstraction" is the outcome of this process—a concept that acts as a common noun for all subordinate concepts, and connects any related concepts as a group, field, or category.
gameplay is the common noun for all the mechanical properties of a game which make up its subordinate concepts. abstraction does not mean abstract.

Well, that's a minimal look at the game play - the ludic part. Where the narrative part?

The DM might try to impose a narrative like the "story side" - set-up and cut-scenes and whatnot - of a video game. But he can also run a total sandbox that's prettymuch /just/ the gameplay, with no preconceived storyline or theme.

Because, until we establish that there's even a "story of the game" for the gameplay to be dissonant with, I don't think we even have a case of Ludonarrative dissonance. Just a case of picking at abstract mechanics in mere dissatisfaction with how abstract they are.
where is the narrative part? probably somewhere you chose to omit

So whats the narrative of D&D? well as you put it, the game can be played with minimal narrative pitting numbers that are assigned to entities the game describes against each other. However the game does imply narratives, hitpoints are definitively physical durability, mental durability, will to live, and luck. A loss of hitpoints is a representation of getting closer to death told through these 4 subordinate concepts, and hitpoints are lowered by damage. Damage has its own meaning as it is divided into several types, and those types of damage have the related concepts such as the source they come from, which for 3, bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing, are represented by natural and manufactured weapons. the entire abstract of damage is also a related concept to immunity, resistance, and durability.

The most simplistic narrative of playing the game still requires all concepts that the game itself puts forward as being connected to each other. My argument has been that this alone is enough to make some accurate and telling comparisons and interpretations of the relationships between these gameplay mechanics and what the most simplistic narrative presented by the game can/should be.
the idea that the gameplay represents anything outside numbers bouncing off numbers is narrative. the game explicitly states things that count toward this. if you chose to omit what hitpoints represents you are actually going from minimal narrative to zero and removing parts of the game that the game establishes definitively.


what i said
The point ive been trying to make is that we can better define the subordinate concepts you rightly point out as being vague, because they too are abstractions. The reason i argue that the related concepts to hitpoints can be used to better define the subordinate concepts is because while the subordinate concepts are vague, the subordinate concepts of "creatures" "kill" "healing" and "damage" are not as vague. i've mostly been arguing from the perspective of damage though each of these related concepts give context that change the narrative of hitpoints.
your response
I mean, you can but it won't mean anything, because you're going into a lower level of abstraction to do so.
given that the subordinate concepts of kill, healing, and damage are not as vague and i am implying they better define hitpoints when used in context to hitpoints, what does a lower level of abstraction mean? does it mean more defined? if not can you explain why?


what i said
Why not? The requirements of an abstract is that its related concepts must have a relationship with all of its subordinate concepts. damage must relate to hitpoints by definition, what damage says about hitpoints relates to hitpoints. creatures must relate to hitpoints by definition, what hitpoints says about creatures is related to creatures by definition, creatures have immunity, resistance, and vulnerability, those concepts relate to how damage applies to hitpoints of the creatures.
your response
I am aware of no such requirement, whatsoever. Where are you getting that? That there are even necessarily "related" or "subordinate" concepts to an abstract idea or rule, let alone that they must have relationships to eachother?
Abstraction in its main sense is a conceptual process where general rules and concepts are derived from the usage and classification of specific examples, literal ("real" or "concrete") signifiers, first principles, or other methods.

"An abstraction" is the outcome of this process—a concept that acts as a common noun for all subordinate concepts, and connects any related concepts as a group, field, or category.[1]
an abstractions function is to be able to be a general noun for all subordinate concepts under it and connect them to any related concepts. if the abstraction of "ball" does not relate all of the subordinate concepts it has to all of its related concepts then what purpose does the abstraction "ball" serve for those subordinate concepts? now individually those subordinate concepts can have their own related terms that dont connect with the abstraction "ball" or other subordinate concepts within the abstraction "ball" but it must be able to be connected to related concepts to the abstraction "ball" to be under the abstraction "ball".

this word were using has a definition, im surprised youve been using it so much without knowing it. thats going to frustrate people you argue about it with. i know i sure am


what you said
I think there might be a category error going on here.
Creatures are measured in hit points.
Damage is measured in hit points.
But creatures aren't damage and damage isn't a creature. So expecting what hit points represent, narratively about an attack or hazard, to be the same as what hit points represent, narratively, about a creature is not tenable.
my responce
There is a direct line of effect that goes through immunity, resistance, and vulnerability as a related concept to creatures between damage and hitpoints. immunity, resistance, and vulnerability as characteristics of creatures has a baring on what hitpoints mean in relationship to that specific creature and the type of damage it has those characteristics as related concepts. thus damage type has a meaning for hitpoints of that creature. This finally means that there is something about that creature which effects how many hitpoints it loses due to a damage type and that poses the questions; How can any creature lose hitpoints due to this damage type? Within context of the rest of the games mechanics what can immunity, resistance, or vulnerability represent? What subordinate concepts of a creatures hitpoints do the representations that immunity, resistance, and vulnerability apply to given this damage type? That tells you how the damage type lowers that creatures hitpoints.
your response
I'm sorry, but none of that makes a sword-swing or a magic missile a creature, nor a creature an attack. They're still very different things.
your consistantly missing the point here. IRV (just going to use that acronym) is a related concept to creatures, its something creatures possess, when IRV is relivent is when a creature takes damage, what hitpoints are is a measure of a creatures distance from death which is reduced by damage. when a creature with IRV takes damage, IRV effects the damage for hitpoints. thus the damage translated through IRV to get to hitpoints says something about the creature that has IRV, and what it says has to be about the 4 subordinate concepts of the hitpoint abstraction.

How can any creature lose hitpoints due to this damage type? = A

Within context of the rest of the games mechanics what can immunity, resistance, or vulnerability represent? = B

What subordinate concepts of a creatures hitpoints do the representations that immunity, resistance, and vulnerability apply to given this damage type? = C

we dont know what A is. we know that B means something because IRV applies regardless of context, a character can be blind and deaf and still have IRV, C is actually an examination of B. if IRV applies regardless of context but we KNOW that any damage a creature takes alerts them to taking damage even if they dont know what kind of damage they take is, then we have to ask, what subordinate concepts of a creatures hitpoints can be reduced without a character knowing its about to take damage, my answer later is "physical and luck" but then we must account that any damage will make the player aware of it, and unless characters are inherently aware of metaphysical effects on their luck, the only remaining option is physical. a character cant react mentally to something happening to them they have no awareness of until it makes them aware of it, and the only way it can do that is deal physical damage.

i kinda say all this but technically a character now that i think of it doesent need IRV for any attack they are completely unaware of before being damage to be physical, IRV is just there to tell us that mechanically the type of damage matters in this instance, but it also means that you cant take the blindfold off and unplug the ears and change the IRV into anything else but an effect on physical durability.


what you said
That doesn't sound quite right. I mean, that'd be a contradiction, sure. If one system element said hit points were your character's resistance to damage, and another said hit points were your character's ability to score hits, that'd be a contradiction. But that's not happening. Rather, hit points are an abstraction used to denominate every possible thing that might kill a character, toted up against every possible factor that might save him, to determine whether he's defeated & dying, yet.
my responce
What doesn't sound quite right is you implying that hit points are an abstraction used to denominate every possible thing that might kill a character. Thats only what hitpoints is in relation to the related concept's of "damage" and "kill". its subordinate components are physical durability, mental durability, will to live, and luck. Those subordinate concepts have meaning, you wouldn't say physical durability and mental durability are the same, thus when i question how the concepts of damage apply to hitpoints I'm questioning how it applies to its subordinate concepts based on the subordinate concepts of damage and the related concepts of damage. However you could say that the entire mechanic of hitpoints, and damage is an abstraction used to denominate every possible thing that might kill a character (unless there are other ways to die). Maybe thats combat, not sure.
your responce
Like I said, there /may/ be a Save-or-die mechanic lurking somewhere in 5e, and the should be a rule for death by drowning, that may well not involve hps. Those could be held up as inconsistencies.

But, the humble D&D hit point could be used to denominate any sort of lethal attack or hazard.

The hit points of a creature are those things.
The hit points of damage done by a fireball are none of those things. Because attacks aren't creatures.


It doesn't matter and it doesn't need to, because the resolution of an attack leading to damage reducing a creature's hit point total all happens at the same level of abstraction, a level /higher/ than, say 'physical durability' by itself.

You're not finding or uncovering, let alone proving inconsistencies, you're manufacturing them, by examining the function of a mechanic at a lower level than that at which it actually functions.
color coding, my editing is improving? maybe. (#666666 and #999999)

at any rate its clear that you chose to write your first part of your responce to my entire paragraph cutting it up into 3 peaces because your first response is a clear missing the point of my arguement which i give context later to. technicly yes you would be wrong also because you wernt counting save or die if that even exists in the game, but it wasent really the point of my arguement.
hitpoints of damage done by a fireball HAVE to be those things, because it cant be anything else, theres no other way to lower your hitpoints besides a reduction in the 4 subordinate concepts of damage, thus any damage must be defined in a way that lowers a characters hitpoints related to those 4 subordinate concepts, no other possibility is granted by the game unless you grant that the game implies you can add or subtract subordinate concepts of hp as you please.
again your objectively wrong because of the definition of abstraction, whenever a related concept applies to an abstraction it MUST apply to all subordinate concepts that the abstract describes, this is what an abstract is and what an abstract does, meaning damage applied to hitpoints is damage applied to all subordinate concepts that hitpoints represent.


my statement
2 abstractions interacting to form something more abstract? Well let me try. lets say we take 2 abstract concepts, "properties" and "verb:use". If you create an abstraction between "properties" and "use" whats you get is an abstraction that only applies to them. However damage isint quite like that because damage has types, and while the game says the following

That doesn't mean that when a type of damage is applied without damage resistance, ect being present on a creature that the type of damage is no longer there. Damage type is still present. thus when damage is done to a character its not the abstract damage applied to them, its one of the subordinate concepts applied to them. So back to our "properties" and "use" abstractions, its more like a type of use is applied to the properties, now we have to pick one, how about "verb:punch"? So when damage is applied to hitpoints it is like "punch" being applied to properties.

This is still pretty vague, but damage as a concept related to hitpoints is not purely a matter of assigning "what happens" its also a matter of assigning "what it means for a character" which is to be closer to being killed. Character is a vague term but is used to denote an individual in an instance so in that way while it is an abstract, its use here isint. Killed is actually a pretty specific term, its still an abstraction, technically every word we use it, but we understand that killed or death is a new state of being for the character. So to add to our analogy a stand in for character will be "this ball" which is a specific that could be an abstract but is still specific when given "this" and for killed we go with "moving" so applying a type of damage to a creatures hitpoints is like comparing to abstracts within the following narrative. Punching this ball's properties to move it.

However there is one more characteristic in damage and hitpoints that hasent been adressed, they are measurements. Hitpoints is a measurement for a creatures distance from being killed, the closer to killed a creature is then the less hitpoints a creature has. For hitpoints this describes not only a measurement for hitpoints but what it is doing in the state a creature is in before they are killed. For damage's measurement, its an action which reduces a characters hitpoints in order to get that character to the state of being killed. When applied to our abstract comparison narrative. hitpoints represent a measure of "this ball's properties preventing it from being moved" while damage represents a measure of "punching this ball in order to move it" thus the higher this ball's properties are the further it is from being moved while the higher the punching this ball is the closer it gets this ball to move.

This is the narrative of damage being applied to hitpoints of a creature in order to kill them. when i compare damage to hitpoints it is to understand how this narrative changes depending on the type of damage and to which subordinate concept of hitpoints that type of damage applies to. whatever a type of damage is, the higher it is the more likely it is to overcome the hitpoints of the creature to kill it. Whatever hitpoints is (and it can only be 4 things), the higher it is the more likely it is to prevent a character from being killed due to a type of damage and when exposed to damage whatever hitpoints is, decreases. Throwing immunity, resistance, and vulnerability into this we have an abstract that stands in the way of whatever type of damage reducing whatever hitpoints is or an abstract making it easier for whatever type of damage reducing whatever hitpoints is. Additionally what immunity, resistance, and vulnerability is, must be something that applies whether a character is aware of what is happening to them or not.
your response
What would an example of such an abstraction between "properties" (in the sense of ownership or the sense of qualities? not sure what you're getting at) and "verb use"

Not important, because that's happening at a lower level of abstraction. If you attack a creature with fire - that is neither resistant nor vulnerable to fire - it's hp are reduced by the basic hit-point-denominated value of the damage inflicted. A creature that is resistant takes less, vulnerable, more. That's as for as the function of the damage type go. If the creature is not reduced to half it's maximum hit points, it's not even supposedly showing "visible signs of wear" so you can't say it's burned (badly enough that it's visible, anyway) let alone 'burned more badly' than the next creature also not reduced to at least half hps. That could be true if the creature were resistant or vulnerable or neither. Heck, a resistant creature with not many hps could be killed outright by a fireball that doesn't even visibly burn a much more powerful creature that /is/ vulnerable.

It means closer to being killed. Because it's an abstract measure of how close it is to being killed.
Seriously.


It's an abstraction of that state, to a simple total number of hit points.

Well, that's at the hit point level of abstract (for once) yes.
lets try a different color (#660000 #990000 #CC0000 #FF3300 #FF6600)

mostly just did this color coding thing here specifically to show everyone just how much you cut, most of what you get wrong here is based on your lack of understanding what an abstraction is as explained a few times so far. theres no "levels" of abstraction, abstraction is just a representation for a group of concepts in relationship with other concepts that all apply to them for the purpose of that abstraction. you can use this entire thing i just wrote to learn how abstraction work, though im sure you know by now if youve read this far down this response. however others might find it useful. but basically if you understand how abstractions work then you understand how those 4 concepts that hitpoints have which are seemingly meaningless and just there for flavortext can actually be contrasted to what the rest of the game says damage is and the relationship between damage and hitpoints in various contexts.


what i said
SO a creature which has resistance to piercing damage which is dealt piercing damage by an invisible and silent creature that they have no awareness of takes less damage due to their resistance, taking less damage means that one of the 4 subordinate concepts goes down putting them closer to death. Of the 4 subordinate concepts of hitpoints, which ones can be reduced for a character with absolutely no idea what the source of damage is that is reducing their hitpoints? Cant be mental durability because something had to happen to a character still for them to lose hitpoints but be from a source they can not see meaning any mental reaction they might have has to be in reaction to losing hitpoints, this likewise applies to will to live. so all that remains is luck and physical damage. BUT a character is aware of being damaged unless some other property is in effect to render them unaware, so whatever damage done to them must be something they personally can be aware of due to taking damage, so unless in your setting a character knows that they are less lucky because someone swiped at them while invisible and silent then they have no way of knowing they just took damage, unless its physical. And this event informs you on what their resistance to this kind of damage has to be, one that fortifies physical durability.
your response
Can be, because they'd be more shaken by being /nearly/ killed by something they know is particularly deadly to them. (Seeing what's stabbing you is not the only way to know you've been stabbed!)

Not so clearly. But, sure, that will could be eroded more rapidly when already harmed by something deadlier to you than other things.

You can certainly 'run out of luck' and, depending on where the attack leaves you relative to your max hps, could have received a physical injury, as well - be it too minor to be visible to those around you, visible 'signs of wear' (assuming you're not also invisible), or, if dropped to 0 something more serious.

But none of that is deterministic, it's all below the level of abstraction of the system that resolved the attack, assigned the damage, and noted the consequences of the hp reduction. So it could be whatever combination of the above makes sense in context.
same color this time but different (#660000 #CC0000 #FF6600)

so how do you know youve been stabbed? is the amount of hp you lose a combination of physical and the rest because you then react to being stabbed and thus the rest of the damage from being stabbed comes through with your reaction? how do you know what kind of damage was dealt? but how does your resistance apply to your mental durability if you dont know what kind of damage it was? this kinda implies that weapons actually do less physical damage than is implied but somehow weapons of greater damage potential have the ability to damage the mental durability more even if the one who is damaged can not see it. or maybe the implication is that there is always mental durability loss associated with physical durability loss, and they are perfectly proportional in every way regardless of what the player knows, and thus the IRV applies to the physical durability thus also by extension applying itself to the mental durability.

so everything i said about will to live applies here too, generally because will to live is a mental response. going to take the time though to just say how stupid will to live damage being applied to all damage is though, it flies in the face of being afraid to die, and the more your at risk of actually dying you should be more afraid to die. sure some characters might not be this way, some people arnt that way, but this is the one subordinate quality out of the 4 that make up health that tells YOU what your player thinks. now certainly some effects in the game should be able to drain the will to live from a character, thats thematic and cool, ive suggested necrotic damage for that, but its not good to create a narrative that takes the control of a characters mind out of the hands of the player except rarely, for will to live to be a concept of hitpoints means its always being messed with outside the players control. thats another reason im against the idea that hitpoints are an even blend of the concepts that make it up, because that would require will to live to always drop to zero along with hitpoints

how would a character know they have lost luck from an attack they have no idea even occurred unless it did damage to their physical durability?

im sure your saying all 4 subordinate concepts are applying at the same time so long as any physical durability is reduced, but if a character's physical durability being reduced means that all other subordinate quantities that make up a character's hitpoints are reduced an equal measure, then whats the point in having them? they are all connected evenly, that means that if you divided a characters health by 1/4, divided the damage they took equally and said it was only physical durability then except the few rare cases that a class feature of spell grants hitpoints in a way that could only be interpreted as the other 3 subordinate concepts, the game would work just the same. if its all the same then its meaningless. there's no point in describing hitpoints this way and its of no use to a gm if they have to all be equal measures of the same concept.
 

Arch-Fiend

Explorer
so we've gotten to nearly unreadable levels of responding to each other

also im going to think hard about if i actually respond again, because its effecting my life to take 2-3 hours a post writing a response.

didint capitalize my last one

i think ill be ok if we dont have to talk about the definition of an abstraction again and can just get down to whether a blind and deaf skeleton feels sad when stabbed by a longsword.

wait i just looked it up skeletons arnt resistant to piercing anymore? what kind of savages made 5e? well just humor me and imagine skeletons are resistant to piercing.

i think will to live has more to do with commenting on internet forums than hitpoints




in my response to tony i point out that its possible that you could argue that regardless of what the logical subordinate concept that the loss of health should be applied to due to the context of how the damage occurs; that damage can be argued to still be applied to all the subordinate concepts, not simply because they are all part of the abstract hitpoints but simply because part of the damage is your reaction to it and "luck" just rides on top of it anyway.

if this is the case, then it can be argued that all forms of damage apply to the subordinate concepts of hitpoints evenly because "reasons". and i cant argue against that, i dont even want to argue against that. heres the thing, i started this whole thing to argue against an interpretation that said "hitpoints are this" and that interpretation was concrete implying hitpoints are always that. if hitpoints are always everything, because everything is connected, IE any damage which would only rationally be initiated by physical durability loss would always also cause all the other ingredients to also deplete equally to physical durability. then that already argues against the point i was arguing with. but it also means that you cant interpret damage as anything but that, unless you can, if you can say that whenever you want damage means a loss of one ingredient of hitpoints without effecting other ingredients of hitpoints but also when i have you dead to rights that physical durability has to go down and still have "everything goes down with it" then congrats you have an inconsistent game.

this isnt fun anymore, its not useful to anyone, sure it might be informative on how far this argument can go, or might teach everyone what an abstract is. but this is honestly bottom the the barrel i think at this point my idea for having hitpoints as all meat, or just as much as i want until its not justified and then just having hitpoints work via the other ideas of what hitpoints mean situationally is validated. because while it might be true that you can argue that if a character takes damage that has to apply to their physical durability it can still apply to all others equally, you cant argue that in those cases it has to apply, and then we go to the matter of consistency, is it meant to be consistent or not? if not then that dissonant but i guess no one cares so why should i care?

sorry if im preempting any responses that might be made to what i wrote earlier to tony, but you can at least see where im coming from with this mess. weve worked this out to the point where im happy but tired. i dont really think anyone's going to say anything enlightening after this point, id love to be surprised though, so i will keep checking if the conversation continues and covers any meaningful ground, but i dont expect it to. someone might agree with what i said, but theres ultimately a hole and everything below that horizontal cant be undone
 
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clearstream

Be just and fear not...
the first instance of the use of the term ludonarrative dissonance in game critisism comes from this article. Ludonarrative Dissonance in Bioshock now i havent read this article because ive never played the game in question, however what i do know off the top of my head is a more recent instance of it in videogames from the 2013 tomb raider where your character struggles to self defend herself by killing another person and is very emotionally distressed by it to an uncomfortable to watch degree (many people react this way when they have to defend themselves to this extreme) then seconds later the game expects you to go around like a typical FPS shooting hundreds of people with no effect on gameplay by what the story just presented to you.
A motive I have for not favouring ludonarrative dissonance as a concept is that I think games are more properly and powerfully thought of as generators of narrative, rather than adorned by narratives. It's true the latter is common, where bubbles of gameplay are strung together by threads of plot... but this is our failing, not that of games. So sessions of Chess generate linear narratives - or histories - out of their non-linear, dynamic play.

Reading the Bioshock analysis, it strikes for me a plaintive note. The author (and possibly the designers!) thought that the narrative was going to be X, but it was Y. Notably Y is the only authentic narrative of the game: it is the actual history of play. X is an adornment - ideas or statements about what the narrative is supposed to be. It amounts to preconceptions - I am disappointed or jarred that what I thought the narrative is turned out not to be what the narrative is. The mistake is in forgetting that a game is a generator of narratives.

At present games are poorly understood and woefully incomplete for all kinds of reasons including technical limitations. We're involved in a slow shift where we transfer our old-fashioned, bad-as-descriptions-of-the-universe linear narratives onto the new non-linear, multi-dimensional and dynamic framework of games. So we inflict ludonarrative dissonances upon ourselves.
 

clearstream

Be just and fear not...
how would a character know they have lost luck from an attack they have no idea even occurred unless it did damage to their physical durability?
Because the one is exactly as imaginary as the other. This is what I have described as the plaintive nature of claims of ludonarrative dissonance: the authentic narrative does not match one I have imposed upon it.

The plaintiff is absolutely entitled to find this jarring, but they can't claim the game is not able to do what it in fact is doing, just because they cannot find a narrative they like to adorn it with.
 

Fanaelialae

Adventurer
Regarding an attack by a hidden, invisible enemy that the creature is unaware of; since you lose the hidden status when you attack, the creature will no longer be unaware of the enemy. Hence, the creature managed to sense that the attack was incoming and dodged at the last moment. They're aware of the damage both in the sense that they have an awareness that they are lucky to be alive, as well as possibly being winded by the sudden evasive maneuver, or even scraped up by their evasive maneuvers. That will all depend on the creature's remaining HP total.

You previously replied to me that my old DM's description of meat point damage as leaving the arm hanging by sinew (despite the character having > 50% HP left) was a bad description. Your "sad skeleton" example is also a bad description in a similar sense. Just because you choose to apply a nonsensical narrative to describe the scenario doesn't mean that sensible descriptions don't exist. It's fairly easy to imagine that the attack, rather than scoring a telling blow, glances off a rib and slides between the bones without doing any damage to the skeleton's physical integrity. If the skeleton is sentient, it is probably aware that it just got very lucky. If not, I don't think it matters whether it is aware of the HP loss since it probably has no survival instinct.
 
Other examples

I am fated to die by fire and take double damage from it.
(luck flavor)

My divine connection wants me to experience the purity of flame
(one divine favor flavor)

My god themself is a god of meadowlands and is ill equipped to deal with fire. (another divine favor flavor)
Realistically, the only way you can narrate damage in D&D is after combat is completed. There's no other way to do it since narrating any damage in the moment can be contradicted quite easily at a later moment. Was that wound lethal? Well, you didn't die and you dropped a second wind resulting in you gaining more than 1/2 your HP, therefore, you aren't wounded at all.

Any attempt to define HP during combat is bound to fail.
Well... any attempt to narrate it as meat can fail.

That’s one of the biggest objections to non-magical healing abilities as well. Magical healing covers all possible hp loss narrations. Non-magical healing specifically excludes bodily harm because it can’t heal that.
 
that might be my longest one yet, though i feel like i did good work in that long section near the end i accidentally stopped capitalizing.
When you respond to everything someone says with nearly twice as many words...

Let’s just say if you were in a discussion with yourself then y’all would only last about 20 posts with each other before it head realistically be impossible for you to respond to each other.
 

Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
Non-magical healing specifically excludes bodily harm because it can’t heal that.
The explicit distinguishing battlefield inspiration healing from afflictions / impairing wounds just acknowledges this... It do think they needed to make wounding an explicit option in 4e (it seemed obvious to some of us that afflictions were under-developed concept). Kind of akin to what 5th edition did with its optional rule.
Imo every edition does as something significant enough to fictionally render you unconscious must occur between 0 and 1 hp
However a natural regenerative who takes more risks and real wound integrates well by converting the physicality of the meat damage into fatigue and strain. So that the modern bard or the warlord can enable the heroes to dig deep and refresh themselves. (I also like the awesome being in the hero not so much his go go juice or wands of clw or whatever)
 
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gameplay is the common noun for all the mechanical properties of a game which make up its subordinate concepts. abstraction does not mean abstract.
Not how it seemed in the discussions I found of ludonarrative dissonance. Certainly, mechanics contribute to gameplay, but, also, clearly, so do other things - at least in the native contexts of the term, video games. In TTRPGs, other things, like the DM, will clearly contribute on both the ludic and narrative planes.

where is the narrative part? probably somewhere you chose to omit
In a CRPG, there's a narrative established by the game, the role (or available roles you choose from) you'll be playing, the backstory of that character, their motivation, beliefs, objective - and, via needing to complete certain things to advance, and cut-scenes between them, and other devices I may not be familiar with, an actual 'story' that unfolds in a certain way or branching set of possible ways.
That's a lot of establishing narrative.
The dissonance comes in when the gameplay that emerges from the game's mechanics & player's choices is at odds with that story. If the story paints the PC as a noble hero, unwilling to kill without cause, and the play is open to the PC just slaughtering his way through levels, bystanders included, was one instance I saw.

That would only seem to apply to RPGs when they're being payed in a 'storytelling mode' from the GM side of the screen (as opposed to troupe-style storytelling), or when there's a pre-packaged adventure with an over-arching story presented.

So, I might see ludonarrative dissonance happening in the context of a TTRPG, in an 'Adventure Path' style product. But, not in the details of one mechanic.


what i said
your response
what i said
your response
Like I said, you go on way too much about this sorta stuff (also, in this context, it vanishes as soon as I hit 'reply,' so really pretty useless).
I'd prefer to focus on any relevant points...

an abstractions function is to be able to be a general noun for all subordinate concepts under it and connect them to any related concepts if the abstraction of "ball" does not relate all of the subordinate concepts it has to all of its related concepts then what purpose does the abstraction "ball" serve for those subordinate concepts?
So if you were reading about an abstract concept of a ball, and it said "a 'ball' can be any roughly spherical object used in a game, whether made from synthetic or natural rubber, leather, or even horsehair" should that really be taken to exclude ping-pong balls, because they're plastic? And, if you did take it that way, would it invalidate the abstraction?
Because that seems an odd and unnecessary bar to decoding the concept.

your consistantly missing the point here.
The point is that you are making a category error. You expect two different things to be the same, and consider the fact that they are different a problem.

IRV (just going to use that acronym)
If you are going to use an acronym, please type it out at least once. To me "IRV" means "Independent Re-entry Vehicle." Because child of the cold war.

How can any creature lose hitpoints due to this damage type? = A
Within context of the rest of the games mechanics what can immunity, resistance, or vulnerability represent? = B
What subordinate concepts of a creatures hitpoints do the representations that immunity, resistance, and vulnerability apply to given this damage type? = C
I believe we've gone over this quite thoroughly. The lethality of an attack or hazard is measured in hit points. And the capacity of a creature to minimize that lethality is also measured in hit points.
But the creature is not an attack/hazard, and the attack/hazard is not a creature.
Immunity/resistance and vulnerability are qualities of the creature that make certain attacks more or less lethal against it.
Damage type is a quality of attack that can be referenced in determining if those creature qualities apply.

It's all at least as consistent and sensible as anything else in D&D.
(Which, no, is not saying much.)


color coding, my editing is improving? maybe. (#666666 and #999999)
Futile. I use browser accessibility settings: everything appears in the same font, size, and color.

a clear missing the point of my arguement which i give context later to
Try stating the point clearly and concisely.

theres no other way to lower your hitpoints besides a reduction in the 4 subordinate concepts of damage
Only if you believe that list was exhaustive. I see nothing in the phrasing to imply that must be the case. Any argument that rests on a natural language list being exhaustive, when it doesn't explicitly state that it is such, is doomed to failure.
Find another leg to stand on. That entire line of reasoning fails before it starts.

mostly just did this color coding thing here specifically to show everyone just how much you cut
More and more will be cut, as you add more and more extraneous verbiage

If you try to state you case concisely, you may finally realize you have nothing.

most of what you get wrong here is based on your lack of understanding what an abstraction is as explained
Look up abstraction.


so how do you know youve been stabbed? is the amount of hp you lose a combination of physical and the rest because you then react to being stabbed and thus the rest of the damage from being stabbed comes through with your reaction?
You don't need to know, in the intellectual sense, that you've been stabbed in order to react to it.
How do you know to snatch your hand away when you touch a hot surface? You don't, it's a reflex. After, you may or may not know, for certain, it was a hot surface - it may have been a chemical burn, for instance. But, if you were innately vulnerable to one, and mystically resistant to the other, they would likely be very different experiences.

how would a character know they have lost luck from an attack
Maybe they'd just get a feeling that "their luck was running out" - you do hear characters say that sorta thing. ;)

im sure your saying all 4 subordinate concepts are applying at the same time so long as any physical durability is reduced
No, I'm saying, because hps are an abstract (look it up) mechanic, it doesn't matter which of those factors (and/or other similar factors), in which proportion, 'really' happened. The point of an abstract mechanic is that you /don't/ need to deal with those details.

but if a character's physical durability being reduced means that all other subordinate quantities that make up a character's hitpoints are reduced an equal measure, then whats the point in having them?
Same or different proportions doesn't really matter - they could all come up in any specific instance, they could be applied in very different proportions in the same hypothetical instance, because, for one possible instance, the available proportion is different at that moment.

The point of, instead, tracking every possible factor that might help the character avoid the lethal effect of an attack, would be to model the combat in excruciating detail, but that's not practical nor of any great value in the TTRPG in question. So there is no practical worthwhile point to having any one of those things modeled in detail (nor any one of them explicitly excluded), that's why we use the abstract measure of hps, instead.
 
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Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
Maybe they'd just get a feeling that "their luck was running out" - you do hear characters say that sorta thing. ;)
"Boy that was lucky I surely cannot keep this up" runs through characters head... (they start feeling concerned) the Warlord sees the look on their face and says buck up chum we are gonna tear them a good one. The priest says the divine will lead the way. And the bard mentions how the character is so like a family hero.
 

Arch-Fiend

Explorer
so ive decided that this is really the only thing im going to argue about here for now. i kinda dont care as much about the rest anymore because frankly ive kinda defeated myself on the arguement of what hitpoints can be as i created an arguement to explain the best arguement i could think of to argue that hitpoints have to mean something more specific in a specific context.

what i said
Why not? The requirements of an abstract is that its related concepts must have a relationship with all of its subordinate concepts. damage must relate to hitpoints by definition, what damage says about hitpoints relates to hitpoints. creatures must relate to hitpoints by definition, what hitpoints says about creatures is related to creatures by definition, creatures have immunity, resistance, and vulnerability, those concepts relate to how damage applies to hitpoints of the creatures.
your response
I am aware of no such requirement, whatsoever. Where are you getting that? That there are even necessarily "related" or "subordinate" concepts to an abstract idea or rule, let alone that they must have relationships to eachother?
my retort
an abstractions function is to be able to be a general noun for all subordinate concepts under it and connect them to any related concepts. if the abstraction of "ball" does not relate all of the subordinate concepts it has to all of its related concepts then what purpose does the abstraction "ball" serve for those subordinate concepts? now individually those subordinate concepts can have their own related terms that dont connect with the abstraction "ball" or other subordinate concepts within the abstraction "ball" but it must be able to be connected to related concepts to the abstraction "ball" to be under the abstraction "ball".

this word were using has a definition, im surprised youve been using it so much without knowing it. thats going to frustrate people you argue about it with. i know i sure am
your rebuttal
So if you were reading about an abstract concept of a ball, and it said "a 'ball' can be any roughly spherical object used in a game, whether made from synthetic or natural rubber, leather, or even horsehair" should that really be taken to exclude ping-pong balls, because they're plastic? And, if you did take it that way, would it invalidate the abstraction?
Because that seems an odd and unnecessary bar to decoding the concept.
good ol definition of abstraction as you later tell me to look up what an abstraction is, despite using its definition for days Abstraction - Wikipedia im not going to quote it this time.

you've created an abstraction "ball" and in the abstraction "ball" you listed the definition of what it "can be" which you stated as "any roughly spherical object" (2 related concepts; 1 abstract "object" and 1 specific "spherical" based on the definitions of those words) "used in" (a related concept and abstract) "a game" (a related concept and abstract) "whether made from" (a related concept and abstract), "synthetic or natural rubber, leather, or even horsehair" (a list of subordinate concepts of the "made from" abstraction).

the reason why the subordinate concept of "pingpong ball" can not be added to the abstraction of "ball" is because you state that what the ball can be "made of" is any of those subordinate concepts listed by "made of" though im not sure if plastic counts as a specific concept under the abstract "synthetics" or not.

what your last question is isnt completely clear but ill just answer it in a way that might apply to both questions it could possibly be. the invalidity of the abstract "ball" depends on it its related concept "made of" being consistent, if you decided that the "ball" abstraction could have the subordinate concept of "pingpong ball" without "made of" having subordinate concepts that apply to the "pingpong ball" subordinate concept of the abstract "ball" then it wouldnt invalidate the abstraction "ball" it would invalidate its relation with "made of" within the statement you made about its definition, your definition would be wrong.

odd and unnecessary? that's logic, its all about associations, if you create associations that conflict with each other than your statement about those associations must change or your wrong.

what this means for hitpoints is that anything stated about damage is a statement about hitpoints, because hitpoints dont do anything without damage. if a statement about hitpoints conflicts with a statement about damage, then that statement is wrong. hitpoints and damage might be correct in isolation, but if they depend on eachother, they must also not conflict with each other.
 
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Arch-Fiend

Explorer
so i've said this a few times now after my last long reply to tony but this is it in a concise chunk

i came up with an explanation for hitpoints where any type of damage in any context of damage can still mean all 4 subordinate concepts of damage are at play at the same time. all you have to do is say that if a character takes any damage, regardless of source, regardless of context, that damage has an net effect where all 4 concepts of hitpoints are lowered. so say you have a blind deaf character who is stabbed. while they technically cant mentally react to damage before it happens, they can mentally react to losing physical durability by losing mental durability, will to live, and luck as a reaction to it, in fact its forced on them. this basically defuses any arguments i can make about how damage has to be one thing at any one time, but on the same token it means that the only way for damage to only apply to one subordinate concept of hitpoints is by being inconsistent with the idea that any form of damage applies to all 4 subordinate concepts of damage at the same time regardless of context.
 

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