D&D 5E Should healing magic be based on HD or not?

Should healing magic spells be based on HD size?

  • No. This allows different spells to heal different amounts, such as Healing Word's d4.

    Votes: 18 21.4%
  • Mixed. You can have some spells use HD size, but others don't. It doesn't need to be universal.

    Votes: 17 20.2%
  • Mixed. As above, but force a creature healed to spend its HD to benefit from the spell.

    Votes: 15 17.9%
  • Yes. But creatures don't actually spend their HD when healed, it is just based on their HD size.

    Votes: 13 15.5%
  • Yes. As above, but force a creature healed to spend its HD to benefit from the spell.

    Votes: 16 19.0%
  • Other. Please explain in your response.

    Votes: 5 6.0%


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DND_Reborn

Legend
yeah I miss front loaded HP...

I think smaller increases would work better and smaller total hp, but more front loaded.
I think in some fashion you might like what we're doing for our 5E mod.

At level 0 (prologue) you will typically have only 6-10 HP (but ACs are better, so taking damage is a bit rarer). However, you have 3d8 for hit dice. So, you can spend 1d8 at a time to replenish some of your HP during the encounter or at any point during the day.

You can also withstand another 5 HP (potentially, depending on spend HD) before you actually die.

At level 1, you will gain about 5 HP and another HD.

It doesn't have as much front loaded HP as 4E from the sounds of it, but it is better than 5E at lower levels. However, since we don't add a HP bonus per level for CON, HP are lower at higher levels once the frontloading is "caught up to". So, eventually you will have smaller total HP, but you have a bit more HD for natural healing. It makes individual encounters more risky, but keeps over all survival pretty close to 5E.
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen (She/Her/Hers)
yeah I miss front loaded HP...

I think smaller increases would work better and smaller total hp, but more front loaded.
Yeah, in 5e levels 1 and 2 feel way too swingy, 3-5 feel pretty good, and past that the HP bloat gets out of control pretty quickly. Con score to starting HP was a really good approach. Maybe for a 5e hack you could do full hit die plus con score at 1st level, and at later levels roll hit die and gain either the result or your con mod HP, whichever is greater.
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen (She/Her/Hers)
On the other hand, some people really like zeroes to heroes, but it's a slightly different matter than healing.
I like zero to hero, but I would rather that be expressed more through offensive capabilities. Characters could stand to be a decent amount more survivable in the early game, and a decent amount more vulnerable in the mid-late game in my opinion.
 

On the other hand, some people really like zeroes to heroes, but it's a slightly different matter than healing.
Some of this depends on exactly what one means by "zero" and "hero."

Is it heroic to be able to last more than a couple rounds in an ordinary fight, or is it heroic to be able to hold your own against many opponents, or...? Is it "zeroic" to be constantly at risk of instant death, or is it more a matter of the kinds of threats you're realistically able to address, or perhaps a limited offensive capacity as suggested by @Charlaquin ?
 

Lyxen

Great Old One
I like zero to hero, but I would rather that be expressed more through offensive capabilities. Characters could stand to be a decent amount more survivable in the early game, and a decent amount more vulnerable in the mid-late game in my opinion.

Honestly 5e characters, without being as fragile as those of early editions, are actually fairly fragile, the main difference being that they have more options even at low level. And they are still quite vulnerable at high level, as long as you adjust the threat for the actual capabilities of the PC. As for offensive capabilities, I think they are already there, the proof being that 5e fights are already the shortest of any edition...
 

Lyxen

Great Old One
Some of this depends on exactly what one means by "zero" and "hero."

Is it heroic to be able to last more than a couple rounds in an ordinary fight, or is it heroic to be able to hold your own against many opponents, or...? Is it "zeroic" to be constantly at risk of instant death, or is it more a matter of the kinds of threats you're realistically able to address, or perhaps a limited offensive capacity as suggested by @Charlaquin ?

There is no absolute in this, but for sure the range is greater in 5e than it was in 4e, although I agree that it's not as wide as it was in earlier editions or even in 3e (where the "hero" part was on par with AD&D if not necessarily BECMI).

My view on "zeroes" from zeroest to zeroless:
  1. AD&D/BECMI (very fragile)
  2. 3e/5e (quite fragile but many abilities and ways to recover)
  3. 4e (not fragile at all)
My view on heroes from less heroic to heroic-est
  1. 4e (simply calling something epic does not make it so in the game)
  2. 5e (high levels especially casters have been severely gimped)
  3. AD&D (depended on your house rules but could be pretty epic)
  4. 3e (20th level were extremely epic although admittedly nigh unplayable)
  5. BECMI (divine ascension was really part of the game)
 

While I'm already well aware of your strident antipathy for 4e, I'm afraid this doesn't really answer my question.

Is fragility the only thing that defines a zero? Would seem then that even some of your proffered examples don't sit well, since you have things like Rangers getting 2d8 HP or the like. And this tells me nothing at all about what "epic" means, other than...apparently playing gods, I guess?

And this is what I mean by even if you account for the subjectivity of it, "zero" and "hero" seem to be very squishy things. Like the legal definition of obscenity, you know it when you see it, but specifying any more precisely than that seems to be a fool's errand.
 

Lyxen

Great Old One
While I'm already well aware of your strident antipathy for 4e, I'm afraid this doesn't really answer my question.

You are aware of nothing, since you are obviously so misguided. I don't have any specific antipathy for 4e, I'm just actually annoyed at people still trying to push it through in every single instance of a conversation like it's the one true solution to every single RPG problem ever. Apart from that, on its own, it's a great game that I enjoyed for a few years, it's just that it does not correspond at all to the way I played D&D before and to my expectations of the game in general, and as soon as an alternative appeared that much better corresponded to my expectations, I switched over and never looked back. It's a matter of personal taste, I won't criticise yours if you don't criticise mine. And while I'm honestly amongst the first people to recognise a number of 4e qualities, I'm really, really, REALLY annoyed by 4e fanboys and their attitude, their defensiveness and their desperate need to show that it was actually not that bad and did not deserve the treatment that it received.

Is fragility the only thing that defines a zero? Would seem then that even some of your proffered examples don't sit well, since you have things like Rangers getting 2d8 HP or the like.

On the one hand, you're right, fragility is not the only criterion, I should have added the intrinsic power (due to abilities) but from my perspective the rating is about the same. And I won't comment about very small deviations in the rating, if really pushed, I would probably say that because there are no deviations, BECMI is probably even more "zero" than AD&D, but the difference is minute.

And this tells me nothing at all about what "epic" means, other than...apparently playing gods, I guess?

In a sense, it shows that I was right about the rating since apparently you don't even know what it means. :p

After that, well just have a look at the type of adventures published for the various editions and how they are supposed to be carried out by the adventurers and you will very quickly see the difference. But yes, becoming actual heroes, with corresponding powers to influence the universe (and not just a few squares of a grid), actual demigods and potentially gods is part of the journey, at least the way I see it.

And this is what I mean by even if you account for the subjectivity of it,

As the ratings start with "my view", I don't think that anyone would claim that it was anything but subjective. I will cut up the rest, since you descending into borderline insult just goes to show how short of actual arguments you actually are. Please don't start another edition war, as usual, it comes from 4e fanboys trying to push their views and not allowing for any different view.
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
Mod Note:
Folks, if you cannot handle this discussion politely and with mutual personal respect, you can and should leave the conversation before you say things that make it clear that you should be removed from it. Some of you are already up against that line.

 

HammerMan

Legend
I think in some fashion you might like what we're doing for our 5E mod.

At level 0 (prologue) you will typically have only 6-10 HP (but ACs are better, so taking damage is a bit rarer). However, you have 3d8 for hit dice. So, you can spend 1d8 at a time to replenish some of your HP during the encounter or at any point during the day.

You can also withstand another 5 HP (potentially, depending on spend HD) before you actually die.

At level 1, you will gain about 5 HP and another HD.

It doesn't have as much front loaded HP as 4E from the sounds of it, but it is better than 5E at lower levels. However, since we don't add a HP bonus per level for CON, HP are lower at higher levels once the frontloading is "caught up to". So, eventually you will have smaller total HP, but you have a bit more HD for natural healing. It makes individual encounters more risky, but keeps over all survival pretty close to 5E.
yeah I worked on a whole house ruled system where you started with Con score HP then every other level you got a HD (2,4,6,ect) but on the odd levels after first you got 1,2,or3hp the way post 10th level worked in 2e...
 

DND_Reborn

Legend
yeah I worked on a whole house ruled system where you started with Con score HP then every other level you got a HD (2,4,6,ect) but on the odd levels after first you got 1,2,or3hp the way post 10th level worked in 2e...
That would certainly reduce maximum HP over all, but doesn't the lack of HD limit non-magical healing too much?
 


Blue

Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal
Just to point out another Healing Surge like implementation, take a look at 13th Age. It's not surprising it has something close - the lead designer of 4e made it, along with a lead designer of 3.0.

Recoveries
Each PC starts the adventure with 8 or 9 recoveries, a stat that represents the PC’s ability to heal or bounce back from damage. Many healing spells and potions require you to use up a recovery. So does rallying during a battle.

When you use a recovery, regain lost hit points by rolling recovery dice equal to your level and adding your Constitution modifier. Your class indicates which recovery die to use.

At 5th level, double the bonus you get from your Con modifier. At 8th level, triple it.

If you perform an action that requires a recovery but have none left, you get half the healing you would otherwise get and take a –1 penalty to all defenses and attack rolls until your next full heal-up. This penalty stacks for each recovery used that you don’t possess.

Spells and such triggered these. For example, if you cast Cure Wounds as a 1st level spell it would let you spend a recovery, a 3rd level spell and it would also let you save against every condition, and progressively more bonuses using a 5th, 7th, or 9th slot.

Some interesting twists - when you took a rest if you were below half HPs after a battle, you were required to spend Recoveries until above half. Even if you didn't have any left.

Anyone could take an action in combat to Rally, which would trigger a recovery. (And fighter could do it as a quick action and possibly more, and dwarves when hit once per encounter can spend a free recovery). First time each encounter it triggers perfectly. If you need to do it more than once it can fail though.
 
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Finally found my notes.I'm an extremely organized person when I have to move and I still can't find anything

Homebrewed rules for alternative use of HDs:

Artificer can spend hit die to replenish charges in magic items. They must roll a 10 or higher with the die + intelligence modifier per charge.

Barbarians can roll hit dice and add the results plus their con modifier to gain temporary hit points whenever they enter rage. Max amount of dice they can spend at one time is equal to their constitution modifier.

Fighters can spend additional hit dice when they use second wind up to a number = half their fighter level.

Monks can spend a hit die to heal themselves whenever they use patient defense or step to wind.
 

So I've played with a rule where you may spend HD when magically healed (1 HD per die of healing rolled). You also got all you HD back on a long rest.

It worked fine. It made longer adventuring days easier to manage and made ion-combat healing more usable (since a high-slot-level healing spell could restore more than one monster attack's worth of hp), but it didn't work well enough to make us keep the rule. It was mostly a lateral change, maybe a slight improvement, but not really worth the effort of remembering the houserule.

FWIW, the only houserule to make the "worth remembering" cutoff is 'bonus action to drink a potion.'
 

So I've played with a rule where you may spend HD when magically healed (1 HD per die of healing rolled). You also got all you HD back on a long rest.

It worked fine. It made longer adventuring days easier to manage and made ion-combat healing more usable (since a high-slot-level healing spell could restore more than one monster attack's worth of hp), but it didn't work well enough to make us keep the rule. It was mostly a lateral change, maybe a slight improvement, but not really worth the effort of remembering the houserule.

FWIW, the only houserule to make the "worth remembering" cutoff is 'bonus action to drink a potion.'
Honestly I haven't had much issues with players remembering my house rules because they are on the back of my screen and the majority of them are simplifying or making interactions better for them.
 

Honestly I haven't had much issues with players remembering my house rules because they are on the back of my screen and the majority of them are simplifying or making interactions better for them.
Well, I mostly play online so the only one who can see the back of my screen is the cat. I don't know if she understands the concept of 'rules'; she definitely doesn't think they apply to her.

This change is mostly added complexity. The only character type it would help is a dedicated healer, so if no one's playing that it's mostly a miss.
 

Well, I mostly play online so the only one who can see the back of my screen is the cat. I don't know if she understands the concept of 'rules'; she definitely doesn't think they apply to her.

This change is mostly added complexity. The only character type it would help is a dedicated healer, so if no one's playing that it's mostly a miss.
Yes it is more difficult to pull off in a digital media platform. Of course I think there's a lot of nuances that failed to translate well to that medium. I don't mind running 4e online because the system supports that type of codified play.
 

Blue

Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal
Yeah, in 5e levels 1 and 2 feel way too swingy, 3-5 feel pretty good, and past that the HP bloat gets out of control pretty quickly. Con score to starting HP was a really good approach. Maybe for a 5e hack you could do full hit die plus con score at 1st level, and at later levels roll hit die and gain either the result or your con mod HP, whichever is greater.
Taking the maximum of CON mod and die roll makes CON barely worth it for the martial classes, which doesn't seem to be what we want. It also requires record keeping of each roll in case your CON goes up later.
 
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