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D&D 4E Should hit points continue to be generated randomly in 4e?

Should hit points continue to be generated randomly in 4e?

  • Yes

    Votes: 152 32.9%
  • No

    Votes: 310 67.1%

  • Total voters
    462

GhostTiger

First Post
Cadfan said:
How likely do you think it is that another significant part of the allure of "random" stats and hp is that the houserules you and everyone else add function to give you a very, very high chance of above average stats and hit points?


Er -- that's what I said.
 

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Ravellion

serves Gnome Master
Back in 2e my character was a super tough dwarf. 2 fighters in our group, and mine had 18 CON! At first level, we got max hp, and I definitely had an edge over that flimsy elf with 8 CON (no penalty in 2e), with 14 vs 10 hp.

After 3 more levels though, I had rolled a 2,3 and a 4. The elf? 8,9,8. His hit points? 35. Mine? 31. Of course, the Elf had a better DEX too, so he didn't get hit as much. Lesson learnt: if hit points are rolled, don't bother with CON. Put your high score in STR or DEX. If you then roll crappy hit points, you'll die, and get to start a new character that isn't nerfed for no reason whatsoever, or even exactly contrary to the design choice made by the player. If you have a high CON, you could roll crap and still live, while your other stats would be no better off.

Some people argue: "But in the long run it all evens out!". Well if it does, why bother rolling in the first place? Get your random rolls out of my hit points!
 

Ravellion

serves Gnome Master
Sun Knight said:
4e shouldn't force the DM to use one method over another, but instead give the DM options to let him pick which one he is most comfortable with for his or her campaign. Such as in my gaming group, the DMs have decided to use the method that the character or monster, PC or NPC, gains maximum hit points for his or her hit dice for the first thee levels (or hit dice) then one half the hit die + 1 per level or hit die there after, applying any Constitution modifiers or hit points gained by feats.
And do spell casters still use damage spells? And if they do, why?!

"Hmmmm.... everything takes about 4 or 5 fireballs to kill, instead of 2 or 3... better switch to save or sleep/paralyze/die kind of spells"

That is another problem with random rolled hit die rolling, as mentioned earlier, most groups do use a random system, but don't balance it with the existing hp expectation that's already in the system.
 

wayne62682

First Post
Death to randomness! Take it from experience, it's no fun to have a badass character and roll crappy for hit points. Nothing should be random when it comes to generating/leveling up characters. It should entirely be based on player choice. If streamlining HP so Fighter-types will always have more hit points than non-fighters is "cookie-cutter", then there's a bigger issues somewhere.

Every group I've played in has used some kind of house rule to help with HP. Most notably was where you had three re-rolls that you could use, and the roll didn't count if you rolled lower than average+1. So 9 times out of 10 you'd end up eventually rolling max, or close to max, and even if you didn't and you used up your re-rolls you'd get Avg+1.

I'm firmly in the no random hit points/ability scores for 4E camp.
 

MarkB

Legend
EATherrian said:
I don't know, some of the most fun I had was with a character who was a fighter/cleric (this is second edition) with only a 7 Constitution who never rolled more than 1 for the hit points. I may not have lasted long in every fight, but dang it it was fun.
Sucks to be him when a fireball goes off. Against a level-appropriate opponent who rolls average damage, that's pretty much instant death on a successful Reflex save.
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
To sum up: What we have here is the classic law (fixed) vs. chaos (random) argument.

Assuming in all cases internal consistency within the game (i.e. the DM isn't changing the rules on the fly), we get:

Some people like a more "lawful" game, where things in the players' realm are as predictable as possible e.g. fixed hit points, full choice of class-race, point-buy or arrayed stats, etc.; and where things in the DM's realm hopefully follow somewhat closely to the structured rules of engagement e.g. proper CR/EL levels, proper wealth-by-level, regular level advancement, and so on.

Some people like a more "chaotic" game, where a player's inbound idea for a character may well be thrown a curveball by the dice (for good or bad) and many things are generated randomly e.g. hit points, base stats, initial wealth, etc.; and where the DM by and large throws CR/EL and wealth guidelines out the window shortly after puck-drop, and the PCs are pretty much left on their own and had better be ready to run like hell.

Call me chaotic.

Lanefan
 


wayne62682

First Post
CleverNickName said:
What he said.
And yet nobody can cite real reasons why having fixed hit points is "cookie-cutter". The ability score argument I can at least agree upon in theory (although I am against that too) but, as someone else said, if hit points are being used to determine uniqueness in your game, then something is very, very wrong.
 


RFisher

Explorer
Well, I--for one--am not going to try to justify enjoying rolling for hp beyond saying that it's fun. I can't imagine I would've have included such a thing in the game if I'd designed it. (Except for it now being well established.) Yet, I can't deny that I enjoy it.

I'd even like to someday get the chance to play under a DM that doesn't feel the need to soften it with a house rule.

Sabathius42 said:
That's the rub. Almost everyone is gung-ho for going with random rolls but then have to add in house rules so that the roll isn't TOO random.

Doesn't have to be all or nothing, does it? A person can prefer random, but less-random, right?

Sabathius42 said:
Nothing else involved in leveling up a character is random, so why have this one little thing hang on?

Again, it doesn't have to be all or nothing, does it? A person can like having this one little bit of randomness, right?

wayne62682 said:
Death to randomness!

& no more attack, save, or skill rolls either: Take 10 for everything! & all attacks do average damage!

(Which, actually, I think could be fun if done right.)
 

sjmiller

First Post
RFisher said:
I'd even like to someday get the chance to play under a DM that doesn't feel the need to soften it with a house rule.
Then you would like the way I run rolling hit points for my 3.0 game. For first level, you get the max hit points for your class, modified by CON. For second level and higher, you roll the appropriate hit die and modify it by CON. That's it. In other words, we follow the rules in the PH, and everyone is very happy. Sometimes you roll high, sometimes you roll low, most of the time it is average. Such is the life of a PC.
 

outsider

First Post
Associating "cookie cutter" with non random character generation doesn't make much sense in modern D&D. I can see it making sense in the older editions, as attributes were basically the only mechanical difference between one dwarven fighter and the next dwarven fighter, and which attributes were best tended to be pretty obvious. Attributes aren't the only form of customization now though. With the large collection of feats, highly flexible multiclassing, and apparently talents(if you believe the rumors) in the new edition, there's no reason that two characters will have to play the same, even if they have the exact same attributes.

Attributes don't neccessarily have the importance in character definition that they once did.
 

Delta

First Post
Taking 1E as an example, I liked random rolls for:

- Abilities
- Hit points
- Money
- Starting spells
- Spells known per level
- Psionics
- Social class

It seemed like a pretty good balance of player choice versus compensating for uncontrolled advantages/ disadvantages. I think it contributed to greater team cohesion. It was more interesting to me as a player than poring through lists of skills and feats.

I had a cleric originally in 2E with 1 hp and he was my favorite PC ever, partly due to his being half-nuts from having to compensate for that with ever-heavier armor. Just yesterday I broke into a quote from him, laughing, and I haven't played him in ~5 years now. Such was the D&D I enjoyed.
 

DarkKestral

First Post
Kae'Yoss said:
Except that I'm all for fixed, and I'm chaotic! :p

Same. I think it is the chaotic streak. I can't let things be. But I also don't like the idea that someone else who makes the same choices can be permanently better than me. Which is perhaps a chaotic trait in and of itself.
 

Kae'Yoss

First Post
Delta said:
I think it contributed to greater team cohesion.

Huh? All I could think is that it would make for bad teams if there was no cleric or no tank or something like that.

I had a cleric originally in 2E with 1 hp and he was my favorite PC ever, partly due to his being half-nuts from having to compensate for that with ever-heavier armor.

How did he survive his first fight? Any lucky hit instantly drops him (and you can't get infinite AC), and if something doesn't use AC, but gives you a save for half damage, you're still toast.

Whenever I hear stories about awesome characters with an extreme disadvantage like 1 hp, I think that this goes beyond "playing characters with faults" and is deep within the realm of "DM wearing kid gloves", keeping you out of any serious harm.
 

ptolemy18

First Post
Crymson said:
I prefer random. The game would start being too cookie-cutter if random hit points (and random ability scores) were taken out.

I agree with Crymson.

Here's an idea: if you don't want randomness in D&D, if you want all characters to be perfectly balanced, why don't you eliminate dice-rolling altogether and have every player roll a 20 ALL THE TIME? With so many people whining about how this or that is too hard or unbalanced or too challenging, I'm surprised I haven't heard someone suggest that yet.
 

ptolemy18

First Post
sjmiller said:
Then you would like the way I run rolling hit points for my 3.0 game. For first level, you get the max hit points for your class, modified by CON. For second level and higher, you roll the appropriate hit die and modify it by CON. That's it. In other words, we follow the rules in the PH, and everyone is very happy. Sometimes you roll high, sometimes you roll low, most of the time it is average. Such is the life of a PC.

Preach on! Sounds exactly like the D&D3.x campaign I played in from 1999 to 2005. Hit points were always rolled exactly according to 3.x rules just like you say. I rolled up about 10 characters for that campaign, and I had fun designing and playing every single one of them, even the ones with nothing above a +2 bonus, and fairly sucky hit points.

In 3.x, you already get to reroll your character if they don't have a minimum +2 bonus, after all, so it already has a generous mechanic to prevent REALLY bad characters. Plus it has optional rules for playing with a "32-point build" if you want to do point-based character generation. But random attribute rolling is such a tradition it even exists among most computer RPGs and MMORPGs. (Sure, the player can usually just reroll until they get good stats, but that's the kind of wankerdom that you can get away with when you're playing a solo game, without any other people to balance yourself against.) Basically, under the existing rules, you're never stuck with playing a *really* bad character because you have minimum statistics, and when you *do* roll awesome stats by random luck, it's SOOO GREAT!

I seriously cannot believe all the things people complain about on this forum.
 
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ptolemy18

First Post
Lanefan said:
Some people like a more "chaotic" game, where a player's inbound idea for a character may well be thrown a curveball by the dice (for good or bad) and many things are generated randomly e.g. hit points, base stats, initial wealth, etc.; and where the DM by and large throws CR/EL and wealth guidelines out the window shortly after puck-drop, and the PCs are pretty much left on their own and had better be ready to run like hell.

Call me chaotic.

Me too.
 

ptolemy18

First Post
I don't understand how people can ask for major, sweeping rules changes based purely on some apocryphal story about how such-and-such rule made their character weak. Because they didn't have enough hit points, or because their fighter couldn't fly over a cliff, or whatever. I understand on one level, because yes, I was sad when 3.0 changed to 3.5 and my sorcerer's Summon Monster-Haste combo got horribly nerfed (I managed to convince the DM to let me continue using the existing Summon Monster lists for the duration of the character, although not the existing Haste rules)... but come on.

If I come to the table thinking "I wanna play a fighter!" or "I wanna play a wizard!" then it is pretty easy to make the character you want using random stats and hit points. All a fighter needs is decent Strength and Constitution. All a wizard needs is decent Intelligence. They might not be quite as powerful as you want them to be, but that's The Luck of The Dice. If you want to be a fighter/wizard/cleric/rogue, on the other hand, then yes, you might have to have awesome stats to support all the needed core attributes. But if you're planning to play such a ridiculously overpowered and generalist character then you probably couldn't create it with a standard point buy either.

It's randomness, people! D&D is about the conflict between preparation & strategy & RANDOMNESS! It's the thrill of rolling high stats and hit points vs. the "darn it" of rolling low stats and hit points. The thrill is more than worth the "darn it" because, dammit, it's just a roleplaying game and if you can't accept even that much randomness, then you are probably also going to be a sore loser when-slash-if your character fails their saving throw and is absorbed by a chaos beast. (Oh, but of course I forget that lots of people hate save-or-die saving throws too. You know, there's this game called "chess" that has absolutely NO random elements.) @_@ If your character is weak because of low stats, the proper response is "Well, if the DM won't let me reroll, I will play this character awhile and see if I grow to like them, and if not, maaaybe I'll just get a little too reckless and see what happens." If your character dies because of some random event, the proper response is "Well, that sucks, now I will make a new character who will be even better than the old one," not "Oh, curse you, Wizards, I will write a Strongly Worded Letter of Protest so that characters like my perfect, wonderful, one-of-a-kind character will never again be slain in so undignified a fashion."
 
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ptolemy18

First Post
Sun Knight said:
4e shouldn't force the DM to use one method over another, but instead give the DM options to let him pick which one he is most comfortable with for his or her campaign.

I agree, this is probably the best way to handle it in the 4e rulebooks. As long as the statistics generated through the "point buy" system and the random rolling as approximately equal.
 

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