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The Durability of Trailblazer 1st level characters


So I am getting ready to start a trailblazer game (Smugglers Shiv AP using Trailblazer as a PbP). I was thinking of what I wanted to say to about changes from Trailblazer and anticipating players asking about durabilty and power levels since PF characters got a bit of a power boost.

My example i had thought of was a dwarf barbarian with an 18 Con (16 +2 race) that woudl start the game at FIRST level with 34 hit points! (18 Con +12 class HD +4 Con Bonus). That is one tough 1st level character.

I was thinking about the other extreme, how low could you go? I could imagine an elf wizard in 3.5 with 2 HP (4 class HD -2 Con mod). But in TB, if you really really tried to have a fragile character that same elf wizard with the 6 Con would still have 10 HP. Not bad for a sickly character. And more likely he would have HP in the 14-16 range.

What this exercise told me though was that I will not have to take it easy on TB characters. I mean 4 kobolds can be a threat to a normal party in 3.5 or PF. Heck I may even need to boost up some threats to make 1st level challenging! Most importantly is the fact I no longer need to worry about a single fluke roll killing a PC. They can get killed by their own stupid actions as it should be.


Actually, a fluke roll can still kill PCs, but it is a lot less likely.

Example: SRD Standard CR 1/2 Orc Warrior. +4 attack, 2d4+4 damage, 18-20 threat range. AC 13 and hp 5.
He rolls an 18+, for a 22+ attack total. That will hit and threaten a critical hit; he rolls well enough to confirm and will do 4d4+8. That's 12 to 24 damage, which can kill almost anything with a d8 hit die. If a couple of his buddies also connected this round then that PC is likely to drop.
Of course, even -10 doesn't mean the hero is dead, just that he's in a lot of trouble.

But yeah, they is tough. Having the hit points of a character one to three levels higher than they are will do that. Good luck.