5E The "everyone at full fighting ability at 1 hp" conundrum

dnd4vr

Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious!
So do we, but it's not something one can dream up on the back of a napkin and not every DM is willing (or able) to do the designing required to make up such a system that works well enough to play.

That, and as the RAW say it's supposed to work in a particular way that's what players come to expect. Much better if the RAW included a physical damage component to set expectations, and leave it to individual DMs to strip it out if they want a simpler version at their tables.
True. But as many people here complain about the hp system in DND, I would imagine there are many, many more who are fine with the way it works--its just a game, really.

Think of all the things people have added over the years, both by game designers and homebrew:

critical hit tables
condition tracks
wound levels
bleeding rules
instant-death options
and so on...

Yet despite this, with each new edition we don't really see much change in how hp function in the game. Now, I can't speak much for 3/3.5E since I played it less than a year (and over a decade ago!) or 4E since I never played that. But judging from what others have told me, nothing changed that I am aware of.

With all the other variant options in the DMG, something would have been nice, but even if they had, I am afraid it would not have been enough to make those who wants something happy.
 

hbarsquared

Quantum Chronomancer
So, isn't a level 1 wizard with an 8 Con at full fighting ability with only 5hp? What about a 1hp commoner? It's not like these characters are walking around bruised, bleeding, and exhausted every moment of their existence, just because they have single digit hit points.
 

Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
But judging from what others have told me, nothing changed that I am aware of.
4e introduced a healing cap. (in the form of healing surges basically deep resources if you ran out of that? then potions, or inspiration divine or arcane or martial falls flat. But what hit points represented pretty much identical, And the default no impairment til you drop which has been with us since the beginning.
 

dnd4vr

Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious!
4e introduced a healing cap. (in the form of healing surges basically deep resources if you ran out of that? then potions, or inspiration divine or arcane or martial falls flat. But what hit points represented pretty much identical, And the default no impairment til you drop which has been with us since the beginning.
The bolded section was my point.
 

3catcircus

Explorer
Oh, you absolutely can be. You don't track negative hps and accumulate down to your negative max. It's just, low-level critters can be instantly killed if you hit them for that much all at once. Once you're down, additional hits inflict automatic death save failures. Y'only get 3 of those.

They consume healing resources - HD, and, more importantly spell slots.
It doesn't appear you understood anything I said.

Death save failures aren't instant death for any level of PC unless deserved (such as a low-level party taking on a dragon or giant) or extremely unlucky (an orc doing max damage against a 1st level Wizard with CON penalties) - those three death save failures are mixed in amongst your chances to make the death saves, or have a party member cast a cure spell or use the medicine skill. Unless somehow the initiative order and dice fate is such that the unconscious PC is the last in initiative order and the remainder of the NPCs all go next and all decide to target the PC who is no longer a threat (as opposed to the rest of the nasty PCs ready to kill the NPCs with their stabby weapons)

As to "consuming" healing resources? Anything that automagically resets itself after a certain point in time or can be used an infinite number of times isn't a healing resource. Your use of HD to miracle yourself healthy recovers itself after 8 hours with no deliberate decision to do so, unlike burning a cure spell or downing a potion. Likewise use of the Medicine skill is essentially free. And - you don't even need to expend any of that to be 100% combat effective - all you need is one hour.

A PC can go from on death's door to 100% combat effective within one hour because you automagically regain 1 hp in as little as one hour after stabilizing since you don't track hit points below 0:

1st-level PC with 10 hp takes 19 points of damage. PC drops to 0 hp and goes unconscious. Three death saves or one successful use of the Medicine skill by a party member renders PC stabilized (and, by-the-by, since both the death save x 3 rolls or the Medicine skill check x 1 roll are at DC 10, it makes no sense whatsoever to not have a low-level follower whose only job is to render first aid). No healing spells used. PC lays there for d4 hours (as little as 1 hour) and automatically gain 1 hp. PC is now conscious and 100% combat effective, having access to all of his spells, abilities, and equipment.
 
As to "consuming" healing resources? Anything that automagically resets itself after a certain point in time or can be used an infinite number of times isn't a healing resource. Your use of HD to miracle yourself healthy recovers itself after 8 hours with no deliberate decision to do so, unlike burning a cure spell or downing a potion.
HD take longer to regain than slots.
 

3catcircus

Explorer
HD take longer to regain than slots.
Do I really have to spell it out for you? Spell slots are selectable - you are giving up something else if you choose to refill that slot with a healing spell. HD that are regained aren't regained in place of anything else that you might want more.
 
Do I really have to spell it out for you?
Just get it right the first time.
HD are a healing resource, and slower to recover than slots, so a decidedly limited one.
Spell slots are selectable - you are giving up something else if you choose to refill that slot with a healing spell. HD that are regained aren't regained in place of anything else that you might want more.
You don't fill a slot with a healing spell when you recover it, you use it to cast one spontaneously, if you determine that's the best use of it.
Slots are more powerful and versatile than HD, but also more plentiful and recover faster.
 

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