The (Non-)Playtest Experience, or How the Hit Die Mechanic was a Non-Starter

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First Post
No kidding. Nobody was asking him to buy a book or commit to a longterm campaign. It was a one-off playtest.

It is silly & rude to his group. Forcing your gaming group, to NOT play that night due to his lack of flexibility. It was a one shot game, be a sport. He has not spent a dime on the game, also denying himself to give negative feedback to WOTC. Giving up the chance to complain how he disliked D&D next for the next decade.

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First Post
I don't like the hit dice recovery method either. I just want to recover all hit points after any rest, short, long doesn't matter. I think the hit dice thing is just annoying. Adventurers are used to traveling with bandoleers of potions and wands anyway from previous editions. It's not like you ever want to go into a fight with less than full hit points. 4e has it good, you can heal up fully after a rest, and you have the surges to limit the daily resources, works perfectly fine for me. And as DM, I don't want to worry about rebalancing encounters for injured PC's. Hit points are one of the most important encounter balance mechanics.

I'm A Banana

Discussing what you like or don't like about the playtest for whatever arbitrary reason you like or don't like it is fine and welcome and awesome.

What is not fine is imagining that you know what's going on in someone else's head.

Folks, you can disagree with a poster (or a designer) without ascribing motives to their post. You really don't need to tell them that you think they are being ridiculous, nerdrage-ing, fanboy-ing, edition-bashing, grongard-ing, hating D&D (or any particular edition of D&D), or that they are secretly afraid of change. You are not an Internet Psychic. You don't know that, you can't know that, your insult doesn't address the actual meat of the post, and besides, it totally kills the conversation in favor of judgmental condescension and defensive posturing.

SO! If we can stop having a conversation about what you think other peoples' thoughts are, and resume having a conversation about whether or not you like a particular healing mechanic and why, that would be stellar.

Cool? Cool.


I'm no fan of the 5e (or indeed 4e) full-healing-overnight rule. (I do quite like Hit Dice, though again wish they had called them something else.)

However, the player described in the OP is being ridiculous. For all the reasons given up thread.

At the very least, he should have grit his teeth and played on, for the benefit of the rest of the group. Ideally, he could then have told WotC that he considered that mechanic an absolute deal-breaker. That would actually have been a useful response.


First Post
On the other hand, there are voices that I would be perfectly happy to see NOT having any kind of input into the game. Not because they disagree with me, but because they seem fundamentally opposed to the game's stated objective of inclusiveness. IMO, voices that preach exclusion ought to be excluded.

EDIT: If there was one thing that I would like the posters on this site to do more often, it would be to tell WotC what they want IN the game instead of what they want OUT of the game.
I can't XP this post ... have to spread xp. But, honestly, this is bang on. I have absolutely nothing to add as I couldn't have said it better myself.

Edit: Actually, I do have one thing to add: The question of HP recovery was one of the areas the first feedback survey looked at. I gave my feedback, saying I didn't like full auto recovery and that what I would like to see is a slick, easy no fuss system that added a little bit more grittiness without consuming gametime.

It is a play test, you want your voice to be heard? Then participate in the play test. Try it out, then give your opinion based on your experience. Pretty easy concept.
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Doug McCrae

How about this explanation?

There's an invisible magical demon that heals the PCs to full every night. But this demon also attracts wandering monsters, which explains the otherwise rather implausibly high chances hitherto seen in D&D, particularly the urban encounter tables in the 1e DMG.

The demon likes to see suffering and combat, but it doesn't want the PCs to die, as that would mean an end to its little game.

This continues D&D's long and noble tradition of NPCs who are little more than stand-ins for the desires of the DM or module writer - the 20th level wizards who ran the old mega-dungeons such as Undermountain, or Acererak in Tomb of Horrors.
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Doug McCrae

They don't understand that many D&D fans will not give them license to do that. The game is over 30 years old, and they're trying to pretend that what existing players understand about D&D doesn't matter.
D&D has a long tradition of non-simulationist mechanics, such as hit points, saving throws, and demihuman level limits, and non-simulationist game-world constructions such as the mega-dungeon, being given transparently feeble simulationist justifications to assuage more simulationist inclined players.

And you can't go against tradition!


First Post
I remember reading some where that everything in the playtest material we got is highly inflated.

The long rest healing mechanic as described in an article or blog by the devs states that it is HD replenishment not hit point replenishment after 6 or 8 or 10 hours of rest. You would then have to expend HD to regain HP which would require whole days of rest or non combat activities.

The complete healing after a rest isn't likely to be a part of D&DN when it's done, and it might not even be in the next packet we get. The healing rules as I can judge are in flux as are the monsters and just about everything else.

To the OP; I suggest, if you are serious about doing the playtest, that you ask the players that want to give it a shot to play, and not to expect that everyone's going to want to play it too.


What's frustrating about this is this is an aspect where D&DN's modularity is present in the playtest. In the first L&L after the playtest release, Mearls wrote:
You can play with or without themes and/or backgrounds while also removing Hit Dice. The game becomes deadlier and relies more on player ingenuity and planning rather than direct combat. This set of changes points to how we want to approach rules modules. Try playing the game with those modifications and see how it matches up against AD&D.


This was a big change made in response to initial playtesting comments that the game didn't have enough healing. We also inflated hit points a little bit to err on the side of characters surviving a combat. At this stage, we want to test the core system. We'll refine the system math as we move forward in response to how people want the game to play out.

As I mentioned above, you can easily remove Hit Dice if you so choose. The only mechanic outside of the actual Hit Dice rules that refers to them is the cleric's second feat. Even that feat is still useful without Hit Dice. Try the game without them and see how it feels.

Regarding long-rest healing, on Twitter he said:
Final old school suggestion - long rest gives back level + Con mod hit points.

Rather than scoffing at Hit Dice and calling it a day, you guys should try a game with the mechanic, without the mechanic, or both, see how it goes and let WotC know.

Li Shenron

But as soon as I explain the hit die / healing mechanics, the GURPS GM (who was going to be a PC for the playtest), hands back the character sheet, and says, "I won't play a game where your hit points are LITERALLY guaranteed to be returned to you every night. Period. If this is how the game works, it's a waste of time to even play it. Let's do something else."

What a kitten :confused:

If he'd been here with us I'd have told him "you do something else, we play". But the truth is that the others agreed with him then you made a mistake of not playing the game... you should have agreed to house rule the mechanic they refused to play and try playtest anyway. It actually says so in the playtest adventure: if the playtest rules don't let you play the game the way you want, change them and play that way, then let WotC know what you needed to change in order to suit your idea of game.

Refusing to playtest just because of one rule you dislike immediately make your feedback much less valuable than that from those who played the test anyway.

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