5E Theory Crafting fun: Max HP with standard array (no magic items or GM hand outs like Epic boons)

ClaytonCross

Kinder reader Inflection wanted
Standard Array: Str 14 , Dex 12, Con 15, Int 8, Wiz, 13, Cha 10
Hill Dwarf, +2 Con, +1 Wiz, Dwarven Toughness +1 per level (+20)
Standard Array: Str 14 , Dex 12, Con 17, Int 8, Wiz, 14, Cha 10
Barbarian lvl 20
1d12 hit dice x20 (31 min | 135.5 average roll | 145 take static 7 | 240 max)
ASI/Feat lvl 4: Dwarven Fortitude: +1 constitution (18 total constitution) and Whenever you take the Dodge action in combat, you can spend one Hit Die to heal
yourself. Roll the die, add your Constitution modifier, and regain a number of hit points equal to the total (minimum of 1).
ASI/Feat lvl 8: +2 con for Constitution 20
Primal Champion lvl 20 capstone Str and Con increased by +4, max increased to 24.
Constitution modifier for 24 Constitution is +7 per level (+140)
ASI lvl 12 tough feat: +2 Per level (+40)
Actual Total HP: 231 min | 335.5 average roll | 345 take static 7 | 440 max
Path of the Totem Warrior: lvl 3 feature Totem Spirit: While raging, you have resistance to all damage except psychic damage.
The spirit of the bear makes you tough enough to stand up to any punishment.
Effective* total HP (excluding psychic enemies): 462 min | 671 average roll | 690 take static 7 | 880 max
ASI/Feat lvl 16: Durable Feat - short rest hit dice can't be below 7+7 constitution modifier
- Assuming your damaged on the first round and ever round after with substantial damage but survive while raging, you can use your bonus action to trigger Dwarven
Fortitude to heal 1 hit dice each turn, combine with the durable for a minimum of 14HP and max of 19HP.
- Considering large scale combat, likely around 10 rounds. 140HP - 190HP
Effective* total HP (excluding psychic enemies) over 10 round: 602-612 min | 811-861 average roll | 830-880 take static 7 | 1,020 - 1,070 max

*While damage resistance and healing with hit dice are not strictly HP they are both an extension of the life of HP that don't use healing magic of any kind or any outside magic or player interaction. So you can take 420 max as accurate, but in my opinion 790HP is the actual play guarantied number with this build and 1,030 is the theoretical maximum damage within the 10 round limit. Which, yes is half the Hit dice possible but I don't remember having a fight where we did not win or die in 10 rounds or less. If some one thinks they could go 20 rounds 790 / 1,030 changes to 930 / 1,220 HP.

I am pretty sure this is the worst or best depending on how you look at it, but if you have any improvements or alternates I would love to see them.

Edit: Fix for Tough Feat being +2HP per level instead of +1HP per level.
 
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There's lots of ways to talk about hp. Maybe narrow down your focus a bit?

I think you are talking about effective hp. Are you looking at most hp in a combat? Most hp in an adventuring day?
 

dnd4vr

Keeper of the Seven Keys
As @FrogReaver says, depending on your definition of things, I have:

Kalishar Barbarian (Totem Warrior) 4/ Druid (Circle of Moon) 16

Base 103.5 (rolling) + 100 (CON 20) + 40 (toughness feat) = 243.5 normal HP

Wildshape Brotosaurus (hp 121, twice with two uses) and 62 spell levels of healing (d8 per) = avg 279. These bring the total to 243.5 + 121 + 121 + 279 = 764.5 hp.

With rage and resistance to all damage (even psychic thanks to the kalishar), I get 1,529 HP.

EDIT:
If you don't care about the resistance to psychic damage, other races would result in even more HP. The Dwarf in the OP is just one example, but you could also add the Durable feat so all the rolled HD would result in max HP recovered as well. I did the math quickly, but this adds about another 500+ HP with the rage working (over 2000 in all I suppose).
 
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dnd4vr

Keeper of the Seven Keys
Isn't the Tough feat +2 HP per level for a total of +40?
Then at level 20 you can have Epic Boons. Which stack.
LOL, you are right! I thought it was just 1 as well as the OP. Thanks for noticing it. :)
 

Maestrino

Explorer
Solo moon druid? Or this theory-crafting exercise? For the latter, see my post.
By the time you get to level 20, it's a pretty meaningless question. You can wildshape an unlimited number of times, and you can do it as a bonus action. So you can easily become an earth elemental (126 hp) and attack, then on your next turn become a mammoth (hey look, another 126 hp) and attack again, and rinse and repeat. The druid's effective max HP goes up by 126 per round until you kill them.
 

dnd4vr

Keeper of the Seven Keys
Excellent point. Unless you take enough damage to kill your current form and the 200+ potential HP you have in your normal form, you can just wildshape again the next round. While not infinite depending on what you are facing, it is practically so as you could have over 1 million HP a day potentially.
 
By the time you get to level 20, it's a pretty meaningless question. You can wildshape an unlimited number of times, and you can do it as a bonus action. So you can easily become an earth elemental (126 hp) and attack, then on your next turn become a mammoth (hey look, another 126 hp) and attack again, and rinse and repeat. The druid's effective max HP goes up by 126 per round until you kill them.
Don't forget shape change on top for bonus form once a day.
 

ClaytonCross

Kinder reader Inflection wanted
There's lots of ways to talk about hp. Maybe narrow down your focus a bit?

I think you are talking about effective hp. Are you looking at most hp in a combat? Most hp in an adventuring day?
I tried to leave room for all of them so I am vague on purpose but listed categories like "Actual Total HP" and "Effective* total HP (excluding psychic enemies)" separately so readers have the option to pick one or the other as they prefer. This promotes broader discussion without while allowing for specific answers under specific headers. I leave it to you to pick which you prefer to discuss and if you feel a new category is warranted by all means give me and example and I will add it. For the sake of theory crafting its not important that I pick one "right" answer so much as learn about the different scenarios in which you might have higher HP and how you achieve them.
 
I tried to leave room for all of them so I am vague on purpose but listed categories like "Actual Total HP" and "Effective* total HP (excluding psychic enemies)" separately so readers have the option to pick one or the other as they prefer. This promotes broader discussion without while allowing for specific answers under specific headers. I leave it to you to pick which you prefer to discuss and if you feel a new category is warranted by all means give me and example and I will add it. For the sake of theory crafting its not important that I pick one "right" answer so much as learn about the different scenarios in which you might have higher HP and how you achieve them.
K. I get your reasons. It still makes it too hard to follow for me.
 

ClaytonCross

Kinder reader Inflection wanted
Isn't the Tough feat +2 HP per level for a total of +40?
Then at level 20 you can have Epic Boons. Which stack.
Thanks for the Tough Feat catch. Fixed it. As far as Epic boons, that's unlimited and honestly I have never seen a GM give one before. I would prefer calculations without homebrew or GM hand outs, limiting it to player choices.
 

ClaytonCross

Kinder reader Inflection wanted
As @FrogReaver says, depending on your definition of things, I have:

Kalishar Barbarian (Totem Warrior) 4/ Druid (Circle of Moon) 16

Base 103.5 (rolling) + 100 (CON 20) + 40 (toughness feat) = 243.5 normal HP

Wildshape Brotosaurus (hp 121, twice with two uses) and 62 spell levels of healing (d8 per) = avg 279. These bring the total to 243.5 + 121 + 121 + 279 = 764.5 hp.

With rage and resistance to all damage (even psychic thanks to the kalishar), I get 1,529 HP.

EDIT:
If you don't care about the resistance to psychic damage, other races would result in even more HP. The Dwarf in the OP is just one example, but you could also add the Durable feat so all the rolled HD would result in max HP recovered as well. I did the math quickly, but this adds about another 500+ HP with the rage working (over 2000 in all I suppose).
Kalishar Barbarian (Totem Warrior) is very interesting. I did not know there was a race with resistance with psychic. Part of the fun of theory Crafting.

I forgot entirely about the use of Wildshape to use an alternate source of HP. I am not fond of the Dinos in D&D in general but that in no way makes you wrong. I like The CR 6 Mammoth Hit Points 126 (11d12 + 55) or Earth Elemental Hit Points 126 (12d10 + 60) which actually have more HP than Brotosaurus. The CR6 cap (1/3 of level 20) prevents Giant Ape. I can see though that your capped at 5 with only <18 lvls of druid.

In in the OP I included Durable Feat with Dwarven Fortitude and Hill Dwarf Dwarven toughness. Even still you beat mine by over 500HP and covered psychic damage … so well done. If you went Hill Dwarf with the listed feats you would further destroy my attempt.
 

ClaytonCross

Kinder reader Inflection wanted
By the time you get to level 20, it's a pretty meaningless question. You can wildshape an unlimited number of times, and you can do it as a bonus action. So you can easily become an earth elemental (126 hp) and attack, then on your next turn become a mammoth (hey look, another 126 hp) and attack again, and rinse and repeat. The druid's effective max HP goes up by 126 per round until you kill them.
Ya, I want to say this is the single most broken flaw in 5e, then again the new artificer can get a Artificer Battlesmith can get a static AC33 on class features alone compared to Tiamat's AC25... so ya.
 

Coroc

Adventurer
Standard Array: Str 14 , Dex 12, Con 15, Int 8, Wiz, 13, Cha 10
Hill Dwarf, +2 Con, +1 Wiz, Dwarven Toughness +1 per level (+20)
Standard Array: Str 14 , Dex 12, Con 17, Int 8, Wiz, 14, Cha 10
Barbarian lvl 20
1d12 hit dice x20 (31 min | 135.5 average roll | 145 take static 7 | 240 max)
ASI/Feat lvl 4: Dwarven Fortitude: +1 constitution (18 total constitution) and Whenever you take the Dodge action in combat, you can spend one Hit Die to heal
yourself. Roll the die, add your Constitution modifier, and regain a number of hit points equal to the total (minimum of 1).
ASI/Feat lvl 8: +2 con for Constitution 20
Primal Champion lvl 20 capstone Str and Con increased by +4, max increased to 24.
Constitution modifier for 24 Constitution is +7 per level (+140)
ASI lvl 12 tough feat: +2 Per level (+40)
Actual Total HP: 231 min | 335.5 average roll | 345 take static 7 | 440 max
Path of the Totem Warrior: lvl 3 feature Totem Spirit: While raging, you have resistance to all damage except psychic damage.
The spirit of the bear makes you tough enough to stand up to any punishment.
Effective* total HP (excluding psychic enemies): 462 min | 671 average roll | 690 take static 7 | 880 max
ASI/Feat lvl 16: Durable Feat - short rest hit dice can't be below 7+7 constitution modifier
- Assuming your damaged on the first round and ever round after with substantial damage but survive while raging, you can use your bonus action to trigger Dwarven
Fortitude to heal 1 hit dice each turn, combine with the durable for a minimum of 14HP and max of 19HP.
- Considering large scale combat, likely around 10 rounds. 140HP - 190HP
Effective* total HP (excluding psychic enemies) over 10 round: 602-612 min | 811-861 average roll | 830-880 take static 7 | 1,020 - 1,070 max

*While damage resistance and healing with hit dice are not strictly HP they are both an extension of the life of HP that don't use healing magic of any kind or any outside magic or player interaction. So you can take 420 max as accurate, but in my opinion 790HP is the actual play guarantied number with this build and 1,030 is the theoretical maximum damage within the 10 round limit. Which, yes is half the Hit dice possible but I don't remember having a fight where we did not win or die in 10 rounds or less. If some one thinks they could go 20 rounds 790 / 1,030 changes to 930 / 1,220 HP.

I am pretty sure this is the worst or best depending on how you look at it, but if you have any improvements or alternates I would love to see them.

Edit: Fix for Tough Feat being +2HP per level instead of +1HP per level.
And the rage makes him immune to charms, that would be a TPK trap if the DM manages to make him switch sides in combat.

The full build could stand up to a Tarasque for some rounds, that is pretty impressive.
 

Coroc

Adventurer
So now I need to make a thread eventually: Hints for DMs on how to handle HP mountains.
Seriously how do you resolve this? I am normally quite creative, but is it possible to put down a challenging combat for these kinds of builds?
 

ClaytonCross

Kinder reader Inflection wanted
So now I need to make a thread eventually: Hints for DMs on how to handle HP mountains.
Seriously how do you resolve this? I am normally quite creative, but is it possible to put down a challenging combat for these kinds of builds?
I am not suggesting these builds, but if I were GM... he might have to solo a terrasque. lol
 

Iry

Adventurer
So now I need to make a thread eventually: Hints for DMs on how to handle HP mountains.
Seriously how do you resolve this? I am normally quite creative, but is it possible to put down a challenging combat for these kinds of builds?
Suffocation is the easiest way to overcome mountains of HP, but that takes several minutes since they can hold their breath for so long. But any sea voyage or elemental plane might present such a challenge.

Doesn't stop the infinite druid, though.
 
So now I need to make a thread eventually: Hints for DMs on how to handle HP mountains.
Seriously how do you resolve this? I am normally quite creative, but is it possible to put down a challenging combat for these kinds of builds?
Best way is to ignore them entirely or Target saves. A massive pool of HP doesn't help the wizard or the commoners caught in the middle and failing a save can be more painful than any amount of HP damage.
 

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