log in or register to remove this ad

 

D&D 5E Why different HD types for classes? (Another HP thread...)

Oofta

Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.
I listened to an interview with a boxer the other day. I don't remember the guy's name since I'm not a fan, but he was apparently champion of his weight class.

What was interesting was his description of how he won fights. A big part of it was simply being able to fight through the pain, to not let (in his case) the pain of a broken nose stop you.

So I think that "grit" for lack of a better term is a big part of it. Taking blow after blow and just shrugging the pain off.
 

log in or register to remove this ad

6ENow!

The Game Is Over
But I think you could do what you're suggesting and even out hit dice, and then to compensate, give fighters, paladins, rangers and barbarians extra features to compensate, and give wizards and sorcerers some other penalty. As with any other change you want to make, it's going to mess with game balance if you do it on its own, but if you make the cascade of other changes that would help keep things in balance, then you're fine. It's just hard.

Fighters have Second Wind, Barbarians can Rage, Paladins Lay on Hands, and Rangers... well, they might have something but then again they might have been left out (as usual... :( ).

And why penalize other classes?

Lots of people make the mistake of ”not buying” something that is still, nevertheless, true.

Oh, I understand why it is done (the "truth"), I just don't think game balance is a valid reason when you consider the idea of abstract hit points.

Most of those justifications for hit points aren't based on the class however, but are abstract values that anyone could have more or less of. Luck is not a specifically Rogue thing, neither is Sixth Sense a specifically Wizard thing (although fits in with Barbarians and maybe Monks pretty well.)

Combat training and experience is something that Fighters as a class have. Feral senses and endurance are part of the Barbarian class identity. These are class-based justifications for higher hit points.

Having said that, hit points are abstract enough that if you really want to reduce all classes to d8, you can probably make a justification for it.

The balance issue this would cause can be rectified by further house rules. - You will need something to rein in casters, particularly gishes since these are the types that actively encroach upon the role of the higher-HD classes. Bladesingers are an example: they are close to being as good combatants as fighters for example, in addition to the full-caster suite of combat and out-of-combat capabilities. Giving them the same hitpoints would risk marginalising someone who wanted to play a fighter even more.

Luck for Rogues and the others were just examples. Anyone can have more of anything that compensates for the over-bloated physical endurance aspect. Maybe a fighter has most of his HP from luck? Who knows?
 

Arnwolf666

Adventurer
Before you say anything, "Yes, yes, another hit point thread... ARG!"

(Deep breath...)

Okay, so I posted about this in my other thread, but not wanting to derail that I decided to start fresh.

Why do different classes have different HD types?

Now, for the purposes of my question, I am making an assumption that you prescribe to the "abstract" HP camp where HP are a combination of several factors: physical endurance, mental endurance, skill, luck, favor, sixth-sense, etc. If you are in the "HP = meat only (or meat mostly)" camp then larger HD size makes sense for warriors and lower ones for weaker wizardy-types.

You could argue a fighter is "tougher" and can take a beating better, sure, but in the same light I can argue a rogue could have better luck or a wizard a better sixth-sense. Are those weighted less compared to physical endurance? Do you think a battler's skill is superior in combat so they get more HP? Well, wouldn't a caster be better at resisting the damage caused by other spells? HP don't differentiate between the source of the damage, so to say a barbarian gets more HP, even to resist the damage from spells, doesn't make much sense if those HP are earned during a career where the character mostly resisted weapon and natural attack damage.

Also, since front-liners tend to have better Constitution scores anyway because they want more HP, what impact would a flat universal d8 have? Would it hurt them that much, really?

FWIW, I don't really have an issue with HD, this is more about understanding a consistent and logical rationale for different HD sizes if you subscribe to the abstract HP concept.
Why don’t we have all weapons so 1d8 damage also. After all go are abstract.
 

6ENow!

The Game Is Over
I listened to an interview with a boxer the other day. I don't remember the guy's name since I'm not a fan, but he was apparently champion of his weight class.

What was interesting was his description of how he won fights. A big part of it was simply being able to fight through the pain, to not let (in his case) the pain of a broken nose stop you.

So I think that "grit" for lack of a better term is a big part of it. Taking blow after blow and just shrugging the pain off.
Sure, that is the physical endurance component of HP. And I totally see warriors having more of that aspect of HP than other classes (possibly), but I can just as easily see other classes having more of the other stuff.
 

Arnwolf666

Adventurer
Did you just basically say, "Yeah, but no"?

As others have said, the reasoning is game balance. It's not about anything more than that. If you want an in-game fictional reason, you can posit that the fighter has more hps because, despite that rogue's hard life, the rogue wasn't actively trained to take hits and be a meat shield. The fighter was. Same with your crusader-priest- for every day of training in prayer and the like, he misses a day of training in how to be a meat shield.

the reason isnt game balance as much as fighters are more badass in a fight.
 





clearstream

Be just and fear not...
Funny coincidence, my next character might be a bladesinger for 5E. :)

But the question is why should his HD, and thus HP, be less? As I said in the OP, the other front-liners probably have better CON scores, so their increased HP is reflected in that already.

Is the luck, skill, favor, etc. your character have equal or less than the front-liners? Does their extra meat ability outweigh everything else? That's fine if you think that, but I feel like it goes against the abstract-theory of HP.
Is it not mechanical balance? It states (through the mechanics) that casters and striker/skill-monkeys should not risk going toe-to-toe. CON counts, but is not mechanically sufficient to make this happen, i.e. to make martials strongly-enough differentiated in their role.

Groups should attach to that whatever fluff they find satisfactory ;)
 


6ENow!

The Game Is Over
I admit I am a bit surprised no one has brought up a something in all this: on average, we are talking about a difference +/- 1 hp per level for the most part. Since most groups (from what it seems like on the forum) play mostly to about 8th-10th levels, ultimately it is about 10 hp or so, right, for most players?

I think a larger issue for me is how the game allows for max HP at level 1 and not rolling for HP at later levels. I am sure some people are happy with that, but the lack of randomness means a Rogue can never have more HP than a Fighter (assuming equal CON of course). I think that is the issue that was bothering me but I didn't realize it until this morning.

By reintroducing randomness, this could remove that issue. In that light, to at least make the likelihood of average HP I would make HP non-linear. Maybe just do something like this:

d6 becomes d3+3, 2d3 after level 1.
d8 becomes d4+4, 2d4 after level 1.
d10 becomes d5+5, 2d5 after level 1.
d12 becomes d6+6, 2d6 after level 1.
 

clearstream

Be just and fear not...
I admit I am a bit surprised no one has brought up a something in all this: on average, we are talking about a difference +/- 1 hp per level for the most part. Since most groups (from what it seems like on the forum) play mostly to about 8th-10th levels, ultimately it is about 10 hp or so, right, for most players?

I think a larger issue for me is how the game allows for max HP at level 1 and not rolling for HP at later levels. I am sure some people are happy with that, but the lack of randomness means a Rogue can never have more HP than a Fighter (assuming equal CON of course). I think that is the issue that was bothering me but I didn't realize it until this morning.

By reintroducing randomness, this could remove that issue. In that light, to at least make the likelihood of average HP I would make HP non-linear. Maybe just do something like this:

d6 becomes d3+3, 2d3 after level 1.
d8 becomes d4+4, 2d4 after level 1.
d10 becomes d5+5, 2d5 after level 1.
d12 becomes d6+6, 2d6 after level 1.
Maybe so. One could use the randomness in a different way...

d6 -> d4+2
d8 -> d4+4
d10 -> d4+6
d12 -> d4+8

So the variance is the same for all classes (which makes more sense to me, but YMMV) and the martial classes have terrifically strong bases, e.g. a barbarian fully 6 hit points over wizard per level.
 

6ENow!

The Game Is Over
Maybe so. One could use the randomness in a different way...

d6 -> d4+2
d8 -> d4+4
d10 -> d4+6
d12 -> d4+8

So the variance is the same for all classes (which makes more sense to me, but YMMV) and the martial classes have terrifically strong bases, e.g. a barbarian fully 6 hit points over wizard per level.

True, that takes care of some randomness, but that doesn't eliminate the issue I addressed because now any warriors will always have more hp than a wizard could possibly have (again, assuming equal CON scores...).

I do like that they all have a base d4, though. :)
 


clearstream

Be just and fear not...
True, that takes care of some randomness, but that doesn't eliminate the issue I addressed because now any warriors will always have more hp than a wizard could possibly have (again, assuming equal CON scores...).

I do like that they all have a base d4, though. :)
Alternatively, to fix your concern

d6 -> d6
d8 -> d6+2
d10 -> d6+4
d12 -> d6+6

A wizard might have within level*1 HP of a barbarian...
 

6ENow!

The Game Is Over
Alternatively, to fix your concern

d6 -> d6
d8 -> d6+2
d10 -> d6+4
d12 -> d6+6

A wizard might have within level*1 HP of a barbarian...

LOL I was just thinking of this! While not perfect, it does make it so a Wizard with a good CON could have more HP than a fighter or barbarian, etc.

I'll talk to the group in a few hours and post tomorrow about our decision.
 

Oofta

Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.
Sure, that is the physical endurance component of HP. And I totally see warriors having more of that aspect of HP than other classes (possibly), but I can just as easily see other classes having more of the other stuff.
LOL, we have another thread that says fighters aren't good enough outside of combat and now you want to make casters more durable and better in combat? Dilute what makes a fighter special by making other classes more like fighters? :rolleyes:

Good grief, no game can do everything.
 

Fighters have Second Wind, Barbarians can Rage, Paladins Lay on Hands, and Rangers... well, they might have something but then again they might have been left out (as usual... :( ).

And why penalize other classes?
For the same reason that non-Rogues or Bards are penalised by not being given Extra skills, or non-Wizards are penalised for not having as varied a spell list or as easy rituals.
Not everyone gets everything, and game balance is more important in a party-based game than that level of verisimilitude for most people.

Oh, I understand why it is done (the "truth"), I just don't think game balance is a valid reason when you consider the idea of abstract hit points.
That is the entire point. Hit points are abstract and so are ideal to use as a game balance since it is easily justified how the martial classes would get more of them.
For example, attacks are also abstract, but why does a Fighter get more than a Wizard despite them both having the same level of proficiency with their weapon?

Luck for Rogues and the others were just examples. Anyone can have more of anything that compensates for the over-bloated physical endurance aspect. Maybe a fighter has most of his HP from luck? Who knows?
Maybe indeed. The training and experience are just something the class adds on to the base. Since randomly-rolled HP can vary quite a bit it is entirely possible that the reason a particular sorceror has more HP than a particular Fighter could be down to luck for example: The Sorceror is just luckier than the Fighter, even beyond the extent that the Fighter's training can compensate.

By "Physical endurance", are you referring to the the CON modifier? Why do you feel that that is over-bloated?
 


Advertisement2

Advertisement4

Top