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

Arnwolf666

Adventurer
I always go back to that if you want more realistic hit points play runequest or call of Cthulhu. Those games can be brutally realistic. Or even true20 which doesn’t have hit points.
 

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Ashrym

Hero
The only classes that have below Commoner (d8) hp are the Wizard and the Sorcerer. You could argue that's strange, but it's also sort of reflected in the fluff of Warlocks, who canonically "cheat" to get their arcane prowess by having an intermediary like Clerics and Druids do. Which leaves Bards as the only class that doesn't really fit the mold, though you could argue that they are all cheats too.

I find hit points are part of physical combat training mechanics. Bards and warlocks simply represent better combat characteristics than wizards and sorcerers. That justification is also reflected in things like armor and weapon proficiencies.

So what of the rogue who grew up on the tough streets, getting in fights and such, surviving both on physical toughness and conditioning as well as luck and sixth-sense? What of the cleric who served as a soldier before adventuring and was crusader of sorts, getting in battles as well as having the favor of his god to protect him?

Why should these classes have d8 and a fighter or other such have d10 or better?

That's reflected in CON bonus. Want a character who's tough add CON. It's also reflected in d8 hit points instead of d6 hit points to demonstrate that type of history compared to studing tomes; and clerics are already described with military aspects that are also reflected in armor and hit die.

It's also likely you simply didn't choose the right class. What you described is a fighter with the urchin background.

It's a class-based game which means class-based differences. Hit dice are one of those differences.

So, he has more skill, luck, favor, and all the other abstract features that comprise HP? I see no reason why that is true.

No, the fighter has a bigger abstract pool. Luck or divine favor isn't the same from day to day for the same character. Defining those specific attributes as more or less opens up issues. If that specificity is what you want then you should skip the group abstract and give a variety of scores instead.

On that same note, the ability to ignore pain or level of stamina are also part of hit points so it's easier to envision characters who practice sparring in heavy armor to build more stamina and pain tolerance than someone practicing vocal exercises, finged wriggling, and magical recipes. That gets back to being part of the combat mechanics.

If we consided luck equal but stamina higher we have justification. Jusfification isn't necessary because it's a class-based mechanic in a class-based system, but if it keeps you up at night... ;)

And HP represent more than just ability to take damage in a fight. Resisting poisons, elemental conditions, falling, traps, etc. all deal damage as well.

Representing an abstract doesn't preclude a class having a larger pool of the abstract concept based specifically on the pool.

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. :)

That's assuming warriors shouldn't have more hit points than wizards. Different classes get benefits. The hit die on the fighter is a benefit.

CON bonuses already allow spellcasters to exceed warriors in hit points even if it's unlikely. A 16 CON dwarven wizard can have more hit points than a 12 CON elven fighter.

TBH, changing to a uniform hit die only takes advantages away from some classes while matching the mechanic to the description instead of the description to the mechanic. Your though flow is reversing the design process on top of taking advantages away.
 

Arnwolf666

Adventurer
The warlock having any combat ability better than the wizard has never made sense to me. He didn’t train he just made a deal (pact) with someone. That’s my opinion anyway.
 

Ashrym

Hero
The warlock having any combat ability better than the wizard has never made sense to me. He didn’t train he just made a deal (pact) with someone. That’s my opinion anyway.
I don't disagree, fluff-wise. Light armor training and d8 hit dice show it, however; plus a gish-like path.

I'd be good with d4 wizards and d6 warlocks based on my view of the classes.
 

Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
I always go back to that if you want more realistic hit points play runequest or call of Cthulhu. Those games can be brutally realistic. Or even true20 which doesn’t have hit points.
Mutants and Mastermind has a saving throw system that if configured for heroic instead of superheroic? might feel too realistic ;) perhaps add more advancement.
 



clearstream

Be just and fear not...
The warlock having any combat ability better than the wizard has never made sense to me. He didn’t train he just made a deal (pact) with someone. That’s my opinion anyway.
I think of them as Dragoons from Final Fantasy Tactics. Just give them Otherworldly Leap!
 

Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
The warlock having any combat ability better than the wizard has never made sense to me. He didn’t train he just made a deal (pact) with someone. That’s my opinion anyway.
If you arent busy training on spells how did you spend your time... that is my opinion. Might have been playing at the game of thrones as a nobleman vying for position (fending off assassins), might have been as a travelling duellist, who knows. Point being if magic ability is just suddenly tossed at you in theory the rest could be whatever.
 
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6ENow!

The Game Is Over
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?

Well, for one thing the universal proficiency bonus, while simpler, is a big issue as well. I don't think a wizard should have the same chance of hitting with their weapon as a fighter given equal ability scores, but that is another issue. :)

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?

CON adds to both the physical endurance aspect of HP and the energy/fatigue aspect.

I think returning to random rolls for HP will solve the issue and is the easiest solution. No more max HP at level one at my table or taking the average after that. It's time to go old-school. ;)

Just to not be a total meanie-DM, I will probably grant average HP at level 1 if you roll below that. This way a wizard could roll a 6, but a fighter might roll under 6 and get 6 as well.
 

Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
Well, for one thing the universal proficiency bonus, while simpler, is a big issue as well. I don't think a wizard should have the same chance of hitting with their weapon as a fighter given equal ability scores, but that is another issue. :)
How often is the wizard hitting with this weapon as opposed to using a cantrip?
 

6ENow!

The Game Is Over
How often is the wizard hitting with this weapon as opposed to using a cantrip?

With that thinking, why give them any weapon proficienies at all?

Because not everyone takes an offensive cantrip all the time. The wizard I just made last night for our new game has no offensive cantrip, for example; he has Light, Mage Hand, Minor Illusion, and Prestidigitation.

Even so, that doesn't mean I want him to act as good as the ranger or paladin in the group because he has the same proficiency bonus. With his DEX 18, he actually has a better chance of hitting in melee or thrown than either of our two main warriors! Personally, I would be fine with wizards, et al. having a -1 or -2 penalty to their weapon attack rolls. I am fine with them being good due to ability scores, such as my high DEX, but not "skill."
 

Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
With that thinking, why give them any weapon proficienies at all?
You answered your own question
Because not everyone takes an offensive cantrip all the time. The wizard I just made last night for our new game has no offensive cantrip, for example; he has Light, Mage Hand, Minor Illusion, and Prestidigitation.
Then that means to me that he is more like gandalf and uses his staff or whatever ...
 


Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
Even so, that doesn't mean I want him to act as good as the ranger or paladin in the group because he has the same proficiency bonus.
The fighter is attacking twice (ie finding twice as many opportunities) by level 5 even in 5e (In 4e the fighter has weapon based attacks that get multiple Weapon dice sized attacks or affecting multiple enemies and having neat side effects)

They are not acting as good from the characters point of view the wizard is lame.
 
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6ENow!

The Game Is Over
The fighter is attacking twice and finding twice as many opportunities by level 5 even in 5e (In 4e the fighter has weapon based attacks that get multiple Weapon dice sized attacks or affecting multiple enemies and having neat side effects)

They are not acting as good from the characters point of view the wizard is lame.

Well, we are level 1 and it will be quite a while before we hit level 5. Basically several months of playing. ;)

Until then, my wizard with +6 on attack rolls will be more likely to hit than our two warriors (who are both +5) until at least level 4, and that is IF they use their ASI for an ability boost, at which point they will match me.

Once again, your wording leaves me a bit confused. I am not even certainly what you mean by your last sentence. This has nothing to do about the point of view of the wizard.
 

Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
Well, we are level 1 and it will be quite a while before we hit level 5. Basically several months of playing. ;)

Those first levels were designed to go really really fast... I admit I have no interest in sub heroic play so there is that. Periodically a battlemaster might even be using precision attack to make sure a specific attack works. And there is action surge too at level 2.

The fighters attack stat is less than your wizards, interesting choices.... don't those choices deserve an impact? They will eventually very soon get completely overshadowed.

Only you are going to notice that 5 percentiles on a single attack (because you see it on a die). The character sees his ally attacking twice or doing a bunch of cool things in combination with their weapon attack these are much more visible things.
 
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doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
In 1e he was: his save vs spells was superior, on the theory he could interfere with the other magic. In 5e he can cast Counterspell, so, that possibility is covered, and then some.
I don’t know that Counterspell by itself qualifies as “covered, and then some”.

However, the Abjuration school in total gets us most of the way, not to mention many wizard schools’ defensive benefits.

Absorb Elements is a big life saver against spells that Shield can’t help against, for instance.

I do still want to dev a system by which Counterspell can be made a function of having spell slots, rather than a specific spell. It would come with the system by which weapon users can disrupt enemy casters by making reaction attacks, and both would require some playtesting to get into a good place, but I think it’d be worth it.
 

Ashrym

Hero
Well, we are level 1 and it will be quite a while before we hit level 5. Basically several months of playing. ;)

Until then, my wizard with +6 on attack rolls will be more likely to hit than our two warriors (who are both +5) until at least level 4, and that is IF they use their ASI for an ability boost, at which point they will match me.

Once again, your wording leaves me a bit confused. I am not even certainly what you mean by your last sentence. This has nothing to do about the point of view of the wizard.


How is your 1st level wizard getting 18 DEX using the standard spread that you assumed? It's not like they get a +2 race adjustment and a +1 feat bonus.

18 DEX on a wizard with that not being possible to match on a ranger or paladin looks like it required house rules or rolling. House rules that created your perceived issue requiring additional house rules to fix? Maybe give more thought to the first rules. Rolling? That's luck and not a rule to fix.

A 1st level wizard can have the same proficiency bonus and ability score modifier as any class. Looking at that is looking in a vacuum. The armor proficiencies, weapon proficiencies, hit dice, hit points, and other class abilities are different.

The wizard doesn't have the weapon proficiencies as the immediate disadvantage. Fighting styles exist early. Weapon damage sucks at 0 hp.

I'm not sure I understand your point of view. One minute it looks like you're complaining wizards should have tough as fighter hit points and the next complaining about wizards potentially being as accurate as fighters at low levels.
 

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