A New Proficiency for HitPoints

11 posts / 0 new
Last post
Saturno
Joined: 2018-07-29 15:08
A New Proficiency for HitPoints

Hey everyone, I've been thinking about this houserule for a proficiency that increases a character HP considerably but not dramatically, but I'm worrying about game balance so I would like to hear your opinions about the mechanical impact this decision may have. It would be a new General Proficiency called Toughness, and mecanically I think there are two ways to go:

1) Toughness: You gain +1 HP per level, until level 9. This essentially simulates a positive bonus on CON.

2) Toughness: You raise the Hit Dice of your class one step up. So 1d4 changes to 1d6; 1d6 to 1d8; and 1d8 to1d10. One alternative option is limiting the max Hit Dice to be 1d8, so this Proficiency would only be of use for Thieves, Clerics and Mages.

My idea behind this was to make possible for a character to stand out among other members of his own class as someone stronger or more resilient, without the need to have a high CON to achieve that. It was a player of mine who first asked me if this change could happen, as he rolled a mage for our game that came out physically strong (FOR 13, INT 13, WIS 9, DEX 10, CON 9, CHA 8) and he wondered if he could play as a more agressive and combative kind of mage.

So what you guys think?
 ;)

nike air max basketball referee shoes sale women , Air Jordan 1 Retro High OG 'Rust Pink' 861428-101 For Sale
tire_ak
Patreon SupporterSinister Stone of Sakkara BackerLairs And Encounters BackerBarbarian Conquerors of Kanahu BackerACKS Heroic Fantasy Handbook Backer
Joined: 2015-05-27 22:24

When you create a custom class, increasing Hit Dice is its own category. I think it's far more valuable than a single proficiency.  Increasing Hit Dice from d4 to d6 requires you to devote one of your build points to it, at a base cost of 500 more XP for 2nd level.   The same build point could instead be put in Thievery, and would get you three thief skills that you could substitute for proficiencies, for less XP cost. This isn't a system intended to withstand optimization, but the point is that hit dice are a big deal.

That said, every campaign is a law unto itself... if you think it would be fun then go for it!  Just be aware that Muscle Wizards will suddenly be a big thing. 

Saturno
Joined: 2018-07-29 15:08

When you create a custom class, increasing Hit Dice is its own category. I think it's far more valuable than a single proficiency.  Increasing Hit Dice from d4 to d6 requires you to devote one of your build points to it, at a base cost of 500 more XP for 2nd level.   The same build point could instead be put in Thievery, and would get you three thief skills that you could substitute for proficiencies, for less XP cost. This isn't a system intended to withstand optimization, but the point is that hit dice are a big deal.

That said, every campaign is a law unto itself... if you think it would be fun then go for it!  Just be aware that Muscle Wizards will suddenly be a big thing. 


-tire_ak


I see! And what you think about the option 1, with the Proficiency giving a single HP per level, until level 9?

tire_ak
Patreon SupporterSinister Stone of Sakkara BackerLairs And Encounters BackerBarbarian Conquerors of Kanahu BackerACKS Heroic Fantasy Handbook Backer
Joined: 2015-05-27 22:24

Well, on average those are the same thing.  Changing 1d4 to 1d6 HD = changing avg 2.5 to avg 3.5 HP per HD.  Increasing HD is more swingy, adding +1 HP is more centered. I feel the same about both.

If you want this to be "balanced", you could offer your player a custom class built with HD 1, Arcane 3 (the standard mage is Arcane 4) using the rules in the Player's Companion for custom classes. This would be a class with a d6 HD that casts at 2/3 the ability of a Mage.

Loswaith
Joined: 2017-05-12 02:19

For a proficency I'd likely go with roll two dice and take the higher roll, thus on level up a wizard would roll 2d4 for hit points and choose the higher value.  This would essentially increase the average by roughly 1 point without increasing the overall cap keeping the potential the same.

Alex
The Autarch
Joined: 2011-06-30 18:10

A few folks have pointed out that HD, in the class building system, are over-priced. They feel they are better off with HD 1, Fighter 2, Thief 1 than with HD 2, Fighter 2; the three class powers are worth more than the +1hp per level - even though the HD actaully cost more! And in fact the roster of custom classes shows that HD 1, Ftr 2, Thief 1 is the most popular class build, so they are probably right.

To address this, I made a new rule in the Heroic Fantasy handbook. On the Mortal Wounds table, d6 HD adds +2 to mortal wound rolls and d8 adds +4 to mortal wound rolls. That is worth a class power at each rank.  

(+14hp over 14 levels) + (class power) - (500 XP) = (3 class powers) - (200 XP)

(+14hp over 14 levels) = (2 class powers) + (300 XP)

Class powers cost 70 XP each, typically, so that suggests

(+14hp over 14 levels) = 440 XP

So then how much should 1hp per level cost?

Let's treat hp in "hit point slots" using proficiency slot trade-offs from Player's Companion

  • 1hp at 1st level = 1
  • 1hp  at 2, 12 = 1
  • 1hp at 3, 11 = 1
  • 1 hp at 4, 10 = 1
  • 1 hp at 5, 9 = 1
  • 1 hp at 6, 8 = 1
  • 2 hp at 7 = 1
  • Trade 1hp at 7 for one at 8, one at 14
  • Remove one at 8, for savings of (6/14)
  • Total cost in "hp slots" 1 + 1 + 1 + 1 + 1 + 1 +1 -  6/14 = 6.57

440 XP / 6.57 = 66 XP cost per hit point slot

Since a class power costs 70 XP usually, given the rules as written, a "hit point slot" costs about the same as a class power. You can spend a hit point slot to get 1hp at 1st level, or 1 at 2nd and 12th, or 2 at 7th, and so on. We also know that (wink, wink, nod nod) that some class powers are worth more than others - e.g. the class power you use to purchase Crafting is probably not worth as much as the class power you used to purchase Divine Blessing. So let's call this the "general proficiency" version of a toughness proficiency. 

How much might a "class proficiency" version cost? Well the people who most need hit points are fighter-types, and we know that for fighter-types, they will pay more for class powers - they will trade off a rank of martrial training AND pay 150 extra in XP to get those juicy class powers... In that case, a "hit point slot" might be costed at (66/(150+70) .03 class powers. That is, you can have ~ 3 hp slots per fighter trade-off. 

So here's what I'm concluding from this little analysis:

1. Any character can expend a general proficiency to gain +1 hit point. (General proficiency "Toughness").

2. A fighter-type can expend a fighting value tradeoff to gain the following: +2 hp at first level, and another +1 hp at 5th, 9th, and 11th level. So, for instance, you could make a fighter who only wears leather armor (2 trade-offs) but in exchange he gets +4hp at first level and another +2 hp at 5th, 9th, and 11th. 

3. A hypothetical class proficiency, available only to fighter-types, that graints +2 hp at first level, and another +1 hp at 5th, 9th, and 11th level. (Class proficiency: "Valiance").

That seems reasonable to me. I'm curious what you guys think.

 

 

 

 

koewn
koewn's picture
Patreon SupporterDomains At War BackerSinister Stone of Sakkara BackerLairs And Encounters BackerBarbarian Conquerors of Kanahu BackerACKS Heroic Fantasy Handbook Backer
Joined: 2012-07-17 20:11

I think that makes sense; and it's a decent way to cost out what +1HP means per level. 

Later when we're all uploaded into the matrix, I think there's something interesting around valuing a single HP vs the nonlinear effectiveness of higher ACs vs. expected damage from monsters of an appropriate HD by level - or, in other words, I bet there's a calculable relationship (X HP, Y AC) == (X+Z HP, Y-W AC) that gets expressed as some sort of combat survivability in rounds (you either survive because of AC or because of HP) against various opponent attack throws/damage averages.

Aryxymaraki
Aryxymaraki's picture
Patreon SupporterDomains At War BackerSinister Stone of Sakkara BackerLairs And Encounters BackerBarbarian Conquerors of Kanahu ContributorACKS Heroic Fantasy Handbook Contributor
Joined: 2014-01-04 02:20

I think that makes sense; and it's a decent way to cost out what +1HP means per level. 

Later when we're all uploaded into the matrix, I think there's something interesting around valuing a single HP vs the nonlinear effectiveness of higher ACs vs. expected damage from monsters of an appropriate HD by level - or, in other words, I bet there's a calculable relationship (X HP, Y AC) == (X+Z HP, Y-W AC) that gets expressed as some sort of combat survivability in rounds (you either survive because of AC or because of HP) against various opponent attack throws/damage averages.


-koewn

It's usually called TTK (time to kill) and is usually based on EHP (effective hit points, a calculated value derived from damage reduction and HP, or in this case, chance to be hit and HP).

The easiest way to calculate it in a D&D-type is (Hit points)/(Chance to be hit * Combined average damage of all attacks)

So if you have 10 HP, and your opponent has an average combined damage of 5, and their attacks have a 50% chance to hit you, the calculation would be 10/(0.5 * 5) = TTK of 4 rounds.

If you put this into a spreadsheet, you can look up and down the values to see what effect each point of AC and each point of HP would have on the TTK.

Loswaith
Joined: 2017-05-12 02:19

The undesirability of the HD track I've found, is for the most part it is just a singluar thing (hit points, abet an important one), while the class ranks are actually bundles of things (a bag of tricks if you will), so altering that track to be more a bundle will likely help it.

Along that same line HD are almost always directly linked to combat prowess (the better at direct combat a class is the higher HD it will generally give), which is also typically a thing the Fighter track does.  It always seemed an oddity to me that HD and fighter were seperate, given it's inherant link in most forms of D&D, it does work well for class building though (and has lead to an interesting Class in the Freebooter).

Alex
The Autarch
Joined: 2011-06-30 18:10

If you follow the monster creation formula in Lairs & Encounters, time to kill stays relatively static - AC and attack throws improve at approximately the same rate, hit points and damage improve at approximately the same rate. It's far more uniform on a HD per HD basis then 5E on a CR per CR basis, for instance.

+4.5hp per level (over 9 levels)

+2 damage per level (over 9 levels)

+0.8 AC per level (over 9 levels)

+0.8 to hit per level (over 9 levels)

Frank
Joined: 2018-01-01 06:39

Rolling hit points is scary. With the classical approach you may potentially 'destroy' your character with a bad roll. I've always house ruled the following rule when rolling hit points. The rule is not my idea, but I'm not sure exactly where I saw it first.

1st level: roll hit point or select average. Following levels: The player roll all HD dices and add con modifier multiplied with level (basicly a re-roll of all hit points) or selects previous level +1 hp (to avoid the PC of having less hp on following levels).

In this way, the player always feel that the character can be saved and is worth keeping. The hp roll feels less 'final'. This rule works well for me. Personally I do not like fixed hp. Hp should be personal to the character.