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Question of Hit Points

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Chgowiz
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« on: December 20, 2008, 05:32:39 pm »

Randall -

In your experience, do you think the number of hit points is a little high with the STR +  xd6?

My wife hasn't been very seriously challenged in terms of HP, and it seems like the characters are fairly robust in HP at lower levels.

Even assuming a "normal" range of 3d6 ~ 10 to 12 STR, that means you can start off with an average of 13 to 14 HP. That's pretty high, could be double what an OD&D fighter could have?

I was thinking about doing STR bonus + xd6 - so at first level, an "average" fighter would probably have 4 to 6 HP. Even if we go "Max HP at first level only", that's going to average 7 to 8 HP.

Any comments/thoughts?
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-- Chgowiz
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Ramblings about RPG'ing: http://oldguyrpg.blogspot.com/

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dragonstories
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« Reply #1 on: December 20, 2008, 08:04:39 pm »

When I played the system my Magic User would not be able to cast a spell without dying if he only had strength bonus plus d6 at first level.  It did allow the party to stay down longer before having to come back up. 
Just my 2 cents.   Smiley
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Chgowiz
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« Reply #2 on: December 20, 2008, 08:21:17 pm »

When I played the system my Magic User would not be able to cast a spell without dying if he only had strength bonus plus d6 at first level.  It did allow the party to stay down longer before having to come back up. 
Just my 2 cents.   Smiley

Yes, but then, I am an old guy... my MU's would be lucky if they had 4 HP starting out, so they basically survived till about 2nd or 3rd level Smiley So that's why I asked the question - if m74 emulates/has the spirit of OD&D/Holmes, 1d6+STR bonus would be about right. But that's why I'm asking...
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Ramblings about RPG'ing: http://oldguyrpg.blogspot.com/
randalls
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« Reply #3 on: December 20, 2008, 09:16:53 pm »

In your experience, do you think the number of hit points is a little high with the STR +  xd6?

Seriously, at times I think they are a bit high for truly old school play. However, you are the first person who has expressed a similar view, so perhaps we are both "old fogies."  I kept the M20 hit points because one of the major objections "new school" gamers seem to have with "old school" style is the low hit points leading to lots of dead characters.  Those of us who started playing in the 1970s often just did not invest too much effort into a character (background and such) until he had survived a few levels, but this is asking a bit much of folks used to creating a fully fleshed out character.

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I was thinking about doing STR bonus + xd6 - so at first level, an "average" fighter would probably have 4 to 6 HP. Even if we go "Max HP at first level only", that's going to average 7 to 8 HP.

That should work okay for fighters. But only playtesting will show how it works out for clerics and magic-users as HP do double duty for them in Microlite-based systems.

M74 2.0 will be using S&W (probably WB) monster stats and hit dice, which should make your hit point system even more viable.
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randalls
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« Reply #4 on: December 20, 2008, 09:18:05 pm »

When I played the system my Magic User would not be able to cast a spell without dying if he only had strength bonus plus d6 at first level.  It did allow the party to stay down longer before having to come back up. 
Just my 2 cents.   Smiley

How many HP did your MU have?
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Chgowiz
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« Reply #5 on: December 21, 2008, 08:43:17 am »

Seriously, at times I think they are a bit high for truly old school play. However, you are the first person who has expressed a similar view, so perhaps we are both "old fogies."  I kept the M20 hit points because one of the major objections "new school" gamers seem to have with "old school" style is the low hit points leading to lots of dead characters.  Those of us who started playing in the 1970s often just did not invest too much effort into a character (background and such) until he had survived a few levels, but this is asking a bit much of folks used to creating a fully fleshed out character.

That should work okay for fighters. But only playtesting will show how it works out for clerics and magic-users as HP do double duty for them in Microlite-based systems.

M74 2.0 will be using S&W (probably WB) monster stats and hit dice, which should make your hit point system even more viable.

I think you're right, it's what we were used to as first level characters. Although, geeky as I am, I always created crap in my head about all my first level characters and was sad when they died.

I think that because I use Vancian Magic as opposed to HP/Magic, it would be OK. Even if I didn't, using d6 might give them the ability for 1, maybe 2 spells, which I don't see as a bad thing either. First level OD&D was about surviving by the skin of your teeth, not about doing dungeon tours in a day. At least in my games. Smiley

I haven't minded the monster stats as is - especially when the PCs have hirlings. I tend to use Holmes and S&W alongside the m74 for my stats.

Thanks for the comments - I'll give it a try and see how it works. At worse, I might do xd6 + lvl/2 (rounded up). *shrug* I'll fiddle with it and see how it goes.
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« Reply #6 on: December 21, 2008, 05:39:19 pm »

I think you're right, it's what we were used to as first level characters. Although, geeky as I am, I always created crap in my head about all my first level characters and was sad when they died.

I would usually have an idea for what I wanted for the classes I liked, and just keep playing that until one of the characters survived the first few levels.  As I recall, Pharesm, my 0E illusionist of ungodly power -- he was something like 12th level when retired -- was actually the 8th or 9th "Pharesm mold" character. The others never made it past first r second level.  Even with the mold, most of (the surviving) Pharesm's personality came from things that during his early adventures, not from any pre-planning on my part.

Side note: I still can't believe I got an 0E illusionist to name level.

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I think that because I use Vancian Magic as opposed to HP/Magic, it would be OK.

If you use Vancian magic, I don't see any reason why your hit point revision shouldn't work well for all M74 classes.

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Thanks for the comments - I'll give it a try and see how it works.

That's always the best way to handle major rules fiddling: try it and see it works as expected.
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dragonstories
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« Reply #7 on: December 21, 2008, 09:37:42 pm »

I agree that Old school MUs had few HP. I had many die at first or second level. Using only what is rolled on a d6 with only strength stat bonus I had only 2 HP so I could not have cast a spell until 2nd level.   One spell and I would be down using the spells as they are in the rules.  If you use Vancian magic than you could lower the HP to D6 plus strength bonus. I was using the rule by the book.  I was teaching my 11 year old nephew that there is more to gaming than computer RPGs.  Smiley
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Chgowiz
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« Reply #8 on: December 21, 2008, 10:25:41 pm »

I agree that Old school MUs had few HP. I had many die at first or second level. Using only what is rolled on a d6 with only strength stat bonus I had only 2 HP so I could not have cast a spell until 2nd level.   One spell and I would be down using the spells as they are in the rules.  If you use Vancian magic than you could lower the HP to D6 plus strength bonus. I was using the rule by the book.  I was teaching my 11 year old nephew that there is more to gaming than computer RPGs.  Smiley


*nod*  I think as a GM, going with d6+strbonus, I would probably rule that for Lvl 1, all PCs take max HP, especially if the MU is opt'ing for spell points vs. Vancian. In your case, that would give you 7HP (ouch on the roll of 1!) which could give you a spell, maybe 2 if you really had to.

It's a fine balance. I've watched my wife and daughter cruise through Lvl 1, I've not been fudging rolls, but they are like little tanks right now.

How did your 11 year old like it? My wife and 10 year old daughter *loved* the quick pace of combat.


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-- Chgowiz
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Ramblings about RPG'ing: http://oldguyrpg.blogspot.com/
randalls
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« Reply #9 on: December 22, 2008, 07:31:33 pm »

I agree that Old school MUs had few HP. I had many die at first or second level. Using only what is rolled on a d6 with only strength stat bonus I had only 2 HP so I could not have cast a spell until 2nd level.   One spell and I would be down using the spells as they are in the rules.

I definitely see your point now. I agree with Chgowiz, if one is going to use the standard M74 magic system and the d6 + str bonus hit point system, characters will need max hit points at first level. That's actually a fairly common 0e house rule.
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dragonstories
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« Reply #10 on: December 22, 2008, 10:14:46 pm »

He loved playing.  He took a copy of the rules home so he could play with a friend.   I liked it when the MU cast a sleep spell and took damage and he said "Magic hurts but sure is powerful."  It put a fear of magic and MUs.  something that is hard to do.  After going back to town he stayed clear of a man in robes sitting at the bar. 

He is coming down tomorrow, barring snow and blizzards, and we are going to play.  After reading the above posts I think I will try hit points as Strength bonus + 6 for first level. keep up the great work on this.  It is simple, fast, and captures the feel of OD&D.
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Chgowiz
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« Reply #11 on: December 23, 2008, 08:16:21 am »

@Dragonstories - let us know how it goes. I told my wife I was "freezing" her HP to her level of 13 as she just hit 2nd level (Yay, she survived! Hirelings did not though.. LOL) and she understood although she wasn't too thrilled, I think, about the danger going up. I told her it was a test and we'll see how it goes.
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« Reply #12 on: December 23, 2008, 10:37:29 am »

He loved playing.  He took a copy of the rules home so he could play with a friend.   I liked it when the MU cast a sleep spell and took damage and he said "Magic hurts but sure is powerful." 

This is one of the things that made 0e different in general.  A first level 0e magic-user may have had only one spell a day, but some of the spells available were very powerful: sleep and charm person, especially.  First level were toned down in power in later editions, which I always thought was a questionable idea.
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« Reply #13 on: December 23, 2008, 10:40:00 am »

I told her it was a test and we'll see how it goes.

Side Note to All: I've found that a willingness to undo any really bad effects of rules being playtested which turn out not work out makes players much less likely to complain about playtesting rules in a regular campaign.
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