Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Hit Points Followup

Following up on this post about Starting Hit Points, I wanted to share the results of the poll.

Max - 20 (50%)

Whatever you roll - 10 (25%)

Other - 5 (12%)

Reroll if 1 - 3 (7%)

Reroll if under 1/2 max - 2 (5%)

Total Votes: 40

I reordered the results to put them in descending order.

This was not the order I was expecting. Based on my audience (you) being mostly members of the OSR, I really thought that Whatever you roll was going to be the top choice. Yet a solid half of you picked max hit points!

I also had some good comments.

Roger the GS wrote:
Highest of 3 rolls. You'd be surprised how many characters still end up with weak HP under that rule.

Basically 2 re-rolls with the player being able to chose at will.

The campaign I'm running started as a first-timer learning campaign, so I gave my players max hp through level 3 and then made them start rolling. Seemed to work pretty well. They're now level 12, so any early benefit has long since been blended in.

For first time player, I like this idea. Basically makes things a little easier for newbies.

I depends somewhat on the nature of the campaign I am in (epic fantasy migth start with full or schlubs robbing tombs just take yer damn roll).

Right now we play roll your die, accept it or roll again, but the second roll is always binding. When you level, roll a single new die & accept it or...

The choice of starting HP really can have an impact on the style of the campaign.

Keith Davies:
No rolling hit points, they are calculated based on level, attack bonus (fighters are tougher than wizards, deal with it), and Constitution.

Sounds like 4e, which, when I play 4e, is how I play it.


  1. I think Roger's plan is pretty damned good. Might have to pass that on...

  2. Whoops. I forgot to vote. Uh, "Other". Roll hit dice as for a zero-level (or normal "monster" entry for demihumans), then as for a 1st level, take the higher.

  3. I didn't see the post yesterday, but I have an interesting idea. If you don't like your hit points, you get to roll the next die size smaller. You can keep rolling if you like, each time dropping a die size. If you don't like your d4 roll, you get 2hp. The average results are:

    d4 is 2.75
    d6 is 3.92
    d8 is 5.22
    d10 is 6.61
    d12 is 8.06