Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Variable HD examples

I've converted some monsters over to using the proposed variable HD mechanic so you can see what it looks like.  I'm liking the idea, however I realize it's not for everyone.  The good news is that you can totally use the SRD version or your own monsters in Beacon and it wouldn't break anything.  I just like the idea because it minimizes bookkeeping for me.  The Bane asked if a monster was using a listed weapon would the damage be based on weapon type or monster HD type and I said I'd use the monster HD type.  I figure that this represents the monster's bonuses or penalties.  You can of course use the weapon type and again it won't break anything.  You can even mix it up and choose when to use a weapon and when to use the base HD type and it still won't break anything.

Here's some monsters, for the HP I put in the median and the max just so you can get a feel for the numbers.
  • Goblin original: HD 1d8+1 (5 HP), AC 15 (Leather), Morningstar +2 (1d6) or javelin +3 (1d4) 
  • Goblin vHD: HD 1 d6 (4-6 HP), Bonuses +1, AC 15 (Leather), Morningstar (1d6) or javelin (1d6)...
Of course that's with all the stats for comparison but in fact you would just derive these, and it's easier to deal with weapons as well, just give them any old thing. So it would really look like:
  • Goblin: HD 1 d6, AC 15 (leather), club, pointed stick, broken bottle, rolling pin... 
  • Goblin Captain: HD 3 d6, AC 15 (leather), iron bar, javelin, nasty hook 
  • Goblin Prince: HD 4 d6, AC 16 (chain), morningstar, sword, axe
  • etc.
For the Hill Giant you could go two directions, use 8 d20 and make them less skillful (+8) but more massive or go with 12 d12 and make them more skillful (+12) but less bulky:
  • Hill Giant orig:  HD 12d8+48 (102 HP), AC 20, Great-club +16 (2d8+10) or rock +8 (2d6+7)
  • Hill Giant vHD:  HD 8 d20 (84-160 HP), AC 20, Great-club or rock; or
  • Hill Giant vHD:  HD 12 d12 (78-144 HP), AC 20, Great-club or rock 
Other examples:
  • Lizardfolk orig:  HD 2d8+2 (11 HP), AC 15, Claw +2 (1d4+1) or club +2 (1d6+1) or javelin +1 (1d6+1)
  • Lizardfolk vHD:  HD 2 d8 (9-16 HP), AC 15, Claw, club or javelin
  • Minotaur orig:  HD 6d8+12 (39 HP), AC 14 (leather), great axe +9 (1d10), gore +4 (1d8+2)
  • Minotaur vHD:  HD 6 d8 (27-48 HP), AC 14 (leather), great axe, horn gore
  • Hydra orig: HD 3d10+5 +1d10/head (19+x HP), AC 15, 1 bite/head +3 (+1/head) (1d10+3), or spit acid +2d4
  • Hydra vHD: HD 3 d12 + d12/head (19-36+x HP), AC 15, bite/head, or spit acid/head
  • Griffon orig:  HD 7d10+21 (59 HP), AC 17, Bite +11 (2d6+4) 
  • Griffon vHD:  HD 7 d10 (39-70 HP), AC 17, Bite (1d10)


  1. I like it, I like it alot. It just scares the stuffing out of me to think of a d20 damage (Giant, Dragon, etc.) considering when you are 'supposed' to be matched against same, you will still be doing normal weapons damage (granted some magical bonuses)... still... what about doing the same for characters? Level rounded to the nearest D size. Maybe have Clerics/Thief -1D size, Wizards -2D size (all to a minimum of 1D type) for non-class weapons use? Perhaps I will elaborate and blog on this when I get home...

    Best and thanks again for Beacon,

  2. I wouldn't do this for characters, in fact I really like the fact that Microlite and Beacon characters don't have class based HD types - just the straight STR + d6/level. What I'm really doing here is streamlining and getting rid of all the arbitrary +48 and +27s in the monster descriptions. I know those HP pluses are there to prevent really low HP scores but I think I would just take the median and roll 1 HD in most cases anyway. As for all the damage rolls - well the less to keep track of the better.