Thursday, May 24, 2012

PC Hit Dice

Since I am updating starting HP I was looking at using d6 for hit points.  Using a d6 for Player Character advancement essentially makes players d6 HD monsters.  I was considering maybe swapping this up to a d8 to give player character hit-points a little boost (mostly concerned about magic use here) but then it occurred to me that I should make PC hit dice variable again.  Not a class based variable however - that's not the direction I wanted to go in even though it's traditional.  No I took a quick look at the monster lists and realized that this should be a race based variable.  Basically if a player chooses a dwarf then they should get the dwarf's hit die (d8).  In Beacon humans and dwarves have d8 and elves and halflings(also goblins) have d6.  I think this works splendidly and has the benefit of consistency and extrapolation since HD is being used as an indicator of physical toughness for monsters.  If you want to make a new playable race like orcs, kolbolds or gnolls- then you have their HD already.
I do worry that this will make dwarves much more popular race with a STR bonus coupled with d8 HD, especially for magic classes since their HP bonuses could be substantial - but I think that tweaking the race builds a bit will resolve that.  I'll look at the starting skill points and stuff. I also don't mind if Dwarves become more magical in Beacon campaigns, it will make them different than the beer swilling hammer-chuckers they so commonly get relegated to.  Fairy tale dwarves were great with magic.  This whole thing is becoming a bit more change to the game than I anticipated however.  More play testing required.

I also got in the wording for how hitpoints work, hopefully it's not too confusing for new players.
Hit Points (HP) are a measure of the character’s life force, luck, energy and/or fatigue and are used by players to avoid having their characters take actual damage.  When a character is in a situation where they are going to take damage (from a weapon hit or any other non-specific damage) they can choose to instead spend HP to avoid taking some of all of that damage.  HP reduce the damage taken on a point for point basis.  Some damage cannot be avoided this way, for example poisons or spells and effects that target specific stats. As HP are recovered much faster than damage, using HP to avoid damage is usually a good idea.  However there are some considerations when spending HP.
 ·         Players with less HP than their current level are fatigued and have -1 to all reaction rolls and can only move half their normal speed.
·         If a character’s HP reaches 0, they are uncon­scious and unable to stay awake if roused. 

I'm thinking that I should allow players to burn MIND and CHA to cast spells if they want to save some hit points - just the same as players can take damage to stay in the fight.  I really like the idea of choosing to take real damage to conserve HP and stay awake and I think it would be cool to extend this to casters too.  Having Merle the Mad Wizard lobbing off a emergency feather fall spell but loosing 3 points of MIND and taking days to recover seems awesome.  I just have to make sure that there isn't some sort of exploit here with restoration spells or something.  Of course, simply being able to do magic is pretty cool already so maybe this is too much.


  1. This would, as you say, make dwarves more popular as magic users. Would also not make elves, who are traditionally the more magicy types, less popular as MU's? Which is fine - maybe elves are more nature oriented.

    1. Well there's the HP that lets you cast more spells but MIND is what lets you succeed at casting. Elves get a MIND bonus. I like to think there are no dump stats in Beacon.