Saturday, July 5, 2014

Basic D&D's most offensive paragraph

Here now is the most offensive paragraph of the new in the 5th edition D&D Basic PDF:

Page 67 of the PDF under the heading of Long Rest, 2nd paragraph:
"At the End of a long rest, a character regains all lost hit points. The character also regains spent Hit Dice, up to a number of dice equal to half of a character's total number of them. For example, if a character had eight Hit dice, he or she can regain four spent Hit Dice upon finishing a long rest."

That is really offensive to my old school RPG playing mentality.

 Hit Points are recovered after a long rest (sleeping for the night has to be identified as a long rest for some baffling reason). ALL Hit Points are recovered after a long rest....argghhhh....so no matter how unlucky and how beat up a character is they bounce back to 100% if they can go sleep for the night somewhere.  D&D 5th edition characters are all heroes in really bad action movies as per the Basic rules.

I also have no clue at all what they are talking about in regards to regaining Hit Dice beyond spending hit dice that I noticed was to heal quicker after a short rest mentioned a couple paragraphs above the offensive lines noted above. I'm guessing there might be more about this idea in other 5th edition rules that didn't make the cut in the Basic PDF.

20 comments:

  1. It's the video game equivalent of regenerating health.

    ReplyDelete
  2. This is what allows 3rd level characters to fight dragons alà every Basic D&D cover I am familiar with.

    One option. Short Rest-roll one hit die to recover hit points. Long Rest-roll as many as you have remaining. Recover hit dice after an extended rest (3 days?)

    Also remember, that Short Rest is an hour long. How many wandering monster checks is that? Oops! Sorry. Pack of kobolds, you didn't get your rest.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Yes. Thank you.

    A month ago I quietly took out the fairly minor binding of wounds rule from Zylarthen, just to block any tendencies in the above direction. You want to heal yourself? Travel with a Cleric (though it's a bit different in Z since there are no Clerics) or drink a potion, or, well, hike back to town and rent a flop for a few weeks.

    As I read it, it's even worse than you describe in that at least two classes have an additionally healing ability during fights. Fighters can heal 1d10 + 1/level in any "bonus" action. I'm too lazy to try to find if the rules actually say how frequent a bonus action might be, but I'm guessing they won't be too hard to come by, especially after a few levels. And Clerics can heal anyone (including presumably themselves) within 30', in any turn (I think) at a rate of 5 hp/level. And this appears to be over and above whatever spells they might have chosen.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I use a bandaging wounds houe rule. I'm a big sofite. But it's easy to not have the right conditions or wait too long. Spend a turn looting, searching for secret doors, guarding, or running after a fight: no bandaging wounds.

      Delete
  4. My biggest problem with it is the way it cements the abstraction of Hit Points. Hit Points are often misconceived as representing physical damage, but even back in 1e days, the rules stated that they also represented fatigue and "luck" or "favor of the gods". OK, fine, but making them fully regenerateable overnight seems to take physical harm out of the equation entirely, absent some special critical hit effect. Are there such effects in 5e?

    ReplyDelete
  5. wow - i will check my bx rules now i might have been doing it wrong since 1980 - WOC products seemed to mechanistically solving what a DM should do - i mostly kill players for stupidity or inappropriate humour at wrong times or i kill them at climax so hey can at east die heroically and walk away with a story - i dont need to cheat at dice or ridiculous healing to keep them alive

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. As written the only way to be sure of getting dead is during a fight out of reach of allies. Sure that will get you in any version of the game but it seems more glaring in this version where there are seemingly few enduring reprecussions for repeadetdly getting your butt kicked and running out of luck.

      Delete
  6. Combined with "zero hp is unconscious", no negative hp, and the only way to be actually DEAD is to suffer "excess damage equal to your maximum hp" after being reduced to zero, or failing 3 "death saving throws" while unconscious, how is anyone ever supposed to die?

    Guess the only "fair" thing to do is apply all this to MONSTERS as well... guess it will take a few rounds to "finish off" unconscious monsters so they don't get back up later. (Meanwhile, time is being wasted as more monsters show up?)

    ReplyDelete
  7. Yes. So if you have 255 hit points as a 20th level Fighter (the projected total for that class and level as estimated by the author of Delving Deeper), and you are at full strength, you need to suffer a 510 hit point attack in order to be killed. So a meteor falls on you, or something, but even then you (Superman) probably wouldn't suffer enough damage to die. and even if you did die, you could always be raised later with your Constitution reduced from 22 to 21.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. According to the PDF, starting your turn with 0 HP requires you to make a Death Save vs a DC10. You need to make 3 saves in order to Stabilize. If you take any damage while at 0 HP, it counts as a one Death Save failure. If the damage is from a Critical Hit, it counts as 2 failures. If you roll a "1" on the d20 check, it counts as 2 failures. The DC10 check is not tied to any ability scores, so its not modified in any way. At 20th level, there are going to be powerful attacks hurled at a character, so once they drop to 0 HP, it may take only 4 more rounds of damage to exceed those 255 points, unless they fail those saves.

      Delete
    2. Lingering death (or undeath) on the three saves isn't all that bad of an idea and adds a little drama to a character being knocked to 0 hp. It makes being back on your feet at 100% the next morning after almost being killed even a little sillier.

      Delete
  8. Yeah, healing all damage overnight seems lame. It's a candidate for House-Ruling.

    ReplyDelete
  9. I don't see where it requires getting up in arms about. It's super easy to house rule away if you want. Personally, I don't mind it as written (but may change it if i don't like it in play). Also, you only regain 1/2 your max Hit Dice after each long rest, so an extended dungeon/wilderness exploration would still wear them down.

    A fighter's second wind can only be used once a short/long rest, but could easily be changed to once a day if you wanted.

    I plan on making the death saves more effecting, by making 1 failed save reduce a random attribute by 1 permanently, whilst a second failed save reduces all of your attributes by 1 instead. A third failed save results in death. Side note: I don't plan on playing with the attribute bonuses you get every few levels because that bothers me more than the healing.

    A possible house rule I may use for the healing thing is "If you rest in a dangerous environment (ie, a dungeon), you heal up to 1/2 your max HP + your CON Mod (If your fighter has 16 HP, he'd only ever be at 8+Con Mod without receiving extra healing in a dungeon if he dropped lower than 8 HP). If you are already above 1/2 your HP, you just gain your CON Mod. If you rest in comfortable/safe environments, you heal up to full. If you drop to 0 HP and don't die, It takes 1 day to heal up to 1 HP, 1 week to heal to 1/2, and another week to heal to full, at which point you gain your Hit Dice back. Being seen to by a physician for that halves the healing time.

    Buuut.....I also don't play with Clerics (mostly because they tend to turn Undead into pussies) or any of the healing spells (Potions exist though)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If the rule(s) had merit what's the point of house ruling them away?
      As written D&D 5th edition PCs are cheesie action movie heroes. That's just not what I picture when someone syas D&D, it creates a discontinuity.

      Delete
    2. What version of D&D doesn't get houseruled because it doesn't fit what you wanted to do. I also don't plan on allowing all classes/races and I might even restrict certain races to only being a few different classes out of the ones that I do make available. Not because the other classes don't have merit, but because they don't fit the world I want to run. I was throwing out an alternative that I thought solved a potential problem (I haven't ran a game yet, so I don't know if the healing fully after a nights rest even is a problem yet).

      I do agree that they've been making PC's sturdier in the recent editions (4e especially, which I really didn't like and didn't play after the first few games), but the benefit of these systems is houseruling, and 5e seems to be back to the old ways in ease of house ruling. Changing things in 3e/3.5/Pathfinder was hard because of hidden consequences. Changing in 4th was really hard because that was a machine that worked exactly the way they wanted it to. 5e seems to be really, really easy to make your game, regardless of what the book says. I know this isn't news, but I just would rather people focus on how they would make things better instead of calling out something that they think is horrible.

      Delete
  10. Offensive is a funny word to use.

    ReplyDelete
  11. OK, I checked it out (it really confused me and made no sense, as it was not explained well).

    Basically, to make the characters less reliant on healing magic, or even "Healing Surges" from 4e, Mearls added a system that uses a pool of (for a lack of a better name) "Hit Dice" for short-term healing. Or as Mearls puts it: "Your character is bandaging wounds, applying healing herbs, having some food and water, and otherwise spending time to recover." and "It's important to note that Hit Dice come into play to represent mundane healing." (see link below)

    This pool is equal to your level, and is used to heal a character during Short Rests (the normal breathers during an adventure or journey). You recover half of your lost "Hit Dice" pool with Long Rest (normal sleep), and this pool cannot be replenished with normal healing magic. It seems to be used to keep the adventure going, without all the long downtime that plagued the older editions (1 or so hit points per day of full rest), while also reenforcing the notion that Hit Points are an abstraction of heroic strength and luck, and not just chunks of meat that most people would assume it is. In fact, Mike notes this in the following link:

    http://www.wizards.com/dnd/Article.aspx?x=dnd/4ll/20120521

    I hope that was helpful.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for explaing the HD business.
      But I don't buy it as supporting a play style that doesn't depend on magical healing. There's plenty of healing magic in 5th edition, healing potions are even on the adventuing equipment list along with rope.

      Delete
    2. Wow, I did not even notice that the Potion of Healing was on the list Adventuring Gear -- a list that has been low on my priority. (50 gp? That is cheap!) Thanks!

      To me, this is a great rule, as I like to play in settings where magic is rare, there are no Clerics/healing classes, and characters have to be self-reliant. Basically settings like the Hyborian Age, Carcosa and Dark Sun. Characters having a lot of near-misses (akin to the characters in Star Wars getting shot at by Stormtroopers), and coming right back after a short breather feels like the stuff of great pulp adventures.

      Delete