Tuesday, July 8, 2014

How Could This Orc Have Only One or Two Hit Points?

How is it possible an Orc (or any one hit dice humanoid for that matter, I just feel Orcs are a great example of dangerous rough living classical 1 HD humanoids) could have only 1 or 2 hit points and be there to encounter the PCs, wouldn't they have already been killed and thus not be there for the encounter?

How indeed? I'm going to go old School here and explain in chart format:

Why is this Low HP Orc here when "logic" and statistical analysis shows it would probably not?

1. Orcs don’t get sick days. Feeling under the weather, nursing an infection, actually injured so badly going to the fight might be a bad idea….well Mr. Orc you better show up or you’ll be killed,butchered, and eaten for dinner. Well maybe it will not be that bad but you don’t get a single copper piece or bite of food if you don’t at least show up for the fight.

2. The Orc is a Runt. For all the same reasons as above the orc is going to show up because he’s not just inconvenienced by a temporary health issues but by his normal condition, it ain’t easy being an orc.

3. The War God Hates this Orc. The war god has it in for this orc, the orc might not even know it until some elf sticks an arrow in them or a dwarf knocks their head off with a battle axe.

4. The Orc is new at this. The orc just got here, it’s a whelp, or it just crawled out of the breeding pit, however little orcs get made, this one is a fresh/young one.

5. This Orc is a Slave. The other orcs are well aware of how weak this orc is, they don’t care, they even think it’s a little funny, such wimpy orcs will be driven before the horde as arrow and sword fodder to give the bigger and stronger orcs a chance to close and slay their foes.

6. Hasn’t Been Killed Yet. Sure this orc should be dead if it faced any real injury or risk in it’s life, guess what, that’s right now, during this encounter.

7. Not Really an Orc. This critter isn't really an orc it's some sub-race or creepy half-breed, orcs can make half-orcs with things besides humans.

8. Orcs don’t know how many Hit Points they have.  Plainly and simply orcs and all other monsters and NPCs don’t know how many hit points they have as they are not controlled by a player who enjoys access to this information to make decisions about their individual actions. While convention says roll 1d8 if a creature has one Hit Die the DM is also free to assign whatever reasonable Hit Point Score they feel is appropriate for an encounter , the Orc has no clue they have only 1 or 2 hit points and will keep on doing things orcish until they get clubbed, poked, throttled,cleaved, crushed, set on fire...


  1. I call my 1 hit point goblins runts and make them small. They still fight, though.

  2. If it's okay, I want to do a post about this, partly because I think the whole things is so silly. The post will be called "Hit Points Don't Exist". What I mean by that is sort of an expansion of your point 8. Hit points are merely abstract entities that come into play ONLY to aid in describing a battle that includes player characters. "Off-stage" there are no hit points. Thus they're not like genes or fast-twitch muscle fibers or any other physical thing that might give one a survival advantage in the fantasy world. Constructing some sort of neo-Darwinian theory (as I guess Alex did) of how all the 1 hp guys would have been weeded out or whatever is nonsensical.

    1. Definitely don't need my permission, feel free. The application of stats designed for fantasy medieval adventure gaming in more concrete simulation is a bit odd.

  3. Why couldn't it be that the orc just got done fighting delvers three rooms away and managed to scamper away with 2 HP - just like delvers do occasionally. Or just lost a fight with the group leader who accused him of stealing rations. The dungeon isn't a static environment, after all.

    1. Pretty much backstory for reason #!, but sure, why not?

  4. You forgot one.

    9. Because it's a game, not a simulation.