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So every RPG does this. It's kinda what ruins MMO's and falling behind your friends in the level curve. It's what's ruined, in part, The Elderscrolls games.

 

Every time you level up, you gain health. Why?

 

Serious question, why do you gain health? The enemies you encounter then gain damage. Your actual net gain versus the enemies you face might be nil. No change whatsoever on gameplay, except maybe low level monsters go from a challenge to a nuisance.

 

It's of no real benefit except making a little part in the players more basic brain functions feel better that a bar has gone up. Which isn't really needed, there are other bars. Just get rid of it.

 

Get rid of automatic health gain, and suddenly balancing isn't as much of a problem, because you need to deal with less changing numbers. Suddenly levelling creatures isn't nearly as much of a problem, you don't have to keep amping up enemies health and damage nearly as much just because the player and party have gained more levels. Get rid of it so players don't have to constantly re-adjust what a good weapon is in terms of damage, don't have to throw away old health potions because they don't do enough anymore, don't have to wade through enemies that can't hurt them simply because they're too high of a level.

 

Just, don't do it. Shooters don't do it, huge open world games like Just Cause and Red Dead Redemption didn't. People still played them for hundreds of hours. It's just a headache and extra work with no real benefit, a relic of the original Dungeons and Dragon's first edition that no one's ever questioned for 40 years so far as I can tell.

Edited by Frenetic Pony
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That's one of the reasons I dislike level-systems. I prefer games in which you gain points in a skill or attribute by using it, like in Ultima Online or most Scandinavian PnP RPGs.

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"We have nothing to fear but fear itself! Apart from pain... and maybe humiliation. And obviously death and failure. But apart from fear, pain, humiliation, failure, the unknown and death, we have nothing to fear but fear itself!"

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I'm a big fan of keeping hp gains low. It helps keep tension in combat and makes the whole world feel deadly. I think you should be able to increase it (perhaps as a purchasable feat), but there should be an upper limit to how much it can be increased. Perhaps, limit it so that the character could survive one or two more regular melee hits from enemies (for example, if a regular hit is 2d4 make the upper limit of hit point gain in the +12-16 hp range).

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How does stamina factor into this? Do we want health to be a constant, but ramp stamina? Vise-versa? Both? Neither?

 

That aside, this sounds like an interesting idea to consider. How would scaling enemies work though? Tougher enemies have to deal more damage to be more dangerous, but weaker enemies have to deal damage too, especially at lower levels. Suppressing other factors, constant health would mean that tougher baddies will either insta-kill you, puny ones will be insignificant even at lower levels, or baddies will all be equal in power.

 

To solve this, enemies would not scale damage, but would scale hit percentage? Thereby the only way to gain effectiveness against them would be to increase dodge chance or armor rating?

I'm trying to understand the implications of fixed health from a mechanics viewpoint. I feel somehow that this isn't such a simple task as just dropping health ramping. Unfortunately, I'm not smart enough to fully comprehend this on my own. Anyone care to help me out?

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Roleplaying game rules should make leveling about characters growing "wider" instead of "taller". Bigger numbers of hit points and to-hit modifiers make your character taller without really fleshing out the character. By giving a character access to new powers, new options, and new choices, we make the character wider. A wide character is more powerful because he can better respond to varying situations.

 

More discussion here: http://5eworld.blogspot.com/2012/02/do-characters-need-to-grow-up.html

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Health/Stamina could go up only when you actively put points in things that increase these stats. For example if there is an Endurance/Constitution/Thoughness stat, HP could be based on that and not on level for example?. But having HP/Stamina never ever change I do not agree with.

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I see what you are going for but I don't see how this is really workable I have to say without turning it into a different genre or having some system where it's very rare for anyone to actually get hit which would be a bit tedious. You could go for increasing levels of damage resistance, but that's still arguably even less realistic than increasing HP.

 

The fundemental problem is with this supposition is that it's the same enemies getting more powerful. However, what would likely happen is you are having a system where at level 1 a goblin with a flickknife has the potential to kill you, which is fine, however, if you are maintaining constant HP throughout, if said goblin can kill you, what happens when you encounter an attack which is exponentially powerful than said flick knife - say, a high level beam of energy from a wizard, or a blast of fire from a dragon or a swing giant's club. Assuming that the same damage from the flickknife if it connected/wasn't resisted would still kill you, these are all instant kill scenarios, as they would realistically be in real life, but in a game would likely end up being some tedious lesson in giant-safety.

 

While I certainly agree with the general principle of wider is more interesting than taller, I'd suggest that more to the point, players should just get bigger is all regards, and just with the wider being more prominent.

 

In my view, HP is the best of a poor bunch of solutions to trying to simulate the character shield of fantasy characters without actually doing what Gandalf, Conan, King Arthur and their ilk do in a fight - which is basically never get hit except perhaps in the occassional "boss battle". You want that feel that your guy is up there with these characters, but getting hit in a 50 hour campaign can't be an occassional thing or you lose all suspense if you know that no one in the entire evil tower except Wizbad the bad at the top is the only one that can ever hit you.

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HP gain could be controlled upped with feats, rare in game items or temporary buffs to compensate (slightly) on not gaining health on level up. It's puts a bit more focus on managing your character development effectively, but that's not a bad thing. An interesting idea, honestly I wouldn't be bothered either way they go (HP per level up, or some alternative).

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Just to nitpick but D&D had linear health gain, as did at least the recent elder scrolls.

Exponential growth is in a form proportional to nx while linear growth is proportional to nx.

 

And as often mentioned HP is just one of the abstractions of skill. Would it make sense for the main character to always have to be afraid of rats?

Edited by Matthiasa
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I think Pipyui hit the nail on the head here. This could possibly be part of why Obsidian has adopted the new Stamina system. Instead of every time you level up your character "magically"(hate using that in a sarcastic way in regards to a fantasy universe) gains tons of health (more blood cells??) you gain stamina. This is directly equivelant to your combat prowess and the ability to sustain multiple attacks. I like to think of it as your training has improved and you are more resilient to enemy attacks. I'm just spit balling here.

Do not criticize a fish for being a turtle when it is, in fact, a fish.

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...every time you level up your character "magically"(hate using that in a sarcastic way in regards to a fantasy universe) gains tons of health (more blood cells??)...

 

Hit Points (HP) do not represent more blood cells for those who have more hit points or who gain additional hit points.

 

"Each character has a varying number of hit points, just as monsters do. These hit points represent how much damage (actual or potential) the character can withstand before being killed. A certain amount of these hit points represent the actual physical punishment which can be sustained. The remainder, a significant portion of hit points at higher levels, stands for skill, luck, and/or magical factors. A typical man-at-arms can take about 5 hit points of damage before being killed. let us suppose that a 10th level fighter has 55 hit points, plus a bonus of 30 hit points for his constitution, for a total of 85 hit points. This is the equivalent of about 18 hit dice for creatures, about what it would take to kill four huge warhorses. It is ridiculous to assume that even a fantastic fighter can take that much punishment. The same holds true to a lesser extent for clerics, thieves, and the other classes. Thus, the majority of hit points are symbolic of combat skill, luck (bestowed by supernatural powers), and magical forces." - Gary Gygax / Dungeons & Dragons

 

Quote taken from this post:

http://www.enworld.o...846-post45.html

 

You don't need the stamina-health system to represent what hit points have always represented. The stamina-health system is a design method to accomplish healing in a way that meets the game developers combat goals around resource management and death.

 

Additional discussions:

 

http://www.enworld.o...4e-healing.html

 

http://www.enworld.o...hit-points.html

 

http://www.enworld.o...-hp-styles.html

 

http://www.enworld.o...ing-system.html

Edited by mokona
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Honestly, I think Arcanum was kind of on the right track with this. My HP did increase (especially with one certain place where you get 100 HP near the end-game) but not ridiculously so. Even at level 50, if I didn't have a party, I still was afraid of 3 or 4 were-rats (Level 20-30). They could kill me in 3-4 rounds with well-placed hits. It was always dangerous to fight some enemies.

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I think it's important not to let "stat entropy" happen. Keep stats as low as possible, because they will skyrocket into huge numbers quickly if you don't pay careful attention. Low integer values for most attributes/systems is a good long-term plan.

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I don't mind the sudden HP/Mana recovery.

 

It's like.. "Ah, I'm losing I'm losing.... No wait! There is hope! *Kills a trash mob*" "Hah, why did you waste a precious attack round to kill a minion and not me, the boss, nyah!?" "Because I only needed 23 experience points to level up! BOO YAH!" "Oh noesh! He's getting HP back!" *Insert heroic battle theme*

 

It's a rarely a dramatic moment like this happens, but when it does.. Man it's so satisfying. In many games this doesn't make sense, but it's epic as all hell that you just run with it. Actually.. what game had that bit where you leveled up, and a cool explosion of energy came from you, knocking everybody back, and there was an epic music playing whenever you did?

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First, yes I pesonaly do get why it works how it works.

 

But personaly i want a system that uses low health pool and a low hit coult every hit is leathal so you the character dodges, blocks and perries a lot. each time it does consumes Stamina and ofencive skills and spells also consume this resourse, so oveusing it leaves you with no chance to defend and you with a few hits you get killed.

 

But well thats just me.

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I've played many games where by the end of the game I wanted to be hugely powerful, and able to wade through wave of enemies with my party. If i've spent tens of hours leveling my skills, and progressing my characters then shouldn't my character be mightier than the average monster. I mirror the comments above discussing how HP is really just the represenation of how much punishment your character can take before being lost.

 

I always feel that you should not bring too much reality into this game element. Otherwise how would you explain your character being able to withstand a magical fire blast, or a sword slash to the chest. By keeping HP low, all you are doing is scaling the game to lower set of values.

 

For me I think the classic way to improve HP should by spending skill points to increase conditioning. A good example of this was back in the M&M series where bod building granted you additional health for each skill point you placed into it.

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I've played many games where by the end of the game I wanted to be hugely powerful, and able to wade through wave of enemies with my party. If i've spent tens of hours leveling my skills, and progressing my characters then shouldn't my character be mightier than the average monster. I mirror the comments above discussing how HP is really just the represenation of how much punishment your character can take before being lost.

 

I always feel that you should not bring too much reality into this game element. Otherwise how would you explain your character being able to withstand a magical fire blast, or a sword slash to the chest. By keeping HP low, all you are doing is scaling the game to lower set of values.

 

For me I think the classic way to improve HP should by spending skill points to increase conditioning. A good example of this was back in the M&M series where bod building granted you additional health for each skill point you placed into it.

Yes thats why i thought of a system like the one i posted.

 

At hier leves you dont have more life per se (maybe some) but you can have more stamina to fight longer piriods of time.

Because the damage system is about dodge, block, parry where your defence rating pairs with the enemys hit rate at hier level you are just better so you "Defend" against all their attacks and because you hit is better that theirs you kill them with one blow.

 

if you fight hordes of enemies you will get tired for defending because against big number of foes, but still you can kill them becasue of the disparity of levels, but big number of enemies can still kill you once you run out of stamina, because "Defending" consumes dirent amount of stamina depending of what you are defending against.

 

Focusing in Atacking skills can do more damage or give you advantages but will consume more stamina son can put you in a tight spot later.

so when you fight even leveled matches the for those blows that pass your defence there is the armor to soak some damage.

And even magic attack can be "Defended" (dodged, paried or Blocked) so the system still applys. (depending of the sort of magic, for example a Fira ball can be blocked with a shild of dodged a magic arrow can be Dodged, Parried or Blocked, etc.)

 

And depending of what kind of atack is used it defending against it consumes diferent amounts of stamina.

 

For example its kinda simple if you "Defend" againt a giant it could be more tiring that "Defending" againt a weak goblin.

 

All its about the character skill and stamina, that we know the Grate heros should have and not the amout of axes to the head they can take.

 

For example when you see a movie for example Lord of the Rings, when you see a epic battle you see the characters dodging atacks and landing theirs. That image feals right. not just taking a beating to each other till some one falls.

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I've played many games where by the end of the game I wanted to be hugely powerful, and able to wade through wave of enemies with my party. If i've spent tens of hours leveling my skills, and progressing my characters then shouldn't my character be mightier than the average monster. I mirror the comments above discussing how HP is really just the represenation of how much punishment your character can take before being lost.

 

I always feel that you should not bring too much reality into this game element. Otherwise how would you explain your character being able to withstand a magical fire blast, or a sword slash to the chest. By keeping HP low, all you are doing is scaling the game to lower set of values.

 

For me I think the classic way to improve HP should by spending skill points to increase conditioning. A good example of this was back in the M&M series where bod building granted you additional health for each skill point you placed into it.

Yes thats why i thought of a system like the one i posted.

 

At hier leves you dont have more life per se (maybe some) but you can have more stamina to fight longer piriods of time.

Because the damage system is about dodge, block, parry where your defence rating pairs with the enemys hit rate at hier level you are just better so you "Defend" against all their attacks and because you hit is better that theirs you kill them with one blow.

 

if you fight hordes of enemies you will get tired for defending because against big number of foes, but still you can kill them becasue of the disparity of levels, but big number of enemies can still kill you once you run out of stamina, because "Defending" consumes dirent amount of stamina depending of what you are defending against.

 

Focusing in Atacking skills can do more damage or give you advantages but will consume more stamina son can put you in a tight spot later.

so when you fight even leveled matches the for those blows that pass your defence there is the armor to soak some damage.

And even magic attack can be "Defended" (dodged, paried or Blocked) so the system still applys. (depending of the sort of magic, for example a Fira ball can be blocked with a shild of dodged a magic arrow can be Dodged, Parried or Blocked, etc.)

 

And depending of what kind of atack is used it defending against it consumes diferent amounts of stamina.

 

For example its kinda simple if you "Defend" againt a giant it could be more tiring that "Defending" againt a weak goblin.

 

All its about the character skill and stamina, that we know the Grate heros should have and not the amout of axes to the head they can take.

 

For example when you see a movie for example Lord of the Rings, when you see a epic battle you see the characters dodging atacks and landing theirs. That image feals right. not just taking a beating to each other till some one falls.

 

Technically this is what HP is supposed to represent. All those times you see the hero getting nicked but ducking out of the way that is supposed to be when HP decreased. Those nicks and bashes that won't kill a person is what is happening to you when you get 'hit' in an RPG. Once your HP is exhausted that is when you've lost the strength to continue on fighting like that and you take the fatal blow. HP isn't meant to be I'm getting stabbed in the eye but I shrug it off because whatever I've still got another eye or taking a cannonball full on to the chest but not caring because I've got pecs of steel.

 

I admit that it is poorly represented in games but what you're talking about is generally what HP is supposed to be representative of.

 

I'd also like to point out that HP adds lee-way where as a hit/miss system generally does not. If you have HP decreasing you can adjust your play accordingly. If you're playing something where dodging, blocking and parrying are the primary means of defense and getting hit through this leads to a quick death than damage feels too spikey. It feels like luck when you die because you just happened to get hit back to back when you've got a 85% chance to avoid attacks so that was just ****ty odds. Personally I hate playing any game where things feel this way.

 

I'm not discounting your idea of a swinging system where going more offensive means sacrificing defense. I just think that it's something that should be done in addition to HP rather than being done instead of it.

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I like how AD&D handled the issue. After a certain number of levels, most classes gained only a fixed number of hitpoints (HP) + Con. bonus per level. There were no 400HP fighters or barbarians running around and this served to keep the game a bit more grounded than later editions. Yes, all things are relative and as your level/HP went up in D&D 3.X so did those of the opponents you were likely to be facing, but the fact that a Level Zero human still had only 1d6 HP served to underscore just how over-the-top godlike your PC had become. That always smacked of Superman Syndrome to me.

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So every RPG does this. It's kinda what ruins MMO's and falling behind your friends in the level curve. It's what's ruined, in part, The Elderscrolls games.

 

I think you misunderstand what "exponential" means. Exponential health gain would mean something like you doubling your health every level. Which is true in many games for 1st to 2nd level, but thereafter it's a simple arithmetic progression, not a geometric one. In games like Skyrim you can add a maximum of 10 health per level.

 

In any case, I think it's highly debatable whether this type of system "ruins" any game. You have to know a lot more about how it is integrated in with other systems before you can make that kind of determination. I, personally, tend to prefer systems where numbers increase slowly (so I don't go from doing 3 damage to doing 87,000--doing the math for that gets to be a headache). So, in general I also tend to prefer systems where health doesn't increase by leaps and bounds. That doesn't mean everybody should feel the same way.

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I like how AD&D handled the issue. After a certain number of levels, most classes gained only a fixed number of hitpoints (HP) + Con. bonus per level. There were no 400HP fighters or barbarians running around and this served to keep the game a bit more grounded than later editions. Yes, all things are relative and as your level/HP went up in D&D 3.X so did those of the opponents you were likely to be facing, but the fact that a Level Zero human still had only 1d6 HP served to underscore just how over-the-top godlike your PC had become. That always smacked of Superman Syndrome to me.

Um, unless you're maximizing Con and health feats, wich outside of very specific builds is rather subpar, the max hitpoints you'll reach by 20th level will on average be a bit under 200 as a fighter. Around 200 if you're a barbarian. This assumes you have no minimum health gain per level which some people houserule. My group tends to houserule 50% or better till level 5, but then all the DMs I play with know how to construct difficult encounters so it's useful if they roll luckier than normal to keep from TPKing and ending the session for the night. Even a barbarian rolling max HP every level would have a hard time breaking 350 unless he maxed CON as his primary stat. Edited by ravenshrike

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Even a barbarian rolling max HP every level would have a hard time breaking 350 unless he maxed CON as his primary stat.

 

Play the Hordes of the Underdark expansion pack for NWN1 and you'll be able to go up into Epic levels. Granted, you're up against Mephistopheles for the final showdown, but it's still the principle of a demi-human being able to become so overwhelmingly ascendent and superior that rubs me the wrong way. I simply prefer to keep things a little more down-to-earth when it comes to PCs and NPCs.

 

Gandalf was a Maiar, but he still could've had his head taken off or bashed in by an orc while defending Minas Tirith. This is more in keeping with the level of realism I'm hoping for. Regardless of the actual numbers, I simply want to avoid Superman Syndrome in P:E.

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http://cbrrescue.org/

 

Go afield with a good attitude, with respect for the wildlife you hunt and for the forests and fields in which you walk. Immerse yourself in the outdoors experience. It will cleanse your soul and make you a better person.----Fred Bear

 

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Even a barbarian rolling max HP every level would have a hard time breaking 350 unless he maxed CON as his primary stat.

 

Play the Hordes of the Underdark expansion pack for NWN1 and you'll be able to go up into Epic levels. Granted, you're up against Mephistopheles for the final showdown, but it's still the principle of a demi-human being able to become so overwhelmingly ascendent and superior that rubs me the wrong way. I simply prefer to keep things a little more down-to-earth when it comes to PCs and NPCs.

 

Gandalf was a Maiar, but he still could've had his head taken off or bashed in by an orc while defending Minas Tirith. This is more in keeping with the level of realism I'm hoping for. Regardless of the actual numbers, I simply want to avoid Superman Syndrome in P:E.

Gandalf was a little bitch compared to the character's you saw in the Silmarillion. Not to mention that Tolkein, especially in LOTR, is low fantasy and both D&D and PE will be high fantasy. In fact it was specifically mentioned that magic was leaving Middle Earth and that things were much less powerful than they had been. Then there's the fact that when you get right down to it, a game set in a world built solely to show off a made up language isn't particularly interesting. Keep LOTR out of PE.

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I have no problem with massive HP. In fact, I would even consider HP maximizing to be a viable character concept.

 

So, let's take a warrior, who instead of seeking to become better at killing, decides to become better at not-dying. His method of doing this is to increase his ability to endure damage. Is this an unreasonable fantasy concept? No, we can imagine a character who functions like this who takes massive hits and still pushes through the battle. I'm fine with the idea that a fighter in a fantasy functions significantly differently than the real world, this can include unreasonable feats of strength, unreasonable feats of speed, and unreasonable feats of toughness. I have no problem with having my epic fighter be tougher than a tank, he's epic, his power is on a level where it is basically supernatural and that's exactly what we should expect.

 

(Note: I also have no problems with mortals ascending to godhood or defeating legendary supernatural creatures. I like the idea of human beings having theoretically limitless power, even though they may typically just be pawns of the gods and other powers.)

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1)I'd prefer numbers to start and end on the lower side.

2) Instead of stat inflation or just being able to take more damage, I'd prefer they give more utility skills and lower the "resource" cost of utility skills in combat, and lower the time requirement of some defensive abilities. I'm gonna use a Fighter as an example since a Mage is more obvious in their fulfillment. A fighter might have a few "mobility" and "crowd control" abilities at hand. Here's 3 different types of examples, a Charge(run to enemy), a Shield bash(stun/knockback?), a "Throwable Net" to snare enemies. In many games, you either have to pick 1 of the 3 to "max" which means the 2 nonmaxed skills are near useless, or if you can have all 3, it costs 1/2 your "resource" to use 1 of them or you gotta wait for a 30 second cooldown or in BG2 case, use once, maybe twice, then rest. With all 3 being available for a battle, potentially multiple times in a fight depending on the balance of it....you'd achieve the fighter being able to take less damage while giving it more of a strategic approach rather than just having damage reduction, higher HP, or a roll for block/dodge chance. I can only imagine what you could come up with for other classes.

3) I know Diablo is a ARPG which will be different from PE obviously...but I think it's a perfect example of stat inflation being bad, as well as skill limitation through lack of skill slots and extended cool downs(not taking into account poorly designed skills). I realize it wasn't ONLY stat inflation that did this, it was also the combination of skills being based upon "dps"/attributes, the items being the bulk of stats for your character(which meant gear without "x" stat was useless or undesirable), and also the horrid item affixes.

 

Also on a side note, I could only imagine the potential balance nightmare for the devs if each class had 3-4+ usable utility skills multiplied by a party of 6. It's just food for thought and could in my opinion, lead to a much more in depth/engaging combat. It could also potentially open the door for larger "herds" of monsters due to the player having more combat options besides cast fireball once, twice, then go melee.

Edited by Utukka
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