## Rolling for HP vs taking the average

Hi there everyone,
I was mulling over the rolling for hit points when leveling vs. taking the average (for example: A cleric, upon gaining a level, gains 1d8 (or 5) + Con modifier per levl gained).

I'm pretty sure it's intended that the player chooses one option exclusively. However I'm waiting for the inevitible response when I tell my players "Okay you can either choose to roll and take a chance or just go for the average set number." and have the ones that choose to roll get low numbers and say "Can we go for the average instead now?" I'm fine with telling them "You made your choice." but I am curious if this is how others are handling it as well. Is anyone letting them take the average if they don't like the HP roll result?

Or letting the average be the "bare minimum" that the PC will gain?
The way I prefer to do it, is that they may roll, but the minimum they can recieve is the stated number.  For example, a Monk would recieve between 5 and 8 hit points per level.  Plus Con mod of course.  I don't think this undermines the game in anyway, and keeps the players happy.
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jaelis
Joined Dec 1969
I like the idea where instead of adding your Con mod to your hp at each level, you would roll that many dice and take the highest. (If your mod is negative, roll that many dice and take the lowest).

Shiroiken
Joined Mar 2008
1554 Posts
Part of the problem, is that statistically, you're better off taking the number. The average (to use your example) of 1d8 is 4.5, so after 2 levels, you will have about +9 HP, which is less than the given number. I know several players who like to play the odds (even when they're bad), so rolling is common. That said, if given the choice, I will always take the number.
I like the idea where instead of adding your Con mod to your hp at each level, you would roll that many dice and take the highest. (If your mod is negative, roll that many dice and take the lowest).

At first I thought this was dumb, but the more I thought about it, the more I liked it. It helps increase the average HP, without increasing the maximum.
I do not allow averages, especially the above averages that this game suggests for HP. The universal rule is to round down when you have a fraction in D&D. I think if you want the security of an average result, you should have to round it down, not up. But I will always roll HP, because few things are more bland and soulless to me than picking the same number every level.
Let them roll or take fixed hps as they choose. It really is fine either way.

Likewise choosing rolled, array or pb stats. The systems on display are pretty balanced.

Just don't introduce rerolling nonsense - that defeats the thrill, the math, and the purpose.
jsenff
Joined Dec 1969
I've been letting the players have the heigher of their roll, or the stated number.  They obviously love it this way, and I have no qualms with it.  They're still within bounds, so fights are interesting.  I do this because I dislike the ability for a fighter to be vastly weaker than a mage, due to a series of unfortunate rolls.  They can still be a weaker fighter with bad rolls, but 3 1's isn't going to leave a level 4 fighter with 21 hp.

Also, just because it was mentioned above, for stats- I allow up to two rerolls, but if you decide to reroll, your previous set is scrapped forever.  So again, nobody is left with all 5's through bad luck (unless it's really bad luck and happens three times in a row), but the players are normally happy sticking if they roll average stats, because the risk of scrapping average and rolling poor strongly exists
alienux
Joined Dec 1969
We like the randomness of dice, so when I DM, we always roll and live with the results. No backstepping because it didn't work out in our favor. To me, that would defeat the purpose of using the dice in the first place.
Just to throw in my 2cents. I have always played with max hit points, so basically you gain first level hit points every level (we like to play high powered campaigns). With that being said, we probably won't houserule during the playtest, so I'm going to recomend going with the middle number. If it's second level and your barbarian rolls a one on the d12, he is now much weaker than everyone else because of one roll and I don't like that.
The Oberoni fallacy only applies to broken rules, not rules you don't like. If a rule you don't like can be easily ignored, it should exist in the game for those who will enjoy it.