Don't Hate The Healer For Asking

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I ran into an unusual situation last night, while playing as a Bard at a 1st level table. We were in a fairly difficult combat situation, after the first round we had three players bloodied and prone (the DM rolled several crits, and the attacks knock you prone). When my turn to act came up, I asked one of the bloodied players (a paladin, who does NOT have Lay On Hands) what his HP situation was, so I could decide where to best apply my one Majestic Word.

To everyone's surprise, he covered his character sheet with one hand (he's at the other end of the table from me) and replied, "Unless you have some sort of ritual or something that tells you my exact condition, I don't have to answer that."

We all kind of stared at him for a moment.

I explained as politely as I could, "I only get one heal this round, and we have three people prone and bloodied. I'm trying to figure out who needs the heal most, so I don't waste it and someone ends up getting killed."

He snaps back, "I'm bloodied, and that's all you can tell without some kind of DM ruling."

I shrugged, and said "OK, I'll heal the fighter, then. But just so everyone at the table understands why I ask 'How many left, out of how many maximum?', I'm going to explain it. If two players each tell me they are bloodied, it doesn't tell me anything that I can't already see. If one is a wizard, who has a maximum of say 14 HP, his bloodied means he's one good sword hit away from down & dying. If the other player is an 18 CON dwarven fighter with 40 HP max, his bloodied status means he's still 20 HP away from dropping. The difference between those two can be life and death at low level, so this is why I asked."

He said, "I've been playing LFR a long time, you don't have to explain things to me, and I'm not telling you my hit points unless the DM makes me."

I dropped the heal on the fighter, shrugged again, and said "OK, that's your call. I won't heal you until you drop then, assuming I have heals left."

One round later, the BBEG blew the paladin out of his socks with a crit, dropping him to negative status, and then the paladin failed his first death save on his following turn.

The rogue and the psion moved in to flank the BBEG, attacking him but failing to kill him. When my turn came around, I started to drop my last Majestic Word on the dying paladin, when he surprised us again.

"I don't accept," he said. We all looked at him again, and I asked politely what he meant.

He replied, "I want you to delay until after the monster, in case he hits me again while I'm down."

Several players pointed out that the intelligent BBEG wasn't going to waste an action smacking the dying paladin, when he has a rogue behind him stabbing him, and another character in front of him zapping him. The DM even pointed out that the BBEG was no longer under the Divine Challenge, and as a general rule, LFR monsters don't focus on already dying characters without some sort of special incentive to do so. It was like he couldn't hear them.

The paladin says, "If you heal me, then I'm not going to be 'down and dying' as you call it (rolls his eyes), I'll just be down, and so he will hit me again, wasting your heal."

I pointed out that if I delay until after the BBEG goes, and he DOES smack the paladin again, the paladin will probably die (the BBEG has been doing an average of 17 points of damage per attack so far).

"I don't care, I want you to delay," he says.

"Um...no," I say, pointing at the board, "I need to go over here and kill this other bad guy before he stabs the ranger while she's prone, so delaying isn't going to work for me. I drop my Majestic Word on you as a minor action. It heals you for Healing Surge plus 4, if you accept it, or it doesn't heal you and the power is wasted if you don't. Your call, my conscience as a healer is clean. DM, I move to here to flank the guy with the halberd, and make my War Song Strike attempt. If I hit, and he survives, anyone who hits him before the end of my next turn gets 2 temp hit points."

The paladin shakes his head in disgust, marks down the healing and says loudly, "I've never met anyone so stupidly determined to heal people."

I replied, "I've never met anyone who thought it was a bad idea to tell the healer how many hit points they have, so I guess that makes us even."

I've decided upon the simplest route to make us both happy in the future - I won't ask how he's doing, and I won't waste any healing on him either. Then we should both be happy, I guess.

I'm curious, though. Have any of you ever run across this kind of a situation, or this kind of player?
Have I run into players who were jerks? Yes.

I don't play with them again.
Every once in a while I run into people who do things like you describe above. I think you handled it well. Though, if the paladin in your story was using roleplay to hide his stat information and need for healing, I don't see how he could expect to tell your healer what to do after his character went down. Seems a bit inconsistent on their part.
-Sartredes
He is correct that the number of HP he has left isn't meant to be known (there is a ritual for such a thing).  Most people just don't bother with it, although you do see it get a little more strict in things such as Specials.  However, he was a dick wad about it.  About the whole thing really.  If I were you, after the first time I just wouldn't have healed him at all.  In the future I wouldn't heal him either.  More healing for the other people at the table.  And if he asked for a heal, then I would hit him with "Ooooooh, so noooow you want healing.  Too bad, schmuck, Golden Rule applies."

I tend to follow the Golden Rule, so if someone is a jerk towards me then I figure they must want such treatment in return.
Sorry WOTC, you lost me with Essentials. So where I used to buy every book that came out, now I will be very choosy about what I buy. Can we just get back to real 4e? Check out the 4e Conversion Wiki. 1. Wizards fight dirty. They hit their enemies in the NADs. -- Dragon9 2. A barbarian hits people with his axe. A warlord hits people with his barbarian. 3. Boo-freakin'-hoo, ya light-slingin' finger-wigglers. -- MrCelcius in response to the Cleric's Healer's Lore nerf
I had never known about the "not supposed to know your hit points" until I played with some random people at DDXP in the Battle Interactive.   The cleric at the table asked my paladin if I needed the heal, to which I said "No, I'm at X, so still 2 HP from bloodied".  She pointed out to me that I technically shouldn't share that, so I didn't.  I think that policy drives most healers crazy, since they have hard decisions to make anyway, and removing information can't help that, but it is a cool anti-metagame thing to do.

I completely see the Paladin in your case's point about not getting healed - when I DM, I would much rather attack the Defender that was making my life hard while he is on the ground and likely to go back unconcious if I hit him than some other target, but I would be unlikely to attack him once he was out of the fight.  He was a huge jerk about it, though.
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I really hate these kind of peoeple who belive that they are "supierior" to everyone else at the table. We got at least two of them in my 4e LFR games, one guy is absolutly convinced that you can never pick a lock, disarm a trap or anything else unless you have trainining in theivery. (Not true, though a DM could call that something is a bit too tough to do without training, but its not an automatic condition.)

My 3.5 game we all are just a bunch of people playing a game for **** and giggles. So no one who is supirior here.

The 2.0 on saturdays however, One guy keeps trying to be the top dog. He didn't let our Thief/Wizard cast charm on someone because it would cause the guard to start sounding the alarm, as he believes that casting spells cannot be subtle. He tried to say a fireball was a 20foot diamater.. Not a 20foot radius like it was in the book. (I challanged him here because I'm currently in geomtry, and was like "Holy ****! if a radius is the entire circle.. I've been getting taught wrong!")

And then shapechange. He was going on about how my character could never transform into soemthing he has never seen before. Which I agree and disagree. If i seen a dog, Could i not shapeshift into a dog person by applying traits of the dog to my normal anotomy? But then how do i prove my pregenerated character has seen something beyond a cat or dog?

Lucky, the last battle there were some crystal golems and I shapeshifted into them. Which then his superorty complex then worked in my favor as normally I'm suppose to keep my HP, and the first attack that hit me did exactly my HP.
I'd get along more with people if they didn't jump onto a hyberbole every single time you say something they don't understand.
I've run into my share of jerk players, though I don't think I've had the "pleasure" of playing with that particular flavor of jerk before.

Fine that he wants to play by the letter of the rule on HP knowledge, but when he starts arguing with you while his PC is unconscious...sigh.

I think you handled it pretty well.  Just avoid the guy in the future, if it's possible to do so.
"Of course [Richard] has a knife. He always has a knife. We all have knives. It's 1183, and we're barbarians!" - Eleanor of Aquitaine, "The Lion in Winter"

What a curious story.  Is it possible this was another misunderstanding between a roleplayer and a optimizer(1)?   Without knowing all the details (I wasn't there, obv), and without doubting the OP's account, that's what it seems like to me.

For truth, the rules don't allow you to say much more than "I'm bloodied" or "I'm down" or shades of gray on that.  (My favorite response from another player was:  "I'm standing in a pool of my own blood, how do you think I'm doing?!")  For me, as a roleplayer, I really like that rule (and ones like it) and the choices it presents within the situations that you describe above.  I want other players to roleplay their characters effectively and make decisions without perfect information...just like their characters have.

You're the bard, you have 3 of your comrades sprouting blood from their ears.  Who do you save first?  The noble paladin?  The robed wizard?   The bruised fighter?  For me, I want you to make a decision, good or bad, and go with it.    Choices are what make this game interesting.   

On the other hand, I can see how you, as the healer, might want perfect information to use the exact right power on the right person.   That's understandable...but it's not roleplaying.  Sadly, this is an incredibly imperfect system for roleplaying, though people do try to stick it in the game.

I don't think the Paladin is wrong to ask that you delay to heal him, he has reasons for wanting that.  However, you should absolutely feel free to play your character.   While this is a team game, no one should feel compelled to play in a manner that is inconsistent with their character.  For good teamwork, there needs to be a bit of give and take...and understanding that some people will choose to be less optimal in their play to support their character concept.   I fully support that.

As the leader of the party, you also have the option to take notes on how much damage each player has taken as it happens (I used to do that on rare occasion...it's open information, but now feel it's a bit anti-roleplaying so I avoid it, but it's certainly legal) so that you can decide how to most effectively apply your heals.    

-Pain

(1) = No, I'm not saying that optimizers can't be roleplayers.  Nor that you can't be both an optimizer and a roleplayer.   But I'm struggling to find the right word to describe someone who has little or no interest in the roleplaying aspects of this game.   And yes, there are LOTS of them.  What is the name for them?  (No, I'm not calling the OP this...he may or may not be.  I have no idea...and if I was, would that be a bad thing?   I think not...it's just a preference that some people have.)

As a GM, I always let folks tell each other whether they are bloodied (this is required by the rules), or if they are above or below one surge from 0. If someone is throwing exact HP around, I generally don't care either.

It sounds like this guy is very particular about how games are played, but what he's failing to understand is that he doesn't get to make choices for you, only for himself. If he wants to be the healer and determine how folks get healed, he should play a Leader. Otherwise, he should leave you to do what you do best.

As a player of a paladin, I know that 1) I have plenty of healing surges. There's really very little chance of you "wasting" one of my surges and 2) keeping PCs alive is good, especially if they can harry foes or cause them to reconsider options. His actions put him at serious risk of a burst affect killing him. His choice, but probably not the optimal one.

And of course, whatever everyone else has said. If he's a jerk, don't play with him.
I really like the "bloodied" and "not bloodied" states in 4E, as constantly discussing HP took some measure of risk and IC suspense from me. Even in 3.5 I generally tried not to give out my PC's numbers, describing how I looked instead.

And that's really what I would suggest for both you and the other player. A bloodied paladin and a nearly dead paladin would look a little different. You should be able to tell something about the PC - maybe he looks like he will drop at any moment, maybe he is just covered in a lot of blood. It should be inexact but hopefully provide some information. At tables I often hear loose terms like "way bloodied" or "barely bloodied". Or, you can have a conversation. "Stalwart Paladin, shall I heal you? Are you in grave danger?" The paladin can then choose how to answer it. "Save your efforts for the others, I shall prevail!"

In any case, if you will be playing with them again I would try to have a very relaxed conversation. Something like "Hey, I'm just wanting to make sure I keep everyone alive, since I am the leader. How can we work something out so your PC can let me know when you are in danger? It doesn't have to be hit points, but maybe your PC and mine could work something out to communicate when to heal?"

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Every once in a while I run into people who do things like you describe above. I think you handled it well. Though, if the paladin in your story was using roleplay to hide his stat information and need for healing, I don't see how he could expect to tell your healer what to do after his character went down. Seems a bit inconsistent on their part.



I agree that it seems inconsistent.  I can see why someone might not want to share their exact HP total for roleplaying reasons, but telling the healer to not heal him because he knows his healing will start at 0 HP is entirely metagaming.  (Roleplaying-wise a leader would not just stand around while his buddy is dying on the ground next to the BBEG waiting until he's "closer to dead" before healing him.)

A bloodied paladin and a nearly dead paladin would look a little different. You should be able to tell something about the PC - maybe he looks like he will drop at any moment, maybe he is just covered in a lot of blood. It should be inexact but hopefully provide some information.



Perhaps the DM would let you do a heal check to get an idea of how badly hurt your allies are.

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So I'm trying to figure out where this guy might be coming from, and failing.

Even if you subscribe to knowable versus unknowable, in the free actions that occur between characters, there would still be:

[to dwarf fighter]
"How hurt are you?"
"I'm frickin bloodied!"
"Yeah, but is the next hit going to kill you?"
"No.  He's got me pissed off, but it will take a heluva lot more than he's got to kill me."

or

[to gnome wizard]
"How hurt are you?"
"OMG helpme helpme helpme?"
"Are you bloodied?"
"Almost!  He'll surely kill me if he strikes again!"

I really can't see:

[to a$$hat]
"How hurt are you?"
"None of your business!!"
"I see that you are bloodied, shall I heal you?"
"I can't answer that."
"I'm on my way.  If you fall, we all fall!"
"No.  For if I fall, you may then heal me and metagame me for more net hit points!"
"Uh, nevermind.  I'll just go over here and heal someone who might appreciate it."
(offstage voice of gnome)"oh thankyou thankyou thankyou!!!"

Even when I'm playing my dwarf fighter (ex battlerager), I generally advise the healer that unless I call for healing, or am unconscious coughing up blood, assume that I'm able to deal with my own problem, and help keep the strikers/controllers standing. 

There was some combination of jerkitude at the table, which added up to lousy communication and upset feelings. I've never met anyone who was hardcore about sharing exact hit point values, but OK, I can see where a purist might want to avoid that. I like to think I'd react OK. On the other hand, I can also see where a purist might get really snotty about it.


I gotta say, the whole "well, I'm going to explain it anyway" thing? Probably unnecessary. Metagaming the timing of the second heal on his part? Totally cheesy given the situation as presented.


I hate expressing an opinion on who's in the right at a table I didn't see, so Imma not gonna do that.

As DM, not a big fan of people throwing exact hitpoints around, but it happens and I try to not be a pain about it..  To see it in players, not a bad thing, but he seems to have forgotten about the not being an pain part. As several quicker and wiser people have already established there are dozens of way to communicate with your friendly neighborhood leader that will both keep the mundane numbers out and the needed information in..

Of course that is without getting into the monsters speaking languages too issue

 [to gnome wizard]
"How hurt are you?"
"OMG helpme helpme helpme?"
"Are you bloodied?"
"Almost!  He'll surely kill me if he strikes again!"
 [BBEG to his minions]
"Quick, charge the gnome in the dress, he is almost done for!" 

Either way, the person might just have had an off day, if you end up at the table with the same person might not hurt to retry communication.. unless you think it wasted effort. Either way wish you better luck healing the next person
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"Either way, the person might just have had an off day,..."



Exactly right. 

Thank you for reminding us to give the benefit of the doubt.


I gotta say, the whole "well, I'm going to explain it anyway" thing? Probably unnecessary.




Well, my reason for explaining was that there were two fairly new players at the table, so I wanted to be clear (to them) as to why I was asking.  I also wasn't sure if he was misunderstanding my motive for asking, himself. I play a cleric regularly, and my usual table of players all have their own style regarding when they want/expect healing. I rarely have to ask any questions about healing, with players whom I know. With strangers, I ask.

I hadn't intended to offend the paladin, but when we first sat down to play, he had taken great pains to inform everyone that 1) his build was "optimized for paragon level, where I expect to be doing striker level damage" and 2) that his paladin "was NOT any kind of healer" (this is how I knew he didn't have Lay On Hands, actually, he told us). Knowing I was the only healer of any type in the group, I very much wanted to be sure that I didn't leave someone to die.

We run two tables at a time for the events, so perhaps next week he will ask to swap to the other table, or perhaps we will get along better. If not, I'll dole out my two pitiful heals on other members of the party and make the best of it.

I just hadn't ever met anyone with this attitude towards HP/healer questions, in all my years of gaming, and thought it worth posting to ask.
You know, as a general rule, even if I play a character not likely to need much healing, I treat the healer in the party with great respect.  Two reasons:

1) Traditionally "Cleric" has been the role nobody else wanted, and the player is doing more to support the group than any other player - often at the sacrifice of the glory in the adventure.

2) Um, even if I'm mostly self sufficient, if I need healing, I really really need healing.  I'd like the person I ask for help to be more than willing to provide it.
Well, my reason for explaining was that there were two fairly new players at the table, so I wanted to be clear (to them) as to why I was asking.  I also wasn't sure if he was misunderstanding my motive for asking, himself. I play a cleric regularly, and my usual table of players all have their own style regarding when they want/expect healing. I rarely have to ask any questions about healing, with players whom I know. With strangers, I ask.

I hadn't intended to offend the paladin, but when we first sat down to play, he had taken great pains to inform everyone that 1) his build was "optimized for paragon level, where I expect to be doing striker level damage" and 2) that his paladin "was NOT any kind of healer" (this is how I knew he didn't have Lay On Hands, actually, he told us). Knowing I was the only healer of any type in the group, I very much wanted to be sure that I didn't leave someone to die.

We run two tables at a time for the events, so perhaps next week he will ask to swap to the other table, or perhaps we will get along better. If not, I'll dole out my two pitiful heals on other members of the party and make the best of it.

I just hadn't ever met anyone with this attitude towards HP/healer questions, in all my years of gaming, and thought it worth posting to ask.



Ah, that makes sense. It's definitely a touchy point at times -- people have different ideas of what healers should do. (We've all met the striker who wants a heal the second they're down one surge, right?)
I would have hushed him when his unconscious character tried to tell me what to do. If I can't tell with my eyes how bad off the character is, then it's going to be hard to tell from his unconscious form that he's going to decline the healing. And then anyone who declined my healing wouldn't be offered healing again.

If I have to ask the GM for it, then I don't want it.

I can understand the paladins point of view in that you shouldnt know exactly how much he has left. Knowing how much hp a creature has left kinda invalidates the ritual/item that does that. Though he didn't have to be a total jerk about it.  You could have just asked(before he went down) if he wanted a heal and then go with it. As far as arguing with you when he was down, he had a point about delaying. Ive been in that yo-yo situation(up and down constantly) where due to bad timing on initiative, i never got a turn where i did not have to roll a death save(especially where I was the biggest threat). But again, he could have been alot nicer in the way that he said it.  Just some things to consider for next time i suppose.
2) Um, even if I'm mostly self sufficient, if I need healing, I really really need healing.  I'd like the person I ask for help to be more than willing to provide it.



This is a very good point.  Sort of like: don't piss off the person making your food or cutting your hair.
Sorry WOTC, you lost me with Essentials. So where I used to buy every book that came out, now I will be very choosy about what I buy. Can we just get back to real 4e? Check out the 4e Conversion Wiki. 1. Wizards fight dirty. They hit their enemies in the NADs. -- Dragon9 2. A barbarian hits people with his axe. A warlord hits people with his barbarian. 3. Boo-freakin'-hoo, ya light-slingin' finger-wigglers. -- MrCelcius in response to the Cleric's Healer's Lore nerf
When I play leaders I ask if you need to be healed. If you're down, I would most likely trigger your second wind over throwing any type of word on you unless I cannot get to you.

When I play defenders I always tell the leaders that unless I ask for a heal directly, help everyone else first.
When I play my revenant defenders, I ask not be healed unless I say I need it. Reason being is that I'm pretty damn tough and can take much more punishment than most other characters. I always wait until I first hit negitive then use second wind and reposition myself again.

After I use that secondwind, thats when I'll be needing to heal more. (But I have a racial power that gives me regen.)
I'd get along more with people if they didn't jump onto a hyberbole every single time you say something they don't understand.
I play a STR Cleric and never ask anyone how many HP they have left, or indeed if they are bloodied.

Our group has one simple requirement when acting as the "healer"... at the start of your turn you shout "who wants a heal?"

Then the rest decide who needs it the most.

If the player in the OP had that option, then it would be his own fault if he got squished by the BBEG... in our group, "you snooze... you lose!"
You know, as a general rule, even if I play a character not likely to need much healing, I treat the healer in the party with great respect.  Two reasons:

1) Traditionally "Cleric" has been the role nobody else wanted, and the player is doing more to support the group than any other player - often at the sacrifice of the glory in the adventure.

2) Um, even if I'm mostly self sufficient, if I need healing, I really really need healing.  I'd like the person I ask for help to be more than willing to provide it.



QFFT.


Holy cats do I enjoy playing the cleric in 4E... waaaay more than 3.5.  I took Berronar's salve, and she's pacifist, so plenty of healing power there.  I don't mind using Aid Another to help out the defender instead of attacking.  I think doing oodles of healing is JUST AS COOL as oodles of damage.

I will ask at the start of my turn who needs heals, and then make something that the defender is beating on a pinata so he can maintain healing himself just by hitting.

Having gone back and read the entire thread now, here is how I might handle it with my striker:

Cleric: "Striker, you are bloodied, do you need a heal?"
Me: Looks at character sheet and spots that I have 5 hit points left "Looking up from the ground, wiping the blood from his mouth he says 'Cleric, I am in need of healing'"

I wouldn't typically divulge my exact hitpoint count.
I lean toward role-playing rather than roll-playing, so this is a cool topic for me.

Alas, as I tend to play the leaders in my party or else the controllers who stay far away from potential danger, I don't often find myself in the situation of being hurt and needing healing, but being unsure whether to tell people HOW hurt. I tend to keep an eye on who's bloodied, and when we're talking healing tactics, I never ask for how many hit points people have.

There is certainly a logical basis to knowing hit point totals: I do figure that the PCs have been adventuring with one another for a long time, so they should have a sense of how much punishment each companion can take, and see the warning signs that indicate being about to fall. So if you're the sort of player/DM who wants to do it totally openly, at least there's some justification.

When announcing my own health status, generally, I go with the "fine", "bloodied," and "very bloodied" descriptors. Also the way I roleplay my characters changes depending on their current health level--one of my characters is very stoic and doesn't react much to damage until bloodied, then makes increasingly loud grunts of pain with more damage. Another one (my shadar-kai, who are adrenaline junkies) is actually enthralled by pain, so when she takes damage she starts panting and eventually (when bloodied) starts laughing deliriously with each hit (kind of S&M, really, and more than vaguely creepy).

Cheers
If there's no explicit rule guiding the public knowledge of each PC's hit points, I don't see a reason to keep that information secret.  After all, there's nothing stopping the healer from tracking each PC's hit points directly, and gaining that knowledge that way.  If you don't want to reveal your hit points, then I suggest you make that clear at the start of the adventure.  "I'll only give my status as unhurt, injured, bloodied, unconscious, and dead."
As a DM I only let my players say whether they're bloodied or not or shades of grey around that. I'm happy for players to say things like, "I've been hit a bit and aren't feeling good but I'm not bloodied", or "I've been bloodied a while and I'm really felling shakey" or "I'm hardly touched, heal someone else".

As a Leader player (I've got at least 1 of all of them as this is my preferred role in 4th ed) I ignore players when they tell me HP totals and I ask how they're going in terms of bloodied, as per the above statement examples.

I do not (editied sorry I didn't mean to sound like I'm a nasty DM I'd rather players enjoy their game they don't need the DM oming down on them) go all fire and brimstone on players who tell exact HP totals but I do remind them politely that it is my understanding that they're not permitted to reveal that info and that's what the bloodied measure is for.

Similarly though I've got no problem with players telling the cleric after they've been heald 80hp from a single Healing word (yes an exageration) that they were on 1 HP and that was a good save, it makes for some fun at a table.
I don't like giving out exact totals myself but when I'm playing I tend to go with things like
Perfectly Fine - unhurt or less than a surge down.
Doing alright - more than 1 surge down, not bloodied
Bloodied but ok - just under bloodied value
Need a heal - hp around my surge value
Don't think i can take another hit - under 15 hp or so, maybe higher if the monsters have been hitting hard.

I guess I just don't think much of it while running, if my players want to rattle off their exact HP values I don't think it really warrants me taking time out of the game to explain why they shouldn't.

Blah blah blah
As a player, I don't typically say my hit point totals aloud. I am either "I'm fine, I'm bloodied, One more hit will do me in". That's it.

As a DM, I'm all for open information. If the players want to broadcast their hit point totals to me, so I can use that information against them, so much the better. (Yes... I occasionally am evil).

As a (shaman) healer, I am cautious about who I heal, even those that might actually need healing for several factors.

1) Some races work better bloodied. Dragonborn and Shifters, for example, don't WANT to be fully healed. In fact, if you heal a bloodied shifter before they've had a turn, they will throw venom your way. Heck, even the Minotaur doesn't want to be healed until they go down.

2) Killer DM Syndrome. Despite the apparent insanity of it, the Paladin was right. By being down, he removed himself as a threat, and the DM should, by all means, attack someone else. As it stands, he probably got lucky in the turns afterward. Even if the DM had decided to go against conventional wisdom provided by the DMG, and killed the paladin, that still gives you a heal that one of your strikers will need to take that monster down. Strategically, it's a good call. You can always second wind the Paladin back up later.

3) It's Not Mission Critical Go Time. Sometimes, the whole team is just bloodied, you know? It happens, and if you are not in Early Heroics, that doesn't mean people are close to death. Sometimes, if you use healing too early, even if everyone is bloodied, then you end up wasting what could have been the life saving heal.

So, while the player was probably ingracious and a bit of a metagamer (I can't really judge second hand if he was being rude, or not), I can see where he is coming from. However, you *should* know your class better then anyone else at the table. You should always do what you feel is the best move, and if it turns out not to be, you learn from that experince.

Given how death is not that big of deal in D&D (Or the RPGA), I wouldn't worry about what happened too much.
IMAGE(http://images.community.wizards.com/community.wizards.com/user/blitzschnell/0a90721d221e50e5755af156c179fe51.jpg?v=90000)
I do go all fire and brimstone on players who tell exact HP totals but I do remind them politely that they're not permitted to reveal that info and that's what the bloodied measure is for. Most players take it fine when prompted on that rule, and it is a rule of 4th ed.

I would appreciate if you would refresh my memory as to where this rule you're citing can be found.

Personally, I'm fine with general terms like "close to bloodied", "barely bloodied", "seriously bloodied" and "need healing badly!", but that's more just the general flavor I like (and because I don't think exact numbers necessarily give that much to the leader) than a hard and fast rule that needs to be strictly enforced.

One of the people I regularly play with is dogmatic about not telling or wanting to know other PC's exact hit points, and I'm fine with that.  Conversely, I'm sure that I've mentioned my exact total at times (or had other players tell me theirs).  It's just not something I consider important enough to really note.

But, for those who are evidently very dogmatic about this rule, it would be nice if you could give a citation.  I'm not saying it's not a rule; it's just not something I've ever had need for, so I could certainly have overlooked it (though it strikes me as pretty contrary to the general theme of openness that pervades 4e), so I'd appreciate if you'd note where this "rule of 4th edition" can be found.

People tend to use the Status ritual and the rings that give all that info as sort of an implied rule from what I've seen.  If there are items and rituals that allow you to know this information under those conditions then you shouldn't be able to know them normally.  I personally don't know if there is a rule that disallows the sharing of that info without a specific reason to be able to etc.
Blah blah blah
People tend to use the Status ritual and the rings that give all that info as sort of an implied rule from what I've seen.  If there are items and rituals that allow you to know this information under those conditions then you shouldn't be able to know them normally.  I personally don't know if there is a rule that disallows the sharing of that info without a specific reason to be able to etc.



This is an interesting point. 

The Status ritual and the Rings of Brotherhood work across any distance, (except the Status ritual will not work across planes).  Lacking any actual rule, and given that the Status ritual is from a non-core book (FRPG) and Rings of Brotherhood are also from a non-core book (AV), it seems that it could equally well be implied that no rule exists that would keep players within earshot of one another (or line of sight really) from knowing each others status (current hit point total, number of healing surges remaining and any persistant conditions on them), and that the ritual and the rings are merely meant to allow characters outside of each others vicinity to keep track of one another.

While it might make better role-playing to place current HP total in general terms (and I tend to do it myself), I don't know that it's outside the range of possibility or probability for a character trained in healing to not look at a friend and know to within a pretty good degree of accuracy how many actual HP he has left.  If someone tells you they have 15 out of 83 HP left, your mind really only considers that as an approximation (ie. somewhere greater than 1/6 but more than 1/5 of their total hp.  If they are taking 23 damage from each hit, then the next hit will down them.  If they are taking 3 damage from each hit, then they have a while to go.)  Given that HP are simply an abstraction themselves representing the willingness/ability of a character to carry on a fight, communicating an abstraction in common reference terms doesn't seem like such a big deal to me, one way or the other. 

Even looking at it another way - I've yet to see any rule limiting what information characters are allowed to pass amongst themselves of information that their character knows.  A character can use free actions to communicate what he knows of the monster that he is fighting, a monster's location (if hidden), translations of anothers language, things he spots with a perception check, etc.  If a player was to not be able to communicate his current state of health, the only really effective means to prevent it would be for him not to know his exact state of health.  Which would mean that the DM would need to keep players current hit point totals hidden by not actually telling the player the exact damage done to them ("he hit you a mighty/sturdy/mild/glancing blow" "how many hit points" "I can't tell you - I'm keeping that secret from you.  I'll let you know when you are bloodied and when you drop - that's all.").  That's not the game that I think any of us are playing, and I don't think it's a game that I'd have the time to DM properly. 


I've never seen a rule in D&D (any edition) that says HP totals are not permitted to be discussed/disclosed. Ever.

@ibixat - You say "if my players want to rattle off their exact HP values I don't think it really warrants me taking time out of the game to explain why they shouldn't." This implies there is a reason why they shouldn't. What would your reason be?


@benird - You said "I do go all fire and brimstone on players who tell exact HP totals but I do remind them politely that they're not permitted to reveal that info and that's what the bloodied measure is for. Most players take it fine when prompted on that rule, and it is a rule of 4th ed." (emphasis mine)

Where is this a rule? I've never seen it, and nobody I've asked in our local gaming group has seen it.

Personally, I'm fine with general terms like "close to bloodied", "barely bloodied", "seriously bloodied" and "need healing badly!"

 

Blue Valkyrie needs food badly!

Lori Anderson

WotC Freelancer, LFR author

@LittleLorika

 

Dragon Magazine #412: Unearthed Arcana: Ships in Your Campaign

Calimshan Adventures (LFR): CALI3-3, CALI4-1, and QUES4-1

Epic Adventures (LFR): EPIC5-1 and EPIC5-3

Other LFR Adventures: NETH4-1, ADCP5-2, and MYTH6-3

 

 

 

 

I've never seen a rule in D&D (any edition) that says HP totals are not permitted to be discussed/disclosed. Ever.

@ibixat - You say "if my players want to rattle off their exact HP values I don't think it really warrants me taking time out of the game to explain why they shouldn't." This implies there is a reason why they shouldn't. What would your reason be?


@benird - You said "I do go all fire and brimstone on players who tell exact HP totals but I do remind them politely that they're not permitted to reveal that info and that's what the bloodied measure is for. Most players take it fine when prompted on that rule, and it is a rule of 4th ed." (emphasis mine)

Where is this a rule? I've never seen it, and nobody I've asked in our local gaming group has seen it.




Actually, it's fairly simple. The rule is in the books because there's no rule that actually lets characters do this. D&D is a game of rules that tell you what you can do, not rules that tell you what you can't do.

I think that a lot of folks have very different ideas on what constitutes meta-gaming and whether such meta-gaming is even wrong or cheating so really, it is up to the DM to decide what he wants to allow.

Others have suggested free heal checks, or simple descriptions of "not hurt", "bloodied", "ready to fall over", etc. Those are things your PC would see and could react ... one might even say, -you- could roleplay ... to and then do something about.
Blue Valkyrie needs food badly!



Laughing Yup, we use that, too!  "Green Elf is about to die!"

(Fortunately, we don't need to worry about, "Warrior shot the food!"Wink )
"Of course [Richard] has a knife. He always has a knife. We all have knives. It's 1183, and we're barbarians!" - Eleanor of Aquitaine, "The Lion in Winter"


Actually, it's fairly simple. The rule is in the books because there's no rule that actually lets characters do this. D&D is a game of rules that tell you what you can do, not rules that tell you what you can't do.



You have an interesting interpretation of how the game system works.

As opposed to the crowd that says "Because there's no rule that says I *can't* do something, I can", you take the other extreme and say "Because there's no rule that says I *can* do something, I cannot".

Your reply, like most things that are 'fairly simple' is also flawed.

A rule is 'in the books' if it's printed in the books, or in the errata for the books. If it is something you infer/decide/rule on in your home game, then it's a House Rule, and not 'in the books'.

Benird says that it is a rule in 4e, and that it is not permitted to discuss/disclose their hit point totals. I'm asking, and continue to ask, where exactly this rule is found. If it is a rule, then it's on a page in one of the books, or in the RPGA documents that govern LFR play, and you should be able to point it out clearly. There's no grey area on that - if it's a rule, then it's somewhere you can quote as a reference.
Actually, it's fairly simple. The rule is in the books because there's no rule that actually lets characters do this. D&D is a game of rules that tell you what you can do, not rules that tell you what you can't do.

D&D is a game of rules that tell you what your character can do.

At the point that you are telling me that there is an actual rule specifically forbidding players from doing certain things outside of the game world, I think the onus is on you to come up with a page number.

If what you're really all saying is that you think that keeping actual hp totals hidden enhances the play experience and you'd appreciate if players go along with you (or that, as the DM, you are declaring a house rule that players are not allowed to do this), that's fine.  That's not exactly the same thing as "This is a rule!", though, so I'd appreciate if people would stop saying that.

As far as the actual rules go, since no one on the "This is a rule!" side appears to be offering any, let me note what the DMG says:

"It’s a good idea to set some expectations about how players talk at the table.
[...]
* Can players offer advice if their characters aren’t present or are unconscious?
* Can players give other players information such as how many hit points they have left?" (DMG, p. 14)

As far as I can see, giving actual hp totals is a social contract issue.  No more, no less.  If you, as a player or DM, think it's better not to share that information, you should discuss that with your table and reach a consensus on the issue.  Alternatively, as a practical matter you can, as the DM, enforce whatever whims you might have, though it's probably better not to claim you're just neutrally enforcing an actual rule unless you can point to one.
When I was DMing SPEC 2-1 H2 I one-rounded a Druid because he had the unfortunate opportunity of going first in initiative. Dropped him down to negative HP and taking ongoing 10 damage. After the baddies go three other players, none of them healers, had their turns before his turn. The shielding cleric was after him. The party Warden says, "You are going to die. Do you want me to trigger your second wind?"

"No."

"Are you sure?"

"Yeah, I'll be fine."

Warden goes off and does her thing. Start of the Druid's turn I say, "You take 10 points of ongoing damage."

".... I'm dead."