Damage & hit points

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Is there a reason why this is in increments of 5, rather than 1? I'm assuming it's for compatibility with the RPG, but it seems to be an unnecessary complication for a game that already has only minor compatibility...
A reasonable question. I'm curious what the official answer is, but, if I were to give a guess, it'd be something like this:

Same reason why some video games score points in increments of 100 or 1000. Bigger numbers feel cooler.

 
I suspect it is the same reason that DDM operated the same way - to keep things closer to how they were in the RPG.

Hmm, very good question.  While to us D&D'ers the greater HP makes it 'feel' better.


But could younger players play easier if it was just multiples of 1?

Its still D&D, a Large Gold Dragon with 13 HP sounds very wrong to me.
Only if you came in from a D&D background. From a Warhammer background (you know, the other guys who play with miniatures) a lowly Wizard with 10HP would sound very wrong and a Dragon with 65 HP would sound like a typo.

But it is indeed probably to keep both the D&D feel and the older miniatures game feel. 
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I'd also say it's about rpg flavor. My personal opinion is that it is ballast that reduces playability of the game. Letting it go can be a huge relief Term Hit points should be changed too though, to hits, wounds, health or something.
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Personally, I think if it needs to stay, it should be in increments of 10 rather than 5. Makes it easier to count. Also, it would make the HP more closely match their normal 4e counterparts.
I agree. 10s or 1s would be better, than 5s.

Having tested it out I suspect you need at least to be old enough to do your 5's table.


But I really like the idea of using 10's instead.


 

5's would be cool if they invented a d20 in increments of 5 instead of the tokens to track damage.  In the last mini game we always ran out of damage tokens when we played.  Tonight we were tracking with d10's and d20's on the creature cards and it was so easy to keep track of damage.  Creatures with 65 hit points that require 13 damage tokens is going to take constant checking to count how many chips you have when calculating damage.  Unless of course they are creating 10 and 20 damge tokens to go with all the 5's.  But ultimately those will wear out where the d20 never would.  Seems a little more sustainable in the long run as well as cardboard tokens fade, wear, and detoriate faster than the die would.
Good point about counting tokens.  I didnt have any tokens anyway so I just wrote on a sticky note what the current hit points were which worked fine.
In addition to the "feels more like D&D" reason, there's also the fact that human beings see bigger numbers as better. It's utterly irrational, but it works.

DDM dealt damage in denominations of 5.

SWM dealt damage in denominations of 10.

Duelmasters had creature powers in denominations of 500!

Personally, I like the 1 to 1 ratio Magic: The Gathering uses, but I can understand if my mild rational disapproval of the numbers must be overshadowed by the threat of loud irrational disapproval of Chicken-Littles.   

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1s or 10s would make it easier to count.  That's what I'd like to see since although I *did* learn my x5 tables, it was a LONG time ago.   Providing special dice in increments of 5s (d20 counting from 5 to 100!) would about 1000 kinds of WIN, but I suspect that the costs of providing two dozen of those in the game box would be prohibitively expensive.  There *should* be a bunch of cardboard chits marked 5, 10, and 20 (or maybe 25, depending on the "average" HPs of beings) since I do *not* want to have to count too many of them to see how close an opponent's being is to finally being destroyed.  I just want to glance and know.  Ideally, they would use the shield tokens from Castle Ravenloft that are gold on one side and black on the other so that it's easy to tell when something is close to being destroyed.

What are peoples' favorite ways of handling this in DDM?
Increments of 5 seemed fine for us. 1 would seem paltry and 10 artificially inflated.
I definitely think changing to increments of 1 would be better. Ravenloft uses 1 hit point increments, which I think works quite well. I played the skirmish game with someone who did not come from an RPG background, and they found it baffling that hit points and damage were in increments of 5.
I think that they should stay in multiples of 5.
I feel the D&D Skirmish-Like Board game will be a middle step between the Ravenloft/Ashardalon/Drizz't and the full D&D RPG game.

At one of my D&D Encounters sessions we had a new player who had only played Ravenloft and he couldn't believe Fargrim, Dwarf Fighter had 31 hit points vs Thorgrim's 4 HP.

For the old DDM we had a number of chits in 5, 10, 25, 50 etc. that came with the starters for tracking how many HP had been lost.
If WotC includes a sheet of those same chits with the cards I doubt it would raise the price much.
What are peoples' favorite ways of handling this in DDM?

I always used a set of d6s. Each pip equals 5 damage. Very quickly, you adjust to the system and when you see a '6' on a monster, you instantly read it as 30 dmg.

I preferred dice for ease of use, but the 'best' way, particularly in tournaments, is dry-erase markers on sleeved cards. For tournaments that's better because dice can be bumped and you might not remember the game state.

to us D&D'ers the greater HP makes it 'feel' better.

I think most D&D players actually want streamlined mechanics in the skirmish game. A fluff note in the rules mentioning skirmish HP are about 1/5th D&D HP would effectively do the same job. Compared to the other deviations from standard D&D already present in the game, such a change seems pretty minor vs. how big a deal it is to speed and simplicity.

Most of us here are probably pretty good at math and don't have to think much to convert multiple's of 5... but the brain shifting gears still creates an imperceptible lag that adds up in regard to setting the pace of the game. And if you are playing with someone that isn't so strong with math... fuhggedaboutit.

Having everything in multiple of 10's could work fine too (indeed, doubling the HP & dmg. of the playtest creatures would actually seem closer to the D&D that I'm used to playing).

Update: after trying this out, I'm still noticing a bit of a brain slowdown simply from working with high digit numbers. Communicating those higher numbers to my opponent still seemed cumbersome too. Put me down as preferring low numbers.

This has been a really interesting decision. Damage by 1, 5 or 10 have different pros/cons:

Damage by 1 is easiest math, but it's the hardest to recognize on a card as damage and numbers feel small when compared to most D&D examples.
Damage by 5 is most familiar to old skirmish players and it is somewhat in line with the RPG, but the math is most difficult.
Damage by 10 is easier math than 5, is somewhat in line with the RPG, and is the easiest to recognize as a damage/HP number. (You won't get it mixed up with the level of a card or speed of a creature, for instance.) The numbers do feel artificially large.
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Damage by 1 fits well with the D&D Adventure Boardgame system, but I don't think those players are the main target audience.  And there's a LOT more 1 HP monsters there that we'd likely see here so it's not a perfect fit.

Damage by 5 fits best because "it's what was done before" and that likely *US* the target audience.  The math is not "most difficult" (multiples of 17 would be a LOT more difficult and I think most people will eventually get used to doing division by 5 and counting markers for that.

Damage by 10 would make things feel "bigger", be easy to do, and would be easiest to recognize.  "That big number there, with the 0 on the end of it, yeah, that's your hit points".  Of course, then the damage value would look similar but it's always likely to be a smaller number.

I still feel that 10s would be "best" for ease of use for new people that haven't had the opportunity to get used to "what was done before".  Whether you stick to 5s, go up to 10s, or even drop down to 1s (probably the least likely), I would really like to see HP markers clearly marked in proper multiples (5 / 10 / 1) so that the health of a creature can be determined by a quick glance at the card and counting up how many markers are left.  In the end, no matter what the multiple is, I'm willing to bet that it's the number of markers on the card that will be used by most people to *quickly* determine which enemy creature they can easily take down.
We've been using the hp tokens from the adventure system board games where 1s are 5 hps and 5s are 25 hps. We use the same tokens for our DDM games as well. For anyone who has not played the board games, the hp tokens are actually very well designed and easy to judge and add when placed on a creature card.

While I understand the reasoning with regards to making the creatures appear closer to their D&D conterparts for DDM, I really dont see the point with the new skirmish game considering there isnt any dice rolling or AC etc. The only thing about these creatures that resembles their D&D counterparts is their name and figurine. Statwise everything else is completly different, so why over complicate their hps?

If the decision was made to reduce hps and damage to base 1, the nifty hp tokens from the board games could be added to the new skirmish sets effortlessly. Considering their plan to give these packs a secondary role as an expansion to the board games, base 1 would be a perfect fit.

Are people really that bothered by a dragon with 13 hps instead of 65 considering both numbers are totally wrong for a gold dragon with respect to actual D&D. It doesnt matter how many hps it has, all that matters is how easy one can gauge its effectiveness vs enemy units. In this regard, smaller numbers are better IMHO.

I own all 3 board games, still play DDM and while I havnt played D&D rpg in over 10 years im still a big fan of any product from the D&D universe.  I realise that damage by 5 is what the DDM players (such as myself) are used to but this is not DDM, its a fresh start for a new skirmish game with the oppurtunity to do hps right for a miniature based stradegy game.
Having just joined and somewhat acquainted myself with the rules, I want to chime in and say that I also think it would be better in increments of 1. When I was reading through the rules, before reading these posts, that jumped out at me immediately as something that was a little counterintuitive. I mean sure you can make it work and get used to it, people got used to THAC0 too but I don't think that's a mechanic we should return to.

Personally I hate artificially inflated numbers. It doesn't matter to me if it lines up with the RPG or not (especially since the current numbers don't match the RPG anyway, unless 5e really is going to be that dramatically different, in which case it would be a little more valid, but still ultimately unnecessary). Then again, I got started on AD&D by playing Dragonstrike, where most things dealt 1 damage, and really strong attacks dealt 2 damage, but I still saw the resemblance to AD&D, especially since a lot of things had HP = to their AD&D HD. I think that game was better served by having a simpler system and when I bought Dragonquest, I felt it suffered for trying to be an introductory board game that still used the same more complex mechanics of D&D. I feel the same way about this. Don't make things more complicated than they need to be.

Just my two cents.
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