Hit points must NOT be random

One of the biggest changes in the new edition is the non-scaling defense and accuracy.  A character or monster of any level is able to hit a target of any level.  You do not become invulnerable by mere dint of having leveled up.

The other side of this coin is that hit points are the new Armor Class.  Your toughness at higher levels is based primarily on hit points and secondarily on whatever defensive tricks you pick up along the way.

For this reason it is an extremely grave error to randomize hit points in any way, shape, or form.  PCs are going to rely on those hit points now more than ever.  It's just cruel to even allow the possibility that one fighter might end up with a significantly lower HP total than another through sheer bad luck with the dice.

I know this will be an unpopular move with some people, but as one of the core aspects of the rules, it's extremely important to get this right.
If your position is that the official rules don't matter, or that house rules can fix everything, please don't bother posting in forums about the official rules. To do so is a waste of everyone's time.
Seconded.
I don't agree. I think they should remain tied to die-rolling.

It is easy to provide an optional rule for a set number of hit points at each level, but to make both ways work I think the design has to go around variable HP because that takes into account the possibility of lower hit points. 
I just house ruled it, but i guess the reason they are making a new edition already is because people need spoon fed rules. I haven't played with random hit points in at least 15 years, we figured that out in early 1990s as I am sure Andrelai has as well. I only disagree with the OP because I am going to ignore that rule anyway, and this way the pre-4E purists can still have their way.



Yeah I think this is the way to do it. House rule it or variant rule. It's simple. But if some people are going to use random and some fixed, then I think the system as a whole works better if it takes into account random HP.
Agree with OP
I just house ruled it, but i guess the reason they are making a new edition already is because people need spoon fed rules. I haven't played with random hit points in at least 15 years, we figured that out in early 1990s as I am sure Andrelai has as well. I only disagree with the OP because I am going to ignore that rule anyway, and this way the pre-4E purists can still have their way.



Yeah I think this is the way to do it. House rule it or variant rule. It's simple. But if some people are going to use random and some fixed, then I think the system as a whole works better if it takes into account random HP.



I haven't played D&D Next since DDXP, so I really dont know what has changed in 4 months, but I understood that it was modular and all the rules would be determined by your DM.  so really both static and random Hp could be used.
Hit points can be random - it is rediculously simple to houserule a minimum gain/level, max per level, whatever suits your game.

Veteran of The Transfer... Add 700 to my post count... 

House ruled here. If the player rolls less than half of the die's potential, it's a reroll. I.e., a Fighter rolls a 3 on his/her d12. Reroll until he/she rolls at least a 6.
Rolled HP is a terrible idea, almost as bad as rolled stats. They both only work when you're doing something like Gamma World where your characters are essentially disposable. (As it more or less was in the early editions where they invented rolled stats and hit dice.)

Anyway, maybe there's an optional module for a fixed HP gain on level up. Maybe there isn't. It's not in the playtest material we are given, and we can only comment on what we actually have.
I think it's important to develope the game from a "random roll" - and allow (even encourage) people to chose to "house rule" max hit points per level.
I think it's important to develope the game from a "random roll" - and allow (even encourage) people to chose to "house rule" max hit points per leve.



Makes sense.
It's not like you can roll a 1 and get stuck with only 1 more HP, you get at least your Con modifier.

And I hate to point out such a simple solution, but...House Rules. 
Is the idea of "House Rules" really the devil to some people?

Some people seem physically/mentally incapable of simply saying: "Don't like, must change."

Is the idea of "House Rules" really the devil to some people?

Some people seem physically/mentally incapable of simply saying: "Don't like, must change."




Well, I don't think the advice to "house rule" can be a cure-all, but in this case it is simple and if the game is going to cater to both options, as noted above it is better to be designed to the random HP model, and then allow a variant or house rule for fixed HP.
Oh however did we survive 30+ years of Hit Dice gaming?

Oh wait that's right...Innocent.  Seriously you guys, it's like you'll complain about anything.  Hit Dice are not that big a deal.  Despite the visible flaws in the system I think its an acceptable trade off for generating diversity and a degree of randomness between characters.  One of the worst parts of 4e's design was how cookie-cutter characters could be, down to the same number of hitpoints.  
Here's a silly idea: reroll maximum HP at some arbitrary milestone.
The fighter who started Tuesday with 105 HP may start Wednesday with 85, and Thursday with 140.
Qmark: That's insane - but I sorta like it.

Fighter: Damn... I only have 85 hit points today.

DM: You're clearly suffering from some self-doubt. Why don't we talk that through - maybe there's some RP there?

Fighter: Well... this one time... in band camp.. .

============

Actually though - a decrease in Hit Points based on "Mental States" might be a fascinating addition to D&D.

D&D has always failed at Man vs. Self... but I think you (Qmark) came upon an excellent way of adding minuses or bonuses do to character's Mental State.

"Terror: - 20 to Hit Points until a character wins three consecutive battles."

"True Love: +20 to Hit Points. Character has an NPC liability."

Something like that.
the problem with random hp in the core rules is that that is what people makeing powers, feats, creatures will asume is the norm. for example let us say that they assume a level 10 PC has 50 hp, so a 10hp hit hurts him but not too bad. if my figher rolled his hp and only has 25, that 10hp is a much larger amount of my hp. same as if I rolled well and have 70.

in order for the game math to work out well you MUST have a better idea of what peoples hp is then "between 20 and 70"
Insulting someones grammar on a forum is like losing to someone in a drag race and saying they were cheating by having racing stripes. Not only do the two things not relate to each other (the logic behind the person's position, and their grammar) but you sound like an idiot for saying it (and you should, because its really stupid )
@captpike: So wouldn't they just take the average of the rolls? A D10 fighter would be balanced off 5 - for example.

So... you can either 1) Roll. 2) Give average Hit Points. 3) Give max Hit Points.

1) - Randomized power level.

2) - Standardized power level.

3) - Superheroic power level.

Not saying that's how it's being done... but that's how it can be balanced around random.
House ruled here as well.  In fact, we house ruled that back in the AD&D days... I can't even remember the last time we actually rolled for hit points.  However, I don't think there needs to be a rule that enforces that... simply allow it to be DM/Player choice either way, as others have said.
Qmark: That's insane - but I sorta like it.

Fighter: Damn... I only have 85 hit points today.

DM: You're clearly suffering from some self-doubt. Why don't we talk that through - maybe there's some RP there?

Fighter: Well... this one time... in band camp.. .

============

Actually though - a decrease in Hit Points based on "Mental States" might be a fascinating addition to D&D.

D&D has always failed at Man vs. Self... but I think you (Qmark) came upon an excellent way of adding minuses or bonuses do to character's Mental State.

"Terror: - 20 to Hit Points until a character wins three consecutive battles."

"True Love: +20 to Hit Points. Character has an NPC liability."

Something like that.



This actually sounds like a fun set of optional rules.
Qmark: That's insane - but I sorta like it.

Fighter: Damn... I only have 85 hit points today.

DM: You're clearly suffering from some self-doubt. Why don't we talk that through - maybe there's some RP there?

Fighter: Well... this one time... in band camp.. .


If you heal to full and get your 'surges' back overnight, why not redfine "full" while you're doing it?

If you guys want a "narrative", sometimes you get out of bed and feel awesome!  Sometimes, you've slept on your own arm for eight hours and have a backache some reason.



"Terror: - 20 to Hit Points until a character wins three consecutive battles."

"True Love: +20 to Hit Points. Character has an NPC liability."


Neat!



The idea is, a crappy roll at level two shouldn't haunt the PC forever, assuming he even survives level two.  The CON-floor is a good concept, but really it's always existed.

Random roll is exciting and the con bonus minimum keeps the fighter from rolling too badly.  Over a handful of levels, the randomized rolls average out anyway.

Easy fixes.  In the first 1e campaign I played in way back when, we rolled for hit points.  If we thought we rolled poorly, the DM let us roll again, but we had to take the value of the 2nd roll.  That prevented us from gambling too much.   If we rolled a 1 or 2, we would usually re-roll, but anything higher, we would be too scared that we'd get a lower roll on the 2nd die.  It was fun.  We had a blast.

 

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I would like to point out that the pregens have fixed HP gain...just saying.
the problem with random hp in the core rules is that that is what people makeing powers, feats, creatures will asume is the norm. for example let us say that they assume a level 10 PC has 50 hp, so a 10hp hit hurts him but not too bad. if my figher rolled his hp and only has 25, that 10hp is a much larger amount of my hp. same as if I rolled well and have 70.

in order for the game math to work out well you MUST have a better idea of what peoples hp is then "between 20 and 70"



These are big extremes you're throwing out there. 

Also, with this system, they won't assume that a level 10 PC has 50 hp, because there will be no standard. Why would they assume that everyone would have the same HP, when they designed the system differently? 
Where does it say that you roll for HP? Based on the stat cards it looks like you get a fixed amount when you level up.
It's in the "How to Play" PDF.

As for taking the CON mod instead, for a lot of characters that's going to be 1. Or even 0.

The fact that the pregen characters are based on fixed HP game (taking the average of the hit die) goes to show that even Wizards apparently lacks confidence in the idea of rolled HP.
What is this I don't even...who actually enjoyed rolling hit points in past editions?!? Even when I played 2e we just hourseruled that we got a fixed amount. The worst experience is gaining a level and then rolling a 1 on your HP.

Also, what if you happen to roll low for several levels and now you're stuck with terrible HP relative to the rest of the party?

Basic stuff like HP should NOT be random!!!
I agree with the OP. Additional variability here only hurts the players, which is why most people with house rules for rolling still "cheat" by rerolling die rolls they do not like.  
 
 just because we have at some times rolled for up and ability scores for thatmatter does not mean that we should continue doing the same thing. 
I'm with the OP on this one.  I've never cared for rolling hit dice.

I'm fine with my actions being up to luck of the roll; I have a chance to recover from my screwups later on.  I'm not okay with something so basic to my character being random and then set in stone for all eternity.

I'll be perfectly honest here: I cheated on my hit point rolls when I played 3E.  Why?  Because getting one hit point (especially as a sorcerer, which was my preferred class) absolutely sucked.  So, I just gave myself 3 or 4 hit points every level.  I was extremely happy with 4E's switch to static hit point amounts per level.

If rolling remains the standard for Next, this will be my first houserule.  It's actually not a huge deal.  I'd prefer it to be fixed, but this is a houserule that's really easy to implement.
At the very least, level-1 HP bloat will make crappy rolls less relevant.  Still don't like random HPs, though.
It seems the original post is based on a false premise.  The pregens have fixed max. hit point gains as they level up. So it looks like a fixed hp option is in the current plan.

Unless I missed the point and we are instead speaking of the short rest healing, which are determined by expending hit dice.  If you don't want to roll then include a healing cleric who can maximize these rolls.   
  
It seems the original post is based on a false premise.  The pregens have fixed max. hit point gains as they level up. So it looks like a fixed hp option is in the current plan. 

They also run on completely different Hit Dice (d12, d8, d6, d4) than the relevant L&L post suggested (d10, d8, d8, d6).

Methinks the pregens were based on an earlier iteration of the ruleset.
The pregens have fixed HP increases that just happen to be half of their hit die. I agree that it seems like Wizards has very low confidence in hit die if they won't even let us roll for HP on the level ups of the pre-gens. I mentioned on the Playtest Packet forum that this is probably because they're "afraid" to hear QQ from playtesters who got screwed over by low hit die rolls...which really brings up the question, why "fix" the playtest to not have a problem that they're going to be expecting? Why not just remove the problem?
Wizard's first rule: People are stupid.
It seems the original post is based on a false premise.  The pregens have fixed max. hit point gains as they level up. So it looks like a fixed hp option is in the current plan.

Unless I missed the point and we are instead speaking of the short rest healing, which are determined by expending hit dice.  If you don't want to roll then include a healing cleric who can maximize these rolls.   
  



Indeed it apears that the characters have a fixed max, and that HP increases based on your class. Your max is set, and from what I see the only time you are rolling HP is when you expend HD during a short rest. Sort of like healing surges but more random.

I actually like this idea. We'll see how it plays though.
Possibility, keep rolling but change the set up so you roll more low denomination dice increasing the chance of higher gain per level? E.g., instead of 1d10 go 3d3+1, same max possible but far higher minimum.


Possibility, keep rolling but change the set up so you roll more low denomination dice increasing the chance of higher gain per level? E.g., instead of 1d10 go 3d3+1, same max possible but far higher minimum.





In that case, why bother rolling at all? Static hp per level should be the default. Rolling should be a non-standard option for those who really enjoy getting that 1 HP per level once in a while.
No element of character creation or advancement should be random.
Another day, another three or four entries to my Ignore List.
It seems the original post is based on a false premise.  The pregens have fixed max. hit point gains as they level up. So it looks like a fixed hp option is in the current plan.

Unless I missed the point and we are instead speaking of the short rest healing, which are determined by expending hit dice.  If you don't want to roll then include a healing cleric who can maximize these rolls.   
  


The pregens are using static hit point amounts when leveling, but in the "How to Play" document, under Constitution, it lays out the rules for determining hit points at first and subsequent levels by rolling the hit dice (yes, even at level 1).

As I mentioned in the thread in the packet forum, I do not like randomized hit points at all, but it's easy enough to houserule should they remain the default method.  I'm with Salla on this one.  I'm fine with flubbing a skill check; I can make up for it later with an awesome crit or other check.  But, one can never make up for flubbing a hit die roll.  It's stuck that way for the life of the character. 
Possibility, keep rolling but change the set up so you roll more low denomination dice increasing the chance of higher gain per level? E.g., instead of 1d10 go 3d3+1, same max possible but far higher minimum.





In that case, why bother rolling at all? Static hp per level should be the default. Rolling should be a non-standard option for those who really enjoy getting that 1 HP per level once in a while.

mostly to find a form of compromise between the two positions.

Salla, what's wrong with randomization?  Without it every character made will be the same as every other of its class which sounds like a sure fire method for boredom induction.
Possibility, keep rolling but change the set up so you roll more low denomination dice increasing the chance of higher gain per level? E.g., instead of 1d10 go 3d3+1, same max possible but far higher minimum.





In that case, why bother rolling at all? Static hp per level should be the default. Rolling should be a non-standard option for those who really enjoy getting that 1 HP per level once in a while.

mostly to find a form of compromise between the two positions.

Salla, what's wrong with randomization?  Without it every character made will be the same as every other of its class which sounds like a sure fire method for boredom induction.



Have you ever tried rolling a D&D character and playing with it through an entire campaign?

Yes, there are some who enjoy the "randomization", but to most it's not a great experience. 
Wizard's first rule: People are stupid.