Hit points, healing, and realism...

From the live chat today...


ExtendedRest: Is there a plan to deal with long term wounds? Right now having all health and everything reset after a long rest seems a little too easy. Especially with as little healing options as a Next party have access to on their own right now.

Jeremy Crawford: We're not likely to make long-term wounds a part of the core, but we have discussed providing a wound option for DMs to incorporate into their campaigns.


Mearls: We erred on the side of letting long rests heal everything, primarily because we were fairly split on how to treat it. Personally, I'd like to see a rule where you get back a certain amount of hit dice each extended rest. It might be based on Con and/or class. I have to admit that the current rule picks at my sense of realism.


To follow-up what Jeremy said, I've toyed with a wound system where you get some effect each time you drop below 0 hp, to represent a bad injury, For instance, broken bones, strained joints, concussions, etc. But that would be a rules module.


Jeremy Crawford: This is another example (the long rest) of us leading with the powerful version of something with the expectation that we might end up dialing it back, based on playtest feedback.



I'm a bit confused by the bolded piece, and by the calls for "realism" in healing in the playtest. First off, read the description of hit points in the playtest packet. Bottom right column, page 12. Hit points are NOT purely a physical damage meter. According to the description, in fact, you only take actual physical damage when you drop below half max hit points, in the form of minor cuts and bruises. Only when you drop below 0 does your hit point total indicate any actual harm to the character.


Let's be up front though. Hit points have never be a realistic representation of anything. Fiddling with their rate of recovery won't add or subtract "realism" to the game. Completely scrapping the subsystem and designing something else, with realism in mind is the only way hit points will ever be associated with "realism." To make matters worse, Mearls is the head of the show on this edition, and yet he doesn't seem to get his own edition's description of hit points. You have to have at least 1 hit point left to recover naturally with a rest. Great, because even at 1 hit point left, you're still only bruised and have a few minor cuts. It doesn't get real until you hit 0 hit points.


Hit points as written in the playtest are a mixed bag health bar, where you're only really hurt when you drop to 0. How is a good night's rest allowing you to recover from a few cuts and bruises not realistic? Note the rules, you can't recovery with rests of either variety unless you have at least 1 hit point left, which according to the packet only represents cuts and bruises. Real trauma is only inflicted at 0 or below. Which is where magical healing comes in.


D&D has never been a "realistic" game. Arguing about realism over something as unrealistic as hit points is more than a bit silly. This is a fantasy game with wizards, gnomes, gnolls, ogres, dragons, ancient gods, divine magic, paladins, and liches after all. But somehow recovering from minor cuts and bruises overnight shatters realism? Come on.

"And why the simple mechanics? Two reasons: First, complex mechanics invariably channel and limit the imagination; second, my neurons have better things to do than calculate numbers and refer to charts all evening." -Over the Edge
I am inclined to agree. I would prefer mathmatically and mechanically sound healing over realistic.

When you boil it down PC's hp should be a ratio to the amount of damage a monster can do. Typically 5:1 is fine for a weaker PC. Against the BBEG maybe 5:2 or 5:3 depending on who is getting hit.

Healing is a mechanical way to adjust that ratio. If you want combat to be more intense use less healing. This could put you on a 3:1 ratioon a softer PC and maybe 5:1 for just the toughest guys on the table. So, if there is a specific ration you want to shoot for, healing need to hit a percentage of the total hp count.

If you want to go 5:1 for a Fighter with healing, then you could do 4:1 without, so if the PC had 40hp, you need to be able to heal 10hp during combat.

I completely agree. However, an option to add wounds for whenever a PC goes below 0 HP (at which point, presumably, damage is "real" since he no longer has that luck, skill, divine fortune, whatever to protect him) is a cool idea.
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The problem comes in when someone gets dropped to -5 or -7, takes a short rest and roll really well with their Hit Dice, suddenly being back at full health despite being seconds from death. It quickly reduces hitpoints to what they were in 4e: unrelated to physical health. Which not everyone likes.

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The problem comes in when someone gets dropped to -5 or -7, takes a short rest and roll really well with their Hit Dice, suddenly being back at full health despite being seconds from death. It quickly reduces hitpoints to what they were in 4e: unrelated to physical health. Which not everyone likes.



1. Characters start with more hp than their hit dice can roll. You literally can't roll to max from negatives. 

2. You can't benefit from a rest unless you have at least 1 hp. Only magical healing gets you up from below zero. 
"And why the simple mechanics? Two reasons: First, complex mechanics invariably channel and limit the imagination; second, my neurons have better things to do than calculate numbers and refer to charts all evening." -Over the Edge
I'm not a fan of a lot of Mike Mearls' ideas, especially reactions taking away your action on your next turn and extended rest healing not getting one back up to full hp.  Talking about "realism" in a fantasy game is, as Blackbriar indicated, silly; I play D&D because I like to feel heroic, so limiting options when there's already not a lot of healing to go around is bad game design.

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I'm not a fan of a lot of Mike Mearls' ideas, especially reactions taking away your action on your next turn and extended rest healing not getting one back up to full hp.  Talking about "realism" in a fantasy game is, as Blackbriar indicated, silly; I play D&D because I like to feel heroic, so limiting options when there's already not a lot of healing to go around is bad game design.



I agree with the stance but for different reasons. I play what is lovingly known as Fourthcore. A brand of 4E pushed to the extreme. A lot of it is about resource management so the idea of inconsistent healing really doesn't jive with me. Or so little healing it's completely negligible. At this point healing in Next is pretty lack luster.

I thought healing in 4E was handled well. Your surge is 25% of your hp and a good healer can tack on random dice as well as static modifiers so if you focused on healing it was pretty obvious just how far you coulb bring a character back from death.

It also played well to my belief that healing and damage should function primarily as set percentages of a PCs HP.

I could honestly do away with HP almost entirely if I knew that a 14 Con character could take 4 hits*, a 16 Con character 6 hits* and so on. Healing would then restore these hits, THP would basically just be a cushion of a free hit you could eat, etc.

After thinking about it, you would need a base of 2-3 hits so character who mostly dumped Con would still manage. Maybe a base of 2 hits and +1 for every point in Con over 10.

But I also know not everyone would enjoy such an abstract HP function.
I touched on this in another thread, but I'll say it again here.

If "realistic" is your goal with hit points, then you'd better have a "realistic" way for the 10th level fighter to heal himself back to full HP faster than the 1st level wizard.

As it stands right now, it's OK. If you go back to "heals 1hp per day of rest", then the first level wizard is healing back to full from death's door in 2 weeks, and Conan's older tougher brother does the same thing in 6 months. A sickly peasant gets back to full health in a day or two.

Dumb, dumb, dumb. If you absolutely must have not-completely-abstract HP, then the burly tough guy with 160hp must heal faster than the scrawny guy with 16hp. The burly guy is tougher. You can tell he's tougher because he has ten times the Hit Points. Why should he heal 10 times slower?

If it has to be a "per day" thing that's not "back up to full", then you need to do something like "10% of your total per day, plus con mod, round up".
I believe it was Shasarak (sic?) that has dubbed Mike Mearls "Mearls the Mad". I'm starting to see why...

Said it numerous times before, but funny enough, other daily resources are always left untouched when it comes to "realistic" resting  mechinics. Now why is that?

Not the case at all. First of all, since HP are an abstraction, part of the healing is actually fatigue, in this case it would be of type II muscle fibres. Someone with low HP never got a chance to tire themselves out before getting hurt, so their recovery is going to be a lot faster - they never dipped into their body's potential in the same way. Second, when you're talking straight toughness, the low HP guy went down after a lot less punishment than the high HP guy did, so there's simply less to heal.

If you want to look at it a different way, both start at 100% health, but the low HP guy gets taken out of the fight when dropping to only 85% health, while the high HP guy sticks through until he's about 50% health. It's quite obviously going to take longer to go from 50% back to 100% than it will to go from 85% back to 100%.

You'll see this in fights too - someone who got flattened with a single hit will be awake in a few minutes, and have a headache for a few days, and after a couple weeks would be able to safely get in another fight without having the effect of cumulative concussions kicking in. Now another person with a granite jaw takes 50 hits, is still walking (maybe even won the fight!), but has some orbital fractures, an eye is swolen shut, some cuts, and multiple low grade concussions that have built up. He'll be taking 4-6 weeks for the superficial damage to heal up, but would still be at risk of speeding up dementia if he gets hit in the head again any time within 6 months.

So no, having the high HP guy heal faster isn't remotely more realistic, it's just some people ask for realism when they don't actually know what real is.
+1,000,000 to the OP. Hit points have been, to say the least, a little confused about what they are. I'm honestly baffled that Mr. Mearls thinks there's a problem with fantasy heroes recovering from being slightly wounded in one night. Then again, as schizophrenic as hit points have been over the years, I can't fault him too much. Still, I'm pretty shocked - did he not read the playtest packet?!?

truth/humor
Ed_Warlord, on what it takes to make a thread work: I think for it to be really constructive, everyone would have to be honest with each other, and with themselves.

 

iserith: The game doesn't profess to be "just like our world." What it is just like is the world of Dungeons & Dragons. Any semblance to reality is purely coincidental.

 

Areleth: How does this help the problems we have with Fighters? Do you think that every time I thought I was playing D&D what I was actually doing was slamming my head in a car door and that if you just explain how to play without doing that then I'll finally enjoy the game?

 

TD: That's why they put me on the front of every book. This is the dungeon, and I am the dragon. A word of warning though: I'm totally not a level appropriate encounter.

I like the way hp are represented in this playtest. Minor cuts and bruises at half hp and a severe wound at 0, which can only be healed by magic. With this definition, what is not to like?
In 4E, the warlord could bring back people from below 0 hp in a mundane way and everybody complained about it. I really 4E and it's healing mechanics, but I can very well live with the healing in is presented now. I could also live with healing up to half hp with a night's rest and then having to spend HD.

I wonder, though, if people who complain about hp now have actually read the definition. If Mr. Mearls does not, who does?

I like the way hp are represented in this playtest. Minor cuts and bruises at half hp and a severe wound at 0, which can only be healed by magic. With this definition, what is not to like?

You got it wrong. If you read the playtest rules: you can go from a bleeding wound that puts you on the verge of dying to full hit points (not injured at all), without any magical intervention, after a few hours (between 10-20 hours of rest). What's not to like ? This. It does hurt my sense of verisimilitude. Don't care if it's a game, I want verisimilitude in mine. Making rules for the sake of "convenience" to me is a bad decision. Because it's inconvenient to some having to rest a few days (which can be resolved in a matter of minutes), let's make that you get back at full hit point in only 8 hours ! Heck, might as well make recover all HP after each fight. Who cares, HP are asbtract !

As for the first half of HP that translates into “showing no signs of injury”, then why would someone use a Healing potion or a Cure spell on you ? Not only that, I would find it pretty discouraging as a DM having to describe the first 44 HP of damage done by the PCs on the D&D Next Ogre as "showing no signs of injury". Not only that, it turns the first half of the fight into complete/near misses (as the first half of HP doesn't translate into any injury), then everyone gets a few cuts and bruises to then be finished by a single killing blow. I completely hate the flavor in that.
  

I like the way hp are represented in this playtest. Minor cuts and bruises at half hp and a severe wound at 0, which can only be healed by magic. With this definition, what is not to like?

You got it wrong. If you read the playtest rules: you can go from a bleeding wound that puts you on the verge of dying to full hit points (not injured at all), without any magical intervention, after a few hours (between 10-20 hours of rest). What's not to like ? This. It does hurt my sense of verisimilitude. Don't care if it's a game, I want verisimilitude in mine. Making rules for the sake of "convenience" to me is a bad decision. Because it's inconvenient to some having to rest a few days (which can be resolved in a matter of minutes), let's make that you get back at full hit point in only 8 hours ! Heck, might as well make recover all HP after each fight. Who cares, HP are asbtract !

As for the first half of HP that translates into “showing no signs of injury”, then why would someone use a Healing potion or a Cure spell on you ? Not only that, I would find it pretty discouraging as a DM having to describe the first 44 HP of damage done by the PCs on the D&D Next Ogre as "showing no signs of injury". Not only that, it turns the first half of the fight into complete/near misses (as the first half of HP doesn't translate into any injury), then everyone gets a few cuts and bruises to then be finished by a single killing blow. I completely hate the flavor in that.
  


As do I.

Edition wars kill players,Dungeons and Dragons needs every player it can get.

As do I.

Whew, I was starting to think I was alone out there.

As for the first half of HP that translates into “showing no signs of injury”, then why would someone use a Healing potion or a Cure spell on you ? Not only that, I would find it pretty discouraging as a DM having to describe the first 44 HP of damage done by the PCs on the D&D Next Ogre as "showing no signs of injury". Not only that, it turns the first half of the fight into complete/near misses (as the first half of HP doesn't translate into any injury), then everyone gets a few cuts and bruises to then be finished by a single killing blow. I completely hate the flavor in that.


Hit points have been stuck in an identity crisis since day one. Gygax spelled out that they were not always physical. Then he called all the healing spells Cure ________ Wounds. Should he have written Cure Light Luck, Cure Light Divine Favor, Cure Light Heroic Destiny, Cure Light Combat Skill, and so on? Probably not. For me, the biggest takeaway from this is that we were not intended to take game mechanics as consistent, literal representations of anything in particular.

And if the "realism" point is an issue, I'll throw out there how unrealistic it seems to me that PCs are getting hacked up all the time. Sometimes a "dark and gritty" story will convince us that the human body has lots of convenient places where knives, bullets, axes, and swords can go without any major consequences. Sometimes we see heroes in movies get hit by cars or punched by ogres or swatted by dragons without breaking a lot of bones.

So if I'm playing in one of those games with lots of "gritty" violence, realism is, IMO, already long gone. I don't see why my character can live through getting walloped by a 1200 pound brute weilding a tree trunk. If he sleeps off his mysteriously non-mortal wounds in a night or two or five, we're still far out into fantasy fiction territory.

truth/humor
Ed_Warlord, on what it takes to make a thread work: I think for it to be really constructive, everyone would have to be honest with each other, and with themselves.

 

iserith: The game doesn't profess to be "just like our world." What it is just like is the world of Dungeons & Dragons. Any semblance to reality is purely coincidental.

 

Areleth: How does this help the problems we have with Fighters? Do you think that every time I thought I was playing D&D what I was actually doing was slamming my head in a car door and that if you just explain how to play without doing that then I'll finally enjoy the game?

 

TD: That's why they put me on the front of every book. This is the dungeon, and I am the dragon. A word of warning though: I'm totally not a level appropriate encounter.

As you might have noticed, I used verisimilitude and not "gritty fantasy vietnam". There one thing that people have to start to understand here, HP explanation is different in each edition, not consistent all accross them. Which is why in 4E Healing Surges, Second Winds and the like are fine, they spelled out the way HP works in that edition, and it's all fine.


Me ? I played 1E, 2E, 3E and decided to go back to 2E to get rid of Feats as it was making my players over-focus into ensuring they'd pick the most efficient Feat each time they got one which turned levelling-up into an accounting nightmare. And we are very happy with our decision. It's what made us happy. Emphasis us. So as for explanation of HP across edition, the one I know more about is 2E since it's currently what I'm DMing.


Hit Point in 2E Glossary 
Hit points - a number representing

1. how much damage a character can suffer before being killed, determined by Hit Dice. The hit points lost to injury can usually be regained by rest or healing.
2. how much damage a specific attack does, determined by weapon or monster statistics, and subtracted from a player's total.


List of stuff that enables you to recover HP in 2E:

- Healing Magic (Cure spells/potions)
- Rest (to which HP recover slowly - a few per day)
- Using the Healing proficiency on a wound - using it in the next round after wounding (not poison damage) recovers 1d3.
- Using the Healing/Herbalism proficiencies to speed up the natural healing process by resting

2E DMG - Section on Effect of Weapon Hits on an Immune Creature:
When a creature is hit by a weapon to which it is immune, the attack appears to leave a visible wound. However, no points of damage are inflicted.



  Just because 4E handles HP a certain way and that HP were always stated as abstract, doesn't mean that all editions handled them the same. That's something that people seem to forget. Not only that, just because damage doesn't translate 100% into wound/cuts/bruises as some of it is reduced by luck/experience/toughness, it shouldn't necessarily mean that the first 50% of that pool should automatically translate into pure misses, leaving you unharmed. I find this inelegant.
   
 



There one thing that people have to start to understand here, HP explanation is different in each edition, not consistent all accross them. Which is why in 4E Healing Surges, Second Winds and the like are fine, they spelled out the way HP works in that edition, and it's all fine.



This is a great sentiment, and really seems to answer the thread all on its own. 

I like the way hp are represented in this playtest. Minor cuts and bruises at half hp and a severe wound at 0, which can only be healed by magic. With this definition, what is not to like?

You got it wrong. If you read the playtest rules: you can go from a bleeding wound that puts you on the verge of dying to full hit points (not injured at all), without any magical intervention, after a few hours (between 10-20 hours of rest). What's not to like ? This. It does hurt my sense of verisimilitude. Don't care if it's a game, I want verisimilitude in mine. Making rules for the sake of "convenience" to me is a bad decision. Because it's inconvenient to some having to rest a few days (which can be resolved in a matter of minutes), let's make that you get back at full hit point in only 8 hours ! Heck, might as well make recover all HP after each fight. Who cares, HP are asbtract !

As for the first half of HP that translates into “showing no signs of injury”, then why would someone use a Healing potion or a Cure spell on you ? Not only that, I would find it pretty discouraging as a DM having to describe the first 44 HP of damage done by the PCs on the D&D Next Ogre as "showing no signs of injury". Not only that, it turns the first half of the fight into complete/near misses (as the first half of HP doesn't translate into any injury), then everyone gets a few cuts and bruises to then be finished by a single killing blow. I completely hate the flavor in that.


I do not have the playtest material with me right now, but as far as I remember, you can only heal from 0 or under 0 hp to at least 1 hp with magic and you need at least 1 hp to get the benefits of a long rest.
But I am going to look at this again and then come back to you.

As to the problem of narrating combat until half the hps of a character are lost so the fight shows any bruises or minor injuries: Since hp also represent fatigue and muscle strain, you could always describe it in a way like this: "The Ogre swings his club at your head with a mighty blow, but you manage to turn your body before the hit connects, leaving your head unsmashed. As an experienced fighter you can feel the strain this put on your muscles. You start to sweat and you know that another hit like this will tire you too much."
I admit, the only thing that is kind of hard to narrate in a situation like this is poison damage, for which you need at least a minor cut. But even that is doable.

All of this is much better in my opinion than porcupine fighters that have a lot of arrows in them, each causing 3 hp damage.

I agree with emwasick that a lot of the problems with using potions, healing spells etc. come from the fact that they have the word "cure" or "healing" in them. Also the fact that we say "the hit causes 5 damage" instead of "you loose 5 hp", the latter being completely unrelated to any form of physical damage.

Now, I play 4E and really like the "healing" mechanisms there. I also find it more or less easy to narrate the loss of hp, vulnerabilities, specific forms of attacks etc. in a manner that seems plausible to anybody else at the table. I also let the players at the table describe what the loss of hp looks like for their characters, since it has to be related to the amounts of hp still available to that character and I do not keep track of PC hp as a GM, since I can trust the 4E system completely.

I understand, however, that many have a problem with that and I think a solution can be the narrative, if a mechanical solution is unable to satisfy all tastes. At least I am willing to solve this on a narrative level for myself.
I do not have the playtest material with me right now, but as far as I remember, you can only heal from 0 or under 0 hp to at least 1 hp with magic and you need at least 1 hp to get the benefits of a long rest.
But I am going to look at this again and then come back to you.


From the package, you get stabilized after succeeding 3 Death Saving Throws  (DC10 against Con). Once Stabilized, you stay unconscious until regaining 1hp OR until 2d6 hours have passed at which point you become conscious again AND recover 1 hp. Then 8 hours of rest recovers you to full HP. Which is why I stated after 10-20 hours (2d6 hours + 8 hours of rest) to can go from a dying Person to a fully healthy one.

 
All of this is much better in my opinion than porcupine fighters that have a lot of arrows in them, each causing 3 hp damage.

As you said, all is in the narrative. I'm currently a 2E DM here, a 3 hp damage arrow shot on a 20 hp Fighter doesn't translate into "that arrow got stuck in your gut". It translates into either :
"Thanks to your armor, the arrow barely pierced your skin as it got stuck in it (the armor, that is)."
"Thanks to your reflexes/luck, the arrow just barely hit you, leaving you a small cut on your arm/leg/face/etc."

On an Ogre, I would probably say that "the arrow barely pierced it's though skin, and he didn't seem to feel it much. It even falled down without him having to pull it out".

I would probably be able to turn the 90 hp Fighter into  a porcupine after he got shot by multiple 10 hp damage arrows, after all, didn't Boromir do it ;) ? I'm not looking for gritty in any case, but I do like verisimilitude/believability, sprinkled with heroicness once the characters reach high level.
  
Bottom line is that it is a playstyle difference. Some of us want a system that is heroic from the start concerning Healing and some of us prefer one where it take quite a few levels for this to happen.

I agree with collective_restraint 100%.
This is how I run my damage.

A descriptor in the game isn't going to change my preference. Trying to use the current definition of HP to say that I am wrong about wanting the healing rules to change is avoiding my concern.

This isn't an argument to win it is a discussion of why we disagree.

We understand your point and your preference and just wish you were able to understand ours.

Edition wars kill players,Dungeons and Dragons needs every player it can get.

Well, that new edition is supposed to be modular, no ? I guess they could offer multiple ways to handle HP and Healing, to satisfy both sides of the fence.
I hope so. This would mean more work for designers of pre packaged adventures but would be a vast improvement over what I'm seeing so far.

An option in the healing rules from the get go would make sense to me.

Edition wars kill players,Dungeons and Dragons needs every player it can get.


I would probably be able to turn the 90 hp Fighter into  a porcupine after he got shot by multiple 10 hp damage arrows, after all, didn't Boromir do it ;) ? I'm not looking for gritty in any case, but I do like verisimilitude/believability, sprinkled with heroicness once the characters reach high level.
  



Lord knows when I am looking for realism, I look to Boromir, the most realistic of all characters in the most realistic story of our time.
Lofgren, he stated up front that realism is not his goal.

Edition wars kill players,Dungeons and Dragons needs every player it can get.

Right, he used that obnoxious weasel-word "verisimilitude," which translates to "whatever the hell I feel like."

That word needs to die. You can't just invoke it to justify utterly meaningless, senseless mechanics as if there is some verifiable way that they translate to the real world. All it means is "I don't feel like figuring out the mechanical implications of what I am describing, nor opening my mind to the possibility that my description is frankly dumb. I'm just going to assert that it is more like reality than any other way. And I'm going to couch it as an 'opinion' so I never have to defend it."

As soon as you see somebody using that word to defend their position, you know there is no point in continuing the discussion. They will just keep asserting that their way is the only versimilitudinous way and since it is their god-given right to hold opinions that makes it unassailable and for some reason a necessary component of game design.

To me it is versimilitudinous that anybody who takes more than 1d4 damage gets a nasty blood infection and dies in under a week. And if the devs don't create a module to satisfy me then 5e sux! You can't tell me it's dumb! It's my opinion! And therefore must be catered to for some reason, no matter what effects it has on the rest of the game design.
Lofgren,

There is no reason for the hostility.

It is indeed an opinion and so is your argument.

Believing that fast healing is somehow a superior choice is an opinion.

You want the game your way because of what you believe. We want the same.

You cannot say that one style is superior to another and claim it as fact then expect us to agree because you have equations that you can prove it with.

This isn't an argument over superiority it is a discussion of preference. We have been continually stressing this.

Please refrain from personally insulting those you disagree with.

A game mechanic is not superior because it fits better with your opinion of how the game should flow.

There are a hundred ways that I could describe my opinion of why your choice is made based on your wording. Many of them are considered offensive and so I refrain.

Insults will get us nowhere.

Edition wars kill players,Dungeons and Dragons needs every player it can get.


To me it is versimilitudinous that anybody who takes more than 1d4 damage gets a nasty blood infection and dies in under a week. .

I WANt to play this game.

I've had the problem wiht HP, it was something that was made popular in 2nd Edition, that HP = Physical wounds... its something the Palladium system took to heart and made HP = Physical body, after you workd through a magical set of HP called SDC, that represents how tough you are....
Gary's nameing helainf spells "cure light wounds" means it can cure wounds as well as restore vitality, prowess and other thinsg that make up HP.

verisimilitude, n. the appearance of being true or real.

realism, n. the quality or fact of representing a person, thing, or situation accurately or in a way that is true to life.

They are synonyms for a reason.

Invoking either is a really poor argument for any game mechanics to work in any particular way. Especially in a fantasy adventure game. In a world where dragons exists, wizards hurl fireballs and lightning bolts, druids physically change into the shapes of animals, and clerics devoted to any one of a hundred gods can--through strength of their faith alone--not only bring back the dead but also raise an army of the undead... we need to worry about verisimilitude/realism in how long it takes a hero to recover from his or her wounds naturally? Really?

Each one of those things mentioned above utterly shatters any hope of verisimilitude/realism from the game in its entirety. Wizards can cast spells. Not realistic. They forget those spells once cast. Not realistic. Druids shapechange at all. Not realistic. Druids can only shapechange into certain animals. Nope. A limited number of times per day. Nope. On and on and on. Verisimilitude and realism don't have a place in D&D, sorry to say, they never really have.
"And why the simple mechanics? Two reasons: First, complex mechanics invariably channel and limit the imagination; second, my neurons have better things to do than calculate numbers and refer to charts all evening." -Over the Edge
Blackbriar,

That is an opinion which I do not share.

The healing is again a playstyle preference. I for one like a bit of realism in my non-magical aspects of DnD.

It doesn't have to simulate real life to the point of realism.

It can easily give the appearance of being real without simulating it completely.

They are distinctions which you are choosing to ignore in the face of insisting that your opinion is better for everyone.

I have not claimed this. I only state that it does not suit me or my group.

Edition wars kill players,Dungeons and Dragons needs every player it can get.

verisimilitude, n. the appearance of being true or real.

realism, n. the quality or fact of representing a person, thing, or situation accurately or in a way that is true to life.

They are synonyms for a reason.

Invoking either is a really poor argument for any game mechanics to work in any particular way. Especially in a fantasy adventure game. In a world where dragons exists, wizards hurl fireballs and lightning bolts, druids physically change into the shapes of animals, and clerics devoted to any one of a hundred gods can--through strength of their faith alone--not only bring back the dead but also raise an army of the undead... we need to worry about verisimilitude/realism in how long it takes a hero to recover from his or her wounds naturally? Really?

Each one of those things mentioned above utterly shatters any hope of verisimilitude/realism from the game in its entirety. Wizards can cast spells. Not realistic. They forget those spells once cast. Not realistic. Druids shapechange at all. Not realistic. Druids can only shapechange into certain animals. Nope. A limited number of times per day. Nope. On and on and on. Verisimilitude and realism don't have a place in D&D, sorry to say, they never really have.

So based on this we could basically just let Halflings throw Elephants with a single hand, mice being able to trample dragons because, hey, there's magic and dragons, screw any shred of realism/verisimilitude/believability, it's a game

Now it's my turn to say: Really ?   

I do think that also makes for a poor argument too.
Why stop at weight limits.

Base speed is a poor attempt at realism. Let's just set that one to miles instead of feet. That way we don't need horses.

These are playstyle choices you don't question.

Why is that?

Edition wars kill players,Dungeons and Dragons needs every player it can get.

That all sounds awesome. Why not?

That all sounds awesome. Why not?


Go for it, just please don't call it Dungeons and Dragons.

Edition wars kill players,Dungeons and Dragons needs every player it can get.

to me when it comes to healing the most important thing about 4th edition healing is the healing surge value, not the amount of healing surges or what alouws you to spend them.

but the surge value itselve, marking a move away from absulute healing to percentile healing.

doing away with sillyness that a character with 100 HP would need 100 days of recovering from beaing on deaths door
and a character with only 10 hitpoints would recover much faster. from almost dying.

I would love to see this move to percentile healing move forward.
somthing like a healing spell that heals the target for 10% of his maximum hitpoints per spell level of the spell slot used to cast the spell.

so somthing like the folowing for natural healing:

short rest:
during the first short rest after a encounter where you took damage you heal/recover 10% of your maximum hitpoints

extended rest:
you heal/recover 25% of your maximum hitpoints 
to me when it comes to healing the most important thing about 4th edition healing is the healing surge value, not the amount of healing surges or what alouws you to spend them.

but the surge value itselve, marking a move away from absulute healing to percentile healing.

doing away with sillyness that a character with 100 HP would need 100 days of recovering from beaing on deaths door
and a character with only 10 hitpoints would recover much faster. from almost dying.

I would love to see this move to percentile healing move forward.
somthing like a healing spell that heals the target for 10% of his maximum hitpoints per spell level of the spell slot used to cast the spell.

so somthing like the folowing for natural healing:

short rest:
during the first short rest after a encounter where you took damage you heal/recover 10% of your maximum hitpoints

extended rest:
you heal/recover 25% of your maximum hitpoints 


A much more reasonable proposal.  Although I don't care too much for that much natural healing myself I think I could get use to it rather than the 100% option.

This could allow spells to be more universal.  Instead of needing more heal spells for the fighter than the wizard or being able to use the low level spells on the wizard but barely even matter to the fighter.

I would call something that moved in this direction a fair compromise.

Edition wars kill players,Dungeons and Dragons needs every player it can get.

to me when it comes to healing the most important thing about 4th edition healing is the healing surge value, not the amount of healing surges or what alouws you to spend them.

but the surge value itselve, marking a move away from absulute healing to percentile healing.

doing away with sillyness that a character with 100 HP would need 100 days of recovering from beaing on deaths door
and a character with only 10 hitpoints would recover much faster. from almost dying.

I would love to see this move to percentile healing move forward.
somthing like a healing spell that heals the target for 10% of his maximum hitpoints per spell level of the spell slot used to cast the spell.

so somthing like the folowing for natural healing:

short rest:
during the first short rest after a encounter where you took damage you heal/recover 10% of your maximum hitpoints

extended rest:
you heal/recover 25% of your maximum hitpoints 



I agree with the kobold... He has a stick and a robe... That means he is wise.



The Character Initiative


Every time you abuse the system you enforce limitations.
Every time the system is limited we lose options.
Breaking an RPG is like cheating in a computer game.
As a DM you are the punkbuster of your table.
Dare to say no to abusers.
Make players build characters, not characters out of builds.




My rpg group has played 4e in a dark sun campaign and the one aspect I liked was how they used healing surges.  Surges represented fatigue and your energy level.  If your characters failed with endurence you would loose surges. Your party might have healing potions, spells and the time to do short rests but if you were out of healing surges you simply did not have the energy to heal up.  I have not playtested yet, however, when I read through the packet I can see how the designers tried to incoporate this using hit dice.  The difference seems to be that in 4e you would heal a certain value, as you were stating a percentage, and now instead of a value it is a die roll.  

Yes it is a fictional game, but I would like a more realistic story where injuries are a part of the story and a challenge to overcome. 

My suggestion would be to allow characters to use these healing surges/ hit die counters to heal on short rests as stated or similiar to the 4e rules.  The difference would be that during long rests you regain a portion of your healing surges/ hit die back instead of all of them.  If you still have wounds you would have to still spend surges to heal and thus recover less surges from your long rest as those who did not have wounds.  The designers would have to come up with a span of time it would take to recover these surges.  If you rest in a place with healers you could recover more surges then say if you had a long rest in the barn of an inn.  

So I guess my biggest issue with this new system is not the short rest but just the long rest portion of their new system.  I personally felt the 4e healing system worked well for our group.  I liked the limited healing part because it made healing more important and thus it became tactically more important for encounters in comparison to what I can recall from my 3e experiences.
to me when it comes to healing the most important thing about 4th edition healing is the healing surge value, not the amount of healing surges or what alouws you to spend them.

but the surge value itselve, marking a move away from absulute healing to percentile healing.

doing away with sillyness that a character with 100 HP would need 100 days of recovering from beaing on deaths door
and a character with only 10 hitpoints would recover much faster. from almost dying.

I would love to see this move to percentile healing move forward.
somthing like a healing spell that heals the target for 10% of his maximum hitpoints per spell level of the spell slot used to cast the spell.

so somthing like the folowing for natural healing:

short rest:
during the first short rest after a encounter where you took damage you heal/recover 10% of your maximum hitpoints

extended rest:
you heal/recover 25% of your maximum hitpoints 



I agree with the kobold... He has a stick and a robe... That means he is wise.


Ditto for me ! That would be exactly the way I'd handle healing; recovering a portion of your hit points. As for the short rest, I'd add the details about not being able to recover more than the damage you received during the combat. Even probably only a portion of it, not 100% of the damage you received.

Did we actually come to a multi edition compromise?

Edition wars kill players,Dungeons and Dragons needs every player it can get.

to me when it comes to healing the most important thing about 4th edition healing is the healing surge value, not the amount of healing surges or what alouws you to spend them.

but the surge value itselve, marking a move away from absulute healing to percentile healing.

doing away with sillyness that a character with 100 HP would need 100 days of recovering from beaing on deaths door
and a character with only 10 hitpoints would recover much faster. from almost dying.

I would love to see this move to percentile healing move forward.
somthing like a healing spell that heals the target for 10% of his maximum hitpoints per spell level of the spell slot used to cast the spell.

so somthing like the folowing for natural healing:

short rest:
during the first short rest after a encounter where you took damage you heal/recover 10% of your maximum hitpoints

extended rest:
you heal/recover 25% of your maximum hitpoints 




I suggested an hp:damage ratio in regards to dealing damage, and I like it working the other way around. Maybe different healers or themes would effect the percentage of magical healing you were capble of, and maybe class/Con would impact the ratio of your natural healing.

A hardy fighter might make something like 30% in the extended rest while the librarian-esque/wizard might only get something like 20%.