Constitution is not important enough

The change to HP per level has rendered Constitution almost the equivalent of the step-child of the six attributes, Charisma.

Take a fighter, aside from the base hit points, an Fighter with 8 Con vs a Fighter with 18 Con, the difference is .5 HP per level on average. Over a 20 level character level span, that equates to 10 HP, with the first level change of 10 HP as well, that equals 1 HP per level. Not a lot if you ask me.

In 3.5e, the difference between a Barbarian with 18 Con and one with 8 Con over 20 levels was ~84.5 HP.

Why would I waste point-buy points or good rolls on Con anymore? Now I have one throw away stat in Cha, another that is fine at 10 in Con, and 4 stats to worry about. As a melee, Int is another that is fine at 8.
Likewise, an 8 con vs. a 12 con is useless.  You get 4 extra hp total.  I agree that con is now useless.  The HP system is the first things that needs to be fixed.

 
I'm inclined to agree.  Though I don't necessarily think it needs to be important for everyone, I think a high Con should have a significant impact on your survivability. 

Something else that I think is relevant here: I liked the way that different classes/builds in 4E had special synergies between their main stat and secondary stat. Such as burly fighters adding Con damage to attacks with Hammers, or Enchanters getting riders based on their Cha.
Make Con relevant, and make Cha affect Save DCs for all casters.
What did I miss?  How did Con to hit points change?



Basically, at 1st level you roll your Hit Dice and add it to your Con score.  The only effect it has on HP after that is that when you roll your HD at each level up, you can't get a lower result than your Con modifier. 

Yeah... that's it. And that second part will be completely null and void if you end up house-ruling average dice rolls for leveling up. 
The change to HP per level has rendered Constitution almost the equivalent of the step-child of the six attributes, Charisma.

Take a fighter, aside from the base hit points, an Fighter with 8 Con vs a Fighter with 18 Con, the difference is .5 HP per level on average. Over a 20 level character level span, that equates to 10 HP, with the first level change of 10 HP as well, that equals 1 HP per level. Not a lot if you ask me.

In 3.5e, the difference between a Barbarian with 18 Con and one with 8 Con over 20 levels was ~84.5 HP.

Why would I waste point-buy points or good rolls on Con anymore? Now I have one throw away stat in Cha, another that is fine at 10 in Con, and 4 stats to worry about. As a melee, Int is another that is fine at 8.

We've only seen the first three levels. While it's true that Con would fall off in usefulness sharply as levels increase if it does not have scaling effects, for all we know the other attributes will suffer the same fate. (though with no BAB treadmill, it seems having a high strength score for melee is more important than ever across the levels)
Certainly, in the playtest Con is extremely important, if you think that 5 hp doesn't make a difference then you probably haven't played it.
Your Constitution modifier is also added to to each hit die you heal during a short rest.
What from the playtest has given any indication that HP/level will change with the way it is currently written?

Of course 5 HP difference at level 1 is important, my point is at level 20, 20 HP is nothing.
I suggest this thread be retitled "Strength, Intelligence, Wisdom, and Dexterity are too important."
What from the playtest has given any indication that HP/level will change with the way it is currently written?

Of course 5 HP difference at level 1 is important, my point is at level 20, 20 HP is nothing.



There's really no evidence that damage output is going to drastically increase as you level up.


There's really no evidence that damage output is going to drastically increase as you level up.



No, but if I pump my Str as a Fighter, that keeps having a sizable impact on every attack and damage roll I make forever. But if I pump my Con, it has a somewhat noticeable impact on my 1st level HP, and then practically no impact going forward, and in fact that impact will get diluted every time I level up, and add more HD to my total. 

It's true that a high Con does make you more healable.  


There's really no evidence that damage output is going to drastically increase as you level up.



No, but if I pump my Str as a Fighter, that keeps having a sizable impact on every attack and damage roll I make forever. But if I pump my Con, it has a somewhat noticeable impact on my 1st level HP, and then practically no impact going forward, and in fact that impact will get diluted every time I level up, and add more HD to my total. 

It's true that a high Con does make you more healable.  



You will always have that higher maximum hit ponts, and the ability to heal out of combat at greater rates thus having more endurance from encounter to encounter.

The overall benefit you get from higher hit points isn't that incredibly great outside of a single combat encounter because all those hit points you had need to be healed which eats up resources from your cleric. A cleric can only heal so many hit points per day. Its primary benefit is against monsters with extremely high damage output and as long as damage output scales correctly, I don't see the problem.
Long term durability, which is the benefit CON gives, doesn't matter because the game's embracing the 5-minute workday.
Long term durability, which is the benefit CON gives, doesn't matter because the game's embracing the 5-minute workday.



Spoken like someone who hasn't played the playtest. The wizard and clerics rely primarily on their at-will spells or  weapon, their daily spells were only used sparingly.
Your Constitution modifier is also added to to each hit die you heal during a short rest.


This is what people seem to be missing, and it is the most relevant statement of this entire thread.

While Con no longer increases your maximum HP by a significant amount, your total number of HP over the course of several encounters is equal to:

Base max HP [Con score + (result of hit dice, with a floor equal to Con modifier for each level)] + Health healed through surges [(Hit die + Con modifier) per level].

The amount that you heal through the healing surge use of hit dice is exactly equal to the total number of HP you would have had in 3E.  The base HP equal to Con is just the starting threshold of extra HP that they added with 4E, and the hit dice that you roll are just an added bonus to get you through a fight long enough to spend those surges.

They've taken out the random factor where a low roll at level up will permanently hinder you, by replacing it with a hit die roll per level that's made separately each day.

It's really quite ingenious, except for the part where you need a mundane but expendable item in order to access the most important part of your ability score.


----------------------
Edit: As someone else mentioned, these healing HP don't really matter since daily powers encourage everyone to rest fully between encounters.  The only thing that healing surge allow is for you to go from nearly KO up to full before you rest for the night ... in the likely chance that you'll be ambushed in the middle of the night before you heal up to full anyway.

The metagame is not the game.

Your Constitution score also helps determine how many negative hit points you have and your Con modifier effects your death saving throws.
Take a fighter, aside from the base hit points, an Fighter with 8 Con vs a Fighter with 18 Con, the difference is .5 HP per level on average.

The difference between a Fighter with 13 CON and 20 CON works out to be seven HP, plus an average of one HP per level.
The CON-Floor is mostly irrelevant until it supersedes the hitdie.

Just to post this table again, here's what CON does to average HP/level:






































































































d4d6d8d10d12
< 142.53.54.55.56.5
14-152.753.674.6255.66.5833
16-173.2544.8755.86.75
18-1944.55.256.17
20-2155.1675.756.57.33
22-23666.37577.75
24-25777.1257.68.25
26-278888.38.833
28-299999.19.5
301010101010.25
Long term durability, which is the benefit CON gives, doesn't matter because the game's embracing the 5-minute workday.



Spoken like someone who hasn't played the playtest. The wizard and clerics rely primarily on their at-will spells or  weapon, their daily spells were only used sparingly.



It's not the spells that are doing it, it's the "hit dice". You can only go as far as your weakest character, and when there are 5 people, someone is statistically going to roll crap for them. This means that CON scores suffer from the tragedy of the commons: having a high CON score improves durability if everyone has a high CON score, but personally choosing to have one does little to nothing.
Long term durability, which is the benefit CON gives, doesn't matter because the game's embracing the 5-minute workday.



Spoken like someone who hasn't played the playtest. The wizard and clerics rely primarily on their at-will spells or  weapon, their daily spells were only used sparingly.



It's not the spells that are doing it, it's the "hit dice". You can only go as far as your weakest character, and when there are 5 people, someone is statistically going to roll crap for them. This means that CON scores suffer from the tragedy of the commons: having a high CON score improves durability if everyone has a high CON score, but personally choosing to have one does little to nothing.



This hasn't been my experience from DMing it.
Concentration checks against rough weather and the like are now constitution checks. That's something, though not much.

Looking through the assuredly not-representative-of-what-things-will-look-like-eventually bestiary, the number of effects that require each type of save or check are:

Strength - 2
Dexterity - 5
Constitution - 3
Intelligence - 0
Wisdom - 0
Charisma - 0

Which, uh... I was hoping that that would say something about whether constitution would be keeping its place as a stat that's relatively more important for saves, but all it really says is that the monsters in the bestiary like to grab and poison you a lot more than they like mind-affecting spells.
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What did I miss?  How did Con to hit points change?



Basically, at 1st level you roll your Hit Dice and add it to your Con score.  The only effect it has on HP after that is that when you roll your HD at each level up, you can't get a lower result than your Con modifier. 

Yeah... that's it. And that second part will be completely null and void if you end up house-ruling average dice rolls for leveling up. 



Well, if you house rules something and it breaks it I would hope you would house rule the fix. Which would be you add the average roll + con modifier each level.

You can't complain the rule is BROKEN because you BROKE it with a HOUSE RULE. 
In my opinion, the relatively small bump that a character's Con bonus grants each level gained is not unbalancing and should be used in the final rules.  It would just make sense that a hearty, in-shape physically tough individual with a 16 Con score should outclass another character who has a Con score of 8... at least by a few HP per Level.  Please bring the Con bonus to HP back.
I am guessing this has a lot to do with the general difference you see in the power scaling per level verses previous editions.

That said that math is scary. I would want to see what play is like a little higher up to determine if it matters or not but still if it is anything like what I'd expect I think OP is probably right.
HP are NOT a measurement of physical stamina, but an amalgam of traits used to explain the survivability of a character (including dumb luck). Constitution makes sense as a base value for HP, but I'd say it is just as viable to use 10+(total stat mods) as base HP, with a fixed amount per level increase based on class (and a toughness feat that adds another 1 HP per level).

And Con should be used as a save in many ways, since it really is the go-to stat for the traditional "fortitude" saves. Poison, disease, and fatigue are the common saves, but any kind of system shock (falling into cold/hot water, debilitating environments, etc).

What I would like to see is the use of stats as DCs/defenses, with mind-affecting ones targeting Charisma. Might make people think twice about dumping it in favor of a few more points in another stat, which IMO is a good thing. I really dislike the concept of dump stats, and would prefer every stat be of notable use for every character, regardless of class.

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Probably con would have a higher influence if it would matter for any Healing and not just when spending hitdice. A cure light wounds could instead of 1d8 + your magic ability modifier, heal 1d8 + targets con modifier. 
yeah, the math and ability weigth are not quite right at the moment.

As it is now, con is only of true importance on the first few levels where the con stat itself is the basis of your HP. This changes dramatically as you level and after a few levels only the hit die will be the dominant factor (which is bad when HD vary as much as they do now *cogh* d4<->d12 *cough*)

I like the idea that, if you are rolling for HP, what I would not make the default rule if I was the designer, your con bonus +1 represents your minimum HP gain. HD + con led to the overimportance of con in 3.5, besides the many many con saves, especially for low HD classes. Had to eyeroll everytime I saw a wizard with 16 in con since it was so convenient and cookie-cutter.
So, we need something that makes con important.

Con saves are there, I know. And tehre will be many many critters that will have us make con saves. But, let's get this straight: Most con saves against non-casters will be against poison or disease. And many "con-house" classes and races can be immune against this kinds of effects (dwarves, paladins), so this save bonus might be of lesser use to them.

So yes, con and cha both need something that buffs them up.
Short rest period is another benefit of higher con, but not enough to warrant dumping a good score in. The benefit of having a 13 Con vs an 8 Con is just not enough.
What from the playtest has given any indication that HP/level will change with the way it is currently written?

Of course 5 HP difference at level 1 is important, my point is at level 20, 20 HP is nothing.



There's really no evidence that damage output is going to drastically increase as you level up.



While this is true, a fighter with 18 Con will have about 158 HP on average at level 20, while an 8 will have 138 on average. Which is a meager 13% difference. You end up with every fighter making Con a distant 3rd in importance compared to Str and Dex.

 I agree that con is now useless.  
 



Roll a Fortitude save...


But seriously, it can't be that useless. As of yet there are no other ways to rais your HP that I am aware of such as the toughness feat.


Also if I remeber correctly, when you jump level the rules say to roll your die for HP and add that to you total unless your CON modifier is better than you add that instead. So, if that is the case, and your CON is an 8 and your roll for a new level is 1, since your roll is the better of the two, your HP goes up by 1. Thus the CON score saves characters from having a horrific minimum when it comes to rasing their max HP at level increases.     
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Also if I remeber correctly, when you jump level the rules say to roll your die for HP and add that to you total unless your CON modifier is better than you add that instead. So, if that is the case, and your CON is an 8 and your roll for a new level is 1, since your roll is the better of the two, your HP goes up by 1. Thus the CON score saves characters from having a horrific minimum when it comes to rasing their max HP at level increases.     



Correct but if you do the math and roll the d12 twelve times the average difference between someone that gets at least a 4, and someone that has two chances at one and no chance of 12 is .5 HP. That is the point I am trying to make.

I don't understand why people are defending this mechanic, the math doesn't lie.

I see many complaints of gaining HP with Con but i don´s see any that says any (exept one) about the other side of HP witch is dying. When your character dies at negative Con value and a failed death save now does damage i think Con is of a big importance for survivability. Higer Con makes your character more likly to hang in there until anyone can come and save it with Healing.

(I have only played 4e and groups in that system thinks mainly that as long as you havent failed 2 death saves nobody needs to be overly conserned with healing you).
Having Con matter in death is a bonus, but to me still not enough to warrant putting a good roll or points in a point buy into it. It also has a diminishing return as you increase in level.


Well, if you house rules something and it breaks it I would hope you would house rule the fix. Which would be you add the average roll + con modifier each level.

You can't complain the rule is BROKEN because you BROKE it with a HOUSE RULE. 



Your point is fair. However, I will point out that many people have weighed in saying how oppposed they are to rolling hit dice when leveling. I would be shocked if that didn't appear as a sanctioned optional rule. 
That will indeed become an advantage the day he has the ability to selectively funnel the enemy attacks to himself, Lord_Daxl, but no sooner.
What from the playtest has given any indication that HP/level will change with the way it is currently written?

Of course 5 HP difference at level 1 is important, my point is at level 20, 20 HP is nothing.



There's really no evidence that damage output is going to drastically increase as you level up.



While this is true, a fighter with 18 Con will have about 158 HP on average at level 20, while an 8 will have 138 on average. Which is a meager 13% difference. You end up with every fighter making Con a distant 3rd in importance compared to Str and Dex.




You forgot to factor in the 100 hit points of additional non-magical healing that the 18 con fighter has available throughout the day.

I see that as a huge advantage, and I doubt it will be truly appreciated until the high level playtests.



He won't need that much of a disparity because the bucket he has to fill isn't much bigger than the fighter with a low Con.

The short rest and death benefit of a higher Con are both nice, but not good enough to make me put a good roll in Con. The problem here is the Hit Points per level mechanic is wrong.

Another bit of randomness: if your constitution isn't at least 14, then it has no effect on your HP gained at levelup whatsoever.
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I find this somewhat amusing given that my own feedback during the closed playtest was that con was too important.  My wizards often out-HP'd the fighters, if they didn't get con as their #2 stat and I did.
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I find this somewhat amusing given that my own feedback during the closed playtest was that con was too important.  My wizards often out-HP'd the fighters, if they didn't get con as their #2 stat and I did.



Could be a symptom of the hp calculation being too leveled out in general, rather than con being so powerful that it manages to level opposite ends of a spectrum.
There is a large fundamental flaw in the logic regarding this topic. In its current iteration Constitution has more power then it previously had.

Previously:

Gain + con modifer per level in hp.

Now:

Threshold of Con modifier in minimum hp per level.
+ Con on healing surges at a rate of con modifier/level (hit dice)


This change results in the following things compared to previous.



  • Maximum HP is lower

  • Healing increased to amount missing from max hp

  • minimum hp higher


So what we see here is a lower maximum hp, the same amount of hp over time granted from constitution, and we see a higher floor to hp. 

All in all we see a trade off between a lower max, and a higher min. However when you figure in the healing you have the same amount of bonus hp. 

 
Con is plenty important for the Wizard.  They only have a d4 hit die so any - any - Con bonus is huge for short rests.  They're also required to make a check after taking damage in order to cast a spell (aside from AW) the next round.  That check?  Con.  So yeah, it's plenty important to a Wizard.  I'd say it's fairly important to any class that finds the hit die mechanic important, too.
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