Random Hit Points suggestion

Hit points per level

Each time you gain a level, roll your total number of Hit Dice and add the best single result to your hit point total.

Example:

3rd level fighter rolls 3d12, getting 8,8,3. Fighter adds 8 to hit point total.
3rd level wizard rolls 3d4, getting 2, 1, 3. Wizard adds 3 to hit point total.  
Hit points per level

Each time you gain a level, roll your total number of Hit Dice and add the best single result to your hit point total.

Example:

3rd level fighter rolls 3d12, getting 8,8,3. Fighter adds 8 to hit point total.
3rd level wizard rolls 3d4, getting 2, 1, 3. Wizard adds 3 to hit point total.  




Doesn't this just mean that past a certain level you will nearly always get max hit points? 


I liked the suggestion from the other thread where you roll 1+con mod dice, pick highest, since it's a bonus for high con, not something automatic with level.

I'm also kind of fond of the idea of rerolling all hit points each level, and take the better of what you just rolled, or your old hit points, whichever's better. It lets players roll lots of dice each level, and weights the results towards the average over the long run. (Example to clarify how this is different from the OP: The OP wants a 4th level character to roll say 4d12, and add the highest of those 4 d12s to your current hit points. What I'm saying is instead, the 3rd level character currently has 20 hit points from his 3d12s, now he gets to roll 4d12, and either keeps his 20, or takes the result of all 4d12 added together. So there is a chance of not gaining anything, but also a small chance of gaining a lot of hp. Though if he gains a lot of hp, chances are he won't gain any the next few levels, so his hp level slowly drifts back towards average)
The chance of only gaining 1 (plus mod(s)) HP per level is bad enough. The chance of gaining none at all is unthinkable.
The chance of only gaining 1 (plus mod(s)) HP per level is bad enough. The chance of gaining none at all is unthinkable.



The chance of gaining none at all is infentesimally small unless you already have more HP than is average for your level. And really, if you're a 5th level character whose been lucky and rolled straight 12s, and have 60 HP, you're sitting at nearly twice the average for your hit dice, and 5x the average of a d4 character. So you can probably afford to not gain much for the next few levels (though of course there is the chance you can roll well and still gain more, but the farther above average you get, the less likely that is.)
Doesn't this just mean that past a certain level you will nearly always get max hit points? 

Yes. The idea is that later levels would make up for cruddy hit point rolls at lower levels. Using average result is an easier solution, but since we have this Hit Die mechanic, why not monkey with it and see what comes up?

I liked the suggestion from the other thread where you roll 1+con mod dice, pick highest, since it's a bonus for high con, not something automatic with level.

Interesting. So which is more important in game design: the CON score you got saddled with at first level or the levels you gain in play? Yeah, I am a little biased in favor of level, but what do you think? 

I'm also kind of fond of the idea of rerolling all hit points each level, and take the better of what you just rolled, or your old hit points, whichever's better.

I've played with that from time to time. Not a fan because it's a real let down when your hit point total doesn't improve. Since you are rolling so many dice you expect a bigger result, which leads to a bigger let down when it doesn't pan out. 


I think players are too spoiled. They want to be the uber heroic awesome dude that has the best ability scores, the best powers, the best weapons, the best armor, the most hit points, etc. And don't dare challenge him or it's not fun. Don't ever make him feel less than uber awesomeness or he won't want to play.

That said, it certainly would be bad if anyone rolled 1s and 2s every time they leveled up and therefore had less hit points at 5th level than a 1st level character. Not a good thing and so I think that random hit points are a bad idea.

However, at some level players don't want to be cookie cutter either. They want to be unique and have some variation. And variation is a good thing. So the problem is, how do you provide that variation without having the problem of hit point totals that are ridiculously low? Any automatic value would be cookie cutter and any random value could end up giving low values.

So perhaps a baseline amount per level + a random factor is the way to go. But how large of a baseline and what is the random factor? What would make everyone happy?  How much is enough to feel uber awesomesauce, but still be different than your companions?

I think the answer in all this, and I didn't have one as I started writing this, is to have rules options that provide several different ways of doing this and the group or DM picks the one that they like best. That's a very 5e sort of answer so why not?
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Interesting. So which is more important in game design: the CON score you got saddled with at first level or the levels you gain in play? Yeah, I am a little biased in favor of level, but what do you think?



 Well the point is some people will have better con, and giving extra hp as a part of con is usually what con does, so it makes sense. Level is something everyone gets, and ending with someone rolling 10-20dX is like saying "Roll a bunch of dice and hope you don't suck"


I think the answer in all this, and I didn't have one as I started writing this, is to have rules options that provide several different ways of doing this and the group or DM picks the one that they like best. That's a very 5e sort of answer so why not?


Yeah, basically. The more possible solutions you can offer, the more likely a group will find one that works for them.

In addition to the ones I mentioned liking to use above, some other solutions that may seem more fitting with what others want:

-All characters roll a d4 for hit points each level. Characters get a flat +1 bonus to hp for every die size above a d4 they normally are. (So a d6 gets d4+1, d12 gets d4+4). This gets the same averages as rolling the full die, but with a little less variation.

 -All characters roll their hit die and take the better of their roll or half their die size. So a d6 character is guaranteed at least a 3, a d12 character is guaranteed at least a 6.  It leaves some variation, but makes sure characters don't get screwed by bad rolls. This does however raise the average. Using a smaller percentage as the baseline may be acceptable, but will lead to some compression (ie a d6 and a d8, at 50% are 3 and 4. At 33% you have 2 and 2.64. So either d6 and d8 will have the same, if you trunctuate, or d8 and d10 will be the same if you round.)
I'm sorry but this is really bugging me reading all this stuff about low rolls and whatnot ruining health.
or how you want a high con to affect things.

it is mentioned that health is determined by rolling HD and taking that result OR your Con mod, whichever is higher.

that is all
I'm also kind of fond of the idea of rerolling all hit points each level, and take the better of what you just rolled, or your old hit points, whichever's better. It lets players roll lots of dice each level, and weights the results towards the average over the long run.

I like this idea -- with the addendum that, if you decide to keep you current HP, you gain your Con mod (minimum 1) in additional HP (maybe just half your Con mod, minimum 1).  So you will always gain at least 1 HP per level, and it makes your Con feel relevant without being overwhelming.  Maybe that would skew things a bit, but over time I think it would even out, as you said.

"I want 'punch magic in the face' to be a maneuver." -- wrecan

I don't see a problem with characters of the same level and class having approximately the same hit points.  Taking the average, 3/4 or max hp based on the DMs choice makes things more fair when generating PCs. I do a lot of online VTT gaming and there's no thrill in rerolling and to be honest, there is a suspicion factor if someone were to roll well.  Best to take chance out of a critical aspect of the D&D character.  I also like the point buy system for stats for the same reason.

But at the same time, this doesn't mean that both things can't exist.  Since the DM is the arbitrator, he decides how his players will be developed (as it has always been in D&D). Personally, I go with a more balanced way of character generation to avoid player conflict.  Keep the conflict on the battle field, not the players heads.
Rolling for HP is dumb unless you have a very mature set of players who can roll with the punches. that being said, no one wants to put a lot of care into a character only to have it end up dying because of poor rolls on HP. I'm a huge fan of the HP system of 4e. Yes most characters of the same class have HP within 10 of eachother but is ensures someone isn't going to have absolutely abysmal HP and die too quickly. Balance is a Biznatch!
Seems to me that if you just give people the option of rolling (with the Con mod as appropriate) or taking the average, you pretty well cover all the bases. Gamblers can get their kick, while the accountants stay safe.
Reroll after every Long Rest.
an idea:

you've got 10 slots;
each time you climb a level you roll 2 dice as appropriate for your class (i.e. wizard will roll 2d4)
each die will pertain to a slot (that is, at 1st level you roll hp for slot 1 and slot 2);
alternatively, you can add +1 to any slot instead of rolling die (so that if slot n = 8 and you roll for a wizard class level for 1d4 you can add +1 to reach 9) 

 
Seems to me that if you just give people the option of rolling (with the Con mod as appropriate) or taking the average, you pretty well cover all the bases. Gamblers can get their kick, while the accountants stay safe.


Yeah, I don't see why not.

And if you need to create a houserule in order to let players just take the average, then what's the big deal? I mean, it's not like someone is going to be able to look at your character sheets and cry foul... "You houseruled hit points!"
Leadership and class choice should have NOTHING to do with each other, EVER. Conflating the two is simply horrendous game design.
Since 1e, I've always allowed players to roll hp die 2x and pick the highest.  It still is exciting, but often yields better hit point increases.   "Snake-eyes" stinks, but part of the idea of keeping it random is so that players can roleplay flaws within their characters.  A bad roll presents the player with an interesting challenge.   


Other ideas:

No PC can receive less than Con modifier for hit point roll.

If a player rolls a "1"  when gaining hit points, he or she gains 2 luck points (which he or she can use anytime to make a re-roll or to force an opponent to re-roll).   If the player rolls only a "2" when gaining hitpoints, he or she gains 1 luck point.

 

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@Rhenny
I like the idea of keeping whatever you roll but giving bonuses in other way.  While not sure what you suggest is good enough at first level, I do think that if rolling ability scores was on the table that adding in an extra 'advantage' for a lower set of rolls.

 For hit points, here is my idea...

1.  You have the option to take half the die.  So a d10 would be 5.  This is slightly worse than average but very safe.

2.  You get 1 reroll per level.  You can make these rerolls any time you like.  So at first level you could roll your HD twice.  Once as your normal roll and once more because your at 1st level.   If you don't use your reroll at 1st level then you'd have 2 at 2nd level.  If you did use the reroll at 1st level then you'd only have 1 at 2nd level.  And so forth.   

Alternate Option:
You always roll to replace one hit die.   You keep track of your roll history.  You can always take #1.   So if you rolled a 1 at 3rd level.  You might choose to take the average at 4th level and then reroll your 3rd level roll.

 
I've always been perfectly fine with 4e-style fixed progression.  I often used fixed or near-fixed progression in my pre-4e games, and I always thought Iron Heroes was onto something with every class getting d4+X for Hit Dice, with X being typically 4, 6, or 8, depending on the class; so there's a roll involved, but ultimately the variance within a given class is going to be minimized compared to standard 3.x.

That said, for a roll-based mechanic, rolling twice and taking the better result seems like a good idea.  It's simple, and will skew things towards the average over time.

No PC can receive less than Con modifier for hit point roll. 

As others have pointed out, this is already an explicit part of the rules, as of the current playtest.

"I want 'punch magic in the face' to be a maneuver." -- wrecan

I'm not trying to be overly antagonistic, but can someone explain what exactly the appeal of randomized hit points is? Obviously its an easy enough thing to houserule, although the HD mechanic makes it annoyingly difficult (the average of a die isn't a whole number, so taking the average inevitably involves rounding, which is irritating to work around). Why is it a thing in the first place though? I guess I kind of understand that it keeps characters from being cookie-cutter, but honestly the fact that Joe and Bob have slightly different hp doesn't exactly scream diversity.

It also means that I as the DM need to watch over character creation a lot more. I'm not concerned about cheating, but I am concerned about mistakes. My players are pretty casual, and some of them if they build by hand will come out with mistakes. In 4e I send them to the character builder, in which it is impossible to make a mistake. Suppose that my player playing a fighter played a wizard last and thinks everyone rolls a d4 when they level up, so he does that, and I don't notice. He's going to end up with way fewer hp than he should, but I have no way of knowing he messed up, and instead think he just rolled poorly. With a fixed hp system, if I hear a number that's clearly off I can immediately just say, "hey, that's not right. Let me fix it."

What benefit does randomness bring to the table that isn't greatly outweighed by the benefits of simplicity and standardization?

 
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I have to side with you, Authw8. I only ever played with random HD rolls for one campaign, but it really sucked when the guy across the table rolled 1s two levels in a row, for his Ranger, and I'm pretty sure for fourth level, he rolled something like a 3. He didn't last much longer after that. That's when we started using set increases every level. Sure, no one got the big rolls, but no one felt cheated by the dice, either.

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