Fixing Exploitable Refocus and On Healing In General

Background
One of the most powerful tenets of D&D that I read in the first edition DM's guide was the explanation of Hit Points.  Hit Points are not so much a representation of the damage you can take (ie 40 hit points doesnt mean you can withstand 5 hits to the face with a battleaxe) but a representation of fatigue and experience too.  For example, if you have 40 hit points and take 20 hit points of damage, you may not exhibit any wounds at all or just minor stratches and bruises.

This was the beauty of some of the healing rules in 4e.  The thinking say behind "Inspiring Word" and healing surges is that you regain morale and rest and get a lot of hit points left because you are removing fatigue rather than fixing huge holes in your spleen and severed arms.  

Enter D&D Next and "Refocus".  Refocus is an Experimental Rule on page 19 of the "How to Play" guide and reads that you can make a DC 10 CON check to heal 1+ CON modifier in damage.

This ability has two problems as written.  First, it can be used infinitely and therefore after each fight, the party can be fully healed.  Which is broken.  Second, it only heals 1+ CON.  So you could be level 15 and have 100 hit points and heal 3.  Too weak.

Here is how I houseruled it, keeping in mind what I said in the first paragraph:
1.  It heals CON+Level.  At least this way, if you're level 15 with 100 hit points, you regain 17 hit points.
2.  It can only be used during "dangerous" combat.  Basically only in combat and you can't say "ok keep the Orc alive while we all Refocus to full!!!!"
3.  You can only use it while not bloodied.  This is key because you can't just "refocus" your large intestine back inside your stomach and your flesh repairs.  But you can "refocus" if you're a little tired or have a few bumps and bruises.       
First, it can be used infinitely and therefore after each fight, the party can be fully healed.  Which is broken.  


Explain why this is bad.
Seriously, though, you should check out the PbP Haven. You might also like Real Adventures, IF you're cool.
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If you're using HP as a measure of fatigue, which is the default assumption in 4E and the basis behind the re-focus action, then it makes perfect sense that you go back up to full when you can sit and catch your breath after the fight.  That part is working as intended, at least.

As for it being a waste of an action to heal between 1 and 6 HP when you have 100 or more HP total, I would suggest making it 1 per level, plus CON.

The metagame is not the game.

It's partly a measure of fatigue, not fully.  For example, let's say you have 40 hps.

40-30 might be fully fatigue.
30-20 might be you have a few minor cuts and bruises
20-10 might be you have some more serious wounds, such as a broken arm from a mace hit
10-0 might be critical wounds such as a slash that opens up your stomach

Refocusing yourself mentally may be fine from 20-40, but you can't mentally refocus a gaping slash to your stomach.

Why is healing to full bad after each fight?  This means a party never really needs to manage resources and the DM has a lot more work to do to ensure each fight is more dangerous.  It also makes healing potions and spells a lot less needed.         
Why is healing to full bad after each fight?  This means a party never really needs to manage resources and the DM has a lot more work to do to ensure each fight is more dangerous.  It also makes healing potions and spells a lot less needed.         


I fail to see why your first point is automatically a bad thing.
Your second point is incorrect.  If the party heals to full after each fight, the DM has a better idea of what to expect they'll be capable of.  This makes the DM's encounter planning easier, not harder.
I fail to see why your third point is automatically a bad thing.
Seriously, though, you should check out the PbP Haven. You might also like Real Adventures, IF you're cool.
Knights of W.T.F.- Silver Spur Winner
4enclave, a place where 4e fans can talk 4e in peace.
Healing after every fight basically makes HP an encounter based recourse. If the game is based on encounter based recources it might be fine,, but at the moment most finite recources tend to be daily so healing probably should follow suit. It's all about the theme of the game.
My two copper.
Healing after every fight basically makes HP an encounter based recourse. If the game is based on encounter based recources it might be fine,, but at the moment most finite recources tend to be daily so healing probably should follow suit. It's all about the theme of the game.



This is something I would like to see changed, whether in the base game, or via modular adaptation.  I would LOVE a purely encounter-based paradigm.
Another day, another three or four entries to my Ignore List.
I don't see what the problem is with being at full HP after a battle.  This should help alleviate part of the problem of the five minute work day, plus help the DM balance combats appropriately, as characters should be closer to full potential during the entirety of the adventure. 

It also helps me with that tick I get when I consistently fight monsters at full HP and nobody can explain to me why.
It's interesting and weird. I actually think it would be cooler if it were an action.There is lots of optional rules that allow  groups to heal up in between encounters. I'm doing the opposite in the next session and trying the one where you don't get any hit points after a rest, you just get all hit dice back. 

I have one player who is not happy about it, but it's just for playtest sake. I figured this might make the weaker monsters feel more intersting. Players are already not too afraid of encounters (weak monsters), I figured maybe they shouldn't be afraid of death, but just the fear that they will get hurt too much, and not be able to replenish in teh following day could make the encounters feel more serious. We'll see!

I liked when mearls in the google hangout video said that they might just do getting Half your HP after any short rest tho. It's easy. Not much work for it, and makes a lot of sense (IMO). With the huge benefit of herbalism, and clerics, and healing up over night it seems like a simpler mechanic then hit dice would be ok. 

I remeber the old days where I had guys in and knocked out for a week or so in some games (maybe that was 2nd, not sure), definately don't want that ever again. 

My mind is a deal-breaker.

I don't know why anyone would want to run a system of DnD where you heal after every encounter. This de-emphasizes the balance of other strategic resources and prioritzes holding onto to dailies for the Big Bad even more, as now if you get knocked about against a bunch of Goblins, who cares? As long as one guy stays standing, it's like it never happened! Any encounter that doesn't threaten to wipe the party is now strategically insignificant. If you're looking to fix the 5-minute workday, you're throwing the baby out with the bath water on this one.

It's not even something you need a module for. Or rather, allow me to write the extent of the module for DM's who couldn't figure this out themselves:

"If you don't like healing after each encounter, you can give your PCs full health after every encounter. You know, if you want."
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I don't know why anyone would want to run a system of DnD where you heal after every encounter. This de-emphasizes the balance of other strategic resources and prioritzes holding onto to dailies for the Big Bad even more, as now if you get knocked about against a bunch of Goblins, who cares?



People who support an encounter paradigm do not want dailies. That's kinda the whole idea, resources are on the encounter level and therefore all strategy is contained within an encounter. You don't "save up" for the big boss. Among many things this makes the job of the DM much easier since designing encounters does not involve calculating the potential results when the party has all daily resources available, some available and none available. 

Any encounter that doesn't threaten to wipe the party is now strategically insignificant.



Any encounter that doesn't threaten the party should not be an encounter. If the group finds a lone goblin in a cave I don't ask people to roll for initiative and play the scene out as if it were a combat.

Many experienced DMs would disagree with you. It's the nature of a more fluid and believable settings that adventurers invariably run into monsters both considerably more power and considerably weaker than them. Just because a group of PCs reached Level 10 doesn't mean the Goblins of the world are gone. More than just settings, squash encounters against formally difficult foes can give players a sense of perspective and accomplishment in their time invested in the game. "Remember those owlbears that nearly anihilated the group at level 12? We just wiped the floor of a group twice their size!"

Chris Perkins has written more than a few articles in the Dungeon Master Experience chronicling his success with this mechanic.


Anyways, as for the topic at hand, by eliminating the strategic value of HP you're honestly just dumbing down the experience and range of choices players have to make. DnD is all about making tough choices, it has been since it's inception (Probably even more so in the first couple editions, what with the common odds of death). To move away from mechanics like this, I would then submit, is to move away from the basis of DnD. The Dungeon Crawl is paced entirely by limited resources, and it's what rachets the tension the deeper you go into the heart of the lair. For people who decry 4e for "Mainstreaming" mechanics, I can't think of anything more "Casual" than automatically recovering health. Since it's inception in games like Halo 2, there are few things more prevalent in modern games than this, but while it adds accesibility it negates from the depth of choice and, thus, the ultimate role-playing experience.
http://i1003.photobucket.com/albums/af156/Tom_Shambles92/DrSeuss.jpg http://www.last.fm/user/Pogo92 Endorsed by the C.C.A.A. Booty Patrol. "If all the classes can compete on equal footing in a combat situation then it becomes less about "Which is the best" and more about "Which conveys the character I want to play"." - Areleth
Anyways, as for the topic at hand, by eliminating the strategic value of HP you're honestly just dumbing down the experience and range of choices players have to make. DnD is all about making tough choices, it has been since it's inception (Probably even more so in the first couple editions, what with the common odds of death). To move away from mechanics like this, I would then submit, is to move away from the basis of DnD. The Dungeon Crawl is paced entirely by limited resources, and it's what rachets the tension the deeper you go into the heart of the lair. For people who decry 4e for "Mainstreaming" mechanics, I can't think of anything more "Casual" than automatically recovering health. Since it's inception in games like Halo 2, there are few things more prevalent in modern games than this, but while it adds accesibility it negates from the depth of choice and, thus, the ultimate role-playing experience.




Two things.

1. An encounter paradigm skips the middle man of making the party plow through trash mobs so they can fight one real big boss encounter at the end, and instead gives strategic depth at the encounter level. Each decision made in an encounter has value because the outcome is determined by the sum of the values. In the daily paradigm you have some encounter become trivial because the party decides to throw around a few dailies. And if they do then a later encounter is more difficult. But this is all just a Rube Goldberg idea to produce the outcome of having an encounter where strategy determines the result. So why not just make combat a system without every member of the party having "I win" cards? Encounters should have intrinsic strategy.

2. There is something perverse in saying the ultimate role-playing experience is achieved through the mechanics of the system. You don't role-play numbers. Whether the numbers are based on the per encounter or per day cycle should not dictate your ability to role-play. It may influence you, but if you can't role-play because the algorithms are different, the problem is with you.
Many experienced DMs would disagree with you. It's the nature of a more fluid and believable settings that adventurers invariably run into monsters both considerably more power and considerably weaker than them. Just because a group of PCs reached Level 10 doesn't mean the Goblins of the world are gone. More than just settings, squash encounters against formally difficult foes can give players a sense of perspective and accomplishment in their time invested in the game. "Remember those owlbears that nearly anihilated the group at level 12? We just wiped the floor of a group twice their size!" Chris Perkins has written more than a few articles in the Dungeon Master Experience chronicling his success with this mechanic. Anyways, as for the topic at hand, by eliminating the strategic value of HP you're honestly just dumbing down the experience and range of choices players have to make. DnD is all about making tough choices, it has been since it's inception (Probably even more so in the first couple editions, what with the common odds of death). To move away from mechanics like this, I would then submit, is to move away from the basis of DnD. The Dungeon Crawl is paced entirely by limited resources, and it's what rachets the tension the deeper you go into the heart of the lair. For people who decry 4e for "Mainstreaming" mechanics, I can't think of anything more "Casual" than automatically recovering health. Since it's inception in games like Halo 2, there are few things more prevalent in modern games than this, but while it adds accesibility it negates from the depth of choice and, thus, the ultimate role-playing experience.



You do realize that there's nothing about having HP as an encounter resource that requires you to never fight monsters above or below your level?  Yes, an easy fight is trivial, but you can have a trivial fight once in a while, or you can just throw twice as many of them in and make it not trivial but still apparent that you've grown.  That right there wipes out half your argument.  The other half is wiped out by the fact that in many if not most games, HP were always an encounter resource because you bought a WCLW.  

But more generally, HP is a terrible, terrible choice or means for penalizing a party for having had tough fights earlier in the day.  It's horribly swingy, negatable by the spending of (not very much) gold (oh noes, I won't be able to buy that pointless fortress for a whole nother like hour of game time because of that extra WCLW I bought...), and it actively DESTROYS depth of choice and the ultimate roleplaying experience.

Suppose the princess has been kidnapped by the evil cultists and is about to be sacrificed to their dark god.  You've fought your way into their dungeon and stand at the front door to the sacrificial altar chamber, but are out of healing spells and HD and have only half your full HP. If you have a WCLW, you heal up to full, no problem you use it and you bust down the door, who cares that HP are a daily resource.  If you do not, you get this great roleplaying choice: break in the door at half HP and get totally slaughtered because there's no way a party at half strength can take on any legit BBEG, or go home and let the princess die.  Except she's going to be dead anyway, and if you're dead, you won't be around to defend the village from the BBEG next week.  So not really a roleplaying choice at all, but a "do I want to commit suicide today for no purpose whatsoever?" choice.  

Now suppose, instead, a system where their HP went to full but some other penalty was applied.  My personal favorite is where no mechanical penalty is applied per se, so that the level of encounter difficulty that the PCs can overcome remains unchanged. However, the risk of their actually dying goes up, say because once they've been knocked down to 0/taken crits enough times, they'll just die instead of taking a nap.  Now the decision is a truly rich RP decision: there's a pretty good chance we can save the princess, but there's also a pretty good chance one of us will die in the attempt.  That is the ultimate hero's choice, the ultimate roleplaying experience.  And it is only attainable when the penalty for having taken too much damage today doesn't make it statistically impossible to push on successfully.  

So no, HP as an encounter resource does not destroy depth of choice.  HP as a dailiy resource does, and having absolutely no cost to previous encounters does.  Which, btw, is why the whole "just ignore it and heal up to full every rest" doesn't cut it.  So before you knock other people's positions, try understanding them.
Okay guys there's no reason to have this argument.   Yes, I get that some people strongly believe that hp only represent wounds and so they want a wound system.   And they deserve that system!   And some people see the value in having full hp at the end of each rest.   And they deserve that too.   So, the real question isn't "how can we optimize every rule for me", it's how can we optimize rules for the people they're designed for.    So, for those who believe that hp are wounds then only magic can fully heal, with time allowing  some healing and out of battle allowing only small healing.  For them, healing 1 hp/day or 1 hd/day if under surgeons care might be perfect.    for people who like healing fully, the rule is easy: if you rest 100 minutes, you regain all hp


Both of those groups already have a rule they love.   it just crass to argue that a rule designed for someone else isn't close enough to your ideal.   So, who should we be designing a limited recovery scenario for?  When does a limited healing scenario work best?    Well for people wholike makingdistinctions between wounds/hp, a system of wounds based on bloodied and hp recovery based on bloodied makes sense.   And that seems to be what the op wants.   Since hp scale based on level, a 1 hp per level just punishes the fighter.    Better might be 1/2 of your hd, or something else that scales with hp.   Otherwise, monsters do more damage, But hp recovery lags behind.    

 
I'd rather see flexible time.

You get to spend hit diceis and recharge a few powers durring a short rest. And you get a full recharge durring a long rest. (I also kinda want to see a medium rest).

Short can be 1 round, 30 seconds, 5 minutes, an hour, or a day.
Long can be 5 minutes, 1 hour, a day, or a week.
And you simply pick the one that fits the pace of your campaign.

A slow paced campaign of murder mystery, polotics and very little combat has a short rest be a day, and long rest be a week. (Also works for gritty).

Your default campaign has 5 minute short rests and 1 day long rests.

And a hack and slash combat focused game has 30 second short (possibly doable in combat) rests and 10 minute long rests.

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Mr. Cellophane: How to be unnoticed
Way's to fire around corners
Crits: what their really worth
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my builds
F-111 Interdictor Long (200+ squares) distance ally teleporter. With some warlord stuff. Broken in a plot way, not a power way.

Thought Switch Higher level build that grants upto 14 attacks on turn 1. If your allies play along, it's broken.

Elven Critters Crit op with crit generation. 5 of these will end anything. Broken.

King Fisher Optimized net user.  Moderate.

Boominator Fun catch-22 booming blade build with either strong or completely broken damage depending on your reading.

Very Distracting Warlock Lot's of dazing and major penalties to hit. Overpowered.

Pocket Protector Pixie Stealth Knight. Maximizing the defender's aura by being in an ally's/enemy's square.

Yakuza NinjIntimiAdin: Perma-stealth Striker that offers a little protection for ally's, and can intimidate bloodied enemies. Very Strong.

Chargeburgler with cheese Ranged attacks at the end of a charge along with perma-stealth. Solid, could be overpowered if tweaked.

Void Defender Defends giving a penalty to hit anyone but him, then removing himself from play. Can get somewhat broken in epic.

Scry and Die Attacking from around corners, while staying hidden. Moderate to broken, depending on the situation.

Skimisher Fly in, attack, and fly away. Also prevents enemies from coming close. Moderate to Broken depending on the enemy, but shouldn't make the game un-fun, as the rest of your team is at risk, and you have enough weaknesses.

Indestructible Simply won't die, even if you sleep though combat.  One of THE most abusive character in 4e.

Sir Robin (Bravely Charge Away) He automatically slows and pushes an enemy (5 squares), while charging away. Hard to rate it's power level, since it's terrain dependent.

Death's Gatekeeper A fun twist on a healic, making your party "unkillable". Overpowered to Broken, but shouldn't actually make the game un-fun, just TPK proof.

Death's Gatekeeper mk2, (Stealth Edition) Make your party "unkillable", and you hidden, while doing solid damage. Stronger then the above, but also easier for a DM to shut down. Broken, until your DM get's enough of it.

Domination and Death Dominate everything then kill them quickly. Only works @ 30, but is broken multiple ways.

Battlemind Mc Prone-Daze Protecting your allies by keeping enemies away. Quite powerful.

The Retaliator Getting hit deals more damage to the enemy then you receive yourself, and you can take plenty of hits. Heavy item dependency, Broken.

Dead Kobold Transit Teleports 98 squares a turn, and can bring someone along for the ride. Not fully built, so i can't judge the power.

Psilent Guardian Protect your allies, while being invisible. Overpowered, possibly broken.

Rune of Vengance Do lot's of damage while boosting your teams. Strong to slightly overpowered.

Charedent BarrageA charging ardent. Fine in a normal team, overpowered if there are 2 together, and easily broken in teams of 5.

Super Knight A tough, sticky, high damage knight. Strong.

Super Duper Knight Basically the same as super knight with items, making it far more broken.

Mora, the unkillable avenger Solid damage, while being neigh indestuctable. Overpowered, but not broken.

Swordburst Maximus At-Will Close Burst 3 that slide and prones. Protects allies with off actions. Strong, possibly over powered with the right party.

Okay guys there's no reason to have this argument.   Yes, I get that some people strongly believe that hp only represent wounds and so they want a wound system.   And they deserve that system!   And some people see the value in having full hp at the end of each rest.   And they deserve that too.   So, the real question isn't "how can we optimize every rule for me", it's how can we optimize rules for the people they're designed for.    So, for those who believe that hp are wounds then only magic can fully heal, with time allowing  some healing and out of battle allowing only small healing.  For them, healing 1 hp/day or 1 hd/day if under surgeons care might be perfect.    for people who like healing fully, the rule is easy: if you rest 100 minutes, you regain all hp


Both of those groups already have a rule they love.   it just crass to argue that a rule designed for someone else isn't close enough to your ideal.   So, who should we be designing a limited recovery scenario for?  When does a limited healing scenario work best?    Well for people wholike makingdistinctions between wounds/hp, a system of wounds based on bloodied and hp recovery based on bloodied makes sense.   And that seems to be what the op wants.   Since hp scale based on level, a 1 hp per level just punishes the fighter.    Better might be 1/2 of your hd, or something else that scales with hp.   Otherwise, monsters do more damage, But hp recovery lags behind.    

 


The problem is that boh versions don't fit well on the same core skeleton. Changing how HP works changes the dynamic of the whole game. Change HP to encounter in the current playtest and many things no longer fit and aren't balanced.


...whatever
Also, none of those options are rules that I love or even like.  I'm pretty sure refocus wasn't meant to do what it says it does, because if it were then the whole first two paragraphs are a waste of space, and if you put a "bloodied" caveat into refocus to harmonize it with the rest of the system it no longer does anything like what I want it to.  But more than that, as utterly wrong as TomShambles was about everything else he said, he was right that completely eliminating any penalty of having taken damage is a mistake (if for different reasons than the ones he thinks are the problem).  Currently, we don't have that "annoying but not debilitating non-HP penalty" that I want.  Now I'm capable of houseruling it in myself, but it would be nice if something like it made it into the rules (of course as one option among many) in a way that was supported by the system.  Like by not having energy drain either directly invalidate it or force me to houserule that too into something completely different yet somehow both balanced and interesting, which is next to impossible because the current energy drain applies almost the entirety of its penalties to future encounters so I can't up the pain now without releveling the monster but if I don't reduce the pain later then I've violated my own design principles so where do I stick enough pain to make the mechanic meaningful?  Answer: by rewriting the monster.  And frankly once I'm rewriting the game and houseruling the crap out of everything to make it support my playstyle, I'd rather start with some other foundation that isn't riddled with crappy math, boring non-options, classes specifically designed to upstage each other rather than collaborate, and sundry other 40 year old sacred cows. 
Also, none of those options are rules that I love or even like.  


Yeah. I'm finding their solutions to add encounter based HP to be inferior to wands of Cure Light Wounds or infinite healing potions(how we played 2E), both of which were lame solutions to begin with.
...whatever
Healing after every fight basically makes HP an encounter based recourse. If the game is based on encounter based recources it might be fine,, but at the moment most finite recources tend to be daily so healing probably should follow suit. It's all about the theme of the game.



This is something I would like to see changed, whether in the base game, or via modular adaptation.  I would LOVE a purely encounter-based paradigm.

I'm with you on this one. +1

Healing after every fight basically makes HP an encounter based recourse. If the game is based on encounter based recources it might be fine,, but at the moment most finite recources tend to be daily so healing probably should follow suit. It's all about the theme of the game.

This is something I would like to see changed, whether in the base game, or via modular adaptation.  I would LOVE a purely encounter-based paradigm.

It would address some of the more intractible issues among the various factions if 5e were to take an adjustable aproach to resource recovery.  HD, spells, and so forth could be 'set' by the DM to recover between encounters or after a day's rest or at some other milestone, fitting the system to the pacing and theme of his campaign.  What little "balance" 5e aspires to would still require tailoring challenges between such milestones to the balance-point between classes with different proportions of limited-user resources, but at least the DM would have some flexibility.

If the game has "daily" (re-charging) healing resources, then an umlimited at-will healing resource would potentially be 'broken.'  "Refocus" could be aligned with spells and HD, simply be tapping HD, for instance.  

 

 

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The more I think about, the more I wish the game would go away from the whole HP are a daily resource. It causes so much conflict, and honestly, it's a terrible way to model real wounds. Soldiers don't go through the day getting gradually beat down and banged up, they win the fight relatively unscathed or they are hurt/dead. HP as a daily resource also creates imbalance when you have parties that typically have one fight a day and parties that want to have 7 or 8. Daily resources aren't a bad idea, but the game should have both encounter and daily resource mechanics, that way individual groups can utilize either one to manage player attrition.


It would be so nice to see them say, HP are not injuries at all, and are an encounter resource that measures how close you are to losing or being hurt. It makes it easy to balance encounters, and you can then have a different dials to set how deadly the game is by determining what happens at 0 hp or below; knocked out with few permanent consequences, injuries that take a long time to heal (including a potential reduction in max hp), you begin to die unless you recieve prompt medical attention, if you go far enough negative, you're dead....


HP work great as a tracker to measure how close you are to defeat, but they do a terrible job of modeling injuries. As far as sacred cows go, the old way of doing HP is the first one I'd send to the chopping block. Then you can use HP where they work well (a simple way to model how close a PC is to being out of the fight), and design other mechanics to cover the stuff HP don't do a good job of (actual injuries or wounds).

It would be so nice to see them say, HP are not injuries at all, and are an encounter resource that measures how close you are to losing or being hurt.

And of course, there's the other camp which believes that HP have always done an adequate job of modeling injury, once you adjust your expectations around making the game actually playable.  For that crowd, it would go a long way if they actually admit in the books that HP are just injuries after all.

Of course, even if they stated flat out that HP are never injuries, then that would still be better than the waffling they've been doing so far.  If the game isn't for me, then I can deal with that and move on (and pick a new game), but if they pretend that they're making a game for me, then I really want to give them the benefit of the doubt on the matter, and guide them toward creating (what I view as) a better product.

The metagame is not the game.

Healing after every fight basically makes HP an encounter based recourse. If the game is based on encounter based recources it might be fine,, but at the moment most finite recources tend to be daily so healing probably should follow suit. It's all about the theme of the game.



This is something I would like to see changed, whether in the base game, or via modular adaptation.  I would LOVE a purely encounter-based paradigm.


New players expect this. I think it comes from the way modern videogames have evolved to have these sort of regenerating health bars. Once I sort of talk it through with people, they eventually seem to come around to understanding that the dungeon itself is a slow grind on the parties resources. From adesign standpoint, combats can be way more interesting and dynamic when the risk vs reward is more meaningful.
A few guidelines for using the internet: 1. Mentally add "In my opinion" to the end of basically anything someone else says. Of course it's their opinion, they don't need to let you know. You're pretty smart. 2. Assume everyone means everything in the best manner they could mean it. Save yourself some stress and give people the benefit of the doubt. We'll all be happier if we type less emoticons. 3. Don't try to read people's minds. Sometimes people mean exactly what they say. You probably don't know them any better than they know themselves. 4. Let grammar slide. If you understood what they meant, you're good. It's better for your health. 5. Breath. It's just a dumb game.
I'm all for meaningful risk and reward, but I happen to think HP drain is a terrible way of accomplishing it.  The funny thing is, I get the impression that, in their heart of hearts, most people don't actually disagree with me.  I mean, why else would the wand of cure light wounds be standard adventuring equipment instead of banned from the table?  Heck, why is the cleric considered an essential part of any team, if not to obfiscate the problem of HP as a daily resource (it's still a daily resource, since cleric spells are daily, but at least it's a bigger daily resource, and the cleric gets to lose all his toys, oh wait...).

As written I wouldn't want to use refocus, but if you changed to "spend a number of hit dice equal to your con mod", or just "spend a hit die" to heal yourself, then I think it would be balanced and useful. Basically a second wind type of thing.



If you want players to remain decently healed after every battle, you can do something like you regain some hit dice if you take a rest after a battle.

I mean, why else would the wand of cure light wounds be standard adventuring equipment instead of banned from the table?

I'm sure that varies from table to table, because I played 3.x for 10 years and the only wand of CLW that showed up was one from a pre-set adventure path, with single-digit charges remaining.

Even after we all realized how "cheap" such an item would be to craft, we pretty much agreed that it would ruin the feel of the game by removing any sense of danger, so we just soft-banned crafting them (and they never showed up for sale).

The metagame is not the game.

I mean, why else would the wand of cure light wounds be standard adventuring equipment instead of banned from the table?

I'm sure that varies from table to table, because I played 3.x for 10 years and the only wand of CLW that showed up was one from a pre-set adventure path, with single-digit charges remaining.

Even after we all realized how "cheap" such an item would be to craft, we pretty much agreed that it would ruin the feel of the game by removing any sense of danger, so we just soft-banned crafting them (and they never showed up for sale).

Soft-ban is still a ban.

Just because you (wisely) chose not to abuse it doesn't mean it should still be in the game that way.

guides
List of no-action attacks.
Dynamic vs Static Bonuses
Phalanx tactics and builds
Crivens! A Pictsies Guide Good
Power
s to intentionally miss with
Mr. Cellophane: How to be unnoticed
Way's to fire around corners
Crits: what their really worth
Retroactive bonus vs Static bonus.
Runepriest handbook & discussion thread
Holy Symbols to hang around your neck
Ways to Gain or Downgrade Actions
List of bonuses to saving throws
The Ghost with the Most (revenant handbook)
my builds
F-111 Interdictor Long (200+ squares) distance ally teleporter. With some warlord stuff. Broken in a plot way, not a power way.

Thought Switch Higher level build that grants upto 14 attacks on turn 1. If your allies play along, it's broken.

Elven Critters Crit op with crit generation. 5 of these will end anything. Broken.

King Fisher Optimized net user.  Moderate.

Boominator Fun catch-22 booming blade build with either strong or completely broken damage depending on your reading.

Very Distracting Warlock Lot's of dazing and major penalties to hit. Overpowered.

Pocket Protector Pixie Stealth Knight. Maximizing the defender's aura by being in an ally's/enemy's square.

Yakuza NinjIntimiAdin: Perma-stealth Striker that offers a little protection for ally's, and can intimidate bloodied enemies. Very Strong.

Chargeburgler with cheese Ranged attacks at the end of a charge along with perma-stealth. Solid, could be overpowered if tweaked.

Void Defender Defends giving a penalty to hit anyone but him, then removing himself from play. Can get somewhat broken in epic.

Scry and Die Attacking from around corners, while staying hidden. Moderate to broken, depending on the situation.

Skimisher Fly in, attack, and fly away. Also prevents enemies from coming close. Moderate to Broken depending on the enemy, but shouldn't make the game un-fun, as the rest of your team is at risk, and you have enough weaknesses.

Indestructible Simply won't die, even if you sleep though combat.  One of THE most abusive character in 4e.

Sir Robin (Bravely Charge Away) He automatically slows and pushes an enemy (5 squares), while charging away. Hard to rate it's power level, since it's terrain dependent.

Death's Gatekeeper A fun twist on a healic, making your party "unkillable". Overpowered to Broken, but shouldn't actually make the game un-fun, just TPK proof.

Death's Gatekeeper mk2, (Stealth Edition) Make your party "unkillable", and you hidden, while doing solid damage. Stronger then the above, but also easier for a DM to shut down. Broken, until your DM get's enough of it.

Domination and Death Dominate everything then kill them quickly. Only works @ 30, but is broken multiple ways.

Battlemind Mc Prone-Daze Protecting your allies by keeping enemies away. Quite powerful.

The Retaliator Getting hit deals more damage to the enemy then you receive yourself, and you can take plenty of hits. Heavy item dependency, Broken.

Dead Kobold Transit Teleports 98 squares a turn, and can bring someone along for the ride. Not fully built, so i can't judge the power.

Psilent Guardian Protect your allies, while being invisible. Overpowered, possibly broken.

Rune of Vengance Do lot's of damage while boosting your teams. Strong to slightly overpowered.

Charedent BarrageA charging ardent. Fine in a normal team, overpowered if there are 2 together, and easily broken in teams of 5.

Super Knight A tough, sticky, high damage knight. Strong.

Super Duper Knight Basically the same as super knight with items, making it far more broken.

Mora, the unkillable avenger Solid damage, while being neigh indestuctable. Overpowered, but not broken.

Swordburst Maximus At-Will Close Burst 3 that slide and prones. Protects allies with off actions. Strong, possibly over powered with the right party.

I figured it would.  Personally I just very rarely had more than one fight in a day anyway so it never came up (I don't think I ever ran a dungeon with more than two rooms in 3.5, I'm just not a fan of dungeon crawling).  Which is why I absolutely believe there should be an option for both playstyles.  But at the same time, I can't help thinking WCLW tables were more common than people clamoring for encounter HP, especially if you throw in the types who complain about "not that kind of cleric," but maybe it's just one of those things where the meme has outgrown the origin.  Like I said, just an impression, and not even an impression people want encounter HPs.
Soft-ban is still a ban.

Just because you (wisely) chose not to abuse it doesn't mean it should still be in the game that way.

Agreed.  Just because we can house-rule the game to make it more playable, that's no excuse for the game to be broken in the first place.

If they could determined that people liked the wands because it let them get to every encounter with full HP, and if DMs enjoyed that because it let them plan encounters more accurately, then that is still useful information to guide future editions.  I don't know if they have that information, though.

Personally, as a DM and player, I really like the attrition style of gameplay.  As a DM, I hate tailoring every encounter to be exactly hard enough to almost kill the party in order for the players to even care about it (where daily resources make the players think before casting spells or risking injury).  As a player, I like the idea that my actions have consequences, which means conserving spells until they're absolutely needed and avoiding injury whenever possible.

The metagame is not the game.

As written I wouldn't want to use refocus, but if you changed to "spend a number of hit dice equal to your con mod", or just "spend a hit die" to heal yourself, then I think it would be balanced and useful. Basically a second wind type of thing.

Still runs into the same problem of not being useful at higher levels.  At low level, spending a HD can heal you prettymuch back up with a good roll, at high level, a single HD is a drop in the bucket.  It'd have to be linked to level, somehow.  

If it were simply "Roll your HD" it'd be too much, obviusly, as well as essentially being 1/day and precluding healing after the combat.  


The longer we have to think about it, the less HD look like a "good enough" substitute for surges...





 

 

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And of course, there's the other camp which believes that HP have always done an adequate job of modeling injury, once you adjust your expectations around making the game actually playable.  For that crowd, it would go a long way if they actually admit in the books that HP are just injuries after all.



I know there are a large number of people who has always found them adequate, and indeed in the early ages of RP gaming, they were a nice and innovative development. I just think that in this day and age, they could find something a little better to model injuries. Numerous games today have them. I just wonder if the people who think they are adequate, might also be pleased if they used something other than HP to model actual damage. We haven't seen an attempt to do so in the playtests, so we can't know.


HP work great at low levels, because It's easy to imagine them as actual damage. And they are a superb game mechanic because they are so simple. But as you get to higher levels, the game requires more mental gymnastics to make HP be actual damage.


I'm not an individual who is particularly attached to any one particular definition of HP, but I do agree with you, that the game would be much better served if they hammered down the definition a little more. Either decide they are all damage, and make rules that reinforce that like difficult non-magic healing, very little HP bloat, penalties when you are down hp... Or make them a fatigue tracker that measures how close you are to losing or being hurt. I'd be willing to go with either, and early in this playtest would be a great way to present those ideas to the fans. Maybe they can find a solution that uses HP, and is so elegant that we look back on the old days of HP the way most of us look back on THAC0.


I will say this regarding the thread, the more they balance the game around the turn, then the encounter, and then the day as far as resources go, the better it is. When you move the game towards encounter and turn balance, it makes it easy to make single combat adventures, or multiple combat adventures. There's a lot more design space as far as adventure balance goes. The more you try to balance the game around  a "day's" worth of adventure, the more you run into problems with the 5 min adventuring day and disparities in what kind of campaign people want to run. Ultimately, that's why I lean more towards HP as an encounter resource without actual damage, because I do think it creates more leeway in campaign and adventure design.


Using HP to track how close the party is to losing plays to their strengths, using them to model injuries, healing, as a daily resource, and as a way to scale power with level starts to overburden them a bit. They are a huge part of tradition, and I definitely don't want to see them go away. But this is 2012, and I would like to see a slightly more elegant take on them than we have seen in the past.


*Edited for spelling*

First, it can be used infinitely and therefore after each fight, the party can be fully healed.  Which is broken.  


Explain why this is bad.



Yeah honestly, given the fighter's advantage is supposed to be "he can keep swinging his sword all day long", it'd be nice if he could actually do that.

The fact that a fighter has daily resources for HP, but only at-wills to attack seems to make the class impossible to balance without making it suck.

Having HP regenerate outside of combat seems okay to me mostly, or possibly a compromise like, once your bloodied, you can only recover to your bloodied value.

I do feel like there should definitely be some drawback for being knocked unconscious though. I'm fine with having arbitrary injuries that happen in a combat, until a character is actually knocked out from wounds. At that point, you should definitely have some lasting trauma. That was the one aspect of 4E that did bother me, where a character was hurt so badly he lost consciousness and then 5 minutes later, he's back to full strength.
I know there are a large number of people who has always found them adequate, and indeed in the early ages of RP gaming, they were a nice and innovative development. I just think that in this day and age, they could find something a little better to model injuries. Numerous games today have them. I just wonder if the people who think they are adequate, might also be pleased if they used something other than HP to model actual damage. We haven't seen an attempt to do so in the playtests, so we can't know.

Relatively few games use anything quite as abstract as D&D hps.  In the name of realism, games often have a fairly short wound-track, with penalties for being wounded, which results in a 'death spiral,' in which a foe, once wounded, is particularly vulnerable and that much easier to wound, again, or kill.  When PCs fall to the death spiral, that's not so much fun.  In spite of any realism or verisimilitude arguments, I have to say that I find even simplistic hps the better option.  Other games use separate pools of points.  Vitality and Wounds, Stun and Body, etc.  One represents fast-recovered hps, the other fatal/slow-recovery ones.  If you can bypass the former, doing so is well worth it... especially if you can invoke some for-the-sake-of-realism death spiral.

No, I think hps are one of the things D&D has had 'right' for a long time.  They work well for the game, as a game.  

It's imagining what they mean "in the fiction" that ties people in knots.  If only "just don't worry about it" were an adequate solution.  ;)

Having HP regenerate outside of combat seems okay to me mostly, or possibly a compromise like, once your bloodied, you can only recover to your bloodied value.

That'd be pretty awful.  Say you 35 hps, bloodied at 17.   You get knocked down to 18, no problem, you heal up 17.  You get knocked down to 16, ooops, now you can only heal 1!

Along those lines, though, if you healed (exactly) your bloodied value between encounters, you'd always heal up to full if you weren't bloodied, but would not reach full hps if you were bloodied... thus a crude model of "real damage."  One downside I see to that is it makes 'focus fire' even nastier vs PCs, and focus fire is already a little too good/too obvious a tactic.

I do feel like there should definitely be some drawback for being knocked unconscious though. I'm fine with having arbitrary injuries that happen in a combat, until a character is actually knocked out from wounds. At that point, you should definitely have some lasting trauma.

Well, there's being helpless and unable to act.  ;)  But, yes, some sort of wound-tracking over and above hps, like a condition (Wounded: You are slowed.  If you are wounded again, you are also weakene.), or a wound track something like a disease, mechanically (making endurance checks each day to see if you get better or worse).

That was the one aspect of 4E that did bother me, where a character was hurt so badly he lost consciousness and then 5 minutes later, he's back to full strength.

There was something like that in 1e: if you were reduced below zero you took a full week of bedrest to recover.  I can't recall anything along those lines in 2e (but I know it had a number of optional rules), and I'm sure 3e didn't have anything like that - get 1hp away from actual death, and enough charges of CLW will still you back to full in minutes (at 6 seconds per charge, 5 minutes would be a /lot/ of healing).



 

 

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Soft-ban is still a ban.

Just because you (wisely) chose not to abuse it doesn't mean it should still be in the game that way.

Agreed.  Just because we can house-rule the game to make it more playable, that's no excuse for the game to be broken in the first place.

If they could determined that people liked the wands because it let them get to every encounter with full HP, and if DMs enjoyed that because it let them plan encounters more accurately, then that is still useful information to guide future editions.  I don't know if they have that information, though.  



The people arguing for encounter based game design seem to be operating under those assumptions... 
  Creative Character Build Collection and The Magic of King's and Heros  also Can Martial Characters Fly? 

Improvisation in 4e: Fave 4E Improvisations - also Wrecans Guides to improvisation beyond page 42
The Non-combatant Adventurer (aka Princess build Warlord or LazyLord)
Reality is unrealistic - and even monkeys protest unfairness
Reflavoring the Fighter : The Wizard : The Swordmage - Creative Character Collection: Bloodwright (Darksun Character) 

At full hit points and still wounded to incapacitation? you are playing 1e.
By virtue of being a player your characters are the protagonists in a heroic fantasy game even at level one
"Wizards and Warriors need abilities with explicit effects for opposite reasons. With the wizard its because you need to create artificial limits on them, they have no natural ones and for the Warrior you need to grant permission to do awesome."

 

 There was something like that in 1e: if you were reduced below zero you took a full week of bedrest to recover. 



A cleric in every party make it all better... (I cant remember if I seen that bed-rest happen) I.. think kiss it with magic and that was ignored.
  Creative Character Build Collection and The Magic of King's and Heros  also Can Martial Characters Fly? 

Improvisation in 4e: Fave 4E Improvisations - also Wrecans Guides to improvisation beyond page 42
The Non-combatant Adventurer (aka Princess build Warlord or LazyLord)
Reality is unrealistic - and even monkeys protest unfairness
Reflavoring the Fighter : The Wizard : The Swordmage - Creative Character Collection: Bloodwright (Darksun Character) 

At full hit points and still wounded to incapacitation? you are playing 1e.
By virtue of being a player your characters are the protagonists in a heroic fantasy game even at level one
"Wizards and Warriors need abilities with explicit effects for opposite reasons. With the wizard its because you need to create artificial limits on them, they have no natural ones and for the Warrior you need to grant permission to do awesome."

 

If you can fully recover from the hp... I am also inclined to allow spells to be recovered by spending time... ie true vancian rememorizing.

 
  Creative Character Build Collection and The Magic of King's and Heros  also Can Martial Characters Fly? 

Improvisation in 4e: Fave 4E Improvisations - also Wrecans Guides to improvisation beyond page 42
The Non-combatant Adventurer (aka Princess build Warlord or LazyLord)
Reality is unrealistic - and even monkeys protest unfairness
Reflavoring the Fighter : The Wizard : The Swordmage - Creative Character Collection: Bloodwright (Darksun Character) 

At full hit points and still wounded to incapacitation? you are playing 1e.
By virtue of being a player your characters are the protagonists in a heroic fantasy game even at level one
"Wizards and Warriors need abilities with explicit effects for opposite reasons. With the wizard its because you need to create artificial limits on them, they have no natural ones and for the Warrior you need to grant permission to do awesome."