## Monsters' Hit Points

The bestiary doesn't read like it's intended for the uninitiated.  And i certainly don't feel initiated (though I've only been playing for 4 or 5 weeks).

The hit points of the monsters in the bestiary feels like an equation that must be solved. Taking the first monster, Ankheg, as an example; it's hit points read thus, 39 (6d10 + 6).

But I can't find where it says how you're supposed to mean that.  I can only assume.

Is it algebra?  Do you work out what's in the brackets and then multiply it by 39?  Doubtful.  That would mean my monster's hit points are anything between 234 and 2574

The most logical answer that I can think of is like this; it has 39HP or 6d10+6, at the DM's discretion.  (Some DMs might decide that any roll under 39 HP is invalid, so 39 basically becomes the minimum score.  Personally I'd allow some scores that below 39...  To a point; anything lower than about 20 (or there about), for a monster such as the Ankheg, might be too low).

At least that's what feel's the most logical; sadly what we consider 'most logical' generally what we determine to be so via occum's razor, but that doesn't seem to be helping.  What 'seems' most logical to me is quite literally feels right, and logic isn't about what you feel, right?
YouKnowTheOneGuy
Joined Feb 2012
951 Posts
Yeah, I think you got it. There's an averageish HP value you can grab quickly or you can roll up the values. I don't remember which packet(s?) covered it, though.
"What's stupid is when people decide that X is true - even when it is demonstrable untrue or 100% against what we've said - and run around complaining about that. That's just a breakdown of basic human reasoning." -Mike Mearls
Pelinor
Joined Oct 2010
223 Posts
The way I've been reading these entries is as follows.

39 is the average hit points generated by the 6d10 + 6.  The average roll of a d10 = 5.5 so 6*5.5 = 33 and adding 6 = 39.  From the Hit Point equation can quickly determine teh Hit Point range of monsters.  So, the Ankheg would have a range of 12 to 66.

So, a DM can roll the hit points individually or simply use the average amount listed first.  Or, assign a value anywhere in the range as he/she sees fit.

Hope that helps.
MardukBathory
Joined Mar 2013
53 Posts
TThe average roll of a d10 = 5.5 so 6*5.5 = 33 and adding 6 = 39.  From the Hit Point equation can quickly determine teh Hit Point range of monsters.

Is that an estimation or are you taking into account all the combinations for every number you roll to determine the average?  (Obviously I'm not expecting you to work out the latter if you haven't already :P )

I mean, (assuming you read a d10 as 0=10) there's only 1 combination of 6d10 that will give you 6 but there are 6 combinations that'll give you 7, 36 combinations of 8 and differing possible combinations for every number that I can't be bothered to work out (although I know that there should only be 1 combination that adds to 60, 6 combinations of 59 and 36 combinations of 58).

If the average you're looking for is the mode (of 6d10) then you'd need to add the sum of every possible dice roll and divide it by the number of possible combinations.

(It feels like there should be some fairly easy way to calculate the total combinations for each dice roll but it's nearly 5am and I'm procrastinating from finishing an adventure I'm DMing in 12 hours).

So, a DM can roll the hit points individually or simply use the average amount listed first.  Or, assign a value anywhere in the range as he/she sees fit.

Hope that helps.

I guess it does.  But I don't think I really care if it's the average or not (sorry if that sounds tactless, i couldn't think of a nicer phrasing but I promise I meant to be nothing other than nice), just whether I should be reading it as either/or.  And both you YouKnowTheOneGuy seem to be saying this is (more or less) the case
Pelinor
Joined Oct 2010
223 Posts
If you roll a d10 a significant number of times and take the average of all the rolls, the average will be 5.5.

The range I was speaking of is the absolute range of Hit Points as generated by 6d10+6.   Granted, randomly rolling and getting a result of 12 or 66 would be highly unlikely.  The most likely result (still not overly likely on a random roll) would be 39.

If you happen to like random hit points of your monsters (I personally don't as I find a single HP value for multiple monsters to be easier for me to write down and track), you could use 39 as an average base and roll 1d10 and either add or subtract the result to easily generate a random value that would be near 39.
MardukBathory
Joined Mar 2013
53 Posts
If you roll a d10 a significant number of times and take the average of all the rolls, the average will be 5.5.

The range I was speaking of is the absolute range of Hit Points as generated by 6d10+6.   Granted, randomly rolling and getting a result of 12 or 66 would be highly unlikely.  The most likely result (still not overly likely on a random roll) would be 39.

If you happen to like random hit points of your monsters (I personally don't as I find a single HP value for multiple monsters to be easier for me to write down and track), you could use 39 as an average base and roll 1d10 and either add or subtract the result to easily generate a random value that would be near 39.

I think if you're rolling the hit points for a monster there's no reason you can't repeat the numbers you've rolled.  If you have a group of them you might prefer to pick the 'average' but I think, in my case, I'd roll a number of sets of hit points and assign them to monsters as you go along.
Dragonette
Joined Jul 2011
1080 Posts
Hey there,

This is more of a Playtest Packet Discussion so I'll be moving it along down there.

Thanks!

Monica

Wizards of the Coast Online Community Coordinator

Getting to Know Your Magic Online Client

Basic Dungeons & Dragons FREE

MardukBathory
Joined Mar 2013
53 Posts
Hey there,

This is more of a Playtest Packet Discussion so I'll be moving it along down there.

Thanks!

Monica

Thanks (Sorry for the mistake)