A clever way of assigning hit points for your character

An interesting way of assigning hit points for your character may derive from the system found in “Thieves’guild” 2nd edition (1984)  by Game Lords.

I read it today for the first time, and I was very pleased and surprised to see that it somewhat resembles the method used by Powers & Perils system, albeit the latter is even more logical, in my opinion (but more on this, later).

Instead of assigning hit points based on which character class you belong to (as is used in AD&D where a fighter gets a 1d10 or 1d8 if I recall correctly), the system in TG make the following reasoning: add your scores of both  strength and stamina (here, Stamina is different from the concept of Constitution; in a nutshell, the former represents your ability to withstand fatigue and exertion, the latter is your physical health).

Once you come up with the sum of these two attributes, depending on how high that number is, you are entitled to roll a specific die for determing your actual hit points (which, in TG are called “Hits to kill” or HTK).

So it’s as if (under AD&D system) you were not automatically entitled to roll a higher die for your hit points just because you are a fighter whereas a mage may roll no more than 1d4; in fact. AD&D seemingly depicts any magician as a fragile and weak creature who spent all his days doing nothing but studying over dusty tomes of magic- in Thieves guild if a mage has a high rate in stamina or strength he can have many more hit points than we are used to expect.

Powers & Perils goes even further than this and in my opinion is one step beyond: though the system is quite similar to that found in TW that I just explained, in P&P- depending on your scores in stamina, constitution and strength you are automatically assigned a certain number of hit points- without even having to choose a specific type of die by which rolling your hit points (hits to kill).

1 comment:

simon mas said...

this way of assigning hit points makes sense if they are hits-to-kill, as thielves' guild calls them.

that means that it's the actual amount of pain, blodloss, and shock a creature can sustain before it passes.

that's not what hit points were in AD&D. they represent an abstract computation of hits-to-kill, combat expertise (there's no parrying in AD&D), and chance.

this is the reason why hit points vary among classes, why they are so random, and (finally, but not any less importantly) why they go up every level.

hits-to-kill should be determined once in the lifetime of a character, to be increased permanently only in *very* special circumstances. the kind of circumstance that allows you to add a point to your constitution, for example.

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