Constitution overpowered?

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Constitution overpowered?
« on: March 01, 2012, 09:19:46 AM »
In the thread on PC HP we came to an analogy of HP representing the level of mistakes a character can make and still survive.  I don't think this gels with the new rule establishing starting HP as Constitution score + base.  This rule implies that HP (at least at the beginning) is more representative of how physically tough you are.  I think it really should corrolate with class more, the Fighter should always have more starting HP than the Wizard, regardless of Constitution.

I'm also worried that any player with an ounce of min/maxing in them will always slot their 17 in Constitution now.  I think this is a shame, because the prior starting HP system didn't lead to this stat imbalance.

To preserve the concept of what sage communicated about what HP represents, while still retaining the desire to give starting PCs a bump to increase their survivability, I propose the following:

Your starting HP is equal to twice your class' base, plus your CON (modifier).

Here are some quick comparisons of the systems.

Beta 1.1:
Wizard (8 CON), HP=12
Fighter (8 CON), HP=15
Wizard (17 CON), HP=21
Fighter (17 CON), HP=24

Proposed revision:
Wizard (8 CON), HP=7
Fighter (8 CON), HP=13
Wizard (17 CON), HP=10
Fighter (17 CON), HP=16

In the second scheme, the Fighter always has more HP than the Wizard, reflecting the nature of what HP should represent.  It also restores CON to a more balanced stat among the others.

Thoughts?

Re: Constitution overpowered?
« Reply #1 on: March 01, 2012, 09:40:52 AM »
I actually kind of like the idea.  It also reinforces the idea that wizards have no place in melee, priests and thieves can get in on the action if they keep their wits about them and look for opportunities, and fighters/paladins/rangers really should be at the fore.

Re: Constitution overpowered?
« Reply #2 on: March 01, 2012, 10:33:34 AM »
I admit to being new to this discussion, not having followed the HP thread too closely, but in my fuzzy recollections of playing OD&D way back in the day, I seem to remember that some races and/or classes had imposed limits on their ability scores.

Might this be one way to address this issue?  For example, limit the Wizard to a maximum starting CON score?

So, your example for Beta 1.1 might instead look something like this, where the maximum starting CON for a wizard is 12:

Wizard (8 CON), HP=12
Fighter (8 CON), HP=15
Wizard (12 CON), HP=16
Fighter (17 CON), HP=24

Re: Constitution overpowered?
« Reply #3 on: March 01, 2012, 10:52:38 AM »
That still leaves the issue of starting HP being based mostly on CON.  Even in OD&D this wasn't the case, the "Fighting Man"'s hit dice were greater than the other classes'.

Re: Constitution overpowered?
« Reply #4 on: March 01, 2012, 11:52:56 AM »


"I'm also worried that any player with an ounce of min/maxing in them will always slot their 17 in Constitution now. "

I'd usually expect players to stick that 17 in the main stat for their class. It's the only one that yields a +2 bonus, isn't it?

If I imagine my character doing lots of X, I'm going to stick the big bonus in the stat that applies to X.

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sage

  • 549
Re: Constitution overpowered?
« Reply #5 on: March 01, 2012, 01:01:13 PM »
We've thought about presenting stats as arrays or choices so the Fighter will always have higher Con than the Wizard, but after a lot of discussion we decided against it (so far).

The fact is, different classes have different priorities. If the Wizard wants to have 17 Con it's a strange choice, but playable. The Fighter can drop their second highest stat, a 15, in Con and still have more HP.

Our goal is more or less: if the Fighter wants to focus on HPs they should be able to have more. If they don't focus on HPs they should most likely have more. If they dump stat Con, they're choosing to play a strange fighter, no guarantees that someone else won't have more HP.

Re: Constitution overpowered?
« Reply #6 on: March 01, 2012, 01:26:23 PM »
Oddly enough, having just read the HPs on PCs thread and seen Sage's numbers therein, I was left with the conclusion that CON doesn't matter much to HP.

1st Level 13 Con Fighter: 20 HP
1st Level 17 Con Fighter: 24 HP

...

10th Level 13 Con Fighter: 92 HP
10th Level 17 Con Fighter: 98.25 HP

It's a 4hp difference between +1 and +2 at first level and only an average 6hp difference at 10th level; that's a reasonable bump at first level, but it declines in significance as you level. IMO, the main reason to put a 17 into CON is still because you want to do moves which use CON (for me, that's usually because I want to Defend).

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sage

  • 549
Re: Constitution overpowered?
« Reply #7 on: March 01, 2012, 01:36:14 PM »
Actually I just talked this over with Adam again and we're thinking of revising stat assignment just a bit to a) streamline play, b) make the character you create fit your class better, and c) help distinguish between say the Fighter and the Wizard. (Of course there will be a section in the Advanced Delving chapter about doing it differently). The system is:

Instead of just saying "Assign 17, 15, 13, 11, 9, 8 to your stats" each class has a split list like this: Assign 17, 15, and 13 to Strength, Dexterity, and Constitution. Assign 11, 9, and 8 to Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma.

(This would be for the Fighter, each class would be different.)

This isn't about "fixing" the "value" of Con but just helping new players and making characters fit their class by default. Thoughts?

Re: Constitution overpowered?
« Reply #8 on: March 01, 2012, 01:40:56 PM »
I feel that the actual stat values are fairly pointless once play starts, so I'd be happy to see character generation just use the stat bonuses. The names themselves are enough of a D&D reference for me (but YMMV).

Although that would necessitate reworking HP again. Sorry about that.

Re: Constitution overpowered?
« Reply #9 on: March 01, 2012, 01:50:08 PM »
Assign 17, 15, and 13 to Strength, Dexterity, and Constitution. Assign 11, 9, and 8 to Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma.  (This would be for the Fighter, each class would be different.)

This could also act as a safety net against players sabotaging their character through ineffective builds?  Will this hamper certain character concepts? 

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sage

  • 549
Re: Constitution overpowered?
« Reply #10 on: March 01, 2012, 01:55:14 PM »
It may hamper certain concepts, but that's the tradeoff to making it easy to pick up. We will mention in the hacking chapter "If you've played Dungeon World (or similar games) enough that you feel like you have a handle on the stats you can just assign them as you please."

Re: Constitution overpowered?
« Reply #11 on: March 01, 2012, 05:19:05 PM »
Actually I just talked this over with Adam again and we're thinking of revising stat assignment just a bit to a) streamline play, b) make the character you create fit your class better, and c) help distinguish between say the Fighter and the Wizard. (Of course there will be a section in the Advanced Delving chapter about doing it differently). The system is:

Instead of just saying "Assign 17, 15, 13, 11, 9, 8 to your stats" each class has a split list like this: Assign 17, 15, and 13 to Strength, Dexterity, and Constitution. Assign 11, 9, and 8 to Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma.

(This would be for the Fighter, each class would be different.)

This isn't about "fixing" the "value" of Con but just helping new players and making characters fit their class by default. Thoughts?

Strong dislike.

Firstly because it's totally unnecessary. I've never had a player be confused about assigning stats.

Secondly because it stops people making interesting but totally valid choices. e.g. "I want to be a savvy fighter who looks for an enemies weaknesses (high WIS)" "I want to be a charismatic fighter, the iron fist in the velvet glove (high CHA)"


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P2

  • 53
Re: Constitution overpowered?
« Reply #12 on: March 01, 2012, 05:19:36 PM »
I Liked the "Your starting HP is equal to twice your class' base, plus your CON (modifier)" proposal.

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P2

  • 53
Re: Constitution overpowered?
« Reply #13 on: March 01, 2012, 05:24:52 PM »
"I feel that the actual stat values are fairly pointless once play starts"

I fell that too, that's why I mailed the authors sending feedback asking why won't use only modifiers? stats numbers are pretty useles, so why not using only the modifiers.

That way the starting HP could be easily the "Twice base + CON mod" proposal above.

Re: Constitution overpowered?
« Reply #14 on: March 01, 2012, 05:25:13 PM »
This could also act as a safety net against players sabotaging their character through ineffective builds?

It may hamper certain concepts, but that's the tradeoff to making it easy to pick up.

It's already easy to pick up! Preventing beginners making mistakes is a very easy GM job. Perhaps the book could have suggestions (as various editions of D&D have done), but restrictions... ugh. Yuck, yuck, yuck.