Should clerics have a d10 hit die?

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concobar
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Re: Should clerics have a d10 hit die?

Post by concobar »

mbeacom wrote:
concobar wrote:Hit die should be based on race instead of class.
I was of this mind for a while too, and wouldn't freak out of someone wanted to play with such rules. But then I decided that since HP is an abstraction, not just meat (size/strength,etc) that it must come from somewhere else. I decided that somewhere is largely ones training. Fighters are trained to keep their feet longer than someone who spends their time sitting over books or picking pockets for example, meaning a Human wizard or rogue would not (on average) have more HP than a Halfling fighter.

Having said that, my goal is not to dissuade your from you view. I think it's a legit and viable way to look at a game world.
I thought about this but then realized that no amount of training is ever going to allow a 3' tall 45 lb halfling to soak up the same punishment as a 6' tall 230 lb human and that HP do not properly describe near misses as that is covered by dexterity. In my home brew a human "wizard" could easily have more health that a halfling "warrior" but because the halfling is smaller, faster, (has a bonus to agility (dex)) and assuming he spent his skill points on combat skills (dodge/block) instead of wizardry the halfling will in theory get hit less and when hit take less damage.

Will the halfling be a better melee warrior than a human? Probably not but he will be much better at sneaking around and avoiding combat if he wishes it.

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Re: Should clerics have a d10 hit die?

Post by alcyone »

Rhuvein wrote:I many times wonder if they should have a higher hit die.

I play them a lot and have found myself in many situations where . . turning undead fails, spells fail or are resisted and I can't use crossbows.

So I have to go toe to toe with monsters, cause the wizards and rogues are fucking hiding and being piss ants!! :x

What say you?? :)
Cleric can be as well armored as any of the fighter types. Low level clerics are a little vulnerable, but so is everyone at the low levels. Without spontaneous casting of cure spells in BtB C&C, you have hard choices to make, but it gets better as you level up, and once you get stuff like Healing Circle you have a lot more leeway to go different directions with your cleric.

I think d8 is probably enough. It makes the class a little more challenging, but put a good score in CON and hope for the best.
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Re: Should clerics have a d10 hit die?

Post by Rhuvein »

Aergraith wrote: I think d8 is probably enough. It makes the class a little more challenging, but put a good score in CON and hope for the best.
Heh, exactly. My dwarf cleric took the 2nd prime in CON rather than CHA (to help turning), because I knew we would be rolling HPs by the book. So having a total of 8 HPs, means I rolled 5 HPs for my 3 levels! Arrrgggh!
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Re: Should clerics have a d10 hit die?

Post by Captain_K »

I still feel there is a confusion of hit points as the ability to absorb damage.. after the base dice or two its all skill and luck or whatever you want to call it.. a 10th lvl fighter does not suck up 10 run through blows with a long sword... each barely touches them... so yes a Halfling or some other small race should not have the body absorbing ability that a half orc does.. but a 10th lvl Halfling simply is not HIT as much as say a 8' ogre to which it has more h.p. but MUCH less mass. Ex. Yoda... amazing amount of hit points yet what 20# of body mass..
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Re: Should clerics have a d10 hit die?

Post by mbeacom »

concobar wrote:
mbeacom wrote:
concobar wrote:Hit die should be based on race instead of class.
I was of this mind for a while too, and wouldn't freak out of someone wanted to play with such rules. But then I decided that since HP is an abstraction, not just meat (size/strength,etc) that it must come from somewhere else. I decided that somewhere is largely ones training. Fighters are trained to keep their feet longer than someone who spends their time sitting over books or picking pockets for example, meaning a Human wizard or rogue would not (on average) have more HP than a Halfling fighter.

Having said that, my goal is not to dissuade your from you view. I think it's a legit and viable way to look at a game world.
I thought about this but then realized that no amount of training is ever going to allow a 3' tall 45 lb halfling to soak up the same punishment as a 6' tall 230 lb human and that HP do not properly describe near misses as that is covered by dexterity. In my home brew a human "wizard" could easily have more health that a halfling "warrior" but because the halfling is smaller, faster, (has a bonus to agility (dex)) and assuming he spent his skill points on combat skills (dodge/block) instead of wizardry the halfling will in theory get hit less and when hit take less damage.

Will the halfling be a better melee warrior than a human? Probably not but he will be much better at sneaking around and avoiding combat if he wishes it.
I've just got too much real world experience that contradicts this view (which is partially why I changed my position on this). If you give me a 120 pound trained boxer or wrestler (fighter) and a 230 pound untrained librarian or science nerd (wizard) and put them both in the ring with a combatant and instruct them they are not allowed to fight back (so only survive is the goal), I will give you 10 to 1 odds the boxer/wrestler will survive longer every time. Before I started training, I was bigger and heavier but after I trained even though i was lighter and smaller overall, there's no doubt in my mind I had more HP. Whereas before a punch to the face might stagger me badly, after getting used to it, it was not a big deal at all. I would say before a punch to the face might reduce me to half hit points. After it wouldn't even reduce me by 1/4. Training literally gave me more HP, more suvivability. And that's not even counting my ability to avoid blows altogether, or take a blow in such a way that it was rendered ineffective.
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Re: Should clerics have a d10 hit die?

Post by Arduin »

concobar wrote: I thought about this but then realized that no amount of training is ever going to allow a 3' tall 45 lb halfling to soak up the same punishment as a 6' tall 230 lb human and that HP do not properly describe near misses as that is covered by dexterity.
Quite correct. Which is why Hit point don't represent that in D&D (C&C) much above 2nd level.
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Re: Should clerics have a d10 hit die?

Post by mbeacom »

Arduin wrote:
concobar wrote: I thought about this but then realized that no amount of training is ever going to allow a 3' tall 45 lb halfling to soak up the same punishment as a 6' tall 230 lb human and that HP do not properly describe near misses as that is covered by dexterity.
Quite correct. Which is why Hit point don't represent that in D&D (C&C) much above 2nd level.
I think someone mentioned upthread about taking a racial HD at the start (to represent core capability) and then taking class based HD (to represent training) with gained levels. I think that would be fine. But I'm ok with as it is.
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Re: Should clerics have a d10 hit die?

Post by concobar »

mbeacom wrote:
concobar wrote:
mbeacom wrote:
concobar wrote:Hit die should be based on race instead of class.
I was of this mind for a while too, and wouldn't freak out of someone wanted to play with such rules. But then I decided that since HP is an abstraction, not just meat (size/strength,etc) that it must come from somewhere else. I decided that somewhere is largely ones training. Fighters are trained to keep their feet longer than someone who spends their time sitting over books or picking pockets for example, meaning a Human wizard or rogue would not (on average) have more HP than a Halfling fighter.

Having said that, my goal is not to dissuade your from you view. I think it's a legit and viable way to look at a game world.
I thought about this but then realized that no amount of training is ever going to allow a 3' tall 45 lb halfling to soak up the same punishment as a 6' tall 230 lb human and that HP do not properly describe near misses as that is covered by dexterity. In my home brew a human "wizard" could easily have more health that a halfling "warrior" but because the halfling is smaller, faster, (has a bonus to agility (dex)) and assuming he spent his skill points on combat skills (dodge/block) instead of wizardry the halfling will in theory get hit less and when hit take less damage.

Will the halfling be a better melee warrior than a human? Probably not but he will be much better at sneaking around and avoiding combat if he wishes it.
I've just got too much real world experience that contradicts this view (which is partially why I changed my position on this). If you give me a 120 pound trained boxer or wrestler (fighter) and a 230 pound untrained librarian or science nerd (wizard) and put them both in the ring with a combatant and instruct them they are not allowed to fight back (so only survive is the goal), I will give you 10 to 1 odds the boxer/wrestler will survive longer every time. Before I started training, I was bigger and heavier but after I trained even though i was lighter and smaller overall, there's no doubt in my mind I had more HP. Whereas before a punch to the face might stagger me badly, after getting used to it, it was not a big deal at all. I would say before a punch to the face might reduce me to half hit points. After it wouldn't even reduce me by 1/4. Training literally gave me more HP, more suvivability. And that's not even counting my ability to avoid blows altogether, or take a blow in such a way that it was rendered ineffective.
Sure and that is represented by attributes. However put your trained 120 lb boxer in the ring with an equally skilled 200+ lb boxer and see what happens. There is a reason Boxing and MMA are generally divided into weight ranks.

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Re: Should clerics have a d10 hit die?

Post by Captain_K »

That is correct STRENGTH matters, size and reach have other advantages. Normally the two more or less go together.. but in our fantasy game where the small and weak get a chance to do better I think reality is intentionally overshadowed by drama and gaming goals of "fun for all". Might be why pixies and storm giants are not normal PC races.

So you noted boxing.. put two swords in their hands and give them equal reach and I'll go with the skilled guy over the strong guy.
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Re: Should clerics have a d10 hit die?

Post by Rhuvein »

Rhuvein wrote:
Aergraith wrote: I think d8 is probably enough. It makes the class a little more challenging, but put a good score in CON and hope for the best.
Heh, exactly. My dwarf cleric took the 2nd prime in CON rather than CHA (to help turning), because I knew we would be rolling HPs by the book. So having a total of 8 HPs, means I rolled 5 HPs for my 3 levels! Arrrgggh!
Update!!!

I leveled and was able to roll more HPs for Wolfgar Stoutbeard, my cleric.

Throwing the die . . . bounce, bounce and . . . a . . . 1!!! Woot!!!

Nice, 4th level cleric with 10 HPs! :D
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Re: Should clerics have a d10 hit die?

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concobar wrote:
mbeacom wrote:
concobar wrote:
mbeacom wrote:
concobar wrote:Hit die should be based on race instead of class.
I was of this mind for a while too, and wouldn't freak out of someone wanted to play with such rules. But then I decided that since HP is an abstraction, not just meat (size/strength,etc) that it must come from somewhere else. I decided that somewhere is largely ones training. Fighters are trained to keep their feet longer than someone who spends their time sitting over books or picking pockets for example, meaning a Human wizard or rogue would not (on average) have more HP than a Halfling fighter.

Having said that, my goal is not to dissuade your from you view. I think it's a legit and viable way to look at a game world.
I thought about this but then realized that no amount of training is ever going to allow a 3' tall 45 lb halfling to soak up the same punishment as a 6' tall 230 lb human and that HP do not properly describe near misses as that is covered by dexterity. In my home brew a human "wizard" could easily have more health that a halfling "warrior" but because the halfling is smaller, faster, (has a bonus to agility (dex)) and assuming he spent his skill points on combat skills (dodge/block) instead of wizardry the halfling will in theory get hit less and when hit take less damage.

Will the halfling be a better melee warrior than a human? Probably not but he will be much better at sneaking around and avoiding combat if he wishes it.
I've just got too much real world experience that contradicts this view (which is partially why I changed my position on this). If you give me a 120 pound trained boxer or wrestler (fighter) and a 230 pound untrained librarian or science nerd (wizard) and put them both in the ring with a combatant and instruct them they are not allowed to fight back (so only survive is the goal), I will give you 10 to 1 odds the boxer/wrestler will survive longer every time. Before I started training, I was bigger and heavier but after I trained even though i was lighter and smaller overall, there's no doubt in my mind I had more HP. Whereas before a punch to the face might stagger me badly, after getting used to it, it was not a big deal at all. I would say before a punch to the face might reduce me to half hit points. After it wouldn't even reduce me by 1/4. Training literally gave me more HP, more suvivability. And that's not even counting my ability to avoid blows altogether, or take a blow in such a way that it was rendered ineffective.
Sure and that is represented by attributes. However put your trained 120 lb boxer in the ring with an equally skilled 200+ lb boxer and see what happens. There is a reason Boxing and MMA are generally divided into weight ranks.
How is training in a combat class represented by attributes? I just explained how training made me smaller and lighter and yet I had more HP. Of course size is a factor. But it's minute compared to training. Notice in your example, it requires both have the same training. To see which has the greater impact on HP, we need to have small with training and large with no training. If size matter more, the large with no training will have better survivability(HP). If training matters more, then the small with training will have better survivability(HP). And I'm quite confident the latter is the case. The little guy with training will always be better suited to survive combat than the larger guy who has spent his time sitting in front of a book. The small trained guy will weather more blows longer than the large untrained guy.
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Re: Should clerics have a d10 hit die?

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Rhuvein wrote:
Update!!!

I leveled and was able to roll more HPs for Wolfgar Stoutbeard, my cleric.

Throwing the die . . . bounce, bounce and . . . a . . . 1!!! Woot!!!

Nice, 4th level cleric with 10 HPs! :D
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Re: Should clerics have a d10 hit die?

Post by jdizzy001 »

I would recommend reading what the ckg says about clerics as a first aid kit. It greatly changed my view of the cleric.
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Re: Should clerics have a d10 hit die?

Post by Captain_K »

Talk with your GM about divine intervention on your next dice roll or some amazing training programs or magic item quests you can go on to improve your wretched HPs... you know, the dice are there for fun, don't be a slave to them... sticking by the rolls is admirable but don't be nuts about it.
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Re: Should clerics have a d10 hit die?

Post by Daniel »

Rhuvein wrote: Update!!!

I leveled and was able to roll more HPs for Wolfgar Stoutbeard, my cleric.

Throwing the die . . . bounce, bounce and . . . a . . . 1!!! Woot!!!

Nice, 4th level cleric with 10 HPs! :D
This is just wrong. At some point, if I were the GM, I would give you a couple of HP to level set. This is just way too far below average. But that is just me. :D

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Re: Should clerics have a d10 hit die?

Post by Arduin »

jdizzy001 wrote:I would recommend reading what the ckg says about clerics as a first aid kit. It greatly changed my view of the cleric.
Agreed. One of the best treatments of that subject in the history of FRPG rule books.
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Re: Should clerics have a d10 hit die?

Post by serleran »

Rhuvein wrote:
Rhuvein wrote:
Aergraith wrote: I think d8 is probably enough. It makes the class a little more challenging, but put a good score in CON and hope for the best.
Heh, exactly. My dwarf cleric took the 2nd prime in CON rather than CHA (to help turning), because I knew we would be rolling HPs by the book. So having a total of 8 HPs, means I rolled 5 HPs for my 3 levels! Arrrgggh!
Update!!!

I leveled and was able to roll more HPs for Wolfgar Stoutbeard, my cleric.

Throwing the die . . . bounce, bounce and . . . a . . . 1!!! Woot!!!

Nice, 4th level cleric with 10 HPs! :D
At least you have double digits... you could have been a wizard with 6.

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Re: Should clerics have a d10 hit die?

Post by Daniel »

serleran wrote: At least you have double digits... you could have been a wizard with 6.
Anyone at 4th that had a 6 would be sad. :(

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Re: Should clerics have a d10 hit die?

Post by Rhuvein »

One interesting thing about that paragraph in the CKG (page 44) - a cleric could sprinkle holy water around the party and the holy water acts as a magic circle for 1 d8 rounds. No other restrictions that I can see . . so lower level clerics can sort of have the magic circle (3rd lvl) spell (minus being able to move).

:P
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Re: Should clerics have a d10 hit die?

Post by Rhuvein »

This Cleric of Zagyg resurrects this thread from it's grave . .
Rhuvein wrote:Thanks for all the excellent replies!

You've convinced me not to go with a d10!

How about a d9? ;)
Heh, I think I was kidding about the d9 - BUT, now that all of my gaming is online ~ one can roll any die type.

So - great to read through this thread again. Great responses and thoughts from our forum members.

I've decided to update my few house-rules to enhance the cleric in my games (some of these HRs can apply to other classes as well).

Without further ado ~

Cleric:

HD 1d9

BtH -

Lvls:

1 = 0
2 = +1
3 = +2
4 = +3
5 = +3
6 = +4
7 = +4
8 = +5
9 = +6
10 = +6
11 = +7
12 = +8

Knows all orisons at 1st lvl

Max Hps at 1st

then 3-9 after each advance

Cure light wounds = 3-8 HPs (potion or spell - applies to all classes)

Can use restricted weapons in a TPK situation with -4 to BtH depending on weapon

Hmm, not sure if that's all - but it's all for now

Your comments/insults/ass-kicking/blessings/praise/dollars/outrage/eye-rolling - et. al. are totally welcome and encouraged!

:D
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Re: Should clerics have a d10 hit die?

Post by KeyIXTheHermit »

Edit: Aww, I just noticed that this is an old thread and my answer is totally pointless. Well, fudge. Well, I so don't care, I'm leaving it anyway... I spent too much time on it to delete it now! Everyone can just feel free to scroll right on past. :lol:
I have just recently discovered that one of the earliest D&D versions (I believe it is now called "White Box") didn't have Thieves and Rogues. There were just three classes: Fighting Man, Cleric, Wizard.

Viewed from this angle, you see the intention:
Fighters were Good Fighter, Poor Magic
Clerics were Medium Fighter, Medium Magic
Wizards were Poor Fighter, Good Magic

It amazes me to see how this concept crept into video games and into our consciousness. The "three characters, one balanced and the other two skill-flipped" became omnipresent in fantasy games for the next two decades to follow.

I've never seen the real White Box, but retroclones put the hit dice assignments like this:
Fighters: d8
Clerics: d6
Wizards: d4

So, once again, Clerics sit right in the middle. It seems to be the original intention of the game design.

Of course, we can all do what we want with our games. Personally, I'd like to boost Rogues and Assassins to d8, boost Wizards to d6 and allow them to use swords, and knock Clerics down to d4 and take weapons away from them... but then, the Holy Man of my mind isn't a combatant; he is a Man of Peace. And in the fantasy literature Wizards were often competent enough with a sword to hold a hero at bay until he could finish his chant to summon demons or whatever.

So, sure, you can do it if you like, but I feel that doing so changes the original design of the Cleric. If that's what you want, go for it, but if you're looking at the balance as it seems to have been designed, if we drop out all but the three original classes, in C&C we get the following:
Fighters: d10
Clerics: d8
Wizards: d4

So, now they're no longer smack in the middle as they originally were. Now they're on the high end of middle, which is probably mostly due to the addition of Rogues. Honestly, if it had been me in 1976, I would have flipped Cleric and Rogue right from the start, but the Powers That Be saw it otherwise.

Thus, I am forced to agree with some of the others that say that if you were to boost Clerics to d10, you're changing the balance of the game. To re-balance it, you'd need to boost Fighters to d12, and either boost Barbarians to, say, d16 (roll a d8 and a d6, natch), or power-down Monks and Barbarians by giving them the same hit points as Fighters (and really, with the amount of skills they have, that wouldn't be the worst idea).

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Re: Should clerics have a d10 hit die?

Post by alcyone »

KeyIXTheHermit wrote: I've never seen the real White Box, but retroclones put the hit dice assignments like this:
Fighters: d8
Clerics: d6
Wizards: d4
In book 1, everyone had a d6 hit die (and all weapons did d6 damage).
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Re: Should clerics have a d10 hit die?

Post by KeyIXTheHermit »

Aergraith wrote:
KeyIXTheHermit wrote: I've never seen the real White Box, but retroclones put the hit dice assignments like this:
Fighters: d8
Clerics: d6
Wizards: d4
In book 1, everyone had a d6 hit die (and all weapons did d6 damage).
Did that ever change to the assignments I've listed above? A lot of retroclones seem to do it that way (I've got at least four or five), so I'm guessing there was a precedent, although I don't know where it began.

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Re: Should clerics have a d10 hit die?

Post by alcyone »

Yes, Alternate Hit Dice (p. 10, Supplement I - Greyhawk).

Fighter d8
Magic-User d4
Cleric d6
Thief d4 (This class was introduced in Supplement I).
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Re: Should clerics have a d10 hit die?

Post by KeyIXTheHermit »

Aergraith wrote:Yes, Alternate Hit Dice (p. 10, Supplement I - Greyhawk).

Fighter d8
Magic-User d4
Cleric d6
Thief d4 (This class was introduced in Supplement I).
Yep, Thief at d4. That's the hit die assignments I'm seeing in most games (including Basic Fantasy, which is another game worth a second or third look!).

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Re: Should clerics have a d10 hit die?

Post by Giant2005 »

The real question is should the Cleric have a d8 hit die?
Personally I don't believe the Cleric nor Druid should have a higher HD nor BtH than the Dex Prime classes. Ideally, I'd be more inclined to giving the Dex Prime classes d8 HD and 1/2 BtH progression, but dropping the Cleric and Druid down to the levels of the Dex Prime classes would achieve a similar effect.

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Re: Should clerics have a d10 hit die?

Post by Captain_K »

1) Why do mages get d4, no armor, and crap for weapons.. oh yeah spells.. could that be why cleric get d8? Their spell turn them into d20?
2) How do these old threads keep resurfacing?
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Re: Should clerics have a d10 hit die?

Post by Rhuvein »

In my game, wizards can wear hide or studded leather and use a short sword.

Rogues can wear the higher protection studded or laminar leather without penalty.

I'm thinking about raising the wizard's HD to d5. ;)
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Re: Should clerics have a d10 hit die?

Post by Captain_K »

All start with 2d8 then advance by class after that?
Wow, Another Natural One! You guys are a sink hole for luck. Stay away from my dice.

Persimmon
Ungern
Posts: 76
Joined: Thu Mar 02, 2017 5:11 am

Re: Should clerics have a d10 hit die?

Post by Persimmon »

Simple; just use the 20 hp "kicker" for all PCs at first level. Hackmaster 4th edition used this rule and we adopted it immediately. It's great because it gives low level PCs a much greater chance of survival. And if you roll normally, chances are the kicker won't end up changing things that much at higher levels anyhow. Another option is to add the full constitution score to HP total for each PC at 1st level only.

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