Wednesday, May 30, 2012

HD in BtPG

The many faces of a HD
Remember when you started playing D&D and you first came upon the term "level"? D&D gets a lot of mileage out of that term. Character level, spell level, and dungeon level, and those three types of levels are used frequently. Until you learned the particular context associated with each one, it could be confusing.

I am afraid that a similar situation will exist in Hordes & Whores. The term Hit Dice (or HD) is getting a lot of use. Now, being that these are essentially my house rules for kitbashing a variety of subsystems, I'm fine with it. I know what the term means each time I use it. However, for those of you trying to follow this development, or even interested in using these mad ideas, perhaps a little disambiguation is in order.

The first thing one must understand about Hit Dice is that they are not rolled to determine hit points. The character simply has 1 hit point per Hit Die (hit point may be modified, but that's another post).

Hit Dice, not level, are used to judge a character's relative ability in combat. In this context, they are literally Hit Dice, being the dice used to determine hits. For example, a character with 6 HD may potentially roll 6d6 when attempting to hit an opponent in combat.

Considering the second point, there are several effects that may alter the number of HD a combatant has. For example, a magical defense may "reduce attacker's HD by 2". This would mean that the 6HD character from the previous example would only roll 4d6. Likewise, there are factors that may make an opponent more formidable, granting bonus HD on an attack. Hit Dice referred to in this context have absolutely nothing to do with hit points.

Anytime HD are listed with a modifier directly attached, such as an ogre, having 4+1 HD, the "plus" is added to hit points. So, the ogre attacks as a 4HD creature and has 5 hit points. The "plus" is also applied to one of the d6's rolled on the Combat Table. So, our erstwhile ogre with his 5 hit points would roll 4d6 when attacking, one of which would receive a +1 modifier.

I think that about covers it. If I think of any other issues with the term, or if any of you encounter any confusing usage, I'll try to clear it up. Let me know if you have any problems, I'm not always the most concise communicator.

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