Sunday, November 17, 2013

The Value of Hit Points

This has been rattling about in my head for a week or more, but I never remember to post it. Until now . . .

While I do understand the math of "more hit points" being an advantage, I never truly appreciated it as something that made Fighting-Men better fighters. I recently saw the light whilst watching a marathon of The Unit.

Two men were engaged in a fist-fight. One was younger and clearly more capable. The other was older, and while a seasoned fighter, wasn't the man he used to be. Both men were basically beating the shit out of each other, but the punishment was more telling with the older man. Eventually the younger man gained the upper hand, even though the older man was landing solid blows.

Watching this, and putting it into an OD&D perspective, I was reminded that OD&D combat is about results. The fundamental truth is this: statistically speaking, the better fighter will still be standing at the end of the fight. Period. It is that simple. So, maybe we have similar, or even identical, chances to-hit, but if I have more HD (and therefore hit points, presumably), I should win.

I feel like I should expound on this further, but I can't really see what that would serve right now. So, let's just leave it at this, shall we?


  1. Yup, he with more HP gets to kick more butt. I took it a step further in my game and allow folks to burn HP to inflict more damage on foes in a round to represent reckless and dangerous attacks. Only two players have used the tactic in several months but it turned the tide in one fight (it's still risky however as it doesn't increase chance to hit and does mean you are losing more hp).