Legends & Lore: Hit Points, Our Old Friend

Huh...so, healing surges by another name?

The only difference that I can see is that you regain randomized amounts of hit points instead of a flat value. Actually, I guess it is based on your level so they increase faster? It kind of reminds me of Dragon Age, where you regain a random amount of hit points after every encounter, though I get the idea that you only get X amount of rolls per day since you regain Hit Dice by resting. Eh, seems like a nice middle ground, and since it is variable it adds in an element of uncertainty and risk.

Trying to explain how hit points translate into the game world is a debate that has existed since hit points were created, despite multiple attempts from one of the game's creators, game designers of other editions, and community members. For the most part the bullet points again reiterate things that we (should) know: a character's physical endurance, ability to turn lethal blows into something non-lethal, and plot relevancy.

What is more interesting is how the following section breaks up damage interpretation based on a characters hit points, which range from superficial to serious. It kind of models how I had been doing it in 4th Edition, in which characters take meaningful injuries when they become bloodied or are reduced to 0 or less (and just recently I started using persistent injuries for characters that get dropped).

Now back to Diablo 3. I plan on beating Hell difficulty before the playtest opens up, so I can focus my attention on converting Age of Worms to 5th Edition.


  1. Let me know if you want help retro-engineering the rules from the playtest docs.

  2. I still plan on moving A Sundered World to 5th Edition, so am going to also do bladesingers, shamans, and warlords.

  3. The biggest difference between the new hit dice and healing surges is that they aren't used for magical healing. So instead of one system limiting the day's healing we have two. This means that they'll have to consider the balance between the two systems with everything that affects either one.

    The other thing I like about healing surges is that they scaled. A power that heals a surge+X remains relevant throughout the game. In 3.5 cure light wounds became irrelevant at high levels except when you use seventeen wand charges after a battle. Eventually the only spell that made a significant difference during a battle was Heal.

  4. I am curious how well the Hit Dice-based healing will work in non-to-low magic campaigns, such as if I wanted to do something more Conan-esque or Dark Sun.

  5. It depends what sort of game do you want? For a lot of genre-simulation, I'd ramp up hit dice and perhaps handwave tracking healing kit uses. For a gritty game where wounds keep you down for a long time, I'd remove the nightly full reset and just use hit dice.


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