Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Mook Hit Points

Way back, when I first started playing D&D, I felt that Hit Dice was a bit of a pain to use. Sure it gives you a relative value of toughness (coupled with AC at least) of a "monster," but, unlike AC, it was a variable number, not a static number that was easy to use. So the first thing I did was establish a way to quickly convert Hit Dice to Hit Points for ease of use. The thing is, as any gamer that's been playing for a while probably knows, dice rolls have an average number. For example, the average result of rolling 1d6 is 3.5, 2d6 is 7, 3d6 is 10.5, so on and so forth. (Though, I'll admit, I'm still not entirely up on how the statisticians arrive at those results, I just go with it.) For 1d4 the average result is 2.5, for 1d8 its 4.5, for 1d10 its 5.5, 1d12 is 6.5, 1d20 is 10.5, so on and so forth (it's easy to know once you see the pattern). In our case, Hit Dice are generally represented by 1d8. By knowing the average result (which, in case it isn't obvious, is NOT the same as the average roll), you can immediately establish the average number of hit points for any creature using Hit Dice. Unfortunately, unless you round the average off, most creatures with an odd number of Hit Dice won't end up with a whole number of hit points. So in the case of a 1HD orc, the average would be 3.5 hit points. Following common rounding rules ("round half up" is the term I believe is used) any value of .5 would round up to the nearest whole number, giving the AVERAGE 1HD orc a total of 4 hit points.

So, by following this simple math, you can instantly generate the average hit points for a whole group of monsters without having to roll for each individual one. However, say you want to include some basic variation in your group of monsters, again, without having to roll a whole bunch of dice for each and every individual monster in a group. That's when I started thinking about how to make generically "stronger" or "weaker" individuals without having to roll their specific hit points. So I came up with a semi-simple compromise that lets me (fairly) quickly roll up some variable hit point individuals without just giving them all average hit points.

Kinda Quick Hit Points Determination (Roll 1d6):
Roll Type 1 HD 2 HD 3 HD 4 HD 5 HD 6+ HD
1 Skirmisher Mook hp = 1 hp = 2 hp = 3 hp = 4 hp = 5 hp = #HD
2 Mook hp = 2 hp = 4 hp = 6 hp = 8 hp = 10 hp = #HD + 1 HD
3 Upgraded Mook hp = 3 hp = 6 hp = 9 hp = 12 hp = 15 hp = AVG hp - 1HD
4 Elite Mook hp = 5 hp = 10 hp = 15 hp = 20 hp = 25 hp = AVG hp - 1HD
5 Lieutentant Mook hp = 6 hp = 12 hp = 18 hp = 24 hp = 36 hp = Max hp - 1HD
6 King Mook hp = 8 hp = Max hp hp = Max hp hp = Max hp hp = Max hp hp = Max hp

Notes:
Max hp = Hit Dice x 8.
AVG hp = 4.5 x the number of Hit Dice (rounded up).
#HD = the number of Hit Dice as hit points (i.e. a 7HD creature would have a value of 7).
When adding or subtracting 1HD from the results, this can be any number you choose (or choose to roll), for example, you could add or subtract 1 hp, average hp (5 in this case), or full hp (8) from the hp already determined.
For creatures (like say a creature with 6+1 HD or a creatures with 3-1 HD) just add or subtract the modifier after determining the hit points.