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A Time To Fight, And A Time To Bail

15th May 2014, 4:00 AM

A Time To Fight, And A Time To Bail
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Authors' Comments

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XiaoKe on 15th May 2014, 4:00 AM

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The Bad guys must go eventually...

So in RPG's generally you go in turns to make things more fair, this is where initiative comes in but things like surprise rounds can alter that as well, and unfortunately the baddies get a turn as well so sometimes your brilliant plan will work for a bit but then the baddies get to make their move and sometimes spoil that plan entirely, or in the case of Thor and Friends they start taking damage and the battle starts going downhill...
Long story short be aware EVERYONE including baddies get a turn.

Next Up! Really a Cleric?

Prone- If you are prone you basically have no way to defend yourself, this usually means you are lying helpless on the ground.

Fortitude- This is a save made when something threatens your health or vitality (Generally if you fail you end up losing hit points or constitution which in turn will lower your HP even more)

Constitution- This is the stat that represents your health and stamina this score goes into calculating how many hit points you have

RPG- Stands for Role Playing Game

Initiative- A roll to determine who goes first

Surprise round- a point in combat where at least one person gets an extra opportunity to do things (usually fight) before anyone else gets to react (Including the Baddies)

Cleric- The healer of the party

HP- stands for Hit Points (Not Harry Potter :-p)

Constitution

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kidra on 15th May 2014, 8:56 AM

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Like XiaoKe said early, constitution is incredibly important. To simply demonstrate, in this case where Brian took 4 points of constitution damage, his max hit points will be lowered by 2 for every level he has.

So let's hypothetically say that Brian is level 9 and has 90 hit points (not actual stats, I swear). Taking the constitution damage would make it so that his max hit points would take him down to a max of 72.

Making matters even worse is that its hard to heal this damage. No matter how many times Blake casts "cure light wounds" (if he even knows that spell), Brian isn't getting higher than 72 hit points.

So while 4 points of damage might not sound scary, it is.



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Constitution

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mistriousfrog on 16th May 2014, 6:25 AM

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Unless they are clued into it by an experienced friend, most players create their first character at level one and never put consitution as one of their high stats. I know I made that mistake. At level one, the difference between 10 constitution and 18 constitution is 4 HP. You barely even notice it, especially with a fighter or barbarian with a large amount of hit points anyway.

My first character for instance was a rogue with only 11 constitution. By the time the rest of my party were level 6, I had around 22 hp. Even the wizard (which are notorious for having low HP and being very squishy) had more than double my hit points. There is no class or race which constitution is not your second most important stat. I say second because damage always comes first. Always.

SeriousBiz on 16th May 2014, 9:44 AM

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Mine was worse. One of my very first D&D characters was a wizard. I rolled very extreme scores (3 very low and 3 very high) on my ability rolls while creating him, so I had a difficult time spreading out the relevant scores. The best score, 18, was naturally put into intelligence, but what to do with the lowest, a 3? We needed a charismatic speaker because nobody else in the party cared about charisma, and a high dexterity score would guarantee my mage could get some hits in with ranged weapons once his spells ran out. I also wanted to be able to hit something with my dagger if push came to shove, and I didn't want a 3 on wisdom because it didn't fit the character concept.

Being new to the game, I finally figured a wizard would be amply protected by the meat shields, and put the three on constitution. Big mistake, as that meant that my wizard had only 1 hit point at level one, and would continue to gain only the obligatory 1 hit point/level. So, if he had managed to reach level 20, he would have had (are you ready for this?) 20 hit points. Epic level, amirite?

Surprisingly, he did okay in combat at first, preferring to stay behind to buff his allies and cause havoc with his illusion powers. However, with only 1 hit point, he died the very first time he took damage. He was resurrected, and made it all the way to level 3 (with a whoppin' 3 hit points, yay!) before he died again. At which point I decided to just roll up a new character with a more reasonable constitution score.

Low Constitution

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kidra on 16th May 2014, 12:07 PM

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Ho. Lee. Crap. That's just horrible. There are ways to make a character stay alive with lower hitpoints, but with a constitution of 3 it's surprised you could even walk.

SeriousBiz on 17th May 2014, 9:44 AM

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Yeah, it was pretty stupid, to be honest, particularly since we went a lot to swamps and other areas filled with all manner of poisonous nasties. One bite of constitution damage would have at the very least put my character in a coma. I thought playing a very frail, glass-jawed weakling with stunning magic powers would be fun. It was, but only when no one was attacking me.

The reason he did as well as he did was a) because he always cast Mage Armor and other relevant defense spells at the beginning of the battle, and b) the others were so awestruck by my spellcasting abilities that they did their damndest to keep me alive. Our group's favourite tactic was to make the fighter, cleric and monk form a shield between me and the enemy, guaranteeing a triple AOO if the more genre-savvy opponent decided to get rid of the spellcaster. Meanwhile, I spammed Magic Missile until the jerk went down.

I'm still of the opinion that it was unfair of the DM to send a frickin' troll after us at level 3, one who apparently found magic users especially tasty. No amount of meat shielding and Mirror Image could stand against the brute's attacks. I'm still terrified of D&D trolls to this day, and even my level 10 characters hesitate to attack one, even though they could probably utterly destroy it all by themselves. That's meta as heck.

Aaaand I just realized that this post has nothing at all to do with your comment. No matter. If you're reading now, you have already suffered through my backstory exposition, so...

...mwahaha?

Low HP Characters

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mistriousfrog on 17th May 2014, 9:10 PM

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Sharing past stories of our games is what these comment sections is all about though. It makes things more interesting.

I had a similar experience of a low HP character only it was a cleric. My trick was similar to yours in the manner of spam spells except I used a different manner. Using about 4 feats I could make a single spell last 24 hours and become much more powerful. My method, use it on Sanctuary (For those who don't know, the sanctuary spell makes it so that until you make an attack, enemies can't attack you either). My cleric who would die in one hit if they were ever targetted would run into the middle of a hoard of monsters, straight past all the attacks of opportunity and horrible flailing beasts. And then provide healing and buffs for my teammates. I never made an attack, only support magic so my sanctuary lasted forever.

A crafty trick like that is the only way a low HP character can survive in the long term.

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XiaoKe on 19th May 2014, 2:10 PM

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I do enjoy reading these stories you guys post :-)

Also on a side note... Holy Crap, apparantly its been a couple days since I checked the comments lol, well keep it up guys, always fun to see your comments!

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XiaoKe on 19th May 2014, 2:08 PM

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Wow as horrible as that is I couldnt help but laugh, 3 HP is comically low, I dont think I have ever had a ability score that low. But yeah its funny you never really know what skills or abilities are going to need until AFTER you start playing so its kind of hard to know how to build them before you know what you are up against.
I personally like to Role Play more than anything so I a lot of times will build my characters based on what I think the character would do, makes it more fun that way :-)

Disloyal Subject on 30th May 2014, 12:25 AM

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Well, I'm rather like Friendship is Dragons' depiction of Twilight Sparkle in that I read up on the game pretty extensively before playing it, so my first few characters were alright. Hell, the first one I actually played was an unholy beast: a foul mockery of the gestalt rules that had, at 9th level, the casting of a 9th level wizard and a 7th level sorcerer, both with +2 caster level, as well as the HD and bonus feats of an 8th level fighter and full BAB, and a host of kickass racial features. (Githyanki Wizard/Fighter who dipped Sorcerer for Ultimate Magus, and DM let me havefull Wiz casting in exchange for corresponding penalties to Sor. Only later did we realize that Ultimate Magus isn't legal in gestalt, but by then, it didn't matter, since CR 11 undead are threatening no matter how many spells per day one has. If not for my AC-boosting feat selection, including Leadership for a Devoted Defender cohort, I'd've lost him and had to roll a new character, and it'd be too much to hope to get five 18s for stats a second time. Like I said, an abomination, albeit one in need of more metamagic feats to take full advantage of class features.

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XiaoKe on 2nd Jun 2014, 3:36 PM

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Yeah researching a ton beforehand tends to make for some interesting characters, I have one friend who is a master of scouring rule books and creating ridiculously awesome characters all within the rules its crazy, and a lot of fun as well!
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