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PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2012 4:33 pm 
Ill-Fated Peasant

Joined: Thu Nov 08, 2012 4:19 pm
Posts: 3

I was wondering if anybody could help me clarify what monster HD's are all about? I get that with most monsters it's the number and size of the dice that you roll to determine an individual's hit points, but then I was looking through the monsterpedia in the core rulebook and noticed that for some monsters it lists HD's and hit points. (off the top of my head i'm thinking of hydras and dragons.) Are the HD's just listed to give a reference to the monsters power or is there something else that I'm missing about them?


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 09, 2012 3:43 am 
Cold-Hearted Immortal
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Joined: Fri Jun 26, 2009 3:42 am
Posts: 2448
Location: Chicago suburbs
FLGS: Fair Game
Historically, OD&D gave different HP per die to different ages of dragon and it sort of stuck. I think it was to make adult dragons feared a lot more.

You can roll the HD or use the guideline of HP/die if you like.

Marv / Finarvyn
DCC Minister of Propaganda; Deputized 6/8/11
DCC RPG playtester 2011, C&C playtester 2003,T&T since 2003,
ADRP Since 1993, OD&D player since 1975

"The worthy GM never purposely kills players' PCs, He presents opportunities for the rash and unthinking players to do that all on their own."
-- Gary Gygax
"Don't ask me what you need to hit. Just roll the die and I will let you know!"
-- Dave Arneson

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 09, 2012 6:35 am 
Cold-Blooded Diabolist

Joined: Fri Apr 06, 2012 1:36 am
Posts: 525
Old school D&D did a lot of different things with Hit Dice and hit points, using them as one of the ways not only to judge how potent a monster was (by tying things like attack ability/THAC0 to Hit Dice) but also as a way to make monsters feel unique other than just giving them different ways to kill the party.

As mentioned, dragons had set hit points per hit die, but also there were situations like Beholders were a specified hit point total was given and then divided up between some of the body parts (total HP to kill the beholder, eye HP to take out the central eye, and HP worth of damage needed to hack of an eye stalk, if I am remembering correctly).

It's just one more avenue to use to make the monster in question have the feel or impact that you desire.

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 09, 2012 1:43 pm 
Far-Sighted Wanderer
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Joined: Thu Apr 05, 2012 7:56 pm
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Location: Wellington, New Zealand
In the absence of guidelines or actual rules in this area, I've decided to go with D12 as a standard beginning point for monster HD, especially for retro-fitting existing adventures to the game.
My reasoning is that:

1. Basic/Expert D&D used D8 for monster HD, which matches the highest character class HD (for the Fighter). So I've done the same with DCC monsters matching the Warrior's HD.

2. DCC characters are stronger than old-school D&D. D8 HD monsters in a standard slug-it-out fight just won't last long.
For example, in my current group there's a 1st level dwarf, with standard sword and board. On a successful hit with both sword and shield, he does a minimum of 8 HP damage, and maximum of 21 damage! (He was fortunate to roll a 16 Strength, but even without that it would still be up to 17 damage). A 2HD monster using d8 HD has an average of 9HP. No contest.

I usually go even further and just choose monster's HP, with around 8-10 HP per HD, and a standard +1 attack modifier per HD. These figures work for us - they make monsters shit-your-pants scary, but not impossible to beat. (Unless of course you take on a dragon, in which case the party is probably all dead after the first breath, so the dragon's HP and HD won't matter...)

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