Evergreen Arguments: Meat Points v. Duck Points

14 Sep

Argument 1: Hit points are not meat points. Definitely not meat points. Until your last hit point is lost, every hit you take is a last-ditch dodge, your luck running out, or some other explanation that makes sense in the moment. So hit points are definitely duck points.

  • Except that you lose hit points when you get hit and take damage.
  • And your primary means of regaining hit points is probably some sort of healing spell.
  • And if you get stabbed by a sword of wounding, you start bleeding while still having hit points.
  • And if you get hit by a poisoned dart, you’re poisoned despite your many remaining hit points.
  • And after a few levels, you can reliably survive falling from lethally high heights with hit points to spare.
  • And a rogue can skewer your organs with a well-placed near-miss.
  • And if a dragon or wizard gets angry with you, you’ll end up burned despite a few remaining hit points.
  • And various monsters can grab, swallow, and pin-cushion you with damage-dealing near-misses.
  • Oh, and bigger monsters almost invariably have more hit points than smaller ones.

But no, contrary to any strange ideas you may have, hit points are definitely not meat points.

Argument 2: Hit points are not duck points. Definitely not duck points. Every time you lose hit points, physical damage is being done. So hit points are definitely meat points.

  • Except that every PHB describes hit points as dodging, luck, stamina, parrying, divine favor, and anything else that makes sense for the character.
  • And unless you’re lucky enough to be playing 4e, you’re just standing in combat like a Rock’em Sock’em robot, hammering on some monster while it does the same to you.
  • And you don’t bleed or suffer any other impairment until you drop unconscious or drop dead, despite losing feast-sized chunks of your body.
  • And with every good night’s rest, you regain a shocking portion of your damaged meat.
  • And if an ally gives a inspiring shout, strums an inspiring tune, or casts an inspiring spell, you may either regain lost meat or gain temporary meat.
  • Oh, and you gain more and more meat with experience.

But no, contrary to any strange ideas you may have, hit points are definitely not duck points.

Argument 3: Hit points are hit points. They represent hit points, they simulate hit points, and they model hit points.

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Posted by on 14/09/2016 in Uncategorized


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