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.