I’ve been back to playing 4e after a few month absence, and I forgot how much I love this game.
However, one thing that’s been bothering me is the immense number of hit points both heroes and monsters have. When I attack, as a monster, I feel like I’m doing nothing. When I attack, as a player, again I feel like I’m not doing anything. After playing Pathfinder and other versions of D&D, I feel like everyone’s too tough to feel like we’re doing anything effective.
When, as a DM, you knock players down until they’re almost out of action, only to have the Cleric boost them back up instantly, it’s frustrating, feeling like you’ve wasted rounds of combat.
I put out, on Twitter, the idea of chopping all HP in half. Right down the middle. However, as pointed out by Eric Paquette, you’ve just made Clerics that much tougher, as they’re able to give massive amounts of HP back in comparison, as well as making Healing Surges hugely powerful. His suggestion? Double all damage.
This may just work. I’ll use my Goliath Fighter I played with the other night as an example: While still maintaining his 62 HP, he’s now dealing 1d10 + 8 x 2 damage with an at-will, or an average of 26 points of damage on an attack. This is a massive amount, sure, but the monsters are dealing it back just as bad. This keeps players on their toes, as well as forcing the DM to plan out his attacks better. Combat is deadlier, moves faster, and you’re ready to move on to more important things rather than spend 3 hours in a single combat (this happened the other night).
As a result of my playing again, I got inspired to get back into running 4e. I’m hoping the new group in Spokane is receptive to this. We’ll see.