Hit Point and spell consequences for undead level drain

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Hit Point and spell consequences for undead level drain

Postby RPG Dinosaur » Thu Jul 14, 2016 9:29 pm

I looked at all the threads on the DMs forum, but didn't see anything that covered this topic. The DMs forum is probably where this thread belongs, but I wanted to get input from both DMs and players.

I just got done reading 2E Desert of Desolation with a lot of undead in it and got to wondering about this. I know how I handle this, but when a character gets hit by an appropriate undead do YOU subtract hit points by the average of the class hit dice, example: -5 hp for a Fighter, or roll a 1d10? Players, how have your past and present DMs handled this?
Also, how do you DMs figure out which spells get lost for spell casters? Figure out some kind of roll, choose yourself, or maybe even a lenient (extremely lenient IMO) DM would allow the player to choose? Players, have you ever been allowed to choose which spells your character lost due to level drain?

One thing that I think needed to be revised between 1E and 2E is the Ghost aging attack. The 2E Monster Manual is unchanged from 1E in this regard and still lists the aging attack as 10-40 years, to use no matter what the race of the affected character. That's fine for humans (and arguably halflings), but what about the longer lived races such as elves and gnomes? Does anybody know of a resource somewhere that effectively addresses this?
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Re: Hit Point and spell consequences for undead level drain

Postby garhkal » Thu Jul 14, 2016 11:29 pm

Have them record what HP they earned for that level when they advanced. So when they LOSE that level via energy drain, they can check what they earned is My preferred way.
As it is BTB you roll, so you could LOSE more than you gained for that level...

On the spell side, i have them randomly roll which spell gets lost for all spell levels where they lose a spell from if their 'new max' is lower than what they currently have memorized..
So a mage with 4/3/2/1 normal, who is currently at 2/2/1/1 cause of casting in combat gets hit and drops to where his max is 3/3/2/0 would lose only one third level. However if he was at FULL capacity when he got drained, he would lose one first and one third as well as his 4th level spells.

On the ghost aging, i can't remember where i saw it, but the 10-40 is for humans.. Rate up by x2 for dwarves/gnomes, 2.5 for half elves and x4 for elves.. or something like that..

Though is that 10-40, 10d4, or 1d4 X10??
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Re: Hit Point and spell consequences for undead level drain

Postby RPG Dinosaur » Sat Jul 16, 2016 6:48 pm

garhkal wrote:Though is that 10-40, 10d4, or 1d4 X10??

Thanks.
I always thought it was 1d4x10.
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Re: Hit Point and spell consequences for undead level drain

Postby RPG Dinosaur » Sat Jul 16, 2016 6:53 pm

RPG Dinosaur wrote:
garhkal wrote:Though is that 10-40, 10d4, or 1d4 X10??

Thanks.
I always thought it was 1d4x10. That method is sure quicker when you have to determine the aging amount during a Ghost/PC combat.
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Re: Hit Point and spell consequences for undead level drain

Postby Halaster-Blackcloak » Mon Jan 30, 2017 7:47 pm

For hit points lost due to level draining, if it was between levels where the victim got a fixed number of hit points (say a 13th level fighter being drained to 11th level), the math was easy. He loses 3 hp/level drained, so he's now down 6 hp total. For those who are lower level and who are still rolling HD to determine hp, I've generally gone with simply rolling the appropriate dice (10-sided for fighters, 8-sided for priests, etc) and subtracting however many hp were indicated (plus any applicable CON bonus). It was always a pain in the ass to keep track of how many hit points each character gained each tie he went up in level. Plus, I like the idea that the PC could come out ahead or behind his original totals after re-gaining levels. I chalked it up to variances on how powerful the drain was. Perhaps the PC who started with 30 hp, got drained a level and lost 5 hp, then went up a level and rolled just 3 hp (for a net loss of 2 hp) was scarred more deeply by the draining than the PC who started with 30 hp, got drained a level and lost 5 hp, then leveled up and rolled 7 hp (for a net gain of 2 hp). Perhaps the former PC was at a weaker state at the time he was drained than the latter PC. To me it seemed more realistic or at least more believable. It wasn't like the hp were set in stone. In game terms, we're talking about the life force of a character. And things like that aren't exact math. Some weather the storm and come out stronger, some are more deeply affected and come out weaker than before.

For spells lost, I usually just rolled randomly. It seemed to be the best way. It's like going into shock and only remembering random events during the attack.
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Re: Hit Point and spell consequences for undead level drain

Postby garhkal » Mon Jan 30, 2017 11:45 pm

How do you see it as a pain to keep track../? Just have a block on the sheet (near the HP total area), where they write (for say a cleric)
L1 = 8hp+con
L2 = 5hp+con
L3 = 3hp+con
L4 = 7hp+con
L5 = 6hp+con
L6
L7
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Re: Hit Point and spell consequences for undead level drain

Postby Halaster-Blackcloak » Tue Jan 31, 2017 1:16 am

It should be easy, you're right. But the players tend to not write it down or forget it. Mainly, it's just another thing for me to keep track of, as a DM. But really it's more a matter of me liking the variability as I explained earlier. I've run games where PCs were drained several levels and remember "Oh, I rolled 10 on my last level so I lose 10 hp but I have no idea what I rolled on the previous leveling up". If they're not careful to keep track of it, we end up having to roll for it anyway.

One DM I know would just deduct the average roll (rounded up), i.e. 5 pts for a fighter, 4 for a cleric, etc. I guess that works as well as anything else.
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Re: Hit Point and spell consequences for undead level drain

Postby garhkal » Tue Jan 31, 2017 1:44 pm

If they don't write it down, then just roll as it happens. BUT if they don't write THAT important info down, what else are they forgetting to write down and track?
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