Recommend
2 
 Thumb up
 Hide
17 Posts

BoardGameGeek» Forums » Board Game Design » Board Game Design

Subject: Hit Point dilemma rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
hero gamer
United States
Florida
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmb
I'm working on a game where the players are Druids and they can cast spells and shape shift into creatures during combat.

As of now, the characters have their own starting HP, (ie.15) which is increased as they level up.

When shape shifting in to animal form, they take on the animals stats including HP, Attack, Defense, and Speed. Animals have an HP between 3-7 depending how how powerful it is.

The way it works now is that when in animal form, they take damage until the their HP is reduced to 0, then they are forcefully returned to human form which their 'Human HP' is unaffected.

Does this make sense? Or should the player keep their 'Human HP' even when in animal form and eliminate the 'Animal HP stat'?

Thoughts? I'm sure I've left out some critical info like always so just ask! Thanks
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
☆ ✧ ☆ ✧ ☆
United States
Minneapolis
Minnesota
flag msg tools
Looking at these stars suddenly dwarfed my own troubles and all the gravities of terrestrial life. I thought of their unfathomable distance, and the slow inevitable drift of their movements out of the unknown past into the unknown future. H.G. Wells
badge
Humankind has not woven the web of life. We are but one thread within it. Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves. All things are bound together. All things connect. Chief Seattle
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Some things to consider:

Playtest both and see which you prefer.

What happens if you lose all human HP? Player eliminated? Do you want the player eliminated if they die as animal? Do you want player elimination in the game?

How long do you want the game to go? Having separate HP will increase the length of time.

It sounds like if you are about to die as human you can change to animal to prevent or postpone death. Do you want that in the game?
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
hero gamer
United States
Florida
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmb
When you die in human form, you can reincarnate as either a different character starting at level 1, or the same character minus the starting spell/creature that you choose at the beginning of a normal game.

Well when changing into animal form, I suppose you are still yourself, so any damage taken would sustain even back into human form...
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Justin R
United States
New York
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
In that case, I'd say Animal HP is a confusing moniker. You might go with "durability" or something like that to denote the damage the animal form can sustain before compulsory reversion.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Ryan Cook
United States
flag msg tools
designer
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Continuing with the durability thing, maybe Animals have a durability that reduces the damage dealt by attack. So instead of having an animal hp of 3-7 it would instead have a durability of -3 through -7 (probably lower now). This way you can differentiate tougher animals.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Chris Hawkins
United States
Charlotte
North Carolina
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Perhaps HP should be constant, but double damage is taken while in animal form. Thus a druid would have an incentive to use the animal form as quickly as possible and shift back to human before taking damage.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Paul Wagner
United States
Cleveland Hts.,
Ohio
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
A little more info might help -- how is the transformation accomplished (do you use up mana, time, or some resources, or something else?) What penalty is there for a "forcefully" returned human? Is he unconscious? Disoriented? Weak? Fatigued? How many times a month/week/day/hour/minute is a Druid allowed to shape shift? At what cost?

I can see a few problems:

#1. The Druid changes into the animal form, fights until the animal gets close to health zero, then switches back to human form (no bad repercussion as you say.) The next turn the same Druid either re-shifts into the animal again (or another, similar animal) and has full hit points on it (the animal) again.

Now if the Druid/human _takes_ damage just as the animal does, then he couldn't do this but once or twice. If there is no cost, he can exploit it without end.

You'd have to set a max health of the animal equal to the health of the Druid, though.

And what if the Druid is severely wounded before he shape shifts? Is the animal he shifts into severely wounded also?

#2. You ask, "Does this make sense?" Well, when the animal loses hit points, isn't it losing blood, fur, muscle, something due to an attack? And isn't that blood soaking into the ground, the fur is getting blown away in the wind, and the muscle tissue being eaten by some other animal? So when the human re-forms, what happened to all that mass? Which leads to...

#3. I'm interested that a 15 health human turns into a 3-7 point animal. This would suggest that either there is some significant mass being destroyed/stored somewhere, or that the Druid is choosing to turn into an animal of similar mass, but one that's just much _much_ more fragile (i.e., the 3-7 health). ???

Which then leads to:

#4. Will your Druid eventually be able to morph into things MUCH larger than himself? A bear with health 30 or something? If you are comfortable violating a number of laws of nature/physics here (creating/destroying matter/energy), then asking if the scenario makes "sense" is rather ... rhetorical?

Having the animal retain human HP eliminates some problems; having the human take the damage even while in animal form eliminates some others. But then, this has it's own problems (can the Druid shape shift into a mouse with 15 health? What about an ant? Can the Druid shape shift into a giant with 60 health? How about a dragon with 120 health?)

Of course if you are just going for fun/playability, playtest it and do whatever works best, and to heck with the logic. We're talking magic and spells, here! Make the gameplay great fun and I'm sure most everyone will forgive you the "making sense" stuff.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jon Moffat
United States
Virginia
flag msg tools
designer
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I think there are some good suggestions here. I'd add that you could even track separate HP for each form, including human, That way if you're damaged as a rabbit, swap to human and later back to rabbit, your rabbit form is still as damaged as it was when you left.

It's all magic, so I would follow what makes the most sense gameplay-wise and try to rationalize the logic to fit that.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Justin R
United States
New York
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Attika wrote:
A little more info might help -- how is the transformation accomplished (do you use up mana, time, or some resources, or something else?) What penalty is there for a "forcefully" returned human? Is he unconscious? Disoriented? Weak? Fatigued? How many times a month/week/day/hour/minute is a Druid allowed to shape shift? At what cost?

I can see a few problems:

#1. The Druid changes into the animal form, fights until the animal gets close to health zero, then switches back to human form (no bad repercussion as you say.) The next turn the same Druid either re-shifts into the animal again (or another, similar animal) and has full hit points on it (the animal) again.

Now if the Druid/human _takes_ damage just as the animal does, then he couldn't do this but once or twice. If there is no cost, he can exploit it without end.

You'd have to set a max health of the animal equal to the health of the Druid, though.

And what if the Druid is severely wounded before he shape shifts? Is the animal he shifts into severely wounded also?

#2. You ask, "Does this make sense?" Well, when the animal loses hit points, isn't it losing blood, fur, muscle, something due to an attack? And isn't that blood soaking into the ground, the fur is getting blown away in the wind, and the muscle tissue being eaten by some other animal? So when the human re-forms, what happened to all that mass? Which leads to...

#3. I'm interested that a 15 health human turns into a 3-7 point animal. This would suggest that either there is some significant mass being destroyed/stored somewhere, or that the Druid is choosing to turn into an animal of similar mass, but one that's just much _much_ more fragile (i.e., the 3-7 health). ???

Which then leads to:

#4. Will your Druid eventually be able to morph into things MUCH larger than himself? A bear with health 30 or something? If you are comfortable violating a number of laws of nature/physics here (creating/destroying matter/energy), then asking if the scenario makes "sense" is rather ... rhetorical?

Having the animal retain human HP eliminates some problems; having the human take the damage even while in animal form eliminates some others. But then, this has it's own problems (can the Druid shape shift into a mouse with 15 health? What about an ant? Can the Druid shape shift into a giant with 60 health? How about a dragon with 120 health?)

Of course if you are just going for fun/playability, playtest it and do whatever works best, and to heck with the logic. We're talking magic and spells, here! Make the gameplay great fun and I'm sure most everyone will forgive you the "making sense" stuff.


I don't know if this is purposefully pompous and pedantic, but I'm pretty sure board game fantasy is not bound by real world physics. The portions of this post that weren't wholesale masturbation were more succinctly stated elsewhere in the thread.

Apologies in advance if this is offensive, but I can't stay my typing fingers when I see people overcomplicate a legitimate question so they can subtly suggest to the world that they took a high school physics class once upon a time.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
hero gamer
United States
Florida
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmb
As asked, more info: When shapeshifting into an animal, you do have to spend mana. each animal requires different mana depending on how powerful they are. For example, the bear costs 6 mana and the eagle costs 2. Each player has limited Mana to spend on their turn, so choosing what animal makes a difference because you may want to cast a spell first which also uses mana. Also, a player has 4 actions to choose from each turn. They can do the same action 4 times or whatever they want.

-Cast Spell (human form)
-Shapeshift (to animal form)
-Shapeshift (to human form)
-Attack (animal form)

Looking at it now, when a player shifts into animal form, they are using the animals spirit to mimic the creatures physical form, so I suppose it would be more 'logical' for any damage taken to sustain back into human form. "if I got stabbed in the rib as a bear, when I turn human, the wound is still there"

So what I'm thinking now is maybe the animals would have a buff to the characters HP? ie. turning into a bear would give you +8 hp while in animal form. But what about the other animals that are much smaller in comparison? Turning into an eagle would make your Hp much lower.. Or since you are a human in "eagle form" your Hp remains the same?
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
hero gamer
United States
Florida
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmb
TheGoodGuy wrote:
Continuing with the durability thing, maybe Animals have a durability that reduces the damage dealt by attack. So instead of having an animal hp of 3-7 it would instead have a durability of -3 through -7 (probably lower now). This way you can differentiate tougher animals.


When in human form, you don't have a defense stat, (unless you use a spell that gives you a temporary defense). Animals do. Basically the animals "defense" represents their ability to dodge or block an attack. I think that's what you meant?
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jon M
United Kingdom
Hitchin
Herts
flag msg tools
Avatar
What about something like this:

When you shapeshift you get bonus HP between 0 and 5 say depending upon the animal.

When you shift back if you have more hitpoints than you started with the excess are lost.

eg you shift into a bear and get +5 HP on your current level of 15 giving you 20. You take 10 damage as a bear and shift back to human form. Your current hitpoints would stay as they are at 10.

e.g you shift into a wolf giving you +4 hitpoints on your current level of 15 giving you 19. You vanquish your enemies without a scratch and shift back losing the extra 4 HP dropping you back to 15.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Albin Svensson
msg tools
I see a problem with the +HP.

Say you turn into a wolf +4HP. Then you lose almost all your health down to say 2HP. Do you want to turn back to human then? Losing your 4HP for being a wolf.

I would solve the problem like this:

Turning into small creatures like rats, rabbits will be weak. All damage are doubled. Large animals such as bears might take half the damage allocated to them. Wolfs and such might be normal damage.

If each animal transformation has a card with stats/abilities you can just add this to the card.

If you want an animal to be even more durable than you can give them an ability like though skin: all damage taken are -2 etc. This goes the other way around.

This is almost how I have done in one of my RPG games.

//Albin
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Steve Zagieboylo
United States
New Hampshire
flag msg tools
designer
mb
wowbagger44 wrote:
It's all magic, so I would follow what makes the most sense gameplay-wise and try to rationalize the logic to fit that.


I second this point.

One can say that it makes "sense" that if you took a blade in the ribs as a bear, you still have that wound when you switch to human. Or, one can say that it makes "sense" that, if I'm changing my shape (i.e. morphing the bones, tendons, muscle, skin, hair/fur, etc.) that I might as well heal up wounds as I'm doing it. Why morph into a wounded animal?

My point (that is, wowbagger's point) is that you can justify it either way. So do what works for the gameplay.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
K H
United States
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I would design a system such that your current health and maximum health remain constant across shape changes, while damage received from a given attack would scale up or down depending the character's current form. When the character's health falls below some threshold, he is too weak to maintain the animal form and thus reverts to his natural human form.

Example:
the Story Teller wrote:
A level 1 player character is a human with a damage multiplier of 5. Still injured from an earlier encounter, his health is 45 out of a maximum 100. An enemy attacks with a 3 point weapon, causing 3 x 5 = 15 points of damage. The player character's health is now 30 out of 100.

The player character transforms into a bear with a damage multipler of 3. His health is still 30 out of 100. Another enemy attacks with a 4 point weapon, dealing 4 x 3 = 12 points of damage. Now at 18 health out of 100, the player character decides to flee.

The player character transforms into a rabbit with a damage multiplier of 7. A lucky shot with a 2 point missile weapon hits the fleeing rabbit, causing 2 x 7 = 14 points of damage. Now at only 4 health points, and below the (10% of maximum) threshold, the player character forcefully reverts to human form.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Andrés Santiago Pérez-Bergquist
United States
Mountain View
California
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I think the originally proposed model can work just fine. Each animal form is then additional ablative hit points, and you lose the animal form once you've taken some damage. Key questions to address are what costs are there to entering animal form (e.g. mana, a card) and can you enter the same form repeatedly (as opposed to being consumable—if you get hurt badly enough in bear form to snap back to human, do you need to locate a new "bear spirit" or whatever to be able to turn into a bear again)?

Flavorwise, shapeshifting as a way to offset damage has substantial precedent in game mechanics (with hitpoints often resetting between forms or shifting providing explicit healing) and in fiction, where modern portrayals of werewolves are typically quite resilient, capable of fast healing, or simply impervious to non-silver weapons.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
hero gamer
United States
Florida
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmb
Santiago wrote:
I think the originally proposed model can work just fine. Each animal form is then additional ablative hit points, and you lose the animal form once you've taken some damage. Key questions to address are what costs are there to entering animal form (e.g. mana, a card) and can you enter the same form repeatedly (as opposed to being consumable—if you get hurt badly enough in bear form to snap back to human, do you need to locate a new "bear spirit" or whatever to be able to turn into a bear again)?

Flavorwise, shapeshifting as a way to offset damage has substantial precedent in game mechanics (with hitpoints often resetting between forms or shifting providing explicit healing) and in fiction, where modern portrayals of werewolves are typically quite resilient, capable of fast healing, or simply impervious to non-silver weapons.


When shapeshifting into an animal, you must pay it's mana cost. Stronger animals like the bear require much more mana than most
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.