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January 29th, 2007, 21:53
This was something I wrote a while back and with the reply:

Quote: Posted 08/14/06 18:42:16 (GMT) by ffbj
I remember a developer said something to the effect that random rolls could be compared to rolling randomly to see whether you got a particular spell, or skill. I remember going huh? As this conclusion seemed rather eroneous to me. Comparing the difference to getting, or not getting a few extra hp's to not getting a spell? Hey lets talk about apples to oranges.

J.E. Sawyer replied:

It's the same thing. If the only argument for their difference is that a spell slot or feat is considered more valuable than a few hit points, it's a just measurement of value, not a systemic distinction. As obfuscated as it seems at times, there is an "algebra of value" that can be calculated for various things like feats, spells, skill points, and hit points.

At every level, a character receives a set of "stuff". Of these things, the only thing that is randomized in number is hit points. It functions dissimilarly to all other things a character receives when they advance. There is no clear reason for why it functions in this way in D&D.

By default, max HP is always given. That is, regardless of how it may have worked in code at one time, this is how it functioned when we examined it (specifically because of this topic). I talked to Brock and Andy about what it would take to implement various campaign-level toggles for these things; it was a non-trivial amount of time.

Given that programming did not have a lot of free time to implement the various things required to make this optional, I asked them to leave it as it was. Personally, in my time playing the game, I have not noticed any obvious imbalanced caused by max HP, even with casters.

My reply:

Now the response was, they are the same. I disagree. This is not a post regarding the vagaries of the argument about max hitpoints, rather it was the exception I took to the comparison. For one thing, which was not even alluded to in the rebuttal comment, you get something if you make a bad hp roll. If you blow the roll for the spell you get nothing, nada, zip. So how in any way shape or form is it "the same thing." You chose to use a poor comparison example, imho. J.E. also brought up things that had nothing to do with my commet, such as "I have not noticed any obvious imbalance caused by max HP, even with casters."

Ok, so, never said anything about that. I just don't think you can compare things that vary greatly in an economy of scale and expect to get away with it. That's all. He says that feats and spell are considered more valuable, they are more valuable. Now if he had of used the comparison of rolling randomly for skill points that would have been fine with me. So depending on your roll you would get x skillpoints. Ok, sorry to be such a putz on this one.
Last edited by ffbj; January 29th, 2007 at 22:08.
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January 30th, 2007, 02:25
Sorry, this goes WAY over my head!!
If God said it, then that settles it!!

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January 30th, 2007, 05:22
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January 30th, 2007, 08:13
Was this an offshoot of another thread here at RPGWatch?

ffbj, if your frustrated by J.E. Sawyer's reply, he may have been avoiding answering your question directly for a couple of reasons he couldn't answer (i.e not allowed to comment), he didn't know the answer (so he talked around it) or he just didn't understand (possible since irrc, he became Lead dev about 6 months before the game shipped).
Also the original Lead left or was replaced, I get the impression due to some conflict, usually why the Lead dev leaves just before shipping, well imo.

Otherwise we would need to know more about like a link to the thread or if there is something your asking here as it seems late in the conversatition just looking at what you posted.
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January 30th, 2007, 18:56
The original thread:


Guess I should feel kind of honered since in that whole tedious 11 pages he chose my comment to comment on. I was merely annoyed by the comparison he used, and his defense of that comparison. The argument about max hp is rather pointless at this point anyway, a mute point.
Last edited by ffbj; January 30th, 2007 at 19:32.
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