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In the Dark Souls tabletop RPG, 5e’s Hit Points are replaced with “Position”, a more flexible resource. I found the rules for determining the Base Position of a character to be slightly confusing.

For each of the character origins (pp 28-31), the position values are stated as follows (example from the Brute origin):

Position at 1st Level: 10 + your Constitution Modifier

Position at Higher Levels: 1d10 (or 6) + your Constitution modifier per brute level after 1st.

So this is just like 5e hit points: a 1st-level Brute origin character with 15 Constitution would have 10+3 = 13 Position. Note that the origins don’t mention Base Position vs. the Position pool.

But in the rules on Position (p.101), there’s this rule:

Each character’s Base Position is equal to their current level, plus their Constitution modifier, and the maximum value of the dice in their position pool.

Assuming the ‘and’ in that sentence, means ‘plus’, I would assume that a character with 15 Constitution (+3) and D10 position pool dice would have (1+3+10) 14 Base Position at 1st level. The example in the rules confirms this value. I would then assume that based on this rule, that character at 10th level has (10+3+10) 23 Base Position.

However, the rules go on to say that when a character levels up, a character’s Base Position increases by “Constitution Modifier + New Level”. The example shows the character with 14 Base Position at 1st level gaining 5 more position at second level (+3 for constitution, +2 for 2nd level) for a total of 19.

So this reads like the total Base Position for a character is actually:

Sum of character levels + (Level x Constitution Modifier) + Maximum value of the dice in their position pool

So a 10th-level Brute character with a 15 Constitution would have the sum of their levels (1+2+…+10=55) plus their Con bonus per level (3 x 10 = 30) plus the maximum value of their Position die (10) for a total Base Position of 95.

Note: The Dark Souls rules state that the bonus for an ability score of 15 is +3 in several places, including the examples for calculating Position, so I’ve used that value in the examples above. Of course, in the SRD rules, the bonus for an ability score of 15 is +2, and the standard rules for this are on page 95 of the Dark Souls rulebook.

I couldn’t find any examples of higher-level characters the book, so I don’t have any other way to find out what the correct rule is. Have I missed something in the books, or have there been clarifications posted online somewhere?

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  • \$\begingroup\$ 15 Constitution would be a +2 bonus, not +3, at least in 5e. \$\endgroup\$
    – KRyan
    Oct 14, 2023 at 22:44
  • \$\begingroup\$ @KRyan Yes, that’s what my penultimate paragraph says. \$\endgroup\$
    – Marq
    Oct 21, 2023 at 13:34
  • \$\begingroup\$ Oh, sorry, missed that. \$\endgroup\$
    – KRyan
    Oct 21, 2023 at 14:41

1 Answer 1

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You add your starting level once to your base position

The text for Origin position is different from what you state. It is (example The Brute):

Position at higher levels: 1d10 (or 6) + your Constitution modifier + Brute level after 1st

Not "Your constitution modifier * Brute level after 1st", which, if you assume that you get this every level would be very large -- you would add 1 time Con mod at level 1, 2 times Con mod at level 2, 3 times Con mod at level 3 etc for a total of 6 time Con mod at level 3; that is not intended. In fact, I do think it is not even intended that you add your current level at every level, just once overall, even if the formula does not say that: see below.

Page 79 states that your base position at 1st level is

Constitution modifier + Maxmium value of their Origin's Position dice [10, in case of the Brute] + Current Level

This is one larger than the Position from the Origin at first level. Then, when you level up, you increase your Base Position as follows:

Current Base Position + Constitution modifier

When your character starts at level one, then when you level up, you increase your Base Position by simply adding your modifier. If your game is starting at a higher level, then you include your level (as seen in "Origin's Position at Higher Levels"). This little boost is to reflect the lack of improved equipment [...], It's not a lot but it might just help.

This contradicts the formula in the Role writeups. If you added your current level at every level, that would be a lot, not just a "little boost". For example, even at 5th level, you would have already added 15 points from levels, or for a Brute with Con 15 and +2 bonus which would have the remainder of its positon be 10 (from the die) + 2*5 (from Con) = 20. That is a boost of 75%! Around level 10 as you indicate it would roughly double positon. And once you get to higher levels it gets even more out of whack. By level 15, you would have 120 Base Position from this, vs 40 Base Position from your die and Con mod, that is 300% more. That certainly does not fit with "It's not a lot..."

So the only logical conclusion is that what they mean is what they describe in the text: if you start at higher levels, you get to add the level that you start play at, once, to your Base Position.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Are you reading from the corrected and rereleased pdf? \$\endgroup\$ Oct 14, 2023 at 22:36
  • \$\begingroup\$ @ThomasMarkov It says version 1.12 on p. 408. I think it may be, because it is using +2 for Con 15 mod, not +3. \$\endgroup\$ Oct 14, 2023 at 22:46
  • \$\begingroup\$ The original release was a colossal dumpster fire of errors. So if what you’re reading now doesn’t match the quotes in the question, it’s because they’ve updated the text. \$\endgroup\$ Oct 14, 2023 at 23:06

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