# Which number to use when using "hit dice" in ability calculations?

I've got a debate in my group about what numbers to use when "hit dice" or "racial hit dice" are to be used in a calculation. We are using D&D 3.5.

For example, if calculating the damage of poison says to use half of a creature's "racial hit dice" and their hit dice is listed as "5d8+10" what number are we dealing with?

Let's say we break up the constituent parts of the hit dice listing as AdB+C=X where A is number of die, B is type of die, C is die modifier, and X is sum of A*B+C

The competing explanations within my group are as follows:

1. A is the hit dice number, so with the poison example 5 is the number to use, so 2.5 is the poison damage.

2. B is the hit dice number, so with the poison example 8 is the number to use, so 4 is the poison damage.

3. X is the hit dice number, so with the poison example 50 is the number to use, so 25 is the poison damage.

4. Actually do the rolling (Roll A number of B dice, add C to whatever that is) on a case by case basis, changing the amount of damage done each time.

Let's say all the creatures I use as an example use the same poison calculation as above.

The biggest point of contention is if you are just using A, which usually ties to the level of a creature a level 5 creature would always use 5 hit dice, so a level 5 dragon would do the same poison damage as a level 5 mosquito or something. However, if you are just using B then let's say a dragon has a d8 and a human has a d8, a level 20 dragon and level 1 human would do the same poison damage. Then of course, if you use X both level and type of dice are taken into consideration, so different creatures are doing proportional damage, but now the poison is doing way more damage than some people think it should.

Of course none of these could be the correct answer. Even reading the specific rules in the book, each of us are interpreting it differently. What say you, internet?