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In my group, we are taking it in turns to DM. We are currently on our 2nd adventure and I am preparing to DM the next one. During my preperations, I have discovered a potential problem.

Our first DM created a house rule for levelling where we add our constitution modifier and half of our level to our HP increase when we level up. At first this wasn't a problem. However, as I have been considering the parties stats in my preperations, I have realised that this will make everyone quite overpowered at later levels.

For example, one character only had a Con modifier of 1 at heroic tier and is not going to actively upgrade it. He gains 5 hp each level for his class and he took the "Toughness" feat to try and counteract his low Con score. Now, according to my calculations, at level 30 he will have 473 hp! (I calculated to level 30 so as to see his max hp)

Is this as unbalanced as it seems? If so, how can I/we rectify it at this stage in our character's lifespans?

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  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ May I ask what lead to the house rule in the first place? \$\endgroup\$ – Joshua Aslan Smith Jun 27 '14 at 2:49
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    \$\begingroup\$ It was our first time playing and we messed up our base hp (we used the Con modifier instead of the Con score). Because of this our paladin almost died in the first encounter when a kobold got a crit. Even though we fixed our hp afterwards, I think this made the DM really paranoid because he nerfed all the enemies for a few sessions and introduced this rule. \$\endgroup\$ – Dynas XV Jun 27 '14 at 3:24
  • \$\begingroup\$ Relevant situation to the question of what to do now (a group misunderstood the OA rules for ages): My group's misunderstood opportunity attacks for years; what to do now I know this? \$\endgroup\$ – doppelgreener Jun 27 '14 at 5:34
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Yes, it is

By level 30 there are all sorts of epic tier powers available to players to regen health, have massive heals, avoid taking damage at all, or basically avoid death once per day. All of these powers are in there to compensate for the deadliness of the creatures that players will face at that point.

Contrariwise Different classes (generally by role) have different HP gains per level to reflect the nature of both their class and role. Defenders get a lot of HP per level (and often have a higher con as well) because they need it, its part of their roles. Likewise, the rest of the roles get less (striker down to controller) because the nature of the roles makes them less and less apt to be the focus of damage. There are of course some classes that tend to have more HP for a given role, such as the Warlord, because their class is more likely to be found on the front lines.

The Fix

Simply recalculate everyone's HP to where it should be by the rules. 4e is a very, very balanced system with a few exceptions (some dragon magazine content that never got erratta'd or a few classes that never quite worked out) and it's in your favor to keep things RAW vs. introducing house-rules that can cause unintended consequences rippling through the system.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Yes - the System with all its rules was designed by an experienced group and refined in hundreds of sessions of playtesting and afterwards revised over time. So you should always suspect missunderstanding the rules, if you find gross imbalances and ask online before making a house-rule on the spot to "fix" the system. \$\endgroup\$ – Falco Jun 27 '14 at 10:53
  • \$\begingroup\$ Is it worth mentioning level 1 equivalent damage to push things the other way? \$\endgroup\$ – Brian Ballsun-Stanton Jun 27 '14 at 12:31

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