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I'm a new GM and after running a session where two named NPCs were defeated before even having a turn I started to question if I was doing something wrong. One of my players (who GMs as well) asked if I was adding the dice HP to the monster's HP total. He said for his games he takes the HP and then rolls all the dice in the HP part of the stat block and adds that in. I did that for the last boss of that dungeon and it seemed like the fight lasted about as long as it should. Her stat block shows

hp 59 (6 HD; 4d8+2d10+26)

I ended up with 104 after rolling and adding to the 59.

Now in prepping for the next session the way the stat blocks are worded makes that not seem correct. I have been left to question myself and my understanding of the rules. After running a quick sim of the dice from that block I do get 59 on average. Is 59 just the average that would happen that I can use instead of rolling or am I supposed to be doing something more to get a higher number? My bosses seem to be going down to easily but adding the rolls to the HP just doesn't seem right.

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    \$\begingroup\$ You apparently have a clear idea in your head of how hard monsters "should" be. A) Where did you get this idea, B) how are you judging how well they're achieving that standard, and C) how sure are you that this standard is a good and useful one? \$\endgroup\$ – GMJoe Oct 18 '15 at 23:42
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    \$\begingroup\$ @GMJoe has some valid questions, and here's another: Are you sure this is a hp issue? It sounds like this might, instead, be a challenge rating issue. \$\endgroup\$ – Hey I Can Chan Oct 19 '15 at 2:01
  • \$\begingroup\$ My thoughts on how hard fights should be is just from what I think would seem fun. Too short and there isn't a challenge and too long and you get bored before it's done. I am using an Adventure Path and my party consists of four players leveling at the pace they should be according to the book (Runelords Anniversary). This was at 3rd level party. CR 4/CR 3 were the two fights they beat down so hard they turned the guy into soup. \$\endgroup\$ – Richard Jarrell Oct 19 '15 at 3:05
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    \$\begingroup\$ @RichardJarrell The challenge of a fight has very little to do with how long it takes, and everything to do with how much strain it puts on the party's resources (hit points, spell slots, X-uses-per-day features, gp, actions, and consumable magic items). Longer fights do feature more opportunities for resource loss, but that's not the only way they can be challenging; A short but damaging fight actually puts the party under more stress than a longer fight that deals the same amount of damage. If duration is your only metric, you are overlooking many other important sources of challenge. \$\endgroup\$ – GMJoe Oct 19 '15 at 4:36
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    \$\begingroup\$ If the PCs are optimized to almost any degree, it's likely they'll stomp a lot of adventure path foes, paths being designed for average characters and all. The original Runelords included laughably low-powered sample PCs--consider comparing your PCs to the sample ones, if any are in the anniversary edition, and adjusting opposition if necessary. (To be fair, Runelords was originally for 3.5, and Wizards never made their non-core material open content, so the sample PCs Paizo included with Runelords were made using the core rules exclusively and non-abusively. So there's that.) \$\endgroup\$ – Hey I Can Chan Oct 19 '15 at 6:26
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The HP listed is the average hp. You can either take the average HP as shown or roll the hit dice manually.

From the pfsrd (link):

hp The creature's hit points, followed by its Hit Dice (including modifiers from Constitution, favored class levels, creature type modifiers, and the Toughness feat).

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