Paying the Iron Price

So many elements of 5th Edition are classic. Timeless. These mechanics evoke memories of older editions and simpler game systems. But then there’s Hit Dice. The name is classic, but traditionally HD didn’t do anything. Hit Dice determined the range of how many hit points you had as well as if certain spells and effects could affect you. Such as the classic sleep or colour spray spells that were ineffective against foes of a certain number of Hit Dice. But was slightly needless, and could have been replaced by “level” or “challenge” in later editions. 5e even did away with the usage in spells, using hit point totals instead.

Allowing Hit Dice to be “spent” for healing was a neat innovation. It adds a little extra healing to the game removed from class features. But it was a change that completely confused my players. It was such a completely different use of the feature they just could not understand the change.