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Friendly Debate: Health VS PowerPoints
Health and PowerPoints the two big resources every character on Fabletop shares.
Take Health for example. You can tank absurds amounts of damage, being an absolute unit.
Then imagine PowerPoints. You can squeeze in some extra amount of stars for that final push.
If you had to pick one to have the crown, to be the center of attention. Which one would be? Why? Or is a proper balanced mix the best pick?
Power points wins EVERY TIME. Even for pure tanking, PP beats health... at least under core rules - why?
PP lets you block / doge / avoid damage. The PP you spend adds 1 automatically, so has already drawn level with HP, but you then block an additional few points of damage based on what you roll.
So PP is better for tanking and taking hits than HP. And, PP allows you do more special stunts.
That being said, my favourite builds to play are 4/4 and 5/3. Because I like a balance of each.
If you're purely power gaming, PP lets you tank better than HP, but if you HP is too low you might need to block almost every hit.
3 or 4 HP is enough, and after that, lean purely into PP for optimal builds :P
I agree with oman. I rarelly go with extreme builds, but from a mechanical standpoint PP is much better. Its a lot more versatile due to been able to help you when you need it for a roll, but also because of what he mentioned. Even for sustaining damage it always at the very least as good as HP with option of been better.
I udnerstand why free blocking its not commonly used as to avoid combats been a slog, but always felt like for proper balance chars should have more HP as to not rely on PP for their tankiness. As in Hp trades with power 2 to 1 at least and you can start with a higer budget when it comes of hp + pp but no more than 4 power and no less than 4 hp.
I hardly play on FableTop anymore so I'm gonna be the Devil's Advocate and justify why would you rather have high life points.
Imagine the following scenario; you decide to play a Life 2/2, PP 6/6 character because you hear how much PP is better than life. Your friend, Bob is going to be more conventional and play a Life 6/6, PP 2/2 fighter. You make fun of him and say you can just dodge/block the damage every time you get hit while Bob has only 2 instances where he could afford to block/dodge before running out of PP.
Now, you are walking with your party in the middle of a forest when all of the sudden, a fireball is cast at your location. You are surprised and there is no time to dodge. The entire party takes 3 damage each. You fall over and die while Bob with 6 life only loses half his health. GG everyone. -- leaves table --
Again this is a very specific game/scenario which might not apply to every table. I just want y'all to hear my opinion.
What sort of terrible GM is saying 'no, no one may make any kind of defence roll, I'm going to do a set 3 damage and kill this character'?
To play devil's advocate myself; the one thing that makes life better is you can never have too much of it. If at the end of a session you've only used 4 of your 6 PP, then the remaining points are wasted, but it never feels like a waste to still have a couple of HP in reserve at the end of the session.
So whilst PP it better, if you're thinking about what to do with your next level up and you always have PP to spare at the end of sessions, maybe go with more life instead!
Based on my experience in a table, I agree with Power > Health
In most cases, Power lets you ration the amount of tank you'll be doing in your rolls depending on how strong is the enemy rolls. It also provides almost-guaranteed success on non-combats check if it requires only 1 star to pass.
As much as health goes, the only time you will take damage to health is when you roll bad or you/them roll a unique dice, moon or skull, which sometimes ignores the enemy roll.
It's very rare to take advantage of your high health unless it's somehow a skill that you have.
An important point is Alk is talking above about rule sets where a block or dodge is allowed for ALL attacks. This is a common house rule, but is not the official rule of the Fabletop system, where defence rolls need a power point EVERY time.
I mean, nothing is perfect, and specially so if going with too extreme of a build. You always have the risk of one big hit can down you even while defending, and there is unpreventable damage (though 3 points of unpreventable damage its something that simply doesnt happen I have to say, at least where I happened to play. Its usually 1 at best) life is always more realiable.
Fact is (at least with core rules where PP is required to defend) a 4-5 is going to have more survibality 99% of the time than a 5-4. Given power also enables or boosts many more things than survibality, while life only helps with that alone, its kind of a boomer.
HP all the way bro. PP is good but with 3-4 PP you can keep up most campaigns, unless it's core.
In my personal opinion,from what I see,hp is better because some tables have tanky enemies
PP is in theory superior to HP, but in practise it falls short.
This is because of lots of uncertainety preventing you from using its maximum potential; if you use a PP when a blocking, you will never know how the block's roll actually will look like. And so it will happen (quite often) that the block would have prevented the damage even without the help of the PP, meaning that you have just wasted a PP.
If you decide to gamble when blocking an especially strong attack and use only 1 PP instead of 2, or maybe if there is just a simple skull/moon in play, it will happen that damage comes through anyways, leaving you in a dangerous zone of 1-2 HP.
In addition, you are never able to use your PP deposit to its maximum efficency because you never know when the session ends or when the next PP refill occurs, meaning that you are kept in the dark and may end up hoarding some PP "just in case'' when truly they are about to get refilled.
Your PP is more important when you focus on a higher PP build, whilst characters with higher HP might be more willing to just sacrifice all PP in one go as they don't need to worry about gambling on defense rolls and balancing their remaining PP.
PP's roles changes according to rules. For instance I notice a lot of GMs like keeping PP for use in 'spells' or 'skills'. If you went by core fabletop, you might need to pay a 1 PP fee in order to use magic for the entirety of a scene. And then there are other, weirder house rules.
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