Objective Differentiation - I like each player's character to feel different to the others. It doesn't need to be full-on mechanical niche protection, but you should feel like you'v...
29 minutes ago
Detect evil at up to 60' distance, as often as desired, but only when the Paladin in concentrating on the presence of evil and seeking to detect it in the right general direction.What is he, Green Lantern? "No evil shall escape my sight"
The biggest drawback is that spellcasters and monsters have to be aware of a target's hit points to decide if an attack makes sense. For most monsters, you can make a save or die effect sit on top of a damaging attack (a wyvern's tail stinger) or trigger automatically each round (a basilisk's gaze). The same can't be said for expendable spells, and the save or die mechanic is likely too powerful for spells you can reuse. For spells, you could state that a creature above the hit point threshold automatically succeeds at a saving throw or the spell's attack automatically misses. The spell could then have an effect on a miss or successful save, giving the caster something for his or her effort. (Again, PCs and Monsters do not need to follow the same set of rules when it comes to Save or Die. Monsters do get a Saving Throw I assume)
- It ties the save or die mechanic to hit points, meaning that a monster has to attack you a few times before it can kill you or take you out. (as a balance issue, I'm okay with this)
- The same applies to spells. The fighter hacks away at a troll for a few rounds before the wizard uses flesh to stone on it. (not sure I agree with this. PCs and monsters do not need to follow the same rules)
- It allows monsters to better scale with level. A powerful monster is scary to low-level PCs because it can defeat them with one attack. High-level characters must still approach the monster with caution, but they can stay out of the danger zone through smart play. (keeping with the whole "orcs should be viable threats for multiple levels theme)
- It creates a rising sense of tension at the table. Running low on hit points becomes even more dangerous. (tension is a good thing in gaming)
- We can design monsters to model their power in the world. A medusa turns the town guards to stone, but the hero accompanying them has a fighting chance. (again, no complaint from me)
- It allows us to strip away a lot of the immunities that cluttered monsters, especially in 3rd Edition. Many of those immunities served to deter one-spell victories (eh, I am not a 3e scholar - I'll take Mike's word on this)