In most MMO games today, your character has lots of hit points and you get hit a few dozen times before you go down. In pen & paper systems, your character tends to have lower hit points and depends largely on misses, blocking and resists to survive; getting hit a couple or three times can put you in the dirt. So the question is, which system would you prefer to play in, one where you have hundreds or thousands of hit points and get hit for small amounts often and large amounts infrequently, or one where you have dozens of hit points and get missed mostly and hits are more critical in nature?
To a degree, playing in a large number system is more… calming. I get hit and I shrug it off. I have 5,000 hit points and the monster I’m fighting only hits for 50, so I can get hit 100 times before I fall. Mathematically, it allows for a steady, normalized, progression of damage that leads to character death. With the occasional spike of spell damage to keep you on your toes. However, like other things, I’m a bit tired of this system because it is so prevalent.
The other method is more tense. Miss, miss, miss, block, dodge, miss, dodge, miss, block, HIT! Crap! I just lost half my hit points! Miss, miss, block, miss, block, block, dodge, miss, miss, dodge, HIT! Almost dead! Not gonna make it! Block, block, dodge, miss, dodge, miss, miss, miss, miss, dodge, block, enemy falls over dead. Whew! I made it!
I don’t know. It just seems to me that if it worked that second way, I’d care more, I’d be less tempted to do some AFK fighting. What do you think?