[RPG] Why would I ever choose rolling hit points


In DnD 5th edition, all classes seemingly have the option of rolling hit points -or- just increasing their hit points by a set value.

That set value is defined as the dice roll's average, rounded up.

Given that it is rounded up (and thus will statistically offer better HP than rolling), why would anyone ever roll for hit points? Rolling seems to provide the worst of both worlds, giving you lower HP than defaulting as well as possibly screwing your barbarian over with a roll of 1, and just risking plain bad rolls in general.

It makes me wonder if I've overlooked any rules that otherwise balances the options. Am I?

Best Answer

Because it's "more fun".

To many roleplayers the fun is on the dice. They enjoy every roll, and they like to take risks.

If another game's example is allowed, in MERP hitpoints were also rolled (for some reason it was the only rolled skill). Everytime I leveled up, I had incredible luck. While the average animist had 33 hp, mine had over 50. So no, rolling is not always worst. It is a suboptimal choice, but can provide better results.

Also, I think this option is provided as something like backward compatibility. Old habits die hard on roleplayers, and many would feel a fixed raise spoils the game, while others may find annoying to randomize so much his character's power.

Possibly, if D&D 5 was a new game instead of a new edition of an ancestral game, they would never have provided the roll option.