Hit points, or HP, are an essential part of your character. You must always keep a close eye on your HP to ensure that your character stays conscious during combat and exploration. If you have a lower HP total, you’ll want to hang back with your party’s healer whenever possible. But how do you know what your HP is?
The initial Hit Points calculation works like this:
- Determine your character class’s hit die size (this will be d6 for Sorcerers and Wizards, d8 for Artificers, Bards, Clerics, Druids, Monks, Rogues, and Warlocks, d10 for Fighters, Paladins, and Rangers, or d12 for Barbarians)
- Roll a number of hit dice equal to your character’s level (at level 1, this is a single hit die)
- Multiply your Constitution modifier by your character’s level
- Add both numbers to find your total
You roll your hit die every time your character levels up and add your Constitution modifier to your current HP total.
Ways to Increase HP
There are several ways to increase your hit points when designing your character. The higher level your character is, the more HP they’ll have. However, if you’re beginning with a higher-level character or want to ensure that you are never knocked down during a fight, here are some recommendations.
Increase Your Constitution Score
You add your Constitution modifier to your HP every time you level up. That means if your Constitution score is higher, you’ll be able to add more to your HP. Plus, your Constitution affects your HP retroactively, meaning that if you increase your Constitution at level 4, you also gain your new modifier for all of your previous levels.
Take the Tough Feat
Another option is to take the Tough feat. We go more in-depth in our Tough feat guide, but basically, this feat lets you add double your character’s level to their HP. A level 10 character would gain 20 HP upon taking this feat, and for every level after that, they’d gain an extra 2 HP on top of their Constitution modifier and whatever they roll on their hit dice.