I want to understand the health inflation that is often printed in Cypher System material (often in module adventures or in the small sidebars when describing the hiring of NPCs).
In Numenera Health (HP) is usually determined by the standard destination number
Numenera – Discovery, p. 222 (also the same in the 1st edition)
Health: A creature's target number is usually its health. This is the amount of damage she can take before she is dead or unable to act. For easy reference, the entries always list a creature's health, even if that's the normal amount for a creature of its level.
Which is 3 x the level of difficulty, just for reference.
The designers evade a limitation that monsters sometimes just break the usual defined health for a much higher number. I remember referring to it in the first part of Ed Numenera to provide more challenging battles for higher level characters.
A quick tour of Discovery / Destiny I picked out a few examples:
- Discovery p 367 – teratoma – level: 3 HP: 12
- Discovery p 381 – Octopus- Level: 3 HP: 15
- Discovery p. 369 – Teratoma (M) – Level: 4 HP: 15
- Destiny p 371 – Assassin – Level: 4 HP: 20
- Discovery p 375 – Weymel – Level: 5 HP: 20
- Discovery p 385 – Latos – Level: 5 HP: 25
- Destiny p 389 – Halcus – Level: 5 HP: 20
- Destiny p 389 – Drayva – Level: 5 HP: 20
- Destiny p 362 – Khagun Semper – Level: 5 HP: 26
- Destiny p 373 – Soludi – Level: 6 HP: 24
- Destiny p 398 – Heri – Level: 6 HP: 27
- Destiny p 398 – Scrose – Level: 7 HP: 30
There are many, many more examples in Cypher Systems, OG-Numenera, Discovery, Destiny, The Strange and Predation. And they are not unique or are used generously, HP inflation is extremely common. As you can only see from this small list, the creatures range from boss encounters to low random animals with no rhyme or reason that I can perceive. Across all level areas.
My question is why? Is there a systematic process for this? Is the default HP suggested in the "Creature" section just too low? I'm looking for designer comments or even personal GM experience to assess how much HP should be given to the fighters.