Comparing Feats

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Games, Tabletop

In 4th Edition D&D there are two generic feats that I’m considering taking. I wanted to do a bit of math to see which was better, and I figured this might be useful for other people as well.

Feat 1: Toughness
Effect: Gain 5 additional hit points per tier (ie, gain 15 total HP over the life of your character).

Feat 2: Durable
Effect: Gain 2 additional healing surges.

On the surface, these seem pretty similar. I want to look at the breakdown at a couple different points to see how that pans out.

Scenario 1:

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Wizard, 10 Con
Level 1 HP: 20
Level 1 Healing Surge: 5
Healing Surges: 6
Cumulative HP: 50
With Toughness, Cumulative HP: 61
With Durable, Cumulative HP: 60

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Wizard, 10 Con
Level 11 HP: 60
Level 11 Healing Surge: 15
Healing Surges: 6
Cumulative HP: 150
With Toughness, Cumulative HP: 172
With Durable, Cumulative HP: 180

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Wizard, 10 Con
Level 21 HP: 100
Level 21 Healing Surge: 25
Healing Surges: 6
Cumulative HP: 250
With Toughness, Cumulative HP: 283
With Durable, Cumulative HP: 300

Scenario 2:
Wizard, 18 Con
Level 1 HP: 28
Level 1 Healing Surge: 7
Healing Surges: 9
Cumulative HP: 91
With Toughness, Cumulative HP: 105
With Durable, Cumulative HP: 105

Wizard, 18 Con
Level 11 HP: 68
Level 11 Healing Surge: 17
Healing Surges: 9
Cumulative HP: 221
With Toughness, Cumulative HP: 249
With Durable, Cumulative HP: 255

Wizard, 18 Con
Level 21 HP: 108
Level 21 Healing Surge: 27
Healing Surges: 9
Cumulative HP: 351
With Toughness, Cumulative HP: 393
With Durable, Cumulative HP: 405

Scenario 3:
Dragonborn Paladin, 18 Con
Level 1 HP: 33
Level 1 Healing Surge: 11
Healing Surges: 13
Cumulative HP: 176
With Toughness, Cumulative HP: 194
With Durable, Cumulative HP: 198

Dragonborn Paladin, 18 Con
Level 11 HP: 93
Level 11 Healing Surge: 26
Healing Surges: 13
Cumulative HP: 431
With Toughness, Cumulative HP: 467
With Durable, Cumulative HP: 483

Dragonborn Paladin, 18 Con
Level 21 HP: 153
Level 21 Healing Surge: 41
Healing Surges: 13
Cumulative HP: 686
With Toughness, Cumulative HP: 753
With Durable, Cumulative HP: 768

In conclusion, it looks like Durable is the overall winner, especially when we consider that HP continues to rise all the way to 30th level. With another 9 levels of HP, the amount of healing done by a Healing Surge will continue to increase, making each of those two additional healing surges more worthwhile.

However, Toughness is surprisingly better than you’d expect, and for the most part keeps pace with Durable. It’s also got the benefit in that it’s actually increasing your real HP pool, meaning you’re slightly harder to take down in a fight all things being equal.

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