There's something wrong with a character with just one hit point, isn't there?
I don't mean after they've been chewed on by a tunnel gobbler, or dropped into a pit of flaming snakes, or sprayed in the face by poisonous lasers--it can be fun to have one hit point then, even if only for a short time--I mean when a player rolls their first-level hit die and discovers that they spent all that time and creative energy and pencil lead--no more than 15 mintues and an index card, I hope!--to assemble the Baddest Ass In the Land just to hang all their hopes for survival on a single miserable hit point.
Sure, 3e D&D gives PCs maximum hit points at first level, but I didn't want to do that--but I also didn't know how I wanted to address the problem, so we ran some games with a 1-hit-point PC.
I liked that guy, if only for his frizzy hair--and I mean frizzy, like, electrical octopus frizzy. I was sad to see him go.
So I think I'll map starting hit points to the 3d6 bell curve: 9-12 will be 3.5 hit points, and each standard deviation higher will give you two more (the reverse for lower, natch). Tommy, that means 13+ is +2 and 16+ is +4, right? ( You see, folks, I know nothing about standard deviation, but Tommy loves it.)
How the hell can a character have 3.5 hit points? And we're Old School--we don't want to talk about 3.5.
You figure it out--oh wait, you're not going to do it this way, I am. I'm making it a 50-50 chance for 3 or 4.
Oh, I'm also making 1 hit point a partially disabled, not fit for combat situation--except in the middle of a fight. Maybe. But if you've been lying in the inn waiting for you bones to knit, at 1 hit point you're going to feel pretty stiff and puny. Maybe when an injury takes you to 1 hit point, shock can set in--or begin to set in, or whatever shock does.
And of course, these 1 hit point rules (once I figure out what they are) won't apply to the 1-hit-point cannon-fodder-type mooks. That's right, I'm going to use 4e's minion rules. I like 'em. Don't tell my players.