Should unhidden enemies you can't see have advantage when they attack you?

This question came up in another thread and it seemed like it was worth its own discussion. Currently in the DDN playtest rules if you can't see something attacking you they only have advantage on their attack if they are also hidden (ie you can't see and can't hear them).  You have disadvantage when attacking something you can't see, regardless of whether or not it's hidden, but when they attack you they do not have an advantage unless they are specifically hidden at the time.

Some people are arguing that if you can't see your attacker then they should have advantage on the attack. Might be reasonable but it also might be a balance issue, I really don't have a strong opinion yet one way or another. I figured I'd start this thread in case anybody has some comments on it one way or another.
Attacks actively require vision to be effective.  Defenses are fine with a basic awareness of where they are.  That's why the former accepts lack of vision for disadvantage, but the latter requires being hidden.

Not to mention, if being invisible gave you all the benefits of being hidden, then there'd be no point for stealth once the wizard hits level x where x makes him invisible.  And no point for stealth means no point for the rogue. 
There's no real point.  The player already has disadvantage being blinded and not able to see the target.  The target on the other hand has not changed.  As the example from where this spawned from, the player vs the medusa.  If the player(we'll say fighter) closes his eyes he is now is blinded and thus has disadvantage against fighting the medusa.

The medusa on the other hand is still the same as she's been.  She's still attacking the fighter normal and thus does not need or should get advantage, doesn't make sense.  The "advantage" the medusa gets is that the fighter cannot see her and as such with disadvantage has a harder time hitting her so most likely she'll take less damage.  Also while blinded the medusa can hide from the fighter, maybe move away and go after someone else leaving the fighter to swing his sword blindly for at least a turn.  That'd the "advantage" the medusa or any monster in such a situation gets.  Adding to it by giving it actual advantage is just too much, and pointless. 
Attacks actively require vision to be effective.  Defenses are fine with a basic awareness of where they are.  That's why the former accepts lack of vision for disadvantage, but the latter requires being hidden.

Not to mention, if being invisible gave you all the benefits of being hidden, then there'd be no point for stealth once the wizard hits level x where x makes him invisible.  And no point for stealth means no point for the rogue. 


As if that's all the rogue does.  And as if the wizard being able to show the rogue up in ONE thing ONCE per day totally nullifiies the rogue.
Attacks actively require vision to be effective.  Defenses are fine with a basic awareness of where they are.  That's why the former accepts lack of vision for disadvantage, but the latter requires being hidden.

Not to mention, if being invisible gave you all the benefits of being hidden, then there'd be no point for stealth once the wizard hits level x where x makes him invisible.  And no point for stealth means no point for the rogue. 


As if that's all the rogue does.  And as if the wizard being able to show the rogue up in ONE thing ONCE per day totally nullifiies the rogue.



This has always been an issue. Could we fix this by somehow scaling the wizards use of invisibility. Either make it usable as a 1st or 2nd lvl spell so the wiz can't use it all the time; or make it somehow mitigated by other limitations. That is if he can use it as often as the rogue.
"The worthy GM never purposely kills players' PCs. He presents opportunities for the rash and unthinking players to do that all on their own." --Gary Gygax
There's no real point.  The player already has disadvantage being blinded and not able to see the target.  The target on the other hand has not changed.  As the example from where this spawned from, the player vs the medusa.  If the player(we'll say fighter) closes his eyes he is now is blinded and thus has disadvantage against fighting the medusa.

The medusa on the other hand is still the same as she's been.  She's still attacking the fighter normal and thus does not need or should get advantage, doesn't make sense.  The "advantage" the medusa gets is that the fighter cannot see her and as such with disadvantage has a harder time hitting her so most likely she'll take less damage.  Also while blinded the medusa can hide from the fighter, maybe move away and go after someone else leaving the fighter to swing his sword blindly for at least a turn.  That'd the "advantage" the medusa or any monster in such a situation gets.  Adding to it by giving it actual advantage is just too much, and pointless. 



Just to clarify something, advantage can be granted by things that happen to the target. For instance, if a target is prone then they grant advantage to anyone doing a melee attack against them. Similarly if a target is Paralyzed then all attackers have advantage against them.

So there's plenty of cases where something that happens to a target grants advantage to the attacker.  Advantage doesn't always spring from something the attacker themselves did.


Regarding the other point of it being overpowered if a blind defender grants advantage to their attackers, that's a valid concern and one of the reasons I started the thread in the first place.
Attacks actively require vision to be effective.  Defenses are fine with a basic awareness of where they are.  That's why the former accepts lack of vision for disadvantage, but the latter requires being hidden.

Not to mention, if being invisible gave you all the benefits of being hidden, then there'd be no point for stealth once the wizard hits level x where x makes him invisible.  And no point for stealth means no point for the rogue. 


As if that's all the rogue does.  And as if the wizard being able to show the rogue up in ONE thing ONCE per day totally nullifiies the rogue.



This has always been an issue. Could we fix this by somehow scaling the wizards use of invisibility. Either make it usable as a 1st or 2nd lvl spell so the wiz can't use it all the time; or make it somehow mitigated by other limitations. That is if he can use it as often as the rogue.


Ideally, I would think the wizard either can only to it once (Since he memorized the spell) or if he fills his spellbook full he's totally made himself useless as a wizard other than as an invisibility wand.  But that's cool, because the wizard is the guy with the tools, as long as you give him a day to sleep on it and prepare what he needs.  Admittedly things like wands, potions, and the sheer ammount of spells the wizard gets at higher levels made it easy for him to have his cake and eat it, too.  I think this time around they'll do a better job of handing some of these other things.  Hope so, anyway.
Attacks actively require vision to be effective.  Defenses are fine with a basic awareness of where they are.  That's why the former accepts lack of vision for disadvantage, but the latter requires being hidden.

Not to mention, if being invisible gave you all the benefits of being hidden, then there'd be no point for stealth once the wizard hits level x where x makes him invisible.  And no point for stealth means no point for the rogue. 


As if that's all the rogue does.  And as if the wizard being able to show the rogue up in ONE thing ONCE per day totally nullifiies the rogue.



This has always been an issue. Could we fix this by somehow scaling the wizards use of invisibility. Either make it usable as a 1st or 2nd lvl spell so the wiz can't use it all the time; or make it somehow mitigated by other limitations. That is if he can use it as often as the rogue.



I kind of liked 4e's version of Invisibility where it requires a standard action to sustain the effect. That allows the wizard to use Invisibility on himself or someone else for defensive purposes, but the moment the wizard attacks the effect ends. It was also a daily power, so combined it kept the invisibility spell somewhat in check without making it useless.


P.S. Invisibility isn't the only factor here, of course. For instance what about Blind? If a wizard Blinds a target should the target be granting advantage against all attackers?  
"I kind of liked 4e's version of Invisibility where it requires a standard action to sustain the effect. That allows the wizard to use Invisibility on himself or someone else for defensive purposes, but the moment the wizard attacks the effect ends. It was also a daily power, so combined it kept the invisibility spell somewhat in check without making it useless."

Oooh see, that's a really good idea. I like that. And he can't attack until he drops invis and has to wait until his next init.

But you may be right overall--the advantage for unseen/hidden may need clarification.
"The worthy GM never purposely kills players' PCs. He presents opportunities for the rash and unthinking players to do that all on their own." --Gary Gygax
"I kind of liked 4e's version of Invisibility where it requires a standard action to sustain the effect. That allows the wizard to use Invisibility on himself or someone else for defensive purposes, but the moment the wizard attacks the effect ends. It was also a daily power, so combined it kept the invisibility spell somewhat in check without making it useless."

Oooh see, that's a really good idea. I like that. And he can't attack until he drops invis and has to wait until his next init.

.



Yeah, my current illusionist wizard has it as one of his daily powers in 4e and he's used it a few times now to sneak around and get out of trouble (or into trouble, depends on how you look at it I guess).
There's no real point.  The player already has disadvantage being blinded and not able to see the target.  The target on the other hand has not changed.  As the example from where this spawned from, the player vs the medusa.  If the player(we'll say fighter) closes his eyes he is now is blinded and thus has disadvantage against fighting the medusa.

The medusa on the other hand is still the same as she's been.  She's still attacking the fighter normal and thus does not need or should get advantage, doesn't make sense.  The "advantage" the medusa gets is that the fighter cannot see her and as such with disadvantage has a harder time hitting her so most likely she'll take less damage.  Also while blinded the medusa can hide from the fighter, maybe move away and go after someone else leaving the fighter to swing his sword blindly for at least a turn.  That'd the "advantage" the medusa or any monster in such a situation gets.  Adding to it by giving it actual advantage is just too much, and pointless. 



Just to clarify something, advantage can be granted by things that happen to the target. For instance, if a target is prone then they grant advantage to anyone doing a melee attack against them. Similarly if a target is Paralyzed then all attackers have advantage against them.

So there's plenty of cases where something that happens to a target grants advantage to the attacker.  Advantage doesn't always spring from something the attacker themselves did.


Regarding the other point of it being overpowered if a blind defender grants advantage to their attackers, that's a valid concern and one of the reasons I started the thread in the first place.



Sure, being prone grants advantage to anyone attacking the prone target but being prone is different from being blind.  When a creature is prone they're basically laying on the ground, or collapsed in some way.  The person attacking the prone target in a sense has higher ground, coming from an advantageous position to attack the prone target below them and it's kinda hard to dodge an attack from above if you're laid out on the group so that would impair the prone target's AC, equating the advantage the attacking creature gets.

But when you're blind you're still listening to the creature(unless they hide obviously) moving around attack, yada yada.  And you can stil duck and dodge and such even if you're blinded so you really aren't impaired the same way as being prone.  But you're right, there are examples of a creature being impaired granting advantage to an attacking creature, that's true.  I still think though that in the situation of being blinded, it doesn't warrant also granting advantage.  Maybe one or the other, but not both. 
See, I prefer the wizard having invisibility and it being optimal to cast it on the rogue.  

Casting it on the wizard is fine but he might be clumbsy and make noise and stub his toes a lot because he's just not sneaky.  He ain't fooling anyone.  People can -hear- him.

Casting it on the rogue means the rogue (who knows what to do when not seen) can take full advantage of it because he's just used to doing so.  He doesn't klutz it up.

Casting invisibility on someone with natural stealth abilities should always be better than casting it on someone who doesn't--and invisibility being auto-stealth kinda wrecked that.  Having it -enable- stealth when otherwise stealth isn't available is the perfect use for the spell. 
Sign In to post comments