Using Advantage


Howdy.

Earlier tonight part of my usual gaming group tried out the 5th edition palytest rules. While playing we ran into a situation that we didn't have an immediate answer to, and the discussion, though civil, pretty much brought play to a halt. 

Our group is made up of 7 people, three of whom DM. Our gaming experience runs the gambit from a fresh 13 year old to the old man in his late 60's who has played everything from Chainmail on down. The majority of us are in our 30's and 40's. Two of our 40 year olds were missing tonight.

The playtest went pretty much as expected for those of us that have played older editions. Most of us seemed to like the Advantage/Disadvantage system, but we found ourselves stumped on a particular idea. We had a decent group of kobolds that out numberd us, giving them advantage. It was a melee scruffle, and thanks to our mage, all of the kobolds were in a source of bright light, giving them disadvantage.

So far so good, the advantage and disadvantage cancel each other. Now, one of the kobolds swings at a target adjacent to the cleric of Moradin. The Dwarf attempts to use his defender ability.... what happens next?


We have two main camps on this issue. One is that once an advantage and disadvantage are cancelled out, and through a certain interpretation of not having multiple advantages (dice really), then there can be no further advantages or disadvantages to help or hinder the actor. In the case of the example above, the cleric is unable to use his defender reaction.


The second reading of this issue assumes that advantages and disadvantages stack, but are not allowed to give more than one extra D20. They continue to cancel each other out until there is only advantage (or disadvantage) left. Pointing back to the above example, the kobolds numbers are cancelled by the light, but they still are still able to be affected by the  further disadvantage of the cleric's reaction... 1 ADV -2 DIS = 1 DIS    Meaning logically that the poor blinded, but numerical superior kobold still rolls against his target at disadvantage.

I understand that the obvious answer is ... whatever the DM says. But as I've mentioned in the intro, we have 3 DM's and one wasn't even here tonight. My real concern is to wonder what the design philosophy for the adv/dis system is going to be. How simple can something be... and it still work?

I argue that a decent, but quick game will be able to be played that involves "advantage math". I think that if most bonuses are whittled down to just advantage then players will want to try to stack as many advantages as possible in order for the advantages to have any effect whatsoever.

The other GM, the more experienced and much older one, seems to think that for the advantage system to work, advantages need to be rather rare, otherwise they will always be negated by a disadvantage completely.


I'm not sure what else to write on this, but I'm curious to what other people think. Thanks.


--Jim
The way that I interpret this and the way that my group interpretted it is that there can be multiple applications of advantage/disadvantage. Since the group had one of each cancelling each other the cleric of moradin can use his defender ability to again give disadvantage thus making that kobold roll 2  d20 and take the worse.
Agree with Simms.
I have to concur as well. In the game I DMed the Moradin cleric used this many times with good results.  The characters are supposed to be the (main) heroes of the realms, so to speak and as such, should/would be able to pull some extraordinary moves... and the special character abilities are one of the cool things in the game that help keep things interesting in a fight (or outside a fight for those skills/traits).  Two other things to consdier: 1.) How many crap-ton of monsters can do things the PCs cannot and will not EVAR be able to do?  2.)  While it can suck as a DM when the players are rolling hot, you're rolling cold and they kick a lot more a$$ than they normally would, I always said, "Crunch all you want, I can make more".  Unlimited monsters & bad-guys at your disposal does sort of tip the odds in the DM's favor.  So I generally lean toward the players (but it's ALWAYS challenging... and yes, I do occasionally slay a PC).
Sounds like this would be a good point for the game designers to address in the final product.
It seems fairly set already to me:


Pg.2 How to Play: Advantage and Disadvantage,

"No matter how many times you gain advantage or disadvantage on the same check, attack roll, or saving throw, you roll only one additional D20"

That would indicate that you were ment to be able to get more than one, so if they are canceled out and then another is gained, as long as you aren't rolling more than one extra die you still have advantage/disadvantage.
It seems fairly set already to me:


Pg.2 How to Play: Advantage and Disadvantage,

"No matter how many times you gain advantage or disadvantage on the same check, attack roll, or saving throw, you roll only one additional D20"

That would indicate that you were ment to be able to get more than one, so if they are canceled out and then another is gained, as long as you aren't rolling more than one extra die you still have advantage/disadvantage.

Hmm, I could see that quoted sentence meaning that the number of (dis)advantage dice never ever rises above 1.

I still think they need better wording. Something as simple as adding "The DM should consider all of the conditions in effect on a creature to determine if the creature is at an overall advantage or an overall disadvantage. Generally speaking, the DM can decide by counting the number of advantage-conditions and the number of disadvantage-conditions in effect on a creature," would work.
Yes that is exactly how I read it, and presume it was intended. 

Just wondering why you think it needs more words to read the same thing?