The case against Advantage

So, tonight I played D&D with my semi-regular group.  We had the option of playtesting 5e or playing our regular 4e game.  The mood was very negative against 5e, and we universally had no problem choosing 4e over trying the actual 5e playtest.  No one there was anything but cynical about the prospects or even the concept of 5e.

Having played the game once, I completely understand and agree with them.  The more I reread the playtest materials the less and less I like what I see. We all agreed though, that the Advantage mechanic had strong merit.

What we did instead of playing 5e, was to test drive the Advantage mechanic by using it in our 4e game.  We did so by replacing every instance of a bonus with Advantage.  It taught me a lot.

Firstly, I noted that having a wide array of powers was irrelevant.  Anything that gave me a bonus was enough to get the second die.  I had several powers that lasted the whole encounter too.  Another thing was that a power that gave me a +6 was no more useful than one that gave me +1. 

While of course not a viable way to work it in long term, this gameplay served to open my eyes about the real effect of Advantage in 5e: trivializing and ignoring otherwise relevant specifics.

In other game systems, if a player stacks up numerous circumstances in their own favor, they would gain a greater numeric bonus to reflect the greater chance to succeed, and that bonus was tied inherently to the manner in which it was achieved.  Each circumstance mattered. 

In 5e, Advantage is not structured in any way, and can be applied whenever the DM deems it fit.  So the mega athletic, super epic, dramatically amazing move has no more benefit than spitting ale in an ogre's eye before stabbing him.  Why go to all the trouble to set up and execute the well described storyboosting event when there is no in-game benefit greater than a gob of ale being spit as a free action before an attack?  Why stack crumstances, when all you need is one?  If all you have to achieve is a threshold level of circumstance in your favor, there's no reason to ever go beyond it.

You basically took a well-considered descriptive effort from a player's imagination and responded with a handwaved "yeah whatever, go for it".  It may work great for drunk/stoned gamers, but it doesn't belong as a mainstay mechanic in the core rules.  It actually discourages rather than encourages dramatic rolepalying.  Sure, anyone who *wants* to can dramatically RP and ignore the inherent non-reward for their efforts, but rules should lend themselves to the desired outcome, that of improved storytelling.  Faster doesn't equal better in this regard.  It misses the whole point of why circumstances ever had modifiers in the first place.  Now, you don't need to get nitty gritty, but there needs to be more than just "roll twice".  If the level of detail in terms of adjudicating specifics is too involved, then yes, simplify.  This is too simple though. 

I also learned tonight that it isn't math that slows down the game, it's the quantity and depth of it.  4e is option intensive.  At 13th level we had 24 power cards plus items.  Also, super crit effects, while impressive, were a time killer, as there's too many ways to add more dice.  Players took anywhere from 1-5 minutes to take a turn.  Monsters rarely went above 1 minute each.  This is because they have less options to contend with.  What this tells me is that if you moderate the number of power effects, and go light on the riders, then you can have workability where specifics and circumstances matter.  You can still use Advantage and Disadvantage, but leave them reserved for situations where your odds would realistically be doubled or halved.  Those conditions exist so that mechanic should matter, and surely belongs.  It just shouldn't be a mainstay just to facilitate the goal of a 1 hour session, happy stoners or whatever other goal it is trying to achieve.

I was just as excited about it as everyone until I saw it for what it was tonight.  Another good idea badly implemented.  It needs structure, not just a "do whatever, screw math" attitude, which is how 5e presents it in these materials thus far, and judging by the blogs and the survey, how the designers intend for it to remain, unless they get a hockey check back to reality.  We're all nerds here, and many of us got hooked back when Gary Gygax wrote a DMG that read like a statistics class textbook.  We're still here.  Some math is okay, just don't overdo it like in 3 and 4.  It will be fine, I promise.  Let choices matter with fixed numerical values to set the scale, rather than just x2 or /2.  That's not enough, and it strongly risks degrading the game experience.

Over to the board to sound off, I know this may not be a popular notion.  I'm curious to see who agrees.  Don't get yourself banned over it if you think I'm dumb.  I'm not worth it.  Foot in Mouth
I think you misjudged how to use 5E's advantage mechanic.

Instead of replacing "bonuses," you should have replaced 4E's combat advantage with 5E's advantage mechanic.

I think if you look through the 5E playtest materials, you'll see that it includes things like +2 bonuses, etc.

Perhaps the 5E playtest materials could've been written more clearly, & not to be rude, but I think it's obvious you didn't undestand the proper use of 5E's advantage mechanic.

Hopefully, the game designers will rewrite the material to avoid problems like this in the future.
That's certainly a good possibility.  I know we over-used it in 4e, but that was on purpose to test it out.  Where is the line though between bonus and reroll?  Where would you determine it to be?
I think pages 14 & 15 of the playtest packet is a good list for when advantage & disadvantage apply. That's how I'd use it. For the moment at least.
I agree with thewaever; you overused it. Furthermore, you used and judged it combined with a system that it was not designed to interface with. You skewed your own results by creating bad testing conditions. 

Mathematically speaking, rolling two dice is roughly equivalent to a +/-5 to a single roll, averaged over a sufficiently large number of rolls, assuming you succeed on a roll of 11 or higher. As your target number to roll increases, the benefit of two dice diminishes until, at needing a natural 20 to succeed, the extra die is worth about +/-1.

If you want to see how "roll twice and take the better" works in 4e, you should have looked at the places where 4e already does that. There are several Paragon and Epic feats that give that bonus, and that mechanic is the entire core of how the Avenger works (Avengers don't have a distinct "striker" damage bonus mechanic; they just hit, and crit, twice as often as other Strikers. It balances well).

If you want to actually integrate the Ad/Disad mechanics into 4e, I suggest the following:
-- Any time a character would have Combat Advantage, give them Advantage instead of the bonus (for Avengers with their Censure up, consider allowing a reroll of one of the dice rather than a third die)
-- Any time you would grant a character a circumstance (NOT item, power, or spell) bonus to a roll, such as for a particularly good description, give them Advantage instead.
-- Any time you would inflict a penalty or raise a DC because of the situation at hand (improvised tools, bad conditions, etc), give them Disadvantage instead.
--Any time a character uses the Aid action, grant the character being Aided Advantage instead of the bonus. 


Full Disclosure: I dislike almost everthing about the playtest except the Ad/Disad mechanic, which I find to be the one piece of elegant, inspired design in an ocean of lazy, backwards pandering. 
I'm with Kalranya on this one.

Advantage/Disadvantage is elegant, simple and faster than adding 1's and 2's to make a single roll.  I also read in the "How to Play" guide that circumstancial (math) bonuses weren't out, just not the main focus like they were in 4E.  I still gave players a +2 where appropriate, but if they also had advantage then they got a +2 with two chances to use it. 
I'm not sure that throwing a single 1st level 5e mechanic into a 13th level 4e game is an accurate test of anything...

Who knows what 5e will have going on at 13th level?
I have to agree that throwing advantage and disadvantage into a 4E game is not going to work.  It looks to me like you were really using it to prove that 4E is better (which it may be for your group), rather than giving Next a try.
Jack Vance deserves your respect, it's Vancian, not "vancian." The goal for Next is to be inclusive; you can't include by exclusion.
Before making accusations, I'd like to point out two things:

1.  This is a playtest, and although he executed the playtest of a feature in isolation using a rather unusual methodology, it is still a valid result because he simply removed the need for the DM to think about when to give the players the Advantage, allowing a more codified approach to the use of Advantage.  In fact, I'd say it's a good way to test how the Advantage feature would work should the system release 3E and 4E modules.

2.  There is no difference between having a variety of 4E powers creating instances where Advantage is achieved, and a generous DM providing Advantage on a regular basis.

The original poster explicitly stated his like for the Advantage feature as it does cut down on the math.  I may lean heavily on 4E-style DMing, but I still find the Advantage elegant.  In theory.  Which is why I already give my players the option to get static +4 instead of a multitude of situational bonuses.  No group has taken the option so far though.

Also, the original poster explicitly pointed out where combat slowdown in 4E actually happens (this would likely apply to 3E as well): not in the math, but in the options.  And I agree to a degree: while people might accuse 4E to having so many situational bonuses and having to apply this and that to the point where everything slows to a crawl, it is actually with two things that make 4E combat so slow (I just realized this during last Friday's game): player options, and the multitude of actions available especially out of turn actions.  With so many reactions, interrupts, free actions, etc., and with all the players poring over the multitude of magic items, boons and powers (level 22 LFR by the way), we're looking at a bunch of people who ended up with a whole bunch of things to consider per turn.  Most of the time 4E has just a simple +2/-2 to hit...which I personally feel is just as fast as rolling one die, comparing to the target number, then hoping that the second die is higher than the first roll.

And I see what he is talking about.  Nothing is stopping a generous DM from giving everyone (player and monster alike) Advantage, just like a very harsh DM can give Disadvantage almost at a whim.  And frankly, even if statistically Advantage gives as much as a +5 to hit, each roll is realistically the same chance as before, so rolling a 1 then rolling an 8 will still not let you hit the target number 12.

Plus, I agree on one thing: once you give the player Advantage, why should he try to push for more "roleplaying bonuses" when those bonuses don't exist? (Personally I believe more in auto-success/failure than Advantage, but that's just me).

I personally know the duke's father? Advantage.
I know he has a dark secret?  Advantage (doesn't stack).
I ask his mistress to aid me?  Advantage (doesn't stack).

You could give static bonuses yes, but that's already either houseruling or power-like abilities (feats, spells, etc.), which will undoubtedly bring us back to the same problem every edition has faced that the Advantage/Disadvantage system was supposed to fix.

And the more I think about it, the less I'm seeing "the awesome flatter math" being all that awesome, because I'm not actually seeing "flatter" math, I'm not seeing math at all.

Anyway, ranting aside, the point of the whole original post is that Advantage is nice at this point because the whole system is at its most basic; although holes in the "math" are already seen in the 40 kobolds and 18 rats areas; yes you're supposed to "think smart" and avoid taking on 40 kobolds all at once even in 4E**, but in the unfortunate event that you end up in such a situation and even worse, rely on low-light/darkvision or the kobolds fight smart enough to take out your torchlights, that's a lot of dice to roll in that situation... seriously, they really ought to think of utilizing swarm rules if you ask me...

But frankly, they really should've designed the system with 3E and 4E in mind, meaning the basic framework should anticipate how future modules should be able to attach themselves to the core rules.  Otherwise, I might be tempted to think that the entire game was developed by guys who still think they're 9 years old who only think about how cool THEIR game was and are trying to rebuild "the good ol' days" and having every other aspect of the system relegated to "bah, we'll figure that out later", resulting in a hogwash system whose core would appeal to the OD&D up to 1D&D crowd, but effectively weird out everyone else.

Might, mind you.

** seriously, I dare anyone at level 1 to even *try* to fight 40 level 1 kobold minions, and I won't even bother using the racial shifty ability.  Although don't expect me to not do it ala Tucker's Kobolds though, as I'm likely going to ensure that even a Flaming Sphere/Storm Pillar/whatever isn't going to wipe them out in an instant ;)
Show

You are Red/Blue!
Take The Magic Dual Colour Test - Beta today!
Created with Rum and Monkey's Personality Test Generator.

You are both rational and emotional. You value creation and discovery, and feel strongly about what you create. At best, you're innovative and intuitive. At worst, you're scattered and unpredictable.

D&D Home Page - What Monster Are You? - D&D Compendium

57047238 wrote:
If you're crossing the street and see a city bus barreling straight toward you with 'GIVE ME YOUR WALLET!' painted across its windshield, you probably won't be reaching for your wallet.
I Don't Always Play Strikers...But When I Do, I Prefer Vampire Stay Thirsty, My Friends
This is what I believe is the spirit of D&D 4E, and my deal breaker for D&D Next: equal opportunities, with distinct specializations, in areas where conflict happens the most often, without having to worry about heavy micromanagement or system mastery. What I hope to be my most useful contributions to the D&D Community: DM Idea: Collaborative Mapping, Classless 4E (homebrew system, that hopefully helps in D&D Next development), Gamma World 7E random character generator (by yours truly), and the Concept of Perfect Imbalance (for D&D Next and other TRPGs in development) Pre-3E D&D should be recognized for what they were: simulation wargames where people could tell stories with The Best Answer to "Why 4E?" Fun vs. Engaging
"Simple yet elegant" is how some people are describing Adv/Disadv.  I call it "easy, fun & effective" tools for keeping a game & combat moving.  I say game first because while battles are certainly a big part of a D&D game (some more than others) a lot of us like to also focus on role-playing, storyline, exploration, intense plots, etc where out-of-combat skills come into play.  The original poster didn't mention anything outside of combat; that's fine and I understand that the play-test module is "swingy".  I'm just saying that the Adv/Disadv can ALSO be used for many skills outside of combat.... if you count them up, there are a total of 19 skills we've seen thus far between the 5 characters and the How to Play PDF.  OK< maybe 18 since Wilderness Lore and Natural Lore should be combined (and maybe encompass Survival as well).  Anyhow, you can just as easily add ADV/DISADV to skill use as you can to combat... when it's appropriate.  I believe that it's important not to overuse it.
Before making accusations, I'd like to point out two things:

1.  This is a playtest, and although he executed the playtest of a feature in isolation using a rather unusual methodology, it is still a valid result because he simply removed the need for the DM to think about when to give the players the Advantage, allowing a more codified approach to the use of Advantage.  In fact, I'd say it's a good way to test how the Advantage feature would work should the system release 3E and 4E modules.

...which is again invalidated for the purposes of examining the function of the Advantage/Disadvantage mechanic, which was the OP's stated goal, by applying it to situations it was never intended to handle. The playtest does not replace all instances of a numerical modifier with Advantage or Disadvantage, and the OP doing exactly that skewed his results.

2.  There is no difference between having a variety of 4E powers creating instances where Advantage is achieved, and a generous DM providing Advantage on a regular basis.

How is that relevant? This isn't about how often it happens, it's about how it handles them and how it interfaces with the rest of the system (see above).

And I see what he is talking about.  Nothing is stopping a generous DM from giving everyone (player and monster alike) Advantage, just like a very harsh DM can give Disadvantage almost at a whim.

That's a problem with the design philosophy of the game, not a problem with the game mechanics. The error here lies far below the actual rules.

And frankly, even if statistically Advantage gives as much as a +5 to hit, each roll is realistically the same chance as before, so rolling a 1 then rolling an 8 will still not let you hit the target number 12.

That +5 (IFF DC 11) is a statistically average equivalent, which is not the same thing. To use your example, rolling a 1 and an 8 doesn't help if your DC was a 12, but rolling two dice does increase your chances that at least one of them will be a 12 or better. Understand the difference?

And the more I think about it, the less I'm seeing "the awesome flatter math" being all that awesome, because I'm not actually seeing "flatter" math, I'm not seeing math at all.

You're not seeing any scaling. There's still plenty of math involved, but what's different is that math tends to remain static over time rather than changing level by level. What the designers are attempting to avoid here is the situation that 4e's scaling induced: because the PCs' attacks scaled more slowly than monsters' defenses did, the PCs got steadily less accurate against monsters of their level as they gained experience. Rather than actually fixing the problem by readjusting the scaling rates of monsters (odd, considering they did go back and mess with their damage and HP numbers later), they attempted to patch in a bonus to PCs' attacks with Expertise feats, which actually exacerbated the problem rather than fixing it. 

I appreciate the designers' intent, but I think they're overreacting to that particular criticism of 3/4e.

But frankly, they really should've designed the system with 3E and 4E in mind, meaning the basic framework should anticipate how future modules should be able to attach themselves to the core rules.  Otherwise, I might be tempted to think that the entire game was developed by guys who still think they're 9 years old who only think about how cool THEIR game was and are trying to rebuild "the good ol' days" and having every other aspect of the system relegated to "bah, we'll figure that out later", resulting in a hogwash system whose core would appeal to the OD&D up to 1D&D crowd, but effectively weird out everyone else.

This playtest material is a very clear example, I hope, of why you don't put Mike "Essentials" Mearls and Monte "Passive Perception" Cook on the same team and tell them to design a "new" RPG. 

Of course, clearly 4e did not effectively communicate why you should put Rob Heinsoo and James Wyatt on the same team and tell them to design a new RPG, either, so I can only assume there's a communications breakdown somewhere. And by "somewhere" I mean it's a PEBCAC issue.

** seriously, I dare anyone at level 1 to even *try* to fight 40 level 1 kobold minions, and I won't even bother using the racial shifty ability.  Although don't expect me to not do it ala Tucker's Kobolds though, as I'm likely going to ensure that even a Flaming Sphere/Storm Pillar/whatever isn't going to wipe them out in an instant ;)

Challenge accepted.

I'm reserving judgement on this one till tomorrow but I have some real issues with it not stacking and how it can create for some really serious silliness when combined with Reaper.

restrained
Hanging upside down
Spinning
Blindfolded
Armed only with an improvised weapon(dead kobold)
Reaper kills another kobold riding by on a horse at Max
thrown weapon range

Now without the raper ability that should be a bit more difficult right?

I know I can just say "Uhm... No"

But I'd rather not have to.

What would be the solution though?

Go back to endless charts and pluses?

I'm not sure that is the best but I wouldn't object either.

I will let you know how I feel after tomorrows play test session.

Edition wars kill players,Dungeons and Dragons needs every player it can get.

 ...which is again invalidated for the purposes of examining the function of the Advantage/Disadvantage mechanic, which was the OP's stated goal, by applying it to situations it was never intended to handle. The playtest does not replace all instances of a numerical modifier with Advantage or Disadvantage, and the OP doing exactly that skewed his results.

Except it does replace most situational instances, as you see primarily half-cover and 3/4ths-cover being the exceptions to the Advantage/Disadvantage mechanic.  Given how the game focuses on flatter math, I see no reason to think that you would go beyond those two exceptions to the rule when it comes to static modifiers,  because the more static modifiers you add into the game, the more you defeat the purpose of Advantage/Disadvantage, which is to remove the need for said static modifiers.

 
2.  There is no difference between having a variety of 4E powers creating instances where Advantage is achieved, and a generous DM providing Advantage on a regular basis.

How is that relevant? This isn't about how often it happens, it's about how it handles them and how it interfaces with the rest of the system (see above).


And how can you determine how a system can handle the mechanics when you don't place the said mechanics in every possible applicable situation?
 
And I see what he is talking about.  Nothing is stopping a generous DM from giving everyone (player and monster alike) Advantage, just like a very harsh DM can give Disadvantage almost at a whim.

That's a problem with the design philosophy of the game, not a problem with the game mechanics. The error here lies far below the actual rules.


Which means that the design philosophy has to be reviewed, because if the thought behind a mechanic is flawed, then no matter what type of mechanic is introduced, the resulting mechanic will always be flawed.
 
You're not seeing any scaling. There's still plenty of math involved, but what's different is that math tends to remain static over time rather than changing level by level. What the designers are attempting to avoid here is the situation that 4e's scaling induced: because the PCs' attacks scaled more slowly than monsters' defenses did, the PCs got steadily less accurate against monsters of their level as they gained experience. Rather than actually fixing the problem by readjusting the scaling rates of monsters (odd, considering they did go back and mess with their damage and HP numbers later), they attempted to patch in a bonus to PCs' attacks with Expertise feats, which actually exacerbated the problem rather than fixing it. 


I'd like to point out that every edition prior to D&D Next has scaling math.  Not just 4E.

Or are you saying that 3E point buy system and the DM having to adjust encounters appropriately isn't scaling math?  Are you saying that 1E, 2E and 3E basic attack bonuses (especially that of the fighter) did not scale at all?

Just clarifying that part.

In fact, given how 4E's math is, on a same-level scale, relatively flat (yes it becomes harder to hit at higher levels, but it takes roughly 5-10 levels for accuracy to go down 5%; that's pretty flat already if you think about it), it was only a natural and logical step to flatten the math further into something particularly static.

 
This playtest material is a very clear example, I hope, of why you don't put Mike "Essentials" Mearls and Monte "Passive Perception" Cook on the same team and tell them to design a "new" RPG. 

Of course, clearly 4e did not effectively communicate why you should put Rob Heinsoo and James Wyatt on the same team and tell them to design a new RPG, either, so I can only assume there's a communications breakdown somewhere. And by "somewhere" I mean it's a PEBCAC issue.


Thank you for insulting me in a rather indirect manner, but I digress.  I'd like to see insider information on the matter before we establish opinions as facts, because as it stands, there is no absolute proof outside of speculation and individual observations that either 4E was a marketing failure or 4E was bound to be shelved in 5 years anyway, especially given how 3E took only 3 years before 3.5E was released, and 3.5E itself was 5 years, for a total of 8 years, which means 4E is only 3 years less than the combined years that 3.XE was being developed.

And given 4E's rate of material release and the amount of material released, I wouldn't be surprised if, when compared to the rate of release pre-4E materials had, 4E might've gone at least 7 years total if 4E was actually paced properly in terms of releasing material.

But again, I digress.
 
** seriously, I dare anyone at level 1 to even *try* to fight 40 level 1 kobold minions, and I won't even bother using the racial shifty ability.  Although don't expect me to not do it ala Tucker's Kobolds though, as I'm likely going to ensure that even a Flaming Sphere/Storm Pillar/whatever isn't going to wipe them out in an instant ;)

Challenge accepted.


Let's see... assuming a 20 AC opponent at level 1, with HP equal to 16 + 14 CON, that's 30 HP and 20 AC.  With the Kobolds throwing a total of 40 spears at you, each dealing 4 damage (based off Monster Vault stats), that means by the end of round 1 that's approximately 14 out of 40 spears hitting you, resulting in 56 damage.

If you go first you might reduce that by a bit, but I'm pretty sure that you're doing your death saving throws after spear #8.

Now if we're talking group tactics that might be more bearable, but then we'd have to take into consideration the fact that I *did* mention that I might run it ala Tucker's Kobolds, meaning Alchemical flasks, fiery pits, arrow slits, extra-narrow corridors with tunnels that only small size and smaller opponents can move about without crouching or squeezing, and of course every possible means to dwindle your healing surges and healing abilities to non-existent.

Taking out the easiest guy to hit of course (likely the Wizard).

Long story short: there's a reason why Tucker's Kobolds in any edition is deadly.

EDIT: Entering the fray with Pixies on the other hand might give you a chance for victory.  Assuming, of course, that there wouldn't be some pesticide lying around in the Kobold tunnels. 
Show

You are Red/Blue!
Take The Magic Dual Colour Test - Beta today!
Created with Rum and Monkey's Personality Test Generator.

You are both rational and emotional. You value creation and discovery, and feel strongly about what you create. At best, you're innovative and intuitive. At worst, you're scattered and unpredictable.

D&D Home Page - What Monster Are You? - D&D Compendium

57047238 wrote:
If you're crossing the street and see a city bus barreling straight toward you with 'GIVE ME YOUR WALLET!' painted across its windshield, you probably won't be reaching for your wallet.
I Don't Always Play Strikers...But When I Do, I Prefer Vampire Stay Thirsty, My Friends
This is what I believe is the spirit of D&D 4E, and my deal breaker for D&D Next: equal opportunities, with distinct specializations, in areas where conflict happens the most often, without having to worry about heavy micromanagement or system mastery. What I hope to be my most useful contributions to the D&D Community: DM Idea: Collaborative Mapping, Classless 4E (homebrew system, that hopefully helps in D&D Next development), Gamma World 7E random character generator (by yours truly), and the Concept of Perfect Imbalance (for D&D Next and other TRPGs in development) Pre-3E D&D should be recognized for what they were: simulation wargames where people could tell stories with The Best Answer to "Why 4E?" Fun vs. Engaging
I'm with Kalranya on this one.

Advantage/Disadvantage is elegant, simple and faster than adding 1's and 2's to make a single roll.  I also read in the "How to Play" guide that circumstancial (math) bonuses weren't out, just not the main focus like they were in 4E.  I still gave players a +2 where appropriate, but if they also had advantage then they got a +2 with two chances to use it. 



The problem with the advantage system is those extra 1s or 2s might add up, but you had to spend a good amount of resource to gain them. Advantage does not appear to take much of an oppurtunity cost for the player charachter to gain it. On top of that, except when you target number on the die is below a 4 or above an 18, you are actually getting more than combat advantage gives. 4-5 and 17-18 is +-3, 6-7 and 15-16 is +-4, and 8-14 is +-5. In the middle band of +-5 you are seriously changing the result, where a simple +2 or -2 is not greatly affecting the die roll.

It is simple and fast, though I'm unsure of its elegance. While it does provide simplicity, it's variance in bonus and malus causes it to not be so effective.
I personally dislike "fiddly" rules.  In particular, I don't like keeping track of multiple small situational and/or passive bonuses, and don't think they add anything to the game. 

The choices that players make should be big and meaningful, and thus the powers/abilities/spells/etc and other game mechanics should be big and meaningful, and not designed to squeeze out as many +1 and +2 bonuses as possible.  I also don't care about "simulating" reality in a fantasy game.  (Is there a "realistic" way for Beholders and Flumphs to fight?) 

So while I'm not sold on the specific math and implementation fo Advantage/Disadvantage, I like the concept, and hope that the game designers stick with it.

Having said that, as DM, it was annoying as heck to roll twice for 20 Kobolds with Advantage.  I think it's a great idea for PC's (who don't roll nearly as many dice).  But for DMs, I would prefer a flat non-stacking bonus. 

Having said that, as DM, it was annoying as heck to roll twice for 20 Kobolds with Advantage.  I think it's a great idea for PC's (who don't roll nearly as many dice).  But for DMs, I would prefer a flat non-stacking bonus.

Well, I play Warhammer 40k quite regularly and the trick to this sort of situation is to simply roll buckets of dice. With advantage, you reroll all the misses leaving the hits on the table, while with disadvantage you take the hits and reroll them, leaving the misses on the table. Easy to do, but does require quite a large number of D20's.
I personally dislike "fiddly" rules.  In particular, I don't like keeping track of multiple small situational and/or passive bonuses, and don't think they add anything to the game. 

The choices that players make should be big and meaningful, and thus the powers/abilities/spells/etc and other game mechanics should be big and meaningful, and not designed to squeeze out as many +1 and +2 bonuses as possible.  I also don't care about "simulating" reality in a fantasy game.  (Is there a "realistic" way for Beholders and Flumphs to fight?) 

So while I'm not sold on the specific math and implementation fo Advantage/Disadvantage, I like the concept, and hope that the game designers stick with it.

Having said that, as DM, it was annoying as heck to roll twice for 20 Kobolds with Advantage.  I think it's a great idea for PC's (who don't roll nearly as many dice).  But for DMs, I would prefer a flat non-stacking bonus. 




I honestly will probably do exactly that. It's not hard to memorize the chart of +/- depending on the result on the die. This chart helps:

Show

Result  1d20   Adv%   Diff      Dis%     Diff        + or -
1          100    100       0          100       0          0
2          95      99.75    4.75    90.25    -4.75     0.95/+-1
3          90      99.00    9         81.00    -9          1.8/+-2
4          85      97.75    12.75  72.25    -12.75   2.55/+-3
5          80      96.00    16       64.00    -16        3.2/+-3
6          75      93.75    18.75  56.25    -18.75   3.75/+-4
7          70      91.00    21       49.00    -21        4.2/+-4
8          65      87.75    22.75  42.25    -22.75   4.55/+-5
9          60      84.00    24       36.00    -24        4.8/+-5
10        55      79.75    24.75  30.25    -24.75   4.95/+-5
11        50      75.00    25       25.00    -25        5/+-5
12        45      69.75    24.75  20.25    -27.75   4.95/+-5
13        40      64.00    24       16.00    -24        4.8/+-5
14        35      57.75    22.75  12.25    -22.75   4.55/+-5
15        30      51.00    21       9.00      -21        4.2/+-4
16        25      43.75    18.75  6.25     -18.75    3.75/+-4
17        20      36.00    16       4          -16         3.2/+-3
18        15      27.75    12.25  2.25     -12.75    2.55/+-3
19        10      19.00    9.00    1.00     -9           1.8/+-2
20        5        9.75      4.75    0.25     -4.75      0.95/+-1


So roll a few kobold attacks at a time, and when you drop a 5, a 8, and a 16 with 'advantage,' you apply a +3, a +5, and a +4 respectively, making an 8, a 13, and a 20 before adding the kobold's attack bonus, giving you an end result of 10, 15, or 22 if they are using their daggers.

That might be too strong, so you could always lower the bonus at each target number by 1 or 2, or just do a flat +/-3.
Why go to all the trouble to set up and execute the well described storyboosting event when there is no in-game benefit greater than a gob of ale being spit as a free action before an attack?



I was always of the mindset that roleplaying was for the sake of roleplaying, not for some statistical edge.  If you just want numbers, why not talk to the DM about giving you number boosts?

Being a clever and engaging roleplayer makes the game better, but it doesn't need to make your odds better.  That encourages over the top and outlandish stunts as a constant thing.  Is that the game you want? then add plusses to your rolls.

Also I don't htink doing an acrobatic stunt before spitting and swearing as you cartwheel into an enemy really adds any story- maybe you should just spit a gob of ale into the ogre's face and let the other players at your table get to their turn faster?  That is more storyboosting to me, much moreso than a +6 to hit.
Please collect and update the DND Next Community Wiki Page with your ideas and suggestions!
Take a look at my clarified ability scores And also my Houserules relevent to DNDNext
Having said that, as DM, it was annoying as heck to roll twice for 20 Kobolds with Advantage.  I think it's a great idea for PC's (who don't roll nearly as many dice).  But for DMs, I would prefer a flat non-stacking bonus.

Well, I play Warhammer 40k quite regularly and the trick to this sort of situation is to simply roll buckets of dice. With advantage, you reroll all the misses leaving the hits on the table, while with disadvantage you take the hits and reroll them, leaving the misses on the table. Easy to do, but does require quite a large number of D20's.


DnD Next just wants us to buy more dice!!!

Just kidding.

Yeah that is an elegant solution.

The up side is the look of horror on the player's faces as all those 20's pour out of the bucket.

Then when they survive they are twice as excited about the encounter as they would have not seeing the wave of odds against them tumble through the Dr. Pepper cans and Dorrito's bags to knock over their minis.

Edition wars kill players,Dungeons and Dragons needs every player it can get.

I'll paint you a scenario against advantage/disadvantage...

Right now every version of the game allows dedicated players to invest in ways to progressively improve their odds of success through iterative applications of bonuses. This is not merely the realm of "munchkins" or "powergamers" it's a central activity to the building of a character. Working in the game itself to have those bonuses apply is part of the tactical appeal of the game.

Advantage/disadvantage makes all that "simple, elegant and effective."

Yes, it reduces the building of effective characters into an exercise in gaining advantage in some way. Since the GM ends up as the final arbiter of what will allow advantage or impose disadvantage, there are very few ways to guarantee that advantage/disadvantage will be successful.

Players who want to take the time and trouble to ensure their character building efforts are worthwhile will quickly grow frustrated with a mechanic that relies on GM fiat.

They will return to 4e or Pathfinder where their character building skills are rewarded. 
To be fair there's probably gonna be tons of ways to get or grant advantage

Unfortunately, that does little to help it, because they made it such a lynchpin due to a lack of other combat effects. Its bloody powerful, and its either going to be everywhere, or nowhere at all. Rather maddening, as the bonus itself is something one usually sees with things like the level 14 capstones on Fantasy Craft characters, etc.

Whether character building is rewarded, required or pointless, will be determined heavily by the direction the Themes and Backgrounds take. With an auto-tree and no other forms of growth? Figure out the best one [that'll take, oh, a few hours before the printers even get whatever's being analyzed on average eh?] and that's the one you take. Done... and boring. Already know how that'll go.

If the Themes function as a 'class archetype, leaving you with decisions such as feats, weapon proficiencies [dear gawds, not "you're all proficient in these entire massive categories all at once, because anyone that learned to swing a hammer knows how to string and maintain a longbow or a use a triple-headed flail"] and combat-tricks or whatever, things are looking up. At that point, the 'builders' have the class/theme setup to pick as frameworks, and then get to see how to combo various abilities and feats into their favored way of dealing with whatevers.

Could be good, could be very very bad.
Kitton, I have a fairly extensive history with game design, game testing and even game marketing. I have learned the hard way some of the psychological issues of game design and acceptance.

For me, and for most of the people I game with, building a character is a labor of love. Usually. Sometimes it's not, but all of my best characters are characters I can recite their entire backstory and history at will.

I am not an optimizer, much less a powergaming munchkin. But I do care about my characters' ability to be effective in combat. That means I take great pains to construct them in such a way that I can depend on their abilities, within the realm of probabilities anyway.

The advantage/disadvantage mechanic is so powerful that it simply dwarfs anything else in the rules so far, and it dwarfs almost every significant effect that has ever existed in any game.

It's effectively a +5 to succeed when you have advantage, and a -5 to succeed when you have disadvantage.

So building effective characters is virtually certain to become a chase for techniques to gain advantage and impose disadvantage. Nothing else matters.

This is by design. The whole idea of advantage/disadvantage is to get away from the "drudgery" of tracking a bunch of bonuses or effects. That's its entire purpose.

Which would be bad enough, but then the adjudication of when advantage/disadvantage exists is explicitly called out to be a GM's judgment call.

So my character building efforts are entirely at the whim of how the GM will choose to adjudicate situations arbitrarily.

Seriously, why would I go to all the trouble and effort to create a character when I can't predict how successful that character's concept will be?

Oh, you can always say "well, that's the fun! It's unpredictable!" And that might get me through a campaign. But by the time I've created my third character built on a concept that I thought would work and the GM keeps saying "uh... no." I'm going to eventually just stop wasting my time and go back to a predictable game system. I KNOW I can make an effective archer in Pathfinder. I KNOW I can make an effective ranger in 4e. I don't need the GM's "permission" to be successful. 
The +5 is too much at low levels.  In a Contest, +5 v -5 is really brutal.

But Dis/Advantage math doesn't change with level.  So think about that +5 over 20 levels.

Consider 4e's Combat Advantage and it's +2.  That bonus was great at low levels but my Paragon tier having Combat Advantage was only relative to your character already being awesome at what they were trying to do.  That speaks more to 4e bonus bloat than Combat Advantage's +2 bonus.

If the Bounded Accuracy of d20 rolls (or 2d20 rolls) and the proposed flatter math mean Dis/Advantage will still be important through 20 levels of gameplay, I want to see an overall system in Next where +5 is juuuust right around 10th or 11th level.

Bigger swing at low levels, just right at the half way point, and then less important at the highest levels.  Advantage or Disadvantage making less of an impact on an experienced adventurer definately works for me.  I hope the Next math works for me as well.
The +5 is too much at low levels.  In a Contest, +5 v -5 is really brutal.

But Dis/Advantage math doesn't change with level.  So think about that +5 over 20 levels.

Consider 4e's Combat Advantage and it's +2.  That bonus was great at low levels but my Paragon tier having Combat Advantage was only relative to your character already being awesome at what they were trying to do.  That speaks more to 4e bonus bloat than Combat Advantage's +2 bonus.

If the Bounded Accuracy of d20 rolls (or 2d20 rolls) and the proposed flatter math mean Dis/Advantage will still be important through 20 levels of gameplay, I want to see an overall system in Next where +5 is juuuust right around 10th or 11th level.

Bigger swing at low levels, just right at the half way point, and then less important at the highest levels.  Advantage or Disadvantage making less of an impact on an experienced adventurer definately works for me.  I hope the Next math works for me as well.



Unless you were incredibly precise (hitting on 3s or similar) in Paragon, that +2 should have always mattered. +10% is +10% anyway you look at it.

However, that +5 doesn't seem like it's ever going to be a small number because of the stated goal of bounded accuracy. I expect AC and caster DCs will go up some with level, as well as the ability scores, but not high enough that a +5 is anything less than amazing to have and -5 is anything less than a humongous frustration.

Autohits and other bypasses CAN reduce, in time, the value of advantage/disadvantage.
But do note I did not state it wasn't powerful, I did in fact state it was far too easily achieved [again; its a bloody capstone ability in other systems] for what it does. Something as common as "combat advantage" giving the advantage it does is too much. The specific mechanic itself is fine; but its the kind of thing one should have worked for.

I'm wondering if changing Advantage's extra die to a -4 to the result [so 1/20 effects are still the same, but if you roll a 20 the value added to your bonuses is 16] might keep the reliability upgrade, but reduce the bonus power enough. -3 or -5 might be better too, depending on the math.


 However, building will be affected no differently than when "number of attacks" or "caster level" was the two great factors one had to always strive for. If it happens to be autohits or advantage, and the good options mostly revolve around gaining or taking advantage of those two things, then what one twinks out with just happens to be a different set of options. No better than 3.x, but also no worse.
The interesting thing about Advantage is that it doesn't make you much better at doing difficult thing, but it makes failling something easy or moderate rarer.
If you need a 18 on a d20, you probably would rather have cumulative +x than advantage. If the target number is 11, well, you just have 1 in 4 chance to fail rather 1 in 2.
Remember Tunnel Seventeen !
The interesting thing about Advantage is that it doesn't make you much better at doing difficult thing, but it makes failling something easy or moderate rarer.
If you need a 18 on a d20, you probably would rather have cumulative +x than advantage. If the target number is 11, well, you just have 1 in 4 chance to fail rather 1 in 2.



But on the opposite end it makes failing something you'd normally do fairly average at much harder. I'm not sure that's a good thing.
I'll paint you a scenario against advantage/disadvantage...

Right now every version of the game allows dedicated players to invest in ways to progressively improve their odds of success through iterative applications of bonuses. This is not merely the realm of "munchkins" or "powergamers" it's a central activity to the building of a character. Working in the game itself to have those bonuses apply is part of the tactical appeal of the game.

Advantage/disadvantage makes all that "simple, elegant and effective."

Yes, it reduces the building of effective characters into an exercise in gaining advantage in some way. Since the GM ends up as the final arbiter of what will allow advantage or impose disadvantage, there are very few ways to guarantee that advantage/disadvantage will be successful.

Players who want to take the time and trouble to ensure their character building efforts are worthwhile will quickly grow frustrated with a mechanic that relies on GM fiat.

They will return to 4e or Pathfinder where their character building skills are rewarded. 



Just to step in here, aren't DMs also arbiters of what bonuses you get from the game? Counting on getting that +2 or +4 or whatever is the exact same as counting on getting Advantage. The only difference is that instead of math, you just roll a second die. 

Arbiter or not, there's always going to be some situations where you'd be backing the GM into a corner. At some point, you've got enough abilities or methods of getting to it that the only way to say 'no' is to outright deny you half your character sheet.
I've played every version of D&D since first. I still have the books. I've played other RPGs as well.

I could count the number of times a GM has denied me a legitimate bonus in the game on one hand. It never happens

My 4e ranger is a perfect example. He has five or six situational modifiers, some of which stack, some of which don't. In the two years I've been playing him, I remember exactly ONE TIME when the GM said "well, I know your power says that you can do that, but you just aren't big enough to push the Tarrasque." Which was absolutely fine with me.

I am pretty strict about how to apply bonuses and penalties. And I'm pretty good at math. At this point the GM just asks me what my total to hit is and that's it.

And that's how it has always been, especially since 3.0. If I get a +1 from a feat, a +2 from a spell and a +1 from a magic item, so long as they stack, that's a net +4 every time.

If a GM in most of my games were to say "I know your feat normally gives you a +2, but not this time." He better have a dang good explanation. Oh sure, "I'm the GM!" works technically but a GM who does that more than a few times will hear "Not for much longer!" from his players.

Players should own their characters. They should be able to depend on what their builds say they do. Having to get the GM to "bless" your situation before granting you the benefit you built your character to obtain is just going to drive players to other games. Games that allow them to own their characters and build reliable ones.
In light of the recent Rule of Three, wherein the general rule of thumb for Advantage is effectively "must spend an entire turn doing something to gain advantage for next turn's attack", it's almost as if they did a 180 on the entire system: if before it was an effective replacement for all these situational modifiers, now it is a situational modifier all on its own.

Which means that instead of simplifying the system, Advantage now complicates the system even further, because not only do you have the classic +2/-2 and other situational modifiers, you suddenly have an additional feature that either replaces those additional modifiers, or worse *adds* to those situational modifiers.

That, to me, is a very bad design decision should that push through to the next set of playtest material, because you

1. aren't simplifying math anymore (contrary to the "flatter math" advocacy)
2. complicate character and player decision-making (Do I attack this round and possibly miss? Do I try to either use an ability or appeal to the DM in a manner that grants me advantage in the next round?  Do I sacrifice my turn to grant advantage to my ally?)
3. make DMing harder, not easier (Do I grant advantage or just a +2 to hit/checks?  Is it worth a -2 or disadvantage?)

I highly suggest that the game developers seriously review themselves, because apparently they're just throwing ideas at us at random and hoping something will stick.  Not exactly the best trait for game developers, I'm sure.
Show

You are Red/Blue!
Take The Magic Dual Colour Test - Beta today!
Created with Rum and Monkey's Personality Test Generator.

You are both rational and emotional. You value creation and discovery, and feel strongly about what you create. At best, you're innovative and intuitive. At worst, you're scattered and unpredictable.

D&D Home Page - What Monster Are You? - D&D Compendium

57047238 wrote:
If you're crossing the street and see a city bus barreling straight toward you with 'GIVE ME YOUR WALLET!' painted across its windshield, you probably won't be reaching for your wallet.
I Don't Always Play Strikers...But When I Do, I Prefer Vampire Stay Thirsty, My Friends
This is what I believe is the spirit of D&D 4E, and my deal breaker for D&D Next: equal opportunities, with distinct specializations, in areas where conflict happens the most often, without having to worry about heavy micromanagement or system mastery. What I hope to be my most useful contributions to the D&D Community: DM Idea: Collaborative Mapping, Classless 4E (homebrew system, that hopefully helps in D&D Next development), Gamma World 7E random character generator (by yours truly), and the Concept of Perfect Imbalance (for D&D Next and other TRPGs in development) Pre-3E D&D should be recognized for what they were: simulation wargames where people could tell stories with The Best Answer to "Why 4E?" Fun vs. Engaging
Chaos, it's worse than that.

Unless gaining advantage gives you a bonus to damage, like sneak attack for a rogue, taking a turn to set up advantage actually ends up costing you damage potential. And even if you are a rogue, your sneak attack damage is going to have to be pretty high to make it worth not attacking every round.

This "rule of three" thing is somewhat encouraging since it seems to indicate the devs have recognized the original advantage/disadvantage problems, but unfortunately I don't think this is a fix and it's a major action economy hit on the party to boot. 
Chaos, it's worse than that.

Unless gaining advantage gives you a bonus to damage, like sneak attack for a rogue, taking a turn to set up advantage actually ends up costing you damage potential. And even if you are a rogue, your sneak attack damage is going to have to be pretty high to make it worth not attacking every round.

This "rule of three" thing is somewhat encouraging since it seems to indicate the devs have recognized the original advantage/disadvantage problems, but unfortunately I don't think this is a fix and it's a major action economy hit on the party to boot. 


Like I said, it's like they're just throwing ideas at us and hoping something would stick.

Good point on the action economy issue: as currently calculated, most attacks are already at 75% to hit (while enemies would be hitting the wizard -- who has a paltry 11 AC -- at 60%, with the 17 AC Cleric getting hit roughly 30% of the time).  Adding a statistical equivalent of 15% ~ 25% to one attack is really only effective if that one action was, in fact, relevant... which, due to the lack of non-spell-based options, means that either *someone* has to play lackey to the Rogue, or nobody bothers using it.

Fighter: 2d6+7 at 75% per turn vs. 2d6+7 at 95% every other turn would be 11.25 * 2 = 22.5 damage every 2 turns vs. 13.45 damage every 2 turns.

So how about improvised actions?  This new limiting guideline on granting advantage makes improvised actions even worse, because now not only do you have to have DM permission to do so, but to ensure that such actions would work (especially with low ability scores), you now need to sacrifice an entire turn to ensure it works.  After all, if it is a contested Dexterity roll or a Dexterity-based attack vs. AC or a Dexterity-based check vs. a particular DC -- especially a hard DC or worse -- you'd certainly want that check to succeed, which means piling up the bonuses to the max.

All of which can still be negated by a simple DM ruling of "that does not work".

Yes, yes, the DM should be utilizing a "yes, and" approach (embraced by 4E for sure), and the DM does have the last say, but seriously?  For a system that is supposed to encourage improvisation, they are certainly discouraging it.  Not by powers, but by how the already-nearly-absent-rules work. 
Show

You are Red/Blue!
Take The Magic Dual Colour Test - Beta today!
Created with Rum and Monkey's Personality Test Generator.

You are both rational and emotional. You value creation and discovery, and feel strongly about what you create. At best, you're innovative and intuitive. At worst, you're scattered and unpredictable.

D&D Home Page - What Monster Are You? - D&D Compendium

57047238 wrote:
If you're crossing the street and see a city bus barreling straight toward you with 'GIVE ME YOUR WALLET!' painted across its windshield, you probably won't be reaching for your wallet.
I Don't Always Play Strikers...But When I Do, I Prefer Vampire Stay Thirsty, My Friends
This is what I believe is the spirit of D&D 4E, and my deal breaker for D&D Next: equal opportunities, with distinct specializations, in areas where conflict happens the most often, without having to worry about heavy micromanagement or system mastery. What I hope to be my most useful contributions to the D&D Community: DM Idea: Collaborative Mapping, Classless 4E (homebrew system, that hopefully helps in D&D Next development), Gamma World 7E random character generator (by yours truly), and the Concept of Perfect Imbalance (for D&D Next and other TRPGs in development) Pre-3E D&D should be recognized for what they were: simulation wargames where people could tell stories with The Best Answer to "Why 4E?" Fun vs. Engaging
Chaos, it's worse than that.

Unless gaining advantage gives you a bonus to damage, like sneak attack for a rogue, taking a turn to set up advantage actually ends up costing you damage potential. And even if you are a rogue, your sneak attack damage is going to have to be pretty high to make it worth not attacking every round.



Fortunately, sneak attack damage gets quite high as it increases by 1d6 every level. It's so good, in fact, that the action economy needs to keep it in check by requiring an action to set it up.

Spending an action to give advantage also encourages interplay between players and teamwork when a party works to figure out who can make best use of advantage in a given round and who is best placed to set it up.

I agree that adding the +/- mechanic on top of adv/dis system is a bad move. Once can generally assume that characters are doing everything they can in combat to work the situation, meaning that their normal "to hit" bonus already includes such things. Only when going through a special 'extra effort' (spending an action) can they rise above and create an advantage.

If you're going to kill the math, don't do it halfway. 
Spending an action to give advantage also encourages interplay between players and teamwork when a party works to figure out who can make best use of advantage in a given round and who is best placed to set it up.


That, of course, is the theory.

In reality, I have never seen any of my players even try to utilize Aid Another outside of skill challenges, and only in situations where nobody actually has a distinct enough advantage (as in everyone has exactly +0 to a particular skill).

And that's in spite of the fact that there is a feat in 4E called Martial Ploy, which is, almost word for word, D&D Next's Advantage (in a feat that's restricted to Martial classes): Grant ally roll twice and get better result.

And as seen here -- interestingly enough it's a question I posted 2 years ago, funny that -- even with the benefits possibly granted by Martial Ploy, it's not exactly a "wow" thing to look at.  In fact, to this day nobody in my group has ever bothered with it.

I guess it's because it effectively gives up your turn completely for the sake of another, and not everyone is into that.

I wouldn't be surprised though, if the Rogue would be begging to maximize his Sneak Attack at least once per encounter, in which case the Fighter might eventually let the Rogue dish out the damage instead, should 20d6 be more effective than whatever the Fighter would have by level 20.  Wizard won't bother, he'll probably have insta-kill spells anyway.  Cleric would be too busy healing, although he might spare time being the Rogue's sidekickpartner.

Show

You are Red/Blue!
Take The Magic Dual Colour Test - Beta today!
Created with Rum and Monkey's Personality Test Generator.

You are both rational and emotional. You value creation and discovery, and feel strongly about what you create. At best, you're innovative and intuitive. At worst, you're scattered and unpredictable.

D&D Home Page - What Monster Are You? - D&D Compendium

57047238 wrote:
If you're crossing the street and see a city bus barreling straight toward you with 'GIVE ME YOUR WALLET!' painted across its windshield, you probably won't be reaching for your wallet.
I Don't Always Play Strikers...But When I Do, I Prefer Vampire Stay Thirsty, My Friends
This is what I believe is the spirit of D&D 4E, and my deal breaker for D&D Next: equal opportunities, with distinct specializations, in areas where conflict happens the most often, without having to worry about heavy micromanagement or system mastery. What I hope to be my most useful contributions to the D&D Community: DM Idea: Collaborative Mapping, Classless 4E (homebrew system, that hopefully helps in D&D Next development), Gamma World 7E random character generator (by yours truly), and the Concept of Perfect Imbalance (for D&D Next and other TRPGs in development) Pre-3E D&D should be recognized for what they were: simulation wargames where people could tell stories with The Best Answer to "Why 4E?" Fun vs. Engaging
Spending an action to give advantage also encourages interplay between players and teamwork when a party works to figure out who can make best use of advantage in a given round and who is best placed to set it up.


That, of course, is the theory.

In reality, I have never seen any of my players even try to utilize Aid Another outside of skill challenges, and only in situations where nobody actually has a distinct enough advantage (as in everyone has exactly +0 to a particular skill).

And that's in spite of the fact that there is a feat in 4E called Martial Ploy, which is, almost word for word, D&D Next's Advantage (in a feat that's restricted to Martial classes): Grant ally roll twice and get better result.

And as seen here -- interestingly enough it's a question I posted 2 years ago, funny that -- even with the benefits possibly granted by Martial Ploy, it's not exactly a "wow" thing to look at.  In fact, to this day nobody in my group has ever bothered with it.

I guess it's because it effectively gives up your turn completely for the sake of another, and not everyone is into that.

I wouldn't be surprised though, if the Rogue would be begging to maximize his Sneak Attack at least once per encounter, in which case the Fighter might eventually let the Rogue dish out the damage instead, should 20d6 be more effective than whatever the Fighter would have by level 20.  Wizard won't bother, he'll probably have insta-kill spells anyway.  Cleric would be too busy healing, although he might spare time being the Rogue's sidekickpartner.




A group of players who decides not to help each other is a problem. In multiple editions, I have seen the "aid another with an action" used constantly - both in and out of combat. Maybe it's because the characters are folk who like each other. I can see a party of rugged indivualists refusing to accept help from others - but no edition would help with that.

Funny you should mention that feat. We have a fighter in our 4th ed game with that very feat (Martial Power) who often uses it to assist other characters when they are spending their Daily power - as little is more frustrating than missing with a Daily. And since the ability of that feat is essentialy at-will, he can really make a difference for multiple other characters. In the playtest everyone was thrilled that they could all help each other in this manner. And since combat rounds go by so quickly in the playtest, burning an action to help out didn't feel like putting yourself out of the loop.

YMMV 
the problem is that the math almost never works out that its better for you to give someone better accuracy then to attack yourself.

in fact if it does work out that way in 5th it would be be a huge flaw, as that would mean one person's attacks would be almost worthless compaired to another
Insulting someones grammar on a forum is like losing to someone in a drag race and saying they were cheating by having racing stripes. Not only do the two things not relate to each other (the logic behind the person's position, and their grammar) but you sound like an idiot for saying it (and you should, because its really stupid )
the problem is that the math almost never works out that its better for you to give someone better accuracy then to attack yourself.

in fact if it does work out that way in 5th it would be be a huge flaw, as that would mean one person's attacks would be almost worthless compaired to another



So you're complaining that the game doesn't encourage teamwork - and at the same time complaining that it would be broken if it did?

"One person's attacks" means a lot of different things. If our wizard has a really good spell (that is gone once cast) then it is a really good idea for my fighter to give him advantage when he uses it. Once the spell is spent, my attacks will be a better option. This isn't broken - it's just a consequence of wisely utilizing limited resources.

My cleric could attempt to spend an action giving the rogue a Sneak Attack - which could be Xd6 damage. It doesn't mean the Cleric is broken because he doesn't attack for Xd6. Eventually the rogue is going to need buffing or healing or simply to have a Guardian with him in order to survive.

A character isn't "worthless" just because other characters do more damage in combat.
the problem is that the math almost never works out that its better for you to give someone better accuracy then to attack yourself.

in fact if it does work out that way in 5th it would be be a huge flaw, as that would mean one person's attacks would be almost worthless compaired to another



So you're complaining that the game doesn't encourage teamwork - and at the same time complaining that it would be broken if it did?

"One person's attacks" means a lot of different things. If our wizard has a really good spell (that is gone once cast) then it is a really good idea for my fighter to give him advantage when he uses it. Once the spell is spent, my attacks will be a better option. This isn't broken - it's just a consequence of wisely utilizing limited resources.

My cleric could attempt to spend an action giving the rogue a Sneak Attack - which could be Xd6 damage. It doesn't mean the Cleric is broken because he doesn't attack for Xd6. Eventually the rogue is going to need buffing or healing or simply to have a Guardian with him in order to survive.

A character isn't "worthless" just because other characters do more damage in combat.



I did not say damage, I said attacks. attacks can do much more then damage.

and trying to encourage teamwork by makig one person's actions so worthless its better to give someone else a slight edgeis better then ALL of there attacks then the balance is very messed up.

there are better ways to encourage teamwork. for example the cleric could attack a target and let everyone else do 5 more damage when they hit them. the cleric got to attack and it encourages teamwork.

I dont want to play a game where the only reason 3 out of 4 people are there is to make the 4th guy more awsome. I want to play a game where all 4 of us help defeat the creatures we are facing.

not the mention that any game that encourages a boring playstyle is inheritly flawed. if the best way for a fighter to do damage at level 10 is for him to use his actions to hide the rogue becuse 10d6 sneak attack is 5x his damage then the game needs to be fixed.

same as a cleric that has no little utitly outside of healing that if everyone is full on hp all he can do is aid the rogue's attacks


Insulting someones grammar on a forum is like losing to someone in a drag race and saying they were cheating by having racing stripes. Not only do the two things not relate to each other (the logic behind the person's position, and their grammar) but you sound like an idiot for saying it (and you should, because its really stupid )
Hi Everyone,

I'm going to move this one to D&D Next General Discussion

Thanks,

Monica