Disadvantage means you have a disadvantage

So I've been reading over the forums for a bit today and Im very pleased with the helpful feedback players have been providing. BOTH positive and negitive feedback go along way. Thank you for that.

Alot of the feedback makes total sense.
1) Need more HP (but not much)
2) Armor AC's need a buff
3) Cleric's (My favorite class) 1d8 +4 at-will need Nerfed. 

But one thing I'm seeing that people are giving neg's on is Disadvantage.
People love the advantage, but feel that disadvantage is overpowered.

What we need to remember is you are on the disadvantage! That means, things are not in your favor.
Yes, you are likely to loss in that contest. 

So I am asking why do you not like the disadvantage rule? 
 
I'm fine with it, but in so many words... criting on your first roll with disatvantage...
I don't like either. They're too swingy to me. I will be replacing them with +2/-2. That way two sources of one aren't completely negated by a single source of the other.
It's just not fun to see a great roll (like a 20, especially in a situation where that would be a crit) suddenly becomes meaningless because you happened to roll a 3 on this completely separate die that wasn't even the same color as the first one.

I'm only going to roll so many 20s in a night.  Wasting my limited amount of luck, in a situation where I probably wasn't going to succeed anyway, is just unnecessarily cruel.


... or so says the gut.  The brain understands, but the gut does not.

The metagame is not the game.

So I've been reading over the forums for a bit today and Im very pleased with the helpful feedback players have been providing. BOTH positive and negitive feedback go along way. Thank you for that.

Alot of the feedback makes total sense.
1) Need more HP (but not much)
2) Armor AC's need a buff
3) Cleric's (My favorite class) 1d8 +4 at-will need Nerfed. 

But one thing I'm seeing that people are giving neg's on is Disadvantage.
People love the advantage, but feel that disadvantage is overpowered.

What we need to remember is you are on the disadvantage! That means, things are not in your favor.
Yes, you are likely to loss in that contest. 

So I am asking why do you not like the disadvantage rule? 
 


It slows down combat and kinda sucks the fun out. Just like how monsters that stun are worse than PCs that stun: the PCs are slowed down by the stun, but combat is spead up when one of the monsters can't take a turn.
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Thank you, you have all made some great points and understand your feelings. 

But NealMac, I too was a fan of the +2/-2 (DM's Bestfriend). But do you feel like this is fair for the target that clearly has advantage?
Considering the Bounded Accuracy intent and the average DCs and to-hits in the playtest packet, I do think +2 is perfectly fine for advantage. That's just my opinion of course.
Considering the Bounded Accuracy intent and the average DCs and to-hits in the playtest packet, I do think +2 is perfectly fine for advantage. That's just my opinion of course.


And the opinion of 4e designers...of course.

Disadvantage is a -25% to the normal odds, and a -50% to the odds if you had advantage that got canceled pr of someone has advantage on your disadvantage.    It is simply too much for variant battlefield state and conditions, resulting in lopsided contests.   Not having advantage is disadvantage enough.    If you go back to the +/-2 then being disadvantage means you are 10% worse odds than normal, and only 20% odds worse than being advantaged.

Forget the 5m virtual workday, that is a 5m realtime combat over before it started.

If the dual d20 mechanic is kept, at least add some tilts for the nat1/nat20 combos.   1 nat 20 cancels your disadvantage, 2 nat 1 worsens your disadvantage etc.

I wouldn't mind a rule that said that if one of the two disadvantage dice is a critical hit and the other is a miss - the outcome is converted to a miss [edit] regular hit, not a miss.. 

That feels about right (miss with disadvantage turns hit into miss and crit into regular hit).


Making a crit on either die be a critical hit would actually increase the odds of a crit and not be a good idea.


Of course - I'd argue the inverse with advantage and critical misses:  If you roll a 1 on either die and hit with the other, you have a miss. 

Carl
+2/-2 is so static. There's nothing exciting about it. The Advantage/Disadvantage system is new and exhilarating. It's more fun and visceral than +2/-2. When you have a disadvantage, you really feel it. With -2, I could care less. The only time a -2 feels like a disadvantage is when you miss the DC/AC by 1 or 2. All other results would have missed anyways.

I love the idea of a nat 20 canceling a disadvantage. That feels heroic and fun. That solves one of the biggest gripes with the disadvantage system. Put that in the next packet.
I wouldn't mind a rule that said that if one of the two dice is a critical hit and the other is a miss - the critical hit is converted to a miss. 

I fail to see any point to do so, when "use the higher/lower die" exists.

I'm not saying that everyone else should be forced to use the system I will. I'm just saying it's too swingy to me and I also prefer the +2/-2 since it allows multiple instances of one to not be completely negated by one instance of the other. I find that within the DCs/ACs/to-hits presented in the playtest that a +2/-2 have a significant impact, but not near auto-hit or near auto-miss. If you like it run with it! It a perfectly fine system for people who want that sort of swinginess. I just don't happen to be that sort of DM or player.
But natural crits and natural misses are where the excitement should be focused because each player on average gets one every 20 rounds.

The +/-2 can get more exciting if you allow things that make sense to stack, to stack.  Then all the work for little advantages can add up.

But if every round someone gets advantage/disadvantage for every little thing because it is so brutally important to the contest, then exactly what is exciting about it?   Eventually you realize the shiney thing has some tarnish on it and it is not so fun anymore.    It becomes a Michael Bay production with the crashing cars highspeed highway chase sequence that is 20m long every 20m in every movie he ever makes....

Some have said they like it because they like the gamble of tilting the odds, which can sometimes backfire.  There is another way to go about this using a a small die rolled to modify the d20 rather than using the fixed modifier, then stack or enlarge that small die.

I personally prefer the stacked d20 mechanic to replace the training modifer, since it is about signficantly always improving your odds but not being guaranteed, which is exactly the meaning training should have rather than "I am a bit better than that guy, but that untrained brute is a bit better than me" that exists now.

But I do not see how "It is a bit too dim in here for you human and I marked you for major 50% tilt booyah" makes much sense, and will cease to be fun in the long run, especially if the DM plays it fair and works it on his side of the screen every monster round.

I love the A/D mechanic. People are just thinking of it the wrong way:

Disadvantage means you will most likely fail and advantage means you will most likely succeed. The effects of A/D are meaningful and noticeable...unlike a paltry +2/-2 modifier.

It's very important to remember that having disadvantage or advantage just means that the odds are almost completely stacked against or for you. The DM can (and should) feel free to apply any +/- modifiers in addition to and/or in place of the A/D mechanic if they want something more subtle.



D&D Next - Basic and Expert Editions

I firmly believe that there should be two editions of the game; the core rules released as a "Basic" set and a more complicated expanded rules edition released as an "Expert" set. These two editions would provide separate entry points to the game; one for new players or players that want a more classic D&D game and another entry point for experienced gamers that want more options and all the other things they have come to expect from previous editions.

Also, they must release several rules modules covering the main elements of the game (i.e., classes, races, combat, magic, monsters, etc.) upon launch to further expand the game for those that still need more complexity in a particular element of the game.


Here's a mockup of the Basic Set I created.



(CLICK HERE TO VIEW LARGER IMAGE)
  

Basic Set

This boxed set contains a simple, "bare bones" edition of the game; the core rules. It's for those that want a rules-light edition of the game that is extremely modifiable or for new players that get intimidated easily by too many rules and/or options. The Basic Set contains everything needed to play with all the "classic" D&D races (i.e., Human, Dwarf, Elf, and Halfling) and classes (i.e., Cleric, Fighter, Rogue, Wizard) all the way up to maximum level (i.e., 20th Level).

The Basic boxed set contains:

Quick Start Rules
A "choose your own way" adventure intended as an intro to RPGs and basic D&D terms.

Player's Handbook
(Softcover, 125 pages)
Features rules for playing the classic D&D races and classes all the way up to 20th level.

Dungeon Master's Guide

(Softcover, 125 pages)
Includes the basic rules for dungeon masters.

Monster Manual
(Softcover, 100 pages)
Includes all the classic iconic monsters from D&D. 

Introductory Adventure
(Keep on the Borderlands)
An introductory adventure for beginning players and DMs.

Also includes: 

Character Sheets
Reference Sheets
Set of Dice


Expert Set

A set of hardbound rules that contains the core rules plus expanded races and classes, more spells and a large selection of optional rules modules — that is, pretty much everything that experienced players have come to expect. Each expert edition manual may be purchased separately, or in a boxed set. The Expert set includes:

Expert PHB (Hardcover, 225 pages. $35 Includes core rules plus 10 playable races, 10 character classes, expanded selection of spells and rules modules for players.)
Expert DMG (Hardcover, 250 pages. $35 Includes core rules plus expanded rules modules for DMs.)
Expert MM (Hardcover, 225 pages. $35 Includes an expanded list of monsters and creatures to challenge characters)


Expansions

These expansion rules modules can be used with both the Basic and Expert sets. Each expansion covers one specific aspect of the game, such as character creation, combat, spells, monsters, etc.) 

Hall of Heroes (Hardcover, 225 pages. $35 Includes a vast selection of playable character races and classes, new and old all in one book)
Combat and Tactics (Hardcover, 225 pages. $35 Includes dozens of new and old optional rules for combat all in one book)
Creature Compendium (Hardcover, 350 pages.$35 Includes hundreds of monsters, new and old all in one book)
The Grimoire (Hardcover, 225 pages. $35 Includes hundreds of new and old spells all in one book)





A Million Hit Points of Light: Shedding Light on Damage

A Million Hit Points of Light: Shedding Light on Damage and Hit Points

In my personal campaigns, I use the following system for damage and dying. It's a slight modification of the long-standing principles etsablished by the D&D game, only with a new definition of what 0 or less hit points means. I've been using it for years because it works really well. However, I've made some adjustments to take advantage of the D&D Next rules. I've decided to present the first part in a Q&A format for better clarity. So let's begin...

What are hit points?
The premise is very simple, but often misunderstood; hit points are an abstraction that represent the character's ability to avoid serious damage, not necessarily their ability to take serious damage. This is a very important distinction. They represent a combination of skillful maneuvering, toughness, stamina and luck. Some targets have more hit points because they are physically tougher and are harder to injure...others have more because they are experienced combatants and have learned how to turn near fatal blows into mere scratches by skillful maneuvering...and then others are just plain lucky. Once a character runs out of hit points they become vulnerable to serious life-threatening injuries.

So what exactly does it mean to "hit" with a successful attack roll, then?
It means that through your own skill and ability you may have wounded your target if the target lacks the hit points to avoid the full brunt of the attack. That's an important thing to keep in mind; a successful "hit" does not necessarily mean you physically damaged your target. It just means that your attack was well placed and forced the target to exert themselves in such a way as to leave them vulnerable to further attacks. For example, instead of severing the target's arm, the attack merely grazes them leaving a minor cut.

But the attack did 25 points of damage! Why did it only "graze" the target?
Because the target has more than 25 hit points. Your attack forced them to exert a lot of energy to avoid the attack, but because of their combat skill, toughness, stamina and luck, they managed to avoid being seriously injured. However, because of this attack, they may not have the reserves to avoid your next attack. Perhaps you knocked them off balance or the attack left them so fatigued they lack the stamina to evade another attack. It's the DM's call on how they want to narrate the exact reason the blow didn't kill or wound the target.

Yeah, but what about "touch" attacks that rely on physical contact?
Making physical contact with a target is a lot different than striking them, so these types of attacks are the exception. If a touch attack succeeds, the attacker manages to make contact with their target.

If hit points and weapon damage don't always represent actual damage to the target, then what does it represent?
Think of the damage from an attack as more like a "threat level" rather than actual physical damage that transfers directly to the target's body. That is, the more damage an attack does, the harder it is to avoid serious injury. For example, an attack that causes 14 points of damage is more likely to wound the target than 3 points of damage (depending on how many hit points the target has left). The higher the damage, the greater the chance is that the target will become seriously injured. So, an attack that does 34 points of damage could be thought of as a "threat level of 34." If the target doesn't have the hit points to negate that threat, they become seriously injured.

Ok, but shouldn't armor reduce the amount of damage delivered from an attack?
It does reduce damage; by making it harder for an attack to cause serious injury. A successful hit against an armored target suggests that the attack may have circumvented the target's armor by striking in a vulnerable area.

What about poison and other types of non-combat damage?
Hit point loss from non-physical forms of damage represents the character spitting the poison out just in time before it takes full strength or perhaps the poison just wasn't strong enough to affect them drastically, but still weakens them. Again, it's the DMs call on how to narrate the reasons why the character avoids serious harm from the damage.

If hit points don't don't represent actual damage then how does that make sense with spells like Cure Serious Wounds and other forms of healing like healer kits with bandages?
Hit points do represent some physical damage, just not serious physical damage. Healing magic and other forms of healing still affect these minor wounds just as well as more serious wounds. For example, bandaging up minor cuts and abrasions helps the character rejuvenate and relieve the pain and/or fatigue of hit point loss. The key thing to remember is that it's an abstraction that allows the DM freedom to interpret and narrate it as they see fit.

What if my attack reduces the target to 0 or less hit points?
If a player is reduced to 0 or less hit points they are wounded. If a monster or NPC is reduce to 0 or less hit points they are killed.

Why are monsters killed immediately and not players?
Because unless the monsters are crucial to the story, it makes combat resolution much faster. It is assumed that players immediately execute a coup de grace on wounded monsters as a finishing move.

What if a character is wounded by poison or other types of non-physical damage?
If a character becomes wounded from non-combat damage they still receive the effects of being wounded, regardless if they show any physical signs of injury (i.e., internal injuries are still considered injuries).

Ok. I get it...but what happens once a character is wounded?
See below.
 

Damage and Dying

Once a character is reduced to 0 or less hit points, they start taking real damage. In other words, their reserves have run out and they can no longer avoid taking serious damage.

  1. Characters are fully operational as long as they have 1 hit point or more. They may have minor cuts, bruises, and superficial wounds, but they are are not impaired significantly. 
  2. Once they reach 0 or less hit points, they become Wounded (see below).That is, they have sustained a wound that impairs their ability to perform actions.
  3. If they reach a negative amount of hit points equal or greater than their Constitution score, they are Incapacitated. This means they are in critical condition and could possibly die.
  4. Characters will die if their hit points reach a negative amount greater than their Constitution score, plus their current level.

Unharmed: 1 hp or more
Wounded: 0 hp or less
Incapacitated: -(Constitution) to -(Constitution+Level)
Dead: Less than -(Constitution +Level)

Wounded
When the character reaches 0 or less hit points they become wounded. Wounded characters receive disadvantage on all attacks and saving throws until they heal back up to 1 hit point or more. This allows for a transitory stage between healthy and dying, without having to mess around with impairment rules while the character still has hit points left.

Incapacitated
Characters begin dying when they reach a negative amount of hit points equal to their Constitution score. At which point, they must make a DC 10 Constitution saving throw on each of their following turns (the disadvantage from being wounded does not apply for these saving throws).

If successful, the character remains dying, but their condition does not worsen.

If the saving throw fails, another DC 10 Constitution saving throw must be made. If that one fails, the character succumbs to their wounds and dies. If successful, the character stabilizes and is no longer dying.

Finally, if a dying character receives first aid or healing at any point, they immediately stabilize.

Dead
Characters will die if they reach a negative amount of hit points equal to their Constitution, plus their current level. Thus, if an 8th level character with a Constitution score of 12 is down to 4 hit points then takes 24 points of damage (reducing their hit points to -20) the attack kills them outright.

It's very important to remember that having disadvantage or advantage just means that the odds are almost completely stacked against or for you.



Yes that is the mathematical odds change, but realistically is every use in the playtest fall into that description that the odds are overwhelming for or against you?  

It really should only be used for those things that merited +/-5 in 4e that deserved to tilt the odds, and it should be a very short infrequently used list.   Keep it happening as often as crits then it keeps its excitement.

Its like when platinum became the new gold, gold is about as boring as a copper now. 
I love the A/D mechanic. People are just thinking of it the wrong way:

Disadvantage means you will most likely fail and advantage means you will most likely succeed. The effects of A/D are meaningful and noticeable...unlike a paltry +2/-2 modifier.

It's very important to remember that having disadvantage or advantage just means that the odds are almost completely stacked against or for you. The DM can (and should) feel free to apply any +/- modifiers in addition to and/or in place of the A/D mechanic if they want something more subtle.




I like it too.  In those situations, I want a more reliable outcome thus rolling two dice and taking the higher/lower produces a bell curve result overall.   If you have disadvantage it is more likely that your outlier (rolling a super success 19, 20, etc.) will be replaced by a lower roll, but it is not assured, so there is still hope to pull off the attack/skill.  My players and I have found it exciting to try to do things with disadvantage, and when we succeed we are even more happy.

A Brave Knight of WTF

 

Rhenny's Blog:  http://community.wizards.com/user/1497701/blog

 

 

It's just not fun to see a great roll (like a 20, especially in a situation where that would be a crit) suddenly becomes meaningless because you happened to roll a 3 on this completely separate die that wasn't even the same color as the first one.

I'm only going to roll so many 20s in a night.  Wasting my limited amount of luck, in a situation where I probably wasn't going to succeed anyway, is just unnecessarily cruel.


... or so says the gut.  The brain understands, but the gut does not.

This post perfectly illustrates the reason why I love advantage/disadvantage.

Nothing feels as awesome as scoring a crit when it counts, and nothing sucks worse than losing a crit to disadvantage. It's wasted, and it's disasterous, and it illicits true visceral response. I love it! Having advantage/disadvantage actually means something. -- You don't want to be disadvantaged at all.

Great mechanic.

Danny