Our Fighter parried Magic Missile (1st Playtest of 2nd Packet)

Here is what our group consisted of:

Dwarf Fighter (Pre-gen, battle axe)
Halfling Rogue (Pre-gen, short sword)
Elf Sorcerer with chainmail, longsword, and shield
Humar Cleric (War) with chainmail and two shields, one which was used to bash. We assumed that both gave the +1 AC bonus so the cleric ended up with an 18 AC. (Fighter was at 17 AC)

Our DM (who has been playing D&D since 79) decided to throw random encounter levels at us to see what the breaking point was - how far could a group of 4 level 1's do against these various encounters...

Encounter 1. Robbery at the Inn
Inside a generic inn, 20' x 60'
Bandits; 3 armed with crossbows, 2 with longswords. 10 hps each, 14 AC, +2 to hit.
Bandits all go first and decided to hold their actions.

The fight lasted all but 2 rounds with the rogue hiding under tables and corpses, dealing 2d6 with each attack (none of the bandits made a spot check). The sorcerer fell in the first round due to being focus fired on by the crossbowmen when he missed his attack (he also went before the fighter, so the fighter could not use his combat superiority). The fighter in the group was playing intoxicated, the advantage of reducing damage far outweighed the disadvantage roll to his attacks.


Encounter 2: Ambush at Midnight
Campsite; 30' radius bright light, 30' beyond that light shadow, 30' beyond that complete darkness.
DM wanted to see what the rogue (thief scheme) could do without advantage and sneak attack.
Gnolls; 5 gnolls, 1 gnoll leader, and 2 gnolls with longbows somewhere in the darkness.

This fight lasted 6 rounds. The cleric started the fight with Bane and intimidate, giving the gnolls -2 to their rolls.
The sorcerer kills 1 gnoll in the first round with his sword/dragon strength, rogue hides behind the cleric and the rest of the entire round has everyone missing their attacks. 2nd round everyone gangs up on the gnoll leader; with the fighter and the sorcerer doing 22 points of damage to it (battle axe and shocking grasp). Everyone else misses, including the gnolls. 3rd round all gnolls miss their attacks, rogue hits the leader for 4 (he is not hidden or has advantage) and both the cleric and sorcerer manage to kill 2 more gnolls. 4th round gnoll leader manages to hit the fighter leaving him with 1 hp left (parry was used). Rogue then kills the gnoll leader and hides using its corpse. The cleric uses channel divinity on the fighter and heals for 8. 5th round the group mops up the remaining gnolls in the center of the circle while the two shooting arrows continue to deal no damage - one hit the fighter but he parried the damage away. 6th round, sorcerer casts Light on a crossbow bolt that the fighter shoots in the direction of the 2 gnoll bowmen. The party has advantage on them due to the sudden change in light and the two gnolls are shot dead due to throwing axes and daggers having an 80' travel distance.

Encounter 3: Lost in a Maze
Long corridor, torchlit.
1 minotaur, rogue starts hidden, other characters get one free round - sorcerer casts shield.

1st round sorcerer shoots a crossbow and hits for 6, everyone else misses with their ranged attacks. Minotaur charges and gores the fighter who saves and is not knocked down, but is dealt enough damage to drop him.
2nd round sorcerer hits with a longsword with dragon strength for 16, the rogue misses and the cleric flanks,  casts crusader's strike, and crits for 21. The minotaur attacks the cleric and misses but still deals 4 damage.
3rd round rogue misses, uses lucky, and hits for 5 (since their are no rules for flanking we assumed it does nothing at this time). Sorcerer hits for 9 and drops the minotaur.

Encounter 4: Trapped in a Crypt
Enclosed tomb, crypt door slowly rising, will be open by the 4th round.
5 wights. Rogue is hidden, sorcerer has cast shield, fighter is dual wielding short swords this time.

1st round rogue sneak attacks a wight for 17, but it turns on him and with multi-attack kills the rogue.
Sorcerer misses with his longsword. A wight attacks the fighter and hits once for 8 but 5 points is parried.
Fighter retailiates with a mult-attack of his own; missing once and hitting once for 2 points of damage. Everyone else that is left misses because they were too busy laughing at the fighter's sad damage.
2nd round fighter hits twice and uses deadly strike and does 6 damage (3 for one hit, 2 for another, and 1 from deadly strike). The fighter decides he wants to go back to playing a drunk dwarf with a battleaxe. Cleric looks at his spell list and wonders why inflict light wounds does 3d8 damage and heals undead for 1d8 but cure light wounds heals for 1d8 but does no damage to undead. He also notices that turn undead doesn't work on anything past 25 pts so he throws his spell list away. The remaining wights multi-attack the fighter down and the next round do the same to the sorcerer and then the cleric.

Encounter 5: Thunderdome
1 Troll starting 30' away, human cleric now has the guardian specialty, fighter is back to battleaxe/shield, halfling rogue is using the thug scheme, elf sorcerer is unchanged. ALL characters are still level 1.

1st round, cleric casts bless, everyone else holds their action. Troll charges the fighter and misses due to the cleric's defender feat giving the troll disadvantage. Fighter hits the troll for 9. 2nd round troll misses; fighter, cleric, and sorcerer thanks to cleric's defender feat (again). During the party's turn; the cleric crusader strikes for 15, the fighter hits for 12, the rogue hits for 12 (with sneak attack), and the sorcerer casts burning hands which the troll fails the save on and is burned for 10. 3rd round the rogue attacks first and hits for 19 which drops the troll. Yes, four level 1 characters dropped a level 6 encounter in three rounds - FUN! (/sarcasm)

Comments from the DM:
-In general, as your character/class gains levels, what is your use? What is your advantage over others?
-A 2d6 sneak attack that progresses as fast as it does is way too strong as it stands.
-Combat Superiority gives the fighter a lot of flexability but with one die it limits the player's options - consider scaling the dice down but giving them more, something like 2d4 to start out with. Sees the potential for problems down the road with fighting style maneuvers; without prerequisite levels on some of the maneuvers, a player can pick the 'best' ones, there should be some type of progression without having to use the fighting style 'themes'.
-Dual Wield and Archer specialties are complete crap. Does not like the half-damage the weapons do or the limitation to just finesse weapons. If someone wants to create a viking-esque berserker with two battle axes they should be able to do so. They are sacrificing defense for more offense but as it stands now they are sacrificing defense for no offense.
-Multi-Attack is strong. A group of 5 wights (a level 3 encounter) should not be more difficult than the group of 8 gnolls (a level 4 encounter).
-Monsters need a bonus to attack based on hit dice. It was feast or famine, most of the time the monsters missed (minotaur had a 65% chance to miss AC 18) and when they hit - the player went down. The Troll from encounter 5 should have had at least a +7 to hit.
-Character hit points need to be increased.
-Consider allowing spell casters to use thier hit dice during a short rest to regain lost spells but cap the spell restored based on half their level. For example, a level 5 cleric can spend hit dice to regain a spell from level 1 or 2 but not 3 - he could restore that at level 6.
-Power levels don't scale; monsters or classes.
-Weapon and armor codes need to be revised; need to make sure that each weapon is based on it's potential for damage not just because it's a larger or lighter version of it's cousin (hand ax, throwing ax, battle ax anyone?). Some weapons should also have more than one type of damage they deal (ie, morning star is the only one that does two types of damage).
-Get rid of the finesse weapon category altogether and make all weapons use either strength or dex as their attack modifier.

Comments from the group:
-Are shields to be used one-handed? What size are they? Buckler? Light? Heavy? Tower?
-Liked "brutal" from 4e on certain weapons.
-Something needs to be added to heavy armor to equalize the disadvantage to stealth and -5 movement. Consider something like using your CON bonus to your AC (with or without a max)
-Get rid of the fixed stat bonuses for each of the races - the bonuses should be included in the class. As one player described it; "They are telling us 'Oh, here's the lore, culture and traits for your typical elf' but then they forget we're not building typical elves. Why can't there be an elf that is stronger than the rest and/or is stronger than a dwarf or human? That is what has set him apart."
-Inflict "X" Wounds should do damage to undead not heal them. Not every evil cleric is going to surround themselves with undead.
-Turn Undead as a level 1 spell is limiting and useless as you progress in encounter difficulty. It should at least be an orison and scale to some degree like magic missile does.
-Do the fighter's maneuvers (Parry/Protect) work on ANY attack?
-Can you sneak attack undead and oozes? Can you knock down ?

The general consensus right now is that the encounters are so bent towards the player's favor the game is not fun. We are all optimistic though that these playtests will shed some light on what needs revised.
-Are shields to be used one-handed? What size are they? Buckler? Light? Heavy? Tower?

All shields are one-handed and give +1 AC regardless of what size they are.
-Something needs to be added to heavy armor to equalize the disadvantage to stealth and -5 movement. Consider something like using your CON bonus to your AC (with or without a max)

Heavy Armor already grants better AC than Medium or Light (unless you have 20 Dex, then it's equal).  So, you don't need to put any points into Dex and you beat most Dex guys in AC anyway.  Why would you need more?

-Inflict "X" Wounds should do damage to undead not heal them. Not every evil cleric is going to surround themselves with undead.

Nothing stops evil clerics from casting Cure Light Wounds.  Healing undead has been a property of Negative Energy in D&D since the concept was invented.

-Do the fighter's maneuvers (Parry/Protect) work on ANY attack?

Yes.  But note that Magic Missile is not an attack.  It's just auto-damage.  

-Can you sneak attack undead and oozes? Can you knock down ?

You can sneak attack and knockdown everything that specifically doesn't say you can't.  In the first packet, for example, oozes were immune to knockdowns--I don't know if that's the case in the second packet, though--haven't read the whole bestiary that thoroughly.

Great idea for testing. 

Like our group, we totally believe that monsters should hit PCs more often.   I've started adding +2 to hit to all monsters at this point in the playtest to see how it goes.  In our first game against mostly orcs, we liked what happened.

At first, I believed that PCs should have more hit points, but after playing a bit, we got used to having fewer hp to start, especially because the Defender/Protector types can absorb damage and give disadvantage.   

Yes...the monster levels and xps are all wonky.    They don't make much sense at times.  WotC will be working on that.

You are right-on about multi-attack, and whenever one PC or monster becomes the target for focused fire...watch out.   

I have a feeling that WotC has not really gotten to the point of calibrating the attack numbers and damage yet.  




        

A Brave Knight of WTF

 

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

 

 

My answers to the questions and observations

Comments from the DM:
-In general, as your character/class gains levels, what is your use? What is your advantage over others?
Mainly health, XP, and better abilities. AC, BAB, and Skills are staying the same to stop the DM from having to worry about scaling.

-Dual Wield and Archer specialties are complete crap. Does not like the half-damage the weapons do or the limitation to just finesse weapons. If someone wants to create a viking-esque berserker with two battle axes they should be able to do so. They are sacrificing defense for more offense but as it stands now they are sacrificing defense for no offense.
Dual Wielding and Archer are meant to split attacks between two targets, not just dish damage on one guy. Then again this could be an issue that could be solved by using 4e's Duel Strike ability. ie, Do base damage no strength bonus. Just glad there is no Off Hand detriment.

-Monsters need a bonus to attack based on hit dice. It was feast or famine, most of the time the monsters missed (minotaur had a 65% chance to miss AC 18) and when they hit - the player went down. The Troll from encounter 5 should have had at least a +7 to hit.
Mathmatically it would always hit a fighter on a 11+. AC does not scale anymore apparently though damage does. From a design perspective it seems like negative correlation; Better chance to hit less damage, Worse to hit = more damage.

-Power levels don't scale; monsters or classes.
What is "Power level"? Just general threat? Or can it be pinpointed to Attack Bonus, Damage, or HP? Or a combination?

- Some weapons should also have more than one type of damage they deal (ie, morning star is the only one that does two types of damage).
Wasn't that true for 3.5e as well?


-Get rid of the finesse weapon category altogether and make all weapons use either strength or dex as their attack modifier.
I really like the idea of customizability with this. Mainly because we have two weapon experts in my games who fight over Katanas. One says Dex should be used for Katanas whereas the other says it should be strength. Finesse weapons get rid of that arguement slightly, though home ruling it in the final copy as just dex could be good as well.

Comments from the group:

-Are shields to be used one-handed? What size are they? Buckler? Light? Heavy? Tower?
Yeah, they need to clear this one up.

-Something needs to be added to heavy armor to equalize the disadvantage to stealth and -5 movement. Consider something like using your CON bonus to your AC (with or without a max)
This has been my problem with armor for a while, even in 3.5 I didn't see the advantage of taking any heavy armor besides plate, because I ran Dex as my second highest ability score.

-Get rid of the fixed stat bonuses for each of the races - the bonuses should be included in the class. As one player described it; "They are telling us 'Oh, here's the lore, culture and traits for your typical elf' but then they forget we're not building typical elves. Why can't there be an elf that is stronger than the rest and/or s stronger than a dwarf or human? That is what has set him apart."
Just because the designers havn't put their seal of approval on doesn't mean you can't still do it. It isn't that difficult to change if you want to. Fixed attribute bonuses have already been apart of the game and don't seem to be going away anytime soon. Classes get them as well. Though I would make changes for a player who doesn't like the Attributes of a Class or Race, but that would be on my own time. I don't mind.

-Turn Undead as a level 1 spell is limiting and useless as you progress in encounter difficulty. It should at least be an orison and scale to some degree like magic missile does.
Agreed.
-Can you sneak attack undead and oozes? Can you knock down ?
Depends on DM's call. If undead uses senses besides sight maybe not. If Oozes have eyes then maybe so.



Ant Farm

Comments from the DM:
-Weapon and armor codes need to be revised; need to make sure that each weapon is based on it's potential for damage not just because it's a larger or lighter version of it's cousin (hand ax, throwing ax, battle ax anyone?). Some weapons should also have more than one type of damage they deal (ie, morning star is the only one that does two types of damage).

Comments from the group:
-Are shields to be used one-handed? What size are they? Buckler? Light? Heavy? Tower?



I realize these comments came from two different groups of people.  They do seem to contrast each other.  You, the DM, want equipment revisions that are not based on size.  But the size of the shield was relevant to your player.  He wasn't just content with the function of +1 AC.  So there's a minor logical disagreement just within your playtest group.

In general, though, good playtest report.  My take-away from your encounters is that combat is streamlined in the way they wanted it to be.  They just need to tweak ACs and damage a little. 
Storyteller:

Nothing stops evil clerics from casting Cure Light Wounds.  Healing undead has been a property of Negative Energy in D&D since the concept was invented.



There isn't negative energy anymore though, it has spread out into; radiant, necrotic, holy, and unholy damage which confuses me as to what is the new 'undead friendly' damage type - I liked it the other way when it was just positive and negative energy. Just a minor disagreement between the spells as they are written and our gaming group; we see cure spells as being able to heal anything, living or dead, and inflict spells doing the same damage to the dead or the living.

Yes.  But note that Magic Missile is not an attack.  It's just auto-damage.



Magic Missile is an attack, otherwise how could you damage them? Just because it automatically hits, doesn't mean that an attack wasn't made. Again, we're going by what was written in the playtest packet and nothing is said that parry is only good against physical attacks.

DontEat:

What is "Power level"? Just general threat? Or can it be pinpointed to Attack Bonus, Damage, or HP? Or a combination?



I would say it is a combination of abilities. What our party of 4 went up against seemed underwhelming until you got to the encounters where the DM was rolling more than one attack per monster. Attack Bonus, AC, and in some cases HPs seemed weak across the board for the creatures in the bestiary, but we know that lots of work needs to be done - just pointing out what others have. The same holds true to the classes as well; we can see the rogue becoming too powerful too quickly compared to the other classes; Sneak Attack that starts too high and advances too fast and the ability "City Savvy" creating the potential of breaking a majority of the DM's encounters (ie ambushes).




Magic Missile is an attack, otherwise how could you damage them? Just because it automatically hits, doesn't mean that an attack wasn't made. Again, we're going by what was written in the playtest packet and nothing is said that parry is only good against physical attacks.

I suppose it is not conclusive, but two things strongly suggest that something without an attack roll is not "an attack."

1) Precedent--in previous editions of D&D, "attack" was defined by the presence of an attack roll.

2) Attack basics, on page 11 of the playtest packet, list three steps to making an attack.  Step 2 deals with modifiers to the attack roll.  Step 3 is rolling the attack.  I'm fairly sure, then, that an attack rolls is required to be an attack. 
Magic Missile is an attack, otherwise how could you damage them? Just because it automatically hits, doesn't mean that an attack wasn't made. Again, we're going by what was written in the playtest packet and nothing is said that parry is only good against physical attacks.

I suppose it is not conclusive, but two things strongly suggest that something without an attack roll is not "an attack."

1) Precedent--in previous editions of D&D, "attack" was defined by the presence of an attack roll.

2) Attack basics, on page 11 of the playtest packet, list three steps to making an attack.  Step 2 deals with modifiers to the attack roll.  Step 3 is rolling the attack.  I'm fairly sure, then, that an attack rolls is required to be an attack. 

#1 In 4E, magic missle IS an attack so no precedent. ALso, in 3E the invisibility spell 'ends if the subject attacks any creature.' SO you allowed a magic user to go invisible and contunue to pepper people with magic missles and they stay invisible?

EDIT: Also in 5e, would you allow someone to magic missle someone under the sactuary spell without a save? 

#2 step three is damage and I'm fairly sure the only way to deal damage is through an attack. No other section deals with damage, so it seems that you just skip the determine 'whether the attack hits or misses' step by being auto-hit.

#1 In 4E, magic missle IS an attack so no precedent.

That is patently false, actually.  The Essentialized, auto damage Magic Missile was specifically not an attack, because it had only an effect line, and an attack roll was required to be an attack.

ALso, in 3E the invisibility spell 'ends if the subject attacks any creature.' SO you allowed a magic user to go invisible and contunue to pepper people with magic missles and they stay invisible?

The exact wording of Invisibility in the SRD is: "The spell ends if the subject attacks any creature. For purposes of this spell, an attack includes any spell targeting a foe or whose area or effect includes a foe."

So, no, I didn't allow that, because for the purposes of Invisibility, casting Magic Missile on an enemy is an attack.  While an attack is actually defined elsewhere, you can also deduce from the fact that an attack for the purposes of Invisibility is being called out as including any spell targeting a foe or whose area of effect includes a foe that such a thing is not normally an attack.

EDIT: Also in 5e, would you allow someone to magic missle someone under the sactuary spell without a save?

If I was playing as it was currentley written?  Yes.  It is a very powerful protection spell with some unfortunate loopholes.  I like that sort of thing, to be honest.


#2 step three is damage and I'm fairly sure the only way to deal damage is through an attack. No other section deals with damage, so it seems that you just skip the determine 'whether the attack hits or misses' step by being auto-hit.

That is absolutely not true.  Step 3 of an attack is dealing damage, but it says nothing about other things being unable to deal damage.  That is like saying, "since all Iced Tea contains water, water cannot exist outside of Iced Tea."  I'm afraid that's pretty poor logic.

Further, damage is absolutely mentioned elsewhere.  On page 2 of "how to play," it is specifically mentioned that failing a saving throw might cause a spell to inflict damage upon you.  You also explicitly take damage from failing a Death save (on page 13).  Page 6 of the DM Guidelines mentions taking damage from badly failed Constitution checks.  Several places in the adventure (that I don't want to give pages for so as not to spoil anything) mention traps and falling as dealing damage, and a certain item can cause damage simply by being presented to a certain NPC.

I'm sorry, but you are rather conclusively incorrect here.
#1 In 4E, magic missle IS an attack so no precedent.

That is patently false, actually.  The Essentialized, auto damage Magic Missile was specifically not an attack, because it had only an effect line, and an attack roll was required to be an attack.

ALso, in 3E the invisibility spell 'ends if the subject attacks any creature.' SO you allowed a magic user to go invisible and contunue to pepper people with magic missles and they stay invisible?

The exact wording of Invisibility in the SRD is: "The spell ends if the subject attacks any creature. For purposes of this spell, an attack includes any spell targeting a foe or whose area or effect includes a foe."

So, no, I didn't allow that, because for the purposes of Invisibility, casting Magic Missile on an enemy is an attack.  While an attack is actually defined elsewhere, you can also deduce from the fact that an attack for the purposes of Invisibility is being called out as including any spell targeting a foe or whose area of effect includes a foe that such a thing is not normally an attack.

EDIT: Also in 5e, would you allow someone to magic missle someone under the sactuary spell without a save?

If I was playing as it was currentley written?  Yes.  It is a very powerful protection spell with some unfortunate loopholes.  I like that sort of thing, to be honest.


#2 step three is damage and I'm fairly sure the only way to deal damage is through an attack. No other section deals with damage, so it seems that you just skip the determine 'whether the attack hits or misses' step by being auto-hit.

That is absolutely not true.  Step 3 of an attack is dealing damage, but it says nothing about other things being unable to deal damage.  That is like saying, "since all Iced Tea contains water, water cannot exist outside of Iced Tea."  I'm afraid that's pretty poor logic.

Further, damage is absolutely mentioned elsewhere.  On page 2 of "how to play," it is specifically mentioned that failing a saving throw might cause a spell to inflict damage upon you.  You also explicitly take damage from failing a Death save (on page 13).  Page 6 of the DM Guidelines mentions taking damage from badly failed Constitution checks.  Several places in the adventure (that I don't want to give pages for so as not to spoil anything) mention traps and falling as dealing damage, and a certain item can cause damage simply by being presented to a certain NPC.

I'm sorry, but you are rather conclusively incorrect here.

#1 Check out that 'Essentialized, auto damage Magic Missile' once. You'll note that it's listed as a wizard ATTACK 1. Also see the compendium note that all powers that damage are attack spells.

On 3.5 invisibility, I was wrong but not for the reason you think. Look here: www.d20srd.org/srd/magicOverview/casting... "All spells that opponents resist with saving throws, that deal damage, or that otherwise harm or hamper subjects are attacks." I missed the part where invisibility pointed out that out.

On sactuary, I'll have to say that since D&D 3.5, 4 and 5E say YES to magic missle being an attack I'd say you where wrong.

On the last part I ment that it's the only section that talks about the PLAYER dealing damage. As far as I can tell, the only way I can see to deal damage is with an attack. Can you point out anyplace else that deals with players dealing damage?

So I'd have to say that YOU are "are rather conclusively incorrect here".
#1 Check out that 'Essentialized, auto damage Magic Missile' once. You'll note that it's listed as a wizard ATTACK 1. Also see the compendium note that all powers that damage are attack spells.

On 3.5 invisibility, I was wrong but not for the reason you think. Look here: www.d20srd.org/srd/magicOverview/casting... "All spells that opponents resist with saving throws, that deal damage, or that otherwise harm or hamper subjects are attacks." I missed the part where invisibility pointed out that out.

Your research should be commended.  I was incorrect on half of my point.  They are attacks.  They still do not hit, which is also required by Sneak Attack.

On sactuary, I'll have to say that since D&D 3.5, 4 and 5E say YES to magic missle being an attack I'd say you where wrong.

Yes, you have changed my mind on this.

So I'd have to say that YOU are "are rather conclusively incorrect here".

No, sorry, you're still ultimately wrong, because Magic Missiles still do not hit.  But I do have to concede several points, so congratulations on that.

Edit: Wow, I totally lost track of what I was arguing, didn't I?  While I am correct that you can't Sneak Attack with Magic Missile, the guy above me was right about the actual topic we were discussing--you can parry Magic Missile, which is honestly kind of awesome.  I love the new Fighter (though not a whole hell of a lot else about packet 2).


Edit: Wow, I totally lost track of what I was arguing, didn't I?  While I am correct that you can't Sneak Attack with Magic Missile, the guy above me was right about the actual topic we were discussing--you can parry Magic Missile, which is honestly kind of awesome.  I love the new Fighter (though not a whole hell of a lot else about packet 2).

LOL That was my point the whole time, not about sneak attack (just your post quoting Jiyu). I seems we where debating slightly different things but it worked out. We proved that you can parry magic missle which IS pretty awesome. Wink

On sneak attack, it's is only on an attack roll and even if it wasn't, you can only get advantage on an attack roll so the point would be moot. Sorry if you thought I was trying to say otherwise.

4th round gnoll leader manages to hit the fighter leaving him with 1 hp left (parry was used). Rogue then kills the gnoll leader and hides using its corpse.


Jiyu, you mentioned the Rogue doing too much damage with Sneak Attack but it seems that he is hiding and attacking in one round.  You only get one action per round, and hiding and attacking are both actions.
Edit: Wow, I totally lost track of what I was arguing, didn't I?  While I am correct that you can't Sneak Attack with Magic Missile, the guy above me was right about the actual topic we were discussing--you can parry Magic Missile, which is honestly kind of awesome.  I love the new Fighter (though not a whole hell of a lot else about packet 2).



Now while awesome, Parrying a magic missile just doesn't make sense to me for some reason I can't explain. It just doesn't work for me.
However, the Protect ability that works to me. Yes, I know they are the same mechanic. However, the shield spell can block magic missile so a shield can work to block magic missile. Again this is just in my head. Though I can see how Parry would work in this case. I just can't accept it in my head, yet.  I see parry as using a weapon to block attacks, (I know how its written).
I can see how it would work in the way its written.
A fighter could use Parry or Protect to downgrade fireballs and lightning bolts as well. Failed save, no problem blow some CS dice. This makes sense actually in a thematic manner, a warrior blocks a huge blast of dragon's fire with his shield while the others huddle behind him.
A fighter could use Parry or Protect to downgrade fireballs and lightning bolts as well. Failed save, no problem blow some CS dice. This makes sense actually in a thematic manner, a warrior blocks a huge blast of dragon's fire with his shield while the others huddle behind him.

While I love that image and want my Fighter to do that, it can only happen if they expand the Protect/Parry ability such that you can use multiple dice to protect multiple people as part of the same reaction.  Actually, the more I think about it, the more I want that to happen.

4th round gnoll leader manages to hit the fighter leaving him with 1 hp left (parry was used). Rogue then kills the gnoll leader and hides using its corpse.


Jiyu, you mentioned the Rogue doing too much damage with Sneak Attack but it seems that he is hiding and attacking in one round.  You only get one action per round, and hiding and attacking are both actions.



We (and our DM) were under the assumption that you could use your move action to hide - if this isn't correct then the thief scheme seems greatly underpowered compared to the thug scheme. This might be a hold-over from a house rule we used in 3.5 though, it's been a long time since we gamed using that edition and none of the group wants to remember 4e.
There is precedence to using your move action to hide.  In fourth edition, for example, hiding is almost always part of a movement.
In 5th edition, however, hiding is explicitly stated to be 'an action.'  The thief would need to use an action to hide on one turn in order to sneak attack with advantage on the following turn. 
I would definitely agree that this is much underpowered compared to the thug, but if I were to choose between the two I would suggest that the thief style is closer to the rogue fighting style that I would consider 'properly balanced.'  Still a bit weak, but compared to the "thug stomp" that one of my players likes to pull, its more in line with what I'd expect.
So, how many people calling the thug overpowered have actually seen one in play?  Because it's really extremely rare to have two allies next to an enemy that isn't dead or so wounded you don't even need to sneak attack.  Damage is high and HP is low.  Two adjacent allies are more than enough to kill whatever you might attack.  Plus, movement is much more dynamic now that you just can't leave the threatened area, so ganging up is even harder than it used to be.

If anything, I think the Thug is underpowered in actual play (despite what's on the paper), and that, given a few sessions, most thugs will ask to switch to Thieves.
Very interesting point, storyteller, and one that I hadn't considered at all!

The only rogues I have played with have used the thief style, so you are correct in assuming that I haven't seen one played yet.  It seems like the thug may fulfill the roll of the 'Why can't anybody hit this stupid enemy and make it die' character, wherein everybody tries to hit something and rolls a 2.

That makes me consider the whole scheme very differently.  Thanks!
So, how many people calling the thug overpowered have actually seen one in play?  Because it's really extremely rare to have two allies next to an enemy that isn't dead or so wounded you don't even need to sneak attack.  Damage is high and HP is low.  Two adjacent allies are more than enough to kill whatever you might attack.  Plus, movement is much more dynamic now that you just can't leave the threatened area, so ganging up is even harder than it used to be.

If anything, I think the Thug is underpowered in actual play (despite what's on the paper), and that, given a few sessions, most thugs will ask to switch to Thieves.



In our session, we had four level 1's take down a troll in 3 rounds. We only had 1 thug rogue in the group with a fighter and a cleric with the guardian spec. I wonder how "easy" it would have been if instead it were three thug rogues with a draconic sorcerer with guardian spec or if there would have been a couple kobolds thrown in the mix to block "flanking" (although flanking has yet to be addressed). I guess it also depends on the size and composition of your gaming group, you might not always have two front liners to take the hits and allow you to deal those monstrous hits, so underpowered and underpowered does have a bit of subjectivity. As we look at the progression of the rogue as a class, we believe that the sneak attack, regardless of theme, progresses too fast as illustrated by our one rogue decimating a majority of it's targets (including the level 6 encounter - the troll).

Benefit: When you are damaged by an attack
while you are wielding a weapon or a shield, you
can spend expertise dice to reduce the damage.
Roll any expertise die you spend in this way, and
subtract its result from the damage against you. If
the damage drops to0 or lower, you are still
subject to any other effects of the attack.
 

RAW I'm a bit worried myself.
I've got an archer in my party and don't want him to start parrying magic missiles with his bow/throwing axes.
Nor want a high level fighter splitting a fireball in half and still making the saving throw. It's 5d6 halved vs 2d8 at 5th level.

I mean, it's cool for the fighter, but I feel we're pushing the fighter/wizard balance a bit too far now.
Afterall, the fighter has unlimited dice to spend, and the wizard only a couple of daily spell on his side. 

Mindstorming and ideas on how to tweak the Wizard class (hp, AC, class features):
[And so, you chose to be a wizard...]

In our session, we had four level 1's take down a troll in 3 rounds. We only had 1 thug rogue in the group with a fighter and a cleric with the guardian spec. I wonder how "easy" it would have been if instead it were three thug rogues with a draconic sorcerer with guardian spec or if there would have been a couple kobolds thrown in the mix to block "flanking" (although flanking has yet to be addressed). I guess it also depends on the size and composition of your gaming group, you might not always have two front liners to take the hits and allow you to deal those monstrous hits, so underpowered and underpowered does have a bit of subjectivity. As we look at the progression of the rogue as a class, we believe that the sneak attack, regardless of theme, progresses too fast as illustrated by our one rogue decimating a majority of it's targets (including the level 6 encounter - the troll).


A multi-thug party would likely fair very well against big tough solo monsters, but as storyteller pointed out, in regular game play, its tough to get two allies around the same monster that isn't already dead.

As for the progression of the Rogue's sneak attack, the numbers assume you can only get SA every second round, which is why they are so high.  The flanking ability of the Thug likewise assumes that it will be difficult to get 2+ allies in melee around a living target, and hence will not happen often.

If you want to do SA every round, I would suggest having the bonus dice listed and round down, i.e. 1d6 at first level with +1d6 at every odd level.
In our session, we had four level 1's take down a troll in 3 rounds. We only had 1 thug rogue in the group with a fighter and a cleric with the guardian spec.

At level 1, an absolutely optimal Thug rogue will be a human with 18 Dex using a Quarterstaff or Katana.  He'll have a +6 to hit and deal 15.5 damage on average with a sneak attack, as well as (probably) 8 HP and 15 AC.

A Fighter with a Greataxe/Maul/Greatsword and 18 Strength, however, will have a +7 to hit and, with Deadly Strike, deal 14 average damage, on top of having ~12 HP and 16 AC.  Oh, and he requires absolutely no set up or help to do so.

A War Cleric with 18 Strength and a Bastard Sword casting Crusader strike has a +6 to hit and deals 16.5 average on a hit or 3.5 on a miss, plus he has ~10 HP and 16 AC.    

A Sun Cleric with 18 Wisdom can spam Radiant Lance from 50' away and deal 8.5 average damage per turn.  If he casts Spiritual Hammer first, he can deal 13 average damage.  

The Troll has 14 AC, so the Thug Rogue (who doesn't get advantage with the psuedo flank, just Sneak Attack damage), will hit 65% of the time, which puts his average DPR at 10.075.  The Fighter will hit 70% of the time, putting his average DPR at 9.8.  The War Cleric will hit 65% of the time like the Rogue, but still deals damage on a miss, putting his average DPR at 11.95.  The Sun cleric will hit 65% of the time, putting his average DPR at 5.525 with just Radiant Lance or 8.45 with Spiritual Hammer, too. 

A party with four optimized Thugs would take out the Troll in an average of 2 rounds.  A party with four optimized Fighters would take the Troll out in an average of 2 rounds.  A party with four optimized War Clerics will take the Troll out in two rounds.  A party wtih four optimized Sun clerics will kill the troll in an average of 3 rounds with just Radiant Lance or 2 with Spiritual Hammer.  

Also, the Sun Clerics can hit from 50' away, move 30' back, laugh as the troll hustles to within 20', shoot again and move 30' back, then laugh one last time as the Troll Hustles to get in melee just in time to be finished off.

Oh, and a group of 4 Optimized Wizards can use Ray of Frost from 100' away and wear down the Troll before it can ever get into melee reach, even dealing only 4.55 dpr each.

Edit: I realized just now that I ignored crits, but the difference in dpr will not be enough to change my examples especially much.

The end result is this: being a Thug makes no difference in this instance--any encounter against a single powerful enemy is easier than an encounter of the same difficulty against multiple foes.  In fact, being a Thug is actually a weakness, because the Thugs have less AC and HP than Fighters or War Clerics (or Sorcerers), and no range like the wizard or sun cleric.  

Against four Thugs, the Troll will deal an average of 9.75 DPR to them, likely killing one of them before he is killed himself.  Against the War Cleric or Fighter, the troll will only deal 8.775 DPR, making it unlikely for him to score any kills before death.

I'd also like to point out that out of 35 monsters, only 10 (28.5%) can be one-shotted by the Thug without Sneak Attack.  Meanwhile, a Fighter with Deadly Strike can one-shot 18 (51.4%), and only 8 (22.8%) can survive two Fighter hits (which is what would allow the Thug to do his thing).  And that's all talking level 1--if we go to level 3, only 6 (17.1%) monsters can survive long enough for the Thug to hit them.  Move to level 5 and you get only 3 (8.5%) taking two Fighter hits without dropping.  

In other words, the circumstances are just not worth it.
I don't think Magic Missile counts as an attack.  And, I would say that of all spells.

Reasoning: The "Actions in Combat" section in the How to Play document lists "Attack" and "Cast a Spell" as separate things.  So, I believe that spells in and of themselves are not attacks.  So, for Magic Missile, Fireball, Flaming Sphere, and the like, the Fighter cannot use his tactics that can be triggered on attacks.

However, the effect of a spell can call for an attack to be made.  This is in spells like Ray of Frost and Shocking Grasp.  In this case, an attack is made, and the Fighter can use his CS dice as he wishes.

Melf's Acid Arrow would be problematic for me, though, as a blocked Acid Arrow would still eat the shield, and I'm not sure I'd allow a sword to parry it aside (being made of acid and all).  I guess I'd allow it, but only on the initial hit of damage (the 4d8), which would let the 2d8 tick off normally, simulating that some of the acid still got on the Fighter, but the block/parry was enough to disrupt the arrow's form somewhat so that it was not as effective.
I don't think Magic Missile counts as an attack.  And, I would say that of all spells.

Reasoning: The "Actions in Combat" section in the How to Play document lists "Attack" and "Cast a Spell" as separate things.  So, I believe that spells in and of themselves are not attacks.  So, for Magic Missile, Fireball, Flaming Sphere, and the like, the Fighter cannot use his tactics that can be triggered on attacks.

However, the effect of a spell can call for an attack to be made.  This is in spells like Ray of Frost and Shocking Grasp.  In this case, an attack is made, and the Fighter can use his CS dice as he wishes.

Melf's Acid Arrow would be problematic for me, though, as a blocked Acid Arrow would still eat the shield, and I'm not sure I'd allow a sword to parry it aside (being made of acid and all).  I guess I'd allow it, but only on the initial hit of damage (the 4d8), which would let the 2d8 tick off normally, simulating that some of the acid still got on the Fighter, but the block/parry was enough to disrupt the arrow's form somewhat so that it was not as effective.



Casting a spell is the action, correct. but part of the effect of the spell you cast is to make an attack
Casting a spell is the action, correct. but part of the effect of the spell you cast is to make an attack


Not for Magic Missile or a number of other spells in the document.  The effect of the spell does not call for an attack to be made; it simply takes effect.  If you have line of sight, Magic Missile always hits.

In fact, the only spells currently that have attacks are:
Crusader's Strike
Ghoul Touch
Inflict Wounds
Melf's Acid Arrow
Radiant Lance
Ray of Enfeeblement
Ray of Frost
Righteous Brand
Searing Light
Shocking Grasp
Spiritual Hammer
Vampiric Touch

No other spells have attacks, even if they do damage.
Casting a spell is the action, correct. but part of the effect of the spell you cast is to make an attack


Not for Magic Missile or a number of other spells in the document.  The effect of the spell does not call for an attack to be made; it simply takes effect.  If you have line of sight, Magic Missile always hits.

In fact, the only spells currently that have attacks are:
Crusader's Strike
Ghoul Touch
Inflict Wounds
Melf's Acid Arrow
Radiant Lance
Ray of Enfeeblement
Ray of Frost
Righteous Brand
Searing Light
Shocking Grasp
Spiritual Hammer
Vampiric Touch

No other spells have attacks, even if they do damage.


of course i dont mean all spells -_-

i was referring to your statement about the attacking and casting a spell being listed as different actions
I believe that if the feat could be used against spells that required the player to be the subject of an attack roll it would have been worded differently. Like:

Benefit: When you are damaged by an attack that requires an attack roll and targets you (bold text added by me)
and you are wielding a weapon or a shield, you 
can spend expertise dice to reduce the damage. 
Roll any expertise die you spend in this way, and 
subtract its result from the damage against you. If 
the damage drops to0 or lower, you are still 
subject to any other effects of the attack. 

RAW, you could also be blinded (no need to see the attack or being aware of it), wielding 2 bows (you're wielding a weapon. No, wait, 1 bow per hand!) and still reduce the effect of a spontaneous meteor that is by chance falling on you.

I still have to figure out how can someone who's wielding a small dagger reduce the damage of a Melf's Acid Arrow.

Also, RAW it could also be used to reduce the continuos damage of a spell. Or poison damage "What is he doing swinging the kukri like that? - He's fighting against the poison. Leave him alone mate!"

Personally, I'd rule0 out it can only be used in melee, while wielding melee weapons, and against melee attacks (no parrying arrows thanks, leave that to the monk)

Probably the Eldritch Knight could be allowed to parry spells. Parrying as worded right now is just too good (infinite defence vs daily spells) 

Mindstorming and ideas on how to tweak the Wizard class (hp, AC, class features):
[And so, you chose to be a wizard...]

I believe that if the feat could be used against spells that required the player to be the subject of an attack roll it would have been worded differently. Like:

Benefit: When you are damaged by an attack that requires an attack roll and targets you (bold text added by me)
and you are wielding a weapon or a shield, you 
can spend expertise dice to reduce the damage. 
Roll any expertise die you spend in this way, and 
subtract its result from the damage against you. If 
the damage drops to0 or lower, you are still 
subject to any other effects of the attack. 

RAW, you could also be blinded (no need to see the attack or being aware of it), wielding 2 bows (you're wielding a weapon. No, wait, 1 bow per hand!) and still reduce the effect of a spontaneous meteor that is by chance falling on you.

I still have to figure out how can someone who's wielding a small dagger reduce the damage of a Melf's Acid Arrow.

Also, RAW it could also be used to reduce the continuos damage of a spell. Or poison damage "What is he doing swinging the kukri like that? - He's fighting against the poison. Leave him alone mate!"

Personally, I'd rule0 out it can only be used in melee, while wielding melee weapons, and against melee attacks (no parrying arrows thanks, leave that to the monk)

Probably the Eldritch Knight could be allowed to parry spells. Parrying as worded right now is just too good (infinite defence vs daily spells) 


actually the pdf defines an attack as something making an attack roll

actually the pdf defines an attack as something making an attack roll


If you're referring to page 2 of the How to Play PDF, "Attacks", it says nothing like that. It only talks about how you make an attack roll, that's the intent. That is different to say that every attack requires an attack roll.

Otherwise Santuary would be pointless to cast: one could simply cast a spell with no attack roll against the cleric (eg: an enchantment), or attacking him indirectly by casting a fireball nearby.

Again, most of the attacks require an attack roll, all attack rolls assume you're attacking something, but generally is left some degree of intepretation to the DM.
There were such wording problems even years after the printing of the handbooks, go figure now!

Also, back to the Sanctuary spell, it says: "If the touched creature makes an attack or casts a spell that can deal damage, this spell ends."
Considering "attacks" and "attack rolls" being interchangeable and identical, this could lead to clerics casting Sanctuary and then Hold Person on someone. It would not be an attack nor a spell that deals damage.
But of course that's not the way it's intended to be used, and of course there would be no point to cast it "for keeping an important individual safe while the battle rages to all sides." if you only considered attacks those requiring an attack roll.

So IMHO the Parry feature, as it has been written, could be abused in all ways. I'm pretty sure it was meant to be used in melee and against melee, not as a way to allow fighters to split fireballs, cut scorching hands and destroy arrows.
Best way to survive for a low level wizard? Take 1 level as fighter, wield a staff and get a sort of 1d6 damage reduction all life. 
I'll submit a question to the Q&A Section for further clarifications. I hope they're going to revise it in the next packet/before printing.

Mindstorming and ideas on how to tweak the Wizard class (hp, AC, class features):
[And so, you chose to be a wizard...]

So IMHO the Parry feature, as it has been written, could be abused in all ways. I'm pretty sure it was meant to be used in melee and against melee, not as a way to allow fighters to split fireballs, cut scorching hands and destroy arrows.


Parry doesn't work against Fireball and Scorching Hands.  They do not have attacks.  In order to reduce damage, the Fighter would roll a saving throw vs. the Wizard's spell save DC.  Spells that do damage are not inherently attacks.  Only spells that call for attacks would allow for the use of Parry.

So IMHO the Parry feature, as it has been written, could be abused in all ways. I'm pretty sure it was meant to be used in melee and against melee, not as a way to allow fighters to split fireballs, cut scorching hands and destroy arrows.


Parry doesn't work against Fireball and Scorching Hands.  They do not have attacks.  In order to reduce damage, the Fighter would roll a saving throw vs. the Wizard's spell save DC.  Spells that do damage are not inherently attacks.  Only spells that call for attacks would allow for the use of Parry.




If you choose to always use a strict interpretation of the word "attack" then it's like what you're saying, I agree.
But sometimes you've got to use a broader interpretation and common sense to try to get closer to the developer's initial and real intentions, like how happened in previous editions with rules that got errata'd or clarified. It's one of the DM's tasks once he realizes how a rule/mechanic can be abused/bent to the player's dark desires/used in unreasonable ways.

Pick the new wording of the Sanctuary spell for example, compare it with its flavor text and realize how different they are.
Would you cast it to protect an important person if it only required a Fireball/area effect/effect that targets the mind to circumvent the Sanctuary ("not an attack": hasn't got any attack roll). Would you really allow a cleric to cast Hold Person while inside a Sanctuary spell, without putting end to the spell ("not an attack", does no damage)?

IMHO some rewording is needed, or at least an official word of clarification to solve confusion. Because it's really dangerous to always use the strict interpretation of the words: not every player/DM is a lawyer, and handbooks/playtest packages are going to be read by people with totally different backgrounds, experiences and education. The rules just have to be clear, this is not Magic: the Gathering.

Mindstorming and ideas on how to tweak the Wizard class (hp, AC, class features):
[And so, you chose to be a wizard...]

I'd reword Sanctuary to say "hostile action" instead.  No melee, no ranged, no sleep spells, no fireballs, no magic missiles.  But, he could cast some sort of teleportation if he had it.
Why get hung up on rules? This says so and so and therefore it is like this and not like this and there's nothing you can do about it... seems to me kind of stupid... If I remember correctly Mr. Mearls said the "rules" were guidelines, if you don't like something about the guidelines presented you should just go ahead and change it... that's what I do... then I post my changes and how they worked and try to explain why they worked or didn't...

on the magic missile... it takes an action to cause that damage, so I'd rule it was an attack... also try to imagine it from a movie scene point of view... a wizard flicks his hand and a purplish glowing orb darts towards the fighter who the expertly blocks/parries the glowing orb with his shield/weapon... now he didn't quite manage to avoid all the damage and so the magical energy travels along his weapon/shield and into his body or he partially managed to bring his defense on the orb so part of it goes past his defense and into him to cause some damage...

this is a "Roleplay" system, don't let rules lawyering bog down gameplay, as a DM make a ruling in the moment and review your decision after the session and possibly write it down and post it on here on the D&D:Next forums... 
Why get hung up on rules?


Because that's kinda the point of the whole playtesting thing. ;)