Can't we just allow extra attacks to be extra attacks?

I understand there's a certain amount of dpr control with extra attacks, but if someone makes an attack roll, I want them to make a proper damage roll. I'd be willing to rebalance damage to allow for that.


The bulk of my objection to the current treatment of extra attacks (roll an unmodified die) is emotional. I just don't think it feels right; I'm not excited about it. I want my extra attacks to all deal the same damage formula (weapon die + ability) because that way I feel like I'm actually attacking.


Some people might think I'm being stupid or whatever, and you're entitled to your opinion if you feel that way but what I want to explore here is how we can rejig things to allow extra attacks to just deal your attack damage. So here's the deal:


Currently there are three ways of getting extra attacks:



  • Two weapon fighting - can of worms, I know, but it's a way to get an extra attack. Big issues here for me, disadvantage makes me feel like it's not worth the bother (hopefully a feat will fix it) in the first place but I want to focus on the damage. Frankly, two weapon damage rolls without abilities is not two attacks worth of damage.

  • Expertise maneuvers - mostly flurry. Actually, just flurry? I don't like it. It's balanced and it works. I'm aware of that, but I don't like how it's balanced or how it works.

  • Be a fighter - Yup, they get that extra attack and it actually works like a proper extra attack. Good. Let's model everything else after this, but let's not let maneuvers and two weapon fighting outshine the fighter's extra attack - basically leave the fighter alone and keep this class feature free and clear of any balancing acts applied to other ways of getting extra attacks.


So basically what I'm proposing is that all means of getting extra attacks roll the same damage of weapon die + attribute bonus for every attack. What I'm asking is what's the best way to balance that? Should we modify the weapon die to reflect extra attacks? Should we apply a flat damage penalty for attacking multiple times within a single attack? If neither of those, what else could we do?

TWF:  Not worth discussing too much in detail.  The current packet has only the untrained rules.  That means they're not ready to actually release the full TWF structures yet, which means that trying to analyze it is a waste of time since when they do release it it will undoubtedly be different.  The alternative to releasing just the untrained TWF rules is releasing no TWF rules.  Would anyone really have wanted that?

FOB:  The reason they're unmodified is that they want the same damage as Deadly Strike.  How would you suggest they maintain that, yet not have the parts you don't like? 

Fighter:  Yes, the fighter extra attack is an extra attack.  But the purpose of the extra attack is to be a full-damage extra attack.

The "unmodified die" is performing the same roll as things like 4e's Cleave power, which is a normal attack against one target, and Str mod damage to another one.  But instead of just a fixed modifier of damage, they give you a die, because rolling dice is fun and the core mechanic of the game.

The problem you're facing is one of perception on your end.  The unmodified die is doing something different than a standard attack.  That difference is explicitly intentional, and if you want to get rid of it the burden is on you to come up with something that still meets their goals.
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  • I don't mind two weapon fighting being less damage with the off-hand attack.  Most people aren't as strong/dexterous on one side as the other.  Totally okay with reduced damage bonus or no damge bonus on the off-hand.

  • Balanced flurry?  Not a problem for me then either way.  Keep it, change it I don't care.

  • Giving fighters an extra attack can help balance the linear fighter/quadratic wizard equation.  I don't have a problem with it, but I think if different martial classes are going to feel different, then they need to have different mechanics.  So I am not in favor of allowing this across the board for martial classes.  Want to help other martial classes keep up with quadratics?  Try something else.


I guess it all boils down to me not having a problem with any of this.

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Concerning "Default" Rules
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The argument goes, that some idiot at the table might claim that because there is a "default" that is the only true way to play D&D. An idiotic misconception that should be quite easy to disprove just by reading the rules, coming to these forums, or sending a quick note off to Customer Support and sharing the inevitable response with the group. BTW, I'm not just talking about Next when I say this. Of course, D&D has always been this way since at least the late 70's when I began playing.

I all ready admitted my problem is mostly my own; I'm not interested in being told that because I all ready know. I'm interested in ideas for how one might modify the rolls such that a damage roll is a damage roll.


I hated the 4e cleave too for the same reasons. I don't mind if people disagree; that's not really the point.


What I would do is just roll weapon die + modifier and impose a -2 damage penalty to all attacks gained through two weapon fighting or maneuvers. Like I said in the OP, I'd leave the fighter's extra attack alone 'cause that's the whole point of that attack being there.

You can't, not and accomplish the goals of the mechanic.  Argue for changing the goals if you want, but you'd have to do a crazy amount of pluses and minuses to force that square math into a round hole.
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The problem with just rolling damage and imposing a penalty is that it is exactly the same as imposing the penalty before the expression is created...only more complicated.  Simple is what they are going for in the core, and I think what most people want.  Although the math is just simple artithmatic, I don't want to have to add this, subtract that, add this other thing and substract something else.  All of that kind of arithmatic is often done by players each time they attack slowing things down.  Just give me a simple expression I can roll.

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Concerning Player Rules Bias
Kalex_the_Omen wrote:
Gaining victory through rules bias is a hollow victory and they know it.
Concerning "Default" Rules
Kalex_the_Omen wrote:
The argument goes, that some idiot at the table might claim that because there is a "default" that is the only true way to play D&D. An idiotic misconception that should be quite easy to disprove just by reading the rules, coming to these forums, or sending a quick note off to Customer Support and sharing the inevitable response with the group. BTW, I'm not just talking about Next when I say this. Of course, D&D has always been this way since at least the late 70's when I began playing.

You can't, not and accomplish the goals of the mechanic.  Argue for changing the goals if you want, but you'd have to do a crazy amount of pluses and minuses to force that square math into a round hole.



Thank you for your input; I will take it into due consideration.


If anyone has anything useful to say, I'd really like some analysis on this.

I responded to each one of your points, explained how it would require fundamental design changes and not simple adjustments, and asked you how you thought your new goal could interact with their existing goals.

If you have an actual suggestion, then you should put that up.  But right now it seems as if you want someone else to mathcraft something for you, rather than participating in a discussion among peers.
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I agree the multiple attacks should do full damage (except TWF).

Basically, it's emotional - not rational.

If your first attack roll hits, you do full damage. Exciting! Subsequent attack rolls do less damage. That's less rewarding.

It's like getting paid in decreasing amounts for the same activity. The drop off is considerably less satisfying.

So, yeah, maybe we've got to look at the monster HP math here, but I believe this is an important change.

If the extra attack maneuvers are to feel awesome, they need to produce satisfying returns.

Right now, they're cool activities with meh-level results.

-Brad

If the extra attack maneuvers are to feel awesome, they need to produce satisfying returns. Right now, they're cool activities with meh-level results.



This is something I've never understood, and I think a reason why the designers will never be able to please everyone.  Why does everything have to be awesome all the time?  Isn't it okay to contribute in a non-awesome, but relevant way most of the time, and have moments of awesomeness?

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Concerning "Default" Rules
Kalex_the_Omen wrote:
The argument goes, that some idiot at the table might claim that because there is a "default" that is the only true way to play D&D. An idiotic misconception that should be quite easy to disprove just by reading the rules, coming to these forums, or sending a quick note off to Customer Support and sharing the inevitable response with the group. BTW, I'm not just talking about Next when I say this. Of course, D&D has always been this way since at least the late 70's when I began playing.

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Well I mentioned its more emotional than rational. So naturally it's hard to understand.

If it doesn't feel right or satisfying, it's less fun. Even if its mechanically sound - this is still a game - a fantasy escapism. So the emotional satisfaction is /sometimes/ more important than perfect mechanics.

In the case of cleave, for example, you get an image of a strike so powerful it obliterates your foe and then crashes into the next guy. As written, it nicks him. If you got an extra attack with full damage, it would crash into that enemy and deliver a devastating attack (or miss, but at least you had the chance).

I'm not saying the current mechanic is bad - it's not. It's a very good mechanic. It's just not very fun for my game.

I verge on not even caring if I get the d4 damage.

(Now I could definitely be in the minority here).

-Brad

TWF is fine without ability mods. TWF shines when you have magic weapons and buffs.

FoB should get ability mods. Monks shouldn't even use expertise and should just get an extra unarmed attack. You don't have magic fists after all.

 If extra attack maneuvers are going to add mods, they have to not use expertise dice and be encounter powers.
If your first attack roll hits, you do full damage. Exciting! Subsequent attack rolls do less damage. That's less rewarding. It's like getting paid in decreasing amounts for the same activity. The drop off is considerably less satisfying.



Yup, that's what I'm on about.


The solution I'm leaning toward is to give the -2 to all attacks gained through maneuvers and two weapon fighting. This puts the damage potential higher than a single weapon but the average is probably about the same - for now. I'm a little unsure about the permutations of expertise driven attacks in addition to two weapons, but just taking each one on its own:


A guy with a +5 ability bonus will deal weapon die +5. 1d8 seems to be the "average" so we've got a longsword dealing 6-13 damage with an attack and it affords them a shield so that's cool enough.


A guy with the same bonus wielding a two hander (most of 'em are 1d10 on average, so we'll use that) is going to deal 6-15 damage with an attack.


TWF is a bit up in the air but it should be doing about the same as a two handed weapon. If you're wielding a long sword (d8) and a short sword  (d6) - light weapons aren't very well defined.. might need to be a dagger but let's be generous here - as written now you're dealing 2-14 damage. The average just sucks by comparison and that doesn't make sense. What if your ability bonus was pulled across all attacks, with the odd number being applied to the first attack rolls? So you'd attack twice with two weapons and your +5 would happen but +3 on one roll and +2 on the next. Let's drop the max damage by reducing the dice by 1 for each weapon.


So that would be 1d6+3 +1d4+2. The damage per attack would be 7-16 which is slightly more than a 2h weapon but nothing to scream about. A d12 dealing 2h weapon would be doing about the same average damage and there are a fair number of those. I'm satisfied with that.



Expertise maneuvers are a bit trickier I think and really only concerns flurry. It inevitably has to be compared to deadly strike.


1d8 (longsword) + 5 (ability score) + 2d10 (expertise) = 8-33 damage = 20.5 average


If you were to just play flurry with straight up damage rolls for each attack, you get this:


1d6+5 + 1d6+5 + 1d6+5 = 18-33 damage = 25.5 average


The average is a lot higher, but there's a pretty good chance you'll miss one of those attacks. Is that 5 average higher important in view of the miss chance?

This is something I've never understood, and I think a reason why the designers will never be able to please everyone.  Why does everything have to be awesome all the time?  Isn't it okay to contribute in a non-awesome, but relevant way most of the time, and have moments of awesomeness?


Yeah I get your sentiment but I just happen to think when you get an extra attack it should actually be an extra attack and not some effect die that doesn't resemble your normal damage roll. I accept that penalties or changes to the die would be necessary to give it the same feel, but the feeling that I'm rolling multiple weapon damage rolls is important.
IMO monk unarmed strike should be 1d4. Re-compute for that value and I think we're in range.

-Brad

I don't understand the point of FOB. Why not just say it only works of different targets but give it better damage. 
As it is now it is practically useless against single targets as long as Deadly strike exists.  

Two weapon fighting is probably waiting for its series of maneuvers or feats. In 3.5 two weapon fighting without feats and proper weapons was -10 to all attacks or -6/-10 if one weapon was light.

And fighter extra attack is good, but I don't want to DM again high level games where everyone and their grandmother has 4+ attack per round and each round lasts forever. I think Star Wars Saga has done this well. Stand still and do your multiple attacks or move a lot and get one attack and gain extra damage or some other bonus. 
3.5e done it the worst, just don't go that route again. 
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I don't understand the point of FOB. Why not just say it only works of different targets but give it better damage. 
As it is now it is practically useless against single targets as long as Deadly strike exists.  




Flurry of blows isn't necessarily a damage boosting mechanic, it's an accuracy boosting mechanic. Fighter does more damage especially at level 6+ (extra attack). 

But monks will conisitently hit more often, as a result of having more oppurtunities. Monks are better at dealing with mobs, multiple attempts at one target, or multiple attacks at multiple targets wrapped into one manuever. The damage potential against a single target is the same as deadly strike if it wasn't for the weapon die difference. 

Monks sacrafice damage, for increased stability. I think this is mechanically balanced and viscerally cool. They are throwing out lots of quick punches and kicks.
 

My mind is a deal-breaker.

Flurry of blows isn't necessarily a damage boosting mechanic, it's an accuracy boosting mechanic. Fighter does more damage especially at level 6+ (extra attack). 

But monks will conisitently hit more often, as a result of having more oppurtunities. Monks are better at dealing with mobs, multiple attempts at one target, or multiple attacks at multiple targets wrapped into one manuever. The damage potential against a single target is the same as deadly strike if it wasn't for the weapon die difference. 

Monks sacrafice damage, for increased stability. I think this is mechanically balanced and viscerally cool. They are throwing out lots of quick punches and kicks.
 



I agree here.  People tend to only look at the raw damage output of a single attack as the balancing factor.  There are many way of balancing contribution besides raw damage.

Kalex the Omen 
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Concerning Player Rules Bias
Kalex_the_Omen wrote:
Gaining victory through rules bias is a hollow victory and they know it.
Concerning "Default" Rules
Kalex_the_Omen wrote:
The argument goes, that some idiot at the table might claim that because there is a "default" that is the only true way to play D&D. An idiotic misconception that should be quite easy to disprove just by reading the rules, coming to these forums, or sending a quick note off to Customer Support and sharing the inevitable response with the group. BTW, I'm not just talking about Next when I say this. Of course, D&D has always been this way since at least the late 70's when I began playing.

Plus, because of the way the maneuvers work, as soon as you land one FOB you can dump all the rest of your dice into DS.  It's not an either-or situation.
D&D Next = D&D: Quantum Edition
Of course I wouldn't have a problem with FoB being used with weapons either (like quarterstaff). I think the advantages they give to using your fists (disrupting DMG resitance, etc) are balancing loss with the boost in dietype of D8 vs. D6. 

And more damage isn't always more effective. There is less air in a jar full of BBs then a jar full of marbles.

More low damage attacks will lead to less over-damage on targets.

That's Damage savings, yo! 

My mind is a deal-breaker.

I don't thnk FoB should be allowed to make weapon attacks. Weapons attacks have bonuses from magic or even for being masterwork.

I don't thnk FoB should be allowed to make weapon attacks. Weapons attacks have bonuses from magic or even for being masterwork. 




Bonus only applies to the first attack, so I would think its balanced with other manuevers (as they all get them). I presume there are some unique things like tattoos that will give magic item like bonuses to monks. Otherwise who wants to play the class that never uses magic items?

 

My mind is a deal-breaker.

IMO monk unarmed strike should be 1d4. Re-compute for that value and I think we're in range.



That's 1d4+5x3 = 18-27 damage = 22.5 average.


Yeah, that's more in the zone.



Another note: I don't want the monk to have deadly strike at all. I would remove that from their maneuver list entirely and make flurry their go-to "more damage" move.

There are different sorts of extra attacks...

A trained two-weapon fighter's basic attack is (potentially) divided in two. The combination of the two, plus opportunities for enhancements to it, should be balanced against the basic attack of fighters trained in other styles. If the TWF got as his basic attack a standard single-weapon attack with all the regular options plus a second attack that offered anything at all, it would be the clearly-best style and there should not be a clearly-best style. If he has to spend an expertise die to get that second attack but this is clearly better than other uses of the expertise die (as a second regular attack would be), same problem.

So no, the TWF's dual attack should NOT be two regular attacks.

Other extra-attack situations, that are NOT "your basic attack action is two attacks", are different and probably at least some of them should be full normal attacks.
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Kadim, I agree. FoB > DS for monks.

-Brad

Yeah, you have to leave TWF out of the "extra attack" discussion because fighting w/2 weapons is not really getting an "extra" attack - it's your standard operating procedure. SOPs should be broadly equal

-Brad

Okay... glancing blow is totally worthwhile. Hitting on a 2? Nice. While FoB has more chances to crit, D&SA's single crit damage is a bigger single attack.
On topic... I'd like to see things which give +1 damage per expertise dice available. I think it would make cleave, FoB, etc. Viscerally feel more like attacks and be balanced still.
"What's stupid is when people decide that X is true - even when it is demonstrable untrue or 100% against what we've said - and run around complaining about that. That's just a breakdown of basic human reasoning." -Mike Mearls
There are different sorts of extra attacks...

A trained two-weapon fighter's basic attack is (potentially) divided in two. The combination of the two, plus opportunities for enhancements to it, should be balanced against the basic attack of fighters trained in other styles. If the TWF got as his basic attack a standard single-weapon attack with all the regular options plus a second attack that offered anything at all, it would be the clearly-best style and there should not be a clearly-best style. If he has to spend an expertise die to get that second attack but this is clearly better than other uses of the expertise die (as a second regular attack would be), same problem.

So no, the TWF's dual attack should NOT be two regular attacks.

Other extra-attack situations, that are NOT "your basic attack action is two attacks", are different and probably at least some of them should be full normal attacks.



OK, but here's my issue: when I read "two weapon fighting" I think I attack with two weapons. I see that weapons do damage, I expect to be doing damage with both weapons. I look at a two hander, and I see that it does more damage than a one hander. So my expectation is that two weapons will do the equivalent of a two hander, but over two different attacks.


Since weapon damage is figured as weapon die + ability, I expect that my two weapons will deliver attacks at weapon + ability and there will be suficient penalties, either through accuracy or damage, to make the damage about even with the two hander.


That means two things that make what you're saying unpalettable: 1) an 1h damage roll divided by two is nowhere near the equivalent damage of a two hander. Even if both attacks land on one opponent, the damage is the equivalent of a one hander, which means there's no reason to dual wield. I'll have that shield, thanks. 2) any damage roll that is as variable as 1 or 10 feels like it's not really worth the bother. 1d8+2 delivers a much more consistent damage than 1d10 and it makes me feel like the attack roll is going to always give me something and 3 damage on a min roll is still a downer. There's enough variance in the results to make the die rolling fun, but it also assures the subsequent attack rolls feel important.


Also, maneuvers present that modify attacks are almost universally one-off die increases. Only one spell adds a bonus to weapon damage that is not attributed to an attribute (divine favour) and the TWF rules as they're written allow that bonus to be applied to both weapon damage rolls anyway, which means that what I want will not increase the ceiling (currently) by adding another attack roll like you can in 3e.


Finally, magic items are not a consideration. Mearls has said explicitly that magic item bonuses are not part of the core balance, which means if you give someone who uses TWF or flurry some kind of magic item that boosts their damage rolls you have only yourself to blame. It's the DM's job, not the ruleset's, to make sure magic is given in moderation and in such a way that the game isn't broken.

I've gone through and removed some content that wasn't about the topic at all. Please keep the conversation on the topic of the multiple attacks and not on competence, insults, or each other.

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On topic... I'd like to see things which give +1 damage per expertise dice available. I think it would make cleave, FoB, etc. Viscerally feel more like attacks and be balanced still.



Actually, I could get behind this, but I'm a little unclear on how you mean for it to be applied. Do you mean that if you choose not to do any maneuvers, you get +1 damage per expertice die available? 'Cause I don't see how that would help. First attack would = d6+attribute+2 (no dice spent), second attack = exp die + 1 (one die unspent), third attack = exp die +0 (all dice spent)...


I'm not sure how that alleviates the diminishing returns issue. If anything, it makes it more pronounced.

I actually wasn't thinking in the diminishing returns fashion, but I actually do like it. I'd make it be the bonus = +1 per dice rolled diminishing. So a fighter could get 1d8 +str+2d6+5. A monk would get 1d6+dex, 1d6+3, 1d6+2 (assuming these two both have 2d6 expertise dice... and yes, I am counting the weapon d into the bonus total).

Well, I could see it taking place in a few different ways. I could see masterwork weapons dropping their static +1 for a +1/ d. Doesn't help monks (unless there are ki foci?). I could see a feat doing it, but I feel like it might be too powerful for <=6... and it might give so much of a boost it becomes the melee feat tax. Assuming mw works the way I imagined and the hypothetical feat, a fighter would do 1d8+str+2d6+4 while a monk would do 1d6+dex, 1d6+2, 1d6+2 (assuming mw ki focus).
"What's stupid is when people decide that X is true - even when it is demonstrable untrue or 100% against what we've said - and run around complaining about that. That's just a breakdown of basic human reasoning." -Mike Mearls
ahh. See, my main problem is the extra attacks feel progressively less and less important. I'd prefer it if each attack felt equally important.
What's your opinion of prior-edition cumulative -5 penalties on extra attacks?  Didn't they feel less a nd less important?
D&D Next = D&D: Quantum Edition
No they didn't because they all did full damage. The accuracy hit is cooler, I think.
I agree that when compared to the Fighter's Extra Attack, TWF and FoB are just lackluster.  I see no reason to limit FoB to the same model as DS, especially with static unarmed damage and no extra attack at a higher level.  A Monk isn't a Fighter, it shouldn't have to be limited by the mechanics of one.  Especially if the Fighter isn't limited by the mechanics of the Monk.

As it stands, it feels like the Monk can't have cool things because fans of the Fighter will complain, but the Fighter can have cool things even if the Monk takes a hit as a result.

I don't mind that the fighter's extra attack is better. Actually I want the fighter's extra attack to remain better.


I just want TWF/FoB to feel more awesome than they do. I'd like them to be the equivalent of a 2h weapon/deadly strike, respectively, but I want each attack roll to feel like it really matters. That's why I want the damage to follow the same formula for each damage roll.


Incidentally, if there was another damage formula that did feel significant to me and we used that I'd be fine too. I'm not totally married to the idea of die + stat.


I don't mind that the fighter's extra attack is better. Actually I want the fighter's extra attack to remain better.


I just want TWF/FoB to feel more awesome than they do. I'd like them to be the equivalent of a 2h weapon/deadly strike, respectively, but I want each attack roll to feel like it really matters. That's why I want the damage to follow the same formula for each damage roll.


Incidentally, if there was another damage formula that did feel significant to me and we used that I'd be fine too. I'm not totally married to the idea of die + stat.


I'm rather against the Fighter's extra attack being better.  What I want is for it to be different.  Neither class should be inherently "better" than the other.  Instead, they should bring different abilities to the table.

FoB as it stands feels like a method to ensure Fighters are "better", to the degree it bages the question "Why bring a Monk, other than because it fits your character modelling?".

So far, I think the best way to accomodate this in the thread so far is as follows:


TWF: both weapons drop one damage die, ability scores are applied once but spread across both attacks (+1/+0, +1/+1, +2/+1, and so on).


Result for longsword/shortsword with a +5 bonus: 1d6+3 + 1d4+2 = 7-15 damage, average 11 (compared to a 2h's 1d10+5's average of 10.5)


FoB: individual attacks deal 1d4 + full ability bonus for each attack: 1d4+5 + 1d4+5 + 1d4+5 = 18-27 damage, average 22.5 (compared to a 2h's 3d10+5 deadly strike's average of 21.5)



The results are pretty damn close and each attack is doing a reliably meaningful portion of the damage.

@chakravant

There is a big difference between saying you want the fighter to be "better" and saying that you want an individual fighter thing to be better.

Components of a class that do a thing better than anyone else can do a thing is great.  But they need to be balanced with everything else in the class so that the entire class is on par with other classes. 

Balance does not mean that every individual feature has to be equal. 
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