Remove the attack roll?

With HP abstract, and accuracy bounded, could we remove the attack roll?

Instead of requiring a two step process, we could combine accuracy and damage into a single roll. Increases in damage represent increases in accuracy and skill as well as increases in striking power. We can show a high level warrior having a better chance to hit simply by giving him a damage boost as he levels.  

This would solve a few problems caused by bounded accuracy. For example, you would no longer have "archery tournaments" where the level 1 and level 10 fighter only have a 10% (+2) difference in accuracy.  

This change would of course require a few other changes to be made. Advantage could simply grant an extra weapon die of damage.  Disadvantage could be 1/2 damage.  Armor need to be switched to DR (possibly that also scales with level). 

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The Hero: A Modular Class

So you propose automatic hits? How is this even fun?
Not seeing the benefit here.
I can see how this would speed things up in combat. However, I agree with Night, this doesn't seem fun nor even compelling as a mechanic. 
I've considered this many times. I agree its a valid option, especially if HP are kept as fully abstract. The only way to not "take damage" in around is to not get targetted, or use some form of defensive manuever (ie Parry/Protect).

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Imagine you have 25 HP.  An enemy Orc comes swinging and does 1d8+2 damage.  On average he will take you down in 4 hits but if he gets lucky it could be as little as 3.  

Combat goes faster and you can truly see the difference in skill and experience between two combatatants (as it effects both HP and damage).

This system would also show that every attack takes effort on part of the defender to avoid.  The defender loses HP not necessarily because he is "hit" be every attack, but rather because he must spend energy dodging, blocking, parrying, or otherwise avoiding being impaled.
We could probably eliminate the attack and damage roll by just making Dungeons and Dragons a collectable card roleplaying game.

I mean why use dice, they are just a silly sacred cow that nobody needs.

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What?  No.
D&D Next = D&D: Quantum Edition
In D&D, the attack roll qualifies as a sacred aurochs. If I want to play a D&D-style game where I don't roll to hit, I have Dungeon Command.
We could probably eliminate the attack and damage roll by just making Dungeons and Dragons a collectable card roleplaying game.

I mean why use dice, they are just a silly sacred cow that nobody needs.

Is that level of sarcasm truly warranted? There is already discussion of using average damage on expertise dice for those that prefer static numbers. This would just be another module for alternate game play. Removing the attack roll or merging attack and damage rolls does not change the game so radically as to be comparable to a CCG.

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In D&D, the attack roll qualifies as a sacred aurochs.

We can agree to disagree.

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And you'd be wrong.  Rolling a d20 to hit is core to D&D.  It's not going anywhere, and debating whether or not it should is a complete waste of time since it's never going to happen.
D&D Next = D&D: Quantum Edition
Let's make spells autofail/autohit too!

no...

...attack roll make combat less predictable and less controllable
We could probably eliminate the attack and damage roll by just making Dungeons and Dragons a collectable card roleplaying game.

I mean why use dice, they are just a silly sacred cow that nobody needs.

Is that level of sarcasm truly warranted? There is already discussion of using average damage on expertise dice for those that prefer static numbers. This would just be another module for alternate game play. Removing the attack roll or merging attack and damage rolls does not change the game so radically as to be comparable to a CCG.


Well, I have to agree with him, it pretty much does change the game so radically. Maybe not for the first C (unless WotC gets ideas), but it becomes a CG at least.

We could probably eliminate the attack and damage roll by just making Dungeons and Dragons a collectable card roleplaying game.

I mean why use dice, they are just a silly sacred cow that nobody needs.



Sometimes I like posting radical ideas just to watch grognards nerdrage. Tongue Out

On a more serious note, Damage is already quite variable.  Why do we need variable damage and variable accuracy to make the game feel variable.  Does removing the attack roll and balancing numbers around that truly make the game feel like a card game?  

Have any of you ever played a game using a system like Godlike where attack and damage are 1 roll?  I assure you that it in no way plays like a card game and is still quite random. 

So, you're trolling, then?  k
D&D Next = D&D: Quantum Edition
As much as I can completely get where you are coming from with this idea...

It ain't nevah gunna happen!

That's just science.

Sorry.
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And you'd be wrong.  Rolling a d20 to hit is core to D&D.  It's not going anywhere, and debating whether or not it should is a complete waste of time since it's never going to happen.

Well, I have to agree with him, it pretty much does change the game so radically. Maybe not for the first C (unless WotC gets ideas), but it becomes a CG at least.

Just like Vancian spell casting is core to D&D? Please. Neither the OP or myself are advocating making this idea core, but it can work as an optional module. I'm fine with disagreeing, but you are telling me that it is badwrongfun if I want to play D&D without an attack roll. Yes, it would mean saves and armor would need adjustment, but there is far more to D&D than the attack roll.

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Vancian spell casting isn't core to D&D.  4e existed.  And of course there's more to D&D than the attack roll, but rolling a d20 to attack is core.
D&D Next = D&D: Quantum Edition
How about combining the attack roll with the initiative roll, so that each player and NPC makes one roll per round, and of those who are successful, the highest goes first?  This would make each round more flexible tactics-wise while decreasing the total number of rolls per encounter.
Vancian spell casting isn't core to D&D.  4e existed.  And of course there's more to D&D than the attack roll, but rolling a d20 to attack is core.



Yes, and until 4e Vancian was core.  And until 5e fast scaling attack bonuses were core.

Bounded accuracy causes certain logical problems that removing the attack roll solves.  
Removing the attack roll makes more sense in regards to HP increasing with level.  
Removing the attack roll makes more sense in regards to warriors with differing levels of skill.
Removing the attack roll makes combat faster.  
Removing the attack roll makes "minions" remain a threat even against high level enemies.  
Removing the attack roll keeps combats deadly and exciting.
Removing the attack roll streamlines the difference between magic and martial.
Removing the attack roll reduces some of the swingyness of combat.

Now the question is, will D&D feel like D&D if we remove the attack roll.  Is the attack & damage roll combo so important to D&D combat that it is too drastic of a change for all the benefits it provides?

This is something that should be explored, not simply dismissed on the grounds of "tradition".   
I don't care if d&d uses a d20 d30 or 5d6-1d6. But automatically hitting makes the game infinitely less fun as you can automatically predict the outcome of every single combat.

Any role playing game needs randomness otherwise it just becomes a lame test of who is the bigger math nerd.
Yes, it could be a module, though the only place I can see it appearing is in a 5e version of Unearthed Arcana, or an eponymous Dragon article.
A change this fundamental would require extensive playtesting to ensure  it plays well with the existing body of D&D content. Would the devs really spend all that time on a fringe option that only a few D&D players are likely to be interested in? Maybe some enterprising groups will try it out at their own risk, but I can't see Wizards endorsing it.
I agree that the attack roll seems like an unnecessary complication in a system with fully-abstracted hit points, but I also agree that rolling to hit, and having the distinction between accuracy and damage, is a fun part of the game, and should not be removed. There are many aspects of the game that exist, not because they make the game more believable or consistent, but because they are more fun.

Much like classes and levels, there are things that wouldn't fit most RPGs, but works well in the context of D&D, specifically.

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I don't care if d&d uses a d20 d30 or 5d6-1d6. But automatically hitting makes the game infinitely less fun as you can automatically predict the outcome of every single combat. Any role playing game needs randomness otherwise it just becomes a lame test of who is the bigger math nerd.



I dont beleive you know what you are talking about.  Tactics, damage and conditions are all other variable factors, removing roll to hit might have less of an impact then you might think.

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I know perfectly well what you are talking about. I have played many games. I can promise you that with autohits I can tell you every single move you should make.

Yes, and until 4e Vancian was core.

And they learned their misstake and it will return in DDN

And until 5e fast scaling attack bonuses were core.

And scaling attack bonuses are still core. They wouldn't dare to remove them

Removing the attack roll keeps combats deadly and exciting.

I strongly disagree and strongly is too weak a word. It may keep combats deadly, but it will make them utterly boring.

Removing the attack roll reduces some of the swingyness of combat.

Which is something that would make combats less deadly and more boring.

This is something that should be explored, not simply dismissed on the grounds of "tradition".

Yet aiming for "tradition" is the goal of DDN


Sometimes I like posting radical ideas just to watch grognards nerdrage. 



I suspected that, all well and good.  I like responding to your threads because they are all about butchering the sacred cows.


On a more serious note, Damage is already quite variable.  Why do we need variable damage and variable accuracy to make the game feel variable.  Does removing the attack roll and balancing numbers around that truly make the game feel like a card game?  

Have any of you ever played a game using a system like Godlike where attack and damage are 1 roll?  I assure you that it in no way plays like a card game and is still quite random. 




I have played systems like you describe and no I do not think it plays like a card game. 
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Yes, and until 4e Vancian was core.

And they learned their misstake and it will return in DDN

And until 5e fast scaling attack bonuses were core.

And scaling attack bonuses are still core. They wouldn't dare to remove them

Removing the attack roll keeps combats deadly and exciting.

I strongly disagree and strongly is too weak a word. It may keep combats deadly, but it will make them utterly boring.

Removing the attack roll reduces some of the swingyness of combat.

Which is something that would make combats less deadly and more boring.

This is something that should be explored, not simply dismissed on the grounds of "tradition".

Yet aiming for "tradition" is the goal of DD



You clearly do not understand the difference between deadly and swingy.  

A monster has a 20% chance to hit the fighter and does 1d6 damage.  The fighter has 12 HP.   This fight is swingy, but not deadly.  On average the fighter can survive for 17 attacks from these creatures.

A fighter has 25 HP and the monster auto hits for 2d6 damage.  This fight is more deadly and less swingy than the other one as the fighter can only withstand 4 attacks on average from these creatures.  

Notice there is still significant randomness in the outcome of the second fight though.  The fighter can withstand anywhere from 3-12 such attacks.  Just because the attacks always hit, the damage remains variable enough to cause both tension and unpredictable outcomes.  

Edit: Currently the fighter has about an 80% chance to hit.  At level 10 their damage range (on a non critical hit) is 0 - 64.  Their average non critical damage is 34.24.  The chance of doing 0 damage is 4%.  That is quite a lot of variation already.  Removing the attack roll barely changes the amount of variation in the fighter's damage.
Sometimes bad math is more fun. Attack rolls are both silly AND more fun. Even the most noobish of players would notice.
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ITT:  people not understanding the difference between mean and variance.

D&D Next = D&D: Quantum Edition
With HP abstract, and accuracy bounded, could we remove the attack roll?

Instead of requiring a two step process, we could combine accuracy and damage into a single roll. Increases in damage represent increases in accuracy and skill as well as increases in striking power. We can show a high level warrior having a better chance to hit simply by giving him a damage boost as he levels.  

This would solve a few problems caused by bounded accuracy. For example, you would no longer have "archery tournaments" where the level 1 and level 10 fighter only have a 10% (+2) difference in accuracy.  

This change would of course require a few other changes to be made. Advantage could simply grant an extra weapon die of damage.  Disadvantage could be 1/2 damage.  Armor need to be switched to DR (possibly that also scales with level). 



well if you would want to remove one of the main rolls i would why not remove the damage roll instead.
your damage based from by how many points you surpass the targets AC 
well if you would want to remove one of the main rolls i would why not remove the damage roll instead.
your damage based from by how many points you surpass the targets AC 



That could work too and is the way several other systems function (i.e. the margin of success on an attack roll determines the degree of damage inflicted).

While it certainly won't have in this edition (they're too married to the concept of making their own retro-clone to try something really innovative) I find the idea of removing the attack roll interesting on a theoretical level, especially if it were married to some sort of variable damage resistance mechanic (ex. a light shield allows you to reduce the damage of an attack by 1d4, while a heavy shield reduces it by 1d6 and a tower shield by 1d8).

You're streamlining the game by combining the attack/damage roll into a single random number generation. A solid hit is one where you overcome their damage mitigation by a significant amount, while a miss is one where you fail to overcome it entirely.

Of course, for such a system to work you'd need far more "healing" than a cleric currently provides. Indeed, you've probably need means for each class to recover to recover hit points between encounters (and some classes might even use "healing" as their damage mitigation mechanic (I'm envisioning a lightly armored barbarian who regains "luck/stamina" in proportion to the damage they inflict on an enemy as an example of a potential mitigation mechanic).

It's definitely something worth thinking about anyway.
well if you would want to remove one of the main rolls i would why not remove the damage roll instead.
your damage based from by how many points you surpass the targets AC 

Isn't that essentially the same thing? Sure the d20 is a sacred cow as an entity, and D&D wouldn't be the same without it. Using the d20 for martial attack resolution has been the same for all editions. 4e shared that mechanic with spells as well. That doesn't mean it HAS to stay just because. THAC0 didn't live past 2e. Should we go back to using THAC0? Some people would be happy with that. People are getting WAY too bent out of shape when people express an opinion that they hold some mechanics in lesser veneration than others.

Merging the attack and damage roll mechanic into a single die roll is ultimately what the OP was suggesting to begin with. Whether the attack roll or damage roll is "dropped" is a matter of semantics. I am truly puzzled at the extreme reaction of some of the posters at even expressing an interest at the notion of dropping the attack roll.

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With HP abstract, and accuracy bounded, could we remove the attack roll?

Instead of requiring a two step process, we could combine accuracy and damage into a single roll. Increases in damage represent increases in accuracy and skill as well as increases in striking power. We can show a high level warrior having a better chance to hit simply by giving him a damage boost as he levels.  

This would solve a few problems caused by bounded accuracy. For example, you would no longer have "archery tournaments" where the level 1 and level 10 fighter only have a 10% (+2) difference in accuracy.  

This change would of course require a few other changes to be made. Advantage could simply grant an extra weapon die of damage.  Disadvantage could be 1/2 damage.  Armor need to be switched to DR (possibly that also scales with level). 



well if you would want to remove one of the main rolls i would why not remove the damage roll instead.
your damage based from by how many points you surpass the targets AC 




Does anyone rememeber the Gamma World game (I think the 2nd edition)?   Depending on weapon and to hit rolls above certain thresholds, the attack would either miss or hit doing average damage, 2x average or 3x average (something like that...I can't remember exactly).   Every time your rolled you looked at a slideruler type gizmo that showed which damage range your attack fell in.  They even color coded the bands...yellow, blue and red (or something like that).   Interesting concept, but without the damage roll you also have less excitement sometimes.

I just don't see the basic "to hit" and "damage" rolls changing if it is D&D.

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Second solution would be to remove the damage roll.

You would only roll attack roll and the amount that would be rolled over target AC would be damage to hit points.

on average light weapon would add +2 to attack, one handed +4 and twohanded +6 to attack roll.

Automatic hits can be fun. Pokemon is mostly "95% accuracy or don't use" and it is fun.

Could be a module.

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Second solution would be to remove the damage roll.

You would only roll attack roll and the amount that would be rolled over target AC would be damage to hit points.

on average light weapon would add +2 to attack, one handed +4 and twohanded +6 to attack roll.




This.
There is no need for rolling both attack AND damage. The damage can be a function of the attack roll.
I already do it with monsters when I DM: using average damage on a normal hit, x2 for crits.
 
Second solution would be to remove the damage roll.

You would only roll attack roll and the amount that would be rolled over target AC would be damage to hit points.

on average light weapon would add +2 to attack, one handed +4 and twohanded +6 to attack roll.




I'd actually prefer this. Easier to impliment and balance. Hence it is why most modern RPGs don't roll damage, they let the attack roll influence it instead.
My two copper.
Second solution would be to remove the damage roll.

You would only roll attack roll and the amount that would be rolled over target AC would be damage to hit points.

on average light weapon would add +2 to attack, one handed +4 and twohanded +6 to attack roll.



Or rather than adding to the attack roll, weapons have a maximum damage threshold equal to their current max damage. So, daggers = 4 damage max, shortsword = 6, longsword = 8, greatsword = 12.  Rolling a crit automatically deals max damage.  

Bonus to damage from str or dex gets added to the maximum damage a weapon can deal in any single hit.  So 16 dex wielding a dagger = 6 max damage. 

Edit: Made it make sense... a little more than it did.
Second solution would be to remove the damage roll.

You would only roll attack roll and the amount that would be rolled over target AC would be damage to hit points.

on average light weapon would add +2 to attack, one handed +4 and twohanded +6 to attack roll.



Or rather than adding to the attack roll, weapons have a maximum damage threshold equal to their current max damage. So, daggers = 4 damage max, shortsword = 6, longsword = 8, greatsword = 12.  Rolling a crit automatically deals max damage.  

Bonus to damage from str or dex gets added to the maximum damage a weapon can deal in any single hit.  So 16 dex wielding a dagger = 6 max damage. 

Edit: Made it make sense... a little more than it did.



That's actually not a bad idea, but shouldn't the max damage for a 16 dex dagger wielder be 7?

lol, yeah.  You're right. 7 damage.

/facepalm  
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