What I don't understand about bounded accuracy

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I'm on the fence about the bounded accuracy system. I think there's a lot of tweaking to do, but as a concept it's not bad. I don't hate it. I feel like it might solve a few problems that I've had in D&D since the beginning, like the "spit-on-the-king" mentality that takes over players once their AC gets to a certain point. Once they realize that no matter how many guards the king has they are basically immune to anything he can throw at them all sense of believability and respect goes out the window and this happens way too soon.

The problem is that it doesn't make sense because fantasy doesn't make sense. In fantasy a hero can take out the demon that killed 1000 guards. So hero > demon > guards. Yet that same hero will often either run away from or sometimes be captured by less than 20 or so guards. That doesn't make sense. I don't know how many movies I've seen (and not just fantasy) where heroes regularly get beaten up by enemies that were themselves beaten up by things the hero just finished ground pounding. The bounded accuracy system is attempting to bring some logic to this mess. The hero can take out the demon, not because he can hit it's AC (anybody can do that) but because he alone can do enough damage to kill it or because he has the magic weapon that lets him bypass it's resistance. The guards meanwhile don't have that weapon or can't do enough damage to kill the demon, but boy they can do enough damage to overpower the hero and toss him in the dungeons.

I like all that. I guess. It certainly will make it easier to tell certain stories. My concern though is that without AC going up and without regular shiny new magic weapons, what rewards will we give higher level players?

D&D, at it's heart, uses the same trick as Farmville. Random but regular rewards punctionated by larger rewards. D&D invented that. But because of bounded accuracy that will eventually reach a wall. Then what happens? Will the game just become boring?

That's what I don't understand.
Lol, skinner box.

Anyway, on to the topic! If this demon killed 1000 guards at once, a player should probably not be able to take him on alone. A party makes more sense, since there are more targets, attacks, and what have you. But whatever power he used to kill 1000 guards SHOULD kill a solo adventuerer :P
My two copper.
You can have magical rewards as per normal, just less frequent and at a rate you prefer. 
You can have piles of gold. 
Or you can have alternative rewards unrelated to beating things up. Land. Titles. Castles. The hand of the princess.
You can even have abstract rewards such as wisdom or answers to life's questions. 
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Like Jenks already said, a demon that killed 1000 guards would wipe the floor with a solo hero as well.

In any case, Bounded Accuracy implies that the demon simply would not be able to take out 1000 guards alone. Your example puts the demon outside the concept of Bounded Accuracy, while restricting the hero and guards to the concept.

A demon being fought by 1000 guards, within the Bounded Accuracy system, is not going to last very long, even if only 5% of the guards hit on a regular basis. That's still 100 hits per round; even at only 1 HP damage per hit, the demon dies quickly. How many rounds would it take the demon to kill 1000 guards, even if they were inneffective in hitting it at all?
I'm on the fence about the bounded accuracy system. I think there's a lot of tweaking to do, but as a concept it's not bad. I don't hate it. I feel like it might solve a few problems that I've had in D&D since the beginning, like the "spit-on-the-king" mentality that takes over players once their AC gets to a certain point. Once they realize that no matter how many guards the king has they are basically immune to anything he can throw at them all sense of believability and respect goes out the window and this happens way too soon.

That is pretty much how I look at it right now. I like the idea of bounded accuracy but I think they still have some balancing to do.

In 4e the comounding of increasing attack bonus, defense bonus, attack damage/effect and HP meant that a monster more then a few levels above or below the PCs where hard to use in game. Bounded accuracy is a reaction to that, and like many major reactions, they may have gone a bit too far. The range between 1st and 20th level seems to small, so that hoards of low level monsters are too much of a threat and a single tough monster of higher level then the party isn't enough of a threat.

D&D, at it's heart, uses the same trick as Farmville. Random but regular rewards punctionated by larger rewards. D&D invented that. But because of bounded accuracy that will eventually reach a wall. Then what happens? Will the game just become boring?

If your doing it right, the treasure is secondary to the fun of the adventures themselves.

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D&D, at it's heart, uses the same trick as Farmville. Random but regular rewards punctionated by larger rewards. D&D invented that. But because of bounded accuracy that will eventually reach a wall. Then what happens? Will the game just become boring?

If your doing it right, the treasure is secondary to the fun of the adventures themselves.



This.

Even though the OP was talking about rewards for leveling, not treasure, I have to agree with this. Too many players fall for the push a button and get a reward mentality. I have pointed out repeatedly the falacy of having a character who's goal is to get rich: you get 2-3 magic items to sell and you can live comfortably for the rest of your life (i.e. retire). Almost nobody actually retires the character, but they keep moving the goal of "rich" so they can keep playing. With no set rewards, each game can have it's own feel (gaining a +1 Longsword can be either trivial or epic, depending on your preference).
That is flat math's biggest problem right now.  They don't want to give AC/attack bonuses because they have the nonsensical idea that this will result in not being able to fight low or high level monsters.  They don't want to give out too much horizontal power, because they want to keep things relatively simple and avoid the 4e "menu" effect (not that they've necessarily succeeded at this).  That leaves HP/damage to bear almost the entirety of the burden of power-scaling, which leads to the ridiculously bloated figures we see in the current playtest packet.  

So yeah, the answer is HP and damage.  And that's a crappy answer.   

Here is the thing, as others have said: in a bounded accuracy system a demon cannot kill 1000 guards. 1000 guards is an army. An army against one demon kills the demon pretty much every time, unless, for some reason, it cannot be hit by mundane attacks at all (immunity to non-magic weapons, for example). Adventurers don't get called in to fight a foe whose location is well known. Adventurers don't get called in to fight foes that armies can find and defeat. At least, not by people who have access to an army. So, your whole paradigm is flawed from the get go. 

If someone with access to an army calls you in to fight a single foe, it is a) because it cannot be hit by mundane means, and your patron doesn't have the wealth to furnish an army with magical abilities/would rather save that wealth by hiring you, or b) is using guerrilla tactics against the army, and its lair has not been found.

 

Bounded accuracy was meant to make monsters more useful for longer - not make high level monsters immune to commoners. Therefore, arguing that 100 monsters can or cannot kill a level 20 is pointless.

Bounded accuracy was meant to make lower level monsters more of a threat, and it's fair to ask if it is succeeding. In 4e, with magic items, ability improvement, and 1/2 level bonuses, you got close to 1 AC/level. So a monster who hit you 50% of the time at level 1 would hit you 25% of the time at level 6. If you hit them 75% of the time At level 1, it'd be 95% (or 100% depending on house rule) at level 6. So, if 4 could kill a party at level 1, it'd take roughly 10 at level 6.

For next, I don't have the numbers, but it seems like if 4 monsters could kill a party at level 1, then you'd probably need less than 10 to kill a party of level 6. I say probably because in many ways, wizards betray the bounded accuracy - if their spells are too good at killing mobs, then the concept of using lower level monsters falls apart. For instance, if there was a super-sleep that slept up to 7d6 hit point of guys, then suddenly the d2 monsters stop being effective without too many to track.
So, in general, with just fighters, bounded accuracy works. It remains to be seen how ba works with wizard spells.
Bounded accuracy was meant to make monsters more useful for longer - not make high level monsters immune to commoners. Therefore, arguing that 100 monsters can or cannot kill a level 20 is pointless. Bounded accuracy was meant to make lower level monsters more of a threat, and it's fair to ask if it is succeeding. In 4e, with magic items, ability improvement, and 1/2 level bonuses, you got close to 1 AC/level. So a monster who hit you 50% of the time at level 1 would hit you 25% of the time at level 6. If you hit them 75% of the time At level 1, it'd be 95% (or 100% depending on house rule) at level 6. So, if 4 could kill a party at level 1, it'd take roughly 10 at level 6. For next, I don't have the numbers, but it seems like if 4 monsters could kill a party at level 1, then you'd probably need less than 10 to kill a party of level 6. I say probably because in many ways, wizards betray the bounded accuracy - if their spells are too good at killing mobs, then the concept of using lower level monsters falls apart. For instance, if there was a super-sleep that slept up to 7d6 hit point of guys, then suddenly the d2 monsters stop being effective without too many to track. So, in general, with just fighters, bounded accuracy works. It remains to be seen how ba works with wizard spells.



Creatures will be sub par if the party can kill them all in just a couple of rounds. With Whirlwind attack the Monk and Fighter can hit 6 per round at level 20. The Rogue can hit 1 per round. The Wizard can hit 2-3 per round, but they will take longer to kill them, so it equals out to about 1 per round, same for the Cleric. So we are talking about 14 monsters will be no problem. 20 probably won't be a problem, but then you run into a problem with more than 20 with potential TPKs and then there is the focus fire. The Wizard can be taken out pretty quick by 20 creatures focusing on them even if the party can take out half of them on the first round. If you take that into account you really aren't getting any more viability out of them. You can still only fill out your XP budget with monsters that are within 3-4 levels of the party or you end up with a TPK because of focus fire damage attrition...Smile
"Unite the [fan] base? Hardly. As of right now, I doubt their ability to unite a slightly unruly teabag with a cup of water."--anjelika
1-4E play style
The 4E play style is a high action cinematic style of play where characters worry less about being killed in one hit and more about strategy and what their next move is and the one after it. The players talk back and forth about planning a battle and who can do what to influence the outcome. 4E play is filled with cinematic over the top action. An Eladrin teleports out of the grip of the Ogre. The Fighter slams the dragons foot with his hammer causing it to rear up and stagger back in pain. The Cleric creates a holy zone where their allies weapons are guided to their targets and whenever an enemy dies the Clerics allies are healed. 4E is about knowing when to lauch your nova attack, whether its a huge arcane spell that causes enemies to whirl around in a chaotic storm, or if its a trained adrenaline surge that causes you to attack many many times with two weapons on a single target, or a surge of adrenaline that keeps you going though you should already be dead. Its about tactics and the inability to carry around a bag of potions or a few wands and never have to worry about healing. Its about the guy that can barely role play having the same chance to convince the king to aid the group as the guy that takes improv acting classes and regularly stars as an extra on movies.
Stormwind Fallacy
The Stormwind Fallacy, aka the Roleplayer vs Rollplayer Fallacy Just because one optimizes his characters mechanically does not mean that they cannot also roleplay, and vice versa. Corollary: Doing one in a game does not preclude, nor infringe upon, the ability to do the other in the same game. Generalization 1: One is not automatically a worse role player if he optimizes, and vice versa. Generalization 2: A non-optimized character is not automatically role played better than an optimized one, and vice versa. ...[aside]... Proof: These two elements rely on different aspects of a player's game play. Optimization factors in to how well one understands the rules and handles synergies to produce a very effective end result. Role playing deals with how well a player can act in character and behave as if he was someone else. A person can act while understanding the rules, and can build something powerful while still handling an effective character. There is nothing in the game -- mechanical or otherwise -- restricting one if you participate in the other. Claiming that an optimizer cannot role play (or is participating in a play style that isn't supportive of role playing) because he is an optimizer, or vice versa, is committing the Stormwind Fallacy.
The spells we should getLook here to Check out my adventures and ideas. I've started a blog, about video games, table top role playing games, programming, and many other things its called Kel and Lok Games. My 4E Fantasy Grounds game is currently full.
You can still only fill out your XP budget with monsters that are within 3-4 levels of the party or you end up with a TPK because of focus fire damage attrition...



This is actually mentioned in the DMG.  You can mix a couple low level things with a couple higher level things without too much of an issue though, which would have just been completely non-functional with scaling accuracy (the lower level monsters would very likely do absolutely nothing, and the party would spend years trying to actually hit the higher level enemies).

The basic rules for D and D aren't really meant to deal with fighting small armies, and they weren't when everything had unbounded accuracy either.  I don't really understand why people are focusing so much on whether extreme many vs. 1 situations that no sane DM would ever run are being handled well by the game math.  It's akin to complaining that enough peasants lined up in initiative order can accelerate an object past the speed of sound. 
You can still only fill out your XP budget with monsters that are within 3-4 levels of the party or you end up with a TPK because of focus fire damage attrition...



This is actually mentioned in the DMG.  You can mix a couple low level things with a couple higher level things without too much of an issue though, which would have just been completely non-functional with scaling accuracy (the lower level monsters would very likely do absolutely nothing, and the party would spend years trying to actually hit the higher level enemies).

The basic rules for D and D aren't really meant to deal with fighting small armies, and they weren't when everything had unbounded accuracy either.  I don't really understand why people are focusing so much on whether extreme many vs. 1 situations that no sane DM would ever run are being handled well by the game math.  It's akin to complaining that enough peasants lined up in initiative order can accelerate an object past the speed of sound. 



Its because the developers have repeated over and over that you can use lower level monsters at higher levels and monsters will stay relevant and things like that. It turns out they aren't any more relevant than other editions and they sure don't last any longer when you actually run the math...Smile
"Unite the [fan] base? Hardly. As of right now, I doubt their ability to unite a slightly unruly teabag with a cup of water."--anjelika
1-4E play style
The 4E play style is a high action cinematic style of play where characters worry less about being killed in one hit and more about strategy and what their next move is and the one after it. The players talk back and forth about planning a battle and who can do what to influence the outcome. 4E play is filled with cinematic over the top action. An Eladrin teleports out of the grip of the Ogre. The Fighter slams the dragons foot with his hammer causing it to rear up and stagger back in pain. The Cleric creates a holy zone where their allies weapons are guided to their targets and whenever an enemy dies the Clerics allies are healed. 4E is about knowing when to lauch your nova attack, whether its a huge arcane spell that causes enemies to whirl around in a chaotic storm, or if its a trained adrenaline surge that causes you to attack many many times with two weapons on a single target, or a surge of adrenaline that keeps you going though you should already be dead. Its about tactics and the inability to carry around a bag of potions or a few wands and never have to worry about healing. Its about the guy that can barely role play having the same chance to convince the king to aid the group as the guy that takes improv acting classes and regularly stars as an extra on movies.
Stormwind Fallacy
The Stormwind Fallacy, aka the Roleplayer vs Rollplayer Fallacy Just because one optimizes his characters mechanically does not mean that they cannot also roleplay, and vice versa. Corollary: Doing one in a game does not preclude, nor infringe upon, the ability to do the other in the same game. Generalization 1: One is not automatically a worse role player if he optimizes, and vice versa. Generalization 2: A non-optimized character is not automatically role played better than an optimized one, and vice versa. ...[aside]... Proof: These two elements rely on different aspects of a player's game play. Optimization factors in to how well one understands the rules and handles synergies to produce a very effective end result. Role playing deals with how well a player can act in character and behave as if he was someone else. A person can act while understanding the rules, and can build something powerful while still handling an effective character. There is nothing in the game -- mechanical or otherwise -- restricting one if you participate in the other. Claiming that an optimizer cannot role play (or is participating in a play style that isn't supportive of role playing) because he is an optimizer, or vice versa, is committing the Stormwind Fallacy.
The spells we should getLook here to Check out my adventures and ideas. I've started a blog, about video games, table top role playing games, programming, and many other things its called Kel and Lok Games. My 4E Fantasy Grounds game is currently full.
You can still only fill out your XP budget with monsters that are within 3-4 levels of the party or you end up with a TPK because of focus fire damage attrition...


This is actually mentioned in the DMG.  You can mix a couple low level things with a couple higher level things without too much of an issue though, which would have just been completely non-functional with scaling accuracy (the lower level monsters would very likely do absolutely nothing, and the party would spend years trying to actually hit the higher level enemies).

The basic rules for D and D aren't really meant to deal with fighting small armies, and they weren't when everything had unbounded accuracy either. 


And the basic premise of D&D has never been so that low-level guys can (or should) fight high-level guys.

"Hey look, bounded accuracy allows us to do something that is totally pointless anyway. Yay!"
Leadership and class choice should have NOTHING to do with each other, EVER. Conflating the two is simply horrendous game design.
You can still only fill out your XP budget with monsters that are within 3-4 levels of the party or you end up with a TPK because of focus fire damage attrition...


This is actually mentioned in the DMG.  You can mix a couple low level things with a couple higher level things without too much of an issue though, which would have just been completely non-functional with scaling accuracy (the lower level monsters would very likely do absolutely nothing, and the party would spend years trying to actually hit the higher level enemies).

The basic rules for D and D aren't really meant to deal with fighting small armies, and they weren't when everything had unbounded accuracy either. 


And the basic premise of D&D has never been so that low-level guys can (or should) fight high-level guys.

"Hey look, bounded accuracy allows us to do something that is totally pointless anyway. Yay!"

I understand the basic premise of D&D to be 'kill stuff and take their things'.

Bounded accuracy maintains the relevancy of moar things for me to slay and loot.

What's the problem?

Danny

Its because the developers have repeated over and over that you can use lower level monsters at higher levels and monsters will stay relevant and things like that. It turns out they aren't any more relevant than other editions and they sure don't last any longer when you actually run the math...



Well, they might not be mathematically better in Next (I honestly don't know), but they're definitely more usable from a gameplay perspective.  Fighting things that can only hit you on a 20 doesn't FEEL very exciting, even if the numbers work out so that it's actually as difficult as the version where they hit you relatively frequently but do less damage.  I might consider running an encounter that's primarily based on low-level enemies in Next; in 4e trying to do that would have been pretty uninteresting for me and most of my players.
So if magic items are included, technically, the highest AC can get is 26 (mountain dwarf in +3 plate with a +3 shield)?

I understand the basic premise of D&D to be 'kill stuff and take their things'.

Bounded accuracy maintains the relevancy of moar things for me to slay and loot.

What's the problem?




The problem is that BA - or more precisely flat math - does not in fact maintain the relevancy of more things for you to slay and loot.  This does not make it bad, all the problems associated with pure-HP scaling make it bad.  What it does is eliminate what is believed to be the primary advantage of a flat-math system, so that all the other problems no longer have any counterbalancing gain worth putting up with.  Lokiare overstates the problem because he seems to confuse the fact that masses of low-level foes are more dangerous than their XP budget would suggest with whether they are useable at extreme levels (if that were the only problem the solution would be revised XP budget rules).  But the conclusion is real.
Its because the developers have repeated over and over that you can use lower level monsters at higher levels and monsters will stay relevant and things like that. It turns out they aren't any more relevant than other editions and they sure don't last any longer when you actually run the math...



Well, they might not be mathematically better in Next (I honestly don't know), but they're definitely more usable from a gameplay perspective.  Fighting things that can only hit you on a 20 doesn't FEEL very exciting, even if the numbers work out so that it's actually as difficult as the version where they hit you relatively frequently but do less damage.  I might consider running an encounter that's primarily based on low-level enemies in Next; in 4e trying to do that would have been pretty uninteresting for me and most of my players.



Yeah, you might actually want to try that first. If you did that in 4E, most monsters would be able to stand up to 2-3 hits and get to use their attacks which might contain a status effect, in other words you would probably get more usage out of low level monsters in 4E than you would in 5E...Smile
"Unite the [fan] base? Hardly. As of right now, I doubt their ability to unite a slightly unruly teabag with a cup of water."--anjelika
1-4E play style
The 4E play style is a high action cinematic style of play where characters worry less about being killed in one hit and more about strategy and what their next move is and the one after it. The players talk back and forth about planning a battle and who can do what to influence the outcome. 4E play is filled with cinematic over the top action. An Eladrin teleports out of the grip of the Ogre. The Fighter slams the dragons foot with his hammer causing it to rear up and stagger back in pain. The Cleric creates a holy zone where their allies weapons are guided to their targets and whenever an enemy dies the Clerics allies are healed. 4E is about knowing when to lauch your nova attack, whether its a huge arcane spell that causes enemies to whirl around in a chaotic storm, or if its a trained adrenaline surge that causes you to attack many many times with two weapons on a single target, or a surge of adrenaline that keeps you going though you should already be dead. Its about tactics and the inability to carry around a bag of potions or a few wands and never have to worry about healing. Its about the guy that can barely role play having the same chance to convince the king to aid the group as the guy that takes improv acting classes and regularly stars as an extra on movies.
Stormwind Fallacy
The Stormwind Fallacy, aka the Roleplayer vs Rollplayer Fallacy Just because one optimizes his characters mechanically does not mean that they cannot also roleplay, and vice versa. Corollary: Doing one in a game does not preclude, nor infringe upon, the ability to do the other in the same game. Generalization 1: One is not automatically a worse role player if he optimizes, and vice versa. Generalization 2: A non-optimized character is not automatically role played better than an optimized one, and vice versa. ...[aside]... Proof: These two elements rely on different aspects of a player's game play. Optimization factors in to how well one understands the rules and handles synergies to produce a very effective end result. Role playing deals with how well a player can act in character and behave as if he was someone else. A person can act while understanding the rules, and can build something powerful while still handling an effective character. There is nothing in the game -- mechanical or otherwise -- restricting one if you participate in the other. Claiming that an optimizer cannot role play (or is participating in a play style that isn't supportive of role playing) because he is an optimizer, or vice versa, is committing the Stormwind Fallacy.
The spells we should getLook here to Check out my adventures and ideas. I've started a blog, about video games, table top role playing games, programming, and many other things its called Kel and Lok Games. My 4E Fantasy Grounds game is currently full.
Its because the developers have repeated over and over that you can use lower level monsters at higher levels and monsters will stay relevant and things like that. It turns out they aren't any more relevant than other editions and they sure don't last any longer when you actually run the math...



Well, they might not be mathematically better in Next (I honestly don't know), but they're definitely more usable from a gameplay perspective.  Fighting things that can only hit you on a 20 doesn't FEEL very exciting, even if the numbers work out so that it's actually as difficult as the version where they hit you relatively frequently but do less damage.  I might consider running an encounter that's primarily based on low-level enemies in Next; in 4e trying to do that would have been pretty uninteresting for me and most of my players.



I also disagree with the 'hitting on a 20 doesn't feel heroic' part. Actually yes it does, that's kind of the definition of heroic. You are so awesome things can barely touch you unless they get lucky. That's how the game should feel. Not this gritty, still worrying about Kobolds crap...Smile
"Unite the [fan] base? Hardly. As of right now, I doubt their ability to unite a slightly unruly teabag with a cup of water."--anjelika
1-4E play style
The 4E play style is a high action cinematic style of play where characters worry less about being killed in one hit and more about strategy and what their next move is and the one after it. The players talk back and forth about planning a battle and who can do what to influence the outcome. 4E play is filled with cinematic over the top action. An Eladrin teleports out of the grip of the Ogre. The Fighter slams the dragons foot with his hammer causing it to rear up and stagger back in pain. The Cleric creates a holy zone where their allies weapons are guided to their targets and whenever an enemy dies the Clerics allies are healed. 4E is about knowing when to lauch your nova attack, whether its a huge arcane spell that causes enemies to whirl around in a chaotic storm, or if its a trained adrenaline surge that causes you to attack many many times with two weapons on a single target, or a surge of adrenaline that keeps you going though you should already be dead. Its about tactics and the inability to carry around a bag of potions or a few wands and never have to worry about healing. Its about the guy that can barely role play having the same chance to convince the king to aid the group as the guy that takes improv acting classes and regularly stars as an extra on movies.
Stormwind Fallacy
The Stormwind Fallacy, aka the Roleplayer vs Rollplayer Fallacy Just because one optimizes his characters mechanically does not mean that they cannot also roleplay, and vice versa. Corollary: Doing one in a game does not preclude, nor infringe upon, the ability to do the other in the same game. Generalization 1: One is not automatically a worse role player if he optimizes, and vice versa. Generalization 2: A non-optimized character is not automatically role played better than an optimized one, and vice versa. ...[aside]... Proof: These two elements rely on different aspects of a player's game play. Optimization factors in to how well one understands the rules and handles synergies to produce a very effective end result. Role playing deals with how well a player can act in character and behave as if he was someone else. A person can act while understanding the rules, and can build something powerful while still handling an effective character. There is nothing in the game -- mechanical or otherwise -- restricting one if you participate in the other. Claiming that an optimizer cannot role play (or is participating in a play style that isn't supportive of role playing) because he is an optimizer, or vice versa, is committing the Stormwind Fallacy.
The spells we should getLook here to Check out my adventures and ideas. I've started a blog, about video games, table top role playing games, programming, and many other things its called Kel and Lok Games. My 4E Fantasy Grounds game is currently full.
The problem is that BA - or more precisely flat math - does not in fact maintain the relevancy of more things for you to slay and loot.


...yes it does.
D&D Next = D&D: Quantum Edition
Im on the fence with Bounded Accuracy as well. Commoners and guards should have a difficult time with demon/super mega monster/etc but same time a mid level hag shouldnt beable to stomp into town and slaughter everyone a city, if that was the case there would not be any cities left within any d&d world.
Same with adventures, they should be heroic and stand above the average person and take out dangerous creatures that guards fear but same time should not beable to stomp into town and slaughter everyone because they dont have his favorite ale (looking at you average CN alignment players) as the guards stand their helplessly and watch.

Problem is some want it to make sense and others want to be dynesty warriors style so you are not going to make everyone happy.

I'll just be happy if it wasnt the mess 3.x was.
DM: It has AC 31
Rogue/cleric/marshal/etc/etc/etc: Holy crap I have to roll an 18 to hit that.
Fighter: No sweat I hit that on a 3 or better.
Wizard: Thank the gods I use touch attacks.

The problem is that it doesn't make sense because fantasy doesn't make sense. In fantasy a hero can take out the demon that killed 1000 guards. So hero > demon > guards. Yet that same hero will often either run away from or sometimes be captured by less than 20 or so guards. That doesn't make sense.



You achieve this with weapon immunities/ resistances. If a dragon is nigh immune to non-magic weapons, then it doesn't matter how many low level guards you throw at it.

Heroes on the other hand, don't benefit from that immunity, so while they have the skills to take down a dragon they can still be outnumbered and taken down.


The problem is that it doesn't make sense because fantasy doesn't make sense. In fantasy a hero can take out the demon that killed 1000 guards. So hero > demon > guards. Yet that same hero will often either run away from or sometimes be captured by less than 20 or so guards. That doesn't make sense.



You achieve this with weapon immunities/ resistances. If a dragon is nigh immune to non-magic weapons, then it doesn't matter how many low level guards you throw at it.

Heroes on the other hand, don't benefit from that immunity, so while they have the skills to take down a dragon they can still be outnumbered and taken down.




Yep, we have to patch it up before its even implemented. That's really bad design...Smile
"Unite the [fan] base? Hardly. As of right now, I doubt their ability to unite a slightly unruly teabag with a cup of water."--anjelika
1-4E play style
The 4E play style is a high action cinematic style of play where characters worry less about being killed in one hit and more about strategy and what their next move is and the one after it. The players talk back and forth about planning a battle and who can do what to influence the outcome. 4E play is filled with cinematic over the top action. An Eladrin teleports out of the grip of the Ogre. The Fighter slams the dragons foot with his hammer causing it to rear up and stagger back in pain. The Cleric creates a holy zone where their allies weapons are guided to their targets and whenever an enemy dies the Clerics allies are healed. 4E is about knowing when to lauch your nova attack, whether its a huge arcane spell that causes enemies to whirl around in a chaotic storm, or if its a trained adrenaline surge that causes you to attack many many times with two weapons on a single target, or a surge of adrenaline that keeps you going though you should already be dead. Its about tactics and the inability to carry around a bag of potions or a few wands and never have to worry about healing. Its about the guy that can barely role play having the same chance to convince the king to aid the group as the guy that takes improv acting classes and regularly stars as an extra on movies.
Stormwind Fallacy
The Stormwind Fallacy, aka the Roleplayer vs Rollplayer Fallacy Just because one optimizes his characters mechanically does not mean that they cannot also roleplay, and vice versa. Corollary: Doing one in a game does not preclude, nor infringe upon, the ability to do the other in the same game. Generalization 1: One is not automatically a worse role player if he optimizes, and vice versa. Generalization 2: A non-optimized character is not automatically role played better than an optimized one, and vice versa. ...[aside]... Proof: These two elements rely on different aspects of a player's game play. Optimization factors in to how well one understands the rules and handles synergies to produce a very effective end result. Role playing deals with how well a player can act in character and behave as if he was someone else. A person can act while understanding the rules, and can build something powerful while still handling an effective character. There is nothing in the game -- mechanical or otherwise -- restricting one if you participate in the other. Claiming that an optimizer cannot role play (or is participating in a play style that isn't supportive of role playing) because he is an optimizer, or vice versa, is committing the Stormwind Fallacy.
The spells we should getLook here to Check out my adventures and ideas. I've started a blog, about video games, table top role playing games, programming, and many other things its called Kel and Lok Games. My 4E Fantasy Grounds game is currently full.
It seems to me that bounded accuracy is nothing more than the old friends in combat rule. Where if you outnumber an opponet you get up to +4 to hit and if you're outnumbered you suffer up to a -4 to hit. 
You can still only fill out your XP budget with monsters that are within 3-4 levels of the party or you end up with a TPK because of focus fire damage attrition...


This is actually mentioned in the DMG.  You can mix a couple low level things with a couple higher level things without too much of an issue though, which would have just been completely non-functional with scaling accuracy (the lower level monsters would very likely do absolutely nothing, and the party would spend years trying to actually hit the higher level enemies).

The basic rules for D and D aren't really meant to deal with fighting small armies, and they weren't when everything had unbounded accuracy either. 


And the basic premise of D&D has never been so that low-level guys can (or should) fight high-level guys.

"Hey look, bounded accuracy allows us to do something that is totally pointless anyway. Yay!"


I understand the basic premise of D&D to be 'kill stuff and take their things'.

Bounded accuracy maintains the relevancy of moar things for me to slay and loot.


If you say so, pal.
Leadership and class choice should have NOTHING to do with each other, EVER. Conflating the two is simply horrendous game design.
Its because the developers have repeated over and over that you can use lower level monsters at higher levels and monsters will stay relevant and things like that. It turns out they aren't any more relevant than other editions and they sure don't last any longer when you actually run the math...



Well, they might not be mathematically better in Next (I honestly don't know), but they're definitely more usable from a gameplay perspective.  Fighting things that can only hit you on a 20 doesn't FEEL very exciting, even if the numbers work out so that it's actually as difficult as the version where they hit you relatively frequently but do less damage.  I might consider running an encounter that's primarily based on low-level enemies in Next; in 4e trying to do that would have been pretty uninteresting for me and most of my players.



I also disagree with the 'hitting on a 20 doesn't feel heroic' part. Actually yes it does, that's kind of the definition of heroic. You are so awesome things can barely touch you unless they get lucky. That's how the game should feel. Not this gritty, still worrying about Kobolds crap...


Hear, hear!

Can you imagine in our Star Wars game the designers bounding the progressions so that padawans are able to hit Sith Lords? "Look, the low-level guys are relevant for longer! Yay!" It would be ridiculous.

The level of heroism in D&D shouldn't be be any different than the level of heroism in Star Wars. We play the games for the same reasons, just in different settings, and we abslutely want our heroic characters to be totally unphased by lower-level characters. That kind of heroism, after all, is ingrained in the D&D mythos.
Leadership and class choice should have NOTHING to do with each other, EVER. Conflating the two is simply horrendous game design.
Reigning in the numbers a bit from 3.5/4th ed is a good idea. BA right now not so much.
"right now" being the key words.

Not having implemented BA because it requires class design to be finished before they fine-tune monster design does not mean BA is bad.
D&D Next = D&D: Quantum Edition
Some people want to be Superman heroes, to be bullet-proof and leap tall buildings in a single bound. They feel good because they reliably succeed where others have failed.

Some people want to be realist heroes who dive into danger despite their own mortality. They feel good because they worked to accomplish their success; they could have failed.

So do we have options to allow either of these?
I'm on the fence about the bounded accuracy system. I think there's a lot of tweaking to do, but as a concept it's not bad. I don't hate it. I feel like it might solve a few problems that I've had in D&D since the beginning, like the "spit-on-the-king" mentality that takes over players once their AC gets to a certain point. Once they realize that no matter how many guards the king has they are basically immune to anything he can throw at them all sense of believability and respect goes out the window and this happens way too soon.

This is more of a problem the more you think of the world as a static place the PCs climb levels through, like a series of levels in a video game or take the 'sandbox' style of play in which the world is (treated as if) it were all 'statted out' before the first session (not really possible, of course, that's too much work for any DM).  If you decide the king is a 13th level character and his guards are 'Myrmidons' (1e 4th level fighters, IIRC), then when the party's flirting with epic levels, he's gotten pretty lowly..

One solution is to stat NPCs relative to the PCs, rather than in some absolute sense.  At low level, the King might be untouchably powerful and his guards might be statted as significant challenges to the party even in small numbers or 1:1.  At very high level, the King's guards would level-apropriate "minions," but the King, himself, still might not be statted out as a combat challenge for story reasons.  

Another solution, of course, is just to ignore the personal-power discrepancy, and depend upon the legitimate authority of the King in that culture.   Monarchies prospered as the primary form of government for centuries and there are still titular monarchs today with /some/ political and legal power.  Yet the persons themselves were still just people, none of them weilded magic, were actually chosen/empowered by God (though that belief may have existed), or even were such improbably capable warriors and legend may have made them out to be.  So the PCs respect (or hate or fear or whatever) the King because he's the King, and everyone in the Kingdom respects him - heck, in a fantasy world, the King may even 'be the land' - if the players go for a little casual regicide just because the numbers say they can, they might bring litteral as well as political ruin down on the Kingdom...

The problem is that it doesn't make sense because fantasy doesn't make sense.

That's one nice thing about fantasy, it doesn't have to make empirical sense. ;)
In fantasy a hero can take out the demon that killed 1000 guards. So hero > demon > guards. Yet that same hero will often either run away from or sometimes be captured by less than 20 or so guards. That doesn't make sense. I don't know how many movies I've seen where heroes regularly get beaten up by enemies that were themselves beaten up by things the hero just finished ground pounding.

Conflict is rarely that simple.  If it were, sports commentators would be able to call the winner of any tournament after the first round just based on who had beaten whom in the past, and no game would ever be in question; generals would just take a good look at opposing forces and surrender if they were superior.  Even RPGs /try/ to make combat something other than a foregone conclusion, with some random dice rolls... ;)

The bounded accuracy system is attempting to bring some logic to this mess.

I hope its not trying to bring anything quite that simplistic.  

Bounded accuracy is just trying to get one set of stats for a monster to serve even when the monster is used in very different ways in different stories at different levels.  That's not going to work as well in any given instance as a custom-statted monster, but it can save a whole lot of design effort.

 

Want to see the best of 4e included in 5e?  Join the Old Guard of 4e.

5e really needs something like Wrecan's SARN-FU to support "Theatre of the Mind."

"You want The Tooth?  You can't handle The Tooth!"  - Dahlver-Nar.

"If magic is unrestrained in the campaign, D&D quickly degenerates into a weird wizard show where players get bored quickly"  - E. Gary Gygax

 

 

Oops, looks like this request tried to create an infinite loop. We do not allow such things here. We are a professional website!

One solution is to stat NPCs relative to the PCs, rather than in some absolute sense. 


Here's the thing:  in a BA system, you can do this.  In a non-BA system, you can't not do this.
D&D Next = D&D: Quantum Edition
Here's the thing:  in a BA system, you can do this.  In a non-BA system, you can't not do this.

Ah yes. I harken back to the years our group played 3.X. We decided to run a long, round-robin style, take turns DMing campaign.

Along the way, across the overal story arc we shared, there ended up being this particular recurring villain. He first showed up in one of my adventures, the group was maybe 4th or 5th level by then. Later, I recall one of the other players asking if they could bring him back for their own adventure once they took over. By then we were maybe 8th level. I brought him back again myself as the group was in the early teens. And so on.

Each successive iteration of the NPC required artificially puffing him up. We would come up with flimsy reasons why he'd jumped up so quickly in levels. Even though a few times he'd been dead in the interim. It was really just a "new badguy" each time but with a vague resemblance and sharing a name, by the end of the campaign.

One solution is to stat NPCs relative to the PCs, rather than in some absolute sense. 


Here's the thing:  in a BA system, you can do this.  In a non-BA system, you can't not do this.



You can do this in either system...Smile
"Unite the [fan] base? Hardly. As of right now, I doubt their ability to unite a slightly unruly teabag with a cup of water."--anjelika
1-4E play style
The 4E play style is a high action cinematic style of play where characters worry less about being killed in one hit and more about strategy and what their next move is and the one after it. The players talk back and forth about planning a battle and who can do what to influence the outcome. 4E play is filled with cinematic over the top action. An Eladrin teleports out of the grip of the Ogre. The Fighter slams the dragons foot with his hammer causing it to rear up and stagger back in pain. The Cleric creates a holy zone where their allies weapons are guided to their targets and whenever an enemy dies the Clerics allies are healed. 4E is about knowing when to lauch your nova attack, whether its a huge arcane spell that causes enemies to whirl around in a chaotic storm, or if its a trained adrenaline surge that causes you to attack many many times with two weapons on a single target, or a surge of adrenaline that keeps you going though you should already be dead. Its about tactics and the inability to carry around a bag of potions or a few wands and never have to worry about healing. Its about the guy that can barely role play having the same chance to convince the king to aid the group as the guy that takes improv acting classes and regularly stars as an extra on movies.
Stormwind Fallacy
The Stormwind Fallacy, aka the Roleplayer vs Rollplayer Fallacy Just because one optimizes his characters mechanically does not mean that they cannot also roleplay, and vice versa. Corollary: Doing one in a game does not preclude, nor infringe upon, the ability to do the other in the same game. Generalization 1: One is not automatically a worse role player if he optimizes, and vice versa. Generalization 2: A non-optimized character is not automatically role played better than an optimized one, and vice versa. ...[aside]... Proof: These two elements rely on different aspects of a player's game play. Optimization factors in to how well one understands the rules and handles synergies to produce a very effective end result. Role playing deals with how well a player can act in character and behave as if he was someone else. A person can act while understanding the rules, and can build something powerful while still handling an effective character. There is nothing in the game -- mechanical or otherwise -- restricting one if you participate in the other. Claiming that an optimizer cannot role play (or is participating in a play style that isn't supportive of role playing) because he is an optimizer, or vice versa, is committing the Stormwind Fallacy.
The spells we should getLook here to Check out my adventures and ideas. I've started a blog, about video games, table top role playing games, programming, and many other things its called Kel and Lok Games. My 4E Fantasy Grounds game is currently full.
lokiare, please read what I wrote. 
D&D Next = D&D: Quantum Edition
lokiare, please read what I wrote. 



What you wrote is that you can't stat the NPCs relative to the PCs in a system other than bounded accuracy. This is provably false, because DMs are out there who do that **** all the time. Hell, the fact that some DMs do exactly that is a major complaint among 4e detractors. I really don't get what it is you're trying to get across here.

Unless you meant something totally different from what you said, in which case clarifying your meaning would have been more useful than telling him to go read what you wrote again.
lokiare, please read what I wrote. 



What you wrote is that you can't stat the NPCs relative to the PCs in a system other than bounded accuracy. This is provably false, because DMs are out there who do that **** all the time.

Unless you meant something totally different from what you said, in which case clarifying your meaning would have been more useful than telling him to go read what you wrote again. 


seerow, please read what I wrote.
D&D Next = D&D: Quantum Edition
lokiare, please read what I wrote. 



What you wrote is that you can't stat the NPCs relative to the PCs in a system other than bounded accuracy. This is provably false, because DMs are out there who do that **** all the time.

Unless you meant something totally different from what you said, in which case clarifying your meaning would have been more useful than telling him to go read what you wrote again. 


seerow, please read what I wrote.




I did. Repeating yourself isn't going to make things any clearer. Don't blame us for your own incoherency.
Considering you think I said the opposite of what I said, I'm going to ask you to read it again.
D&D Next = D&D: Quantum Edition
Considering you think I said the opposite of what I said, I'm going to ask you to read it again.



Sorry, but I don't read double negatives. Don't blame others for your own inability to be coherent.
lokiare, please read what I wrote. 



Or I can read what the poster wrote that was being responding to:

"One solution is to stat NPCs relative to the PCs, rather than in some absolute sense. "

You can absolutely do that in either a bounded or unbounded system...Smile
"Unite the [fan] base? Hardly. As of right now, I doubt their ability to unite a slightly unruly teabag with a cup of water."--anjelika
1-4E play style
The 4E play style is a high action cinematic style of play where characters worry less about being killed in one hit and more about strategy and what their next move is and the one after it. The players talk back and forth about planning a battle and who can do what to influence the outcome. 4E play is filled with cinematic over the top action. An Eladrin teleports out of the grip of the Ogre. The Fighter slams the dragons foot with his hammer causing it to rear up and stagger back in pain. The Cleric creates a holy zone where their allies weapons are guided to their targets and whenever an enemy dies the Clerics allies are healed. 4E is about knowing when to lauch your nova attack, whether its a huge arcane spell that causes enemies to whirl around in a chaotic storm, or if its a trained adrenaline surge that causes you to attack many many times with two weapons on a single target, or a surge of adrenaline that keeps you going though you should already be dead. Its about tactics and the inability to carry around a bag of potions or a few wands and never have to worry about healing. Its about the guy that can barely role play having the same chance to convince the king to aid the group as the guy that takes improv acting classes and regularly stars as an extra on movies.
Stormwind Fallacy
The Stormwind Fallacy, aka the Roleplayer vs Rollplayer Fallacy Just because one optimizes his characters mechanically does not mean that they cannot also roleplay, and vice versa. Corollary: Doing one in a game does not preclude, nor infringe upon, the ability to do the other in the same game. Generalization 1: One is not automatically a worse role player if he optimizes, and vice versa. Generalization 2: A non-optimized character is not automatically role played better than an optimized one, and vice versa. ...[aside]... Proof: These two elements rely on different aspects of a player's game play. Optimization factors in to how well one understands the rules and handles synergies to produce a very effective end result. Role playing deals with how well a player can act in character and behave as if he was someone else. A person can act while understanding the rules, and can build something powerful while still handling an effective character. There is nothing in the game -- mechanical or otherwise -- restricting one if you participate in the other. Claiming that an optimizer cannot role play (or is participating in a play style that isn't supportive of role playing) because he is an optimizer, or vice versa, is committing the Stormwind Fallacy.
The spells we should getLook here to Check out my adventures and ideas. I've started a blog, about video games, table top role playing games, programming, and many other things its called Kel and Lok Games. My 4E Fantasy Grounds game is currently full.
Considering you think I said the opposite of what I said, I'm going to ask you to read it again.



Sorry, but I don't read double negatives. Don't blame others for your own inability to be coherent.

Double negatives are not a grammatical error.  This case I meant specifically what I said.

And lokiare, read again what I said.  You're still not getting the point I was trying to make.
D&D Next = D&D: Quantum Edition