Untrained Feats

One of the issues that Mearls identified in his last interview was a concern that codified feats/manuvers might limit the actions availalbe to characters without those feats/maneuvers.    For example, if the fighter class can Parry does that mean that other classes can't perform a parry?

Rather than create two (or more) entries with different names (an entry in the general combat section and more in the class maneuver list)  why not simply detail a trained and untrained use of each combat feat/maneuver?  

I see no reason why we can't have rules for performing an untrained Parry, Disarm, or even a Whirlwind.  That way when a player wants to perform an untrained version of a manuever the DM doesn't have to worry about overshadowing a class feature or predefined class maneuver.  

Technically, the system is already doing this with TWF.    The basic rules for using TWF exist for everyone and we have feats (trained versions) of that maneuver for the specialists.  

Actually, you could have one entry that details each level of training (from untrained to grand master)



One thing DDN has to do is spend a great deal on improvisation and aiding DMs on untrained actions.

Personally, I'd let anyone perform any "untrained" action or use a feat at disadvantage.

Orzel, Halfelven son of Zel, Mystic Ranger, Bane to Dragons, Death to Undeath, Killer of Abyssals, King of the Wilds. Constitution Based Class for Next!

An "untrained" parry would require the players to be familiar with all maneuvers and that will make the game system utterly unweildy.  What would be better would be a robust system for improvised actions and then make sure all the feats and maneuvers work with this system.

As long as the improvised actions are useful and simple to apply, it's easy to add maneuvers on top of it.  
By the way he never mentioned they WOULD make it where you need the ability to do it. He said that said abilities create the PERCEPTION that you need the ability to do it.
My two copper.
I'm all for:

"you can try anything, but if you don't know what you're doing, most likely is that it will blow up in your face".

One of the issues that Mearls identified in his last interview was a concern that codified feats/manuvers might limit the actions availalbe to characters without those feats/maneuvers.    For example, if the fighter class can Parry does that mean that other classes can't perform a parry?

Rather than create two (or more) entries with different names (an entry in the general combat section and more in the class maneuver list)  why not simply detail a trained and untrained use of each combat feat/maneuver?  

I see no reason why we can't have rules for performing an untrained Parry, Disarm, or even a Whirlwind.  That way when a player wants to perform an untrained version of a manuever the DM doesn't have to worry about overshadowing a class feature or predefined class maneuver.  

Technically, the system is already doing this with TWF.    The basic rules for using TWF exist for everyone and we have feats (trained versions) of that maneuver for the specialists.  

Actually, you could have one entry that details each level of training (from untrained to grand master)



Level of training is already reflected with MDD capacity.

Either way, I can't say I approve.

I think a simple system for improvised attacks could be apply -5 to d20 roll. You want to Trip or Disarm, great, -5 and you still get to apply normal damage. Feats and Maneuvers can mitigate or eliminate this penalty. (damage is applied as normal because HP doesn't represent physical damage)
Multiple Attacks can be -2 for each additional attack. If you attack 3 targets, great, roll 3d20 each at -6. Again, Feats (Such as TWF) can mitigate this penalty. 

Disclaimer: Wizards of the Coast is not responsible for the consequences of any failed saving throw, including but not limited to petrification, poison, death magic, dragon breath, spells, or vorpal sword-related decapitations.

An "untrained" parry would require the players to be familiar with all maneuvers and that will make the game system utterly unweildy.  What would be better would be a robust system for improvised actions and then make sure all the feats and maneuvers work with this system.

As long as the improvised actions are useful and simple to apply, it's easy to add maneuvers on top of it.  



At the moment the DM must be familiar with all the maneuvers to even provide a reasonable improvised action, one that doesn't overshadow class and character abilities. 

A section on improvised actions is needed, but they shouldn't be required for common actions like Parry, Disarm, Trip, Charge, Pin, Overbearing, etc.        Having to use an improvised action to do something as simple and common as Parry doesn't make any sense.     

At the moment it looks like we will have a spell section at the back of our PHB.   If the spell casters are required to read through that list (or rather just the level appropriate spells) I see no reason why the same can't be done for feats/maneuvers.   If it's acceptable for spells then it's acceptable for feats and maneuvers.     The class definition and themes can simply reference them (i.e. as a fighter you gain Expert training in Parry).   The player then looks up parry and uses the "Expert rules".   It's not a problem at all.     


By the way he never mentioned they WOULD make it where you need the ability to do it. He said that said abilities create the PERCEPTION that you need the ability to do it.




Yes, that that "perception" is a result of poor organization of common combat rules and explicit maneuvers.


An "untrained" parry would require the players to be familiar with all maneuvers and that will make the game system utterly unweildy.  What would be better would be a robust system for improvised actions and then make sure all the feats and maneuvers work with this system.

As long as the improvised actions are useful and simple to apply, it's easy to add maneuvers on top of it.  



At the moment the DM must be familiar with all the maneuvers to even provide a reasonable improvised action, one that doesn't overshadow class and character abilities.


Which is why I said the final version fo the game should have a robust system for improvised actions.

A section on improvised actions is needed, but they shouldn't be required for common actions like Parry, Disarm, Trip, Charge, Pin, Overbearing, etc.


They should if you want the basic game to come in at under 16 pages (excluding class-specific actions, like Maneuvers, Skill Tricks, and Spells).  And that's what the designers want.  So, yes, having ten pages of all these fiddly actions, like overbearing, charging, pinning, tripping, disarming, etc. is a bad idea form a design perspective.  because you can't be exhaustive without making the game a ponderous exercise.
One thing DDN has to do is spend a great deal on improvisation and aiding DMs on untrained actions. Personally, I'd let anyone perform any "untrained" action or use a feat at disadvantage.



Yes, I'd be fine with a global rule like disadvantage, but some might still argue that it would overshadow the resepective class feature.  


An "untrained" parry would require the players to be familiar with all maneuvers and that will make the game system utterly unweildy.  What would be better would be a robust system for improvised actions and then make sure all the feats and maneuvers work with this system.

As long as the improvised actions are useful and simple to apply, it's easy to add maneuvers on top of it.  



At the moment the DM must be familiar with all the maneuvers to even provide a reasonable improvised action, one that doesn't overshadow class and character abilities.


Which is why I said the final version fo the game should have a robust system for improvised actions.

A section on improvised actions is needed, but they shouldn't be required for common actions like Parry, Disarm, Trip, Charge, Pin, Overbearing, etc.


They should if you want the basic game to come in at under 16 pages (excluding class-specific actions, like Maneuvers, Skill Tricks, and Spells).  And that's what the designers want.  So, yes, having ten pages of all these fiddly actions, like overbearing, charging, pinning, tripping, disarming, etc. is a bad idea form a design perspective.  because you can't be exhaustive without making the game a ponderous exercise.



I think it takes up alot more space to define a maneuver several times under several different names or sections.    It also makes it more difficult for the DM to adjucate improvised actions if all the similar rules are spread out across several chapters and even several source books. 

For example, take a look at Disarm.    Rather than having one paragraph that defines how disarm works for untrained and trained fighters, we have two definitions.  One in the maneuvers pdf and the other in the how to play pdf.      How can you even suggest that approach would take up more space?  Clearly it doesn't.    

I think we need to cast a "Compulsive Order" spell on the designers before they sit down to organize the players handbook.     




Rather than having one paragraph that defines how disarm works for untrained and trained fighters.   We have two definitions.  One in the maneuvers pdf and the other in the how to play pdf.      How can you even suggest that approach would take up more space?  Clearly it doesn't.    


For the third time, I am not suggesting that every possible improvisation be detailed.  i don't think any of them have to be detailed.  I want a robust set of guidelines for improvised actions.  You don't need to detail every potential improvised action.  You just need to tell the DM how to adjudicate improvisations with general rule asand then make sure the maneuvers are better than improvisation.

That would save space and be easier to run then either perusing through all the maneuvers perusing through the "untrained maneuver" section of a book every time someone wants to improvise.
Rather than having one paragraph that defines how disarm works for untrained and trained fighters.   We have two definitions.  One in the maneuvers pdf and the other in the how to play pdf.      How can you even suggest that approach would take up more space?  Clearly it doesn't.    


For the third time, I am not suggesting that every possible improvisation be detailed.  i don't think any of them have to be detailed.  I want a robust set of guidelines for improvised actions.  You don't need to detail every potential improvised action.  You just need to tell the DM how to adjudicate improvisations with general rule asand then make sure the maneuvers are better than improvisation.

That would save space and be easier to run then either perusing through all the maneuvers perusing through the "untrained maneuver" section of a book every time someone wants to improvise.



Are you saying that the Disarm maneuver in the How to play rules should be removed and rolled up into an Improvised Action section?


Are you saying that the Disarm maneuver in the How to play rules should be removed and rolled up into an Improvised Action section?


For the FOURTH TIME, yes!!!!!

Jesus, what's so difficult to understand about "I want a robust set of guidelines for improvised actions.  You don't need to detail every potential improvised action"?!
Are you saying that the Disarm maneuver in the How to play rules should be removed and rolled up into an Improvised Action section?


For the FOURTH TIME, yes!!!!!

Jesus, what's so difficult to understand about "I want a robust set of guidelines for improvised actions.  You don't need to detail every potential improvised action"?!



No, you never said that once.

"You don't need to detail every potential improvised action"  

Well which actions would you detail then?  

Do you not want consistency across game tables for simple and common actions like Parry, disarm, etc?




In order to save poor Wrecan's caps lock key, I will try to speak for them.

Wrecan does not care about consistency across game tables for simple and common actions. I'm with Wrecan on this one.  The core game doesn't need them spelled out, and organized play can print out a packet with the modules they are using.
Do you not want consistency across game tables for simple and common actions like Parry, disarm, etc?


Guidelines provide sufficient consistency.  Beyond that, no, I don't need "consistency across game tables" for improvised actions.  And if the game's core is to be as simple as possible, neither should the developers.
Are you saying that the Disarm maneuver in the How to play rules should be removed and rolled up into an Improvised Action section?


For the FOURTH TIME, yes!!!!!

Jesus, what's so difficult to understand about "I want a robust set of guidelines for improvised actions.  You don't need to detail every potential improvised action"?!



USE something like 4e's DAZE condition for improvised actions.  Since combat is abstract and cinematic anyway it works out really well.  In 5e terms if you are dazed you grant disadvantage, have disadvantage, and can't take reactions.


Some cinematic improvised Actions! 

Throw sand in someones eyes! Well they aren't blinded for 6 whole seconds...that is just silly and unrealistic. Are they momentarily blinded yes.  What does that translate into? Not being able to make opportunity attacks, having disadvantage, granting advantage. Sounds good. Dazed!

Disarm! Well in the real world they are dead but this is D&D where if you are disarmed in a fight you just run to your weapon and pick it up again. As combats are fluid but represented by turn based actions, what does this mean? Not able to take opportunity attacks, have disadvantage because it took a few seconds to pick up your weapon, grant disadvantage because you can't parry as well, sure! Dazed!

Taunt someone with words!  The big dumb ogre just got taunted bad. He is angry. He is reckless. He still hasn't quite figured out what you said about his mother. Dazed!

Having daze work as a go to universal condition for improvised actions works out quite nicely. Considering how much more important an action spent doing damage is, this end up not being overpowered either.

Yes more complex improvised actions will not always work with daze, but for general actions such as taunts, intimidation, disarming, sand in the eyes, cutting a Z in someones shirt, knocking someone on the head with a club, etc Dazed works quite nicely. For other situations the DM can wing it.
The final DMG has to explain to DMs how the game mechanics work, how the math functions, and how to improvise within the base assumptions of the rules.

This was a flaw of all previous editions.

Orzel, Halfelven son of Zel, Mystic Ranger, Bane to Dragons, Death to Undeath, Killer of Abyssals, King of the Wilds. Constitution Based Class for Next!


Yes more complex improvised actions will not always work with daze, but for general actions such as taunts, intimidation, disarming, sand in the eyes, cutting a Z in someones shirt, knocking someone on the head with a club, etc Dazed works quite nicely. For other situations the DM can wing it.



I can appreciate DM adjudicated improvised actions.   What you have described here is your implementation and created your own house rule for when someone wants to disarm, taunt, or blind.      When rogue tells you he is going to use your house ruled taunt ability over his taunt rogue trick (for the dazed effect), you'll be the one to adjudicate that.  

We currently have a lot of redundancy in the playtest document (disarm being defined twice) and that's all I'm trying to eliminate.  In addition, many players might appreciate untrained base rules for the most common actions/feats.     
 




The final DMG has to explain to DMs how the game mechanics work, how the math functions, and how to improvise within the base assumptions of the rules. This was a flaw of all previous editions.



I don't agree,  2e had some really great improvisation rules.    In fact, I think that's what pg 42 in the 4e DMG is based from.


Do you not want consistency across game tables for simple and common actions like Parry, disarm, etc?


Guidelines provide sufficient consistency.  Beyond that, no, I don't need "consistency across game tables" for improvised actions.  And if the game's core is to be as simple as possible, neither should the developers.




That's not what we have in the playtest document.   


@dmgorgon

It was never enough to me. There were rules and charts that helped but they never really explained to DMs how the game works, what assumptions and math the game is based on, what breaks down the game, how to apply conditions and changes, and more importantly what are good or bad ideas.

Orzel, Halfelven son of Zel, Mystic Ranger, Bane to Dragons, Death to Undeath, Killer of Abyssals, King of the Wilds. Constitution Based Class for Next!

Actually, I think the way it's working now is fine. You have general actions that can be performed by anyone. It uses your action and there's a chance for failure. The Fighter, OTOH, can make an attack roll and disarm someone in the same action, which to me makes sense because he's far more trained in that action and does so under a different, less stringent set of mechanics.

Really, I think the only problem I have right now is with Two-Weapon Fighting. Feats make it suck less, but it still doesn't hold a candle to the other two styles of Sword-and-board or Two-Handed because they have clearly defined limits and benefits. TWF really just as a lot of limits with very minimal benefits.  

We currently have a lot of redundancy in the playtest document (disarm being defined twice) and that's all I'm trying to eliminate.


I'm slightly confused here. It's not redundancy when the two Disarms are completly different mechanics. Granted, I think the manuever should be called Smashing Disarm or something like that to delineate that it is different than the regular combat action, but they're two very different things.