Improving Accuracy and the Maneuver system

Creating a Maneuver system can limit the effective choices a player can make in a combat situation. If a player chooses a specific maneuver, they are unlikely to attempt one they do not have access to. So I would like to propose a system where combat accuracy increase at a much faster rate than currently. Keep in mind this system must assume AC does not increase, much as it is in the current play packet.

Damage Bonus-For every 5 over AC the attack gain +1[W] damage. natural 20 gains +1[W]
Special Attacks-if a character wishes to apply a condition against a target (Prone, Stun, etc.) they take -5 to attack roll. Damage bonus still applies.
Multiple Attacks-if a character wishes to attack multiple targets then a -2 per target is applied to each attack roll. Once the attacker misses a target the attack stops. Example: if you attack 3 targets, each d20 is at -6. If you miss the second target, you do not roll to attack the third.

Fighter gains +1 attack per level
Rogue and Cleric +2 per 3 levels
Wizard +1 per 4 levels

This opens up all classes to be able to Cleave, Trip, Stun and gain extra melee damage in a simple way but gives clear advantage to the Fighter. Certain feats can eliminate the penalty to specific maneuvers.       

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.

Let me give an example of the Damage Bonus:

A 10th level Fighter with an 18 STR (+14 to hit) swings his longsword (d8+4) at an opponent with AC 14.
Fighter rolls a 5 (5+14=19). Total damage 2d8+4.
Rolls a 10 (10+14=24). 3d8+4.
Rolls a natural 20 (20+14=34). 6d8+4! 

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.

I take it you're suggesting dropping maneuvers altogether and just have a universal -5 for conditions that replaces bull rush, knock down, disarm... and a universal -2 for extra targets?

I see a few problems, off the bat.  First, there's not reason to complicate matters with this rapid attack scale but attack penalties system.  You could just as easily trade W dice for conditions instead of trading -5s to hit, which would otherwise be turned into W dice.   The only difference would be that you aren't guaranteed at least a boring hit at high levels (not a clear win), and you have to do more math steps and admit the monster's AC.  

Second, not all conditions are created equal.  Why in gods' names would you prone something when you could stun it for the same price?  The one advantage this system has over MDD is that it's granular - you could have -1 penalties or -10 penalties for larger and smaller effects, instead of everything being 1-3 dice - and you've thrown it away as written.   

That said, I agree that maneuvers as written suffer the same problem that 4e powers did: having a list of approved abilities (abilities you spend character resources to learn/improve) discourages players from ordering off the menu.  I just don't see how the increased mathematical complexity your suggesting helps you solve that problem. 
Same example with a Rogue:

10th level Rogue (+6) with an 18 DEX (+4) wielding a shortsword (d6) attacking the same target AC 14.

Rogue rolls a 5 (5+10=15). 1d6+4 damage.
Rolls a 10 (10+10=20). 2d6+4 damage.
Rolls a natural 20 (20+10=30) 5d6+4 damage.

If this system were in place we would have to visit sneak attack, perhaps go back to damage multipliers when you have advantage? Or double the number of weapon die used? That would give this Rogue 2d6, 4d6, and 10d6 in the examples given above. 

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.

Is it all that mathematically complex to determine you hit 12 over the target AC, granting +2W?
Is that any more complex than the buff system of 4e? (I have +2 for me stance, +2 from the Cleric Bless, and if I shift I can gain the Warlord INT bonus, but I lose my stance bonus if I shift... where was I again?)
I concede not all conditions are not equal. Some may require -10 (blind, for example). Or the condition are given ranks, Prone is a rank 1, Stun is rank 2. That way you know how many W to negate when applying that condition.
Trading W for a condition would produce the same result, but not all classes gain W bonus. Perhaps you can declare you are trading the accuracy for the increase in W before the attack.
Also, you do not have to declare target AC, you simply tell the player they get +2W on that hit. 
The main goal is to open maneuvers to all classes while giving superiority to Fighters. Average D&D players should be able to count by 5s intuitively (I hope).
Finally, it has always bothered me when I roll a 19 to hit but a 1 on damage. Granting some bonus for a really good hit just feels right. 

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.

Example using a 10th level Wizard (+2) with a DEX of 12 (+1) wielding a Dagger (d4+1) against the same AC 14.

Wizard rolls a 5 (5+3=8). Miss.
Rolls a 10 (10+3). Miss.
Rolls a 20 (20+3=23). 3d4+1.

Now the same 10th level Wizard has Magic bonus of (+6), INT 18 (+4), and his Cantrip is Shocking Grasp (d8) against that same AC 14.

Wizard rolls a 5 (5+10=15). 1d8 damage.
Rolls a 10 (10+10=20). 2d8.
Rolls a natural 20 (20+10=30). 5d8!

Makes that Cantrip scale with level!           

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.

Having conditions listed as lesser or greater could be a simple solution to what an appropriate penalty to attack should be.
examples:
Lesser conditions (-5)
Trip attack- Prone- crawl only until move action to stand, grants advantage.
Head blow- Dazed- lose one action (move or standard), no reactions.

Greater conditions (-10)
Stunned- lose all action, grants Advantage.
Blinded- targets have total concealment, grants advantage.
 

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.

This isn't nearly as intuitive as the current maneuver system.


I would much prefer to outline how one might do some if not all of the maneuvers as improvised actions and devise a system where the guys with the dice can do ALL maneuvers better than guys without dice and they can do the maneuvers they pick better than all other maneuvers.


Powerroleplayer's right: broadening untrained options is the issue more than the system itself, and this doesn't fix it.

You're suggesting trading accuracy for effects rather than damage. I can see some advantages there BUT what must be made clear is that, currently, you can choose whether to use a maneuver after the fact. If your system allowed for this, it would be much better. I don't like your attack modifier progressions, but that's another issue.

An example of what I mean would be a Fighter, with +4 to hit, he rolls a 13 against an opponent of AC 12. So he hits by 5. Let him trade that 5 in for a condition, or series of conditions, or even extra damage. He makes an attack, and in the flurry of melee, using his cunning and weapon superiority, he manages to disarm his opponent (cost 3) or he's using a bludgeoning weapon, and hits him over the head (cost 5). He decides after the fact based on the effectiveness of his attack (which is more than just a swing and a hit or miss, it's a summary of his entire movement-feint-parry-riposte-step-dodge-clashofblades action. 

Not bad ideas...
The one about attacks with greater accuracy dealing more damage does make sense if you think of a well placed attack.

However... I do foresee some problems.
You're making having high To Hit much more powerfull over investing also in Damage. One could easily ignore investing in bonus damage and put everything into TH so he can roll more dices more often.

For example, if you had a feat like 3ed's power attack where you trade up to -5 TH for +5 DMG, the feat would be rather useless. Say I'm using a Greatsword, I would rather have the -5 TH I lost stay there on my TH roll and add +2d6 instead of +5 to dmg.

Vampire the Masquerade at some point introduced a similar system where each extra die of TH above the needed to hit added an extra die to dmg.
From that update on... everyone would simply ignore Strength and invest everything in Dexterity so they would have the same average damage and still more hit chance.
It was a case where the system did make sense, but it screwed too much with the basic rules and character diversity went down the drain, to a point where many Vampire DM's did not use that in their games. 



What could work nice, though, was that "TH margin" above the AC be used for Maneuvers, but not damage.
Say each 5 points above the AC you get a Maneuver Die (or whatever you want to call it).
So if you want to Bull Rush someone you need to hit 5 above his AC at least. For every +5 you move him 5ft.
BUT if you have the Improved Bull Rush feat, you add an extra Maneuver Die in every successful bull rush hit. So with the feat even if you hit without the margin you get at least that 5ft. And if you hit by a 5 margin you'd move the target 10ft instead of 5ft, because you get that extra MD.
It would made sense, I suppose, for characters who want to focus in maneuver to invest in TH at the expense of Damage. 
It's not "that complex," no.  But it is more complex, and fairly significantly so.  Before, you compared your hit total to his AC total and asked yourself "is this number bigger than that number?"  Mathematical steps: 0.  In your system, you subtract his AC from your hit total, and then subtract a few more numbers from that as you throw on conditions, extra attacks, etc.  Mathematical steps: 2+.  Additional mathematical steps that, to my understanding, add not one single countervailing benefit that might justify their existence.  They've already said they're looking to replace MDD with W dice, at which point a wizard/low cleric could still do it by giving up their basic W die (but a fighter could do it more, by virtue of having more dice).  And saying, "it's not any slower than 4e's ridiculous number of situational, stacking bonuses, that even most 4e fans thought were excessive and slowed down the game too much" isn't really helping the argument.  

BTW, while you don't have to declare AC, you do end up giving a lot more information about it.  Before, when you rolled a natural 19 and hit, or a natural 2 and missed, it told you nothing about the target's AC.  With this system, when you roll a natural 2 you'll still hit, and when you roll a natural 19 and get 3 "points" to spend on damage/conditions, you still get useful information about what the target's AC is.  Players will figure it out a lot faster when they start doing the math (a 12 missed, an 18 hit with an extra W damage, so his AC must be 13, whereas before you only knew it was somewhere between 13-18).  And if you have abilities that cost multiples of not 5 (like extra attacks costing 2 in your OP), you pretty much do have to tell them the target's AC or else play 20 questions of "can I have an extra attack?  Two extra attacks? A prone?  A prone and an extra attack?"  At which point you've more or less let the cat out of the bag anyway, but taken forever to do it.
You effectivly have armor as damage reduction.  With every point in armor reducing damage by 1/5 of 1|W|.  Assuming 5 average for a |W| (between d8 and d10), you get 1 damage off per point of AC.

Thus you could simplify it by doing 1d20 + x|W| +Str - AC = damage.  Skip the to-hit roll all together, and bump x as you level.   You still trade a |W| or 3 for a manuver.

Muliple-attacks would are also naturally better verse low AC targets, and worse against high AC targets (13 AC being the average).  Best to cut the gelationus cube up with quick, small chops, but the guy in plate is protected against a thousand needles.

Two weapon fighting is similarly solved by granting extra attacks at lower die sizes. (possibly the only way to get multi-attacks, since it would otherwise still slow the game down).

You could then give rogues...
Backstab:  When you attack with a dagger and have advantage, you ignore AC.



You just need extra balancing on the weapons, since damage matters more.

guides
List of no-action attacks.
Dynamic vs Static Bonuses
Phalanx tactics and builds
Crivens! A Pictsies Guide Good
Power
s to intentionally miss with
Mr. Cellophane: How to be unnoticed
Way's to fire around corners
Crits: what their really worth
Retroactive bonus vs Static bonus.
Runepriest handbook & discussion thread
Holy Symbols to hang around your neck
Ways to Gain or Downgrade Actions
List of bonuses to saving throws
The Ghost with the Most (revenant handbook)
my builds
F-111 Interdictor Long (200+ squares) distance ally teleporter. With some warlord stuff. Broken in a plot way, not a power way.

Thought Switch Higher level build that grants upto 14 attacks on turn 1. If your allies play along, it's broken.

Elven Critters Crit op with crit generation. 5 of these will end anything. Broken.

King Fisher Optimized net user.  Moderate.

Boominator Fun catch-22 booming blade build with either strong or completely broken damage depending on your reading.

Very Distracting Warlock Lot's of dazing and major penalties to hit. Overpowered.

Pocket Protector Pixie Stealth Knight. Maximizing the defender's aura by being in an ally's/enemy's square.

Yakuza NinjIntimiAdin: Perma-stealth Striker that offers a little protection for ally's, and can intimidate bloodied enemies. Very Strong.

Chargeburgler with cheese Ranged attacks at the end of a charge along with perma-stealth. Solid, could be overpowered if tweaked.

Void Defender Defends giving a penalty to hit anyone but him, then removing himself from play. Can get somewhat broken in epic.

Scry and Die Attacking from around corners, while staying hidden. Moderate to broken, depending on the situation.

Skimisher Fly in, attack, and fly away. Also prevents enemies from coming close. Moderate to Broken depending on the enemy, but shouldn't make the game un-fun, as the rest of your team is at risk, and you have enough weaknesses.

Indestructible Simply won't die, even if you sleep though combat.  One of THE most abusive character in 4e.

Sir Robin (Bravely Charge Away) He automatically slows and pushes an enemy (5 squares), while charging away. Hard to rate it's power level, since it's terrain dependent.

Death's Gatekeeper A fun twist on a healic, making your party "unkillable". Overpowered to Broken, but shouldn't actually make the game un-fun, just TPK proof.

Death's Gatekeeper mk2, (Stealth Edition) Make your party "unkillable", and you hidden, while doing solid damage. Stronger then the above, but also easier for a DM to shut down. Broken, until your DM get's enough of it.

Domination and Death Dominate everything then kill them quickly. Only works @ 30, but is broken multiple ways.

Battlemind Mc Prone-Daze Protecting your allies by keeping enemies away. Quite powerful.

The Retaliator Getting hit deals more damage to the enemy then you receive yourself, and you can take plenty of hits. Heavy item dependency, Broken.

Dead Kobold Transit Teleports 98 squares a turn, and can bring someone along for the ride. Not fully built, so i can't judge the power.

Psilent Guardian Protect your allies, while being invisible. Overpowered, possibly broken.

Rune of Vengance Do lot's of damage while boosting your teams. Strong to slightly overpowered.

Charedent BarrageA charging ardent. Fine in a normal team, overpowered if there are 2 together, and easily broken in teams of 5.

Super Knight A tough, sticky, high damage knight. Strong.

Super Duper Knight Basically the same as super knight with items, making it far more broken.

Mora, the unkillable avenger Solid damage, while being neigh indestuctable. Overpowered, but not broken.

Swordburst Maximus At-Will Close Burst 3 that slide and prones. Protects allies with off actions. Strong, possibly over powered with the right party.

The idea is interesting, thought the scaling would need some work
Special Attacks-if a character wishes to apply a condition against a target (Prone, Stun, etc.) they take -5 to attack roll. Damage bonus still applies.

The penatly to hit would have to vary by condition type. Otherwise stun becomes massively over powered, when faced with a tough opponent, one of the party fighters would stun them every round and everybody else would dink them to death. Against a single monster, even giving up all your damage to have a good chance of stunning them every round would be optimal, so the penalty for stun would have to be huge.

Fighter gains +1 attack per level
Rogue and Cleric +2 per 3 levels
Wizard +1 per 4 levels

After a few levels, wizards will be so far behind they still can't effectively do anything. Eventually clerics and rogues will have the same problem, their attack bonus will be so far behind they can't give anything up to hit and still have a reasonable chance, or the fighters will be so high they can effectively apply a condition in exchange for giving up one [w] automatically.

The scaling needs to give fighters some chance of missing while keeping other classes effective. One thing that come to mind immediately that would help the scaling here is that different classes getting [w] at different amounts over the AC. Pure melee get [w] per 4 points over AC, secondary melee get [w] per 5 points and non-melee classes get 1 per 6. That way you could tighten up the attack bonus scaling while still giving fighters higher damage.


Powerroleplayer-
I assume the player would announce intent before the attack is made.
Example:
Player: I want to sweep his legs so he can't run off!
DM: Roll to hit at -5...
Player: I roll a 12, add my bonus of +8, subtract 5... A total of 15!
DM: (looking at AC 14). You knock em Prone and do normal damage!

Example 2: (same maneuver)
Player: I roll a 19! add my +8, subtract 5, total of 22!
DM: A mighty blow! knock em prone and add +1 W for damage!

Example 3: (same maneuver)
Player: I roll a 7, add +8, minus 5, total of 10.
DM: You effort fails and he turns tail and runs...

I just don't see the complexity there...     
 
     

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.

Mellowred-
You are kinda right. The main goal is to open up maneuver options for any class and not limiting maneuvers to the Fighter who chose Bull Rush. I have seen many posts ask "why can't my Wizard trip with his staff?" Well, this answers that very question!
I imagine feats and stances can eliminate the penalty to specific conditions, say the Staff Mastery Feat allows you to  trade 1W damage to knock prone. 

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.

JayM-
This system does make the fighter at mid level all but guarantee some damage potential, unless they are adding conditions or attempt to attack Multiple Targets. This represent the nature of Fighter well, they are going to effect the opponent somehow. 4e had Mark, early playtest had STR damage on a miss. Fighter have access to Glancing Blow. While the lowly Goblin has no chance, the a mighty Dragon is only slightly bothered by 1W damage.

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.

You're suggesting trading accuracy for effects rather than damage. I can see some advantages there BUT what must be made clear is that, currently, you can choose whether to use a maneuver after the fact. If your system allowed for this, it would be much better. I don't like your attack modifier progressions, but that's another issue.

An example of what I mean would be a Fighter, with +4 to hit, he rolls a 13 against an opponent of AC 12. So he hits by 5. Let him trade that 5 in for a condition, or series of conditions, or even extra damage. He makes an attack, and in the flurry of melee, using his cunning and weapon superiority, he manages to disarm his opponent (cost 3) or he's using a bludgeoning weapon, and hits him over the head (cost 5). He decides after the fact based on the effectiveness of his attack (which is more than just a swing and a hit or miss, it's a summary of his entire movement-feint-parry-riposte-step-dodge-clashofblades action. 

I assume you must declare the intended condition, but could see having a feat that allows you to trade 1W to place a condition after the roll.

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.


Not bad ideas...
The one about attacks with greater accuracy dealing more damage does make sense if you think of a well placed attack.

However... I do foresee some problems.
You're making having high To Hit much more powerfull over investing also in Damage. One could easily ignore investing in bonus damage and put everything into TH so he can roll more dices more often.

For example, if you had a feat like 3ed's power attack where you trade up to -5 TH for +5 DMG, the feat would be rather useless. Say I'm using a Greatsword, I would rather have the -5 TH I lost stay there on my TH roll and add +2d6 instead of +5 to dmg.

Vampire the Masquerade at some point introduced a similar system where each extra die of TH above the needed to hit added an extra die to dmg.
From that update on... everyone would simply ignore Strength and invest everything in Dexterity so they would have the same average damage and still more hit chance.
It was a case where the system did make sense, but it screwed too much with the basic rules and character diversity went down the drain, to a point where many Vampire DM's did not use that in their games. 



What could work nice, though, was that "TH margin" above the AC be used for Maneuvers, but not damage.
Say each 5 points above the AC you get a Maneuver Die (or whatever you want to call it).
So if you want to Bull Rush someone you need to hit 5 above his AC at least. For every +5 you move him 5ft.
BUT if you have the Improved Bull Rush feat, you add an extra Maneuver Die in every successful bull rush hit. So with the feat even if you hit without the margin you get at least that 5ft. And if you hit by a 5 margin you'd move the target 10ft instead of 5ft, because you get that extra MD.
It would made sense, I suppose, for characters who want to focus in maneuver to invest in TH at the expense of Damage. 

This would replace any need for feats like power attack and glancing blow. You gain access to those by the shear nature of the system.

I do like the idea of gaining Maneuver die for exceeding the to hit! You could trade 1W to push 5 feet, so if you had a total of 3W you could push 10 feet and still do 1W. 

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.

Another possibility is to have certain maneuvers target the opponents Ability rather than AC. DEX for trip, CON for push, CHA for taunt are examples of this idea.

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.

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