An attempt to fix martial damage dice (weapon dice module)

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What's the problem?
Many playtesters argue that martial classes are doing too much damage early on. Indeed, the latest packet confirms that: "Certain player characters deal more damage than desired."
In addition, the higher one's level becomes the less and less weapon choice seems to matter. In a 20th-level fighter's hands, a dagger does nearly as much damage as a greatsword. Two-handed weapons are simply not viable when the alternative (to pick up a shield) is much better.


What's the goal of this module?
To reduce damage from martial classes early on and ensure that stronger weapons continue to be viable choices at high levels. Also, I want the changes to be as simple as possible, without changing the core game too much. I am hoping something very much like this will appear in the next packet.


How to implement:
Remove "martial damage dice" (MDD) and replace with "weapon damage dice," represented by [W].

If your class level grants +Xd6 martial damage dice, instead treat that as granting X weapon damage dice. All classes roll 1[W] at first level and have the same progression chart as the original MDD (except Clerics and Wizards, see below). If maneuvers reduce you to 0 dice, you still deal damage equal to your attribute modifier plus other bonuses.

Additional changes required:
Fighters: Parry ability uses only weapon damage dice to reduce damage. Do not add skill die.
Clerics: 1[W] at 1st level, 2[W] at 7th level, 3[W] at 13th, 4[W] at 19th. Martial damage bonus +5 at level 18, as before.
Wizards: 1[W] at 1st level. No martial damage bonus.


Let's see some examples:

Before, if a 1st-level fighter rolled 1d8 + STR + 1d6 for damage, he now only rolls 1d8 + STR. If the same fighter used a 1-die maneuver, he would lose one [W], and his damage would be equal to his STR mod (plus magic bonuses and such).

If a 7th level barbarian previously rolled 1d12 + STR + 3d6, he now rolls 3d12 + STR.

A katana-wielding, 11th-level fighter spending two dice on a maneuver rolls 4d10 + STR for damage.


Results: Assuming a fighter with 16 Strength wielding a longsword using [W], as compared to MDD:


  • Reduces 1st level damage by 31.8% (or -60.0% when using a 1-die maneuver).

  • Reduces 3rd level damage by 17.2%. (-31.8% with 1-die maneuver, -60% with 2-die).

  • Reduces 7th level damage by 1.9%. (-6.5% with 1-die maneuver, -12.8% with 2-die, -21.9% with 3-die)

  • Increases 20th level damage by 3.1%, while reducing damage by 3.9% when using a 3-die maneuver. In other words, there is not much of a change.


Comparing the above fighter's average longsword damage to a dagger and greatsword:



  • Under MDD, at level 1, a dagger used to deal 81.8% damage of a longsword while a greataxe dealt 118.2% of a longsword's damage. That was a respectable difference, but it only shrinks as you gain levels. At level 20, the disparities shrank to 95.9% and 104.1%, respectively.

  • Now, from levels 1-20 a dagger deals roughly 67-76% damage of a longsword while a greataxe deals 124-133%. There is no shrinking disparity but instead a relatively constant ratio.



Math:
Show

Please forgive the roughness! I doubt this makes any sense but to me, but I am pretty sure it holds up. I looked at the average damage of a longsword-wielding fighter (with +3 STR) at levels 1, 3, 7, and 20. I compared average damage under the old MDD and the new WDD and also looked at dagger (d4) vs. longsword (d8) vs. greataxe (d12). Each of those steps adds +2 to the previous average. I did not assume magic bonuses. Martial damage bonus progression has not been altered. Certainly a spreadsheet could provide a more thorough analysis.

LEVEL 1                      =   avg dmg, -1 die, -2, -3
    [old MDD]
        1d8 + STR (3) + 1d6
        4.5 +  3      + 3.5  =   11,  7.5
        dagger (1d4) avg deals 81.8% of above avg, 11
        greataxe (1d12) avg deals 118.2% of above avg, 11
    [new WDD]
        1d8 + STR (3)
        4.5 +  3             =   7.5,  3
        dagger 73.3% of above avg, 7.5
        greataxe 126.6% of above avg, 7.5
        
LEVEL 3
    [old MDD]
        1d8 + STR (3) + 2d6
        4.5 +  3      + 7    =    14.5, 11, 7.5
    [new WDD]
        2d8 + STR (3)
        9   +  3             =    12, 7.5, 3
        dagger 66.7%
        greataxe 133.3%
        
LEVEL 7
    [old MDD]
        1d8 + STR (3) + 4d6 + 5
        4.5 +  3      + 14  + 5  =    26.5,  23,  19.5,  16
    [new WDD]
        4d8 + STR (3) + 5
        18  +  3      + 5        =    26,  21.5,  17,  12.5
        dagger 69.2%
        greataxe 130.8%
        
LEVEL 20
    [old MDD]
        1d8 + STR (3) + 6d6 + 20
        4.5 +  3      + 21  + 20 =    48.5,  45,  41.5,  38
        dagger 95.9%
        greataxe 104.1%
    [new WDD]
        6d8 + STR (3) +    20
        27  +  3      +    20    =    50,  45.5,  41,  36.5
        dagger 76%
        greataxe 124.0%



Issues:


  • Bigger weapons => significantly better fighter parries (even without skill die). After losing damage to maneuvers, I don't see this as a bad result.

  • Some maneuvers greatly benefit from a d8/d10/d12 die roll. Anything that adds the die roll to something other than damage might be suspect. There aren't too many, and most belong to the monk, whose unarmed strike will be locked at a d6 anyway.

  • Some maneuvers may be "worse" because more damage is sacrificed to execute the maneuver. However, at low level many enemies have very low HP. Splitting a 1d8 + DEX (3) attack into a two-target Rapid Shot would still kill two kobolds, dealing 3 damage to both of them.

  • The feat Weapon Focus (reroll 1s) is worse, while Weapon Mastery is better (reroll 1-2 dice of choice). Easy to fix these feats, if necessary.

  • Should sneak attack and combat surge be based on weapon damage dice? Fear the doubled 6d12 greatsword!


No system is perfect, but I hope this makes low-level combat more balanced while encouraging the flavor of high-damage weapons. Now wizards and two-handed barbarians can have fun too!

Parry should not be based on your weapon size.  If anything, people wielding 2 weapons, or a shield should be able to parry better.

Otherwise, yes.  MDD -> WDD. 

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.

Parry should not be based on your weapon size.  If anything, people wielding 2 weapons, or a shield should be able to parry better.



I agree it's a weird quirk, but a sword & board or Two Weapon Defense user has +1 AC (5% higher chance of total mitigation, i.e. a miss), while a greatsword wielder mitigates about 1-2 dmg more per die. Not to mention, Parry is once-per-round reaction while the +1 AC works against every attack. Numbers could be crunched, but I think the AC bonus is still superior.
Parry should not be based on your weapon size.  If anything, people wielding 2 weapons, or a shield should be able to parry better.

Otherwise, yes.  MDD -> WDD. 



Block: Reaction get cover from an attack (superior cover if using a heavy shield), anyone using a shield can use this maneuver.

Parry: Reaction get cover from an attack (doesn't require a shield). Parry would be a maneuver just like any other that the fighter could choose to learn.
I agree it's a weird quirk, but a sword & board or Two Weapon Defense user has +1 AC (5% higher chance of total mitigation, i.e. a miss), while a greatsword wielder mitigates about 1-2 dmg more per die. Not to mention, Parry is once-per-round reaction while the +1 AC works against every attack. Numbers could be crunched, but I think the AC bonus is still superior.

Two weapon defense is a feat.  Not exactly free.  But yes, the shield does help all the time.

Block: Reaction get cover from an attack (superior cover if using a heavy shield), anyone using a shield can use this maneuver.

Parry: Reaction get cover from an attack (doesn't require a shield). Parry would be a maneuver just like any other that the fighter could choose to learn.

Then a fighter with a shield should get even 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.

It's a reasonable start but it looks to me as if the damage reduction isn't enough of a difference?  I think we probably need to lose another die of damage in there and maybe offer light weapon fighters an extra weapon-based manoeuvre to help make up for the lack of damage (assuming that they buy weapons style like a rogue scheme)?
I agree it's a weird quirk, but a sword & board or Two Weapon Defense user has +1 AC (5% higher chance of total mitigation, i.e. a miss), while a greatsword wielder mitigates about 1-2 dmg more per die. Not to mention, Parry is once-per-round reaction while the +1 AC works against every attack. Numbers could be crunched, but I think the AC bonus is still superior.

Two weapon defense is a feat.  Not exactly free.  But yes, the shield does help all the time.

Block: Reaction get cover from an attack (superior cover if using a heavy shield), anyone using a shield can use this maneuver.

Parry: Reaction get cover from an attack (doesn't require a shield). Parry would be a maneuver just like any other that the fighter could choose to learn.

Then a fighter with a shield should get even more.



Alternatively, parry could simply be:

Reaction - Enemy gains disadvantage for a melee attack against you.
 
A fighter with a shiled may or may not opt to learn the parry maneuver because they can already block. A fighter without a shield will opt for the parry maneuver only if they prioritize defense over offense.
I agree it's a weird quirk, but a sword & board or Two Weapon Defense user has +1 AC (5% higher chance of total mitigation, i.e. a miss), while a greatsword wielder mitigates about 1-2 dmg more per die. Not to mention, Parry is once-per-round reaction while the +1 AC works against every attack. Numbers could be crunched, but I think the AC bonus is still superior.

Two weapon defense is a feat.  Not exactly free.  But yes, the shield does help all the time.

Block: Reaction get cover from an attack (superior cover if using a heavy shield), anyone using a shield can use this maneuver.

Parry: Reaction get cover from an attack (doesn't require a shield). Parry would be a maneuver just like any other that the fighter could choose to learn.

Then a fighter with a shield should get even more.



Alternatively, parry could simply be:

Reaction - Enemy gains disadvantage for a melee attack against you.
 
A fighter with a shiled may or may not opt to learn the parry maneuver because they can already block. A fighter without a shield will opt for the parry maneuver only if they prioritize defense over offense.

Again, the fighter with a shield should get more.

So like...

Parry: Reaction - Enemy gains disadvantage for a melee attack.  If you have a shield, and are still hit, you can reduce the damage by your skill die.

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.

Weapon Damage Dice.

Let's say you have 1 WDD, that means you could attack with a longsword for 2d8 + Str mod, or make one attack for 1d8 + Str mod and a Manoeuvre, or 2 attacks for 1d8 + Str mod, but they cannot be against the same enemy.
Parry should not be based on your weapon size.  If anything, people wielding 2 weapons, or a shield should be able to parry better.

Otherwise, yes.  MDD -> WDD. 


Suggestion: Wielding an off-hand weapon boosts your weapon die size one step for defensive maneuvers. Wielding a shield boosts it two steps.
I agree it's a weird quirk, but a sword & board or Two Weapon Defense user has +1 AC (5% higher chance of total mitigation, i.e. a miss), while a greatsword wielder mitigates about 1-2 dmg more per die. Not to mention, Parry is once-per-round reaction while the +1 AC works against every attack. Numbers could be crunched, but I think the AC bonus is still superior.

Two weapon defense is a feat.  Not exactly free.  But yes, the shield does help all the time.

Block: Reaction get cover from an attack (superior cover if using a heavy shield), anyone using a shield can use this maneuver.

Parry: Reaction get cover from an attack (doesn't require a shield). Parry would be a maneuver just like any other that the fighter could choose to learn.

Then a fighter with a shield should get even more.



Alternatively, parry could simply be:

Reaction - Enemy gains disadvantage for a melee attack against you.
 
A fighter with a shiled may or may not opt to learn the parry maneuver because they can already block. A fighter without a shield will opt for the parry maneuver only if they prioritize defense over offense.

Again, the fighter with a shield should get more.

So like...

Parry: Reaction - Enemy gains disadvantage for a melee attack.  If you have a shield, and are still hit, you can reduce the damage by your skill die.



I don't necessarily disaggre with your suggestion, but I don't see why it is necessary. With my suggestion, the benefit the fighter gets from using a shield is +1 AC and being able to use the block maneuver. That basically means the fighter doesn't need to choose the parry maneuver meaning he is 1 maneuver up on the dual wielding or two handed fighter who also wants a defensive option.
Parry with 2 weapons should simply add the die of the off-hand weapon as a bonus. Which would encoourage little parying as the extra dice would have diminishing returnes)
Parry with a shield should add a die the size of a typical weapon of the size of the shield (buckler = light weapon = D6, small shield = D8, large shield = D12) 

I'm realy liking the OP's suggestion, it would sound more intuitive to new players than arbitrary D6. (it would also be a sort of abstraction for aditional attacks)

I still think there would be too many dices though. A fighter should have about 4 at level 20, while a cleric should have no more than 2 (no maths here, just a gut assessment)
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My goal was to make something that meshes cleanly with the system we got right now. I was aiming not to mess up the Parry formula too much. Here's some numbers:

Parry with MDD + Skill die (default system):
L1: 1d6 + 1d4 = 3.5 + 2.5 = 6 avg mitigation
L3: 2d6 + 1d6 = 7 + 3.5 = 10.5 avg mitigation
L7: 4d6 + 1d8 = 14 + 4.5 = 18.5 avg mitigation
L20: 6d6 + 1d12 = 21 + 6.5 = 27.5 avg mitigation

Parry with WDD, longsword:
L1: 1d8 = 4.5 avg mitigation (more swingy)
L3: 2d8 = 9 avg mitigation (more swingy)
L7: 4d8 = 18 avg mitigation
L20: 6d8 = 27 avg mitigation

Parry with WDD, greatsword (as above, but +2 per die):
L1: 6.5 avg
L3: 13 avg
L7: 26 avg
L20: 39 avg

As you can see, using a standard d8 weapon meshes pretty cleanly with the previous MDD+Skill dice formula. Bigger weapons allow more parry, smaller weapons less. Take that for what you will, but I don't think radically changing Parry to something like providing +AC cover is what needs to happen.

Parry seems like a fun, random mechanic for fighters. Barbarians got damage resistance, clerics can heal themselves, some rogues can artful dodge, and fighters can parry.

I still think there would be too many dices though. A fighter should have about 4 at level 20, while a cleric should have no more than 2 (no maths here, just a gut assessment)


I do kind of agree. By using 6, I think they are trying to encourage maneuver use, since the best maneuvers will only knock off 3 dice, leaving you with 3 remaining.

Someone suggested offering fighters a free die to use just for maneuvers, like a sort of phantom die: can't add it to damage, only maneuvers. Perhaps restrict that die to light weapons so a fighter could play a skirmisher-type character. That would fix the damage problem (compared to barbarians/rogues/monks) while allowing fighters to do cool things like Whirlwind Attack at much lower levels. I think a "phantom maneuver die"  would be a great feature to give fighters to make sure they dominate the Maneuver scene. I don't want to add it to my first post, however, because I am not 100% convinced fighters need that help yet.
Original Poster, I like your question and answer promotion of your idea and it is well organized. Some of your ideas are doable.

But let's get rid of MDD and WDD.

If we go to 5[w] again, we're going to have 4th edition again. We're going to have a lot of dice rolling and math and less role-playing. We're going to have an unplayable game at higher levels.

Let's do this.

The player-character attack rolls a 1d20+the ability modifier+a level modifier of the same importance+magic
then the situation modifier is added, either regular, the higher of all totaled advantages or disadvantages
versus the target's 10+ability modifier+level modifier+other modifiers

The first weapon damage does 1[w]+abi mod+lvl mod+other mod
All off-hand attacks and secondary attacks do 1[w] damage only

This is how two-weapon fighting would work.

A main weapon would do 1d10 and count as a main action.
An off-hand weapon would always do 1 die level lower or more than the main weapon, i.e. 1d8 and count as an off-hand action.

A two-handed weapon would do 3d6 and count as both a main action and an off-hand action.

A shield and main weapon,
the shield would add to armor class and possibily do some damage reduction/mitigation and count as an off-hand action.
the main attack weapon would do 1d10 and count as a main action.

At higher levels in the game, the player character will earn 1 more main action and 1 more off-hand/minor action and 1 more reaction.

That is 2 main actions, 2 minor actions, 2 reactions in a 6 second combat for a 25th level fighter.
This damage alone speeds up the game.
Multiple actions per turn does not slow the game one bit.
We have timed our gaming sessions.
Combat is actually a little faster because all the players have memorized their favorite combinations. And it is fun.
Someone wanted to know how the healing of Clerics can be shared by other party members.

The solution is in the Parry maneuver.

Fighting classes get Parry and Protect to reduce damage.
Casters could use Levitate, Blink, Shield, Elemental Wall to reduce damage.
Clerics could get healing prayers as minor actions.
Rogues could dodge, dance, bungle and confuse attackers to reduce damage.
Oh wow, I don't know how I didn't come across this before; and I ended up making my own house rules for this.  Fantastic.  Using it.
Over all I like to direction of using the weapon base damage to calculate bonus damage as opposed to a flat d6.

+1 from me.
Someone wanted to know how the healing of Clerics can be shared by other party members.

The solution is in the Parry maneuver.

Fighting classes get Parry and Protect to reduce damage.
Casters could use Levitate, Blink, Shield, Elemental Wall to reduce damage.
Clerics could get healing prayers as minor actions.
Rogues could dodge, dance, bungle and confuse attackers to reduce damage.



Yes I have been thinking flavorfully appropriate explicit defenses are awesome sauce for some time. Which is one reason parry made me do a little jig (actually the first incarnation where it also gave the fighter a  resource choice more complex than 1 reaction)

A Shield that eats up the casters action economy because it needs to be restored after being penetrated and which acted somewhat like parry otherwise was an interesting idea.
  Creative Character Build Collection and The Magic of King's and Heros  also Can Martial Characters Fly? 

Improvisation in 4e: Fave 4E Improvisations - also Wrecans Guides to improvisation beyond page 42
The Non-combatant Adventurer (aka Princess build Warlord or LazyLord)
Reality is unrealistic - and even monkeys protest unfairness
Reflavoring the Fighter : The Wizard : The Swordmage - Creative Character Collection: Bloodwright (Darksun Character) 

At full hit points and still wounded to incapacitation? you are playing 1e.
By virtue of being a player your characters are the protagonists in a heroic fantasy game even at level one
"Wizards and Warriors need abilities with explicit effects for opposite reasons. With the wizard its because you need to create artificial limits on them, they have no natural ones and for the Warrior you need to grant permission to do awesome."

 

Someone wanted to know how the healing of Clerics can be shared by other party members.

The solution is in the Parry maneuver.

Fighting classes get Parry and Protect to reduce damage.
Casters could use Levitate, Blink, Shield, Elemental Wall to reduce damage.
Clerics could get healing prayers as minor actions.
Rogues could dodge, dance, bungle and confuse attackers to reduce damage.



Yes I have been thinking flavorfully appropriate explicit defenses are awesome sauce for some time. Which is one reason parry made me do a little jig (actually the first incarnation where it also gave the fighter a  resource choice more complex than 1 reaction)

A Shield that eats up the casters action economy because it needs to be restored after being penetrated and which acted somewhat like parry otherwise was an interesting idea.




This is a way to build in balance without sameness. Allowing survivability in many different ways is good. Healing doesn't have to be the only way to build in survivability, mitigation works too.
Agreed. Cheers to reaction damage mitigation.
This is a solution I came up with to adress some complaints about switching MDD to WDD, most specifically that of higher damage weapons being better at things like parry and anything that isn't damage related.

Give weapons three (or two) stats, Weapon Damage Die, Weapon Precision Die, and Weapon Defence Die. This would allow a manouver to use the weapons precision die, it's damage die, defence die or a fixed die (like a d6) and could offer a good trade off between weapons allowing them to have different styles. This means lighter weapons could be better at defensive manouvers and parry, grace weapons at precision manouvers, while heavier weapons deal more damage on regular hits. This would add a lot of variety in weapons and allow for some more unique weapons to exist.

This would mean the die used could be for rolls could be:
Damage:


  • Regular damage

  • Glancing Blow


Precision:


  • Composed Attack

  • Opportunist

  • Precise Shot


Defence:


  • Parry


D6:


  • Defensive Roll

  • Protect (Since uses shield and not weapon)


Now with the given manouvers so far this system seems a little overkill, but I could definitely see it being used in cool ways and giving each weapon it's own unique feel. This would help emphasize certain weapons as grace weapons, some as more defensive, and some as big damage weapons. It could also give way to some cool later game manouvers that maybe allow you to use some combination, like say replace parry with "Counter" which let's you spend MDD to counter attack your opponent. They can be split between either reducing damage, adding to the attack roll (take highest) or damage. All counter attacks are taken with disadvantage which can not be mitigated with and spell or ability that does not specifically say otherwise.
Parry should not be based on your weapon size.  If anything, people wielding 2 weapons, or a shield should be able to parry better.

Otherwise, yes.  MDD -> WDD. 



I beg to differ (not realistically*) the two weapons lack the leverage and reach a 2 handed weapon has both of which are used in fending off the enemy, trained in two handed weapon use (swords) you keep it between you and your enemy it is your defense and a very hard to avert barrier its also quicker used to deflect thrown attacks, whereas two weapons can be pushed through fairly easily (atleast that is how I have found them to be)

Note the game doesnt have to be realistic about any thing and 2 weapon use probably should be more practical than it is in real life just for the fantasy of it - realistically I find them inferior to sword and board  or two handed weapons.  
 
  Creative Character Build Collection and The Magic of King's and Heros  also Can Martial Characters Fly? 

Improvisation in 4e: Fave 4E Improvisations - also Wrecans Guides to improvisation beyond page 42
The Non-combatant Adventurer (aka Princess build Warlord or LazyLord)
Reality is unrealistic - and even monkeys protest unfairness
Reflavoring the Fighter : The Wizard : The Swordmage - Creative Character Collection: Bloodwright (Darksun Character) 

At full hit points and still wounded to incapacitation? you are playing 1e.
By virtue of being a player your characters are the protagonists in a heroic fantasy game even at level one
"Wizards and Warriors need abilities with explicit effects for opposite reasons. With the wizard its because you need to create artificial limits on them, they have no natural ones and for the Warrior you need to grant permission to do awesome."

 




You DO know that wizards are already planning on doing this, right?
www.wizards.com/DnD/Article.aspx?x=dnd/4...
First bullet point in the "current design goals"
"Ha! Rock beats scissors!" "Darn it! Rock is overpowered! I'm not playing this again until the next edition is released!" "C'mon, just one more." "Oh, all right..." "Wait, what is that?" "Its 'Dynamite' from the expanded rules." "Just because you can afford to buy every supplement that comes out..." "Hey, it's completely balanced! You're just a bad DM for not accommodating it."
Show
RPGs are getting more popular, and whenever something gets more popular, it inevitably changes, usually becoming more palatable to the masses. Nintendo is the perfect example. In the old days their games coined the term "Nintendo hard" to extend play time, but they knew their fans were dedicated enough to play anyway. Now they mostly make stuff a five year old can master. That's not necessarily bad, though. Most of those old Nintendo games were infuriating. Likewise, a lot of old RPGs were too complex and irritating for the average person to really get into. Rules light systems are going to get more popular as more people enter the hobby, simply because the new people aren't bound by nostalgia, and would rather play something easy and fun than something that takes a huge amount of effort to learn.
Veggie-Sama, I really appreciate the thought you've put into this, and it seems inherently simpler and better than MDD, which make no sense to me and made all the classes feel like the same.

But I have a further question, which maybe should have its own topic ...  Why do we need MDD or WDD to be used for damage at all?  Isn't the far more interesting use of the mechanic for manuevers or skill tricks?  Isn't there a simple mathematical solution to either give players a more significant static bonus to their damage, or reduce the hitpoints of monsters? 

To my brain, the new facets of rolling additional dice for damage as you level up is that you 1) have to roll a lot more dice, 2) have to understand the game systems that provide you with those dice (and the combat expertise rule is so long that none of my experienced, intelligent players have read it), and 3) have a ton of randomness in the amount of damage that players do as they gain levels.  None of those things seem desirable to me.  Can anybody enlighten me?
The idea is to have people trade damage for other benefits.  You can trip, or you can do more damage.  You can do more damage to this guy, or you can whirlwind and do some of the damage to this other guy.  You used to be able to parry or do more damage, but then they decided to have MDD refresh every turn so that they could rob the fighter of the closest thing to a meaningful decision he ever got while simultaneously vaulting him head and shoulders above every other class in combat.  

Personally, I think this is a bad idea.  Damage will too often beat out other benefits, thus defeating the point of other options.  Why knock him down with trip, when you can knock him down with 0HP?  It more or less eliminates all the fighter's decision making, because the choice is always a no brainer.  If you can kill it without your MDD, the only reasonable choice is WWA.  If you can kill it with your MDD, the only reasonable choice is to just kill it.  If you can't kill it even with MDD, the only reasonable choice is to use whatever status effect maneuver you've learned.  Thus, you're "choice" boils down to guessing how many HP it has left, and in the rare instance that you've learned more than one status-effect maneuver and you can't kill the target in one blow, which one do you use.  Even that's more or less a no brainer: if it has a weapon, disarm it; if it can be pushed someplace it doesn't want to be, do that, if not, prone it.  If, on the other hand, your MDD pool could not be used for straight-up damage, you would always have a choice about which status effect or combination of effects to apply.  I think it would be a much better system, even aside from the current scaling problems (giving up 5 damage for a prone is a bad deal when you only do 10 damage, it's a great deal when you do 50).  
Give weapons three (or two) stats, Weapon Damage Die, Weapon Precision Die, and Weapon Defence Die. This would allow a manouver to use the weapons precision die, it's damage die, defence die or a fixed die (like a d6) and could offer a good trade off between weapons allowing them to have different styles.


I really like that idea. It might work well in an advanced module. However, it does complicate things a bit. Mainly, keep in mind that weapon damage dice are used by basically everyone, whether you are a fighter or wizard or whatever. If some kind of weapon precision/defense dice were added, then everyone should have access to them: everyone would have a version of Parry or Protect or something like that. At that point, I think we're moving away from classic Attack Roll vs. AC, then roll Damage model of classic D&D to something else with a lot more die rolls. Think "Armor as Damage Reduction" and how drastically that alters the system.

You DO know that wizards are already planning on doing this, right?
www.wizards.com/DnD/Article.aspx?x=dnd/4...
First bullet point in the "current design goals"


Yep. I was disappointed that it didn't make it into the January packet, and I was bored and wanted to see how the numbers crunched. Honestly took more time to format the post than to figure out the percentage comparisons.

Why do we need MDD or WDD to be used for damage at all?  Isn't the far more interesting use of the mechanic for manuevers or skill tricks?


Totally. I do think maneuvers/skill-tricks are more interesting than bonus damage dice, but bonus dice are a necessary evil since hit points and damage are not bounded in this system (everything else is!).

However, I think MDD is a really neat and elegant way to give fighter-types a "resource" to spend on doing fun, spell-like effects. AFAIK, in 3e to perform a trip or disarm, you had to give up your whole attack (or one out of your multiple attacks). 4e allowed you to perform crazy powers while still dealing lots of damage. 5e is combining the systems: to do a maneuver, you have to give up a small portion of your damage. The higher level you get, the better maneuvers you can pull off while giving up less and less of your total damage. I really like the idea, which is why I don't want to see the MDD concept totally thrown out. It just needs some serious math tweaks, and my WDD system is one way, but hopefully they'll come out with something using WDD but better.
However, I think MDD is a really neat and elegant way to give fighter-types a "resource" to spend on doing fun, spell-like effects. AFAIK, in 3e to perform a trip or disarm, you had to give up your whole attack (or one out of your multiple attacks). 4e allowed you to perform crazy powers while still dealing lots of damage. 5e is combining the systems: to do a maneuver, you have to give up a small portion of your damage. The higher level you get, the better maneuvers you can pull off while giving up less and less of your total damage. I really like the idea, which is why I don't want to see the MDD concept totally thrown out. It just needs some serious math tweaks, and my WDD system is one way, but hopefully they'll come out with something using WDD but better.



I see what you mean there - it gives the Fighter a choice to make.  Maybe if the maths were fixed it'd be better.  The other problem I have with the system is that everyone uses the same thing if they are a "fighty" class.  I almost wish it was just for Fighters, and that there was a different system for other classes.  Do you think that would be possible?

These are not thought out at all, but, eg:

Rogues lose MDD, but get standard and massively improved sneak attack.
Barbarians lose MDD but Rage grants greater standard damage bonuses.
Clerics lose the limited MDD they get, but gain the ability to use a divine resource to imbue their attacks with elements, or something.
Monks lose MDD, but get Ki points, or something - let their fists target weak points to cause status or change from slashing/piercing/bludgeoning.

I don't know - those ideas basically replicate what already exists.  I think that I'm trying to address two problems I see, and doing a poor job of it:  MDD isn't working for me right now, and I think it's a shame that four classes share this same mechanic.

Edit:  I wonder if Fighter could gain an ability to use MDD as an attack bonus?  Give up 1 MDD, or a couple, for +1 to hit?  Or advantage maybe, since they seem to be avoiding small static bonuses.  That'd be a different and powerful use, and could be explained by the Fighter being a combat specialist.  Combine that with not recharging MDD on every turn and the fighter suddenly has an interesting three-way choice each turn to spend MDD on damage, +attack, or parry.
Great thread and it's immediately apparrent to me that this proposed WDD system beats the current MDD system already over-shared by the Classes.


I loved [W] in 4E so it's a bonus that there's a reflection of that here.
Yup, I like this. Of course they have said they were already going to work on it so that's nice.

The one problem is Parry. I think that making it work like Artful Dodger is a much cleaner mechanism anyway. It can also easily be modified so that you can get maneuvers like Block to impose disadvantage on attacks against friends if using a shield or maybe Shield Cover gain advantage of saving throws against energy attack by ducking behind your shield etc.

At present I find Parry to be a bit clunky in play as you have to add up a lot of dice then do subtraction which obviously takes more time than a simple reroll. Parry also seems to be overpowered compared to the low damage that monster put out and underpowered compared with the damage Player Character can deal? I don't think it good for the game that a 20th level Fighter is effectively immune to Asmodeus in combat but is chopped liver against a Barbarian of the same level?  Parry also is used as a reason for why Fighters can't have nice stuff which is understandable, but leads to lots of pages about how boring Fighters are etc.
Most of this problem could start to be resolved pretty quickly if "martial dice" were replaced with points or tokens or something.
Most of this problem could start to be resolved pretty quickly if "martial dice" were replaced with points or tokens or something.

Aye. Remove the die size from the chart, and have each maneuver specify the die to use. The most aggressive maneuvers might use weapon die instead of a fixed die, and some weapons are better at specific maneuvers, independent of damage. A shield should NOT grant an AC bonus, IMO, but do something like provide cover against area/ranged attacks, and/or improve the amount parried. A parrying dagger does junk for damage, but should also improve the parry amount. This might mean assigning additional properties to weapons (including shields), such as a "defensive" property.

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