Assassinate (and Sneak attack)

Last night I rolled in Plaguescarred's online game with a level 3 rogue with the assassinate talent. I know Cyber-Dave has commented on this in the past but at this time, I do not regard giving up advantage for the talent damage abilities to be a worth while trade off, the accuracy of advantage is too important.
I agree, on both assassinate and sneak attack.
I hear that it plays a little different at higher level but I also hear MDD are going to change some in the next major packet.  That tells me that SA and Ass. will probably be retinkered.

But yeah, I liked rolling again to hit a lot more while the dice were dragging our attacks down.

"The Apollo moon landing is off topic for this thread and this forum. Let's get back on topic." Crazy Monkey

Last night I rolled in Plaguescarred's online game with a level 3 rogue with the assassinate talent. I know Cyber-Dave has commented on this in the past but at this time, I do not regard giving up advantage for the talent damage abilities to be a worth while trade off, the accuracy of advantage is too important.



Actually it depends on what your target number is. If its around 6+ that you need to roll on the dice then giving up advantage for the hit will net you more damage. If its around 12+ then its not worth it. I can post the math to back it up, but its pretty mathematically straight forward...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, I know that you are mathmatically correct but believe me, you have to see my rolls some time to understand why I say advantage always takes precedence.
yeah, that was the first time I have seen a 1,2,3,4,5 rolled within the first five rolls. I can see lokiare's point, tho.  I look forward to seeing our options in the next overhaul.

"The Apollo moon landing is off topic for this thread and this forum. Let's get back on topic." Crazy Monkey

lokiare, I know that you are mathmatically correct but believe me, you have to see my rolls some time to understand why I say advantage always takes precedence.



Your bad luck is not reason to change rules.  You may believe in your own bad luck and that may be a reason to stay away from sneak attack for you personally.  The rules should be evaluated on a more global scale.


And looking at the math, for most characters, with attack rolls succeeding in the range where they do (given the monster's low defenses) sneak attack is generally worth it (with, as noted above, exceptions for the harder to hit opponents).  It isn't worth a lot.  But it is usually a small improvement.

Thus although I think it is probably worthy of a small tweak (perhaps add the skill die to the damage as well), I like the idea behind it (choose between advantage or extra damage) and think that was one of the better approaches they have taken with sneak attack.

In actual play I only have one rogue currently (my other rogue player switched to a cleric after the 'rogues really suck packet' awhile back) and he uses sneak attack whenever he can and so far seems satisfied with how the choice plays out.

Carl
Yeah.... I'm not a fan of sneak attack as it sits.  
I'm not sure what a better solution would be TBH, but I don't like giving up advantage.  I understand it.  It makes sense from all angles.  In game, though, it seems pretty weak.  Its debatable that its even an bonus in quite a few situations.

I am also reacting, however, to the importance of sneak attack in the past as a hallmark of the rogue class.  I would never take it in this iteration.  Not that it is really bad overall, but it just isn't very good.

How do you fix it?  I haven't give it much thought.  I guess I would be happy to see "when you have advantage you can score a critical hit on a natural roll of 18-20 as long as the total result of your attack roll is enough to hit the targets armor class (rolling a natural 20 still results in an automatic critical hit)."

Something that is unambiguously beneficial.
Yeah, I mean I'll still take the assassin scheme just for the weapon and shield proficiencies but I'd like the Assassinate to be a little more reliable.
I am also not a fan of giving up advantage for stuff like Assassinate or Sneak Attack

Neither a fan of Jonathan's bad luck :P   (Jon, are you as unlucky with real dice than the dice roller?)
Yeah.... I'm not a fan of sneak attack as it sits.  
I'm not sure what a better solution would be TBH, but I don't like giving up advantage.  I understand it.  It makes sense from all angles.  In game, though, it seems pretty weak.  Its debatable that its even an bonus in quite a few situations.

I am also reacting, however, to the importance of sneak attack in the past as a hallmark of the rogue class.  I would never take it in this iteration.  Not that it is really bad overall, but it just isn't very good.

How do you fix it?  I haven't give it much thought.  I guess I would be happy to see "when you have advantage you can score a critical hit on a natural roll of 18-20 as long as the total result of your attack roll is enough to hit the targets armor class (rolling a natural 20 still results in an automatic critical hit)."

Something that is unambiguously beneficial.



I get that. 

What about something like:   If you have advantage and both rolls hit you can apply your martial damage dice twice.

It eliminates the 'crap I made the wrong choice' moment when you choose to give up advantage and then miss (which I suspect is the likely reason many people don't like the mechanic - no one likes finding out they made the wrong choice).
And it makes 'advantage' an advantage because you can double your sneak attack dice (as is now the case).
It doesn't require an new or complicated calculations (it's as easy to tell if one hits as two).


Sounds like a win-win-win.

Carl
I am also not a fan of giving up advantage for stuff like Assassinate or Sneak Attack

Neither a fan of Jonathan's bad luck :P   (Jon, are you as unlucky with real dice than the dice roller?)



Yes.

Yeah.... I'm not a fan of sneak attack as it sits.  
I'm not sure what a better solution would be TBH, but I don't like giving up advantage.  I understand it.  It makes sense from all angles.  In game, though, it seems pretty weak.  Its debatable that its even an bonus in quite a few situations.

I am also reacting, however, to the importance of sneak attack in the past as a hallmark of the rogue class.  I would never take it in this iteration.  Not that it is really bad overall, but it just isn't very good.

How do you fix it?  I haven't give it much thought.  I guess I would be happy to see "when you have advantage you can score a critical hit on a natural roll of 18-20 as long as the total result of your attack roll is enough to hit the targets armor class (rolling a natural 20 still results in an automatic critical hit)."

Something that is unambiguously beneficial.



I get that. 

What about something like:   If you have advantage and both rolls hit you can apply your martial damage dice twice.

It eliminates the 'crap I made the wrong choice' moment when you choose to give up advantage and then miss (which I suspect is the likely reason many people don't like the mechanic - no one likes finding out they made the wrong choice).
And it makes 'advantage' an advantage because you can double your sneak attack dice (as is now the case).
It doesn't require an new or complicated calculations (it's as easy to tell if one hits as two).


Sounds like a win-win-win.

Carl



I like that idea.
I am also not a fan of giving up advantage for stuff like Assassinate or Sneak Attack

Neither a fan of Jonathan's bad luck :P   (Jon, are you as unlucky with real dice than the dice roller?)



Yes.

Yeah.... I'm not a fan of sneak attack as it sits.  
I'm not sure what a better solution would be TBH, but I don't like giving up advantage.  I understand it.  It makes sense from all angles.  In game, though, it seems pretty weak.  Its debatable that its even an bonus in quite a few situations.

I am also reacting, however, to the importance of sneak attack in the past as a hallmark of the rogue class.  I would never take it in this iteration.  Not that it is really bad overall, but it just isn't very good.

How do you fix it?  I haven't give it much thought.  I guess I would be happy to see "when you have advantage you can score a critical hit on a natural roll of 18-20 as long as the total result of your attack roll is enough to hit the targets armor class (rolling a natural 20 still results in an automatic critical hit)."

Something that is unambiguously beneficial.



I get that. 

What about something like:   If you have advantage and both rolls hit you can apply your martial damage dice twice.

It eliminates the 'crap I made the wrong choice' moment when you choose to give up advantage and then miss (which I suspect is the likely reason many people don't like the mechanic - no one likes finding out they made the wrong choice).
And it makes 'advantage' an advantage because you can double your sneak attack dice (as is now the case).
It doesn't require an new or complicated calculations (it's as easy to tell if one hits as two).


Sounds like a win-win-win.

Carl



I like that idea.



Me too, or even better just make it where if both roll a hit you get a crit...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.
I see two problems with SA as it stands:

1) Statistically speaking, within the realm of actual PC attack bonuses and monster ACs, it is more or less always better to use it than to keep the reroll.  But not by very much, to the point where it is a trap option mechanically.  It's only adding 5-15% to your DPR, depending on your level (there's an annoying non-linearity to it because it doubles your MDD but not your MDB) and the frequency with which you get advantage.  You're much better off with artful dodger, which can as much as double your durability, and even slippery target is probably going to net you more DPR.  Trap options are a bad thing. 

2) There's a psychological issue where if you choose to give up advantage and then miss, it's really annoying because you become convinced you "made a mistake" and "would have been better off not doing it" (I use quotes because the fact that you got unlucky doesn't mean it was the wrong choice and because it remains possible you would have missed anyway).  It's a lot like disadvantage that way: you feel robbed, and you shouldn't feel robbed by a bonus.  

The option where you get SA when both d20s hit is a decent one: you get SA less often, but you get normal damage an equal amount more often and normal damage is more than SA bonus damage so it actually works out slightly better DPR and you never get robbed.   But that breaks Saelorn's rule by forcing people who don't like (dis)advantage to rebuild the rogue if they want to replace it with straight bonuses (not much of a rebuild, as you can just say "if it would have hit with a penalty in place of the bonus, you get SA," but still).  Another is simply to reduce the bonus damage but keep advantage, but then you need a separate progression for SA instead of just saying "double."  Hard to say if that will still be a problem with WDD though.
I get that.  

What about something like:   If you have advantage and both rolls hit you can apply your martial damage dice twice.

It eliminates the 'crap I made the wrong choice' moment when you choose to give up advantage and then miss (which I suspect is the likely reason many people don't like the mechanic - no one likes finding out they made the wrong choice).
And it makes 'advantage' an advantage because you can double your sneak attack dice (as is now the case).
It doesn't require an new or complicated calculations (it's as easy to tell if one hits as two).


Sounds like a win-win-win.

Carl

That sounds like a cool, easy solution. It gets my vote.
I don't use emoticons, and I'm also pretty pleasant. So if I say something that's rude or insulting, it's probably a joke.
Well, when they move to weapon dice, the advantage from two-handed and even one-handed non-finesse weapons will actually matter, so there should be room for sneak attack to be straight up bonus damage instead of a tradeoff for accuracy.

I like the double damage dice thing - it scales nicely and is easy to remember. (Although maybe there should be a proviso/feat that daggers do x3 or x4 instead, so their icon little d4s aren't weeping alone in the corner...)
Yeah.... I'm not a fan of sneak attack as it sits.  
I'm not sure what a better solution would be TBH, but I don't like giving up advantage.  I understand it.  It makes sense from all angles.  In game, though, it seems pretty weak.  Its debatable that its even an bonus in quite a few situations.

I am also reacting, however, to the importance of sneak attack in the past as a hallmark of the rogue class.  I would never take it in this iteration.  Not that it is really bad overall, but it just isn't very good.

How do you fix it?  I haven't give it much thought.  I guess I would be happy to see "when you have advantage you can score a critical hit on a natural roll of 18-20 as long as the total result of your attack roll is enough to hit the targets armor class (rolling a natural 20 still results in an automatic critical hit)."

Something that is unambiguously beneficial.



I get that. 

What about something like:   If you have advantage and both rolls hit you can apply your martial damage dice twice.

It eliminates the 'crap I made the wrong choice' moment when you choose to give up advantage and then miss (which I suspect is the likely reason many people don't like the mechanic - no one likes finding out they made the wrong choice).
And it makes 'advantage' an advantage because you can double your sneak attack dice (as is now the case).
It doesn't require an new or complicated calculations (it's as easy to tell if one hits as two).


Sounds like a win-win-win.

Carl



I would be totally cool with that.  Its actually a pretty elegant solution.  Bravo! 
Everyone just remember to point out that the current mechanic makes players regret and second guess their choice when they give up their advantage and then miss (not too much fun for some) and suggest this mechanic in your feedback...




Aside:  I don't like the 'make it a crit' approach or the 'increase the chance of a crit' approaches because I am gun-shy after the last two editions.  Both had seriously broken combinations that started with the ability to increase how often you got a crit.  Designers like to have things occur 'on a crit' and any ability that makes crits more likely is very dangerous territory for that reason.  I generally am leary of any mechanic whose function is to consistently increase the odds of a genuine critical.

Carl
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