Thoughts on "Lesser Advantage"

15 posts / 0 new
Last post
Hey folks,

I saw on another thread the idea of rolling a d12 in addition to a d20 as a form of "lesser" or "partial" advantage, to combat all those pesky little +1 and +2 bonuses that are creeping in.

The problem I see with the D12 is that it makes the most likely outcome a 12, and for any number higher than that the probability is the same as if you had rolled only a d20. Not very exciting. Also somewhat useless.

If there was to be a "lesser advantage", I would suggest that in addition to a d20, the player rolls 2d10. Look here:
Normal Advantage (2d20, pick highest) looks like this: anydice.com/program/4f8
"Lesser Advantage" with d12: anydice.com/program/203a
"Lesser Advantage" with 2d10: anydice.com/program/2039

A 2d10 can still hit a natural 20, but instead of making the most likely single outcome a 20 (~10% chance instead of 5%) like normal advantage, it makes the most likely outcomes somewhere around 14 (8.5% chance).

That's the best option I can think of, if there were to be some kind of lesser advantage. What do you all think? Any different ideas?
Hey folks,

I saw on another thread the idea of rolling a d12 in addition to a d20 as a form of "lesser" or "partial" advantage, to combat all those pesky little +1 and +2 bonuses that are creeping in.

The problem I see with the D12 is that it makes the most likely outcome a 12, and for any number higher than that the probability is the same as if you had rolled only a d20. Not very exciting. Also somewhat useless.

If there was to be a "lesser advantage", I would suggest that in addition to a d20, the player rolls 2d10. Look here:
Normal Advantage (2d20, pick highest) looks like this: anydice.com/program/4f8
"Lesser Advantage" with d12: anydice.com/program/203a
"Lesser Advantage" with 2d10 (1d20 and [2d10], pick highest): anydice.com/program/2039
..."window.parent.tinyMCE.get('post_content').onLoad.dispatch();" contenteditable="true" />A 2d10 can still hit a natural 20, but instead of making the most likely single outcome a 20 (~10% chance instead of 5%) like normal advantage, it makes the most likely outcomes somewhere around 14 (8.5% chance).

That's the best option I can think of, if there were to be some kind of lesser advantage. What do you all think? Any different ideas?



Rolling 2d10 isn't really lesser. The chance of really high numbers are lower, but you have an even better chance of assuring yourself a 10 or higher. Given the math of the system, that's actually often better than the 1d20 option

1d12 is good, because it reduces your chance of a really low number, but the chance of an exceptional success isn't any higher. With lesser advantage you've got a substantially better shot to hit an enemy that you need a 9 or 10 to hit, but against a more powerful opponent it doesn't do much.
Most tasks you attempt in D&D only need a 7+ or so to accomplish. As such the d12 will get a 7+ 50% of the time. Even for tasks where you need a 10+ to succeed the d12 succeeds 25% of the time. For tasks where you need a roll of 13+ lesser advantage doesn't do anything, but then again it is only "lesser" advantage.
Point taken, You have a 50.5% chance of getting 14+ on normal advantage, but with 2d10 advantage you would get 14+ 53.2% of the time, so it's arguably better in most cases.

It does bother me a little that a d12 won't help you in really dire straits against tough opponents (where a +1/+2 bonus WOULD help), but that's what you get for "lesser advantage". d12 will help you out against small fries, at least, which can actually be really useful. I endorse it.

Still, I feel this is a topic worth talking more about. Are there any alternatives, I wonder?
Point taken, You have a 50.5% chance of getting 14+ on normal advantage, but with 2d10 advantage you would get 14+ 53.2% of the time, so it's arguably better in most cases.

It does bother me a little that a d12 won't help you in really dire straits against tough opponents (where a +1/+2 bonus WOULD help), but that's what you get for "lesser advantage". d12 will help you out against small fries, at least, which can actually be really useful. I endorse it.

Still, this is a topic worth talking more about, I feel. Are there any alternatives, I wonder?



in theory, there are infinite variations on this. Let someone roll an "advantage" that translates to 2d8--better than the 1d12, but marginally worse than 1d20. Or 3d6--exactly equal to 1d20, except the bell curve is much more focused on results in the middle.

The issue is that the more mechanics you introduce, the trickier it potentially becomes, especially if you're also offsetting all these numbers with equivalent disadvantage mechanics.
The only systems I can see for lower advantage that really work as always better then single d20 and always worse then best of 2d20 would either a) invlolve a single lower die, which does nothing in the case of higher numbers, b) involve negatives on the alternative role until the advantage on easy roles is gone which has the same issues plus the addition of more math, or c) something involving a main die and a secondary die.

Mathematically the most elegant solution I see is to have a main die and two secondary die. You take the higher of either the primary d20 or the lower secondary d20. That however is a confusing system. It's essentially like rolling with advantage, but one of the advantage rolls is rolled with disadvantage. It's always statistically better then a single d20 and statistically worse then regular advantage, and the "at least" curve looks like a happy medium between single d20 and advantage.

Example:

P: 3, S1: 7, S2: 1, Result: 3
P: 9, S1: 18, S2: 19, Result: 18
P: 17:, S1: 16, S2: 11, Result: 17

This can be seen as the highest of a d20 and a disadvantaged d20 roll, as the lower secondary roll if both beat the primary rolland the primary roll other wise, compare single d20 roll to the lowest of two d20 rolls and choose the larger of such. In any way it's confusing to explain and require three d20 rolls and some thought, but is very nice mathematically and works in a similar manner to how we already do advantage.

-EDIT- This can also be reversed for a minor disadvantage, aka lowest of a d20 and a d20 with advantage.
Awsmclyps:
Yeah, I'm in the "balance simulation with simplicity" camp. I prefer things to be as simple as possible unless there's a good reason for it, so I agree you.

-however-

Dan:
Wow, it's not the simplest idea, but I actually like it. A better way of phrasing it might be "make a disadvantaged roll, then roll another die and keep it if it's higher than the result of the first roll".

I'll try implementing both that and the d12 and let you all know how well they each work in play. I think Dan's method might be a little cumbersome at first, but ultimately more rewarding. And it's nice that it sticks to mechanics and dice combinations we already know. It just adds a step.

EDIT: So how do we want to parse this? What situations would call for lesser advantage as opposed to full advantage and vice versa? I guess it should be pretty intuitive, but I'm curious if anyone thinks some situations should always be one or the other.
Perhaps maybe use lesser advantage in place of +X in some situations or advantage where you feel advantage is too good. Another thing to consider is how does stacking work, is it a plus minus or a cancel out.

Honestly I'd be for calling lesser advantage advantage, and regular advantage great advantage. That way at most two advantages/disadvanteges count and one can call greater advantage as equal to two advtanges and display advantage as a table

0 Adv, 0 DAdv = Neutral
0 Adv, 1 DAdv = Disadvantage
0 Adv, 2+ DAdv = Great Disadvantage

1 Adv, 0 DAdv = Advantage
1 Adv, 1 DAdv = Neutral
1 Adv, 2+ DAdv = Disadvantage

2+ Adv, 0 DAdv = Great Advantage
2+ Adv, 1 DAdv = Advantage
2+ Adv, 2+ DAdv = Neutral
I just think that they should keep the old "DMs best Friend" rule, the +2 situational bonus, that DMs could award whenver they felt that some advantage was earned.   I like to keep it simple (at least for the basic game).

A Brave Knight of WTF

If you want lesser advantage to help less than advantage but help regardless of the total you need, another idea I saw somewhere would work (slightly tweaked to avoid letting the penalty outweigh the advantage):

Lesser advantage: roll a second d20 of a different color.  If that second d20 comes up odd, ignore it.  If even, take the higher of the two.  

That way, it's like a 50% chance of getting advantage, and thus you get half the benefit of advantage at all potential thresholds (well, it's identical to advantage if the threshold is 20, but close enough).  The original idea was just roll 2d20s and ignore the higher one if it's odd, but then if it's odd you've just bought yourself disadvantage and you end up no better off overall.  

Personally, though, I'm fine with lesser advantage not helping at the high end, it's less trouble than dealing with keeping track of the disfavored d20.   The real question is, what do you do for lesser disadvantage?  Roll 1d20+2d12, and take the lower of the d20 or the sum of the d12s?
It would also work to roll 2d20, take the higher one if either are even, and the lower one if both are odd. But I have no problem with using static bonuses, as long as it is with discretion (and limited stacking).
Once you introduced any other form of advantage, you remove the primary strength of the whole dis/advantage system - namely, the ability to quickly adjudicate whether a situation is advantageous or not. Once you're talking in degrees, we might as well go back to +2.
The metagame is not the game.
I'd be interested to see a list of the +1 and +2s that are "creeping back in." I haven't noticed any big ones since cleric spells like Bless were introduced in like the second packet. (And I still think they should be changed.)
     Advantage/disadvantage is just too huge.  It turns any sort of reasonable fight into a walk.  So creating a "lesser advantage" so the fight is merely biased instad of broken is a good idea.  [I would suggest changing the names to "advantage" & "greater advantage" so that the player automatically thinks of the smaller one when the DM says "you have advantage".]
      Now I would go for the simple +2.  Advantage is something one thinks of as helping just as much in the easy cases as the hard.  Something that only works when you don't need it is not going to be as appealing.
Here is how I would like to see advantage/disadvantage work.

Advantage can stack up to two times.

Advantage allows you to roll a d12 in addition to your d20 and choose the higher result. With 2 stacks of advantage you instead roll 2d20 and pick the highest result.

Each source of disadvantage cancels out 1 instance of advantage. If there is no sources of advantage to cancel, disadvantage causes the roller to roll 2d20 and pick the lowest number. Further instances of disadvantage have no additional effect.

It is streamlined and simple. It solves a number of problems with both advantage and disadvantage. It makes advantage less powerful on its own which means it becomes a tool that can be used more often to remove conditional +1 bonuses.