Advantage/Disadvantage System.

Hey Guys. So I've heard it said several times that the advantage/disadvantage system is statistically unfair. Could someone explain to me the actual math behind why?

And as a side note, are there any rules people have been using instead? 
I have seen no statistics as to why it's unfair, but I've seen a lot of statistics. The gist of what I've seen, is that to get a DC 10, it's about a +4 bonus. As the DC trends towards 0 or 20, the bonus drops significantly. Most people I know that don't like it complain about Disadvantage because they hate to roll, succeed, re-roll, and fail.

The alternate I've seen people use is +2/-2.

Oh, and currently I don't like the fact that one Advantage cancels any number of Disadvantages, and vice-verse.
Yup, the one consistent house rule I've seen suggested is to stack sources of Advantage and Disadvantage.

2 Adv/1 Dis = you got Advantage.  2 Adv/2 Dis = normal roll.

I'm not enough of a mathematician to know if that even solves a problem, percieved or otherwise.
Even if the statistics prove otherwise, it feels good.
it is easy for the DM to abdicate and easy for players to accept. Our table has enjoyed it! 

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.

The issue that concerns me is that disadvantage is a massive deterrent to action. I'll probably use the system as is, but I hope they don't include any class features or feats that impose disadvantage on you when you use them, because that is just too massive of a penalty (even if perhaps not as much as perceived).
The issue that concerns me is that disadvantage is a massive deterrent to action. I'll probably use the system as is, but I hope they don't include any class features or feats that impose disadvantage on you when you use them, because that is just too massive of a penalty (even if perhaps not as much as perceived).


As you say, the important thing is that it is perceived as one.

That actually makes me curious to see classes and abilities designed to deliberately overcome disadvantage.  Barbarians that give themselves disadvantage on attacks, but deal cleave damage on a miss, and/or auto-crit when they hit.  Fighter 'turtle' stances where they jab and feint weakly in order to keep up a strong defensive posture, suffering from disadvantage on all attacks but getting big bonuses in other areas.  Or even just a return to the classic power attack.

There's some material worth exploring there.
One thing to remember is that all humans are bad at actual statistics and tend to fail at estimation in the same way.   One common way that people fail at statistics is feeling overly painful when you have a success but then lose it.   ("Loss Aversion")

If you give someone $2, then take $1, they'll hate you a lot more than if you give them $1.

Which is to say, if you get +10 damage for taking disadvantage, there might be complex statistical benefit to it.  But people will remember the Success-Reroll-Fail, because they lost the success for the disadvantage and feel much worse about it than the better they feel about the extra damage.

So, as game designers, we should limit the number of feats that push people to trade damage for disadvantage -- they may take them, but they, in general, won't like them, and will HATE them when it goes against them.
The only thing I have to add, to what others have already responded here, is:

I have one player who makes judicious use of the Interposing Shield Feat; and I have failed to hit with far more of those Disadvantaged attacks than I have succeeded to hit with. 
I can accept Dis/Advantage for circumstantial bonuses, as a short-hand for glossing over a lot of variables very quickly (oh, well the sun is in your eyes, but your target is unaware and you can get the drop, so you get Advantage); it's much faster than doing all of the math.

The thing I don't like is when a spell or ability causes Dis/Advantage, because that's just a game mechanic and not something that can be easily understood. If I cast a spell on you, and you have Advantage on your next attack, what does that even mean? Sure, it tells me how it interacts with the game mechanics (in a silly, non-stacking way), but what's actually going on? And if I can't understand it, then I can't adjudicate it.

Oh, and to answer the OP, I don't like the math of Dis/Advantage because it's hard to intuit. I know that a +2 bonus is alway an objective +10% success rate, but the equivalent objective bonus of Advantage depends on the DC - which is something I won't know (and even if I did know, it still changes between instances).

The metagame is not the game.

I can accept Dis/Advantage for circumstantial bonuses, as a short-hand for glossing over a lot of variables very quickly (oh, well the sun is in your eyes, but your target is unaware and you can get the drop, so you get Advantage); it's much faster than doing all of the math.

The thing I don't like is when a spell or ability causes Dis/Advantage, because that's just a game mechanic and not something that can be easily understood. If I cast a spell on you, and you have Advantage on your next attack, what does that even mean? Sure, it tells me how it interacts with the game mechanics (in a silly, non-stacking way), but what's actually going on? And if I can't understand it, then I can't adjudicate it.

Oh, and to answer the OP, I don't like the math of Dis/Advantage because it's hard to intuit. I know that a +2 bonus is alway an objective +10% success rate, but the equivalent objective bonus of Advantage depends on the DC - which is something I won't know (and even if I did know, it still changes between instances).

that is what they call fluff. I leave that in the players imaginations and allow them to describe how they see it. if the monsters cause Ad/Disad, then the DM must describe it.

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'll just leave this here.

"The issue that concerns me is that disadvantage is a massive deterrent to action."

...working as intended.

The whole point of disadvantage is to deter people from actions that would be disadvantageous. 
My two copper.
I've made a little table.

Advantage/Disadv Table

It clearly shows that the more difficult the roll you need to make is, the more advantage will help you. eg. Worst case - You need to roll a 20 on the d20. That's a base 5%. However, with advantage, you get 9.75% chance = Advantage gives you a whopping 95% more chance of winning. This goes down the lower number you need to roll. Working in the opposite direction, with disadvantage, hard rolls become impossible. Even semi-decent 11+ rolls go from 50% to 25% chance of hitting. I think that the worst part of Adv/DisAdv is that there's no middle ground. The scaling is really good, just with that one d20 extra. Adding another d20 (rolling 3d20, picking the best/worst) doesn't affect the outcome nearly as much as the initial one. Making the advantage roll a d12 instead seems to me like it's a bit silly, for the obvious reasons of it not being able to roll 13+. Adding in advantage bonus as additional +dX (3-4-6-8-10-12) could be a more gradual approach, but the system-as-is is clearly not meant to take to those small increments well.
I can accept Dis/Advantage for circumstantial bonuses, as a short-hand for glossing over a lot of variables very quickly (oh, well the sun is in your eyes, but your target is unaware and you can get the drop, so you get Advantage); it's much faster than doing all of the math.

The thing I don't like is when a spell or ability causes Dis/Advantage, because that's just a game mechanic and not something that can be easily understood. If I cast a spell on you, and you have Advantage on your next attack, what does that even mean? Sure, it tells me how it interacts with the game mechanics (in a silly, non-stacking way), but what's actually going on? And if I can't understand it, then I can't adjudicate it.

Oh, and to answer the OP, I don't like the math of Dis/Advantage because it's hard to intuit. I know that a +2 bonus is alway an objective +10% success rate, but the equivalent objective bonus of Advantage depends on the DC - which is something I won't know (and even if I did know, it still changes between instances).



Most of the spells have pretty good fluff. Now that you've mentioned it, I'll pay more attention so I can bring that issue up in the feedback survey for any spells that fail to supply proper fluff for advantage/disadvantage.

I'll just leave this here.

"The issue that concerns me is that disadvantage is a massive deterrent to action."

...working as intended.

The whole point of disadvantage is to deter people from actions that would be disadvantageous. 



True. It's not the concept, it's just the degree that is of potential concern. A -2 is often worth accepting; disadvantage always seems like a last resort gamble, not something you would do on a semi-regular basis. As long as it is only applied in situations where it fits--ie, situations that you are not going to willing act in 90% of the time, it's great.
 I know that a +2 bonus is alway an objective +10% success rate




Emmmm, the math is a little trickier than that.

If you need an 11 in the d20 to succeed you have 50% chance of succeeding one roll. If you gain a +2 bonus you now have 60% chance to succeed.
That +10% over a base 50% actually represents +20% average successes, or "success rate".

If you need a 20 on the d20 (5% success chance) and gets +2, you now have 15% chance of succeeding, which represents a 200% increase in your chance of success, so your success rate increases 3x, while in the 11-needed roll it increased only 1.2x

So the fixed bonus/penalty doesn't actually mean it's the same benefit for every roll. Like rolling 2d20 it depends on the original target number.




---------


However, math aside, I do agree with you that Adv/Disadvantage is very elegant for resolving circumstancial factors like "sun in your eyes", prone, diseased or whatever... but dislike it as a mechanics for spells, feats and class abilities.

To me it feels kinda like defeating its own purpose. Adv/Disadv is a good way so simplify the book keeping of random elements in a scene... but having a whole bunch of other things (spells, class abilities, etc) that work through Adv/Disadv, and still having many other such things that don't... you end up having to memorize an enormity of specific rules anyway, or keep consulting the books all the time.

That +10% over a base 50% actually represents +20% average successes, or "success rate".

That's why I said "objective success rate"; the relative increase in success rate changes (from +20% or +200% or whatever), but fortunately I have my understanding of "what objective percentage chances feel like" in order to cover that next step.

I know what it's like to have a 30% chance of success, and I know what it's like to have a 40% chance of success, but I don't know what it's like to have two 30% chances of success. It's probably better than a single 40% chance of success, but the fact that I even have to think about it is kind of a problem.

The metagame is not the game.

That +10% over a base 50% actually represents +20% average successes, or "success rate".

That's why I said "objective success rate"; the relative increase in success rate changes (from +20% or +200% or whatever), but fortunately I have my understanding of "what objective percentage chances feel like" in order to cover that next step.

I know what it's like to have a 30% chance of success, and I know what it's like to have a 40% chance of success, but I don't know what it's like to have two 30% chances of success. It's probably better than a single 40% chance of success, but the fact that I even have to think about it is kind of a problem.





I think the major question, really, should be... what "feels" like more fun? Rolling 2 dice of gaining bonuses? 
I'm sure there'll be groups of players who like either option better than the other.

I don't see why the two options couldn't be offered from the start in 5ed: either use 2 dice or grant +2/-2 (or +4/-4 if you want each adv/disadv to be more meaningful). The rest of the book need only make reference to something "giving you advantage" and whatever use of the rules that particular group has chosen will say if it's another dice or a bonus.

The math of both applications is not the same, but they're not that far either that it should cause problems for switching one for the other. And keeping track of standardized bonus is just as easy as addind an extra dice. In the end you really only need to know if you're in an advantageous or disadvantageous situation.




One thing that bugs me a bit about rolling 2 dice is that... you can't go to eleven!
(Spinal Tap joke here, never mind that.) 
What I mean is... you can get that little extra kick from the advantage to try and succeed on an otherwise impossible task. If you need to beat a DC 21 but can only reach 20 with your normal modifiers, the fixed bonus would allow you to seek an advantage to at least try the task. Having more dice will never allow you to exceed your limits.
One thing that bugs me a bit about rolling 2 dice is that... you can't go to eleven!
(Spinal Tap joke here, never mind that.) 
What I mean is... you can get that little extra kick from the advantage to try and succeed on an otherwise impossible task. If you need to beat a DC 21 but can only reach 20 with your normal modifiers, the fixed bonus would allow you to seek an advantage to at least try the task. Having more dice will never allow you to exceed your limits.


This is what I like about Advantage over bonuses! No matter how much you stack the deck, you still cannot do the impossible. Of course, with BA, this situation is unlikely to come up Cool
I've made a little table.

Which font is that?


One thing that bugs me a bit about rolling 2 dice is that... you can't go to eleven!
(Spinal Tap joke here, never mind that.) 
What I mean is... you can get that little extra kick from the advantage to try and succeed on an otherwise impossible task. If you need to beat a DC 21 but can only reach 20 with your normal modifiers, the fixed bonus would allow you to seek an advantage to at least try the task. Having more dice will never allow you to exceed your limits.



This is actually one of the very interesting things about Adv.Disadv that I like (in combination with things that grant +x/-x bonuses). You can apply advantage in places where a character is more likely to succeed than average, but is not going to perform better than they could physically achieve.

One example - that I have tossing around with friends and homebrews - was that you background gave you a skill bonus, and classes would grant advantage on certain specific checks because that class is more likely to deal with those sorts of things. For example, your background could give you training in Arcane Lore, and you get a +3 because anyone could choose to study arcane lore, and by being trained in it you can know things that untrained people couldn't know. Then, the Wizard class might give advantage on Arcane Lore checks, because while being a wizard doesn't mean you studied more lore than another person who actively studied it, it does mean that you have more exposure to it and are thus more likely to know something within the bounds of that +3 bonus than someone who is not a wizard.

I was thinking that could be applied across multiple classes with varying things, so clerics and wizards would gain adv with their corresponding lores, I would give rogues advtange with dexterity checks, bards with charisama checks, etc, so that there is a class bonus feel to skills, but DCs still aren't going to be crushing.

Places like these are really good for adv/disadv. One of the things I really dislike at the moment has been the proliferation of things that grant advantage in an attempt to not use static bonuses because people got upset about keeping track of numbers. Unless 8 million things (see: exaggeration) grant advantage, they're going to have to use numbers eventually, and all buff/support abilities (certainly in combat) boil down to +/- to hit, damage, or defense, and I really like support spells/abilities.

My true preference would be for adv/disadv to show up in places that make sense with the above description, and we see modifiers (even if instead of +3 or +4 they feel it has to be +D6 -_-) make a return.

It clearly shows that the more difficult the roll you need to make is, the more advantage will help you. eg. Worst case - You need to roll a 20 on the d20. That's a base 5%. However, with advantage, you get 9.75% chance = Advantage gives you a whopping 95% more chance of winning. This goes down the lower number you need to roll. 


Had a conversation very similar to this in the past (I believe actually with some of the people in this thread no less) but I still want to point out that while this is an important part of the story, it is by no means the end of the story.  For example, if you are looking at expected damage for an attack with or without advantage, it is true that the proportional increase in expected damage is greatest when your chance to hit is lowest.  However it is at least as valid to look at things from another angle.  If you are making a saving throw to negate damage, the proportional decrease in expected damage received is greatest when your probability of succeeding on the saving throw is highest.  For example, if you have a 50% chance to make a save to negate 10 damage, advantage takes expected damage from 5 to 2.5.  If you have a 90% chance on the same check, advantage takes expected damage from 1 to 0.1. 

But there's another layer of complexity here also.  When players are in dangerous situations it is typically important to reach a certain number of successes in a certain number of rolls, such as in a typical combat for which you need to hit your enemies enough times to defeat them before they defeat you.  Thus an increase in expected damage from increased hit rates may not tell the story so much as asking what the effect is on the probability that you miss enough times for it to be dangerous.  For example, suppose you can make 10 checks and you'll be safe if you succeed on at least 4 of them.  Here are a couple of scenarios based on success rates of individual rolls:

Probability of less than 4 successes in 10 rolls at 50%: 0.1719
With advantage: 0.003506

At 60%: 0.05476
With advantage: 0.0002051

In terms of the proportional change in the frequency of hitting this "danger zone" it is the higher success rate that actually sees the larger effect from advantage.  The thing is that while lower hit rates see a greater increase in expected damage from advantage, it is the higher hit rates that actually see a greater impact on the variance of that damage.  Higher hit rates get greater consistency from advantage, and that's really important.  It means if you were looking at the effect of having advantage on preventing character death, it could take lower-hit-rate characters from "it will probably happen in the campaign at some point" to "it will probably happen in the campaign at some later point" while taking higher-hit-rate characters from "it will probably happen in the campaign at some later point" to "it will almost certainly not happen over the length of a campaign."  The specifics obviously depend on a number of a things, but that's the principle.


That's why when you say...
Adding another d20 (rolling 3d20, picking the best/worst) doesn't affect the outcome nearly as much as the initial one.

...I find it a bit misleading.  If you have a 50% probability of failure on a single die roll, adding the 2nd or 10th d20 does exactly the same thing from one point of view: it halves the probability of failure.

Pyromantic - ...I find it a bit misleading. If you have a 50% probability of failure on a single die roll, adding the 2nd or 10th d20 does exactly the same thing from one point of view: it halves the probability of failure.



The mathematically correct thing here is to say : Adding another d20 halves the REMAINING probability of failure.

So it's got diminishing returns.

So 1d20, roll 11 or more = 50% chance of failure.
2d20, pick highest, roll 11+ = 25% chance of failure
3d20, pick highest, roll 11+ = 12.5% chance of failure 
4d20, pick highest, roll 11+ = 6.25% chance of failure
5d20, pick highest, roll 11+ = 3.125% chance of failure 
and so on.

Which is what I wrote :
Adding another d20 (rolling 3d20, picking the best/worst) doesn't affect the outcome nearly as much as the initial one.



The mathematically correct thing here is to say : Adding another d20 halves the REMAINING probability of failure.

So it's got diminishing returns.

So 1d20, roll 11 or more = 50% chance of failure.
2d20, pick highest, roll 11+ = 25% chance of failure
3d20, pick highest, roll 11+ = 12.5% chance of failure 
4d20, pick highest, roll 11+ = 6.25% chance of failure
5d20, pick highest, roll 11+ = 3.125% chance of failure 
and so on.

Which is what I wrote :
Adding another d20 (rolling 3d20, picking the best/worst) doesn't affect the outcome nearly as much as the initial one.


I  could have been clearer, but the facts are accurate : Adding a d20 more decreases the chance of failure less than the previous d20 you added.
I  could have been clearer, but the facts are accurate : Adding a d20 more decreases the chance of failure less than the previous d20 you added.


In terms of a flat number yes, but I continue to contend that looking at a flat change in probability without context is misleading.  Just because you are already looking at a lower probability of failure doesn't mean that halving it somehow became less significant.

If you have a 50% chance to succeed on a die roll, the expected number of rolls until a failure is 2.  Give a 2nd d20 and the expected number doubles to 4; a 3rd d20 and it again doubles to 8; a 4th d20 and it again doubles to 16; and so on.  It's at least as reasonable to come from this point of view and say the flat increase is greater as you increase the number of d20s (the 2nd die buys you 2 rounds of survival, the 3rd 4 rounds and so on.)


This is actually one of the very interesting things about Adv.Disadv that I like (in combination with things that grant +x/-x bonuses). You can apply advantage in places where a character is more likely to succeed than average, but is not going to perform better than they could physically achieve.





If you use climbing equipment, for example, you can climb surfaces that otherwise you wouldn't be physically able to with your bare hands.

I posted an idea in another thread, but the math didn't hold up.  A revised version that builds on what is presented here might.

The idea is to create a spectrum of advantage/disadvantage.

Replace advantage with best roll of d20 and 2d10. 
Replace disadvantage with lower of d20 and 2d10.

Additional granularity can be obtained by rolling more d10, but using the highest (or lowest for disadvantage) pair.

I've thrown the numbers into a spreadsheet and they look workable.

The increases to chance to crit are a lot less severe than in a best of multiple d20 scenario.

for your checks, attacks and saves:

Roll d20 and 5d10 . . . use the lower of d20 or the two lowest d10 added together
Roll d20 and 4d10 . . . use the lower of d20 or the two lowest d10 added together
Roll d20 and 3d10 . . . use the lower of d20 or the two lowest d10 added together
Roll d20 and 2d10 . . . use the lower of d20 or the d10 added together
Roll d20
Roll d20 and 2d10 . . . use the higer of d20 or the d10 added together
Roll d20 and 3d10 . . . use the lower of d20 or the two highest d10 added together
Roll d20 and 4d10 . . . use the lower of d20 or the two highest d10 added together
Roll d20 and 5d10 . . . use the lower of d20 or the two highest d10 added together

For best of rolls 2d10 most often produces an 11, 3d10 a 14, 4d10 a 17 and 5d10 an 18.
For worst of rolls 2d10 most often produces an 11, 3d10 an 8, 4d10 a 6 and 5d10 an 4.

This way or setting it up allows for a more discreet progression than the best of Xd20 rolls.

It doesn't ever increase the players chance of an automatic failure.

It could replace the +/-2 to rolls with and integrated mechanic that doesn't skew the results range of rolling.


The biggest problem with dis-/advantage is it doesn't stack.

You could have 500 different things working against you; it's the same thing as 1 thing working against you.

You can have 500 different things working for your benefit; it's the same thing as 1 thing working for you.

Supporting an edition you like does not make you an edition warrior. Demanding that everybody else support your edition makes you an edition warrior.

Why do I like 13th Age? Because I like D&D: http://magbonch.wordpress.com/2013/10/16/first-impressions-13th-age/

AzoriusGuildmage- "I think that you simply spent so long playing it, especially in your formative years with the hobby, that you've long since rationalized or houseruled away its oddities, and set it in your mind as the standard for what is and isn't reasonable in an rpg."

I can accept Dis/Advantage for circumstantial bonuses, as a short-hand for glossing over a lot of variables very quickly (oh, well the sun is in your eyes, but your target is unaware and you can get the drop, so you get Advantage); it's much faster than doing all of the math.

The thing I don't like is when a spell or ability causes Dis/Advantage, because that's just a game mechanic and not something that can be easily understood. If I cast a spell on you, and you have Advantage on your next attack, what does that even mean? Sure, it tells me how it interacts with the game mechanics (in a silly, non-stacking way), but what's actually going on? And if I can't understand it, then I can't adjudicate it.

Oh, and to answer the OP, I don't like the math of Dis/Advantage because it's hard to intuit. I know that a +2 bonus is alway an objective +10% success rate, but the equivalent objective bonus of Advantage depends on the DC - which is something I won't know (and even if I did know, it still changes between instances).

Agree and as an example: Faerie Fire, druid cantrip, you get advantage against a foe because he is glowing.... hmmm.  Would have preferred a bit more fluff to explain, but as a player/DM I can just add, well, the local nature spirit is blessing your attacks, or whatever.

As for the statistics involved, I forget now exactly how it works. But a while back i understood permutations and combinations, and I'm pretty sure I calculated something like if you have 50% chance to hit, but get two throws of the dice and pick the best one, your chance that one of the two dice dice comes up a hit is 75%. Conversely then i expect if you miss chance is 50%, and you are suffering disadvantage, your effective miss chance goes up to 75%.

I have no idea if this is correct. I think I'll google it and work it out properly.
The biggest problem with dis-/advantage is it doesn't stack.

You could have 500 different things working against you; it's the same thing as 1 thing working against you.

You can have 500 different things working for your benefit; it's the same thing as 1 thing working for you.

Yeah I'm not sure if this is bad or good. Havent played enough to get a good feel for it. 

I dont know that i would like a simple 2 adv vs 1 disad = 1 adv. I think that might be too open to "I've always got advantage on" stacking. 

I like complexity however and like the idea of multiple factors at work in combat. I would be fine with every extra adv over disad granting +1 on your roll, or -1 if you have stacked disad. 

So 3 adv vs 1 disad = no adv or disad (they are cancelled) but you gain a residual +2 on your roll. Similary if you had 3 disad vs 1 ad = a -2 on your roll. So there is some point to "extra" adv or disad, but it is not as potent as unmitigated Adv or Disad.

 

The biggest problem with dis-/advantage is it doesn't stack.
You could have 500 different things working against you; it's the same thing as 1 thing working against you.
You can have 500 different things working for your benefit; it's the same thing as 1 thing working for you.



1. I disagree. I was elated when I found out that adv/dis always cancels. No compounding effects BS.

2. If a player abuses this system, its easy for the DM to control. i.e. Give enemies advantage to hit Drunk Rogue, or make him make take periodic Con saves after a bit or prone and sick for 1d6 rounds. The problem really isn't the adv/dis system its how good being drunk is. At minimum make sure the drunk rogue is ACTING drunk (making irrational decisions, behaving unpredictably, etc...), if he doesn't the effect wears off.

3. I don't think it's likely we will see situations of adv/disadv compounding in the 501 range, normally worst case is 3 dis or 3 adv being cancelled by 1 of the opposite. I actually like this MUCH better then static bonuses. It loosens the system up just enough from the math that players can solve their own problems with ideas, like a movie would. You can layer in a dire situation with multiple disadvantages, but one good player idea can balance the equation. 

Me and the rogue player (before we knew that the rules were much more simple and elegant), started going through the ridiculous sets of permutations of compounding advantages possible, once you get too 3+ effects it becomes one of those "out-loud" calculations that uses fingers and visualized blackboards. How am I supposed to keep any kind of immersion if I have to roll out the adv/dis abbacus. This is was what it was like in the past with stream of wild bonuses.... No thanks.

My mind is a deal-breaker.

One thing to remember is that all humans are bad at actual statistics and tend to fail at estimation in the same way. 




Most statistics are made up 37% of the time.
I posted an idea in another thread, but the math didn't hold up.  A revised version that builds on what is presented here might.
{snip}


It's not a bad idea, but I wouldn't get behind it myself.

While an advantage die of 2d10 isn't necessarily better than a d20 as it depends on the particular target number, I think we generally expect player rolls to succeed at least as often as not, and in those circumstances the 2d10 is better.  That means that your suggestion will tend to make a single advantage more powerful than it already is, and I don't think I've ever seen anyone claim advantage isn't potent enough.  As has been said before you could maintain the currrent system and simply add more dice for stacking (dis)advantage if you really wanted to, though I'm sure the devs have considered and rejected that idea to this point.

The trick really is in providing a form of lesser (dis)advantage if you determine one is needed.  One idea I had at one point (and have seen at least once posted here by someone else) is using a disadvantaged d20 as the advantage die or vice versa for a lesser form.  That is, you roll 2d20 and take the lowest, but then take the highest of that result and a d20 for lesser advantage.  Another idea I've seen floated is using a 2nd d20 but only counting it if it is higher (or lower) and even (or odd).  The point here is to try and have a system that lies between a d20 and current advantage, still allowing the same outcomes while shifting the probabilities less dramatically.  The question is whether you consider it necessary and worth effort to explain and adjudicate. 
The biggest problem with dis-/advantage is it doesn't stack.

You could have 500 different things working against you; it's the same thing as 1 thing working against you.

You can have 500 different things working for your benefit; it's the same thing as 1 thing working for you.


true.
That would be easily solved if everyone had options like "do X with disadvantage, gain effect Y as a bonus"
so that "extra" advantages could be put to good use.

Hey! that sounds like a good suggestion to submit to the design team isn't it ?  
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Its a way of trying to streamline play and remove most of the math in encounters. Its a good concept, but many are not liking it.  I've used it, it works for the most part.  But with any new system, there is struggle as to whether it is better than what was already in place.

Considering the diminishing returns and the fact multiple sources of Dis/Adv can easily be calculated as a resulting remainder and that I like tactical play, I will have them stack and cancel.

 

2 sources of Adv and 1 Dis = 1 Adv - 2d20 take best roll

 

3 sources of Dis and 1 Adv = 2 Dis - 3d20 take worst roll.

 

I really don't see the problem with this, it isn't complicated, it rewards clever choices in combat and other challenge situations and I know that my players will think it's fine.

 

"Ah, so I need to roll 3d20 and take the worst roll on my save against the Charm spell because I'm drunk and the lady of negotiable virtue I'm already in bed with has cast it from an item..? Fair enough..."

 

"You sneak up behind the guy and he's in combat already with an opponent he is clearly outmatched by - roll 3d20 and take the best result on the attack."

 

"You were raised by desert peoples, you are well hydrated after the visit to the oasis and you are wearing the clothes you took from the dervish now you've taken your armour off - roll 3d20 and take the best result on your first survival check as you traverse the desert."

 

The more I think about stacking the dice for multiple factors, the more I like it.

 

The whole 'you can only get 1 level of Dis or Adv' just seems like over-simplification for it's own sake. It takes a fraction of a second longer to read the results on three dice instead of two and a  decent GM can work out the balance of factors without a problem - it's certainly much faster than charts of modifiers ever were...

"Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the universe." Albert Einstein

Steely_Dan wrote:
One thing to remember is that all humans are bad at actual statistics and tend to fail at estimation in the same way.

 

 

 


Most statistics are made up 37% of the time.

 

 

I call bullshit on this, it's 42%!

"Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the universe." Albert Einstein

I know a lot of ppl like adv/disadv but I am no fan of this mechanic. It has stacking issues and it is needlessly complex. I would have preferred that they stuck with giving bonuses but created a more streamlined version of the named bonuses in 4e to manage stacking crazyness. If they really wanted extra dice they could have handed out bonuses as dice (e.g. bonus 1d4 instead of +2).

The advantage/disadvantage system is too complicated when there are more one factor. I wouls rather use a simple bonus, above all when I wanted use a module about skirmishs, when players use allies. 

 

If I can I would rather other option, the bonus. 

 

A house rule created by me about no-short-time compared actions is both characters used a second dice, but no a d20. If the list of bonus or factors is little, but +1 or +2 bonus isn´t enough, the bonus are replaces with dices:

 

1 step or bonus (+2 or +3)  1d4

 

2 steps  1d6

 

3 steps 1d8

 

4 steps 1d10 

 

5 steps 1s12. 

 

The player can choose use the second dice as if it was 1s20 when there is adventage, or both no-d20 are confronted and the higher has got adventage and use a second d20. 

 

----

 

What option can I use if I don´t want use adventage/disadvantage rules?

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Book 13 Anaclet 23 Confucius said: "The Superior Man is in harmony but does not follow the crowd. The inferior man follows the crowd, but is not in harmony"

 

"In a country well governed, poverty is something to be ashamed of. In a country badly governed, wealth is something to be ashamed of." - Confucius 

Luis_Carlos wrote:

What option can I use if I don´t want use adventage/disadvantage rules?

That is the (game breaking) question for me as well. I really, really dislike the dis/advantage rules, to the point that I don't want to see it at my table as a broad, system-wide method (I'm pretty okay with it confined to a single player - re: 4e Avenger).

 

The only mechanical thing to address is that it doesn't stack. Mostly this can be fixed by changing the DC, but at that point, why bother with it if you still have to use +2/-2 or whatever modification you're going to use? I'd rather skip the mini-dice-pool and stick to numerical bonuses (Ironically I like the idea of skill-points-as-dice, that was one system that actually piqued my interest in Next, but it was shot down).

 

So the question remains, how do I play this game if I don't like the dis/advantage system? "Just change it from disadvantage to a +2/-2" doesn't really work the same on the math, an I wonder if that would actually disrupt the balance of the math (once the math is finally balanced, at least).

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I don't think its a mechanical thing to be address. Its intended purpose was to eliminate all the number stacking. I'm happy that they did away with it in the base game. I could live with if it wasn't the default, but I love that there is a option at all to get rid of the majority of those annoying fiddle +Xs. I don't like all the situational stacking untype modifiers in 4e and the ridiculous number of types to justify more +Xs in 3e. Most the time even the players that like those sort of things can even remember them until they miss or half way into the next person turn. 

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I'm pretty sure an optional rule will exist (or is incredibly easy to implement) that basically will allow you to translate all places that say "Advantage" to meaning "+2 bonus" and "Disadvantage" to meaning "-2 penalty." Up to you if you want them to stack. I personally prefer Advantage/Disadvantage as an extra roll, as do my players.

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I have readen in other post a reference about the system of alternity:

 

From wikipedia:

 

Unlike many other systems, actions are determined by a control die and situation dice. When Gamemaster calls for a roll, player rolls 1 control die and 1 situation die. The control die is always a 20-sided die, while situation die can be a 0, 4, 6, 8, 12, 20-sided die, where 0-sided die means the action only depends on control die roll. Situation die can be plus die or a minus die, in which the value in the situation die is added to or subtracted from control die value. The total of the rolled numbers is checked against character's action, skill, feat, to indicate a success or a failure. Rolling low is always better for successfully completing an action.

The type of situation die being used depends on the difficulty of the action. Difficulty is scaled in die types of -d20, -d12, -d8, -d6, -d4, +d0, +d4, +d6, +d8, +d12, +d20, +2d20, +3d20. A character's base situation die is +d4 for broad skill or feat check, +d0 for specialty skill or action check. A minus situation bonus means player uses a larger negative situation die set, while a plus situation penalty means a player uses a larger positive situation die set.

"Say me what you're showing off for, and I'll say you what you lack!" (Spanish saying)

 

Book 13 Anaclet 23 Confucius said: "The Superior Man is in harmony but does not follow the crowd. The inferior man follows the crowd, but is not in harmony"

 

"In a country well governed, poverty is something to be ashamed of. In a country badly governed, wealth is something to be ashamed of." - Confucius 

I simply stack modifiers in conjunction with advantage/disadvantage and it seems to work fine.    It is as simple as using "The DMs Friend" rules in previous editions.

 

advtg +1   -- roll d20x2 add +1 bonus to each roll.

 

advtg +2  -- roll d20x2 add +2 bonus to each roll.

 

Adding the bonus and having the extra roll is a nice bonus.

 

I don't usually add any negatives on disadvantage, but I suppose it could be done.

 

By just adding the +1 or +2...I can still encourage my players to do more tactical things in the game even when they have advantage.

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