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jdefalconr
Joined Dec 1969

(First off, this seemed like something that was likely gone over previously in the forums but I couldn't find this covered via search. If it's been hashed over already please point me towards it and I'll happily be on my way.)

While such things are obvious implications of this mechanic I'm interested in why this system was chosen for D&D5b as opposed to simple penalties/bonuses to rolls. Those are much more of a linear modifier to dice rolls and tend to produce results that don't have nearly as wide of a range of possible outcomes. So, developers, why did you go with this route? Or am I ignorant of the statistical results produced by this system? Those, I think, would be fascinating to see. Probability-speaking, is this a more reliable method than a straight-up skill bonus or penalty?

chuck80
Joined Dec 1969
It minimizes the numbers you have to plug in at each roll. If you look closely, you'll see that almost nothing in the game grants a flat bonus to checks.
Basicaly it lets you use the same numbers as for a normal roll, which is supposedly more intuitive.

As for the maths, advantage is roughly equivalent to something between +2 and +5.
DemoMonkey
Joined Dec 1969
Not having to juggle a sea of opposing +1s and -2s.

That's it really.
samassaroni
Joined Dec 1969
It is tied in intrisically with bounded accuracy. DC's are supposed to stay within a fixed bound, so that they can be met with d20 + mod. Advantage "raises" the minimum achievable roll (effectively) without raising the maximum (Disadvantage does the opposite), which jives better with fixed DC's than a flat bonus.

Example: 20 Strength barbarian with advantage can still only roll a maximum of 25.

Edit: See also Mand12's good explanation of why having that max 25 roll is good. Its 2 posts down.
chuck80
Joined Dec 1969
It is tied in intrisically with bounded accuracy. DC's are supposed to stay within a fixed bound, so that they can be met with d20 + mod. Advantage "raises" the minimum achievable roll (effectively) without raising the maximum (Disadvantage does the opposite), which jives better with fixed DC's than a flat bonus.

Example: 20 Strength barbarian with advantage can still only roll a maximum of 25.

Yeah, also that
Mand12
Joined Jun 2010
17426 Posts
There is a math reason for it, actually.  The d20 is a uniform distribution (assuming someone isn't cheating...), but advantage/disadvantage make the distribution not uniform.  Compressing or expanding the probability distributions can have significant impact on the game.  Advantage in the hands of an expert character can make even relatively high skill checks have a high chance of success, but without pushing the non-experts off the bottom end of the d20 to the point of uselessness.  Disadvantage, working in not quite an opposite fashion, can be used to penalize the untrained and drop their success rate through the floor without affecting trained characters, but still leave the hope of a shoot-the-moon winning roll.

It would be even better if they let advantage and disadvantage stack, such that advantage from two sources means 3d20 take highest.

The effects on the probability distribution are by far its most powerful and most important aspect.  That it also reduces round-to-round math variations (do I have +2 or +4?  oh, your thing went away, guess it's just +3 now) is a bonus (lulz u c wut I did thar), but not the core important function.
D&D Next = D&D: Quantum Edition
Tony_Vargas
Joined Sep 2001
12058 Posts
In reading through the rules for my first playtest game to run I am quite surprised by the Advantage/Disadvantage mechanic. My take on it is that the mechanic allows for incredibly wide swings of fortune to potentially befall a player on a roll. ... Or am I ignorant of the statistical results produced by this system? Those, I think, would be fascinating to see. Probability-speaking, is this a more reliable method than a straight-up skill bonus or penalty?

It turns out that Ad/Dis isn't as swingy as you might think.  It gives the equivalent of a large (+5) bonus, if the roll is 50/50.   The more skewed it is towards success or failure, the less the impact:

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Mand12
Joined Jun 2010
17426 Posts
That's one way to view the math, but it's flawed to compare it directly to a +X bonus.

The percentage change is what is important, and that is what is magnified.  Take disadvantage, for example.  If you have it, and you need a 20 to succeed, then you succed one twentieth as often when you have disadvantage.  Compare that to needing an 11: with disadvantage, you succeed half as often.  Or with needing a 3, you succeed nine-tenths as often.  This really does translate into actual rolls.

A +1 is not just a +1.  It matters what your base success rate is.  Breaking it down to comparing the final percentages as if they are just a +X/-X ignores the actual, at-the-table impact.  Having disadvantage utterly destroys your success rate if you're already low, but is significantly less impactful the higher your success rate.  That mechanic is important, and is completely absent in your "look, it tapers off to just a +1/-1 at the edges" table.
D&D Next = D&D: Quantum Edition
lord_daxl
Joined Dec 1969
Not having to juggle a sea of opposing +1s and -2s.

That's it really.

This is how they originally billed it.

However, they have managed to add back in the sea of +1s and -2s.

Tony_Vargas
Joined Sep 2001
12058 Posts
That's one way to view the math, but it's flawed to compare it directly to a +X bonus.

The percentage change is what is important, and that is what is magnified.

Bonuses are more familiar to gamers, I'd think.  It is true that Advantage very nearly "doubles your chance of success," when you need to roll a 20 to succeed (from 5% to 9.8%).  It is also true that a +1 bonus /actually/ doubles your chance of success when you need to roll a 20 to succeed (from 5% to 10%).

Take disadvantage, for example.  If you have it, and you need a 20 to succeed, then you succed one twentieth as often when you have disadvantage.

As opposed to a -1, in which case you merely fail automatically.

Now, when it comes to natural '1's or '20's being required an actual +/-1 would have no effect, true, but the statistical equivalancy is still there, if the bonus /could have/ made a difference.

Want to see the best of 4e included in 5e?  Join the Old Guard of 4e.

5e really needs something like Wrecan's SARN-FU to support "Theatre of the Mind."

"You want The Tooth?  You can't handle The Tooth!"  - Dahlver-Nar.

"If magic is unrestrained in the campaign, D&D quickly degenerates into a weird wizard show where players get bored quickly"  - E. Gary Gygax

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Mand12
Joined Jun 2010
17426 Posts
If you restrict yourself to what is familiar, it's hard to be innovative.

Advantage and Disadvantage have a truly new impact on D&D as applied as a general system.  That can't be understated.

And yes, a +1 actually doubles your chance of success if you need to roll a 20.  But the point is that the scaling is inherent based on your initial chance of success, not independent of it like a +1 is.  That you can correlate it to the list of +X bonuses isn't really important - what is important is how it impacts the strong as comapred to the weak.  A flat +X doesn't work in the same way.
D&D Next = D&D: Quantum Edition
Tony_Vargas
Joined Sep 2001
12058 Posts
If you restrict yourself to what is familiar, it's hard to be innovative.

If you don't present data in a way your audience can understand intuitively, you fail to impart information.

Want to see the best of 4e included in 5e?  Join the Old Guard of 4e.

5e really needs something like Wrecan's SARN-FU to support "Theatre of the Mind."

"You want The Tooth?  You can't handle The Tooth!"  - Dahlver-Nar.

"If magic is unrestrained in the campaign, D&D quickly degenerates into a weird wizard show where players get bored quickly"  - E. Gary Gygax

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Mand12
Joined Jun 2010
17426 Posts
The audience doesn't always need information.  Some part of it might benefit from it, but there's nothing wrong with it being under the hood.

That's all they really need to know, and it's not hard to convey that in plain words.

Anyone who's actually saying "Hm, does this thing that can give me advantage stack up numerically to this other thing that gives me extra damage?" already has the capability to figure this out for themselves.  We don't have to insist that everybody fully understand the system in order to benefit from it.
D&D Next = D&D: Quantum Edition
Saelorn
Joined May 2012
3836 Posts
If you don't present data in a way your audience can understand intuitively, you fail to impart information.

I dislike Dis/Advantage because it isn't intuitive. I know what a 10, 15, or 20 percent chance feels like. I don't know what a base 25% chance before you add advantage, or base 60% chance before you add disadvantage, feels like.

The metagame is not the game.
Mand12
Joined Jun 2010
17426 Posts

Base 25% plus advantage will be about 50% success rate, or a little lower.  Base 60% with disadvantage is 36%.

(advantage is the obnoxious one, with its 1-((1-X)^2) function)
D&D Next = D&D: Quantum Edition
Tony_Vargas
Joined Sep 2001
12058 Posts

Advantage is fairly trivial when you are already swinging and praying or virtually guaranteed success.  (Though it'll sure /feel/ great on the rare instance it makes a different - rather like brutal weapons, that way.)  It's when the odds are even that it makes the biggest practical difference to that specific test

Though Advantage is great when you're crit-fishing, of course, rather than just looking for a success, but I'd think that's pretty obvious.

Want to see the best of 4e included in 5e?  Join the Old Guard of 4e.

5e really needs something like Wrecan's SARN-FU to support "Theatre of the Mind."

"You want The Tooth?  You can't handle The Tooth!"  - Dahlver-Nar.

"If magic is unrestrained in the campaign, D&D quickly degenerates into a weird wizard show where players get bored quickly"  - E. Gary Gygax

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Tony_Vargas
Joined Sep 2001
12058 Posts
If you don't present data in a way your audience can understand intuitively, you fail to impart information.

I dislike Dis/Advantage because it isn't intuitive. I know what a 10, 15, or 20 percent chance feels like. I don't know what a base 25% chance before you add advantage, or base 60% chance before you add disadvantage, feels like.

Thus the chart:    A base 25% chance before advantage is pretty close to 45% after (43.8%), or about like getting a +4.

Want to see the best of 4e included in 5e?  Join the Old Guard of 4e.

5e really needs something like Wrecan's SARN-FU to support "Theatre of the Mind."

"You want The Tooth?  You can't handle The Tooth!"  - Dahlver-Nar.

"If magic is unrestrained in the campaign, D&D quickly degenerates into a weird wizard show where players get bored quickly"  - E. Gary Gygax

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samassaroni
Joined Dec 1969
That's one way to view the math, but it's flawed to compare it directly to a +X bonus.

The percentage change is what is important, and that is what is magnified.

Bonuses are more familiar to gamers, I'd think.  It is true that Advantage very nearly "doubles your chance of success," when you need to roll a 20 to succeed (from 5% to 9.8%).  It is also true that a +1 bonus /actually/ doubles your chance of success when you need to roll a 20 to succeed (from 5% to 10%).

Take disadvantage, for example.  If you have it, and you need a 20 to succeed, then you succed one twentieth as often when you have disadvantage.

As opposed to a -1, in which case you merely fail automatically.

Now, when it comes to natural '1's or '20's being required an actual +/-1 would have no effect, true, but the statistical equivalancy is still there, if the bonus /could have/ made a difference.

I don't understand what familiarity or transparency of the chances have to do with anything.

The point isn't that Adv/Dis is more or less easy to handle. The idea that reducing +1/-1's is a good thing is a perk (if you consider it one), not the rationale. The rationale is to keep the range of possibile rolls fixed so that DC's continue to be relevant at higher levels, within the system of bounded accuracy, while still representing the dynamic difficulty of tasks when outside factors alter the liklihood of success/failure.

Psikerlord
Joined Dec 1969
Not having to juggle a sea of opposing +1s and -2s.

That's it really.

This is how they originally billed it.

However, they have managed to add back in the sea of +1s and -2s.

I actually like both. I want to see more static +1 and +2 floating around, as well as teh ad/disad mechanic. They are both useful. I understand BA and not wanting too much +1 or +2 but a little bit wouldnt hurt.

I am hoping for a module of simple +1 bonus/penalties, for things like: higher ground, outnumber your opponent, slippery surface, etc...

In the meantime of course I can just "wing" those as a DM, but a neat little table would be nice.
jdefalconr
Joined Dec 1969
Thanks everyone for your responses. I must say, I am afraid for the future of the game if the main rationale for this decision really is just to avoid players having to do basic math of adding and subtracting modifiers. In my opinion if players cannot add/subtract a short string of integers - all of which are likely 5 or under, then perhaps a pencil and paper RPG is too complex for them. I remain hopeful that there is a different design reasoning behind this mechanic.

It turns out that Ad/Dis isn't as swingy as you might think.  It gives the equivalent of a large (+5) bonus, if the roll is 50/50.   The more skewed it is towards success or failure, the less the impact:

Thank you Tony, that's exactly the kind of info I was looking for.

What were the calculations you did to receive those results? I'm interested in playing with them a bit. Specifically I'm interested in figuring out how this affects success rolls when hitting the DC involves more than a +0 bonus. Specifically I'm thinking of a situation where the PC gets bonuses from ability and/or skill. I'm no math major, maybe it doesn't really affect anything at all. But I thought I'd run the numbers just the same.

samassaroni
Joined Dec 1969
I am afraid for the future of the game if the main rationale for this decision really is just to avoid players having to do basic math of adding and subtracting modifiers. ... I remain hopeful that there is a different design reasoning behind this mechanic.

I truly do not mean to be offensive, but did you read anything myself or Mend12 had so say?

The reduction of small modifiers is a perk associated with Adv/Dis, and its what the dev team has decided to use as the mechanics "selling point," but it is not the rationale behind the mechanic.

The point is to change the rate of success/failure without changing the range of possible rolls (because changing the range of possible rolls has implications that mess with BA).
Mand12
Joined Jun 2010
17426 Posts
P = initial chance of success
F = final chance of success

F = 1 - (1-P)^2

This is derived most easily by calculating the chance to fail, which only happens if they both fail:  (1-P)^2.  Then, the chance of success is one minus that.

F = P^2

Easy calculation, they both must succeed to succeed.
D&D Next = D&D: Quantum Edition
doam
Joined Dec 1969
Disadvantage has the chance of making a player feel robbed, so my group will be using a modified ruleset when we're not playtesting.

Adv: roll 2x & take highest

partial adv: roll 2x & take avg

normal

partial disadv: roll 2x & take avg

disadv: roll 2x & take lowest

It's more fun that way, though I prefer any version of dis/adv to the old ways.
Pyromantic
Joined Dec 1969
Advantage is fairly trivial when you are already swinging and praying or virtually guaranteed success.  (Though it'll sure /feel/ great on the rare instance it makes a different - rather like brutal weapons, that way.)  It's when the odds are even that it makes the biggest practical difference to that specific test

Though Advantage is great when you're crit-fishing, of course, rather than just looking for a success, but I'd think that's pretty obvious.

What do you mean by "the biggest practical difference"?  Because if you mean it adds 25% to the probability of success, and that's bigger than any other time, that's a very particular perspective.

If you're making a saving throw against death and you only fail on a 1, would it be trivial to have advantage bring you from failing one time in 20 to one time in 400?  That's an extremely potent impact on survivability.  I believe that's the point others have been getting at: looking at an equivalent flat bonus without consideration of context can be quite misleading.

Pyromantic
Joined Dec 1969
Disadvantage has the chance of making a player feel robbed, so my group will be using a modified ruleset when we're not playtesting.

Adv: roll 2x & take highest

partial adv: roll 2x & take avg

normal

partial disadv: roll 2x & take avg

disadv: roll 2x & take lowest

It's more fun that way, though I prefer any version of dis/adv to the old ways.

Your group uses exactly the same mechanic for partial advantage and partial disadvantage?  How does that work?

Roll twice and take average can actually be an advantage or a disadvantage depending on your base probability of success.
Tony_Vargas
Joined Sep 2001
12058 Posts

It turns out that Ad/Dis isn't as swingy as you might think.  It gives the equivalent of a large (+5) bonus, if the roll is 50/50.   The more skewed it is towards success or failure, the less the impact:

Thank you Tony, that's exactly the kind of info I was looking for.

What were the calculations you did to receive those results?

Very simple, really.

P(adv) = P(success) + (1- P(success)) * P(success).

P(dis) = P(success) - P(success)^2.

I'm interested in playing with them a bit. Specifically I'm interested in figuring out how this affects success rolls when hitting the DC involves more than a +0 bonus. Specifically I'm thinking of a situation where the PC gets bonuses from ability and/or skill. I'm no math major, maybe it doesn't really affect anything at all. But I thought I'd run the numbers just the same.

No problem, just figure out what you need to roll 'natural' to hit the target (subtract your bonus from the DC).  So, if you have a +12 and the DC is 25, you have to roll a 13 to succeed, that's a 40% chance of success, so 64% with advantage or a mere 16% with disadvantage.

Want to see the best of 4e included in 5e?  Join the Old Guard of 4e.

5e really needs something like Wrecan's SARN-FU to support "Theatre of the Mind."

"You want The Tooth?  You can't handle The Tooth!"  - Dahlver-Nar.

"If magic is unrestrained in the campaign, D&D quickly degenerates into a weird wizard show where players get bored quickly"  - E. Gary Gygax

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Tony_Vargas
Joined Sep 2001
12058 Posts
Advantage is fairly trivial when you are already swinging and praying or virtually guaranteed success.  (Though it'll sure /feel/ great on the rare instance it makes a different - rather like brutal weapons, that way.)  It's when the odds are even that it makes the biggest practical difference to that specific test

Though Advantage is great when you're crit-fishing, of course, rather than just looking for a success, but I'd think that's pretty obvious.

What do you mean by "the biggest practical difference"?  Because if you mean it adds 25% to the probability of success, and that's bigger than any other time, that's a very particular perspective.

Nod.  It's the perspective of a player making a single check with advantage.

There are other situations where the percent /change/ in the expected outcome is very important, but they're law-of-large numbers situations, and would rarely aply in D&D.

For instance, if you were running a sweatshop in which scores of unskilled commoners were crafting for you, and they each made one craft check a day, and, on a natural 20, produced an item of great value, then giving them all advantage would very nearly double you proffits from such exceptional items.

Where that perspective would be relevant to a player would be a "crit fishing" build.

If you're making a saving throw against death and you only fail on a 1, would it be trivial to have advantage bring you from failing one time in 20 to one time in 400?  That's an extremely potent impact on survivability.  I believe that's the point others have been getting at: looking at an equivalent flat bonus without consideration of context can be quite misleading.

Not really.  If you had a +1, and 1's weren't automatic failures, it would be only slightly worse than getting a +1.

Or, to look at it another way, Advantage when you have a net target of 2 will matter the one time in 20 you roll a 1.  95% of the time, you get the same result.  That's not a large practical difference.  It's slightly less than the certainy you'd get with a +1.

Want to see the best of 4e included in 5e?  Join the Old Guard of 4e.

5e really needs something like Wrecan's SARN-FU to support "Theatre of the Mind."

"You want The Tooth?  You can't handle The Tooth!"  - Dahlver-Nar.

"If magic is unrestrained in the campaign, D&D quickly degenerates into a weird wizard show where players get bored quickly"  - E. Gary Gygax

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Pyromantic
Joined Dec 1969
Or, to look at it another way, Advantage when you have a net target of 2 will matter the one time in 20 you roll a 1.  95% of the time, you get the same result.  That's not a large practical difference.  It's slightly less than the certainy you'd get with a +1.

I look at that and see a large practical difference.

If I have a 1 in 20 chance to die and I have to make this check several times during a campaign, the probability that I need to make a new character is dramatically different than if I have a 1 in 400 chance to die.

Tony_Vargas
Joined Sep 2001
12058 Posts
Or, to look at it another way, Advantage when you have a net target of 2 will matter the one time in 20 you roll a 1.  95% of the time, you get the same result.  That's not a large practical difference.  It's slightly less than the certainy you'd get with a +1.

I look at that and see a large practical difference.

If I have a 1 in 20 chance to die and I have to make this check several times during a campaign, the probability that I need to make a new character is dramatically different than if I have a 1 in 400 chance to die.

Maybe if you have to make it /many/ times.  I'm not saying it isn't good to have advantage.  Just, at the tails, it's only just barely shy of as good as a +1, when a +1 could apply.  As much better as 1 in 400 is than 1 in 20, it's not as good as unity.

Want to see the best of 4e included in 5e?  Join the Old Guard of 4e.

5e really needs something like Wrecan's SARN-FU to support "Theatre of the Mind."

"You want The Tooth?  You can't handle The Tooth!"  - Dahlver-Nar.

"If magic is unrestrained in the campaign, D&D quickly degenerates into a weird wizard show where players get bored quickly"  - E. Gary Gygax

Oops, looks like this request tried to create an infinite loop. We do not allow such things here. We are a professional website!

Saelorn
Joined May 2012
3836 Posts
If I have a 1 in 20 chance to die and I have to make this check several times during a campaign, the probability that I need to make a new character is dramatically different than if I have a 1 in 400 chance to die.

Seriously, though, how often are you rolling when you need a 20 to succeed? Especially under Bounded Accuracy, it really should be an exceptionally rare occurance.

The most frequent things I could think of would be skill checks, which are mostly voluntary, and I wouldn't expect to succeed either way (whether advantage was two dice or a +1 bonus). If you need to roll a 20 in order to not die, then chances are you're going to die on the first opportunity, regardless of what sort of advantage you're using.

If you're rolling on three separate occasions to not die, and you have as much as a ten percent chance to not die on each try, then there's still a ~70% chance that you have to make three new characters. Quibbling over a 5% chance or a .0025% difference is just really... trivial. Seriously, it's not going to come up.
The metagame is not the game.
DavidArgall
Joined Dec 2007
1699 Posts
In reading through the rules for my first playtest game to run I am quite surprised by the Advantage/Disadvantage mechanic. My take on it is that the mechanic allows for incredibly wide swings of fortune to potentially befall a player on a roll. ... Or am I ignorant of the statistical results produced by this system? Those, I think, would be fascinating to see. Probability-speaking, is this a more reliable method than a straight-up skill bonus or penalty?

It turns out that Ad/Dis isn't as swingy as you might think.  It gives the equivalent of a large (+5) bonus, if the roll is 50/50.   The more skewed it is towards success or failure, the less the impact:

While this does show that Advantage is not as powerful as a pure +5, it is still pretty much a quibble.  the more skewed cases are cases the DM should actively avoid.  The purpose of the player having to roll is that there is a serious chance of both failure or success.
We still end up with advantage/disadvantage pretty much meaning auto victory, which means we need to put serious limits on it, and there are lot of ways to do this wrong.  Much better would be a system that is not nearly so swingy.
lokiare
Joined Nov 2008
16301 Posts
If you restrict yourself to what is familiar, it's hard to be innovative.

Advantage and Disadvantage have a truly new impact on D&D as applied as a general system.  That can't be understated.

And yes, a +1 actually doubles your chance of success if you need to roll a 20.  But the point is that the scaling is inherent based on your initial chance of success, not independent of it like a +1 is.  That you can correlate it to the list of +X bonuses isn't really important - what is important is how it impacts the strong as comapred to the weak.  A flat +X doesn't work in the same way.

I like that (dis)advantage replaces lots of minor bonuses and that it keeps things simple. My problem with it is there is no granularity and its too powerful. Running some numbers on www.anydice.com (hit 'calculate' then 'at-least') shows that it turns a regular roll into a wildy swingy roll, and basically destroys bounded accuracy where you rarely have ACs above 18-20. It might work in a different system where the ranges of numbers is much wider.

My solution would be to add smaller dice capping at the max and min of the d20 for the roll (before adding or subtracting modifiers). The statistical impact is less and you can have quite a bit of granularity...
"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
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.
doam
Joined Dec 1969
Disadvantage has the chance of making a player feel robbed, so my group will be using a modified ruleset when we're not playtesting.

Adv: roll 2x & take highest

partial adv: roll 2x & take avg

normal

partial disadv: roll 2x & take avg

disadv: roll 2x & take lowest

It's more fun that way, though I prefer any version of dis/adv to the old ways.

Your group uses exactly the same mechanic for partial advantage and partial disadvantage?  How does that work?

Roll twice and take average can actually be an advantage or a disadvantage depending on your base probability of success.

Good point, we hadn't considered that. Everything that's coming to mind quickly is too complicated. We'll work something out, though.
Noon
Joined Dec 2003
1358 Posts
Likewise you would have two chances to crit or two chances to fumble.

I don't know if it's already been said, but you've grasped the logic wrong.

On advantage it's one chance to crit - and a one chance at, if the first roll failed to crit, to make up for that.

Two chances to crit would mean you could crit twice.

Or I don't know how you'd express actually having two chances to crit (say someone in 4E attacks, then uses an action point to attack again - what do you call that compared to where you can only crit the once, even if you're rolling twice?)
Pyromantic
Joined Dec 1969
Maybe if you have to make it /many/ times.  I'm not saying it isn't good to have advantage.  Just, at the tails, it's only just barely shy of as good as a +1, when a +1 could apply.  As much better as 1 in 400 is than 1 in 20, it's not as good as unity.

Similar to what I said before, what do you mean by "many"?  How many times do you have to make that check before the probabilities look very different?  How many rolls do you make in a typical campaign, or even in a typical gaming session?

Advantage may not be quite as good as a +1 bonus when you have a 19 in 20 chance of success already, but the +1 bonus is nowhere close to trivial in that context, so I don't find it a very convincing argument that advantage is trivial in that context either.

Seriously, though, how often are you rolling when you need a 20 to succeed? Especially under Bounded Accuracy, it really should be an exceptionally rare occurance.

The most frequent things I could think of would be skill checks, which are mostly voluntary, and I wouldn't expect to succeed either way (whether advantage was two dice or a +1 bonus). If you need to roll a 20 in order to not die, then chances are you're going to die on the first opportunity, regardless of what sort of advantage you're using.

If you're rolling on three separate occasions to not die, and you have as much as a ten percent chance to not die on each try, then there's still a ~70% chance that you have to make three new characters. Quibbling over a 5% chance or a .0025% difference is just really... trivial. Seriously, it's not going to come up.

But this is exactly the point.  While advantage may be roughly equivalent to a +1 whether you have a 1 in 20 chance to succeed or a 19 in 20 chance to succeed, the bonus obviously means something very different in each situation.  As you said, if you only have a 1 in 20 chance to pass a SoD then advantage isn't going to feel like much of a bonus; either way before the dice are rolled you'll be thinking "I wonder what I should make for my next character."

Suppose you put 1000 people in each of two rooms.  In the first room everyone is wearing white except for 1 person in 20 that wears red.  In the second room everyone is wearing white except for 1 person in 400 that wears red.  If you were to take a peek into each of those rooms I guarantee you'd notice the difference.

Now suppose we're not talking about SoD; we're talking about going for an operation.  If one doctor told me 1 in 20 people die in this operation, and a second doctor told me 1 in 400 people die, I would definitely notice the difference.
Tony_Vargas
Joined Sep 2001
12058 Posts
Pyro:  Yes, it's meaningful when the ol' Law of Large Numbers comes into it.  If D&D were being played in casinos for money, the house would be very concerned about Advantage on very easy or difficult checks.

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lord_daxl
Joined Dec 1969
I am afraid for the future of the game if the main rationale for this decision really is just to avoid players having to do basic math of adding and subtracting modifiers. ... I remain hopeful that there is a different design reasoning behind this mechanic.

I truly do not mean to be offensive, but did you read anything myself or Mend12 had so say?

The reduction of small modifiers is a perk associated with Adv/Dis, and its what the dev team has decided to use as the mechanics "selling point," but it is not the rationale behind the mechanic.

The point is to change the rate of success/failure without changing the range of possible rolls (because changing the range of possible rolls has implications that mess with BA).

I'm not sure if it was just a selling point, part of the rationale, or some tertiary benefit they weren't even originally counting on.  However, I would love for them to totally eliminate all of the small modifiers to save me the trouble of having to tally them all up.

chuck80
Joined Dec 1969
I am afraid for the future of the game if the main rationale for this decision really is just to avoid players having to do basic math of adding and subtracting modifiers. ... I remain hopeful that there is a different design reasoning behind this mechanic.

I truly do not mean to be offensive, but did you read anything myself or Mend12 had so say?

The reduction of small modifiers is a perk associated with Adv/Dis, and its what the dev team has decided to use as the mechanics "selling point," but it is not the rationale behind the mechanic.

The point is to change the rate of success/failure without changing the range of possible rolls (because changing the range of possible rolls has implications that mess with BA).

I'm not sure if it was just a selling point, part of the rationale, or some tertiary benefit they weren't even originally counting on.  However, I would love for them to totally eliminate all of the small modifiers to save me the trouble of having to tally them all up.

Well, if we can't figure out which one of the many positive aspects of a rule is the rational behind it, it's a sign of a rule that is truly a good fit for a game don't you think ?
Elfcrusher
Joined Dec 1969

It would be even better if they let advantage and disadvantage stack, such that advantage from two sources means 3d20 take highest.

This.
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samassaroni
Joined Dec 1969
I am afraid for the future of the game if the main rationale for this decision really is just to avoid players having to do basic math of adding and subtracting modifiers. ... I remain hopeful that there is a different design reasoning behind this mechanic.

I truly do not mean to be offensive, but did you read anything myself or Mend12 had so say?

The reduction of small modifiers is a perk associated with Adv/Dis, and its what the dev team has decided to use as the mechanics "selling point," but it is not the rationale behind the mechanic.

The point is to change the rate of success/failure without changing the range of possible rolls (because changing the range of possible rolls has implications that mess with BA).

I'm not sure if it was just a selling point, part of the rationale, or some tertiary benefit they weren't even originally counting on.  However, I would love for them to totally eliminate all of the small modifiers to save me the trouble of having to tally them all up.

I agree. But I think its important to understand that it isn't the reason the mechanic exists, because the argument that flat bonuses are better for some math reason is not valid if you remember that they fail to meet the goal that Adv/Dis is supposed to meet.
blacksheepcannibal
Joined Dec 1969
Because people "up down up down down up down" is easier/better than figuring out "2+3-4+2-2+1-1".

Because if you have 4 things are helping you accomplish an objective, you really only should get the bonus of one of them.

I'll let your own perception color if you think I'm arguing for or against dis/advantage.

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