[Tactical Module] What's wrong with 'Facing'?

What's wrong with 'Facing' you might ask. Well here is a short list:


  1. Every round most characters will place themselves with their backs to a wall.

  2. If not #1, then the party or group will put their backs to each other and face outward.

  3. You end up with crazy dances as everyone (monsters and characters) move around each other 15' each round to be able to hit the back of their target.

What else is wrong with facing and why Mearls and Co. should drop it when referencing the tactical module? Smile
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Yes there are posible problems with facing but i can understand why they are trying to implement it.

4th edition tactical combat relied on there being lots of powers that alouwed pushes pulls slides and other extra movemet.
But those kind of powers/spells are harder to track in TOM play so you don't want to many of them as you want the game to be easy to play in TOM for people who prefer that playstyle.

So the question becomes what tactical elment could you add to the curent playtest without having to re write any of the curent rules that are there ( like classes abilities and spells) and still have realy intresting tactical combat?

Adding the combat grid + flanking only brings you to the 3.X level of tactical combat.
So you need to add other elements to bring it to a higer level.

Facing is somthing you can add to the system without the system having to be changed for it as shown with the facing rules in ADnD 2nd edition combat and tactics

The things you listed are features, not bugs.


The whole point of having facing is to make it so people don't want enemies to hit them in the back.


The third one is the only one that isn't actively good, and that's just an artifact of the silly combat movement/opp attack rules currently.
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The tricky bit is to have tac-rules that do NOT encourage "turtling."

4E did a great job of this. 3rd was notable for turtling, IMX.

Hard for me to recall 1e/2e b/c I played them when I was 8 - 10.

I'm not ultra-concerned with facing; it's the "stand perfectly still in this corner" that I want gone.

  1. Every round most characters will place themselves with their backs to a wall.

  2. If not #1, then the party or group will put their backs to each other and face outward.

  3. You end up with crazy dances as everyone (monsters and characters) move around each other 15' each round to be able to hit the back of their target.

What else is wrong with facing and why Mearls and Co. should drop it when referencing the tactical module? Smile



Why is any of this a problem?    
What's wrong with 'Facing' you might ask. Well here is a short list:


  1. Every round most characters will place themselves with their backs to a wall.

  2. If not #1, then the party or group will put their backs to each other and face outward.

  3. You end up with crazy dances as everyone (monsters and characters) move around each other 15' each round to be able to hit the back of their target.

What else is wrong with facing and why Mearls and Co. should drop it when referencing the tactical module?



Yeah, I agree. I could see having "facing" be an optional rules variant, but I would not want to add additional layer of complexity to the tactics module by rote. That being said, they have plenty of design space to include multiple rules-variants for all sorts of tactical combat situations.
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What's wrong with 'Facing' you might ask. Well here is a short list:


  1. Every round most characters will place themselves with their backs to a wall.

  2. If not #1, then the party or group will put their backs to each other and face outward.

  3. You end up with crazy dances as everyone (monsters and characters) move around each other 15' each round to be able to hit the back of their target.

What else is wrong with facing and why Mearls and Co. should drop it when referencing the tactical module?



I don't think facing -is- bad for a tactical module.  Rogues in particular function very well in facing terms.  So I can't see #1 or #2 as being a problem, but more a tactical mindset (and not something that is always possible from a strictly in-character point of view; after all, backing up to the wall is pointless if the monsters don't follow you there and instead decide to chuck flaming oil at you or something).  #3 is easily solvable by limiting movement to half speed if you want to alter facing more than once (ie, you wouldn't have the moment rate to go from facing a creature, moving around it without an attack, and ending up facing its back).

"Lightning...it flashes bright, then fades away.  It can't protect, it can only destroy."

Actually, facing isn't a bad idea. Tactics games have been using it successfully for years. Points 1 and 2 are legitimate and encouraged tactics, while the third is an unfortunate side effect of turn-based combat in general.

They could discourage the backstab dance by making a rule or feat so that moving more than 90 degrees around a character provoked a change in facing, or perhaps an opportunity attack.
What's wrong with 'Facing' you might ask. Well here is a short list:


  1. Every round most characters will place themselves with their backs to a wall.

  2. If not #1, then the party or group will put their backs to each other and face outward.

  3. You end up with crazy dances as everyone (monsters and characters) move around each other 15' each round to be able to hit the back of their target.

What else is wrong with facing and why Mearls and Co. should drop it when referencing the tactical module?



The worst thing about it is that Mearls keeps using it as an example of what 4th players want from Next.

Is there even one single 4th Edition fan who actually wants facing in the game?

Other than that, it might be ok as one optional element. 
Here's the issue I have with facing:

If I'm aware of you, and then you run up to try and whack me in the back of the head, I'm just going to turn around and face you.
That's why all our 1e characters would always sit with our backs to the wall in every tavern.

There's nothing wrong with facing. Characters who decide to stand back to back may be fine, but keep in mind there's area of effect spells that will whammy them if they use that tacic all the time.

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Here's the issue I have with facing:

If I'm aware of you, and then you run up to try and whack me in the back of the head, I'm just going to turn around and face you.



and now the guy that was in front of you is at your back.

And in the ADnD 2nd edition combat and tactics facing and rules any time you turned your back to a enemy that was facing and you and where in his weapon reach  would get a free attack.
We always played that a PC could manuever to keep 3 foes in his front. If 4 foes 1 of them would get a flank bonus. It was quick, easy, and made enough sense.
*shrug*



combat and tactics used the folowing template
F front
S Side  if you atack a creature in his side you have a +1 to hit
B Back  if you attacked a creature in the back you have a +2 to hit.
C character 

FFF
SCS
BBB 

what you discribe is basicly the same system only translated back to TOM play. 
What's wrong with 'Facing' you might ask. Well here is a short list:


  1. Every round most characters will place themselves with their backs to a wall.

  2. If not #1, then the party or group will put their backs to each other and face outward.

  3. You end up with crazy dances as everyone (monsters and characters) move around each other 15' each round to be able to hit the back of their target.


What else is wrong with facing and why Mearls and Co. should drop it when referencing the tactical module? Smile




What's wrong with 'Flanking', you might ask? Well, here is a short list:

1. Every round most characters will place themselves on either side of an enemy.
2. Pushes, pulls, slides, etc. will be used to position enemies into a flanking predicament.
3. You end up with crazy dances as everyone (monsters and characters) move around each other to get into proper flanking positions.

What's wrong with 'Opportunity Attacks', you might ask? Well, here is a short list:

1. Every round most characters will position themselves so as to take advantage of a moving or fleeing enemy.
2. If not #1, then the party or group will use taunts, etc. to draw enemies into OA situations.
3. You end up with crazy dances as everyone (monsters and characters) position themselves to take full advantage of OA's.

What's wrong with 'Superior Cover', you might ask? Well, here is a short list:

1. Every round most characters will position themselves behind walls, crates, etc. to get superior cover.
2. Everyone will just want to use ranged attacks so they don't have to give up their cover.
3. You end up with crazy dances as everyone (monsters and characters) position themselves to maintain superior cover.

This could go on and on. Facing as a rule is fine. It's been fine for a very long time, now. Finding one combat/tactical technique and nit-picking it too much will, of course, show faults in it. This goes for any and all such techniques. The three things you listed are exactly what will happen most of the time (whenever it's possible, that is), and exactly what is supposed to happen.
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Actually, facing isn't a bad idea.  



Given how easy it is for a single combatant to adjust... treating it like I am facing 1 direction for an entire melee round is outrageously ridiculous. It was really bad in 1e when that one round was 1 minute. A fast man can move 180 feet in 6 seconds... I think unless you have enemies drawing your attention 2 different directions (alah flanking) then saying the character is facing the best direction to engage with all enemies they are engaged with is appropriate.

Facing in Wargames was important because of the limit of formational movement. 
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We always played that a PC could manuever to keep 3 foes in his front. If 4 foes 1 of them would get a flank bonus. It was quick, easy, and made enough sense.
*shrug*

This. PC always automatically turns to keep one foe at his front. If using a grid, then you need at least 2 enemies to flank you. It not using grid we used to say the PC could keep 3 in front/side, and yeah by the 4th, he is behind you.
If anyone gets a bonus you probably all do... because you are most likely quick switching your attention between any all of them. 
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At full hit points and still wounded to incapacitation? you are playing 1e.
By virtue of being a player your characters are the protagonists in a heroic fantasy game even at level one
"Wizards and Warriors need abilities with explicit effects for opposite reasons. With the wizard its because you need to create artificial limits on them, they have no natural ones and for the Warrior you need to grant permission to do awesome."

 

..."window.parent.tinyMCE.get('post_content').onLoad.dispatch();" contenteditable="true" />Given how easy it is for a single combatant to adjust... treating it like I am facing 1 direction for an entire melee round is outrageously ridiculous. It was really bad in 1e when that one round was 1 minute. A fast man can move 180 feet in 6 seconds... I think unless you have enemies drawing your attention 2 different directions (alah flanking) then saying the character is facing the best direction to engage with all enemies they are engaged with is appropriate.
 



Yeah to me, all facing did was showcase the weakness of turn based combat systems. It's something to be avoided.

Here's the issue I have with facing:

If I'm aware of you, and then you run up to try and whack me in the back of the head, I'm just going to turn around and face you.



and now the guy that was in front of you is at your back.

And in the ADnD 2nd edition combat and tactics facing and rules any time you turned your back to a enemy that was facing and you and where in his weapon reach  would get a free attack.



The example you mention is handled by the flanking rules:  If I'm facing 2 people on either side, I'm at combat disadvantage.  Additionally, the other times "attacking from behind" could come into play, such as being unaware of your opponent or being surprised, are also handled by similar rules (unaware opponent, flat-footed, etc.).

This seems like a problem that has already been fixed in the last 2 iterations of D&D.  I'd be curious to see an example of an "attacking from behind" situation that isn't covered by flanking, unaware opponent, or flat-footed rules.  The only thing I can think of is a halfling tumbling between an ogre's legs to attack him from behind.

There is lot more to facing than just a plus to hit, such as its effects on perception and so forth.  So I personally would love facing rules, if you could handle them in a turn-based system better than the existing flanking, etc. rules already do.  I just don't see how you do it with out adding the weirdness of one guy facing another guy, and then the other guy somehow getting behind him and attacking him in the back before the other guy can react.

Rather than facing, because you will tend to divide up your attention so as to track all foes, just divide up the bonus. Make it so that when you attack an enemy you get a +1 to hit for each Ally Adjacent (or threatening if they have reach) to that enemy. This would work against PCs most of the time since they usually face more mobs, it gives lesser mobs in greater numbers an advantage.

You are surrounded by 4 enemies, if any enemy attacks you, they get a +3 bonus to hit because they have 3 other allies next to you. Obviously only Allies that threaten count, stunned or dazed or blind or whatever else removes threat eliminates them as a bonus to you.

You could even give this to Ranged attacks, for each ally adjacent to your target you get a +1 to hit with a ranged attack. Of course you might want to only give this if the system imposes a penalty for firing into melee, a way to offset it. Or you could optionally grant it always, it would be an option.

This would be simple and do away with facing. If you need to know if you get a "back attack" for some reason (like backstab), you could rule that if you get a +3 or greater bonus from this effect you count as getting a back attack. Maybe rogues only need a +2 from this to get it due to being skilled in getting at the back.

Larry 
Combat is frantic and chaotic, but in a game it needs to be orderly, so every tabletop RPG makes combat turn-based. This is a compromise. The neat 5x5 ft squares of a battlegrid make it even neater and more regimented, a further compromise to reduce abstraction. I'm okay with this so far.

However, adding facing is where I draw the line. When I put my coin or token or miniature down on the table, I can imagine how the actual character occupies that square, dodging and weaving and striking into adjacent squares. However, if facing is part of it, then in my mind, the character stops moving and is forced to stand rigidly facing ahead. Enemies are forced to awkwardly flit around the battlefield trying to sneak in behind. My enemies' enemies (my friends?) then have to maneuver to get behind the enemy, ad infinitum, front to back, front to back, dancing behind each other's backs until somebody finally dies. This is silly.

Facing was a big part of Final Fantasy Tactics. While I loved the game, it resulted in a lot of moving around to get behind your enemy. Then that enemy moves around you to get to your back. And so on. It's not a feature I want to see in D&D.
If we get facing, does this mean we get a smaller line of sight as well?
Like a theif sneaking behind two guards and etc.  

I wouldn't mind flanking bonus, I mean some monsters already got an ability for that.  
Combat is frantic and chaotic... When I put my coin or token or miniature down on the table, I can imagine how the actual character occupies that square, dodging and weaving and striking into adjacent squares. However, if facing is part of it, then in my mind, the character stops moving and is forced to stand rigidly facing ahead.


Which is exactly why we always assumed a PC could manuever within his "5x5 area" to keep 3 opponents in his "front".
In RoleMaster, they use hexes instead of squares, which kinda made facing easier, or harder, depending on how you looked at it and how much assumption one used. IIRC, there may have been a rule on how many hexsides a PC could turn in one round, but movement in RM wasn't in 5 foot increments. It could be any number, depending on Quickness score and height of the PC. (Yes, I said height of the PC! Movement rate was modified by the "stride" of the PC, which was determined by height. So yeah, dwarves and halflings always had slower move rates).
But we haven't played any RPGs in some years now.
*shrug*

Personally I don't care for hexes at "person scale." I find they make movement needlessly complicated.
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..."window.parent.tinyMCE.get('post_content').onLoad.dispatch();" contenteditable="true" />The worst thing about it is that Mearls keeps using it as an example of what 4th players want from Next.

Is there even one single 4th Edition fan who actually wants facing in the game?

Other than that, it might be ok as one optional element. 



Agreed!   If you actually ask 4e players, they talk about balance, narrative control for all characters, interesting options round/round, etc etc.   I've never heard a 4e player say "What I really want is facing rules".  Now, I could be wrong - maybe there's an untapped market for 4e players who really want facing.  But, why can't mearls talk about balance, or martial dailies, or anything that 4e players actually care about?

I have been using facing rules in my other RPGs for years, with no problems. It certainly makes for more realistic combat than the conga lines you get with TotM combat.

 

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The issue I had when playing 4e was that it encouraged bad real world tactics.  Our entire group was scattered around the room fight enemies individually.   Because with our powers, that was the best way to get in a good attack.   I think in 1e, we almost universally fought in areas where we could limit the enemies access to us.  At least at low level anyway.  So if we were in a large room in 4e, we would immediately spread out when an enemy appeared.  In 1e we would flee back to the entrance and make a stand there.

Obviously at high levels, things did change.  I'm talking 1st through 10th. 
Q: What's wrong with 'Facing'?

A: Nothing.
Flanking is a facing rule that aknowledges without a reason to split your attention you can face the direction you most need to and that its the split attention which garners the benefits. What it doesnt aknowledge is that more is better... the more ways you are forced to split the worse it gets.

I seem to recall Wrecan made up a variant that took that part in to account and made it work theatre of the mind style.  .
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Improvisation in 4e: Fave 4E Improvisations - also Wrecans Guides to improvisation beyond page 42
The Non-combatant Adventurer (aka Princess build Warlord or LazyLord)
Reality is unrealistic - and even monkeys protest unfairness
Reflavoring the Fighter : The Wizard : The Swordmage - Creative Character Collection: Bloodwright (Darksun Character) 

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

 

Here's the issue I have with facing:

If I'm aware of you, and then you run up to try and whack me in the back of the head, I'm just going to turn around and face you.



and now the guy that was in front of you is at your back.

And in the ADnD 2nd edition combat and tactics facing and rules any time you turned your back to a enemy that was facing and you and where in his weapon reach  would get a free attack.

Which is why flanking was the perfect compromise.  If there's only one guy next to you, you WILL face him if you can.  The idea that you can run around to their back and stab them, because they're standing perfectly still while you take your turn and then you stand perfectly still while they take their turn and run around to your back and stab you, is patently ridiculous.  However, if there also happens to be a guy in front of him, and you run around to the back, he can't turn to face you without turning his back on the other guy.  He therefore takes the compromise position and gives both of you a flank.  It works fine, and it makes sense. Facing is just flat out incompatible with round-robin initiative (unless you convert it to flanking-style rules).  I'd be fine with a "number of bad guys threatening you" rule as a more grid-less friendly version, but facing is just not workable in turn based (and even if it were, it would be the tiniest of steps towards deep tactical combat).
The issue I had when playing 4e was that it encouraged bad real world tactics.  Our entire group was scattered around the room fight enemies individually.   Because with our powers, that was the best way to get in a good attack.   I think in 1e, we almost universally fought in areas where we could limit the enemies access to us.  At least at low level anyway.  So if we were in a large room in 4e, we would immediately spread out when an enemy appeared.  In 1e we would flee back to the entrance and make a stand there.

Obviously at high levels, things did change.  I'm talking 1st through 10th. 

That surprises me. I know that every group is different, but every group of players I've ever DM'd for or been a part of knows almost instinctively that focus-fire is important. Even the weakest (non-minion) 4e monsters take multiple attacks to down, so focus-fire dramatically reduces the number of incoming attacks the party takes.  Additionally, spreading out denies you flanking bonuses and makes it harder to funnel attacks to high-HP party members and the defender(s), in addition to making area attacks less valuable. I'm curious what it is about spreading out that your group found at all advantageous, much less advantageous enough to give up the massive advantages that focus-fire brings. (I'm genuinely curious, for real, because your tactics are so unlike how I've ever seen any RPG played.)
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What's wrong with 'Facing' you might ask. Well here is a short list:


  1. Every round most characters will place themselves with their backs to a wall.

  2. If not #1, then the party or group will put their backs to each other and face outward.

  3. You end up with crazy dances as everyone (monsters and characters) move around each other 15' each round to be able to hit the back of their target.

What else is wrong with facing and why Mearls and Co. should drop it when referencing the tactical module?

Facing makes a lot of sense in a wargame where you have units in formation.  In a very small-scale tactical game it could still make sense, but, with D&D's long rounds organized into turns, the result could be silly.

You first two issues are actually fairly sensible.  So would be forming a line or other formation or holding a doorway  to prevent the enemy coming at your back or flank.  

The third would be solved by allowing all figures to change facing out of turn.  

So if someone "moves around you" you just turn to face him.  Instead of having flanking as a condition, you'd have bonuses for attacking from the flank or rear, and two enemies who move to opposite sides of their target force him to either face one, granting a rear attack, or face neither, granting two flank attacks.

 
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What's wrong with 'Facing' you might ask. Well here is a short list:


  1. Every round most characters will place themselves with their backs to a wall.

  2. If not #1, then the party or group will put their backs to each other and face outward.

  3. You end up with crazy dances as everyone (monsters and characters) move around each other 15' each round to be able to hit the back of their target.



This is all completely untrue, I have played 1st/2nd Ed with facing rules (many didn't use them), and other games, this is not how combats ran. Smile

The issue I had when playing 4e was that it encouraged bad real world tactics.  Our entire group was scattered around the room fight enemies individually.   Because with our powers, that was the best way to get in a good attack.   I think in 1e, we almost universally fought in areas where we could limit the enemies access to us. 

That surprises me. I know that every group is different, but every group of players I've ever DM'd for or been a part of knows almost instinctively that focus-fire is important.

Sounds more like they played more melee classes in 4e.  In AD&D, you'd rarely have more than one or two fighters.  They'd stand at the front of the party while marching down ten foot wide corridors, forming a wall, everyone else would attack from behind them.  At range, or if one was a fan of polearms, from the second rank.  Same for doorways.  It's a solid, sensible tactic, and it only requires one or two guys willing to play the fighters and a cleric to heal them, while everyone else can play elves and magic-users and whatever.  

In 4e, the fighter was a much more capable and interesting class and there were a lot of other melee alternatives, as well.  So maybe they just had more people playing melee types, so they'd take the fight to the enemy more agressively.  It would still make sense to gang up and gain flanking bonuses and concentrate damage rather than each choose an enemy, of course.

I suppose another factor is that it's possible to break up a formation in 4e, which has ways of forcing movement, so simply parking one guy in a doorway or forming a "fighter wall" isn't going to keep everyone else safe automatically.  On the other hand, even in an open-field battle a "defender" could hold more enemy attention, so losing a formation was less disasterous.



 
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I hated 2E Combat&Tactics. Not just for facing but because the rules it introduced were very unbalanced and random.

The whole idea of facing is flawed. It makes no real world sense. In the real world fighting multiple opponents might be a problem, and flanking rules model that quite well. Facing only becomes an issue in a turn based system.

But, what about enemies that sneak up on you, I hear people ask? I say those should not be handled by facing rules either, but with hiding/sneaking rules.

A facing mechanic is entirely the result of using turn based combat, it has no root in the real world.

If you are trying to simulate a real fight, flanking, attacks of opportunity and some other mechanics make sense, facing does not. Facing only makes sense within the context of turn based combat. I would avoid it as it makes it feel more like a game and less like simulating a fight.

5e should strongly stay away from "I don't like it, so you can't have it either."

 

I once asked the question (in D&D 3.5) "Does a Druid4/Wizard3/ArcaneHierophant1 have Wildshape?". Jesse Decker and Andy Collins: Yes and the text is clear and can't be interpreted differently. Rich Redman and Ed Stark: No and the text is clear and can't be interpreted differently. Skip Williams: Lol, it's worded ambiguously and entirely not how I intended it. (Cust. Serv. Reference# 050815-000323)

Facing only makes sense within the context of turn based combat.



You say this twice, but never expain it or support it. 

Which way you're looking has a tremendous impact in how you fight. Any decent combat sim would include facing. You're entirely off-base by saying the opposite.

If you have to fix it, it's broken.


A facing mechanic is entirely the result of using turn based combat, it has no root in the real world.



Actually, I would argue that facing makes the most sense outside of turnbased combat.
(For one, it's reasonably workable in real time games, like MMOs, but that's not really my point.)

Facing works reasonably well for out of combat things like sneaking past guards and the like. You can't easily sneak past the guard if you are in the open in his line of sight, but if you get behind him you have a shot (make too much noise and he'll turn and look though!)

Once someone knows there's a fight going on, they'll be much more alert and aware of their surroundings.      
Facing only makes sense within the context of turn based combat.



You say this twice, but never expain it or support it. 

Which way you're looking has a tremendous impact in how you fight. Any decent combat sim would include facing. You're entirely off-base by saying the opposite.





A facing mechanic is entirely the result of using turn based combat, it has no root in the real world.



Actually, I would argue that facing makes the most sense outside of turnbased combat.
(For one, it's reasonably workable in real time games, like MMOs, but that's not really my point.)

In non-turn based combat you will be facing your opponent, unless you're not aware of him, or there are multiple opponents and they try to flank you.
I see no reason in the real world to stand with your back to an opponent if no flanking or sneaking/hiding is involved. In MMOs characters usually automatically turn to their target, or direction doesn't matter. In FPS it does matter, but is more a case of hiding/sneaking/concealment/etc.

Flanking rules handle the actual flanking case much better than facing rules in a turn based system, you otherwise need weird rules that (N)PCs can adjust their facing when it's not their turn as a reaction and other things like that, or you end up with the kind of issues the OP describes.

Facing works reasonably well for out of combat things like sneaking past guards and the like. You can't easily sneak past the guard if you are in the open in his line of sight, but if you get behind him you have a shot (make too much noise and he'll turn and look though!)

Once someone knows there's a fight going on, they'll be much more alert and aware of their surroundings.


I can see an argument for facing rules in out of combat situations, especially if sneaking/hiding is involved. But there you really get into roleplaying territory and have to think if the guard is just staring ahead, or looking around which is more something for the DM to decide and not really part of tactical combat in my view.

My point is that as soon as you assume that enemies will usually try to face each other in combat, facing rules stop making sense except as a poor substitute for flanking rules.

5e should strongly stay away from "I don't like it, so you can't have it either."

 

I once asked the question (in D&D 3.5) "Does a Druid4/Wizard3/ArcaneHierophant1 have Wildshape?". Jesse Decker and Andy Collins: Yes and the text is clear and can't be interpreted differently. Rich Redman and Ed Stark: No and the text is clear and can't be interpreted differently. Skip Williams: Lol, it's worded ambiguously and entirely not how I intended it. (Cust. Serv. Reference# 050815-000323)

I like the "gang up" rule in Savage worlds. It both eliminates having to track facing and exact positioning while simulating flanking. It functions with or without the grid.

I liked the way the old Turbografx 16 game Military Madness handled things as well. They had a support/surround effect were the attacker added all her allies that surrounded the defender and the defender added all his adjacent allies and the difference was the bonus or penalty.

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One and two are not problems but features. I see both as a healthy addition to combat. The third one is a problem, but it is easily fixed. All they need to do is say that you do not threaten the space opposite which you are facing. Moving into that space would then provoke an attack of opportunity. They could also add a rule which states that, if you are aware of an opponent, an attack from an opponent allows you to change your facing as a reaction.

Personally, I think facing would be a great addition to the game.   
One and two are not problems but features. I see both as a healthy addition to combat. The third one is a problem, but it is easily fixed. All they need to do is say that you do not threaten the space opposite which you are facing. Moving into that space would then provoke an attack of opportunity. They could also add a rule which states that, if you are aware of an opponent, an attack from an opponent allows you to change your facing as a reaction.

Personally, I think facing would be a great addition to the game.   


I think those things are much better handled by flanking rules as it avoids weird reaction actions outside of your turn. It makes the game unnecessarily complex, while if you just assume that you will always try to face an enemy you are aware of only leaves flanking and gets rid of having to act outside of your turn.

5e should strongly stay away from "I don't like it, so you can't have it either."

 

I once asked the question (in D&D 3.5) "Does a Druid4/Wizard3/ArcaneHierophant1 have Wildshape?". Jesse Decker and Andy Collins: Yes and the text is clear and can't be interpreted differently. Rich Redman and Ed Stark: No and the text is clear and can't be interpreted differently. Skip Williams: Lol, it's worded ambiguously and entirely not how I intended it. (Cust. Serv. Reference# 050815-000323)

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