The Overkill Damage Fallacy - Page 4
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  1. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by FrogReaver View Post
    Actually, in the broader context of the game, enemies typically take multiple hits to down, especially past first tier.
    The example you started this thread with had one hit kills.

    Now it's not representative of the game because I used your premise to demonstrate you might be wrong?

    That's cute.

  2. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dausuul View Post
    Yeah, it blows the whole argument out of the water. If you compare two PCs with exactly the same amount of overkill, of course your analysis will find that overkill is not a factor. If we're going to use silly white-room examples, why not have the PCs deal 5 and 10 damage instead of 4 and 8? Suddenly PC #2 has an 84% chance of killing a monster on the first round, and a 36% chance of killing a second monster, while PC #1 has a 60% chance of killing one and a 0% chance of killing a second. Thus, we can "prove" that overkill is THE dominant factor in combat, with just a small change to our rectally generated values.
    Showing that the 2 attack PC kills enemies faster in a given scenario doesn't prove overkill had anything to do with it. In fact overkill had nothing to do with it. The damage distribution favored the two attack PC in this situation.

    In actual play, I have found that overkill is a minor factor, but not for the reason OP claims. Monsters usually have a lot more than 4-5 hit points, and PCs tend to use their big guns - fireballs, assassinate attacks, et cetera - early in the fight when the monsters are at or near full hit points. As a result, the vast majority of damage goes to the monsters' hit points and very little is wasted. The only time I see a lot of overkill damage is when the wizard catches a lot of low-level monsters in a fireball, and in that scenario, the fireball is still generating good value because it hit so many targets.
    How would you know when overkill would have been a factor in actual play? (Let me grab some popcorn because this explanation should be good)

  3. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by FrogReaver View Post
    Sure. But are you really claiming such an encounter is anything other than an exception to the norm?
    Not remotely, just that 5e BA was designed in part, to enable it, so it shouldn't be discounted.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mistwell View Post
    You basically asserted mine was not plausible,
    Nope. I asserted that lone-character scenarios were less plausible.

    with the only basis for this assertion being.
    The expectation that D&D is typically played by a group. Do you wish to argue that, to the contrary, solo play is the norm?
    Last edited by Tony Vargas; Sunday, 9th June, 2019 at 04:41 AM.

  4. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mistwell View Post
    The example you started this thread with had one hit kills.

    Now it's not representative of the game because I used your premise to demonstrate you might be wrong?

    That's cute.
    My one hit kills were with the higher damage attack not the lower damage attack... I really don't expect you to understand the significance of that though

  5. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tony Vargas View Post
    Not remotely, just that 5e BA was designed in part, to enable it, so it shouldn't be discounted.
    I think your missing the forest for the trees. When making generalizations we most definitely should discount outliers. While the game can handle such a situation, we both agree that it's an outlier.

  6. #36
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    @Mistwell

    By the way why are you even here? I just told you on another thread:

    I have blocked you. Please abide by the spirit of the block rules (even though you are apparently immune to the condition) and refrain from posting in my threads and replying to my posts. Thanks.
    My opinion since then has only hardened.

  7. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by FrogReaver View Post
    I think your missing the forest for the trees. When making generalizations we most definitely should discount outliers. While the game can handle such a situation, we both agree that it's an outlier.
    Is it an outlier - like the single-PC party - or part of the expected range of play? It's intentionally enabled and often offered as an example of something 5e handles better than other editions, due to BA.

  8. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tony Vargas View Post
    Is it an outlier - like the single-PC party - or part of the expected range of play? It's intentionally enabled and often offered as an example of something 5e handles better than other editions, due to BA.
    It can be both

  9. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by FrogReaver View Post
    If the enemy dies faster then you get to start applying your damage to the next enemy that much faster.
    If you are going to use this reasoning, then you need to give PC 2 "credit" for kills on the half rounds because it is at that point that, as you say, PC 2 gets to start applying damage to the next enemy. For instance, instead of this entry in the PC 2 table:

    2 0.4608 (which contributes 0.9216 to the total)

    instead you should have

    1.5 0.288 (contrib. 0.432)
    2.0 0.1728 (contrib. 0.3456)

    The total of these two is 0.7776, which is 0.144 less than 0.9216. That by itself brings the total for PC 2 down to ~ 1.682. The appropriate adjustments for the subsequent rounds would result in additional small downward adjustments to the total. It's just a guess, but I conjecture that adjusted in this way and carried all the way out as infinite series, the PC 1 and PC 2 scenarios actually converge to exactly the same number.

    Although looking at your PC 2 table further, I'm not sure I can duplicate the calculation that leads to the numbers you have for Kill Chance on rounds 3 and 4. Could be my hand calculations are off; I will redo and check back later.

  10. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mistwell View Post
    PC 1 does 6 units of damage with each hit, and has only one attack.
    PC 2 does 2 units of damage with each hit, and has two attacks.
    There are two foes, and each dies after taking 2 units of damage.
    In this scenario, PC 2 can kill both foes. PC 1 cannot. Even though PC 1 does more total damage, it's meaningless as 4 units of their damage is wasted on a hit. Meanwhile, no units of damage from PC 2 is wasted on a hit.

    So, overkill damage issues require an analysis of the different types of scenarios to see if they are meaningful or not. Picking an example where it doesn't matter isn't any more or less compelling than picking an example like this one where it does matter.

    Bottom line, it CAN matter, depending on the scenario, and that has to be factored into broader analysis.
    Except for when you use the optional cleave rule. Then both can kill two adjacent enemies.

    I use them with 2 variations: the first creature does not need to be undamaged. The attack just has to deal the creature's max hp as damage and this amount is deducted.
    The second variation is that the next creature's AC is increased by 2 due to cover.

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