5E Making the most of a Halfling's Lucky feature - Page 2
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  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Esker View Post
    That suggests to me that a halfling barbarian with GWM making constant reckless attacks at -5/+10 is in a position to benefit a lot from their race (I mean, other than the fact that they don't get a racial STR bonus).
    Size though kills this. With their small size any weapon with Heavy is at Disadvantage, which would cancel out the Advantage of Reckless. GWM requires Heavy.

    Any medium race could get the same (neither advantage or disadvantage) without the penalty from Reckless, or could get advantage with the penalty for Reckless.

    So an apple-to-apples of a +STR medium sized race vs. Halfling, both with a heavy weapon, using -5/+10 from GWM, and using Reckless would go fairly easily to the non-halfling.

  2. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blue View Post
    Size though kills this. With their small size any weapon with Heavy is at Disadvantage, which would cancel out the Advantage of Reckless. GWM requires Heavy.
    Ah, yeah. Forgot about the heavy property. It was already going to be pretty lousy anyway since they can't start with 16 STR so they'd perpetually be at -1 to hit and damage compared to any other race that gets a boost to strength. How about a sword bard xbow expert/sharpshooter using faerie fire constantly?

  3. #13
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    You know, it occurs to me that it's not only the "multiple d20s = better value from Lucky" thing that's a fallacy, but actually, so is the "multiple attacks = better value from Lucky" thing. Since the increase in accuracy is the same on every roll, rerolling 1s gives you the exact same benefit on one big attack that it does on multiple small ones, if the total damage is the same (since average DPR is just accuracy * average DPhR). You don't use it as often, but when you do, the increase in accuracy buys you more. Which means that a ranged arcane trickster with sharpshooter and a familiar might actually be one of the best to take advantage of the ability, since they can hide / get help for advantage on their single attack pretty often without spending anything, except sometimes their owl's HP. Though again, halfling is not without downsides (no darkvision, no access to elven accuracy).
    Last edited by Esker; Sunday, 16th June, 2019 at 01:40 AM.

  4. #14
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    If you want to take something really swingy, like rerolling 1's on a d20, and see that benefit on a nightly basis, you want to roll more dice. Obviously, if you roll X number of D20s the mathematical upside of rerolling 1's is the same regardless of the time frame of those roles. However, the occurrence of those roles in a given gaming evening, and thus the impact on how the ability feels like part of the character, number of dice does change the results dramatically.

    That said, advantage is a clear winner in the roll more d20s competition, so it's not a bad idea anyway.

  5. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fenris-77 View Post
    If you want to take something really swingy, like rerolling 1's on a d20, and see that benefit on a nightly basis, you want to roll more dice. Obviously, if you roll X number of D20s the mathematical upside of rerolling 1's is the same regardless of the time frame of those roles. However, the occurrence of those roles in a given gaming evening, and thus the impact on how the ability feels like part of the character, number of dice does change the results dramatically. That said, advantage is a clear winner in the roll more d20s competition, so it's not a bad idea anyway.
    Well, ok, if we're just optimizing for frequency of use, then sure, roll often and roll with advantage often. Blue's OP indicated that he cared about actual impact, not just how often you reroll. I guess you could optimize for frequency of rerolls making a difference, which lies between raw frequency of rerolls and expected gain from rerolls. I was just pointing out that expected gain isn't increased by spreading out impact over more rolls.

  6. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fenris-77 View Post
    If you want to take something really swingy, like rerolling 1's on a d20, and see that benefit on a nightly basis, you want to roll more dice. Obviously, if you roll X number of D20s the mathematical upside of rerolling 1's is the same regardless of the time frame of those roles. However, the occurrence of those roles in a given gaming evening, and thus the impact on how the ability feels like part of the character, number of dice does change the results dramatically.

    That said, advantage is a clear winner in the roll more d20s competition, so it's not a bad idea anyway.
    However, the obvious is a trap that will lead you astray.

    We're not optimizing for number of times it comes into play. We're optimizing for the change it makes. The amout the boolean succeed/fail changes.

    For example, if we hit on a 2+, our chance to miss diminishes twentyfold with lucky, since we go from 1/20 chance (a 1) to a 1/400 chance (a 1 then a 1). Getting four attacks instead of two won't make that kind of difference.

    Same for advantage - advantage gives twice as many chances to roll, sure. But it also gives halves the number of times it matters. Say you have advantage and reroll 1. The other, because we're not rerolling, is from 2 to 19, which is an average of exactly 11. So that reroll won't increase the advantage roll 55% of the time - any reroll from 1 to 11. So twice as many times to trigger but only half the effect make Advantage NOT a big winner for in making lucky more effect, just in making it trigger more often which not the goal itself.

    If you need more average numbers, like 60% chance to succeed, that's the places more attacks help. You go from a 40% chance of failure to a 35% + (5% * 40%) = 37% chance of failure. Yes, that 3% will make a difference over a large number of attacks, but it's not a dramatic chance. Say in 33 attacks the PC with lucky will have 1 more hit then the PC without it. Sure, reaching 33 swings sooner is nice, and any weapon wielder is happy with more attacks, but it's such a small change that Lucky isn't making a big difference over another character with the same number of attacks but without the Halfling's Lucky.

  7. #17
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    Do you think triggering lucky in combat regularly with advantage is aimed at hitting or crit fishing? I think crit fishing is where you'll see the biggest actual impact on effectiveness, and that is maybe the one case where rerolling ones with advantage actually might mean something even if the other roll hits.

  8. #18
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    The impact of Lucky on crits is exceedingly tiny. Even with advantage, the proportion of rolls that become crits that wouldn't otherwise be crits is about one in every 200 attack rolls. I don't know about your table but I probably get something like six combat turns in a typical night. Assuming a martial class with two attacks, that's about one extra crit per 15 game sessions if every roll is with advantage (which is not realistic). In a dedicated weekly game, that's maybe two or three extra crits per real-time year? Maybe twice that if you've got an expanded crit range? But as a crit fishing choice it loses handily to being an elf and getting elven accuracy.
    Last edited by Esker; Monday, 17th June, 2019 at 07:23 PM.

  9. #19
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    Of course it loses to Elven Accuracy. That rule is bloody fantastic and changes the whole game for characters who have it. We were just talking about trying to massage some feeling into what is a much smaller and less impactful rule. Your comment about chances of rerolling for that crit are on the nose btw, it's what, half a percent or something? It's little. Noticeable, but little. That's why my suggestion initially was aimed far more at increasing the occurrence of the reroll per session, rather than based on the math of the statistical impact. Regardless of the math, if you actually get to reroll a d20 or two per session then you'll feel like the rule is part of the character. That means rolling 20-40 d20s per session, or 6-7 per encounter (minimum, assuming 6 encounters). If you can throw that many dice, you'll probably get the chance to reroll a couple and feel lucky, and the more dice you toss, the more rerolls you'll get, etc etc. Completely about the feels, not the maths.

  10. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blue View Post
    I'm in the mood to roleplay a martial halfling. I was looking at Lucky and thinking about how I can make the most use of it. More as a fun exercise for what I could do with the character, not because I expect to come up with a DPR-king or anything like that. Lucky doesn't move the needle enough to optimize around it - unless you're doing it for the joy of playing around. Which I am.

    For my actual played character I'll be going with whatever will be fun to run, but I had a bunch of thoughts about Lucky and I wanted to have a theoretical discussion with folks. Get your ideas so we can really make a halfling shine regardless if it's the exact one I play.

    The follows is me sharing a bit of my journey of discovery, and I hope your comments lead me to unexplored territory I hadn't considered.

    So, let's set a foundation: Point buy, official books only, can't rely of getting specific magic items, played levels 1-12. We can talk up to 20 but who knows if a campaign will really reach there.

    That last part is a bit telling. You see, my original thought was that the best way to make use of lucky was the most attack roles. Both fighter and warlock's Eldritch Blast can manage 4 without a bonus action. But ... at the levels likely to be played the best they can do is get 3 attacks (without a bonus action) and even there most other martial classes keep up with them until 11th, which is the last 10%-ish of play. So maybe that's not as big of a deal if it's only for a bit of play.

    Halfling +2 DEX talks toward finesse or ranged weapons, though +1 CHR for Lightfoot can make warlock for EB (or Hexblade I guess) reasonable.

    Bonus action attacks: two weapon fighting with the fighting style is pretty accessible, and damage drop compared to finesse weapons isn't a big deal. Monk also gives a bonus action attack, with the chance to get a second for a Ki. Monk is pretty MAD though, which might take up feat space. Would have to play with it. Polearm Master gives a bigger weapon die and some other goodies, but none of the weapons (even the errata'd in Spear) are finesse, so it would have to go STR.

    And really, it seems like chance to hit is big for making the most of Halfling's Lucky. The smaller the die results that miss, the bigger the boolean hit/miss effect on rerolling one of them. If you hit on a 2 you normally have a 1/20 chance to miss. But if you reroll 1s, even if you need to keep it if it's another 1, it reduces that failure to 1/400. Now hitting on a 2+ isn't likely with bounded accuracy, but it's why moving to STR would dilute the talent a noticeable amount.

    Advantage is helped by lucky in a different way. It's two rolls, so two chances of Lucky coming into play. But ignoring the double 1 case, the chance that the reroll is the best roll is a little less than half (since we already know the other roll is above a 1). So it triggers twice as much but is only meaningful half as much - not that it's bad, but it's not as huge a help as it might seem on first blush.

    The more I think of it though Halfling's Lucky seems to give the most bang for the buck with the smallest chance to miss - that's a big impact vs. without Lucky. Compared to that, the chance of a "standard" 65% chance to hit increasing to 68% or something seems like not that huge of a change even with four attacks a round. Though as the saying goes, Quantity has it own Quality.

    If reducing chance to hit is the best case, going ranged with the Archery fighting style is attractive. Sharpshooter with its -5 dilutes Lucky even if normally it's a great feat. Crossbow Expert on the other hand adds more of that quantity. But is the opportunity cost for that worth delaying +2 DEX (which increases chance to hit and damage), or is it only worth it once DEX 20 has been achieved?

    And still, could Monk be the way to go? Does two-weapon come on early enough that it's the superior choice over levels 1-12 even if it doesn't finish quite as strong? EB Warlock with Devil's Sight and Darkness? Or, more excitingly, something I haven't thought about at all?

    What's your thoughts?
    I have a halfling monk and lucky rerolls happened quite often. 3 attacks on many rounds at level 2 and beyond is quite huge. You see a lucky reroll at least 1 per day.

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