D&D 5E 5e, Heal Thyself! Is Healing Too Weak in D&D?

Eric V

Hero
If the grappling gnoll or gnolls were on either side or behind the target, potentially not. But assuming you're swarming the victim with a bunch of gnolls to hit them in melee, yes, they'd probably wind up with cover from any gnolls shooting from a distance.

Edit: Hang on, does Grappled even give Advantage to other attackers? I don't believe it does in 5th edition.

Normally to get Advantage out of grappling in 5E you need to FIRST grapple the target, THEN knock them Prone, so your allies who are also within 5' of the target can get Advantage to attack the prone target.

Am I forgetting a gnoll special ability?
And being prone causes disadvantage on ranged attacks, yes?
 

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Eric V

Hero
And based on experience with all editions, I know not to run a combat using 4e, horde or not, because it takes ages and requires pushing figurines on a map (and I don't have a 100 orc figurines), whereas in 5e (and in BECMI / AD&D before) I never had any problem running them in particular using theater of the mind:
  • Player: "how many orcs can I catch in my fireball ?
  • DM: "Where they are the most dense, I'd say about 20, done, they are burnt to a crisp, there's only 80 left, a bit shaken by the blast, next ?"
Much more cinematic and waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaayyyyyyyy quicker. :p
:rolleyes:

Ok. Last time I am replying to you.

My interaction with this thread began with asking if 5e actually has minions, per se; hordes of enemies that are easily taken down but are still a viable threat to the heroes. My actual experience Dming 5e since it came out was that, no, it does not. I pointed out it was too bad, because that design had been done before, and done well (in that it accomplished the "easily taken down but are still a viable threat to the heroes" aspect).

That's it. Nothing more than that. There's really not much that's controversial about that statement.

Why you started bringing in frequency, the missing master of minions, etc. I have no idea...and at this point, do not care to know.

Enjoy your gaming.
 

Lyxen

Great Old One
Ah, so you do not care how many hitpoints the orcs actually might have or how much damage a fireball actually does or if the orcs manage to save or not, so it's like all of these orcs just really have 1 hitpoint.

Not at all, it's just that on average, the fireball will kill the orcs even those that make their save. And if it's not enough, then I'll describe a certain statistical number to be badly wounded, which is certainly even more cinematic. You DO know that 5e allows you to average things, right ?

That's a cool idea, makes things very fast, shame it's never been done before.

Yes, I hear some other edition did it really badly, allowing a chance for the orcs to survive TOTALLY UNSCATHED, about 50% actually, because of stupidly high defenses on minions, but I'm sure it's just a rumour. I also hear that that other edition does not know what a fireball is anyway, it only has firecubes, but that would certainly be too ridiculous, would it ? :p

So which one would you rather have, cinematically, a fireball that completely wipes out minions and leaves a few badly burnt or a cube that kills half and leaves the rest totally unburnt ?

See, I can wield that weapon too... :p
 

James Gasik

Legend
Supporter
Not at all, it's just that on average, the fireball will kill the orcs even those that make their save. And if it's not enough, then I'll describe a certain statistical number to be badly wounded, which is certainly even more cinematic. You DO know that 5e allows you to average things, right ?



Yes, I hear some other edition did it really badly, allowing a chance for the orcs to survive TOTALLY UNSCATHED, about 50% actually, because of stupidly high defenses on minions, but I'm sure it's just a rumour. I also hear that that other edition does not know what a fireball is anyway, it only has firecubes, but that would certainly be too ridiculous, would it ? :p

So which one would you rather have, cinematically, a fireball that completely wipes out minions and leaves a few badly burnt or a cube that kills half and leaves the rest totally unburnt ?

See, I can wield that weapon too... :p
Hey! I liked my firecubes!
 

Lyxen

Great Old One
I mean, 5e isn't any better about this. Why does Repelling Blast push people 10 feet, exactly?

Because it's a blast of force with a specific strength ? Rather than forcing characters, as a reflex to something hideous, to run precisely back 15 feet ? Because it's actually a blast, not, bizarrely, a creature showing her face in just one direction and creating that strong effect and then what, hiding it until it "recharges" ? And eliciting the same bizarre effect once more ?

And again, I'm not saying that 5e is perfect, there are probably a few effects which were created for pure technical value, but as far as I can see, it's a minority, whereas when I look at 4e, it's exactly the other way around. Some powers make sense, most are just bizarre names strapped on technical abilities that push figurines from one square to the next, without much description.
 

Lyxen

Great Old One
And being prone causes disadvantage on ranged attacks, yes?

It's a bit more precise than this and not limited to ranged attacks: "An attack roll against the creature has advantage if the attacker is within 5 feet of the creature. Otherwise, the attack roll has disadvantage." Furthermore, using ranged attack against adjacent creatures incurs disadvantage.
 

Lyxen

Great Old One
My interaction with this thread began with asking if 5e actually has minions, per se; hordes of enemies that are easily taken down but are still a viable threat to the heroes.

It does not have the minions as a definition, but you can use any much lower level creature than the PC as a minions if it's what you're looking for.

Moreover, you can create any monster any way you like, and give one exactly the attacks, defenses and hit points that you want. So if you want a demorgorgon with 1 hp, here you go, it's there.

My actual experience Dming 5e since it came out was that, no, it does not.

Then you probably have not tried well enough, there are multiple solutions, see above.

I pointed out it was too bad, because that design had been done before, and done well (in that it accomplished the "easily taken down but are still a viable threat to the heroes" aspect).

Because of bounded accuracy, lower level creatures are still a threat to heroes, in particular with numbers, which is exactly as it should be.

That's it. Nothing more than that. There's really not much that's controversial about that statement.

And the thing is that it's not "too bad", since it's easily done in many ways, so yes, it is actually controversial, especially since the "minion" concept is basically flawed in 4e because it's taken to the extreme (again for reasons of precision of the encounter calculator), with incredibly high defenses and offenses and no resilience. It's artificial, and it forces the DM to recreate monsters at every level of the PCs, so it's wasteful.

Why you started bringing in frequency, the missing master of minions, etc. I have no idea...and at this point, do not care to know.

I brought that up because you did, actually.

Enjoy your gaming.

You too.
 

Ovinomancer

No flips for you!
Not at all, it's just that on average, the fireball will kill the orcs even those that make their save. And if it's not enough, then I'll describe a certain statistical number to be badly wounded, which is certainly even more cinematic. You DO know that 5e allows you to average things, right ?
Oh. So what you meant was that you've gone through and noted all of the orc's hp totals, made the caster roll the damage, made all the individual saving throws for the orcs, annotated the hp changes, then determined which died or didn't die (because, on average, a fireball won't kill all of the orcs) -- some will be left with 1 hp when they save (irony!) and that's only assuming average which you can't do in a specific encounter where the fireball can roll low enough (.1% chance) that even on a failed save it doesn't kill any orcs (and a less than 40% chance it would always kill all orcs). That's what you meant by "faster" -- making the damage roll, making individual saving throws 20 times, and then annotating hp totals as needed. Yes, very much fast.
Yes, I hear some other edition did it really badly, allowing a chance for the orcs to survive TOTALLY UNSCATHED, about 50% actually, because of stupidly high defenses on minions, but I'm sure it's just a rumour. I also hear that that other edition does not know what a fireball is anyway, it only has firecubes, but that would certainly be too ridiculous, would it ? :p
Unscathed is doing work here because if we look above to the actual case of the fireball and orcs you presented, many orcs are also unscathed because they still have hp remaining and the removed hp don't require anything other than tracking towards eventual death. Another attack will likely kill them, just like a 4e orc that survives can be killed by... wait for it... another attack!

Gosh.
So which one would you rather have, cinematically, a fireball that completely wipes out minions and leaves a few badly burnt or a cube that kills half and leaves the rest totally unburnt ?
The fireball in 5e doesn't completely wipe out minions except for those at the very low end (orcs are CR 1/2 and aren't guaranteed)! Your argument is failing to actually account for the mechanics of the game you're providing as the better game while denigrating another as badwrongfun. It's not the best look for someone trying to make these arguments look objective when you aren't even successfully applying the process you're claiming is better.
See, I can wield that weapon too... :p
Oh, sorry, I appear to have made my save and so am unscathed.
 
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pemerton

Legend
And if it's physical, it should say so
Perhaps it's assumed that a game player can work out that an abyssal ghoul whose hunger is unending, and whose goal is to eat the living, is scratching and clawing and spitting and etc.

That seems not to have been true in your case. It was true in @Manbearcat's case and in my case - I never had trouble working out what an aura in a statblock corresponded to in the fiction. In one of the most recent 4e sessions I GMed a PC was fighting a hundred-handed one, which had an aura of autodamage (Avalanche of Blades). It wasn't ambiguous what was happening - the PC was being mauled by the hundred hands!

and be described that way so that once more intelligent players can deal with it properly instead of being subjected to them by DM's fiat, in particular if it's because the DM has simply decided that it would be cool tactically.

<snip>

I really dislike that kind of interpretation, I'm pretty sure that a lot of players would complain about player agency here, as a DM you don't get to describe how a character reacts to an event.
I can only comment on my players.

The way they deal with auras of damage is to take steps to reduce damage, which the game system offers to various degrees.

They didn't complain when their PCs, shocked by the horrific visage of the wight, recoiled in terror.

Deathlock Wights are not the first creatures in D&D to have fear effects, so I don't see why you would think they are especially egregious in this respect.

Being forced to move back exactly 3 squares is totally silly to me and just a backwards justification for a power that moves figurines on a boardgame.
What do you think the right distance should be?

I just looked up the d20 SRD and saw that a 3E mummy's aura of despair causes a PC to be paralysed with fear for 1d4 rounds. Why not 1d6 rounds? Why not until the mummy is out of sight? How is that not a "backwards justification" for a power that manipulates action economy in a wargame?

My point being that I am at a loss as to what your evaluative criteria are.

why does the wight not show her visage to every one around her ?
Because she can only look in one direction at once?

Why is that a specific power in one direction only ?
Because she can only look in one direction at once?

Is she forced to hide her visage again for the rest of the encounter ? Why does just showing her visage need to RECHARGE ?
The recharge is a pacing device. It's like limiting dragons to 3 breath weapons in AD&D, and having a 50/50 chance to breath or claw/claw/bite (MM p 30). Gameplay becomes boring if the same move gets made every turn. In the fiction, I imagine that the wight briefly reveals its true visage, like a revelatory glimpse in a horror film.

These are simple technical implements with no grounding in the fiction.
So you say. Reading the stat block for that wight, and then running it in play, gave me a more vivid sense of the fiction than I ever had with any other wight encounter. I recently ran White Plume Mountain, which has wights in it. There was no sense of horror or undeath at all. They were just game pieces which the players dealt with via a successful turning check from the cleric.

OK, so where does the specific differences of these orcs come from ? Answer, it comes from nowhere apart from the DM needed monsters TECHNICALLY at the level of the PCs. It's totally artificial.
There is no difference in the fiction. And how would the game mechanics not be artificial? They are artifice. They're artifice in 5e, too.

5e has just demonstrated that you DON'T NEED that technical device. Just use the same monster, no need for technical changes, it works.
All "works" means here is that you enjoy it. Whereas for me it holds no interest as a RPG system. 4e "works", in the sense that it gives me vivid fiction and gonzo FRPGing, as I said effortlessly.

Saying that a given adversary is powerful in the world has sense. Saying that it's power is relative to the PCs' current level is what is ARTIFICIAL.
The power of an Orc is not relative to anything. The statblock of an Orc is relative to what I want to do with it in the game. That is artifice. The stat block of 5e Orcs is artifice too.

You don't need it for your narration, it's contrary to the logic of the world. The ONLY thing that it provides is confort for the DM that the difficulty of the encounter is totally controlled. And that's one of the only two major reasons for which the 4e encounter calculator of 4e is more precise than that of 5e, because the aberrations come in 5e when you have multiple monsters and levels that vary a lot compared to that of the PCs (the other major reason is that 5e PCs are far less calibrated than 4e ones).

So it's just confort for the DM, but it's artificial and not needed for narration at all.

<snip>

it contradicts the global fiction of the world
I don't know what the word "needed" is doing here.

I don't know why you regard pacing as a comfort to the GM. In my experience, players also enjoy RPG experiences that are nicely paced.

I also don't know what you mean by the "logic of the world". What is it about the logic of the Nentir Vale, or (in my case, given the setting that I used for my 4e game) the Grand Duchy of Karameikos, that tells us how many hit points or what attack bonus an Orc has? Answer: nothing. Those are not elements of a fiction. They are technical game devices.

Only it's the other way around. You decide TECHNICALLY to use minions, and, thank goodness, the fiction supports it.
I'm not sure how you've become more of an expert on my decision-making processes than me!

What actually happens is that I decide that I think a certain scenario or situation would be cool - for instance, my gnolls had a pack of hyenas with them; I thought a hobgoblin phalanx seemed pretty cool; I liked the idea of the PC falling through the Elemental Chaos and landing on a Githzerai training ground - and then I work out how to mechanically implement it, using the very robust suite of tools that the system provides me with: minions, swarms, defence-and-damage-by-level guidelines, etc.

Often I can take a shortcut because a game designer has already done it for me, with a useful statblock in a rulebook or sourcebook.

"Effortlessly" when actually it requires adapting every single encounter to the level of the PCs at the time ?

Honestly, I find it even more effortless to NOT do that, just use the monsters as written or as I imagine them when I create my own.
So what you're saying here is that you do the same thing I do when GMing 4e: you either take a stat block that a game designer has written for you, or write up your own. I don't get how that is effortless for you but not for me.

constantly reworking the adversaries so that their level matches the PC, minions and others. But don't you see how artificial this is ? How unneeded it is and how? I'll give you a pointed example below.

<snip>

Fiction works the other way around, you create fictional situations where levels and other constructs don't matter.
This is confused.

A fictional situation is The PCs encounter Torog. But to resolve that in a RPG I need a system. And most of the time, my RPGing preference mean a system which uses dice as part of its resolution process. So I need numbers for the dice to interact with. In D&D, we call that a stat block.

As soon as I write up a stat block, I have levels and other constructs. Your 5e Monster Manual is full of them, just like my 4e MM is.

And what happens when they are side by side ? Or adventure in the same world. Do monsters change from one to the other ? I've had this specific example in shared campaigns, in particular our best one that lasted 10+ years with multiple DMs, where we had adventurers at any level between 1 and 20 (this was 3e) sharing the world. Did we need to adapt the monsters ? No, we did not, a monster was a monster, he did not suddenly change into a minions with totally different stats when another group, more or less powerful, went to the same type of area.
If I was running a campaign like you describe, with PCs of vastly differing power levels, I wouldn't use 4e D&D. I would probably use Cortex+ Heroic.

I'm not sure how that is supposed to prove that the fiction of my 4e game is incoherent because I used minions.

My worlds are completely different, there are situations, some the PC will decide to tackle, others later, others not, but the monsters will not change. And there is a good reason for that, because if they have different abilities, their plots would be different.
I assume by "monsters" you mean "stat blocks".

The changing numbers on a PC sheet reflect the transformation of the PC from noob to hero
Do they? Here's something I sent to the players in my 4e game in late 2008 or early 2009, before our first session:

Relationship Between Game Mechanics and Gameworld
Unlike 3E or Rolemaster, a lot of the 4e mechanics work best if they are not treated as a literal model of what is going on in the gameworld. So keep in mind that the main thing the mechanics tell you is what, mechanically, you can have your PC do. What your PC’s actions actually mean in the gameworld is up to you to decide (in collaboration with the GM and the other players at the table).

Some corollaries of this:

Character Levels
Levels for PCs, for NPCs and for monsters set the mechanical parameters for encounters. They don’t necessarily have any determinate meaning in the gameworld (eg in some encounters a given NPC might be implemented as an elite monster, and in other encounters – when the PCs are higher level – as a minion). As your PC gains levels, you certainly open up more character build space (more options for powers, more feats, etc). The only definite effect in the gameworld, however, is taking your paragon path and realising your epic destiny. How to handle the rest of it – is your PC becoming tougher, or more lucky, or not changing much at all in power level relative to the rest of the gameworld – is something that will have to come out in the course of play as the story of your PC unfolds.

PC Rebuilding
The rules for retraining, swapping in new powers, background feats etc, don’t have to be interpreted as literally meaning that your PC has forgotten how to do things or suddenly learned something new. Feel free to treat this as just emphasising a different aspect of your PC that was always there, but hadn’t yet come up in the course of play.​

So as you can see my 4e game did not rest on the premise that you state in your post.

Does this mean that the world transforms around them, that monsters change drastically gaining or losing abilities ? Not, it does not
Monsters in my 4e game don't "change drastically gaining or losing abilities" either. You seem to be confusing stat blocks - a mechanical artifice - for fiction.

what would have happened if the PCs had tackled things in a different order ? Again, the monsters would have artificially adapted to the different path, guaranteeing exactly that they met their match. There is no use being clever, there is no penalty for being dumb, the world adapts around them, and you think it creates fiction. It does not, it just creates a succession of challenges that you call greater because you adapt not only the numbers of the adventurers as they progress, but the numbers of the whole world.
I don't think you're in a position to tell me what the quality of the fiction was, or is, in my 4e game. My own view, not entirely modest, is closer to what this poster once said:

I am very impressed by the colourful setting that you and your players create. The mausoleum, the sphinx (and the poplars!), the search for the name of the goddess, the players' debate about how to deal with the threat - everything drips with life.

If the players had had their PCs do different things, then the situations would have been different, and the resulting fiction different. That's fairly typical for a RPG.

As to whether there is use in being clever, I don't know what you count as cleverness. I think I've seen some pretty clever play over the course of my GMing, in 4e as much as other systems. The PCs persuaded Yan-C-Bin to let them go, and to give them back their flying tower. That was pretty clever. They made friends with duergar and thereby were able to redeem captives who otherwise would have been enslaved. That seemed clever. In combats, they are always coming up with various combinations and interactions, mostly based around forced movement and condition infliction. That seems like reasonably clever play to me.

If by "clever" you mean having your 5th level PCs clean out kobold lairs knowing that the kobolds can't hurt them much, well that was never a part of my 4e game. 4e isn't well-suited to that sort of thing: as the rulebooks (both PHB and DMG) exposition of the tiers of play makes clear, it's a game focused on heroes confronting challenges that only they can overcome; it's not a game of hardscrabble, down-on-their-luck adventurers wondering when it would make sense to move from the first to the second level of the dungeon as a target for looting. If I wanted to run that sort of game I'd use AD&D, Moldvay Basic or Torchbearer.
 

James Gasik

Legend
Supporter
Because it's a blast of force with a specific strength ? Rather than forcing characters, as a reflex to something hideous, to run precisely back 15 feet ? Because it's actually a blast, not, bizarrely, a creature showing her face in just one direction and creating that strong effect and then what, hiding it until it "recharges" ? And eliciting the same bizarre effect once more ?

And again, I'm not saying that 5e is perfect, there are probably a few effects which were created for pure technical value, but as far as I can see, it's a minority, whereas when I look at 4e, it's exactly the other way around. Some powers make sense, most are just bizarre names strapped on technical abilities that push figurines from one square to the next, without much description.
Blasts of force don't usually move people around. See magic missile for details. And that's just one definition of repelling, it could just as easily be "be repulsive or distasteful to", implying that some sort of hellish energy is literally scaring people away!

Normally, such an effect would say something like, "as their reaction, the target moves half their speed directly away from the Warlock", but it doesn't have to. Most abilities in 5e don't really pause to explain how they work (going back to my example with Maneuvering Attack, which somehow grants my ally the ability to move additional speed when it's not their turn).

I could pull more examples, but somehow this works for you. I don't have a problem with that, really, maybe it's something to do with the presentation, but the fact is, most game effects, in 5e or any other game, have a reliance on things that don't really make sense. Like how being "super angry" makes me resistant to laser beams and death rays as a Barbarian. Or Resistance itself- a trait that makes me take less damage when hit points aren't actually damage in the first place, and the ability to avoid damage is already modelled with AC.

Or how a Rogue's Evasion allows one to "nimbly dodge out of the way of" area effects without actually granting them the ability to move out of their effect, something already modelled with existing Reflex saves, but somehow the Rogue is just better at this because.....why again?

So saying "well, an aura that just makes me lose 5 hit points for being next to someone makes no sense" but Hunger of Hadar is fine saying you take 2d6 cold for being next to it because you open a gateway to outer space seems odd to me.

Especially since that's not how outer space is apparently going to work in the new Spelljammer setting.
 

James Gasik

Legend
Supporter
Oh. So what you meant was that you've gone through and noted all of the orc's hp totals, made the caster roll the damage, made all the individual saving throws for the orcs, annotated the hp changes, then determined which died or didn't die (because, on average, a fireball won't kill all of the orcs) -- some will be left with 1 hp when they save (irony!) and that's only assuming average which you can't do in a specific encounter where the fireball can roll low enough (.1% chance) that even on a failed save it doesn't kill any orcs (and a less than 40% chance it would always kill all orcs). That's what you meant by "faster" -- making the damage roll, making individual saving throws 20 times, and then annotating hp totals as needed. Yes, very much fast.

Unscathed is doing work here because if we look above to the actual case of the fireball and orcs you presented, many orcs are also unscathed because they still have hp remaining and the removed hp don't require anything other than tracking towards eventual death. Another attack will likely kill them, just like a 4e orc that survives can be killed by... wait for it... another attack!

Gosh.

The fireball in 5e doesn't completely wipe out minions except for those at the very low end (orcs are CR 1/2 and aren't guaranteed)! Your argument is failing to actually account for the mechanics of the game you're providing as the better game while denigrating another as badwrongfun. It's not the best look for someone trying to make these arguments look objective when you aren't even successfully applying the process your claiming is better.

Oh, sorry, I appear to have made my save and so am unscathed.
And remember, hit points are only partly "meat", so one could, in fact, be hit by a fireball and be unscathed, as they call upon their "luck, skill, and divine protection" to avoid actual injury.
 

Undrave

Hero
And if it's physical, it should say so, and be described that way so that once more intelligent players can deal with it properly instead of being subjected to them by DM's fiat, in particular if it's because the DM has simply decided that it would be cool tactically.
4e does not have a 'physical' damage type. Any purely physical damage is simply untyped.
No, they are not, you have everything totally backwards, first requiring that the entire world adapts to the level of PCs, totally artificially, then using these technical constructs to build a fiction.

Fiction works the other way around, you create fictional situations where levels and other constructs don't matter.
You're talking about creating a realistic world, 4e is about creating a cool narrative. Everything is in service of the rule of cool.
And what happens when they are side by side ? Or adventure in the same world. Do monsters change from one to the other ? I've had this specific example in shared campaigns, in particular our best one that lasted 10+ years with multiple DMs, where we had adventurers at any level between 1 and 20 (this was 3e) sharing the world.
Admitedly, 4e was no designed for that purpose. You're not supposed to mix characters of differing level, especially not to that extant. You might not like it, and that's fine, but it's just not something the game was built to handle.

I don't know how often people actually do that kind of thing either, where they have shared campaigns between DMs and Adventurer of up to TWENTY level apart (why the hell would lv 20 dudes want the Lv 1 scrubs around anyway?? As baggage handlers?)
Once more, this is purely technical encounter building, it's artificial.
Certainly not, you keep saying this, but it's not the case, it's just technical adaptation to the PC level, you said so yourself, how more artificial can it be ?
It's a game, it's always artificial. 4e makes no qualm about that fact, and it's neither good or bad, it just is and it's clearly not to your preferences. Personally I enjoy how transparent 4e is about its designs.
And each and everyone of those was totally artificially constructed to match their level at the time. But what would have happened if the PCs had tackled things in a different order ? Again, the monsters would have artificially adapted to the different path, guaranteeing exactly that they met their match. There is no use being clever, there is no penalty for being dumb, the world adapts around them, and you think it creates fiction. It does not, it just creates a succession of challenges that you call greater because you adapt not only the numbers of the adventurers as they progress, but the numbers of the whole world.

If it works for you, cool, but once more, it's not needed, and there is no benefit to it as 5e has demonstrated, except for your confort of a 4e DMs of presenting technical challenges that you know will be tough, but are confident will not be overpowering. But it's for YOUR CONFORT there, and for technical reasons only.
It's pretty easy to tweak encounters and punish players for going out of order if that's what you want. You could have two encounter groups combine into one, or just bump the number of enemies at that spot or even increase their level on the fly.

I mean... do you actually set up your world THAT much in advance anyway? I sure don't. I don't know what the 'order' of encounters is in advance, I just throw naughty word at the PC when it feels appropriate and decide on the spot if it should be hard or not. I don't go around the dungeon, planning at what point they'll level up, putting enemies at the 'right spot'.

I don't say "If PCs go towards the North they'll encounter an ambush by bandits, but if they go South they'll reach the next town with problem". No! I go "I'll have the PC encounter an ambush by bandits regardless of where they go". And if the PC fail to find the 'Letters of Noble Incrimination' on one of the bandit, I'll just put it elsewhere later.
Correct me if I'm wrong but 2 chances to hit normally or one chance to hit with advantage comes out mathematically to about the same thing, no?
I hate how the most optimal thing to do in 5e is often to just... Attack attack attack attack. Anything else is suboptimal most of the time except for a few spell based situation (like Sleep early on)
No, it does not, actually. With advantage, you can only hit once. With two attacks, you could hit twice. And then the grapple needs to succeed. I'm pretty sure that if the damage from the sources is equal, it's better to attack multiple times, and it gives you multiple chances to crit too. The "help" thing is only valid if the attack you are helping does way more damage. But I'm too lazy to make the computations now.
That's a nasty trick for focus fire, but it does keep a large portion of the enemy forces busy on a single guy.
 

Lyxen

Great Old One
Oh. So what you meant was that you've gone through and noted all of the orc's hp totals, made the caster roll the damage, made all the individual saving throws for the orcs, annotated the hp changes, then determined which died or didn't die (because, on average, a fireball won't kill all of the orcs) -- some will be left with 1 hp when they save (irony!) and that's only assuming average which you can't do in a specific encounter where the fireball can roll low enough (10% chance) that even on a failed save it doesn't kill any orcs. That's what you meant by "faster" -- making the damage roll, making individual saving throws 20 times, and then annotating hp totals as needed. Yes, very much fast.

Look, it's not that complicated. Compared to 4e, which forces me to roll for every single orc (after placing them on the grid to make sure that they fit in the cube, of course), for 5e I have multiple solutions. First, I can average everything and do it the way I described, which allows me to have, after the blast, full strength orcs, wounded orcs (and I know how weak they are) and dead orcs. Statistical, done in a flash without even rolling one dice, and perfectly in line with the rules.

Or I can use my VTT, place the orcs where I want (not on a grid, just copy paste wherever it makes sense, draw a circle, and I will know exactly which orcs are wounded and by how much and which are dead.

Both way quicker than any 4e method I've seen. And, depending on the number of orcs and the time I want to spend about it, I can use any method intermediary there but, because these are just lowly orcs and it's much easier, I will in general use the TotM method which is the fastest there is and more than descriptive enough. And you know what, the best thing is that I won't even have had to tailor my minions to the PC level before the encounter, so I had already gained time before the battle. :p

Unscathed is doing work here because if we look above to the actual case of the fireball and orcs you presented, many orcs are also unscathed because they still have hp remaining and the removed hp don't require anything other than tracking towards eventual death. Another attack will likely kill them, just like a 4e orc that survives can be killed by... wait for it... another attack!

Nope, it will also depend on the attack, and where it goes, how strong it is, etc. It's not binary, and it will encourage the players to think, maybe attack again the orcs which were wounded instead of saying, as in 4e "I don't care where the fireball went or if orcs are wounded, they have exactly the same chance to survive anyway", which is frankly breaking the suspension of disbelief.

The fireball in 5e doesn't completely wipe out minions except for those at the very low end (orcs are CR 1/2 and aren't guaranteed)!

No worries, I can use exactly any creature I want for minions, also facing 100 orcs the wizard will probably use a higher level fireball to guarantee the result, problem solved (because yes, 5e has that flexibility as well).

Your argument is failing to actually account for the mechanics of the game you're providing as the better game while denigrating another as badwrongfun.

Nope, sorry, the denigrating started the other way, basically "5e sucks because it does not have the wonderful minions mechanic".

It's not the best look for someone trying to make these arguments look objective when you aren't even successfully applying the process your claiming is better.

Yes, exactly what I said when I was told the sentence just above, which was just repeated recently by the way, so you might want to change your attitude as well.

Oh, sorry, I appear to have made my save and so am unscathed.

I knew it, you're just a minion, see how ridiculous it is ?... :p
 

Lyxen

Great Old One
Blasts of force don't usually move people around. See magic missile for details. And that's just one definition of repelling, it could just as easily be "be repulsive or distasteful to", implying that some sort of hellish energy is literally scaring people away!

No, it does not. Once more, in 5e spells only do what is written, the repelling blast just pushes away the creature. It's a push, not a technical term (very little jargon in 5e), just the english word. And yes, MM does not, EB does not, but this is a special ability which allows your use of force to push. Totally unambiguous.

Normally, such an effect would say something like, "as their reaction, the target moves half their speed directly away from the Warlock", but it doesn't have to. Most abilities in 5e don't really pause to explain how they work (going back to my example with Maneuvering Attack, which somehow grants my ally the ability to move additional speed when it's not their turn).

Again, 5e is not perfect, but the percentage of this is incredibly small compared to 4e where most effects work that way, including (back to this thread) non-magical shouting at someone to heal even when the meat has obviously been reached. :p

Or how a Rogue's Evasion allows one to "nimbly dodge out of the way of" area effects without actually granting them the ability to move out of their effect, something already modelled with existing Reflex saves, but somehow the Rogue is just better at this because.....why again?

Because that's a trope that you see in many movies or books just rolling in perfect timing, using your environment, etc. Once more, nobody's perfect, but it models the genre well enough. Now, pray tell, where in fantasy have you seen a "hunger aura that damages people" ? Be careful, this is not necrotic or an energy, OK ? And all around the creature, not the one they are attacking ?

So saying "well, an aura that just makes me lose 5 hit points for being next to someone makes no sense" but Hunger of Hadar is fine saying you take 2d6 cold for being next to it because you open a gateway to outer space seems odd to me.

It's not outer space, it's the "a region infested with unknown horrors [...] blackness and bitter cold [...] warp in the fabric of space [...] cold damage [...] acid damage as milky, otherworldly tentacles rub against it" and you wonder why you are taking damage ?

The fiction is right there in the description, not technically strapped on to "hunger". Now, if you were to describe the ghouls with even a fraction of hunger of hadar, I would go with you, but you have only two words...
 


tetrasodium

Legend
Supporter
No. The gnolls holding a character will allow any gnolls to hit the character with advantage. Meaning it costs two gnolls to give up to 6 other gnolls an advantage to hit. If you décide that the two holding gnolls are occupying the se space as the character, then it 8 gnolls which will have advantage to hit the held and restrained character. That is the strength of a hoard.
I feel like @Eric V is getting unfairly jumped on with strategies that are implied as things a good gm should have done to make a gaggle of gnolls with 14(+2) strength +2 proficiency bonus & no proficient skills dangerous. We don't know what level the players were in his example at the time it happened, but we do know that with the gnolls needing a 17+ to hit the players had a respectable 21ac & I figure it reasonable to say the players were probably into tier3 (level 11+). That's not how grapple works.
W hen you want to grab a creature or wrestle with it, you can use the Attack action to make a special melee attack, a grapple. If you’re able to make multiple attacks with the Attack action, this attack replaces one of them.

The target of your grapple must be no m ore than one size larger than you, and it must be within your reach. Using at least one free hand, you try to seize the target by making a grapple check, a Strength (Athletics) check contested by the target’s Strength (Athletics) or Dexterity (Acrobatics) check (the target chooses the ability to use). If you succeed, you subject the target to the grappled condition (see appendix A). The condition specifies the things that end it, and you can release the target whenever you like (no action required).
Escaping a Grapple. A grappled creature can use its action to escape. To do so, it must succeed on a Strength (Athletics) or Dexterity (Acrobatics) check contested by your Strength (Athletics) check.

Moving a Grappled Creature. When you move, you can drag or carry the grappled creature with you, but your speed is halved, unless the creature is two or more sizes smaller than you.


Athletics or acrobatics as appropriate is an extremely common skill for strength & dex based characters who will almost certainly have a +5 from the attribute alone & another +4 or +5 if proficient in either to ensure that the gnoll will need to roll 1-5points higher on the grapple attempt. With an average 10.5 on a d20 that's still probably a 15+. A second gnoll could use the help action to give the first advantage, but unlike in the past when gm's best friend & bonus types could stack advantage is a one & done thing.

Two of the eight adjacent squares are filled by gnolls working on this grapple assuming no other PC's are taking others that leaves a possible six adjacent squares.

Assuming the gnoll gets the ~15+ with advantage they can benefit from this...
• A grappled creature’s speed becomes 0, and it can't
benefit from any bonus to its speed.

• The condition ends if the grappler is incapacitated
(see the condition).
• The condition also ends if an effect removes the
grappled creature from the reach of the grappler or
grappling effect, such as when a creature is hurled
away by the thunderwave spell.

Although I can't seem to find it someone mentioned pins, The only reference I could find in the PHB about pins was 167 point2 in the grappler feat. Prone from a pin would give advantage if such a rule exists, but at this point it takes a second round & another ~15+ roll to successfully pin the PC assuming the party didn't just pop the 22hp grappling gnoll to reset things.

Pin was definitely a thing in 3.5 grapple where it looks like just being grappled made you flat footed (no dex to AC) & being pinned imposes a -4 to AC.

The other N-2 gnolls in the gaggle still needed to make their single attack one by one hoping for a 17+ when their slot being tracked in the initiative comes up on both the first & second turn the grapple is attempted. attacks & Aoe's could need any or all of the gnolls to take damage or save. Since the AOE probably won't kill the gnolls they need to have physical/digital token mapped to specific HP totals just as with the initiative slots if not using side initiative to paper over a problem caused by the gaggle of gnolld BA should have made dangerous in more ways than book keeping.


TL;DR: How does grapple accomplish what you are saying it would do in order to fulfil BA's goal of making trash monsters dangerous in large groups without just making the combat dangerous to any chance of excitement in the resulting slog? If accomplishing the goals of BA requires the GM to make a bunch of changes to the low level monsters & maybe even invent new rules/mechanics before the gaggle of low CR critters are a threat have we really gained anything over doing that same thing to create a gaggle of minions that combine into a threat if BA was not there to impact every other monster right down to the design of healing too?
 
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James Gasik

Legend
Supporter
No, it does not. Once more, in 5e spells only do what is written, the repelling blast just pushes away the creature. It's a push, not a technical term (very little jargon in 5e), just the english word. And yes, MM does not, EB does not, but this is a special ability which allows your use of force to push. Totally unambiguous.



Again, 5e is not perfect, but the percentage of this is incredibly small compared to 4e where most effects work that way, including (back to this thread) non-magical shouting at someone to heal even when the meat has obviously been reached. :p



Because that's a trope that you see in many movies or books just rolling in perfect timing, using your environment, etc. Once more, nobody's perfect, but it models the genre well enough. Now, pray tell, where in fantasy have you seen a "hunger aura that damages people" ? Be careful, this is not necrotic or an energy, OK ? And all around the creature, not the one they are attacking ?



It's not outer space, it's the "a region infested with unknown horrors [...] blackness and bitter cold [...] warp in the fabric of space [...] cold damage [...] acid damage as milky, otherworldly tentacles rub against it" and you wonder why you are taking damage ?

The fiction is right there in the description, not technically strapped on to "hunger". Now, if you were to describe the ghouls with even a fraction of hunger of hadar, I would go with you, but you have only two words...
You open a gateway to the dark between the stars. First sentence. So that's not outer space? : )
 

Lyxen

Great Old One
You open a gateway to the dark between the stars. First sentence. So that's not outer space? : )

No, why should it be ? For example, in Spelljammer, the stars are not other suns, they are just lights on the periphery of a crystal sphere.

Also, this is why you have to read the entire description: "You open a gateway to the dark between the stars, a region infested with unknown horrors..." This is Cthulhu (well probably more Azatoth, but you get the idea), not real space. :p
 

Right. It's advantage on all attacks, not just the next one. If I ever DM 5e again, I will remember that. Although, presumably you'd give the target cover from ranged attacks due to having two gnolls grappling him/her?
Unless the shooter has the sharpshooter, yes.
 

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