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

Lyxen

Great Old One
4e does not have a 'physical' damage type. Any purely physical damage is simply untyped.

So how does a ghoul damage you with a "physical" area of hunger ? :)

You're talking about creating a realistic world, 4e is about creating a cool narrative. Everything is in service of the rule of cool.

OK, I can go with that as an explanation, and again, I'm not disparaging that play style, I'm just explaining why it's not the one I prefer.

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 agree (and I['ve pointed out the reasons for these limitations), but I really wish other people were more clear and open like you about these limitations.

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?)

It's just that the lvl 20 are not around all the time, nor can they do everything. But we've had successful parties with widely different levels, just because of the characters which were available that evening to the participating players.

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 I enjoyed it as well, until ti struck me as a lot more artificial than what my expectations were. Just a matter of taste, and it's good to be open about it.

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'.

Well, I don't have a dungeon anyway. But to give you an example in my Avernus campaign, the players can go anywhere on the plane (and actually have found a few shortcuts to other planes, through the Infinite Staircase as well as through an artefact that they are assembling). I just know what happens to be at various locations, and it's up the players to do the reconnaissance and decide whether they want to do something about it. And sometimes, just like in the fiction, they choose another way, or a different approach, or exploit an opportunity. I don't modifiy monsters, I don't make some minions because they are lacking or have gained levels.

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.

That's a very, very different way of playing (not better or worse, just different), and that's for me a facet of the problem that I faced with 4e. the DM had spent time preparing encounters to be technically interesting, and I can respect that, but some encounters really felt fed down my throat whether I wanted to avoid them or not, because of that. In particular, we could not just "skim" an encounter, once the DM had decided that there was going to be a fight on his terms because he had balanced it that way, we had to go that way and spend the evening on it. There was no escape, no cleverness, no avoiding once the grid was pulled out...

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)

On that, I agree, the options are relatively limited for some classes, it was a strength of 4e to have balanced things more.

That's a nasty trick for focus fire, but it does keep a large portion of the enemy forces busy on a single guy.

It does, but it's what the PCs do as well, because of action economy, every enemy taken out of the fight makes it way safer.

That's not a fair point. 4e could do that too if it had the proper VTT support.

I agree, but as I explained just after, I have the freedom to use a whole palette of solutions (including creating 1 hp monsters if I want, by the way) because the game is extremely open and focuses on speed (at, I agree, the detriment of complexity and balance).
 

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James Gasik

Legend
Supporter
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
And Armor of Agathys doing 5 damage to someone who hits you in melee due to "spectral frost" but doesn't do any cold damage to anything nearby you is also ok? I mean, it really feels like spells get a free pass a lot of the time for no other reason than "well you cast a spell, it's magic, we don't have to explain it".

A Magmin can set itself on fire, but you don't take damage for hitting it (at least, not until it explodes). Well that's ok, it's supernatural?

Meanwhile, the Storm Herald Barbarian can get so angry they tap into "primal magic", allowing them to deal fire damage on people up to ten feet away from them. Sure, why not, I guess.

But a zombie making me take untyped physical damage! Beyond the pale! : )
 

Ovinomancer

No flips for you!
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.
Okay, here you're just wrong. 5e requires you to roll saves individually as well! If you're ignoring the rules to institute your preference to average, that's not unique to 5e -- you can do this for 4e if you wanted as well. The claim that 5e just allows you to do whatever is false -- it does not. There's no rules text saying saving throws are optional. You're relying on the omnipresent ability to ignore rules as you want, and saying that 5e allows this while 4e does not, but you can ignore rules whenever you want. 5e is not special in this regard.
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.
And I can use the VTT for 4e. These arguments are not actually ones that land. Claiming games are faster because of automation tools that you only allow for one side is a weird flex. Also, your "not using the grid" is facetious -- you're using a map and space and grids are just simplifications here. It's trivial to do the same with 4e, even with pushes and pulls because you can either use the same kind of general eyeballing or you can use the measurement tools for actual distances. VTT is a complete red herring.
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
Yes, I suppose that if you decide to ignore rules for 5e and enforce them for 4e or if you use automation tools for 5e and forbid them for 4e or if you just do both of these at the same time, your 5e example is faster. But, and this is important, it's not because 5e is faster but because you've chosen to ignore rules and automate one-sidedly.
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.
To you, maybe, but that's not normative. That your particular version of mental workspace doesn't accommodate this is, as previously noted, only an autobiographical tidbit -- it's not a normative statement about the system.

And we can see that here, because you've required bringing in a different workspace to defend your points -- you had to move the goalposts to attempt to preserve your argument. We were talking about fireballed orcs, but you have to shift to non-fireballed orcs to make your point -- which changes the scope of the discussion. You've shifted to talking about how 5e orcs are NOT like minions when your original point was that 5e did faster minion-style fights because fireballs always worked. No one is saying 5e orcs, with non-1 starting hp, aren't different from minions -- this has been the argument all along. You're were just here claiming that this very fact doesn't even matter for running large horde style encounters because fireballs are even more effective. But, that depends very much on the luck of the dice which is exactly what it depends on in 4e. If we now need to consider that follow-up attacks might not kill remaining orcs after a 5e fireball but don't really care about the 4e fireball, you've just undermined the entire thrust of your argument because you're saying it will take more effort and time to resolve the 5e cases than the 4e ones. But you've attempted to shift your argument from "it takes less time in 5e" to "it's breaking my personal suspension of disbelief" as if these arguments are interchangeable whenever you need to maintain the point that 4e is just bad, mmkay.
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).
Oh. Well, in 4e, a wizard of sufficiently high level won't ever be facing vanilla orc minions, so this is entirely moot -- you cannot compare. If you do make this encounter in 4e, you're doing very odd things and the orcs won't even be able to hurt the PCs. For example, the Orc Drudge, a level 4 minion, is only a viable opponent up through 9th level, according to 4e. So we won't ever see 100+ Drudges going against a PC of sufficiently high level to compare to a 5e PC capable of upcasting fireball. THAT 4e PC is facing larger, more dangerous threats in the world, not hordes of low level orcs. This is a fundamental difference in how 4e structures the fictional space compared to 5e. Any claims of high level 5e PCs facing CR 1/2 orcs has no applicable parallel in 4e. The very construction of horde encounters is on different types of genre emulation and fictional structures.
Nope, sorry, the denigrating started the other way, basically "5e sucks because it does not have the wonderful minions mechanic".
Oh, yes, "but they said it first." Even if your assertion is correct, which I highly doubt it was anything like this, this doesn't mean it's free game to fire back by just trashing other games and expect to be absolved of having that pointed out.
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.
No. You're trying to say that someone said something mean, so that means you get to say mean things, too. The point I was making is that if you're going to try and justify the mean things you say with reasons, you should really actually have those reasons, otherwise it's makes you look like you aren't really understanding the nature of the difference and are just enjoying saying mean things. And, again, this is assuming you're correct in your formulation of what was said about 5e, which I strongly doubt is accurate at all.

Personally, I don't care if you hate 4e. I don't care if you blatantly say so, so long as it's not turned into edition warring. I'm mostly interested in good arguments. So if you're going to say that 4e is objectively bad because of X, bring your A game because I'm going to hold that statement to the fire. You saying you really don't like 4e? Go ahead.
I knew it, you're just a minion, see how ridiculous it is ?... :p
Yep -- dangerous, but if you're actually capable I should be easy to dispatch. And yet....
 

Ovinomancer

No flips for you!
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?
Just a point of clarification, if you are prone you grant advantage to adjacent attackers (disad to ranged ones). If you are grappled your speed is 0. You can combine these two things into a poor man's mechanical pin by grappling a target and then shoving them prone. The effect of this is that the target has all of the problems of being prone but cannot stand up until the grapple is escaped because their speed is zero and they need to spend half their speed to stand. Half of nothing is nothing.
 

Lyxen

Great Old One
And Armor of Agathys doing 5 damage to someone who hits you in melee due to "spectral frost" but doesn't do any cold damage to anything nearby you is also ok?

Why not, you are the one who specifically got close and hit said armor with your weapon...

I mean, it really feels like spells get a free pass a lot of the time for no other reason than "well you cast a spell, it's magic, we don't have to explain it".

Yes, indeed, and that's another difficulty that I had with 4e, specifically creating power sources that were NOT magic and them having effects (and in particular healing, back to this thread) that clearly had to be magical.

A Magmin can set itself on fire, but you don't take damage for hitting it (at least, not until it explodes). Well that's ok, it's supernatural?

No, it's just not hot enough. Contrary to a balor, for example.

Meanwhile, the Storm Herald Barbarian can get so angry they tap into "primal magic", allowing them to deal fire damage on people up to ten feet away from them. Sure, why not, I guess.

4e did way worse with primal power, actually, again it's all a question of degree.

But a zombie making me take untyped physical damage! Beyond the pale! : )

And still noone has ever been able to explain what it did...
 

Ovinomancer

No flips for you!
And Armor of Agathys doing 5 damage to someone who hits you in melee due to "spectral frost" but doesn't do any cold damage to anything nearby you is also ok? I mean, it really feels like spells get a free pass a lot of the time for no other reason than "well you cast a spell, it's magic, we don't have to explain it".

A Magmin can set itself on fire, but you don't take damage for hitting it (at least, not until it explodes). Well that's ok, it's supernatural?

Meanwhile, the Storm Herald Barbarian can get so angry they tap into "primal magic", allowing them to deal fire damage on people up to ten feet away from them. Sure, why not, I guess.

But a zombie making me take untyped physical damage! Beyond the pale! : )
Spells have always gotten a free pass. They are bundles of narrative authority in the hands of the players that can drastically alter the fiction in play -- things that are anathema in any other context for many. But, because magic, allowed to pass. Magic gets this in almost every arena in D&D -- magic can override the player's ability to control their PC's actions and thoughts, magic can force the GM to accept a change in the fictional situation, if magic does a thing it's fine but nothing else can do that thing, etc. It's so ingrained that it's a major blind spot -- so many don't even notice that there's this big thing here because they just excuse it because magic. But magic isn't any more or less real than anything else in an RPG, so it really shouldn't have any such special privilege.
 

James Gasik

Legend
Supporter
I do see one difference with the "fireball vs. weak monsters" scenario. The game mechanics allow the weak monsters to be damaged even if they save, and they could still die, if the damage is sufficient.

The shorthand for not actually giving minions real hit points and not dying until they take a real hit tripped a lot of people up at first. The narrative you have to understand is that it's not that they really only have one hit point. They have as many hit points as they need until they take that solid hit. To a character in the game, a minion is just a weaker opponent- they don't think "I only need to stab this guy with a pin and he'll die!" they just go, "blast, if only I could get a good hit in on this guy, he'll go down".
 

Voadam

Legend
I do see one difference with the "fireball vs. weak monsters" scenario. The game mechanics allow the weak monsters to be damaged even if they save, and they could still die, if the damage is sufficient.
Yes, but as Ovinomancer points out this means that 4e minions can be quicker and easier to handle in combat because you don't have to track the hp of wounded minion types the way you do for wounded monsters that are not 4e minions. If all the affected non-4e minions die from the damage regardless of save though that can be quicker, but this seems a bit more of a corner case, particularly with 5e's monster hp escalation.
 

Lyxen

Great Old One
Okay, here you're just wrong. 5e requires you to roll saves individually as well!

No, it does not, read the sections about the role of dice, it's not even Rule 0, not even an option, 100% core rule from the DMG: "The extent to which you use them [the dice] is entirely up to you." Using average damage is used everywhere in the MM, for example.

5e is not special in this regard.

You'll find that it is, if you read all the rules. And once more, it's not even rule 0.

Also, your "not using the grid" is facetious -- you're using a map and space and grids are just simplifications here. It's trivial to do the same with 4e, even with pushes and pulls because you can either use the same kind of general eyeballing or you can use the measurement tools for actual distances. VTT is a complete red herring.

Again, I've got a whole range of possibilities that I don't have in 4e, where I need a grid and roll everything (unless you want to use rule 0, but you'll find that it's way weaker in 4e than in 5e).

But, and this is important, it's not because 5e is faster but because you've chosen to ignore rules and automate one-sidedly.

Nope, 100% core rules here.

To you, maybe, but that's not normative. That your particular version of mental workspace doesn't accommodate this is, as previously noted, only an autobiographical tidbit -- it's not a normative statement about the system.

But it is, actually. There are tons of orcs running towards me, it's part of me projecting myself in the game world to decide which I'm going to attack and how, the ones that barely survived a fireball or the ones which are still intact. It's visual, it means something. 4e has a tendency to equalize all that to the technical, and in particular with minions, where it does not matter.

And we can see that here, because you've required bringing in a different workspace to defend your points -- you had to move the goalposts to attempt to preserve your argument. We were talking about fireballed orcs, but you have to shift to non-fireballed orcs to make your point -- which changes the scope of the discussion.

Are you kidding me ? From the start, it's my example, I said 100 orcs, deal with them, and how the fireball only affected some of them ? No, it's your inability to deal with the situation in 4e terms that causes you to want to equalise everything to minions with 1 hp. I can perfectly deal with three types of foes, dead, wounded, intact.

You've shifted to talking about how 5e orcs are NOT like minions

They are not 4e minions, no, because it's an abstract concept that I dislike.

when your original point was that 5e did faster minion-style fights because fireballs always worked. No one is saying 5e orcs, with non-1 starting hp, aren't different from minions -- this has been the argument all along. You're were just here claiming that this very fact doesn't even matter for running large horde style encounters because fireballs are even more effective. But, that depends very much on the luck of the dice which is exactly what it depends on in 4e.

Not necessarily, see the first point above.

If we now need to consider that follow-up attacks might not kill remaining orcs after a 5e fireball but don't really care about the 4e fireball, you've just undermined the entire thrust of your argument because you're saying it will take more effort and time to resolve the 5e cases than the 4e ones. But you've attempted to shift your argument from "it takes less time in 5e" to "it's breaking my personal suspension of disbelief" as if these arguments are interchangeable whenever you need to maintain the point that 4e is just bad, mmkay.

It's bad for this, because it does not take into account the narrative of what happened. The firecube in 4e CANNOT statistically wipe out all the minions, which is SILLY. Depending on its strength, the fireball in 5e can wipe them all out, or leave some wounded, which are easier to finish off. Much better narrative, very easy to visualise.

Oh. Well, in 4e, a wizard of sufficiently high level won't ever be facing vanilla orc minions, so this is entirely moot -- you cannot compare.

Yes, he will not, because the system will forbid it. Restrictive system, unable to simulate Minas Tirith. Once more, better game designers than you or I have said it, 5e has been designed to be more open-ended system than 4e.

If you do make this encounter in 4e, you're doing very odd things and the orcs won't even be able to hurt the PCs.

Which is stupid, because then Boromir would not die. Again, a limitation of the system.

For example, the Orc Drudge, a level 4 minion, is only a viable opponent up through 9th level, according to 4e. So we won't ever see 100+ Drudges going against a PC of sufficiently high level to compare to a 5e PC capable of upcasting fireball. THAT 4e PC is facing larger, more dangerous threats in the world, not hordes of low level orcs.

Well, it's simple then, you don't need to face the Mordor hordes, you win by default, gee, why did they go through all the bother ? :p

This is a fundamental difference in how 4e structures the fictional space compared to 5e. Any claims of high level 5e PCs facing CR 1/2 orcs has no applicable parallel in 4e. The very construction of horde encounters is on different types of genre emulation and fictional structures.

And my point is exactly that, by forcing 4e PCs to face only equal level foes in controlled numbers you are creating a system that, although technically much more perfect, cannot accommodate the situations that are in the genre, despite the fact that they are very entertaining.

One of my battle in Avernus had 8th level PCs with about 200 red/madcaps and unlikely allies facing a horde of were creatures plus some devils, with infernal war machines in the mix. It was absolutely epic, sometimes the PCs faced adversaries of their level, sometimes scores of lowly devils, all dangerous to them, and applied appropriate tactics or died. I did NOT limit myself to formal technical fights of creatures of the level of PCs, I never did before 4e and I never did since. Because, in particular, players LOVE slaughtering hordes of foes, especially if THESE EXACT SAME FOES were causing them problem before.

Oh, yes, "but they said it first." Even if your assertion is correct, which I highly doubt it was anything like this, this doesn't mean it's free game to fire back by just trashing other games and expect to be absolved of having that pointed out.

The difference is that I'm NOT trashing 4e, I'm just explaining why, my objectives being different, it's not as suitable to me. But I've never badwrongedfunned anyone playing 4e with different objectives in mind, just like in my exchanges with less biased people.

No. You're trying to say that someone said something mean, so that means you get to say mean things, too. The point I was making is that if you're going to try and justify the mean things you say with reasons, you should really actually have those reasons, otherwise it's makes you look like you aren't really understanding the nature of the difference and are just enjoying saying mean things. And, again, this is assuming you're correct in your formulation of what was said about 5e, which I strongly doubt is accurate at all.

Just read the rules, you'll see. And I'm not being mean, I'm just pointing out things that matter to me in a funny way, which people with a sense of humour appreciate, for example @James Gasik who said he liked his firecubes.

Personally, I don't care if you hate 4e. I don't care if you blatantly say so, so long as it's not turned into edition warring. I'm mostly interested in good arguments. So if you're going to say that 4e is objectively bad because of X, bring your A game because I'm going to hold that statement to the fire. You saying you really don't like 4e? Go ahead.

Thanks, it's exactly what I'm saying, I don't like 4e as it does not map to the way we are playing. And I don't like the minions mechanics, although I found it clever at start, because it does not model the fantasy that I have, that of the genre to me.

However, I completely agree that if you have other preferences and objectives, it might be the better mechanic FOR YOU. It's not to me, because the bounded accuracy hs cleverly removed the need for that mechanic.

Yep -- dangerous, but if you're actually capable I should be easy to dispatch. And yet....

And yet, you are backing away on all fronts, so... :p
 

Lyxen

Great Old One
I do see one difference with the "fireball vs. weak monsters" scenario. The game mechanics allow the weak monsters to be damaged even if they save, and they could still die, if the damage is sufficient.

And it also allows the complete wiping out of "minions" if the damage is sufficient, which 4e statistically forbids, and for me that is an even stronger limitation of the system.
 

James Gasik

Legend
Supporter
Yes, but as Ovinomancer points out this means that 4e minions can be quicker and easier to handle in combat because you don't have to track the hp of wounded minion types the way you do for wounded monsters that are not 4e minions. If all the affected non-4e minions die from the damage regardless of save though that can be quicker, but this seems a bit more of a corner case, particularly with 5e's monster hp escalation.
Which is fair, I just figured I'd point that out. Well having found the ghouls in question, in E2: Kingdom of the Ghouls, I do have to admit we're given no lore for them, other than they worship the God of Ghouls and you are in his realm.

This is more a problem of adventures that create new monsters than anything else, however. If the Abyssal Horde Ghoul appeared in a monster book, it probably would have had some lore that could explain how their aura worked. Since they were made for that adventure, all we're told is that they use their auras to quickly consume their prey.

But this isn't really a novel thing- the Bodak has a damaging aura as well, and the only clue it grants as to how it works is...it does Necrotic damage.
 

Mannahnin

Scion of Murgen (He/Him)
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.
Helldritch, where does the rule that grappling causes Advantage come from? Is that a gnoll special ability I'm forgetting? Or are you perhaps importing it from 3.x as a house rule?

Usually in 5e grappling itself doesn't do that. Being Prone does give adjacent attackers advantage. And a common interpretation of the rules is that a Grappled creature can't stand up from Prone because their speed is 0 (and standing requires half your movement). So folks sometimes use a strategy of grappling and knocking enemies prone to leave them stuck prone and let allies shank them with advantage in melee.
 
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James Gasik

Legend
Supporter
Also, heck yeah I like firecubes! If you're playing on a grid map, who wants to get out a template, compass, or draw a circle to figure out who gets caught in the blast? Quick, easy, efficient, thank you very much.
 
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tetrasodium

Legend
Supporter
Just a point of clarification, if you are prone you grant advantage to adjacent attackers (disad to ranged ones). If you are grappled your speed is 0. You can combine these two things into a poor man's mechanical pin by grappling a target and then shoving them prone. The effect of this is that the target has all of the problems of being prone but cannot stand up until the grapple is escaped because their speed is zero and they need to spend half their speed to stand. Half of nothing is nothing.
Using the Attack action, you can make a special melee attack to shove a creature, either to knock it prone or push it away from you. If you’re able to make multiple attacks with the Attack action, this attack replaces one of them.
The target of your shove must be no m ore than one size larger than you, and it must be within your reach. You make a Strength (Athletics) check contested by the target’s Strength (Athletics) or Dexterity (Acrobatics) check (the target chooses the ability to use). If you win the contest, you either knock the target prone or push it 5 feet away from you.

That fills in for the how to knock prone other than using the same check a second time with grapple to prone instead of shoving, but it still needs a second ~15 to successfully shove them down before the other gnolls start maybe being a threat if they can roll 17+ with advantage in large numbers to make that beefy 1d8+2 (avg 6.5) add up. even a 10 con wizard at level 11 is going to have 44hp & need to get hit six or seven times before they care, a 21ac character is almost certainly not going to be a ten con wizard & can be expected to have significantly more HP.

Did we really need BA to make ten con wizards fear gaggles of low CR monsters? I can't speak for 4e but don't recall many wizards of any non-gish level who couldn't be made to feel mortal terror just by having a skeleton/zombie/etc move towards them in past editions.
 

Undrave

Hero
That's a very, very different way of playing (not better or worse, just different), and that's for me a facet of the problem that I faced with 4e. the DM had spent time preparing encounters to be technically interesting, and I can respect that, but some encounters really felt fed down my throat whether I wanted to avoid them or not, because of that. In particular, we could not just "skim" an encounter, once the DM had decided that there was going to be a fight on his terms because he had balanced it that way, we had to go that way and spend the evening on it. There was no escape, no cleverness, no avoiding once the grid was pulled out...
Obviously I'd like the PC notice the upcoming ambush with the right Perception level and then they can try to skip it or even turn it around on the bandits.

Going in another direction is not being particularly clever, especially if you never knew there was an ambush that way. Using a Streetwise check to learn rumours in town about the safest path out, finding out that bandits have been attacking people to the North near the Bramble Woods, and deciding to take the long way around that area? That's totally fine.

PC using knowledge to avoid encounters or run directly into them is perfectly fine in my way of playing, I just don't want to reward dumb luck. Basically, the entire universe is in a quantum state of flux until the PC 'observe' it.

So how does a ghoul damage you with a "physical" area of hunger ? :)
Probably the same way a swarm of scarabs, rats, or stirge do? Basically it's an attack that inflicts damage on a miss and it just always misses so no need to roll. Admittedly it's a weird name and I'd just make it a stench aura or something that is just painful when you're too close :p

I like swarms, they make for fun battlefield control, so I'd like these ghoul guys.
 


Helldritch, where does the rule that grappling causes Advantage come from? Is that a gnoll special ability I'm forgetting? Or are you perhaps importing it from 3.x as a house rule?

Usually in 5e grappling itself doesn't do that. Being Prone does give adjacent attackers advantage. And a common interpretation of the rules is that a Grappled creature can't stand up from Prone because their speed is 0 (and standing requires half your movement). So folks sometimes use a strategy of grappling and knocking enemies prone to leave them stuck prone and let allies shank them with advantage in melee.
Exactly. But they will not let the grapple go. Once you are grappled, the foe(s) can move with you. Putting you down in a prone condition after is not only logical, but necessary. I thought that bit was evident... apparently it was not. Thank you for clarifying it.
 

These conversations are never going to get anywhere until we can all agree on the following:

* HP are not meat. They cannot be. They may be in small part meat in very, very particular and infrequent circumstances...but they're virtually never meat in any part.

* Position is not a fixed thing in combat and so it cannot possibly be a fixed thing in D&D whether you're playing on a grid or TotM. If you've never been in an actual fight, never seen an actual fight, never been involved in combat sports, then let me disabuse you of your notion that martial artists are statically stuck in the same spot over even the smallest fraction of time (not even a second, let alone 6 solid seconds!). They're circling left, circling right, advancing, retreating, feinting w/ attacks which involve all manner of movement and every appendage and their head, leaping. Same goes for D&D. If you're interpreting your PC standing next to a monster for 6 seconds as static, rock-em-sock-em robots...with respect, your fiction is utter nonsense.

Play the game with fixed position and in fixed intervals of 6 seconds. But imagine stuff that makes actual sense and map it as best you can to the suite of resources being deployed by the participants of the combat.

* Attack rolls are not singular instantiations of a single attack for the overwhelming % of play particularly for martial exchanges. If you've never been in an actual fight, never seen an actual fight, never been involved in combat sports, then let me disabuse you of your notion that martial artists engage in exchanges that are reliable in their frequency (eg I attack you 1/2/3 times every 6 seconds!...all the time...forever!). Exchanges happen with crazy suddeness and intentional lack of frequency (because human operating systems are pattern-finding machines and the last thing you want as a martial artist is to have "your puzzle solved"). In one 6 second interval, you might throw 10 strikes including a double leg takedown attempt and including a few more feints to detect patterns or create openings. The next 6 seconds you may through nothing (merely circling or advancing and retreating). The next 6 seconds may be more of the same or less of the same. Totally infrequent. Any attack matrix is utter nonsense. It is a complete gamist construct meant exclusively to facilitate functional play. If you are perceiving an attack matrix as process simulation...with respect, your fiction is utter nonsense.

Play the game with fixed attack frequency/numbers and in fixed intervals of 6 seconds. But imagine stuff that makes actual sense and map it as best you can to the suite of resources being deployed by the participants of the combat.

* Same goes for AC and Defenses and anything of the like. They're all constructs. They make no sense whatsoever under scrutiny (neither quantitatively nor qualitatively) given what happens in actual fights/martial combat. They're the other end of the game construct equation to resolve collisions in the gamestate. If you're looking at them through a lens of process simulation...that is on you. As is either (a) course correcting or (b) admitting that you're attempting to look at gaming constructs meant to resolve gamestate collisions as something even close to approaching a 1:1 relationship with a shared fiction that makes any sense whatsoever within the framework of what actual martial combat entails (including how the OODA Loop of each participant manifests and resolves) and what it looks like to participants and onlookers alike.





So yeah. If HP and Position and Attacks and Defenses are all just basically gamist constructs meant to resolve gamestate collisions...then the shared imagined space is pretty well up for grabs.

Ravenous Abyssal Ghouls advance with deranged hunger and speed and implacability and randomness with claws and jaws and spittle which you have to keep away from your flesh and your eyes. If all you're doing is spending your gas tank and its costing you because you're heart rate is increased dramatically and you're dealing with an adrenaline dump and your muscles are tiring...then yeah, the 5 HP aura is just exhaustion damage which makes you less capable of maintaining for an extended duration.

Or you recoil because of the impact to your creed/alignment or your deity recoils at this abomination and, because they work through you, you feel it; 5 HP damage.

Or any other genre appropriate explanation for interpreting the completely nonsensical gamist constructs colliding in D&D gamestate space (regardless of edition...and by the way, D&D 4e's forced movement + movement + marking/OA attack + interrupt system + at-will/encounter model is the first D&D game engine that remotely actually felt anything even approaching what it felt like to assume the OODA Loop of an actual martial artist...in a fight or a grappling match) which you then have to map onto the shared imagined space.
 

That's a very, very different way of playing (not better or worse, just different), and that's for me a facet of the problem that I faced with 4e. the DM had spent time preparing encounters to be technically interesting, and I can respect that, but some encounters really felt fed down my throat whether I wanted to avoid them or not, because of that. In particular, we could not just "skim" an encounter, once the DM had decided that there was going to be a fight on his terms because he had balanced it that way, we had to go that way and spend the evening on it. There was no escape, no cleverness, no avoiding once the grid was pulled out...
this isn't a 4e only problem. I first ran into the "i made the encounter now you run the encounter" in the late 90's in a 2e (although back then the DM called it 3e because he was useing alternate books) and the DM built a golem that was to guard the door to an anctiant treasure vault (whole room was an encounter) and we got there, it warned us not to attempt to get past it... so we said "Okay we got plenty of loot" and went to leave...
DM wasn't happy.

having said that in 3.5 I did something that I am sure others would say is just as bad... the PCs were in a city and I left 3 main plot hooks (plus a dozen NPCs if they just wanted to kick around town a bit) 1 in teh wasteland to the west, 1 going south to the large lake, and 1 going east toward the capitol... I am sure you just noticed what I missed.
so when a player said "Hey what's north and what is going on there?" my answer was "Nothing... I have nothing, just a mountain range and my notes are entirely blank other then to say 'dwarven city'" so after I was honest they wanted to go north to find the dwarven city... I said "No" and instituted a rule that lasted through all of 4e and now into 5e... "If your characters are not interested in the adventures presented they are welcome to go else were, but they become NPCs and you must draw up PCs interested in the actually hooks"
 

Ovinomancer

No flips for you!
No, it does not, read the sections about the role of dice, it's not even Rule 0, not even an option, 100% core rule from the DMG: "The extent to which you use them [the dice] is entirely up to you." Using average damage is used everywhere in the MM, for example.
Okay, that's a bad take. The section is talking about using dice in places where it's up to the GM how to resolve an issue -- it's not a blanket statement. It's specifically looking at those places where things are not defined and the GM is using the normal loop to determine things. Combat has specific rules, and that counters the general advice here (specific beats general).

The second reason this is a bad take is because this is something you could and can always do in any game. You can always choose to ignore the rules, or supplant them with something else. I have no idea where the specious argument that this is unique to D&D started, but it really can't die soon enough.

So, on two counts your argument here that 5e is somehow special in this regard fails.
You'll find that it is, if you read all the rules. And once more, it's not even rule 0.
I have read them. Apparently you seem to have missed the surrounding rules, otherwise you'd also have to claim that rolling for everything all the time is also mandated by 5e, and that rolling most times but not always is also mandated alongside ignoring the rules. You cannot select one of the paths and declare it the controlling rule, outside of the fact that the scope of those discussions is narrow and do not implicate clearly stated specific rules. You actually do have to reach for rule 0, here, or you're arguing contradictions -- you're claiming to be able to state which sentences in the books are real rules and which are not (because there are three paths presented equally and you're saying only one matters).
Again, I've got a whole range of possibilities that I don't have in 4e, where I need a grid and roll everything (unless you want to use rule 0, but you'll find that it's way weaker in 4e than in 5e).
You do not have to use a grid in 4e, just like you don't have to in 5e.
Nope, 100% core rules here.
Again, only in the sense that you have the power to declare what core rules are and discard immediate contradictions to that declaration. Another bit of special pleading.
But it is, actually. There are tons of orcs running towards me, it's part of me projecting myself in the game world to decide which I'm going to attack and how, the ones that barely survived a fireball or the ones which are still intact. It's visual, it means something. 4e has a tendency to equalize all that to the technical, and in particular with minions, where it does not matter.
No, because I get very similar things from 4e, and even manage in games that are even less about fictional cause and effect. You're putting forth your personal imagination hangups as if they are normative. They aren't, trivially proven, because I do not posses those same hangups. Mine are completely different.
Are you kidding me ? From the start, it's my example, I said 100 orcs, deal with them, and how the fireball only affected some of them ? No, it's your inability to deal with the situation in 4e terms that causes you to want to equalise everything to minions with 1 hp. I can perfectly deal with three types of foes, dead, wounded, intact.
No, your claim was that 5e handled 100 orcs more quickly than 4e. We can all scroll up to see where you made this claim. You've now shifted to a "breaks my ability to imagine it" to defend "handles faster." Not at all the same argument.
They are not 4e minions, no, because it's an abstract concept that I dislike.
Ah, they aren't a thing because you dislike that thing, regardless of anything else. Once again you present an autobiography of preferences as if they're actually normative. And doing so while agreeing with what I said but responding as if you're disagreeing.
Not necessarily, see the first point above.
There's no first point above. There are many points, and I have no idea where you think you should start numbering them. However, since I've addressed everything up until this point, it's fairly moot which you mean -- it doesn't actually address the point I was making here which was that you shifted what you were arguing about to preserve the defense of your claim 4e minions are just bad. You presented a case, that case was challenged, and you shifted cases while pretending it was the one you were arguing all along.
It's bad for this, because it does not take into account the narrative of what happened. The firecube in 4e CANNOT statistically wipe out all the minions, which is SILLY. Depending on its strength, the fireball in 5e can wipe them all out, or leave some wounded, which are easier to finish off. Much better narrative, very easy to visualise.
It can statistically wipe out all the minions. You mean to say it's very unlikely to do so. Well, so is the 5e fireball. Whether or not this is silly is, again, autobiographical about your thinking. The 4e "firecube" can also wipe out all the orcs or leave some wounded and easy to finish off. Narrative is flavor here, not required. You still have to hit the orcs in both cases and do damage sufficient to remove all hp.
Yes, he will not, because the system will forbid it. Restrictive system, unable to simulate Minas Tirith. Once more, better game designers than you or I have said it, 5e has been designed to be more open-ended system than 4e.
Unable to simulate Minas Tirith? That's not at all true, I can run that scenario in 4e quite well. You keep making sweeping statements that aren't at all true when it's pretty clear what you mean is "I wouldn't use it for such because I have preferences otherwise." This isn't an indictment of the system, it's just more of your autobiography.

As for 5e being more open ended, I can't parse what context you mean this. In terms of fiction allowed? Nope, there's no story that can be told in 5e that can't be told in 4e. In terms of system math? Nope -- bounded accuracy is arguably tighter than 4e's math, which was really just a slight codification of 3e's. In terms of... I don't know what you think this means. I'm very certain you can't find a designer quote that actually makes this case in any way how you seem to intend to be using it -- that 5e is a more capable system.
Which is stupid, because then Boromir would not die. Again, a limitation of the system.
Only if you decide to make Boromir X level and then use the wrong kind of orc minion. By the by, Boromir wasn't killed by orcs, but Uruk-Hai, which were decidedly more dangerous than orcs. So maybe I'd be using the level 9 orc minion template to match Boromir's low tier II level.
Well, it's simple then, you don't need to face the Mordor hordes, you win by default, gee, why did they go through all the bother ? :p
Why would you say this? It seems to have completely missed the point and responded by expressing an opinion based entirely on missing the point. There are other orc minions, I was pointing out that you wouldn't be fighting the lowest of the low at higher level because they are not an interesting challenge. The heroes of LotR could have been killed by any given orc they faced (unlikely at that might have been) and treated them as if they were always dangerous, but they killed them in droves. Even a level 20 fighter needs two hits, on average, with a longsword to kill the average orc (9.5 average damage from longsword, maybe 11.5 with fighting style, 14.5 with a +3 magic weapon). Is this the better option? A 20th level fighter in 4e is murdering orcs much more effectively -- one of the basic fighter at-wills kills two orc minions per hit (provided they're hordish).

The point is that neither of these systems is best. They are different. They will model a thing in different ways. So far, you've managed to show this, but have failed to show any real benefit of one over the other.
And my point is exactly that, by forcing 4e PCs to face only equal level foes in controlled numbers you are creating a system that, although technically much more perfect, cannot accommodate the situations that are in the genre, despite the fact that they are very entertaining.
+/- 5 levels, usually, not same level. 5e does a similar thing via bounded accuracy, they just made the math so flat that everything fits in just about the same bubble as +/- 5 levels in 4e.

As far as situations in the game, do you make encounters with 29,833 Ancient Red Dragons against 1st level PCs in 5e and expect the PCs to be able to battle through? No? Is it because 5e doesn't accommodate that situation very well? The answer to these rhetoricals is no, of course not, this is silly. But it does show that there are conceptual spaces that work in 5e and ones that do not. 5e doesn't just handle everything, it handles what it handles. That this aligns with your preferences is just autobiographical again -- you keep telling us about yourself and mistaking it for objective statements about the games. 4e has a slightly different conceptual space. Some things work better in 4e than in 5e, other things do not. Because they are different games. However, all of your attempts are pretty hollow to showcase these differences because you're affording 5e great latitude (including adding automation as a feature of 5e while denying it elsewhere -- glad to see you dropped that) but holding 4e to bad expectations. I say bad because they're not at all what that game even tells you it's made for but rather some random bit you've invented and added all kinds of non-present restrictions just to try and make 4e look bad.
One of my battle in Avernus had 8th level PCs with about 200 red/madcaps and unlikely allies facing a horde of were creatures plus some devils, with infernal war machines in the mix. It was absolutely epic, sometimes the PCs faced adversaries of their level, sometimes scores of lowly devils, all dangerous to them, and applied appropriate tactics or died. I did NOT limit myself to formal technical fights of creatures of the level of PCs, I never did before 4e and I never did since. Because, in particular, players LOVE slaughtering hordes of foes, especially if THESE EXACT SAME FOES were causing them problem before.
I'm not at all sure why you think this can't play out in 4e. This is exactly what minions allowed for in 4e, as well as elites and solos. You're trying to assert that there's a requirement for exactly the same math in 4e, but 4e had tons of variations available at a single CR level, plus the ability to easily move +/- 5 levels, and more with consideration. The reason that 4e has the +/- 5 level thing wasn't because it required only same levels stuff, but because it's math made lower or higher CRs mathematically untenable. A CR 1 against a 10th level party couldn't even land a blow using the math of the system. So, to make this work, 4e added variability to monster types so that the math could work well but you still got the variability in challenge and need for tactics. I mean, claiming that 4e wasn't an extremely detailed tactical game -- far more so than 5e -- is just weird! As is claiming that tactics didn't have a large impact on play. If you're up against level +5 anything, your tactics are going to be critical. If you're up against over-budget anything, lower or higher, your tactics are going to be critical to survival.

But, that said, if you didn't limit yourself prior to 4e, then you shouldn't have felt required to limit yourself in 4e, because what happens outside the bands 4e was explicit about existed in earlier editions in an unspoken way. 3.x was particularly bad about this, were the math was such that if you didn't stay close in CR to the guidelines, creatures rapidly because totally overwhelming or utterly useless. As I said above, 4e's math system was pretty much just a clearer version of what 3e did. In the AD&Ds, this also happened, but not as much, because AC and THAC0 were at least bounded, but the magic system made all of it mostly irrelevant pretty quickly anyway. If you went against magic, level parity was critically important.
The difference is that I'm NOT trashing 4e, I'm just explaining why, my objectives being different, it's not as suitable to me. But I've never badwrongedfunned anyone playing 4e with different objectives in mind, just like in my exchanges with less biased people.
Um, no. Let me try and make this simple. You are making statements about 4e that it cannot do certain things and is a poor game because of this. Other people are telling you that they absolutely did those things and that they worked out great. You maintain that they are wrong about what they actually did. That is badwrongfunning.
Just read the rules, you'll see. And I'm not being mean, I'm just pointing out things that matter to me in a funny way, which people with a sense of humour appreciate, for example @James Gasik who said he liked his firecubes.
Ah. I'm disagreeing with you because I like a sense of humor. I am defective, so that explains my inability to understand why 4e is bad at thing but 5e is great at thing. Another strong argument!
Thanks, it's exactly what I'm saying, I don't like 4e as it does not map to the way we are playing. And I don't like the minions mechanics, although I found it clever at start, because it does not model the fantasy that I have, that of the genre to me.
No problems at all with anything you said here. The reasons you give around it, trying to show how this is objectively true because of how the rules work, are just bad, though. Stick to "I don't like it."
However, I completely agree that if you have other preferences and objectives, it might be the better mechanic FOR YOU. It's not to me, because the bounded accuracy hs cleverly removed the need for that mechanic.
You keep making normative statements, and defending that you intend to make normative statements, and then pivot. It's very hard to follow what kind of argument you make, as you move blindingly fast between your motte and your bailey.

For reference, motte and bailey arguing.
And yet, you are backing away on all fronts, so... :p
<Checks position, hasn't moved.>
Sure. If you say so.
 

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