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. That's a cool idea, makes things very fast, shame it's never been done before.
this is the most direct way I have ever seen it written but it is how we played in 94/95 and how we play today.These conversations are never going to get anywhere until we can all agree on the following:
* HP are not meat.
* Position is not a fixed thing in combat
* Attack rolls are not singular instantiations of a single attack
* Same goes for AC and Defenses and anything of the like. They're all constructs.
even more direct.... I like itHP and Position and Attacks and Defenses are all just basically gamist constructs meant to resolve gamestate collisions
funny thing is back pre me buying minis in 2005ish (I was late to the mini game) most of us would at best make little notes with dots on it... so VERY often we had different images in our minds eye (not very but at least slightly different) and as such the qustion of "How many enemies can I hit with X spell without hitting an ally" was often up to the DM.Yeah. Not only is that basically using Minions exactly...but talk about fiat and completely unrewarding strategic/tactical play.
Player: "I want to do a cool Fireball thing and get as many orcs as I can."
GM: "Ok, no problem, you do the best thing with your Fireball and arbitarily get x number of orcs because its cinematic and waaaaaaay quicker!"
Player: "Uh, but can I play my PC? Can I make the decisions for my character? Can our success stand or fall on my own good play or misplay when (a) deciding to deploy Fireball or not given the orientation of monsters/battlefield and (b) if I do decide to deploy Fireball where to actually deploy it?"
GM: "NAH! You don't need to play your PC. I'll play it for you! Cinematic and waaaaaaaaaaaaaay quicker and I can basically use Minion rules and pretend that I'm not doing exactly that and then go tell people that Minion rules are trash!"
Oh, yeah, not arguing about the efficacy of the tactics, just pointing out how the effect can work through a combination of things.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.
You seem bad at humor. This is probably wrong because you do not get the joke. The joke is "firecubes." It is very funny, and means that hitpoints are meat.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.
So...I can't be sure he's referring to me, but in post #236, I asked "Are there really 'minions' in 5e though? Monsters you can drop with one hit?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.
In my 4e campaign, mid-paragon PCs fought hobgoblin phalanxes. Orc hordes could be statted up just the same, ie as swarms.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.
Upthread @Lyxen has talked about 4e mechanics being "artificial" and "technical".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.
There was some discussion of 4e healing that drifted into 4e stuff in general and then minions.How is this about Healing in 5e Again?
so much so that I recently gave my 5e players rare versions of the 3.5 cure/light/moderate/etc wounds that give #d8+CL* with the stipulation that using them causes the target to no longer get death saves & die at -10hp till they finish a long rest along with a pouch that had 300gp worth of diamonds in it for revivify towards the end of a session & the the cleric said "I can't imagine ever having a situation where I would consider using any of those spells, no amount of healing is worth that" just before the start of the next session.Oh healing is just fine, players are nearly invincible. The discussion mutated after that.
Oh good, because I was like "err...what now?" : )Upthread @Lyxen has talked about 4e mechanics being "artificial" and "technical".
What you describe is completely artifice: there is a game mechanic, the fireball damage roll, and another one the saving throw, and yet another one, the hit point tally, and they interact to create scenarios where some Orcs are alive and some are dead.
There is nothing in the fiction that corresponds to the different game mechanical states of I failed my save and died, I made my save but died from the half damage and I made my save and lost some hit points but am still alive. In the fiction, there is those killed or otherwise utterly debilitated by the blast and those not killed or debilitated. That second group of Orcs might flee, or keep coming, or surrender, or do something else I haven't thought of. Whether that group is established via 5e's AD&D-like process, or 4e's process of rolling to hit and on that basis determining who lives and who doesn't, is a purely technical question of game design.
As far as Minas Tirith and Boromir are concerned, 4e can handle that with ease. My view is that Boromir and Aragorn would be upper heroic or lower paragon PCs.
EDIT: I don't think we particularly disagree about anything. Just springboarding off your post.
The players realize the DM actually just tried to make them play through an escort quest without a computer company and a whole supply chain between them and their victims and run them out of town on a rail.Question: "How does 4e handle the trope of escorting/protecting vulnerable NPCs?"
In another thread, someone posted the idea that healing was weak (or "anemic") in 5e. Which, I have to admit, is not only something I had never thought of before, but seemed like the type of thing that might be dreamed up during the fevered dreams brought up during the consumption of the rare Brazilian psychotropic, Ibogaine (I'm so sorry, Muskie).
After further refinement (and, perhaps, after the waves of Ibogaine withdrew such that I could leave Bat Country), I understood the actual objection to be more about the lack of combat healing in 5e. And this still befuddled my brain. Of the various things I think aren't quite right, healing in general, or even healing in combat, has never been one that I could imagine complaining about! That said, I am always open to the possibility that I am wrong (or, more importantly, that other people are wronger) so I thought I would put this conversation into another thread. Now, given that I have gone to the hassle of making this an entire thread, I am going to do what I always do- (1) put in unnecessary history (sorry, context), (2) talk too much, and (3) set up the thread for a conversation.
A. The Origins of Healing in D&D; A Brief Reminder of OD&D and AD&D Healing.
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In OD&D, the rule was simple if somewhat buried.
As noted previously, energy levels can only be regained by fresh experience, but common wounds can be healed with the passage of time (or the use of magics already explained). On the first day of complete rest no hit points will be regained, but every other day thereafter one hit point will be regained until the character is completely healed. This can take a long time.
LBB Book 3, p. 35.
This means that natural healing ... sucked. Again, six days of complete rest would restore three hit points. (Day 1 = 0, Day 2 = 1, Day 3 = 1, Day 4 = 2, Day 5 = 2, Day 6 = 3 etc.).
AD&D (1e) improved it ... somewhat. But not that much.
For each day of rest a character will regain 1 hit point, up to and including 7 days. However a character with a penalty for poor constitution must deduct weekly the penalty score from his or her days of healing, i.e., a -2 for a person means that 5 hit points healing per week is maximum, and the first two days of rest will restore no hit points. After the first week of continuous rest, characters with a bonus for high constitution add the bonus score to the number of hit points they recover due to resting, i.e., the second week of rest will restore 11 (7 + 4) hit points to a fighter character with an 18 constitution. Regardless of the number of hit points a character has, 4 weeks of continuous rest will restore any character to full strength.
DMG, p. 82.
So ... healing still sucked. However, ignoring possible constitution modifiers, you at least got a full hit point per day, and the promise of full restoration of hit points (for higher level character) at the end of .... FOUR WEEKS.
These origins, which ensured that natural healing was nearly useless, privileged magical healing from the very beginning of the game. It ensured that almost every party would require some source of healing in order to be effective- usually a cleric. It privileged magical healing.
Now, without going through the full rigmarole, we see that this original position was gradually shifted over time. 2e no longer required complete rest for healing, and if you did get complete rest you recovered 3hp/day. 3e bumped it up to scale with level, so the higher your level, the more hit points you recover (1hp/level per day). 3.5e marked one of the first notable shift in healing- no longer are you required to "rest" in general, but simply get sleep for eight hours in order to recover your hit points naturally.
Still, while there was an evolution in healing 1e through 3.5e, it remained the case that healing tended to require external and magical means in order to be effective. Whether it was the "healbot" cleric of AD&D or the "CLW" Wands of 3e, there was always way of getting that sweet, sweet healing.
4e, of course, was the seismic shift in the healing rules. 4e introduced the idea of healing surges - that individual characters could heal themselves. You no longer needed to depend on external magic (or the dedicated healbot); you were the master of your own healing. I mean ... you could get additional healing! But it wasn't required. Innate healing was now part of the game. Which brings us to 5e ....
B. 5e's Healing is More than Sufficient.
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Let's start with a few basics within the rules so that we know that we are all on the same page when it comes to the healing within 5e, because many of us take it for granted; that said, it is ubiquitous and builds on the 4e system.
Fundamentally, natural healing is never a problem in 5e. Under the basic 5e rules, every time your character completes a long rest, you get all your hit points back. All of them.
Next, we have the remnants of of healing surges in 5e with hit dice. Every short rest, a character can "self heal" an amount equal to their hit dice (with constitution bonus). Once you expend those hit dice, you can't use them again, but you recover half of them on a long rest.
This means that every single character, every single day, has the possibility of recovering twice their hit points. Put another way- every single character, every single day, effectively has three times their hit points when it comes to combat. Now, I'm not trying to mislead you- if you use all your hit dice on one day, you only get half of them the next. If you roll poorly for the hit dice healing, then you don't get the full amount. But we can see the dramatic difference with prior systems (except 4e) here- healing is not something that is external to the character, and is necessarily required to be supplemented by magic; instead, every single character, prior to any use of spells or class abilities or magic items has a massive reservoir of innate healing.
....that said, all of this is out-of-combat healing. What about in-combat healing? Does 5e have a problem with in-combat healing?
C. 5e's In-Combat Healing is More than Sufficient.
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An example that came up to show that in-combat healing was weak and/or broken is that cure wounds cures d8+ability, while inflict wounds does 3d10 damage. So let's put aside the fact that inflict wounds requires an attack roll; for now, I think it is perfectly fine to assume that healing and inflicting damage in combat are asymmetrical. Why?
Because they have to be.
Let me make sure that this isn't misunderstood- I don't think healing during combat should be, or should ever be, symmetrical with doing damage, and this isn't a bug of 5e, this is a feature. In fact, I would take the upper limit of "combat healing" to be mass cure wounds- it's a fifth level spell, it takes your action, and it heals everyone in the party (up to six targets) 3d8+your spellcasting modifier (assumedly, at this point, +4 or +5). Or, if this is too abstract, heal (at 6th level) does 60hp to one target.
Of course there are spells that do more damage! That should go without saying. The reason is ... because combat healing and damage must be asymmetric or the game gets badly out of balance.
In order to understand why, we have to look at a few aspects of 5e, and the "meta" of the game. Here are the issues-
1. The generous death save rules and ability to re-enter combat. Often referred to as the "whac-a-mole" problem, there isn't a strong need for full healing in combat. In prior editions, if you were downed, you were usually down for the count; you needed healing long before you hit zero hit points. That's no longer a major strategic concern in 5e.
2. Characters have a ton of hit points to begin with, and easily recharge between combats. Because the healing rules outside of combat are so generous, healing during combat is disfavored. Why waste a good spell to heal during combat when you know you can short rest or long rest right after the fight is done and get all those hit points back?
3. The healing outside of combat is so generous, it doesn't matter if you're fully healed in combat. This is a corollary to 2, but it almost always means that you just need "good enough" healing in combat since you have such innate powers of healing (and/or goodberries and other means of healing).
4. It generally makes a lot more sense to do damage than to heal, people will almost always prioritize doing damage than healing ... even if it's equal. This is the math thing- monsters are big bags of hit points. In fact, this is partly why damage is asymmetrical! But absent rare circumstances, you will always be better off killing the enemy quickly than healing. This is partly why healing that doesn't take an action (healing word) can be valuable.
These are some of the factors that tie into the most important issue- it becomes a real balance issue when there is too much in-combat healing. We want to think of 5e as a game of heroic combats and awesome narratives, but ... a lot of it is just resource management. It is exceedingly difficult to have parties regularly grind through "4-6 encounters" per long rest. The base game is predicated on the following when it comes to combats:
Monsters are giant bags of hit points. The party will wear down the hit points and triumph. They will take damage. After the combat, the party will heal up. Disturbing that balance by providing too much in-combat healing (and there already is A LOT OF OPTIONS FOR THAT!) begins to unbalance the encounters. As it is, most healing in combat requires choices in the action economy- between doing more damage to the giant bags of hit points, or doing less healing to a party member.
And increasing options and amounts of in-combat healing will become noticeable- as I think people begin to notice with some subclasses that provide additional temporary hit points or large amounts of in-combat healing as their class features.
Note- if you don't think that there is enough in combat healing, then the optional healing surge rules (DMG 266-67) should be used.
FOR DISCUSSION- I think healing in 5e is just fine, along with in-combat healing. Please feel free to tell me why you think I am wrong, or, conversely, tell me why I'm right along with a note explaining how you got to be so awesome.