D&D 5E A use for True Strike

All this math, while useful in analyzing what's the best option, might be giving the wrong picture on D&D. If you want to maximize DPR, there's plenty of ways to muchkin it to have the highest numbers. But it depends on if it's in the spirit of the game being ran. True strike works, it doesn't work well but does it need to? Does it need to be a damaging cantrip's equal?

It's really not giving the wrong picture. Red herrings about "munchkin" ways are neither here nor there. True Strike is a bad spell with no purpose.

But I don't want to fix it. I don't even want to see it be good. I just want to see if there's some creative ways, RAW, to have true strike be effective. That it, really.

I mean, many people have asked this question. None have found an answer of anything but "No".

Also, I get that you don't want to do the math, but that's the only possible way we'll ever know if your "creative ways" to make it effective actually are effective, rather than just sounding good.
 

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It can be used to conserve spell slots when hitting it an issue.

Not really though. You're still better off "conserving spell slots" by using a damaging cantrip in virtually all cases.

There's no viable scenario I can see. The closest I could work out:

1) You have only damaging cantrip and the enemy has Immunity to that damage type (not unheard-of with Fire, but staggeringly unlikely with Force, for example).

2) You are totally unarmed. You don't even have a rock you can throw at the enemy, let alone a light crossbow (or maybe he's immune to them, too).

3) The reason you have only one cantrip in the first place is because you are spent a cantrip slot on True Strike for some unholy reason.

4) You have Chromatic Orb (specifically) ready to go.

In that scenario, and pretty much only that scenario, it makes sense to cast True Strike.

However, you CAUSED this scenario BY taking True Strike and not bringing a light crossbow or other ranged weapon to the party (or even a dagger I gues).

If instead of taking True Strike, you'd taken a cantrip with a different damage type, the scenario wouldn't happen. If you brought a light crossbow or another weapon, the scenario wouldn't happen.
 

jaelis

Oh this is where the title goes?
To be fair, it is effective when you are in an ambush situation and you can cast it before rolling initiative. But that just hardly comes up very often.
 

Asisreo

Patron Badass
Not really though. You're still better off "conserving spell slots" by using a damaging cantrip in virtually all cases.

There's no viable scenario I can see. The closest I could work out:

1) You have only damaging cantrip and the enemy has Immunity to that damage type (not unheard-of with Fire, but staggeringly unlikely with Force, for example).

2) You are totally unarmed. You don't even have a rock you can throw at the enemy, let alone a light crossbow (or maybe he's immune to them, too).

3) The reason you have only one cantrip in the first place is because you are spent a cantrip slot on True Strike for some unholy reason.

4) You have Chromatic Orb (specifically) ready to go.

In that scenario, and pretty much only that scenario, it makes sense to cast True Strike.

However, you CAUSED this scenario BY taking True Strike and not bringing a light crossbow or other ranged weapon to the party (or even a dagger I gues).

If instead of taking True Strike, you'd taken a cantrip with a different damage type, the scenario wouldn't happen. If you brought a light crossbow or another weapon, the scenario wouldn't happen.
Wait. Can't you use true strike against an invisible enemy? Nullifying the disadvantage? Also, what about Plane Shift? Damage isn't better than guaranteeing that the attack lands and forces the enemy out of combat.
 

DND_Reborn

The High Aldwin
Not really though. You're still better off "conserving spell slots" by using a damaging cantrip in virtually all cases.

Yeah, I know, which is why this:

Something like a caster using Chromatic Orb and getting advantage because it is the only slot left will have about the same damage as casting a damage cantrip and the CO anyway (you're talking less than 0.2 damage per round)

was part of the same post. :)
 

Asisreo

Patron Badass
Inflicting Contagion, while already stated, also applies an effect that damage extra damage doesn't necessarily help with.
 

Re-posting this because:
1) it landed at the bottom of the previous page and probably got missed and;
2) Curious for feedback

I'd just change it to:

True Strike
Time:
1 action
Concentration: no
Your next attack ignores cover and is more likely to hit:
-A critical failure becomes a failure
-a failure becomes a success
-a success becomes a critical success


Then it also stacks with advantage which would give you an excellent chance for a crit.
 

jaelis

Oh this is where the title goes?
Wait. Can't you use true strike against an invisible enemy? Nullifying the disadvantage? Also, what about Plane Shift? Damage isn't better than guaranteeing that the attack lands and forces the enemy out of combat.
Negating disadvantage isn't really any more useful than granting advantage.

Getting advantage on the plane shift attack is nice. But if it is worth you casting TS (and hoping to keep your concentration up), then it is also worth getting an ally (or better your familiar) to use the help action. You have to be in melee anyway.
 

Dausuul

Legend
To be fair, it is effective when you are in an ambush situation and you can cast it before rolling initiative. But that just hardly comes up very often.
Nope, it's not even effective then.

In a "wait in hiding" ambush, you are hidden from the enemy, and thus have advantage on your first attack roll already. Advantage does not stack, so true strike provides no benefit.

In a "kick in the door" ambush, there is a barrier in between you and the enemy, preventing you from targeting it with true strike.
 

jaelis

Oh this is where the title goes?
Yes, but in occasions where you can see your opponent but you have to come out of hiding to attack them, then TS gives you advantage. Depending on how your DM runs stealth, that could be more or less common. But it probably won't ever be very common.
 

Asisreo

Patron Badass
Negating disadvantage isn't really any more useful than granting advantage.

Getting advantage on the plane shift attack is nice. But if it is worth you casting TS (and hoping to keep your concentration up), then it is also worth getting an ally (or better your familiar) to use the help action. You have to be in melee anyway.
If your chances to hit are 60% and you're at disadvantage, firebolt then casting Chromatic Orb gives you a DPR of (5.5*.36)+(3.5*3*.36) = 5.76. That is less than true strike's (3.5*3*.6) = 6.3 DPR. It only gets worse the lower your chance to hit is. A 50% chance to hit at disadvantage gives a DPR of (5.5*.25) + (3.5*3*.25) = 4 while TS-CO at 50% gives (3.5*3*.5) = 5.25
 

Asisreo

Patron Badass
This makes alot of sense too. You're magically discovering your target's weakness, so it should be able to bypass ailments or blindness/invisibility. Being blinded yet having your attacks aim true effectively is wonderfully flavorful for a divination cantrip.
 

Undrave

Hero
True Strike is a waste of ink. Should have just printed 'Toll the Dead' in the PHB and give Cleric and Bards more than one attack cantrip...
 

FrogReaver

As long as i get to be the frog
True Strike is a waste of ink. Should have just printed 'Toll the Dead' in the PHB and give Cleric and Bards more than one attack cantrip...

It has a decent synergy with chromatic orb IMO. Though I've not really delved into the ins and outs of that combo
 


Asisreo

Patron Badass
That's a pretty tiny corner case for a PHB spell on so many lists.
I would like to add that I've been using someone else's to-hit percentage and that lead to some erroneous conclusions. Advantage is not a linear distribution for to-hit. It's actually alot stronger the less likely you are to hit. For example, at 30% chance to hit, firebolt + chromatic orb has a DPR of (5.5*.3) + (3.5*3*.3)= 4.8 while True Strike + chromatic is (3.5*3*.51) = 5.355

So a target with exceptionally high AC is worth doing the true strike combo. So true strike is useful getting a strong hit on an enemy. In fact, twinning true strike, then twinning chromatic orb is quite a bit stronger than doing the same with just a firebolt (it requires more Sorc points, though.)

Twin true strike + twin chromatic orb: 2(3.5*3*.51) = 10.71

Firebolt + twin chromatic orb: 5.5*.3 + 2(3.5*3*.3)= 7.95
 

Asisreo

Patron Badass
I would like to add that I've been using someone else's to-hit percentage and that lead to some erroneous conclusions. Advantage is not a linear distribution for to-hit. It's actually alot stronger the less likely you are to hit. For example, at 30% chance to hit, firebolt + chromatic orb has a DPR of (5.5*.3) + (3.5*3*.3)= 4.8 while True Strike + chromatic is (3.5*3*.51) = 5.355

So a target with exceptionally high AC is worth doing the true strike combo. So true strike is useful getting a strong hit on an enemy. In fact, twinning true strike, then twinning chromatic orb is quite a bit stronger than doing the same with just a firebolt (it requires more Sorc points, though.)

Twin true strike + twin chromatic orb: 2(3.5*3*.51) = 10.71

Firebolt + twin chromatic orb: 5.5*.3 + 2(3.5*3*.3)= 7.95
And if you were to quicken firebolt (an additional 5.5 *.3), true strike would still outmatch it.
 

DND_Reborn

The High Aldwin
I would like to add that I've been using someone else's to-hit percentage and that lead to some erroneous conclusions. Advantage is not a linear distribution for to-hit. It's actually alot stronger the less likely you are to hit. For example, at 30% chance to hit, firebolt + chromatic orb has a DPR of (5.5*.3) + (3.5*3*.3)= 4.8 while True Strike + chromatic is (3.5*3*.51) = 5.355

So a target with exceptionally high AC is worth doing the true strike combo. So true strike is useful getting a strong hit on an enemy. In fact, twinning true strike, then twinning chromatic orb is quite a bit stronger than doing the same with just a firebolt (it requires more Sorc points, though.)

Twin true strike + twin chromatic orb: 2(3.5*3*.51) = 10.71

Firebolt + twin chromatic orb: 5.5*.3 + 2(3.5*3*.3)= 7.95

(NOTE: It looks like you were doing 3d6 for CO, it is 3d8, so you should be using 4.5 not 3.5 in your calculations.)

First, I agree with a lower chance to hit, TS begins to look better. Adding in for critical hits:

FB+ CO @ 30% is
FB avg = 5.5 * 0.25 + 11 * 0.05 = 1.925
CO avg = 13.5 * 0.25 + 27 * 0.05 = 4.725
For total 1.925 + 4.725 = 6.65

WIth Advantage from TS you have:
CO avg = 13.5 * 0.4125 + 27 * 0.0975 = 8.20125

Which is a 23% bump over FB+CO.

But a 30% hit probability is really low in 5E. Most casters are +5 at level 1, so you are looking at AC 20. That is not common really at most levels. Based on CR and AC versus PC levels, base AC in Tier 1 for opponents is roughly 13, which with a +5 modifier would give 65% hit probability. Tier 2 is 15-16 for ACs on average, Tier 3 is closer to 18-19, and Tier 4 you finally average AC 20-21 or higher.

Because of the ACs you are most likely to encounter, TS continues to be lack-luster because hit probabilities are closer to 50% or better much of the time.

EDIT: FWIW here is the table showing avg AC by CR and the estimated bonus a PC would have against it.

1587532302729.png


As you can easily see, the hit probability is often 60% or better, making TS useless in most cases. :(
 
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Asisreo

Patron Badass
(NOTE: It looks like you were doing 3d6 for CO, it is 3d8, so you should be using 4.5 not 3.5 in your calculations.)

First, I agree with a lower chance to hit, TS begins to look better. Adding in for critical hits:

FB+ CO @ 30% is
FB avg = 5.5 * 0.25 + 11 * 0.05 = 1.925
CO avg = 13.5 * 0.25 + 27 * 0.05 = 4.725
For total 1.925 + 4.725 = 6.65

WIth Advantage from TS you have:
CO avg = 13.5 * 0.4125 + 27 * 0.0975 = 8.20125

Which is a 23% bump over FB+CO.

But a 30% hit probability is really low in 5E. Most casters are +5 at level 1, so you are looking at AC 20. That is not common really at most levels. Based on CR and AC versus PC levels, base AC in Tier 1 for opponents is roughly 13, which with a +5 modifier would give 65% hit probability. Tier 2 is 15-16 for ACs on average, Tier 3 is closer to 18-19, and Tier 4 you finally average AC 20-21 or higher.

Because of the ACs you are most likely to encounter, TS continues to be lack-luster because hit probabilities are closer to 50% or better much of the time.
That's very true. Unless, of course, you have a DM like me. Monsters are going to fight in the most advantageous way possible, meaning they'll try to give you disadvantage while giving them advantage. For goblins, a staple among 1st level fighters, they'll use their bonus action hide to take advantage of being unseen as much as possible. They are designed to be very stealthy ambushers, after all. Now, Goblins already have a 15 AC (surprisingly high for such a token weak enemy) and being unseen gives the party disadvantage. Now, if a 1st level sorcerer casted true strike, then ray of sickness, the outcome would be better.

It's not just goblins that causes disadvantage at low levels, some cause poison upon hit: (Dretch, Quasit, Drow, flumph, etc.)
Some become invisible, like the imp or duergar.
Some restrain, like the vine blight or the constrictor snake.

Disadvantage is something a wizard is likely to face against enemies that take advantage of their abilities. At lower levels, these disadvantage states can be frequent and turn the tides of battle.
 
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DND_Reborn

The High Aldwin
That's very true. Unless, of course, you have a DM like me. Monsters are going to fight in the most advantageous way possible, meaning they'll try to give you disadvantage while giving them advantage. For goblins, a staple among 1st level fighters, they'll use their bonus action hide to take advantage of being unseen as much as possible. They are designed to be very stealthy ambushers, after all. Now, Goblins already have a 15 AC (surprisingly high for such a token weak enemy) and being unseen gives the party disadvantage. Now, if a 1st level sorcerer casted true strike, then ray of sickness, the damage output would be better.

It's not just goblins that causes disadvantage at low levels, some cause poison upon hit: (Dretch, Quasit, Drow, flumph, etc.)
Some become invisible, like the imp or duergar.
Some restrain, like the vine blight or the constrictor snake.

Disadvantage is something a wizard is likely to face against enemies that take advantage of their abilities. At lower levels, these disadvantage states can be frequent and turn the tides of battle.
Even then, it is a borderline case IMO. And although some monsters have means of imposing disadvantage, the vast majority of them don't.

Let's take the AC 15 goblin vs. FB with a +5 spellcasting modifier. This means there is a 55% chance to hit (10 or better) which yields 3.3 DPR.

With disadvantage, this drops to 1.6775 DPR as the probability of hitting drops to just over 30%. But even assuming disadvantage both rounds, this is 3.355, just a hair better than using TS to remove disadvantage and casting FB on round two (3.3).

This is what I mean by marginal. TS+FB is 0.55 points worse than just casting FB twice with disadvantage. Tack on giving the enemy a fear turn to attack and concentration, it is a poor choice.

EDIT: I will add if the spellcasting modifier is only +4 (low, but acceptable at level 1), then using TS does offer a bump to DPR, but again you have to consider the cost associated with using it.
 

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