D&D 5E A use for True Strike

Just to be clear, no it does not.

It is still the objectively wrong cantrip to have. You should have picked Toll the Dead or something like that if you are facing enemies who inflict Disadvantage and use cover. The DPR of any save-based cantrip, even Acid Splash on a single target, is going to be higher than alternating True Strike and Firebolt against a target in 3/4 cover when you have Disadvantage (turned into a neutral roll by True Strike).
This is exactly why I think true strike should:
1: ignore cover
2: turn a crit fail into a fail; turn a fail into a success; turn a success into a crit success.

This way it still stacks with advantage (allowing a higher chance of a crit) and almost guaranteeing a hit. It also increases your chance to hit invisible target or targets that give your attack disadvantage because, even if you miss with disadvantage, the miss turns into a hit.

To me, this is closer to how it was in the previous edition. I'd still make it an action. In a situation where you have a target that is impossible to hit, it may be worth giving up an action to almost guarantee a hit.
 

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Since you know very few cantrips (unless you're a multiclassing addict), any situational cantrip isn't worth it. If there was a build option that made it so you could force the situation that would be a good answer for OP's question, but no one's even thought of that so far.

As for 'fixing' it: I'm starting to think that in order to make true strike worth casting, you need something a lot more powerful than a cantrip - it needs to do too much all at once. But if it's a leveled spell, the design space really opens up, allowing you to get away with a bonus that's essentially just "your next attack hits' and it not being a problem.
 

jaelis

Oh this is where the title goes?
Since you know very few cantrips (unless you're a multiclassing addict), any situational cantrip isn't worth it. If there was a build option that made it so you could force the situation that would be a good answer for OP's question, but no one's even thought of that so far.
You know, cantrip spell scrolls are super cheap :)

As for 'fixing' it: I'm starting to think that in order to make true strike worth casting, you need something a lot more powerful than a cantrip - it needs to do too much all at once. But if it's a leveled spell, the design space really opens up, allowing you to get away with a bonus that's essentially just "your next attack hits' and it not being a problem.
It was a good level 1 spell in 3e. But keeping it a cantrip, I'm reasonably content with my version: you cast it on an ally, they get advantage on their next attack. That's useful when anyone in the party has a more powerful attack option than you, and it doesn't require the enemy to be present when cast. It's not amazing, but I think it is a solid enough choice.
 
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Asisreo

Patron Badass
The issue is that even Disadvantage + Cover isn't enough to make TS effective. You need the following:

1) You cannot see the target but you know where they are (this is actually normal for 5E when you can't see a target - if they'd successfully used "Hide", TS could not be used, but otherwise it could if they were just Invisible or you Blinded).

2) The target is behind 3/4 cover.

3) You have Disadvantage that has not been negated by Advantage gained somehow.

If any of these isn't true, then True Strike isn't the right cantrip to use/have. The most common situation would be an invisible attacker attacking at range from behind cover. I would submit that this is an extremely uncommon situation (especially as attacking breaks conventional Invisibility).

It's hard to say, but one guesses this comes in less than 1% of fights in 5E.
That's fine. I'm kinda satisfied with that. Maybe it's my fault for putting "useful" in the title as I'm not looking to call the cantrip "useful," I'm just in search of situations where it's usable. The best candidate monster candidate where this would work is probably an underdark setting.

Deurgar get the jump on the wizard PC and turns invisble, they then move to maybe some fortifications or wherever they can get three-fourths cover. Then, it's the wizard's turn, he uses true strike where he plans on attacking them and plans on casting ray of enfeeblement next turn.

There's still the use of plane shift, too which might be useful if the other characters can't or won't get within 5 ft of the enemy to grant advantage.
 

jaelis

Oh this is where the title goes?
Deurgar get the jump on the wizard PC and turns invisble, they then move to maybe some fortifications or wherever they can get three-fourths cover. Then, it's the wizard's turn, he uses true strike where he plans on attacking them and plans on casting ray of enfeeblement next turn.
OK this is really a separate issue, but ray of enfeeblement is also a terrible spell.
 

DND_Reborn

The High Aldwin
That's fine. I'm kinda satisfied with that. Maybe it's my fault for putting "useful" in the title as I'm not looking to call the cantrip "useful," I'm just in search of situations where it's usable. The best candidate monster candidate where this would work is probably an underdark setting.

Deurgar get the jump on the wizard PC and turns invisble, they then move to maybe some fortifications or wherever they can get three-fourths cover. Then, it's the wizard's turn, he uses true strike where he plans on attacking them and plans on casting ray of enfeeblement next turn.

There's still the use of plane shift, too which might be useful if the other characters can't or won't get within 5 ft of the enemy to grant advantage.

Here's one of my major issues with spells in 5E. Invisible, LoS, etc. mess things up. I'll illustrate my point:

Let's say they start out 15 feet apart. In your example, the Deurgar turns invisible and moves to cover. He could now be up to 40 feet away. The wizard most likely has no clue where the Deurgar went. He might know the general direction from sound (maybe), but that is about it. So, the Wizard casts True Strike. Oops! The target is 40 feet away (thus out of range) and he doesn't know that!

* Rant Warning *

What happens? The spell fails and the slot is lost? The DM tells the player the target is out of range (but the character won't know that until the spell is cast so...)? Understanding the risk, the player has the character move in the general direction (assuming this is not an insanely dangerous idea!) and tries to cast the spell then, hoping the target is within range?

Also, although it is not stated concretely that the target "must be seen", how can you point your finger at the target if you can't see it!?! You're guessing really and it might not be there at all!

* End of Rant, Thank You For Reading! :) ***

True Strike isn't the only spell like this, I've run into others, and as a DM and player it is frustrating.
 

jaelis

Oh this is where the title goes?
Here's one of my major issues with spells in 5E. Invisible, LoS, etc. mess things up. I'll illustrate my point:

Let's say they start out 15 feet apart. In your example, the Deurgar turns invisible and moves to cover. He could now be up to 40 feet away. The wizard most likely has no clue where the Deurgar went. He might know the general direction from sound (maybe), but that is about it. So, the Wizard casts True Strike. Oops! The target is 40 feet away (thus out of range) and he doesn't know that!

* Rant Warning *

What happens? The spell fails and the slot is lost? The DM tells the player the target is out of range (but the character won't know that until the spell is cast so...)? Understanding the risk, the player has the character move in the general direction (assuming this is not an insanely dangerous idea!) and tries to cast the spell then, hoping the target is within range?

Also, although it is not stated concretely that the target "must be seen", how can you point your finger at the target if you can't see it!?! You're guessing really and it might not be there at all!

* End of Rant, Thank You For Reading! :) ***

True Strike isn't the only spell like this, I've run into others, and as a DM and player it is frustrating.
I think stealth rules vary a lot from table to table, but for me, unless the deurgar used its action to hide and beat your perception with its stealth check, then you would know where it was and could target it with an attack.
 

DND_Reborn

The High Aldwin
I think stealth rules vary a lot from table to table, but for me, unless the deurgar used its action to hide and beat your perception with its stealth check, then you would know where it was and could target it with an attack.
Yes, stealth rules do vary a lot, which is unfortunate IMO but meh.

It is one of the pitfalls of 5E, combining hiding and moving silently, because frankly if someone is invisible and 35 feet away, even if they are moving, you could easily think they are 25 or 30 feet and you can reach them with the spell In other words, your hearing would provide the direction at best, but not pinpoint the location by sound without some other factor being involved. I would rule you would have to make a check to determine their location against a "passive stealth," for lack of a better term.

I know 5E favors rulings over rules, but they dropped the ball IMO on the whole thing.
 

jaelis

Oh this is where the title goes?
For the most part I think it is OK, the disadvantage rule for opponents you can't see is good enough for me. True Strike in particular is weird, because you need to know pretty well where the target is (so you can point to them and distinguish them from other nearby creatures), but you don't have to see them or make an attack roll. I can't think of any other spells with that weird combination.

I mean, overall TS is kind of a fail.
 

FrogReaver

As long as i get to be the frog
For the most part I think it is OK, the disadvantage rule for opponents you can't see is good enough for me. True Strike in particular is weird, because you need to know pretty well where the target is (so you can point to them and distinguish them from other nearby creatures), but you don't have to see them or make an attack roll. I can't think of any other spells with that weird combination.

I mean, overall TS is kind of a fail.

I just did a comparison between TS, Firebolt, Chromatic and Magic Missile and their combos. Magic Missile + Firebolt was the clear winner there.

So with that out of the way, I'd say TS has no purpose.
 

Asisreo

Patron Badass
I just did a comparison between TS, Firebolt, Chromatic and Magic Missile and their combos. Magic Missile + Firebolt was the clear winner there.

So with that out of the way, I'd say TS has no purpose.
You have to see the target for Firebolt & Magic Missle. True strike and Ray of Sickness works on invisible enemies.
 

Another spell I've been looking at is the dubious Witch Bolt. This can be upcasted and outdamages all but eldritch blast cantrips at subsequent rounds. The problem is that it requires a 30ft distances to be maintained. Luckily, sorcerers have distant spell which makes it tolerable. This also frees you up to cast bonus action spells if you need to on other turns.

So a true strike setup with upcasted Distant Witch bolt might make things really good.

You cant twin True strike, and Witch bolts damage doesnt scale on subsequent rounds.
 



1) Crit Fishing

2) multiclass sorcerer/rogue

Yeah no re: 2. Not unless you have a situation where you cannot possibly get Advantage or Sneak Attack (which some subclasses allow w/o Advantage) without True Strike and it's worth blowing an entire round to use True Strike rather than Hiding or the like. In most situations you could take a normal pot-shot and then Hide with your Rogue bonus action thing, for example. Hell if you were a Wood Elf or Halfling you could do that without even really needing much to hide behind.

It's certainly not going to be a routine situation, and if it happens a lot to you, you're probably doing something really wrong as a Rogue.

Re: 1, I'd love to see the build where that actually worked out. I mean we're probably talking an Elf with the triple-advantage thing, like most Crit-Fishers, but skipping around of likely multiple attacks just to get Advantage from that? I don't think it's going to add up. I don't do Crit Fisher math though.

@Asireo - The more I think about the Plane Shift example, the more I like it. It's only one spell, and it's a big risk, but it's much less corner-case than anything else that's been suggested, because it can potentially significantly reduce the risk of failure of Plane Shift (which is of course a "two points of failure" spell), and one that can absolutely a spin a battle 180 degrees (whereas as cantrips and Chromatic Orb and so on generally will not). So I think that's your best example here, maybe the only good example.

The one thing working against it is that you could also deploy your Familiar to go up to the enemy and use the "Help" action (this is totally RAW and legal and also RAI according to JC) and give you Advantage that way without wasting a turn. As it acts on your turn, it's probably quite difficult to stop that. However, that's generally once-a-battle, because said familiar will get killed the next turn if there are enemies left, and they might have been killed earlier in the battle. The familiar is the big thing though because party members may not consider it worth giving up three attacks or Sneak Attack (yeah I am thinking of a specific situation ;) ) to do Help for you. Though that said last time this happened, that is exactly what happened - the Rogue sighingly gave up his SA so he could do help, and the Sorcerer (I think?) landed Plane Shift as a result. Of course the NPC then saved, and as I noticed Plane Shift was on his spell list, promptly sent the Fighter straight to hell - good old Fighter WIS saves... :) ).

But I would concede that's probably not a reason to have have TS, but at that level you have more Cantrips, so it's less of a loss, and it could actually work - you could also use it as "backup Advantage" there, like if an expected source of Advantage but it might not work, you could use TS - and hell if you still had your familiar, you use TS, maybe bait the enemy into trying break your Concentration on that, then deploy the familiar so you got Advantage anyway. And again this works because Plane Shift literally turn a fight from "Ohhhhh nooooo!" to "WE GOT DIS!!!".
 

1) Crit Fishing

2) multiclass sorcerer/rogue
according to Frogreaver's math - not even then:

jmartkdr2 said:
Another possible edge case: assuming you have a character built around greenflame blade, (ergo no Extra Attack) who also has the Elven Accuracy feat - could it be better to use true strike instead of attacking twice?

Assuming of course no other source of advantage is in play.
This is a good question. Let's evaluate.

Assuming 60% accuracy again.
For 2 attack character: Damage output is at 1.2*Damage
For Elven accuracy: Damage output is 0.936*Damage

You would need to be attacking something at a 35% chance to hit before you would be better off using true strike.
 

Asisreo

Patron Badass
Slight necro of thread, wouldn't be a demon's advocate if I didn't.

You could use true strike as a Moon Druid and transform into a Giant Spider to web your enemy. Since it is limited, having advantage on that would be good. You could also use it when throwing something like holy water or expensive equipment, which you probably won't have more than a 50% chance to hit with anyways. If a party member wanted, you could true strike then your party member could cast True Polymorph on the same turn to turn you into something like a Balor or Death Knight. You can then wreak havoc with your first attack with advantage. Well, technically this works with regular Polymorph as well.

A bard can take Guiding Bolt and ensure the advantage rider happens. I believe inflict wounds was already brought up, too. Assuming you're in tier 1, you can true strike inflict wounds. If the enemy's AC is higher than 13, then you have a higher average DPR.

I don't think it's much of a secret that true strike falls off after tier 1 outside of the polymorph shenanigans, though.
 

Li Shenron

Legend
Hiding because tangential to the main discussion.

Here's what that actually says:

View attachment 121198

I think there's a lot of room between the 3 official bullet points and the additional design intent section that was posted for curiosity.

As usual the Sage Advice speaks in riddles.

Looking at Twinned Spell, we see that this ability can be used to get close to casting 2 non-cantrips in the same round: if you have 2 slots of a certain level X, you can "burn" one of them as a bonus action to get the X sorcery points required to use Twinned Spell on the other slot.

There are already some obvious caveats, first of all they have to be same spell, but then technically they are really just 1 casting, so among other things it takes a single counterspell to stop them.

So probably the first intent is to simply limit the general usefulness of Twinned Spell to make it less likely that a Sorcerer uses it every single round, consuming her slots at double speed to cast 2 spells for the whole battle. So they put more limitations on which spells you can use it with, but at this point which spells to ban is still arbitrary (for example, they could have said "you can't Twin spells of your current highest spell level", or forbidding concentration spells or spells longer than instantaneous...).

But the second intent is probably for playability's sake to avoid Twinned Spell to cause too many rolls at once. That's why you can't Twin area spells, otherwise you might trigger a lot of saves (notice that perhaps for the same reason they did not design a metamagic which e.g. doubles a spell area).

Why then no "self" spells? Most self spells don't stack with themselves or simply don't make sense to cast twice anyway. However, some self spells are actually... area spells! For example Lightning Bolt or Prismatic Spray. Basically if the "area" starts from the caster, the spell usually has Range: Self.

On the other hand, I think the Sage is wrong when he says that a spell is disqualified if "it can target an object". Nowhere in the RAW it says something like that, it only says "targets only one creature" which is not about the spell in general but it's about a particular casting of that spell. In fact the RAW also says "To be eligible, a spell must be incapable of targeting more than one creature at the spell’s current level" (which is once again to avoid lots of rolls if you Twinned a Magic Missile or Scorching Ray even directing all bolts the same creature). If you can Twin a 1st-level Charm Person because it doesn't matter that the spell can't be twinned when you cast it on multiple targets, then you can Twin a Dispel Magic cast on a creature because it doesn't matter that the spell can't be twinned when cast on an object. Unless they update the errata to "To be eligible, a spell must be incapable of targeting an object or more than one creature at the spell’s current level" the RAW allows to Twin a Dispel Magic or Remove Curse, as long as you cast it on a creature.

But generally speaking, I cannot think of any ineligible spell which would truly break the game if you allow it to be Twinned. Not a spell casting an object for example, but neither Fireball to be honest.

And I generally despise this design approach of adding spanners in the works just to indirectly tone down a character ability, because a savvy gamer will always find enough particular spells which do qualify and will happily use Twinned Spell every round anyway. If they wanted to prevent this sort of abuse, they should have directly prevented it, maybe putting a spell level limit or another usage limit.
 

jaelis

Oh this is where the title goes?
Slight necro of thread, wouldn't be a demon's advocate if I didn't.

You could use true strike as a Moon Druid and transform into a Giant Spider to web your enemy. Since it is limited, having advantage on that would be good. You could also use it when throwing something like holy water or expensive equipment, which you probably won't have more than a 50% chance to hit with anyways. If a party member wanted, you could true strike then your party member could cast True Polymorph on the same turn to turn you into something like a Balor or Death Knight. You can then wreak havoc with your first attack with advantage. Well, technically this works with regular Polymorph as well.

A bard can take Guiding Bolt and ensure the advantage rider happens. I believe inflict wounds was already brought up, too. Assuming you're in tier 1, you can true strike inflict wounds. If the enemy's AC is higher than 13, then you have a higher average DPR.

I don't think it's much of a secret that true strike falls off after tier 1 outside of the polymorph shenanigans, though.
If you're setting up some awesome battle-winning attack, wouldn't it be better to have an ally use help, so you can cast it earlier? And if you're on your own, now you have to really worry about concentration.
 

Asisreo

Patron Badass
If you're setting up some awesome battle-winning attack, wouldn't it be better to have an ally use help, so you can cast it earlier? And if you're on your own, now you have to really worry about concentration.
Perhaps, but maybe the ally in your enemy's face doesn't really want to sacrifice his action because it may be valuable to keep him alive and the spellcaster might not want to get close enough to provide melee, since he'd need to be within 5ft. It may also be dangerous because they may have legendary actions so they might just attack before your initiative and kill the helper anyways.
 

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