Another attempt at fixing the -5 / +10 issue

Quartz

Explorer
There've been umpteen threads about this so what's one more, right? :)

Another recent thread on the TWF Fighting Style has shown that while the three offensive styles - TWF, GWF, and Duellist - are balanced in a featless game, both TWF and Duellist comprehensively fail against GWF when feats are introduced.

So I propose the following tweaks:

  • Archery fighting style: the range at which you suffer Disadvantage is doubled. (If you want to fire into combat, take the Close Quarters Shooter style from UA.)
  • Great Weapon Master & Sharpshooter: remove the -5 / +10 and give +1 to a Str & Dex respectively.
  • Add a new feat: Show of Strength (see below)
  • Add a new feat: Show of Elegance (see below).
  • Edit: Expertise is reduced to a plain +2; Jack of All Trades and other similar abilites are reduced accordingly.

Show of Strength

You have learned how to channel your inner brute at the expense of precision.

  • Before you you make an attack with a weapon that can use Strength you can choose to take a -5 penalty to the attack roll. If the attack hits you add +10 to the attack's damage.
  • Before you make a skill roll for which you are using Strength as the stat modifier you may choose to take a -5 penalty to the skill roll. If the skill roll succeeds you add +10 to the result.

You may not apply Show of Strength and Show of Elegance simultaneously.

Show of Elegance

You have learned how to focus force at the expense of precision.

  • Before you you make an attack with a weapon that can use Dexterity you can choose to take a -5 penalty to the attack roll. If the attack hits you add +10 to the attack's damage.
  • Before you make a skill roll for which you are using Dexterity as the stat modifier you may choose to take a -5 penalty to the skill roll. If the skill roll succeeds you add +10 to the result.

You may not apply Show of Strength and Show of Elegance simultaneously.



Have at it!
 
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Saelorn

Adventurer
What does it mean to increase the result of a skill check by +10? You're more likely to drown, but if you do succeed, you swim amazingly?
 

Xeviat

Explorer
I always felt like +10 damage was way too much at lower levels. I also think it's way, way too much damage for a single handed weapon user to get. Combining it with bonus action attacks also feels too much. I'd think long and hard about going toward -Prof/+Prof (or +2xProf if it's needed to be balanced).
 

Xaelvaen

Explorer
We changed it so that the bonus action feature (on crit or felling an enemy, make another attack) also has a non-crit function.

"On your turn if you attack with a two-handed weapon, you can use your bonus action to make a Shove attempt." In many instances of fiction, the big brute barrels his shoulders into a foe after attacking them, or even before. I know it steps a bit on shield master, but truthfully at our table... no one cares if the tank and the grunt can do the same maneuvers.
 

Quartz

Explorer
The idea here is to explicitly keep the -5 / +10 by separating it out. And separating it out gives us the opportunity to apply the -5 / +10 to a second pillar.

Bother: I forgot to mention Expertise & Jack of Trades
 

Stalker0

Adventurer
The idea here is to explicitly keep the -5 / +10 by separating it out. And separating it out gives us the opportunity to apply the -5 / +10 to a second pillar.

Bother: I forgot to mention Expertise & Jack of Trades


But why? Why is that bonus necessary?
 

5ekyu

Adventurer
Sorry, but I'm not following you. About which bonus are you talking?
I believe the question is why the need to add the skill 5-10 at all?

Do you not feel the 5-10 a track damage is not enough on own?

My question would be different.

According to the conventional white room wisdom the 5-10 outshines everything else.

So you decide to solve that by giving every fighting style the 5-10 **not** by introducing other options that are equivslent.

So, you seem to be ok with making it do that 5-10 as the **only option*** so that everyone wanting that allegedly "must have" damage all take the same thing to get to the same point.

So my question is: why not make the 5-10 **not a fest** but default class features since you are basically setting up and giving in to everyone who wants that " must have" damage being basically required to take the feats?

Why setup a "mandatory buy" as part of everyone's optional gains?

Then feats can be used for a variety of things - not just completing your " must have".
 
I believe the question is why the need to add the skill 5-10 at all?

Do you not feel the 5-10 a track damage is not enough on own?

My question would be different.

According to the conventional white room wisdom the 5-10 outshines everything else.

So you decide to solve that by giving every fighting style the 5-10 **not** by introducing other options that are equivslent.

So, you seem to be ok with making it do that 5-10 as the **only option*** so that everyone wanting that allegedly "must have" damage all take the same thing to get to the same point.

So my question is: why not make the 5-10 **not a fest** but default class features since you are basically setting up and giving in to everyone who wants that " must have" damage being basically required to take the feats?

Why setup a "mandatory buy" as part of everyone's optional gains?

Then feats can be used for a variety of things - not just completing your " must have".
Because then the player that got the -5/+10 for free will simply max str or dex faster. So for the first half of the game it just introduces power creep. Maybe if you were playing a campaign at level 12+ that would be a good idea.
 

TwoSix

Lover of things you hate
Because then the player that got the -5/+10 for free will simply max str or dex faster. So for the first half of the game it just introduces power creep. Maybe if you were playing a campaign at level 12+ that would be a good idea.
If I was making it a base rule, I'd do it as -Prof/+2*Prof, rather than a flat -5/+10. Not nearly as problematic in Tier 1-2 that way.
 

5ekyu

Adventurer
Because then the player that got the -5/+10 for free will simply max str or dex faster. So for the first half of the game it just introduces power creep. Maybe if you were playing a campaign at level 12+ that would be a good idea.
Uhhh adding the 5-10 to everyone who is into dsmage output is already raising the bar. Your shield guys and twf guys will already be adding their newfound 5-10 must have output in.

Is there another game smashing must have feat we should be looking at too or is the new " must have" the +2 score option?

When do we carve out enough thst balance isnt spelled " one way"?
 

Blue

Orcus on a bad hair day
I always felt like +10 damage was way too much at lower levels. I also think it's way, way too much damage for a single handed weapon user to get. Combining it with bonus action attacks also feels too much. I'd think long and hard about going toward -Prof/+Prof (or +2xProf if it's needed to be balanced).
I remember a while ago that someone showed the math that reducing the penalty meant it was an appropriate thing to use more often, and the feat ended up contributing more total damage. This was with the 1:2 ratio of damage. But I'd be concerned about reducing the penalty - that actually made it stronger.

It was several years ago so I can't vouch for the math, but if correct than the effects are counter-intuitive. For example, if your options are +0/+0 (normal) and -2/+4, then the -2/+4 will be the mathematically correct move enough more often that the total damage added over hits will be more then if your option was -5/+10.

-5/+10 is more of a concern when you build around it and get either buffs from your party (bless, etc), or buffs from your DM (higher ability scores, regular +X magic items, etc.).
 
I remember a while ago that someone showed the math that reducing the penalty meant it was an appropriate thing to use more often, and the feat ended up contributing more total damage. This was with the 1:2 ratio of damage. But I'd be concerned about reducing the penalty - that actually made it stronger.

It was several years ago so I can't vouch for the math, but if correct than the effects are counter-intuitive. For example, if your options are +0/+0 (normal) and -2/+4, then the -2/+4 will be the mathematically correct move enough more often that the total damage added over hits will be more then if your option was -5/+10.

-5/+10 is more of a concern when you build around it and get either buffs from your party (bless, etc), or buffs from your DM (higher ability scores, regular +X magic items, etc.).
It sounds to me like the calculation you are talking about likely had 1 to many assumptions in it.

There is no way to know what distribution of AC's a player will face in a given campaign. As such I would question the assumptions of any math conclusion drawn about which is better or which is worse. That said, the general principle you talk about is always going to hold - there will always be a breakpoint where using it more often for less damage will be more beneficial than using it less often for more damage. The question is where is that breakpoint and do reasonable distributions of AC's for s given level hit that breakpoint.
 

TwoSix

Lover of things you hate
I remember a while ago that someone showed the math that reducing the penalty meant it was an appropriate thing to use more often, and the feat ended up contributing more total damage. This was with the 1:2 ratio of damage. But I'd be concerned about reducing the penalty - that actually made it stronger.

It was several years ago so I can't vouch for the math, but if correct than the effects are counter-intuitive. For example, if your options are +0/+0 (normal) and -2/+4, then the -2/+4 will be the mathematically correct move enough more often that the total damage added over hits will be more then if your option was -5/+10.

-5/+10 is more of a concern when you build around it and get either buffs from your party (bless, etc), or buffs from your DM (higher ability scores, regular +X magic items, etc.).
Assuming a bog standard level 1 greatsword attack (+5 attack, 2d6+3 damage), normal attacking is superior when AC >= 20,
AC 19 is equal, -2/+4 is better between ACs 18 and 14, and -5/+10 is better when AC <= 13.
 

Quartz

Explorer
[MENTION=40552]Quartz[/MENTION], where's your justification that your proposed change actually fixes GWF/SS?

It breaks the -5 / +10 out so that anyone can take it with any weapon. So a TWF PC can take the feats as can a Duellist. They're not restricted to ranged weapons and heavy weapons.
 
It sounds to me like the calculation you are talking about likely had 1 to many assumptions in it.

There is no way to know what distribution of AC's a player will face in a given campaign. As such I would question the assumptions of any math conclusion drawn about which is better or which is worse. That said, the general principle you talk about is always going to hold - there will always be a breakpoint where using it more often for less damage will be more beneficial than using it less often for more damage. The question is where is that breakpoint and do reasonable distributions of AC's for s given level hit that breakpoint.
[MENTION=20564]Blue[/MENTION] - I created a simple excel sheet that can take into account:

1. Number of attacks made at various AC's
2. Always making the optimal choice between using the -0/+0 and the -2/+4 or -0/+0 and the -5/+10
3. (+3 attack bonus estimate for precision attack when used)
4. All variables can easily be changed manually to display most examples.

In my case I used a level 5 fighter with defense style and a great sword.

The sheet calculates DPA. It turns out that for an equal weight in all AC's 11-20 that the -5/+10 wins out. For more of a bell shaped distribution on AC 11-20 the -2/+4 wins out. With precision attack the -5/+10 wins out. Etc.

That's at level 5.

By level 20 even on the bell shaped distribution the -5/+10 wins handily. If I skew the distribution more toward 18 AC and leave out all enemies with AC 13 and below the -5/+10 still wins out at level 20.
 

Quartz

Explorer
I believe the question is why the need to add the skill 5-10 at all?
Because it increases the range of the feat.

Do you not feel the 5-10 a track damage is not enough on own?
Correct.

So you decide to solve that by giving every fighting style the 5-10 **not** by introducing other options that are equivslent.
No, I decide to solve it by breaking it out into separate feats which the GM can allow or ban at their discretion.
 
It breaks the -5 / +10 out so that anyone can take it with any weapon. So a TWF PC can take the feats as can a Duellist. They're not restricted to ranged weapons and heavy weapons.
So the question is whether a TWF that can potentially start with extra attack and the -5/+10 feat is much stronger than the other styles for most of his career.

I propose you look at level 1 and then again at level 3 and then again at level 5 to get a good idea. Heck, do this on a barbarian cause you can get easy advantage starting at level 2.
 

Quartz

Explorer
So the question is whether a TWF that can potentially start with extra attack and the -5/+10 feat is much stronger than the other styles for most of his career.
TWF is already superior at damage dealing at tier 1 without feats but with this change those without heavy or ranged weapons can deal serious damage - for a price. Note though that 1st level PCs are very squishy and taking a -5 on your attack could prove a fatal mistake. I did consider putting the requirement of Proficiency Bonus +3 but that would mean ruling the feat out at level 4 and only fighters could get it at level 6 - others would have to wait until level 8..
 

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