D&D 5E Are ranged attacks too good in 5e?

James Gasik

Legend
Supporter
Also, I don't DM that way, and I don't appreciate it if the DM does, when I'm playing.

The goblins are smart enough to figure out the same thing.
Felix could also ready an action to attack if the goblin rushes him, or take the dodge action.

Now at higher levels, a melee Fighter winning initiative might end up in a situation where they can't take their extra attacks on the first turn. That's why every character needs to have ways to act and react.*

It's like a Cleric who wants to go last so they can heal after the first round of attacks, but they could in theory cast a spell to prevent damage in the first place. The game affords you both opportunities and over the course of many battles, both scenarios play out.

*Sometimes the game doesn't a character these tools innately, but that's a whole different discussion.
 

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ECMO3

Hero
Example goblins have short bows, not RAW goblins. There is no rule for how they are armed.
They have a shortbow attack in their statblock. Unless you nerf them compared to what is in the monster manual, or purposely play them stupid they should not charge in that situation. This is especially true when they can use a bonus action to hide.
 

Felix could also ready an action to attack if the goblin rushes him, or take the dodge action.

Right, exactly. It's kind of a stalemate here, which makes things interesting. And getting to go first, either to Hold Action (which can be done with movement) or to do something else, will almost always be advantageous.

I mean, I can't really believe we're arguing over whether it's desirable...for any class...to get a bonus to initiative.
 

Ancalagon

Dusty Dragon
It is not binary. Ideally you go after the wizard and before the enemies.

It is also not given that the round ends before Gortrek had a chance to do their last action.
Ok, so in most combats, the PC win, so the last action is going to be by a a PC.

Assuming each PC is equally competent at finishing a fight (NOT a given!), and a party with 4 members, the initiative order means that there is a 3/4 chance of one or more PCs having one less round of action than the "fight finisher" did. The initiative winner has better odds of having more more round than the others.

You might say "well, that's just intra party balance, it's not that important" - fair - but if you finish the fight with good initiative there is also a chance that you made sure that the ogre didn't land one more hit or such.
 


Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
Also, I don't DM that way, and I don't appreciate it if the DM does, when I'm playing.

The goblins are smart enough to figure out the same thing the players are. They're not going to either move within easy range and just stand there, nor will they dash and then just stand there. Maybe move 30', then Hold Action (which the players won't know...).
Maybe your goblins are. Goblins in most games that I've played in are usually stupid. They aren't orcs or hobgoblins.

A lone goblins would very likely charge the lone fighter Felix.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
They have a shortbow attack in their statblock. Unless you nerf them compared to what is in the monster manual, or purposely play them stupid they should not charge in that situation. This is especially true when they can use a bonus action to hide.
I vary up arms and armor to make for a realistic encounter. It's absurd to think that every goblin you ever encounter will have a short bow. Some will be weaker than the statblock, and some stronger. It evens out.
 


Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
Right, exactly. It's kind of a stalemate here, which makes things interesting. And getting to go first, either to Hold Action (which can be done with movement) or to do something else, will almost always be advantageous.

I mean, I can't really believe we're arguing over whether it's desirable...for any class...to get a bonus to initiative.
Maybe that's what time are arguing over. Not me, though. I'm just saying that sometimes it's better not to be first. That's not an argument that it's undesirable to have an initiative bonus.
 


Re-reading what I wrote earlier, I'll backpedal. A little.

Yes, one can concoct specific circumstances where it would be better to have a lower initiative roll. But these are vastly, overwhelmingly outweighed by circumstances in which higher is better, and I believe this debate started as a discussion of whether having +5 bonus to Initiative is a good thing for melee combatants.

So I'll change "it's always better to roll high" to "it's better to always roll high".
I agree to that. But high initiative is also not the automatic game winner some want to believe it is.
The +1 or 2 to AC might as well help you get one more turn because you don´t spend it hugging to the floor. This is easily dismissed.
So I think in non open spaces dex and str are equally viable and both have pros and cons and ideally a party has bith types.

I still stand by my assertion, that a fighter that stands around doing nothing until the wizard has acted is often better than one that charges headlessly in... of course the wizard might prefer the fighter who stands there dodging r readying an attack agains those who attack the wizard... but lets be honest, fighters always charge in if they can...
 

I agree to that. But high initiative is also not the automatic game winner some want to believe it is.
Has anyone actually made that claim?

The +1 or 2 to AC might as well help you get one more turn because you don´t spend it hugging to the floor. This is easily dismissed.
So I think in non open spaces dex and str are equally viable and both have pros and cons and ideally a party has bith types.

I still stand by my assertion, that a fighter that stands around doing nothing until the wizard has acted is often better than one that charges headlessly in...
Have you considered that there might be more than those two options?
of course the wizard might prefer the fighter who stands there dodging r readying an attack agains those who attack the wizard... but lets be honest, fighters always charge in if they can...
Good grief. What sort of people do you play with?! 🤨
 


ECMO3

Hero
I vary up arms and armor to make for a realistic encounter. It's absurd to think that every goblin you ever encounter will have a short bow. Some will be weaker than the statblock, and some stronger. It evens out.
Ok but then to be clear you are playing a variant of a Goblin without a long-ranged weapon attack and that is not the "normal" Goblin nor what most players will expect when presented with Goblins outside of melee range.

Also considering nimble escape, it is objectively a much a weaker version of the goblin, and barring giving them magic items or changing their abilities, it is unclear how you are going to make a Goblin that is correspondingly stronger in the other direction.
 

ECMO3

Hero
Maybe your goblins are. Goblins in most games that I've played in are usually stupid. They aren't orcs or hobgoblins.
A lone goblins would very likely charge the lone fighter Felix.
Goblins have a 10 intelligence, Orcs have a 7 (Hobgoblins also have a 10).

So that makes them not only more intelligent than Orcs but also more intelligent than many PCs they face, including most of the Fighter, Paladin, Ranger, Warlock, Sorcerer and Barbarian builds floating around on this board.

Goblins also use "hit and run tactics" and "festoon their lairs with alarms designed to signal the arrival of intruders. Those lairs are also riddled with narrow tunnels and bolt-holes that human-sized creatures can’t navigate, but which goblins can crawl through with ease, allowing them to flee or to circle around and surprise their enemies."

All these things are contrary to the idea of a lone Goblin stupidly charging into battle.

I think Goblins in your games are not normal 5E Goblins as defined in the monster manual, which is fine, but it makes it useless to use them as a point of comparison.
 
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Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
Ok but then to be clear you are playing a variant of a Goblin without a long-ranged weapon attack and that is not the "normal" Goblin nor what most players will expect when presented with Goblins outside of melee range.
No. Any player can and SHOULD expect these variations. The stock example is not RAW and I'm pretty sure(can't look until tomorrow) that the MM tells the DM he can switch things up.

A player who is expecting only MM example monsters to show up deserves the PC death such assumptions can bring.
Also considering nimble escape, it is objectively a much a weaker version of the goblin, and barring giving them magic items or changing their abilities, it is unclear how you are going to make a Goblin that is correspondingly stronger in the other direction.
Better armor for one.
 

ECMO3

Hero
Better armor for one.
You are not going to get good enough armor to cover the loss of a shortbow. To start with they are presumed to be only proficient in leather armor (MM page 9). If you want to equip them with something else and say they are proficient in it fine, but keep in mind they have a bonus action hide and they don't have a high enough strength for heavy armor so how much better are they going to get?

If you put your Goblins in a breastplate you can boost AC by 3 without taking a hit to stealth, but this still hardly makes up for losing a shortbow.

Also thematically your "stupid goblins" are able to purchase armor that costs hundreds of gold?
 

James Gasik

Legend
Supporter
You are not going to get good enough armor to cover the loss of a shortbow. To start with they are presumed to be only proficient in leather armor (MM page 9). If you want to equip them with something else and say they are proficient in it fine, but keep in mind they have a bonus action hide and they don't have a high enough strength for heavy armor so how much better are they going to get?

If you put your Goblins in a breastplate you can boost AC by 3 without taking a hit to stealth, but this still hardly makes up for losing a shortbow.

Also thematically your "stupid goblins" are able to purchase armor that costs hundreds of gold?
Maybe he gives them shields?
 

Maybe he gives them shields?

It's still just a distraction from the main point: the implication is that it's perfectly normal for a lone goblin (without a ranged weapon) to either dash toward a (presumably larger) person in geared like a fighter, ending its turn in melee range but without an attack. So normal, in fact, that in those particular circumstances you would actually want the goblin to win initiative.

Me? I'd rather win initiative. If I literally have no other better options with which to use my superior initiative...that is, if I find myself in an infinitely large, milky white room with no visible features except said goblin...then I'll use my normal movement to approach to 10', then Hold Action and attack if an enemy moves within 5'. That still gives me the first attack.

(Either that or I'll move to 30', throw a hand axe, then back up to 40' again.)
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
It's still just a distraction from the main point: the implication is that it's perfectly normal for a lone goblin (without a ranged weapon) to either dash toward a (presumably larger) person in geared like a fighter, ending its turn in melee range but without an attack. So normal, in fact, that in those particular circumstances you would actually want the goblin to win initiative.

Me? I'd rather win initiative. If I literally have no other better options with which to use my superior initiative...that is, if I find myself in an infinitely large, milky white room with no visible features except said goblin...then I'll use my normal movement to approach to 10', then Hold Action and attack if an enemy moves within 5'. That still gives me the first attack.

(Either that or I'll move to 30', throw a hand axe, then back up to 40' again.)
There is no such thing as "geared like a fighter." It's far more likely not to be a fighter and be much easier to kill.
 

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