D&D 5E Attacks always "Hit"

ElPsyCongroo

Explorer
Removing the roll to Hit is something thats been covered before but what would you add to make it interesting on a per character basis, Ability Checks? Like a Dex save to reduce damage dealt to HP? And how would you handle Conditions that normally would grant adavntage/disadvantage?
 

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Horwath

Hero
Having max HP per HD would counter nice the removal of miss chance on attack rolls.

Armor/cover could be damage reduction

Advantage is max damage

disadvantage is min damage

Bless could add bonus to damage. +1d8 damage instead of +1d4 on attack.
 

ElPsyCongroo

Explorer
Having max HP per HD would counter nice the removal of miss chance on attack rolls.

Armor/cover could be damage reduction

Advantage is max damage

disadvantage is min damage

Bless could add bonus to damage. +1d8 damage instead of +1d4 on attack.
I was thinking of keeping Adavantage and Disadvantage of being mechanically the same but making it binary will streamline things.

Bless being a 1d4 damage increase would still be very effective, 1d8 would make it equivalent to a Smite.
 


Oofta

Legend
Nothing? It wouldn't make any sense to me. Why bother investing anything in defense at all? Why would anyone wear armor?

There are only so many options. Either you can counter damage somehow, but then the design of several monsters is broken because some monsters to a lot of damage with a single hit or two while others do similar damage spread across multiple hits.

I could see reducing damage from one hit, but not negating which runs into the big hit vs multiple hit issue. How effectively you do this could vary, with shield wearers deflecting more than people that use other means. But then you'll just see more dex based PCs picking up shield proficiency somehow and guys running around in plate (which should deflect most damage) at a relative disadvantage. It also runs into the issue of complexity and drawing out combat.

I don't think there's a great way to model combat realistically that works all that much better than what we have.
 

Mork Borg's you-always-hit approach works well for it, because that's a very rules-lite game. I don't think that would work for something like 5e. Too many moving pieces, including potential feat/gear interactions that might exploit the mechanic too hard.
 

James Gasik

Legend
Supporter
The issue isn't really that we roll to determine if we can damage an enemy, but that it's defined as a "to hit" roll in the first place. If I have a Dex of 8 and am wearing plate armor, when you attack, almost assuredly you hit something.

What you're actually rolling for is to see if you meaningfully bypassed my defenses. That's why Strength adds to hit, despite the fact that it doesn't seem to make any sense on it's face.

It's a pretty arbitrary system, overall, Armor Class and Hit Points, neither of which precisely mean what you might think they mean, but are an aggregate of a lot of factors. This ambiguity allows you to describe the resolution of attacks and the subsequent hit point loss in a wide variety of ways.

Maybe your attack penetrated my armor and now I have a vicious wound. Or maybe you slammed into me and knocked the wind out of me momentarily, and I can fight on. Maybe you struck my armor, but I turned at the right moment and the attack veered off. Or maybe you really did miss (but this isn't the default result, despite the terminology used)!
 

The issue isn't really that we roll to determine if we can damage an enemy, but that it's defined as a "to hit" roll in the first place. If I have a Dex of 8 and am wearing plate armor, when you attack, almost assuredly you hit something.

This is spot on, and leads to some of my least favorite RPG interactions: You only rolled a 14 against that enemy's insanely high AC? Oopsie, you whiffed! In theory a DM is supposed to be contextualizing every attack roll, but in practice that's a slog, so the default is just hit or miss.
 

James Gasik

Legend
Supporter
Personally, I would probably leave it up to the players to describe what's happening when they attack or miss. Especially for weapon users for whom that's basically all that they do.

If I find the roleplay impressive, I can toss them a goodie like Inspiration or something. This makes the concept of a "wasted turn" when you roll a 1 more of an opportunity.
 

Oofta

Legend
If I describe a miss, the description depends on numerous factors. Miss by a significant amount? You whiffed. Missed by a small amount? If it's a creature depending on armor the blow bounces off. If the creature depends on dex, the target twists at the last moment and you only make a minor cut on their clothing but draw no blood.

I don't think there's a particularly good way to model attacks and misses. There are simply too many variables when you have to account for attacking everything from someone who's dodging out of your way to blows that miss the gap in the armor to fighting something twice the size of an elephant that doesn't care that you just stabbed it's toenail.
 

Jer

Legend
Supporter
Personally, I would probably leave it up to the players to describe what's happening when they attack or miss. Especially for weapon users for whom that's basically all that they do.
I do this with my regular players, but we had to set some ground rules about it (4th edition and 13th age have helped to cement these, but we were doing it in 3e as well). The ground rules are:

  • I get to Yes And any description you make, and I get to include things that break the guidelines because I know how many hit points the monster has left and how their powers work :)
  • I also get to remind you when you're breaking the guidelines and suggest an alternate description of what happened
  • Unless I tell you it's a killing blow, you're not severing limbs or doing major damage - hit points aren't meat at our table for players or for monsters until you get down to 0 hp. If I tell you the monster is bloodied by the blow then you get to do a little bit of major damage (though no severing limbs or disembowelings unless for some reason it makes sense - the gutshot on a bloodied zombie for example).
  • Unless you roll a 1, you didn't miss. You made a glancing blow or it bounced off their shield or they parried your blow coming in or you grazed them or something. It's up to you to describe what happens (the poorly named "miss damage" helps them keep this in mind, since they're almost always doing "miss damage" they remember that they're never outright wiffing).
  • If you roll a 1, it's a complete miss. Feel free to narrate exactly how stupid your character looks, though unless there's a terrain effect or monster effect going on no matter what you describe you're not going to be disadvantaged by it next round. And if you don't want to make a funny joke out of your 1 that's fine too (most of my players don't take me up on that last bit tho).
  • If you roll a crit keep in mind the "no severing limbs or disemboweling" guideline but it's like bloodied plus - feel free to knock yourself out with a description of how cool you look doing what you're doing.
It works pretty well - my players aren't the type to get too lurid in their descriptions and if the combat goes on a bit too long they start to run out of unique descriptions for their attacks but overall it works for us.
 

ElPsyCongroo

Explorer
The system I was going for more or less had the players contributing to the fight and not feeling like dead weight because their character keeps missing.

It would be about degrees of success rather than you succeeded or failed. Everyone still contributes. After all missing your target's AC and doing nothing is equivalent to skipping your turn, at least mechanically.
 

I would rather see main line weapon users get damage on a miss as 'always hit' with it being an off stat

hammers and axes do con mod damage on a miss
bows and cross bows do wis mod damage on a miss
Str based swords do dex mod damage on a miss
dex based swords and daggers do str mod damage on a miss
 




Does the lack of a failure outcome cheapen the success outcomes? I'm pretty sure baseball would NOT be the same game if at bats always resulted in some form of advancing a runner/getting successfully on base.
is it the same game...no

do we actually have games played that way, YES. (I don't play baseball but we used to play very non competitive basketball games before me and friends got old) I have seen lots of games played 'for fun' this way.

When I was a kid (pre D&D so I wasn't 15 yet) where we used to play 'home run derby' and one of us would pitch and one of us would catch and one of us would bat (only 4 kids lived on my street and 1 wasn't aloud outside alot) and we would just keep going until the batter hit one over the hedge... then we would get it and rotate. We would play for hours. If we wanted to keep score it wasn't 'number of hits' it was how many pitches thrown at you... and lower number was the 'winner'
 

Blue

Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal
I played with the idea that melee attacks always did some some damage. But remember that HPs include fatigue, using up "luck", etc.

I basically had that that at range and with spells, it was as normal for 5e. For melee weapon attacks (or whatever the appropriate words are to include natural attacks and such but not spells) it was "graze" (below AC), "solid hit" (AC and up) and "critical hit" (natural 20). Graze did half damage and didn't trigger anything else that required a hit, like a condition or a divine smite.

It made melee both more dangerous and more rewarding.

(Oh, this was also in conjuction with giving CON score bonus HPs at 1st level.)
 

I played with the idea that melee attacks always did some some damage. But remember that HPs include fatigue, using up "luck", etc.

I basically had that that at range and with spells, it was as normal for 5e. For melee weapon attacks (or whatever the appropriate words are to include natural attacks and such but not spells) it was "graze" (below AC), "solid hit" (AC and up) and "critical hit" (natural 20). Graze did half damage and didn't trigger anything else that required a hit, like a condition or a divine smite.

It made melee both more dangerous and more rewarding.

(Oh, this was also in conjuction with giving CON score bonus HPs at 1st level.)
I support degrees of success and failure, but I don't really want anything that straight increases PC power.
 

DND_Reborn

Legend
Removing the roll to Hit is something thats been covered before but what would you add to make it interesting on a per character basis, Ability Checks? Like a Dex save to reduce damage dealt to HP? And how would you handle Conditions that normally would grant adavntage/disadvantage?
I think you need to make certain anything you add will have enough impact to balance with the time factor you'll be adding with extra dice rolls.

Also, what are you currently envisioning? Knowing that would help give us an idea of what you might want to add.
 

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