D&D 5E breaking the healing rules with goodberries

Sacrosanct

Legend
Publisher
Animals fighting to the death once engaged is believable. Animals that during the fight or flight reaction decide to fight will often go into a frenzy when severely wounded fighting until dead. They are frightened beyond their limited ability to think. They are committed to the battle. Usually animals would run immediately if given the opportunity.

This is horribly untrue. Not even close to reality. The only time an animal actually dies in a fight is when it's the prey of the other animal and is going to be eaten. Almost universally, animals will fight until one quits. some times, one is wounded pretty badly and may perish of injuries later on. But almost never in an actual fight.
 

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We're talking using appropriate encounter guidelines, right?
Nope. I'm contrasting the idea of using appropriate encounter guidelines to challenge the party ('tailored') with using only the setting concept/situations/etc to determine what's where ('status quo'). In the status-quo style, the 'encounters' sitting out there waiting to challenge the PCs aren't there to challenge the PCs, but are there because that's where they fit in the world. The PCs explore that world. If they explore the wrong part before they're ready, they suffer the consequences.
But's that not what happens. Hemlock has not described multiple deaths.
The outcome of an encounter isn't the point of a status-quo design. The party might roll over the encounter, they might face a TPK, they might be challenged, they might overcome a seemingly impossible encounter through some trick the DM judges sufficiently 'clever.' The nominal level of he creatures in the encounter might not even matter much. You could have low-level creatures on high alert with an efficient defense plan wipe out a party to whom they be an 'easy' encounter, or high-level ones who are disorganized, vulnerable, or working against eachother who present opportunities for victory to a much lower level party. In each case, the point isn't to present a certain level of challenge, even a surprising 'Tucker's Kobolds' style challenge, to the party, but to populate the world as the DM envisions it.

This discussion is mostly foolishness as far as I'm concerned. I make my players feel like they are very much in a fantasy world. Tailored encounters has nothing to do with that.
They may help your game come off more like an heroic story in a fantasy world, though.

My confusion stems from the idea that others don't seem to understand the situation I'm dealing with. I thought it was so common that the concept was easy to understand. The game has been out a long time. There must be other groups that have long time players that naturally min-max and naturally work together as a team that leads in general to the decimation of anything less than an encounter tailored to challenge them that includes countering the key strategies they use to gain an advantage over most enemies.
I'm sure anyone who played 3.x/Pathfinder is very familiar with that scenario, yes. To a returning player who's been away from the hobby since the 20th century, though, it might seem either like a bizarre concept (that there's such a thing as an 'appropriate' challenge; or that players have enough choices /to/ 'min/max'), or just an example of coping with 'player skill,' via 'DM skill,' of course.

I also find it surprising that they think I tailor every encounter... I mean I take the time to make key encounters challenging. Encounters I feel should be challenging. Who wants to fight the villain in an encounter and have him be a pushover? If I look at a monster I'm planning to use and can assess my party will crush him using their common tactics, why would a DM want to run that encounter or a player feel satisfied beating it? That's the part I don't understand.
To the first question, lots of old-school players would love to feel they've out-smarted a villain by having the final confrontation - to some degree, on their terms, due to their 'skilled play' up to that point - turn out to be a pushover. Similarly, if the party did have 'common tactics,' countering them would be only natural - if the enemy in question had learned of those tactics.

It also doesn't matter, in that school of thought, if the party is above or behind the 'curve' for their level, the same world awaits them, regardless. If a party can take on tougher challenges than another of the same level, they should, indeed, seek out those tougher (and thus, generally, more rewarding) challenges.

It is pretty annoying having posters like Hemlock completely misinterpret my posts as "trying to protect my players" and the like when nothing of the kind was being said or implied. I think it is pretty clear that trying not to kill your players when employing min-max lethal encounter design is a whole lot different than "trying to protect players."
It goes both ways. In a tailored style, you try to create challenging encounters. That means discarding/hand-waving or stepping up encounters that don't pose enough of a challenge, as well as dialing-down, re-imagining, discarding, or postponing (through "DM force" if need be) encounters that would be too far beyond the party. Unless, of course, you're tailoring an encounter to be far beyond the party...

No Kidding. That's why I find it strange when they are made concerning games like this by those that think sandboxes somehow represent more character freedom or a more realistic game. Neither is true. A location railroad is still a railroad. Creating a ship where 24 beholders end up in the way of the characters is still designing encounters the characters have a chance of winning. None of it is this huge difference folks like Hemlock attempt to make it seem like.
It's a difference in philosophy. From the player PoV, it could even be transparent. That is, you could be in a tailored game, but feel like you were sandboxing or vice-versa.

This idea that Hemlock has that he can just make up whatever he wants and challenge a coordinated, min-maxer party is laughable.
That's not really the idea. The idea is that whether it's challenging or not doesn't matter. If the party picks on small fry, and evades encounters with tougher enemies, they have it easy, if they seek out dangers too great for them to handle, they die.

My game is a step under killer DM. I have to be careful not create overkill encounters.
Seems like you guys are each reading soft-balling into the other's style while defending your own's manliness.

Status-quo or Tailored, you can be as Monty or Killer as you like in how you run encounters.
 
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Animals fighting to the death once engaged is believable. Animals that during the fight or flight reaction decide to fight will often go into a frenzy when severely wounded fighting until dead. They are frightened beyond their limited ability to think. They are committed to the battle. Usually animals would run immediately if given the opportunity. I generally play animals as fleeing armed adventurers that wander into their territory unless there is some reason to do otherwise like protecting their young or suffering under the effects of enchantment.

I always have humanoids or intelligent creatures attempt to surrender or flee. Unfortunately, the PCs usually execute them. I have a particularly vicious group of players that don't like to leave anyone alive. Just last week they executed a female ranger that tried to ambush them with a group of orcs. They disarmed her. She was defeated, disheartened, and at their mercy. They pronounced sentence and executed her. When she was captured, she was near full hit points. She had no real chance to fight and no real chance to escape. She threw herself on the mercy of the PCs and they didn't have any. I might bring her back as a revenant since the reason she was going after them was they killed her lover.

I always try to have the NPCs react in a manner that reinforces verisimilitude. I like to plan how they react in advance thinking about their upbringing. My goal is to keep the players in character as much as possible. It's hard with veteran players. Using meta-game knowledge is too natural to them.

You want to avoid the farcry 4 scenario of wild animal attacks being the norm though.

My animals tend to flee from fire.
 

Ranes

Adventurer
Going back to the OP for a mo, isn't part of the potential for abuse down to the way 5e has changed how Goodberry works? I can't speak for 4e's version but, prior to that, you had to cast the spell on freshly picked berries. So, irrespective of how long your post-casting enchanted berries lasted, there would be plenty of situations in which PCs would simply not have access to the component required to cast the spell in the first place (with some margin for an individual DM's interpretation of 'freshly picked'). In 5e, the spell creates the berries out of thin air, and the component is any old sprig of mistletoe - doesn't even have to be a fresh one.
 

Going back to the OP for a mo, isn't part of the potential for abuse down to the way 5e has changed how Goodberry works? I can't speak for 4e's version but, prior to that, you had to cast the spell on freshly picked berries. So, irrespective of how long your post-casting enchanted berries lasted, there would be plenty of situations in which PCs would simply not have access to the component required to cast the spell in the first place (with some margin for an individual DM's interpretation of 'freshly picked'). In 5e, the spell creates the berries out of thin air, and the component is any old sprig of mistletoe - doesn't even have to be a fresh one.

Even conjuring berries out of thin air isn't in itself abusive. When compared to other 1st level spells, it is comparable in power. The silliness starts when trying to apply the life cleric disciple of life feature to the casting. Even though the feature states quite clearly that it works when the cleric casts a spell of 1st level or higher "to restore hit points to a creature". Casting goodberry creates berries but does not heal a creature when cast, so it wouldn't apply. Pretty cut and dried really.
 

Ranes

Adventurer
Even conjuring berries out of thin air isn't in itself abusive. When compared to other 1st level spells, it is comparable in power. The silliness starts when trying to apply the life cleric disciple of life feature to the casting. Even though the feature states quite clearly that it works when the cleric casts a spell of 1st level or higher "to restore hit points to a creature". Casting goodberry creates berries but does not heal a creature when cast, so it wouldn't apply. Pretty cut and dried really.

I agree entirely. And 5e's goodberry is on a par with other spells of its level, you're right. But it's also more powerful than in previous editions, which is something that, until I caught up with this thread, I hadn't noticed. Perhaps 'abuse' was too strong a term but I was addressing the original poster's concern.
 

I agree entirely. And 5e's goodberry is on a par with other spells of its level, you're right. But it's also more powerful than in previous editions, which is something that, until I caught up with this thread, I hadn't noticed. Perhaps 'abuse' was too strong a term but I was addressing the original poster's concern.

It's part of the general 5E trend toward making everything simpler and more self-contained, more accessible to casual gamers and walk-ins. Just like Find Steed/Familiar.

Good reminder though, thanks for the history nugget.
 

jayoungr

Legend
Supporter
It does, actually, in the DMG. Wisdom save, DC 10 IIRC. But it would be nice indeed if it had GOOD morale rules, and morale stats in the MM. I steal them from AD&D MM to compensate.
I'm toying with the idea of substituting STR saves for WIS saves in some cases. I figure WIS saves represent the combatants' faith in their cause, and STR saves represent their confidence in being able to win the fight. Might substitute DEX or the relevant spellcasting stat as appropriate to class.
 

I'm toying with the idea of substituting STR saves for WIS saves in some cases. I figure WIS saves represent the combatants' faith in their cause, and STR saves represent their confidence in being able to win the fight. Might substitute DEX or the relevant spellcasting stat as appropriate to class.

The problem with using saves as morale checks is that in many cases, retreating is actually the right course of action. E.g. Pickett's Charge. Saving throws could work for a commander trying to prevent a retreat from devolving into a rout, but they don't tell you when to retreat instead of fighting.
 

jayoungr

Legend
Supporter
The problem with using saves as morale checks is that in many cases, retreating is actually the right course of action. E.g. Pickett's Charge. Saving throws could work for a commander trying to prevent a retreat from devolving into a rout, but they don't tell you when to retreat instead of fighting.
Sure, but if it's a strategic thing, that's different from morale, at least in my book. As the person running that side, the GM can simply judge (a) when retreating is the right course of action and (b) whether they are smart enough realize that it is. Or if you're unsure about the last bit, maybe have them retreat if they make the save?
 

billd91

Not your screen monkey (he/him)
It does, actually, in the DMG. Wisdom save, DC 10 IIRC. But it would be nice indeed if it had GOOD morale rules, and morale stats in the MM. I steal them from AD&D MM to compensate.

I'm strongly considering using the morale rules, but I'll be making it Charisma save instead of Wisdom since it's about confidence and exerting control rather than passive mental resistance. I don't see any really good reason it should be a Wisdom save at all.
 

Hussar

Legend
I'm strongly considering using the morale rules, but I'll be making it Charisma save instead of Wisdom since it's about confidence and exerting control rather than passive mental resistance. I don't see any really good reason it should be a Wisdom save at all.

Just spitballing here, but, what about a Cha save with a bonus equal to CR? That way big tough monsters don't run away as often as small, weak monsters, but, since it's Cha based, there's still a decent chance of any critter actually running.
 

billd91

Not your screen monkey (he/him)
Just spitballing here, but, what about a Cha save with a bonus equal to CR? That way big tough monsters don't run away as often as small, weak monsters, but, since it's Cha based, there's still a decent chance of any critter actually running.

I think that would be largely unnecessary. Lots of powerful monsters have decent charisma or are proficient with the save (see demons, devils, and dragons in particular). The conditions of having lost half its hit points or being unable to significantly affect the party are harder to achieve with powerful monsters over small and weak ones.

Edit: Plus, adding the CR would kind of kick the bounded accuracy system in the jimmies.
 
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Hussar

Legend
Kinda sorta. I was thinking the save dc would be baseline 10 with maybe a flinch factor depending on situation. What school were you thinking?

It's not like things get all sorts of save bonuses otherwise. And it would seem strange to me that a dinosaur would be as easy to scare off as an Orc or a hobgoblin.
 

I don't see any reason not to use the B/X system and assign each monster a base morale score. Use a simple 2d6 roll under morale score with modifiers and go with it. Not every mechanic has to use some formula based on a monster's ability scores. With any system like that, there will be bizarre statistic arrays which produce results that don't make sense. Think about each monster and assign it a reasonable score based on its nature.
 

I don't see any reason not to use the B/X system and assign each monster a base morale score. Use a simple 2d6 roll under morale score with modifiers and go with it. Not every mechanic has to use some formula based on a monster's ability scores. With any system like that, there will be bizarre statistic arrays which produce results that don't make sense. Think about each monster and assign it a reasonable score based on its nature.

One reason not to is that going off the d20 breaks some of 5E's assumptions. For example, a Diviner would be unable to foresee (/instigate) a rout via Portent.

It may not be sufficient reason not to, but it's something to consider.
 

One reason not to is that going off the d20 breaks some of 5E's assumptions. For example, a Diviner would be unable to foresee (/instigate) a rout via Portent.

It may not be sufficient reason not to, but it's something to consider.

If morale were a meta roll which is not an attack roll, saving throw, or ability check then nothing is affected. Also, portent is very personal affecting yourself or a single creature that you can see. While morale might be for a single creature, it is often checked for troops or groups.
 

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