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Level Up (A5E) Changes to Advantage

ThatGuySteve

Explorer
I like the Advantage mechanic, quick and simple to use, but it becomes a bit dull over time. When fighting a low AC creature like a zombie, hitting is almost certain. In that combat, Advantage is giving a small increase in the chance of getting a critical hit but overall still a low chance of changing the outcome.

I'd like to spice things up and see options to switch out what kind of bonus you get for having Advantage, rather than just always the same old roll twice. Alternatively, extra riders if both rolls are successful (like the old weapon feats from Unearthed Arcana did for axes if I remember correctly).

For example, if I'm attacking with a flail I could choose to make my attack roll twice as normal or to trip the enemy if I hit. Hammers could push, swords could impose Disadvantage on the targets next attack, etc. Doesn't have to be based on weapon type though, access to options could be gated by class features. It could be rolled into an existing feature, like fighting styles, or added separately.

My focus has been in terms of attack rolls in combat, but obviously there are Ability checks (with or without skill/tool proficiencies) and Saves that you could do something for.
 

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Stalker0

Legend
I think what you could do is give a bonus if you succeed or fail twice on advantage / disadvantage rolls

Greater Advantage - if you Roll with advantage and succeed on both rolls, you gain greater advantage.

example:

critical focus - when an X level barbarian uses reckless attack and gets greater advantage, the attack is a crit.

Greater disAdvantage - if you Roll with disadvantage and fail on both rolls, you gain greater disadvantage

example

Blur - (added to spell). if the attacker gains greater disadvantage, they suffer advantage on all attack rolls until the beginning or their next turn
 


ThatGuySteve

Explorer
I think what you could do is give a bonus if you succeed or fail twice on advantage / disadvantage rolls

Greater Advantage - if you Roll with advantage and succeed on both rolls, you gain greater advantage.

example:

critical focus - when an X level barbarian uses reckless attack and gets greater advantage, the attack is a crit.

Greater disAdvantage - if you Roll with disadvantage and fail on both rolls, you gain greater disadvantage

example

Blur - (added to spell). if the attacker gains greater disadvantage, they suffer advantage on all attack rolls until the beginning or their next turn
I'd keep the bonuses limited to lower impact effects to maintain balance while making combat more dynamic. Straight up extra damage would quickly become the "optimal" choice, getting criticals could spiral quickly, especially against a low AC target.

It's not terribly hard to get Advantage so effects have to be balanced against potentially triggering every round.

I'm not so keen on changes to Disadvantage. It already sucks to fail, this feels like kicking someone while they are down. Also overly penalises martial characters who are more often going to be making attack rolls. A caster with disadvantage can switch to a save spell rather than attack roll.
 


aco175

Hero
Advantage/disadvantage is fine and more importantly- simple. I have seen where Matt Corville has double advantage/disadvantage where you roll 3 dice. I do find it better than +2/-2 mechanic though.

I can see some sort of advance advantage like what @ThatGuySteve is saying with making types of weapons give something cool if you want that over the 2nd die to roll. I would make it an option and not a replacement. Some ideas include tripping, pushing, sliding, gaining movement, extra damage, or AC.

If I'm using an axe, I could choose to not get the 2nd die in order to gain another d8 damage, or if I'm using a staff I could move the opponent 10ft- or I could move the 10ft. I could see this making weapons a meaningful choice. Not sure on how to modify for skill checks and other things.
 



Dausuul

Legend
I think what you could do is give a bonus if you succeed or fail twice on advantage / disadvantage rolls
I was thinking the same thing. I don't think I would create a separate term for it though, just write it out in class abilities: "When you attack with advantage and hit with both rolls, X happens."
 

Stalker0

Legend
I like the ability to “cash in” advantage for other benefits. As long as it’s contained and not too frequent, I think it’s a cool design space
 


TaranTheWanderer

Adventurer
I don't mind advantage but I've always found it boring. But maybe my issue is more with the 'Help' action.

The spirit of it (let's say in combat) is to do something that gives the other person an Advantage. Throw sand in an enemy's eye or something. But, most often, people just say,"I use the Help Action" on my turn."

I'd rather if you were forced to roll something to give an Advantage. DC 10 athletics check to throw sand. (much easier than hitting an AC of 20 and will help the person who can actually hit that AC.)

But Advantage isn't worth the effort and maybe that's why they just made Help action auto-succeed. If you have to roll a DC anything, you might as well attack.

Which is a round-about way of explaining why I'm not totally happy with Advantage. It's not worth doing cool stuff in and out of combat to get it?

Does that make sense to anyone???
 

FrogReaver

As long as i get to be the frog
I've always been keen on the idea of weapons having different effects. It's a hell of design challenge though! Giving every weapon a reason to exist without making your game tedious.

I always hated that. A few effects always end up more powerful and thus always get used - essentially limiting weapon choice pretty hard for those that care about Optimization. Also makes magic weapon distribution a pain.

hates a strong word. I’ll call it a love hate relationship
 

dnd4vr

The Smurfiest Wizard Ever!
I don't know. So far no one in our game seems bored by the simple adv/dis mechanic. We allow them to stack, however, so sometimes you get three d20s, which is cool.

If it did something else, I would caution against making it too crazy just because one of the appeals is it is simple. Now, I know we are exploring crunchy options, but let's not go completely nuts. ;)
 


One of the best options IMO would be to change the way rolls are done, similar to Pathfinder 2E. You have a DC (or AC), and gain a bonus or penalty based on a higher or lower roll, similar to falling on a climb check that you fail by 5 or greater. Against low AC monsters, gaining advantage increases the probability of gaining these benefits. In the case of attacks, I'd probably give a specific benefit by weapon and a standard penalty for a bigger miss (not sure what though).
 

vincegetorix

Jewel of the North
How does that play out?

Stacking Advantage (and Disadvantage!) and having them cancel 1-for-1 is a good way to make the buffing/debuffing game more fun; when the dragon starts attacking with 2-3 advantages, its time for you controllers to start pilling up the disadvantages as soon as possible before it lands the inevitable crit! Its really fun for those who like playing support or control roles.

One other way of doing it would require a big commitment, but it would go like this: use the Proficiency Die variant rule from the DMG instead of the basic fixed number. Then, when you have an Advantage or more, roll twice the proficiency die and take the highest result. If you have more than 1 advantage, roll as many Profiency die as you have advantages and keep the highest.

Essentially having an advantage is a reroll of your proficiency die.
 

dnd4vr

The Smurfiest Wizard Ever!
How does that play out?
Pretty well IME. It doesn't happen often, but if you have two sources of advantage and one of disadvantage, the net is one advantage. No one has any problems following the process.

Double advantage does bump the higher numbers a bit, but if you have two "things" working for you, it makes sense your chances of success should be higher.

If you ever want to see the numbers, let me know and I'll post them for you.

Stacking Advantage (and Disadvantage!) and having them cancel 1-for-1 is a good way to make the buffing/debuffing game more fun; when the dragon starts attacking with 2-3 advantages, its time for you controllers to start pilling up the disadvantages as soon as possible before it lands the inevitable crit! Its really fun for those who like playing support or control roles.

This. :)
 

Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
Pretty well IME. It doesn't happen often, but if you have two sources of advantage and one of disadvantage, the net is one advantage. No one has any problems following the process.

Double advantage does bump the higher numbers a bit, but if you have two "things" working for you, it makes sense your chances of success should be higher.

If you ever want to see the numbers, let me know and I'll post them for you.



This. :)
Do you go so far as to roll double/triple advantage or does it all stack and cancel out but the max is still one advantage or disdvantage?
 

aco175

Hero
You could also trade Advantage on the attack roll to a reroll of the damage roll.
You would need to choose this before you roll the first d20, otherwise you would know if you hit and not need to roll the 2nd unless you want to try for a crit. I would just go with another damage die for the weapon.
 

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