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Level Up (A5E) Changes to Advantage

Quartz

Adventurer
I think restricting tripping (and similar effects) to a couple of sub classes is part of what makes 5e combat a bit stale. I've never seen any character other than a Battlemaster or a monk try to trip someone. Opening up maneuvers for others will enrich combat. Battlemaster's can still shine as they can stack an Advantage effect with their maneuvers for potentially powerful combos.

But if anyone can do what a Battlemaster or Monk can do, why be a Battlemaster or Monk?

Here's another idea for expanding Advantage / Disadvantage: Resistance to damage means you roll damage dice with Disadvantage; Vulnerability means you roll damage dice with Advantage. Critical hit? Roll with Advantage.
 

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ThatGuySteve

Explorer
But if anyone can do what a Battlemaster or Monk can do, why be a Battlemaster or Monk?

Here's another idea for expanding Advantage / Disadvantage: Resistance to damage means you roll damage dice with Disadvantage; Vulnerability means you roll damage dice with Advantage. Critical hit? Roll with Advantage.
That's like saying anyone can sneak, why play a rogue? Characters can already pick up Battlemaster maneuvers with a feat (or fighting style if you use the alternative class feature UA) so it's not an entirely new concept.

Plus, as I mentioned, Battlemaster's and monks would stack this on top of what they can already do.
 


Lord Mhoram

Adventurer
It's hard to design a game with many more meaningful decision points without each one granting something less powerful than advantage.

It's easy, just let those decision points being about flexibility (more choices to fit different situations) than about stronger choices (adding more numbers). Bruce Lee, in the Tao of Jeet KuneDo talked about the differences between a street fighter and a trained martial artist that way - a street fighter might have 4 move and 3 or 5 combos, then has to repeat - a trained martial artists would have many more. It's not that he hits harder or more accurately (necessarily) but that he has more options to consider. (I may be misremember exactly details, it's been years, but the basic idea is there).
 

CapnZapp

Legend
It's easy, just let those decision points being about flexibility (more choices to fit different situations) than about stronger choices (adding more numbers).
No that's not easy at all.

The point of asking for more crunch (to many people) is exactly to get away from 5Es breadth but not depth of options.

What you're suggesting is effectively (though perhaps exaggerated) being allowed to take two subclasses at once.

Whereas many people want to be able to choose what to optimize and what to sacrifice to get there.

Pathfinder 2 already went down your path. More crunch but completely locking away any attempt to actually min-max. Let's hope A5E does not follow and instead reintroduces mastering the build phase as its own aspect of playing D&D.
 


Vrecknidj

Explorer
Whenever I think advantage is too good but admit that there's something about the situation that merits some kind of bonus, I offer minor advantage. My players like to roll dice, so they mostly like this more than a plain +1.

Minor Advantage
Roll d20 and d12. If either result is a success, the attempt succeeds.

I haven't dreamed up a similar kind of minor disadvantage. My first impulse was d20 and d30, take the lower result, but there are lots of good reasons not to do this.
 


Lord Mhoram

Adventurer
The point of asking for more crunch (to many people) is exactly to get away from 5Es breadth but not depth of options.

Actually my biggest problem with 5E is the lack of breadth of options. You make a character, you choose a subclass, and there are very few significant player choices I can make after that. Spellcasters have a few more options with spell choices, but even that is limited. I don't care if the numbers go higher, and I really want to keep the simplicity of combat (in the idea of advantage) - so I can spend my time in combat thinking of which of my many options I can use round to round.
 

jmucchiello

Adventurer
I kind of like the idea of giving weapons special abilities when you attack with advantage. I don't think I'd tie it to "and both die rolls succeed". More likely it'd be the "before you attack you can give up advantage to cause an effect on a successful hit". But that would vary by weapon type.

Most of the two handed bludgeoning and swinging weapons could have push back option (that doesn't provoke AoOs from others) that also allows you to follow them.)
Some weapons could trip
Flails could bypass shields (obviously without a successful hit first)
 

Two things that I personally love are the stacking/subtracting boon and bane mechanics from Shadow of the Demon Lord and a method to expend your advantage for an effect.

So, huge issue with advantage/disadvantage for me is the binary nature of it. Oh, your elf fighter has been blinded, poisoned, and frightened? Don't worry, the bard will play a jaunty tune to negate the disadvantage you have on you. On the fip side, SotDL has a mechanic where you receive positive and negative D6s that cancel each other out. If you have the aforementioned blinded, poisoned, frightened condition and get an advantage granting buff, you've only negated one of those penalties. You would still roll 2d6 and apply the highest as a penalty to your roll. It just allows for a more immersive experience in my opinion.

Also, if I have advantage, it would be nice to have some kind of mechanic that lets me trade that in for a bonus. Maybe the fighter can trade in advantage on an attack roll to both do damage and trigger a disarming effect. The wizard can trade it in on a cantrip attack to knock a target back 10'. The monk could trade it in to give disadvantage on the targets next saving throw. Just a list of options that every class can choose from, with possibly feat or class support that add in specific, more powerful options.
 

Has anyone mentioned this thought lesser advantage or disad (+/- d4 instead of re-roll)? Two lesser add up to normal advantage.

Dis/advantage is only equal to +/- 5 when the roll needed is around 10.

Let’s say you need to roll a natural 20 to hit. 1/20 chance. With advantage that becomes close to, but slightly less than 2/20. Your “minor disadvantage” makes that 3.5/20, so strictly better than normal advantage. Much, much better.
 

Advantage/disadvantage is my least favorite thing about 5e; it's too binary (so multiple sources of advantage/disadvantage just don't do anything), it makes the math frustrating if you have people at the table who aren't that interested in it, and then there are characters who can always have advantage on something (ex. Reckless Attack) which makes them feel too reliable to other people at the table. I'd prefer it if effects that gave advantage/disadvantage were flat bonuses/penalties instead (though I'd be open to +/- another die), I think there's a lot of design space that's squashed by advantage/disadvantage right now.
 

Advantage/disadvantage is my least favorite thing about 5e; it's too binary (so multiple sources of advantage/disadvantage just don't do anything), it makes the math frustrating if you have people at the table who aren't that interested in it, and then there are characters who can always have advantage on something (ex. Reckless Attack) which makes them feel too reliable to other people at the table. I'd prefer it if effects that gave advantage/disadvantage were flat bonuses/penalties instead (though I'd be open to +/- another die), I think there's a lot of design space that's squashed by advantage/disadvantage right now.

Could you elaborate on the bold part? If somebody isn't interested in math, why do they have to do any math?

In general, I think your complaints are exactly what the design goals were, and I personally love the result.

I suppose there's an argument that if the goal of an "advanced" D&D is to restore some of the crunchiness of other editions, then maybe a more fiddly advantage system is appropriate. But in general my mantra is, "simple rules, complex implications". My general feeling is that adding a bunch of +'s and -'s is complex, but it's also pretty easy to figure out how to maximize the result. So you end up with "complex rules, simple optimization."

Although many people like to say that "advantage/disadvantage is approximately equal to +5/-5", that really oversimplifies it. It's a terribly simple system (especially since they cancel, regardless of how many you have on each side of the scale) yet the result is hard to quantify because it varies with the d20 result needed.
 

Could you elaborate on the bold part? If somebody isn't interested in math, why do they have to do any math?

In general, I think your complaints are exactly what the design goals were, and I personally love the result.

I suppose there's an argument that if the goal of an "advanced" D&D is to restore some of the crunchiness of other editions, then maybe a more fiddly advantage system is appropriate. But in general my mantra is, "simple rules, complex implications". My general feeling is that adding a bunch of +'s and -'s is complex, but it's also pretty easy to figure out how to maximize the result. So you end up with "complex rules, simple optimization."

Although many people like to say that "advantage/disadvantage is approximately equal to +5/-5", that really oversimplifies it. It's a terribly simple system (especially since they cancel, regardless of how many you have on each side of the scale) yet the result is hard to quantify because it varies with the d20 result needed.

I'm not sure I can explain any more clearly. If someone's not interested in math and they have to make a gameplay decision based on getting +/-1 it's easier for them to work out how much that matters than making a gameplay decision based on whether or not they have advantage.

As to the design goals of advantage/disadvantage vs. +/- numbers it feels like it unnecessarily constrains the design space because things can only do a binary on/off modifier. I can only ever apply one thing I can do to any combat situation. It isn't really a simple rule because the effects are hidden/nonlinear, and the implications aren't that complicated, because it takes away decision-making. A Barbarian with always-on advantage to attacks doesn't need to think about getting assistance on attacks because it doesn't do anything for them, so it's taking away from gameplay.
 

I'm not sure I can explain any more clearly. If someone's not interested in math and they have to make a gameplay decision based on getting +/-1 it's easier for them to work out how much that matters than making a gameplay decision based on whether or not they have advantage.

That makes no sense to me. If they're not interested in math, why would they care about exactly how much benefit they're getting? Isn't "working out the benefit" something that only applies to people who like doing the math?

"I get to roll two dice and pick the better one? Awesome." Who cares what the statistical change is?

As to the design goals of advantage/disadvantage vs. +/- numbers it feels like it unnecessarily constrains the design space because things can only do a binary on/off modifier. I can only ever apply one thing I can do to any combat situation. It isn't really a simple rule because the effects are hidden/nonlinear, and the implications aren't that complicated, because it takes away decision-making. A Barbarian with always-on advantage to attacks doesn't need to think about getting assistance on attacks because it doesn't do anything for them, so it's taking away from gameplay.

If the target has a really high AC, and you have a medium AC, then it's probably a bad idea to use reckless attacks, because it will benefit your attacker more than yourself. So you probably want to find another way to get advantage.
 

Nine Hands

Explorer
I was thinking that having an effect related to rolling doubles on your Advantage/Disadvantage would be an interesting mechanic. It ends up being 1 in 20, which is similar to the chance of rolling a natural 20 or natural 1.

If you have Advantage AND you roll doubles AND you succeed, then maybe have a super critical success.
If you have Disadvantage AND you roll doubles AND you fail, then maybe have a super critical failure.

My only concern with this idea is that it can create a ton of specific rules. From my read through of Pathfinder 2, the critical success/failure has to be noted everywhere, since its not a generic rule to cover every situation. I think this makes creating homebrew spells more difficult. I'd recommend something generic to cover a majority of cases, with some specific rules for certain spells where it makes senses.

Note: I did not read all of the posts, so this may already have been mentioned :(
 


ThatGuySteve

Explorer
No it isn't. If anyone could perform a sneak attack, you would have a point.
Anyone can sneak, but rogues can do it more efficiently as a bonus action.

Anyone can trip, but Battlemaster's can do it as part of an attack.

Sneak attack has no comparable option that anyone else can do.
 

tetrasodium

Hero
Supporter
A bonus is in some ways better than advantage. With advantage you can’t roll higher than your normally would. With a bonus you can.
I use hero points & modified proficiency dice instead of (dis)advantage & inspiration
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The hero points tend to feel a lot more exciting & the tension gets everyone's attention in ways that rerolling a d20 doesn't. If you have expertise or (dis)advantage you roll the proficiency die twice & take the better rather than twice & taking both. The proficiency die allows me to use them as a circumstance bonus/penalty for/against that stacks with multiple sources when plausible to avoid some of the (dis)advantage world becomes gamey silliness too where obvious penalties that should stop any logical actor involved in the action get ignored because you can't have more than one.
 

Halloween Horror For 5E

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