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D&D 5E Comparing Monk DPR

auburn2

Adventurer
You know, this whole 5 weeks thing has been bothering me, I wasn't quite sure where you are getting it from, but I didn't bother to look it up.

Just read through the DMG and Xanathars... and it looks like it takes a single week. So, maybe two or two and a half if you combine the selling and the buying into two seperate rolls. So, I have no idea where you got this 5 week number from it seems to be another homebrew rule of your table.
Read more closely. XGE page 126 looking for a specific item - you get to make a persuasion check after 1 week of searching. For +1 studded (a rare item) that check is made with a DC of 20 (very last paragraph, lesft side of the page). If you don't have a negative persuasion, it is possible you find it in 1 week, it is also possible it takes you 20 weeks of searching. RAW it will take an average (median) of 5 weeks to locate studded leather if you have average charisma and no proficiency in persuasion. With proficiency or high charisma it is less, but unless you have a +9 it will always average more than 1 week to find studded leather +1.

And a Comfortable lifestyle involves rent and a lot more than just meals per day. That's why meals are listed seperately, because buying food (the thing you were accusing us of not doing) is not the only thing you do under a lifestyle expense.
The bottom line is you need to spend more money that you were implying.


Also, why be such a big spender? There is nothing wrong with modest which doubles the time you just listed if I wanted to go with lifestyle. Which I didn't. I was talking solely about meals.
Sure and you coul live in squalid conditions for 1sp a day but that is not really role playing very well IMO, especially when by your own admission you are rolling around in thousands of gold.


Yes, I understand how wizards work. Most of our DMs don't go around ruining primary features of our player characters.
Well, I lost my spellbook 3 sessions ago and it made total sense. Sure my DM could have had some miracle where I didn't lose it, just like he could fudge a roll when an enemy kills you outright, but doing that kind of thing kind of ruins the game.

Sure, they could destroy the wizard's spellbook, and therefore they should spend massive amounts of money to make multiple copies to hide in various bolt holes around the world... but we don't, because it isn't exactly fun to make them lose everything. Because, even if you get a new spellbook, it won't have all of your spells you didn't have prepared in it, because you have to copy those down, and you don't have the spell formula to copy.
The best thing to do is prepare a spare ahead of time and put it somewhere, if you have to prepare one after the fact you will lose spells that are not prepared, but it is not like your character is dead.


I also note that you didn't mention the Rollex :p
Because I wear an inexpensive watch my wife bought me for our 10th anniversary, 15 years ago .... and that doesn't sound nearly as cool ;)

In seriousness, I collect cars and guns, so I have quite a lot of both of those things and you hit on a passion of mine.

And yet, you only call for a roll when the situation is in doubt. The players could obviously open the door, there is no doubt, so why force them to roll?
I think kicking the door in, which in truth is usually done when it is locked, but I don't really see a difference either way.

20/16 is a total AC of 18. AC 18 is the AC of Full Plate, a completely non-magical item. You claimed, to remind you, that with an ASI and a half-feat "By 12th level they have the heavy armor guy beat and he will never catch back up without magic" By level 12, the Monk without any magical items can at best have an AC of 19. A fighter with plate and shield is still at 20.

20/16 with BOD is 20. That was your point wasn't it? 20/16 with BOD is the same as a fighter with normal plate and a shield.

As you stated earlier BOD are the same as a 50gp non-magical shield.

So at 8th level the monk with BOD has matched the plate and shield fighter and at 12th he has beat him and the fighter will never catch up without magic. That non-magic shield no longer can "keep up" with BOD

Did I understand your position wrong?

Are you seeing the discrepancy?
No I am not. Either the BOD are better than the shield (and deserve more restrictions to using) or they aren't

And keep in mind in saying they are the same we are looking at AC only and completely ignoring the bonus you get to encumberance and stealth and a free hand that the bracers give that Monk.

And, generally, if you are going to compare a character with a magical item to one without, the character with the magical item should be better off.
Unless your whole argument is that the magic item is no better than a mundane item.

Ideally they aren't. Things shouldn't cost more than they are worth. And something that can't be sold isn't given a value. Sure, I guess an insurance investor might give it a value, but concept is still "if I sell this
RAW you roll to get cost and it will typically be more than the value, and that is after you spent money and time searching for it.


Which isn't RAW. Sure, you can, but you can also just choose to put things in. Randomly rolled magic items are a bit of a blight in my opinion.
It is RAW, that is why there are tables. The DM choosing to give characters cool magic items to fit their build is a bit silly IMO. If you are going to do that, just give a sunblade and plate +3 to the first Goblins you encounter at 1st level.

(We had a game once where we had saved a celestial realm, and the magic angel dwarves brought us to their forge to give us items. DM rolled. One player got an Oathbow, one player got a Vorpal Sword, one player got a Defender.... I got a shield of Expression. A common magical item that was worse than the magical shield I was already using.)
Why are you complaining? Sounds a lot better than just handing you something - Oh I just happened to stumble on exactly what my player needs to be uber powerful.


IT was your example that you needed AC while sleeping. Presumably you are worried about being attacked at night. Light Armor can be slept in with no penalty.
With no penalty to AC. It is a huge penalty to role playing, just like living modestly when you are walking around with tens of thousands of gold in your purse (unless you have some religious or other reason to live modestly)

If I had to be attuned to an item that was just a glorified prop I wouldn't attune to it.
My pipe is a hell of a lot more fun than a magic shield, and that is what d&d is supposed to be about.

Attunement slots run out fast. I'm not saying I would never use any magical item that didn't have a defined use. Sure, if I had that pipe my character might use it too, sounds like a fun toy. But attunement? Nope, I would never attune to it. It simply isn't worth the cost.
It is worth the cost. It is probably worth it even if you have something that gives bonuses that you will lose out on. Honestly if I had to attune to it and I got 3 other items I could attune to, I would attune to 2 of them when I was in town and in the tavern etc and then maybe swap out in the rest right before I entered the dungeon or journeyed into the badlands.

Just playing a numbers or power game is really not my thing. That is what 3E was and I did not liek that edition very much.

Well, sure, if I was a shield wearing character with three attuned items. Then again, I'd also be fairly high level... so, good bet that that enemy might also have some magical gear.

But again, I don't even see why I would need to drop the weapon in the first place. I just mentioned it because you seem to insist that you must always have a free hand during combat, but you have never once supported that. I've made some guesses, but then showed that those aren't things that come up. So, how about you tell me why I would attack an enemy and then drop my weapon? What is the situation where that free hand is that important?
You are the one who said you could do it every turn, not me.

As for an example - you want to throw a javelin, but you are holding a shield and a sword, if you sheath the sword you waste a turn and can't attack. So you drop it (free), draw your Javelin (interact), throw it (action). Now your sword is on the ground and the enemy can pick it up.

Alternatively you can sheath your sword (interact) and draw your javelin (action), but then you can't attack this turn.

There are fighting styles and feats that could change this, but without them that is where you are if both hands are full. If you did not have a shield, you just draw the javelin and attack with one hand while still holding the sword with the other.

That is one example.


You would be right about the game with the one DM, but the other is 90% roleplaying with quite limited combat.

And, Charisma is something that you need to invest it pretty heavily for it to be worth it. And since we usually have a bard, warlock or paladin, or a rogue with expertise the Cleric isn't usually called on as the face of the party to make the big rolls.

Then again, you seem like your game involves a lot of unneccesary die rolling, so you might be reacting to that. Funny how you never seem to need athletics though.
Actually I play Rogues more than any other class and I always get expertise in athletics when I play a Rogue, even though I usually dump strength. I use Grapple or Shove quite often with a Rogue and the expertise makes me decent at 1st level, good at 5th level and really good at high level despite a low strength. FWIW my Rogues typically take the other expertise at 1st level in a charisma skill.

If we are using point buy I usually dump strength unless I am playing a Barbarian. Also, if I have a Paladin and I want to multiclass I will give them a 12 or 13 Strength to start. Because of that I rarely get athletics on non-Rogues unless we roll abilities and I happen to roll a good strength. I usually do have a good dexterity though and I do get acrobatics proficiency somewhat regularly on non-Rogues. Not all the time, but a fair amount.
 
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Read more closely. XGE page 126 looking for a specific item - you get to make a persuasion check after 1 week of searching. For +1 studded (a rare item) that check is made with a DC of 20 (very last paragraph, lesft side of the page). If you don't have a negative persuasion, it is possible you find it in 1 week, it is also possible it takes you 20 weeks of searching. RAW it will take an average (median) of 5 weeks to locate studded leather if you have average charisma and no proficiency in persuasion. With proficiency or high charisma it is less, but unless you have a +9 it will always average more than 1 week to find studded leather +1.

So, in other words, you are making assumptions with little base. For example, there is no reason that two character's couldn't go looking, counting as the Help Action. That gives the character advantage. If the group is working together to ensure that the character is getting what they need, they are likely putting the face towards this challenge. That means you are likely looking at someone with a +6 minimum, and advantage which gives them approximately (for ease of math sake) another +5, for a +11 total.

So, a week. Not five. Players leveraging their abilities to be effective is a thing after all.

The bottom line is you need to spend more money that you were implying.

No, the bottom line is that I was talking about meals, and you wanted to talk about Living Expenses. Meals are a part of living Expenses, but you can have them separately.

I was also talking about Modest (and you could scrimp and choose to go Poor) and you wanted to talk about Comfortable.

So, you are trying to say I was wrong by insisting on changing the value and item to make me wrong.

Sure and you coul live in squalid conditions for 1sp a day but that is not really role playing very well IMO, especially when by your own admission you are rolling around in thousands of gold.

Who says that isn't roleplaying well? Look up famous misers. There were people who were worth hundreds of thousands if not millions of dollars who never changed out of the same set of clothes and dug through the trash to eat moldy food all in the desire to save money.

If I'm saving my money to buy something important, I might eat a less fancy dinner. It is a thing people do all the time.

Well, I lost my spellbook 3 sessions ago and it made total sense. Sure my DM could have had some miracle where I didn't lose it, just like he could fudge a roll when an enemy kills you outright, but doing that kind of thing kind of ruins the game.

I'm sorry you put yourself in that situation then, but since most wizards don't hold their books between themselves and incoming weapons, and most fire and acid attacks specify they don't harm items that are being worn or carried, the only time we really could find ourselves in that situation is if the DM specifically set out to have an NPC steal or destroy a spell book.

And that just isn't something DMs have tended to do,

The best thing to do is prepare a spare ahead of time and put it somewhere, if you have to prepare one after the fact you will lose spells that are not prepared, but it is not like your character is dead.

Sure, that is the "best" thing, but since it has never come up we don't have our wizards spending hundreds or thousands of gold and time to copy their spells into a new spell book that they also put somewhere that we will have to backtrack to.

I think kicking the door in, which in truth is usually done when it is locked, but I don't really see a difference either way.

That doesn't answer the question.

If the players know the door is unlocked, and they could trivially have someone just turn the handle and open it, why force them to roll if they decide to kick it? What is in doubt? The door is definitely going to end up opened no matter what they roll.


20/16 with BOD is 20. That was your point wasn't it? 20/16 with BOD is the same as a fighter with normal plate and a shield.

As you stated earlier BOD are the same as a 50gp non-magical shield.

So at 8th level the monk with BOD has matched the plate and shield fighter and at 12th he has beat him and the fighter will never catch up without magic. That non-magic shield no longer can "keep up" with BOD

Did I understand your position wrong?


No I am not. Either the BOD are better than the shield (and deserve more restrictions to using) or they aren't

And keep in mind in saying they are the same we are looking at AC only and completely ignoring the bonus you get to encumberance and stealth and a free hand that the bracers give that Monk.


Unless your whole argument is that the magic item is no better than a mundane item.

Sure, at 8th level with an ASI and a half and a rare magical item taking up an attunement slot, the Monk can match the AC of a fighter who is wearing full plate and carrying a shield (something they have likely had for multiple levels) who has not invested completely into defense.

But, again, you are dead wrong about the bolded part. Because all the Fighter needs to "catch up" is to actually be beating the Monk at level 8 by having the Defensive Fighting Style, which gives them +1 to AC.

And, while you are crowing a victory over here, remember, it took until 12th level, with all ASIs going into improving the Monks ability scores to raise their AC, to let their magical item be equal to a fighter or paladin in mundane equipment with a level 1 ability. And, if the Fighter or Paladin had a single source of magic that gives them any AC? The Monk is no longer winning in AC. If the Monk wants to get a feat instead of a half feat? They are no longer beating the AC.

BoD isn't better than the shield, a Monk can just naturally end up with better AC through their abilities. Which hey, that's great, and important to remember, but then we have to make sure that we answer the question "What if other people have magical items?" And then we find out that other magical items are better than the BoD. Why are they better? Because they required proficiency? That is not a good answer. +1 Armor and Shields are better armor than an item designed to give an AC bonus to people who can't use armor and Shields. A +1 shield is only uncommon, it isn't even Rare, and it is all that is needed to again match or beat the Monk with BoD wh is spending attunement and has a more powerful, rare, item.

The point isn't solely that the BoD isn't better than mundane equipment (because it isn't. A Monk with all of their monk abilities but the ability to have shield proficiency gets the exact same benefits) but that ALSO it is a poorly designed item when compared to other similar magical items.

RAW you roll to get cost and it will typically be more than the value, and that is after you spent money and time searching for it.

I'm sure you are aware of the concept of mark-ups and how this doesn't invalidate my point at all.

It is RAW, that is why there are tables. The DM choosing to give characters cool magic items to fit their build is a bit silly IMO. If you are going to do that, just give a sunblade and plate +3 to the first Goblins you encounter at 1st level.

Useless hyperbole and I'm pretty sure that RAW doesn't state one way or the other about whether or not you should roll for treasure. It exists as an option, not the default.

Why are you complaining? Sounds a lot better than just handing you something - Oh I just happened to stumble on exactly what my player needs to be uber powerful.

How does getting cheated out of any possible reward for the adventure sound better?

I was literally getting nothing. It was a shield that could make a funny face, and I already had a shield given to us randomly and with no importance that increased my initiative, back like 10 levels before this adventure. And this funny-face shield was being given to me by the greatest craftsmen in the multiverse as a reward for saving an entire plane of existence.

If other people had gotten dummy items, maybe it would have been different, but I was literally the only person who got a poor roll. Literally everyone else got powerful items, whether they could use them or not.

The only possible comparison I can think of is going to receive the Medal of Honor for service in the military, and standing in line alongside your comrades, watching them get the medals, then you get handed some pocket lint. It was utterly jarring, made zero sense, and made everything we had done seem like a joke.

With no penalty to AC. It is a huge penalty to role playing, just like living modestly when you are walking around with tens of thousands of gold in your purse (unless you have some religious or other reason to live modestly)

There is no RP penalty if you are that paranoid. Heck, it seems to me like that is a great RP element. (In fact, I know this rule because I have a character who is constantly in their armor, even when sleeping. They were trained to always be prepared for deadly combat and they being twitchy and nervous like that is a big part of their character)

My pipe is a hell of a lot more fun than a magic shield, and that is what d&d is supposed to be about.

You know, you are right. DnD is about having fun. So, why would I accept having less fun by having items that are meant only for being goofy and flavorful take up actual resources? That doesn't sound fun, that sounds like wasting time.

It is worth the cost. It is probably worth it even if you have something that gives bonuses that you will lose out on. Honestly if I had to attune to it and I got 3 other items I could attune to, I would attune to 2 of them when I was in town and in the tavern etc and then maybe swap out in the rest right before I entered the dungeon or journeyed into the badlands.

Just playing a numbers or power game is really not my thing. That is what 3E was and I did not liek that edition very much.

This isn't even power gaming. Your pipe sounds like a fun magic item, and as a fun magic item that is meant to simply be a weird character detail I'd probably enjoy it.

But if you tried to make me attune to it, losing out on bonus I might need when the DM "suddenly" causes us to be ambushed and attacked in town, I'm not going to do it. I want to be ready for when the adventure starts, and something playful like that that serves no purpose isn't worth that risk.

You are the one who said you could do it every turn, not me.

As for an example - you want to throw a javelin, but you are holding a shield and a sword, if you sheath the sword you waste a turn and can't attack. So you drop it (free), draw your Javelin (interact), throw it (action). Now your sword is on the ground and the enemy can pick it up.

Alternatively you can sheath your sword (interact) and draw your javelin (action), but then you can't attack this turn.

There are fighting styles and feats that could change this, but without them that is where you are if both hands are full. If you did not have a shield, you just draw the javelin and attack with one hand while still holding the sword with the other.

That is one example.

If the enemy is close enough to grab my sword, why am I throwing a javelin? Even if I ran towards them and couldn't make it, I would likely be just as good taking the dodge action or readying an attack to hit them when they came into range.

And sure, if I didn't have a shield, I could throw that javelin with no problem. But I also have a near constant -2 AC from what I could have, and that makes me easier to hit, which means I lose more HP, and either cost the healers more spell slots or am more likely to get KO'd in battle.

That sounds like a poor trade for just the occasional Javelin toss.

Actually I play Rogues more than any other class and I always get expertise in athletics when I play a Rogue, even though I usually dump strength. I use Grapple or Shove quite often with a Rogue and the expertise makes me decent at 1st level, good at 5th level and really good at high level despite a low strength. FWIW my Rogues typically take the other expertise at 1st level in a charisma skill.

If we are using point buy I usually dump strength unless I am playing a Barbarian. Also, if I have a Paladin and I want to multiclass I will give them a 12 or 13 Strength to start. Because of that I rarely get athletics on non-Rogues unless we roll abilities and I happen to roll a good strength. I usually do have a good dexterity though and I do get acrobatics proficiency somewhat regularly on non-Rogues. Not all the time, but a fair amount.

You do you man, but giving up your entire attack and sneak attack to push someone 5 ft, or end up next to them with them unable to move (because that is all Grapple does, it imposes no other penalties) is not something I have literally ever seen a rogue do.

And none of this applies to Clerics. I played a cleric who dumped their dex to an 8 and focused on strength and Wisdom. A generally solid build, if I had chosen a better race for the mechanical side of things. And, this cleric had one thing over the rest of the party. The best AC. He was a walking tank, and incredibly hard to hit. Because Plate and Shield.
 

auburn2

Adventurer
Who says that isn't roleplaying well? Look up famous misers. There were people who were worth hundreds of thousands if not millions of dollars who never changed out of the same set of clothes and dug through the trash to eat moldy food all in the desire to save money.
And they are not going around looking to spend thousands either. To use your previous example, there are not people that go shopping for Ferraris and Rolex's while also eating Ramen noodles and living in the projects. Misers are not going to be in the part of town where magic studded leather is sold, let alone be shopping for it.

I'm sorry you put yourself in that situation then, but since most wizards don't hold their books between themselves and incoming weapons, and most fire and acid attacks specify they don't harm items that are being worn or carried, the only time we really could find ourselves in that situation is if the DM specifically set out to have an NPC steal or destroy a spell book.
No need to be sorry. The book was stolen from me, along with a lot of stuff. I am having fun in the game.

Sure, that is the "best" thing, but since it has never come up we don't have our wizards spending hundreds or thousands of gold and time to copy their spells into a new spell book that they also put somewhere that we will have to backtrack to.
Lemunds chest is one place to put a spare. You can also give a spare to another PC, leave it with an inkeeper (and pay him), leave it at your camp ..... but other than those things, yes you will have to backtrack
If the players know the door is unlocked, and they could trivially have someone just turn the handle and open it, why force them to roll if they decide to kick it? What is in doubt? The door is definitely going to end up opened no matter what they roll.
IF they are not in combat already sure. Opening a door, throwing a lever, picking up an object, getting a potion out of your pack - I think these are all examples in the PHB, in the combat section of the PHB to boot, and you can not do any of them with an item in both hands. If you start the turn with an item in both hands you need to drop it or use an action to do any of these things.

How about this as an example - you are holding your sword and shield and you want to drink a potion of healing. Just like the door example, you have to drop your sword on the ground to do that this turn. Are you going to tell me you never drink potions in combat either? Or maybe you use your foot to kick your potion out of your pack and open it.


But, again, you are dead wrong about the bolded part. Because all the Fighter needs to "catch up" is to actually be beating the Monk at level 8 by having the Defensive Fighting Style, which gives them +1 to AC.
Maybe, but now you are counting a fighting style in there and one he chose over others. When you start looking at that you need to start considering monk abilities too, like BA dodge for example.

In combat a fighter with a 21 AC is going to get hit by attacks more often than a monk with a 21 AC, so equal is not really equal.

BoD isn't better than the shield, a Monk can just naturally end up with better AC through their abilities. Which hey, that's great, and important to remember, but then we have to make sure that we answer the question "What if other people have magical items?"
What if they do? It doesn't have any effect on the central hypothesis - BOD is no better than a mundane, 50gp shield.


And then we find out that other magical items are better than the BoD. Why are they better? Because they required proficiency? That is not a good answer. +1 Armor and Shields are better armor than an item designed to give an AC bonus to people who can't use armor and Shields. A +1 shield is only uncommon, it isn't even Rare, and it is all that is needed to again match or beat the Monk with BoD wh is spending attunement and has a more powerful, rare, it
Like I said, we had a magic shield no one in the party wanted. Armor and shields provide AC? Good job stating the obvious.

Yeah it will match or beat the Monk in AC .... but so will taking dodge every turn, or using your concentration on shield of faith or a dozen other things. AC isn't everything though and a shield +1 is uncommon because it isn't that great.

The point isn't solely that the BoD isn't better than mundane equipment (because it isn't. A Monk with all of their monk abilities but the ability to have shield proficiency gets the exact same benefits) but that ALSO it is a poorly designed item when compared to other similar magical items.
Unarmored defense does not work with shields, so shield proficiency would be irrelevant unless his wisdom is below 14. Further he would lose his martial arts attack and flurry of blows ability if he is holding a weapon in the other hand (unless he dropped it after attacking).

How does getting cheated out of any possible reward for the adventure sound better?
How does it matter at all?

I was literally getting nothing. It was a shield that could make a funny face, and I already had a shield given to us randomly and with no importance that increased my initiative, back like 10 levels before this adventure. And this funny-face shield was being given to me by the greatest craftsmen in the multiverse as a reward for saving an entire plane of existence.
You (player) were getting to play. Your character could spend the next year of game time complaining and joking with the others about how you were screwed.

If other people had gotten dummy items, maybe it would have been different, but I was literally the only person who got a poor roll. Literally everyone else got powerful items, whether they could use them or not.
Rolls are rolls, it is part of the game.

There is no RP penalty if you are that paranoid. Heck, it seems to me like that is a great RP element. (In fact, I know this rule because I have a character who is constantly in their armor, even when sleeping. They were trained to always be prepared for deadly combat and they being twitchy and nervous like that is a big part of their character)
Ok, I guess, but how many players are that guy? Do you wear armor into the bathtub too?

You know, you are right. DnD is about having fun. So, why would I accept having less fun by having items that are meant only for being goofy and flavorful take up actual resources? That doesn't sound fun, that sounds like wasting time.
Flavor is the whole point

This isn't even power gaming. Your pipe sounds like a fun magic item, and as a fun magic item that is meant to simply be a weird character detail I'd probably enjoy it.

But if you tried to make me attune to it, losing out on bonus I might need when the DM "suddenly" causes us to be ambushed and attacked in town, I'm not going to do it. I want to be ready for when the adventure starts, and something playful like that that serves no purpose isn't worth that risk.
I guess if your character is that stuffy and serious it makes sense. Most characters I play with do things like drink and gamble and joke around and do all sorts of stuff they would not do if the were constantly looking over their shoulder waiting to be ambushed.

If the enemy is close enough to grab my sword, why am I throwing a javelin? Even if I ran towards them and couldn't make it, I would likely be just as good taking the dodge action or readying an attack to hit them when they came into range.
Maybe, or maybe you used all your movement and killed one enemy with your first attack, now you have a second attack. Maybe are throwing it at the guy trying to flee and raise the alarm, while the guy who is going to pick it up is 10 feet away from you.

Can you honestly say you have never had a character with extra attack mix a range and melee attack ... or like I said above wanted to drink a potion, or use a scroll, or light a torch or anything else that requires a free hand in combat?

And sure, if I didn't have a shield, I could throw that javelin with no problem. But I also have a near constant -2 AC from what I could have, and that makes me easier to hit, which means I lose more HP, and either cost the healers more spell slots or am more likely to get KO'd in battle.
Not really. The difference is small unless you are a caster with the shield spell or you can use or you have defensive duelist or some other way of imposing a penalty or disadvantage after the attack roll.

Against a foe with a +10 attack a person with an 18AC is going to get hit 18% more often than a person with a 20AC (assuming they can't do the things above). If you get attacked 50 times in an adventuring day it is about 32 hits vs 27 hits. In terms of damage it is less than 18% difference because of the criticals.

Now if you can cast shield or blur or you are a defensive duelist, or war magic wizard or something, you can make substantially more mileage out of that difference.


You do you man, but giving up your entire attack and sneak attack to push someone 5 ft, or end up next to them with them unable to move (because that is all Grapple does, it imposes no other penalties) is not something I have literally ever seen a rogue do.
Do it all the time, usually I usually knock the enemy prone though, not back 5 feet (unless I am knocking him off a bridge or a ledge or something). knock a melee enemy prone also uses up half his movement when he gets back up, severely restricting his mobility and options. Knock him prone, use fast hands to throw down some caltrops and then move your full movement and you have cost him two to three turns before he can get to you or really anyone else if the party plays it smart. IT is more than two or three if he actually tries to move through the caltrops at a normal pace and fails his save.

Enemy goes invisible and ready action to grapple when he makes his attack, then you can grab him and he can't get away and hide again and your allies pound him. Use shove to push a guy away then use bonus action dash to move across the battlefield (or flee).

Also you can move wherever you want with the grappled guy. he can't move but you can move him, that is the main point of it. He can attack the Rogue but only the Rogue or someone else within 5 feet unless he makes a missile attack (with disadvantage) or a spell attack. Drag him into a web, or into a cloud of daggers or really anywhere you want to put him and you get to keep attacking him every turn while he is grappled.

The other thing it is great for is flying enemies. As long as they are not 2 sizes larger than you, you can grapple them and force them to stay on the ground while your buddies (and in future turns you) pound them. They have to waste an action to try to escape.


And none of this applies to Clerics. I played a cleric who dumped their dex to an 8 and focused on strength and Wisdom. A generally solid build, if I had chosen a better race for the mechanical side of things. And, this cleric had one thing over the rest of the party. The best AC. He was a walking tank, and incredibly hard to hit. Because Plate and Shield.
The thing that kills that character for me is the low dexterity and the disadvantagee on stealth. I just think it creates a tough time trying to sneak anywhere unless you leave him behind.

The best melee tanks I have seen played are bladesingers and really I have never seen anything else close. Save for half spells kill them pretty easily (until 10th level) but they are the most difficult players to hit in my experience both as a DM and as a player. Bladesong and blur (or protection from good and evil) in round 1 and you will often need to roll a double 20 (20 with disadvantage) to hit them. I played one that did not get hit by an attack in combat a single time for several entire levels (from level 6 to 8 if I remember correctly).

Note: an EK in plate and shield with shield spell and blur can match a BS for a little while, but they don't have enough spell slots to keep up for very long.
 
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And they are not going around looking to spend thousands either. To use your previous example, there are not people that go shopping for Ferraris and Rolex's while also eating Ramen noodles and living in the projects. Misers are not going to be in the part of town where magic studded leather is sold, let alone be shopping for it.

So, I can't have a person who is saving their money for a magical item, because people with money either never spend it on anything and thus wouldn't seek magical protection, or they could never have enough self-control to spend simply on food to save the money in the first place.

I'm not sure I am the one with the Roleplaying problem here.

Lemunds chest is one place to put a spare. You can also give a spare to another PC, leave it with an inkeeper (and pay him), leave it at your camp ..... but other than those things, yes you will have to backtrack

So, now we are making sure to have a specific spell, with an expensive material component. Or hoping that whoever is targeting the wizard isn't smart enough to look for other copies in the party's gear.

Look, I get that wizards can make copies of their spellbook, and that in certain campaigns that is smart. But it isn't how we play, we don't target the class's abilities to nerf them. Could it possibly happen emergently? I guess, but it has never come up before, and none of us expect it to.

IF they are not in combat already sure. Opening a door, throwing a lever, picking up an object, getting a potion out of your pack - I think these are all examples in the PHB, in the combat section of the PHB to boot, and you can not do any of them with an item in both hands. If you start the turn with an item in both hands you need to drop it or use an action to do any of these things.

How about this as an example - you are holding your sword and shield and you want to drink a potion of healing. Just like the door example, you have to drop your sword on the ground to do that this turn. Are you going to tell me you never drink potions in combat either? Or maybe you use your foot to kick your potion out of your pack and open it.

If we are playing RAW? No, we don't use potions of healing in combat except to give them to another player who is making death saves. A full action to heal less than a full round of combat's damage? That is wasting our time on hoping they miss us.

Now, we have homebrewed to allow a person to use a potion as a bonus action, so they see a little bit more use, but honestly, still not much. We do a lot more with magical healing or various abilities in the thick of combat and save the potions for later.

And as for the other actions you listed. We don't open and close doors after combat starts, we don't mess with levers after combat starts (and you could totally through a lever with a shield or sword hand). None of this has ever come up in 7 years of 5e game play. And if it did, there are people who aren't using the shield, who can do the thing.

Maybe, but now you are counting a fighting style in there and one he chose over others. When you start looking at that you need to start considering monk abilities too, like BA dodge for example.

In combat a fighter with a 21 AC is going to get hit by attacks more often than a monk with a 21 AC, so equal is not really equal.

1) "He cannot catch up without magic" was your claim. Fighting Styles are not magic, and they let him catch up.

2) An entirely passive ability that is always on versus one that requires a resource and a bonus action and the choice to lower their damage specifically. That is very hard to directly compare.

And, I want to take a moment here, because we've been getting some side-tracks and some rabbit holes. I assume that the classes are (roughly) balanced. If you take the fighter out of the PHB and the Monk out of the PHB, they are roughly equivalent in what they can do. However, classes were not balanced with feats and magic items in mind.

And this is where the monk has been suffering I think. There are very few feats and very few magical items designed for them. But also, ideally, magical items should be balanced against magical items. And the Monk getting BoD is getting a boost as is, which they should be getting, because Magical Items are a boost to the class. But, all that boost is is +2 AC on a Rare item. And, if we look +2 AC on a Rare item for the Fighter doesn't require attunement, even though it puts them potentially higher than the monk, and it can stack with other AC boosting items like Armor.

That is the complaint. That is the disconnect. That +2 AC on the Monk is somehow considered more valuable and needing to be regulated compared to the Fighter getting anywhere between a +1 and a +6 depending on the number and rarity of items. Even though, with completely non-magical set-ups, the fighter has easier access and ultimately higher AC than the monk. The balance of the Magical Items is not right.

What if they do? It doesn't have any effect on the central hypothesis - BOD is no better than a mundane, 50gp shield.

Which, in raw AC numbers, it isn't. It is +2 AC, a shield is +2 AC. BoD means that you have a free hand, but also that you use an attunment slot and that you cannot wear any armor to gain the benefit. Shield means that you don't have a free hand, but it stacks with literally anything except BoD.

For a person who can use armor and a shield, the shield is just flat better 90% of the time.

Like I said, we had a magic shield no one in the party wanted. Armor and shields provide AC? Good job stating the obvious.

Yeah it will match or beat the Monk in AC .... but so will taking dodge every turn, or using your concentration on shield of faith or a dozen other things. AC isn't everything though and a shield +1 is uncommon because it isn't that great.

Again, magical items should be balanced against magical items. +2 AC from a Rare item should be equivalent. You want to bring in spells and dodging and all of this other stuff to muddy the waters, but at the end of the day you can't obscure this fact.

A +2 shield gives a +2 magical AC bonus, and does not require attunement, and can stack with any armor, even magical armor. BoD gives a +2 magical AC bonus, requires attunement and requires wearing no armor and not using a shield. These items are supposed to be equivalent, but they clearly are not.

Unarmored defense does not work with shields, so shield proficiency would be irrelevant unless his wisdom is below 14. Further he would lose his martial arts attack and flurry of blows ability if he is holding a weapon in the other hand (unless he dropped it after attacking).

Yes, I know how the rules work. However, if there was a monk released that could use a shield without losing all that stuff, hypothetically, then the mundane shield is offering pretty much all of the benefits of BoD. That is the point. That is why I don't understand why this item requires attunement, it is only going to be used by one or two classes, and it's benefit doesn't reach beyond other similar items.

How does it matter at all?

Because if I get told "and you will all be rewarded for your service" and all of my companions get rewarded, and I get NOTHING then that saps the fun out of it, doesn't it? My character is being cheated, for literally no reason.

You (player) were getting to play. Your character could spend the next year of game time complaining and joking with the others about how you were screwed.

Oh yes, so funny. "Hey guys, remember that time you all got really cool magical items for saving that dimension, and I got nothing? Wasn't that so funny how you guys got the reward they promised, but a random quirk of fate means I got nothing at all. So amusing, hey, do you think I'll get anything for this next adventure?"

By the way, no, that isn't fun, that isn't something I'm going to joke about.

And acting like "you were given the gift of playing the game" comes into this at all is insulting. I'd have been fine if no one got a reward for this. We didn't expect a reward for this. But the DM said we were getting a reward, he said it was coming from a place of giving us incredibly magical items, and then because he rolled the dice I got nothing.

Being cheated isn't fun. It isn't amusing. It isn't just part of the game.

Rolls are rolls, it is part of the game.

So is taking hp damage. I would have complained if my reward was 8d6 fire damage to the face too.

And my entire point was that this was an inappropriate time to roll. I guess you have no problem with the potential of being screwed over by good aligned master craftsmen who are thanking you for doing massively heroic things, but that does bother me. The DM just didn't want to bother looking through the book for rewards, so he rolled on a spreadsheet. We could have gotten cursed items that harmed our characters as a "reward"

I don't understand how you can't see that that is detrimental to the game.

Ok, I guess, but how many players are that guy? Do you wear armor into the bathtub too?

He doesn't get in the bathtub. Bathtubs aren't invented.

And, who cares how many players are that guy? You said it was a roleplaying problem. It isn't. It is roleplaying.

Flavor is the whole point

When flavor gets in the way of fun, then there are problems.

I guess if your character is that stuffy and serious it makes sense. Most characters I play with do things like drink and gamble and joke around and do all sorts of stuff they would not do if the were constantly looking over their shoulder waiting to be ambushed.

Nothing wrong with being prepared for trouble. It just means we can transition smoothly from doing other things to danger. And in the worlds of DnD that sort of preparedness makes sense.

Maybe, or maybe you used all your movement and killed one enemy with your first attack, now you have a second attack. Maybe are throwing it at the guy trying to flee and raise the alarm, while the guy who is going to pick it up is 10 feet away from you.

Can you honestly say you have never had a character with extra attack mix a range and melee attack ... or like I said above wanted to drink a potion, or use a scroll, or light a torch or anything else that requires a free hand in combat?

Only clerics, druids, and paladins can use scrolls while using shields, to me knowledge, and no, we rarely ever use scrolls. We tend to get stuff that just isn't very useful in scroll form and save them for RP moments.

Covered potions

Lighting a torch should not be done in combat, and we rarely bother with torches. Between lanterns, the light cantrips, and darkvision, there is rarely a need for torches. And there is no reason you can't have a lantern strapped to you, and we generally light those before combat.

So, again, no. It doesn't come up.

And, as for your other example, yeah, sometimes it sucks that you miss out on an attack. Happens. But, if that were the situation, that you killed a guy, and even if you used all your movement you couldn't reach melee with a second, then you have to consider the options. If you stay where you are at, can he reach you? If no, he can't pick up your weapon and attack you with it. If yes, then don't drop your weapon, in fact, fall back a little, see if you can't get him to overextend.

One guy is running to raise the alarm, but a second is standing there? Lots wrong with that scenario. Even if you kill the first guy, why isn't the second running to raise the alarm? But, let us say you are right, throwing a javelin would kill one guy, but cause a second to run up to me, grab my own weapon and hit me with it. Great. Let's do that. Because the alarm being raised is worse, right?

It is all about calculating what you want, and what is likely to happen. If dropping your weapon allows you to be more likely to reach your goal, that is what you do. This isn't that hard to wrap your mind around.

Not really. The difference is small unless you are a caster with the shield spell or you can use or you have defensive duelist or some other way of imposing a penalty or disadvantage after the attack roll.

Against a foe with a +10 attack a person with an 18AC is going to get hit 18% more often than a person with a 20AC (assuming they can't do the things above). If you get attacked 50 times in an adventuring day it is about 32 hits vs 27 hits. In terms of damage it is less than 18% difference because of the criticals.

Now if you can cast shield or blur or you are a defensive duelist, or war magic wizard or something, you can make substantially more mileage out of that difference.

If the difference is that small, why is it a problem to have BoD take no attunement?

Do it all the time, usually I usually knock the enemy prone though, not back 5 feet (unless I am knocking him off a bridge or a ledge or something). knock a melee enemy prone also uses up half his movement when he gets back up, severely restricting his mobility and options. Knock him prone, use fast hands to throw down some caltrops and then move your full movement and you have cost him two to three turns before he can get to you or really anyone else if the party plays it smart. IT is more than two or three if he actually tries to move through the caltrops at a normal pace and fails his save.

Enemy goes invisible and ready action to grapple when he makes his attack, then you can grab him and he can't get away and hide again and your allies pound him. Use shove to push a guy away then use bonus action dash to move across the battlefield (or flee).

Also you can move wherever you want with the grappled guy. he can't move but you can move him, that is the main point of it. He can attack the Rogue but only the Rogue or someone else within 5 feet unless he makes a missile attack (with disadvantage) or a spell attack. Drag him into a web, or into a cloud of daggers or really anywhere you want to put him and you get to keep attacking him every turn while he is grappled.

The other thing it is great for is flying enemies. As long as they are not 2 sizes larger than you, you can grapple them and force them to stay on the ground while your buddies (and in future turns you) pound them. They have to waste an action to try to escape.

I don't want to get even further into the weeds with all of this, but I will say that quite often the fact that people need to be in melee to deal damage makes limiting mobility a poor choice.

The rogue is not a character who is particularly good at being the focus of attention. You can, with uncanny dodge taking your reaction, but they were not designed for locking down enemies and forcing them to focus on you. I'm glad it works for you, but we take other approaches.

The thing that kills that character for me is the low dexterity and the disadvantagee on stealth. I just think it creates a tough time trying to sneak anywhere unless you leave him behind.

Sure, it can be a problem, but it is something you can work around. Plus, it is kind of hard to sneak anyways when no one is bothering to sneak. That group was very head-on with challenges. The only time the negative dex was an issue was actually another rolled magical item. I was given a crossbow that could heal people when shot with it. Seems great for a doctor, until I pointed out to the DM that with no proficiency, and a -1, I'd just be wasting my time trying to use it.

That was a box that gave random items though, so not as bad as the reward situation.
 

auburn2

Adventurer
So, I can't have a person who is saving their money for a magical item, because people with money either never spend it on anything and

If we are playing RAW? No, we don't use potions of healing in combat except to give them to another player who is making death saves. A full action to heal less than a full round of combat's damage? That is wasting our time on hoping they miss us.
Well there is a specific part in the PHB about using potions, so most people do. There are other potions besides heaqling too, how about flying so you can attack the flying enemy with your strength-based melee character .... or even in the example you gave, you must drop your weapon (leaving it on the floor) to administer person to a downed ally.

Now, we have homebrewed to allow a person to use a potion as a bonus action, so they see a little bit more use, but honestly, still not much. We do a lot more with magical healing or various abilities in the thick of combat and save the potions for later.
Well that explains one reason why having a hand free is not a big deal and is also not RAW. Sure if you bend the rules so you can take more actions in combat then not having an intract available to pull out your potion (or do anythgin else with a free hand) is not a big deal.

To use some examples from the PHB; if you allow people to do other interact with objects including "throw a lever .... open or close a door ....withrdraw a potion from a backpack .... pull a torch from a scone, don a mask" without using an action, in addition to also sheathing a sword without using an action, or allowing new things to be done with a BA, then you are fundamentally changing the action economy and doing it in a way which offers substantial advantageous to characters doing sword and board or TWF because they will have fewer turns with "wasted" actions reconfiguring what they are holding.

This explains why shields are so popular in your game, you are eliminating one of the biggest (arguably the biggest) negative to using one.

I am not saying this is wrong, if it works in your game do it, but it does change this discussion substantially

And as for the other actions you listed. We don't open and close doors after combat starts, we don't mess with levers after combat starts (and you could totally through a lever with a shield or sword hand). None of this has ever come up in 7 years of 5e game play. And if it did, there are people who aren't using the shield, who can do the thing.
So you only do one of 21 things called out in the players handbook under interact with an object?

Let's say for the sake of discussion, the enemy wizard fires a spell and then goes through a door and closes it behind him. You just stand there and do not do anything? You don't open the door to follow/attack him?

If your ally is behind a porticulus, and you need to pull a lever to open it so he can join the fight, you don't bother

An enemy drops a weapon at his feet (or maybe he dies and is holding an item you are looking for), you don't bother to pick it up?

You never grab the horses reins to control the wagon while you are in the middle of a fight?

You never drink a potion of cold resistance, THAT IS IN YOUR PACK, if you stumble apon a white dragon ... or a pack of winter wolves?

All of these things can be done without using an action if you have a free hand. Something like this is done about 50% of fights I am in and I would think it is similar in others.


That is the complaint. That is the disconnect. That +2 AC on the Monk is somehow considered more valuable and needing to be regulated compared to the Fighter getting anywhere between a +1 and a +6 depending on the number and rarity of items. Even though, with completely non-magical set-ups, the fighter has easier access and ultimately higher AC than the monk. The balance of the Magical Items is not right.
A fighter has easier access to a static AC then any class. That is balanced by the spells, abilities etc of other classes. What you are missing is BOD give Monks access to the equivalent AC of a fighter who is optimized for AC while still having all the other abilities that made them equivalent without those BOD,.

Also if AC is that big of a concern, if it is the only thing you are worried about, a Dwarven Monk can take a feat and wear half plate and shield if he wanted to. Further if you ignore action economy on interact with an object (like your table does) at level 3 said character can get "always on" AC which is 2 points better than a fighter (or 1 better than a fighter using defense). Further if you ignore the action economy for sheathing and drawing weapons he can still use every single Monk ability (or at least every one I can think of) except for unarmored movement.

Which, in raw AC numbers, it isn't. It is +2 AC, a shield is +2 AC. BoD means that you have a free hand, but also that you use an attunment slot and that you cannot wear any armor to gain the benefit. Shield means that you don't have a free hand, but it stacks with literally anything except BoD.
It does not stack with Monk unarmored defense or bladeson, also if your DM considers it "armor" it does not stack with mage armor, there is no sage advice ruling on the last that I know of. Shields are also not generally not compatible with the shield spell without warcaster feat, because of the somatic component (unless you modify the action economy as you have done).

For a person who can use armor and a shield, the shield is just flat better 90% of the time.
It gives you a higher AC probably more than 90% even (the 10% accounting for the exceptions noted above). That is a lot different than being "better" though.

Using your action to dodge will make you even harder to hit than a shield +2, it is usable by any character at all in any kind of armor as long as he can see his foe and it will stack with the sheild +2 to boot! Is taking dodge action every turn "flat better" than not taking it?

A +2 shield gives a +2 magical AC bonus, and does not require attunement, and can stack with any armor, even magical armor. BoD gives a +2 magical AC bonus, requires attunement and requires wearing no armor and not using a shield. These items are supposed to be equivalent, but they clearly are not.
BOD are more useful, in part because more characters (literally all characters) can use them and other than the attunement, there are no negatives to using them.


Yes, I know how the rules work. However, if there was a monk released that could use a shield without losing all that stuff, hypothetically, then the mundane shield is offering pretty much all of the benefits of BoD. That is the point. That is why I don't understand why this item requires attunement, it is only going to be used by one or two classes, and it's benefit doesn't reach beyond other similar items.
As noted above Monks can use shields and armor with a feat, and they don't lost the vast majority of their abilities. Doing this they can get a better AC than a fighter in plate and shield. If it is a big deal you can build your Monks to do this.

The way your table plays action economy the only thing this Monk would lose is unarmored movement.


I don't understand how you can't see that that is detrimental to the game.
Maybe I don't understand because I wasn't there, but as it is a world of make believe, I really don't get your point.

He doesn't get in the bathtub. Bathtubs aren't invented.
The Romans had baths. The modern bathtub wasn't invented, baths were absolutely used in the middle ages and long before.

When flavor gets in the way of fun, then there are problems.
Flavor is the fun in my games. Counting up all your bonuses isn't part of it.
Only clerics, druids, and paladins can use scrolls while using shields, to me knowledge, and no, we rarely ever use scrolls. We tend to get stuff that just isn't very useful in scroll form and save them for RP moments.
Any character can use scrolls. Characters can use spell scrolls if the spells appear on their spell list, which would include some fighters and other spell casting classes that have shield proficiency.

If you never use them though, that explains why having a hand free to use them is never a problem.

Lighting a torch should not be done in combat, and we rarely bother with torches.
Then why is there an example of it in the combat section of the PHB?

And, as for your other example, yeah, sometimes it sucks that you miss out on an attack. Happens. But, if that were the situation, that you killed a guy, and even if you used all your movement you couldn't reach melee with a second, then you have to consider the options. If you stay where you are at, can he reach you? If no, he can't pick up your weapon and attack you with it. If yes, then don't drop your weapon, in fact, fall back a little, see if you can't get him to overextend.
So give up an attack because you are carrying a shield.


One guy is running to raise the alarm, but a second is standing there?

No the seecond guy is fighting your party. There is nothing wrong with that. scenario

Lots wrong with that scenario. Even if you kill the first guy, why isn't the second running to raise the alarm? But, let us say you are right, throwing a javelin would kill one guy, but cause a second to run up to me, grab my own weapon and hit me with it. Great. Let's do that. Because the alarm being raised is worse, right?
If your weapon is on the ground, which it would be often RAW in most campaigns with people using a shield, then yes the enemy is going to pick it up. Especially if you are in a high magic game where your weapon is magic.

Jeremy Crawford even addressed this in an interview. He said during the interview that when he is playing with both his hands full he is constantly dropping weapons on the ground because of the action economy aspect of it. He joked about it and said something like "at the end of the battle there are weapons strewn all over the ground".

It is all about calculating what you want, and what is likely to happen. If dropping your weapon allows you to be more likely to reach your goal, that is what you do. This isn't that hard to wrap your mind around.
But not having a free hand limits your options, it limits the choices available to you. You can't choose to throw your javelin and not drop your weapon BECAUSE you are hodlding something in 2 hands. That choice is not on your list of options. That is what I am getting out. Yes you should make the best choice available to you, but if you have something in each hand at the start of a turn the choices you have are going to be fewer. In the case of a shield, this a built in and consistent opportunity cost to using it.

There is no such opportunity cost to using BOD.

You don't use potions in combat, you don't uise scrolls in combat, you don't do 20 of the 21 combat interactions mentioned in the players handbook. You don't throw weapons in combat. You are limiting your choices significantly already by choosing not to do these things.


If the difference is that small, why is it a problem to have BoD take no attunement?
The difference in AC is small, the difference overall considering all the Monks abilities is not.

I don't want to get even further into the weeds with all of this, but I will say that quite often the fact that people need to be in melee to deal damage makes limiting mobility a poor choice.
It does in situations. But that works both ways.

If they have flyby then they are making melee attacks and taking away your ability to make them effectively, yes you and your allies can ready action a melee attack but then you lose any extra attacks their reaction and unless you clump yourselves together, usually you can't all attack. Grab him and now all your melee allies can surround him and hack the crap out of him.

Further most enemies will try to engage casters and other characters who you do not want engaged. Grappling means they only engage the Rogue or the people the Rogue purposely puts them near. Grab the guy battering your sorcerer and move him away from your sorcerer. Now the sorcerer can cast a spell instead of taking disengage and the guy can no longer attack the sorcerer.

Finally the enemy needs to use his action (wasting an action) to break the grapple, while you can attack him while he is still grappeled and move him anywhere you want. This means inorder to move where he wants and attack who he wants he has to waste an action to try and break it. So from an action economy point of view it one "lost" attack by the Rogue in trade for an entire lost action by the adversary and until then the Rogue controls where the enemy is on the battlefield and who he can attack.


The rogue is not a character who is particularly good at being the focus of attention. You can, with uncanny dodge taking your reaction, but they were not designed for locking down enemies and forcing them to focus on you. I'm glad it works for you, but we take other approaches.
You can't lock down enemies without grappling them or using some other method of restraining them (like the sentinel feat). Without that most smart enemies are not going to be locked down. They will accept an AOO to attack who they want in combat unless you happen to be in a hallway or some other chokepoint to where they can't get around your melee fighters.

Martial classes are attractive because of the higher hitpoints, but after 5th level, with expertise the Rogue is generally better at grappling than they will be and like you mentioned UD reduces the damage. Also martials that are using shields or martials that use two handed weapons can't attack with their primary weapon while they are grappling because you need one hand to grapple, two-handers need to use a backup weapon and shield users need to make an unarmed attack with a head butt, bite or kick or something. The Rogue doesn't really get heavily effected by this, because they don't as a general rule use two handed weapons or shields. So there is less of a "damage cost" with a Rogue doing it.

What I want to try is a rolled stats Rogue with a 13 strength so I can try out the grappler feat. That sounds really awesome for a Rogue - a really high athletics with expertise and advantage (and therefore SA) on every attack against a grappled foe!
 
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Lord Twig

Adventurer
I think it is fair to say that Bracers of Defense are slightly better than a shield if you can use one and are not wearing armor, and much better if you cannot use a shield or armor at all. But they are near worthless if you can wear armor as that will almost always be better. And, of course, the cost is much higher for the Bracers of Defense. In rarity and value, but also in the cost of an attunement slot.

As a side note, with the exception of a war cleric wielding a greatsword, every cleric I have ever played with has used a shield. And the issue of a free hand was never a problem as, after about 5th level, they never had a weapon in hand anyway. They usually had a weapon, but never used it as a spell was always better.

But really Bracers of Defense should be compared to magic armor. +1 armor is rare, +2 is very rare, +3 is legendary, and none of them require attunement. So why not make Bracers of Defense the same? Why not have Bracers of Defense that is +1 to +3 with increasing rarity? From rare to legendary and with no attunement cost. Then monks and other non-armor wearers could theoretically get the same bonus at approximately the same time as armor wearers. That's really what they should have done.

Going back to (almost) the very beginning of AD&D, Bracers of Defense came in a variety of levels that would set your AC to 8 (equal to leather) to 2 (equal to plate armor). AD&D 2nd edition was the same. D&D 3.x changed them to Bracers of Armor and gave an armor bonus of +2 to +8, again providing the same benefit of wearing armor from leather to plate. mumble mumble 4th/pathfinder...

And then D&D 5e came out and now it only comes in one flavor, +2, and it requires a resource that was never needed in the past, attunement.
 

auburn2

Adventurer
I think it is fair to say that Bracers of Defense are slightly better than a shield if you can use one and are not wearing armor, and much better if you cannot use a shield or armor at all. But they are near worthless if you can wear armor as that will almost always be better. And, of course, the cost is much higher for the Bracers of Defense. In rarity and value, but also in the cost of an attunement slot.

As a side note, with the exception of a war cleric wielding a greatsword, every cleric I have ever played with has used a shield. And the issue of a free hand was never a problem as, after about 5th level, they never had a weapon in hand anyway. They usually had a weapon, but never used it as a spell was always better.

But really Bracers of Defense should be compared to magic armor. +1 armor is rare, +2 is very rare, +3 is legendary, and none of them require attunement. So why not make Bracers of Defense the same? Why not have Bracers of Defense that is +1 to +3 with increasing rarity? From rare to legendary and with no attunement cost. Then monks and other non-armor wearers could theoretically get the same bonus at approximately the same time as armor wearers. That's really what they should have done.

Going back to (almost) the very beginning of AD&D, Bracers of Defense came in a variety of levels that would set your AC to 8 (equal to leather) to 2 (equal to plate armor). AD&D 2nd edition was the same. D&D 3.x changed them to Bracers of Armor and gave an armor bonus of +2 to +8, again providing the same benefit of wearing armor from leather to plate. mumble mumble 4th/pathfinder...

And then D&D 5e came out and now it only comes in one flavor, +2, and it requires a resource that was never needed in the past, attunement.
It is not unique to BOD. In fact I think every single item that gives a bonus to AC, and is not armor, requires attunement. Ring of protection, cloak of protection ..., every one I can think of does.

I think the intent is pretty clear - you will need to attune to a magic item to boost AC with it if it is not armor. Part of that is because of the nature of armor. A character with 5 suits of magic plate can only get the bonus from one of them. someone with 3 magic shields can only get the bonus from one of them. Without attunement you could stack rings cloaks and bracers until you had a 30AC.

Note a weapon +3 does not require attunement, but a defender, which is also +3 does. Why? because of the AC bonus.

On thinking more about this, I believe it would be more logical to argue magic armor and shileds should require attunement instead of arguing that the other items should not.
 
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tetrasodium

Legend
Supporter
I think that people are getting stuck in a pointless argument about the BoD that distracts from the real problem of magic item availability between, wotc designing everything as if no magic items will ever be present, & then that design capping the whole thing off by assuming a given bonus will be equally effective no matter who is using it or how many attacks they get to trigger it on each round.


Why are you complaining? Sounds a lot better than just handing you something - Oh I just happened to stumble on exactly what my player needs to be uber powerful.
It's exactly just "something"
1618698306325.png

It's literally a situation where everyone else got a magic item that in some cases multiplies each round with extra attack & the monk got a downgrade from a magic shield to one with zero mechanical effect on anything but very weak fluff. That something is an issue deliberately created by wotc & bragged about as if it were a good thing. When Wotc says "magic items are optional" so that 5e would have maximum compatibility with Cubicle 7's adventures in middle earth game where I believe magic items are pretty much not a thing they did so at the expense of 5e itself. Wotc designs everything pegged to a bar set with the faulty assumption that rogues & fighters will not have magic items. That faulty assumption results in classes that are less magic item dependent or even less capable of using them having no way to bridge the gap created by giving magic items to classes like fighter/rogue/paladin. Even worse is that in the name of simplification they cut off avenues for the GM to provide those other classes magic items that do so. Take this 3.5 monk guide where a bunch of magic items are listed
  • Ki FocusPHB (+1): This would be great if it also allowed the weapon to use your unarmed strike damage, but as written it's not very useful.
  • Scorpion KamaMIC: A +1 kama which uses your unarmed strike damage. You can use a cheaper mundane or magical kama for special attacks, or you can use your unarmed strikes to hit things, and you can magically enhance your hands, so this doesn't really offer anything useful except the ability to attach weapon crystals.

Rings​

  • CounterspellsDMG: Not an especially exciting option, the Ring of Counterspells is frequently overlooked. Monks can get a lot from permanent spells, but the problem with permanent spells is that if they are dispelled they're gone forever and you lose all of that gold you spent. Enter the ring of counterspells, which you can fill with three spells. I recommend Dispel Magic, Greater Dispel Nagic, and either a second greater dispel magic or Reaving Dispel depending on your level. Suddenly you're protected against your biggest counter.
  • FangedDM: Improved Natural Weapon (Unarmed Strike) on a ring. See the Feats section, above. It's interesting to note that sincer unarmed strikes technically aren't a natural weapon, Improved Natural Weapon (Unarmed Strike) should be an invalid feat. However, this ring seems to indicate that it's allowed.
  • Force ShieldDMG: The description specifies that the shield effect is encumbrance-free, so your DM may allow you to use this without interrupting your Monk AC bonus. If that's the case, this can be a helpful way to get some more AC once your cheaper options have been enhanced quite a bit.
  • Adamantine TouchMIC: If you give up Ki Strike (Adamantine) this is a cheap way to replace it.
  • ProtectionDMG: With such poor AC, Monks need all of the help they can get.

Wands​

  • Mage ArmorPHB: With no ability to wear armor, a wand of Mage Armor is a fantastically economical option. I don't recommend the eternal version because 2 hours may not be enough to get you through a day, but 50 charges should last long enough for you to upgrade to Greater Mage Armor.
  • Mage Armor, GreaterPHB: As a third level spell, the minimum caster level is 5 so you get 5 hours per charge. Get an eternal wand and you're covered for 10 hours a day for just over 10,000gp. That's somewhere between the cost of +3 and +4 armor or bracers of armor, and you're getting +6 instead.
  • Magic FangPHB: 750gp gets you 50 hours of +1 hands, which may be enough to get you by until you can afford to permanently enhance your hands. Of course, you still need a caster who can use it, but Magic Fang is on nearly every full caster's spell list.

Wondrous Items​

  • Amulet of Natural ArmorMIC: The AC boost is great, but Periapt of Wisdom does more for the Monk.
  • Amulet of Mighty FistsMIC: This is a trap. See Greater Magic Fang under Permanent Spells, below. For less than the price of a +2 amulet you can make your hands permanently +5.
  • Armbands of MightMIC: Fantastic if you want to use Power Attack and/or special attacks like Trip.
  • Belt of BattleMIC: A fantastic way to get some extra actions. Use on charge to get a move action, then move into place to make a Flurry of Blows.
  • Belt of StrengthMIC: The bonus to hit and damage are crucial.
  • Bracers of ArmorDMG: A trap for people who don't like wands. A wand of mage armor will do much better for much less gold.
  • Cloak of ResistanceDMG: Vest of Resistance is identical and takes up a much less useful slot.
  • Gauntlets of StrengthDMG: Great for the Strength bonus, but it's usually better to get a belt so that you can get Gloves of Dexterity.
  • Gloves of DexterityDMG: Great for your AC, and the boost to Reflex saves is always nice with Evasion.
  • Monk's BeltMIC: Tempting, but the effects total to +1 to AC and a tiny bit of unarmed strike damage. Leave this for Clerics and Druids.
  • Necklace of Natural WeaponsSS: Throw some elemental enhancements on this. You don't need to make it +1 before applying enhancements, so you can use permanent greater Magic Fang to get +5 hands, and add caustic/flaming/shocking to the amulet for piles of energy damage.
  • Periapt of WisdomDMG: Essential for many Monk abilities, including the AC bonus. However, the Necklace of Natural Weapons is probably a better choice. Ask your DM if he'll let you move this to your head slot.
  • Rags of Restraint of WisdomMIC: A very cheap healing mechanic exclusive to Monks and Ninjas, but wands of Lesser Vigor are very cheap, and someone in your party should know how to use one.
  • Rapidstrike BracersMIC: +2 to your attacks with Flurry of Blows, but only 3/day.
  • Vest of ResistanceMIC: Same cost as a cloak, and takes up the largely useless "torso" slot.
Those slots were important for balancing things like these & even moreso so were flat +N attribute bonus items.
 

auburn2

Adventurer
It's exactly just "something"
View attachment 135715
It's literally a situation where everyone else got a magic item that in some cases multiplies each round with extra attack & the monk got a downgrade from a magic shield to one with zero mechanical effect on anything but very weak fluff.
Seems pretty cool to me ... a heck of a lot cooler than a +1 shield. The biggest negative about it is that it is a shield. If it was a hat that did that it would be dope.
 

tetrasodium

Legend
Supporter
Seems pretty cool to me ... a heck of a lot cooler than a +1 shield. The biggest negative about it is that it is a shield. If it was a hat that did that it would be dope.
clearly you forgot what @Chaosmancer said happened to the rest of the group so I'll repeat it "(We had a game once where we had saved a celestial realm, and the magic angel dwarves brought us to their forge to give us items. DM rolled. One player got an Oathbow, one player got a Vorpal Sword, one player got a Defender.... I got a shield of Expression. A common magical item that was worse than the magical shield I was already using.)". Those are massively powerful magic items & now that they are linked up on ddb there shouldn't be any excuse for not knowing what they are. A shield of expression might be "dope" at level 1 or so but not at the level where +4 items are being tossed out to players. 5e sets up a situation that's even worse because that probably is not the first time the monk in that party got shafted by lack of anything usable in a system that cuts off routes the gm could use to fix things.
 

Lord Twig

Adventurer
Seems pretty cool to me ... a heck of a lot cooler than a +1 shield. The biggest negative about it is that it is a shield. If it was a hat that did that it would be dope.
I think it is also clear that you play a very different game compared to many others of us play when we sit down for a game of D&D.

Not right or wrong, but different.
 

Lord Twig

Adventurer
It is not unique to BOD. In fact I think every single item that gives a bonus to AC, and is not armor, requires attunement. Ring of protection, cloak of protection ..., every one I can think of does.
And I think it is fine that the ring/cloak of protection requires attunement. They stack with everything, unlike the BoD, which explicitly does not stack with armor and shields. I haven't looked, but I'm pretty sure you can't wear multiple BoD. Just like you can't wear multiple belts or gloves. So it wouldn't be a problem.
I think the intent is pretty clear - you will need to attune to a magic item to boost AC with it if it is not armor. Part of that is because of the nature of armor. A character with 5 suits of magic plate can only get the bonus from one of them. someone with 3 magic shields can only get the bonus from one of them. Without attunement you could stack rings cloaks and bracers until you had a 30AC.
Again, I don't think you can stack multiples of the same magic item. If I am somehow wrong about that, then the problem is not with the BoD, it is with the magic item rules in general.

And I went ahead and looked it up. DMG p.141. It says to use common sense, but it explicitly states that you can not wear more than one pair of bracers as an example.
Note a weapon +3 does not require attunement, but a defender, which is also +3 does. Why? because of the AC bonus.
You would be wrong there, it is because it does more than just give +3 to hit and damage. A Flame Tongue requires attunement, so does a Frost Brand, Holy Avenger, Nine Lives Stealer, Sun Blade, Sword of Answering, Sword of Life Stealing, Sword of Sharpness, Sword of Vengence, Sword of Wounding, and a Vorpal Sword. Lots of swords, and I haven't even looked at the other weapon types yet.
On thinking more about this, I believe it would be more logical to argue magic armor and shileds should require attunement instead of arguing that the other items should not.
Actually I would agree for the magic armor, but shields require a hand and, as we all know, taking up one of only two hands is a huge disadvantage. ;)
 

Well there is a specific part in the PHB about using potions, so most people do. There are other potions besides heaqling too, how about flying so you can attack the flying enemy with your strength-based melee character .... or even in the example you gave, you must drop your weapon (leaving it on the floor) to administer person to a downed ally.

If the ally is down, it is generally worth dropping your weapon.

And, no, we never used flying potions mid-combat. Hence why I said "if we are going by RAW". We actually had to start homebrewing rules for potions, because they were never getting used, because the cost of an action during combat was too high.

Well that explains one reason why having a hand free is not a big deal and is also not RAW. Sure if you bend the rules so you can take more actions in combat then not having an intract available to pull out your potion (or do anythgin else with a free hand) is not a big deal.

To use some examples from the PHB; if you allow people to do other interact with objects including "throw a lever .... open or close a door ....withrdraw a potion from a backpack .... pull a torch from a scone, don a mask" without using an action, in addition to also sheathing a sword without using an action, or allowing new things to be done with a BA, then you are fundamentally changing the action economy and doing it in a way which offers substantial advantageous to characters doing sword and board or TWF because they will have fewer turns with "wasted" actions reconfiguring what they are holding.

This explains why shields are so popular in your game, you are eliminating one of the biggest (arguably the biggest) negative to using one.

I am not saying this is wrong, if it works in your game do it, but it does change this discussion substantially

Which is why I have kept the discussion to RAW as much as I can and not dealing with our Homebrew.

And you seem to have misunderstood about the lever. A lever is a big switch. I can throw a switch with my elbow while my hands are full of groceries. If it is a big switch, then I could catch the end with my shield and throw it. I don't need to drop anything, logically, to be able to do so. Just like I don't need to do so to charge and bust a door either.

So you only do one of 21 things called out in the players handbook under interact with an object?

1) Let's say for the sake of discussion, the enemy wizard fires a spell and then goes through a door and closes it behind him. You just stand there and do not do anything? You don't open the door to follow/attack him?

2) If your ally is behind a porticulus, and you need to pull a lever to open it so he can join the fight, you don't bother

3) An enemy drops a weapon at his feet (or maybe he dies and is holding an item you are looking for), you don't bother to pick it up?

4) You never grab the horses reins to control the wagon while you are in the middle of a fight?

5) You never drink a potion of cold resistance, THAT IS IN YOUR PACK, if you stumble apon a white dragon ... or a pack of winter wolves?

All of these things can be done without using an action if you have a free hand. Something like this is done about 50% of fights I am in and I would think it is similar in others.

1) Well, that has literally never happened in our games. But, for the sake of discussion, no, we wouldn't stand there stupidly and do nothing. But, we've never had any wizard cast then run and take the time to shut the door behind him. If it did, I guess someone would open the door. Whether it was the fighter, the rogue, the cleric, the bard or whoever would determine if the shield mattered or not.

2) Has never happened in our games. The DM has never split the party and had a lever to unsplit the party. Seems kind of unfun to force a player to not be able to do anything until we can reach a lever that is presumably difficult to get to

3) No, we don't bother picking up enemy items until they are all defeated. Generally if they have something we want, we defeat or drive off all of the enemies, then start looting. I mean, you don't pull out sacks and start filling them with gold while the Dragon is still breathing fire on you, do you?

4) Has never happened. Usually if the DM has wagons or horses nearby when the fight starts, he moves them to the edge of the map and doesn't bother with them, because it is too much overhead to track them. A few times they have attacked civilians or the like, but no one has had this particular issue come up.

5) If by stumble upon you mean that somehow we had no idea that there was a white dragon in the area, and we had a potion of cold resistance... no, we don't. Again, that situation has never come up (we don't get a lot of potions of resistance) and if we were playing by RAW, losing an entire turn to just take half damage against a foe like a dragon is a pretty terrible idea. That is a lot of damage you are leaving on the table.

I mean, I can keep telling you it doesn't come up. Because... it doesn't come up. We don't get a lot of disposable items, and if we do, we generally use them before doing things like fighting dragons, not after the fight starts.

A fighter has easier access to a static AC then any class. That is balanced by the spells, abilities etc of other classes. What you are missing is BOD give Monks access to the equivalent AC of a fighter who is optimized for AC while still having all the other abilities that made them equivalent without those BOD,.

Which is covered under "magic items change the balance of the game, they are an addition of power."

If the BoD DIDN'T make the monk more powerful it would be an even more worthless item. But, let me show you something else who can get better AC than the fighter who is optimized for AC with non-magical gear. A fighter who is optimized for AC with magical gear. See, they can get a +2 AC, same as the boost in power of the Monk, without attunement (UNLIKE THE MONK!!) by getting a +2 shield, which is the same rarity and power level as the BoD.

So, yes, BoD does give the monk a power boost to match a non-magical fighter. That should happen. That is the point of a magical item, to give them a power boost. But, comparing the power boosts of magical items, the monk's item is worse than the fighters item.

It does not stack with Monk unarmored defense or bladeson, also if your DM considers it "armor" it does not stack with mage armor, there is no sage advice ruling on the last that I know of. Shields are also not generally not compatible with the shield spell without warcaster feat, because of the somatic component (unless you modify the action economy as you have done).

"shields don't stack with the abilities that don't let you use shields" I wouldn't have guessed. By the way, the two classes you mention, the monk and the wizard, are two of the only classes who are wanting the BoD.... because they can't use shields.

It gives you a higher AC probably more than 90% even (the 10% accounting for the exceptions noted above). That is a lot different than being "better" though.

Using your action to dodge will make you even harder to hit than a shield +2, it is usable by any character at all in any kind of armor as long as he can see his foe and it will stack with the sheild +2 to boot! Is taking dodge action every turn "flat better" than not taking it?

Is a forever passive boost better than taking a specific action that prevents other actions? Why is that even a question you feel the need to ask?

Is taking the attack action better than wearing armor? They aren't comparable. One is an action, the other is gear that gives a passive effect.

BOD are more useful, in part because more characters (literally all characters) can use them and other than the attunement, there are no negatives to using them.

Any character who wears armor gets zero benefit from them. They can use them for nothing. And they still have to attune to them, which is the cost.

Getting nothing is not useful.

Maybe I don't understand because I wasn't there, but as it is a world of make believe, I really don't get your point.

Rolling for random items means it is possible for some people to get nothing, and other people to get amazing things. Even when narratively, that makes no sense. And that leads to resentment and frustration, because your actions aren't being rewarded, due entirely to poor luck.

Flavor is the fun in my games. Counting up all your bonuses isn't part of it.

Never said it was

Any character can use scrolls.

Wrong

Characters can use spell scrolls if the spells appear on their spell list, which would include some fighters and other spell casting classes that have shield proficiency.

If you never use them though, that explains why having a hand free to use them is never a problem.

Right, it needs to be a spell on their spell list. You be surprised how often that isn't the case where someone:

1) Can use the scroll

2) It can be used in combat

3) We remember we even have it

For example, I think the last scroll we used was a scroll of Greater Restoration. Out of Combat. One game of mine does have a lot of scrolls in it, my 9th level warlock got scrolls of Cloud of Daggers and Witch Bolt. Guess how much I want to cast a level 1 Witch Bolt with my action as a level 9 warlock?

Then why is there an example of it in the combat section of the PHB?

Couldn't tell you. But it seems to me that if the DM is actively dousing torches to make lighting them in combat neccessary... then the players are going to respond with magic and lanterns that can't be doused.

So give up an attack because you are carrying a shield.

Potentially. But wow you had to really dig to find a scenario where you have killed one enemy, can't reach the second, have a weapon that can be thrown, and are a shield user.

Do you think that comes up terribly often? Oh, by the way, a lot of players would just try and throw their sword. I've seen it happen.

No the seecond guy is fighting your party. There is nothing wrong with that. scenario


If your weapon is on the ground, which it would be often RAW in most campaigns with people using a shield, then yes the enemy is going to pick it up. Especially if you are in a high magic game where your weapon is magic.


Jeremy Crawford even addressed this in an interview. He said during the interview that when he is playing with both his hands full he is constantly dropping weapons on the ground because of the action economy aspect of it. He joked about it and said something like "at the end of the battle there are weapons strewn all over the ground".

Well, again, if the alarm being raised is that big of a deal, then it is probably a good trade to get hit by my weapon instead of the enemy's weapon. It is likely... no difference. Unless I also somehow have a powerful magical weapon that doesn't require attunement (most of them do)

Heck, you might as well be making a big deal over choosing to get hit by an arrow to prevent the death of the Queen. Sure, it is going to hurt you mildly, but it seems the scenario tells us that it is the best option.

But not having a free hand limits your options, it limits the choices available to you. You can't choose to throw your javelin and not drop your weapon BECAUSE you are hodlding something in 2 hands. That choice is not on your list of options. That is what I am getting out. Yes you should make the best choice available to you, but if you have something in each hand at the start of a turn the choices you have are going to be fewer. In the case of a shield, this a built in and consistent opportunity cost to using it.

There is no such opportunity cost to using BOD.

You don't use potions in combat, you don't uise scrolls in combat, you don't do 20 of the 21 combat interactions mentioned in the players handbook. You don't throw weapons in combat. You are limiting your choices significantly already by choosing not to do these things.

Because they aren't helping us achieve our goals.

Seriously, I don't know how else to explain this to you to make it make sense to you. We don't have portcullis's cutting half the party off from the fight. We don't have this situation with one guy with low hp running for raise the alarm, while another is eyeing my sword waiting for me to drop it so he can drop his sword to pick mine up. Most potions that get used are getting used outside of combat, not in it.

But, you know what does happen, every session, multiple times a session? We get attacked by enemies. Enemies who roll versus AC. And, having a higher AC makes it more likely that we survive that attack.

The difference in AC is small, the difference overall considering all the Monks abilities is not.

The monk is mostly balanced against the fighter. So, if the monk + all their abilities + 2 AC is somehow more powerful than the fighter + all their abilities + 2 AC, then there is a problem.

You can't have it not be a big deal, but also be a big deal.

You can't lock down enemies without grappling them or using some other method of restraining them (like the sentinel feat). Without that most smart enemies are not going to be locked down. They will accept an AOO to attack who they want in combat unless you happen to be in a hallway or some other chokepoint to where they can't get around your melee fighters.

This doesn't match my experience at all. Giving the enemy free attacks is generally a terrible strategy, and relies on assuming that the enemy can reach, hit and stop a "squishier" but more dangerous target... while allowing the fighter to just wale on them from behind with impunity.

Sounds good in theory, but in practice an enemy might try it once before the party just takes advantage of them blindly charging the mage.
 

I think that people are getting stuck in a pointless argument about the BoD that distracts from the real problem of magic item availability between, wotc designing everything as if no magic items will ever be present, & then that design capping the whole thing off by assuming a given bonus will be equally effective no matter who is using it or how many attacks they get to trigger it on each round.



It's exactly just "something"
View attachment 135715
It's literally a situation where everyone else got a magic item that in some cases multiplies each round with extra attack & the monk got a downgrade from a magic shield to one with zero mechanical effect on anything but very weak fluff. That something is an issue deliberately created by wotc & bragged about as if it were a good thing. When Wotc says "magic items are optional" so that 5e would have maximum compatibility with Cubicle 7's adventures in middle earth game where I believe magic items are pretty much not a thing they did so at the expense of 5e itself. Wotc designs everything pegged to a bar set with the faulty assumption that rogues & fighters will not have magic items. That faulty assumption results in classes that are less magic item dependent or even less capable of using them having no way to bridge the gap created by giving magic items to classes like fighter/rogue/paladin. Even worse is that in the name of simplification they cut off avenues for the GM to provide those other classes magic items that do so. Take this 3.5 monk guide where a bunch of magic items are listed
  • Ki FocusPHB (+1): This would be great if it also allowed the weapon to use your unarmed strike damage, but as written it's not very useful.
  • Scorpion KamaMIC: A +1 kama which uses your unarmed strike damage. You can use a cheaper mundane or magical kama for special attacks, or you can use your unarmed strikes to hit things, and you can magically enhance your hands, so this doesn't really offer anything useful except the ability to attach weapon crystals.

Rings​

  • CounterspellsDMG: Not an especially exciting option, the Ring of Counterspells is frequently overlooked. Monks can get a lot from permanent spells, but the problem with permanent spells is that if they are dispelled they're gone forever and you lose all of that gold you spent. Enter the ring of counterspells, which you can fill with three spells. I recommend Dispel Magic, Greater Dispel Nagic, and either a second greater dispel magic or Reaving Dispel depending on your level. Suddenly you're protected against your biggest counter.
  • FangedDM: Improved Natural Weapon (Unarmed Strike) on a ring. See the Feats section, above. It's interesting to note that sincer unarmed strikes technically aren't a natural weapon, Improved Natural Weapon (Unarmed Strike) should be an invalid feat. However, this ring seems to indicate that it's allowed.
  • Force ShieldDMG: The description specifies that the shield effect is encumbrance-free, so your DM may allow you to use this without interrupting your Monk AC bonus. If that's the case, this can be a helpful way to get some more AC once your cheaper options have been enhanced quite a bit.
  • Adamantine TouchMIC: If you give up Ki Strike (Adamantine) this is a cheap way to replace it.
  • ProtectionDMG: With such poor AC, Monks need all of the help they can get.

Wands​

  • Mage ArmorPHB: With no ability to wear armor, a wand of Mage Armor is a fantastically economical option. I don't recommend the eternal version because 2 hours may not be enough to get you through a day, but 50 charges should last long enough for you to upgrade to Greater Mage Armor.
  • Mage Armor, GreaterPHB: As a third level spell, the minimum caster level is 5 so you get 5 hours per charge. Get an eternal wand and you're covered for 10 hours a day for just over 10,000gp. That's somewhere between the cost of +3 and +4 armor or bracers of armor, and you're getting +6 instead.
  • Magic FangPHB: 750gp gets you 50 hours of +1 hands, which may be enough to get you by until you can afford to permanently enhance your hands. Of course, you still need a caster who can use it, but Magic Fang is on nearly every full caster's spell list.

Wondrous Items​

  • Amulet of Natural ArmorMIC: The AC boost is great, but Periapt of Wisdom does more for the Monk.
  • Amulet of Mighty FistsMIC: This is a trap. See Greater Magic Fang under Permanent Spells, below. For less than the price of a +2 amulet you can make your hands permanently +5.
  • Armbands of MightMIC: Fantastic if you want to use Power Attack and/or special attacks like Trip.
  • Belt of BattleMIC: A fantastic way to get some extra actions. Use on charge to get a move action, then move into place to make a Flurry of Blows.
  • Belt of StrengthMIC: The bonus to hit and damage are crucial.
  • Bracers of ArmorDMG: A trap for people who don't like wands. A wand of mage armor will do much better for much less gold.
  • Cloak of ResistanceDMG: Vest of Resistance is identical and takes up a much less useful slot.
  • Gauntlets of StrengthDMG: Great for the Strength bonus, but it's usually better to get a belt so that you can get Gloves of Dexterity.
  • Gloves of DexterityDMG: Great for your AC, and the boost to Reflex saves is always nice with Evasion.
  • Monk's BeltMIC: Tempting, but the effects total to +1 to AC and a tiny bit of unarmed strike damage. Leave this for Clerics and Druids.
  • Necklace of Natural WeaponsSS: Throw some elemental enhancements on this. You don't need to make it +1 before applying enhancements, so you can use permanent greater Magic Fang to get +5 hands, and add caustic/flaming/shocking to the amulet for piles of energy damage.
  • Periapt of WisdomDMG: Essential for many Monk abilities, including the AC bonus. However, the Necklace of Natural Weapons is probably a better choice. Ask your DM if he'll let you move this to your head slot.
  • Rags of Restraint of WisdomMIC: A very cheap healing mechanic exclusive to Monks and Ninjas, but wands of Lesser Vigor are very cheap, and someone in your party should know how to use one.
  • Rapidstrike BracersMIC: +2 to your attacks with Flurry of Blows, but only 3/day.
  • Vest of ResistanceMIC: Same cost as a cloak, and takes up the largely useless "torso" slot.
Those slots were important for balancing things like these & even moreso so were flat +N attribute bonus items.

To clear up some confusion. The character was a paladin, who already had been using a Sentinel Shield for... I think quite literally something like 7 or 8 levels.
 

auburn2

Adventurer
So, yes, BoD does give the monk a power boost to match a non-magical fighter. That should happen. That is the point of a magical item, to give them a power boost. But, comparing the power boosts of magical items, the monk's item is worse than the fighters item.
Which is ok because THe monk has a bunch more abilities that make up for the difference in AC.

If you assume all classes are perfectly balanced without magic (I know that is a false assumption but it is the baseline) then getting the BOD does not make the monk equal to the fighter, it makes him better (because he was equal without them).

Now the fighter getting a shield+1 gives him a +2 AC and gets them nearly but not quite back to equal - I say nearly because the Monk has a lower AC to start with so a +2 saves the Monk more damage than a +2 on the fighter. A +2 at 16 AC is better than a +2 at 20 AC.

"shields don't stack with the abilities that don't let you use shields" I wouldn't have guessed. By the way, the two classes you mention, the monk and the wizard, are two of the only classes who are wanting the BoD.... because they can't use shields.
Sorcerer, Warlock, Rogue, most Barbarians (because they usually use 2-handed weapons)...

Is a forever passive boost better than taking a specific action that prevents other actions? Why is that even a question you feel the need to ask?
But wielding a shield prevents other actions, it prevents anything you need 2 hands for, and with a sword in your pother hand it prevent a lot of the things I was talking about.


I am not wrong. Every character class can use scrolls. The only thing that they can't all use is spell scrolls.

3) We remember we even have it
Do you really not remember magic items you have?
Couldn't tell you. But it seems to me that if the DM is actively dousing torches to make lighting them in combat neccessary... then the players are going to respond with magic and lanterns that can't be doused.
I think the issue is trying to light something on fire (like trolls for exampe or an enemy you just doused in oil). IF it is a dark area you probably already have torches lit.

Potentially. But wow you had to really dig to find a scenario where you have killed one enemy, can't reach the second, have a weapon that can be thrown, and are a shield user.
It happens all the time. Paladins start the gamr with 5 javelins and a shied, fighters start with 2 handaxes. Those are standard options for those classes. The example I used was a multi-attack, but it is just as relevant at first level.

Playing mines of Phadelvar (spelling) - the goblin ambush, very first fight for many D&D players - you kill one of the Goblins in the road. Next turn you start too far away to engage the ones in the bushes in melee. You can close 30 feet and hurl a axe/javelin or just not attack this turn.


Do you think that comes up terribly often? Oh, by the way, a lot of players would just try and throw their sword. I've seen it happen.
Yes, almost every single fight against multiple enemeies. There will be many, many turns where primary melee characters are too far away to get in a melee attack. This includes the first turn in most battles and usually several more turns during the battle if there are multiple foes. If you use theater of the mind it probably happens less often.

The monk is mostly balanced against the fighter. So, if the monk + all their abilities + 2 AC is somehow more powerful than the fighter + all their abilities + 2 AC, then there is a problem.
As noted earlier +2 AC is more valuable on a lower AC character.


This doesn't match my experience at all. Giving the enemy free attacks is generally a terrible strategy, and relies on assuming that the enemy can reach, hit and stop a "squishier" but more dangerous target... while allowing the fighter to just wale on them from behind with impunity.
Most intelligent enemies will target spellcasters and will use things like disengage or just accept opportunity attacks to do it.


Sounds good in theory, but in practice an enemy might try it once before the party just takes advantage of them blindly charging the mage.
How are you going to take advantage of this? You only get one reaction per person per turn.

Giving the enemy free attacks is not a great strategy, but taking ONE free atttack from a heavily armored martial who is optimized for AC and not for damage so you can get to a more lucrative target is generally a good strategy. Further you only get one AOO, meaning if bad guy #1 triggers an AOO then bad guy #2 is not getting attacked when he walks by the blocking character.

How much is your sword and board martial going to do on an AOO? If he hits, probably about 12 damage to ONE enemy, or 10 damage if he took defense. He is going to do that or more damage before your next turn anyway, so take the 12 damage now and go chop the sorcerer down! The other option is to stay and fight the armored guy and try to beat his 20 AC and even if you do hit him he probably has a boat load of hps, because well he is a tank. Going after the mage is in general a much better option if you can do it, especially if the blocker is a sword and board in plate.

That is one option, depending on the enemy they may try shove or grapple or something to remove the armored guy, while another goes by, or try to go around him. In some cases they have no choice but to engage armored guy and in others it may be the best of a lot of bad choices, but it is hardly always or even usually the best choice.
 
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The argument that BoD should stack with armor is the argument that Wizards, Monks, and Sorcerers shouldn't actually get them, because Fighters, Rogues, and Paladins deserve them more. This is the diametric opposite of what the item is for, going back to their introduction roughly 40 years ago.

Thematically, armor proficiency is and should be a major feature. It shouldn't just be, "everyone is entitled to 16 AC minimum, plus a default magic item bonus per level." Otherwise, armor proficiency would actually be bad. It would mean you have the same AC as everyone else, plus penalties on stealth and action economy. The fact that your Fighter can theoretically equip a +3 Shield and +3 plate without any cost should be viewed as a feature of the class.

We should also note that this isn't new on a thematic level; jewelry that can increase your AC without wearing armor have always been extremely valuable. In AD&D 2e, Bracers of Defense AC 2 were worth, unless I counted wrong, 4000 XP, which is more than +5 full plate, which takes the Fighter's AC to -4. Attunement is a new feature, but making BoD require it seems to me to be in keeping with their general presentation as very valuable & precious items.
 

Which is ok because THe monk has a bunch more abilities that make up for the difference in AC.

If you assume all classes are perfectly balanced without magic (I know that is a false assumption but it is the baseline) then getting the BOD does not make the monk equal to the fighter, it makes him better (because he was equal without them).

Now the fighter getting a shield+1 gives him a +2 AC and gets them nearly but not quite back to equal - I say nearly because the Monk has a lower AC to start with so a +2 saves the Monk more damage than a +2 on the fighter. A +2 at 16 AC is better than a +2 at 20 AC.

A +1 shield being worn gives +3 AC to whatever armor is being worn. And you keep missing the larger points.

Yes, a monk + Magical Item being more powerful than a Fighter + Nothing should be what happens. It isn't, unless the monk is very high level and has maxed out their Dex and Wis. This is a price the Monk is paying for their other abilities, a slower progression of AC.

And, when giving out magical items, it is fair to assume comparable items for both classes. The fighter getting their +2 AC shield (total +4) is getting a better item than the monk getting BoD. Now, you could be trying to argue that the monk is assumed to have a lower AC, and a boost for a lower AC is more valuable than a boost for a higher AC, but that just doesn't track. If it did, then +1 on Studded Leather would be more valuable than +1 on Full Plate, but it isn't. Those two items are considered identical magical items.


Sorcerer, Warlock, Rogue, most Barbarians (because they usually use 2-handed weapons)...

No Rogue or Warlock wants to use BoD. It will give them nothing.

Barbarians only want to use it if they have a 20 Con and 16 Dex, allowing their unarmored Defense to be better than wearing half-plate. Then they will want to use it, if they don't get Magical Armor instead.

But wielding a shield prevents other actions, it prevents anything you need 2 hands for, and with a sword in your pother hand it prevent a lot of the things I was talking about.

You are comparing oranges to cars here, wearing armor cannot be compared to taking the dodge action.

I am not wrong. Every character class can use scrolls. The only thing that they can't all use is spell scrolls.

I've never seen a scroll that isn't a spell scroll. I guess there was the scroll of protection, but that is a hyper specific item to be talking about.

Do you really not remember magic items you have?

We have a party loot page. On that page, which we generally do not look at, we list out all of the potions, spell scrolls, gems, ect that we have. No one in specific wants them, so we leave it random who has it.

So, yeah, when fighting a specific monster we don't usually check and see if one of the dozen potions we never use is a potion of cold resistance, or if it was another healing potion for after combat, or if it was a potion of waterbreathing.

Anything on our sheets we remember and look at, just not the party loot where a lot of this situational stuff gets put.

I think the issue is trying to light something on fire (like trolls for exampe or an enemy you just doused in oil). IF it is a dark area you probably already have torches lit.

That is not an issue we generally have. Most magic-users can call up fire or acid.

I've only seen one character ever bother with items like oil, my own Rogue Theif who used Fast Hands,

It happens all the time. Paladins start the gamr with 5 javelins and a shied, fighters start with 2 handaxes. Those are standard options for those classes. The example I used was a multi-attack, but it is just as relevant at first level.

Playing mines of Phadelvar (spelling) - the goblin ambush, very first fight for many D&D players - you kill one of the Goblins in the road. Next turn you start too far away to engage the ones in the bushes in melee. You can close 30 feet and hurl a axe/javelin or just not attack this turn.

And that is completely not the same situation at all.

Because then you could drop your weapon, run forward 30 ft, then throw your handle/Javelin. The goblin isn't going to run past you, leaving no options to attack you, to grab your weapon you left behind.

Yes, almost every single fight against multiple enemeies. There will be many, many turns where primary melee characters are too far away to get in a melee attack. This includes the first turn in most battles and usually several more turns during the battle if there are multiple foes. If you use theater of the mind it probably happens less often.

Nope, a lot of Roll20 games and generally it is a massive melee and the melee characters can reach the majority of the enemies, Very rarely do we have a situation where they get stuck halfway with no enemies to attack.


Most intelligent enemies will target spellcasters and will use things like disengage or just accept opportunity attacks to do it.

If most intelligent enemies are going to act predictably, then that is all the better for us to defeat them.

How are you going to take advantage of this? You only get one reaction per person per turn.

Giving the enemy free attacks is not a great strategy, but taking ONE free atttack from a heavily armored martial who is optimized for AC and not for damage so you can get to a more lucrative target is generally a good strategy. Further you only get one AOO, meaning if bad guy #1 triggers an AOO then bad guy #2 is not getting attacked when he walks by the blocking character.

How much is your sword and board martial going to do on an AOO? If he hits, probably about 12 damage to ONE enemy, or 10 damage if he took defense. He is going to do that or more damage before your next turn anyway, so take the 12 damage now and go chop the sorcerer down! The other option is to stay and fight the armored guy and try to beat his 20 AC and even if you do hit him he probably has a boat load of hps, because well he is a tank. Going after the mage is in general a much better option if you can do it, especially if the blocker is a sword and board in plate.

That is one option, depending on the enemy they may try shove or grapple or something to remove the armored guy, while another goes by, or try to go around him. In some cases they have no choice but to engage armored guy and in others it may be the best of a lot of bad choices, but it is hardly always or even usually the best choice.


Easy, we put the Sorcerer 35 ft past the melee fighter. Enemy charges past, can't reach the sorcerer except with a weaker thrown weapon and the sorcerer hits them with magic and the fighter, who got a free attack runs up behind them and hits them again. Sorcerer falls back, the enemy charges and I get ANOTHER free attack. Rinse and Repeat and until they turn to fight me after giving me X free attacks.

"Smart enemies will always reliably use the same exact strategy and you can't stop them" is a terrible argument, because players are smarter still and will start adjusting to use tactics that take advantage of your consistent targeting of a single member of the party by making them bait to lure the enemy into exactly the position they want.
 

auburn2

Adventurer
No Rogue or Warlock wants to use BoD. It will give them nothing.
Absolutely they do. Aside from the fact they can't find armor that is any better, both of these classes often have mage armor and that is the difference between a 12 and a 15 (before dex bonus)

Barbarians only want to use it if they have a 20 Con and 16 Dex, allowing their unarmored Defense to be better than wearing half-plate. Then they will want to use it, if they don't get Magical Armor instead.
No Barbarian is going to wear half plate when they can get a breast plate for less money and not have to deal with disadvantage on stealth.

I have never had a Barbarian at the table wear half plate. Never. I have had them go naked though (especially at lower levels).

The people who wear half plate are mostly Dwarf Rogues or multiclass Rogues that take medium armor master.


You are comparing oranges to cars here, wearing armor cannot be compared to taking the dodge action.
I agree, but that just goes to show that having a high AC is not the end all be all.

I've never seen a scroll that isn't a spell scroll. I guess there was the scroll of protection, but that is a hyper specific item to be talking about.
There are four types of scrolls listed in d&d beyond:
spell scroll (usable by casters)
scroll of protection (usable by anyone)
scroll of summoning (usable by anyone)
Nether Scroll (not applicable to this discussion, but usable by anyone)

So spell scrolls compromise one third of the available types of scrolls (not counting the nether scrolls)

Because then you could drop your weapon, run forward 30 ft, then throw your handle/Javelin. The goblin isn't going to run past you, leaving no options to attack you, to grab your weapon you left behind.
No, you are without a melee weapon so the goblin can run up to you, then attack you, then go pick up your sword and he does not suffer an AOO .... and after he picks it up he can try to break sight and take the hide bonus action.

Further even if he is "predictable" and does not go to pick up your sword, and instead just attacks you, you are now in melee with him and either have to take an AOO to get your sword yourself or use disengage.

Finally even if said Goblin does not go into melee with you and instead stays in the bushes, now your sword, your primary weapon is 20 feet behind you, meaning you have to go back and get it (and lose a melee attack)

No matter how this is played, no matter how stupid the DM plays the enemy you lose an attack because you are carrying a shield. Either you lose an attack on the first turn because you cant use a missile weapon or you lose it on a subsequent round because either the enemy has your sword or because you have to go back and get it.
Nope, a lot of Roll20 games and generally it is a massive melee and the melee characters can reach the majority of the enemies, Very rarely do we have a situation where they get stuck halfway with no enemies to attack.
So outdoors you players can normally only see 30 feet ahead and the enemy can only see 30 feet?

I don't think most games are like that. Heck in the Roll 20 game I am playing right now my Rogue is engaging at long range with a heavy crossbow regularly, and they need to be beyond 100ft for that.

If this is true you do not use the roll20 maps built for most of the WOTC campaigns.

If most intelligent enemies are going to act predictably, then that is all the better for us to defeat them.
You are the one who says the enemy never runs past you, would never bother to pick up a weapon you drop etc.

Easy, we put the Sorcerer 35 ft past the melee fighter.
Except you claim that the enemy is always within 30 feet when you spot them. Fighters never ever start out of melee range remember?

I guess you are never surprised, the sorcerer never loses initiative and you never face enemies with a move over 30 feet ...... and you certainly never face Orcs that can move 60 feet towards an enemy.


"Smart enemies will always reliably use the same exact strategy and you can't stop them" is a terrible argument, because players are smarter still and will start adjusting to use tactics that take advantage of your consistent targeting of a single member of the party by making them bait to lure the enemy into exactly the position they want.
Yet you are the one sitting here saying the enemy always attacks your sword and board fighter and never does anything else. I am the one suggesting enemies are not that predictable. Moreover, what are you going to do after you bait them? The only thing you ever do in combat is swing your sword, remember! When I mentioned using grapple to control positioning you scoffed at the idea.

YOU are the one who is predictable as you have said repeatedly you never use grapple, you don't use shove, you don't do most of the interactions mentioned in the PHB, you don't use scrolls or potions, you don't throw weapons, you don't use oil. By your own admission, YOU "use the exact same strategy" in every fight. How does your party adjust if you do the same thing every single fight? What do you do so as not to be predictable?

Good enemies do not always reliably use the same strategy like you do.
 
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Lord Twig

Adventurer
All sword and board or great weapon fighters I have seen enter combat without their weapons drawn unless they know the enemies will be close. Round one the fighters move and throw weapons. This will continue until melee is joined and after that it is rarely required to make a ranged attack. And I mean, like, really rare, like hardly ever. And if it is that is why you have ranged characters or a monk with insane speed that can close the distance. Not every character needs to be able to handle every situation.

I'll also mention my Eldritch Knight here, who had no problem dropping his weapon to throw a javelin. Then he would either summon the javelin or his sword back to his hand depending on which one was needed next. Or he could drop sword, cast fire bolt, then bonus action call his sword back to his hand. Bending down to pick up your sword was for plebs. ;)

Oh, and he wore full plate and was capable of casting shield. Combined with a regular shield getting 25AC when he needed it was not an issue.

You also seem to place a great deal of stock on Stealth. This makes sense as you have previously stated that you like to play Rogue characters, but there are a lot of people that don't think very highly of stealth.

 

Absolutely they do. Aside from the fact they can't find armor that is any better, both of these classes often have mage armor and that is the difference between a 12 and a 15 (before dex bonus)

If you can't find Studded Leather armor (12+Dex, same as wearing BoD) before finding a rare magical item, there is something weird going on in your games.

The only rogue with access to Mage Armor is the Arcane Trickster, who at 3rd level had to take Mage Armor as their "any school" spell, and to cast it they had to use half of their spells. Unlikely, since it is only a +1 over wearing studded leather. High Opportunity cost and only a good benefit if they happen to get BoD? Unlikely.

And, basically the same story for the Warlock. Yes, their invocation gets them an at-will Mage Armor, but an invocation is a big opportunity cost. Again, and again the studded leather is almost as good for no real opportunity cost other than finding some cheap armor

(and yes, I know, 13 lbs. It isn't something that comes up, like I said)

No Barbarian is going to wear half plate when they can get a breast plate for less money and not have to deal with disadvantage on stealth.

I have never had a Barbarian at the table wear half plate. Never. I have had them go naked though (especially at lower levels).

The people who wear half plate are mostly Dwarf Rogues or multiclass Rogues that take medium armor master.

It is a +1 AC and barbarians don't tend to be "stealthy" people.

And, while I've seen barbarians go naked, they often are doing so because they haven't even bothered to figure out what wearing armor would mean for their AC. Much of the time, it is the superior option.

I agree, but that just goes to show that having a high AC is not the end all be all.

I never said it was, but again, you are comparing two things that cannot be compared.

There are four types of scrolls listed in d&d beyond:
spell scroll (usable by casters)
scroll of protection (usable by anyone)
scroll of summoning (usable by anyone)
Nether Scroll (not applicable to this discussion, but usable by anyone)

So spell scrolls compromise one third of the available types of scrolls (not counting the nether scrolls)

I just checked... are you seriously referencing the Scroll of Tarrasque Summoning? A unique Legendary item to a single adventure? Because that is the only "scroll of summoning" on DnD Beyond.

So, spell scrolls are 1/2 of all scrolls... with the other half being scrolls of protection, and all they do is create a barrier that can't be passed by specific creature types. They are rare and highly specific, so for most campaigns, you are only going to see spell scrolls.

Which can only be used by a spellcaster who has the proper spell list.

No, you are without a melee weapon so the goblin can run up to you, then attack you, then go pick up your sword and he does not suffer an AOO .... and after he picks it up he can try to break sight and take the hide bonus action.

No he can't. The sword is 30 ft behind me, even if I stopped with a 5ft gap between me and the goblin, they don't have a 35 move speed.

Unless he dashes, in which case he didn't attack me.

And, I can make an AOO, you can make an AOO with an unarmed strike. Not much, but this goblin potentially was just hit with a Javelin, meaning that he could be taken out with a punch from a strength character, which will deal 4 damage.

Further even if he is "predictable" and does not go to pick up your sword, and instead just attacks you, you are now in melee with him and either have to take an AOO to get your sword yourself or use disengage.

Or pull out that second handaxe or javelin. Those are melee weapons you know. And you specifically said "two handaxes or 4/5 Javelins"

Finally even if said Goblin does not go into melee with you and instead stays in the bushes, now your sword, your primary weapon is 20 feet behind you, meaning you have to go back and get it (and lose a melee attack)

No matter how this is played, no matter how stupid the DM plays the enemy you lose an attack because you are carrying a shield. Either you lose an attack on the first turn because you cant use a missile weapon or you lose it on a subsequent round because either the enemy has your sword or because you have to go back and get it.

Only if you've thrown your last weapon, in which case... yeah, but you should have better tactical awareness than to desperately throw your final weapon and have no other options. After all... I kind of had an answer to every single point, and none of them involved the melee fighter being unable to attack.

So outdoors you players can normally only see 30 feet ahead and the enemy can only see 30 feet?

Literally never said that, but nice try at a strawman. See, generally, you can't make melee attacks until you are within 5 ft of a target. So, the enemy generally rushes the party to make melee attacks. If they do, we tend to have a whole bunch of enemies who are incentivized to be within 5ft of you (you know, to make melee attacks) so I don't often see enemies who are 35 ft away unless they are ranged enemies. And those generally are the ones being targets by our ranged allies.

I don't think most games are like that. Heck in the Roll 20 game I am playing right now my Rogue is engaging at long range with a heavy crossbow regularly, and they need to be beyond 100ft for that.

If this is true you do not use the roll20 maps built for most of the WOTC campaigns.

We do not run modules, but that literally has nothing to do with anything.

You are the one who says the enemy never runs past you, would never bother to pick up a weapon you drop etc.

Yes, I have said that. And I think I've mostly demonstrated why it would be a waste of their time to do so. There is simply no value in it.

Except you claim that the enemy is always within 30 feet when you spot them. Fighters never ever start out of melee range remember?

I guess you are never surprised, the sorcerer never loses initiative and you never face enemies with a move over 30 feet ...... and you certainly never face Orcs that can move 60 feet towards an enemy.

That was not my claim. My claim was that after battle starts and after I have taken my first attack, I generally am still within 30 ft of another enemy I can attack. That has nothing to do with starting combat with the enemy more than 30 ft away. It was all about mid-turn.

And, who says the sorcerer didn't lose initiative? The enemy had to run past the fighter first. The Enemy in my example WON initiative.

Also, congrats, you found a single enemy type who can dash as a bonus action. Do you only fight orcs? Never bugbears, hobgoblins, humans, dwarves, drow, duergar, undead, ect ect ect ect

Yet you are the one sitting here saying the enemy always attacks your sword and board fighter and never does anything else. I am the one suggesting enemies are not that predictable. Moreover, what are you going to do after you bait them? The only thing you ever do in combat is swing your sword, remember! When I mentioned using grapple to control positioning you scoffed at the idea.

YOU are the one who is predictable as you have said repeatedly you never use grapple, you don't use shove, you don't do most of the interactions mentioned in the PHB, you don't use scrolls or potions, you don't throw weapons, you don't use oil. By your own admission, YOU "use the exact same strategy" in every fight. How does your party adjust if you do the same thing every single fight? What do you do so as not to be predictable?

Good enemies do not always reliably use the same strategy like you do.

Well, first of all, I scoffed at the idea of grappling because it seemed like a waste of time. It is giving up the advantage of momentum to basically allow the enemy a free attack on you, because you were too busy grabbing them to hold them tight instead of trying to kill them. I'm not saying it is never the right move, but so very rarely is it better than just trying to finish them off.

Oil? Dealing fire damage to a creature with oil is 5 damage. I'll assume you get two rounds and make it 10. So, for two actions, over three round, you can deal 10 damage. A fighter with a longsword against a creature resistant to damage can deal 2d8+10 (3+2 from dueling) or an average of 19, which is just shy of 10 damage in two actions in two rounds. Maybe it is the fighter using the oil then the wizard using firebolt? But, breaking the math down the fighter is still just dealing 5 damage a round. And that is just as good as their worst scenario of just attacking a resistant enemy. And oil is an improvised weapon, so no prof to hit. Making it less accurate. So, no, we don't use oil.


What do we do? We use spells and abilities. Some fights we utilize Spike Growth to turn the terrain into a meat grinder. Sometimes we use hypnotic pattern to make enemies helpless. Sometimes the rogue plays peek-a-boo and uses their bonus action hide to kite and snipe. Sometimes we have the Barbarian use their Ancestral spirits ability to protect us from a single enemy.

Fighter doesn't have a lot of options, so they tend to be the hammer. They are very good at it though.
 

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