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D&D (2024) D&D One Changes to the Rogue...

Bill Zebub

“It’s probably Matt Mercer’s fault.”
Average campaign length from both WotC surveys and DnDBeyond usage is 1-10/11, so average sneak attack over a campaign is around 3d6 for total damage with a short sword of 4d6+4 (16-20 DEX over the course of the campaign), average damage 18. So IF you manage to trigger an an Opportunity attack (say 50%), and IF fulfills the requirements for sneak attack (say 75%), and IF you hit (commonly used 65%), then we see (14.6*0.5*0.75*0.65) = ~4.4 expected damage per round.

Asserting that bonus action usage, especially considering the extra uses that Cunning Action and subclasses give, is "nowhere near a loss of" 4.4 damage is not a supportable statement.

Also, this assumes melee rogues. Ranged rogues were very unlikely to get an attack on someone else's turn so in practical terms it's not a change for them.
This analysis ignores using hold action to get a sneak attack in the first round when the rogue wins initiative. Maybe my experience is different but I use that all the time.

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As long as i get to be the frog
I mean, you just said it: unless you are low on hit points. Or you otherwise really need to do something else.

Orrrr…and I love this one…you land the first attack but the monster isn’t quite dead. Do you gamble on 1d6 killing it, if you hit? (“Do you do six damage, or only five? Well, you have to ask yourself one question: do you feel lucky, punk?”)

Again, I like the new version, but there’s incontrovertibly less decision-making: you always make the 2nd attack.
Two thoughts.

1. We can hone into the little slice where these things can really matter but 90% of the time whether or not to TWF was a no brainer decision.
2. Due to the no-brainerness I think it's just different decision making, not really less or easier.

Bill Zebub

“It’s probably Matt Mercer’s fault.”
Can you clarify what you mean here?

Combat starts. Rogue is not hidden. Rogue wins initiative.

Choice 1: shoot an arrow, or run up and stab. No sneak attack.

Choice 2: “hold action until an enemy is next to an ally, then attack it” (note that this takes a bit more coordination if rogue is melee)

Edit: and even if you are hidden but out of range, waiting until an enemy is in range. And/or during combat, waiting for an enemy to poke their head out from behind cover.


For sure, and I agree it's a pretty hard nerf to attach Sneak Attack to your Attack action!

A couple of notes on hide.
  • The DC15 is just to enter hiding, right? Becausee it also reads "Make note of your check’s total, which becomes the DC for a creature to find you with a Wisdom Check (Perception)."
  • if you can see a creature, you can discern whether it can see you. Which clarifies that a character attempting to hide can tell if they are hidden from a given observer (that they can see.)
You have to beat the DC 15 to enter stealth. The number you roll becomes the DC for active perception checks to find you (taken as an action).


Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal
Once you factor in crit chance it’s possible for the advantage version to outperform the TWF with no mod damage on 2nd attack version.
An interesting possibility I hadn't considered. We're back to 2014PHB crits, so sneak attack would get increased. Let's look at the math.

Assuming a hit-but-not-crit chance of 60% and a crit chance of 5% on a single die (so 35% chance to fail).

W=Weapon damage
S=Sneak Attack damage
B=Bonus damage

Rolling once with advantage gives us:
No hits = .35*.35 = 12.25%
Crit = 1 - (.95*.95) = 9.75%
One hit = (1 - .1225 - .0975) = 78%
Expected damage = (W+S+B) * 0.78 + (2(W+S)+B)*.0975 =

TWF gives us:
On-hand attack:
Expected Damage (W+S+B) * 0.6 + (2(W+S)+B) * 0.05 =

Off-hand attack:
Sneak attack can only be applied if not already done. 35% chance the on-hand attack was a miss and sneak attack can be applied here.
Expected damage = (W + 0.35S) * 0.6 + 2(W + 0.35S) * 0.05 =
0.7W+(0.21+0.0175)S =
0.7W + 0.2275S

Total expected TWF damage is
1.4W +0.9255S+0.65B

Advantage attack expects to do 5% more Sneak Attack and 22.75% more Bonus damage - DEX mod, magic, and other static numerical bonuses.

TWF attack expects to do 42.5% more weapon damage.

Best TWF without any feat expenditure is a short sword, so 3.5 damage on a hit (and the hit chances are already worked in). So that's 1.4875 expected damage.

First couple of levels this edges tows TWF. Late game this heads towards advantage. At it's biggest discrepancy, a 20th level rogue (10d6 sneak) with a +5 DEX and +3 weapon we get:

(35 * 0.05) + (8 * .2275) - 1.4875 = 1.75+1.82-1.4875 =

So at it's most for a 20th level character it's around a 2.1 HP per round expected difference. You are right, but in practical terms they are pretty much the same.

Thanks, I hadn't considered that option.


Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal
This analysis ignores using hold action to get a sneak attack in the first round when the rogue wins initiative. Maybe my experience is different but I use that all the time.
Yes, that's a corner case where you are not making any attacks on your own round. It's likely first round per combat at most, and assumes that (a) a foe will decide to close with you and (b) at the time that they will also have to intentionally moved adjacent to an ally of yours to allow sneak attack. What are the odds of that? Not just in your game, since if you use it "all the time" it sounds like you have a DM that is intentionally empowering you with that, but across all games?

I'm not sure I'd even call "2h fighter took gwm" an "optimizer". That's almost dropping unoptimised builds to a point like "maxed int or thought actor was good"

Fixing all of these bonkers edge cases also creates room for actual optimization that takes more than one obvious step.
I wouldn't either. 2h Fighter with GWM does not have massively increased damage over the baseline.
GWM + PAM + Precision attack human variant BM Fighter is a much more optimised character and their damage can be much higher.

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