D&D 5E Defensive Duelist fix?

DND_Reborn

Legend
One thing I have noticed about power gamers - that are far more interested in boosting damage than boosting defence.
LOL that is a nice assumption you're making. ;)

How about making it a feat actually worth taking? Considering how few feats most PCs get (about 3, considering how long the games run) and the competition between ASI and feats, feats are too valuable for something like this--there are better ones out there (both for flavor and mechanics).

And, FYI, MAM and HAM are two of the most popular feats at our tables and are defensive. In fact, we've only had two PCs ever take GWM or SS, both run by the same player, who admittedly is a power-gamer. Most of our players aren't. :p
 

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I feel like what I meant by “a chance to miss” was pretty damn clear. Please don’t nitpick.
I think including an attack roll and rolling damage violates the KISS rule and slows the game down for no real gain. There are already a few things that include off-turn attack rolls, and I discourage adding more to avoid combat bloat.
 

Iry

Hero
One thing I have noticed about power gamers - that are far more interested in boosting damage than boosting defence.
I'm a hardcore powergamer and I have a completely different take. It's not a popular one. Combat is... not important.

You're probably going to win. You're going to win the majority of the time. As long as you have a medium capacity to contribute to combat, only a few combats are going to be true do-or-die / campaign changing fights.

A few extra points of damage don't really matter, and smart play can easily make up the difference. Sure, I will throw a fireball here or there, but using my resources for the Exploration and Social Pillars usually gets much better results.

DM results may vary, of course.
 

FrogReaver

As long as i get to be the frog
I'm a hardcore powergamer and I have a completely different take. It's not a popular one. Combat is... not important.

You're probably going to win. You're going to win the majority of the time. As long as you have a medium capacity to contribute to combat, only a few combats are going to be true do-or-die / campaign changing fights.

A few extra points of damage don't really matter, and smart play can easily make up the difference. Sure, I will throw a fireball here or there, but using my resources for the Exploration and Social Pillars usually gets much better results.

DM results may vary, of course.

One of the things I tend to find is that if have strong combat abilities the dm tends to throw stronger stuff at you. One of the best things to do is to have strong combat abilities but rarely use them optimally.

Speaking of combat, you are probably going to win... but you are probably not going to die in any other part of the game. So...
 

FrogReaver

As long as i get to be the frog
I'm glad you like it. Why waste time in a thread where other people are discussing how to fix it for their group, who obviously disagree with you? That's rhetorical. There is no good reason. Please stop.

I'd rather the damage have a chance to miss, and involve rolling for damage.

Just a reminder - By saying it sucked in the OP you opened your thread up to those kinds of posts.
 

FrogReaver

As long as i get to be the frog
How strong would it be if on a successful use of defensive duelist you added your proficiency bonus to damage against that enemy the next turn?
 

I'm a hardcore powergamer and I have a completely different take. It's not a popular one. Combat is... not important.

You're probably going to win. You're going to win the majority of the time. As long as you have a medium capacity to contribute to combat, only a few combats are going to be true do-or-die / campaign changing fights.

A few extra points of damage don't really matter, and smart play can easily make up the difference. Sure, I will throw a fireball here or there, but using my resources for the Exploration and Social Pillars usually gets much better results.

DM results may vary, of course.
Agreed. Optimizing for damage is rarely, if ever, worth the opportunity cost(s).
 

TwoSix

Unserious gamer
One of the things I tend to find is that if have strong combat abilities the dm tends to throw stronger stuff at you. One of the best things to do is to have strong combat abilities but rarely use them optimally.

Speaking of combat, you are probably going to win... but you are probably not going to die in any other part of the game. So...
Which is why deep powergaming optimizes not only the character build, but the metagame assumptions around the DM's playstyle. Losing a character isn't much of a setback if the DM lets you make a new character with the same levels and number of magic items, so by all means, play a glass cannon build. If losing a character would be a major setback, than optimize towards defense and out of combat utility.
 

Iry

Hero
One of the things I tend to find is that if have strong combat abilities the dm tends to throw stronger stuff at you. One of the best things to do is to have strong combat abilities but rarely use them optimally.
We call it the Voltron Sword, since the power combos only get pulled out after getting beat up or when things look dire. :geek:
Speaking of combat, you are probably going to win... but you are probably not going to die in any other part of the game. So...
That's definitely true, but it's often a self fulfilling prophecy. You die in a fight because you failed the social challenge with the thieves guild, or failed to avoid the orc army patrol, or pissed off the guards with general murderhobo'ing and couldn't talk your way out of it.

Of course, people like fighting and it's important to have fun when you do. D&D is half wargame. But +2 DPR is rarely as impactful as a good exploration / social roll.
 
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FrogReaver

As long as i get to be the frog
Which is why deep powergaming optimizes not only the character build, but the metagame assumptions around the DM's playstyle. Losing a character isn't much of a setback if the DM lets you make a new character with the same levels and number of magic items, so by all means, play a glass cannon build. If losing a character would be a major setback, than optimize towards defense and out of combat utility.

Agree to some degree. But losing a character still sucks. There’s personal attachment and all.
 

FrogReaver

As long as i get to be the frog
We call it the Voltron Sword, since the power combos only get pulled out after getting beat up or when things look dire. :geek:
That's definitely true, but it's often a self fulfilling prophecy. You die in a fight because you failed the social challenge with the thieves guild, or failed to avoid the orc army patrol, or pissed off the guards with general murderhobo'ing and couldn't talk your way out of it.

Of course, people like fighting and it's important to have fun when you do. D&D is half wargame. But +2 DPR is rarely as impactful as a good exploration / social roll.

Yea. It can be. Outside of multiclassing there’s really not much of a way to meaningfully boost non-combat skills though.

Say I’m a fighter. What options do I really have?
 


Iry

Hero
Say I’m a fighter. What options do I really have?
For example? Take a decent Cha score and talk to your DM about allowing UA. A Battlemaster with Prodigy(Deception) and the Silver Tongue maneuver can switch hit as a double threat.

Without feats things get tough, of course.
 

Iry

Hero
Say I’m a fighter. What options do I really have?
For example? Take a decent Cha score and talk to your DM about allowing UA. A Battlemaster with Prodigy(Deception) and the Silver Tongue maneuver can switch hit as a double threat.

Or imagine an Eldritch Knight with max intelligence rocking the new Artificer Initiate and Practiced Expert feats to get magic stone(Int) + archery style + arcana expertise.

Without feats things get tough, of course.
 

DND_Reborn

Legend
Yea. It can be. Outside of multiclassing there’s really not much of a way to meaningfully boost non-combat skills though.

Say I’m a fighter. What options do I really have?
Excellent discussion!

I agree, but I find also this is where other build-types shine. For instance, in a recent battle, we had a PC convince a dragon to stay out of the fight since we meant it no harm but were only there to stop the drow and their plans. The PC was actually a diviner wizard. He had an 18 left over from portent, and with proficiency in persuasion, but only a CHA mod +1. All told, his "roll" became a 23, which even with the -10 penalty was good enough the DM ruled that the dragon would wait on the sidelines and basically feed on the losers--in exchange for half of any spoils.

We won the battle, but let me tell you if that player didn't act that way, it would have been a much harder fight. Probably not a TPK, but as it was we had one NPC retainer die and might have lost a PC or two as well.

So, to address your point, this is what I mean by build types. If you make a fighter with say +2 mod in STR and/or DEX, but also +2 in CHA and give him a background with skills such as Persuasion or just use Intimidate, battles could be "won" without ever being fought. Will it happen often? Depends on the DM and such, but at least you'd have options.

I like to give even my "combat-oriented" PCs at least one skill for exploration and one for social, just in case I need to act outside of combat.
 

FrogReaver

As long as i get to be the frog
Excellent discussion!

I agree, but I find also this is where other build-types shine. For instance, in a recent battle, we had a PC convince a dragon to stay out of the fight since we meant it no harm but were only there to stop the drow and their plans. The PC was actually a diviner wizard. He had an 18 left over from portent, and with proficiency in persuasion, but only a CHA mod +1. All told, his "roll" became a 23, which even with the -10 penalty was good enough the DM ruled that the dragon would wait on the sidelines and basically feed on the losers--in exchange for half of any spoils.

We won the battle, but let me tell you if that player didn't act that way, it would have been a much harder fight. Probably not a TPK, but as it was we had one NPC retainer die and might have lost a PC or two as well.

So, to address your point, this is what I mean by build types. If you make a fighter with say +2 mod in STR and/or DEX, but also +2 in CHA and give him a background with skills such as Persuasion or just use Intimidate, battles could be "won" without ever being fought. Will it happen often? Depends on the DM and such, but at least you'd have options.

I like to give even my "combat-oriented" PCs at least one skill for exploration and one for social, just in case I need to act outside of combat.

Diviner wizard gets an ability that helps any skill roll. Most classes don’t.

I’m all for giving a character skills useful in out of combat - but they mean so little without a way to boost them.
 

DND_Reborn

Legend
Diviner wizard gets an ability that helps any skill roll. Most classes don’t.

I’m all for giving a character skills useful in out of combat - but they mean so little without a way to boost them.
Oh, I know, that was just a particularly useful time to have it. The player (if he had a lower portent roll) could have rolled and maybe gotten lucky enough?

My point was simply that DCs generally are low enough at low levels (and proficiency makes up the deficit at higher levels to a point) that proficiency in some skills that aren't combat-related can go a long way in avoiding combat. Granted, a lot just depends on the table's style as well.

Another option is the "Working Together" rule (combined with the variant "Skills with Different Abilities" is even better). If your fighter (as an example) has Intimidate and another PC has Persuasion, but your modifier is +6 and his is +4, he can help you gain advantage on your Intimidate check. The scenario might play out something like:

You are confronted by a bunch of bandits. The fighter draws his weapon, posturing and threatening the bandits (STR Intimidate maybe?) and the cleric says "Hey, guys, trust me you really don't want to make him angry" (CHA Persuasion). Since the fighter's +6 mod is higher, that player rolls, but gains advantage from the cleric's aid.

I've just seen a lot of times when such things can (and do) help to avoid combat, even turning it into a social encounter where the PCs gain more than they would have by fighting. I'm not saying it doesn't take some thought and creativity at times, but it can work well enough IMO.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
I think including an attack roll and rolling damage violates the KISS rule and slows the game down for no real gain. There are already a few things that include off-turn attack rolls, and I discourage adding more to avoid combat bloat.
Any character can only take 1 reaction.

And a character looking to get off turn attacks more often already has options, adding more won’t “bloat” combat.
 

And a character looking to get off turn attacks more often already has options, adding more won’t “bloat” combat.
The more rolls in general the slower things go. There must be a moderate amount of rolls for the game to resemble D&D, but even the options that currently exist could be streamlined to have less bloat.
 

DND_Reborn

Legend
The more rolls in general the slower things go. There must be a moderate amount of rolls for the game to resemble D&D, but even the options that currently exist could be streamlined to have less bloat.
LOL did you seem my thread about making a variant 5E I want to play? It is primarily about speeding up combat, which IME in 5E takes way too long!

If case you missed it:

 

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