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D&D 5E Definitions, please! What are Bounded Accuracy and RAW?

Gorg

Explorer
What in the name of Fizban's hairy buttocks is bounded accuracy??? I keep seeing the term, but have no idea what it means. A search turned up about 1000 more mentions of it than I cared to wade through, and that's ALL they were: mentions.

Likewise the heck is RAW?


Thanks in advance to all who respond with help!
 

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prabe

Aspiring Lurker (He/Him)
Supporter
"RAW" is "Rules As Written. There's also "RAI" for "Rules As Intended" and various initializations for the concept of "Rules As Played."

"Bounded Accuracy" is the term used in 5E to reflect the intent that, essentially, they didn't want the available bonuses to exceed the variability of the d20. The heart of the idea was to broaden the range of monsters that were plausible for PCs of a given level to face, but there are other knock-on effects.

Hope that helps.
 

Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
RAW = "rules as written". The text of the rules. As opposed to the spirit of the rules which is often referred to as RAI (rules as intended).

Bounded accuracy is a fancy way of saying 5E has smaller bonuses to ability checks and attacks than previous editions had (proficiency bonus). It's a bit more nuanced than that, but that's basically it - a narrower range of results from dice bonuses.
 


6ENow!

The Game Is Over
Well, I guess that explains why my fighter can't hit the side of a barn- when he's standing in it... Well, that, and my awful die rolls, lol.
In general, in 5E attack success hovers around 65% hits given the typical bonuses and ACs. 🤷‍♂️

If you're much less than that, yeah, I'd definitely blame it on the awful die rolls. ;)
 





dave2008

Legend
Well, I guess that explains why my fighter can't hit the side of a barn- when he's standing in it... Well, that, and my awful die rolls, lol.
Actually, in 5e it should be the opposite, that is the point of bounded accuracy (BA) as implemented in 5e. 5e is built on the idea that it is more fun to hit monsters than miss them. So the chance to hit has moved up from around 50% to 65% in 5e vs older editions of the game as @6ENow! mentioned. To compensate, things have more hit points.
 




It is extremely difficult for my players with no magic that buffs AC!
Warforged Fighter 1, Artificer 1 has an AC of 24 base at 2nd level. Shield comes online at 4th level to get it to 29. Probably has a access to a buff spell like shield of faith for AC 31 by 4th level as well.

It's an outlier but it doesnt require any sort of mega stats to perform.
 

Snarf Zagyg

Notorious Liquefactionist
What in the name of Fizban's hairy buttocks is bounded accuracy??? I keep seeing the term, but have no idea what it means. A search turned up about 1000 more mentions of it than I cared to wade through, and that's ALL they were: mentions.

Likewise the heck is RAW?


Thanks in advance to all who respond with help!

RAW: Rules are for Arguing and Whining

RAI: Rulings Against Intelligence

Bounded Accuracy: The overly risqué art you might find in the 70s and 80s D&D line art; Silver Princess, for example.
 

Horwath

Hero
Well, I guess that explains why my fighter can't hit the side of a barn- when he's standing in it... Well, that, and my awful die rolls, lol.
well, that's d20 for you. completely unpredictable.
3d6 if more consistent with same average, but requires some work on base rules to implement it.
 

Warforged Fighter 1, Artificer 1 has an AC of 24 base at 2nd level. Shield comes online at 4th level to get it to 29. Probably has a access to a buff spell like shield of faith for AC 31 by 4th level as well.

It's an outlier but it doesnt require any sort of mega stats to perform.
Trying to figure the math on this one out. Fighter (1) could get Plate Armor (AC 18) and Defensive Fighting (+1 to AC) and Warforged get +1 to AC which brings us to AC 20. Artificer (1) gets... what exactly? How are we getting to AC 24 at 2nd level before spell enhancements?
 

Trying to figure the math on this one out. Fighter (1) could get Plate Armor (AC 18) and Defensive Fighting +1 to AC and Warforged get +1 to AC bring us to AC 20. Artificer (1) gets... what exactly? How are we getting to AC 24 at 2nd level before spell enhancements?
I Think they must mean Artificer 2 for +1 armor, +1 shield.

You might be able to pick up Shield of Faith somewhere too.
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
Trying to figure the math on this one out. Fighter (1) could get Plate Armor (AC 18) and Defensive Fighting (+1 to AC) and Warforged get +1 to AC which brings us to AC 20. Artificer (1) gets... what exactly? How are we getting to AC 24 at 2nd level before spell enhancements?

Plate armor (AC 18) Defensive Fighting (+1). Shield (the item, not the spell +2), warforged (+1).
Artificer level 2 Infusion Enhanced Defense on plate and shield, (+1 each).
 


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