D&D 5E Dwarven Stag Party In The Caves of Chaos?

slobo777

First Post
Intoxicated is still in the play test. I wish I knew where it was coming from as an idea. Can't say I'm a fan, really.

However, I've been adjusting my code for the new monster data, and encounter building rules. Just for fun I decide to see whether stacking up damage reduction is worth the payment in taking disadvantage . . .

Our three dwarves, all first level fighters with Survivor speciality, and the Protect ability, face a challenging series of caves, containing violent enemies:

twelve Fire Beetles, 120xp, an easy encounter
five Hobgoblins, 200xp, an average encounter
two Bugbears, 280xp, a tough encounter
an Ogre and two Bugbears, 520xp, a killer encounter (i.e. one that breaks the rules on how much to throw at the PCs)

This is beyond a normal day, so we expect some heroic casualties. But will the drunken dwarves pay for their tomfoolery?

First, how would the dwarves do without a visit to the inn before the adventure . . .

Code:
Adventure results for 10000 teams of brave dwarves:
 TPK:                  19%          

 Defeated:              6%
      two dwarves died      0%   {1 events}
        one dwarf died      1%   {58 events}
         badly injured      1%   {100 events}
     moderate injuries      4%
        light injuries      0%   {3 events}

 Completed adventure:  75%
      two dwarves died      0%   {13 events}
        one dwarf died      3%
         badly injured      5%
     moderate injuries     47%
        light injuries     20%
Now here are some intoxicated Dwarves, they met in the tavern, had a drinking contest, and rather than sleeping it off, went straight into the caves (probably a drinking game dare!) . . .

Code:
Adventure results for 10000 teams of brave intoxicated dwarves:
  TPK:                  16%

  Defeated:              1%     {145 events}
       two dwarves died      0%   {2 events}
         one dwarf died      1%   {61 events}
          badly injured      0%   {4 events}
      moderate injuries      0%   {75 events}
         light injuries      0%   {3 events}

  Completed adventure:  83%
       two dwarves died      1%   {39 events}
         one dwarf died      7%
          badly injured      1%   {130 events}
      moderate injuries     36%
         light injuries     38%
          not a scratch      0%   {29 events}
. . . conclusion? Unfortunately, that intoxication can be significantly beneficial to a defensive fighting style based on Protect and Parry abilities. Applying disadvantage to all D20 rolls is not enough of a penalty to offset the extra damage absorption.
 
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slobo777

First Post
Without using Protect (which is a little niche to have three protectors in an optimised team), there is still a difference, but things get more complex and interesting!

I've optimised used of Deadly Strike here. It is now preferred on a hit, but not used wastefully on creatures with low hit points (such as the Fire Beetles, or a Hobgoblin that has already been hit)

Same dwarves, same adventure, first lot without performance enhancing substances:

Code:
Adventure results for 10000 teams of brave dwarves:
  TPK:                  27%

  Defeated:             30%
       two dwarves died      0%   {10 events}
         one dwarf died      2%   {234 events}
          badly injured      8%
      moderate injuries     20%
         light injuries      0%   {2 events}

  Completed adventure:  43%
       two dwarves died      0%   {31 events}
         one dwarf died      4%
          badly injured     12%
      moderate injuries     24%
         light injuries      3%
Back down the pub, and try again . . .

Code:
Adventure results for 10000 teams of brave intoxicated dwarves:
  TPK:                  35%

  Defeated:             11%
       two dwarves died      0%   {23 events}
         one dwarf died      4%
          badly injured      1%   {112 events}
      moderate injuries      6%
         light injuries      0%   {5 events}

  Completed adventure:  54%
       two dwarves died      1%   {110 events}
         one dwarf died     10%
          badly injured      6%
      moderate injuries     30%
         light injuries      7%
. . . although the drunken dwarves actually succeed more often than their sober friends, and if they do tend to suffer less injury, there's a lot more party deaths in the second group. This is due to disadvantage on Death Checks. Once a drunken dwarf is taken down, all that extra damage previously absorbed is causing system shock*, and they tend to die rather than stabilise. In addition, their colleagues take longer to mop up the battle because they miss more often, so don't always get to use the healer's kit in time.

* just fluff of course, but I kind of like how there is payback for the earlier resistance to damage .
 
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GreyICE

Banned
Banned
From these results it doesn't appear that three protectors are too niche to be an optimized team, it looks like three protectors ARE an optimized team.
 

slobo777

First Post
From these results it doesn't appear that three protectors are too niche to be an optimized team, it looks like three protectors ARE an optimized team.

My opinion on that is that Parry is nearly always better option than Deadly Strike. And Intoxicated is plain silly - perhaps drop the damage soak to 1 point . . .

Anyway, this IMO is why the strategy of pouring alcohol into Guardian dwarves works so well:

Stacking Protect, Parry and Intoxicated, to reduce incoming damage on a hit by 3d6 at first level. That's great against small numbers of heavy-hitting enemies (couple of bugbears)

Any fighter can Parry one attack. Stacking it with Intoxicated gives 2d6 damage soak, pretty good versus middling damage where you might be facing ~1 monster per PC (hobgoblins)

Intoxicated has the added advantage of working well on it's own against multiple small attacks. Mobbing the PCs with Fire Beetles, Kobolds or Zombies won't be too dangerous either.

So the team has all basic combat encounters covered - at least those without major special abilities in play. Such a team will have a weak spot on saving throws and exploration though . . . my code isn't sophisticated enough (and won't be for a while) to show that.
 

GreyICE

Banned
Banned
But the guardians look better even without the booze. I mean cutting the booze from the equation, they're STILL succeeding 75% of the time while the "balanced and optimized" team is succeeding 43% of the time.

Is there a flaw in the code, or is it just better (at the moment, very early in the playtest cycle) to build Fighters 'ard as rok? I can't see their utility from being 'ard diminishing in any way in a team situation.
 

Dausuul

Legend
I also am not a fan of Intoxicated. Unless you're playing some kind of drunken master character, it seems like a joke mechanic, more appropriate to Munchkin-type games. I'm not sure why it's still in the playtest.
 

Blackwarder

Adventurer
Intoxicated should have some kind of disadvantage, maybe upon the end of being intoxicated the character need to pass a con saving throw or faint.

I like the idea of playing a drunken fighter, and we all know that dwarves are practically functioning alcoholics so having three drunken dwarves wipe the floor is thematically pleasing to me.

Warder
 

slobo777

First Post
But the guardians look better even without the booze. I mean cutting the booze from the equation, they're STILL succeeding 75% of the time while the "balanced and optimized" team is succeeding 43% of the time.

Is there a flaw in the code, or is it just better (at the moment, very early in the playtest cycle) to build Fighters 'ard as rok? I can't see their utility from being 'ard diminishing in any way in a team situation.

Always possible there is a flaw in the code, but if so, it's not on basic stuff such as rolls to hit, or dice used to Parry etc. I can set it to dump a full, detailed log of adventure (and filter by category, e.g. see what happens in a "one dwarf dies, team wins" scenario). Most likely flaw at the moment is that I have misinterpreted a rule or forgotten something (I forgot to apply disadvantage to Death Checks initially, and spotted it in one of the dumps).

There are plenty of weaknesses in the model, though. Stuff I have modelled very basically or not at all. Combat is just a random whirlwhind, no choices of action (it's always melee attack) or movement. No allowance for spells and missile weapons. That means there are plenty of options I cannot compare.

Despite this, I honestly think that Parry and Protect need a slight adjustment down in power level. Just to make Deadly Strike and other uses of ED more equally viable.

Although a gang of three Guardians standing shoulder-to-shoulder can face off ogres at level 1, I'm not too concerned about that. It's getting into territory that won't be realistically played, like 10 Wizards all casting Magic Missile.
 



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