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D&D 5E FeeFiFoFum *splat* goes the giants

Oofta

Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.
an 11th level wizard... with a what for AC? 11?!? I mean at least give them mage armor... you know the spell they can cast, last all day and not have to concentrate on for the cost of the lowest spell slot... I mean most damaging 1st level spells are out done by cantrips and if it saves 1 shield spell it is worth it.
That assumes a level of planning an forethought that some if my players lack.
It's also fairly typical for PCs that don't wear heavy armor and shields.

One of my assumptions is that the guidelines are for casual players that are not particularly optimized.
 

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ad_hoc

(he/they)
I think including a side bar or two that helps would be better then doing nothing...

example: If your party has a + magic item to hit remember they are hitting like a party multi levels (+1 prof) higher would. a +3 sword on a 3rd level character makes them hit as often as a 20th level PC with no items. Magic that goes to defense (like AC) does the oppisite it makes the monster hit as if they had LESS prof. a 5th level party with 4 PCs with 2 +2 weapons and all 4 having atleast 1 +1 to AC will fight more like a 9th-10th level party BUT they wont have the HP so it will make the dice more swingy.

example2: If your party rolls for stats (remember that is the default) having PCs with much higher or lower stats allows them to hit or be hit more or less often. a good rule of thumb is if the PCs have X more then the standard array add 1 to there level if they have X less then the standard subtract 1. if some are higher and some

example 3: some feats are more powerful in a hit harder and some are more powerful by giving more options, if you see a PC has regularly in play been able to ahndle harder and harder monsters considering counting the whole party as one level higher.

Just a note. Both rolling and standard array are the default.

Point buy is a variant.
 


Stalker0

Legend
One of my assumptions is that the guidelines are for casual players that are not particularly optimized.
Once again I think its a matter of degrees. For 1st level players, of course, could be total newbs. For 5th level players....should have some experience, but could still be newish.

11th level? I think its pretty reasonable to assume some basic proficiency at this point (+4 proficiency in fact, haha ;). We aren't talking min/maxing here, we are talking about using the cheapest and longest lasting protection spell in the game, one of the most iconic dnd spells in existence. If an 11th level wizard is too casual for that, I don't know how they are doing with all of the other spells they have.
 

Stalker0

Legend
I think including a side bar or two that helps would be better then doing nothing...

example: If your party has a + magic item to hit remember they are hitting like a party multi levels (+1 prof) higher would. a +3 sword on a 3rd level character makes them hit as often as a 20th level PC with no items.
Whoa whoa whoa.... this example is a bit disingenous

A 20th level PC fighting class is either got:

1) 4 attacks (fighter)
2) 2 attacks, rage, and big brutal critical (barb)
3) 10d6 SA (rogue)
4) 3d6 - 5d6 smites (paladin)

etc etc

Quick Example

An 11th level fighter (str 20) with longsword and dueling for example is going to have DPR = 17.925, assuming a 45% chance to hit + 5% chance to crit.

A 3rd level fighter (Str 18) with the same and a +3 longsword has DPR = 6.975.... 45% chance to hit + 5% chance to crit (the +3 to hit from the longsword is cancelled by the extra +1 from strength and +2 proficiency the 11th level fighter has).

11th level fighter still does 2.5x the damage. That +3 sword is very solid, and of course against monsters that are resistance to non-magic its even a bigger deal. But at no point is this guy competing with an 11th level fighter on raw damage, let alone a 20th level one.
 

Oofta

Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.
Once again I think its a matter of degrees. For 1st level players, of course, could be total newbs. For 5th level players....should have some experience, but could still be newish.

11th level? I think its pretty reasonable to assume some basic proficiency at this point (+4 proficiency in fact, haha ;). We aren't talking min/maxing here, we are talking about using the cheapest and longest lasting protection spell in the game, one of the most iconic dnd spells in existence. If an 11th level wizard is too casual for that, I don't know how they are doing with all of the other spells they have.
I just don't think it makes much difference if the target has a 16 AC or a couple higher. I don't assume people are only under threat for 8 hour days, they are not always prepped for combat. I don't assume the wizard will be able to cast shield. Or just switch classes. Assuming no magic armor, a rogue would have a few more HP but AC would only be 17 if they maxed out dex which I don't think is a valid assumption. Ultimately it doesn't make a huge difference because in the third round 1 hit took the target to zero with a fair amount of damage left over.

But I also think you overestimate how effective people are at building PCs. Without guidance by people who understand how to optimize even a little, people don't always make good choices.
 

Mort

Legend
But I also think you overestimate how effective people are at building PCs. Without guidance by people who understand how to optimize even a little, people don't always make good choices.

The internet is the great equalizer on that - especially youtube videos. I've seen kids that barely know what a d20 looks like but they sure know that GWM and PAM is awesome for a fighter (and how to build around them)!
 

Oofta

Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.
The internet is the great equalizer on that - especially youtube videos. I've seen kids that barely know what a d20 looks like but they sure know that GWM and PAM is awesome for a fighter (and how to build around them)!
Most newbies I've played with don't do that. I think people underestimate how many people just look at this as a casual game, spend the minimum amount of time reading the rules and just go for it. Yes, even after getting to level 11. A lot of people just don't care about optimization.
 


ad_hoc

(he/they)
Most newbies I've played with don't do that. I think people underestimate how many people just look at this as a casual game, spend the minimum amount of time reading the rules and just go for it. Yes, even after getting to level 11. A lot of people just don't care about optimization.

Yep. The people at my table ask me if a decision they are making will work the way they think it works but don't care about being the most powerful.

Or at most they ask me if they're going to have big problems if they go a certain way. Eg. "If I take eldritch blast as my only attack cantrip will that be fine?" And then I remind them that they get disadvantage in melee and let them decide if they want to take another one.
 

There are key details missing like ... how did the sorcerer get off 2 fireballs, what actions were actually taken, did the giants all fail their saves, etc.

A one time scenario with a caster going nova is not indicative of the game or the encounter rating system in general. 🤷‍♂️
This is so true!

I had a warlock who had eldritch smite.

I used it on crits to great effect.

let me assure you that the next encounter prior to short rest would not be so favorable…

in fact, different sorts of encounters were quite different. I devastated big enemies a few times to shouts for the r group.

contrast this with swarms of undead and a few blown to oblivion did not change the whole affair in the same way
 

Stalker0

Legend
Yes, even after getting to level 11. A lot of people just don't care about optimization.
There's optimization and then there's just the basics like "if your playing a wizard, your going to want a decent int". I mean sure you can play a wizard with an 8 int, but I doubt the game is modeled after that.

I feel like an 11th level wizard not casting mage armor when the party is about to go into a dungeon is like a fighter waking up and going "you know what, I just don't feel like wearing my armor today I'm a little stiff". Could players do that, sure.... but should we be modeling our encounter baselines after it, I really don't think so.

Even my two highly casual, roleplay focused players knew to throw on a buff spell every now and then.
 


Ancalagon

Dusty Dragon
Exactly, that's were codifying encounters for computation is bound to fail in 5e. 4e, which went further than any previous editions simplified this by having maps where starting positions were indicated, which meant that a number of DMs teleported characters and monsters on the map to the starting positions when combat started so that the conditions were as standard as possible. I'm not criticising that approach, but even in that case, initiative coud mean quite a bit of swinginess even before all the other dices started rolling.
blink
I had NO idea. Wow. That would have driven me bonkers. Combat as a sport indeed...
 

Ancalagon

Dusty Dragon
Most newbies I've played with don't do that. I think people underestimate how many people just look at this as a casual game, spend the minimum amount of time reading the rules and just go for it. Yes, even after getting to level 11. A lot of people just don't care about optimization.
This is very true.

I think my PC is the most optimized... and it's melee dex build fighter, which is not... bad, but not stellar either. Our Monk is fighting with a +1 whip so he can hit people from afar... buuuut his extra attack(s) from bonus action have to be unarmed, so he has to close in anyway so... why? But hey, he likes it, so...
 


Lyxen

Great Old One
blink
I had NO idea. Wow. That would have driven me bonkers. Combat as a sport indeed...

There are many ways to play the game, some people like combat more than anything, and the challenge, etc. 4e in particular appealed to them because it was very organised and balanced, and the rules were clear, which allowed them to really optimise their tactics. And the good side of the coin was that the encounters were much easier to calibrate.

Not my type of game, but as I say, it's a very rich game full of possibilities.
 

Lyxen

Great Old One
I think including a side bar or two that helps would be better then doing nothing...

It might help, but there is already a section about this and counting the advantages. It could always be detailed and examples given, for sure.

example: If your party has a + magic item to hit remember they are hitting like a party multi levels (+1 prof) higher would. a +3 sword on a 3rd level character makes them hit as often as a 20th level PC with no items. Magic that goes to defense (like AC) does the oppisite it makes the monster hit as if they had LESS prof. a 5th level party with 4 PCs with 2 +2 weapons and all 4 having atleast 1 +1 to AC will fight more like a 9th-10th level party BUT they wont have the HP so it will make the dice more swingy.

example2: If your party rolls for stats (remember that is the default) having PCs with much higher or lower stats allows them to hit or be hit more or less often. a good rule of thumb is if the PCs have X more then the standard array add 1 to there level if they have X less then the standard subtract 1. if some are higher and some

example 3: some feats are more powerful in a hit harder and some are more powerful by giving more options, if you see a PC has regularly in play been able to ahndle harder and harder monsters considering counting the whole party as one level higher.

The thing is that none of these factors are linear, and that some will matter in some fights more than in others, so in the end, while a few examples in a side bar might be interesting, they could also be misleading.
 

Oofta

Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.
There's optimization and then there's just the basics like "if your playing a wizard, your going to want a decent int". I mean sure you can play a wizard with an 8 int, but I doubt the game is modeled after that.

I feel like an 11th level wizard not casting mage armor when the party is about to go into a dungeon is like a fighter waking up and going "you know what, I just don't feel like wearing my armor today I'm a little stiff". Could players do that, sure.... but should we be modeling our encounter baselines after it, I really don't think so.

Even my two highly casual, roleplay focused players knew to throw on a buff spell every now and then.
You're assuming the giants are polite enough to only attack between the hours between 9AM and 5PM. I'm not. In my campaigns, the PCs don't stop fighting and punch the clock when the whistle blows and then go down to the corner bar and throw back some brewskies before heading home for the night.

For 2/3 of the day when an encounter could happen, many wizards will not have mage armor up in most games I've been part of.

But it's nitpicking the details to obfuscate the premise anyway. The calculation is designed for casual players and I just picked one simple scenario. Deadly doesn't mean a PC will die, just that it's likely that it's likely that they could and that the calculations are targeted to casual players.
 

HammerMan

Explorer
Whoa whoa whoa.... this example is a bit disingenous

A 20th level PC fighting class is either got:

1) 4 attacks (fighter)
2) 2 attacks, rage, and big brutal critical (barb)
3) 10d6 SA (rogue)
4) 3d6 - 5d6 smites (paladin)

etc etc

Quick Example

An 11th level fighter (str 20) with longsword and dueling for example is going to have DPR = 17.925, assuming a 45% chance to hit + 5% chance to crit.

A 3rd level fighter (Str 18) with the same and a +3 longsword has DPR = 6.975.... 45% chance to hit + 5% chance to crit (the +3 to hit from the longsword is cancelled by the extra +1 from strength and +2 proficiency the 11th level fighter has).

11th level fighter still does 2.5x the damage. That +3 sword is very solid, and of course against monsters that are resistance to non-magic its even a bigger deal. But at no point is this guy competing with an 11th level fighter on raw damage, let alone a 20th level one.
maybe next time read the whole thing before you respond... you quoted my "Hit like" and ignored my "Under damage and less HP" you HIT aka have the + to hit like those levels.

example: If your party has a + magic item to hit remember they are hitting like a party multi levels (+1 prof) higher would. a +3 sword on a 3rd level character makes them hit as often as a 20th level PC with no items. Magic that goes to defense (like AC) does the oppisite it makes the monster hit as if they had LESS prof. a 5th level party with 4 PCs with 2 +2 weapons and all 4 having atleast 1 +1 to AC will fight more like a 9th-10th level party BUT they wont have the HP so it will make the dice more swingy.

in a 20th level game (not with standing a barbarian at capstone) with no items you have +5 stat +6 prof to hit (maybe +2 fighting style) so +11/+13 a +3 to hit can bring a +8 to a +11 (3prof 5 stat) but of course at that level we can expect only a 4 stat, so maybe i miss judged by 1 prof.
 

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