D&D 5E Helping melee combat to be more competitive to ranged.

Antilles123

First Post
Personaly, I think that melee combat is lagging a bit behind ranged combat. But not by much.

Here is few suggestions to help it along.

The thing is, even if ranged combat *is* better, you couldn't have everyone in a party attacking at range. Someone has to soak up the melee attacks. So for every ranged character that is "better", they should realise that without melee guys there to smash things, they're sunk.

So - I think melee combat is still extremely valuable and doesn't need to be changed. If a character sits out at range, there is more chance that their allies are going to be taken down in melee without them there to help share the HP load.
 

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Bitbrain

ORC (Open RPG) horde ally
The main DM for my group keeps melee and ranged combat relatively equal to each other by simply having all combat encounters start within 60 feet of the party.
 


MonkeyWrench

Explorer
The thing is, even if ranged combat *is* better, you couldn't have everyone in a party attacking at range. Someone has to soak up the melee attacks. So for every ranged character that is "better", they should realise that without melee guys there to smash things, they're sunk.

So - I think melee combat is still extremely valuable and doesn't need to be changed. If a character sits out at range, there is more chance that their allies are going to be taken down in melee without them there to help share the HP load.

This might have been true in prior editions, but it's trivially easy for 5e ranged PCs to get competative ACs, and given that Fighters make some of he best ranged combatants, they'll also have the hit points to survive long enough for the rest of the party to focus fire.
 

manduck

Explorer
Though its less about "additional" rules than changing the ones already there :)

True. Though keeping track of the changes can be a hassle too. I'm not a big fan of changing or adding rules unless there is some major flaw in the game. I think in this case it's more getting a handle on encounters for the party than an actual problem with the rules themselves. I think we all find ourselves in the OP shoes from time to time, with a party that is tough to manage or finds some loophole/trick that they latch onto.
 

dave2008

Legend
I guess most of these work, to some extent.

1. I'm wary of giving player characters extras that monsters don't get (assuming we can't be bothered to change monster stats). Have you considered instead of boosting Strength to nerf Dexterity, perhaps by changing to "all weapon damage is Strength based" (even if the attack is made with Dexterity). While this wouldn't change anything for a Strength 20 Dexterity 20 character, it would at least make such characters more common. That is, it would add a nice bit of MAD to Dex builds to counter all the existing advantages (to range, to AC, to initiative, etc)

That is what I have done since 4e. Of course I make all hit rolls dex based as well.
 

dave2008

Legend
I've done a lot of analysis of damage output from class to class, but not range vs melee. I cannot recall anything that would indicate the melee is lagging behind the range combat. What examples do you have that makes you feel this way?

The issue is, I believe, that range combatant take out the threat before a melee combatant can do anything.
 

Cyrinishad

Explorer
The issue is, I believe, that range combatant take out the threat before a melee combatant can do anything.

If we presume that is the case, doesn't that just mean that the DM is setting up the encounters to make Ranged Combat too effective? Ultimately, Ranged v. Melee efficacy is dependent on the circumstances presented by the DM. I think both Melee & Ranged combat work just fine, and it is incumbent upon the DM to provide varied tactical scenarios that require the party to utilize both types of combat.
 

In my experience, damage isn't the issue. Ranged attack is superior to melee in 5E because you don't have to put yourself in harms way. The melee character has to be in melee and take attacks. That isn't a given for ranged, which I find is the main reason ranged feels superior. Being in melee range of enemies feels like a disadvantage in 5E, and there is nothing to offset this.
 

If we presume that is the case, doesn't that just mean that the DM is setting up the encounters to make Ranged Combat too effective? Ultimately, Ranged v. Melee efficacy is dependent on the circumstances presented by the DM. I think both Melee & Ranged combat work just fine, and it is incumbent upon the DM to provide varied tactical scenarios that require the party to utilize both types of combat.
I think the issue is not just that some enemies never make it into melee, but also that a Dex-based ranged attacker has pretty good melee damage, AC etc. Even more so if they're just able to use their ranged weapons in melee as well.
 

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