D&D 5E I just don't buy the reasoning behind "damage on a miss".

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ForeverSlayer

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What is happening in the game world when a fighter deals damage on a missed attack?

Since Armor Class represents a combination of agility and the ability to absorb the impact of the weapon (for example, why a suit of plate, by default, has a higher AC than leather armor), we like to think of it as the fighter character striking the body of the target, and the armor (or hide) absorbing the brunt of the damage, but not all of it; the strike was so brutal and skillfully placed that it did more than anyone else could have done with the same attack. For anyone except a fighter with this very specific training, the armor/hide/scales would normally absorb the full impact of the strike, thus dealing no damage and being described as a miss.

I know this topic has been done to death but I would like to discuss the above reasoning from one of the devs. I just don't buy it to be honest. How can a miss be skillfully placed? How can you accurately miss unless you do it on purpose? How do you describe it when someone isn't wearing any armour? It's wrecking my head here and it's stuff like this that turn me completely off the game.

It's also mechanics like these that have me fearful of where the game is going and I will do almost anything to get it changed.
 
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Ed_Laprade

Adventurer
The problem, as it always has been, is with HP and AC. They simply aren't realistic, so any attempt to describe them, or what they do, in realistic terms simply doesn't work. Never has, and, until they are changed (Good luck with that!), never will.
 

Klaus

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What is happening in the game world when a fighter deals damage on a missed attack?

Since Armor Class represents a combination of agility and the ability to absorb the impact of the weapon (for example, why a suit of plate, by default, has a higher AC than leather armor), we like to think of it as the fighter character striking the body of the target, and the armor (or hide) absorbing the brunt of the damage, but not all of it; the strike was so brutal and skillfully placed that it did more than anyone else could have done with the same attack. For anyone except a fighter with this very specific training, the armor/hide/scales would normally absorb the full impact of the strike, thus dealing no damage and being described as a miss.

I know this topic has been done to death but I would like to discuss the above reasoning from one of the devs. I just don't buy it to be honest. How can a miss be skillfully placed? How can you accurately miss unless you do it on purpose? How do you describe it when someone isn't wearing any armour? It's wrecking my head here and it's stuff like this that turn me completely off the game.

It's also mechanics like these that have my fearful of where the game is going and I will do almost anything to get it changed.

Two fighters make greatsword attacks against an opponent. One is specialized in two-handed weapons, the other is not. Both attacks fail to penetrate the target's armor (i.e., they miss). Fir the non-specialist, that's it. But the specialist shifts his handing on the weapon just enough for the weapon to skitter off into a gap in the opponent's armor. Although still not strong enough to actually cut through the armor, the redirected blow was placed well enough to bruise the target.

And really, it's *one* Fighter ability among many options. Hardly the Herald of Doom.
 

Ahnehnois

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It calls into question what hp and AC mean, but it also raises serious problems in cases of mismatches where a character can potentially deal damage effectively even if he can't come within a mile of hitting the opponent's AC.

And then there's the issue of explaining this to someone who isn't embedded in rpgs. The d20 system is simple. Roll a d20, add modifiers, compare to DC. If you beat the DC, you succeed, and if you don't, you fail.
...unless you have this one ability that changes the whole paradigm.

It's also mechanics like these that have my fearful of where the game is going and I will do almost anything to get it changed.
It doesn't take a whole lot of sense to see that something like this that raises such deep issues for such a widespread audience while conversely adding very little of significance to the game (why would anyone even take such an ability?) is something that should have been cut shortly after the idea was invented. Unfortunately, the developers seem to have less sense than that.
 

ForeverSlayer

Banned
Banned
Two fighters make greatsword attacks against an opponent. One is specialized in two-handed weapons, the other is not. Both attacks fail to penetrate the target's armor (i.e., they miss). Fir the non-specialist, that's it. But the specialist shifts his handing on the weapon just enough for the weapon to skitter off into a gap in the opponent's armor. Although still not strong enough to actually cut through the armor, the redirected blow was placed well enough to bruise the target.

And really, it's *one* Fighter ability among many options. Hardly the Herald of Doom.

???
 

GSHamster

Adventurer
Damage on a miss is an excellent mechanic for a game. Damage on a miss is a terrible mechanic for a simulation.

You *can* justify it. But it's so much easier to say a miss is a miss. Everyone understands that.

What I find interesting is that we've accepted damage on a miss for spells. Fireball for 5d6, save for half. Is the fact that the other party is the roller what makes this acceptable and uncontroversial?

What if damage on a miss was re-written as "You cannot miss with this attack. You still make an attack roll, but if you would have missed, you instead strike a glancing blow for half damage."? Would that be more acceptable?
 

herrozerro

First Post
think of it like a 3rd edition EX ability:

[h=3]Extraordinary Abilities (Ex)[/h]Extraordinary abilities are nonmagical, though they may break the laws of physics. They are not something that just anyone can do or even learn to do without extensive training.
 


ForeverSlayer

Banned
Banned
The problem, as it always has been, is with HP and AC. They simply aren't realistic, so any attempt to describe them, or what they do, in realistic terms simply doesn't work. Never has, and, until they are changed (Good luck with that!), never will.

I would be the type of player who sees himself as a "realistic simulationist". Now what that means to me is; I am fully aware that not everything can be put into gaming terms, if it could then the rule book would be about five feet thick. But what I do look for is something that I could say "Hey, if that were real I could completely imagine it". Now I am fully aware of how terrible hit points are, but without these kinds of mechanics they become a bit more tolerable. The "damage on a miss" shifts too much attention back to how crazy HP are.
 


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