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

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TwoSix

"Diegetics", by L. Ron Gygax
I think there was already something of an acknowledgment that it was. When a mechanic tells you that rolling a 5 in one round represents a miss where you are forcing a character into exerting himself, but the 4 on the next roll against the same opponent represents a lethal strike, the narration is dissassociated from the actual mechanics. There is no relationship between the narration and what you roll.

But that's the fault of the hit point mechanic, not the roll mechanic. A roll of a 20 that crits for 47 damage brings the ogre down to 3 HP, but does nothing to affect his overall combat ability. Then the next roll of 10, for 6 damage, brings him to the ground.
 

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TwoSix

"Diegetics", by L. Ron Gygax
Wicht said "4E players who got tired of the system," not "Pathfinder players." As someone who falls into that category, I'm not interested in Pathfinder; Pathfinder perpetuates all the issues with 3E that led me to adopt 4E in the first place.

For better or for worse, 5E has moved away from most of the "dissociated" mechanics of 4E. I presume this was done in order to attract the many players who are turned off by such mechanics; some of whom adopted 4E despite their dislike, others of whom did not. So why would it retain this one dissociated mechanic, which doesn't even serve an important purpose?
I have no idea. I don't even think it's a good idea that it should be in the game. But there's nothing inherently wrong with it, other than some people have a visceral dislike of it, despite it being no more problematic than the HP model as a whole. It's the hit point model that requires the post-resolution narration, after all.
 

Wicht

Hero
But that's the fault of the hit point mechanic, not the roll mechanic. A roll of a 20 that crits for 47 damage brings the ogre down to 3 HP, but does nothing to affect his overall combat ability. Then the next roll of 10, for 6 damage, brings him to the ground.

Narratively, I have never had a difficulty with that. The ogre is gravely wounded. He is in mortal danger from being killed if hit again. There is no problem. The 47 points of damage would be described as a major blow. The fact that it does not affect his combat ability is besides the point and part of the fictional tropes.
 

Mistwell

Crusty Old Meatwad (he/him)
You are making a false assumption about simulationists. You seem to think that it's all or nothing for us.

No I am not. I am assuming things which simulate particularly poorly and with no good reason for that terrible simulation will rub a simulationist the wrong way, but things that are just so-so won't. Alchemist Fire is very clearing in the "very poorly" camp. As I've argued, the mechanics are less believable than the great weapon fighter mechanic. I don't think I am arguing it's all or nothing - just that there are standards simulationists have and that the standards are not doubled.

You need to understand that it's a game and not everything can be simulated perfectly. In truth, we are not super computers and we can't ever hope to simulate combat to any real degree anyway.

I understand that just fine, and I am not in any way arguing that simulationists demand a level of perfection. I am saying that at least the extremes of poor simulation will annoy a simulationists fairly equally...otherwise they're not simulationists at all if even the extremes don't bother them.

That fact doesn't invalidate our desire for more realistic and intuitive rules. Sure, some rules in our games won't be perfect, but for the most part they will approximate real world results most of the time. In addition, not everyone wants the same things to be simulated.

I assume you want some level of simulation in your mechanics, and that level should be roughly equal for the entire game where possible. If it varies depending on preference for a class or something - then that's what I was arguing earlier that I think we're missing some information that would explain why alchemist fire does not get the ire of simulationists but great weapon fighting does.

For my game, I'm always looking to improve the rules. If someone can suggest a rule that's easy to manage and more closely approximates a real world result I'll use it.

btw, your alchemist fire issue is only applicable to the version of D&D you are quoting. That situation hardly ever happens anyway and that's why people are not upset about it. Your assertion that the 3e rule for grenade like missiles gets a "meh, simulationist pass" is wrong.

What's wrong about it? Are you saying you don't give it a pass? I'd say splash weapons come up fairly often in 3e. It applies to burning oil, liquid poisons, all sorts of stuff. I don't know of any group that never encountered splash weapons in 3e...but I know of several that don't even use this great weapon fighting option and wouldn't even know what we're talking about if I mentioned it.
 
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LostSoul

Adventurer
Sure its dissasociated- even action heroes sometimes fail to "do damage", but not so with this mechanic.

The way I see it, the PC always "hits" in the game world because they've done damage. Which makes it confusing, but that doesn't mean it's dissociated, just abstract & over-the-top.

I think there was already something of an acknowledgment that it was. When a mechanic tells you that rolling a 5 in one round represents a miss where you are forcing a character into exerting himself, but the 4 on the next roll against the same opponent represents a lethal strike, the narration is dissassociated from the actual mechanics. There is no relationship between the narration and what you roll.

I don't see how this is different from normal narration of HP loss.
 

Mistwell

Crusty Old Meatwad (he/him)
You know I keep seeing the "This isn't simulated to mimick the real world properly, so what does it matter if this doesn't either" argument being trotted out and I have to ask... what tabletop roleplaying game simulates the real world perfectly? I don't believe there is one, so I'm not sure how "this isn't perfect" is much of an argument.

There isn't a single person here who has made an argument about perfection, that I know of. That seems like a strawman you've built there. We're not talking about perfect simulation...just the extremes of really really poor simulation. Which is what I argue alchemist fire is, and extreme of really really poor simulation, with no real good reason for it to be that way, but which didn't bother simulationists.
 

Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
I understand that just fine, and I am not in any way arguing that simulationists demand a level of perfection. I am saying that at least the extremes of poor simulation will annoy a simulationists fairly equally...otherwise they're not simulationists at all if even the extremes don't bother them.

Traditionalists pretending to be simulationists...
 

pemerton

Legend
I think there are some folks who want that precedent to be set and that's why they won't even consider including an optional rule for half the community.
GWF is an optional rule.

It's about whether, in the heat of the game, people are questioning the narrative.

<snip>

A miss should be a miss, and a hit should be a hit.
."a convincing answer" may be harder to generate than some might think.
These questions, and what counts as a convincing answer, are based very heavily on past gaming experience, though.

For instance, we stick with hit point rules even though some players might question "How is my guy alive and unhindered when he's been hit by 10 crossbow bolts?" or "How does my guy know that he can't die if he jumps over a 50' cliff?"

Conversely, at least in my experience, once players come to think of hit points as ablative fate points; and once they think of attack rolls as simply allocating the ablation of those points; then none of these issues - falling, archery, damage-on-a-miss - causes any confusion at the table.

Once you've accepted you have to narrate a miss on the armored knight differently than a miss on the agile rogue, you're already at that point where the mechanics aren't feeding you the results.
You tell me that the fighter doing damage is missing plenty but now that the person goes down, its no longer a miss.
I agree with TwoSix. The "kill via damage dealt on a miss" seems to me no different from normal hit point narration: the fighter who rolls a "critical hit" against the dragon at full hit points just delivers a graze (it still has the bulk of its hp left), but the fighter who rolls minimum damage against the dragon with 1 hp left delivers a critical hit.

When a mechanic tells you that rolling a 5 in one round represents a miss where you are forcing a character into exerting himself, but the 4 on the next roll against the same opponent represents a lethal strike, the narration is dissassociated from the actual mechanics.
I prefer the dice rolls and the mechanics to have some relationship to the narration
Well, they do have some relationship; and the degree of "dissociation" is no different from that already present in a system with "critical hits" that are very often not critical, and "minimum damage" that can well be fatal, and (generalising from the above) damage rolls which have no meaning to be ascertained independently of the context in which they're applied.

Is a d20 roll of 3 a good or bad swing? Well, for an 11th level fighter fighting a goblin, 3 + 5 (STR) +4 (prot) + 1 (magic) is a hit vs AC 13. For a 1st level fighter fighting the same gobling, 3 + 4(STR) +2 (prof) = 9 which is miss vs AC 13. So the d20 roll has some relationship to the narration, but that relationship can't be determined independently of the applicable bonuses and the broader mechanical context.

Damage rolls are similar (as the earlier part of this post shows).

There are plenty of spells where the effects are entirely non-random, many of which are a much closer match to what might be obtained by a Called Shot than ones which reduce a random number of hit points.
In addition to these sorts of spells, there is the fact that many spells do auto-damage which NPCs/monsters have no chance of surviving (eg a Next fireball does minimum 3 hp damage, which auto-kills a goblin or kobold; and most fireballs will do a minimum 4 hp damage, which auto-kills a human commoner).

that doesn't mean it's dissociated, just abstract & over-the-top.
No disagreement that it's over-the-top ("gonzo" is my normal way of characterising this). The fighter in question is a dreadnought fighter who relentlessly wears down their foes.

I don't see it as any more over-the-top then the D&D mage who can drop fireballs and conjure lightning bolts that auto-kill ordinary soldiers by the bucket-load.
 

bogmad

First Post
GWF is an optional rule.


These questions, and what counts as a convincing answer, are based very heavily on past gaming experience, though.

It's an option for fighters. That doesn't equate to an optional rule. It's a base rule (in this playtest doc anyway) that everyone at the table has to play with if one fighter chooses it. To say you can't use it is a house rule.

As far as past gaming experience... this whole edition is supposed to be based on past editions and presumably the gaming experience of many D&D players who grew up with not thinking about hit points as ablative fate points or anything of the sort of retraining you want people to undergo. Falling or archery doesn't cause a lot of confusion at any tables I've played at. Damage on a miss however... well not crippling confusion, but more than things we've seen modeled a certain way for years. [edit: added] And I haven't seen a compelling argument for damage on a miss as modeled by GWF.[/edit]

The rest of your post is just more of us arguing the same argument over and over. Hell, my above statements aren't anything that novel either I'll admit.
 

Imaro

Legend
There isn't a single person here who has made an argument about perfection, that I know of. That seems like a strawman you've built there. We're not talking about perfect simulation...just the extremes of really really poor simulation. Which is what I argue alchemist fire is, and extreme of really really poor simulation, with no real good reason for it to be that way, but which didn't bother simulationists.

If your argument basically boils down to "Hey it doesn't simulate this other mechanic all that great... so what does it matter if more things that are just as, or less, believable are introduced into the game?" yes, you are essentially arguing that because it is not perfect in it's simulation it is ok to further degrade said simulation... which from a logical standpoint doesn't make any sense.

The funny thing is that your example of "really really poor simulation" is a corner case that must be set up exactly so... in order to take place. It is also something (the lobbing of alchemical fire 5' at an opponent that can AoO you and with a chance you light yourself on fire if you miss) I have rarely if ever seen take place in a game of 3.x and/or Pathfinder a significant enough times that it was a concern or even noticed. in other words the situation is so rare why would it evoke such strong feelings as the GWF issue?

However contrasting the above with the GWF issue... this affects three classes and is always happening with any of their 2-handed attacks.

But you'll probably ignore, not accept, etc. this explanation either since you've already decided (contrary to what people are actually telling you) that it's the 3.x wizard playing brigade that don't like this mechanic.
 

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