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Level Up (A5E) Minor Advantage and Minor Disadvantage

Stalker0

Legend
This thread discusses the new Minor Advantage/Disadvantage mechanic. I'll be very curious to hear how people find the mechanic in play.

So to start off, how potent are these effects? A little math tells the story.


Minor Disadvantage: So in the 60-65% attack range that is commonly used in discussion, Minor Disadvantage is just a smidge under 10%.... so effectively its a -2 to attacks. The penalty at 50% normal attack, which drops you down to 37.5%...or a -2.5 penalty. And then at 40%, it drops us 15%, or -3. So in most combats you are looking at a -2 to -2.5 attack penalty, and I think a -2 is going to be common to be considered the "default penalty". The math gets a little weirder if an attack roll of 16+ is needed to hit something, but that is so rare in all but the most extreme encounters.

However, probably the biggest impact is that it halves the amount of crits you get...so crit focused characters will feel the sting the greatest.

Minor Advantage
At first glance, you might think that Minor Advantage and Minor Disadvantage are equal and opposite. But....its not quite that simple.

At 65%, you get an extra 16.25% bonus (just a bit above +3). At 50% its 12.5% (+2.5), and at 40% its 10% (+2). So I would actually say a +3 bonus is more the average. And of course, your crit chance nearly doubles.


Quick Summary: So on rough average:

1) Minor Disadvantage: -2 to attack rolls, half the crit chance.
2) Minor Advantage: +3 to attack rolls, double the crit chance.

For those who may be confused, the reason Minor Advantage is a greater bonus than Minor Disadvantage is a penalty is due to the normal attack ranges for characters. Because characters succeed on attacks more often than not...the advantage benefit grows a little stronger. Not so much that its night and day, but notable.
 

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Horwath

Hero
There was a suggestion a few years back. I can't remember who came up with the idea,

but you rolled 2d20 and one dice was "primary" and half the time it was that value that was used, but if you roll both odd or both even numbers on the 2d20 you would use higher/lower number for advantage/disadvantage.
 

Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
We (by which I mean Paul Hughes) did a bunch of maths on this. "Advantage 5" on this graph is minor advantage (because we trialled numbers other than five also).

advantage5.png
 

The math doesn't really worry me. I'm mostly interested in seeing whether the effort required to actually do these dice rolls is easier or harder than the old way of giving a +2 or -2 bonus.

My hunch is that flat numeric bonuses are easier. 5e was smart to get away from having tons of bonus types like 3e, but I think it's feasible to have adv/disadv and to have +2/-2.

But I'm eager to hear people's playtest experience. I don't have any games coming up where real dice will be rolled to test it myself.
 

Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
the effort

I suspect that when you roll a bad die roll and realise you get a reroll, the first thing that springs to mind won't be an exhausted "oh my, that's so much hard work!" and more an excited "Woohoo! Reroll!"

But like you say, that's what playtests are for, I guess. We'll find out for sure! :)

My hunch is that flat numeric bonuses are easier.

And even if that were the case, 'easier' isn't the only metric here. It's only one factor among many. Otherwise, if our main goal was to make an easier game, we'd be getting rid of rules, rather than make a crunchier version of 5E. The question isn't if it's easier, it's is it too hard? And I suspect (hope!) that it is not.
 

I suppose 'easier' isn't the right metric. It's more whether the relative efforts and time involvement of a numeric bonus vs an if-then reroll make one or the other produce a better play experience.
 

tetrasodium

Hero
Supporter
The math doesn't really worry me. I'm mostly interested in seeing whether the effort required to actually do these dice rolls is easier or harder than the old way of giving a +2 or -2 bonus.

My hunch is that flat numeric bonuses are easier. 5e was smart to get away from having tons of bonus types like 3e, but I think it's feasible to have adv/disadv and to have +2/-2.

But I'm eager to hear people's playtest experience. I don't have any games coming up where real dice will be rolled to test it myself.
I'm inclined to agree but was hoping for (dis)advantage# where you add/subtract all the different sources & handle it accordingly when it first got described a while back. In my game I use proficiency dice dmg(263) & give magic items that set a floor on those dice like a magical widget that treats anything below a 3 on the proficiency die as a 3 when the player uses it for widgeting making them better at it without raising the ceiling so can use both.
 

Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
I suppose 'easier' isn't the right metric. It's more whether the relative efforts and time involvement of a numeric bonus vs an if-then reroll make one or the other produce a better play experience.
I can only speak for myself, but missing and then realising I can reroll feels like I'll be excited, while a +2 bonus feels boring. But that's very much just IMHO.
 

TwoSix

Unserious gamer
Supporter
1) Minor Disadvantage: -2 to attack rolls, half the crit chance.
2) Minor Advantage: +3 to attack rolls, double the crit chance.
I'm not seeing that crit chance when I look at the math. I would anticipate the crit chance of M-Adv to be 6.25% (5% on the first die + 25% chance x 5% chance on the second die.) The crit chance for M-Disadv should drop by a factor of 4, to 1.25%.
 

tetrasodium

Hero
Supporter
I can only speak for myself, but missing and then realising I can reroll feels like I'll be excited, while a +2 bonus feels boring. But that's very much just IMHO.
so move the bonus to the proficiency die :D You can see that low roll & be excited because your widget of awesome makes it a good one given the size of your proficiency die :D The benefit of "less than x = x" is that while bob is tallying up all his 1's & 2's or whatever so he can reroll them and add the results to the pool he's not rerolling is that every other player at the table isn't frustrated at how slow bob's turn always is.
 



Stalker0

Legend
I'm not seeing that crit chance when I look at the math. I would anticipate the crit chance of M-Adv to be 6.25% (5% on the first die + 25% chance x 5% chance on the second die.) The crit chance for M-Disadv should drop by a factor of 4, to 1.25%.

So with Minor Disadvantage, in order to get a crit...the following must happen.

1) You roll a 20 on the first die. This triggers a reroll due to Minor Disadvantage.
2) You roll a 20 on the second die. Minor Disadvantage uses the lower of the two die, so this is the only combo that actually results in a 20 being used.

So .05 * .05 = .0025 = .25% chance. The same reduction that regular Disadvantage offers to crits. So your right halving the chance was poor wording.

With Minor Advantage you have two ways:

1) Roll a 20 on the first die.
2) Roll a 1-5 on the first die, and get a 20 on the reroll.

So thats 5% + 25% * 5% = 6.25%....so yes I agree with your math on this one.
 

Stalker0

Legend
I can only speak for myself, but missing and then realising I can reroll feels like I'll be excited, while a +2 bonus feels boring. But that's very much just IMHO.

Honestly the biggest issue I'm worried about is whether the player even remembers to reroll at all. With Advantage and Disadvantage, what I normally see from my players as they roll 2 d20s at once. So there is no remembering, they just look at the two numbers, pick which one is bigger (or smaller), and go from there.

The problem with rerolls based on die triggers, its easy for some players to forget to apply the trigger. This is especially true with minor disadvantage, its easy to "forget" you have to reroll on certain values (its not even malicious, human memory when it has an incentive to forget something, will often forget something).
 

Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
Honestly the biggest issue I'm worried about is whether the player even remembers to reroll at all. With Advantage and Disadvantage, what I normally see from my players as they roll 2 d20s at once. So there is no remembering, they just look at the two numbers, pick which one is bigger (or smaller), and go from there.

The problem with rerolls based on die triggers, its easy for some players to forget to apply the trigger. This is especially true with minor disadvantage, its easy to "forget" you have to reroll on certain values (its not even malicious, human memory when it has an incentive to forget something, will often forget something).
I've seen rerolls in a LOT of games over the yers. They tend to be exciting moments; rerolls have a certain drama attached. I've never noticed a phenomenon of people forgetting about them. Anecdotal, of course; that's why we playtest this stuff!
 

TwoSix

Unserious gamer
Supporter
So with Minor Disadvantage, in order to get a crit...the following must happen.

1) You roll a 20 on the first die. This triggers a reroll due to Minor Disadvantage.
2) You roll a 20 on the second die. Minor Disadvantage uses the lower of the two die, so this is the only combo that actually results in a 20 being used.
Ah, you're correct. I thought the minor disadvantage was reroll and keep 2nd, not reroll and keep lower.
 

rules.mechanic

Craft homebrewer
I tested this out with my kids today (just the minor advantage/disadvantage, not the new fighter build). Interestingly my 8-year-old and my 10-year-old found minor advantage easy and really liked it: "get a re-roll if you have a bad miss" was popular. Oddly, minor disadvantage was harder to grasp/remember - perhaps because they are used to thinking of a 16+ roll as always good news? It was also VERY unpopular for that reason: "you have to re-roll if you get a good hit". (Both minor advantage and minor disadvantage went over the head of my 5-year-old, even though he is fine rolling full advantage/disadvantage, but he's not really the target audience for Advanced 5e...)

We found something that they all found easier though. With minor advantage we re-rolled a miss if it was an odd number and with minor disadvantage we re-rolled a hit if it was an even number. They all got that no bother - even the 5-year-old! And approximates pretty well to half-advantage/disadvantage. Would be amazingly easy with a d20 that had odd numbers in green and even numbers in red...

PS For those that like to roll both dice at once for advantage/disadvantage, it's easier to apply the odds/evens rule to the "second" roll (the advantage/disadvantage dice). For this, you only consider the "minor advantage dice" if it is an even number and only consider the "minor disadvantage dice" if it is an odd number. You need a different coloured dice from the "main" roll (we used a red dice for disadvantage/minor disadvantage rolls and a green one for advantage/minor disadvantage rolls). The older kids managed that fine (not quite as popular as the re-rolling but much more popular than disadvantage16!). The 5-year old struggled though - the stepwise approach of re-rolling was much easier for him.
 

rules.mechanic

Craft homebrewer
The munchkins had another go at it this week. Eldest was a bit more accepting of minor disadvantage but preferred the alternatives. The younger ones were having none of it. Tried out half damage on a "rescued miss" for minor advantage and dealing half-damage on a "failed hit" with minor disadvantage - they were all fine with that. Also tried out using a d2 to decide if minor advantage/disadvantage applies - they were fine with that and a d4 would allow quarter/half/three-quarter advantage/disadvantage - but it slows things down. Finally, they were also ok with +2 minor advantage/ -2 minor disadvantage (but of course this is not mathematically equivalent).

I asked the eldest (10) for her ranking:
  1. Advantage5
  2. Re-roll a miss on an odd number and a hit on an even number
  3. d2 to decide if you get an advantage (or disadvantage) roll (I was less keen)
  4. Applying the odds/evens rule to the "second roll" instead, so the "minor advantage/disadvantage dice" is always rolled but only applies if even/odd
  5. Half damage on a minor advantage "rescued miss" or a minor disadvantage "failed hit"
  6. +/-2
  7. Disadvantage16

Make of that what you will. I liked that 2-4 & 6 were mathematically half-(dis)advantage (although the extra roll of 2 was a pain and I use half-damage in a different homebrew for my grown-ups table so wasn't keen on 5). I actually found Advantage5/Disadvantage16 the easiest myself now that I am used to it. It's just that Disadvantage16 was so deeply unpopular (I'm talking tears unpopular, so gave up!)
 

Horwath

Hero
why not just use re-roll on an odd d20 number?

then take lower of two dice for disadvantage and higher on advantage?

that is advantage/disadvantage in 50% of the time, or something of a +2 bonus.
 


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