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Players make the rolls and Defensive Reactions

Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
*To me the NPC telling the lie is the active party, to you the PC trying to catch the NPC in a lie might be the active party. To me the wizard just drops a fireball on an area and the creatures in the area have to actively try to get out of the way, to some the wizard might need to actively try to aim the spell and the creatures in the area might use a passive defense. I think all of these are valid interpretations, which is part of why D&D needs a human being running the show, making those judgment calls.
Definitely a serious subjective element going on in "active"... hence why I go with player makes all the rolls ... the DM is the one who is calling for a roll and setting difficulties in the first place ( in a sense he already had a huge impact and once he has done that it seems reasonable for the ball to be in the players hands which then gets handed back of course )
 

Oofta

Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.
I think I simply disagree with the article on just about all counts. The outcome of setting off a trap is based on reaction, not a decision*. A saving throw is perfectly appropriate. Nobody has time to think "how am I going to avoid this fireball", they just do it or they don't. From the other perspective the caster of a fireball is not really in control of the fireball other than general placement. They aren't aiming specifically at an individual so the targets in the AOE should roll.

When it comes to AC I suppose it could be some kind of opposed roll since the attacker is swinging while the target is dodging but it's just not worth the overhead.

*Unless of course you have movie-logic land mines instead of realistic landmines that just go boom when you step on them. I do this once in while when the traps are old and not well maintained.
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen
Definitely a serious subjective element going on in "active"... hence why I go with player makes all the rolls ... the DM is the one who is calling for a roll and setting difficulties in the first place ( in a sense he already had a huge impact and once he has done that it seems reasonable for the ball to be in the players hands which then gets handed back of course )
Absolutely, which is why I said as much. My personal guideline is, if it’s awkward to phrase in terms of a goal and an approach (i.e. “I try to __ by ___”) then I prefer not to call for a roll for it.
 

5ekyu

Adventurer
For me its about options that make a difference ... when we go to attack or cast a spell huge numbers of options have been presented which make the action both vivid (aka zing) and involve a choice with some impact (this makes it feel actually in your hands more than dice do) . Rune Quest had basic parry and dodge as options, the second could be seen as immediately effective vs multiple attacks but sacrificing position.
Well, again to me the choices and them mattering agsin comes from scdne, from objective, from what matters. In my Monday 5e fight, easily every round a key decision or two made the difference in big and very observable ways.

I know dome GMs or players tend to describe combats in 5e as a HP race, like it's just wearing off HP, but in the combat scenes I see and run it's a lot more than that- morecdynsmic back and forth. I can see a GM and players kinda running it that way, but thats not system defined, that's scene defined.
 

Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
Well, again to me the choices and them mattering agsin comes from scdne, from objective, from what matters.
And to me it sounds like you are not talking about the same "matters" at all (what was i willing to sacrifice to save the village and similar things) which is beyond the scope of how your character responds to given individual threat actually mattering with regards to the quality of that defense (choices mattering tactically yes altering the outcome in a numeric fashion is distinct from what you are talking about ). They use the same word "mattering" but arent the same. And you seem to insist one obviates the desire or need for the other not seeing how they could.

Note how attacks are often allowed those kinds of impact both of quality and resource expense, but defenses are not in D&D land. I can choose an attack that has a less likely success but a bigger payload for instance or one which has a strategic cost.

One could see stylistic mattering as "expressing your character". For instance at the failure level its like describing hit point style (why didnt that knife just outright kill my character). My halfling combatant describes the intervention of happen chance, Skillful combatant describes a progression of fatigue occasionally punctuated by something else, if that skill is a spell caster it might be describing his personal shielding weakening failing, Tough guy combatant describes actual ability to take lots of real wounds. (theoretically could all have the same number of hit points). PAR can enable the above if the player describes their failures.

D&D combat whether we describe it that way or not is to an extent implemented as a hit point race. 5e monsters do seem to encourage seeing it that way. Sometimes it isn't with afflictions and temporary impairments character movement and resource expenditures may allow it not to be entirely so.
 

DMMike

Game Masticator
I think I simply disagree with the article on just about all counts.
Oh jeez. Don't make him more angry!

The outcome of setting off a trap is based on reaction, not a decision*. A saving throw is perfectly appropriate. Nobody has time to think "how am I going to avoid this fireball", they just do it or they don't. From the other perspective the caster of a fireball is not really in control of the fireball other than general placement. They aren't aiming specifically at an individual so the targets in the AOE should roll.

When it comes to AC I suppose it could be some kind of opposed roll since the attacker is swinging while the target is dodging but it's just not worth the overhead.
Nope. No one has time to think about how one will avoid a fireball. More specifically, no character has time to think. Players do. So a player could make the story more interesting by doing something character-appropriate, like jumping out of range, burrowing into the ground, or using the bard as a shield.

. . . If I'm playing a wizard, and the DM tells me I'm not in control of my fireball, I might lose control of my open-container beverage that happens to be tipping toward the DM screen.

Having attacker and dodger both roll doesn't involve that much overhead. Especially in D&D, when an AC converts nicely into a Defense Bonus, once you figure out what to do with a tie. If one side had an unfair advantage, the ability to roll would give the other side some hope. And since you're representing a combat, shouldn't both players be actively doing something, even if it's just rolling a die, like their characters?
 

Oofta

Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.
using the bard as a shield.
I think we'll just have to agree to disagree. How you avoid a fireball is one of the least interesting aspects of the game to me and one I want to resolve with minimal muss and fuss. Different people focus on and enjoy different aspects of the game.

On the other hand, congratulations on finally finding a use for bards! :D
 

Flexor the Mighty!

18/100 Strength!
While I like the idea in general, I think that even though it may enhance the player's fun to have them roll all the dice, it would certainly detract from mine.

I have a lot of fun rolling dice for NPCs and monsters - makes me feel like I'm playing, too, rather than just refereeing. :D
I would never give up all the rolls. Last night in our game a player was going to run by a warg to attack a different foe and I jokingly told him, "you sure you want to do that? He will get a free attack as you leave his engagement range and I'll probably crit you." He said yes and I promptly rolled and they looked at the die and saw the 20. I laughed at the player's look of woe and told him to mark off that damage as the rest of the table groaned.

I think Gygax was smiling down on me.
 

5ekyu

Adventurer
I would never give up all the rolls. Last night in our game a player was going to run by a warg to attack a different foe and I jokingly told him, "you sure you want to do that? He will get a free attack as you leave his engagement range and I'll probably crit you." He said yes and I promptly rolled and they looked at the die and saw the 20. I laughed at the player's look of woe and told him to mark off that damage as the rest of the table groaned.

I think Gygax was smiling down on me.
I gotta say tho, there is added joy seeing the player rolling his armor check as i sit and seeing the #@**!//!! reaction when he rolls a 1 and so the attack crits by their own hand.
 

5ekyu

Adventurer
And to me it sounds like you are not talking about the same "matters" at all (what was i willing to sacrifice to save the village and similar things) which is beyond the scope of how your character responds to given individual threat actually mattering with regards to the quality of that defense (choices mattering tactically yes altering the outcome in a numeric fashion is distinct from what you are talking about ). They use the same word "mattering" but arent the same. And you seem to insist one obviates the desire or need for the other not seeing how they could.

Note how attacks are often allowed those kinds of impact both of quality and resource expense, but defenses are not in D&D land. I can choose an attack that has a less likely success but a bigger payload for instance or one which has a strategic cost.

One could see stylistic mattering as "expressing your character". For instance at the failure level its like describing hit point style (why didnt that knife just outright kill my character). My halfling combatant describes the intervention of happen chance, Skillful combatant describes a progression of fatigue occasionally punctuated by something else, if that skill is a spell caster it might be describing his personal shielding weakening failing, Tough guy combatant describes actual ability to take lots of real wounds. (theoretically could all have the same number of hit points). PAR can enable the above if the player describes their failures.

D&D combat whether we describe it that way or not is to an extent implemented as a hit point race. 5e monsters do seem to encourage seeing it that way. Sometimes it isn't with afflictions and temporary impairments character movement and resource expenditures may allow it not to be entirely so.
Well, not gonna be able to change anyone's religiin but i dint fit things into the same discrete cubbyholes as you seem to. So we wont agree.

But a few points...

"To some extent..." Well ok sure, to some extent in some situatiins some 5e combat may be seen as a hit point race. But the degree to which it is is able to vary vastly, so much that it is - in my games - rarely what wins or rather what determins who wins.

But that can vary from game to game and combat to combat. An encounter can have so few tactically useful features, an enemy can use so few tactically useful,options and a group can make so few tactically useful choices that it does boil down to winners determined by rate of hp done.

In those cases i can see defensive choices being rather dull.

But a combat setup can offer a lot more, adverssries can be more conplex and group can engage a lot more approaches and outcomes can be hinging on a lot more choices made than hp done.

Just requires valuing those in the game. In my last game, sessiin a 1 hp damage action caused a concentration failure that was big for the scene and success. Same character could have went with a stronger effect on another foe, but this was a "defensive choice" to try and force more saves hoping that broke concentrstion. (So, thats back to cubbyholing things - we saw this as a defensive move - one that mattered - for more than just story fluff - not fitting your cubby.)

Easily in that fight i would ssy a third to half the actions were defensive - driven by circumstances, scenery and tactics (as well as the "story matters" stuff like say, you know, objectives beyond "flatten duh other guy".



Are there sometimes fights where these things dont matter - sure - but in our games those are not the ones that matter - outcome is not in question - many times avoided - other times they are seeds (hooks) not challenges.

But to each his own.
 

Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
Just requires valuing those in the game. In my last game, sessiin a 1 hp damage action caused a concentration failure that was big for the scene and success. Same character could have went with a stronger effect on another foe, but this was a "defensive choice" to try and force more saves hoping that broke concentrstion.
It was a choice using offensive options though ones mechanically endowed by the game even if it was less offensive than the other. It did not occur at the point where you were already being attacked but in a rare window (but yes concentration is nice) how do you react to that sweeping sword blow or already launched fireball remains passive and not a tactical choice regardless if you hand the player the dice or roll yourself. And really who rolls the die is the functional context we were talking about .... i am saying I would like more than just that. For instance if the choice allows my character to move gaining a defense bonus but penalizes subsequent attacks that would be an example. (that reactive move might advance my goals of escaping regardless of whether I still got hit)

Ulterior motive - The tactical choices in D&D land are generally way too dominated by FOCUS FIRE....this could reduce that benefit a bit - Note if the character does move and lose some to hit the choice to attack more enemies instead of focusing may improve your defense when you are surrounded. (even if the attacks became at a penalty)
 
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I have occasionally played in or run a game that does the opposite of this. To wit, players never touch dice. This works better in games where players do not have a lot of specifically delineated abilities (i.e. Holmes or Moldvay basic).

It requires a lot of trust on the part of the players, but can be very immersive, as the players have nothing to interact with but the fiction.
 

5ekyu

Adventurer
It was a choice using offensive options though ones mechanically endowed by the game even if it was less offensive than the other. It did not occur at the point where you were already being attacked but in a rare window (but yes concentration is nice) how do you react to that sweeping sword blow or already launched fireball remains passive and not a tactical choice regardless if you hand the player the dice or roll yourself. And really who rolls the die is the functional context we were talking about .... i am saying I would like more than just that. For instance if the choice allows my character to move gaining a defense bonus but penalizes subsequent attacks that would be an example. (that reactive move might advance my goals of escaping regardless of whether I still got hit)

Ulterior motive - The tactical choices in D&D land are generally way too dominated by FOCUS FIRE....this could reduce that benefit a bit - Note if the character does move and lose some to hit the choice to attack more enemies instead of focusing may improve your defense when you are surrounded. (even if the attacks became at a penalty)
Actually, the 1hp was a result of hellish rebuke, explicitly a reaction to an attack hitting, and the save reduced it to 1d10 and they rolled a 1.

It was "endowed" by the player having made the choices that gave that PC that option.

I honestly see no connection between who rolls the die and what choices are made.

But, while I dont share maybe your keen division between an offense and a defense, there are a good number of similar options characters can have built into their characters if this kind of reactive defense is desired.

Shield spells come to mind and are easily available - magic initiate feat or class level.
Absorb elements.
Battle master has some reactive defense maneuvers- also martial adept open those up to plenty and I have reskinned them as "magic tricks" to explain that fest for an illusionist.
Mobility may make spreading attacks across a couple folks to prevent them getting AO as you trot by.
Rogues have "use reactions to..." kinds of defenses
Depending on bard schools - inspiration die can serve a lot of purposes, I think even one might be able to hit enemy concentration checks. Have to go look.
Isnt there a "you swing st me I make you hit thrm" - maybe under a monk?
Heck, I even had a character "ready the dodge action until blah blah " so he wasnt dodging when the minion struck him and waited for the heavy hitter to go after him only realizing he was swinging at a dodger instead of other easier tu hurt targets.

Basically, not gonna try to cover all the various ways but, if you want reactive defensive choices, there are a lot of them and you can create a character who has those at their disposal.


But I dont know what thus has to do with what die who is rolling or zing.., so...

From a narrative standpoint, when the PC makes his armor roll vs the orc swing I narrate using the same tools I will when I roll for the orc, like ssy in a pick-up game. Seems to work fine.
 
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Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
But, while I dont share maybe your keen division between an offense and a defense, there are a good number of similar options characters can have built into their characters if this kind of reactive defense is desired.
Sure and those are good however they really are exceptions to the rule about defense being passive and sure you narrate about the same way not sure why that is an issue. However If the person has a reactive option to me it makes things tactical and enriches the narrative more. Hence the dodge/parry tactic choice from old rune-quest years was a standard built option for everyone. (Runequest also had a riposte option if you were high enough skill)
 

5ekyu

Adventurer
Sure and those are good however they really are exceptions to the rule about defense being passive and sure you narrate about the same way not sure why that is an issue. However If the person has a reactive option to me it makes things tactical and enriches the narrative more. Hence the dodge/parry tactic choice from old rune-quest years was a standard built option for everyone. (Runequest also had a riposte option if you were high enough skill)
To me most everything in 5e is the exception, not the rule. There are examples across many if not most classes, some races and with feats you get to any character do that you can add these to your character and play.

In doing so, you likely wind up passing on like 80% of the rest.

These are choices you make in creating a character.

Heck, I seem to recall a YouTube about how to build the most intrusive/reactive character by mulyi-classing through to get do many of the reactive adjustment sbilities- it's a friggin lot.

So, ok, yeah it's not "how runequest does it" but if you want reactive options for defense or adjustments on the fly, there's a lot in 5e. You just have to choose that over other stuff - not get it all.
 

Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
but if you want reactive options for defense or adjustments on the fly, there's a lot in 5e. You just have to choose that over other stuff - not get it all.
You may have convinced me about the number though some are very situational but others the limit of 1 reaction per turn seems a serious limit on all of these things that I really like... and which make combat feel vivid. Hmmmm kind of feels like action surge ought to allow a reaction... but compared to a multi-attack that might be a waste.
 

5ekyu

Adventurer
You may have convinced me about the number though some are very situational but others the limit of 1 reaction per turn seems a serious limit on all of these things that I really like... and which make combat feel vivid. Hmmmm kind of feels like action surge ought to allow a reaction... but compared to a multi-attack that might be a waste.
The reason I like the reaction limit is the aspect of meaningful choice - which option against which threat do you use, knowing it leaves other reactions off the table. In complex circumstances, thsts a tough call, especially if you have key features nested in - say mage slayer and hellish rebuke to force disadvantaged concentration checks or sentinel and AO, etc. Whether to use it first chance or not is key.
 

Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
The reason I like the reaction limit is the aspect of meaningful choice - which option against which threat do you use, knowing it leaves other reactions off the table. In complex circumstances, that's a tough call, especially if you have key features nested in - say mage slayer and hellish rebuke to force disadvantaged concentration checks or sentinel and AO, etc. Whether to use it first chance or not is key.
Oh yes I do agree that is part of if not basic to the idea of tactics and there can potentially be some very cool things going on this is good, but I am wondering being so heavily constrained reactively after a time might feel like a "lower level" limit not sure what to swap it out for so that might be hogwash. I mean offense in multi attacks for the fighter is growing a lot. My first idea is just to let action surge be in reaction a small change in some ways and one has not then ditched that element of choice just added another option for the action surge resource which seems to almost always end up just another multi-attack. I did just notice the Cavalier has that very interesting bonus action for its specialty mark but only as a long rest limit (fun effect but is it that big of a boost?)
edit - I hadn't seen Tunnel Fighter that is potentially some beat down in multi-opportunity attacks and not even fighter specific.
 

5ekyu

Adventurer
Oh yes I do agree that is part of if not basic to the idea of tactics and there can potentially be some very cool things going on this is good, but I am wondering being so heavily constrained reactively after a time might feel like a "lower level" limit not sure what to swap it out for so that might be hogwash. I mean offense in multi attacks for the fighter is growing a lot. My first idea is just to let action surge be in reaction a small change in some ways and one has not then ditched that element of choice just added another option for the action surge resource which seems to almost always end up just another multi-attack. I did just notice the Cavalier has that very interesting bonus action for its specialty mark but only as a long rest limit (fun effect but is it that big of a boost?)
edit - I hadn't seen Tunnel Fighter that is potentially some beat down in multi-opportunity attacks and not even fighter specific.
Iirc tunnel fighter is old UA playtest material so use at your own risk. Old UA material means it didnt pass muster. They never take crap down and the stuff that works gets published.

Anyway... just sayin'
 

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