D&D 5E Poll on the Reaper: is damage on missed melee attack roll believable and balanced?

Is the Reaper believable and balanced (i.e. not overpowered)?


Doug McCrae

Legend
At first I didn't like it, because it jarred a bit with my conception of what a hit is. I'd forgotten that, in D&D, pretty much none of the rule terms mean what one expects them to mean. Armour class isn't armour, damage isn't damage, hit points aren't anything, and misses aren't always misses. It might be quite nice to play a game where words mean what they normally do, but that's never been D&D.

The other issue with Reaper is that it does not appeal to gamblers, it appeals to folk who like to play it safe. But that's not really a problem, gamblers can simply avoid taking the feat, or the Slayer theme. If the DM is a gambler, then he can always ban it.
 

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GX.Sigma

Adventurer
For melee attacks? Sure, you're good enough that you always do significant damage. It might make more sense if it targeted Touch AC, but the current feat is simple and elegant game design, and reflects 5e's theme of having simple things you can remember or adjudicate on the fly, rather than fiddly things you have to memorize or look up (e.g. dwarf poison immunity, jump/climb rules).

For missile attacks? In more of a cinematic sense, sure--you're Legolas and you literally cannot miss with an arrow.

For magic stuff? Sure, it's magic.


Is it fun? Not when you're fighting kobolds, but maybe when you're fighting owlbears.

Is it balanced? That really couldn't matter less at this point.
 
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I really just think they need to rewrite the 'flavor' portion of the power.

"When you miss with your main attack, you can follow up with a free bonus strike that jostles, smashes, or grazes your enemy, doing a little amount of damage without requiring an attack roll."

There are plenty of real world weapon techniques that can be dangerous both with the leading edge and some sort of follow-up move. Oh, you parried my blow for your head? Okay, I withdraw my blade in a way so that I manage to lightly slice your forearm. You dodge my spear as I thrust at you? Okay, I thwack it sideways and bump you slightly with the haft.
 

Blackbrrd

First Post
I just look at it as a glancing hit with a lot of power behind it. Instead of 2d6+7 damage you get 3 damage.

For instance, a hit to your enemies shield that breaks the shield bearers arm. You didn't hit what you were aiming for (the head for 2d6+7 damage), but the arm, through the shield for 3 damage.
 

Mattachine

Adventurer
For everyone that hates damage on a "miss", Reaper's text need only be changed:

"When the die would indicate a miss, the character with Reaping Strike lands a glancing blow that inflicts minor damage."

Take that! Willing Suspension of Disbelief!
 

Dannager

First Post
I don't like it at all...it wrecks my willful suspension of disbelief. In my brain, a miss means a failure to deal damage. If a creature takes damage (of any kind, for any reason, however it is defined), it somehow got hit. Therefore, the attack was not a miss. Therefore, my disbelief shatters.

Maybe I'm "doing it wrong." But that's how I'm always going to do it.

So do you reject the long-standing, fundamental assertion of D&D that states that hit point damage is not a reflecting of physical injuries sustained, but rather the ability to dodge, turn hits into near-misses or scrapes, sheer luck, and determination to fight? In other words, the assumption that hit points don't represent anything more than a very abstract idea of a character's will and ability to continue?

If so, why do you choose to reject that assertion?
 

Dannager

First Post
You might not, but the same could be said about the healing surge mechanicsin 4e or the marttial enciunter powers and people had enough issues with those to walk away from the edition.

Then the question that deserves to be asked (and I'm sure the designers of the game are asking it of themselves constantly) is: Should the rejection of core principles of abstraction - principles that have a defensible gameplay raison d'etre, as well as long-standing tenure in D&D's history - by a segment of the fan-base influence the developers of the game to reject those principles as well? In other words, to what extent do the game's designers allow those with particularly fragile suspension of disbelief to cull otherwise-solid elements of the game from the final product?
 
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Dannager

First Post
For everyone that hates damage on a "miss", Reaper's text need only be changed:

"When the die would indicate a miss, the character with Reaping Strike lands a glancing blow that inflicts minor damage."

Take that! Willing Suspension of Disbelief!

And this is why these arguments are silly. When a very slight change in flavor (not mechanics!) turns utter rejection of a rules element into acceptance, you have to ask yourself why anyone needed the flavor text changed in the first place - after all, this is D&D. If you don't like the flavor, you can change it yourself.
 

CleverNickName

Limit Break Dancing
So do you reject the long-standing, fundamental assertion of D&D that states that hit point damage is not a reflecting of physical injuries sustained, but rather the ability to dodge, turn hits into near-misses or scrapes, sheer luck, and determination to fight? In other words, the assumption that hit points don't represent anything more than a very abstract idea of a character's will and ability to continue?

If so, why do you choose to reject that assertion?
I think my first post in this thread summed up my reasoning pretty well. Mostly, I'm just tired of arguing (and listening to others argue) about it. So let's just say that I "reject that assertion" for the same reason you embrace it: because I want to.

As far as I'm concerned, miss = no damage. That's how it is always going to be in my mind.
 
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Gold Roger

First Post
I think Dausuul has it perfectly pinned why it is so jarring for many people.

I don't have a problem with the slayer wearing down his enemies a bit on a miss. I do have a big problem with the fact that he can get a killing strike, on a miss.

At that point it's not about the definition of abstract hitpoints anymore, but about attacks that are capable of killing opponents when they really shouldn't be.
 

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