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)?


Fazza

First Post
I'd like to see most 'miss' effects (included succeeding at saves and taking half damage) not killing stuff. That includes Reaper, but really does apply to just about everything. And... if it's kept for just about everything, I'm fine with it sticking for Reaper. It's certainly not unbalanced.

This. My experience with it spoilered as it's from Caves of Chaos.

In my game the fighter at level 1 managed to kill the Ogre after rolling a nat 1 because he had exactly 3 hp left, I did have to pull an excuse out of my ass for this "Oh um yeah your axe bounced off the wall and rebounded into his neck". A bit anticlimactic as the Ogre was kicking the snot out of them until the cleric crit with a Searing Light

I like it in general but I can imagine a cave full of 2hp Kobolds.
 

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El Mahdi

Muad'Dib of the Anauroch
...I think he was talking in terms of official supplements. I was talking in terms of taking a game and fixing it by houserules. :)

I understand, though I don't think it's a distinction that matters. Sure, if one's houserules consist of just a few simple rules, it's not going to add a noticable amount of complexity. If however, one's houserules are significantly more widespread... But when it comes right down to it, any addition is going to add complexity. It may not be enough to notice, but it's still more complexity. However, I agree with him that it's still easier to add that complexity, than subtract it (especially if it's a large and highly integrated mechanic).

And fixing by houserules is just simply adding one's own module, rather than a pre-designed one. It can be as simple as one line of a rule, or as complicated as multiple pages, but it's still essentially a module...just a self-written module. :)

I'm also fairly certain he's wrong, at least in the context of a game that will have an online character builder. It is pretty easy for me to tell my players 'don't take that feat' and not nearly so easy for me to get my homemade feat into the official builder.

It is a distinct possibility that he may end up being wrong in this context. They have talked about making a game that is houseruleable, and adding (at least to some extent) the ability to houserule on their digital support (DDI)...though if and how much that happens is still a long way off. We'll have to wait and see. I'm certainly not going to hold my breath waiting for it though.:)

At the very least, he was talking about "complexity". The theme/feat system itself would be complexity surely, but an individual feat?

It would still be a complexity, but one so small as to likely not be noticed. But I agree with you on this:

With something as simple as a Feat or Ability you don't like, sure. Just line through it and you're good to go.

The other side of the coin though is this:

But if this design idea becomes common throughout the core system...well that's a horse of a different color.

But I think Mr. Mearls reinforces the idea that it's generally easier to add to an RPG, than subtract. I know though that just because he thinks it's so doesn't necessarily make it so, and people are obviously free to (and will) disagree. But it does mean it's one of the guiding ideas in his and the design teams thoughts while designing 5E. Which means that advice like "just line through it" is contrary to how the next edition is being designed.

B-)
 

herrozerro

First Post
This. My experience with it spoilered as it's from Caves of Chaos.

In my game the fighter at level 1 managed to kill the Ogre after rolling a nat 1 because he had exactly 3 hp left, I did have to pull an excuse out of my ass for this "Oh um yeah your axe bounced off the wall and rebounded into his neck". A bit anticlimactic as the Ogre was kicking the snot out of them until the cleric crit with a Searing Light

I like it in general but I can imagine a cave full of 2hp Kobolds.

so the player killed something with 3 hp left? im not seeing the anti-climaticness. it seems like you are the one who made it anti-climatic.
 

keterys

First Post
Eh, there's definitely a disconnect to being missed, especially on a 1, and that killing something.

If it happened to the PCs, they'd probably feel the same way.
 

My normal explanation for Reaper involves a parry of some sort - for the ogre my narrative would have been something like "You swing and the ogre raises its club at the last minute, blocking you. But your sword cuts the club in half with just enough momentum remaining to continue through into the ogre's skull." For goblins I've narrated the goblin getting its shield up and in the way - and the javelin punching straight through the shield and into the goblin, or the axe striking the shield and driving it back into the goblin. And for kobolds, they can try parrying - but best case scenario is that they get flung into the wall in one piece rather than cut in half.
 


Herschel

Adventurer
This. My experience with it spoilered as it's from Caves of Chaos.

In my game the fighter at level 1 managed to kill the Ogre after rolling a nat 1 because he had exactly 3 hp left, I did have to pull an excuse out of my ass for this "Oh um yeah your axe bounced off the wall and rebounded into his neck". A bit anticlimactic as the Ogre was kicking the snot out of them until the cleric crit with a Searing Light

I like it in general but I can imagine a cave full of 2hp Kobolds.

1. The big thing was the Cleric Crit, not the last hit, like in Star Wars Episode 1, Qui Gon was defeted on the stunning blow to his head, Darth Maul's following thrust to the guts was a Coup De Grace.

2. On the miniscule chance a creature dies when a 1 is rolled and it bothers you, just use ye olde fumble chart/module "Your downward swing goes awry as you lose your grip and your axe rebounds off the ground. Luckily, its bounce carries it in to the Ogre for four points of damage. Unluckily it also bounces in to you also doing four points of damage".
 

Oni

First Post
To me it's not that it's unbalanced or that it can't be justified within the confines of D&D's abstract combat system, it's that it's boring. I would rather a mechanic with more variation like say missing giving advantage against that target on your next attack.
 

keterys

First Post
Would it be harmful for the game if missed attacks never reduced anyone below 1 hit point?

How about damage from a successful saves? (ex: Burning Hands' save for half)

...

Interesting Reaper alternative - reverse Cleave. On a miss, you can make an attack against a different enemy in reach.
 

Abraxas

Explorer
Would it be harmful for the game if missed attacks never reduced anyone below 1 hit point?

How about damage from a successful saves? (ex: Burning Hands' save for half)

...

Interesting Reaper alternative - reverse Cleave. On a miss, you can make an attack against a different enemy in reach.
I really like both of these, and would still let something be killed on a successful save.
 

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