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)?

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First Post
Okay. Any reasons for this, or just "It's silly cuz I think it's silly"?

Is damage / killing on a miss not silly to you?

Whatever. I've played (A)D&D since 89, if you miss on your attack you don't damage thing and you especially don't insta-kill kobolds just because of your background.


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?

What I reject is the idea that a miss (not a "miss," not rolling low on the d20, but actually physically swiping your axe over the enemy's head) should result in a dead enemy on a regular basis. But the way Reaping Strike is described in the text, when you use it against a kobold or a rat or anything with only a couple hit points, this is exactly what happens. You miss the enemy--in the narrative sense, not the mechanical one--and it falls over dead.

Every. Single. Time. The "accidentally impaled itself" explanation doesn't wash past a certain point. Combat becomes a farce when four enemies in as many rounds find creative ways to off themselves.

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."

See, this would be just fine. It's a narrative that fits the mechanic perfectly.

It's only unpalatable to a certain subset of players. Personally, I do not find the rationale behind those players' preferences defensible. In the absence of the ability to defend their preferences in a playtest environment where important design decisions must be made, I believe their preferences should be marginalized. If that means that those players become disenfranchised, it's nothing to cry over; pleasing everyone is not a worthwhile goal when it necessitates the creative dilution of your product.

The best part is they won't be able to claim they had no input this time around.

You have the luxury of writing off the entire Pathfinder and old-school communities. WotC clearly doesn't or they wouldn't be making D&DN. So, those players' preferences do matter even if you can't wrap your head around them. Deal with it.
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Gold Roger

First Post
So an attack that misses but causes an enemy to dodge out of the way in a foolhardy manner, accidentally cracking his skull on a table/knocking himself unconscious on a door/impaling himself on a spike/tumbling off a cliff/stabbing himself with his own dagger, etc., despite being perfectly plausible, a staple of fantasy fight scenes, and obedient to the rules structure, is completely unacceptable in your mind and has no place in D&D?


One attack? No.

Six attacks in the same combat against weak opponents at level one? no place. This happening at the end of a dramatic combat, where the slayer after three misses against the death knight, that scourge on the land for centuries, ends up getting himself killed in the way of a slapstick scene? No place.

Also consider this: A first level slayer shooting at a rat at maximum range with a crossbow will always kill it. Is that really alright?

I'm not going to throw DDN into the "Do not want bin", just because of a handfull of such abilities.

But I find it jarring and that won't stop. Others find it jarring to, some far more than me. Many others don't find it jarring at all, that's fine, but understand that for those of us who do, it can be detrimental to the game experience and won't stop being so.

I find the designers should be mindful of that.


Limit Break Dancing
It's only unpalatable to a certain subset of players. Personally, I do not find the rationale behind those players' preferences defensible.
Heh. It doesn't have to be "defensible," Dannager...we are talking about play style preferences here, not a legal proceeding. :) It doesn't matter how well you do/do not explain something; people are still going to prefer what they prefer.

It looks like about 40% of the people polled don't like it. So it is safe to assume that about 40% of the gamer base is somewhat less likely to purchase a product that includes it. For the sake of the D&D Next project, I hope WotC doesn't decide to ignore 40% of their customer base. They've already seen the result of that experiment.
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First Post
Not as silly as backwards AC and THAC0.

I somewhat disagree. The backwards AC/THAC0 worked just fine for years. Yeah, in retrospec it seems dumb now. I would certainly not go back to it... but it didn't occur to anybody in my 2e group to change it.

If I'd told my 2e DM that "I kill this kobold, even though I totally missed his AC" he'd told me I was off my rocker (in a far less pleasent manner of speech :p).

Actually, now that I think of it... I would sooner go back to 2e than play 5e, from what little I have seen so far. I am not interested in 4e+.

If WotC wants my dollar, they need to up their game (pun!!)


First Post
Is damage / killing on a miss not silly to you?

The word "miss" here is a mechanical term, not a flavor term. It refers to the result of an attack roll that does not meet or exceed the target's AC. It means pretty much nothing, flavor-wise. "Miss" hasn't necessarily meant actually missing the target completely in forever. For multiple editions, "miss" has meant: scrapes, dodges, glancing blows, lucky turns, temporary distractions, and any number of other things.

Hell, even under the strictest rules-marrying-mechanics perspective, the word "miss" has never meant that the attack actually missed the target. More often than not, the target's armor bonus to AC caused the attack to "miss", because the attack actually connected with the target (in other words, the target was hit) but the attack did not get past the armor.

Whatever. I've played (A)D&D since 89, if you miss on your attack you don't damage thing and you especially don't insta-kill kobolds just because of your background.

Because you say so and because that's how it's always been in your mind. Those are your reasons.


First Post
this has again and again come up, and it just proves we are a Unpleasable Fanbase - Television Tropes & Idioms

Some people don't want miss damage
Some people want miss damage
Some people will not play in a game with this feat
Some people will not play in a game without it

Man I want to give Mike Mearls a big HUG and Kiss, I am sure he needs it, and maybe a shot or two too.

Unpleasable fanbases can be whittled down to pleasable fanbases. The trick is to figure out how to do it in such a way that the pleasable remainder of your fanbase is enough to satisfactorily sustain you.

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