D&D 5E Q&A 10/17/13 - Crits, Damage on Miss, Wildshape


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Derren

Hero
:2: I still completely, absolutely dislike damage on a miss for non-area attacks and want it to die.

Also the explanation is bogus. A strike which "was so brutal and skillfully placed that it did more than anyone else could have done with the same attack." would be a crit but not a miss with a few points of damage, likely fewer than other characters could have done with a hit.
 
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MarkB

Legend
Between AC and hit point abstractions, the in-game representation of what happens on a "hit" or a "miss" is already so nebulous that it's not worth trying to define specifically. Adding on-miss damage doesn't really muddy those waters any further.
 


fjw70

Adventurer
Between AC and hit point abstractions, the in-game representation of what happens on a "hit" or a "miss" is already so nebulous that it's not worth trying to define specifically. Adding on-miss damage doesn't really muddy those waters any further.

Agreed. Not sure why this is an issue.
 

Mistwell

Crusty Old Meatwad (he/him)
:2: I still completely, absolutely dislike damage on a miss for non-area attacks and want it to die.

Also the explanation is bogus. A strike which "was so brutal and skillfully placed that it did more than anyone else could have done with the same attack." would be a crit but not a miss with a few points of damage, likely fewer than other characters could have done with a hit.

Didn't you already declare you're not going to buy D&D Next, because of skills?
 

Celebrim

Legend
I dislike damage on a miss because I do think it muddies the waters further and makes it harder for me to narrate to the players consistently.

I'm willing to accept that a 'hit' is a blow that damages the tissues of the target to some degree. For the purposes of the game, heroes possess the uncanny ability to evade or absorb blows, so that swings that might have gutted a lesser man only scratch and bruise them but every 'hit' is palpable and damaging. Eventually a hero is a mass of minor wounds, and worn out from the cumulative effects of this is struck for more serious damage.

Within this frame work, AC and hit points can be rationalized. Armor causes a 'miss' because it converts blows into undamaging hits. If a character is hit by a poisoned blade, he must risk its effects because every hit damages the tissues. If we accept that some 'hits' cinematically correspond to good misses, this point becomes bizarre.

The problem I have with 'damage on a miss' in this framework is that not all AC's are made alike. AC is an abstraction that represents multiple possible causes of failure of the attack. I recognized this even in my 1e house rules, separating the computation of a characters defenses into AC (armor class) and AB (armor bonus) - the forerunners of dodge bonuses and touch AC from 3e era. It is possible to strike a creature in plate mail, and 'miss' through failure to penetrate. But if I swing at a pixie, my expectation is that all blows that actually strike the evasive little target are damaging blows, because all of the AC is owed to the ability to evade the attack. Thus, I reject the notion of 'damage on a miss' as an absolute concept because it only makes sense in some situations. (I equally reject anything else absolute like 'Immunities', since I want to be able to resolve what happens when the unbreakable sword meets the god of breaking things without a mechanic like, "Morgul can break anything, even things that are unbreakable.")

It might make sense to say something like, "If you attack the target and miss, but your roll was sufficient to hit the targets touch AC, you still do damage equal to your strength bonus." But saying, "Regardless of how hard it is to connect with the target, you still manage to do tissue damage.", is not something I can accept.
 


steeldragons

Steeliest of the dragons
Epic
Soooo they want to smack a [tm] on the word Miss? They're going to try to "brand" it and give it a D&D-only definition...that doesn't mean...ya know...missing.

Cuz that's what D&D needs, some more obscure abstractions and private lingo. I betcha we can even give it souperkoolz acronym to go with it! How's everyone feel about HOAM?! Yeah..."I HOAM the goblin." "Did you see? I HOAMed that biatch!"...Yeah...that's good stuff. Gooood stuff, right there.

Yeah, that'll help the game. :mad:
 

Tuft

First Post
It might make sense to say something like, "If you attack the target and miss, but your roll was sufficient to hit the targets touch AC, you still do damage equal to your strength bonus." But saying, "Regardless of how hard it is to connect with the target, you still manage to do tissue damage.", is not something I can accept.

"I swing at him with my sword!"
"But he's fifty feet away! You could not possibly hit him!"
"No worries, I do damage even on a miss..."
:D
 

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