Ranged weapons; can we return to the range increment penalty instead of this all consuming advantage/disadvantage?

Horwath

Hero
1st of the line, I like the advantage/disadvantage mechanics in general and it has it's place, but it does not have place EVERYWHERE?

And one place it does not have is in ranged combat and range penalties.

It always bugged me how you got perfect aim at 150ft with longbow and then you became completely incompetent at 155ft.

also 150ft is too long for no penalty at all.


So, maybe we could have -1 penalty per ranged increment and those ranged increments could be shorter.


For longbow;

range 60ft, -1 for every range increment after it. 65-120ft; -1. 125-180ft; -2. 185-240ft; -3. etc.... up to 1200ft with -19 penalty.

Sharpshooter feat could reduce the penalty by 5 or halve it (round down)

with even -1 penalty, players WILL consider moving closer, as no one wants to have any penalty ever.

maybe longbows normal range could be only 50ft, maxing out at 1000.


thrown weapons would all be 10ft, thrown weapon style would reduce thrown penalty by 5.
hand crossbow 20ft,
light crossbow 30ft,
shortbow/heavy crossbow 40ft,
longbow 50ft,
 

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delericho

Legend
1st of the line, I like the advantage/disadvantage mechanics in general and it has it's place, but it does not have place EVERYWHERE?
I certainly agree with this. And yet...

And one place it does not have is in ranged combat and range penalties.
I'm afraid I don't agree with this - it's simple, it works. Of all my issues with 5e, I'm afraid this just doesn't make the list. Sorry.

In fact, I'd be tempted to simplify one step further than at present, and move ranged weapons to the same Short//Medium/Long range categories that spells use (though I would build in the two increments thing to those as well) The range differences between a javelin and a spear, or a longbow and a heavy crossbow, just don't seem important enough to really worry about.
 


1st of the line, I like the advantage/disadvantage mechanics in general and it has it's place, but it does not have place EVERYWHERE?

And one place it does not have is in ranged combat and range penalties.

It always bugged me how you got perfect aim at 150ft with longbow and then you became completely incompetent at 155ft.

also 150ft is too long for no penalty at all.


So, maybe we could have -1 penalty per ranged increment and those ranged increments could be shorter.


For longbow;

range 60ft, -1 for every range increment after it. 65-120ft; -1. 125-180ft; -2. 185-240ft; -3. etc.... up to 1200ft with -19 penalty.

Sharpshooter feat could reduce the penalty by 5 or halve it (round down)

with even -1 penalty, players WILL consider moving closer, as no one wants to have any penalty ever.

maybe longbows normal range could be only 50ft, maxing out at 1000.


thrown weapons would all be 10ft, thrown weapon style would reduce thrown penalty by 5.
hand crossbow 20ft,
light crossbow 30ft,
shortbow/heavy crossbow 40ft,
longbow 50ft,

I like the general Idea, because it buggs me that if you shoot at long range, suddenly bad sight, being prone and so on has no additional negative anymore.

I think your increments are too granular.

I would go up in -2/-5 steps.

75ft short: 0
150ft long: -2
600ft very long: -5
 
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Horwath

Hero
I like the geberal Idea, because it buggs me that if you shoot at long range, suddenly bad sight, being prone and so on has no additional negative anymore.

I think your increments are too granular.

I would go up in -2/-5 steps.

75ft short: 0
150ft long: -2
600ft very long: -5
I have thought about it also, but why start at -2? isn't there somewhere before 115ft be better for -1?

if step of 1 is smallest that we can use(we really do not want decimal numbers here), why not use it?

also advantage/disadvantage should really stack twice at least.
 


Lazvon

Explorer
As a couple said before, keeping it simple, accessible, and fast is what is going on. I like it like it is especially for my 6-12 year old players. They all get it and having a great time. As they get more hooked into TTRPGing, I will introduce them to Rolemaster. :)

No matter what, I am having fun with 5e for the ease of play and staying out of the way.

But as Morrus said (at least how I interpreted his reply), absolutely for you and your table, easy thing to modify!
 

Horwath

Hero
Yes, sure you can.
I know that I can. And I did it.

Same with godawful binary rules for exhaustion. Better is -1 to everything per level.

I noticed that when people have disadvantage on a d20 roll, they mostly abandon the action unless there is absolutely nothing else they can do.

with having -1 or -2 they will have a go.
Maybe even with -3 or -4. Even if disadvantage falls here somewhere.

Also, I am sure that everyone loves advantage over some fiddly +1 to +5 bonuses.
Why? more reliable and two chances to roll that 20 :D

and there is nothing worse than rolling a 20 and seeing being followed by a 7 for that disadvantage.
 

DND_Reborn

Legend
I like the geberal Idea, because it buggs me that if you shoot at long range, suddenly bad sight, being prone and so on has no additional negative anymore.

I think your increments are too granular.

I would go up in -2/-5 steps.

75ft short: 0
150ft long: -2
600ft very long: -5
I'd do something like this as well.

Another thing is allow multiple instances of advantage/disadvantage to stack:

Long range
Bad weather
Bad light

Roll 4d20, take the worst one.

With simple disadvantage, if you needed a 9 or higher, your chance is 36%. With stacked disadvantage (the example above) you chances are less than 13%.
 

I'd do something like this as well.

Another thing is allow multiple instances of advantage/disadvantage to stack:

Long range
Bad weather
Bad light

Roll 4d20, take the worst one.

With simple disadvantage, if you needed a 9 or higher, your chance is 36%. With stacked disadvantage (the example above) you chances are less than 13%.

Yes, for such circumstances I already thought about giving double disadvantage.
Since elven accuracy made a precedent, I am a bit more lenient.
 

Nope, I'd prefer not to. I would be overjoyed if D&D 5.5/6E ditched every +/- completely. I hated them in AD&D and I still hate them, but to each their own.
 

Horwath

Hero
Nope, I'd prefer not to. I would be overjoyed if D&D 5.5/6E ditched every +/- completely. I hated them in AD&D and I still hate them, but to each their own.
So everything is the same?

Now, when 5E came out, I was delightful for advantage/disadvantage system.
It was great, simple, fun.

And then you start to think,
really, everything is equally bad for you character? or equally good?

There is optional rule in DMG for flanking that gives advantage, and most people agree that it is too much.
me included. But it is fun, even with the price of game balance. But wouldn't it be better that it was +1 or maybe +2?

Then we would have flanking and have it balanced.


Maybe for 5.5 there could be 2 set of rules;

1. Streamlined or simplified
2. Crunchier or balanced
 


Horwath

Hero
Alternative for ranged weapons I've been thinking about is that at long ranges you lose your ability bonus to damage.
you have penalty to attack, be it disadvantage or fixed, and as HPs are an abstraction, that is effective reduction in damage.
Does not need to be twofold.
 

Maybe for 5.5 there could be 2 set of rules;

1. Streamlined or simplified
2. Crunchier or balanced

Im not a game designer so I dont really have a good answer how to solve this. I would be all for a core rule set that is more than 3 books though. Perhaps the traditional PHB, DMG, and MM, and 4th (or even 5th) book(s) that allow for expanded more complex/in depth rules. Or just make the books bigger. But I think if they did this do it from the start at initial release, so they aren't just footnotes. I remember playing a cleric in 3.x and with all the abilities, skills, feats and spells, etc, adding up all the modifiers in a particular round be quite daunting and totally turned me off to that design mechanic for good.
 

jgsugden

Legend
Note that there are issues with mixing the approaches. Right now, you're 'capped' out on penalties, generally speaking, if you have disadvantage. There is only one major source of a penalty to hit - cover. Beyond that, you're usually either at disadvantage or at advantage.
If you stack some range penalties on top of the disadvantage/advantage mechanic, you can get to some pretty ridiculous penalties to hit. Take, for example, someone trying to throw a ranged weapon with at the longest range at something that is concealed. You'd be stacking a -5 penalty to hit on top of the disadvantage. If you had a +9 to hit and were targeting AC 17, you'd go from a 42.25% chance to hit under new rules down to a 16% chance to hit with the revises rules.

When you combine how fiddly it is to calculate the exact range and determine which range category you're in with the huge changes in probabilities that can drastically alter the efficiacy of ranged weapons, you end up with a pretty high cost for implementing the idea.
 

Yaarel

Mind Mage
For the sake of simplicity and meaningful distinctions, convert all ranges into the following categories. This especially works well for theater of mind.

3 ft (1 m), but defaults 5 ft, adjacent
10 ft (3 m), melee, reach, 5-step
30 ft (10 m), near, move, throw, close
100 ft (30 m), farspell
300 ft (100 m), bowshot, city block, field
1000 ft (300 m), max bowshot
3000 ft (1 km)

In practice, the ranges that matter are:
  • adjacent
  • melee
  • near

Anything beyond near is "far". It may or may not be on a battle map grid if using minis.

Round off all far ranges up to 60 feet, such as 35, 40 and 50, to 60 feet, and treat as two moves.

Farspell. Many distant spells reach about 100 feet. Round off all spell ranges at 80, 90, or 120 (namely more than 60 but less than 200) to 100 feet.

The bowshot at 300 feet represents the extreme range of a battle. Treat all spell ranges that are 200 to 1000 as equivalent to a bowshot. A bow can shoot within 300 feet without disadvantage.

Max bowshot. It is possible but disadvantageous to hit a target up to 1000 feet. In reallife, it is possible for an arrow to go beyond 1000 feet, but there are no known records of an archer hitting a target at 1000 feet. Some have come close, in the 900s. So the number 1000 feet is excellent as the extreme limit for a bowshot that is at disadvantage.

The bowshot and the max bowshot rarely happen during gameplay. But they are useful conceptual distances when spotting something in the distance.
 
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