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tetrasodium

Legend
Supporter
Epic
As far as I can tell, Advantage/Disadvantage is the 5e version of the earlier +/− Circumstantial Bonus.

I use it all the time.

Does the player effort sound plausible?
• Yes (Auto Succeed)
• Probably (Advantage)
• Maybe
• Unlikely (Disadvantage)
• No (Auto Fail)


In practice, the Advantage is worth about +2½: better than +2 and less good than +3. Advantage wins lower DCs more reliably but doesnt achieve a very high DC.


For me a Trap is moreorless the same thing as a Skill Challenge. I dont think 4e and 5e have hit on the best method to do it, yet. It is hard to make a Challenge protracted and interesting when there is little consequence beyond yes/no. It doesnt fight back. In many circumstances, success is inevitable, so failures mean amount of time spent, which often has little consequence.

In the meantime, narrative adjudication helps much. The players coming up with solutions that I didnt anticipate, and which seem plausible, allow for a kind of interactivity that can make the Skill Challenge interesting.


I place Traps sparingly, and only when narratively they seem necessary. I dont want a game of "ten foot pole" paranoia or "running chickens". But some things obviously would have a trap.
Trouble with (dis)advantage in this comparison is that it's a mechanic designed for "oh I help bob" gameplay rather than any form of proactive creative efforts. Now in 5e (dis)advantage discourages the group from putting their heads together & putting real thought or effort into collaborative problemsolving as a team for that reason.
 

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Yaarel

He Mage
Trouble with (dis)advantage in this comparison is that it's a mechanic designed for "oh I help bob" gameplay rather than any form of proactive creative efforts. Now in 5e (dis)advantage discourages the group from putting their heads together & putting real thought or effort into collaborative problemsolving as a team for that reason.
Ah.

In my games, narrative is everything.

There is no "I use the Help action".

Exactly HOW does the character "help Bob"?

... Does this effort sound plausible?

• Yes: Advantage
• No: Nothing
• WTF: Disadvantage
 


tetrasodium

Legend
Supporter
Epic
Ah.

In my games, narrative is everything.

There is no "I use the Help action".

Exactly HOW does the character "help Bob"?

... Does this effort sound plausible?

• Yes: Advantage
• No: Nothing
• WTF: Disadvantage
No, you've not addressed the problem present in (dis)advantage when compared to dm's best friend+bonus types. It doesn't matter how descriptive that Alice is when she wants to help Bob with the thing he's doing. What matters is that Cindy Dave Edward & Frank are immediately shut out by a crude club of a mechanic not built for party level collaboration towards the success of a task.

Look at the example trap diffusing scenario from a few years ago that I linked to earlier for an example of how woefully incapable that (dis)advantage is as the maslow's hammer level replacement it was deployed to be
 
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Yaarel

He Mage
No, you've not addressed the problem present in (dis)advantage when compared to dm's best friend+bonus types. It doesn't matter how descriptive that Alice is when she wants to help Bob with the thing he's doing. What matters is that Cindy Dave Edward & Frank are immediately shut out by a crude club of a mechanic not built for party level collaboration towards the success of a task.

Look at the example trap diffusing scenario from a few years ago that I linked to earlier for an example of how woefully incapable that (dis)advantage is as the maslow's hammer level replacement it was deployed to be
I dont understand your distinction.

I see no difference between apply an Advantage versus apply a +2 Circumstantial Bonus. (Except the Advantage simplifies fiddly math.)

Either one can be applied for narrative reasons or mechanical reasons.


Are you saying that the application of Advantage prevents the additions of +2 Alice +2 Cindy +2 Dave +2 Edward +2 Frank = +10 "help"?

If so, I dont think "help" works this way anyway. Especially not within the context of the Bounded Accuracy design approach. Extra coaching or distracting has diminishing returns.


It matters how descriptive Alice is. If what she suggests is such an excellent idea, then the outcome is simply an Auto Success.

If the players are working together as a team, each doing something specific that would actually matter to the success of the outcome, again the outcome becomes an Auto Success.


I am not seeing the need for incremental math in an adhoc situational improvisation.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
As someone who lived through 1e and 2e traps, 5e traps are mediocre threats at best. It feels weird always having advantage as long as you are trained in Sleight of Hand and have your thieves' tools but I suppose you have to find them first and Investigation and Perception checks are a bit harder to win.
Yeah. I think that's what threw me off. 5e traps are essentially just hazards that use up healing or spell resources. 3e traps were decently done, but still nothing like 1e/2e.
 

Yaarel

He Mage
Yeah. I think that's what threw me off. 5e traps are essentially just hazards that use up healing or spell resources. 3e traps were decently done, but still nothing like 1e/2e.
I assume the 1e Trap can be an Auto Kill, and this is the only difference between it and the 5e Trap?
 


tetrasodium

Legend
Supporter
Epic
I dont understand your distinction.

I see no difference between apply an Advantage versus apply a +2 Circumstantial Bonus. (Except the Advantage simplifies fiddly math.)
Honey bees can handle it

Either one can be applied for narrative reasons or mechanical reasons.


Are you saying that the application of Advantage prevents the additions of +2 Alice +2 Cindy +2 Dave +2 Edward +2 Frank = +10 "help"?

If so, I dont think "help" works this way anyway. Especially not within the context of the Bounded Accuracy design approach. Extra coaching or distracting has diminishing returns.


It matters how descriptive Alice is. If what she suggests is such an excellent idea, then the outcome is simply an Auto Success.

If the players are working together as a team, each doing something specific that would actually matter to the success of the outcome, again the outcome becomes an Auto Success.


I am not seeing the need for incremental math in an adhoc situational improvisation.
I don't know how you can fail to "understand" the difference in how partly level collaboration is impacted when comparing between a mechanic that allows multiple players to contribute mechanically towards a task too difficult for any one check as long as the individual players approach their assistance differently enough for each of them to apply their efforts with mechanical impact and a second mechanic that only allows a single player to contribute before maxing out the mechanic.

Honey bees can handle basic math
 

Yaarel

He Mage
Honey bees can handle it


I don't know how you can fail to "understand" the difference in how partly level collaboration is impacted when comparing between a mechanic that allows multiple players to contribute mechanically towards a task too difficult for any one check as long as the individual players approach their assistance differently enough for each of them to apply their efforts with mechanical impact and a second mechanic that only allows a single player to contribute before maxing out the mechanic.

Honey bees can handle basic math
There is a difference between "can handle math" versus "wants to handle math" during a narrative immersion.


The DM has total discretion over skill adjudication, per RAW.

If there is an unusual situation where there is much room between Advantage and Auto Success, the DM can say the DC is "Hard" instead of "Nearly Impossible", or whatever rerank seems appropriate, in addition to the Advantage. So far, I have never needed somewhere between Advantage and Autosuccess.
 
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