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D&D 5E Rogue's Cunning Action to Hide: In Combat??

Rabulias

Hero
PHB p.196 said:
A target can benefit from cover only when an attack or other effect originates on the opposite side of the cover.
I read that to mean that if I am shooting at a target from 10 feet behind a low wall, the cover counts for my attacks against them, and their attacks against me.

If I am adjacent to that low wall (or an arrow slit, as has been discussed) so that I can get the release point of my arrow beyond the cover, then it does not apply for my attacks against the target, but it still provides cover for the target's attacks against me.
 

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Oofta

Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.
This is why the rogue makes a Dexterity (Stealth) roll and the target(s) use passive Perception or make an active Wisdom (Perception) roll to spot the rogue. Maybe the rogue is not as quiet as they hoped as they prepared to peek out and shoot. Maybe the top of their bow stuck out too far and the target caught a glimpse of it. Maybe the rogue's shadow on the opposite wall betrayed their motion to attack from the high right side. Or maybe the target is more distracted at that moment and misses seeing any clues to the rogue's intent. It's not an automatic thing - there is a skill check or contest involved, and the rogue might blow it.

@Lyxen As a counterpoint, what about the Help action in combat? Do you allow an ally using the Help action in combat to grant advantage? Even if they do it round after round to the same opponent?

Or maybe I just run it slightly different than you do and don't want to have this kind of thing decided by the roll of the dice every time. Being stealthy doesn't make you invisible. 🤷‍♂️
 


Charlaquin

Goblin Queen (She/They)
No, my answer was with regards to the Gelatinous Cube, a halfling needs a creature one size larger than him, but he could hide behind another halfling after being targeted by a reduce spell.
Huh. I always wondered why they phrased it that way instead of “a Medium or larger creature.” Don’t know why I never considered magically altered size.

That would also seem to imply a lightfoot druid in the form of a Tiny beast could hide behind a Small creature (and one in the form of a Large beast would need a Huge or larger creature to hide behind). Neat!
 


Ovinomancer

No flips for you!
It's a consistent baseline to use but not the only possible baseline to use. As long as you use that same baseline for all calculations you're going to at least roughly get a fair comparison.
No, you kinda aren't, which is my point. His choices inflate the use of multiple dice -- the more your dice roll, the more free increase in output you get. The difference goes from +1/2 a point at level 1 sneak attack to +5 points at level 20. That's a free boost because of his choice of rounding. Again, if I compare a d12 to 3d4, the averages due to TM's method are 6 vs 9, respectively. Using 3d4 gets you 3 free points on the same baseline.

I mean, your larger point is very much true -- if you're using the same baseline, and the baseline is fair, then it doesn't really matter if the baseline is accurate -- it's precise and that's enough. However, if your method introduces biases, then you should be aware of how that works and how it affects comparisons, and knowing that TM's method inflates, strongly, the use of multiple dice can be very telling, especially when your choice of PC is using around 14 dice (not counting the double counting due to crits).
 

Ovinomancer

No flips for you!
Cover usually work both ways. An arrow slit is certainly an exception by design, it's not a 2-way straight cut through a wall, it specifically designed to shoot outward and protect inward. I would not use such cover as proof that a cover doesn't work both ways as it's more the exception that proves the rule.
Cover in 5e is determined by tracing lines from a corner of your square (your choice) to all corners of a single square the target occupies (your choice if more than one). If 1 or 2 of those lines is obscured by an obstacle (or creature), they have 1/2 cover. If 3 or 4 lines are blocked, and the attack could still reach the target (there's at least some line from somewhere in your square to somewhere in their square) it's 3/4 cover. If there is no line from anywhere in your square to anywhere in theirs that is not obstructed, it's full cover.
 

Ovinomancer

No flips for you!
Huh. I always wondered why they phrased it that way instead of “a Medium or larger creature.” Don’t know why I never considered magically altered size.

That would also seem to imply a lightfoot druid in the form of a Tiny beast could hide behind a Small creature (and one in the form of a Large beast would need a Huge or larger creature to hide behind). Neat!
Don't you lose your racial traits if you're polymorphed? Maybe if reduced...
 

Plaguescarred

D&D Playtester for WoTC since 2012
Cover in 5e is determined by tracing lines from a corner of your square (your choice) to all corners of a single square the target occupies (your choice if more than one). If 1 or 2 of those lines is obscured by an obstacle (or creature), they have 1/2 cover. If 3 or 4 lines are blocked, and the attack could still reach the target (there's at least some line from somewhere in your square to somewhere in their square) it's 3/4 cover. If there is no line from anywhere in your square to anywhere in theirs that is not obstructed, it's full cover.
That's only if using variant grid rules.
 

Plaguescarred

D&D Playtester for WoTC since 2012
The DMG also offer additional grid play rules for determining Line of Sight that makes very easy for enemies to see a creature hiding behind a pillar or another creature. Moving just a little can let you notice it.

Line of Sight: To precisely determine whether there is line of sight between two spaces, pick a corner of one space and trace an imaginary line from that corner to any part of another space. If at least one such line doesn't pass through or touch an object or effect that blocks vision - such as a stone wall, a thick curtain, or a dense cloud of dog - then there is line of sight.
 

Mistwell

Crusty Old Meatwad (he/him)
No, you kinda aren't, which is my point. His choices inflate the use of multiple dice -- the more your dice roll, the more free increase in output you get. The difference goes from +1/2 a point at level 1 sneak attack to +5 points at level 20. That's a free boost because of his choice of rounding. Again, if I compare a d12 to 3d4, the averages due to TM's method are 6 vs 9, respectively. Using 3d4 gets you 3 free points on the same baseline.
Yeah Ovi, I think it remains a roughly fair comparison. Because the people claiming the rogue lags behind the fighter damage are not talking about 1 point per round at low levels and 5 points at level 20. They're talking about really quite meaningful differences. 5 hit points a round at level 20? Nobody cares Ovi (or nobody should care if they're not being extremely pedantic.)

I also don't even think you're correct in your assumption (he's using the rounded averages to talk about it for ease of communication, but not in his actual charts when you look at the charts which do go out to large decimal digits using an excel spreadsheet like everyone else) but I can't even be bothered to "prove" that to you because it's an incredibly pedantic and unhelpful issue to the topic to begin with.
 

Plaguescarred

D&D Playtester for WoTC since 2012
Using Line of Sight rules, for a small or medium creature to even try to hide behind a 5 feet pillar, it must be square and fill it's entire space rather than be round.
 


Ovinomancer

No flips for you!
Yeah Ovi, I think it remains a roughly fair comparison. Because the people claiming the rogue lags behind the fighter damage are not talking about 1 point per round at low levels and 5 points at level 20. They're talking about really quite meaningful differences. 5 hit points a round at level 20? Nobody cares Ovi (or nobody should care if they're not being extremely pedantic.)

I also don't even think you're correct in your assumption (he's using the rounded averages to talk about it for ease of communication, but not in his actual charts when you look at the charts which do go out to large decimal digits using an excel spreadsheet like everyone else) but I can't even be bothered to "prove" that to you because it's an incredibly pedantic and unhelpful issue to the topic to begin with.
Why is this personal, Misty?
 

Nefermandias

Adventurer
Yeah Ovi, I think it remains a roughly fair comparison. Because the people claiming the rogue lags behind the fighter damage are not talking about 1 point per round at low levels and 5 points at level 20. They're talking about really quite meaningful differences. 5 hit points a round at level 20? Nobody cares Ovi (or nobody should care if they're not being extremely pedantic.)

I also don't even think you're correct in your assumption (he's using the rounded averages to talk about it for ease of communication, but not in his actual charts when you look at the charts which do go out to large decimal digits using an excel spreadsheet like everyone else) but I can't even be bothered to "prove" that to you because it's an incredibly pedantic and unhelpful issue to the topic to begin with.
I confess I didn't bother to crunch the numbers myself even though I've been under the impression that an average fighter should outperform an average rogue in most cases.
 

Mistwell

Crusty Old Meatwad (he/him)
I confess I didn't bother to crunch the numbers myself even though I've been under the impression that an average fighter should outperform an average rogue in most cases.
I think that assumption is probably correct. I do think you have to work harder to make the rogue more effective. I just think a well-optimized rogue will likely outperform a well-optimized fighter. Except that Echo Knight subclass. That one, well optimized, will do better than even the best Rogue build.
 

Ovinomancer

No flips for you!
I think that assumption is probably correct. I do think you have to work harder to make the rogue more effective. I just think a well-optimized rogue will likely outperform a well-optimized fighter. Except that Echo Knight subclass. That one, well optimized, will do better than even the best Rogue build.
So, I went and watched his Arcane Trickster video, and it's not clear how he calculated the baseline. Using his methods, I get a 20th level baseline of 53.9 damage. This is sneak attack, rapier, GFB on a single target, with advantage. The build has tools like sentinel and the possibility of triggering GFB or BB secondary damage, but I can't fit those in (I made a few guesses) and get to his numbers. I will say it's close if I just assume BB with secondary damage, at 66.5, but that's not quite the number on the sheet. I double checked my sheet against his baseline damage, and I can recreated that perfectly, so the count is right. (He also has an error in his baseline video for a 1st level warlock using EB and Hex in that he doesn't add the Hex die to the crit damage, so it's a tad low in the video).

AT can get much higher damage -- one case of upcast shadow blade in dim light, getting an off-turn sneak attack in, and using warcaster to maintain BB (and the rider on BB triggering both times) is around 150 damage. That's nice. I just cannot align whatever unstated assumptions generate the chart posted -- there's something there, but I can't tell what. Baseline using the method is much lower, so clearly there's some assumption of getting in more damage. I'm more than 10 points off the line at 20th.

Your earlier outburst is misplaced. The argument was that rogues need advantage to keep up, and this actually shows this. Whatever additional assumptions are made for the AT, constant advantage is included as a requirement. Without it, the build isn't as impressive (although still good versus baseline). I am not trying to discredit the comparison, but understand it, something I still can't do. I get that it's super easy just to not care about how these things work and assume it's good enough for you, especially when it's making your point, but a failure of understanding leads to being caught short when something doesn't actually work out. And pointing to someone on the net as an authority not to be questioned is just poor all around. If you can't do the work, just own it -- no big -- but don't mock people trying to understand how the work was done. You can be bigger than that.
 


Mistwell

Crusty Old Meatwad (he/him)
So, I went and watched his Arcane Trickster video, and it's not clear how he calculated the baseline. Using his methods, I get a 20th level baseline of 53.9 damage. This is sneak attack, rapier, GFB on a single target, with advantage. The build has tools like sentinel and the possibility of triggering GFB or BB secondary damage, but I can't fit those in (I made a few guesses) and get to his numbers. I will say it's close if I just assume BB with secondary damage, at 66.5, but that's not quite the number on the sheet. I double checked my sheet against his baseline damage, and I can recreated that perfectly, so the count is right. (He also has an error in his baseline video for a 1st level warlock using EB and Hex in that he doesn't add the Hex die to the crit damage, so it's a tad low in the video).

AT can get much higher damage -- one case of upcast shadow blade in dim light, getting an off-turn sneak attack in, and using warcaster to maintain BB (and the rider on BB triggering both times) is around 150 damage. That's nice. I just cannot align whatever unstated assumptions generate the chart posted -- there's something there, but I can't tell what. Baseline using the method is much lower, so clearly there's some assumption of getting in more damage. I'm more than 10 points off the line at 20th.

Your earlier outburst is misplaced. The argument was that rogues need advantage to keep up, and this actually shows this. Whatever additional assumptions are made for the AT, constant advantage is included as a requirement. Without it, the build isn't as impressive (although still good versus baseline). I am not trying to discredit the comparison, but understand it, something I still can't do. I get that it's super easy just to not care about how these things work and assume it's good enough for you, especially when it's making your point, but a failure of understanding leads to being caught short when something doesn't actually work out. And pointing to someone on the net as an authority not to be questioned is just poor all around. If you can't do the work, just own it -- no big -- but don't mock people trying to understand how the work was done. You can be bigger than that.
Why don't you just ask him? @Treantmonklvl20 comes to EnWorld.

Also, regarding hex crit damage, he just sent me this:
"the 0.05x9 is the crit damage. 5.5 from EB and 3.5 from Hex for 9 total."
tm1.png

tm2.png


As for the rounding claim, he said, "What rounding method do they think I use? (I used to not round at all - now I round to 2 decimal places - in neither case do multiple dice get inflated, it seems like they think I round to a whole number, but they're mistaken.) Lately I've been throwing the math in the video description for build videos, but I believe AT was before I started doing that. Yeah, I sure round the number I show on the screen. Nobody wants to hear that the DPR is 52.8934234121556. I would just say 53."
 
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Lyxen

Great Old One
This is why the rogue makes a Dexterity (Stealth) roll and the target(s) use passive Perception or make an active Wisdom (Perception) roll to spot the rogue. Maybe the rogue is not as quiet as they hoped as they prepared to peek out and shoot. Maybe the top of their bow stuck out too far and the target caught a glimpse of it. Maybe the rogue's shadow on the opposite wall betrayed their motion to attack from the high right side. Or maybe the target is more distracted at that moment and misses seeing any clues to the rogue's intent. It's not an automatic thing - there is a skill check or contest involved, and the rogue might blow it.

I completely agree, it's just that for me the chance to blow it is higher if the adversaries know that it is the only possible hiding place, they are more likely to see the details above.

@Lyxen As a counterpoint, what about the Help action in combat? Do you allow an ally using the Help action in combat to grant advantage? Even if they do it round after round to the same opponent?

I do, it's just collaborative work. After that, if it's a task that is subject to being harder to do because of repetition, that task might suffer disadvantage in itself.
 

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