D&D (2024) Rules Glossary packet6

Chaosmancer

Legend
I think I agree with you here. Especially since reducing a target to 0 HP doesn't immediately kill it. If you reduce a target to 0 HP, it should be unconscious and entering death saving throws anyway. All that would need to happen then is to have someone make a medicine check to stabilize the target to prevent it from dying.

But I find most of the time, myself included, DMs treat a target being reduced to 0 HP as insta-death. I used to remove the mini-fig from the board, before I realized that A) the body is still there and should be a potential obstacle (tripping hazard, cover, difficult terrain, etc.) and B) the players might not want to outright kill the target. I've begun leaving said mini-figs on the board until combat is over.

Cost-benefit analysis. Why are you making taking someone alive cost a second action? They will need to stabilize them within two rounds, or risk the 1 on the death save killing them. Meanwhile, just killing them requires nothing.

So, in a massive fight where the target goes down, they now have to decide if losing an action in the ongoing fight is worth saving this person for later. And yes, that can be neat narratively, but unless you are rolling death saves for all enemies, then you are setting things up where the smoother and easier path is to kill people. And DnD isn't a morality play, the more inconvenient doing something is, the less likely the players are going to be to do it.
 

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Gorck

Prince of Dorkness
Cost-benefit analysis. Why are you making taking someone alive cost a second action? They will need to stabilize them within two rounds, or risk the 1 on the death save killing them. Meanwhile, just killing them requires nothing.

So, in a massive fight where the target goes down, they now have to decide if losing an action in the ongoing fight is worth saving this person for later. And yes, that can be neat narratively, but unless you are rolling death saves for all enemies, then you are setting things up where the smoother and easier path is to kill people. And DnD isn't a morality play, the more inconvenient doing something is, the less likely the players are going to be to do it.
I wouldn’t be making death saving throws for every enemy. But if the players explicitly say they want to keep one alive for questioning or ransoming or something, only then would I make the saving throws.

That certainly makes more sense than a player running an enemy through with a sword, watching their guts spill out and their life go out of their eyes, and then deciding, “no, wait, I didn’t actually want to kill them. Can that be nonlethal damage instead?”
 

tetrasodium

Legend
Supporter
Epic
You do realize just spouting hyperbole doesn't make you correct. No, I actually don't think the rule is "inexcusably odious" I think it is a flippin' breathe of fresh air.

You know, I recently got a new TTRPG. It is called Convictor Drive: Armored By Grief. In this system you play as cyber-cops stopping criminals in a futuristic city. This system has zero conception of lethal vs non-lethal damage. None. You either deal physical damage or energy damage, that's it.

Also, the system assumes that you don't kill people. You are in a robot suit, swinging a mono-filament sword that can cut trucks in half, and if you hit a criminal, it is assumed they are not seconds from dying. Because you are a cop. And making a game about being cops who go around murdering people would be a very very different game than what the designers wanted. They wanted a take on Power Rangers and other Henshin stories.

Why is this odious? Why is this so terrible? So you can go "AHA! You accidentally killed them!" as your players struggle until they stop caring about killing NPCs?

Do you know how many of my players have been relieved, deeply and truly relieved, to find out they aren't being penalized for non-lethal attacks AND if they forget to declare it ahead of their attacks, that they don't get punished for it? It has happened multiple times. My tables love this rule, because it means that their INTENT matters more.

Yes, if you want to get absolutely, minutely technical, declaring non-lethal when the target hits 0 hp might involve a retcon of the precise thing the player said. So what? When a player describes their attack in a combat, it is not locked in concrete, never to be changed lest the game devolve into chaos! They just describe their attack. And sometimes, sometimes I let players change their description based on their damage. Sometimes they don't describe it at all. They aren't changing their action if their attack goes from stabbing with a spear to cracking the enemy upside the head with a spear. They still attacked the same target, still dealt the same damage. They just described it differently. That isn't a big deal.
The only people talking about how hard or easy it should be to knockout an opponent seem to be those defending the ability to do it as a retcon after learning the result & it seems to be a topic used to avoid actually trying to defend a retcon. You are still writing a lot of words that have nothing to do with the fact that the Knockout rules not triggering until after the deed is done and the player is informed of the result. A knocked out opponent isn't turning into a freed bunny like sonic the hedgehog did. I linked up the videoclip of daddy glover's character killing a predator from predator2 earlier, it's too late to go for the capture after the predator's chest is sliced open & organs are laying in a pile on the ship's floor. For purposes of gameplay that's especially critical because capturing a hostage can have significant benefits in terms of information access bargaining chips & so on depending on the captive.
 

Chaosmancer

Legend
I wouldn’t be making death saving throws for every enemy. But if the players explicitly say they want to keep one alive for questioning or ransoming or something, only then would I make the saving throws.

That certainly makes more sense than a player running an enemy through with a sword, watching their guts spill out and their life go out of their eyes, and then deciding, “no, wait, I didn’t actually want to kill them. Can that be nonlethal damage instead?”

If a player wanted them alive, why would they describe themselves running the enemy through, watching their guts spill out, and the life flicker from their eyes?

What generally happens in my experience is something like

Player: Okay, I swing my sword in a great arc, at this guy. He's going down.
rolls hit and damage
DM: Okay, and that drops him bleeding to the ground.
Player: Wait, he was that close? Crap, I wanted him alive. Can that be non-lethal?
DM: Okay, sure, the cut looks bad at first, but his armor saved him from being cut in two, the blow knocked the wind from him though

Easy. I mean, sure, maybe it will be a small retcon, but this sort of tiny retcon happens all the time. A Players says "We don't know that guy" and the someone reminds them it was the person they met just three hours ago in-game that they forgot over the month break, and the player goes, "Oh, right, well, in that case I would say..." and they retcon. Its fine.

If you know the players want to save someone, then you know they would pull their blow, it is just their lack of knowledge of the exact hp or even if they are going to hit, that causes the break. Heck, the player might describe something that only works if they hit the enemy, then roll a miss! Enforced retcon from the dice!
 

Chaosmancer

Legend
The only people talking about how hard or easy it should be to knockout an opponent seem to be those defending the ability to do it as a retcon after learning the result & it seems to be a topic used to avoid actually trying to defend a retcon. You are still writing a lot of words that have nothing to do with the fact that the Knockout rules not triggering until after the deed is done and the player is informed of the result. A knocked out opponent isn't turning into a freed bunny like sonic the hedgehog did.

Then don't allow players to describe their action beyond "I attack" until they roll to hit and roll damage and learn the result. Done. No retcons needed.

I linked up the videoclip of daddy glover's character killing a predator from predator2 earlier, it's too late to go for the capture after the predator's chest is sliced open & organs are laying in a pile on the ship's floor.

Does the clip also show where Daddy Glover rolled to hit? Also, other than theoretically wanting the serial killer alive because they will become secret lovers in the future, is there any reason to assume that the player in that situation WANTS the predator alive for questioning?

For purposes of gameplay that's especially critical because capturing a hostage can have significant benefits in terms of information access bargaining chips & so on depending on the captive.

Yes, capturing someone can be great. That's why if the player's think about that and want to go forward with that plan, then they should be able to do so without having barriers thrown up in their faces.

Also, what's your complain if the players declare "I attack non-lethally" every single turn? No retcon. So what does it matter? The only difference between that and what currently happens is encouraging them to repeat themselves every single turn.

Your position seems to be that once the words leave the player's mouth, they become irrefutably written in stone, never to be changed lest the stars fall from the heavens. But... sure, a player can change their description of their attack. It changes so so very little if they decide they shot the goblin in the stomach rather than the throat. They still shot the goblin with their weapon.
 

tetrasodium

Legend
Supporter
Epic
Then don't allow players to describe their action beyond "I attack" until they roll to hit and roll damage and learn the result. Done. No retcons needed.



Does the clip also show where Daddy Glover rolled to hit? Also, other than theoretically wanting the serial killer alive because they will become secret lovers in the future, is there any reason to assume that the player in that situation WANTS the predator alive for questioning?



Yes, capturing someone can be great. That's why if the player's think about that and want to go forward with that plan, then they should be able to do so without having barriers thrown up in their faces.

Also, what's your complain if the players declare "I attack non-lethally" every single turn? No retcon. So what does it matter? The only difference between that and what currently happens is encouraging them to repeat themselves every single turn.

Your position seems to be that once the words leave the player's mouth, they become irrefutably written in stone, never to be changed lest the stars fall from the heavens. But... sure, a player can change their description of their attack. It changes so so very little if they decide they shot the goblin in the stomach rather than the throat. They still shot the goblin with their weapon.
Are you not aware of the steps that happen mechanically & required verbal player:GM interaction between a player saying "I attack" and the player learning that the target has been reduced to zero hp?
 

Chaosmancer

Legend
Are you not aware of the steps that happen mechanically & required verbal player:GM interaction between a player saying "I attack" and the player learning that the target has been reduced to zero hp?

Let me take a wild guess that you are talking about the How to Play section on page six of the Player's Handbook.

According to the that section, the play loop as it is sometimes referred to is the following

1) The DM describes the Environment
2) The Player describes what they want to do.
3) The DM narrates the results of the action.


Step 1: There is a goblin standing in the doorway

Step 2: Paladin player: I want to attack it with my sword

2a: This result is uncertain. So the player rolls to attack.
2b: The DM checks the attack result against the goblin AC, and declares a hit
2c: The player declares that since they hit, they will be casting a smite spell, as per the rules of the smites
2d: The player rolls damage.
2e: The DM compares the damage total to the goblin's hp total

Step 3: The DM declares the goblin has dropped to zero hit points.

3a: Per the rules of the game, the player declares a non-lethal intent
3b: DM narrates: "Your mighty blow smashes into the goblin's ribs with a great flash of light, leaving him sprawled and unconcious on the ground"

PLay loop begins back at step 1

Did I miss anything? At what point in this interaction did the player go from "I want to run the goblin through and stare into his eyes as the life leads his body" to "RETCON!!!! LULZ, I just hit him in the head!"
 

tetrasodium

Legend
Supporter
Epic
Let me take a wild guess that you are talking about the How to Play section on page six of the Player's Handbook.

According to the that section, the play loop as it is sometimes referred to is the following

1) The DM describes the Environment
2) The Player describes what they want to do.
3) The DM narrates the results of the action.


Step 1: There is a goblin standing in the doorway

Step 2: Paladin player: I want to attack it with my sword

2a: This result is uncertain. So the player rolls to attack.
2b: The DM checks the attack result against the goblin AC, and declares a hit
2c: The player declares that since they hit, they will be casting a smite spell, as per the rules of the smites
2d: The player rolls damage.
2e: The DM compares the damage total to the goblin's hp total

Step 3: The DM declares the goblin has dropped to zero hit points.

3a: Per the rules of the game, the player declares a non-lethal intent

3b: DM narrates: "Your mighty blow smashes into the goblin's ribs with a great flash of light, leaving him sprawled and unconcious on the ground"

PLay loop begins back at step 1

Did I miss anything? At what point in this interaction did the player go from "I want to run the goblin through and stare into his eyes as the life leads his body" to "RETCON!!!! LULZ, I just hit him in the head!"
We already know how that game plays. Conveniently Pfuffin Forest did a video describing that sort of actual play

 

Remathilis

Legend
There's a couple problems with that. Firstly is the general size and the complexity of 2014->oacket6 vrs packet3/4/5 ->packet 6 making color coding too complicated in something this large. Secondly is the more significant fact that there's too many regressions & pointless deliberate miss change for the sake of saying something was done both across the rules glossary as well as the class changes to justify the effort. Even the classes in this packet have do nothing changes like monk having some changes to improve their staying power relative to long rest classes as crawford described in the recent video while remaining a short rest class that leans on the GM to balance it at the table for wotc.


Using an analogy from another thread "WotC walked into the living room, decided that ugly half-wall between it and the kitchen needed to go, took all the furniture out of the room, and then, they just decided to paint the wall and put everything back. If they hadn't made a show about removing the half-wall in the first place, most people wouldn't have thought it was an option. Now I'm not overly mad: I like the changes they are making. But the fact they are backpedaling on so many design ideas at this point in design doesn't tell me this was based on player feedback as much as a desire to make sure this new PHB doesn't split the fanbase."... the coat of paint represented in packet6 is such a small change that it's barely shifting a single shade on the color strip. That's hard to justify the effort.

Also... "need attention"? From who? who's listening? Wotc has made it clear that this is going to be 5.001 and that they are stretching for that. Even though they admitted in their investor thing a while back that DMs are a 20% who represent the lion's share of purchases not a single survey for 2024 has asked if responders are GMs or what percentage of their game time is as a GM.
I have a name, you know...
 


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