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D&D 5E sleep vs tasha's laughter

Blue

Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal
As much damage as sleep? Unlikely. Average is 14.5 if I hit with SA that is only if I hit. It creeps up to 18 if I have hex running. Average on a crit is 25, which is still less than sleep with a 2nd level slot and I would need a natural 20 for that.
To me this shows how weak sleep is. You're spending a limited slot resource and the opportunity cost of another spell, for Sleep which is only slightly better at dropping them then your at-will attack, may not affect them at all if your DM doesn't let you know the exact HPs remaining, the foe has an easier time getting them back up, and may not target whom you want it to (since it's lowest HP first).

Basically in the exact case where a foe has 1-6 more HPs then your attack would do it's more useful that at higher resource cost, and any other time I could use it (the vast majority unless your DM tells you exactly how many HPs the foe has) it is either inferior (an attack would kill without using a slot) or completely useless (foe has more HPs than the roll).
 

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Neither spell is good at 6th level. THL will often just waste a spell slot, and since multiattacking is now online, you're looking at best at a single round's worth of action denial. Sleep will only work on minions or nearly-dead higher-level monsters.
 

auburn2

Adventurer
To me this shows how weak sleep is. You're spending a limited slot resource and the opportunity cost of another spell, for Sleep which is only slightly better at dropping them then your at-will attack, may not affect them at all if your DM doesn't let you know the exact HPs remaining, the foe has an easier time getting them back up, and may not target whom you want it to (since it's lowest HP first).

Basically in the exact case where a foe has 1-6 more HPs then your attack would do it's more useful that at higher resource cost, and any other time I could use it (the vast majority unless your DM tells you exactly how many HPs the foe has) it is either inferior (an attack would kill without using a slot) or completely useless (foe has more HPs than the roll).
This is not true at level 4/2. Sleep is much, much better at dropping them than SA. At higher levels of Rogue it will eventually be true, but that is not until you hit 9th level in Rogue

With advantage and a 16 Dex against a 15AC foe SA is averaging 8.5 DPR for a 4/2 Rogue/wizard (13.8 on a hit, including crits, but it only hits 60% of the time) if you assume advantage every turn that gets bumped to 11 points DPR. Sleep using a 1st level slot is 22.5 average, over double SA with advantage and nearly triple SA without advantage. Note for this discussion I used my Rogue who weilds a short sword. A rapier or crossbow will bump this slightly to 9 DPR, not enough to change the overall point.

I agree it is not that powerful, and I probably won't use it much, but it is much better at dropping a foe than SA is. The main downside is it is a wasted slot on a bad roll or if you guess hps wrong.
 

Arvok

Explorer
I know this horse is dead but there are a couple more advantages of sleep:

You don't need to see your target, so if a bad guy runs behind cover because he's nearly dead you can still take him out.

You don't need to hit your target to sleep him. I've been in plenty of situations where the party (either the one I'm DMing of the one I'm playing) is facing a foe we can't reliably hit (high AC, disadvantage because of environmental situations, et al.) and being able to hit him with sleep after he's worn down can be highly effective.

It's a little niche, but there aren't that many 1st level spells that are reliably big bang for your buck at higher at higher levels.
 

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