D&D (2024) UA 8 Barbarian Discussion

mellored

Legend
Well, don’t use it solely for the damage when you only have a 60% chance to hit, anyway.
Right.

I am going to assume RAI is that you only give up Reckless advantage, and will play that way.

So if the monk is holding someone prone, then take advantage and brutal stike for damage.
 

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Charlaquin

Goblin Queen (She/Her/Hers)
No. It has a right answer depending on situation.
Obviously the right answer depends on the situation. And in the situation you presented, where I “desperately need” $2,000 within 10 days, the first option is the right answer, because it’s the only one that has the possibility of increasing my money by $2,000 within 10 days.
The last one will nearly surely allow you to gain money over the course of mayn days. The first one has a 20% chance to cost you all your money. And you need to double up a few times before you have more money than I can afford. Your chance to stay in the game is 0.8^number of rounds. After which you are rich.

In poker that is there is the independent chip model. Which tells you that not all 50% chances are equal because if you lose all your chips you are out. So the fewer chips you have, the more they are worth to you (roughly spoken).

In D&D you have no chips. You and your enemies have hp. And even though there is a "right" answer. It is a) difficult to find, and b) there are other players and other monsters and sometimes just dealing a few damage with a very high chance tops dealing much damage with a low chance and sometimes it is the opposite.
In the situations where dealing a small amount of damage with a very high chance is better, then the right answer is obviously to not use reckless strike. Just because the right answer depends on the situation doesn’t mean there isn’t a right answer. And while the right answer may be difficult to determine in the moment, it’s pretty easy to develop good heuristics you can use to make that determination relatively simple.

Often enough it is just the tactical question: is it worth risking to miss and deal 10 more damage, or should I just try to hit (especially when you try to break concentratiom on the enemy or deal the last few points of hp damage).
Yes, but there’s a mathematically correct answer to that “tactical question.” That was my whole point.
 

Chaosmancer

Legend
My biggest disappointment for the Barbarian is what they've done to the capstone of the World Tree subclass.

"Travel along the Tree" in playtest 7 was so flavourful, and so exhilerating. Even though games I play don't get that high, the thought of someday being able as a martial to plane shift was genuinely exciting. That ability alone made the subclass something to be pursued for the concept. A 500' teleport? Not so much, and fo rme would remove the subclass from something I was excited to play.

Yeah, I think a 1/day planeshift with a clause about only willing creatures, in addition to what they can do, would be fine. It was more flavor than anything else, really.
 

Yes, but there’s a mathematically correct answer to that “tactical question.” That was my whole point.
No there is not a right answer. Sometimes both options are equally viable. And thus it just depends on how much risk you are willing to take.

And sometimes the "right" answer still might be wrong, because even if your chance to fail is "only" 30% or less, and the gain is very high, but you just don't want to risk wasting your action completely.

So it is a tactical decision of how much you want to risk for how much gain.
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen (She/Her/Hers)
No there is not a right answer. Sometimes both options are equally viable.
I think it would be a very specific situation where they would actually be equally viable. They may be close enough that the difference is minor, but almost always one will have a statistically better output.
And thus it just depends on how much risk you are willing to take.
But the risk vs. reward equation has a calculable output. So you can in fact determine if the risk is “worth” taking or not.
And sometimes the "right" answer still might be wrong, because even if your chance to fail is "only" 30% or less, and the gain is very high, but you just don't want to risk wasting your action completely.
Right, but that’s something that you can (and should!) take into account when developing your heuristics.
So it is a tactical decision of how much you want to risk for how much gain.
A “tactical decision” were one option is a trap is not really a tactical decision in my book.
 

Stalker0

Legend
My only real beef with Brutal Strike, do we actually want a strategic choice like this for the barb?

To me the strength of the barb is....its just dumb fun. Players rage, reckless attack, and go nuts. You throw yourselves into everything because you feel invincible. It just works.

Is adding a "stop and think" type effect for this kind of class the best answer?
 

I think it would be a very specific situation where they would actually be equally viable. They may be close enough that the difference is minor, but almost always one will have a statistically better output.
Most often it is close enough or obvious.
But the risk vs. reward equation has a calculable output. So you can in fact determine if the risk is “worth” taking or not.
But if it is not totally clear, it risk vs revard is more important than 1 or 2 points of average damage in the long run.
Right, but that’s something that you can (and should!) take into account when developing your heuristics.
No. If failing means you die, then even with the better theoretical odds, its not worth the risk of failing completely.
(This is what my example was about. This is what independent chip model is about. This is what is important when trading stocks. Average gain vs volatility.
A “tactical decision” were one option is a trap is not really a tactical decision in my book.
Most often one is not a trap. Most often both decisions are viable. In hindsight one might regret a decision. But that is hindsight.

Even in chess there are openings that are risky (real gambits) that have a high win probability. But then, if the opponent knows the counter, you play from behind.
In combat, your very tightly calculated odds and gains might easily be foiled with a sudden shield spell. When you wish you had chosen the more conservative route.

But then, I know where I learnt all that. And I don't know where your expertise comes from. So maybe I am wrong and you are right and have learned a way to calculate tighter forecast intervalls for very small samlpes than I am not aware of.
 

My only real beef with Brutal Strike, do we actually want a strategic choice like this for the barb?

To me the strength of the barb is....its just dumb fun. Players rage, reckless attack, and go nuts. You throw yourselves into everything because you feel invincible. It just works.

Is adding a "stop and think" type effect for this kind of class the best answer?
I think the new options are so simple that they count as dumd fun. Barbarians in literature are always sending people flying and knocking enemies around. Your view is so narrowminded that it makes the barbarian just plain stupid in universe. I dont like having to be a barbarian who only drools and does bigger dmg. I like being a strong warrior whose pecs break swords and whose axe sends weak bandits flying. I think most people agree.
 

I think the real issue with the barbarian is that it has simple space still unexplored. Brutal strikes should come online at 5th level, like monks stunning strike. Then at higher levels there should be simple features that can trigger off hitting crits, rolling max damage on a weapon die, reducing creatures to 0 hit points, or that involve contested strength checks. Let me, as a barbarian, show off my awesome strength by terrifying enemies when I crit or using a contestesd strength check to prevent my enemy from using a specific action, like holding a dragons mouth shut to prevent a breath weapon use. When my axe reduces someone to 0 hp, let me bat their body into another enemy. Let me provoke a flight or fight response from my enemies seeing my overwhelming physicality.

Just lots of space here left on the floor.
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen (She/Her/Hers)
Most often it is close enough or obvious.
Then most often it’s not a real choice, which again, was my point.
But if it is not totally clear, it risk vs revard is more important than 1 or 2 points of average damage in the long run.
If it’s not totally clear, then calculating average damage is how you find out if the risk is worth the reward.
No. If failing means you die, then even with the better theoretical odds, its not worth the risk of failing completely.
(This is what my example was about. This is what independent chip model is about. This is what is important when trading stocks. Average gain vs volatility.
Right, so if failing means you die, you obviously take the safe option. Most often in D&D, failing doesn’t mean you die. Only when you’re on very low HP is that a factor.
Most often one is not a trap. Most often both decisions are viable. In hindsight one might regret a decision. But that is hindsight.
If you have good heuristics, it’s not hindsight, it’s foresight.
Even in chess there are openings that are risky (real gambits) that have a high win probability. But then, if the opponent knows the counter, you play from behind.
In chess you’re making actual tactical decisions, not damage calculations.
In combat, your very tightly calculated odds and gains might easily be foiled with a sudden shield spell. When you wish you had chosen the more conservative route.
If you’re up against an enemy that might cast shield, you’d heuristics should take that into account.
 

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