# D&D (2024)What do you want in the revised DMG?

#### DND_Reborn

##### The High Aldwin
Just plucking these out for the moment. I'm going to take some (hopefully small) liberties with the math for ease of use. I believe you mentioned somewhere that a 35% hit rate would be more your speed rather than the 5e "60-65%" success rate you indicate. With that assumption in mind, let's make it 33% vs 66%.
Sure. You are pretty spot on. If you do 60% with "disadvantage" (not the mechanic, but the concept), your hit drops to 0.60 x 0.6 or 0.36, roughly the 35% I would (personally) prefer. If you go to 65% as the base, you get roughly 42%, which is a tad bit high for me but perfectly acceptable.

Combined with 5e increase in HP (I'm saying it is a 2x increase for simple math here - just as the "to-hit" rate is 2x higher) we find ourselves with the following question:

Would players rather have a 5e-style fight against a 100HP monster that can be hit 2/3 of the time OR a modded "old school"-style fight against a 50HP monster that can be hit 1/3 of the time?

It strikes me that players having their PCs hit 2/3 of the time is likely more fulfilling than missing 2/3 of the time. If we add the "more damage" assertion to the mix, we have the 5e-style fight resolving more quickly.
FWIW, our simplification is to remove CON bonus from HP for everything (PCs and creatures alike). In general, this is roughly 75% (again, on average) of the listed hit point in stat blocks. I am using a sample of over 700 creatures for my analysis. However, at one point to really keep it simple, we just did half HP for creatures, and that worked as well.

In doing the analysis with fewer HP but a decreased chance of hitting, the typically combat is extend about 1-2 rounds. Since a common complaint IME is combat is only 2-3 rounds and too quickly, this helps with that issue for those who have it.

As to the bolded comment, my experience is precisely the opposite. In old school, hitting was exciting because it did miss a lot. In 5E, attacking is even more dissatisfying because you hit so often it becomes routine:

"Oh, look, I hit (big surprise, huh?). Oh, look, I hit again... yawn

It really makes it more boring. Think about baseball. When a player gets a hit it is exciting, something is happening, because generally hitting percentage is 25-35% (or maybe that is on-base... or the same thing? I am not a baseball fan so perhaps I am wrong?). But, if hitting becomes almost expected, it loses its appeal.

When I was playing RAW at first, players were actually surprised and sort of happy when they missed! YMMV of course, but that is my experience.

Of course, we had to expand the critical hit zone, as it were, to keep it closer to 5% (1 in 20) instead of 1 in 400 with the "disadvantage" mechanic thrown in.

Oversimplified? Most definitely. But, given these parameters, it strikes me as potentially adjusting HP and "to-hit" knobs down for no real benefit and, perhaps, added frustration at the table with 2x the misses. Is that really what "old school" was like? I honestly don't remember that - but, then again, it's been decades since I played in a 1e campaign, then I skipped 2-4, and started playing 5e exclusively 6 years ago.
Missing was more common than hitting IME when playing B/X-BECMI and AD&D (1E and 2E). Granted in 2E, more things were added so hitting started to become more common, but even then I don't recall it getting over 50/50.

That said, I'd personally focus on incorporating other ideas from your list to give our 5e game a more "old school" feel, if that's what I was after for our table.
Sure, like the other points it is just from my experience. I understand why 5E favors hitting over missing, because they want the players to feel like their characters are accomplishing something meaningful. But, with my house-rules, hitting becomes even more meaningful since it is less common and when you do hit, it counts for more due to the reduced HP.

FWIW, since we've made these sorts of changes, no one in the tables I play at has shown or expressed any sort of frustration. When you keep in mind the numerous ways you can actually gain advantage, offsetting the "disadvantage" mechanic house-rule, you are then right back to the 60-65% hit. It has made things like flanking meaningful, without being over the top.

One final thought, the additional couple rounds per combat does NOT slow the game down. In fact, missing more often speeds it up. When you miss you have nothing to resolve-no damage to roll, no saves to make, or whatever. When you hit so often as in RAW, you are also adding the time to roll damage and finish any other things that arise. The game is actually faster IME so far by hitting less. In fact, hitting was so common that we decided to just use average damage for creatures most of the time (unless it would drop a PC to 0 hit points, in which case we rolled damage to give them a chance), and even some of the players adopted it for their own attacks.

It certainly might not be for most people, but I suggest trying it before dismissing it if anyone has interest in the concept.

#### DND_Reborn

##### The High Aldwin
The downside, as you noted, is a lot more turns where nothing really happens because you rolled to hit and didn't. In a game with even somewhat long turns like 5e (to say nothing of 3e, 4e, or PF) that's really bad and definitely something to avoid. If I need to wait 15 minutes for my turn to come around, I don't want to roll one die and then nothing happens. But if you can get turn times down (which old-school simplicity allows even if it doesn't guarantee) then this isn't nearly as much of an issue.

Do you really find turns in 5E long to resolve? Or even an entire round long to resolve?

Frankly missing more often makes turns fly by, so even with normal initiative rules your turn comes around more quickly, as you suggest in the second bolded statement.

Now, I am not a fan of turn-based initiative, because it is a case where once you go, you likely have no involvement until you go again, which with large groups or encounters could take a while. I became so frustrated when we played RAW initiative and players would take out their cell phones while other players were resolving their turns. It certainly could take a while and happened often because each player was more likely to succeed each turn than fail. It also slowed down the pace of the game which I found frustrating.

I have found since we moved to cinematic initiative, players are more engaged and the rounds seem to move along faster. Any group I start I try it with them, and so far no one has wanted to not use it. Tooting my own horn a bit, I think it is the single best house-rule/system I've come up with.

#### jmartkdr2

##### Hero

Do you really find turns in 5E long to resolve? Or even an entire round long to resolve?
I'm in a few different games of 5e - some groups take a long time, some go through turns really fast. It can vary a bit, and some classes in 5e make it worse. It's definitely a bigger issue in other editions.

#### Blue

##### Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal
And still, it worked fairly well even adding some character levels to monsters. Sometimes yes, you had things that synergised really well and needed to adjust a bit, sometimes the synergy was really poor and you had to adjust the other way, but the tools where there and worked not too badly. Not as precisely as in 4e, but way more precisely than in 5e.
If you want to make a case that in 3.5 that character build was completely secondary to character level such that encounter building math worked out regularly, I present to you the entire internet as a counterexample.

Sorry, there's no way to be informed and have that opinion.

#### Lanefan

##### Victoria Rules
Just plucking these out for the moment. I'm going to take some (hopefully small) liberties with the math for ease of use. I believe you mentioned somewhere that a 35% hit rate would be more your speed rather than the 5e "60-65%" success rate you indicate. With that assumption in mind, let's make it 33% vs 66%.

Combined with 5e increase in HP (I'm saying it is a 2x increase for simple math here - just as the "to-hit" rate is 2x higher) we find ourselves with the following question:

Would players rather have a 5e-style fight against a 100HP monster that can be hit 2/3 of the time OR a modded "old school"-style fight against a 50HP monster that can be hit 1/3 of the time?

It strikes me that players having their PCs hit 2/3 of the time is likely more fulfilling than missing 2/3 of the time. If we add the "more damage" assertion to the mix, we have the 5e-style fight resolving more quickly.
Using your numbers in isolation of anything else, the fight wouldn't resolve more quickly at all: the half h.p. and half-rate hitting largely cancel each other out.

However, there's loads of other factors:
1 --- how much damage are the PCs doing on each hit in 5e compared to, say, 1e? (my guess is a bit more, but nothing spectacular)
2 --- how resilient are the PCs, i.e. what are their h.p. totals like compared to 1e? (I dare say, considerably higher)
3 --- how often can the monsters expect to hit the PCs in 5e compared to 1e? (this one might be more or less the same except at high level where 1e PCs would generally be harder to hit)

It's '2' above which makes the fight take longer. If the PCs also don't have that many h.p. and thus can't take many hits, they'll quickly look for other options if-when the fight starts going against them rather than stay in and slug it out.

All that said, the one real difference the in-isolation half-h.p. and half-hit-rate model would make is that the combat's outcome would become a bit less predictable and a bit more swingy, which very much does add to the old-school feel.

#### Lanefan

##### Victoria Rules
I have found since we moved to cinematic initiative, players are more engaged and the rounds seem to move along faster. Any group I start I try it with them, and so far no one has wanted to not use it. Tooting my own horn a bit, I think it is the single best house-rule/system I've come up with.
In brief, how does your cinematic initiative system work?

#### DND_Reborn

##### The High Aldwin
In brief, how does your cinematic initiative system work?
No problem. I've posted about it before but here it goes:

1. Each character's "turn" is broken up into the separate actions they take.
2. You roll d20 + (DEX, INT, or WIS modifier) + features/feat for Initiative for your FIRST action.
3. After resolving your FIRST action, your roll d20 (NO MODIFIERS AT ALL!) for your SECOND action. If the new roll is equal to or greater than your current FIRST roll, you act immediately. If it is lower, you act on the new roll.
4. Repeat until you run out of actions. (Movement--which can be broken up, Action, Bonus action).
5. Simultaneous rolls/actions can be resolved in simple to complex fashion, as your group desires.

Notes:

A. If you have Extra Attack (or Multiattack) each attack is its own action.
B. Movement is used until your Speed is gone. So, if you move 10 feet to engage a creature as your action, you still have 20 feet remaining for later actions in the round.
C. Reactions are resolved as normal.

Benefits:

1. By breaking up each player's turn, the actions seem to create the narrative. For an example (with Initiative totals preceding) see the spoilers. Note: This is a pretty linear example, but in the game the distribution of actions can create very vivid scenes!

Initiative rolls:
Player A: 22
Player B: 19
Monster A: 14
Monster B: 1

Player A moves to engage Monster A, and attacks.
Player B attacks Monster A, then moves into better position.
Monster A multiattacks Player A.
Monster B moves to engage Player B, and attacks.

Roll first Initiative for round 2.

Here, once Player A has gone, he as really nothing to do until the round is over and must wait for Player B and the DM to resolve everything else.

It also seems very much herky-jerky IMO instead of flowing from one action to the next.

Initial rolls:
Player A: 22
Player B: 19
Monster A: 14
Monster B: 1

22 = Player A moves to engage Monster A. Rolls for second action (12)
19 = Player B attacks Monster A with longbow. Rolls for second action (3)
14 = Monster A attacks Player A. Rolls for multiattack (18)
18 (is equal to or better than 14 so acts immediately) = Monster A attacks Player A with multiattack. Rolls for third action (1)
12 = Player A attacks Monster A. No bonus action or speed remaining, no further action, round over.
3 = Player B moves to a better position. No bonus action or speed remaining, no further action, round over.
1 = Monster B moves to engage Player B. Rolls for second action (17)
17 (is equal to or better than 1 so acts immediately) = Monster B attacks Player B. No bonus action or speed remaining, no further action, round over.
1 = Monster A attacks Player A with multiattack. Rolls for fourth action (14) because it has speed remaining. The monster will not move, so the round is over.

Roll first Initiative for round 2.

IMO here we see more of a flow of action as one action moves into the next. A sense of excitement is generated when you read just the actions:

Player A moves to engage Monster A.
Player B attacks Monster A with longbow.
Monster A attacks Player A.
Monster A attacks Player A with multiattack.

Player A attacks Monster A.
Player B moves to a better position.
Monster B moves to engage Player B.
Monster B attacks Player B.

Monster A attacks Player A with multiattack.

2. Players are more engaged because they don't resolve everything for their character in one turn. This is a BIG benefit IMO.

Anyway, here is the original thread during its inception over a year ago, but it has been revised slightly since then, but the general nuance has remained the same.

Strangely enough, @Lanefan, you were the first to comment on it.

Other house-rules have added complexity over time, but also allows for more tactical play. Someday I might right up a more robust description.

FWIW, it you are perfectly happy with initiative in 5E, this probably isn't for you. I devised it to make the action in the game more narrate itself by the order of what actions happen when. As I've said, we've been using it and refining it for over a year now, and personally I would hate to go back to the normal initiative of resolving all a creature's actions at once.

#### Swarmkeeper

##### Hero
No problem. I've posted about it before but here it goes:

1. Each character's "turn" is broken up into the separate actions they take.
2. You roll d20 + (DEX, INT, or WIS modifier) + features/feat for Initiative for your FIRST action.
3. After resolving your FIRST action, your roll d20 (NO MODIFIERS AT ALL!) for your SECOND action. If the new roll is equal to or greater than your current FIRST roll, you act immediately. If it is lower, you act on the new roll.
4. Repeat until you run out of actions. (Movement--which can be broken up, Action, Bonus action).
5. Simultaneous rolls/actions can be resolved in simple to complex fashion, as your group desires.

Notes:

A. If you have Extra Attack (or Multiattack) each attack is its own action.
B. Movement is used until your Speed is gone. So, if you move 10 feet to engage a creature as your action, you still have 20 feet remaining for later actions in the round.
C. Reactions are resolved as normal.

Benefits:

1. By breaking up each player's turn, the actions seem to create the narrative. For an example (with Initiative totals preceding) see the spoilers. Note: This is a pretty linear example, but in the game the distribution of actions can create very vivid scenes!

Initiative rolls:
Player A: 22
Player B: 19
Monster A: 14
Monster B: 1

Player A moves to engage Monster A, and attacks.
Player B attacks Monster A, then moves into better position.
Monster A multiattacks Player A.
Monster B moves to engage Player B, and attacks.

Roll first Initiative for round 2.

Here, once Player A has gone, he as really nothing to do until the round is over and must wait for Player B and the DM to resolve everything else.

It also seems very much herky-jerky IMO instead of flowing from one action to the next.

Initial rolls:
Player A: 22
Player B: 19
Monster A: 14
Monster B: 1

22 = Player A moves to engage Monster A. Rolls for second action (12)
19 = Player B attacks Monster A with longbow. Rolls for second action (3)
14 = Monster A attacks Player A. Rolls for multiattack (18)
18 (is equal to or better than 14 so acts immediately) = Monster A attacks Player A with multiattack. Rolls for third action (1)
12 = Player A attacks Monster A. No bonus action or speed remaining, no further action, round over.
3 = Player B moves to a better position. No bonus action or speed remaining, no further action, round over.
1 = Monster B moves to engage Player B. Rolls for second action (17)
17 (is equal to or better than 1 so acts immediately) = Monster B attacks Player B. No bonus action or speed remaining, no further action, round over.
1 = Monster A attacks Player A with multiattack. Rolls for fourth action (14) because it has speed remaining. The monster will not move, so the round is over.

Roll first Initiative for round 2.

IMO here we see more of a flow of action as one action moves into the next. A sense of excitement is generated when you read just the actions:

Player A moves to engage Monster A.
Player B attacks Monster A with longbow.
Monster A attacks Player A.
Monster A attacks Player A with multiattack.

Player A attacks Monster A.
Player B moves to a better position.
Monster B moves to engage Player B.
Monster B attacks Player B.

Monster A attacks Player A with multiattack.

2. Players are more engaged because they don't resolve everything for their character in one turn. This is a BIG benefit IMO.

Anyway, here is the original thread during its inception over a year ago, but it has been revised slightly since then, but the general nuance has remained the same.

Strangely enough, @Lanefan, you were the first to comment on it.

Other house-rules have added complexity over time, but also allows for more tactical play. Someday I might right up a more robust description.

FWIW, it you are perfectly happy with initiative in 5E, this probably isn't for you. I devised it to make the action in the game more narrate itself by the order of what actions happen when. As I've said, we've been using it and refining it for over a year now, and personally I would hate to go back to the normal initiative of resolving all a creature's actions at once.

Really interesting - thank you for sharing! I might experiment with this with a smaller group of players for a session in our West Marches campaign. Love the bolded part ("players are more engaged"). Playing online without video, it has become clear that there are certain players checked out until their turn comes around again with standard initiative.

#### DND_Reborn

##### The High Aldwin
Really interesting - thank you for sharing! I might experiment with this with a smaller group of players for a session in our West Marches campaign. Love the bolded part ("players are more engaged"). Playing online without video, it has become clear that there are certain players checked out until their turn comes around again with standard initiative.
Great! If you try it let me know how it works!

One bit of advice, players NEED to get in the habit of rolling a d20 ASAP when their current action is resolved. This was the biggest obstacle, reminding players "Hey, roll to see when your next action happens!"

It is also easy if you are used to counting down the initiative, but it isn't needed if everyone pays attention.

Finally, do some mock combats first to get the feel of it.

Also, check out the original thread for more examples of how the rolls versus the narratives compare.

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