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D&D 5E What Is Sneak Attack "Equal" To, Balance-wise?

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
Crawford's not wrong, I suggested a limitation that rogues can do better on. Rogues can sneak from huge distances with a longbow if the target is unaware or threatened by an opponent or they can main hand/off hand for two attempts each round. Limiting it to a hortbow/xbow with a short 30-45ft range means the per round chance is probably closer to 60-80% & letting it multiply across hail of thorns to whatever is caught in the hail can be significantly more than lost if you get 2-3 targets
I think limiting it like that would be way too unsatisfying to be worth it. I’d rather reduce the dice progression.
It's not really setup to do 1/round sneak type calculations with multiple attacks but this might help with mathing if you only look at the 1 attack totals
Thanks!
edit: I probably leaned at least mildly towarsds breakeven or doing better rather than breakeven or less if you use both
Not sure what you mean here?

I hadn't read the thread yet, I was just shooting from the hip. Might have underestimated Extra Attack, at least for the Ranger (I know it can get crazy for a Fighter when they start stacking).

I would suggest looking to the spell creation guidelines in the DMG as a mathematical base to analyze how both scale over the levels compared to a Spell slot, since HP and spell slots are also the base level units of measurement WotC is using to apply to Class abilities as well (source: listened to too much of the Happy Fun Hour back in the day).
Yeah that isn’t a bad idea. And yeah bonus stacking over multiple attacks is really good on the ranger. Good enough that I imagine a 1 attack ranger would be even more likely to dual wield...
It is a significant chunk of what Rogues even get at all, so that's my initial gut impression.
Sure, thus the idea of slowing it down on a half caster.
Compared to Arcane Trickster using a SCAG cantrip with advantage on most attacks and Shadowblade up as often as possible, a Ranger with one of the more reliable extra damage subclasses and SA that bumps every 3 levels will probably be pretty close, though a little ahead. Of course the Ranger should be a little ahead of a rogue in damage, but currently rarely is.

Still, it’s a matter of running numbers with subclasses and spells included to figure out exactly what progression makes sense.
 

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Not sure what you mean here?
It's hard to judge how good it would be to sneak attack everything in a hail of thorns without a lot of assumptions about encounter design & combat progression so I went with total sneak dice adding up to about he same as the second attack & figured good on the player if the stars line up to be completely incredible a few times a session hitting a silly number of baddies with a sneak attack laden hail of thorns with the one attack sneak adding up to about the same as a longbow with 20 dex dealing a second attack (rogue 5 sneak=3d6 avg to 10.5 & 1d10+5 also avg to 10.5). Where you peg the breakeven point of rgue5 sneak & how far if any it develops beyond that is the big questions
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
It's hard to judge how good it would be to sneak attack everything in a hail of thorns without a lot of assumptions about encounter design & combat progression so I went with total sneak dice adding up to about he same as the second attack & figured good on the player if the stars line up to be completely incredible a few times a session hitting a silly number of baddies with a sneak attack laden hail of thorns with the one attack sneak adding up to about the same as a longbow with 20 dex dealing a second attack (rogue 5 sneak=3d6 avg to 10.5 & 1d10+5 also avg to 10.5). Where you peg the breakeven point of rgue5 sneak & how far if any it develops beyond that is the big questions
ah okay. Makes sense.
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
Of course the Ranger should be a little ahead of a rogue in damage, but currently rarely is.
Well, I'd say no to that, actually. The Ranger has better AC (usually probably), spells, has no conditions to allow an Extra Attack (even if the Sneak Attack conditions are more roleplaying incentive than a real roadblock) and more hit points. The Rogue is the Glass Canon, the sprinter, versus the Ranger's marathon runner.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
Well, I'd say no to that, actually. The Ranger has better AC (usually probably), spells, has no conditions to allow an Extra Attack (even if the Sneak Attack conditions are more roleplaying incentive than a real roadblock) and more hit points. The Rogue is the Glass Canon, the sprinter, versus the Ranger's marathon runner.
The Rogue is also extremely potent at avoiding being attacked, getting advantage, and leveraging skills in and out of combat. The Ranger should be better at damage, at least when spending limited resources.
 


Parmandur

Book-Friend
The Rogue is also extremely potent at avoiding being attacked, getting advantage, and leveraging skills in and out of combat. The Ranger should be better at damage, at least when spending limited resources.
The Ranger is actually slightly better at avoiding being attacked, because of their AC advantage, and can stand longer if it comes to it. Their original design us not to be the high damage king: that is the Rogue's domain.
 

Xeviat

Community Supporter
Supporter
The Ranger is actually slightly better at avoiding being attacked, because of their AC advantage, and can stand longer if it comes to it. Their original design us not to be the high damage king: that is the Rogue's domain.
What AC advantage?

Rogue with 20 Dex and studded leather has 17 AC. A Ranger with 14 Dex and Half Plate has 17 AC, but that ranger has a stealth penalty. A ranger who wants to focus in stealth will have the same AC as a rogue, since Breastplate doesn't exceed Studded Leather's AC if you have an 18 or higher Dex.
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
What AC advantage?

Rogue with 20 Dex and studded leather has 17 AC. A Ranger with 14 Dex and Half Plate has 17 AC, but that ranger has a stealth penalty. A ranger who wants to focus in stealth will have the same AC as a rogue, since Breastplate doesn't exceed Studded Leather's AC if you have an 18 or higher Dex.
Sure, if we assume maxed out attribute scores for both. A Ranger can dump Dex and maintain parity, however.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
Sure, if we assume maxed out attribute scores for both. A Ranger can dump Dex and maintain parity, however.
But what Ranger is doing that? In reality the Ranger is a Dex class. Their only defensive advantages are Absorb Elements and healing spells and higher HP, and a melee rogue can afford to pump Con more than the ranger can.
 

Sure, if we assume maxed out attribute scores for both. A Ranger can dump Dex and maintain parity, however.
I saw someone make a damage comparison the other day proclaiming the greatness of cantrips using a fighter... with ten strength... and a shortsword or some other d6 weapon. This seems similar, why on earth would you compare a rogue to a ranger that dumps dex. Are you still talking about 5e?
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
I saw someone make a damage comparison the other day proclaiming the greatness of cantrips using a fighter... with ten strength... and a shortsword or some other d6 weapon. This seems similar, why on earth would you compare a rogue to a ranger that dumps dex. Are you still talking about 5e?
A Ranger can dump Dex: A rogue ought not do so. The Ranger has no repercussions to their AC potential for doing so, and focusing on Wisdom, Strength and Constitution exclusively.
 

cbwjm

Hero
The Ranger is actually slightly better at avoiding being attacked, because of their AC advantage, and can stand longer if it comes to it. Their original design us not to be the high damage king: that is the Rogue's domain.
I'm not sure rangers really have an AC advantage vs rogues. Though they can start out with medium armour, most (possibly every) rangers I've seen seem to wear the same light armour as rogues with the same bonus to dexterity. None of them seem to bother with shields for that extra AC bonus, instead dual wielding or staying on the sidelines shooting arrows.
 


doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
The Ranger is actually slightly better at avoiding being attacked, because of their AC advantage, and can stand longer if it comes to it. Their original design us not to be the high damage king: that is the Rogue's domain.
I don’t know that the Rogue can be called the high damage king, whereas the Ranger does seem to have been built to kill things quickly.

Anyway, the original intent is academic, we’re home brewing.
 

Campbell

Legend
You should weigh the overall toolkit after the change. My experience from playing a sorcerer / swashbuckler is that Sneak Attack becomes much better as a feature when you have multiple chances to pull it off.
 


doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
Ranger AC better low levels in medium armor assuming point buy.
Only if the rogue doesn't get studded leather, and again, the rogue is less MAD. Assuming they both start with a 16, as most will.

Anyway, I don't think the ranger is quite as strong a class in general as the rogue, so I'm okay if this idea gives them an overall mild boost.
 

Zardnaar

Legend
Only if the rogue doesn't get studded leather, and again, the rogue is less MAD. Assuming they both start with a 16, as most will.

Anyway, I don't think the ranger is quite as strong a class in general as the rogue, so I'm okay if this idea gives them an overall mild boost.

With a shield AC 17 vs 15.
 


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