What makes Great Weapon Master and Sharpshooter so good?

Rossbert

Explorer
The problem is that no amount of cover beyond total cover works against Sharpshooter. Yeah, you can take cover under trees. Won't matter. You can jump into a trench. Won't matter. Remember, someone who is flying has the wherewithal to come at the target from a 180 degree angle.
I suspect he wasn't particularly concerned with cover as just being not visible as a target at all. Even though a flying creature 600 feet away can get an angle to see into a trench or over a wall, it is probably a fairly steep angle at that kind of distance and will take a good bit of movement, and probably time. It doesn't do anything for any significant amount of plant cover or fog though, which is why concealment has been a time honored strategy for archers. As well as giving Fog Cloud a reason to exist.
 

log in or register to remove this ad

mpwylie

First Post
I don't sharpshooter gets around the cover thing and if you start metagming against the PCs all the time to counter sharpshooter the problem is really the sharpshooter feat.

Sharpshooter doesn't get around full cover and magically allow your PCs to see through objects. Gaining full cover is not difficult unless you are a huge creature. And it's not metagaming to have my monsters do things that are basic common sense and survival instinct. I wouldn't expect the PCs to stand in the open taking arrows in the face from 600ft, why would I expect the monsters to?

The problem is that no amount of cover beyond total cover works against Sharpshooter. Yeah, you can take cover under trees. Won't matter. You can jump into a trench. Won't matter. Remember, someone who is flying has the wherewithal to come at the target from a 180 degree angle.

If the monsters are hiding behind something like the trunk of a large tree, a large bush, or even tall grass large enough to cover them, they are fully covered. If the PC is flying and the monsters are hiding under the canopy of trees, in a building, under a cart, anything where the PCs cannot see them, they are fully covered. If your monsters jump in a trench that is deep enough to break line of sight to the PC, they are fully covered. Same with stepping around the corner or into a building, ducking behind a large cart or rock or anything that is big enough to break line of sight. having things in the environment that are large enough for a monster to hide behind is pretty simple really.
 

devincutler

Explorer
Sharpshooter doesn't get around full cover and magically allow your PCs to see through objects. Gaining full cover is not difficult unless you are a huge creature. And it's not metagaming to have my monsters do things that are basic common sense and survival instinct. I wouldn't expect the PCs to stand in the open taking arrows in the face from 600ft, why would I expect the monsters to?



If the monsters are hiding behind something like the trunk of a large tree, a large bush, or even tall grass large enough to cover them, they are fully covered. If the PC is flying and the monsters are hiding under the canopy of trees, in a building, under a cart, anything where the PCs cannot see them, they are fully covered. If your monsters jump in a trench that is deep enough to break line of sight to the PC, they are fully covered. Same with stepping around the corner or into a building, ducking behind a large cart or rock or anything that is big enough to break line of sight. having things in the environment that are large enough for a monster to hide behind is pretty simple really.

You seem to be under the impression that once a foe breaks line of sight and has total cover that the enemy just stands there and scratches his head. If you jump into a trench and have total cover, I fly towards you or fly higher up until I can see you (remember, I only need to see a TINY speck of you to negate total cover and attack you at full value) If you hide behind a tree, I fly over you and shoot down. Trunks are vertical for the most part.


Most of your total cover ideas can be negated by simply flying above the target.
 

mpwylie

First Post
You seem to be under the impression that once a foe breaks line of sight and has total cover that the enemy just stands there and scratches his head. If you jump into a trench and have total cover, I fly towards you or fly higher up until I can see you (remember, I only need to see a TINY speck of you to negate total cover and attack you at full value) If you hide behind a tree, I fly over you and shoot down. Trunks are vertical for the most part.


Most of your total cover ideas can be negated by simply flying above the target.

If you are 600ft away and fly up, and the monster jumps in a trench, it's going to take you a few rounds more than likely to get to an angle to hit them assuming they stay in the same place. If the monster is the size of an elf and dives under a wagon or cart the size of a Volkswagen, you are going to have to be back on the ground to try to hit. If the elf runs into a building, no amount of flying will help you. If the elf runs around the corner of a wall, and you are 200 or 600 ft away, it's going to take you a few rounds to get an angle. Full cover is not the mystical unicorn you seem to make it out to be. Sure, your PC can spend a half and hour flying back and forth trying to get an angle to attack. and while you do this, does the rest of your party just stand around 600ft away watching you fly around? Oh and while they waste that half hour, the reinforcements are likely going to be called in...now it's a party.

Again, I am not disagreeing that sharpshooter is a bit too powerful, but you are making it much more powerful than it really is. Stick with your homebrew rule, as I said I think it's a great idea to solve the problem at your table, it's just an issue at my table.
 

CapnZapp

Legend
My problem stems solely from Sharpshooter. I don't have a problem with GWM because the practitioner has to get up close and personal and subject himself to damage.
Again, this is not the complaint.

The complaint is, that if a martial character wants to do damage (and who does not?) he or she pretty much MUST get one of these feats if feats are allowed, or see himself comprehensively outclassed by those allies who do.
 

devincutler

Explorer
Again, this is not the complaint.

The complaint is, that if a martial character wants to do damage (and who does not?) he or she pretty much MUST get one of these feats if feats are allowed, or see himself comprehensively outclassed by those allies who do.

Well, since my players play fighters without the feat, and my son plays a barbarian without the feat, and not a single martial type in the last 4 day Convention AL fest I attended had the feat, I'd say a LOT of martial characters "don't want to do damage", which is actually foolish for you to say because technically a fighter without the feat still does SOME damage. But I know what you meant to say was "if a martial character wants to maximize damage".

And the answer to that is that there are other things a material character can do aside from maximizing damage. Like maxing AC.
 

D

dco

Guest
I am legitimately not trying to start any sort of flame war, but these two feats seem hyped way beyond anything I have seen at the table.

+10 damage is good, probably around doubling your damage on a hit (for argument's sake I am assuming 12 or 11 damage on a hit normally), but it comes with a 25% drop in accuracy. The math definitely works out as a net gain, if I hit 3/4 as often but do twice the damage it is definitely a win, but it hardly seems overwhelming.
...
You answered yourself, doubling average damage, for me that's bad design in a game where hitting is not difficult and the real armor are the hit points. But that's not all, the feats have more features, sometimes you can get an extra attack with GWM, that can mean 2-4x more damage, you have no penalty for long range and ignore some covers for sharpshooter.

Ok, accuracy is lower, but with 2 attacks if you need a roll of 11 to hit if you use GWM or Sharpshooter (a roll of 16) you will do practically the same average damage if we consider the feat is doubling this damage. That should cover an armor class of 16+Proficiency, most enemies, but the chances of criticals are the same and GWM could add another attack and Sharpshooter can reduce some penalties.
Once you add bonuses to hit from magic weapons, bless, bardic inspiration... self buffs from the classes like barbarian's reckless attack, rerolls with extra dice from Battlemasters, paladins with advantage or CHA bonuses...debuffs like hold person...and monsters with low armor class the probability of doing more damage raises fast.
 

The -5/+10 part is overrated because bad math. It just makes you look awesome. Make a list. Note how much damage you actually lose if you don't trust calculations that are not based on wrong assumptions. For a large part of the game, it is only worth using if enemy AC is lower than 17 or 18 and in that case the increase is only marginal and is more or less a gamble. Increasing the odds usually results in lower damage elsewhere. Casting bless means not casting guiding bolt or inflict wounds. Direct damage that can't be resisted completely and might end the fight even faster. At higher level you can use a better spell of course that might compete with concentration. Of course if stakes are low and you want to save spells, bless is always a good option.
 

CapnZapp

Legend
The -5/+10 part is overrated because bad math. It just makes you look awesome. Make a list. Note how much damage you actually lose if you don't trust calculations that are not based on wrong assumptions. For a large part of the game, it is only worth using if enemy AC is lower than 17 or 18 and in that case the increase is only marginal and is more or less a gamble. Increasing the odds usually results in lower damage elsewhere. Casting bless means not casting guiding bolt or inflict wounds. Direct damage that can't be resisted completely and might end the fight even faster. At higher level you can use a better spell of course that might compete with concentration. Of course if stakes are low and you want to save spells, bless is always a good option.
Lol.

Yeah, "usually results in lower damage elsewhere".

Said by someone that apparently is totally new to the concept of optimization or minmaxing.

You're right about bad math being involved in rating the feat. Not just what you think.
 

Lol.

Yeah, "usually results in lower damage elsewhere".

Said by someone that apparently is totally new to the concept of optimization or minmaxing.

You're right about bad math being involved in rating the feat. Not just what you think.

Times of optimization lie behind me. Possible. But unfun. Buildup often means suffering for many levels until combos come online. And when you are finally there, combats are often not as you expect them. If your games are that repetitive more power(gaming) to you.

I have yet to see a build from you that deals enoigh self sustained damage from level 1 onward that shows how op GWM is.
I have yet to see the build that does 50 more points of damage than the non optimized one without unreasonable assumptions.
 


CapnZapp

Legend
Times of optimization lie behind me. Possible. But unfun. Buildup often means suffering for many levels until combos come online. And when you are finally there, combats are often not as you expect them. If your games are that repetitive more power(gaming) to you.

I have yet to see a build from you that deals enoigh self sustained damage from level 1 onward that shows how op GWM is.
I have yet to see the build that does 50 more points of damage than the non optimized one without unreasonable assumptions.
Thank you for switching your argumentation over.
 

Thank you for switching your argumentation over.

I see it more as an additum.
A lot of builds assume bless casted on you. That is a full round of casting. Bless is a concentration spell. Clerics having to put resources in keeping up bless mpre easily means losing out somewhere else. Paladin aura is often used in builds to shore up defenses. That either assumes generous stats or hexblade multiclass. You find barbarian rage or avenger oath as a source of advantage which is also not always on. Admittedly that is something that indeed happens usually in fights were stakes are high. Bit then both paladins and barbarian need a bit more work to make use of GWM since their base damage is higher due to rage or smite.

And then last but not least other feats cam make a fight completely unnecessary. Magic initiate disguise self or actior come to mind. Alert could also prove more useful as you might get to act one extra turn where the GWM is just surprised.
 
Last edited:

CapnZapp

Legend
I see it more as an additum.
A lot of builds assume bless casted on you. That is a full round of casting. Bless is a concentration spell. Clerics having to put resources in keeping up bless mpre easily means losing out somewhere else. Paladin aura is often used in builds to shore up defenses. That either assumes generous stats or hexblade multiclass. You find barbarian rage or avenger oath as a source of advantage which is also not always on. Admittedly that is something that indeed happens usually in fights were stakes are high. Bit then both paladins and barbarian need a bit more work to make use of GWM since their base damage is higher due to rage or smite.

And then last but not least other feats cam make a fight completely unnecessary. Magic initiate disguise self or actior come to mind. Alert could also prove more useful as you might get to act one extra turn where the GWM is just surprised.
Sorry now you're just grasping.

The hard minmaxing fact remains: offense is the best defense. Removing the foe's hit points is the goal of combat. If you play a fighter or other martial your primary job is this and nothing but this. Having feats that make you twice as good at your job, is simply unsustainable - it drastially reduces options in the game, since it is decidedly unfun to play a build that kills foes half as fast as your buddy.

Everything else is just words.

Why are you so opposed to the concept that the devs have failed to rein in the balance of a few feats?

If you're not running a combat-focused campaign where DPR matter, why oppose the idea of errataing these feats? They wreck some campaigns and don't bother others, so fixing them will stop them from disrupting the first category while still not impact the second. It's a win win situation.

You come across as someone trying everything in your power to not have to concede these feats are too good.

Why? What is so devastating about such a conclusion that makes you work so hard at avoiding it?
 

Sorry now you're just grasping.

The hard minmaxing fact remains: offense is the best defense. Removing the foe's hit points is the goal of combat. If you play a fighter or other martial your primary job is this and nothing but this. Having feats that make you twice as good at your job, is simply unsustainable - it drastially reduces options in the game, since it is decidedly unfun to play a build that kills foes half as fast as your buddy.

Everything else is just words.

Why are you so opposed to the concept that the devs have failed to rein in the balance of a few feats?

If you're not running a combat-focused campaign where DPR matter, why oppose the idea of errataing these feats? They wreck some campaigns and don't bother others, so fixing them will stop them from disrupting the first category while still not impact the second. It's a win win situation.

You come across as someone trying everything in your power to not have to concede these feats are too good.

Why? What is so devastating about such a conclusion that makes you work so hard at avoiding it?

I stopped when you said "twice as good" that is plain wrong. Even at white room that is not true. And in actual play it is even less true.
It is fact that feats are good or say the best to make a pure GW fighter more awesome. And that is exactly what as full feats they should be doing.
There is nothing devastating. I don't try hard to avoid it. It is fact that they are a bit overrated and not as OP as you seem to believe.
And you already have a fix for your game. The half feat "cleave" which is also at the right power level. I still wait for a caculation that makes a GWM deal "twice as much" damage... or say 50% more.
 

Coroc

Hero
[MENTION=6922357]Rossbert[/MENTION] apart from your flanking rule i see it exactly the same, playing a ranger with SS, with my DM i always have to take a good guess wether to use the -5/+10 or not. With SS the constant no disadvantage whith cover / range Thing seems to come up nearly as often and is of course totally useful then. Like warcaster or lucky.

It is all about context. Had i taken +2dex instead of the feat i would have had disad due to cover on some occasions but i would have had +1 to hit +1 damage + 1 armor +1 dex save all the freakin time. So the feat is balanced, nothing more nothing less.

I guess it might improve a bit on higher Levels when your base to hit goes up , with opponent armor about staying the same, but then you might also need it because the mob has insane hp.
 

CapnZapp

Legend
It is fact that feats are good or say the best to make a pure GW fighter more awesome. And that is exactly what as full feats they should be doing.
No.

What the feats are doing in practice is invalidating every other fighter build that wants to damage foes.

It reduces variety. It outdistances throwing knives, spears or what not by such a large margin it is not even funny.

Moreover those feats (together with a few unfortunate cantrip builds) invalidate monster stats to the point where mid- to high level CRs become jokes.

They are entirely bad for the game and must be nerfed in combat focused campaigns.
 

No.

What the feats are doing in practice is invalidating every other fighter build that wants to damage foes.

It reduces variety. It outdistances throwing knives, spears or what not by such a large margin it is not even funny.

Moreover those feats (together with a few unfortunate cantrip builds) invalidate monster stats to the point where mid- to high level CRs become jokes.

They are entirely bad for the game and must be nerfed in combat focused campaigns.

Still waiting for a build that does what you say. Its your turn to prove how it is OP.
Until now you are jist stating it with no backup whatsoever. If you show me the build based on sound assumptions I will evaluate it and might get to the same conclusion. Right now you are just babbling.
 

MrHotter

First Post
For home games, this is easy enough to deal with. After seeing all the controversy over these feats, I've house ruled that anyone using a -5/+10 action would auto miss on 1-5 rather than just on a 1. That should make it so the player may not want to use the feat every attack even on low AC foes.


I'm sure different DMs have a different idea of how to balance these feats (up to removing them from their game), but as long as they communicate their house rules before the characters are created, then it should work out for the table.
 

CapnZapp

Legend
Still waiting for a build that does what you say. Its your turn to prove how it is OP.
Until now you are jist stating it with no backup whatsoever. If you show me the build based on sound assumptions I will evaluate it and might get to the same conclusion. Right now you are just babbling.
I'll clue you in to a start: create a Battlemaster with GWM (or better SS/CE) using Precision manuever; and getting Advantage from your favorite source (could be somebody casting Faerie Fire, could be a barbarian attacking recklessly, or a monk stunning the target just to mention three).

But that's all I'm gonna do.

Why? Because you're not new around here - you know I have been active in GWM threads since the dawn of time (or at least the release of 5E).

And I'm not going to repost the math only for you to ignore it, thus wasting my time. The above start is what you're getting from me.
 

Epic Threats

An Advertisement

Advertisement4

Top