D&D 5E Wizards values the power of conditions and noncombat effects as virtual damage.

FallenRX

Adventurer
So a long while ago i noticed something that was said by Jeremy crawford about monster design which is the fact they convert for matters of balance, things to virtual damage, via rating certain conditions equal to the power of certain spells levels of the condition appear.

You can see him say this here.

And ive come to realize, that is the exact same approach in the class design of the game, and the rogue playtest made it obvious.

For example.

The knockout ability of rogue which renders unconcious costs about 6d6 sneak attack, this is exactly 21 damage, which is about as strong as a second level spell, because unconcious is similar to paralyze which is also a second level spell.

Awe and obscure abilities in the rogue playtest which blinds/charms cost 3d6 which is an average of 11 damage, which is exactly the amount of the average damage of a 1st-level spell, where these conditions are directly inflicted on any creature easily. I even managed to recreate several condition based monster CR's using this method, with ease.

Basically conditions and the power they inflict are rated based on the values of the average damage of a spell level its closest too.

Looking at this example and point i think we can make a loose chart of how much they value conditons in the game.

Blinded. 11 Danage.(1st-level)
Charmed. 11 damage.(1st-level spell)
Frightened. 11 damage.(1st-level spell)
Grapple. 4 damage.(cantrip)
Incapacitated. 11 damage.(1st-level spell)
Invisible. 21 damage.(2nd-level spell)
Paralyzed. 21 damage(2nd-level spell)
Petrified. 55 damage(arguably 75 due to disintergrate).(6th-level spell)
Poisoned. 4 damage.(cantrip)
Restrained. 11 damage(1st-level)
Stunned. ???(best guess is about 13-16 damage)
Unconscious. 21 damage.(equal to paralyze)
Exhaustion. ???(best guess is about 11 damage looking at sickening radiance.).

This is a fascinating and weird find, that you can see directly replicated in the design of the current playtest rogue.

This also has huge implications for martial design.

They value the damage martials are doing as equal to the power of a spell level here.

Meaning that at 5th-level all martials consistently have around a second spell level of power at will in their eyes. Very wild way of thinking about this. And all abilities and effects in the game are seen through this lense.

It also comes with wilder implications which is that, classes are more balanced against each other more akin to calculating CR. Where it rates their Defensive value and offensive value thats average is calculated to hit a certain character level, where defensive power is calculated by translating everything into effective AC and HP, and offensive value is translated via Average DPR, and effective attack bonus per round. Meaning classes are probably balance more along the lines of them basically novaing using the most damage they can do on a single target via guarenteed damage using all of their abilities. If this is the case, that means resource management, is more about choosing went to use your nova or not use your nova, rather then anything else.

Its an interesting prospect here.

TL:DR. They value conditions as virtual damage depending on the average damage of the spell level their value in power is close too. This is how they account for the power of conditions for not only monsters, but PC's as well. This may reflect that class power budgets are made not too unlike CR is for monsters.
 

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Dausuul

Legend
So a long while ago i noticed something that was said by Jeremy crawford about monster design which is the fact they convert for matters of balance, things to virtual damage, via rating certain conditions equal to the power of certain spells levels of the condition appear.

You can see him say this here.

And ive come to realize, that is the exact same approach in the class design of the game, and the rogue playtest made it obvious.

For example.

The knockout ability of rogue which renders unconcious costs about 6d6 sneak attack, this is exactly 21 damage, which is about as strong as a second level spell, because unconcious is similar to paralyze which is also a second level spell.

Awe and obscure abilities in the rogue playtest which blinds/charms cost 3d6 which is an average of 11 damage, which is exactly the amount of the average damage of a 1st-level spell, where these conditions are directly inflicted on any creature easily. I even managed to recreate several condition based monster CR's using this method, with ease.

Basically conditions and the power they inflict are rated based on the values of the average damage of a spell level its closest too.

Looking at this example and point i think we can make a loose chart of how much they value conditons in the game.

Blinded. 11 Danage.(1st-level)
Charmed. 11 damage.(1st-level spell)
Frightened. 11 damage.(1st-level spell)
Grapple. 4 damage.(cantrip)
Incapacitated. 11 damage.(1st-level spell)
Invisible. 21 damage.(2nd-level spell)
Paralyzed. 21 damage(2nd-level spell)
Petrified. 55 damage(arguably 75 due to disintergrate).(6th-level spell)
Poisoned. 4 damage.(cantrip)
Restrained. 11 damage(1st-level)
Stunned. ???(best guess is about 13-16 damage)
Unconscious. 21 damage.(equal to paralyze)
Exhaustion. ???(best guess is about 11 damage looking at sickening radiance.).

This is a fascinating and weird find, that you can see directly replicated in the design of the current playtest rogue.

This also has huge implications for martial design.

They value the damage martials are doing as equal to the power of a spell level here.

Meaning that at 5th-level all martials consistently have around a second spell level of power at will in their eyes. Very wild way of thinking about this. And all abilities and effects in the game are seen through this lense.

It also comes with wilder implications which is that, classes are more balanced against each other more akin to calculating CR. Where it rates their Defensive value and offensive value thats average is calculated to hit a certain character level, where defensive power is calculated by translating everything into effective AC and HP, and offensive value is translated via Average DPR, and effective attack bonus per round. Meaning classes are probably balance more along the lines of them basically novaing using the most damage they can do on a single target via guarenteed damage using all of their abilities. If this is the case, that means resource management, is more about choosing went to use your nova or not use your nova, rather then anything else.

Its an interesting prospect here.

TL:DR. They value conditions as virtual damage depending on the average damage of the spell level their value in power is close too. This is how they account for the power of conditions for not only monsters, but PC's as well. This may reflect that class power budgets are made not too unlike CR is for monsters.
I think Jeremy glossed over an enormous amount of detail in that interview. There is no possible way their spreadsheet is as simple as you're making it out. Imagine a system which treated the paralyzing claw of a ghoul (save DC 10, an easy save for most PCs) as equivalent to the paralyzing breath of an ancient silver dragon (DC 24, flat-out impossible for anyone without proficiency or Con 18+)! The results would be obviously bonkers. Monster CR in 5th edition is sloppy, but not that sloppy.

Now, PC abilities generally have consistent save DCs at a given level. But there are still many other factors that affect the power of a condition -- chief among them, duration. Some of those rogue abilities last for 1 turn. Others last until the target makes its saving throw. That's an enormous difference and has to be accounted for somehow.
 
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So a long while ago i noticed something that was said by Jeremy crawford about monster design which is the fact they convert for matters of balance, things to virtual damage, via rating certain conditions equal to the power of certain spells levels of the condition appear.

You can see him say this here.

And ive come to realize, that is the exact same approach in the class design of the game, and the rogue playtest made it obvious.

For example.

The knockout ability of rogue which renders unconcious costs about 6d6 sneak attack, this is exactly 21 damage, which is about as strong as a second level spell, because unconcious is similar to paralyze which is also a second level spell.

Awe and obscure abilities in the rogue playtest which blinds/charms cost 3d6 which is an average of 11 damage, which is exactly the amount of the average damage of a 1st-level spell, where these conditions are directly inflicted on any creature easily. I even managed to recreate several condition based monster CR's using this method, with ease.

Basically conditions and the power they inflict are rated based on the values of the average damage of a spell level its closest too.

Looking at this example and point i think we can make a loose chart of how much they value conditons in the game.

Blinded. 11 Danage.(1st-level)
Charmed. 11 damage.(1st-level spell)
Frightened. 11 damage.(1st-level spell)
Grapple. 4 damage.(cantrip)
Incapacitated. 11 damage.(1st-level spell)
Invisible. 21 damage.(2nd-level spell)
Paralyzed. 21 damage(2nd-level spell)
Petrified. 55 damage(arguably 75 due to disintergrate).(6th-level spell)
Poisoned. 4 damage.(cantrip)
Restrained. 11 damage(1st-level)
Stunned. ???(best guess is about 13-16 damage)
Unconscious. 21 damage.(equal to paralyze)
Exhaustion. ???(best guess is about 11 damage looking at sickening radiance.).

This is a fascinating and weird find, that you can see directly replicated in the design of the current playtest rogue.

This also has huge implications for martial design.

They value the damage martials are doing as equal to the power of a spell level here.

Meaning that at 5th-level all martials consistently have around a second spell level of power at will in their eyes. Very wild way of thinking about this. And all abilities and effects in the game are seen through this lense.

It also comes with wilder implications which is that, classes are more balanced against each other more akin to calculating CR. Where it rates their Defensive value and offensive value thats average is calculated to hit a certain character level, where defensive power is calculated by translating everything into effective AC and HP, and offensive value is translated via Average DPR, and effective attack bonus per round. Meaning classes are probably balance more along the lines of them basically novaing using the most damage they can do on a single target via guarenteed damage using all of their abilities. If this is the case, that means resource management, is more about choosing went to use your nova or not use your nova, rather then anything else.

Its an interesting prospect here.

TL:DR. They value conditions as virtual damage depending on the average damage of the spell level their value in power is close too. This is how they account for the power of conditions for not only monsters, but PC's as well. This may reflect that class power budgets are made not too unlike CR is for monsters.
This is the best post on the forum. Fascinating, amazing insights. Mearls in the past talked about spell slots being a power gauging tool and now this makes that make sense.
 

dave2008

Legend
I think Jeremy glossed over an enormous amount of detail in that interview. There is no possible way their spreadsheet is as simple as you're making it out. Imagine a system which treated the paralyzing claw of a ghoul (save DC 10, an easy save for most PCs) as equivalent to the paralyzing breath of an ancient silver dragon (DC 24, flat-out impossible for anyone without proficiency or Con 18+)! The results would be obviously bonkers. Monster CR in 5th edition is sloppy, but not that sloppy.

Now, PC abilities generally have consistent save DCs at a given level. But there are still many other factors that affect the power of a condition -- chief among them, duration. Some of those rogue abilities last for 1 turn. Others last until the target makes its saving throw. That's an enormous difference and has to be accounted for somehow.
Jeremey is just talking about converting spells to damage, while you are talking about CR - which is more complex. CR figures: DPR; attack bonus / save DC; hit points; armor class; and special features. You are not comparing apples to apples.

EDIT:
For example, when figuring CR you us the most powerful attacks. For the silver dragon the standard breathweapon (67 x 2 = 134 damage) is more powerful than the converted paralyzing breath (21 x 4* = 84 damage), so it is never actually used to figure the ancient silver's CR.

Conversely, the whole reason the ghoul is a CR 1 is because of its paralyzing claw attack, without it the ghoul would be about CR 1/4.

*4 because the paralyzing last at least 2 rounds (effectively)
 
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Parmandur

Book-Friend
Meaning that at 5th-level all martials consistently have around a second spell level of power at will in their eyes. Very wild way of thinking about this. And all abilities and effects in the game are seen through this lense.
Yup, this is exactly how they view it. Mike Mearls broke this down in the old, unfortunately memory holed, Happy Fun Hour streams where he analyslzed Class and Subclass design. Basically everim the game is valued by HP and Spell Level, 5E is a point buy game to the designers.
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend


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