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So Epic Power Attack then. I mean, yeah, very few players got to epic levels. But I'm just comparing it to something that was already in game.

I'm not trying to be dismissive here, or argue that DnD 3.5 was the perfect system (by no means was it, I don't think I'll ever play it again!), despite what some previous posters accused me of. But there's a LOT of things in dnd 3.5, so many gigabytes worth of supplements and books, and that's just the first party books. Didn't have everything, to be sure, though.

This message was edited 2 times. Last update was at 2020/05/03 15:50:51


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 Melissia wrote:
So Epic Power Attack then. I mean, yeah, very few players got to epic levels. But I'm just comparing it to something that was already in game.

I'm not trying to be dismissive here, or argue that DnD 3.5 was the perfect system (by no means was it, I don't think I'll ever play it again!), despite what some previous posters accused me of. But there's a LOT of things in dnd 3.5, so many gigabytes worth of supplements and books, and that's just the first party books. Didn't have everything, to be sure, though.


I'll have to defer to your knowledge on Epic Power Attack. I took one look at the Epic Level Handbook and called a priest over to exorcise it. Most of my table had a very low opinion of that book. Actually, considering that we had access to just about every book that 3.5 produced (at least the 1st party ones, anyway) we tended to disregard the vast majority of them. Even without the GM limiting people to specific books during play, we would've avoided most of the 3.5 catalogue due to low opinions of most of the material (I'm looking at you, Complete Scoundrel). So many of those books were written just to put words on a page and not to provide anything useful or interesting to the game.

We were pretty much a self-imposed PHB 1 & 2, DMG, Spell Compendium, Magic Item Compendium, and Forgotten Realms player's guide (for the races, feats, and deities mostly) table. Occasionally, someone would ask to use something out of Unearthed Arcana, but that was rare.

For Pathfinder, though, we've been much more open to the splat books. I think the only book nobody has ever pulled from is Ultimate Intrigue, and that's only because of how situational most of the stuff in that book is. If you are in a campaign built entirely around intrigue, investigation, and conspiracy, it's great. If you're doing a more generic fantasy adventure (or a published adventure path) most of the stuff in that book isn't going to benefit your character.

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Ultimate Intrigue was just bizarre. (Exactly the kind of splat that WotC was infamous for at the end of edition- trying out new stuff by throwing it at the walls to see what sticks).

The signature class for the book doesn't even fit the setting its written for, and the archetypes are serial-numbers-filed off versions of the Hulk, Spiderman, Sailor Moon & etc.

And the meat of the class is weird social powers around a secret identity (like Batman), which doesn't fit the genre, or the setting or that you're sitting around and killing goblins and dragons with other characters that... aren't doing that.

The weird 'better-in-costume'/'better-out-of-costume' split mechanics seem strange and terrible when everybody else can just use all their abilities all the time.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2020/05/04 04:14:15


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Question for those familiar with d&d5e... Does advantage always correspond with a disadvantage on an opposed role or are they calculated independently? I.e. If one character is at an advantage because of a situation, is the other automatically at a disadvantage for the same reason? Logically by the English definition of the words it works that way but I don't know/doubt that is how It works mechanically in game. For example, a prone character is trying to grab something away from the guy standing next to him and is at a disadvantage... would the upright character also be at an advantage? Or is the single application of the system granting one or the other the full extent and there would have to be another condition (like having more free hands for the standing person) necessary to grant him/her an advantage?

It seems like a lot of the conditions for adv/disadvantage correspond to 3.x situational modifiers. Does it replace all of them or just some?

Thanks in advance as I just heard about this system and am unfamiliar with 5e.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2020/06/29 14:29:51


 
   
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 warboss wrote:
Question for those familiar with d&d5e... Does advantage always correspond with a disadvantage on an opposed role or are they calculated independently?


A character either has advantage or they don't. A character either has disadvantage or they don't. Having either/or does not in and of itself affect any character but the character in question.

I.e. If one character is at an advantage because of a situation, is the other automatically at a disadvantage for the same reason?


No. The state's are independent of each other, though there are a large number of mechanics that bestow both on attackers/defenders based on circumstance.

For example, there is the Barbarian's ability to Reckless Attack. When this option is used, the Barbarian gains Advantage on all attacks. When this option is used, enemies all gain Advantage when attacking the Barbarian. The mechanic specifically states who has what and under what circumstances.

A Prone creature has Disadvantage on attacks. An attacker gains Advantage against a prone creature within 5 ft. but disadvantage if further away (some GM's might house rule that weapons with reach at 10 ft. still have Advantage). Like with Reckless Attack, the Prone rule in Conditions specifically states who has Advantage and Disadvantage and under what circumstances.

Advantage can be declared by the GM based on circumstance, and vice versa. The rules do not state a Prone creature has Disdvantage on opposed rolls, but I could see a GM saying a character has Disadvantage on resisting a grapple or restraining action. That would be up to the GM.

Also keep in mind that a single instance of disadvantage on a character cancels out ALL sources of advantage on them and vice versa. They do not stack unless running a house rule (I've met GMs who run it that way). If a Barbarian Reckless Attacks and a creature does something that gives Disadvantage on attack rolls, then the Barbarian attacks normally and has no Advantage. However, if the Barbarian is attacked, their attackers may still have Advantage if the source of Disadvantage only targets enemies and not allies (the state's are mechaniclly independent).

This message was edited 2 times. Last update was at 2020/06/29 14:45:15


   
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 warboss wrote:
Question for those familiar with d&d5e... Does advantage always correspond with a disadvantage on an opposed role or are they calculated independently? I.e. If one character is at an advantage because of a situation, is the other automatically at a disadvantage for the same reason? Logically by the English definition of the words it works that way but I don't know/doubt that is how It works mechanically in game. For example, a prone character is trying to grab something away from the guy standing next to him and is at a disadvantage... would the upright character also be at an advantage? Or is the single application of the system granting one or the other the full extent and there would have to be another condition (like having more free hands for the standing person) necessary to grant him/her an advantage?

It seems like a lot of the conditions for adv/disadvantage correspond to 3.x situational modifiers. Does it replace all of them or just some?

Thanks in advance as I just heard about this system and am unfamiliar with 5e.


They're independent. Some sort of effect generally has to explicitly grant them (or the DM just decrees they apply).

Its worth comparing poisoned to the prone and restrained conditions on the same page (292 of the PH)- poisoned only gives the poisoned creature disadvantage, while restrained gives the restrained creature disadvantage on attacks and other creatures advantage against it. Prone inflicts disadvantage, but grants advantage or disadvantage to attackers based on distance. So, each has to be assigned to a creature by some sort of rule or effect.

As for 3e modifiers, just some. Flanking, for example, vanished from the PH and got turned into an optional rule in the DMG.
Going by 3e modifiers would be a mistake (as far as 5e rules are concerned)- there just isn't enough overlap. 5e is basically sticks multiple editions in a blender and calls it all 'inspiration.'

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2020/06/29 14:56:42


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A lot of GM's ignore the flanking rules in general because they're too easy and it kind of becomes an advantage/disadvantage bonanza when the game already has an abundance of sources of both. There's apparently a popular house rule going around now where instead GM's are using Flanking to give a flat bonus to attack rolls but again, that's a house rule.

   
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Thanks for the quick replies and examples. It seems like it's not automatic and the rules specify when it affects both combatants and/or grants both conditions.
   
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 warboss wrote:
Thanks for the quick replies and examples. It seems like it's not automatic and the rules specify when it affects both combatants and/or grants both conditions.


In general I like the way Shadow of the Demon Lord handles ad/disadvantage much more than 5e's, which is too all or nothing for me. The idea is very similar, but you can be affected by multiple instances of advantages and disadvantages. They cancel each other, so you'll only ever have either advantage or disadvantage for a specific roll, but you can have multiple. Then, for each advantage or disadvantage (Boon or Bane) you have, you add 1d6 to the d20 roll. If you're rolling with advantage, you add the highest d6 to the d20 roll: if you're rolling with disadvantage, you subtract it.
   
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squidhills wrote:
...we would've avoided most of the 3.5 catalogue due to low opinions of most of the material (I'm looking at you, Complete Scoundrel). So many of those books were written just to put words on a page and not to provide anything useful or interesting to the game.
IIRC scoundrel had the skill tricks - options for rogue-types to spend their piles of skillpoints in ways other than maxing out a dozen of their key skills and sinking another 20 points into profession:winemaker.

There was usually at least one useful thing in each book, and about ten different ways it didn't quite work as intended with things from other books.
   
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I had my first experience of DnD a week or two ago, essentially a dungeon crawling one shot.

I have to agree with this assessment of it. I played a fighter and really enjoyed having my Battle Maneuvre dice to play around with, but beyond that pretty much all I could do was roll to-hit as my enemies did the same.

The health and healing was also deeply unsatisfactory to me.
Our paladin went down, iirc, twice. Coming from Dark Heresy, the first time it happened I was like oh gak, this must be really bad. Nah, just feed him a health potion and he's right as rain.

The healing in general was a rude contrast from Dark Heresy, it's almost like wounds didn't matter. I spent the whole fight getting shredded by bows and battleaxes but pop a few spells or take a kip and it's like nothing had ever happened.

Also the amount of health you have is crazy, and wounds mean nothing until you're suddenly conscious.

I suppose all this fits essentially the high fantasy super hero story that DnD promises. Run up to the goblin, stab it, hope he misses you, repreat. But I feel it falls short of the more realistic and engaging interpretation I was hoping for.
   
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 kirotheavenger wrote:
The healing in general was a rude contrast from Dark Heresy, it's almost like wounds didn't matter.
The cumulative critical damage charts in Dark Heresy always had the potential for some amusement. A character could walk off dozens of points of damage from having a titan step on them, and then step on a lego brick and explode.
   
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I think in your specific example the titan would be likely to inflict more than 10 critical damage on any one location, but you're not entirely wrong.

The system wasn't perfect but at least getting hurt was bad.

Before I played this oneshot I watched a bunch of play-throughs/stories and stuff on Youtube to get a feel for it. I was confused how people were describing epic fights where half the party went down, surrounded by enemies, and then stuff continued like that was nothing.
Now I get it. Losing health and going down doesn't matter, like at all, in DnD.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2021/06/22 12:42:46


 
   
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 kirotheavenger wrote:
I think in your specific example the titan would be likely to inflict more than 10 critical damage on any one location, but you're not entirely wrong.

The system wasn't perfect but at least getting hurt was bad.

Before I played this oneshot I watched a bunch of play-throughs/stories and stuff on Youtube to get a feel for it. I was confused how people were describing epic fights where half the party went down, surrounded by enemies, and then stuff continued like that was nothing.
Now I get it. Losing health and going down doesn't matter, like at all, in DnD.


Yep - it's my #1 complaint with the DnD combat system currently.

Getting stunned, blinded, charmed, grabbed, tangled up etc all have mechanical effects, but anything that is "damage" just goes into a big ol' bucket entitled "the number of points you dun gots til you're dead."

I'm enjoying the hell out of my current RPG group so I am in no way going to rock the boat, but boy oh boy do I very often wish we could play with a damage system like Fates, where you have very few "hit points" but you avoid taking instances of damage by suffering minor, moderate and severe consequences that have an actually lasting effect on your character.

Even basic, 40k-style "hit this threshold, suffer these maluses to your fighting abilities as you get worn down" would be an improvement.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2021/06/22 12:57:06


"I can't believe all these tryhard WAACs out there just care about winning all the time when it's supposed to be a game for fun!!!!!!! Also here's my 27 page essay on why marines are OP and Orkz should get a bunch of OP rules so I can win more games

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 the_scotsman wrote:
Even basic, 40k-style "hit this threshold, suffer these maluses to your fighting abilities as you get worn down" would be an improvement.
The exalted system played on that. When you gained more hitpoints you had some control over which bracket to add them to, and you got more hitpoints if you put them in higher brackets.

So two characters with the same level of advancement - one might tank a few hits without penalties and then drop right through into critical damage, while another might take twice the punishment to die but spend most of that time with wound penalties.
   
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MN

To make combat more interesting as a Martial character I am always "badgering" my GM about getting advantage/disadvantage through different moves. I.e. pulling carpets out from under people to knock them down, using my whip to swing into them, trying to knock them off things, throwing tables around, grappling, etc.

I also get tired of running up and hitting them with my biggest stick on a swingy d20 roll.

Do not even get me started on defensive options for players..... ugh. Just subtract HP.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2021/06/22 19:30:00


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 Easy E wrote:
To make combat more interesting as a Martial character I am always "badgering" my GM about getting advantage/disadvantage through different moves. I.e. pulling carpets out from under people to knock them down, using my whip to swing into them, trying to knock them off things, throwing tables around, grappling, etc.

I also get tired of running up and hitting them with my biggest stick on a swingy d20 roll.

Do not even get me started on defensive options for players..... ugh. Just subtract HP.


tbf you do always have the option to knock someone over (through Shove), stop their movement (Through Grapple), do something defensive to make yourself more difficult to hit (through Dodge) so however you want to describe those actions you can basically ham it up.

"I can't believe all these tryhard WAACs out there just care about winning all the time when it's supposed to be a game for fun!!!!!!! Also here's my 27 page essay on why marines are OP and Orkz should get a bunch of OP rules so I can win more games

-the_scotsman"

-ERJAK 
   
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 Easy E wrote:
To make combat more interesting as a Martial character I am always "badgering" my GM about getting advantage/disadvantage through different moves. I.e. pulling carpets out from under people to knock them down, using my whip to swing into them, trying to knock them off things, throwing tables around, grappling, etc.


Part of the problem with 5e is most of those things are your entire action (according to the rules, anyway), and... don't really accomplish much.
Prone is probably the best, but only if most of your party is melee-focused. If you've got a lot of ranged/spellcasters, you've just made things worse for them.

Grapple is the most bizarrely useless condition in the game*. The only thing is does is set speed to 0. They can attack the grappler, make ranged attacks at other people, cast spells, etc with zero penalty whatsoever. Restrained is actually really good, but grapple doesn't have much use beyond stopping non-teleportation movement, which while sometimes important for capturing people you've already overmatched and want to run, it mostly just means putting the 'tank' label on the grappler.

The game's setup is real harsh on the idea that if you aren't depleting hit points, you're stretching out the combat and generally making it harder on the party (more resources burned, whether attacking or healing afterwards). Focus fire always, save being clever for outside of combat where it might make a difference in the magical tea party that is 5e's vaguely defined grasp of non-combat situations.


*well, besides charmed. Which despite what people believe (largely from earlier editions) only means they won't attack the _caster_, and makes the caster better at socializing at them. It doesn't prevent anything from murdering your buddies in any way at all. And even the social aspect still has the difficulty of persuading someone in combat time. Its best use is really charming someone you aren't fighting and who you can get away with no serious repercussions later. (like charming someone for directions, but not charming a merchant, who will eventually snap out of it and probably notify the Watch).

This message was edited 2 times. Last update was at 2021/06/23 00:48:38


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To a certain extent, I wouldn't want to see too much ridiculous stuff.
I'd struggle to mentally justify why your opponent doesn't just step forwards and stab you whilst you're faffing about with the carpet or monkey swinging off the chandelier ("he's waiting for his turn").

As I mentioned earlier, I really enjoyed the Fighter's Battle Manoeuvres. I feel they made combat a lot more enjoyable as I had the option to make it more interesting in ways but are also pretty logical.
But I couldn't use those against mooks though, as you only get so many dice.

I get that melee combat is difficult to implement in a way that doesn't just boil down to dice-offs, especially if the intent is to represent characters of different skill levels rather than players of different aptitude.
So I can't think of any way to materially improve the sword swinging aspect, my main target would be to make damage and healing to feel more significant. "oh know, I've been stabbed" should be an expression of fear, not sarcastic humour as you lose 4/28 health.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2021/06/23 08:29:48


 
   
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MN

Dice-offs are fine. In fact, I would prefer an opposed dice-off system rather than what we have.

I would also love something to do on the defense rather than just remove hit points. A roll-off would be an improvement as at least I can say I am blocking/parrying or something if I win the dice-off and they can not hit me.

I also dislike Hit Point systems in general, and prefer Health levels, where as you move through the levels you gain penalties. This makes combat attritional in nature.



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 Easy E wrote:
Dice-offs are fine. In fact, I would prefer an opposed dice-off system rather than what we have.

I would also love something to do on the defense rather than just remove hit points. A roll-off would be an improvement as at least I can say I am blocking/parrying or something if I win the dice-off and they can not hit me.

I also dislike Hit Point systems in general, and prefer Health levels, where as you move through the levels you gain penalties. This makes combat attritional in nature.




Yeah. My problem at this point, is that people that I play with are very much attached to the 'special stuff' their characters can do with their class and subclass and race and stuff, and a simplified system that, to me, would be more inherently satisfying with health levels and damage effects would feel like it was making all the characters the same to them.

Almost any given thing that you'd want to be present as an option in DnD is SOMEWHERE in there, it's just usually gated behind some subclass or some feat or some thing. There's a lot in there, but a lot of it is like, you have to seek it out. Like I wanted to build a martial character who was heavily based around using a shield, so I built a fighter with the Shield Master feat and the Protection style, which opened up a lot of those options that I wanted, but locked me out of a bunch of other options that feel like things you should be able to do in combat or at least attempt.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2021/06/24 12:16:18


"I can't believe all these tryhard WAACs out there just care about winning all the time when it's supposed to be a game for fun!!!!!!! Also here's my 27 page essay on why marines are OP and Orkz should get a bunch of OP rules so I can win more games

-the_scotsman"

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MN

Exactly! There is a lot of "gate-keeping" (for lack of a better word) between class abilities in order to make any given class "unique".

Then, the mechanics and class start to dictate what can be done by the player, rather than the Player dictating what the character is going to do.

That said, this "strategic level" is most of the appeal of D&D to a lot of folks. I.e. making sure you go get the right class to create the combinations you want to use in the game. Plus, it is something you can work on and study outside of actually playing to keep you in the "game". This also adds a satisfying layer of "gotcha" when you use your class abilities in a certain way that flummoxes your DM!

It may also have some limited help for new players in guiding them how to play D&D.

Therefore, D&D combat maybe boring BUT it has been wildly successful at keeping people engaged with playing it. The simplicity and the segmentation maybe part of that appeal. It is a feature and not a bug!

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If you have a way to attack with a bonus action, Dodge is REALLY powerful. It is essentially +5 AC and immunity to crits unless the disadvantage is cancelled out.

Along those same lines I've seen my favorite class, Barbarian, thoughtof as the most boring. If you use all the tools they can change up their damage taken/damage output ratio to a higher extreme than any other class I can think of. But players tend to think of offense first with defense more of a bonus. At least my players have. And if you aren't a dice nerd, it can still be boring. Its less boring when played on a map rather than theater of the mind. I do agree with the ease of recovering from 0 HP being the worst part of 5E D&D.

But, D&D 5E is the most accessible, gateway RPG. A lot of the stuff people are asking for already exists in other games, even other "new" ones. Pathfinder 2 has active defenses and a pile of maneuvers. Call of Cthulhu 7th has opposed rolls, no HP gain with experience and an interesting "Fight Back" mechanic. It doesn't hurt to try new things with your group and see if anything sticks, or the variety itself might become part of the draw. There are a lot of good games out there.
   
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If you have a way to attack with a bonus action, Dodge is REALLY powerful. It is essentially +5 AC and immunity to crits unless the disadvantage is cancelled out.

In general, however, this can't be done. Most bonus action attacks (Two weapons, flurry of blows, etc) can only be taken if, and only if, you take an attack action.

Dodge mostly means forfeiting your turn and contributing nothing.


The big problem with barbarians is that damage taken/output ratio isn't that useful. Pop up healing, temp hp and disadvantage are far more flexible than a small 'X rages per day' number and an insignificant damage bump (monster HP scales at a wildly different rate). Half damage is great when it matters, but as you go up in level the number of things that are throwing more damage types (that aren't halved by rage) goes up exponentially.

This message was edited 3 times. Last update was at 2021/06/27 21:40:55


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What ways are there to freely attack via bonus actions for non-spell casters that can couple with a dodge action? I can't think of any other than via spells but admittedly my experience is limited. There are a few racial ones that you can do as a bonus action that don't require an attack action first (like a minotaur charge) or limited use ones like a lizardman bite but most of the other non-spell bonus attacks (as mentioned above) seem to require a normal attack first.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2021/06/27 19:13:47


 
   
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 warboss wrote:
What ways are there to freely attack via bonus actions for non-spell casters that can couple with a dodge action? I can't think of any other than via spells but admittedly my experience is limited. There are a few racial ones that you can do as a bonus action that don't require an attack action first (like a minotaur charge) or limited use ones like a lizardman bite but most of the other non-spell bonus attacks (as mentioned above) seem to require a normal attack first.


The Barbarian Frenzy and Battlerager attacks for starters (caveat: at least in my first print of the books, I know they do update later pritnings). There are probably more. You can also use teamwork to get your dodger some attacks, such as with Haste or Commander's Strike.

Dodging being a waste of time has not been my experience, and the way the Barbarian in particulars abilities stack are very powerful if the right combination is picked. Using Shield, 2H, Dodge, Reckless Attack, Frenzy at the right times have been decisive. On the other side, enemies with shields using Dodge to protect missile/polearm guys behind them can be a fun challenge to throw against a party.

At the end of the day, D&D is a modified wargame. Those mathhammer skills you use to evaluate stuff in 40K apply with this too. You can do your own math or if there is interest I can do a writeup.
   
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Frenzy is specific to the Frenzied Berserker subclass, and its really punishing to use, a point of exhaustion every time you use it with a rage. That's disadvantage on all ability (skill) checks the first time, and it gets way worse from there: 2 points is half speed and 3 is disadvantage on all attacks and saves. That character is pretty much nonfunctional at that stage, and it can get worse.

Battlerager I had to dig for... and its pretty niche and terrible for a trivial poking attack, where you have to be a dwarf wearing specific armor and find some way to get it enchanted to do magical attacks against creatures where that matters.

Commander's strike is really terrible action and resource economy. The fighter has to make an attack action, give up an attack, use a bonus action AND burn a superiority die just to give another creature one attack IF they burn their reaction.

Haste is haste. Its always good, up until it gets dispelled (Or the caster fails concentration) and the target ends up not-technically-but-effectively stunned (no moves, no actions) for a turn.


----
The problem with the dodge action in actual play is that its very much a gamble- the player is sacrificing the ability to accomplish things, and its only effective if the DM is playing monsters dumb and lining them up to attack that specific character. If they're spread out against multiple party members (or behaving intelligently, like tossing abilities or spells that require saves rather than attacks) the sacrifice just isn't worth it. In most situations, taking down opponents faster is the best option. Playing defensively becomes attrition play, which favors team monster, because they get fresh bodies every time, while the players have dwindling resource pools.

This message was edited 3 times. Last update was at 2021/06/28 01:54:50


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...I mean there's also cunning actions, as a rogue, or whatever the monk thing is called as a monk that give you bonus action dodges.

Definitely agree on the 'Strategic Layer' being a big draw of DnD5e. It basically allows people to think about all the distinct things their character can do outside of the game session, and then streamlines combat somewhat in the game session as most people lay out a "battle plan" for themselves.

Spellcasters and some subclasses like battlemaster provide options on the fly, but in general you do build the things you want your character to be able to do in that 'strategic planning layer' of the game between sessions.

"I can't believe all these tryhard WAACs out there just care about winning all the time when it's supposed to be a game for fun!!!!!!! Also here's my 27 page essay on why marines are OP and Orkz should get a bunch of OP rules so I can win more games

-the_scotsman"

-ERJAK 
   
 
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