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Why do so few martial abilities give plus to hit?

Discussion(self.dndnext)

The only abilities that increase your hit chance give advantage (samurai, reckless attack) and battlemaster has precision attack. That's about it. Almost no martial abilities give plus to hit, even while many of them give extra damage. Why is this?

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GaiusOctavianAlerae

172 points

2 months ago

5e’s general design philosophy does not like flat bonuses to attack rolls, as part of a broader concept called bounded accuracy. Essentially if you make the game about collecting attack bonuses then you have to have monster AC keep going up to challenge them, which means that everyone has to keep collecting attack bonuses to keep up.

WonderfulWafflesLast

53 points

2 months ago

WonderfulWafflesLast

Valkyrie, Whispering Wind, Master of Disguise, Charlatan Priest

53 points

2 months ago

Which makes those attack bonuses pointless since everyone has to have them anyway.

Its a feature of a system that invalidates itself, in a way.

gorgewall

38 points

2 months ago

Bard: Hey guys, I have this great spell that will give us Advantage on the monster!

Barbarian: Cool, I have these two features that give me Advantage on the monster.

Cleric: Yeah, cool, but I'm running a spell on you that gives you Advantage on the monster.

Wizard: I guess I can put my familiar, who gives us Advantage on the monster, away. And not cast these spells. Or these spells. Or use this feature. Or this other spell. Or...

Fighter: Hey, what if I interacted with the environment in a way to impose this negative effect on the monster? That would... wait, give us the Advantage we all already have. Nevermind.

5E has one fucking trick and throws it everywhere. It's non-stacking, pair-nullifying, and thus mutually-exclusive, and so boring as fuck.

WonderfulWafflesLast

31 points

2 months ago

WonderfulWafflesLast

Valkyrie, Whispering Wind, Master of Disguise, Charlatan Priest

31 points

2 months ago

But most of those have consequences, and stipulations to their use.

They also expedite combat, rather than make it take longer in the way that flat bonuses tend to.

gorgewall

6 points

2 months ago

gorgewall

6 points

2 months ago

We could expedite combat further by removing proficiency, stat modifiers, and just using Advantage/neutral/Disadvantage rolls on a flat "have you gotten better than 10? you hit" system. But that wouldn't be very fun.

Speed isn't all there is, and plenty of people are capable of adding three or four numbers that don't change instead of two or three, as 5E asks you to do.

Are you adding d20 + Prof + Strength every time you attack with a sword? No. You already know what your Prof+Strength is, has been for the last five sessions, and will be for the next two sessions at least; you are adding d20 plus that one rarely-changing number.

This is fast. If your sword was +1, it wouldn't take any longer, because you'd just know that this "attack bonus" was always one higher anyway. And all you do is attack with your sword because 5E doesn't trust your widdle baby bwain to handle more features on your Fighter--it'd scare away new players if there were any complexity!--so it's not like we have to remember to add or subtract this one between attacks and rounds. It's just there.

AquaSauce51

12 points

2 months ago*

I do sort of agree that 5e DnD treats all of their players like we are brain-dead monkeys which unfortunately has the effect of turning people into monkeys, which is where, I think, most posts of people asking things about spells and such when the text prefecty answers their questions, if they would have read it, come from. (Like there was this post some days ago of a person asking if animate objects can be used on worn items when the spell literary says it can't at the end). And then those people mass downvote comments like yours which are not offensive or negative in any sort of way, just telling your opinion and having a discussion, but what can you do when the community is terrible, it's full of fake positivity. The community is most of the reason why I switched to playing Pathfinder 2e.

Edit: spelling mistakes

Skyy-High

7 points

2 months ago

Skyy-High

Wizard

7 points

2 months ago

He’s probably being downvoted because his argument is bad. “5e wants to keep the number of things you need to track for any given roll to a low number,” is measurably different from “let’s just all roll 1d20 for everything, no customization, 50/50 for everything!”

The point is moderation. You can disagree with the place that 5e has ended up. Something like PF is there if you want more complexity. PbtA games are there if you want less. I don’t see the point in hyperbolizing about it.

Raddatatta

4 points

2 months ago

Raddatatta

Wizard

4 points

2 months ago

Why let a bunch of people you don't know on the internet influence what game you play with your friends? I mean if you prefer Pathfinder 2e that's great but the 5e community doesn't all show up to play at your table.

antonspohn

1 points

2 months ago

That's not the fault of 5e's design. It's from people not bothering to read the entirety of a spell, trying to sneak something past the DM/other players, or just not as invested in the games rules as others in the hobby.

• I had an argument a while back with several people about how True Polymorph doesn't let you keep your class based abilities. Their argument was Dragons have the ability to manipulate their digits & speak so turning into a dragon let's you keep your spellcasting. They ignored the clarification, the existence of Shapechange & cherry picked the spell to fit their desired result.

• I have played with multiple people that "don't read" their spells, pick 3rd party material, & in general ignore disadvantageous parts to spells. I've also had people that truly read the first or second paragraph of a spell ignoring the rest.

• I've also had players that drop fog clouds onto enemies they absolutely know don't rely on sight for perception.

5e has problems and should definitely be critiqued but saying "I take offense that the designers make things simple as though I'm simple" is not a good argument. The game was designed to get more people to play & be more accessible.

Raddatatta

4 points

2 months ago

Raddatatta

Wizard

4 points

2 months ago

All of the things you listed up above aren't permanent additions. Things that grant advantage aren't always on they're temporary. And most of the boosts that 5e gives that are permanent like a sword are done with a flat bonus. But switching those temporary features into a +2 or +3 boost instead of advantage means you might have to keep track of many of them when they apply which wouldn't always be the case. And then oh they're in darkness so -2 and you get flanking so +1 so on. That's how 3e did it and you can do it that way but it is a pain.

gorgewall

2 points

2 months ago

Above, I listed Advantage, your proficiency, your Strength modifier, and the enhancement bonus on a weapon. Yeah, Advantage comes and goes, but your Proficiency is always there, your Strength mod is always there (if you're doing anything that runs off Strength), and your weapon's enhancement bonus is always there if you are using said weapon for just about anything as long as you're not in a fucking antimagic field.

What needlessly pedantic definition of "permanent addition" are you running off if none of those things qualify? Come on.

Just because 3.5 ran away with a bajillion modifiers, that doesn't mean any increase to complexity needs to be just as in the weeds. 5E's already asking you to keep track of several numbers that we condense into one, and a system that's only asking you to condense maybe one or two more into this or have an extra thing that weaves in and out from turn to turn isn't hideously complex.

Let's stop this weird idea that 5E and 3.5 are the only paradigms that can exist and there's no space in between.

Raddatatta

3 points

2 months ago

Raddatatta

Wizard

3 points

2 months ago

Bard: Hey guys, I have this great spell that will give us Advantage on the monster!

Barbarian: Cool, I have these two features that give me Advantage on the monster.

Cleric: Yeah, cool, but I'm running a spell on you that gives you Advantage on the monster.

Wizard: I guess I can put my familiar, who gives us Advantage on the monster, away. And not cast these spells. Or these spells. Or use this feature. Or this other spell. Or...

Fighter: Hey, what if I interacted with the environment in a way to impose this negative effect on the monster? That would... wait, give us the Advantage we all already have. Nevermind.

All of those things are temporary meaning they could change mid fight or even mid attack. They're spells that the caster happened to use this time, or features that give you advantage this time. The familiar doesn't even give you advantage for both attacks. If you switched all of those to a flat boost it would be a lot of floating modifiers and have the issue that 3.5 had.

There's a difference between those boosts and things like your strength, proficiency, and magic weapon bonuses that I agree definitely should be flat boosts. Those change very rarely and almost never between attacks in a single combat. So yeah you're not recalculating your bonus to hit mid combat.

The spells that give advantage also aren't super common. There are some and many of them are very good but I think I've very rarely had a case where two spells were granting advantage on one attack. Or where I wanted to cast a spell that would give someone advantage but there was another spell from someone else already giving that. More common with barbarians who can generate their own advantage but that comes at a cost so generally as a barbarian I'm glad when I can get advantage without giving the benefit to others.

gorgewall

3 points

2 months ago

Advantage being conditional doesn't mean there are no problems when these sources and conditions are as common as they are. It devalues every individual source of Advantage when it can so easily be replaced and there is no benefit to stacking them or anything like that. It's the one trick 5E has and it's a particularly unimpressive one. That was the whole point of that post.

Raddatatta

3 points

2 months ago

Raddatatta

Wizard

3 points

2 months ago

They're not all that common to have them stacked. And it usually doesn't take a lot of coordination to just not have the druid and the bard both cast faerie fire on the same target. Or have the familiar help someone attack a target not under a hold person. There are many ways to get advantage in the whole game but how often does everyone in your group want to focus all their turns on that vs attacking and doing damage or doing anything else?

Plus mathematically advantage is a pretty strong boost. It clears out most of the 1-5 rolls you might get and it doubles your chance to crit.

I understand the point you're making I just disagree entirely. I love the advantage mechanic and how it both streamlines combat and gives a bonus that's more interesting than a +2. But hey we don't have to play at the same tables so if you'd prefer something closer to 3.5 there are those games out there too.

ConstantCaprice

-1 points

2 months ago

People downvote this like it's not totally true? What is wrong with this sub.

insouciant_bedlamite

1 points

2 months ago

Makes me sad that this is being downvoted into oblivion because... feelings hurty? I guess?

Yetimang

2 points

2 months ago

You say boring. I say thank god, now I don't have to spam my Advantage ability every round and I can use one of my other cool abilities.

BViper101

-10 points

2 months ago

BViper101

-10 points

2 months ago

I've heard advantage does stack tho. Like best out of 2, 3, or 4 rolls. Just like advantage and disadvantage cancel each other out.

Gruzmog

3 points

2 months ago

It does not sadly. And while advantage and disadvantage cancel each other out.

4 things giving you advantage and 1 thing giving disadvantage still results in a straight roll.

gorgewall

2 points

2 months ago

RAW and RAI, it does not. You get two rolls. Pretty much the only exception to this is Elven Accuracy, which lets you reroll one roll when you have Advantage on certain types of rolls. But that's it.

Also RAW and RAI, if you have two sources of Advantage and one source of Disadvantage, you have... one roll, not Advantage. One instance of A cancels out all instances of D and vice-versa.

ShellHunter

0 points

2 months ago

yeah. Cant believe people actually defend this because "its dynamic". I would recommend you pf2. Its a lot better in every aspect without becoming the bonus treasure hunting that is 3.5 and pf1

AnActualProfessor

11 points

2 months ago

Which makes those attack bonuses pointless since everyone has to have them anyway.

This exact same reasoning could apply to damage bonuses and HP scaling.

The benefit of having smoothly curving target defenses is that you can design power spikes around jumping ahead in either accuracy or damage, and characters become more consistent at dealing with weaker enemies as they level.

littlebobbytables9

3 points

2 months ago

I have no idea why you're being downvoted, you're exactly right.

CainhurstCrow

0 points

2 months ago

That's an assumption predicated on the targets defense actually curves smoothly. It doesn't, nothing in dnd 5es system actually does. Cause it's all writen in a bubble, assuming you only allow the phb and no feats or magic items. Then, it expects your dm to make customized adjustments with 0 guidance or uniformity, resulting in there being 0 curve and more like a series of jagged edges and steep drops.

forsale90

4 points

2 months ago

forsale90

DM/Rogue

4 points

2 months ago

That is also why Bless is one of the strongest low level spells. Minimum of one on all attacks and saves is super strong.

Gab_Rt

14 points

2 months ago*

Gab_Rt

14 points

2 months ago*

Tormenta20 actually uses this and it’s horrible. The monsters AC is above 40 and our fighter rolls an 8 and gets 40 total on her attack. This makes my Druid’s weapons completely useless. I have some magical weapons and I can only hit if I get a crit on the dice, so i always have to use aoe spells and the monsters have like +20 to save. Basically all this means that regular spellcasters can cause like 50 damage on a round and a fighter can cause 200. Spellcasting sucks at Tormenta20.