Larian Studios
Primary Topic Links:
-> https://forums.larian.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=713497&page=1
-> https://forums.larian.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=716036&page=1
-> Primary feedback thread, multiple times

Summary: In the 5e ruleset, Advantage/Disadvantage is the most powerful impact on gameplay. This is true both from a mathematical standpoint and from a player/DM perspective. Because it is so powerful, all sources of Adv/Dis in 5e come at either a cost of resources or a potentially penalty to the user, to balance out the sheer power of the mechanic. Currently, BG 3 subverts this balance by providing always available sources of Adv/Dis in the form of Height and Backstab, both of which require nothing more than having your character in the correct location on the map (note: this is exacerbated by the Jump/Disengage/Stealth problem discussed elsewhere, but exists even if that is fixed). This makes the 5e sources of Adv/Dis nearly useless as they are all more costly or penalizing, thus invaliding literally dozens and dozens of class features and spells, completely ruining the balance of entire classes. Removing Height and Backstab based Adv/Dis will go a long way towards making the game far more balanced and play like a D&D game.

Main Discussion:

The Maths: - In 5e, in general, having Advantage is roughly equivalent of having +5 to your roll. Disadvantage is roughly equal to having -5 to your roll. This means if one character is rolling with Advantage, and the other character is rolling with Disadvantage, then there is the rough equivalent of +-10 between their rolls. Additionally, Advantage doubles the chance of rolling a critical hit, and makes critical failures much less likely (5% normally vs 0.25% with Advantage), vice versa for Disadvantage.

Next, one of the core theories for game balance in 5e is called "Bounded Accuracy". This term means that players and NPCs generally have limits to how high they can boost their static modifiers to rolls. There is a 'bound' on just how 'accurate' a player can become. This was a huge shift in D&D when it was introduced. In prior editions of D&D, players could achieve truly insane modifiers to their to-hit, to the point where attack rolls were reaching into the 1d20+100 range, which just creates stupid arms races between monsters and players. By reducing how much a player can add to their to-hit, WotC (the publishers the D&D rules) made smaller bonuses much, MUCH more important. For example, Bless requires both a spell slot, concentration, and is limited to three targets, and only provides an average of +2.5, half of Advantage.

Bounded Accuracy is why Adv/Dis is so impactful on gameplay. There are a few class abilities that can add a higher static modifier (such as a War Cleric's Channel Divinity that can add +10 to one single attack roll) but those are rare and always limited in amount. It is a large reason why 5e is generally much more balanced that prior editions of D&D with far less ways to truly 'break' the game. It also makes the gameplay much smoother because enemies to-hit and AC do not need to increase as much as you get higher level. On page 274 of the DMG, there is even a chart for rough AC numbers based on a creature's CR (Challenge Rating. The higher the CR, the more 'powerful' the creature):

CR 0-3: 13 AC
CR 4: 14 AC
CR 5-7: 15 AC
CR 8-9: 16 AC
CR 10-12: 17 AC
CR 13-16: 18 AC
CR 17+: 19 AC

Look at those numbers. Over the course of 17 'levels' of CR, the enemies AC only increases by an average of +6. Just having Advantage almost cancels that growth out entirely. Here is an analysis of the actual monsters made available from WoTC and their respective change in AC -> https://i.stack.imgur.com/a6rlg.png

Lastly, if you take a level 1 character and a level 17+ character, give them the same stats and the same weapon, the total difference in their to-hit roll will be....+4. That's it. A level 1 character has a proficiency bonus of +2 and a level 17+ character has one of +6. The difference between these otherwise the same characters is less than the difference from Adv/Dis. That is how strong Adv/Dis is mathematically.

Hopefully by now, you can see why getting Adv/Dis is such a huge deal in 5e rules, and why being able to have them should be considered such a huge impact on the mathematics at play.

The Gameplay: - Here is a non-exhaustive list of class features and spells that grant Adv or impose Dis for characters between levels 1-4:

General Actions:
1. Dodge/Help
2. Dropping Prone against Ranged Attacks

Spells:
3. True Strike
4. Vicious Mockery
5. Cause Fear
6. Command (certain instructions)
7. Compelled Duel
8. Ensnaring Strike
9. Entangle
10. Faerie Fire
11. Find Familiar (Help Action)
12. Fog Cloud (Depending on types of sight)
13. Grease
14. Guiding Bolt
15. Protection from Evil/Good (Against certain enemy types)
16. Sleep
17. Snare
18. Tasha's Hideous Laughter
19. Zephyr Strike
20. Blindness/Deafness
21. Blur
22. Darkness (Depending on types of sight)
23. Heat Metal
24. Hold Person
25. Invisibility
26. Maximilian's Earthen Grasp
27. Shadow Blade (Depending on lighting)
28. Web

Class Features:

29. Barbarian - Reckless Attack
30. Barbarian - Wolf Totem
31. Barbarian - Ancestral Protectors
32. Bard - Words of Terror
33. Cleric - Warding Flare
34. Cleric - Invoke Duplicity
35. Druid - Multiple Wildshape forms that grants Pack Tactics (Wolf, etc)
36. Fighter - Distracting Strike
37. Fighter - Feinting Attack
38. Fighter - Goading Attack
39. Fighter - Menacing Attack
40. Fighter - Trip Attack
41. Fighter - Fighting Spirit
42. Monk - Patient Defense
43. Monk - Open Hand Technique (knocked Prone)
44. Paladin - Conquering Presence
45. Paladin - Nature's Wrath
46. Paladin - Abjure Enemy
47. Paladin - Vow of Emnity
48. Paladin - Dreadful Aspect
49. Ranger - Umbral Sight
50. Rogue - Assassinate
51. Rogue - Master of Tactics
52. Rogue - Cunning Action (Stealth)
53. Sorcerer - Eyes of the Dark
54. Sorcerer - Tides of Chaos
55. Warlock - Hexblade's Curse
56. Warlock - Pact of the Chain (Help from Familiar)


56 different spells, actions, and class features (I'm sure I missed some as well). Every single one of these costs a resource or imposes a penalty for using. For example, the Dodge Action takes your characters Action for that turn. The Barbarian's Reckless Attack makes the Barbarian grant Advantage to anyone attacking it for a turn, making it significantly more likely that they will take damage for that turn. The Open Palm Monk's tripping attack takes Ki to attempt and still provides an enemy with a Save first. And this list is ONLY for levels 1-4. It grows massively once you start getting higher levels characters.

Each and every one of these has the same benefit as Adv/Dis from Height and Backstab, which means each of those class features and spells are essentially pointless given how much easier it is to just get higher or to walk around a target. This is terrible, TERRIBLE for balance. You are throwing out 6+ years of playtesting the rules and balance of 5e.

Finally, Rogue's deserve special mention due to how their primary class feature (Sneak Attack) interacts with Advantage/Disadvantage. Ignoring the cheapening of the Rogue in general due to every class now having Stealth as a bonus action, Rogue's are not able to use Sneak Attack if they have Disadvantage on a roll. This makes it extremely difficult for a Rogue to use their primary function against any target that is above them. This is terrible for the balance of the class.

Not in the Rules: The rules of 5e to not provide Advantage/Disadvantage due to different in Height. There is an *optional* rule in the DM regarding Facing and what might be called 'backstab' but 90% of the rule (including the ability to use your Reaction to face the target and deny them Backstab) is not implemented, meaning that rule was not used. Anecdotally, I have never, ever heard of any DM using the Facing system because of how much it throws a wrench in the gameplay process.

Possible Solutions: First, remove granting Advantage/Disadvantage for Height and Backstab. As you can see from the list, there are enough ways to get Adv/Dis, BUT they are all balanced by having a cost/penalty associated with using them.

Next, if Larian still wants to incorporate having a benefit for having higher elevation than a target and/or maneuvering near a target, please incorporate the Cover and Flanking mechanics as described in the first linked Primary Topics Link. Cover provides a potential benefit for being higher than your target because your target will not have Cover from your attack. Additionally, you will possibly have some Cover from attacks from below due to the surface providing elevation. Flanking also requires at least 2 allies in melee combat, increasing the risk to those characters for the reward of potentially having a greater chance to hit.

Alternatively, if Cover/Flanking is deemed to difficult or impossible due to the limitations of the DoS engine being used, then replace Adv/Dis with a flat +2/-2 bonus (which is the bonus provided from Cover and Flanking respectively). This makes players still want to seek out sources of Adv/Dis due to their higher mathematical benefit, while also not invaliding all of the listed spells, actions, and class features.
I agree that backsatb shouldn't grant advantage. However, I like that you can get advantage from height, and imo the rules don't have to be followed precisely if the changes that are implemented make sense and are fun to play. Which, I think, applies to height advantage.

In addition, the fights we see in the EA so far all have some degree of verticality, and Larian has stated before that this is on purpose to allow both players and enemies to gain advantage in a battle and therefore make it more tactically interesting.
The rules do not need to be followed precisely, if it is not possible within the game engine (see the point I made about Cover) or the addition or removal adds to the overall spirit of a D&D game.

Providing Advantage, for free, with no cost and always on, simply for being above your target breaks *over 56 other features*. 56. 56 balanced implementations of Advantage or Disadvantage, rendered useless because of that change.

That does not make sense nor is it fun to play, because the game turns into a repetition of King of the Hill each and every single fight with any verticality, at all. Having one tactic be the overwhelming "best option" in ever single scenario is not, to me, tactically interesting. It is downright boring and repetitive.

But I digress. Because it invalidates *at least* 56 other class features, actions, and spells. That is unacceptable for game balance.
So you backstab someone that is you attack from the shadows an enmy on their back and you don't have a vantage? Seriously. Lets stay a bit away from the meticoluous argumentation based on rules (but more on personal perspective than objective reasoning), same goes for someone hitting from an higher place (that means they have an obvious advantage both because the bigger area covered by eyesight and difficulty for the attacker).

I get it, D&D, rulkes, book and so on. But the game is designed for a bigger audience, who maybe don't care about a niche set of rules loved by old players.

Also to become king of the hill can be bothersome and noe so easy to accomplish, and the balance of advantage/disadvantage is granted by the fact that as I said is not as easy as it seems to seasoned or skilled players or lucky players to stealth or find an elevation from wich attack (in my own playthrough most of the times my party started battles far from any height or with enemies placed in such way that stealth was impossible).

Again what I think Larian should do is to create different difficulty levels so that seasoned, skilled and lucky (yes luck, I can roll an interminable line of misses and critical misses that sometimes make frustrating playing), can enjoy the effort, and at the same time the other players can enjoy their playthrough.

Also, please a little bit more of flexibility and adaptability?
Originally Posted by Bufotenina
So you backstab someone that is you attack from the shadows an enmy on their back and you don't have a vantage? Seriously. Lets stay a bit away from the meticoluous argumentation based on rules (but more on personal perspective than objective reasoning), same goes for someone hitting from an higher place (that means they have an obvious advantage both because the bigger area covered by eyesight and difficulty for the attacker).

*snip*


I'm going to break down what you wrote, and hopefully you'll understand why having faith in the rules of 5e is superior to Larian trying to force DoS mechanics where they don't belong.

1. If you attack "from the shadows", you are an "Unseen Attacker" in the rules of 5e. This is why someone who successfully uses Stealth gets Advantage on their attack. This is also why Rogues are allowed to attempt to Stealth as a Bonus Action in the rules of 5e, and every other class requires the use of a full Action. Advantage is *very* powerful, as I showed above, so this is why Rogue's are the only class that can attempt to stealth as a BA (in addition to other requirements within the rules that Larian has sort of implemented).

2. Hitting someone from a higher place can be more difficult as well because they can present a smaller profile (compare the human frame from level ground compared to directly above them). What you really mean to say, is that attacking someone from above means you get to ignore any potential Cover between you and your target...such as say another character between you and your target.

Did you actually read the post? I mean that, because if you did you will see that I provided answers to your questions as well as solutions you should agree with. Implementing Cover, or taking the easier route and offering the flat +2/-2 bonus to-hit, still provides you with a better chance to hit your target from Height and also for using tactical positioning.
i like height advantage for ranged weapons. Makes sence and fun to play in game.

DnD5e is balanced around tabletop gameplay. Most of its sharp corners are smoothed by game master. Here we have computer game.
Imho even dice roll are absurd for pc game, since computer can caluculate propability way better then human and extreemly fast.

I prefer fun gameplay over "dnd purism"
Height advantage for ranged is ok. Flanking is also a thing so ok. On some maps it is difficult to get into an exact flanking position.
Any change can be used by the player.. and used against a player.
There will be an impact, particularly for some classes/ builds. If needed (and only if required) there may be ways to "rebalance" eg +2 to attack if reckless attacking whilst flanking. Perhaps with various changes we need to playtest all the classes to really see how they work in BG3, consider what changes would be best etc.
Wow, a beautiful, well thought out and insightful post. Followed by a bunch of poor responses that didn't seem to read the whole thing.

I would be happy if they removed the height / backstab completely as truer words were never spoken: "because the game turns into a repetition of King of the Hill each and every single fight with any verticality, at all."
Replacing it with +2/-2 would also be a good way to balance it while keeping a height mechanic.
On the advice of Stabbey, I'm reposting something I wrote earlier as well as a link that Stabbey provided:

Originally Posted by Isaac Springsong
For a sense of how game breaking that (Adv/Dis from Height and Backstab) is, and how much it throws the rest of the game out of balance, here is a great example:

The most powerful resource in all of 5e, and generally in all of D&D across 40+ years of balancing and development, is a *9th Level Spell*. That is the highest magic a player can cast, reserved for the strongest spells. You can literally wipe out an entire city with a single spell. You can alter the fabric of reality. You can *stop time* with it. It is the pinnacle of player power. What is one of the most popular uses of a 9th Level Spell?

Foresight. A spell that does nothing more than give you Advantage on everything for a day, and Enemies Disadvantage against you. That's it. That's all it does. That is how strong Advantage and Disadvantage are in 5e with its Bounding Accuracy system.


Here is a link to statistical modelling of Advantage/Disadvantage.

As you read this, please ask yourself....which option will require phenomenally less work and time: to rebalance 56+ spells and class abilities, or changing literally two mechanics to instead be static modifiers?
OP gives a well stated argument and reasonable suggestions. +1
Well presented argument by the OP and I wholeheartedly agree. The current implementation is badly unbalanced and will be detrimental for the game.
I agree with the OP. Rogues are getting (relatively) nerfed because of changes like this (e.g., everyone gets a bonus action disengage and hide).
I agree completely with the OP on this one. If they want to encourage going for the high ground, just providing a small, static bonus (like a +1 or +2) would be worth it. High ground also seems to grant an increase in the range of attacks, and can be difficult for enemies to reach. Having it grant advantage is just too much, and will absolutely ripple negatively through the entire game for the reasons stated. Backstab is also a problem - implementing flanking instead would be an improvement, but just making it a small static bonus of +1 or +2 would be better (if they want to encourage a backstab).
I agree with the OP.

I feel like Larian seem to have a few main options with ways to go with these two (High ground advantage and backstab advantage)

1) Leave it as is and diminish/invalidate 56+ spells/abilities, some of which are core parts of a class/subclass/spell list
- Terrible idea as then they have to look at adjusting all these other abilities to compensate or just make them feel almost worthless.
- This isn't counting even higher level spells abilities, just the ones the OP mentioned, it's an insane development resource cost to try to fix the balancing problems introduced from keeping it this way.

2) Modify it so they don't give advantage but still give some benefit. A +2 bonus from high ground and -2 malus from low ground emulates 5e half-cover decently well and a +2 Backstab bonus seems to be a common homebrew instead of advantage for flanking.
- Not a bad idea, still gives people a feeling that using verticality/backstabbing has a tactical impact
- Still allows for all the 56+ advantage/disadvantage granting abilities/spells/features to have proper impact and not feel like wasted resources

3) Remove it completely
- Unfortunately makes the emphasis of verticality in game not feel as impactful
- Most in line with how 5e Tabletop works

Personally I would like them to implement both 2 and 3 and have it as an option but I would settle for option 2.

If both 2/3 were options people could choose from, then people that want a more pure 5e implementation can have their way, and those that don't care about 5e specifics still get the option to make backstab/highground impactful.
It should not be a full advantage/disadvantage just for how easy it is as it stands to backstab. The AI just lets any melee character do this at-will, which means it's a huge buff to any melee character.

Make it +2 or -2 or a 1d4 roll.
100% agree op.
I feel like I say this in a lot of posts ..but this is normal difficulty meant for the average player of the game and the average player does not like to miss multiple hits in a roll. Even someone whose never read the first thing about DnD can tell from the first few encounters and 'tooltips' (modifier notifications on the bottom left), how to position your characters for the highest hit chance. Yes this reduces the usefulness of 56+ spells and abilities, but instead of spending a limited spell slot/round to setup each and every combat, you can preplan positions and pre-sneak towards critical enemies. This is as much about misses as it is keeping the player engaged and having something to do with multiple avenues to approach each and every combat encounter. I mentioned the difficulty because for all we know there could be a 'core' mode or simply hard/insane for people who do not mind combat taking an hour or more, this would be a hard no for the vast majority of people they expect to buy this game though. RTwP could work the core rules a lot easier since there isn't such a huge slow down but that of course would limit so many other things 5e has to offer. I imagine bonuses will be tweaked to some extent, but 75%+ with advantage will remain with the skills you listed maybe providing guaranteed hits at some point or lasting longer rounds. I'm sure there will be combat encounters where these skills will matter a lot more than what we've seen, after all this is the easiest beginner friendly portion of the game. Every new level 1 tabletop session has a unknown handicap not based on the player character's level, but the actual player's knowledge of the game, it's ruleset and experience in whatever setting they are presented. Larian has to make the game with the assumption that a level 1 character doesn't even know what a d20 is, much less has memorized which spells to take for a better hit chance. Yep, this screws with CR, means hits land more often, and balance has to be shifted towards number of mobs, available terrain, their HP, enemy items and AI. They chose the hard road on this one, not to just copy paste existing balance.

I hope they give the rogue something special, but even as is he's still the highest damage dealer due to the multiple offhand attacks and ease of melee sneak bonus. BG2 had class specific items and I think that would be one way to add artificial boosts and bring back rogueiness to the rogues....guaranteed backstabs on start of combat, static poison or bleeds on weapons, short rest aoe silences from stealth, I think there's a lot they could do here to help out.
indeed this game is more like

Dungeon and Dragon : Divinity Original Sin 1st Edition. then anything else.

I do hope they listen to you and all the good feedback.

100% agree with you
"Misses feel bad" is not an excuse to mess up the balance of 56 spells and class abilities, especially because 1) they have not eliminated misses, but increased the chances of misses from being on the low ground, and 2) the HP inflation they gave enemies has made the problem into "hits feel bad too", and that has messed up an ADDITIONAL number of other spells and class features.

Adding even more artificial boosts in an effort to fix the problems is going to be a hell of a lot more work than undoing their previous well-meaning,but misguided attempts to spice up the combat.
OP is correct. I could argue why but he and others have made enough points as to why.


Originally Posted by Stabbey
"Misses feel bad" is not an excuse

Agreed. I hear this alot and it irks me. Make an easy mode for these people to placate them and leave that i say.


Originally Posted by Isaac Springsong

Did you actually read the post?


I feels like it with some of these replies. I hear alot that "it feels better to be stronger" which could indication that they really don't understand what your saying. Since if they implemented your suggests (+2/-2) and then gave them the 56+ other skills to get advantage, that's technically stronger and more engaging if you strategize right and get both advantage and +2 together. Since advantage wont stack.
Originally Posted by Acehigh
I agree with the OP.

I feel like Larian seem to have a few main options with ways to go with these two (High ground advantage and backstab advantage)

1) Leave it as is and diminish/invalidate 56+ spells/abilities, some of which are core parts of a class/subclass/spell list
- Terrible idea as then they have to look at adjusting all these other abilities to compensate or just make them feel almost worthless.
- This isn't counting even higher level spells abilities, just the ones the OP mentioned, it's an insane development resource cost to try to fix the balancing problems introduced from keeping it this way.

2) Modify it so they don't give advantage but still give some benefit. A +2 bonus from high ground and -2 malus from low ground emulates 5e half-cover decently well and a +2 Backstab bonus seems to be a common homebrew instead of advantage for flanking.
- Not a bad idea, still gives people a feeling that using verticality/backstabbing has a tactical impact
- Still allows for all the 56+ advantage/disadvantage granting abilities/spells/features to have proper impact and not feel like wasted resources

3) Remove it completely
- Unfortunately makes the emphasis of verticality in game not feel as impactful
- Most in line with how 5e Tabletop works

Personally I would like them to implement both 2 and 3 and have it as an option but I would settle for option 2.

If both 2/3 were options people could choose from, then people that want a more pure 5e implementation can have their way, and those that don't care about 5e specifics still get the option to make backstab/highground impactful.


+100 to OP for a well thought out and well-written post. #2 option would be my preference. BUT what I would REALLY like to see is these added as options under a COMPLEX difficulty system not a simple Easy, Medium, Hard setting.

I do not understand why this is a 2 page topic in the mega threads section, and 100 page discussions about party size are in another section.
The direction of D&D over the last decade and so has not been favoring more complex rules. In fact, they've been for making the game more accessible. Given the medium, I can't fault several of these changes. They're readily defensible. I think this is ultimately going to come down to whether or not the resulting rules are fun, not on some 5E purity test.

It does make a lot of sense from a simulationist standpoint to keep the height and backstab rules as they are. In tabletop there is no facing but in the game there clearly is. It's a mistake to blindly advocate for RAW when the fundamental assumptions of the game change. There is no 5 foot grid. There is no implied bobbing and weaving in some abstracted space where everyone's turns are implied to be happening concurrently.

The surface gripes seems to be more legit to me than this one. Sure they may be cool but they also make a mess, literally, of the terrain and complicate things. That criticism can be maintained in the context of the medium. I'm not sure this one can.
Originally Posted by OneManArmy

I do not understand why this is a 2 page topic in the mega threads section, and 100 page discussions about party size are in another section.


Because writing these up takes mental energy and usually I end up getting distracted by responses to other posts haha.
Originally Posted by SacredWitness
The direction of D&D over the last decade and so has not been favoring more complex rules. In fact, they've been for making the game more accessible. Given the medium, I can't fault several of these changes. They're readily defensible. I think this is ultimately going to come down to whether or not the resulting rules are fun, not on some 5E purity test.

It does make a lot of sense from a simulationist standpoint to keep the height and backstab rules as they are. In tabletop there is no facing but in the game there clearly is. It's a mistake to blindly advocate for RAW when the fundamental assumptions of the game change. There is no 5 foot grid. There is no implied bobbing and weaving in some abstracted space where everyone's turns are implied to be happening concurrently.

The surface gripes seems to be more legit to me than this one. Sure they may be cool but they also make a mess, literally, of the terrain and complicate things. That criticism can be maintained in the context of the medium. I'm not sure this one can.


Except Height and Backstab are exactly *the opposite* of what 5e is intended to be. Complexity through simplicity. There is no complexity when you are completely disregarding 56+ class abilities and spells.

Those do not make sense form a simulationist standpoint, at all. Because they you *must* implement hundreds and hundreds of new changes to compensate for the logic involved in those mechanics, which is literally insane. Remove the mechanics, implement a cover system, or take the 'easy' option and change them to be a static +/-2 modifier.
+1

As someone who comes from tabletop 5e. I agree 100% of everything you mentioned.

I appreciate your constructive feedback, and hope others on the forums could learn a thing or two of HOW you are supposed to formulate feedback.


With that said, of current systems so many things are broken or funky BECAUSE they are not following 5e rules. If they simply just implemented the current rules as written we would haven't most of the problems people are complaining about.
High ground for archers is only an advantage because it makes it difficult for them to be attacked in melee, that's it. All archers need is "line of sight" to a target, higher or lower doesn't make the archer a "better shot" and as stated by the OP (fantastic breakdown BTW) it is in fact more difficult to hit something "top down" because visable cross section of the target decreases the higher you are relative to the target.

If archer A) is on high ground and archer B) is on low ground and both archers have zero cover then the archer with the high dex will have the advantage. If the archer on high ground is behind ramparts then his/her "line of sight" is just as restricted and "chance to hit" remains the same for both archers, both have disadvantages on hit. If I cannot see you then you cannot see me.

I think people think of company fire for this advantage. If you have 200 archers behind a wall firing blindly over the wall being directed by a crow then chances are one of those 200 arrows will hit someone on the other side. If you put one archer on either side of a wall and they blindly fired at each other regardless of height they wont hit anything.

The only exeption is crossbows. You can remain in cover with a crossbow and aim and fire. You don't need to stand, draw, aim and fire like with bows. You cannot fire a bow sat down hiding behind a box BUT it takes far longer to crank and load crossbows. But then you only gain defence/stealth bonuses.

This isn't about 5e rule puritanicalism, it is again stated by the OP "advantages" come from class and come with "disadvantages". Giving all classes the same cheese mechanic is simply not D&D.
Originally Posted by Isaac Springsong
Except Height and Backstab are exactly *the opposite* of what 5e is intended to be. Complexity through simplicity. There is no complexity when you are completely disregarding 56+ class abilities and spells.

Those do not make sense form a simulationist standpoint, at all. Because they you *must* implement hundreds and hundreds of new changes to compensate for the logic involved in those mechanics, which is literally insane. Remove the mechanics, implement a cover system, or take the 'easy' option and change them to be a static +/-2 modifier.

If you want simplification, you've already gotten it. Who is to say those other abilities will get implemented at all? From an app dev standpoint, what you say you want has already been achieved. You may not like the implementation, but that doesn't change that fact.

As a point of contention, "complexity through simplicity" makes zero logical sense. It's a self-contradictory statement. It's like asking for dry water.
It's actually pretty much the same kind of problem we have with environmental damage. At the moment in the game, you can achieve better results of AoE damage by using fire bolt cantrip with powder and firewine barrels than an actual AoE spell. And I am worried higher spells like fireball or cone of cold will look ridiculous compared to barrelmancy or hoardermancy. This is quite concerning.
Today morning I sent similar feedback via Larian's formular, with special mention that high ground rule have same power level as 9th level spell Foresight: You touch a willing creature and bestow a limited ability to see into the immediate future. For the duration, the target can't be surprised and has advantage on attack rolls, ability checks, and saving throws. Additionally, other creatures have disadvantage on attack rolls against the target for the duration.
From all what I've seen in my 100 hours in-game the backstab and high-ground rule is the worst modification which pretty much invalidates half of D&D rules.

Remember though guys this isn't a 1 to 1 port of the 5e ruleset. Its a game based on thee 5 E rules taking a pnp game and converting it into a 3D world.

If you want fully authentic there is tabletop simulator
Originally Posted by N7Greenfire
Remember though guys this isn't a 1 to 1 port of the 5e ruleset. Its a game based on thee 5 E rules taking a pnp game and converting it into a 3D world.

If you want fully authentic there is tabletop simulator


That's part of the thing too. It can't be a 5E RAW implementation either. Some things just don't work. Even Solasta isn't a purist implementation. They went hard on it, but even they've made tweaks to base rules.
Originally Posted by N7Greenfire
Remember though guys this isn't a 1 to 1 port of the 5e ruleset. Its a game based on thee 5 E rules taking a pnp game and converting it into a 3D world.

If you want fully authentic there is tabletop simulator


This is true, but the chassis of the rule set they are using is dnd 5e. That much is obvious. 5e has a lot of systems that might not make sense in a vacuum, but there are connecting systems that help create realism and mechanical balance.

When core rules of a system in 5e are broken or changed, it's not just changing one system, but every system connected to it, and every system connected to those systems. The size and weight of the change determines how far across the chassis the changes are felt.

Without compensation, certain systems can only bend so much before the balance and realism of them start to break. If those systems become compensated, then surrounding systems start to bend, which then need to become compensated, and so on and so forth.

5e does have it's issues, don't get me wrong, but for the most part it does a pretty good job.

I do agree that certain changes from 5e to virtual will make the game better, but I think it's important to look at everything before you change something. Measure twice, cut once.


Personally, the ability to get advantage on almost every attack makes advantage feel lackluster. Why even use Faerie Fire, when I can get on top of a hill and Guiding Bolt, or walk behind them and Inflict Wounds?Chances are that my allies don't need me to risk a spell slot and an action on a Spell save to give them advantage, when they can probably already get it for free.
Originally Posted by N7Greenfire
Remember though guys this isn't a 1 to 1 port of the 5e ruleset. Its a game based on thee 5 E rules taking a pnp game and converting it into a 3D world.

If you want fully authentic there is tabletop simulator

I am curious, did you really read the whole post the OP wrote? He is literally proving that this change is just too much with too large consequences. Nobody on this forum want a 1:1 tabletop sim. For example they already changed Ranger class vs 5e ruleset and it's actually quite good. But with this backstab/higround change I wonder why they even bother implementing DnD at all. It's that big.
Originally Posted by Evandir
Originally Posted by N7Greenfire
Remember though guys this isn't a 1 to 1 port of the 5e ruleset. Its a game based on thee 5 E rules taking a pnp game and converting it into a 3D world.

If you want fully authentic there is tabletop simulator



Personally, the ability to get advantage on almost every attack makes advantage feel lackluster. Why even use Faerie Fire, when I can get on top of a hill and Guiding Bolt, or walk behind them and Inflict Wounds? Chances are that my allies don't need me to risk a spell slot and an action on a Spell save to give them advantage, when they can probably already get it for free.




But you wont always be able to start on the high ground without investment, like when you try to save the deep gnome. In situations like that Faerie Fire is really good. High ground adds more realism and tactical consideration's to combat. "Do i risk mist stepping Gale to try and blast the goblins off the hill, or is he gunna die?" "Man im glad i have shadowheart's group stealth to be able to position properly"

Originally Posted by Zahur
Originally Posted by N7Greenfire
Remember though guys this isn't a 1 to 1 port of the 5e ruleset. Its a game based on thee 5 E rules taking a pnp game and converting it into a 3D world.

If you want fully authentic there is tabletop simulator

I am curious, did you really read the whole post the OP wrote? He is literally proving that this change is just too much with too large consequences. Nobody on this forum want a 1:1 tabletop sim. For example they already changed Ranger class vs 5e ruleset and it's actually quite good. But with this backstab/higround change I wonder why they even bother implementing DnD at all. It's that big.


wdym? Try to imagine your campaigns in a real d environment, your archer is going to want to go to the top of a tower or climb a tree for advantage right? If your rogue sneaks behind someone hes gong have a good chance of dealing some damage. Just because the environment plays a part in advantage does not mean spells are useless. You wont always be able to take the highground without investment.
Originally Posted by N7Greenfire

wdym? Try to imagine your campaigns in a real d environment, your archer is going to want to go to the top of a tower or climb a tree for advantage right? If your rogue sneaks behind someone hes gong have a good chance of dealing some damage. Just because the environment plays a part in advantage does not mean spells are useless. You wont always be able to take the highground without investment.

Archer is gonna go high-ground for advantage, but not the advantage in terms on DnD rules which is much stronger condition (again, see first post). By being high-ground you can ignore ground obstacles, in other word, you can ignore eventual cover. And don't forget the high ground advantage is currently applied even to spells like Guiding Bolt, which is by description a beam of ligh. How does a beam of light take advantage from high ground?

We have no problem here with rogue sneaking behing someone to get extra damage with good accuracy. The problem is: (1) everybody can do that, not just Rogue. (2) It' not sneaking when you leap over enemy or walk around them in middle of fight. (3) You actually don't even need to succeed in Sneak skill check. (4) You can backstab with spell also, try e.g Inflict Wounds.

So, I actually agree what are you saying but the game behaves very differently.

The main problem in making the game more accurate in terms of when to declare an advantage or not will be the percentage of success lowering down dramatically at low level. Will players like the fact they have to wait 5 rounds to kill just one goblin? I am not sure honestly.

I guess they began implementing stricto sensu 5e combat rules but realized it would be too punishing to the pace of combat. So what's the best compromise here?
Originally Posted by Nyanko
The main problem in making the game more accurate in terms of when to declare an advantage or not will be the percentage of success lowering down dramatically at low level. Will players like the fact they have to wait 5 rounds to kill just one goblin? I am not sure honestly.

I guess they began implementing stricto sensu 5e combat rules but realized it would be too punishing to the pace of combat. So what's the best compromise here?

Those rules are such a sensitive small ecosystem, aren't they? Inspired by this reddit post I made my own analysis. I've ran a simulator with 1 million of goblins and let them fight with one immortal 1st level Fighter (STR 16).

Current BG3, Goblin AC8, HP14, 20% of attacks have disadvantage or they are normal, 80% have advantage
Code
              Rounds  Avg  Min  Low  Med High Max StDev
Short Sword  2703117  2.7    2    3    3    3   8   0.6
Warhammer    2425818  2.4    2    2    2    2   8   0.6
Greatsword   2018406  2.0    1    2    2    2   7   0.4

RAW DnD, Goblin AC15, HP7, 20% of attacks have disadvantage or advantage, 80% are normal attacks
Code
              Rounds  Avg  Min  Low  Med High Max StDev
Short Sword  2723422  2.7    1    2    2    2  21   1.7
Warhammer    2498914  2.5    1    2    2    2  23   1.7
Greatsword   1972064  2.0    1    1    1    1  19   1.4

We can clearly see that Larian tries and actually succeed in achiving roughly same total combat durations. Average time to kill a Goblin is same in BG3 as in RAW DnD. Looking to minimal/maximal value and medians (low, middle and high) there is one round difference, which is OK by my standards. The Problems of RAW are very long miss streaks and larger standard deviation which leads to bad feeling and discomfort. So I think if we are trying to persuade Larian to revert all their changes regarding advantage/disadvantage and HP/AC back do RAW DnD, we should suggest an alternative system which deals somehow with those miss streaks.

My favorite solution is simply not interpret all misses as misses. Often you hit but deal no damage. There could be an animation, sparks, taunts, shouts, etc, depending on how close you were on your d20 attack roll.

Other solid solution would be pseudo-random distribution like Dota 2 is using. This will fake die rolls depending on you current streak but maintain the average probability the same.

Originally Posted by N7Greenfire
Remember though guys this isn't a 1 to 1 port of the 5e ruleset. Its a game based on thee 5 E rules taking a pnp game and converting it into a 3D world.

If you want fully authentic there is tabletop simulator


...They say in two sentences, completely and totally ignoring the lengthy and detailed post pointing out how many other things this simple change breaks.


Originally Posted by SacredWitness

That's part of the thing too. It can't be a 5E RAW implementation either. Some things just don't work. Even Solasta isn't a purist implementation. They went hard on it, but even they've made tweaks to base rules.


...They say, as they put the final touches on the strawman argument no one was making in the first place.


Originally Posted by Nyanko
The main problem in making the game more accurate in terms of when to declare an advantage or not will be the percentage of success lowering down dramatically at low level. Will players like the fact they have to wait 5 rounds to kill just one goblin? I am not sure honestly.

I guess they began implementing stricto sensu 5e combat rules but realized it would be too punishing to the pace of combat. So what's the best compromise here?


The very first fight in Solasta is a level 2 party with half-cover against some level 2 goblins who have the high ground. You actually have a stronger position in that game, because the goblins don't have free Advantage. In BG 3, that same fight on the low ground would be a frustrating series of misses. Also the goblins tend to die in 1-2 hits in Solasta, instead of 2-4 in BG 3.

It is really convenient how everyone cheering high ground advantage conveniently pretends that their party always, always 100% of the time has the high ground advantage, and 0% of the time has the low ground disadvantage. No, you don't get to do that.

The combat in Solasta feels a lot better than in BG 3, because positioning actually matters more in that game thanks to how it implements cover, and doesn't give goblins infinite range consumables to throw or magic arrows to fire. The pace of the combat feels better. This is not a matter of Larian "realizing the 5e combat rules would be punishing to the pace of combat". It's a matter of Larian having no confidence in themselves and their ability to deliver a satisfying combat experience without making it flashy and splashy with explosions and surface effects everywhere, because those are the last two games they made, and were very successful at.
Originally Posted by Zahur
Originally Posted by Nyanko
The main problem in making the game more accurate in terms of when to declare an advantage or not will be the percentage of success lowering down dramatically at low level. Will players like the fact they have to wait 5 rounds to kill just one goblin? I am not sure honestly.

I guess they began implementing stricto sensu 5e combat rules but realized it would be too punishing to the pace of combat. So what's the best compromise here?

Those rules are such a sensitive small ecosystem, aren't they? Inspired by this reddit post I made my own analysis. I've ran a simulator with 1 million of goblins and let them fight with one immortal 1st level Fighter (STR 16).

Current BG3, Goblin AC8, HP14, 20% of attacks have disadvantage or they are normal, 80% have advantage
Code
              Rounds  Avg  Min  Low  Med High Max StDev
Short Sword  2703117  2.7    2    3    3    3   8   0.6
Warhammer    2425818  2.4    2    2    2    2   8   0.6
Greatsword   2018406  2.0    1    2    2    2   7   0.4

RAW DnD, Goblin AC15, HP7, 20% of attacks have disadvantage or advantage, 80% are normal attacks
Code
              Rounds  Avg  Min  Low  Med High Max StDev
Short Sword  2723422  2.7    1    2    2    2  21   1.7
Warhammer    2498914  2.5    1    2    2    2  23   1.7
Greatsword   1972064  2.0    1    1    1    1  19   1.4

We can clearly see that Larian tries and actually succeed in achiving roughly same total combat durations. Average time to kill a Goblin is same in BG3 as in RAW DnD. Looking to minimal/maximal value and medians (low, middle and high) there is one round difference, which is OK by my standards. The Problems of RAW are very long miss streaks and larger standard deviation which leads to bad feeling and discomfort. So I think if we are trying to persuade Larian to revert all their changes regarding advantage/disadvantage and HP/AC back do RAW DnD, we should suggest an alternative system which deals somehow with those miss streaks.

My favorite solution is simply not interpret all misses as misses. Often you hit but deal no damage. There could be an animation, sparks, taunts, shouts, etc, depending on how close you were on your d20 attack roll.

Other solid solution would be pseudo-random distribution like Dota 2 is using. This will fake die rolls depending on you current streak but maintain the average probability the same.




Impressive.

I think that could be a part of difficulty options. We will most definitely see a diffculty slider of some kind, but that doesn't stop Larian form implementing different difficulty options as well, e.g.
1. RAW D&D rules for player and AI
2. To hit advantage for player (like X-COM)
3. To hit advantage for player and to miss disadvantage (like X-COM)

The same could be an option for surfaces (damage rules), cantrip (surface&damage rules), and much else.
Originally Posted by frequentic
Impressive.

I think that could be a part of difficulty options. We will most definitely see a diffculty slider of some kind, but that doesn't stop Larian form implementing different difficulty options as well, e.g.
1. RAW D&D rules for player and AI
2. To hit advantage for player (like X-COM)
3. To hit advantage for player and to miss disadvantage (like X-COM)

The same could be an option for surfaces (damage rules), cantrip (surface&damage rules), and much else.


The trouble with adding a multitude of gameplay-affecting options is that it makes the gameplay harder to balance and test, which increases the workload of the QA team tremendously.
Originally Posted by Stabbey
Originally Posted by frequentic
Impressive.

I think that could be a part of difficulty options. We will most definitely see a diffculty slider of some kind, but that doesn't stop Larian form implementing different difficulty options as well, e.g.
1. RAW D&D rules for player and AI
2. To hit advantage for player (like X-COM)
3. To hit advantage for player and to miss disadvantage (like X-COM)

The same could be an option for surfaces (damage rules), cantrip (surface&damage rules), and much else.


The trouble with adding a multitude of gameplay-affecting options is that it makes the gameplay harder to balance and test, which increases the workload of the QA team tremendously.


Well, we are in EA to test things, aren't we? They have this opportunity to try different options with us, the 1 million+ EA buyers.
Originally Posted by Nyanko

Well, we are in EA to test things, aren't we? They have this opportunity to try different options with us, the 1 million+ EA buyers.


Yes, but starting with options does not change the requirement to develop, test, support, and balance those options. I think a better way to test what works and what does not is to go back to starting with the 5e ruleset fairly closely, and then seeing what works and what doesn't, and then you can find the places where tweaking rules can be fun.

Right now there are so many changes to gameplay which are all connected and have effects which affect other things that they can't change things piecemeal.
+100 to the OP.

Reading some of the replies has me thinking a lot of them are conflating having *an* advantage to having Advantage per the 5e rules. High ground might grant an advantage, but it doesn't make it twice as easy to hit the target. Nor does it make you twice as difficult for your enemy to hit.

The backstab rules...am I reading this right? You can just walk up to someone in the middle of a fight, slide around behind them and gain Advantage on your attack? Like he's gonna just stare straight ahead while an armed enemy walks around him...really? Plus backstab damage if you hit? Holy hellbound hobbits, that's crazy! It's so beyond the pale I'd never even tried it in any of my playthroughs.

Dear Larian: Backstab doesn't grant you Advantage. You can only Backstab if you already *have* advantage.

I like the solution of a general +2 for ranged attacks from superior height. It gives you a reason to try for the high ground, but it doesn't doom you if the bad guys get it instead.

It's bizarre to me that Larian hasn't already implemented the Flanking rules. It'd be trivially easy to do. Can you draw a line from center-mass of Character A to the same spot on Character B without touching Target C? If so, he's not flanked. If he's flanked, both A and B get Advantage, but C does NOT get Disadvantage just from being flanked. It makes combat into an ever-shifting, engaging swirl where each side tries to flank or prevent themselves from being flanked. Do you put Gale within that bugbear's reach? If you do, Lae'zel gets Advantage and will probably kill 'ol Buggie..but if she doesn't, Gale's got problems. Especially if the AI has a goblin sprint over just to flank Gale in order for the bugbear to have Advantage on *his* turn.

As mentioned by the OP a high-level fighter and a n00b aren't that far apart hit-percentage wise. Where the 17th level fighter pulls away is in having a ton more ways to gain Advantage or impose Disadvantage on his enemies.

Larian can fairly easily make fighting much more engaging by following the OP's suggestions and by implementing some simple flanking rules.
No I think the backstab bonus damage is only for the rogue. But still, the advantage is there for everyone and makes it so easier to hit the target if you are behind them even though you were in front of them a few seconds earlier, like the enemy has some kind of fish memory and forgot you were there.
Originally Posted by Nyanko
No I think the backstab bonus damage is only for the rogue. But still, the advantage is there for everyone and makes it so easier to hit the target if you are behind them even though you were in front of them a few seconds earlier, like the enemy has some kind of fish memory and forgot you were there.


Yeah, sometimes folks lump sneak attack and backstab together because they've been used to mean similar things in other games. In BG3: Sneak Attack (damage) = Rogue. "Backstab" (advantage to hit) = Everyone.
The only way how to currently fight is with advantage (well that and barrelmancy), however fighting enemies in regular mano a mano should be viable as well which it is not as the game heavilly favors backstabbing and verticality, also all that moving around to not just gain advantage but also to not stand on surfaces and so on makes short range abilities like Protection completely useless. Feel free to prove me wrong.
Originally Posted by Nyanko
The main problem in making the game more accurate in terms of when to declare an advantage or not will be the percentage of success lowering down dramatically at low level. Will players like the fact they have to wait 5 rounds to kill just one goblin? I am not sure honestly.

I guess they began implementing stricto sensu 5e combat rules but realized it would be too punishing to the pace of combat. So what's the best compromise here?


First, people are forgetting a key fact:

In normal play, you aren't playing one character.

You're playing one party.

Getting frustrated by a string of misses? Cast a spell that deals guaranteed damage like Shatter. Or a spell that relies on the enemy making a saving through. Or use a spell/ability that increases your chance to-hit like Bless, War Cleric Channel Divinity, Precision Strike from Battlemaster Fighter, etc. As shown, there are 56+ available options for character *just in levels 1-4*. But yes, those methods are going to require resources or risks. That's D&D for you.

Or accept that a string of misses is part of the game and part of the character growth process. Where is the sense of progression in character level and power when you don't have any higher to go? If you're chance to hit is always 99%+, what do you care whether you chance to hit increases by a proficiency bonus increase?
You folks really would've burned Baldur's Gate 1 and 2 to the ground if this little mix-up to the numbers game is bothering you.

At any rate, if you find yourself only battling from high positions, that is largely due to your play style, as the game provides plenty of opportunities for you to take the fight to the enemy on the ground. There are 3 fights that come to mind where height advantage is more pronounced, maybe 4 with the Phase Spiders depending on how the AI teleports, but I find this introduces as many ways to creatively resolve problems as it does advantages. For example, if you destroy the elevated surface an enemy is on, they're likely to take a pronounced amount of falling damage, or even die. If an enemy AI is flocking to a surface because of height advantage, even if it isn't destructible, you can apply an Area of Effect spell or surface to it that punishes them for their trouble, or lay makeshift traps in the form of barrels.

Ambient surface hazards are another issue altogether, since other posters mentioned them in passing. There's a distinct overabundance of them to the point of dependency in the level design. Dungeon traps should be things hidden in unique ways, not an explosive in the center of a flammable toxic fog.

At any rate, I don't know how you all play D&D, but battle mechanics are secondary to telling a good tale and allowing for a good amount of roleplay, I'm excited for more content and I'm really enjoying the game so far. Cheers.
Originally Posted by Spellshade
You folks really would've burned Baldur's Gate 1 and 2 to the ground if this little mix-up to the numbers game is bothering you.

*snip*


I feel like you saying that indicates you didn't read the actual main post since you seem to think providing Advantage/Disadvantage on every single attack without cost is relevant, so I copied it here for you:

The Maths: - In 5e, in general, having Advantage is roughly equivalent of having +5 to your roll. Disadvantage is roughly equal to having -5 to your roll. This means if one character is rolling with Advantage, and the other character is rolling with Disadvantage, then there is the rough equivalent of +-10 between their rolls. Additionally, Advantage doubles the chance of rolling a critical hit, and makes critical failures much less likely (5% normally vs 0.25% with Advantage), vice versa for Disadvantage.

Next, one of the core theories for game balance in 5e is called "Bounded Accuracy". This term means that players and NPCs generally have limits to how high they can boost their static modifiers to rolls. There is a 'bound' on just how 'accurate' a player can become. This was a huge shift in D&D when it was introduced. In prior editions of D&D, players could achieve truly insane modifiers to their to-hit, to the point where attack rolls were reaching into the 1d20+100 range, which just creates stupid arms races between monsters and players. By reducing how much a player can add to their to-hit, WotC (the publishers the D&D rules) made smaller bonuses much, MUCH more important. For example, Bless requires both a spell slot, concentration, and is limited to three targets, and only provides an average of +2.5, half of Advantage.

Bounded Accuracy is why Adv/Dis is so impactful on gameplay. There are a few class abilities that can add a higher static modifier (such as a War Cleric's Channel Divinity that can add +10 to one single attack roll) but those are rare and always limited in amount. It is a large reason why 5e is generally much more balanced that prior editions of D&D with far less ways to truly 'break' the game. It also makes the gameplay much smoother because enemies to-hit and AC do not need to increase as much as you get higher level. On page 274 of the DMG, there is even a chart for rough AC numbers based on a creature's CR (Challenge Rating. The higher the CR, the more 'powerful' the creature):

CR 0-3: 13 AC
CR 4: 14 AC
CR 5-7: 15 AC
CR 8-9: 16 AC
CR 10-12: 17 AC
CR 13-16: 18 AC
CR 17+: 19 AC

Look at those numbers. Over the course of 17 'levels' of CR, the enemies AC only increases by an average of +6. Just having Advantage almost cancels that growth out entirely. Here is an analysis of the actual monsters made available from WoTC and their respective change in AC -> https://i.stack.imgur.com/a6rlg.png

Lastly, if you take a level 1 character and a level 17+ character, give them the same stats and the same weapon, the total difference in their to-hit roll will be....+4. That's it. A level 1 character has a proficiency bonus of +2 and a level 17+ character has one of +6. The difference between these otherwise the same characters is less than the difference from Adv/Dis. That is how strong Adv/Dis is mathematically.

Hopefully by now, you can see why getting Adv/Dis is such a huge deal in 5e rules, and why being able to have them should be considered such a huge impact on the mathematics at play.
Originally Posted by Stabbey

It is really convenient how everyone cheering high ground advantage conveniently pretends that their party always, always 100% of the time has the high ground advantage, and 0% of the time has the low ground disadvantage. No, you don't get to do that.


And you talk about strawmen. ROFL. I actually quite like the brutality of the die, tyvm.
+1, I like this analysis and OP's suggestion to reduce the effects of backstab/height to +2/-2.

Essentially make it a revised/expanded implementation of the cover mechanics already in 5e.
Agree with the OP in large part.

I like the idea of things like high ground and backstabbing providing some bonus, but I don't like how it just uses advantage, one of the biggest bonuses you can get in 5e. +1 would be more than enough to make it worthwhile to play around tactically; but not so effectual that it swings the entire battle and more or less is the deciding factor in who wins and who loses. These games should be about who makes the overall better decisions and spends their resources better, not just who can constantly keep high ground/backstabbing advantage.

If these changes don't make it in-game, you can bet I'll be looking for mods to change it.
OP's solution seems like the way to go to me, specially for altitude, slight bonuses would be nice.
I would remove the backstab mechanich because of how it interacts with attacks of oportunity: you are allowed to move around enemies because in paper that's supposed to mimic combat movement, and you are punished if you get away. Using this movement to gain advantages without any cost makes it kind of stupid when every character would move to backstab, then have their enemy backstab them in return and so on until one of them dies.

I think height bonus/penalties should only apply to ranged WEAPONS and not spells, that would have them feel different and convey different feelings on both styles of gameplay (ranged weapons as a more mundane but strategic gameplay and magic bypassing the laws of nature)
When you are fighting on stairs and you are one step below your opponent, you get a 60% to hit. You move around him and sit one step above behind him, you get 84%. Cheap tactics, that's all it is.

I expect to get something more coherent and less wild. Rules have to be interesting for the sake of tactics, not to be completely out of control just because chaos seems sexier on the battlefield.
Have any previous DnD video games stuck completely to the rules? I'm not aware of any. I'm not sure how many DnD TT player groups stick to the rules either.

Even though the game trades on DnD 5e and Baldur's Gate/FR as hooks, I don't really expect it to completely correlate with either. Regardless of how strongly you feel about the mathematical integrity of 5e rules, I think that is probably less important to the game's developers than the play experience matching what their core audience would expect.

The central demographic of video games players likes high quality A/V, likes things that explode, likes Marvel/DC like super-heroics, etc. The game is designed mainly for that audience, and probably needs to be for financial reasons.

I don't really see Larian changing the core game design prior to release. Neither should they, since those that have purchased EA could see exactly what they were buying from the early gameplay videos; it has not changed.

As with most of the more fundamental game changes that different players want, complete 5e accuracy is more likely as a post-release optional mode or from the mod community.
Originally Posted by etonbears
Have any previous DnD video games stuck completely to the rules? I'm not aware of any. I'm not sure how many DnD TT player groups stick to the rules either.

Even though the game trades on DnD 5e and Baldur's Gate/FR as hooks, I don't really expect it to completely correlate with either. Regardless of how strongly you feel about the mathematical integrity of 5e rules, I think that is probably less important to the game's developers than the play experience matching what their core audience would expect.

The central demographic of video games players likes high quality A/V, likes things that explode, likes Marvel/DC like super-heroics, etc. The game is designed mainly for that audience, and probably needs to be for financial reasons.

I don't really see Larian changing the core game design prior to release. Neither should they, since those that have purchased EA could see exactly what they were buying from the early gameplay videos; it has not changed.

As with most of the more fundamental game changes that different players want, complete 5e accuracy is more likely as a post-release optional mode or from the mod community.

I wouldn't call "high ground giving advantage" a core game design. It's a mechanic. And there is a difference between "not sticking completely to the rules" and making adjustments that significantly throw off the balance of the system. Getting advantage is one of the most significant things in 5e: it typically cost a spell or ability (see the 9th!!! level spell that grants advantage for the day), and importantly it does not stack.

A very simple change that would fix a lot of problems is giving height/lowground a +4/-4 bonus instead of advantage. Mechanically, this is the ~same as advantage. BUT this method wouldn't invalidate the usage of the dozens of spells, abilities, feats in 5e that grant advantage.

Similar for backstabbing: it is in no way part of Larian's "core game design" and invalidates a lot of spells/abilities that grant advantage.
Originally Posted by etonbears
Have any previous DnD video games stuck completely to the rules? I'm not aware of any. I'm not sure how many DnD TT player groups stick to the rules either.


Strawman argument. There are many other changes to the 5e rules Larian has made which don't have people complaining about them, like Speak with Animals lasting until next long rest or until losing concentration. I don't think anyone is complaining about the special weapon attacks Larian has made as well. It is clearly not the case that people are complaining merely because BG 3 is not being a precise exact duplicate of the 5e rules.

You are completely ignoring the detailed discussion about exactly why these specific rule changes affect the balance. Do you have any defense for why 56+ sources of advantage/disadvantage with a cost or drawback should be thrown out the window for free advantage with no cost from backstab and height?

The height advantage/disadvantage isn't a small mechanic change people are upset about because of 5e rule puritism. As the OP has explained in great detail it is a change so detrimental to the 5e rule set it isn't D&D. It is a cheese mechanic available to all classes including spellcasters that affects all classes to the point it makes most classes completely irrelevant. Add the "free action" nonsense that allows disengage AND an attack for all classes is simply not D&D.

If Larian make the effort of including a plethora of classes and 90% of them are made redundant by making their class benefits available to all classes by either standing 6 inches higher or behind the enemy then they are wasting their time. If they add better benefits to classes to compensate then the game gets further away from D&D.

If they start from D&D core rules and make changes based on feedback rather than including DOS mechanics it would go smoother. I don't mind changing the D&D rules if they don't work in game, don't care at all. But they haven't been tried as yet soooo. Nobody expects 1:1 creation of 5e so I don't accept this argument.

I understand this is early in the EA so I am not concerned. If these mechanics remain unchanged closer to release it will be something to gripe about. I am pretty sure by this thread alone Larian are aware of these concerns.
Originally Posted by Stabbey
Originally Posted by etonbears
Have any previous DnD video games stuck completely to the rules? I'm not aware of any. I'm not sure how many DnD TT player groups stick to the rules either.


Strawman argument. There are many other changes to the 5e rules Larian has made which don't have people complaining about them, like Speak with Animals lasting until next long rest or until losing concentration. I don't think anyone is complaining about the special weapon attacks Larian has made as well. It is clearly not the case that people are complaining merely because BG 3 is not being a precise exact duplicate of the 5e rules.

You are completely ignoring the detailed discussion about exactly why these specific rule changes affect the balance. Do you have any defense for why 56+ sources of advantage/disadvantage with a cost or drawback should be thrown out the window for free advantage with no cost from backstab and height?


Why is this 56 number propped up like it's some talisman of defense to change the game as it is?
Since there seem to be quite a few worthwhile minds in this thread, I have a question. Since there is not an overall difficulty slider to 5e as there will be in BG3, how would you suggest making encounters easier and harder? I realize there are CR’s associated with monsters, but I do not think rescripting and swapping out enemies for every single fight is something that is likely to happen and would honestly be like playing 4(or however many difficulties there will be) completely separate games instead of just more difficult.

Obviously limiting rests will be an easy one, but assuming we’re playing normal mode, most encounters can currently be solo’d with very little rests anyways. Would it just be a static advantage to all dice rolls for easy and a static disadvantage for hard+?

I feel like we’re complaining about something that is artificially put there to make the game easier at normal and not a glaring oversight by Larian.
Originally Posted by macadami
Since there is not an overall difficulty slider to 5e as there will be in BG3, how would you suggest making encounters easier and harder?


*Points to the difficulty settings in BG 1 & BG 2*

Use those. I mean this is supposed to be the third game in a trilogy, don't need to reinvent that wheel.
Originally Posted by SacredWitness
Originally Posted by Stabbey
Originally Posted by etonbears
Have any previous DnD video games stuck completely to the rules? I'm not aware of any. I'm not sure how many DnD TT player groups stick to the rules either.


Strawman argument. There are many other changes to the 5e rules Larian has made which don't have people complaining about them, like Speak with Animals lasting until next long rest or until losing concentration. I don't think anyone is complaining about the special weapon attacks Larian has made as well. It is clearly not the case that people are complaining merely because BG 3 is not being a precise exact duplicate of the 5e rules.

You are completely ignoring the detailed discussion about exactly why these specific rule changes affect the balance. Do you have any defense for why 56+ sources of advantage/disadvantage with a cost or drawback should be thrown out the window for free advantage with no cost from backstab and height?


Why is this 56 number propped up like it's some talisman of defense to change the game as it is?


Let's pretend you are trying to great a balanced game.

You have a system with some problems, but those problems are well known and has 6+ years of playtesting and rules updates to support it. It is widely recognized as the most widespread ruleset in its genre and the most balanced by far, in addition to being *so* popular that it's part of the reason your game is being made at all. It is also the edition of the rules you claimed you're using to make the game.

You decide to make a small number of changes because you don't like how often you miss in the low levels of gameplay. Those changes will end up invalidating 56+ methods of hitting targets. This imbalances the game and removes huge chunks of the aforementioned rules you claimed to be using. So, if you want to keep those 56+ 'things' still useful, you need to rebalance them.

Which is easier.....to remove those few changes and revert those 56+ things to now be useful again, oooor try and redo those 56+ 'things' to be useful again?

That's why. Because it's easier to restore game balance by making less changes (remove Height + Backstab) than it is to try and make more changes (adjusting 56+ 'things'). The easiest way to stop the butterfly effect is to remove the butterfly, rather than the hurricane you're looking at now.
My take on OP from someone that has only played the table top DnD game one time. I am just a gamer who loved Divinity 2 and so here I am enjoying bg3.

Missing all the time isn't just annoying, it is extremely slow paced especially in larger fights where I have to wait 3 mins to get a turn again. I like a good grind and want to feel progression as I level up, but personally leveling up to attain better accuracy seems stupid. If you are fighting something higher level, something on higher ground, something in the shadows it makes sense to have a lower accuracy. But when I am face to face with an enemy and have a 60% or lower chance to hit, of which is the same level as me, among other similar scenarios that is absurd. Lower accuracy when blinded, when an enemy has mirror image, if an enemy is a higher level etc makes sense. This base accuracy in most situations is really frustrating and takes away from the enjoyment. When an enemy is prone and I miss standing next to them it is absurd. Adding HP to enemies health pool and granting more accuracy would feel better in my opinion.

How adv and disadv work I am still learning. The OP was actually quite educating for me. But I will say: every fight seems to be a question of how can I increase my chance to hit? The entire fighting mechanics is how can I increase my chance to hit. Instead of spending actions / spells / bonus actions on cool combinations I am forced to spend them on lights, faerie fire, or something that is saving throw'd so the turn is just as useless as attacking with that 40% chance to hit. Instead of programming smart AI it seems hit accuracy is the primary difficulty meter.

I agree with the OP with adv on backstabbing and height (to a point). Why on earth would an enemy just stand there while i move from his front to his back, while I get an advantage on attack? For height, someone 2 feet above me shouldn't get adv. I support height advantage from an actual high level, but when I can stand on a crate and get height advantage it seems a little stupid.
Originally Posted by Isaac Springsong
Originally Posted by macadami
Since there is not an overall difficulty slider to 5e as there will be in BG3, how would you suggest making encounters easier and harder?


*Points to the difficulty settings in BG 1 & BG 2*

Use those. I mean this is supposed to be the third game in a trilogy, don't need to reinvent that wheel.



I don't think that will work in 5e. There isn't a way to out scale hits with AC like there was in 2e. BG1&2's main difference was more damage when hit but in 5e It's not even a matter of a completely min maxed character; you just aren't given the tools to prevent the hits, or guarantee them. You would just die from the increased damage on ever hit. I don't even think spell failure is in 5e, casting or copying scrolls, and that was another annoying trait of the difficulty slider.
I think Ostrago that you're a great example of exactly how Larian thought after a few devs played one or two games of tabletop D&D.

That line of thinking is absolutely understandable. If you're an average character, you have +5 to hit an enemy. If you that enemy has an AC of 13, well, the math is what it is, you're chance to hit is 'just' 60%. To some people, that seems absurdly low. But that's because of the well known inability of human beings to properly grasp and understand percentages. Our brains just don't deal with them very well.

Before I discuss further, I want to bring up a point you made and one that is making this issue significantly worse: what should be relatively simple fights take an excruciatingly long time. This is almost entirely due to Larian *also* rebalancing enemy's AC and HP values. They lowered the AC so you'd hit more, but increased their HP so it would take more hits to kill them. This has the same affect on game balance as a butterfly flapping its wings, except the hurricane is literally the very next step. Fix that HP bloat problem, and suddenly lots more cool combos and spells become way more useful like they should be. Have faith in the rules of 5e.

But I digress. You are right, a lot of low level D&D combat seems to be about chasing methods of increasing your chance to-hit. It's your time to learn some additional tactics and gameplay mechanics beyond just swinging a sword or shooting a bow. It's a great time to learn ways to buff your party, how different class abilities can be really valuable, what sort of spells (the guaranteed damage ones) are super good against high AC enemies, and which spells are great against low AC enemies. Basically, it's time to learn how to play the game, what the different classes (and subclass especially) are good at doing and what they're weak at doing. Your Wizard might be great for blowing up large numbers of weak enemies, but not great against single targets. Maybe your Ranger can do fantastic with bows, but suffers if an enemy gets up in there face.

Larian has basically taken all of that away from you. They've taken away dozens and dozens of class abilities and spells, and replaced them with two mechanics that require nearly zero effect or learning. Combat at level 1 is going to be the exact same as combat as level 10, literally, because all that will matter is getting above your enemy or getting behind them. Advantage and Disadvantage are the strongest mechanics *in the game*. By handing them out for free, Larian has removed all need to learn...literally anything else.

The most important thing to remember is that D&D is a *team game*....even when you're playing by yourself. Because yeah, it might be several minutes between your Fighter getting to swing their sword or your Rogue to try stabbing someone. That's a consequence of going from RTwP to TB (which I enjoy personally). But in between you have your other party members doing their turns. And yeah, maybe this combat one or two of your party members aren't going to be very effective, but you aren't playing those characters. You're playing your *party*. In DoS, every character rapidly becomes the ultimate versatile character, able to do a bit of everything really well. Every single character can heal, can have high mobility/teleporting, can dish out huge single target and AoE damage, and is capable of disabling all enemies. In short, each character may be slightly better at some things than others, but no class has a weakness. That's not D&D. You play your party, not your character.
Originally Posted by macadami
Originally Posted by Isaac Springsong
Originally Posted by macadami
Since there is not an overall difficulty slider to 5e as there will be in BG3, how would you suggest making encounters easier and harder?


*Points to the difficulty settings in BG 1 & BG 2*

Use those. I mean this is supposed to be the third game in a trilogy, don't need to reinvent that wheel.



I don't think that will work in 5e. There isn't a way to out scale hits with AC like there was in 2e. BG1&2's main difference was more damage when hit but in 5e It's not even a matter of a completely min maxed character; you just aren't given the tools to prevent the hits, or guarantee them. You would just die from the increased damage on ever hit. I don't even think spell failure is in 5e, casting or copying scrolls, and that was another annoying trait of the difficulty slider.


What? There absolutely is...if Larian every decides to fix the litany of problems with their homebrew creations. Hell introduce the Dodge Action and right away you have the ability to minimize hits on your tank while your damage burns the enemies down/locks them down with CC. In BG 2, the highest difficulty settings (discounting SCS) were reserved for players with masterful knowledge of the rules *and* perfect knowledge of each encounter in the game. It's the difference between going into the Githyanki fight blind versus prepositing your team on the upper levels to push off the Gith and rain down fire on them. BG 1&2's highest difficulties weren't for players with more skills, they were for players with more knowledge *including* about the game itself. They weren't ever intended for players to use them on their very first playthrough, at least not without significant save scumming after learning the mechanics of a fight/enemy.

1. Max HP on level up vs rolled/average. Super easy to implement.

2. Incoming modifier. Again, super easy to implement and reserved for higher difficulties (winning fights before the enemy gets an Action)

3. Boost enemy AC/reduce player to-hit. Don't touch enemy HP, rewards players for proper fight prep and execution (again, largely requiring prior knowledge).

4. Introduce Arcana checks to scribe spells (risks losing GP on failure and destroys scroll)

5. Disable enemy critical hits

6. Remove/enable perma death absent rules based options (no revivify scrolls at the beginning, enable/disable death saves, etc).

Seriously, just do the 5e retrofit of the original series' difficulty setting. Ideally, then introduce SCS changes for the ultra-hard modes that actually increases enemy AI/behavior/spell choice, etc.
As I already touched the issue in this thread I also made a much more robust numerical analysis of BG3 vs RAW DnD combat (AC/HP/Advantages) in separate thread. I demonstrated that Larian changes regarding AC, HP and abundant advantages works all together and are really helping to made martial combat less flustrating while keeping average length of combat same as RAW DnD. Knowing that those changes have big and bad side-effects I tried to suggest some alternative solutions which could solve the problem of bad feeling from missing while also beeing as close as possible to RAW DnD to not disrupt the whole rule ecosystem.

So far the best solution appears to be combination of do not interper all misses as misses and simultaneous enemy AI. If you thinkd about it, the biggest frustration comes from sequence of events: complete miss -> long wait -> complete miss -> long wait -> .... That's why I believe by eliminating long waits and complete misses we eliminate the bad feeling also.

By the way with standard HP lots of spell (e.g. Sleep) become usefull again and helps speed-up the fight.
Originally Posted by SacredWitness
Why is this 56 number propped up like it's some talisman of defense to change the game as it is?


Because it demonstrates how many other things have been affected by these two 'simple changes'. That number 56 is ONLY what is affected between levels 1 and 4 there are a LOT MORE spells and features which affect Advantage/DIsadvantage if higher levels are considered.

Pop quiz: Which do you think would be easier for the Larian team: Making changes to alter and rebalance over 56 class features and skills, or reverting the changes to height and backstabbing?


Originally Posted by Ostrago
My take on OP from someone that has only played the table top DnD game one time. I am just a gamer who loved Divinity 2 and so here I am enjoying bg3.

Missing all the time isn't just annoying, it is extremely slow paced especially in larger fights where I have to wait 3 mins to get a turn again. I like a good grind and want to feel progression as I level up, but personally leveling up to attain better accuracy seems stupid. If you are fighting something higher level, something on higher ground, something in the shadows it makes sense to have a lower accuracy. But when I am face to face with an enemy and have a 60% or lower chance to hit, of which is the same level as me, among other similar scenarios that is absurd. Lower accuracy when blinded, when an enemy has mirror image, if an enemy is a higher level etc makes sense. This base accuracy in most situations is really frustrating and takes away from the enjoyment. When an enemy is prone and I miss standing next to them it is absurd. Adding HP to enemies health pool and granting more accuracy would feel better in my opinion.


They already did that. You're looking at the "more accuracy, more HP" version right now. You have noticed that they didn't actually remove missing.

However, what that "more HP, less AC" butterfly flap did is to screw up spells which forced the enemy to make a saving throw instead, because those spells still have to pass the enemy's untouched saving throw modifier, but the increased HP means that when they do hit, they're less effective than intended. The same goes for spells which target a specific amount of HP instead like Sleep and Color spray. They were never spells which last you a long time into a campaign, but now they're even worse because the bloated enemy HP. Why bother using a spell which targets a single enemy and deals no damage when you have better options?

In order to fix those saving throw spells, Larian will need to flap the butterfly's wings again, and that will lead to more unintended consequences and more butterfly wing flapping.

Solasta didn't remove missing either, but because they stuck closer to the rules, hits feel appropriately hard, spells which require saving throws seem more useful now, and spells which target HP can affect more than one enemy, thus being more useful.

I enjoyed D:OS 2 as well, but the mechanics of D:OS 2 are quite different than that of D&D, because D:OS 2 is designed for being at full strength in every fight, and D&D is designed for attrition and managing resources.
Originally Posted by mrfuji3
Originally Posted by etonbears
...
I don't really see Larian changing the core game design prior to release. Neither should they, since those that have purchased EA could see exactly what they were buying from the early gameplay videos; it has not changed.

As with most of the more fundamental game changes that different players want, complete 5e accuracy is more likely as a post-release optional mode or from the mod community.


I wouldn't call "high ground giving advantage" a core game design. It's a mechanic. And there is a difference between "not sticking completely to the rules" and making adjustments that significantly throw off the balance of the system. Getting advantage is one of the most significant things in 5e: it typically cost a spell or ability (see the 9th!!! level spell that grants advantage for the day), and importantly it does not stack.

A very simple change that would fix a lot of problems is giving height/lowground a +4/-4 bonus instead of advantage. Mechanically, this is the ~same as advantage. BUT this method wouldn't invalidate the usage of the dozens of spells, abilities, feats in 5e that grant advantage.

Similar for backstabbing: it is in no way part of Larian's "core game design" and invalidates a lot of spells/abilities that grant advantage.


I didn't engage with the specifics of the DnD player's argument ( the mathematics of the 5e system ), because I don't play TT and, therefore, really don't care. From the viewpoint of a video game player ( which is what I am ) the core design of BG3 is the environmental design, the controls and actions available, and how the game plays, regardless of how these are realised.

The game, as advertised, includes a strong vertical emphasis, gaining obvious benefit/drawbacks from difference in height, and similarly gaining obvious benefit from attacking from behind - which is possible , seemingly, because 5e is turn-based, but has no facing, ZOC or positioning rules.

Obtaining these height/backstab benefits is not cost-free, as you have to move into position, and movement is also a resource. The positioning benefits also apply equally to all actors, and the benefits can be lost/negated by opponent movement, so considering your movement becomes, relatively, more important.

This is unlike the dozens of feats/abilities/spells mentioned that presumably will continue to pertain regardless of how actors position themselves, and are therefore tactically superior to gaining positioning benefits. As the resources used are trivially restored between encounters, at the press of a button, those other mechanisms are effectively unlimited in use.

Larian ( with this and the universal bonus actions ) are clearly of a mind that when you actually get a turn, all characters should have variety things they can do, not just attempt to hit the nearest opponent, and in all likelihood miss. You may like playing 5e TT, but it has been so over-simplified that RAW would make an exceedingly dull video game by the standards of the bulk of videogamers.

Originally Posted by Stabbey
Originally Posted by etonbears
Have any previous DnD video games stuck completely to the rules? I'm not aware of any. I'm not sure how many DnD TT player groups stick to the rules either.


Strawman argument. There are many other changes to the 5e rules Larian has made which don't have people complaining about them, like Speak with Animals lasting until next long rest or until losing concentration. I don't think anyone is complaining about the special weapon attacks Larian has made as well. It is clearly not the case that people are complaining merely because BG 3 is not being a precise exact duplicate of the 5e rules.

You are completely ignoring the detailed discussion about exactly why these specific rule changes affect the balance. Do you have any defense for why 56+ sources of advantage/disadvantage with a cost or drawback should be thrown out the window for free advantage with no cost from backstab and height?


It wasn't an argument, merely a question and observation concerning the differing nature of computer moderated games vs socially moderated ones.

Were Larian to be advertising a product as a multi-player 5e play-aid with assets that allowed a social group to play their sessions online, I would clearly expect full implementation of the rules and options. But BG3 is not that; it is a Larian-DNA videogame, somewhat based on 5e Rules, the Forgotten Realms and the spirit of the original BG games. They will change whatever they need, to get the game experience they want.

There are quite a few changes to 5e rules, and this is far from the only one attracting complaint. The reaction system is a big change attracting criticism, as it the apparent range limit of 18m. As far as I can see, these changes ( and the less contentious ones ) are also designed to make the videogame experience ( in the game environments Larian have designed ) less jarring and frustrating to the videogame audience.

If there truly are 56+ mechanics for producing the same non-stacking outcome, I have to wonder, firstly, why providing a 57th is even an issue - particularly as the other mechanics are presumably "at will" and recovering resources is trivial in BG3.

Secondly, I would actually step back and wonder quite why having 56+ selectable mechanics that produce an identical, non-stacking, outcome is considered a good thing. It hardly seem to me that such a situation encourages any form of tactical, nuanced or thoughtful play. By contrast, the positioning mechanics Larian have added, that achieve the same end, could be said to encourage scouting, observation and continual ,deliberate, careful movement that would otherwise be largely irrelevent.

I understand the OP's argument, it is quite straightforward; I just don't happen to agree with/care about it, because it is an artifact of the over-simplification of 5e mechanics, and Larian's chosen path seems to work well as a video game.

Originally Posted by Soul-Scar
The height advantage/disadvantage isn't a small mechanic change people are upset about because of 5e rule puritism. As the OP has explained in great detail it is a change so detrimental to the 5e rule set it isn't D&D. It is a cheese mechanic available to all classes including spellcasters that affects all classes to the point it makes most classes completely irrelevant. Add the "free action" nonsense that allows disengage AND an attack for all classes is simply not D&D.

If Larian make the effort of including a plethora of classes and 90% of them are made redundant by making their class benefits available to all classes by either standing 6 inches higher or behind the enemy then they are wasting their time. If they add better benefits to classes to compensate then the game gets further away from D&D.

If they start from D&D core rules and make changes based on feedback rather than including DOS mechanics it would go smoother. I don't mind changing the D&D rules if they don't work in game, don't care at all. But they haven't been tried as yet soooo. Nobody expects 1:1 creation of 5e so I don't accept this argument.

I understand this is early in the EA so I am not concerned. If these mechanics remain unchanged closer to release it will be something to gripe about. I am pretty sure by this thread alone Larian are aware of these concerns.


Sure, if you are a DnD TT player, you want what you are used to. When translated to a video game, It just happens to result in a play experience that other people don't like, and is quite unlike the experience that their existing audience are used to.

From a commercial point of view, starting with what sells and moving it towards DnD until it ceases to be fun, is a more logical approach, and seems to be what they have done.

I guess you'll probably like Solasta more, but I found it slow and dull ( well made; just not interesting to play ). I have not played TT since ADnD and DnD 2e, but I understand the difficulty in finding the right balance of complexity, interest and playability. I know 3e became regarded as over-complex, but from reading the SRD and other info, I think 5e has over-compensated to the point of becoming flat and uniform. I don't really care much for any of the classes in the PHB, since the differences are largely froth and flavour; I really have no idea what I will play when EA ends; probably roll D20 ( with advantage ) to decide smile
Originally Posted by etonbears
I didn't engage with the specifics of the DnD player's argument ( the mathematics of the 5e system ), because I don't play TT and, therefore, really don't care. From the viewpoint of a video game player ( which is what I am ) the core design of BG3 is the environmental design, the controls and actions available, and how the game plays, regardless of how these are realised.

The game, as advertised, includes a strong vertical emphasis, gaining obvious benefit/drawbacks from difference in height, and similarly gaining obvious benefit from attacking from behind - which is possible , seemingly, because 5e is turn-based, but has no facing, ZOC or positioning rules.

Okay, but this makes no argument for ADVANTAGE due to high ground. Why isn't the height itself, and thus larger ranged attack range a sufficient bonus? You're also harder to hit when you have the high ground because enemies on the low ground have reduced range. You can also sometimes destroy ladders behind you, making you unreachable by melee combatants.
Originally Posted by etonbears
Obtaining these height/backstab benefits is not cost-free, as you have to move into position, and movement is also a resource. The positioning benefits also apply equally to all actors, and the benefits can be lost/negated by opponent movement, so considering your movement becomes, relatively, more important.

This is incorrect. There is basically no cost to moving to high ground: you simply walk up some stairs/a ladder. This is even more true for backstabbing, simply circle around an enemy. I would agree with this point IF you could choose between taking 2 actions or a move and an action. Then you'd be choosing between gaining height OR getting 2 attacks.
But currently, it's often cost-free to move to high ground/circle behind an opponent, since you wouldn't use that movement for anything else. The only scenario that has costs is when you're running away from an opponent and could provoke an AoO or use your bonus action to jump.
Originally Posted by etonbears
This is unlike the dozens of feats/abilities/spells mentioned that presumably will continue to pertain regardless of how actors position themselves, and are therefore tactically superior to gaining positioning benefits. As the resources used are trivially restored between encounters, at the press of a button, those other mechanisms are effectively unlimited in use.

Again, no. Many feats/spells/abilities are invalidated by height/backstab advantage. And you have it backwards: many of these abilities COST AN ACTION, and thus are almost always tactically inferior to the (again, often cost-free) decision to walk up a hill. You say that height/backstab involves cost benefit while spells/abilities/feats do not: this is the exact opposite of the current state of the game.

Originally Posted by etonbears
Larian ( with this and the universal bonus actions ) are clearly of a mind that when you actually get a turn, all characters should have variety things they can do, not just attempt to hit the nearest opponent, and in all likelihood miss. You may like playing 5e TT, but it has been so over-simplified that RAW would make an exceedingly dull video game by the standards of the bulk of videogamers.

I literally suggested to replace height/backstab with a +4 bonus instead of advantage. This would COMPLICATE the game, by adding lots of little bonuses that could stack. The game would be much improved to its current state if backstabbing and height gave numerical bonuses instead of advantage/disadvantage.

Honestly, I think you read the first line of my post, where I disagreed with you, and nothing else...
Originally Posted by mrfuji3
There is basically no cost to moving to high ground: you simply walk up some stairs/a ladder.


Now I realized that vertical movement doesn't even cost movement. It should cost extra movement and only with something like Athletic feat it costs normal movement. So going high-groud literally have no cost at all and you kinda get effect of 9th spell Foresight.
Originally Posted by Zahur
Originally Posted by mrfuji3
There is basically no cost to moving to high ground: you simply walk up some stairs/a ladder.


Now I realized that vertical movement doesn't even cost movement. It should cost extra movement and only with something like Athletic feat it costs normal movement. So going high-groud literally have no cost at all and you kinda get effect of 9th spell Foresight.


That's a fair point. The resources needed to get advantages should be significant.
Originally Posted by mrfuji3
Originally Posted by etonbears
I didn't engage with the specifics of the DnD player's argument ( the mathematics of the 5e system ), because I don't play TT and, therefore, really don't care. From the viewpoint of a video game player ( which is what I am ) the core design of BG3 is the environmental design, the controls and actions available, and how the game plays, regardless of how these are realised.

The game, as advertised, includes a strong vertical emphasis, gaining obvious benefit/drawbacks from difference in height, and similarly gaining obvious benefit from attacking from behind - which is possible , seemingly, because 5e is turn-based, but has no facing, ZOC or positioning rules.

Okay, but this makes no argument for ADVANTAGE due to high ground. Why isn't the height itself, and thus larger ranged attack range a sufficient bonus? You're also harder to hit when you have the high ground because enemies on the low ground have reduced range. You can also sometimes destroy ladders behind you, making you unreachable by melee combatants.
Originally Posted by etonbears
Obtaining these height/backstab benefits is not cost-free, as you have to move into position, and movement is also a resource. The positioning benefits also apply equally to all actors, and the benefits can be lost/negated by opponent movement, so considering your movement becomes, relatively, more important.

This is incorrect. There is basically no cost to moving to high ground: you simply walk up some stairs/a ladder. This is even more true for backstabbing, simply circle around an enemy. I would agree with this point IF you could choose between taking 2 actions or a move and an action. Then you'd be choosing between gaining height OR getting 2 attacks.
But currently, it's often cost-free to move to high ground/circle behind an opponent, since you wouldn't use that movement for anything else. The only scenario that has costs is when you're running away from an opponent and could provoke an AoO or use your bonus action to jump.
Originally Posted by etonbears
This is unlike the dozens of feats/abilities/spells mentioned that presumably will continue to pertain regardless of how actors position themselves, and are therefore tactically superior to gaining positioning benefits. As the resources used are trivially restored between encounters, at the press of a button, those other mechanisms are effectively unlimited in use.

Again, no. Many feats/spells/abilities are invalidated by height/backstab advantage. And you have it backwards: many of these abilities COST AN ACTION, and thus are almost always tactically inferior to the (again, often cost-free) decision to walk up a hill. You say that height/backstab involves cost benefit while spells/abilities/feats do not: this is the exact opposite of the current state of the game.

Originally Posted by etonbears
Larian ( with this and the universal bonus actions ) are clearly of a mind that when you actually get a turn, all characters should have variety things they can do, not just attempt to hit the nearest opponent, and in all likelihood miss. You may like playing 5e TT, but it has been so over-simplified that RAW would make an exceedingly dull video game by the standards of the bulk of videogamers.

I literally suggested to replace height/backstab with a +4 bonus instead of advantage. This would COMPLICATE the game, by adding lots of little bonuses that could stack. The game would be much improved to its current state if backstabbing and height gave numerical bonuses instead of advantage/disadvantage.

Honestly, I think you read the first line of my post, where I disagreed with you, and nothing else...


I think we are just talking past each other because we care about different things. I'll try to explain what I mean again with the benefit of your further thoughts.

1 ... Justify advantage ... Yes, you are right I didn't do so, because I don't know exactly ( or particularly care ) what the numerical benefits of height and positioning are in BG3; only that it modifies hit chances for everyone ( which I consider a good thing ) and possibly slightly modifies range.

As a player of the game, I find the current experience works OK. If gaining height ( particularly in a game where this is advertised as important ) or hitting a target from an unseen position do not matter, then the value of the game play experience, from my point of view, will be reduced.

If you tell me that currently its ~+/-5 but doesn't stack, and are suggesting taking it to +/-4 but stacking with other benefits ( which may also increase the hit chance ) then I certainly would not object, as it is likely to speed up combat and may add options; but I don't see it as necessary.

As to why height/unsighted should have benefits at all, you could find that from just about any military manual since the dawn of time, where both are primary tactical objectives:

- Flank or rear attacks are generally undefended, greatly increasing the likelihood of landing a blow.
- Melee attacking uphill is at severe disadvantage in terms of both weapon inertia and tiredness.
- For missile attacks, not only is range modified, but also the defensive benefits of cover and visibility.
- Range benefits might only apply to some magic ( difficult to tell really, since it is rather abstract ),
- Both flank attacks and high ground also deliver significant morale benefits.

2 ... Movement isn't a resource ... Yes, it is. It is a finite resource that is renewed each round, just as an action is a finite resource renewed every round, spell slots are finite resources renewed every long rest, etc. You simply have not thought of it that way.

More to the point, in normal DnD play you can move where you want without much risk. I suspect that this leads to melee characters re-enacting "the charge of the light brigade" in every encounter, while ranged characters attempt to kite.

Including height/position benefits means that when you move, you also must consider where other actors are now, and where they will be able to move to. For example, you cannot be flanked ( this turn ) if you take a position where no enemy can move behind you in their turn.

I would also note that changing your movement rate using dash now becomes a more interesting tactical choice, as is using feats/spells such as Misty Step.

The rules surrounding movement in 5e are ( as far as I can see ) extremely weak, just as they have been in most versions of DnD. The BG3 approach may not be a perfect solution to that, but at least they are giving meaning and purpose to movement, which is important in a video game, where you have to actually show-and-tell, not just hand-wave everything as you can in TT games.

3 ... Feats/spells/abilities and stuff ... I said 2 things here, but obviously not clearly as you seem to think I said something else.

First, I said that I was assuming the 56+ other ( non-movement ) ways of getting advantage/giving disadvantage have no specific negation mechanism, and will apply to the target for a fixed duration, regardless of what other actors do; I was contrasting this with height/backstab advantage, where you can negate the condition through your own tactical movement.

Second, I said that these 56+ forms of advantage were not long-term resource limited in BG3, because you can always take a short or long rest to replenish resources after every single encounter. This statement is, I admit, an assumption, because I am not actually sure what these 56+ things are, having found very few myself, despite playing most of the classes available.

4 ... Didn't read my post ... Sorry if it seemed that way, I felt I was replying fairly directly to it. Again, probably talking past each other. As I note above, I wouldn't care about switching the benefit to a different mechanism, since I am not of the opinion it makes much difference. My point was that the design of the game does revolve around what you, and the other actors, can do, in the environments provided. This includ all sorts of additions and changes that are not in the official 5e literature at this point. Maybe some will be added; DnD is always changing.



For these above reasons, I'm unclear that the rules angst justified. If you want to give situational examples that show how Larian's choices destroy some of the character classes abilities, I would be happy to try to understand.
@etonbears I appreciate the detail you put into your response. I'll try to respond in kind.

I've included my responses in the spoiler boxes to clutter up the thread less.

1.) Height/Backstab Advantage vs numerical bonus
Yes, you are correct in what I'm saying. Currently in BG3, Height/Backstab are equivalent to ~+/-5 bonuses that don't stack and I'm suggesting that it should stack with other abilities (as a +X bonus, where X is between 1 and 5)
I agree with you: it makes sense that height gives benefits. You can see people more easily from high ground and will be harder to hit because of cover. I'm not opposed to these benefits. But I do think it is necessary to make these height bonuses stackable with normal sources of Advantage, or else a lot of the game and character's abilities become irrelevant. See the list of 56+abilities made by the OP.

1b) Backstabbing: In your most recent response, you use "unsighted," "backstab," and "flanking" interchangeably. These are all different mechanics in 5e
--You can Hide, preventing the enemy from seeing you = unsighted. This grants advantage to attack rolls. I agree with this being in the game. You have spent a significant resource (Bonus Action) to gain a bonus (Advantage)
--There are optional flanking rules, where you have allies on either side of the enemy. This is not implemented in the game. I would be fine with this granting a bonus (again, Advantage is too strong. I'd suggest a +2 or +3 bonus). You have spent a resource (significant positioning requiring coordination between 2 PCs) for Advantage.

Neither of these are what Larian has implemented as "backstabbing." The current problems with Larian's implementation are that a) It costs basically nothing to circle around an opponent. b)Advantage is too strong and doesn't stack. See below for my argument re:moving being ~free


2.) Movement as a resource
Yes movement is a technically resource, in that each turn you have limited movement. But, often there is no cost associated with moving, because you don't lose out on something like you do if you spent your action not attacking. (Also climbing a ladder costs literally 0 movement!)
---For example, if your fighter is next to an enemy. It is almost always the correct decision to circle around to the back of the enemy, getting this "backstab bonus." The fighter then still has their bonus action and their action. They haven't really lost anything.

In some cases, yes there is a cost. However, these situations are rare, negated by other Larian decisions, or have very small costs
---You would have to leave the threatened area of another enemy. This situation is somewhat rare. This would require multiple enemies to be near your fighter, none of which you can already backstab without moving. In addition, this cost is reduced by the ability to jump+disengage as a bonus action, ~always enabling you to do so, especially given that many Fighters don't have bonus action options anyway.
---Your example: "you must consider where other enemies are and can go". I'll admit, this can be a cost. But, as you said, 5e's has very lenient movement rules. This makes it much less likely that your decision to circle behind/gain height will actually put you in a worse position. The enemy could probably already move to gain whatever position they wanted. Again, "flanking" does not exist in BG3, so you don't have to worry about being surrounded.
--The biggest risk is being shoved off high ground by an enemy. This is significant. Which is why I'm more favorable of height bonuses than backstab bonuses. Risk&Reward

Also, I believe the opponent won't circle around you for backstab. They'll try to get in a position to backstab if they're not already next to you, but they won't circle around you. This might be wrong though...but if true, then backstabbing benefits don't apply equally to all actors

In summary, while there can (sometimes) be cost to moving, there often isn't or the cost is small compared to the Advantage gained.



3.) Feats/abilities/spells
The list of 56+ things is in the first post of this thread. Does it really matter what exactly they are? The point is that there are so many options that are made irrelevant by easy sources of advantage. Some of them are integral to classes/spells e.g.,
--Bard's spell Vicious Mockery, giving an enemy disadvantage to hit, is almost always used in PnP. If I'm on high ground, the enemy already has disadvantage against me. Why would I viciously mock?
--Barbarian's Reckless Attack grants you Advantage on all your attacks this round in exchange for enemies getting advantage on you. Why would you use this if you can just circle around an enemy for advantage?
--Faerie Fire grants advantage on all attack roles against a target, and is incredibly powerful for that. But why would you cast this if instead, you can just circle around an enemy/get height advantage?

I agree with you that, with infinite long rests, spells can be used more freely. But that is not the timescale I'm talking about. I care about a single combat, a single turn. In a single turn, would you rather:
a) walk up stairs/circle around an enemy to gain Advantage, where you still have your Action and Bonus Action?
b) spend an action (cast a spell) to POSSIBLY (they could resist) allow your allies/you to have Advantage on their attacks? In this case, you've used up your Action, and thus your turn is over
My point is that Option B is strictly worse than Option A, because you can achieve Option A will less resources used.


tl;dr: My point is that Advantage (the mechanic) from height/backstab is too powerful and too easily achievable. It makes lots of other parts of D&D irrelevant, and the costs for getting height/backstab are often small given 5e's lenient movement rules.
That said, I do like Larian's environments involving height. In this, we agree ^_^ I just think that a +2/-2 bonus for height (or even a +4/-4) that stacked with Advantage/Disadvantage would be much better.
Similar for backstab: change it to a numerical bonus that stacks, and maybe change "backstabbing" to "flanking", where you have to have allies on opposite sides of an enemy. That would involve a higher cost and more tactics, as you'd have to maneuver 2 people to positions in the thick of melee. Risking getting backstabbed themselves or AoE'd
Originally Posted by mrfuji3

...
tl;dr: My point is that Advantage (the mechanic) from height/backstab is too powerful and too easily achievable. It makes lots of other parts of D&D irrelevant, and the costs for getting height/backstab are often small given 5e's lenient movement rules.
That said, I do like Larian's environments involving height. In this, we agree ^_^ I just think that a +2/-2 bonus for height (or even a +4/-4) that stacked with Advantage/Disadvantage would be much better.
Similar for backstab: change it to a numerical bonus that stacks, and maybe change "backstabbing" to "flanking", where you have to have allies on opposite sides of an enemy. That would involve a higher cost and more tactics, as you'd have to maneuver 2 people to positions in the thick of melee. Risking getting backstabbed themselves or AoE'd


Thanks for the conversation, @mrfuji3. I suppose I'm going to both agree and disagree smile

At core, I think that height and flank attack *should* have benefits, and I think it a good thing that Larian has included changes for this. Most previous DnD video games did not bother, but I think the bar for video games has been raised above that. Similarly, and related, I do not think you can create a good video game if movement is essentially worthless.

I agree that actual implementation detail is not perfect, particularly for flank attack - once you are within weapon range, you should probably not be able to circle further, the way you currently are allowed. But if you can get to the rear 90 or 120 degree arc "the long way round" so to speak, it doesn't seem unreasonable to get a much easier attack.

And while I haven't seen it often, I have seen enemies go straight past party characters to hit other ones in the rear with advantage, though that is probably not a conscious decision. Similarly, there are more frequent occasions where enemy actors surround a character and gain flanking advantage.

There is definitely some work for Larian to do on movement and blocking it ( also noted in other threads ) which may play into making flanking ( and perhaps ladder climbing, as you mention ) work more acceptably. I'm hopeful that they will take another look, in the light of comments in this thread and others.

Going back to how you implement the movement benefits compared with other features, thanks for offering the specific examples ( vicious mockery, reckless attack, faerie fire ), of why you would find movement advantage disturbing; it helps me see more clearly why it is considered a problem.

Without considering all possible sources of advantage and how they can be used, I think I would probably say that positional advantage is not the all-destroying rules breaker it is being painted as in this thread.

In the particular cases you kindly outline, I would offer the following views:

Vicious Mockery ( not in EA yet ): Yes, as you say, if I am above a creature, they have disadvantage to attack, so I can choose to not use VM, save a spell slot and use my action to, perhaps, shoot it with a ranged weapon. On the face of it, this is positive for me, I think.

So, does this mean VM is useless and invalid? I would say no. Firstly VM also inflicts damage, as do some other spells in the "made useless" list. Secondly, the potential VM target gets to move before the end of its next turn ( the duration of VM disadvantage ), and may use that movement to move out of disadvantage and hit me at normal chance. If it is melee attacking me, this is actually highly likely. Thirdly, the creature may be at disadvantage to me, but not to other party members, unless they are also above the creature.

In short, this means the value of VM is not really diminished, but becomes tactically slightly more interesting.
- If the creature is not able to reach me in a turn, I can use it to protect a party member, but don't need it to protect myself.
- If the creature could reach me in a turn, I need to decide if I will risk not using VM in exchange for another feat/spell/attack.


Reckless Attack ( not in EA yet ): Yes, if I can circle an opponent for advantage ( or better yet, get on a ledge in front of them ), I don't need to use this ability. Again, on the face of it, this is positive for me.

I think we both agree that circling shouldn't be as easy as it currently is, but even in the current circumstances, reckless attack would still be a tactical choice when circling/height cannot be achieved. So this one is lessened, but not invalidated.


Faerie Fire (available in EA): I have to admit, being an old TT player, I dismissed FF without actually reading the description, as I rarely used to use it! But yes, I can see in 5e it is useful. And if I can see a creature, and can gain positional advantage, I can save a spell slot and do something else, thats true, and a positive choice again.

Is FF made useless? I'd say not at all, really. The spell affect all actors attacking the outlined creatures and items within the spell bounds for 10 rounds, not just the caster. Also, outlined creatures may move to negate positional advantages in any round, making it very unwise to assume that advantage will continue.


I don't know if these seem reasonable characterisations to you, but my impression from this small sample is that the existing advantage giving capabilities are affected to varying degrees by the Larian positional benefits, mainly changing the tactical circumstances of use or decision making, rather than everything being invalidated.

I shall certainly look more carefully at how this works out in future plays.
Just want to post my support for the OP and the side of the discussion favouring removing the majority of the always-available cost-free advantage sources in their current form.

Many folks have wanted to say that making it easier to achieve what you're trying to do reliably is a good thing, but what I'm seeing more than anything else is people saying that they like not having to think about, stock, use or ever consider a huge swathe of the interesting and different spells, abilities and features that are already, or will at some point be, available int he game... and I cannot fathom how being able to ignore most of the game's mechanics, abilities, spells and other features, becuase you can achieve their value for free without using them, could be considered to be a good thing by anyone.

Speaking just as a player of video games (I play table top as well, but I game plenty), if I am faced with a game that leaves one single tactic vastly superior to all other choices in combat, which is free and easy to abuse, and the go to in every situation, causing me to ignore almost the entirety of other features, spells and abilities ignored because they cost resources, and are less effective, or at best only just as effective, as the free, cost-free method... That's just bad game design. It's not fun. It gets tired and dull and boring way, way, WAY too fast.

- No more facing advantage; nix that entirely.
- *Optional* rule to use flanking for advantage, requiring another ally.
- Cover rules
- Height advantage removed in favour the base environmental benefit - it should usually negate cover.
- No low-to-high disadvantage either; at most, a high ground target that is back from the edge substantially can gain cover from lower attackers. One right on the edge is a sitting duck for low ground shooters - there's no way they should be harder to hit.
@etonbears

Yes I definitely agree that circling around an enemy should be made more difficult, given the extreme bonus you get for doing so. This could be addressed by reducing the bonus (numerical +2/+3 bonus), requiring actual flanking (allies on opposite sides of an enemy), or having such movement provoke AoOs. Or many other solutions.

Re: Faerie Fire, Reckless Attack, Vicious Mockery
I agree with you that these options all still have uses. The enemy could climb up to you, in which case having mocked/faerie'd them the previous turn would have been a good decision. Those examples you gave are good. I suppose I was being hyperbolic when I said these were completely invalidated, so my bad.
But the effects of them definitely are lessened, as you mention in your post (for reckless attack and faerie fire at least).

As I said, I do like the idea of getting a bonus from high ground. And I'm not opposed to some kind of flanking/backstab bonus. I just want the reward-to-risk/cost ratio to be more balanced and negatively affect fewer spells/abilities. Currently, high ground&backstab are so easy to get and provide such a strong bonus.
I think this would be best achieved by changing it from Advantage to a stacking numerical bonus and/or changing backstabbing to flanking.

@Niara
+1
Alright so Advantage/Disadvantage is roll 2d20 an take the high/low. The way its setup from the combat log seems like a 1d20 + a flat number added to your roll plus bonuses, is this correct? Besides this, there is currently from what it looks like 2 surprise rounds. Say I attack a creature, they get damage combat starts and surprise round goes I get another attack that is the official surprise round.

For sneak attacks, if I shoot from stealth or start my turn during a combat round go into stealth and attack, I'll get advantage but no sneak attack damage. I'm not sure if this is a bug or if something is off and I'm getting disadvantage also and advantage is still showing up in combat log for me.

Truthfully advantage/disadvantage seems more of a crap fest than anything I've ever read. If I have advantage on enemy i get to roll 2d20, if i have disadvantage i get to roll 2d20, if i have both nothing, if im a halfling i get another reroll on ones even if i have both. Why the hell isnt this just a flat +2/-2 from what i read the percent bonuses to the roll far far blow away any bonus from a spell. Bless why have it???
Originally Posted by fallenj
Alright so Advantage/Disadvantage is roll 2d20 an take the high/low. The way its setup from the combat log seems like a 1d20 + a flat number added to your roll plus bonuses, is this correct? Besides this, there is currently from what it looks like 2 surprise rounds. Say I attack a creature, they get damage combat starts and surprise round goes I get another attack that is the official surprise round.

For sneak attacks, if I shoot from stealth or start my turn during a combat round go into stealth and attack, I'll get advantage but no sneak attack damage. I'm not sure if this is a bug or if something is off and I'm getting disadvantage also and advantage is still showing up in combat log for me.

Truthfully advantage/disadvantage seems more of a crap fest than anything I've ever read. If I have advantage on enemy i get to roll 2d20, if i have disadvantage i get to roll 2d20, if i have both nothing, if im a halfling i get another reroll on ones even if i have both. Why the hell isnt this just a flat +2/-2 from what i read the percent bonuses to the roll far far blow away any bonus from a spell. Bless why have it???


Correct.
1.) From my recollections there is only 1 surprise round. Your surprise attack goes off, then initiative is rolled and everyone in the combat gets to act. But I might be mistaken...though this is how it *should* work.

2.) I'm assuming this is a bug. The game claims that you get advantage from attacking from stealth (which would allow you to get sneak attack damage), but then that sneak damage doesn't actually apply. Larian seems to have coded it so that your character unstealths before hitting, which then means you're no longer attacking with advantage...

3.) It's a mechanic aimed at simplifying 5e D&D. Instead of having to keep track of numerous small bonuses (e.g., pathfinder's morale, luck, natural, circumstance, dodge, deflection, sacred, size bonuses) some of which stack and some dont, everything is abstracted to 3 options: "advantage, normal, or disadvantage." It makes PnP combat work so much more smoothly, trust me.
However, in a video game, there is no real reason why all those small numerical bonuses shouldn't be included. The game will do all the calculations for you.
Well written and cogent argument. I like the idea of giving height and positioning a flat +2/-2 bonus/deduction. I'd much rather use class mechanics to gain Advantage or mitigate Disadvantage.

Excellent post. Would read again.

Originally Posted by Isaac Springsong

The Maths: - In 5e, in general, having Advantage is roughly equivalent of having +5 to your roll. Disadvantage is roughly equal to having -5 to your roll. This means if one character is rolling with Advantage, and the other character is rolling with Disadvantage, then there is the rough equivalent of +-10 between their rolls. Additionally, Advantage doubles the chance of rolling a critical hit, and makes critical failures much less likely (5% normally vs 0.25% with Advantage), vice versa for Disadvantage

Originally Posted by Isaac Springsong

Looking at the graphs in the link it seems is only +/- 5 at 10; at 19 it is +/- 1 (linked article says average is +/- 3.325).

Wouldn't this mean if you had a high (say 90%) unmodified chance to hit, using a flat +/-2 would make it more likely to hit than using advantage?

Not sure what proportion of attacks are long odds rather than midrange (where advantage is higher) though or if it matters. I can't work it out in my mind...
Agree with OP. Especially the height mechanic gets tired very quickly in my opinion. In the first encounter past the tutorial against the intellect devourers, the moderately sloped ground can make a night/day difference depending on which direction you are attacking from.

Concerning the argument that it feels bad to miss frequently: it also feels bad to consistently get hit by the enemy unless taking part in this race-to-the-top mini game.

Apart from the various skills that directly compete as ways to grant/inflict advantage/disadvantage I would also draw a comparison to other conditions. Targeting a creature in darkness (without dark vision) or heavy fog causes disadvantage. Aiming upwards at a moderate angle is way easier than that.
Using a weapon a character is not proficient in removes the proficiency bonus, which is +2/+3 in early levels. Aiming upwards should be easier than using a weapon the character does not know how to handle.

I agree that effects of movement should be more pronounced in a video game compared to TT and height can play a part in that. But I think significantly smaller incentives can accomplish this goal. E.g. a range modifier for ballistic weapons would by itself encourage seeking high ground. And perhaps an attack bonus of 1 with the possibility to increase it through abilities in some classes. IMHO this would already be enough to seek out as an advantage without devaluing other choices too much.

Originally Posted by lx07

Wouldn't this mean if you had a high (say 90%) unmodified chance to hit, using a flat +/-2 would make it more likely to hit than using advantage?

Not sure what scenario you are referring to exactly. Assuming the base scenario is having to roll 3+ (90%), rolling that with advantage would be 99%. Giving a bonus of 2 (rolling 1+) would produce 95% when respecting critical failures. And even ignoring critical failures (100%), the increased chance of critical hits typically makes up for the 1% lower probability.
Miloment beat me to it Lx07, but significant change in getting a Critical Success/Fail is where the additional benefits from Adv/Dis come from beyond the 3.325. There are lengthy sources around the more popular 5e discussion forums (Giantitp, Enworld) that go *hard* into the math to include comparing Adv/Dis against the average AC per CR level. It always ends up being a rough benefit of +-5 *on average*. Which is why it's the strongest baseline mechanic in a bounded accuracy system.
@miloment/@Isaac Springsong, thanks I was getting confused by the graphs and misread them. Seems easier visualising with anydice.

I agree with the idea in OP to change so it isn't so easy to get advantage in these ways, just was misreading as flat +/-2 may result in increased hit chance compared to advantage in some situations.
Originally Posted by Zahur
Originally Posted by Nyanko
The main problem in making the game more accurate in terms of when to declare an advantage or not will be the percentage of success lowering down dramatically at low level. Will players like the fact they have to wait 5 rounds to kill just one goblin? I am not sure honestly.

I guess they began implementing stricto sensu 5e combat rules but realized it would be too punishing to the pace of combat. So what's the best compromise here?

Those rules are such a sensitive small ecosystem, aren't they? Inspired by this reddit post I made my own analysis. I've ran a simulator with 1 million of goblins and let them fight with one immortal 1st level Fighter (STR 16).

Current BG3, Goblin AC8, HP14, 20% of attacks have disadvantage or they are normal, 80% have advantage
Code
              Rounds  Avg  Min  Low  Med High Max StDev
Short Sword  2703117  2.7    2    3    3    3   8   0.6
Warhammer    2425818  2.4    2    2    2    2   8   0.6
Greatsword   2018406  2.0    1    2    2    2   7   0.4

RAW DnD, Goblin AC15, HP7, 20% of attacks have disadvantage or advantage, 80% are normal attacks
Code
              Rounds  Avg  Min  Low  Med High Max StDev
Short Sword  2723422  2.7    1    2    2    2  21   1.7
Warhammer    2498914  2.5    1    2    2    2  23   1.7
Greatsword   1972064  2.0    1    1    1    1  19   1.4

We can clearly see that Larian tries and actually succeed in achiving roughly same total combat durations. Average time to kill a Goblin is same in BG3 as in RAW DnD. Looking to minimal/maximal value and medians (low, middle and high) there is one round difference, which is OK by my standards. The Problems of RAW are very long miss streaks and larger standard deviation which leads to bad feeling and discomfort. So I think if we are trying to persuade Larian to revert all their changes regarding advantage/disadvantage and HP/AC back do RAW DnD, we should suggest an alternative system which deals somehow with those miss streaks.

My favorite solution is simply not interpret all misses as misses. Often you hit but deal no damage. There could be an animation, sparks, taunts, shouts, etc, depending on how close you were on your d20 attack roll.

Other solid solution would be pseudo-random distribution like Dota 2 is using. This will fake die rolls depending on you current streak but maintain the average probability the same.



And this for me it’s really the point, thank you for running the simulation. It takes the same time on average.

Yes the combat plays differently and yes I agree, I definitely feel more overpowered than in my average DnD session, but I think the point is to create a game that can appeal beyond DnD fan base.

Is BG3 EA giving me enough DnD? So far (120 hours) yes, better than any other game I’ve played. Almost every fight played differently at every replay (4 for now)

Would I like one day to see it modded/upgraded with a RAW mode? Definitely!
"appeal beoind the D&D fan base"

funny, that's precisely why BG and BG2 were RTwP.
Originally Posted by tsundokugames
"appeal beoind the D&D fan base"

funny, that's precisely why BG and BG2 were RTwP.


What’s funny about it?
Originally Posted by bernardthehermit
Originally Posted by tsundokugames
"appeal beoind the D&D fan base"

funny, that's precisely why BG and BG2 were RTwP.


What’s funny about it?

because what you are using as a defense of Larian's choices are the exact words used against Bioware when they made the original BG RTwP. The "wider audience" being all of PC gaming, not just niche RPG players. That is why BG was such a remarkable success, and yet the majority of arguments against BG and BG2 are that they aren't turn based or "faithful" to D&D.

so it's funny to witness the cognitive dissonance in action. "you guys" literally split hairs to try and keep sense of your arguments. it must be exhausting.
Originally Posted by tsundokugames
Originally Posted by bernardthehermit
Originally Posted by tsundokugames
"appeal beoind the D&D fan base"

funny, that's precisely why BG and BG2 were RTwP.


What’s funny about it?

because what you are using as a defense of Larian's choices are the exact words used against Bioware when they made the original BG RTwP. The "wider audience" being all of PC gaming, not just niche RPG players. That is why BG was such a remarkable success, and yet the majority of arguments against BG and BG2 are that they aren't turn based.

so it's funny to witness the cognitive dissonance in action. "you guys" literally split hairs to try and keep sense of your arguments. it must be exhausting.


I don’t get it. Turn based vs RT is a thing, Height and Backstab mechanics another. You have noticed that both share the same goal. That’s good, but sharing the same goal does not mean you either like them both or dislike them both. With this logic you should either like every type of food or no food at all, because both share the goal to feed.

As for splitting hair, this is a forum about BG3 and this a thread about Height and Backstab mechanics. So yeah, we’re talking and talking about it.
Originally Posted by macadami
Originally Posted by Isaac Springsong
Originally Posted by macadami
Since there is not an overall difficulty slider to 5e as there will be in BG3, how would you suggest making encounters easier and harder?


*Points to the difficulty settings in BG 1 & BG 2*

Use those. I mean this is supposed to be the third game in a trilogy, don't need to reinvent that wheel.



I don't think that will work in 5e. There isn't a way to out scale hits with AC like there was in 2e. BG1&2's main difference was more damage when hit but in 5e It's not even a matter of a completely min maxed character; you just aren't given the tools to prevent the hits, or guarantee them. You would just die from the increased damage on ever hit. I don't even think spell failure is in 5e, casting or copying scrolls, and that was another annoying trait of the difficulty slider.



The best way to scale encounter difficulty in 5th ed is to add more enemies to the fight. Add some more peons... Add a lieutenant to the boss fight (+more peons)... That said the issue there is it slows the encounter down. On table top the DM generally breaks peon minions into groups and has each group act all at once for speed.
Made it to the end...

+1 for the OP.


My take away is that the high ground rule only makes sense when you consider the lack of a cover system.
- 5th ed has 1/2 cover, 3/4 cover, and full cover.
- BG3 does not have the cover system but the High Ground sort simulates it for ranged attacks.


My feelings:
- please add the cover system updated for 3d environments (will need to cast more than 4 rays)
- reduce the high ground bonus to +1 or +2 to hit. (and no low ground penalty because cover has you covered now)
- add in the optional flank rules from DMG (2+ characters on each side of the target) with a +2 hit only. (melee needs fun rules too)
Originally Posted by tsundokugames
so it's funny to witness the cognitive dissonance in action. "you guys" literally split hairs to try and keep sense of your arguments. it must be exhausting.

No need to be snarky when arguing your point. Attack the argument, not the man.
Originally Posted by LodurOfTheSquids
Made it to the end...

+1 for the OP.


My take away is that the high ground rule only makes sense when you consider the lack of a cover system.
- 5th ed has 1/2 cover, 3/4 cover, and full cover.
- BG3 does not have the cover system but the High Ground sort simulates it for ranged attacks.


My feelings:
- please add the cover system updated for 3d environments (will need to cast more than 4 rays)
- reduce the high ground bonus to +1 or +2 to hit. (and no low ground penalty because cover has you covered now)
- add in the optional flank rules from DMG (2+ characters on each side of the target) with a +2 hit only. (melee needs fun rules too)



Even if the idea is interesting, I think adding a cover system so far in development is a bit of a stretch. But I dig the +1/+2 for height instead of an advantage. And it can be easily modified I guess.
Originally Posted by Nyanko
Originally Posted by LodurOfTheSquids
Made it to the end...

+1 for the OP.


My take away is that the high ground rule only makes sense when you consider the lack of a cover system.
- 5th ed has 1/2 cover, 3/4 cover, and full cover.
- BG3 does not have the cover system but the High Ground sort simulates it for ranged attacks.


My feelings:
- please add the cover system updated for 3d environments (will need to cast more than 4 rays)
- reduce the high ground bonus to +1 or +2 to hit. (and no low ground penalty because cover has you covered now)
- add in the optional flank rules from DMG (2+ characters on each side of the target) with a +2 hit only. (melee needs fun rules too)



Even if the idea is interesting, I think adding a cover system so far in development is a bit of a stretch. But I dig the +1/+2 for height instead of an advantage. And it can be easily modified I guess.

If they are to implement a cover system then now would be the best time. Keep in mind we're only one month into the early access period and we're most likely still a year (if not more) away from the game's full release.
The longer they wait with implementing any new features, the more likely they are to run into issues.
Originally Posted by Bukke
Originally Posted by Nyanko
Originally Posted by LodurOfTheSquids
Made it to the end...

+1 for the OP.


My take away is that the high ground rule only makes sense when you consider the lack of a cover system.
- 5th ed has 1/2 cover, 3/4 cover, and full cover.
- BG3 does not have the cover system but the High Ground sort simulates it for ranged attacks.


My feelings:
- please add the cover system updated for 3d environments (will need to cast more than 4 rays)
- reduce the high ground bonus to +1 or +2 to hit. (and no low ground penalty because cover has you covered now)
- add in the optional flank rules from DMG (2+ characters on each side of the target) with a +2 hit only. (melee needs fun rules too)



Even if the idea is interesting, I think adding a cover system so far in development is a bit of a stretch. But I dig the +1/+2 for height instead of an advantage. And it can be easily modified I guess.

If they are to implement a cover system then now would be the best time. Keep in mind we're only one month into the early access period and we're most likely still a year (if not more) away from the game's full release.
The longer they wait with implementing any new features, the more likely they are to run into issues.


Yeah, but if we have in mind a cover system like xcom for instance, the environment is not suitable at all for it at the moment. The only stuff that would fit are barrels or chests, like all the destructible assets. The problem with these is they can be destroyed super easily.

So it would essentially mean they'd have to rework all the maps to include hard cover structures.
Overall whatever results in less wasted actions, within reason, is fine by me. It simply feels good to connect your attacks with a good enough ratio and a flipside it certainly feels terrible when game almost punishes you with miss streak RNG.

Positional advantage (backstab) is already an optional rule in 5e, they just need to fix it to their intended light weapons only requirement. Height advantage/disadvantage (just to remind you it's not all happiness and sunshine there) is homebrewed, but I'm totally down with it because it simply makes sense.
Originally Posted by Gaidax
Overall whatever results in less wasted actions, within reason, is fine by me. It simply feels good to connect your attacks with a good enough ratio and a flipside it certainly feels terrible when game almost punishes you with miss streak RNG.

Positional advantage (backstab) is already an optional rule in 5e, they just need to fix it to their intended light weapons only requirement. Height advantage/disadvantage (just to remind you it's not all happiness and sunshine there) is homebrewed, but I'm totally down with it because it simply makes sense.


Neither of what you said is true unfortunately. Positional Advantage has nothing to do with weapons that have the Light property even in the *literally never used anywhere ever* optional rule of "Facing" in the DMG.

And if you think it makes sense, what is your response to the 56+ class abilities and spells that are completely invalidated by the two homebrewed systems?
Implementing cover would also require a change to their ray-tracing/cover detection/"am I able to hit" algorithm. Currently, if you can draw a line (or arc) to any part of the enemy's body, you can hit them. This doesn't work with cover. You need to draw at least 4(?) lines to different parts of enemies, probably more.

Not arguing against Larian doing it, but it's not nearly as simple as Solasta/XCOM's grid-based cover system.
Originally Posted by Isaac Springsong
Neither of what you said is true unfortunately. Positional Advantage has nothing to do with weapons that have the Light property even in the *literally never used anywhere ever* optional rule of "Facing" in the DMG.

And if you think it makes sense, what is your response to the 56+ class abilities and spells that are completely invalidated by the two homebrewed systems?


The rule exists page 252 black on white in print. You can't blame them for making use of it and limiting it a tad.


As for second point - citation needed. "Invalidating" is a BIG word there, I'd imagine the actual truth is somewhat not there. Overall the point is that there will be plenty of changes and in my opinion many of these are deliberate changes to make the game less frustrating for people who do not necessarily get off having RNG miss streaks. I'm down with them tampering with AC values and adding a few extra sources of Advantage for that, it won't detract from my enjoyment of BG3 and likely will only increase it by reducing wasted actions.


If there will be spells that will be legitimately useless given these changes, then they either will be just that or will be amended (like Sleep, for example, btw). It's not unlike BG/BG2 - you also had a ton of useless spells there and these games were far from faithful 2e recreation - somehow the world did not end there and everyone and their mothers put these games on a pedestal as a model D&D videogame.
Originally Posted by Gaidax
Originally Posted by Isaac Springsong
Neither of what you said is true unfortunately. Positional Advantage has nothing to do with weapons that have the Light property even in the *literally never used anywhere ever* optional rule of "Facing" in the DMG.

And if you think it makes sense, what is your response to the 56+ class abilities and spells that are completely invalidated by the two homebrewed systems?


The rule exists page 252 black on white in print. You can't blame them for making use of it and limiting it a tad.


As for second point - citation needed. "Invalidating" is a BIG word there, I'd imagine the actual truth is somewhat not there. Overall the point is that there will be plenty of changes and in my opinion many of these are deliberate changes to make the game less frustrating for people who do not necessarily get off having RNG miss streaks. I'm down with them tampering with AC values and adding a few extra sources of Advantage for that, it won't detract from my enjoyment of BG3 and likely will only increase it by reducing wasted actions.


If there will be spells that will be legitimately useless given these changes, then they either will be just that or will be amended (like Sleep, for example, btw). It's not unlike BG/BG2 - you also had a ton of useless spells there and these games were far from faithful 2e recreation - somehow the world did not end there, eh?

Larian doesn't limit Facing. They expand it, making it much more easy to use. And we certainly can blame Larian for using an incomplete version of an optional rule. Just as you can defend their choice.
As far as I can tell there is no DMG component of the rule that restricts it to light weapons. I will be much happier if/when this is implemented, though I'd be even happier if it was limited to the rogue and/or changed to a flat bonus.

And yes, they don't invalidate 56+ class abilities. But height/backstab (dis)advantage DO make many of these 56 abilities less useful (e.g., why Barbarian reckless attack when you can just backstab? Why faerie fire when you can just climb a ladder or backstab?). Again, replacing height/backstab (dis)advantage with numerical modifiers would completely fix these issues.

Also: Larian's fix to sleep doesn't fully correct for the HP increase. >50% HP increase for most goblins but ~30% increase in HP that Sleep affects. Sleep goes from affecting 2-5 goblins to affecting 2 at max.
Originally Posted by Gaidax
Originally Posted by Isaac Springsong
*snip*


The rule exists page 252 black on white in print. You can't blame them for making use of it and limiting it a tad.


As for second point - citation needed. "Invalidating" is a BIG word there, I'd imagine the actual truth is somewhat not there. Overall the point is that there will be plenty of changes and in my opinion many of these are deliberate changes to make the game less frustrating for people who do not necessarily get off having RNG miss streaks. I'm down with them tampering with AC values and adding a few extra sources of Advantage for that, it won't detract from my enjoyment of BG3 and likely will only increase it by reducing wasted actions.


If there will be spells that will be legitimately useless given these changes, then they either will be just that or will be amended (like Sleep, for example, btw). It's not unlike BG/BG2 - you also had a ton of useless spells there and these games were far from faithful 2e recreation - somehow the world did not end there and everyone and their mothers put these games on a pedestal as a model D&D videogame.


Yes, I can. And you are dodging the point I made, which is that YOUR statement (Facing rules require a Light weapon) was factually wrong. Because it was and still is. Ignoring 90% of the Facing rule is not 'limiting it a tad' so you are also factually wrong on that point as well. Do you want to be accurate?

Did...did you actually read the original post in this thread? I am being serious, did you? Because you're asking for a citation to something that exists in the very first post. I know that because I wrote it. Please, feel free to do your own thorough review and dispute any of the 56 class abilities and spells I listed. While you do that work to have the supportive evidence, that list *only* covers levels 1-4. The amount of class abilities and spells geared towards providing/imposing Advantage and Disadvantage grows massively once you get into level 5+.

So as I have continually showed you to be wrong, here is a simple question you can answer. Which is the easier task:

- to rebalance 56+ class abilities and spells; or
- to remove Adv/Dis from height and position as currently implemented?

Next, and this is simply because I love it when the conversion of 2e to BG 1/2 is trotted out as an example, please provide a list like I have of the differences between the 2e ruleset and the implementation by BG 1/2. Heck, you can even just limit it to spells if you want. Because here's the thing, you are making a statement of fact (BG 1/2 were not faithful to the ruleset) without supporting evidence. That's ignoring the fact that 2e was atrociously designed from a digital programing perspective and 3.0 was already in development at the time. While you are compiling this evidence (or if you choose not to, invalidating this as a point you can make), perhaps you'll understand why the changes made from 2e to accommodate the digital environment receive such dramatically different treatment by the player base than the changes Larian are trying to implement..
Originally Posted by mrfuji3

Larian doesn't limit Facing. They expand it, making it much more easy to use. And we certainly can blame Larian for using an incomplete version of an optional rule. Just as you can defend their choice.
As far as I can tell there is no DMG component of the rule that restricts it to light weapons. I will be much happier if/when this is implemented, though I'd be even happier if it was limited to the rogue and/or changed to a flat bonus.

And yes, they don't invalidate 56+ class abilities. But height/backstab (dis)advantage DO make many of these 56 abilities less useful (e.g., why Barbarian reckless attack when you can just backstab? Why faerie fire when you can just climb a ladder or backstab?). Again, replacing height/backstab (dis)advantage with numerical modifiers would completely fix these issues.

Also: Larian's fix to sleep doesn't fully correct for the HP increase. >50% HP increase for most goblins but ~30% increase in HP that Sleep affects. Sleep goes from affecting 2-5 goblins to affecting 2 at max.


Larian intends to put limit by restricting it only to light weapons per their ingame tooltip (so that's by the way to address Barbarian part, unless you do some light weapons Barbarian).

[Linked Image]

They will likely not implement "reaction" part of original rule, but they also will restrict it to to light weapons only.


Various spells being less effective is quite a big of a gap from the "invalidate" claim - after all, there might not always be a ledge and your barbarian might not be swinging them shortswords either. Sleep is arguable, because on one hand it's potentially less powerful, but on the other hand it's guaranteed effect now with set HP - you know exactly what you're getting - there is a lot of value in that in RNGfest that is D&D. They might further increase it though, which imo they could by adding another flat 6 hit points base and rank up, but that's what EA is for.

Same goes for many other spells that might be affected - they will either amend them, buff them or simply let them stay as is and the world won't end.

Originally Posted by Gaidax
*snip*

Various spells being less effective is quite a big of a gap from the "invalidate" claim - after all, there might not always be a ledge and your barbarian might not be swinging them shortswords either. Sleep is arguable, because on one hand it's potentially less powerful, but on the other hand it's guaranteed effect now with set HP - you know exactly what you're getting - there is a lot of value in that in RNGfest that is D&D. They might further increase it though, which imo they could by adding another flat 6 hit points base and rank up, but that's what EA is for.

Same goes for many other spells that might be affected - they will either amend them, buff them or simply let them stay as is and the world won't end.



Ah now I see we're getting to semantics. Okay:

Invalidate - "make (an argument, statement, or theory) unsound or erroneous."

It is the absolutely correct term. Your argument is with the dictionary.
Originally Posted by Isaac Springsong
*snip*


Quite frankly, I'm not exactly intending to waste my time with you, bud.

I spoke my piece and I intend to keep doing just that to balance out this RAW extremism from time to time.

I know you are invested into it and it's your right to voice your opinion, but it's also my right to voice my opinion on the matter.


In the end of the day, I strongly believe that more deterministic, less frustrating gameplay with expanded options is simply more fun and more welcoming to larger audience this game is intended for. It is far more important than going batshit crazy trying to reproduce 5e RAW in-game despite all its RNG BS, especially being keenly aware of the fact videogame players rightfully do not appreciate excessive RNG and excessive wasted turns in their games.

Thankfully, Larian has experience with that both with their own games AND with games like Xcom with its well known 95% memes. I am glad they listen to their internal common sense and choose to homebrew changes that lead to less frustrating gameplay, while offering more invested players an out with full and easy to implement addon support. Why I'm glad it's their stance exactly voiced in few last interviews and their loaded dice musings to counter excessively shit RNG and alternative more deterministic dialog paths are even better news for me.


And btw, I do think that yeeting a barrel into a clump of trash and blowing them up is hilarious too and should be a thing. Hope I did not burst your vein there with my filthy casual "fun".
Originally Posted by Gaidax
Various spells being less effective is quite a big of a gap from the "invalidate" claim - after all, there might not always be a ledge and your barbarian might not be swinging them shortswords either. Sleep is arguable, because on one hand it's potentially less powerful, but on the other hand it's guaranteed effect now with set HP - you know exactly what you're getting - there is a lot of value in that in RNGfest that is D&D. They might further increase it though, which imo they could by adding another flat 6 hit points base and rank up, but that's what EA is for.

Same goes for many other spells that might be affected - they will either amend them, buff them or simply let them stay as is and the world won't end.


Okay, sure. But if you want to separate into situations where this overlap will or won't apply, then we also have to bring the word "invalidate" back into the argument.
-In situations where you can get height advantage (probably most, given the encounters so far) faerie fire will be invalidated
-In situations where you cannot get height advantage, but can still get backstab, faerie fire will be invalidated.
-In situations where you can't get height or advantage, then faerie fire will apply as normal.
Net effect: the effectiveness of faerie fire is lessened, just like I was saying. I was summing over these scenarios by saying, in general, these abilities are made less useful.
Or, phrased another way, height (dis)advantage will sometimes invalidate these 56+ abilities, and sometimes not.

Also, that is a bold claim that Larian will fix these spells to be balanced. I haven't seen much evidence of that so far, or any indication that Larian realizes there is a problem. As you said earlier on this page, citation needed. And if they don't, then we as players have strictly lost options/tactical choices.
Larian is obviously adapting mechanics to fit the game. It's disingenuous to imply they won't continue to do so.
No Larian thinks that High Advantage and Ground effects from D:OS was a good feature and we make it a Core Mechanic in BG3. Its standart in the Editor and this mechanic was before the first 5e rule in the game.
After that decision they implemented 5e rules and "Oh no we have problems lets tinker at AC, HP and other values".
The reality is that Larian D:OS Gimmicks > 5e rules and the "adapting" is another word for "mess with it".
No one with brain will implement 5e rules first and implement such a homebrew rule second and make all the work useless.

And for the "realistic" fans: Dwarf and halflings have against "normal" races automatic disadvantage because heigth ;O)
Originally Posted by Caparino

No one with brain will implement 5e rules first and implement such a homebrew rule second and make all the work useless.


If your point is to create a D&D game with awesome homebrew rules to overhaul the experience, I guess that's what everyone should do^^

Not sure any DM create his own rules before having tried the RAW.

Their mechanics, rules and wishes are awesome and could really enhance D&D but as they are implemented, they altered the experience way too much... leading first of all to very poor combats in which the only real tactical choices related to these homebrew rules are "fire, ice or poison ?"

(Backstab and High ground are so powerfull and so cheesy that they're not really choices... Everything is balanced considering we'll always use them).

Originally Posted by Gaidax
Originally Posted by Isaac Springsong
*snip*


Quite frankly, I'm not exactly intending to waste my time with you, bud.

I spoke my piece and I intend to keep doing just that to balance out this RAW extremism from time to time.

I know you are invested into it and it's your right to voice your opinion, but it's also my right to voice my opinion on the matter.


In the end of the day, I strongly believe that more deterministic, less frustrating gameplay with expanded options is simply more fun and more welcoming to larger audience this game is intended for. It is far more important than going batshit crazy trying to reproduce 5e RAW in-game despite all its RNG BS, especially being keenly aware of the fact videogame players rightfully do not appreciate excessive RNG and excessive wasted turns in their games.

Thankfully, Larian has experience with that both with their own games AND with games like Xcom with its well known 95% memes. I am glad they listen to their internal common sense and choose to homebrew changes that lead to less frustrating gameplay, while offering more invested players an out with full and easy to implement addon support. Why I'm glad it's their stance exactly voiced in few last interviews and their loaded dice musings to counter excessively shit RNG and alternative more deterministic dialog paths are even better news for me.


And btw, I do think that yeeting a barrel into a clump of trash and blowing them up is hilarious too and should be a thing. Hope I did not burst your vein there with my filthy casual "fun".


You can just admit you were wrong, it is a lot easier that way for both of us and then hopefully we can move forward with more productive conversations.

I do want to highlight something for your own edification. Several times now you have stated your belief that DOS style combat is, and I quote "more deterministic". Now, I want to make a few points here.

One, I absolutely agree with that statement. Two, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wujVMIYzYXg

Saying combat is "more deterministic" means, literally, that combat is pre-determined by conditions that existed prior to it taking place. Which is absolutely correct in the current build of the game, because *YOUR* actions and free will mean almost nothing next to the 'Lazy Larian' (tm) homebrewed rules that overwhelm everything else in the game. No amount of effort will overcome the topics discussed here and barrelmancy, they pre-determine everything else in combat.

Next, and this is where some citations are needed, you make the *bold* claim that videogame players do not like excessive RNG. First, again, sources needed. Second, do you know what game you are playing? It's Baldur's Gate 3, the third game in a trilogy. It is pretty clear you didn't play those games extensively since they contained all but exactly the same amount of RNG as exists in BG 3 (1d20 variance for attack rolls) and yet.....somehow.....someway....here we are 20+ *years* later and the popularity of those games is the *only* reason this game is even being made in the first place. So there's my evidence that the RNG of D&D is not disliked by videogame players (this game only exists because the first two games were and remain so popular decades later), what's your evidence?
Why are you speaking in such absolutes? There's nothing incompatible with determinism and RNG. Clearly D&D plays with that continuum everywhere. Having consistent advantage does not negate all challenge nor remove player agency from the game. That's hyperbolic and flatly wrong.
Originally Posted by SacredWitness
Why are you speaking in such absolutes? There's nothing incompatible with determinism and RNG. Clearly D&D plays with that continuum everywhere. Having consistent advantage does not negate all challenge nor remove player agency from the game. That's hyperbolic and flatly wrong.


It literally does. Every single aspect of D&D 5e, from ability scores, to HP/AC values, monster abilities, class and racial abilities, spells, pretty much every mechanic in the entire rulebook is balanced around the player *not* having consistent advantage. How do I know? Because there's a 9th level spell, the most powerful *thing* in the entire game, that does nothing else beyond granting Advantage and imposing Disadvantage on enemy attacks. That's *all* it does. And Lazy Larian now lets us replicate 50% of that spell (only advantage on attacks) just by dropping a box and standing on top of it.
Guys.

Turn the testosterone-fuelled language down a few notches please. Heated debate is one thing, but aggressive arguing and confrontational language is quite another.

We all have different views on what we want to see in a game (and yes, it is a game). We all play the game slightly differently. Acknowledge that the other person feels just as strongly about their viewpoint as you do about yours. If you can't respond without being confrontational, don't respond. It doesn't make you any less a gamer.
Originally Posted by Isaac Springsong
Originally Posted by SacredWitness
Why are you speaking in such absolutes? There's nothing incompatible with determinism and RNG. Clearly D&D plays with that continuum everywhere. Having consistent advantage does not negate all challenge nor remove player agency from the game. That's hyperbolic and flatly wrong.


It literally does. Every single aspect of D&D 5e, from ability scores, to HP/AC values, monster abilities, class and racial abilities, spells, pretty much every mechanic in the entire rulebook is balanced around the player *not* having consistent advantage. How do I know? Because there's a 9th level spell, the most powerful *thing* in the entire game, that does nothing else beyond granting Advantage and imposing Disadvantage on enemy attacks. That's *all* it does. And Lazy Larian now lets us replicate 50% of that spell (only advantage on attacks) just by dropping a box and standing on top of it.


Even though advantage only comes to be around a 5% bonus on average aka a +1 static bonus? Even though just because a spell has a given slot means it can either be very weak or very strong in that slot? Even though advantage or disadvantage can be ridiculously easy to negate?

Alrighty then...
Originally Posted by SacredWitness
Originally Posted by Isaac Springsong
Originally Posted by SacredWitness
Why are you speaking in such absolutes? There's nothing incompatible with determinism and RNG. Clearly D&D plays with that continuum everywhere. Having consistent advantage does not negate all challenge nor remove player agency from the game. That's hyperbolic and flatly wrong.


It literally does. Every single aspect of D&D 5e, from ability scores, to HP/AC values, monster abilities, class and racial abilities, spells, pretty much every mechanic in the entire rulebook is balanced around the player *not* having consistent advantage. How do I know? Because there's a 9th level spell, the most powerful *thing* in the entire game, that does nothing else beyond granting Advantage and imposing Disadvantage on enemy attacks. That's *all* it does. And Lazy Larian now lets us replicate 50% of that spell (only advantage on attacks) just by dropping a box and standing on top of it.


Even though advantage only comes to be around a 5% bonus on average aka a +1 static bonus? Even though just because a spell has a given slot means it can either be very weak or very strong in that slot? Even though advantage or disadvantage can be ridiculously easy to negate?

Alrighty then...


I'd like to understand why you consider advantage is only +5% and why you consider you (and the AI) can negate advantages/disadvantages that easily.

I definitely agree with Isaac.
Every homebrew rules totally guides and determine the way combats take place.

D&D RAW are way more rich in terms of tactical possibilities than what we actually have in BG3.
(Reactions, synergy between classes, more actions, cover, more things to think about because less common overpowered mechanics...)

Read the D&D rules as I did if you don't know them. Combats could be far more challenging and deep with more D&D and adjusted/toned down hombrew rules.
Mathematically, advantage and disadvantage are most impactful for middling DCs. Averaged from 1-20 results it only comes to a 5% difference.

It's easy to negate because sources don't stack. You don't get double advantage. You just have advantage. All it takes to negate is a single source of disadvantage.

Now, think of mid to high level monsters and you'll see it really won't mean much at all over the course of the game as a whole. It feels OP only because of the combination of low level and easy enemies. That's it.
Originally Posted by SacredWitness
Mathematically, advantage and disadvantage are most impactful for middling DCs. Averaged from 1-20 results it only comes to a 5% difference.

It's easy to negate because sources don't stack. You don't get double advantage. You just have advantage. All it takes to negate is a single source of disadvantage.

Now, think of mid to high level monsters and you'll see it really won't mean much at all over the course of the game as a whole. It feels OP only because of the combination of low level and easy enemies. That's it.


Not sure where you learn maths or probabylity or if you really know what advantages and disadvantages mean but you're totally wrong.
The average advantage on a D20 roll grants +25% to hit while the average disavantages decrease your %to hit by 25%.

That's exactly how it work if your character is level 1 (proficiency +2), if your build is "correct" (modifier +3) and if you fight against ennemies that have an AC of 15 (D20 roll >=10).
You can check in the game.

My knowledge of mathematics is probably not much greater than yours, but it seems to me that to reach the 5% that comes out of your hat, a common lvl 1-3 character should fight against ~AC 23 ennemies.
There it wouldn't be very much impactfull... but the entire game would suck because you'll miss except if your D20 roll is >= 18

Now about "negate" advantage and disadvantage, it looks you'll stay very vague.

Just one exemple...
What can your ennemies do to avoid your backstab when you can cheesy jump and attack once (or more if you're a fighter lvl 5) each turn from it's back ?
Is he going to cheesy disengage and always try to reach your back to keep the balance ? Or is there any other consequences of your cheesy jump and cheesy backstab(s) to keep that balance ?

I'd really like to have your real exemples of how "balanced" advantages/disadvantages is and how "easy" it is to negate.
I guess easy means we have many many possibilities. If not... maybe "determinism" was finally the right word.
Originally Posted by SacredWitness
Mathematically, advantage and disadvantage are most impactful for middling DCs. Averaged from 1-20 results it only comes to a 5% difference.

It's easy to negate because sources don't stack. You don't get double advantage. You just have advantage. All it takes to negate is a single source of disadvantage.

Now, think of mid to high level monsters and you'll see it really won't mean much at all over the course of the game as a whole. It feels OP only because of the combination of low level and easy enemies. That's it.


The bonus on an advantage is substantial. It's +25% on a 50% chance roll. And so it should be acquired by using resources instead of just placing your character behind a target or literally moving one step up on a stair.

It they are so scared players would be disappointed to miss too often, then they should give everyone advantage by default and use +/- 5%, +/-10% bonuses to adjust in case of backstab or elevation.
SacredWitness just probably made a mistake in calculation. The 25% is more or less correct. More importantly, advantage doubles the chance to make critical hit and nearly negates the chances to critically miss. Vice versa disadvantage. This is very often forgotten part of that feature.
Originally Posted by Zahur
SacredWitness just probably made a mistake in calculation. The 25% is more or less correct. More importantly, advantage doubles the chance to make critical hit and nearly negates the chances to critically miss. Vice versa disadvantage. This is very often forgotten part of that feature.


Sorry to be picky, but it's not more or less. It's correct lol.

In order to calculate an advantage for a roll, you just take the roll percentage evaluated with a max value of 1, which for 50% is 0.5. Then you reformulate what you are looking for: "Finding the chance you succeed an advantage (to succeed at least one roll of two with 50% chance each), it's the same as finding the chance you won't have two failures".

The chance not to have two failures is 1 - the chances to have two failures. So: 1 - ((1 - chance to succeed) * (1 - chance to succeed)).

Which in the case of 50% is: 1 - (0.5 * 0.5) = 0.75 => 75%.

In the case of a 60% roll it's: 1 - (0.4 * 0.4) = 0.84 => 84%.
Some hope comes from Sven mentioning loaded die. If they implement it, they could not only apply it to dialogs, but also to d20 rolls during combat and casual players would be very happy to see 50% attacks hit 80-90% of the time.
I can see Sven's loaded die rules working fairly well: 1d20 for disadvantage, 2d20 for normal, 3d20 for advantage and 5d20 for Elven Accuracy.

Quote
“We opted to just go pure RNG for the initial release in early access just to see what was going to happen,” he explains. “We see the people that have really bad luck, and they are really, really angry over it. So, we're going to help them. We're going to add modes to the game that are going to go with things like a loaded die, and that's going to be a bit more manageable. We'll still keep the option of having full RNG in there. We'll experiment with that throughout early access, and see what we should make the default option. That's one of the things that will be driven by the analytics.”

from: https://www.ign.com/articles/baldurs-gate-3-early-access-changes-player-data-feedback-larian
Originally Posted by Nyanko
Originally Posted by Zahur
SacredWitness just probably made a mistake in calculation. The 25% is more or less correct. More importantly, advantage doubles the chance to make critical hit and nearly negates the chances to critically miss. Vice versa disadvantage. This is very often forgotten part of that feature.


Sorry to be picky, but it's not more or less. It's correct lol.

In order to calculate an advantage for a roll, you just take the roll percentage evaluated with a max value of 1, which for 50% is 0.5. Then you reformulate what you are looking for: "Finding the chance you succeed an advantage (to succeed at least one roll of two with 50% chance each), it's the same as finding the chance you won't have two failures".

The chance not to have two failures is 1 - the chances to have two failures. So: 1 - ((1 - chance to succeed) * (1 - chance to succeed)).

Which in the case of 50% is: 1 - (0.5 * 0.5) = 0.75 => 75%.

In the case of a 60% roll it's: 1 - (0.4 * 0.4) = 0.84 => 84%.


I don't get your way of reasoning. In the case of a 10% roll it's: 1 - (0.9 * 0.9) = 0.19 => 19%. This is an increase of 9% (or 90% depending on what you are considering to be the base). What's messing with numbers are criticals. You really can't reduce advantage or disadvantage to one precise or flat number. It's not that simple. What is important that we agree the bonus is significantly huge smile
It almost feels like a lot of the non-D&D players are reading "Advantage" and "an Advantage" as the same thing, not realizing that "Advantage" is a specific, mechanical effect. From that fundamental misunderstanding of the rules, they construct entire edifices of reasons why getting advantage from Height/Backstab is good.

In previous editions of D&D there were dozens of different ways to get bonuses, and they would stack together to massively improve your odds of hitting. However counting all of this up, and making sure that you counted everything was time consuming, and tedious. This is why 5e does away with most of those things with just flat "advantage". The big change here is that ADVANTAGE DOES NOT STACK. Once you have advantage, getting it again is pointless. Moreover, Advantage and Disadvantage cancel each other out, regardless of how many stacks of one or the other that you have. This vastly simplifies combat in a way that speeds things up at the table. But this is not true when playing a CRPG.

It is for this reason that getting Advantage from height is bad, but getting an advantage is fine.

Turn based combat is an approximation, and one round is meant to happen all at the same time. This is why reactions exist, since everyone being paralyzed when it's not their turn becomes very silly very quickly. This is also why D&D uses Flanking and not Facing. The assumption is that your opponent has the ability to turn to face you as you circle around them, but once your buddy shows up, they can't face in two directions.

This is also the logic behind a rogue's sneak attack. They get sneak attack damage when they have advantage, or when an ally is adjacent to their target. That is, when their target can't give their full attention to preventing a more precise and thus dangerous attack. This is why attacking from stealth gives advantage, but just walking to an opponent's rear facing does not. The assumption is that any given character has their head on a swivel during combat. That they are aware of things all around them to simulate the ability to turn and look at something. It's why you can use a bluff check to pull an enemy's attention to get advantage.

The key difference between flanking and backstab is the need for a team mate. Many of the changes that Larian has made have reduced class specialization. Many of the Rogue's abilities have been given to everyone. Between flasks and special arrows being so common, and the fact that everyone can use scrolls with no penalty, there isn't really any need for party diversity.

The action economy of D&D is one that requires multiple encounters per day. Healing out of combat is a resource that dwindles. Resting is not free. The way spells recharge mean that magic is supposed to be powerful but limited, while weapon damage is reliable, and constant. The changes to accuracy changes the required hit points for enemies. Which changes the power of spells, which changes the action economy. Which changes the...

The D&D "purists" aren't saying that there should be no changes to the 5e rules. They are saying that every change has knock on effects that can't be ignored. If feels like they are being ignored right now.
No one says getting advantage is bad. Its the lack of "opportunity" cost thats the problem. Like someone mentioned when "King of the Hill" battle is never wrong its becomes a boring requirment.
When your Rogue sneaks into a ruin and find with perception a way to climb a pillar thats a viable spot for Advantage approved from a GM thats okay. You can use a athletic check to climb and thats the reward, a advantage position before starting a fight.
Or a barbarian can use a strength check overturn a fire bowl to kill a bunch of goblins and create a ground effect.
The GM interaction is important but its a "small" local effect and no general mechanic. Without Strength you cant overturn the fire bowl, without athletic you cant climb the pillar. But King of the Hill is easy and possible by all without requirments.
I'm being vague because I'm assuming I'm talking to fellow knowledgeable people about deep implications of 5E mechanics. Aka, I don't feel I should have to prove something that should be plainly obvious to someone well-versed in the topic. I will admit a mistake on the 5%. It's more like 10-15% averaged out across all results. The bonus granted by either drop off sharply outside of the 7-15 result range eventually granting zero at the extremes both high and low.

The game design reason for advantage and disadvantage is to ensure your outcome is representative of the situation and not solely of the dice. It is to ensure a middle result and negate natural 1s for advantage and to ensure a middle result and negate natural 20s for disadvantage. At level 1, an average 10/11 die result should hit goblins and most other CR=level enemies with your proficient weapon. The only particular oddity here is Larian's choice to lower AC but buff HP. That means you'll almost always hit regardless of the situation. The only thing advantage is giving you is a safety net from low rolls. In the game, it also makes things like sneak attack much easier to achieve. Which...

On negating advantage, all you need is a single source of disadvantage. There are tons in the system. Blur is only a level 2 spell, for instance. It's not like you can get 2 sources of advantage, have one source of disadvantage, and somehow still have a source of advantage. It's all negated and is treated like a normal roll without either adv. or disadv. The same is true in reverse.
Originally Posted by Zahur
Originally Posted by Nyanko
Originally Posted by Zahur
SacredWitness just probably made a mistake in calculation. The 25% is more or less correct. More importantly, advantage doubles the chance to make critical hit and nearly negates the chances to critically miss. Vice versa disadvantage. This is very often forgotten part of that feature.


Sorry to be picky, but it's not more or less. It's correct lol.

In order to calculate an advantage for a roll, you just take the roll percentage evaluated with a max value of 1, which for 50% is 0.5. Then you reformulate what you are looking for: "Finding the chance you succeed an advantage (to succeed at least one roll of two with 50% chance each), it's the same as finding the chance you won't have two failures".

The chance not to have two failures is 1 - the chances to have two failures. So: 1 - ((1 - chance to succeed) * (1 - chance to succeed)).

Which in the case of 50% is: 1 - (0.5 * 0.5) = 0.75 => 75%.

In the case of a 60% roll it's: 1 - (0.4 * 0.4) = 0.84 => 84%.


I don't get your way of reasoning. In the case of a 10% roll it's: 1 - (0.9 * 0.9) = 0.19 => 19%. This is an increase of 9% (or 90% depending on what you are considering to be the base). What's messing with numbers are criticals. You really can't reduce advantage or disadvantage to one precise or flat number. It's not that simple. What is important that we agree the bonus is significantly huge smile



I don't see why critical messes with numbers. What I am calculating here is the percentage increase of chance to hit in case you are having an advantage. And my calculation is accurate according to probability laws.

And yes, if you have a 10% chances to hit, when you have an advantage, it makes it 19% indeed. I am not talking about dice results here, just probability to hit in terms of percentage, which is what they give us in game. That's why we get 56% or 87% in the tooltip sometimes, because it's the raw calculation of our chances to hit.

Besides, on a computational standpoint whether you check 2 random numbers against their respective targets or you calculate the final probability and check only one random number against it, it remains the same. We don't know if they actually 'roll' 2 dice for advantage/disadvantage. The only thing we see is the result.
Originally Posted by SacredWitness
I'm being vague because I'm assuming I'm talking to fellow knowledgeable people about deep implications of 5E mechanics. Aka, I don't feel I should have to prove something that should be plainly obvious to someone well-versed in the topic. I will admit a mistake on the 5%. It's more like 10-15% averaged out across all results. The bonus granted by either drop off sharply outside of the 7-15 result range eventually granting zero at the extremes both high and low.

The game design reason for advantage and disadvantage is to ensure your outcome is representative of the situation and not solely of the dice. It is to ensure a middle result and negate natural 1s for advantage and to ensure a middle result and negate natural 20s for disadvantage. At level 1, an average 10/11 die result should hit goblins and most other CR=level enemies with your proficient weapon. The only particular oddity here is Larian's choice to lower AC but buff HP. That means you'll almost always hit regardless of the situation. The only thing advantage is giving you is a safety net from low rolls. In the game, it also makes things like sneak attack much easier to achieve. Which...

On negating advantage, all you need is a single source of disadvantage. There are tons in the system. Blur is only a level 2 spell, for instance. It's not like you can get 2 sources of advantage, have one source of disadvantage, and somehow still have a source of advantage. It's all negated and is treated like a normal roll without either adv. or disadv. The same is true in reverse.



Come on man please, just admit you don't know what you're talking about.

Adv/Dis = +-25%. This isn't up for debate, it's math. Accept that.

You say an Average 10/11 die result should hit goblins?

I agree!

If you roll a 10, and have +2 proficiency and +3 from your attack stat, that means your average To-Hit is.....................*wait for it*...........10+2+3 = 15! What's the AC of a basic goblin in 5e rules with a shield equipped? I'll give you one guess.

Come on, let's do as the mod suggested. You are wrong here, we've proven that via mathematics. The base rules of 5e accomplish exactly what you want them to, so let's use them as the *base* and then adjust from there when needed!
Originally Posted by Isaac Springsong
Adv/Dis = +-25%. This isn't up for debate, it's math. Accept that.

Only for the 11 result. Only. It's all downhill from there. Go ahead and look.
There are 2 ways of reporting these statistics. The majority of people in the past few pages are doing it the slightly more misleading way.
If you have to roll an 11, Advantage will change your chances from a 50% to a 75% chance. You can technically call this a +25% boost. However, this runs into problems when you run into more extreme die values.

The better way to state this is: Your chances have gone up by 50%. Stating it this way-as a ratio involving the old and new percentages-is more intuitive.

Similarly, if you need a natural 20 to succeed, then Advantage doubles your chance of success. (@SacredWitness: You'd say that this is only +5%)
--if you need a natural 6, Advantage makes you 25% more likely to succeed
--if you need a natural 16, Advantage makes you 75% more likely to succeed.
(What's the average of 25% and 75%?)

Thus, on average, Advantage makes you 50% more likely to succeed. This can be stated, for simplicity, as a +5 bonus on the die because 5e is based on bounded accuracy: usually you'll need around a 10 to hit

p.s. You also have to take into account the fact that natural 1s are misses and natural 20s are auto hits (for double damage!), which make Advantage even better by massively increasing your chances of a crit.
Correct. It's not a flat boost. It's a bell curve based on target and difference in roll. As it's a bell curve, it's just wrong to describe it in terms of its maximal value. Of course you're going to have those lucky "1 turned to 20" rolls as well but they are exceedingly rare. I'm speaking in terms that represent the whole array of values because that's just the honest thing to do when you're talking about a curved outcome.

The flat boost option is there for people who really don't want to trust the die. For some, it's better to roll an 8 and being able to "reliably" get a 13 vs. rolling an 8 with adv. and the second roll be lower. The probabilistic result is still random any time you roll a die. So sure, you can say you have a coin toss's chance of increasing your base odds but it can just as frequently not.
Just for completeness (and correcting minor miscalculations of previous poster), here is a table with probabilities:

Code
target  normal  adv.    abs.diff rel.diff
1	100.00%	100.00%	0.00%	0.00%
2	95.00%	99.75%	4.75%	5.00%
3	90.00%	99.00%	9.00%	10.00%
4	85.00%	97.75%	12.75%	15.00%
5	80.00%	96.00%	16.00%	20.00%
6	75.00%	93.75%	18.75%	25.00%
7	70.00%	91.00%	21.00%	30.00%
8	65.00%	87.75%	22.75%	35.00%
9	60.00%	84.00%	24.00%	40.00%
10	55.00%	79.75%	24.75%	45.00%
11	50.00%	75.00%	25.00%	50.00%
12	45.00%	69.75%	24.75%	55.00%
13	40.00%	64.00%	24.00%	60.00%
14	35.00%	57.75%	22.75%	65.00%
15	30.00%	51.00%	21.00%	70.00%
16	25.00%	43.75%	18.75%	75.00%
17	20.00%	36.00%	16.00%	80.00%
18	15.00%	27.75%	12.75%	85.00%
19	10.00%	19.00%	9.00%	90.00%
20	5.00%	9.75%	4.75%	95.00%

target - min number you have to roll to pass
normal - probability of passing without advantage
adv. - probability of passing with advantage
abs.diff - difference between probabilities of passing with and without advantage
rel.diff - relative improvement in chance to pass ( = abs.diff / normal )
@mg666 yes, this is exactly what I was showing! I argue that "relative difference" is a more useful number than "absolute difference", and using this method leads to the conclusion that Advantage makes you succeed 50% more often on average.
(I assume you were referring to my slight miscalculations involving needing a 5/15? If so, corrected)

Originally Posted by SacredWitness
Correct. It's not a flat boost. It's a bell curve based on target and difference in roll. *snip* The flat boost option is there for people who really don't want to trust the die.

It's your latter sentence I want to emphasize.
If Larian wants to remove/reduce RNG-frustration, then changing height/backstab Adv/Disadv to a flat (+2 hopefully. I'd settle for a +4) boost would be better than advantage. It also neatly solves the issue of height/backstab advantage interfering with standard 5e abilities/spells.
IN ADDITION, this allows for easy creation of different difficulty levels. Story? Height for player gives +6 bonus to hit. Easy? +4. Normal? +2 Hard? no bonus
Originally Posted by mrfuji3
IN ADDITION, this allows for easy creation of different difficulty levels. Story? Height for player gives +6 bonus to hit. Easy? +4. Normal? +2 Hard? no bonus


These seem like good bonuses for different difficulty levels. I would even suggest to go further and give them unconditionally to PCs. This way 15AC goblin on high ground in story mode would be hit 85% (+2 prof +3 dex + 6 story) of the time and if player really wanted, they could try to achieve advantage (98% hit) by one of the means mentioned by Isaac in the original post.
Sorry but i laughing.
I mean the whole 5e Edition rules where made with the mindset of easy rules and streamlined combat for a better RP experience and needs a Gamemaster.
Now people need an excuse to make it more complex because they lack interesting Encounter design and search for answers in a more complex ruleset.
The bitter reality is Larian needs better Encounter design with Triggerzones, Traps, different AI behavior and destroyable and usable interior.
Or its better to scrap 5e rules and go backwards to a more complex system 3e or 4e without bending the rules and create new construction sites from balancing standpoints.

Its Larian which must provide a Editor which is capable of simulate a Gamemaster when use 5e rules and not the cheap excuse of homebrew rules because the editor is not capable of something such elemental tasks.
Maybe use the Starcraft RTS Editor next time plus we have animated portraits.
Originally Posted by Caparino
Sorry but i laughing.
I mean the whole 5e Edition rules where made with the mindset of easy rules and streamlined combat for a better RP experience and needs a Gamemaster.
Now people need an excuse to make it more complex because they lack interesting Encounter design and search for answers in a more complex ruleset.
The bitter reality is Larian needs better Encounter design with Triggerzones, Traps, different AI behavior and destroyable and usable interior.
Or its better to scrap 5e rules and go backwards to a more complex system 3e or 4e without bending the rules and create new construction sites from balancing standpoints.

Its Larian which must provide a Editor which is capable of simulate a Gamemaster when use 5e rules and not the cheap excuse of homebrew rules because the editor is not capable of something such elemental tasks.
Maybe use the Starcraft RTS Editor next time plus we have animated portraits.

The game is developed with the permission of Wizards of the Coast. There's no chance they'd let an official D&D game use an older edition.
The truth is somewhere between what Isaac and SacredWitness are trying to argue. Advantage does not always grant the same bonus, true. But it remains significant pretty much always because bounded accuracy ensures that the target roll on the d20 stays around the middle third or so of the bell curve in the vast majority of situations. This is especially true for the low level content that BG3 features so prominently.

Regardless, as pointed out in the OP, easily accessible advantage devalues too many class features. Larian can choose to change or replace them of course, but that's ultimately creating more work for themselves and also too many potential balance issues from further homebrew.

The solution, as has been pointed out multiple times on these boards, is pretty easy. Because 5e hasn't actually done away with all flat modifiers to rolls (see: cover system, which is currently missing from the game). All Larian has to do is replace the adv/disadv on height with flat modifiers akin to that subsystem.
Originally Posted by Leuenherz
The truth is somewhere between what Isaac and SacredWitness are trying to argue. Advantage does not always grant the same bonus, true. But it remains significant pretty much always because bounded accuracy ensures that the target roll on the d20 stays around the middle third or so of the bell curve in the vast majority of situations. This is especially true for the low level content that BG3 features so prominently.

Regardless, as pointed out in the OP, easily accessible advantage devalues too many class features. Larian can choose to change or replace them of course, but that's ultimately creating more work for themselves and also too many potential balance issues from further homebrew.

The solution, as has been pointed out multiple times on these boards, is pretty easy. Because 5e hasn't actually done away with all flat modifiers to rolls (see: cover system, which is currently missing from the game). All Larian has to do is replace the adv/disadv on height with flat modifiers akin to that subsystem.


+11
Main concern is balance in my opinion.
Under the 20Mainstat cap for +5 Attackroll Modifier it devalues Statpoints alot. A "small" +2 Bonus is valued 4 Statpoints.
But when you are maxed out and hardcapped at 20 the +2 Bonus will very strong like a second Bless spell.
That mechanic in my opinion very prone to Min Maxing to reach you cap of 20.

Thats a generel problem with D&D. You have no peak you have only a cap.

Its literally useless to use a weapon without Proficiency.

And thats absurd because when i switch to a Warhammer to inflict damage to Plate wearer because
im not reliant to hit the small weak spots i dont hit him easier and without Proficiency only worse.

And at the same time you cant be a "tin opener" which has Proficiency to kill armored targets.
Larian have consistenty made it plain that they are basing the game on 5e, but will change anything that, in their opinion, does not make for a good video game experience for the majority of players.

If you want a totally RAW experience, you would do better to request it as an additional game mode for release, rather than continually imply that Larian don't know how to make video games.

I'm not defending their choices, merely their right to make those choices, based on their commercial and artistic wants and needs.

The purpose of EA is largely for them to experiment to see what works and what doesn't in the context of the video game they are making. If you wan't to convince them to make changes, you'll have a better chance by showing how particular game experiences would be improved, rather than engaging in statistical analysis of a ruleset that doesn't actually cover all the elements of their game.
Originally Posted by etonbears
The purpose of EA is largely for them to experiment to see what works and what doesn't in the context of the video game they are making. If you wan't to convince them to make changes, you'll have a better chance by showing how particular game experiences would be improved, rather than engaging in statistical analysis of a ruleset that doesn't actually cover all the elements of their game.


That's how this thread started out - by pointing out that Larian's "simple change" breaks a ton of features and spells in the game. When you break a ton of features and spells, that makes the game experience worse because there are fewer options which are effective for combat. Fewer options leads to repetitive, boring gameplay.

The same goes for many of their other changes: the changes to increase HP and lower AC have made Attack Rolls better, but things which require saving throws are relatively worse because enemy saving throws remain the same. Spells which target HP and AoE spells are also relatively worse, because they are less effective due to higher HP and unchanged enemy saving throws. That reduces the options effective for combat, which leads to repetitive, boring gameplay.

It's the same thing with many other changes they've made - they lead to more repetitive gameplay than there would be without the change.

Don't use the "you just want a totally RAW experience" strawman. You won't find many people who are demanding a 1:1 completely pure no rules tweaked at all in any way game mode. That's just false and shows you are not paying any attention to the actual arguments.

Larian might have changed things which in their opinion did not make for a good videogame. But a lot of their changes are objectively making for a worse videogame, because their changes have reduced the number of options which are effective, compared to the tabletop game. This is NOT a case of the rules being too difficult to translate to a videogame.
Originally Posted by Leuenherz
The truth is somewhere between what Isaac and SacredWitness are trying to argue. Advantage does not always grant the same bonus, true. But it remains significant pretty much always because bounded accuracy ensures that the target roll on the d20 stays around the middle third or so of the bell curve in the vast majority of situations. This is especially true for the low level content that BG3 features so prominently.

Regardless, as pointed out in the OP, easily accessible advantage devalues too many class features. Larian can choose to change or replace them of course, but that's ultimately creating more work for themselves and also too many potential balance issues from further homebrew.

The solution, as has been pointed out multiple times on these boards, is pretty easy. Because 5e hasn't actually done away with all flat modifiers to rolls (see: cover system, which is currently missing from the game). All Larian has to do is replace the adv/disadv on height with flat modifiers akin to that subsystem.


+12
I'm not a D&D expert by any means, but I read the OP's first post and it does correspond with alot of what I'm seeing in the game. I've got about 200 hours logged in this game so far, and the high ground is the single most powerful strategy in the game.

And it's everywhere. From the moment you encounter the hill outside the Druid Grove and snipe the goblins relentlessly below, to the rooftops of the blighted village, the high ridge in the eastern part of the goblin camp, and the ramparts outside Dror Ragzlins throne room, there is no encounter I've yet found that doesn't yield this overwhelming advantage.

Fights that your party could never win in a straight up fight are made trivial by the high ground.
I have neither the experience or expertise in 5e D&D rules to speak on possible solutions to this issue in an educated manner, and I don't intend to try.

But I do recognize overwhelming strategic advantage when I see it, and in this game the high ground is it.

The OP is right.
Excellent write up! Totally support the statement here!
Agree - the high ground and backstab mechanic as implemented is too powerful. Maybe a +1 or +2, but it shouldn't be full advantage.
I will say that being able to jump over and behind the opponent to get what is essentially a free backstab bonus is a bit funny. lol. I would not complain if Larian tweaked/changed that

I personally don’t have an issue with height and backstab giving an advantage though. The game is still challenging enough imo.
That being said, the high ground bonus is pretty powerful. The fight against the hob goblin guy in the temple of seluné is a good example. On the ground I barely came out of the fight alive. But When I climbed up to the ramparts above it became almost trivial, especially when I had both my ranger MC and Gale in the party. The worst that happened was one of my guys getting knocked off, but even then they survived well enough.

Now flip that with the Harpy encounter near the Grove. The harpies start out with the high ground bonus and all of your guys start on the low ground. The fight is by no means horribly difficult, but the combination of their high ground bonus, and my melee characters having to trek across the battlefield to reach the harpies, made it a challenging fight. The high ground can definitely be a deciding factor in a fight. I would not oppose Larian trying to tweak it a bit if they desired.
I would like to note that high ground by himself, without modifiers, pose an inherently advantage against melee fighters, whose turns must be spent not doing what they do best trying to reach elevated enemies, and in a less pronounced way against ranged fighters, whose attacks may be within Long Range (target is hittable but with disadvantage) or be completely out of range, forcing those characters to expose themselves.

As a side note, flanking mechaninc is already present in dos2 engine, albeit in a different manner
I agree with OP about excessive advantage and implictaions. I redid one combat were I started with height advantage, and it was vastly easier. Also, the AI always scrambles to get all your opponents on to high ground, precisely because advantage is such a huge deal in 5E. I also think backstab/sneak attack should work as intended - they already have a threatened status so the data is all there. The term 'backstab' was dropped from D&D ages ago, because well, you didn't need to literally 'stab someone in the back' ;-) It really is a defining rogue feature and should be triggered more easily (as per 5e rules) - that was by design. I really hope Larian take this feedback on board - I am happy to see that cantrips no longer create elemental surfaces.
Originally Posted by booboo
I agree with OP about excessive advantage and implictaions. I redid one combat were I started with height advantage, and it was vastly easier. Also, the AI always scrambles to get all your opponents on to high ground, precisely because advantage is such a huge deal in 5E. I also think backstab/sneak attack should work as intended - they already have a threatened status so the data is all there. The term 'backstab' was dropped from D&D ages ago, because well, you didn't need to literally 'stab someone in the back' ;-) It really is a defining rogue feature and should be triggered more easily (as per 5e rules) - that was by design. I really hope Larian take this feedback on board - I am happy to see that cantrips no longer create elemental surfaces.



Now as for the Backstab ability I wouldn't want this to be taken from the rogue or the rogue/assassin due to the fact that one of their primary traits is stealth and so if you sneak behind someone with a dagger you should in fact get bonuses to hit and damage. After all, it's not every day that you expect someone to come up behind you and stab you in the back
Originally Posted by DragonMaster69
Now as for the Backstab ability I wouldn't want this to be taken from the rogue or the rogue/assassin due to the fact that one of their primary traits is stealth and so if you sneak behind someone with a dagger you should in fact get bonuses to hit and damage. After all, it's not every day that you expect someone to come up behind you and stab you in the back


That's not what's being referred to. You're describing Sneak Attack, which is in the game, and Rogues get it if they have advantage on the attack, or if there is a creature threatening the target.

What is being called "Backstab" is getting advantage by physically walking behind the target, who can't move or react to that because it is not their turn. Anyone can get it, without any ally assisting, even without being a Rogue. This is being complained about because it is an extremely low-effort way to get advantage and the enemy cannot react to it to prevent you getting the advantage if you do not leave its threatened area.
I've quite enjoyed reading this thread. I think this is the exact reason why they released the game early access.

I haven't logged a lot of hours yet, but I've logged enough to see the point of OP. Walking around an enemy who is completely aware of your presence, to hit them in the back, in a turn-based game where they can't do anything until your turn is over... just seems kinda janky and unfun. I always do it because because I like to win. I'd be completely onboard with removing it.
Originally Posted by Stabbey
Originally Posted by DragonMaster69
Now as for the Backstab ability I wouldn't want this to be taken from the rogue or the rogue/assassin due to the fact that one of their primary traits is stealth and so if you sneak behind someone with a dagger you should in fact get bonuses to hit and damage. After all, it's not every day that you expect someone to come up behind you and stab you in the back


That's not what's being referred to. You're describing Sneak Attack, which is in the game, and Rogues get it if they have advantage on the attack, or if there is a creature threatening the target.

What is being called "Backstab" is getting advantage by physically walking behind the target, who can't move or react to that because it is not their turn. Anyone can get it, without any ally assisting, even without being a Rogue. This is being complained about because it is an extremely low-effort way to get advantage and the enemy cannot react to it to prevent you getting the advantage if you do not leave its threatened area.


Ok Now that yo explained it that way I fully understand the only one who should get the backstab is the rogue and only while sneaking as it is in most games for which I've ever played like this.
I agree with OP wholeheartedly, but I think a straight +2 to hit for highground could be potentially too much when combined with advantage from another source.

Here's my slightly modified solution:
-You have high ground bonus(+2) and your target has been Faerie Fired, granting you advantage.
-You make your attack and roll your first d20 with a +2 for high ground
-You make a second roll, because you have advantage, but you don't gain the +2 for high ground
-You then take the highest roll

This is admittedly a pretty strange solution, but I think it would help with hit chance bonuses getting out of hand.
It allows you to gain benefits from both sources, without having them synergise into an auto hit.
Originally Posted by Evandir
I agree with OP wholeheartedly, but I think a straight +2 to hit for highground could be potentially too much when combined with advantage from another source.

Here's my slightly modified solution:
-You have high ground bonus(+2) and your target has been Faerie Fired, granting you advantage.
-You make your attack and roll your first d20 with a +2 for high ground
-You make a second roll, because you have advantage, but you don't gain the +2 for high ground
-You then take the highest roll

This is admittedly a pretty strange solution, but I think it would help with hit chance bonuses getting out of hand.
It allows you to gain benefits from both sources, without having them synergise into an auto hit.


I have also worried that a +2 and getting advantage from another source might get out of hand. While I would like your solution I think it probably be confusing to your average player. Maybe just +1? Still useful but not as obligatory.
Good point. Maybe +2 OR advantage; highest is applied, they don't stack.
Originally Posted by Stabbey

What is being called "Backstab" is getting advantage by physically walking behind the target, who can't move or react to that because it is not their turn. Anyone can get it, without any ally assisting, even without being a Rogue. This is being complained about because it is an extremely low-effort way to get advantage and the enemy cannot react to it to prevent you getting the advantage if you do not leave its threatened area.

Don't you trigger a reaction hit when walking around an enemy?
Originally Posted by Choosen of KEK
Originally Posted by Stabbey

What is being called "Backstab" is getting advantage by physically walking behind the target, who can't move or react to that because it is not their turn. Anyone can get it, without any ally assisting, even without being a Rogue. This is being complained about because it is an extremely low-effort way to get advantage and the enemy cannot react to it to prevent you getting the advantage if you do not leave its threatened area.

Don't you trigger a reaction hit when walking around an enemy?


Nope. Only when you leave its threatened space (move away from it). You can move around it all day (that part is the same as table top).
Originally Posted by Nezix
Originally Posted by Choosen of KEK
Originally Posted by Stabbey

What is being called "Backstab" is getting advantage by physically walking behind the target, who can't move or react to that because it is not their turn. Anyone can get it, without any ally assisting, even without being a Rogue. This is being complained about because it is an extremely low-effort way to get advantage and the enemy cannot react to it to prevent you getting the advantage if you do not leave its threatened area.

Don't you trigger a reaction hit when walking around an enemy?


Nope. Only when you leave its threatened space (move away from it). You can move around it all day (that part is the same as table top).


You can also jump each turns to disengage as a bonus action... So you can very easily avoid reaction.

That said, an AOO is not enough to balance an easy advantage according to me.
Strongly agree w/ OP, +1

Please include game options for removing/altering bonuses/penalties for high/low ground.

Thank/you.

R/L
+1 to include altern options
+1 on this suggestion.

The height and backstab advantages are borderline ridiculous in this game and needs to be re-evaluated.
Originally Posted by spectralhunter
+1 on this suggestion.

The height and backstab advantages are borderline ridiculous in this game and needs to be re-evaluated.

And real life eludes many too.
Do I not gain an advantage if I am on higher ground than you?
Do I not gain an advantage when I come up behind you without you knowing I am behind you then stab or hit you?
Do you not have a disadvantage when trying to hit someone on high ground?
Do you not have a disadvantage due to your limited line of sight?

I could go on and on and on........
Originally Posted by bullse
Originally Posted by spectralhunter
+1 on this suggestion.

The height and backstab advantages are borderline ridiculous in this game and needs to be re-evaluated.

And real life eludes many too.
Do I not gain an advantage if I am on higher ground than you?
Do I not gain an advantage when I come up behind you without you knowing I am behind you then stab or hit you?
Do you not have a disadvantage when trying to hit someone on high ground?
Do you not have a disadvantage due to your limited line of sight?

I could go on and on and on........


Point 1 - Having high ground would give you longer range and make it harder for the enemy to reach you, but wouldn't do much to increase your chance of hitting them except let you shoot over cover. Those are all advantages that don't have to break the game by being advantage, as in the mechanic that allows you to roll twice to hit and taking the greater number.

Point 2 - Yes, you would. That is why 5e has a stealth mechanic which allows you to hide as an action, or a bonus action as a rogue, and gain advantage on attacks against a target that doesn't know where you are.

Point 3/4 - There is already a 5e mechanic based on this. The target is either in 1/2 cover(half its body is obstructed from the attack) and gains a +2 to its AC and DEX saves, or 3/4 cover(3/4 of its body is obstructed from the attack) and gains +5 to its AC and DEX saves.
Originally Posted by bullse
Originally Posted by spectralhunter
+1 on this suggestion.

The height and backstab advantages are borderline ridiculous in this game and needs to be re-evaluated.

And real life eludes many too.
Do I not gain an advantage if I am on higher ground than you?
Do I not gain an advantage when I come up behind you without you knowing I am behind you then stab or hit you?
Do you not have a disadvantage when trying to hit someone on high ground?
Do you not have a disadvantage due to your limited line of sight?

I could go on and on and on........

All those scenarios are explained in 5E ruleset. There was no reason to modify them since the ruleset is by most accounts, pretty balanced. Larian got lazy and decided to copy paste their combat mechanics from DOS (from what I am reading since I never played that series). Is BG3 based on 5E or not? If it is, then the current mechanics need to be changed. If it's not, then let the fan base know so they can avoid this game like the plague.
Originally Posted by spectralhunter
If it's not, then let the fan base know so they can avoid this game like the plague.

What 'fanbase' exactly, the Larian DOS2 fanbase or the DnD 5e literalist fanbase? Yeah.....
Originally Posted by bullse
Originally Posted by spectralhunter
If it's not, then let the fan base know so they can avoid this game like the plague.

What 'fanbase' exactly, the Larian DOS2 fanbase or the DnD 5e literalist fanbase? Yeah.....

As I said, if Larian wants to make DOS3 then by all means they should, it's their right. But they should stop pretending they are trying to follow 5E rules. If you want DOS3, there's nothing wrong with that. Then call this game DOS3: Baldur's Gate. But if they want to emulate 5E rules, then perhaps they should try to follow the rules and not mess with mechanics that break the balance.
Originally Posted by spectralhunter
Originally Posted by bullse
Originally Posted by spectralhunter
If it's not, then let the fan base know so they can avoid this game like the plague.

What 'fanbase' exactly, the Larian DOS2 fanbase or the DnD 5e literalist fanbase? Yeah.....

As I said, if Larian wants to make DOS3 then by all means they should, it's their right. But they should stop pretending they are trying to follow 5E rules. If you want DOS3, there's nothing wrong with that. Then call this game DOS3: Baldur's Gate. But if they want to emulate 5E rules, then perhaps they should try to follow the rules and not mess with mechanics that break the balance.

So, in all this discussion of removing the inherent advantage of backstab, which is in essence, sneak attack, many of you are ignoring 5e ruleset and simply seeking to neuter the bread and butter of the Rogue class, as well as a possible Assassin class?
Enlighten me if I am mistaken here.
I must have missed the part of dice rolling in DoS2 and wow I didn't know DnD had physical and magical armors to break thru before you could damage health. Since its not true to DnD nor DoS2 might as well call it Dragon Age Larian since its only a 4 party game...

This constant name calling of DoS3 is so dumb.

What is so wrong with getting advantage from high ground and backstabs? Its literally in all senses an advantage. I support Larian fine tuning it, especially the Super Mario jumping all over the place. But to call it out as evidence that its the bane of the game's existence. Like come bro, take it easy. A lot of wonky and cheese stuff they need to fix but its not the end of the world for the game.
Originally Posted by bullse
Originally Posted by spectralhunter
Originally Posted by bullse
Originally Posted by spectralhunter
If it's not, then let the fan base know so they can avoid this game like the plague.

What 'fanbase' exactly, the Larian DOS2 fanbase or the DnD 5e literalist fanbase? Yeah.....

As I said, if Larian wants to make DOS3 then by all means they should, it's their right. But they should stop pretending they are trying to follow 5E rules. If you want DOS3, there's nothing wrong with that. Then call this game DOS3: Baldur's Gate. But if they want to emulate 5E rules, then perhaps they should try to follow the rules and not mess with mechanics that break the balance.

So, in all this discussion of removing the inherent advantage of backstab, which is in essence, sneak attack, many of you are ignoring 5e ruleset and simply seeking to neuter the bread and butter of the Rogue class, as well as a possible Assassin class?
Enlighten me if I am mistaken here.

Backstab = advantage if you attack the back of ennemies.
Sneak attack = rogue feature that deal additionnal damages if he attack with advantage.

Backstab isn't equal to sneak attack.
No one is supposed to have such easy advantages, whatever we're talking about the rogue or any other classes.
Seems pointless to try and argue the merits of these rebalancing tweaks - those who don't care about 5e rules and imbalanced gameplay...simply don't care. height and 'backstab' are just symptomatic of poorly thought out mechanics which give way too much benefit - there are many others too.

Hopefully larian doesn't ignore the voice of the hordes of 5E players (like me) who bought this game because they wanted a 5E experience that accorded (mostly) with the rules they know and love. The 5e ruleset was touted heavily in this game - it can't simply be neutered/ignored, especially with no good reason. Importing a slew of DOS mechanics (I played DOS1/2 and enjoyed them, but I don't want that experience this time around) breaks balance on so many levels. People have offered constructive critiques on why (for a 5E game) these are bad, and ways of compromising on a soluton to try and keep both 'camps' somewhat happy. But many don't want anything to change, even though this EA and also about testing out gameplay ideas. Weird.
Originally Posted by Maximuuus
Backstab = advantage if you attack the back of ennemies.
Sneak attack = rogue feature that deal additionnal damages if he attack with advantage.

Backstab isn't equal to sneak attack.
No one is supposed to have such easy advantages, whatever we're talking about the rogue or any other classes.

From a discussion 4 years ago:

If a creature is unseen, it gains the benefits of "Unseen Targets & Attackers", on PHB p194-195. If you're attacking a creature which can't see you, you have advantage on the attack.

There are option rules about "facing" in the Dungeon Master's Guide, p252, but that would be up to your DM whether they use those rules or not.

The "Sneak Attack" feature of the rogue (PHB p96) is meant to represent backstabbing, sucker-punching, and other ways of getting in a more powerful attack on a creature who is distracted or unaware.

If you want to backstab someone, the game doesn't specifically have a "backstab someone facing away from you" rule.

But, according to the Sneak Attack rules, you can get the extra sneak attack damage in a number of ways:

If your target doesn't see you, then you have advantage on the attack,

OR if you have advantage on the attack for any other reason,

OR if another enemy of your target is within 5 feet of it.

If you can get sneak attack damage for any of those reasons, you can narrate what you're doing as stabbing them in the back.

Was this individual wrong?

https://www.reddit.com/r/DnD/comments/5fqey2/hiddenbackstab_atks_on_5e/
Originally Posted by bullse
Originally Posted by Maximuuus
Backstab = advantage if you attack the back of ennemies.
Sneak attack = rogue feature that deal additionnal damages if he attack with advantage.

Backstab isn't equal to sneak attack.
No one is supposed to have such easy advantages, whatever we're talking about the rogue or any other classes.

From a discussion 4 years ago:

If a creature is unseen, it gains the benefits of "Unseen Targets & Attackers", on PHB p194-195. If you're attacking a creature which can't see you, you have advantage on the attack.

There are option rules about "facing" in the Dungeon Master's Guide, p252, but that would be up to your DM whether they use those rules or not.

The "Sneak Attack" feature of the rogue (PHB p96) is meant to represent backstabbing, sucker-punching, and other ways of getting in a more powerful attack on a creature who is distracted or unaware.

If you want to backstab someone, the game doesn't specifically have a "backstab someone facing away from you" rule.

But, according to the Sneak Attack rules, you can get the extra sneak attack damage in a number of ways:

If your target doesn't see you, then you have advantage on the attack,

OR if you have advantage on the attack for any other reason,

OR if another enemy of your target is within 5 feet of it.

If you can get sneak attack damage for any of those reasons, you can narrate what you're doing as stabbing them in the back.

Was this individual wrong?

https://www.reddit.com/r/DnD/comments/5fqey2/hiddenbackstab_atks_on_5e/

The facing rules, DM and D&D in general doesn't consider that someone can freely and without any risks jump over the head of someone you're engaged with.
It also don't consider that if you suceed this difficult movement, the creature won't turn and/or will totally forget you're presence.

In other words : You won't be considered "unseen".
Even if you suceed such jump in D&D, you'll probably have an AOO, have to roll dice with really bad consequences if you fail and you also probably won't have the benefits of an invisibility potion of an attack when you're hidden or of an attack against an overwhelmed ennemy (surprise/flanking).

Nothing is wrong about getting advantages when your opponent is surprised/when you're unseen. Considering that you're unseen with this homebrew rule is only possible because TB is a static system in video game and at the moment, this rules totally exploit the TB system. This could work in P&P but only because there is a DM in real time.

Everything else you talked about are the rules of D&D and the RAW looks realistic in a story point of view without the need of a realtime DM. Considering that an attack in the back is always a surprise is not the same.

Just for the exemple, Solasta deal with this pretty well.
If a creature see you, even if you walk in its back during your turn the creature know you're in it's back. If you want the advantage, you have to be out of its eye's field of view AND hide (potion, hide behind a wall, hide action, spell,...)
Originally Posted by spectralhunter
Originally Posted by bullse
Originally Posted by spectralhunter
If it's not, then let the fan base know so they can avoid this game like the plague.

What 'fanbase' exactly, the Larian DOS2 fanbase or the DnD 5e literalist fanbase? Yeah.....

As I said, if Larian wants to make DOS3 then by all means they should, it's their right. But they should stop pretending they are trying to follow 5E rules. If you want DOS3, there's nothing wrong with that. Then call this game DOS3: Baldur's Gate. But if they want to emulate 5E rules, then perhaps they should try to follow the rules and not mess with mechanics that break the balance.

This is the correct take.
The problem is not the advantage gained by height. Its the ability to jump several yards in full armor, weapons and backpack from the stand like super Mario. Remove that and shove entirely and height advantage is harder to get and balanced then.
Originally Posted by Baldurs-Gate-Fan
The problem is not the advantage gained by height. Its the ability to jump several yards in full armor, weapons and backpack from the stand like super Mario. Remove that and shove entirely and height advantage is harder to get and balanced then.

I am not so sure about that.

Jump should cost movement, not an action or bonus action. And shove should also cost an action.

Advantage (in the sense of DnD 5e rules) is simply too strong, even more so when the enemy on the lower ground gets Disadvantage as well. It's waaaay too much!
Larian should just remove that mechanic of Advantage/Disadvantage by height alltogether. If they want to somehow give you an advantage (NOT Advantage as in DnD 5e rules), a simple +1 or +2 Bonus to your attack roll is more than enough.
Originally Posted by daMichi
Originally Posted by Baldurs-Gate-Fan
The problem is not the advantage gained by height. Its the ability to jump several yards in full armor, weapons and backpack from the stand like super Mario. Remove that and shove entirely and height advantage is harder to get and balanced then.

I am not so sure about that.

Jump should cost movement, not an action or bonus action. And shove should also cost an action.

Advantage (in the sense of DnD 5e rules) is simply too strong, even more so when the enemy on the lower ground gets Disadvantage as well. It's waaaay too much!
Larian should just remove that mechanic of Advantage/Disadvantage by height alltogether. If they want to somehow give you an advantage (NOT Advantage as in DnD 5e rules), a simple +1 or +2 Bonus to your attack roll is more than enough.


Well what you are talking about is heresy to DnD 5e fans. LOL

In previous editions or today known as pathfinder system it was all about different bonuses to make thinks more realistic by taking many different situations into account before rolling the dice.

But math like +1, +2, -4, +2 resulting in a +1 bonus to roll was tooooo complex and mind harassing for the people. So 5e was born and the advantage system.
Originally Posted by Baldurs-Gate-Fan
Originally Posted by daMichi
Originally Posted by Baldurs-Gate-Fan
The problem is not the advantage gained by height. Its the ability to jump several yards in full armor, weapons and backpack from the stand like super Mario. Remove that and shove entirely and height advantage is harder to get and balanced then.

I am not so sure about that.

Jump should cost movement, not an action or bonus action. And shove should also cost an action.

Advantage (in the sense of DnD 5e rules) is simply too strong, even more so when the enemy on the lower ground gets Disadvantage as well. It's waaaay too much!
Larian should just remove that mechanic of Advantage/Disadvantage by height alltogether. If they want to somehow give you an advantage (NOT Advantage as in DnD 5e rules), a simple +1 or +2 Bonus to your attack roll is more than enough.


Well what you are talking about is heresy to DnD 5e fans. LOL

In previous editions or today known as pathfinder system it was all about different bonuses to make thinks more realistic by taking many different situations into account before rolling the dice.

But math like +1, +2, -4, +2 resulting in a +1 bonus to roll was tooooo complex and mind harassing for the people. So 5e was born and the advantage system.

that is simply not true smile
Cover, for example, gives you simple Bonuses to AC & Dex saving throws. And is a part of the normal rules (PHB, Chapter 9: Combat).

As far as I know, WotC just tried to reduce such calculations, not get rid of them alltogether, because for some people it would slow down combat rolls.
In a computer game, there would be no need to ditch such calculations/mechanics, because of obvious reasons. And in my opinion: Pathfinder: Kingmaker is a great game! Love the complexity.
Originally Posted by daMichi
Originally Posted by Baldurs-Gate-Fan
Originally Posted by daMichi
Originally Posted by Baldurs-Gate-Fan
The problem is not the advantage gained by height. Its the ability to jump several yards in full armor, weapons and backpack from the stand like super Mario. Remove that and shove entirely and height advantage is harder to get and balanced then.

I am not so sure about that.

Jump should cost movement, not an action or bonus action. And shove should also cost an action.

Advantage (in the sense of DnD 5e rules) is simply too strong, even more so when the enemy on the lower ground gets Disadvantage as well. It's waaaay too much!
Larian should just remove that mechanic of Advantage/Disadvantage by height alltogether. If they want to somehow give you an advantage (NOT Advantage as in DnD 5e rules), a simple +1 or +2 Bonus to your attack roll is more than enough.


Well what you are talking about is heresy to DnD 5e fans. LOL

In previous editions or today known as pathfinder system it was all about different bonuses to make thinks more realistic by taking many different situations into account before rolling the dice.

But math like +1, +2, -4, +2 resulting in a +1 bonus to roll was tooooo complex and mind harassing for the people. So 5e was born and the advantage system.

that is simply not true smile
Cover, for example, gives you simple Bonuses to AC & Dex saving throws. And is a part of the normal rules (PHB, Chapter 9: Combat).

As far as I know, WotC just tried to reduce such calculations, not get rid of them alltogether, because for some people it would slow down combat rolls.
In a computer game, there would be no need to ditch such calculations/mechanics, because of obvious reasons. And in my opinion: Pathfinder: Kingmaker is a great game! Love the complexity.

That pretty much nails a point. I think 5e has its strong points as it is the perfect system for speeding things up at the cost of depth. And for pen and paper there is an audience for such speed up. In a Computer Game where all the calculations are made instantly by the computer the 5e edition is simply a bad choice.

It’s also totally ironic because if speed up is the point why making it turnbased to slow it down. Just to reduce party size to 4 to speed up turns again.

I really love the visual presentation of bg3. Along with excellent sounds and great VoiceOver. But the game design is a real mess.
On jumping, I'm going to quote directly from the 5e PHB, of which I have a dead-tree copy (and note that some liberties, specifically concerning run-up, probably had to be taken due to how the game (and really any point and click game) handles movement). Emphasis theirs, typos mine:

Originally Posted by "5th Edition Player's Handbook, page 182"
Your strength determines how far you can jump

Long Jump. When you make a long jump, you cover a number of feet up to your strength score if you move ten feet on foot immediately before the jump. When you make a standing jump, you can only leap half that distance. Either way, each foot you clear on the jump costs a foot of movement.

This rule assumes that the height of the jump doesn't matter, such as a jump across a stream or chasm. At your DM's option, you must succeed on a DC 10 Strength (Athletics) check to clear a low obstacle (no taller than a quarter of the jump's distance), such as a hedge or low wall. Otherwise you hit it.

When you land in difficult terrain, you must succeed on a DC 10 Dexterity (Acrobatics) check to land on your feet, Otherwise, you land prone.

High Jump. When you make a high jump, you leap into the air a number of feet equal to 3 + your Strength modifier (minimum of 0 feet) if you move at least 10 feet on foot immediately before the jump. When you make a standing high jump, you can jump only half that distance. Either way, each foot you clear on the jump costs a foot of movement. In some circumstances, your DM might allow you to make a Strength (Athletics) check to jump higher than you normally can.

You can extend your arms half your height above yourself during the jump. Thus you can reach above you a distance equal to the height of the jump plus 1 1/2 times your height.

Basically, there are no rules concerning weight in jumping, and, horizontally, at least, even a basic character has superhuman jumping skills, if Larian stays true to 5e (though, unless everyone is less than 2 1/2 feet tall, you shouldn't be able to jump over enemies, per RAW and I'm fine with that). This is to keep everyone on the same page. I'm not sure how it translates in-game, without some way to measure jumped distance, but...

As to shoving, yeah, it should take a regular action, instead of a bonus action, again, per RAW.

As a side note, there are no rules about height difference (terrain-wise) in the PHB, so I guess Larian is on its own there. I wouldn't mind the advantage/disadvantage being turned way down and limited to accuracy, but I feel there should be a difference between being several feet above your enemy and several feet below.
Originally Posted by zyr1987
On jumping, I'm going to quote directly from the 5e PHB, of which I have a dead-tree copy (and note that some liberties, specifically concerning run-up, probably had to be taken due to how the game (and really any point and click game) handles movement). Emphasis theirs, typos mine:

Originally Posted by "5th Edition Player's Handbook, page 182"
Your strength determines how far you can jump

Long Jump. When you make a long jump, you cover a number of feet up to your strength score if you move ten feet on foot immediately before the jump. When you make a standing jump, you can only leap half that distance. Either way, each foot you clear on the jump costs a foot of movement.

This rule assumes that the height of the jump doesn't matter, such as a jump across a stream or chasm. At your DM's option, you must succeed on a DC 10 Strength (Athletics) check to clear a low obstacle (no taller than a quarter of the jump's distance), such as a hedge or low wall. Otherwise you hit it.

When you land in difficult terrain, you must succeed on a DC 10 Dexterity (Acrobatics) check to land on your feet, Otherwise, you land prone.

High Jump. When you make a high jump, you leap into the air a number of feet equal to 3 + your Strength modifier (minimum of 0 feet) if you move at least 10 feet on foot immediately before the jump. When you make a standing high jump, you can jump only half that distance. Either way, each foot you clear on the jump costs a foot of movement. In some circumstances, your DM might allow you to make a Strength (Athletics) check to jump higher than you normally can.

You can extend your arms half your height above yourself during the jump. Thus you can reach above you a distance equal to the height of the jump plus 1 1/2 times your height.

Basically, there are no rules concerning weight in jumping, and, horizontally, at least, even a basic character has superhuman jumping skills, if Larian stays true to 5e (though, unless everyone is less than 2 1/2 feet tall, you shouldn't be able to jump over enemies, per RAW and I'm fine with that). This is to keep everyone on the same page. I'm not sure how it translates in-game, without some way to measure jumped distance, but...

As to shoving, yeah, it should take a regular action, instead of a bonus action, again, per RAW.

As a side note, there are no rules about height difference (terrain-wise) in the PHB, so I guess Larian is on its own there. I wouldn't mind the advantage/disadvantage being turned way down and limited to accuracy, but I feel there should be a difference between being several feet above your enemy and several feet below.

In my opinion, the 5e rules concerning jump distance are not so bad, jumping 10 ft/3m (Strength score of 10) doesn't seem excessive or superhuman to me (when you run 10 ft/3m before the jump).
And it would be easy to translate in-game, they already measure the distance you can walk.

Regarding the height difference of two combatants using ranged weapons: when I have a clear view on my target (no cover), it does not matter in my opinion if the target is a above me, on the same heigt level, or below me.
But when I look up a cliff and see only the head of my enemy (or the upper half of the body), while he has a clear view on me, than yes, he will have some sort of advantage relative to me. I am at disadvantage, because part of his body is covered by the cliff. So we don't need rules concerning height difference, but rules for cover - and these are already in the 5e rules.

I know, Larian can't do this because of the Devinity engine, so that's why they came up with their current advantage/disadvantage system. Which is too excessive/too much in my opinion.

But all this was already written in these forums by many, many people.
Originally Posted by daMichi
Originally Posted by zyr1987
On jumping, I'm going to quote directly from the 5e PHB, of which I have a dead-tree copy (and note that some liberties, specifically concerning run-up, probably had to be taken due to how the game (and really any point and click game) handles movement). Emphasis theirs, typos mine:

Originally Posted by "5th Edition Player's Handbook, page 182"
Your strength determines how far you can jump

Long Jump. When you make a long jump, you cover a number of feet up to your strength score if you move ten feet on foot immediately before the jump. When you make a standing jump, you can only leap half that distance. Either way, each foot you clear on the jump costs a foot of movement.

This rule assumes that the height of the jump doesn't matter, such as a jump across a stream or chasm. At your DM's option, you must succeed on a DC 10 Strength (Athletics) check to clear a low obstacle (no taller than a quarter of the jump's distance), such as a hedge or low wall. Otherwise you hit it.

When you land in difficult terrain, you must succeed on a DC 10 Dexterity (Acrobatics) check to land on your feet, Otherwise, you land prone.

High Jump. When you make a high jump, you leap into the air a number of feet equal to 3 + your Strength modifier (minimum of 0 feet) if you move at least 10 feet on foot immediately before the jump. When you make a standing high jump, you can jump only half that distance. Either way, each foot you clear on the jump costs a foot of movement. In some circumstances, your DM might allow you to make a Strength (Athletics) check to jump higher than you normally can.

You can extend your arms half your height above yourself during the jump. Thus you can reach above you a distance equal to the height of the jump plus 1 1/2 times your height.

Basically, there are no rules concerning weight in jumping, and, horizontally, at least, even a basic character has superhuman jumping skills, if Larian stays true to 5e (though, unless everyone is less than 2 1/2 feet tall, you shouldn't be able to jump over enemies, per RAW and I'm fine with that). This is to keep everyone on the same page. I'm not sure how it translates in-game, without some way to measure jumped distance, but...

As to shoving, yeah, it should take a regular action, instead of a bonus action, again, per RAW.

As a side note, there are no rules about height difference (terrain-wise) in the PHB, so I guess Larian is on its own there. I wouldn't mind the advantage/disadvantage being turned way down and limited to accuracy, but I feel there should be a difference between being several feet above your enemy and several feet below.

In my opinion, the 5e rules concerning jump distance are not so bad, jumping 10 ft/3m (Strength score of 10) doesn't seem excessive or superhuman to me (when you run 10 ft/3m before the jump).

Regarding the height difference of two combatants using ranged weapons: when I have a clear view on my target (no cover), it does not matter in my opinion if the target is a above me, on the same heigt level, or below me.
But when I look up a cliff and see only the head of my enemy (or the upper half of the body), while he has a clear view on me, than yes, he will have some sort of advantage relative to me. Because I am at disadvantage, because part of his body is covered by the cliff. So we don't need rules concerning height difference, but rules for cover - and these are in de 5e rules.

I know, Larian can't do this because of the Devinity engine, so that's why they came up with their current advantage/disadvantage system. Which is too excessive/too much in my opinion.

But all this was already written in these forums by many, many people.


In so many Threads and problems it becomes so obvious that using divinity engine instead of making one for a DnD gameseries was just plain wrong.

I don’t blame wotc for this as they have no idea what they are doing anyway (first company in history that managed to create a significant competitor on market with their own product.).

But larian should have seen that their divinity and DnD are sooo vastly different that it’s really begging for problems to use the engine.
**Abbreviated the quote** The big picture points I agree with and I wanted to highlight the points that supplement my thoughts on how height advantage impacts gameplay. My post will be focused primarily on height advantage (higher ground). There are definitely other mechanics worth talking about, but I want to stay on-topic for this thread. Also I feel height advantage is a higher priority to address than backstab.

Originally Posted by Isaac Springsong
Summary: In the 5e ruleset, Advantage/Disadvantage is the most powerful impact on gameplay... Because it is so powerful, all sources of Adv/Dis in 5e come at either a cost of resources or a potentially penalty to the user, to balance out the sheer power of the mechanic. Currently, BG 3 subverts this balance by providing always available sources of Adv/Dis in the form of Height and Backstab, both of which require nothing more than having your character in the correct location on the map... This makes the 5e sources of Adv/Dis nearly useless as they are all more costly or penalizing...

...

In 5e, in general, having Advantage is roughly equivalent of having +5 to your roll. Disadvantage is roughly equal to having -5 to your roll. This means if one character is rolling with Advantage, and the other character is rolling with Disadvantage, then there is the rough equivalent of +-10 between their rolls. Additionally, Advantage doubles the chance of rolling a critical hit, and makes critical failures much less likely (5% normally vs 0.25% with Advantage), vice versa for Disadvantage.

...

There are a few class abilities that can add a higher static modifier (such as a War Cleric's Channel Divinity that can add +10 to one single attack roll) but those are rare and always limited in amount. It is a large reason why 5e is generally much more balanced that prior editions of D&D with far less ways to truly 'break' the game.

...

Over the course of 17 'levels' of CR, the enemies AC only increases by an average of +6. Just having Advantage almost cancels that growth out entirely.

...

If you take a level 1 character and a level 17+ character, give them the same stats and the same weapon, the total difference in their to-hit roll will be +4. A level 1 character has a proficiency bonus of +2 and a level 17+ character has one of +6. The difference between these otherwise the same characters is less than the difference from Adv/Dis. That is how strong Adv/Dis is mathematically.

You can see why getting Adv/Dis is such a huge deal in 5e rules, and why being able to have them should be considered such a huge impact on the mathematics at play.

...

Possible Solutions: First, remove granting Advantage/Disadvantage for Height and Backstab... there are enough ways to get Adv/Dis, BUT they are all balanced by having a cost/penalty associated with using them.

...if Larian still wants to incorporate having a benefit for having higher elevation than a target and/or maneuvering near a target, please incorporate the Cover and Flanking mechanics as described in the first linked Primary Topics Link. Cover provides a potential benefit for being higher than your target because your target will not have Cover from your attack. Additionally, you will possibly have some Cover from attacks from below due to the surface providing elevation. Flanking also requires at least 2 allies in melee combat, increasing the risk to those characters for the reward of potentially having a greater chance to hit.

Alternatively, if Cover/Flanking is deemed to difficult or impossible due to the limitations of the DoS engine being used, then replace Adv/Dis with a flat +2/-2 bonus (which is the bonus provided from Cover and Flanking respectively). This makes players still want to seek out sources of Adv/Dis due to their higher mathematical benefit, while also not invaliding all of the listed spells, actions, and class features.

I was going to write up a thread about how advantage from a greater height and disadvantage from enemy attacks is too much benefit for moving a character a few units up in 3D space. Thank you Isaac for making this thread.

More on Why High Ground Advantage/Disadvantage is Problematic for BG3

Isaac wrote a lot of good points that highlight how problematic height advantage is in keeping combat engaging. By combat engagement I'm referring to the player's perspective of having meaningful choices to make. In the current patch, it's frequently just going for high ground in most of the fights. The current state of the game makes me consider reloading a save if I entered combat from a bad angle and I can now see an angle that would give me free advantage at the start of combat. That's not something a player should be considering, but after tens of hours in the game those are frequently my first thoughts.

Height advantage provides too many benefits how easy it is to obtain. I want to propose removing disadvantage on attacks from lower ground because high ground is just too valuable in the current game meta. It just doesn't make sense that a character standing on top of a hill, outside of cover, is harder to hit. Baldur's Gate 3 also has collision checks for projectiles, higher ground currently gives a lot of defensive value too.

My Thoughts on Possible Solutions

1) I'm all for trying out Isaac's proposal for a +2/-2 bonus for higher ground in early access. I like the idea of higher ground having benefits in the game and this change would be a step towards correcting how over-tuned height advantage is. And give the player more meaningful choices than the current state of the game.

2) It's also worth considering having height advantage only give a +2 to attack rolls. If a character is standing out in the open there really isn't a reason why they would be harder to hit and Baldur's Gate 3 already has collision checks for if projectiles could hit. Anything the character could cover behind is already possibly protecting them, so disadvantage on attacks from lower ground is greatly exacerbating how impactful high ground can be in Baldur's Gate 3.

3) Flanking is a "nice to have", I can totally understand why it'd be hard to implement as 3D space becomes congested. There is the possibility of a domino effect with flanking where immediately after your character flanks an enemy you can be flanked by another enemy. I think it would be fun to experiment with variant-flanking (tailored for the video game experience) to give more value to terrain that is not higher ground. But that could congest the combat AI and slow combat down.

4) Cover is another "nice to have", I think it would be cool to add a cover mechanic. However, I can also see how it'd be a lot of work for the developer to take the time making objects capable of providing cover, and testing that the mechanic works as designed.
+1 (or +99999999, whatever the max is)

The current system is broken, especially when combined with the bug/exploit where small steps do not cause opportunity attacks. When intending to do a melee attack, I just _always_ move behind the target - without triggering an opportunity attack - to get the advantage. All spells/skills that cause (dis)advantage are basically useless (or severely nerfed) due to that.
Disclaimer: I do NOT know the 5E rules.

I'll go ahead and jump in this thread specifically about the high ground "I Win button" that is currently implemented. I'd like to see 2 changes myself and the 2nd might not be popular.

1. Personally I think Adv/Disadv needs to be removed from the equation completely with regards to height's influence.

2. Higher ground should increase the range for physical attacks(arrows/bolts/thrown items). This should NOT apply to spells.

Imo increased range is the only benefit higher ground should have and that is because that is just plain how gravity works. A spell's range is basically a sphere centered on the caster that the spell can reach before it fizzles out. Higher ground would have no affect on that. I feel this would still make higher ground advantageous for any ranged toon since by its very nature it limits an enemies access to you.
Originally Posted by OcO
Disclaimer: I do NOT know the 5E rules.

I'll go ahead and jump in this thread specifically about the high ground "I Win button" that is currently implemented. I'd like to see 2 changes myself and the 2nd might not be popular.

1. Personally I think Adv/Disadv needs to be removed from the equation completely with regards to height's influence.

2. Higher ground should increase the range for physical attacks(arrows/bolts/thrown items). This should NOT apply to spells.

Imo increased range is the only benefit higher ground should have and that is because that is just plain how gravity works. A spell's range is basically a sphere centered on the caster that the spell can reach before it fizzles out. Higher ground would have no affect on that. I feel this would still make higher ground advantageous for any ranged toon since by its very nature it limits an enemies access to you.

I want to test out additional range for higher ground! It's still a benefit but not something that will feel like a must-have.

Although I'd be open to have some spells benefit too, any ranged attack that is logically influenced by gravity. (for example Eldritch Blast probably wouldn't be).
Originally Posted by OcO
2. Higher ground should increase the range for physical attacks(arrows/bolts/thrown items). This should NOT apply to spells.

That's what I though a couple of days before.
I definitely want to try a +1/+2 bonus to attack roll with highground and an increased range for ranged weapons.

Not sure about spells.
I am not for a bonus because of high ground, as it makes no sense in my opinion. But if Larian goes for a bonus, then of course I would prefer +1/+2 over the advantage/disadvantage system we have now.

The best solution would be a cover system, but we will not get it, I am afraid.

For spells: an increased range does not make sense, in my opinion. If we get a bonus, spells that use a ranged attack roll (e.g. ray of frost) will use that at well. But that leaves the question, what do spells get that have a saving throw mechanic? If my wizard casts e.g. Fireball, should there be bonus on spell save DC as well? For me it makes not much sense, but for balance reasons, there should be something like that.
Originally Posted by daMichi
For spells: an increased range does not make sense, in my opinion. If we get a bonus, spells that use a ranged attack roll (e.g. ray of frost) will use that at well. But that leaves the question, what do spells get that have a saving throw mechanic? If my wizard casts e.g. Fireball, should there be bonus on spell save DC as well? For me it makes not much sense, but for balance reasons, there should be something like that.
Maybe a bonus to Dex-only ST spells? Cover in 5e works a similar way: in cover you get bonuses to both AC and Dex Saving Throws.

Thus, if we interpret the high ground bonus as actually coming from better ability to see our enemies, then an increase in both attack rolls and Dex-based spell DCs would make sense.
I would prefer they cancel also the height advantage, but if they can't let go at all, why not a +2 bonus; that would a home brew rule not too OP
@mrfuji3
Sounds reasonable, +1

@Lunar Dante
Yeah, it is a compromise I think that works for most people here in the forums
Originally Posted by Lunar Dante
I would prefer they cancel also the height advantage, but if they can't let go at all, why not a +2 bonus; that would a home brew rule not too OP

Yea that would mean :

1) that the advantage mechanic of D&D is safe. The game opens to many strategies to improve our %to hit.
2) we have another possibility to increase the %to hit through highground/backstab that would work arround our positions.
3) we have bless.

I guess that with : advantage possibility + highground/backstab bonus possibility + bless possibility + modifiers + proficiencies + weapons bonuses... No one would still complain about "missing too much".

"missing too much" os not really a problem to me but it looks like it's something that bother many players so they'll have to care about it.

If Larian's dices are not cheated, this looks like a pretty balanced solution that would make this "constraint" reasonably easier to deal with.
Originally Posted by DragonSnooz
Originally Posted by OcO
Disclaimer: I do NOT know the 5E rules.

I'll go ahead and jump in this thread specifically about the high ground "I Win button" that is currently implemented. I'd like to see 2 changes myself and the 2nd might not be popular.

1. Personally I think Adv/Disadv needs to be removed from the equation completely with regards to height's influence.

2. Higher ground should increase the range for physical attacks(arrows/bolts/thrown items). This should NOT apply to spells.

Imo increased range is the only benefit higher ground should have and that is because that is just plain how gravity works. A spell's range is basically a sphere centered on the caster that the spell can reach before it fizzles out. Higher ground would have no affect on that. I feel this would still make higher ground advantageous for any ranged toon since by its very nature it limits an enemies access to you.

I want to test out additional range for higher ground! It's still a benefit but not something that will feel like a must-have.

Although I'd be open to have some spells benefit too, any ranged attack that is logically influenced by gravity. (for example Eldritch Blast probably wouldn't be).

I've fired at things from higher ground before and noticed an "outside normal range" modifier listed but not seen if that applies any penalty. I can not say for sure if I've had that option when firing from lower ground to higher ground. If it is a mechanic that is applied to archery regardless of height and does indeed incur a penalty to hit, imo firing from higher ground should increase your default range so that the "outside normal range" penalty is applied at a greater distance than would be applied to someone shooting from ground level.
Someone on Youtube went and made a video for "How to Win" in Baldur's Gate 3. It really shows how the mechanics Larian added to the game outshine any class, ability, or spell. It's a great point of reference to discuss how these mechanics are problematic and how we can evaluate changes.

Youtube Link

(Assuming Larian would prefer to keep the mechanics in the game).

> High Ground, it's really highlighted how much survival high ground gives even without providing advantage/disadvantage. Attacks with advantage and receiving attacks at disadvantage are absolutely overtuned. A +2 to hit from higher ground is clearly more than generous. I really believe players will be fine without getting additional evasion from higher ground, the existing collision checks are more than enough. Good job on collision checks Larian.

> Backstab, I really feel is bugged. I doubt it's working as designed. The player should have to move in stealth, outside of combat, to get backstab. A way to ensure this would be to have enemies face an active character within 2 meters of them. If you move the character around them the enemy should be rotating to keep eyes on the moving player.
Originally Posted by DragonSnooz
Someone on Youtube went and made a video for "How to Win" in Baldur's Gate 3. It really shows how the mechanics Larian added to the game outshine any class, ability, or spell. It's a great point of reference to discuss how these mechanics are problematic and how we can evaluate changes.

Youtube Link
.

That's a great "how to beat the game in 15min" video.
Good find!

Yeah, this is so true, and it shows how badly designed these Backstab and Height mechanics are.
Originally Posted by DragonSnooz
> Backstab, I really feel is bugged. I doubt it's working as designed. The player should have to move in stealth, outside of combat, to get backstab. A way to ensure this would be to have enemies face an active character within 2 meters of them. If you move the character around them the enemy should be rotating to keep eyes on the moving player.

I think you are contwining BG3 backstabs with the old 2nd Ed backstabs. I don't think BG3 backstabs are bugged at all and there is no reason a character should be stealthed to get them. They're just BG3's implementation of facing/flanking mechanics.
The problem is that in 5E, there is no 'backstab' (rogue sneak attacks are a different issue), so whatever this is, it's not in the 5E rules. Even flanking is only 1) an optional rule in 5E, and 2) requires a flanking opponent threatening the target. Giving auto-advantage when someone is behind you - when you allow no way to react (like an oppurtunity attack) or stop them moving there - is just overpowered and devalues advantage.
Just walk behind them - hey presto,advantage. Given that flanking is not even required for 5E, and is still more constrained than this, adding this arbitrary backstab rule is pretty overpowering, so everyone is going to use it. I certainly did, and so does the enemy AI. I just think they need to remove it altogether, or implement actual 5E flanking.
To add to it, the backstab mechanic is silly in the sense that it breaks immersion away from how battles should play out. I get it is turn based and this already requires a bit of suspending disbelief with realism in fights. But, the backstab implies that everyone just... stands there politely awaiting their turn. Not doing anything and allowing the opponent to do as they like. Like they feel they are in a real life game of chess and are not allowed to move when 1 other person at a time does their thing. In dnd it is implied everything happens all at once in a fight (The old games are a good example of this. Even nwn1 and 2 to an extent. Or Dragonage), the turnbased initiative situation is to make stuff managable and have a good overview and make stuff easier at a table.

I do not feel Real Time with Pause is a good option (turn based works better with 5e I think) but... to go with everything in a fight happening at once: It is implied you react to an opponent and are always considered to be facing them. It makes -sense- to do this. It is why in 3.x rules you can only sneak attack when flanking (And other situations), and you need advantage/someone engaged with the enemy to Sneak Attack in 5e even. Enemies are keeping their eyes on you.

Removing this backstab homebrew Larian rule, aside from making combat mechanically more engaging, would make sense immersion wise. It might feel more like a battle (even though it is turnbased, this is, again, for the sake of convenience for the player) rather than a group of people just LARPING and politely awaiting their turn.
Originally Posted by Dexai
Originally Posted by DragonSnooz
> Backstab, I really feel is bugged. I doubt it's working as designed. The player should have to move in stealth, outside of combat, to get backstab. A way to ensure this would be to have enemies face an active character within 2 meters of them. If you move the character around them the enemy should be rotating to keep eyes on the moving player.

I think you are contwining BG3 backstabs with the old 2nd Ed backstabs. I don't think BG3 backstabs are bugged at all and there is no reason a character should be stealthed to get them. They're just BG3's implementation of facing/flanking mechanics.

It would have analogous use to 2e's backstab xD (I only have experience with 5e).

Well, 5e's optional facing has the understanding the enemy can take a reaction to face you. It's partially why I said earlier I feel high ground is the bigger priority. I feel backstab will become less of an issue with reactions. (TBH there are multiple options to balance backstab to be in a healthier place).

I'm saying it's bugged in the speculation designers either:

A) didn't realize it would become an exploit without reactions
B) expected reactions to be in the game, but it's been delayed for reasons unknown
NO!
I respect your opinion, Lastman, it is one I share with you on a number of topics, but probably not this one.
+1
The only reasons I can imagine for a creature having advantage with ranged attacks on the high ground are:

1. If their body is partially covered

2. If their body is obscured by sunlight (but in order for this to ever happen the devs would need to implement the day/night cycle; something to consider).
If we assume that Larian will be keeping the high ground / backstab advantage system, a few minor changes will help solve a lot of problems.


1) Implement Backstab as proper Flanking

A simple way to ensure backstab bonuses don't make other advantage sources obsolete is to implemented it like the optional flanking rule in the Dungeon's Master Guide. Essentially, the game assumes that in 1 on 1 scenarios, your opponent will always auto-face you (denying you the backstab advantage). A second person, the flanker, is always required to actually backstab.

This simple change will ensure special advantage sources - like Reckless Attack, will still have a purpose. It'll also limit the brutal amount of jump -> repositioning that currently happens in a melee fight. However, repositioning and proper teamwork will allow you to reduce RNG.


2) Implement a better cover system to counter height advantage

If Larian is going to keep the height advantage to hit mechanic, then they should implement a proper cover system from the rules to counter it. The DMG values are:
  • 1/2 Cover = +2 AC
  • 3/4 Cover = +5 AC
  • Full cover = can't be targeted

A proper cover system (where it shows you if a ranged attacker's weapon LOS- i.e. like Wasteland 3), will allow both the player and AI to make tactical decisions/tools to actually deal with high ground advantage.

Small changes to the AI - i.e. maybe enemies don't just use fire-surface-area arrows on you as soon as they can, but reserve it to flush you out of high ground / cover, would add more tactical depth to this engagement.
Originally Posted by Roethen
The only reasons I can imagine for a creature having advantage with ranged attacks on the high ground are:

1. If their body is partially covered

2. If their body is obscured by sunlight (but in order for this to ever happen the devs would need to implement the day/night cycle; something to consider).

There are many advantages to having the high ground in pre-modern combat, which is why almost every respected military authority in history recommend seeking high ground, or at least avoiding the enemy on high ground.

Ignoring the psychological benefits and greater visibility, the primary benefits are physical.

When a ranged weapon is discharged, it immediately begins to lose kinetic energy through air resistance, and as the speed reduces, so does the accuracy and terminal hitting power. The 5e rules ALREADY use the advantage system to impose disadvantage on ranged weapons after some notional "effective range". ( This is in direct contradiction to the OP who inaccurately insists that the advantage system is never used for mere movement/positioning ).

If you have high ground, your ranged weapons receive a kinetic benefit from gravity, and conversely, if you are firing up towards high ground, your ranged weapons receive a kinetic penalty. As 5e is such a simplified system, the advantage/disadvantage system is the obvious way to reflect this. Particularly in a game where just about every environment includes significant verticality, not to reflect it would be perverse.

Similarly, hand-to-hand combat is significantly more difficult if you have to consistently wield your weapon in shortened arcs above shoulder height, and much easier and more effective if you can swing downwards with elongated arcs.

Of course, not all ranged weapons, and not all melee weapons are equally affected, but within the bounds of the trivial nature of 5e rules, and the focus in BG3 on height, using the advantage system doesn't seem unreasonable, particularly as it gives martial classes more reason to exist.

You may notice that I did not mention spells. This is because there is less obvious (+ve or -ve) kinetic effect with most spells, so less real reason that spells should be affected by height.

You can obviously argue this any way you want, but the OP arguments as concerns height are particularly weak.

The "backstab" situation is less easy to rationalise. I would expect the 5e rules to have some "zone of control" mechanism, but there seems to be nothing apart from attack of opportunity. I've seen some arguments that circling an opponent within weapon range should trigger an AOO as you move out of the front/side arc to get the backstab; this might help.

The real problem though, is that the tabletop, where you typically move characters via pick-up-and-place-down, will ignore things that then look silly in a videogame where you show continuous movement ( ignoring the unrealistic serialisation of movement inherent in turn-based games, of course ).

Maybe we will get something from the "Panel from Hell 2" in a few days; maybe WotC will even add some 5e rules/clarifications to resolve the argument.
Originally Posted by etonbears
Originally Posted by Roethen
The only reasons I can imagine for a creature having advantage with ranged attacks on the high ground are:

1. If their body is partially covered

2. If their body is obscured by sunlight (but in order for this to ever happen the devs would need to implement the day/night cycle; something to consider).

There are many advantages to having the high ground in pre-modern combat, which is why almost every respected military authority in history recommend seeking high ground, or at least avoiding the enemy on high ground.

Ignoring the psychological benefits and greater visibility, the primary benefits are physical.

When a ranged weapon is discharged, it immediately begins to lose kinetic energy through air resistance, and as the speed reduces, so does the accuracy and terminal hitting power. The 5e rules ALREADY use the advantage system to impose disadvantage on ranged weapons after some notional "effective range". ( This is in direct contradiction to the OP who inaccurately insists that the advantage system is never used for mere movement/positioning ).

If you have high ground, your ranged weapons receive a kinetic benefit from gravity, and conversely, if you are firing up towards high ground, your ranged weapons receive a kinetic penalty. As 5e is such a simplified system, the advantage/disadvantage system is the obvious way to reflect this. Particularly in a game where just about every environment includes significant verticality, not to reflect it would be perverse.

Of course, not all ranged weapons, and not all melee weapons are equally affected, but within the bounds of the trivial nature of 5e rules, and the focus in BG3 on height, using the advantage system doesn't seem unreasonable, particularly as it gives martial classes more reason to exist.

You may notice that I did not mention spells. This is because there is less obvious (+ve or -ve) kinetic effect with most spells, so less real reason that spells should be affected by height.

You can obviously argue this any way you want, but the OP arguments as concerns height are particularly weak.


Maybe we will get something from the "Panel from Hell 2" in a few days; maybe WotC will even add some 5e rules/clarifications to resolve the argument.
The issue isn't that high ground gives benefits, the issue is that granting advantage on attacks for and disadvantage on attacks against is overpowered. Advantage and disadvantage are specific mechanics in DnD that are more than just increased accuracy, evasion. OP even brought up that they're okay with a +2 to hit, -2 to attacks against. Attacks outside of effective range doesn't contradict OP at all, it's already in the game.

IRL in a sniper duel, if a sniper misses their shot they will always change positions because they have no protection. High ground or not they have been given away and the opposing sniper now has an easy shot. Castle walls had trapezoidal openings so that archers could be protected from incoming attacks. They weren't just standing out in the open on top of the castle, opposing archers could take them out too easily if they did that.

The high ground doesn't protect you from ranged attacks IRL, it forces the opposing team to exhaust more energy/resources climbing the hill, sieging a caste wall, etc. Baldur's Gate 3 doesn't have characters expend nearly any energy for going up and down a ladder. So the whole economy of high ground benefits doesn't make sense.
Originally Posted by etonbears
Similarly, hand-to-hand combat is significantly more difficult if you have to consistently wield your weapon in shortened arcs above shoulder height, and much easier and more effective if you can swing downwards with elongated arcs.

But somehow boxers train in learning how to uppercut rather than punch downward. Being able to rotate the human body in 3d space easily overcomes the kinetic expense of punching upward. And it can be strategically worth it to punch upward. Also if kinetic penalties really stopped someone, no one would go for high knees in MMA.

Again we're all okay with high ground having benefits, but advantage for / disadvantage against is ridiculous. IRL if the enemy started with higher ground you would find cover to fire safe shots from, not run to high ground yourself.
On the advantage thing......
THe system is and always was broken. But it was invented on a sole purpose..... to lessen the math that had to be done prior rolling the dice to speed up Combat in a pen and paper session.

Now in a video game the whole purpose of speeding things up is obsolete as all math is done instantly by the computer. Leaving us with a just broken system. So why it is broken?

Let me explain:

We all agree that having higher ground or attacking from the back should have some sort of advantage!
But lets dive into the Math of the Advantage system.

Lets make it simple to understand. Attacker has no bonuses at all but has the height advantage. Target is a guy in PLatemail Armorclass 17

So you need to rol a 17 or greater to hit wich is a base chance of 20 %. With advantage you get a second role wich means:

FIrst chance to Hit is 20% (roling a 17,18,19 or 20)
Basechance of 80% to not roll a 17 or higher on first roll and a chance of 20% to a 17-20 on the second roll. Wich translates into an additonal chance of 16% hitting if your first roll fails.

Now we attack someone with a chain shirt (AC13)

you have a base chance of 40% to hit AC13 (roling a 13,14,15,16,17,18,19 or 20) on your first roll.
Basechance of 60% to not roll a 13 or higher and a chance to of 40% to roll a 13 or higher on second roll. Wich translates into an additonal chance of 21% hitting your target if your first roll fails.

So that what does that mean in gameplay? Having a heigt advantage technically means that instead of having a bonus because you are standing higher than your enemy, the bonus magically grows if you target has lesser armor. Or in other words the your Armor gets magicaly and expontentionaly weaker if enemy is higher ground than you.

Its makes absolutly NO SENSE gameplay wise. And WotC know it. But it was a way to reduce calculations and speed things up at the cost of realism.

Now in a computer game where calculation speed is no issue.... the only thing thats left is pointless unrealism.
Originally Posted by Baldurs-Gate-Fan
On the advantage thing......
THe system is and always was broken. But it was invented on a sole purpose..... to lessen the math that had to be done prior rolling the dice to speed up Combat in a pen and paper session.

Now in a video game the whole purpose of speeding things up is obsolete as all math is done instantly by the computer. Leaving us with a just broken system. So why it is broken?

Let me explain:

We all agree that having higher ground or attacking from the back should have some sort of advantage!
But lets dive into the Math of the Advantage system.

Lets make it simple to understand. Attacker has no bonuses at all but has the height advantage. Target is a guy in PLatemail Armorclass 17

So you need to rol a 17 or greater to hit wich is a base chance of 20 %. With advantage you get a second role wich means:

FIrst chance to Hit is 20% (roling a 17,18,19 or 20)
Basechance of 80% to not roll a 17 or higher on first roll and a chance of 20% to a 17-20 on the second roll. Wich translates into an additonal chance of 16% hitting if your first roll fails.

Now we attack someone with a chain shirt (AC13)

you have a base chance of 40% to hit AC13 (roling a 13,14,15,16,17,18,19 or 20) on your first roll.
Basechance of 60% to not roll a 13 or higher and a chance to of 40% to roll a 13 or higher on second roll. Wich translates into an additonal chance of 21% hitting your target if your first roll fails.

So that what does that mean in gameplay? Having a heigt advantage technically means that instead of having a bonus because you are standing higher than your enemy, the bonus magically grows if you target has lesser armor. Or in other words the your Armor gets magicaly and expontentionaly weaker if enemy is higher ground than you.

Its makes absolutly NO SENSE gameplay wise. And WotC know it. But it was a way to reduce calculations and speed things up at the cost of realism.

Now in a computer game where calculation speed is no issue.... the only thing thats left is pointless unrealism.

Simple solution:
Just add a flat bonus, like +1 or +2.
As OP suggested, btw.
Originally Posted by daMichi
Originally Posted by Baldurs-Gate-Fan
On the advantage thing......
THe system is and always was broken. But it was invented on a sole purpose..... to lessen the math that had to be done prior rolling the dice to speed up Combat in a pen and paper session.

Now in a video game the whole purpose of speeding things up is obsolete as all math is done instantly by the computer. Leaving us with a just broken system. So why it is broken?

Let me explain:

We all agree that having higher ground or attacking from the back should have some sort of advantage!
But lets dive into the Math of the Advantage system.

Lets make it simple to understand. Attacker has no bonuses at all but has the height advantage. Target is a guy in PLatemail Armorclass 17

So you need to rol a 17 or greater to hit wich is a base chance of 20 %. With advantage you get a second role wich means:

FIrst chance to Hit is 20% (roling a 17,18,19 or 20)
Basechance of 80% to not roll a 17 or higher on first roll and a chance of 20% to a 17-20 on the second roll. Wich translates into an additonal chance of 16% hitting if your first roll fails.

Now we attack someone with a chain shirt (AC13)

you have a base chance of 40% to hit AC13 (roling a 13,14,15,16,17,18,19 or 20) on your first roll.
Basechance of 60% to not roll a 13 or higher and a chance to of 40% to roll a 13 or higher on second roll. Wich translates into an additonal chance of 21% hitting your target if your first roll fails.

So that what does that mean in gameplay? Having a heigt advantage technically means that instead of having a bonus because you are standing higher than your enemy, the bonus magically grows if you target has lesser armor. Or in other words the your Armor gets magicaly and expontentionaly weaker if enemy is higher ground than you.

Its makes absolutly NO SENSE gameplay wise. And WotC know it. But it was a way to reduce calculations and speed things up at the cost of realism.

Now in a computer game where calculation speed is no issue.... the only thing thats left is pointless unrealism.

Simple solution:
Just add a flat bonus, like +1 or +2.
As OP suggested, btw.


Yes its ist.... but that will NEVER EVER happen. Trust me!
Never will WotC approve this. Not because it wouldnt be good for the game...... they will deny this because i means the first step moving toward the system of their biggest competitor and it would signla that maybe..... just maybe some things are better there.

So trust me.... BG3 would rather be canceld at all bevor THAT will happen.
Originally Posted by Baldurs-Gate-Fan
On the advantage thing......
THe system is and always was broken. But it was invented on a sole purpose..... to lessen the math that had to be done prior rolling the dice to speed up Combat in a pen and paper session.

Now in a video game the whole purpose of speeding things up is obsolete as all math is done instantly by the computer. Leaving us with a just broken system. So why it is broken?

Let me explain:

We all agree that having higher ground or attacking from the back should have some sort of advantage!
But lets dive into the Math of the Advantage system.

Lets make it simple to understand. Attacker has no bonuses at all but has the height advantage. Target is a guy in PLatemail Armorclass 17

So you need to rol a 17 or greater to hit wich is a base chance of 20 %. With advantage you get a second role wich means:

FIrst chance to Hit is 20% (roling a 17,18,19 or 20)
Basechance of 80% to not roll a 17 or higher on first roll and a chance of 20% to a 17-20 on the second roll. Wich translates into an additonal chance of 16% hitting if your first roll fails.

Now we attack someone with a chain shirt (AC13)

you have a base chance of 40% to hit AC13 (roling a 13,14,15,16,17,18,19 or 20) on your first roll.
Basechance of 60% to not roll a 13 or higher and a chance to of 40% to roll a 13 or higher on second roll. Wich translates into an additonal chance of 21% hitting your target if your first roll fails.

So that what does that mean in gameplay? Having a heigt advantage technically means that instead of having a bonus because you are standing higher than your enemy, the bonus magically grows if you target has lesser armor. Or in other words the your Armor gets magicaly and expontentionaly weaker if enemy is higher ground than you.

Its makes absolutly NO SENSE gameplay wise. And WotC know it. But it was a way to reduce calculations and speed things up at the cost of realism.

Now in a computer game where calculation speed is no issue.... the only thing thats left is pointless unrealism.
DnD 5e doesn't natively grant (advantageFOR)+(disadvantageAGAINST) by standing on higher ground. Advantage is rare and can be a reward for good role-play. Have a human DM give out advantage for situations that make sense, works.

Larian as the DM, is giving out advantage for near-free in the current meta. Disadvantage on attacks from lower ground just exacerbates that. We're just asking for a premium on advantage and most of us are open to other benefits for using high ground.

For most of us who have played tabletop 5e, we're used to advantage being strong and situational.
The only problem I see with granting a flat bonus is that this might scale crazily in the higher levels. Advantage is really easy to get at higher levels.

You are stacking this with advantage and weapon enchantments - so you're now looking at roughly +8-10 to hit above bound accuracy.

Still, I'd take that over the current system.
Originally Posted by Topgoon
The only problem I see with granting a flat bonus is that this might scale crazily in the higher levels. Advantage is really easy to get at higher levels.

You are stacking this with advantage and weapon enchantments - so you're now looking at roughly +8-10 to hit above bound accuracy.

Still, I'd take that over the current system.

And this is something people unfamiliar with 5e fail to understand. They are only seeing the portion where the characters have not come to their own yet. At higher levels, the combat will be ridiculous, almost comedic if the current system remains.

The best decision would be to remove height advantage and free backstabbing completely. Otherwise you are just pushing the problem to later parts of the game.
Originally Posted by Topgoon
The only problem I see with granting a flat bonus is that this might scale crazily in the higher levels. Advantage is really easy to get at higher levels.

You are stacking this with advantage and weapon enchantments - so you're now looking at roughly +8-10 to hit above bound accuracy.

Still, I'd take that over the current system.
I don't really see the problem here? 5e RAW has Cover rules which grant +2/+5 to AC, and these bonuses don't pose a problem at higher levels. So why would the smaller +1 or +2 high ground bonuses, which in BG3 would replace these cover mechanics, be a problem?
Sure, cover grants AC bonuses whereas BG3 high ground grants to-hit bonuses, but tomato tomahto.
Also Advantage could override +2 to hit, just as Advantage + Disadvantage wash each other out.

If player has advantage, override high ground benefit
If player has disadvantage, override high ground benefit

That's a possible solution to a possible problem.
Originally Posted by mrfuji3
Originally Posted by Topgoon
The only problem I see with granting a flat bonus is that this might scale crazily in the higher levels. Advantage is really easy to get at higher levels.

You are stacking this with advantage and weapon enchantments - so you're now looking at roughly +8-10 to hit above bound accuracy.

Still, I'd take that over the current system.
I don't really see the problem here? 5e RAW has Cover rules which grant +2/+5 to AC, and these bonuses don't pose a problem at higher levels. So why would the smaller +1 or +2 high ground bonuses, which in BG3 would replace these cover mechanics, be a problem?
Sure, cover grants AC bonuses whereas BG3 high ground grants to-hit bonuses, but tomato tomahto.

Mainly the sharpshooter feat. Sharpshooter negates cover and now you have an extra bonus on top of no cover. I know SS is not in the game yet but GWM is and I suspect we haven't seen SS yet because Larian is well aware of how powerful it will be with advantage (it's already a very good feat to begin with). They will have to tweak SS if they want to implement it in BG3.

Also cover and height bonus, although may do the same thing, they affect the fight differently. If a foe wants to retain cover, they generally have to stay in their position or risk losing cover. That tactic won't work with height advantage. There's no turtling of mobs.
Originally Posted by spectralhunter
Originally Posted by Topgoon
The only problem I see with granting a flat bonus is that this might scale crazily in the higher levels. Advantage is really easy to get at higher levels.

You are stacking this with advantage and weapon enchantments - so you're now looking at roughly +8-10 to hit above bound accuracy.

Still, I'd take that over the current system.

And this is something people unfamiliar with 5e fail to understand. They are only seeing the portion where the characters have not come to their own yet. At higher levels, the combat will be ridiculous, almost comedic if the current system remains.

The best decision would be to remove height advantage and free backstabbing completely. Otherwise you are just pushing the problem to later parts of the game.

As mrfuji3, this is something I don't understand (without considering thé cover mechanic).

Can you please explain why combats would be rudiculous ?

I understand the concept of bounded accuracy but I don't get why a single +1/+2 bonus would break combats. As a vidéo game player, I see it as another reasonable tool to control our %to hit.
Originally Posted by spectralhunter
Originally Posted by mrfuji3
(paraphrasing) I don't think a +1/+2 bonus is that strong, especially since it would replace Cover

Mainly the sharpshooter feat. Sharpshooter negates cover and now you have an extra bonus on top of no cover. I know SS is not in the game yet but GWM is and I suspect we haven't seen SS yet because Larian is well aware of how powerful it will be with advantage (it's already a very good feat to begin with). They will have to tweak SS if they want to implement it in BG3.

Also cover and height bonus, although may do the same thing, they affect the fight differently. If a foe wants to retain cover, they generally have to stay in their position or risk losing cover. That tactic won't work with height advantage. There's no turtling of mobs.
Sharpshooter will be both buffed and nerfed, right? It (along will all ranged attacks) will be easier to hit with. However, BG3 is not going to have both cover and height-bonuses, so the "your ranged weapons ignore half and 3/4 cover" aspect of Sharpshooter will be useless. I think this probably works out to a relatively small net buff.

I agree that cover and height bonus would affect the fights differently. But I don't think either case is better/worse than the other.

Originally Posted by Maximuuus
Originally Posted by spectralhunter
And this is something people unfamiliar with 5e fail to understand. They are only seeing the portion where the characters have not come to their own yet. At higher levels, the combat will be ridiculous, almost comedic if the current system remains. [...]

As mrfuji3, this is something I don't understand (without considering thé cover mechanic).

Can you please explain why combats would be rudiculous ?

I understand the concept of bounded accuracy but I don't get why a single +1/+2 bonus would break combats. As a vidéo game player, I see it as another reasonable tool to control our %to hit.

5e is balanced around having bounded accuracy, and all to-hit bonuses are small.
In previous editions/Pathfinder, there were many many stacking bonuses. Deflection, dodge, natural, sacred, etc which mean that to-hit bonuses and ACs easily got into the 30s.

The worry, for 5e, is stacking bonuses. If Larian's BG3 allows a lot of stacking numerical bonuses, then it will unbalance the game. For example, Acid in BG3 reduces AC. If you combine an Acid'd enemy (-2 AC) with high ground (+2) with advantage (+~5), this adds up to a pretty big bonus.

My argument is that a single +1/+2 bonus isn't that powerful, especially if Cover is not implemented. But it is a slippery slope.

Currently, high ground and backstab grant advantage, and advantage doesn't stack. Thus, higher levels in BG3 will actually feel relatively weaker than PnP. All the powerful high-level skills/spells/etc that help grant Advantage will be useless.
Originally Posted by mrfuji3
Sharpshooter will be both buffed and nerfed, right? It (along will all ranged attacks) will be easier to hit with. However, BG3 is not going to have both cover and height-bonuses, so the "your ranged weapons ignore half and 3/4 cover" aspect of Sharpshooter will be useless. I think this probably works out to a relatively small net buff.

I agree that cover and height bonus would affect the fights differently. But I don't think either case is better/worse than the other.


Can you please explain why combats would be rudiculous ?

I understand the concept of bounded accuracy but I don't get why a single +1/+2 bonus would break combats. As a vidéo game player, I see it as another reasonable tool to control our %to hit.

Height bonuses are Larian's homebrew. Sharpshooter essentially gives bonuses by removing penalties to cover. Without cover mechanics, you have to provide Sharpshooter something else since in BG3, that portion of the feat is meaningless. So what is Larian to do? They'd have to give SS more bonuses to compensate for lack of cover. Like you said, AC and to hit mods are the same mathematically.

It would be ridiculous if you provide SS with more and more bonuses when the whole point of balancing that particular feat is reducing them due to the -5/+10 mechanic. It's the same problem we are having with GWM. All a fighter has to do is jump, go behind a mob. Now he has advantage which pretty much negates the -5 penalty and essentially gets free +10 damage per hit with a greatsword or polearm. It's a joke. Throw in dipping and we get absurd levels of damage. Let's add level 5 extra attacks and action surge. See where this is going?

Because of how little accuracy and AC changes in 5e, every little bonus makes a significant difference on rolls. That +2 to hit may not seem big but it potentially makes huge differences on how many times you hit. Interestingly enough, Larian knows this and that's why they are giving out advantage like candy. They have the notion the characters weren't hitting enough and that's boring gameplay (it's a fair observation). But if characters hit too much, creatures die too fast hence we are getting mobs with higher than normal HP. Larian is trying to rebalance what has been balanced long ago and now are dealing with all sorts of balancing issues, mainly from all their homebrew.
@spectralhunter: I'm not sure that Larian would have to "give SS more bonuses to compensate for lack of cover". As you mentioned,
Originally Posted by spectralhunter
I suspect we haven't seen SS yet because Larian is well aware of how powerful it will be with advantage
With easy advantage, the feat is too powerful. Larian (if they change height bonus to +1 or +2) should just remove the "negate cover" aspect of sharpshooter and I think the feat will still be relatively balanced?

I definitely agree with you that Larian shouldn't keep height-advantage and have SS give a + to hit.
Originally Posted by mrfuji3
@spectralhunter: I'm not sure that Larian would have to "give SS more bonuses to compensate for lack of cover". As you mentioned,
Originally Posted by spectralhunter
I suspect we haven't seen SS yet because Larian is well aware of how powerful it will be with advantage
With easy advantage, the feat is too powerful. Larian (if they change height bonus to +1 or +2) should just remove the "negate cover" aspect of sharpshooter and I think the feat will still be relatively balanced?

I definitely agree with you that Larian shouldn't keep height-advantage and have SS give a + to hit.

Agreed but if Larian decides to include SS, then they need to provide another advantage of some sort. I just brought up bonuses because one part of SS is essentially bonuses. SS negates half and three-fourths cover which is kinda like you said, a bonus (tomato/tomahto) in certain circumstances.

Ironically, height advantage IS basically sharpshooter. From what I understand, advantage rolls are roughly +4 to hit (less as the AC goes up) which seems to roughly coincide with SS negation of cover. Basically everyone can get partial SS for free if they stand on a box.
Originally Posted by mrfuji3
Originally Posted by spectralhunter
Originally Posted by mrfuji3
(paraphrasing) I don't think a +1/+2 bonus is that strong, especially since it would replace Cover

Mainly the sharpshooter feat. Sharpshooter negates cover and now you have an extra bonus on top of no cover. I know SS is not in the game yet but GWM is and I suspect we haven't seen SS yet because Larian is well aware of how powerful it will be with advantage (it's already a very good feat to begin with). They will have to tweak SS if they want to implement it in BG3.

Also cover and height bonus, although may do the same thing, they affect the fight differently. If a foe wants to retain cover, they generally have to stay in their position or risk losing cover. That tactic won't work with height advantage. There's no turtling of mobs.
Sharpshooter will be both buffed and nerfed, right? It (along will all ranged attacks) will be easier to hit with. However, BG3 is not going to have both cover and height-bonuses, so the "your ranged weapons ignore half and 3/4 cover" aspect of Sharpshooter will be useless. I think this probably works out to a relatively small net buff.

I agree that cover and height bonus would affect the fights differently. But I don't think either case is better/worse than the other.

Originally Posted by Maximuuus
Originally Posted by spectralhunter
And this is something people unfamiliar with 5e fail to understand. They are only seeing the portion where the characters have not come to their own yet. At higher levels, the combat will be ridiculous, almost comedic if the current system remains. [...]

As mrfuji3, this is something I don't understand (without considering thé cover mechanic).

Can you please explain why combats would be rudiculous ?

I understand the concept of bounded accuracy but I don't get why a single +1/+2 bonus would break combats. As a vidéo game player, I see it as another reasonable tool to control our %to hit.

5e is balanced around having bounded accuracy, and all to-hit bonuses are small.
In previous editions/Pathfinder, there were many many stacking bonuses. Deflection, dodge, natural, sacred, etc which mean that to-hit bonuses and ACs easily got into the 30s.

The worry, for 5e, is stacking bonuses. If Larian's BG3 allows a lot of stacking numerical bonuses, then it will unbalance the game. For example, Acid in BG3 reduces AC. If you combine an Acid'd enemy (-2 AC) with high ground (+2) with advantage (+~5), this adds up to a pretty big bonus.

My argument is that a single +1/+2 bonus isn't that powerful, especially if Cover is not implemented. But it is a slippery slope.

Currently, high ground and backstab grant advantage, and advantage doesn't stack. Thus, higher levels in BG3 will actually feel relatively weaker than PnP. All the powerful high-level skills/spells/etc that help grant Advantage will be useless.

I agree, and I don't really see the problem in your exemple.

- Acid (-2AC) mean you use an action and consider that the ennemy won't move.
- Advantages, if proper D&D rules also mean an action or specific situations (invisibility, flanking, conditions,...)
- Highground "free +1/+2" bonus.

Then yes, you can attack with a bonus to your attack roll. Which still doesn't mean you'll hit (RNG).

I can't see any problem here if we don't have nearly free (bonus action) acid potions everywhere.
This looks like a cool tactic to improve your %to hit.

Finding ways to play with the %to hit in a tactical TB game is one of the most interresting things to do.

If you can't easily stack too much bonuses, I guess it could be interresting. But I'll also be fine if highground only gives a better range to ranged weapons. I'm not in the "missing is so boring" camp.
I'll just chime in here and remind every one that, averagely speaking, advantage translates to a +5 bonus, even if it doesn't stack.
Originally Posted by Dexai
I'll just chime in here and remind every one that, averagely speaking, advantage translates to a +5 bonus, even if it doesn't stack.

Basically. That’s why GWM is utterly OP right now. You can backstab with advantage that negates he penalty of the power attack portion of GWM and now you do +10 damage per hit without any penalties. It’s one of the main reasons why people are soloing this game.

Advantage should not be so easy to access.
Very nice thoughts and most of the comments after that are not at the same level. They seem to come from people who never thought a bit to the balance in DD5 rules. Presently, the issue with advantage / disadvantage as well as the number of HP of some monsters that have been artificially increased breaks many aspects of the game. Many competences (and the full rogue class) and spells become useless. Solving these issues would re-equilibrate the whole game and give a richer gameplay, since some spells as support spells would become useful again.
Originally Posted by Dexai
I'll just chime in here and remind every one that, averagely speaking, advantage translates to a +5 bonus, even if it doesn't stack.

Most sources I have seen actually say Advantage/Disadvantage is roughly +/- 3.3. I haven't done the math, but just pointing out what I have seen
Originally Posted by Blackmagicgirl
Originally Posted by Dexai
I'll just chime in here and remind every one that, averagely speaking, advantage translates to a +5 bonus, even if it doesn't stack.

Most sources I have seen actually say Advantage/Disadvantage is roughly +/- 3.3. I haven't done the math, but just pointing out what I have seen
This is true in a vacuum, averaging over all possible DCs. Advantage is equivalent to +5 when you need an 11 on the die, +3.75 when you need a 16, and +2 when you need an 19 on the die (symmetric for die rolls lower than 11). All this averages out to +3.3.

Given that 5e has bounded accuracy, most checks require you to roll somewhere between a 7 and 14. These are regions where Advantage is closer to a +5. Then you have to take into account the fact that (for attack rolls), advantage makes it twice as likely you'll roll a 20 (for a critical hit, auto hit and 2x damage) and disadvantage makes it twice as likely you'll roll a natural 1 (auto-miss). Taken all together, Advantage gives closer to a +4.2 bonus.

See https://forums.larian.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=758374#Post758374 for a more detailed analysis
It really depends on how granular/situational you would like to be.

It's not just about averages
Another source

Rolling 2d20 in a vacuum is different that rolling 2d20 in DnD or Baldur's Gate 3. You can take out a pen and paper, start rolling and track the delta between the rolls, and the average will trend to a number between 3 and 4.

That being said, the thread has been more focused on the total impact/value of higher ground giving a character advantage, while incoming attacks roll with disadvantage. With collision detection and other factors, high ground has other benefits alone that can't be measured.

High Ground Provides Other Benefits

High ground in patch 3 is a potent mixture of benefits for any character on the map.
Originally Posted by Blackmagicgirl
Originally Posted by Dexai
I'll just chime in here and remind every one that, averagely speaking, advantage translates to a +5 bonus, even if it doesn't stack.

Most sources I have seen actually say Advantage/Disadvantage is roughly +/- 3.3. I haven't done the math, but just pointing out what I have seen

+5 is the convention in DnD circles, and the PHB refers to advantage as being a +5 bonus as well.
As jumping behind the enemy and backstab is OP and jumping away is a free escape mechanic (given its tied to disengage), im spending my turns in every battle jumping back and forth between enemies with all of my characters. This resulted in some really tedious and long battles which i won this way but i didn't really enjoy the fights.

It was funny as i was watching some streamer reactions on the panel 2 and the question many of them raised right away when devs started to talk about patch 4 was "Is jumping still ridiculously OP?". Another common one was "Can you still rest anytime? Did they changed that?". I was like "Yes pleeeease".

Hopefully in some not-so-far patch...
Originally Posted by Isaac Springsong
You have a system with some problems, but those problems are well known and has 6+ years of playtesting and rules updates to support it. It is widely recognized as the most widespread ruleset in its genre and the most balanced by far, in addition to being *so* popular that it's part of the reason your game is being made at all. It is also the edition of the rules you claimed you're using to make the game.

There is quite a few people in the D&D community that would have a serious problem with trying to say that 5e is the most widely used, widespread ruleset in its genre. Most players I talk to prefer 2E and 3E far more than 5E.

The game is based on 5E, they will not be able to adapt every single aspect, no matter how much some scream and yell about it.

Personally, I prefer height advantage of cover advantage and here is a perfect example:

Have you watched "The Rock"? In one scene the Marines are on the upper floor of a shower room, the Seals are in the lower floor, but have significant cover. It was still a kill zone because that cover, could not counter the high ground. The Marines could literally just put their rifles over the wall and wipe them out, or even lob some grenades. Or hell even lob some tear gas down and cut their throats. It is the same principle as dry gulching in canyons. You may have some boulders or a scrub tree here and there, but that would provide minimal cover over a group of people 100 ft above you with their own cover.

Not to mention, yes there is circumstances where the enemy has the high ground in BG3, and it has a negative impact on your ability to fight. But they also provide a number of ways to counter that, from teleporting, the warriors pull mechanic, acid, fire destroying the platform they are using for high ground. These are all done without Barrelmancy or anything else.

I do agree, backstab should be limited to rogues. But that should be in battle as well. The rogue in a battle could pull off a dexterous move, jumping over the enemy to backstab. But also, when you try and run around them, you have the chance of that NPC turning and hitting you if they win the roll for it.
Originally Posted by Roethen
The only reasons I can imagine for a creature having advantage with ranged attacks on the high ground are:

1. If their body is partially covered

2. If their body is obscured by sunlight (but in order for this to ever happen the devs would need to implement the day/night cycle; something to consider).

You might want to do some research in military strategy if those are the only 2 you can come up with.
Originally Posted by Pandemonica
Originally Posted by Isaac Springsong
You have a system with some problems, but those problems are well known and has 6+ years of playtesting and rules updates to support it. It is widely recognized as the most widespread ruleset in its genre and the most balanced by far, in addition to being *so* popular that it's part of the reason your game is being made at all. It is also the edition of the rules you claimed you're using to make the game.

There is quite a few people in the D&D community that would have a serious problem with trying to say that 5e is the most widely used, widespread ruleset in its genre. Most players I talk to prefer 2E and 3E far more than 5E.

The game is based on 5E, they will not be able to adapt every single aspect, no matter how much some scream and yell about it.

Personally, I prefer height advantage of cover advantage and here is a perfect example:

Have you watched "The Rock"? In one scene the Marines are on the upper floor of a shower room, the Seals are in the lower floor, but have significant cover. It was still a kill zone because that cover, could not counter the high ground. The Marines could literally just put their rifles over the wall and wipe them out, or even lob some grenades. Or hell even lob some tear gas down and cut their throats. It is the same principle as dry gulching in canyons. You may have some boulders or a scrub tree here and there, but that would provide minimal cover over a group of people 100 ft above you with their own cover.

Not to mention, yes there is circumstances where the enemy has the high ground in BG3, and it has a negative impact on your ability to fight. But they also provide a number of ways to counter that, from teleporting, the warriors pull mechanic, acid, fire destroying the platform they are using for high ground. These are all done without Barrelmancy or anything else.

I do agree, backstab should be limited to rogues. But that should be in battle as well. The rogue in a battle could pull off a dexterous move, jumping over the enemy to backstab. But also, when you try and run around them, you have the chance of that NPC turning and hitting you if they win the roll for it.

You may want to watch that movie again, the reason they are wiped out is because they have zero cover down in that death-trap. And the terrorists can easily fire from behind cover at the marines.

Regarding High Ground vs. cover:
Now imagine I stand on top of a wall (3m high), and you are 10m away on an open field. Why should I have advantage to hit you with a ranged attack? Why should you have disadvantage to hit me? Especially with ranged weapons, you see me as clearly as I see you, you will have zero difficulty in your ability to target me and I will not have it more easy to target you.
When I am standing on top of a castle wall behind a Firing port, then the main reason you will not be able to hit me is the cover, not the height.

Height does bring advantages, mainly increased range and it is often far more easy to get behind cover. If the height difference is very pronounced, then I just need to duck a little bit, and you won't be able to see me anymore.

So the Advantage/Disadvantage system in BG3 currently is just way over the top. But a lot of people have already pointed that out.

My personal preference would be increased range with bows and crossbows, not with spells, and that's it.
If Larian wants to give more advantage to aleviated combatants, than I can live with a +1 or +2 bonus to hit, but not also a bonus to AC (aka a malus of -1 or -2 to the combatant on the lower ground).
Originally Posted by daMichi
Height does bring advantages, mainly increased range and it is often far more easy to get behind cover. If the height difference is very pronounced, then I just need to duck a little bit, and you won't be able to see me anymore.

So the Advantage/Disadvantage system in BG3 currently is just way over the top. But a lot of people have already pointed that out.

My personal preference would be increased range with bows and crossbows, not with spells, and that's it.
+1 (If I'm looking for an ideal situation for the game)

I'd like to supplement this with some more minutiae:
  • Starting with (A) Height wouldn't provide AdvantageFOR/DisadvantageAgainst
  • (B) going beyond normal range is already in there, add in height extending the "normal range" for ranged weapons.
  • having a proper climbing speed (Ladders, etc.)
  • rough terrain being applied to ascending steep angles
  • Ranged attacks no longer being at disadvantage because an enemy is ~3-4 meters away (5 feet is fine for disadvantage)
  • Add in +2 to hit

^ This would be a healthy baseline for high ground benefits.

Higher ground would give a better vantage point in combat and enemies would have to expend additional resources to ascend. Also agreeing with applying a simple +2 to hit.

(Side note) Personally I'd rather we had proper Dodge or Prone actions than getting a bonus to AC for high ground. It would give the player more risk/reward options.

EDIT: adding this in here for clarity.

The core intent of 5e is that bonuses don't stack. The player takes the greater value that they've received. You see this throughout 5e. Examples: Temporary Hit Points from multiple sources, and Tortle's Natural Armor with Barbarian's Unarmored Defense.

Applying 5e's logic: if a player gains Advantage, Advantage would override a +2 to hit and not stack.
Early on in EA I seem to recall people having difficulty with the main gnoll encounter. It was mainly due to height advantage but also something else.

You didn’t hear too many problems from goblins even though they used height as well. What makes the gnolls different is due to their increased HP and more importantly, their extra attacks with a bow.

Height advantage will be magnified as more and more monsters get extra attacks. And since BG3 seems to target your lowest AC squishy characters first, they will die often. Gale is going to look like a pin cushion after all is said and done.

I truly believe Larian needs to re-evaluate height. I know it worked with DOS but it just isn’t compatible with 5e rules, modified or not.
Has anyone else noticed that advantage from high ground and disadvantage from low ground is working differently than patch 3? It seems there is now a premium on when high ground advantage or low ground disadvantage can be applied. (The UI doesn't always reflect this).

Thread containing data on attack rolls for High Ground and Low Ground

Patch 4 is confirming a lot of our thoughts that the game would be more fun if range-dependent classes got to roll their attacks normal. Instead of Advantage or Disadvantage most of the time.

Even though high ground advantage and low ground advantage is still in the game. With the reduced occurrence of both, I've been able to use more spells and take on more battles proactively. I'm keeping an open mind throughout patch 4. So far through the Harpy fight I have been having a lot more fun in combat. What about the rest of you?

I'm going to play through all of Early Access before I totally change my opinion on Advantage from High Ground and Disadvantage from Low Ground.
Originally Posted by Isaac Springsong
Primary Topic Links:
-> https://forums.larian.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=713497&page=1
-> https://forums.larian.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=716036&page=1
-> Primary feedback thread, multiple times

Summary: In the 5e ruleset, Advantage/Disadvantage is the most powerful impact on gameplay. This is true both from a mathematical standpoint and from a player/DM perspective. Because it is so powerful, all sources of Adv/Dis in 5e come at either a cost of resources or a potentially penalty to the user, to balance out the sheer power of the mechanic. Currently, BG 3 subverts this balance by providing always available sources of Adv/Dis in the form of Height and Backstab, both of which require nothing more than having your character in the correct location on the map (note: this is exacerbated by the Jump/Disengage/Stealth problem discussed elsewhere, but exists even if that is fixed). This makes the 5e sources of Adv/Dis nearly useless as they are all more costly or penalizing, thus invaliding literally dozens and dozens of class features and spells, completely ruining the balance of entire classes. Removing Height and Backstab based Adv/Dis will go a long way towards making the game far more balanced and play like a D&D game.

Main Discussion:

The Maths: - In 5e, in general, having Advantage is roughly equivalent of having +5 to your roll. Disadvantage is roughly equal to having -5 to your roll. This means if one character is rolling with Advantage, and the other character is rolling with Disadvantage, then there is the rough equivalent of +-10 between their rolls. Additionally, Advantage doubles the chance of rolling a critical hit, and makes critical failures much less likely (5% normally vs 0.25% with Advantage), vice versa for Disadvantage.

Next, one of the core theories for game balance in 5e is called "Bounded Accuracy". This term means that players and NPCs generally have limits to how high they can boost their static modifiers to rolls. There is a 'bound' on just how 'accurate' a player can become. This was a huge shift in D&D when it was introduced. In prior editions of D&D, players could achieve truly insane modifiers to their to-hit, to the point where attack rolls were reaching into the 1d20+100 range, which just creates stupid arms races between monsters and players. By reducing how much a player can add to their to-hit, WotC (the publishers the D&D rules) made smaller bonuses much, MUCH more important. For example, Bless requires both a spell slot, concentration, and is limited to three targets, and only provides an average of +2.5, half of Advantage.

Bounded Accuracy is why Adv/Dis is so impactful on gameplay. There are a few class abilities that can add a higher static modifier (such as a War Cleric's Channel Divinity that can add +10 to one single attack roll) but those are rare and always limited in amount. It is a large reason why 5e is generally much more balanced that prior editions of D&D with far less ways to truly 'break' the game. It also makes the gameplay much smoother because enemies to-hit and AC do not need to increase as much as you get higher level. On page 274 of the DMG, there is even a chart for rough AC numbers based on a creature's CR (Challenge Rating. The higher the CR, the more 'powerful' the creature):

CR 0-3: 13 AC
CR 4: 14 AC
CR 5-7: 15 AC
CR 8-9: 16 AC
CR 10-12: 17 AC
CR 13-16: 18 AC
CR 17+: 19 AC

Look at those numbers. Over the course of 17 'levels' of CR, the enemies AC only increases by an average of +6. Just having Advantage almost cancels that growth out entirely. Here is an analysis of the actual monsters made available from WoTC and their respective change in AC -> https://i.stack.imgur.com/a6rlg.png

Lastly, if you take a level 1 character and a level 17+ character, give them the same stats and the same weapon, the total difference in their to-hit roll will be....+4. That's it. A level 1 character has a proficiency bonus of +2 and a level 17+ character has one of +6. The difference between these otherwise the same characters is less than the difference from Adv/Dis. That is how strong Adv/Dis is mathematically.

Hopefully by now, you can see why getting Adv/Dis is such a huge deal in 5e rules, and why being able to have them should be considered such a huge impact on the mathematics at play.

The Gameplay: - Here is a non-exhaustive list of class features and spells that grant Adv or impose Dis for characters between levels 1-4:

General Actions:
1. Dodge/Help
2. Dropping Prone against Ranged Attacks

Spells:
3. True Strike
4. Vicious Mockery
5. Cause Fear
6. Command (certain instructions)
7. Compelled Duel
8. Ensnaring Strike
9. Entangle
10. Faerie Fire
11. Find Familiar (Help Action)
12. Fog Cloud (Depending on types of sight)
13. Grease
14. Guiding Bolt
15. Protection from Evil/Good (Against certain enemy types)
16. Sleep
17. Snare
18. Tasha's Hideous Laughter
19. Zephyr Strike
20. Blindness/Deafness
21. Blur
22. Darkness (Depending on types of sight)
23. Heat Metal
24. Hold Person
25. Invisibility
26. Maximilian's Earthen Grasp
27. Shadow Blade (Depending on lighting)
28. Web

Class Features:

29. Barbarian - Reckless Attack
30. Barbarian - Wolf Totem
31. Barbarian - Ancestral Protectors
32. Bard - Words of Terror
33. Cleric - Warding Flare
34. Cleric - Invoke Duplicity
35. Druid - Multiple Wildshape forms that grants Pack Tactics (Wolf, etc)
36. Fighter - Distracting Strike
37. Fighter - Feinting Attack
38. Fighter - Goading Attack
39. Fighter - Menacing Attack
40. Fighter - Trip Attack
41. Fighter - Fighting Spirit
42. Monk - Patient Defense
43. Monk - Open Hand Technique (knocked Prone)
44. Paladin - Conquering Presence
45. Paladin - Nature's Wrath
46. Paladin - Abjure Enemy
47. Paladin - Vow of Emnity
48. Paladin - Dreadful Aspect
49. Ranger - Umbral Sight
50. Rogue - Assassinate
51. Rogue - Master of Tactics
52. Rogue - Cunning Action (Stealth)
53. Sorcerer - Eyes of the Dark
54. Sorcerer - Tides of Chaos
55. Warlock - Hexblade's Curse
56. Warlock - Pact of the Chain (Help from Familiar)


56 different spells, actions, and class features (I'm sure I missed some as well). Every single one of these costs a resource or imposes a penalty for using. For example, the Dodge Action takes your characters Action for that turn. The Barbarian's Reckless Attack makes the Barbarian grant Advantage to anyone attacking it for a turn, making it significantly more likely that they will take damage for that turn. The Open Palm Monk's tripping attack takes Ki to attempt and still provides an enemy with a Save first. And this list is ONLY for levels 1-4. It grows massively once you start getting higher levels characters.

Each and every one of these has the same benefit as Adv/Dis from Height and Backstab, which means each of those class features and spells are essentially pointless given how much easier it is to just get higher or to walk around a target. This is terrible, TERRIBLE for balance. You are throwing out 6+ years of playtesting the rules and balance of 5e.

Finally, Rogue's deserve special mention due to how their primary class feature (Sneak Attack) interacts with Advantage/Disadvantage. Ignoring the cheapening of the Rogue in general due to every class now having Stealth as a bonus action, Rogue's are not able to use Sneak Attack if they have Disadvantage on a roll. This makes it extremely difficult for a Rogue to use their primary function against any target that is above them. This is terrible for the balance of the class.

Not in the Rules: The rules of 5e to not provide Advantage/Disadvantage due to different in Height. There is an *optional* rule in the DM regarding Facing and what might be called 'backstab' but 90% of the rule (including the ability to use your Reaction to face the target and deny them Backstab) is not implemented, meaning that rule was not used. Anecdotally, I have never, ever heard of any DM using the Facing system because of how much it throws a wrench in the gameplay process.

Possible Solutions: First, remove granting Advantage/Disadvantage for Height and Backstab. As you can see from the list, there are enough ways to get Adv/Dis, BUT they are all balanced by having a cost/penalty associated with using them.

Next, if Larian still wants to incorporate having a benefit for having higher elevation than a target and/or maneuvering near a target, please incorporate the Cover and Flanking mechanics as described in the first linked Primary Topics Link. Cover provides a potential benefit for being higher than your target because your target will not have Cover from your attack. Additionally, you will possibly have some Cover from attacks from below due to the surface providing elevation. Flanking also requires at least 2 allies in melee combat, increasing the risk to those characters for the reward of potentially having a greater chance to hit.

Alternatively, if Cover/Flanking is deemed to difficult or impossible due to the limitations of the DoS engine being used, then replace Adv/Dis with a flat +2/-2 bonus (which is the bonus provided from Cover and Flanking respectively). This makes players still want to seek out sources of Adv/Dis due to their higher mathematical benefit, while also not invaliding all of the listed spells, actions, and class features.


God yes!!!!
Originally Posted by Isaac Springsong
Primary Topic Links:
-> https://forums.larian.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=713497&page=1
-> https://forums.larian.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=716036&page=1
-> Primary feedback thread, multiple times

Summary: In the 5e ruleset, Advantage/Disadvantage is the most powerful impact on gameplay. This is true both from a mathematical standpoint and from a player/DM perspective. Because it is so powerful, all sources of Adv/Dis in 5e come at either a cost of resources or a potentially penalty to the user, to balance out the sheer power of the mechanic. Currently, BG 3 subverts this balance by providing always available sources of Adv/Dis in the form of Height and Backstab, both of which require nothing more than having your character in the correct location on the map (note: this is exacerbated by the Jump/Disengage/Stealth problem discussed elsewhere, but exists even if that is fixed). This makes the 5e sources of Adv/Dis nearly useless as they are all more costly or penalizing, thus invaliding literally dozens and dozens of class features and spells, completely ruining the balance of entire classes. Removing Height and Backstab based Adv/Dis will go a long way towards making the game far more balanced and play like a D&D game.

Main Discussion:

The Maths: - In 5e, in general, having Advantage is roughly equivalent of having +5 to your roll. Disadvantage is roughly equal to having -5 to your roll. This means if one character is rolling with Advantage, and the other character is rolling with Disadvantage, then there is the rough equivalent of +-10 between their rolls. Additionally, Advantage doubles the chance of rolling a critical hit, and makes critical failures much less likely (5% normally vs 0.25% with Advantage), vice versa for Disadvantage.

Next, one of the core theories for game balance in 5e is called "Bounded Accuracy". This term means that players and NPCs generally have limits to how high they can boost their static modifiers to rolls. There is a 'bound' on just how 'accurate' a player can become. This was a huge shift in D&D when it was introduced. In prior editions of D&D, players could achieve truly insane modifiers to their to-hit, to the point where attack rolls were reaching into the 1d20+100 range, which just creates stupid arms races between monsters and players. By reducing how much a player can add to their to-hit, WotC (the publishers the D&D rules) made smaller bonuses much, MUCH more important. For example, Bless requires both a spell slot, concentration, and is limited to three targets, and only provides an average of +2.5, half of Advantage.

Bounded Accuracy is why Adv/Dis is so impactful on gameplay. There are a few class abilities that can add a higher static modifier (such as a War Cleric's Channel Divinity that can add +10 to one single attack roll) but those are rare and always limited in amount. It is a large reason why 5e is generally much more balanced that prior editions of D&D with far less ways to truly 'break' the game. It also makes the gameplay much smoother because enemies to-hit and AC do not need to increase as much as you get higher level. On page 274 of the DMG, there is even a chart for rough AC numbers based on a creature's CR (Challenge Rating. The higher the CR, the more 'powerful' the creature):

CR 0-3: 13 AC
CR 4: 14 AC
CR 5-7: 15 AC
CR 8-9: 16 AC
CR 10-12: 17 AC
CR 13-16: 18 AC
CR 17+: 19 AC

Look at those numbers. Over the course of 17 'levels' of CR, the enemies AC only increases by an average of +6. Just having Advantage almost cancels that growth out entirely. Here is an analysis of the actual monsters made available from WoTC and their respective change in AC -> https://i.stack.imgur.com/a6rlg.png

Lastly, if you take a level 1 character and a level 17+ character, give them the same stats and the same weapon, the total difference in their to-hit roll will be....+4. That's it. A level 1 character has a proficiency bonus of +2 and a level 17+ character has one of +6. The difference between these otherwise the same characters is less than the difference from Adv/Dis. That is how strong Adv/Dis is mathematically.

Hopefully by now, you can see why getting Adv/Dis is such a huge deal in 5e rules, and why being able to have them should be considered such a huge impact on the mathematics at play.

The Gameplay: - Here is a non-exhaustive list of class features and spells that grant Adv or impose Dis for characters between levels 1-4:

General Actions:
1. Dodge/Help
2. Dropping Prone against Ranged Attacks

Spells:
3. True Strike
4. Vicious Mockery
5. Cause Fear
6. Command (certain instructions)
7. Compelled Duel
8. Ensnaring Strike
9. Entangle
10. Faerie Fire
11. Find Familiar (Help Action)
12. Fog Cloud (Depending on types of sight)
13. Grease
14. Guiding Bolt
15. Protection from Evil/Good (Against certain enemy types)
16. Sleep
17. Snare
18. Tasha's Hideous Laughter
19. Zephyr Strike
20. Blindness/Deafness
21. Blur
22. Darkness (Depending on types of sight)
23. Heat Metal
24. Hold Person
25. Invisibility
26. Maximilian's Earthen Grasp
27. Shadow Blade (Depending on lighting)
28. Web

Class Features:

29. Barbarian - Reckless Attack
30. Barbarian - Wolf Totem
31. Barbarian - Ancestral Protectors
32. Bard - Words of Terror
33. Cleric - Warding Flare
34. Cleric - Invoke Duplicity
35. Druid - Multiple Wildshape forms that grants Pack Tactics (Wolf, etc)
36. Fighter - Distracting Strike
37. Fighter - Feinting Attack
38. Fighter - Goading Attack
39. Fighter - Menacing Attack
40. Fighter - Trip Attack
41. Fighter - Fighting Spirit
42. Monk - Patient Defense
43. Monk - Open Hand Technique (knocked Prone)
44. Paladin - Conquering Presence
45. Paladin - Nature's Wrath
46. Paladin - Abjure Enemy
47. Paladin - Vow of Emnity
48. Paladin - Dreadful Aspect
49. Ranger - Umbral Sight
50. Rogue - Assassinate
51. Rogue - Master of Tactics
52. Rogue - Cunning Action (Stealth)
53. Sorcerer - Eyes of the Dark
54. Sorcerer - Tides of Chaos
55. Warlock - Hexblade's Curse
56. Warlock - Pact of the Chain (Help from Familiar)


56 different spells, actions, and class features (I'm sure I missed some as well). Every single one of these costs a resource or imposes a penalty for using. For example, the Dodge Action takes your characters Action for that turn. The Barbarian's Reckless Attack makes the Barbarian grant Advantage to anyone attacking it for a turn, making it significantly more likely that they will take damage for that turn. The Open Palm Monk's tripping attack takes Ki to attempt and still provides an enemy with a Save first. And this list is ONLY for levels 1-4. It grows massively once you start getting higher levels characters.

Each and every one of these has the same benefit as Adv/Dis from Height and Backstab, which means each of those class features and spells are essentially pointless given how much easier it is to just get higher or to walk around a target. This is terrible, TERRIBLE for balance. You are throwing out 6+ years of playtesting the rules and balance of 5e.

Finally, Rogue's deserve special mention due to how their primary class feature (Sneak Attack) interacts with Advantage/Disadvantage. Ignoring the cheapening of the Rogue in general due to every class now having Stealth as a bonus action, Rogue's are not able to use Sneak Attack if they have Disadvantage on a roll. This makes it extremely difficult for a Rogue to use their primary function against any target that is above them. This is terrible for the balance of the class.

Not in the Rules: The rules of 5e to not provide Advantage/Disadvantage due to different in Height. There is an *optional* rule in the DM regarding Facing and what might be called 'backstab' but 90% of the rule (including the ability to use your Reaction to face the target and deny them Backstab) is not implemented, meaning that rule was not used. Anecdotally, I have never, ever heard of any DM using the Facing system because of how much it throws a wrench in the gameplay process.

Possible Solutions: First, remove granting Advantage/Disadvantage for Height and Backstab. As you can see from the list, there are enough ways to get Adv/Dis, BUT they are all balanced by having a cost/penalty associated with using them.

Next, if Larian still wants to incorporate having a benefit for having higher elevation than a target and/or maneuvering near a target, please incorporate the Cover and Flanking mechanics as described in the first linked Primary Topics Link. Cover provides a potential benefit for being higher than your target because your target will not have Cover from your attack. Additionally, you will possibly have some Cover from attacks from below due to the surface providing elevation. Flanking also requires at least 2 allies in melee combat, increasing the risk to those characters for the reward of potentially having a greater chance to hit.

Alternatively, if Cover/Flanking is deemed to difficult or impossible due to the limitations of the DoS engine being used, then replace Adv/Dis with a flat +2/-2 bonus (which is the bonus provided from Cover and Flanking respectively). This makes players still want to seek out sources of Adv/Dis due to their higher mathematical benefit, while also not invaliding all of the listed spells, actions, and class features.

I agree with all of this, especially the height mechanic. Your characters should be scrambling for cover (if squishy mages) and not scrambling for high ground out in the open.
Originally Posted by Vortex138
I agree with all of this, especially the height mechanic. Your characters should be scrambling for cover (if squishy mages) and not scrambling for high ground out in the open.
I've been planning on doing a write up on this. It is a big issue that the enemy AI is set to go for high ground and mages are incentivized to go for high ground. The game asks the player to put their mages in bad positions. Spells and Bows having equivalent range is also part of the issue.

Mages innately have a bunch of tactical decisions in 5e to make, which spells to use and where to be to zone the enemies safely.

I can understand that fighter and ranger was lacking tactically and high ground / low ground might be interesting for them... but it's a problem treating magic like it's a crossbow bolt. Fighters, Barbarians, Rogues, and Rangers have the armor and weapons to deal with enemies at close range consistently. Mages usually have to use a spell slot on a close range spell.

Mages should not have an incentive to go where their enemies are going. And it doesn't make sense that magic would be granted advantage/disadvantage just for elevation.
Unpopular opinion, but abilities that use up spell slots should not have % hit/miss chances, it's patently absurd the immense swing in combat outcomes RNG has instead of player input.

I also don't enjoy being railroaded into Misty Step on every single caster so I don't miss half my spells and proceed to either die in one hit or two to a simple melee swing from an equal level opponent.

Casters in this game feel like hot, slow, boring garbage.

Spells don't feel impactful at all for the opportunity cost they have outside the aoe CC spells.

And charm/sleep being so widely available to enemies and completely wrecking you in outnumbered fights just cements the huge gap between elf vs. non elf races since the immunity to charm and sleep is ridiculously strong.

I'll also say that the concentration system needs an overhaul. Mage hand is totally worthless thanks to it alongside several other spells.
I completely agree with the OP.
Originally Posted by Zenith
Unpopular opinion, but abilities that use up spell slots should not have % hit/miss chances, it's patently absurd the immense swing in combat outcomes RNG has instead of player input.

I also don't enjoy being railroaded into Misty Step on every single caster so I don't miss half my spells and proceed to either die in one hit or two to a simple melee swing from an equal level opponent.

Casters in this game feel like hot, slow, boring garbage.

Spells don't feel impactful at all for the opportunity cost they have outside the aoe CC spells.

And charm/sleep being so widely available to enemies and completely wrecking you in outnumbered fights just cements the huge gap between elf vs. non elf races since the immunity to charm and sleep is ridiculously strong.

I'll also say that the concentration system needs an overhaul. Mage hand is totally worthless thanks to it alongside several other spells.

I can see this, definitely. In PnP, how affective your spells are are based on you primary stat used for that spell. (Int for wizards, Wis for clerics/druids, Cha for warlocks, etc) This is taking into consideration who well your wizard is able to memorize and recall the spell, how close your cleric is to their god. Things like that. This is why high level practitioners, who have invested time into learning their craft, are immensely powerful.
Now, when you start taking into account height advantage into the mix, you might as well throw all that skill out the window. When even a 18 lvl wizard will fail to hit a creature, simply because they are on a ledge above them is, to me, absurd. Now, cover, yes. A creature can hide behind a brick wall to avoid a spell (assuming the spell is not an area of affect), and that is reasonable, but those mechanics are also in PnP.
Originally Posted by Vortex138
I can see this, definitely. In PnP, how affective your spells are are based on you primary stat used for that spell. (Int for wizards, Wis for clerics/druids, Cha for warlocks, etc) This is taking into consideration who well your wizard is able to memorize and recall the spell, how close your cleric is to their god. Things like that. This is why high level practitioners, who have invested time into learning their craft, are immensely powerful.
Now, when you start taking into account height advantage into the mix, you might as well throw all that skill out the window. When even a 18 lvl wizard will fail to hit a creature, simply because they are on a ledge above them is, to me, absurd. Now, cover, yes. A creature can hide behind a brick wall to avoid a spell (assuming the spell is not an area of affect), and that is reasonable, but those mechanics are also in PnP.

I hadn't even thought of this at all but now you mention it, I'm actually quite shocked at the possibility of a high level caster failing to hit enemies above them. I truly hope Larian have considered the implications of their insistence on high ground combat mechanics.
Who cares if a high level wizard sometimes misses? Is that an issue? Are high level wizards always supposed to be able to hit?

Maybe the wizard has something to get advantage, to thus cancel out the disadvantage.

This really doesn't sound like much of a problem.
The issue is that squishy characters are being tasked with going to where there enemies are, and not being able to zone the enemy as they logically should. (And if they get within threatened range, they get disadvantage as well).

Of course there are other sources of advantage/disadvantage. But high ground & low ground are very prevalent throughout Baldur's Gate 3.

So yeah, it's not an issue if you have a party of Eldritch Knights. But it is definitely an issue if your party has a Warlock, Wizard, Sorcerer, and Cleric. (Which four friends wanting to play the game together could totally do).

It's anti-fun to have multiple encounters in a row where you realize your best option is to restart the battle and place as many characters as possible on the high ground. It breaks immersion and it's an unnecessary complexity.

Originally Posted by JoB
Who cares if a high level wizard sometimes misses? Is that an issue? Are high level wizards always supposed to be able to hit?
It just doesn't make sense for casters to get advantage or disadvantage from changes in elevation. They're focused on their verbal, somatic, or material components, and they're not pulling back on the strings of a bow tensing their body. Casters shouldn't get improved chance to hit or reduced from an elevation change.
I don't understand why people don't get this:

Take a goblin, 10 base ac, 14 dex and leather armor. 13 ac in total. The most cookie cutter foe in Act 1 as far as ac goes. You're Joe Bloggs on the xbox. You've built your character right, a race with a bonus to strength. You have a 3 bonus and are using a weapon you are proficient in. This gives you 5 to hit against an ac of 13. This means you will miss the easiest foe well over 1/4 of the time, closer to 1/2. This does not sound like a good start to a mass market big seller. And this is the market Larian obviously hopes to hit, just look at all the percentages instead of numbers to roll. And this is with an optimised character, mind you.

Before they introduced the druid guiding light was the only way to induce advantage by spells and that's no easier to land than a weapon without some other way to help it. And they certainly didn't introduce the druid just so players could spam fairie fire so Laezal doesn't miss a goblin 7 times out of 20.

There's already threads complaining that the game is too hard, even with easy to obtain advantage. Can you imagine how many party wipes the three intellect devourers will cause at the start of act 1 without advantage?

No, the game is balanced already. Not completely tweaked, but balanced for those who don't know or don't want to learn the various ways to gain advantage. The question is, will they allow an option to switch off these systems for those who want a more core experience? I hope they do, because that's the sort of experience I'm looking for.

Advantage is pretty much baked into dnd, obtaining it via various spells or class abilities tends to be crucial to the game. I read a physicist who said his publisher once told him that every maths equation in a book was worth roughly 10% less sales. I have a feeling it's the same with manuals and videogames. I definitely don't think simplifying advantage is unbalancing, I just agree that that makes the game lose a lot of its flavour. It will however make the game easier for a lot of people and I have a feeling that is their primary motivation.

btw elevation clearly provides cover and allows you to see the whole body of your target in turn, offering an easier hit. An archer only exposes his head and the top of his body and bow, while below all is exposed. Obviously the higher the elevation the better the cover.
Originally Posted by crashdaddy
I don't understand why people don't get this:

Take a goblin, 10 base ac, 14 dex and leather armor. 13 ac in total. The most cookie cutter foe in Act 1 as far as ac goes. You're Joe Bloggs on the xbox. You've built your character right, a race with a bonus to strength. You have a 3 bonus and are using a weapon you are proficient in. This gives you 5 to hit against an ac of 13. This means you will miss the easiest foe well over 1/4 of the time, closer to 1/2. This does not sound like a good start to a mass market big seller. And this is the market Larian obviously hopes to hit, just look at all the percentages instead of numbers to roll. And this is with an optimised character, mind you.
This just doesn't seem like a problem to me. Level 1 means we have little to no experience in what we're doing and the goblins aren't going to stand still for us - we should miss a lot. But monster manual goblins also tend to have very low HP, so when you do hit them, there's a pretty good chance that you going to take them out. Hitting doesn't mean that much if you can do it reliably; but one-shotting goblins early on feels great after a couple of misses! I really hope they restore goblins to something more in line with the monster manual.
They should just explain how advantage works and add less cheated way to get it ?

In D&D even help allow you to get an advantage.
The optionnal flanking rules, hiding/surprising, shove to prone. Bless is also a powerfull spell that increase your %to hit and lots of us suggested other bonuses to attack roll for highground (and/or backstab even if it's an exploit of the TB system).

Okay it's easier to have an advantage but players that complain about missing doesn't play with them and/or they don't understand at all how to create a character. This is because the games lack of tutorial and nothing more.

I still don't understand why they implement faery fire at all and why hiding is possible in combats because its 100% useless (except to bug the AI).
The spells that grant advantages/disadvantages are nearly never used by those ending the EA in solo and that's because except in very specific situations : it's a waste of ressources.

More flavour (to quote you) and a game that is not more difficult for newcomers ? Just increase the max party size ! Even 5 would be enough !

And/or allow us to stack a few new bonuses to attack rolls if missing is a problem instead of destroying a core mechanic of D&D to create a cheap core mechanic in your game (kangaroo TB exploit / highground god mode)
Originally Posted by crashdaddy
I don't understand why people don't get this:

Take a goblin, 10 base ac, 14 dex and leather armor. 13 ac in total. The most cookie cutter foe in Act 1 as far as ac goes. You're Joe Bloggs on the xbox. You've built your character right, a race with a bonus to strength. You have a 3 bonus and are using a weapon you are proficient in. This gives you 5 to hit against an ac of 13. This means you will miss the easiest foe well over 1/4 of the time, closer to 1/2. This does not sound like a good start to a mass market big seller. And this is the market Larian obviously hopes to hit, just look at all the percentages instead of numbers to roll. And this is with an optimised character, mind you.
When talking about AC it's increments of 5% (1/20). So far an enemy with 10 AC, without proficiency or modifiers your attack would succeed to hit 55% of the time (11 opportunities to succeed out of 20). A plus 3 to AC would reduce by 15% and a bump of 5 (prof+2 mod+3) would raise the success rate by 25%. The player should have a 65% chance to hit against 13 AC (13 to 25, 13 opportunities to succeed), that's a lot closer to two thirds than one half. The player would miss about a third of the time.

If this really is an issue, Larian can always homebrew the proficiency table to be +3 for levels 1-4.
Originally Posted by crashdaddy
There's already threads complaining that the game is too hard, even with easy to obtain advantage. Can you imagine how many party wipes the three intellect devourers will cause at the start of act 1 without advantage?
The fight is easier now, in patch 4 there's a minimum threshold of verticality to impose disadvantage. The player can now use the descending ground behind them to zone the intellect devourers without being punished for doing so. In patch 3 ranged attacks would be at disadvantage in that situation. It's great to actually be able to use some open space in Patch 4, instead of being forced to go for the high ground.
Originally Posted by crashdaddy
No, the game is balanced already... balanced for those who don't know or don't want to learn the various ways to gain advantage. The question is, will they allow an option to switch off these systems for those who want a more core experience? I hope they do, because that's the sort of experience I'm looking for.
Interesting take, I still feel it's balanced with fighter and ranger in mind. I'm glad you're open to a more core experience.
Originally Posted by crashdaddy
Advantage is pretty much baked into dnd, obtaining it via various spells or class abilities tends to be crucial to the game. I read a physicist who said his publisher once told him that every maths equation in a book was worth roughly 10% less sales. I have a feeling it's the same with manuals and videogames. I definitely don't think simplifying advantage is unbalancing, I just agree that that makes the game lose a lot of its flavour. It will however make the game easier for a lot of people and I have a feeling that is their primary motivation.
Advantage is a mechanic in 5e, but it isn't baked into the game. Baldur's Gate 3 has more superfluous advantage/disadvantage than I can stomach. I haven't experienced that feeling in tabletop.
Originally Posted by crashdaddy
btw elevation clearly provides cover and allows you to see the whole body of your target in turn, offering an easier hit. An archer only exposes his head and the top of his body and bow, while below all is exposed. Obviously the higher the elevation the better the cover.

The game already has collision detection to see if a ranged attack could collide with the target. That's infinitely more valuable than cover. The player can also move out of sight and stealth. Both of these already bring immense value to terrain.
I think it's a matter of degree. I've no problem with positioning giving some advantage/disadvantage, but currently high ground is too make-or-break, to the point that it's a reload driver.
Yes highground should not give advantage, maybe range increase, but that's all.
Same for backstab, while the thinking of it is good, your character shall be able to autoface the threat coming unless, they are engage in a fight with someone else.
I agree completely. "Backstabbing" is just silly, better to have it work like in 5E. And same with height/low ground causing advantage/disadvantage.
The players talking about high ground being so easy to get in a battle, are assuming you know that there is a battle coming up and can spread your characters around and prepare for the battle. Once EA is over and the game is released, you won't know when all the battles are going to happen and where. So your party will be walking along, and boom, you're in a fight. You're clustered together and now need to move, prepare and attack on the fly. Just re-load, you say? That's where immersion is broken. By the time you can get your mage to high ground, they have probably already been killed by the enemies. Fairy Fire, Guiding Bolt, etc are extremely useful spells in PnP due to the fact they they do give you advantage on subsequent attacks without the need for high ground.

My point being, if you are playing straight through without reloading, the high ground mechanic is going to practically cripple you as your party is just walking along on your adventure. I believe this is why it's not implemented in PnP. If you are getting ambushed by monsters on high ground, it will be a TPK due to the fact that the enemy has advantage on EVERY attack made against your party, and you would have disadvantage on EVERY attack against them until you could get party members up there to push them off or something similar. In PnP, they would get advantage on the surprise round, but then normal attacks after that, and you would have normal attacks every round against them. This seems more balanced to me.

To HAVE to take Misty Step, and similar mobile spells just to make it through the game seems kind of silly to me. To HAVE to take any spell because it's crucial, otherwise you will have a hell of a time seems ridiculous, but again, that's just me.
Ok so, I was of the same opinion of the OP since the beginning but I really came to understand how broke this mechanic is just now that I'm mastering my own campaign (Descent into Avernus btw, thank you BG3! :D)
I can understand giving "advantage" against flanked targets. It is not a strict 5e rule (which uses the "help" action in order to give another player advantage on the attack role) but it is not unbalanced in this game since the party is almost always outnumbered and it's not so easy to always flank a target with two characters. Giving advantage for backstabbing an enemy just with a character alone doesn't really make any sense.

Unless you are hidden, in the middle of a combat an enemy just does not give his back to you to stab, it would face you instead (both in D&D rules and real-life). Even because turning around on your spot doesn't cost any movement point, since at the end of your movement you can pin down your character and make it face any direction he wants. Even without cheesing the broken jump mechanic my characters always have advantage in combat due to this rule. It makes half of the spells in the game completely useless.

The same thing concerning height advantage. I think having a higher position on the battlefield than your enemy should make it easier for you to hit him, but a straight advantage on the roll is just too much. Just give a +1/+2 on the hit roll (or, even better, just a range increase), most of the times it's sufficient to make the difference on a hit or a miss, and you still have a purpose for spells that give you advantage on attack rolls.

I'm sure I didn't say anything new, just want to spend my 2 cents on this.
Originally Posted by Sharet
Ok so, I was of the same opinion of the OP since the beginning but I really came to understand how broke this mechanic is just now that I'm mastering my own campaign (Descent into Avernus btw, thank you BG3! :D)
I can understand giving "advantage" against flanked targets. It is not a strict 5e rule (which uses the "help" action in order to give another player advantage on the attack role) but it is not unbalanced in this game since the party is almost always outnumbered and it's not so easy to allay flank a target with two characters. Giving advantage for backstabbing an enemy just with a character alone doesn't really make any sense.

Unless you are hidden, in the middle of a combat an enemy just does not give his back to you to stab, it would face you instead (both in D&D rules and real-life). Even because turning around on your spot doesn't cost any movement point, since at the end of your movement you can pin down your character and make it face any direction he wants. Even without cheesing the broken jump mechanic my characters always have advantage in combat due to this rule. It makes half of the spells in the game completely useless.

The same thing concerning height advantage. I think having a higher position on the battlefield than your enemy should make it easier for you to hit him, but a straight advantage on the roll is just too much. Just give a +1/+2 on the hit roll (or, even better, just a range increase), most of the times it's sufficient to make the difference on a hit or a miss, and you still have a purpose for spells that give you advantage on attack rolls.

I'm sure I didn't say anything new, just want to spend my 2 cents on this.

If you justify the advantage because you are mostly outnumbered with your „4 people party“ you might actually hire at larian. At least you got the same design philosophy. No personal offense meant.
Calm down there @Baldurs-Gate-Fan. Actually reading @Sharet's post makes it clear that they are against easy advantage.
Originally Posted by Sharet
I can understand giving "advantage" against flanked targets. ... it is not unbalanced in this game since the party is almost always outnumbered and it's not so easy to always flank a target with two characters. Giving advantage for backstabbing an enemy just with a character alone doesn't really make any sense.
Their arguments is that giving advantage against flanked targets, while powerful, would be fine because it is so unlikely to happen with only a 4-person party.

Good post @Sharet, you basically agree with most of the people ITT.
-Advantage for ~free is too powerful and makes many spells/abilities significantly less useful.
-Backstabbing is nonsensical as enemies would realistically just rotate to face you (unless they are flanked).
-It's reasonable for height to grant a bonus, but Advantage is too much. +1/+2 or a range increase would be fine.
Originally Posted by mrfuji3
Calm down there @Baldurs-Gate-Fan. Actually reading @Sharet's post makes it clear that they are against easy advantage.
Originally Posted by Sharet
I can understand giving "advantage" against flanked targets. ... it is not unbalanced in this game since the party is almost always outnumbered and it's not so easy to always flank a target with two characters. Giving advantage for backstabbing an enemy just with a character alone doesn't really make any sense.
Their arguments is that giving advantage against flanked targets, while powerful, would be fine because it is so unlikely to happen with only a 4-person party.

Good post @Sharet, you basically agree with most of the people ITT.
-Advantage for ~free is too powerful and makes many spells/abilities significantly less useful.
-Backstabbing is nonsensical as enemies would realistically just rotate to face you (unless they are flanked).
-It's reasonable for height to grant a bonus, but Advantage is too much. +1/+2 or a range increase would be fine.


Seems most people think these things, so let's hope they change those things.
I'm kinda in the boat of only giving player advantage on ranged attacks when on higher ground.
I think it could be balanced by making weapon switching consume a bonus action and giving melee-attacks against non-melee-ranged weapons advantage.
You'd also have to fix stealth first.
Originally Posted by Mauru
I'm kinda in the boat of only giving player advantage on ranged attacks when on higher ground.
I think it could be balanced by making weapon switching consume a bonus action and giving melee-attacks against non-melee-ranged weapons advantage.

IMHO, It would be better balanced if they implemented +2 cover AC against ranged attacks for targets in melee combat, then for high ground, you don't get advantage on your attack, but the opponent doesn't get +2 AC since you are shooting down into combat.
It's been repeated a lot, but one more voice to the choir.

I feel like advantage should be harder to come by smile
As a tabletop player, I will add my +1.

The game as of right now could just as well be called: "Everest Total War: a dream of climbing."

Its about the only relevant strategy to win fights, climb as high as you can and blast them from above, melee characters are pointless, they get rekt by high ground fire and dont deliver nearly as much damage as ranged classes with "free" advantage.

I wont even comment on backstabing, its complete nonsense.
Ranged characters do have lower hit rates at close up combat. Also height in reality would provide advantage / Disadvantage and applying as such makes sense. As for Flanking also it is a good balance. Ranged characters do have disadvantage with ranged attacks in close combat. If you look at % to hit its lower when the target is close to you. And thats from the perspective of someone who prefers melee combat. Its is used in actual play and it makes sense to have it in game from the perspective of every other game with similar combat. Necromunda / Xcom apply advantage to characters on higher ground. In real life higher ground also gives you an advantage as does flanking. There is a reason those tactics are used in combat in real life because its hard to defend against someone attacking down towards you like wise its hard to defend when you have 2 opponents on opposite sides of you attacking you because your attention has to be in 2 places at once. Those 2 factors make sense why the attackers with that advantage against you would have advantage on attacks against you. 0 Complaints at all about the feature as it makes sense and is part of actual game mechanics.
The terrain already provides terrain-related benefits. It's also why D&D has speeds for climbing and rough terrain, to capture the benefit of terrain.

Advantage is a specific term for the game, literally Max(2d20). Disadvantage is a specific term for the game, literally Min(2d20). Advantage is not a composite for real life terrain advantages.

Having terrain benefits and a swing of AdvantageFOR/DisadvantageAgainst is overkill.
Originally Posted by acatlas
Ranged characters do have lower hit rates at close up combat. Also height in reality would provide advantage / Disadvantage and applying as such makes sense. As for Flanking also it is a good balance. Ranged characters do have disadvantage with ranged attacks in close combat. If you look at % to hit its lower when the target is close to you. And thats from the perspective of someone who prefers melee combat. Its is used in actual play and it makes sense to have it in game from the perspective of every other game with similar combat. Necromunda / Xcom apply advantage to characters on higher ground. In real life higher ground also gives you an advantage as does flanking. There is a reason those tactics are used in combat in real life because its hard to defend against someone attacking down towards you like wise its hard to defend when you have 2 opponents on opposite sides of you attacking you because your attention has to be in 2 places at once. Those 2 factors make sense why the attackers with that advantage against you would have advantage on attacks against you. 0 Complaints at all about the feature as it makes sense and is part of actual game mechanics.

I'd be fine with them giving advantage if characters in melee got +2 cover AC the attacker's line of site is blocked. As it stands now, battles are a race to high ground because it's the easiest way to gain and keep advantage.
Originally Posted by acatlas
Ranged characters do have lower hit rates at close up combat. Also height in reality would provide advantage / Disadvantage and applying as such makes sense. As for Flanking also it is a good balance. Ranged characters do have disadvantage with ranged attacks in close combat. If you look at % to hit its lower when the target is close to you. And thats from the perspective of someone who prefers melee combat. Its is used in actual play and it makes sense to have it in game from the perspective of every other game with similar combat. Necromunda / Xcom apply advantage to characters on higher ground. In real life higher ground also gives you an advantage as does flanking. There is a reason those tactics are used in combat in real life because its hard to defend against someone attacking down towards you like wise its hard to defend when you have 2 opponents on opposite sides of you attacking you because your attention has to be in 2 places at once. Those 2 factors make sense why the attackers with that advantage against you would have advantage on attacks against you. 0 Complaints at all about the feature as it makes sense and is part of actual game mechanics.
There is a difference between "an advantage" and the D&D mechanical term "Advantage." I don't deny that high ground can make ranged attacks easier, but high ground giving the mechanical capital-A Advantage is too powerful.

And flanking isn't in BG3. Flanking would be better than what is present now, which is just you get Advantage if you go behind someone.
So you have 0 complaints about something you think is a game mechanic, but that in reality isn't in the game...hmmm.
I would do like the old cRPG's did and have "normal" (advantage is given out like candy, everyone can bonus disengage) and "5e core rules" (advantage has strict requirements, only rogues can bonus disengage) difficulty settings. I don't particularly like 5e rules, but they are extremely balanced to the point than +1 or -1 here or there can break everything from the over-tuning let alone adding new sources of advantage.

Yes, height advantage makes sense and that's why 2e had a bonus for high ground that everyone tried to get. In 5e, all of that is already assumed that you are getting the best possible position to your skills and the enemy is doing the same. If you add advantage for the realism there, you are double dipping the benefits without adding other downsides to the fight, because it is baked into the rule system in other ways.

I think cRPG's are incredibly well suited for the older rule sets where you meticulously added +2 for this and -1 for that and it made combat take a long time at a table, but can be instant for the game to compute. Sadly, this is a 5e based game, and as such, shouldn't change balancing mechanics when it isn't necessary to translate to the cRPG medium. Because afaik they are not allowed by Wizards to significantly deviate from the 5e rules, and these minor tweaks can be disasterous for balance if you don't go all in with customizing the rules.

You can't have it both ways; you can't have the dumbed down ruleset and add the "realism" of "considering the details of the situation" to a system designed to account for all of that with hand waves. The problem is most computer gamers want detailed, nuanced systems since cRPG's allow for near infinite complexity to be happening behind the scene and that isn't 5e's mindset at all.

5e is great for keeping a fast pace at a table of six people all doing mental math. That said, I view the decision to use it in a cRPG as "well, that's the devil's bargain Larian had to make to get the license from Wizard's to make BG3." So I'll give them a lot of slack for having to try to make that system seem like it has any depth in a cRPG and focus on the story being told. I think BG3 could have been pretty slick if Larian had been free to use their own "interpretation" of the D&D ruleset. But, since they can't, I do think they should just accept that they can't try to squeeze in extra advantage here and there where it makes total sense from fun, gameplay, and realism etc, but breaks this brittle, fragile... I mean streamlined, quick paced, and highly balanced rule system from Wizards of the Coast TM.

IP laws are a bitch.
I've never played 5e and have no preference that way. That said, I find the backstab and high ground rules the biggest detriment to the tactical combat in BG3.

It feels pretty stupid strafing behind the enemy or climbing to elevation in every fight to get a massive accuracy bonus. It's not a tactic, it's a choice and one that's less available to enemies. And the free advantage is so powerful it makes many class abilities irrelevant in comparison.

In a potential PvP scenario, imagine two Fighters doing nothing but backstabs in a 1v1 melee duel. That's how brilliant this system is. Teach the AI to do it too.

Also not a big fan of the excessive jumping, pushing and eating in combat.
Originally Posted by 1varangian
I've never played 5e and have no preference that way. That said, I find the backstab and high ground rules the biggest detriment to the tactical combat in BG3.

It feels pretty stupid strafing behind the enemy or climbing to elevation in every fight to get a massive accuracy bonus. It's not a tactic, it's a choice and one that's less available to enemies. And the free advantage is so powerful it makes many class abilities irrelevant in comparison.

In a potential PvP scenario, imagine two Fighters doing nothing but backstabs in a 1v1 melee duel. That's how brilliant this system is. Teach the AI to do it too.

Also not a big fan of the excessive jumping, pushing and eating in combat.


Exactly! All those things are super silly and kind of ruining things. I would love it if they implemented options for core rules or not =)
I'm sure someone has posted a screenshot like this before, but this shot shows that something needs to change:

https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=2440763064

I'm barely one meter below the enemy, which means my attack is at disadvantage. This isn't even enough of a difference for a -1 on my attack roll in a "flat bonus" system. I do think a flat bonus system is the better solution, with +1 for height difference of 5-9.9 meters, and +2 for a height difference of 10.0 meters or more. No flat bonus higher than +2. That would still provide some benefit for height, but not one which is super strong.
advantage / disadvantage mechanic is 2 rolls to succeed or 2 rolls to fail. Disadvantage which the mechanics do match the actual table top mechanics in that sense basically say if you have advantage which you would when flanking or from height means you have 2 chances keeping the better roll on a 20 sided dice to hit. If that roll is 20 means your chance is like 10% instead of 5% vs if you were at disadvantage you would have basically a 2.5% chance to hit because you would need to basically roll 20 twice back to back disadvantage means you take the worst roll of the 2 rolls. Im just using the example as it explains the mechanic easier. Essentially Advantage accounts the enemies armor vs your change to hit with the better of 2 rolls on a 20 sided dice vs disadvantage meaning your taking the lower of 2 rolls. So if your attacking from an elevated position then essentially you have advantage because your shooting from above meaning cover is more difficult and if you were attacking downwards defending is more difficult as you have more leverage in your attacks. The mechanics are based on the concept that it would provide an advantage like wise flanking is similar if targets are attacking your from both sides those targets have advantage to hit and vice versa meaning there odds are twice as good doesnt mean it will succeed but it massively increases the odds when you consider the average armor class of characters in your group being around 15.

If the enemy has advantage that 15 is turned into a 50/50 hit chance roughly same time disadvantage would if it was used against the enemy would put them at around 12.5% hit rate not accounting for the difference proficency bonus ect makes in those odds. With you always having a 5% chance to auto succeed and a 5% chance to auto fail. Based on what your fighting. Modifying the mechanic to be +1 or +2 just completely defeats the purpose of the games existing rule set. As do several other mechanics which im sure they intend to fix in a way such as wizards casting cleric spells and weapon swapping as they also break the games mechanics currently. In order to bring the rule set more in line with existing rule set. I can see some implimentation changes which make sense like the ranger had a large number of faults to begin with which still need alot of tweaking such as beast master hunters being way under powered in late game.

Same time I am sure there are tweaks that need to be accounted for in advantage / disadvantage as you would not have advantage at close range firing a bow from above the target or within 20 ft or roughly 6 m of the target. You would be at disadvantage countering the advantage from height. However from am melee perspective being 1ft above the target attacking down on the target would give you an advantage on attacks against that target as you would have more power in your swings swinging down on the target. Same time being 10ft above a medium size target you would not get that advantage because the target is out of range of your reach and vice versa. You get line of sight issues hitting a target at close range when directly above a target as you cant shoot strait down at it due to angle. This can even impact some abilities like magic missle which is basically an auto hit. Cover plays a factor there in regards to line of sight. There probably is some adjusting needs to be done with height / distance to determine advantage / disadvantage rates but essentially a target inside 6m would automatically apply disadvantage which im sure ive notice that on attacks prior with hit % decreasing till i got outside that range however the mix match of the 2 may be off. Only larion could really answer that question if its functional accounting advantage against disadvantage.

Long and short of it the mechanic should work as its intended in the games actually table top design. So I agree with advantage from flanking and height. As long as similar mechanics are applied with disadvantage which currently seems accurate.
Additionally playing melee characters mostly I have had 0 issues with completing any fight in the story arc in any patch thus far or using proper positioning to take advantage of combat though currenty mechanics do seem to be slightly over tuned with patch 4 making them not as easy as they were in patch 3 since some of the npcs gained access to multi attack yet it has been denied to us as players to be able to obtain that level to counter balance it making the fights harder but still not impossible just requiring more thought when dealing with the encounters. I found the minotaurs were much more difficult on the patch 4 play through but the spider matriarch was probably a 15 second fight due to preplanning. The minotaurs makin the multiple attacks over using the shove mechanic themselves and not taking fall damage when leaping down on a target was kinda over exaggerated. Hit points were roughly accurate however Multi-Attack should not have been included with them they were basically leap attack and then attack twice more - over tuned. It should be tuned down and they should be taking fall damage jumping down 30 feet / 10 meters or more. Should also be getting around 175 xp a piece for killing them with a 4 character party. As over tuned as they are with multi attack ect i would expect them to be treated like cr 5/6 instead of cr 3 as a fight.
@acatlas, you seem to be arguing that
1.) Larian's implementation of Advantage and Disadvantage match tabletop, where you roll twice and take the higher or lower.
2.) It makes sense that it is easier to hit someone from high ground, and thus you should get Advantage (capital-A Advantage, instead of just an advantage)
3.) It makes sense that flanking a creature would grant Advantage, and thus Larian's backstab is fine.

My response
1.) No one is arguing that Larian's implementation of these mechanics differs from tabletop rules.

2.) There is a difference between capital-A Advantage and "an advantage." Most of us aren't arguing that it is easier to hit people from high ground, but that getting Advantage is too powerful for something that is so easy to get (walk or jump up a hill). It invalidates a lot of the other methods of getting Advantage (spells, class abilities), since sources of Advantage don't stack. If this bonus was changed into a +1 or +2, then it would be more reasonable (less powerful) but also not invalidate all those other sources of advantage.

3.) I agree that it makes sense that flanking could grant Advantage. However, this is NOT what is happening in BG3. In BG3, you get Advantage for simply moving behind someone, regardless if you have an ally on the opposite side. This doesn't make sense, because in a real fight that enemy would turn to face you.

Originally Posted by acatlas
Modifying the mechanic to be +1 or +2 just completely defeats the purpose of the games existing rule set
Why do you say this? D&D 5e already has a system that grants +2 or +5 to enemy AC (the Cover system) and +1-4 to attack rolls (Bless), so using flat bonuses instead of advantage is not inconsistent with the game's rule set.
Originally Posted by mrfuji3
@acatlas, you seem to be arguing that
1.) Larian's implementation of Advantage and Disadvantage match tabletop, where you roll twice and take the higher or lower.
2.) It makes sense that it is easier to hit someone from high ground, and thus you should get Advantage (capital-A Advantage, instead of just an advantage)
3.) It makes sense that flanking a creature would grant Advantage, and thus Larian's backstab is fine.

My response
1.) No one is arguing that Larian's implementation of these mechanics differs from tabletop rules.

2.) There is a difference between capital-A Advantage and "an advantage." Most of us aren't arguing that it is easier to hit people from high ground, but that getting Advantage is too powerful for something that is so easy to get (walk or jump up a hill). It invalidates a lot of the other methods of getting Advantage (spells, class abilities), since sources of Advantage don't stack. If this bonus was changed into a +1 or +2, then it would be more reasonable (less powerful) but also not invalidate all those other sources of advantage.

3.) I agree that it makes sense that flanking could grant Advantage. However, this is NOT what is happening in BG3. In BG3, you get Advantage for simply moving behind someone, regardless if you have an ally on the opposite side. This doesn't make sense, because in a real fight that enemy would turn to face you.

Originally Posted by acatlas
Modifying the mechanic to be +1 or +2 just completely defeats the purpose of the games existing rule set
Why do you say this? D&D 5e already has a system that grants +2 or +5 to enemy AC (the Cover system) and +1-4 to attack rolls (Bless), so using flat bonuses instead of advantage is not inconsistent with the game's rule set.

Just being behind a target period should not grant advantage. I have not noticed that personally my self in testing however. I have noticed range does affect targets regarding disadvantage on rolls by the target being to close hit rates to lower on bows / ranged weapons. Height having a similar affect does make sense the the same regard.

Regarding your comments on height being a little to easy I do agree it is a bit to easy to get height advantage currently in some of the fights in bg3 there are times in DND when this is possible as well depending on your method of thinking and how you use mechanics. In the same regards I do think there should be more zones with more even flat terrain that prevents that abuse a little better. Most campaigns combat tends to have less ability to get advantage from height.

And yes there is cover bonus to AC and some flat bonuses but the height mechanic using that doesnt make logical sense since it isnt included in dnd. I do agree there should be some more implimentations regarding cover however I dont think you should take away a height advantage / disadvantage or flanking as a mechanic from the game and replace it with a passive bonus to hit. I would if there is an issue with cover argue that it should be implimented better maybe looking at a system similar to xcom with partial cover affecting your chance to be hit but then at the same time take into account that height does make some forms of cover inaffective as its not really cover. I would argue that a box doesnt apply cover particularly well ect. Regarding a person standing 5-10 feet higher up than you are it doesnt in the same way. But at the same time I dont think those mechanics will be fully fleshed out till live release. There are larger faulted issues overall than that currently which while they are an issue I also dont expect to be completely fixed untill majority of existing content is updated. Like wizards casting divine spells this completely invalidates some classes. Weapon swapping mid combat this completely invalidates an entire reason for weapon selection oh ill use a 2 hander then ill change weapons make an off hand attack then ill equip a shield so i do not lose my armor class bonus. While advantage and disadvantage probably needs tuning I would be far less concerned about it in early access regards to the affects of cover however if just having your targets back is giving you a significant % increase to your hit rate without having an ally in range of the target I would screen shot it and post it for a fix. I have not really ever checked that specifically myself as ive always implimented flanking tactics as I typically play 2-3 melee characters 2 of which an optionally switch to ranged weapons and still be effective with a bow. So I am generally always flanking the targets which losing advantage on that does not make sense as you would have it in game and its a valid reason for melee to have it as its also part a factor for playing a rogue to be able to flank for access to sneak attack.
From a tactical turn based game point of view... these mechanics are terrible both for long term challenge and replayability (it could be better with tweaked mechanics but obviously, replayability isn't an issue in BG3).

The whole map is designed arround verticality (which is fine) but the current advantage + disadvantage from highground is a god mode.
God mode should never be a basic thing in tactical turn based games, especially when it's so easy to have.

Backstab totally exploit the TB system. It make sense in games that have a cover mechanic because it reward players that use smart strategies and suceed at flanking ennemies.
That's not how it work in BG3 and the cost/reward ratio doesn't exist at all. This is a systematic mechanic - not because it's a good choice among other but because it's the only good choice for melee character.
On top of that, ennemies aren't smart enough to use it against us and they'll never be smart enough to cover their back.

We should never have such bonuses over AI, everything should have consequences and nothing should be systematic in tactical TB games.

Flanking, the optionnal rule of D&D :
- doesn't give any bonus over AI (the AI auto use it)
- have consequences (ennemies could have advantage against you)
- wouldn't be systematic (depend our party composition - number of ennemies - risk/benefit)

On top of that :
- it would increase synergies between characters
- it would create lot more choices/tactical decisions in combats (should my ranger go in melee to delete advantage ennemies have against my fighter ? 3 melee ennemies, I only have 2... Should I buff Gayle and go in melee ? Which ennemies am I going to focus on to delete their advantage ? Should I cast a specific spell to delete ennemies advantage ?)


I guess they choose advantages so players can increase their %to hit easily but that's totally contrary to their will to give us lots of choices in the game.
We don't have much tactical choices to fight in BG3. We only have a few good choices that have terrible consequences on the whole game balance.

They could simply allow us to stack flat bonuses to increase our %to hit. All this already exist in D&D : +"x" arrows, +"x" for weapons, "x" from bless, +"x" from highground >< +"x AC" from cover,... If everything is reasonable - advantages would still be a thing and - "missing" wouldn't be a reported issue anymore.
Originally Posted by Maximuuus
From a tactical turn based game point of view... these mechanics are terrible both for long term challenge and replayability (it could be better with tweaked mechanics but obviously, replayability isn't an issue in BG3).

The whole map is designed arround verticality (which is fine) but the current advantage + disadvantage from highground is a god mode.
God mode should never be a basic thing in tactical turn based games, especially when it's so easy to have.

Backstab totally exploit the TB system. It make sense in games that have a cover mechanic because it reward players that use smart strategies and suceed at flanking ennemies.
That's not how it work in BG3 and the cost/reward ratio doesn't exist at all. This is a systematic mechanic - not because it's a good choice among other but because it's the only good choice for melee character.
On top of that, ennemies aren't smart enough to use it against us and they'll never be smart enough to cover their back.

We should never have such bonuses over AI, everything should have consequences and nothing should be systematic in tactical TB games.

Flanking, the optionnal rule of D&D :
- doesn't give any bonus over AI (the AI auto use it)
- have consequences (ennemies could have advantage against you)
- wouldn't be systematic (depend our party composition - number of ennemies - risk/benefit)

On top of that :
- it would increase synergies between characters
- it would create lot more choices/tactical decisions in combats (should my ranger go in melee to delete advantage ennemies have against my fighter ? 3 melee ennemies, I only have 2... Should I buff Gayle and go in melee ? Which ennemies am I going to focus on to delete their advantage ?)


I guess they choose advantages so players can increase their %to hit easily but that's totally contrary to their will to give us lots of choices in the game.
We don't have much tactical choices to fight in BG3. We only have a few good choices that have terrible consequences on the whole game balance.

They could simply allow us to stack flat bonuses to increase our %to hit. All this already exist in D&D : +"x" arrows, +"x" for weapons, "x" from bless, +"x" from highground >< +"x AC" from cover,... If everything is reasonable - advantages would still be a thing and - "missing" wouldn't be a reported issue anymore.

+1 to flanking
26 Ac is generally the highest flat ac you can get with a very heavily geared character vs +14 to hit so the best change to hit vs the best armor is a hit on a 12 or better so 40% advantage makes that 80% disadvantage 20% a +1 would just be a 5% increase that is discounting exceptional stat bonuses from special items of course or ways to increase your stats over 20 but the standard stat cap is 20. So +5 and your proficency bonus +6 at level 20 and +3 weapons assuming there are +3 weapons anywhere in the game currently the game files go to +2 with rare weapons speaking of which the sword in the stone should be made into a rare weapon rather than just being a +1 long sword. Since its a named item. It would also be nice if you had more choice in what weapons you could craft with the sussar bark, So you could at least customize it to how you want to play rather than being niched into a specific weapon when crafting.

So anyways talking advantage vs disadvantage dnd doesnt exactly make alot of options for bonus to hit instead they give 2 chances at 40% for the best attack to hit the best armor rating. Which unless larian breaks that best possible circumstances thats fairly decient balance. Its still chance vs % to hit. Early access your best possible armor is 19 and the best possible to hit is +1 weapon +4 stat bonus + 3 proficiency bonus so your at a +8 which is 45% chance to hit with disadvantage its 22.5% miss chance vs 90% chance to hit against the best possible armor with advantage. Which is fairly balanced when you consider that alot of the enemies who are in lower numbers do have high health and multi attack with higher hit rates you need to use things to give you an advantage to make sure you are making those hits due to level limitations. The bullet for example on an average fight you need that advantage to kill it. With limited rounds to do so.
I really think you don't understand why many of us in this thread consider backstab and highground as a problem.
It's not about the %to hit at all. It's only about advantages for free (+ disadvantage for highground which means it a godmode)

Rather than being a choice among others, backstab and highground are the only efficient mechanics to have advantages.
Everything else (faery fire, the help action of D&D, barbarian's reckless attack, true strike, invisibility, ...) is a bad choice because it cost something.

Backstab and highground doesn't cost anything and many other choices we could have are useless/suboptimal because of this... Players always have to use the same "tactics" over and over again whatever their classes or their party build.

The lack of other good choices is the problem and this is only because in combats, backstab/highground advantages aren't balanced compared to everything else.

They probably choose easy advantage because "missing is boring". And that's why some of us suggest new bonuses that doesn't exist in D&D in addition (like bless, +1 weapons, the missing +1 arrows,...)

You consider an AC of 19 but this is only what we can have... Not the majority of our ennemies. I just checked in the game.

Minotaurs = 14
Bulette = 17
Gnolls = 14
Goblins = 12 - 14
The Hag = 15

Let's do it with an AC of 15 even if the AC is just a value they can easily increase / decrease.

Melee
+4 modifier
+2 proficiency
+1 weapons
= 65 % without advantages - 88% with advantages

Ranged
+4 modifier
+2 proficiency
+1 weapons
+2 highground
= 75% without advantages - 94% with advantages

Caster
+4 Modifier
+2 proficiency
+2 highground
= 70% without advantages - 91% with advantages

This would give you a reasonable %to hit without advantages and a very good one with advantages.

What would it mean for normal difficulty levels ? That you don't always need advantages in normal difficulty levels even if it's still a very good bonus to grab. Highround would compensate a bit , and there's still bless for harder ennemies.

For very hard bosses, players would have to learn/find the tons of possibilities to have it (hide, faery fire, true strike, reckless attack... and things could be added to increase the synergies between our characters like flanking, RAW help,...)

It's up to Larian to explain what advantages/disadvantages are (the first time you hide, the first time you can flank, the first time you cast a spell,...)

What would it mean for higher difficulty levels with ennemies having an increased AC ? That you HAVE to learn how to have advantages.
Learning how to increase/control your %to hit would be the key before trying a harder level of difficulty.

It means learning how to wisely use your class skills, the spells, the actions (hide, help, flanking,...)

This would make the game far more interresting and deep. Not more difficult. Just more deep, with more choices, more creativity.

Now you just have to learn Larian's homebrewed to win, starting with highground and backstab... and that's not very interresting to do the same thing over and over again neither in a tactical TB game, neither in a D&D games that is supposed to offer us tons of possibilities (and there are many in D&D to have advantage).

PS : of course I tried with a +2 for highground and an AC of 15 but a +1 could also be interresting depending the AC-range of ennemies in this normal game mode. This is just an exemple.
I have edited the above post, and this will become standard practice from now on.

When responding to long posts, there is no need to quote the entire thing just to add a single word or short phrase..
Originally Posted by Maximuuus
I really think you don't understand why many of us in this thread consider backstab and highground as a problem.

<snip>

PS : of course I tried with a +2 for highground and an AC of 15 but a +1 could also be interresting depending the AC-range of ennemies in this normal game mode. This is just an exemple.


I completely agree with this. It does seem as if many put lots of stock in specifically a +2 bonus though.. maybe it would be possible for Larian to add bonuses as the height advances? Starting with a +1 and going all the way up to +3 or something, so it scales with the meters/feet accordingly? Oh, and obviously going from -1 to maybe -3 on the other end, instead of disadvantage, of course.
andreasrylander: Given that I have only just warned about quoting long posts in full, doing so in the very next post can only be seen as unwise. Consider yourself having been duly warned about future behaviour.
Originally Posted by Sadurian
andreasrylander: Given that I have only just warned about quoting long posts in full, doing so in the very next post can only be seen as unwise. Consider yourself having been duly warned about future behaviour.

Should I have modified the old post? Maybe we can restore that one and include my modified answer? I don't know what to do here. I mean, I took the old post away since it seemed to piss you off, and then I gave a more thorough answer, but then that apparently made you angry aswell. I am not sure what to do? I don't want to cause any problems. Am I not allowed to quote anymore?
We do have the option to link posts. If you click on the post number in the upper right the URL will update to go specifically to that post.

An old post of mine from earlier in the thread.
Oh cool, thanks! I will do that in the future! =)
Originally Posted by andreasrylander
Oh cool, thanks! I will do that in the future! =)

Spoiler tags are pretty good for hiding quotes to shorten your post. Been doing this recently myself; pretty sure this is what you guys are talking about.
Originally Posted by fallenj
Spoiler tags are pretty good for hiding quotes to shorten your post. Been doing this recently myself; pretty sure this is what you guys are talking about.

Either removing unneeded content, linking as suggested by DragonSnooz (the link can be copied from the post number at the top right) or indeed by using spoiler tags, though generally that's only necessary for content that doesn't already exist such as e.g. the infamously long DXdiag output.

But just as a reminder to everyone, it's generally good etiquette to keep non-original content to a minimum as it's variously tedious and/or awkward for people to scroll through lengthy quoted text.
Been a while since I've played the early access, but am definitely not in favour of the easy availability of Advatnage/Disadvantage being gained simply by climbing - especially as the devs seem to have created height areas in almost every single area of the game so gaining height isnt exactly an issue.

One of the issues I have with it is that there doesn't seem to be much of a penalty (if at all) in actually climbing things like ladders regardless of length , compared to travel over flat ground. I know 5th edition has rules for climbing that increase cost of movement. For a start it doesn't make any sense that someone can climb a long ladder and still be able to launch an attack at the end of it.
Yeah, if anything it appears as it climbing very long ladders is the equivalent of 5 feet of movement or something, you race up those ladders faster than regular terrain as it seems. Seems like another Larian quirk, as it was basically like that in the DOS games too. I don't even care too much about that, but I am more troubled by the extreme presence of height differences in EVERY single combat encounter, making those things a regular thing and not even fun anymore. Now it's all centered around climbing and jumping up... all the time. I just PRAY for fights that are close quarters, face to face. Those fights are VERY few.
I've mentioned this in the past, implementing:
  • proper movement cost for climbing
  • proper movement cost ascending steep hills (rough terrain)


Along with the collision detection in the divinity engine innately gives a lot of strategic value to terrain.

The game would be more enjoyable with that instead of Advantage from high ground and Disadvantage from low ground.
Originally Posted by DragonSnooz
I've mentioned this in the past, implementing:
  • proper movement cost for climbing
  • proper movement cost ascending steep hills (rough terrain)


Along with the collision detection in the divinity engine innately gives a lot of strategic value to terrain.

The game would be more enjoyable with that instead of Advantage from high ground and Disadvantage from low ground.
+1
Climbing a ladder should realistically cost double movement. But even costing normal movement would be better than the ~free cost ladders have now.

I still think that implementing collision detection and cover is too much work for too little benefit. Currently, you can target any portion of an enemy to hit. So in order to detect cover, the game would basically have to calculate all possible lines-of-sight to your target's body parts and determine what % of them were blocked.
It's much simpler and similar enough to just change height advantage/disadvantage to a flat +2 to hit when elevated. Maybe also a -2 to hit when on a lower elevation.
Yeah I get how it would be hard to implement the cover mechanics in BG3 with the current engine, that's fine I think. Giving bonuses instead of advantage on height would be a very fair thing to do while not disrupting too much of the balance. As it stands now it's all a chase to the highest points and ranged is *FAR* superior as a consequence, to melee.
A +2 for High Ground at best, and no penalty for low ground since the enemy on high ground can sometimes choose to move out of line of sight where you can't even target them. A +2/-2 swing would still be so powerful it would be the focus in every fight. Let's not forget you can Shove too when someone tries to get to your hill. +2 and the range increase would be plenty of reason for archers to seek high ground.

Not all fights should be about "who gets the high ground". There are choke points, chasms, streams, big trees, corners, pits, trenches.......high ground is not the only terrain with tactical valule. No, I didn't say fire surfaces.. Larian... no. smile

Range should also be a bigger factor with ranged weapons. With high ground you can shoot really far with the same accuracy as point blank range. It's crazy seeing some of those shots with the same 94% accuracy.

I would also very much like to see climbing cost more movement. You should be able to break a ladder with someone in the middle to make them fall. No one is ever in the middle. It's a teleport with a really slow animation. And roll some Athletics or Acrobatics checks when climbing or jumping in combat to reach that high ground or wherever. What are those skills for, currently?

Backstab is a silly overpowered feature that has become the default attack with free advantage. Just not for AI, only players. Turn it into Flanking that requires at least two attackers on different sides, and grants +2 attack so that spells like Faerie Fire are still useful as well.
Originally Posted by 1varangian
A +2 for High Ground at best, and no penalty for low ground since the enemy on high ground can sometimes choose to move out of line of sight where you can't even target them. A +2/-2 swing would still be so powerful it would be the focus in every fight.

I like +1/-2 because it leads to counterplay and an interesting balance between saves and attack rolls. Save spells can't get that easy +1 to hit but they don't have to worry about getting hit by -2 penalties. +2/-0 is clean but it's still a straight buff to ranged weapons while offering nothing to save based spells.
Part of me would prefer high ground acting as a variant of cover. It'd be more interesting if (Assuming high ground Advantage/Disadvantage is removed):
  • A character could get cover for moving characters behind another allied character [Ally(+2AC)---Ally---Enemy]
  • A character could get cover for standing on an elevation at least 12 feet higher on the vertical axis [Ally---15 foot hill---Enemy(+2AC)]

Then we can have more clarity on to-hit throughout the whole game. (It could also work as a -2 to-hit).

Part of the reason I prefer cover to flanking in 5e is that it adds strategy without being overbearing. One campaign I'm in had flanking giving advantage and the group voted to remove it after 7 sessions. We all agreed it was too easy for both sides to get advantage. We had several encounters where we all had advantage.
Originally Posted by Rack
I like +1/-2 because it leads to counterplay and an interesting balance between saves and attack rolls. Save spells can't get that easy +1 to hit but they don't have to worry about getting hit by -2 penalties. +2/-0 is clean but it's still a straight buff to ranged weapons while offering nothing to save based spells.

Originally Posted by DragonSnooz
Part of me would prefer high ground acting as a variant of cover. It'd be more interesting if (Assuming high ground Advantage/Disadvantage is removed):
  • A character could get cover for moving characters behind another allied character [Ally(+2AC)---Ally---Enemy]
  • A character could get cover for standing on an elevation at least 12 feet higher on the vertical axis [Ally---15 foot hill---Enemy(+2AC)]

Then we can have more clarity on to-hit throughout the whole game. (It could also work as a -2 to-hit).
In 5e, cover grants an equal bonus to Dex STs, which could help address your point @Rack. High ground bonus of +2 to attack could also increase the save DC of any DEX ST spells you use.
Advantage and disadvantage are able to cancel out in BG3. So if your enemy is on high ground, applying truestrike would negate the attacking disadvantage effect. It also stacks, so if your enemy is on highground with Blur, applying truestrike alone will not remove your attacking disadvantage. I wouldn't say Larian's system removes the value of the X amount of spells, but means for them to be used differently. If you are to hover over your roll in the combat log, it will tell you if your attack had advantage/disadvantage effects calculated or negated.

Not too sure how this fits but you may have some insight - my level 4 Shadowheart using a shield was able to reach 19 AC standard. Shield of Faith bumped to 21. Even at 21 AC, I'd still get trucked if I didn't observe enemy advantage or impose disadvantage, simply because of the modifiers. A lot of the things we have the potential to fight have huge modifiers to their attack rolls (+4 and +5s), and if no huge modifier, vastly superior numbers. Having my 21 AC cleric trashed in one turn by trip attack, multi-attack, action surge'd melee inspires me to use the abilities you said were ruined, on top of the looming pressure that the rest of my party could share the same fate. If anything, I'd say make the AI also attempt flanking, as they already run for highground (if ranged). I'd go as far to say that in the EA, advantage/disadvantage is far more costly if not mitigated with the spells you mentioned. Claiming advantage/disadvantage by height and positionging turns the game into "king of the hill" is almost like saying you don't know how to break a line of sight and don't know how to judge ranges.

There is also the presented issue of attempting to run around an NPC for that backstab. If you're not meticulous, you're more than likely to trigger an attack of opportunity with your side exposed - I have definitely died from not being meticulous in my positioning. The counter would be, "just jump" and I personally believe there should be an acrobatics check if jumping out of an attack of opportunity - maybe it hasn't been implemented yet.

Maybe if we started out killing rats, the system's general progression of AC and spell availability would make sense, but we're not. We're asked to go find a druid in the middle of a giant goblin warband, lead by netherese infused fanatics. Have to keep in mind, WotC is working WITH Larian - so whatever the finished product is, they signed off on it.
Originally Posted by UV01
Advantage and disadvantage ... stacks, so if your enemy is on highground with Blur, applying truestrike alone will not remove your attacking disadvantage.
Is this true? In PnP it doesn't matter how many sources of advantage or disadvantage you have; if you have at least 1 of each, the attack is made at normal.

I'm actually not opposed to BG3 working this way, as it would help make such spells like Blur, Faerie Fire, etc more useful.
Quote
I wouldn't say Larian's system removes the value of the X amount of spells, but means for them to be used differently.

Using those spells is definitely a sub-optimal strategy. You can use them of course but there's always something better.

That's how the game works, even if you can stack. Having a position that gives you an advantage in BG3 is so easy that anything from D&D (><Larian) has close to zero value.

After reading the tutorial you know that you have to be higher than your ennemies. That's how the game is build, not for us to "use those spells differently".

The problem with backstab is the same but the other issue you're talking about comes from disengage, not jumping. Adding a dexterity check when you disengage mean you can't ever just disengage.
Originally Posted by mrfuji3
Originally Posted by UV01
Advantage and disadvantage ... stacks, so if your enemy is on highground with Blur, applying truestrike alone will not remove your attacking disadvantage.
Is this true? In PnP it doesn't matter how many sources of advantage or disadvantage you have; if you have at least 1 of each, the attack is made at normal.

I'm actually not opposed to BG3 working this way, as it would help make such spells like Blur, Faerie Fire, etc more useful.
The "one cancels many" aspect of the 5e advantage system is definitely it's biggest weakness. So long as stacking does not lead to "double advantage" or "triple disadvantage" etc, then I would call it an improvement.

I can't say that I have been able to observe consistent behaviour in the advantage system of BG3 EA, so it would be nice to know how it is *supposed* to work ( according to Larian rather than 5e ).
Originally Posted by Maximuuus
Quote
I wouldn't say Larian's system removes the value of the X amount of spells, but means for them to be used differently.

Using those spells is definitely a sub-optimal strategy. You can use them of course but there's always something better.

The problem with backstab is the same but the other issue you're talking about comes from disengage, not jumping. Adding a dexterity check when you disengage mean you can't ever just disengage.

I fought
the myconid colony, and the hob goblin
jumped onto a mushroom and used blur. The only way I could fully break disadvantage in that specific comp/situation was to use truestrike and move to equal ground. THAT is a king of the hill ending, but if I had any other abilities to provide advantage, I could very easily have attacked from beneath him. I can't think of many fights where I could just walk right in and destroy from high ground, either. I would often be uprooted or threatened for even trying. Every fight where high ground won me the fight was after I pre-planned and set up for an encounter, which would require scouting/prior knowledge. I would SPECIFICALLY move to locations that made enemies walk the longest way around. Considering the amount of people complaining about hit chance and fights being too difficult, I think it was the smartest move to lessen the learning curve and appeal to a broad audience.

I'm 88% sure there is no stacking advantage. The rolls in the combat log detail only 1 (one) advantaged attack roll, and it details everything else pretty well, so no real reason to believe otherwise. It's more of a, "fight for one advantage" deal in this game which includes but is not limited to king of the hill style gameplay.

I personally am also a fan of the one button jump/disengage BA
I'm trying to replicate on my party members, and I'm not seeing the large red "negated" text in the attack roll. It may be Spell specific. I had my PC on high ground, shadowheart shooting a crossbow from low ground. Shadowheart hiding negated the low ground. I enwebbed my PC and Shadowheart's aiming percentage estimate showed two green arrows, one red arrow, but the hit percentage is not adjusted for having +1 advantage. I am currently unable to replicate the situation described in my previous post (everything is dead), so I will have to start a new playthrough.
Originally Posted by UV01
I'm trying to replicate on my party members, and I'm not seeing the large red "negated" text in the attack roll. It may be Spell specific. I had my PC on high ground, shadowheart shooting a crossbow from low ground. Shadowheart hiding negated the low ground. I enwebbed my PC and Shadowheart's aiming percentage estimate showed two green arrows, one red arrow, but the hit percentage is not adjusted for having +1 advantage. I am currently unable to replicate the situation described in my previous post (everything is dead), so I will have to start a new playthrough.
This is working correctly, at least according to 5e RAW. The hit percentage should not be adjusted for having "+1 advantage;" any amount of Disadvantage cancels out any amount of Advantage to a normal roll.

Definitely let us&Larian know if you find a situation where advangage/disadvantage are subtracted to result in "+1 Advantage."
Quote
I think it was the smartest move to lessen the learning curve and appeal to a broad audience.

And I think a flat bonus for highground and backstab to increase the %to hit (eventually) + the necessity to learn and play with the deep and interresting DnD advantage/disadvantage mechanic at higher difficulty level was better.

Combats are brainless in BG3 if you play the game as intended and nothing will change for higher difficulty levels (except that you'll have to learn not to use true strike and so on anymore wink )

You're fan of jump/disengage but want it not to be a disengage anymore. Okay.
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