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I'm no expert on Dungeons and Dragons, but one of the first fundamental rules I've gleaned from having played DnD games, is that, whenever you want to hurt someone, that other guy has a chance of defending himself against you. This is almost like the Golden Rule of DnD.

For example, if you slash a sword at someone to hurt him, you have to roll your attack against his AC. His AC is his defence against being cut open.

If you wish to cast a spell to hold him in place (so that your beefier buddies can pummel him later), he can make a saving throw. That saving throw is his defence against being held. And at the end of subsequent turns, he rolls his saving throw to break out of the hold. The end-of-turn roll is his defence against being held for the full duration and being pummelled helplessly.

If you wish to cast Sleep on him and his compatriots, their hitpoints are their defence against being rendered unconscious for two turns.

The game allows the attacker to make his offensive move against an opponent, and the latter has a chance to avoid it completely, or mitigate some of the damage. This is the ecosystem.

And along comes Larian's gimmicks, the invasive species.

This is taken from a fight at the goblin guard post outside the Selune temple. An all too familiar sight, I'm sure.

[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

The fire bottle, some kind of medieval molotov cocktail, missed Lae'zel. Her AC was her defence against the impact of the thrown bottle. But she was still damaged for 2D4 from the ground effects. She didn't get any kind of defence against the latter. She was just forced to eat that 2D4 damage.

Let's compare this molotov cocktail with the Bonfire cantrip:

Spell description taken from dndbeyond.com: (emphasis mine)

You create a bonfire on ground that you can see within range. Until the spell ends, the magic bonfire fills a 5-foot cube. Any creature in the bonfire’s space when you cast the spell must succeed on a Dexterity saving throw or take 1d8 fire damage. A creature must also make the saving throw when it moves into the bonfire’s space for the first time on a turn or ends its turn there.

The Bonfire spell creates a surface effect rather similar to the one above. And here, we see that anyone caught in the Bonfire can make a saving throw to avoid damage, which is very much unlike Larian's homebrewed molotov cocktails that force the player to eat 2D4 damage.

This is the reason why Larian's homebrewed gimmicks are an invasive species. The enemies that use these fire bombs thrive in this environment that is not built for Larianisms. The DnD ecosystem is one attack and defence. Larianisms are about attack, but not allow the other party to defend. Lae'zel was not given the chance to prevent herself from taking 2D4 damage from a missile that she dodged.

Larian needs to curb the spread of this invasive species. There's a mod on Nexus that helps with this, and I hope the modding community can do more if Larian remains obstinate on letting this invasive species run amok in this game.

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There's a lot of things to say about all those "larian's gimmick" but this thread is great and you explain well why one of them is a problem.

We could probably also mention that those un-avoidable (not sure it's a real EN word) surfaces damages has very huge and bad consequences on the concentration mechanic.

It's way too easy to break a character's concentration and this is very frustrating.

A huge +1 for this thread.

Last edited by Maximuuus; 28/03/21 10:53 AM.
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If they at least had saving throws it'd be more in line, and the fact it breaks Concentration is frustrating.

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Originally Posted by Maximuuus
There's a lot of things to say about all those "larian's gimmick" but this thread is great and you explain well why one of them is a problem.

We could probably also mention that those un-avoidable (not sure it's a real EN word) surfaces damages has very huge and bad consequences on the concentration mechanic.

It's way too easy to break a character's concentration and this is very frustrating.

A huge +1 for this thread.

Thanks! And yeah, the Concentration system is especially negatively affected by Larian's invasive species, to the point that the use of Concentration spells are on the brink of extinction.

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Originally Posted by CJMPinger
If they at least had saving throws it'd be more in line, and the fact it breaks Concentration is frustrating.

Yeah, agreed, it'll be better than what we have now, but it'll still be an item that allows the attacker three tries at forcing the other to lose concentration:

1. when the fire bottle causes damage to the other by passing the AC check

2. when it creates a surface that the other has to roll a Dex saving throw against to prevent from taking damage.

3. when it fails the above two and has to roll a Con saving throw to keep the spell running.

Such an item will be more in line with DnD's ecosystem, but it's still very overpowered. One molotov cocktail from Larian's homebrew has three chances at breaking a caster's concentration.

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In a sense ... yes. In another sense ... I am not bothered by where the final balance will be or thinking of the combat system as "5E + Larian's additions and changes". It's just a combat system that's inspired by 5E. But at the end of the day, it's Larian's vision of combat. What still bothers me a bit is more the immersion and aesthetics.

a) Immersion.

When I reading the DnD rules, I see that AC increases in two ways : from Dexterity and from better armours. Better Dexterity means better footwork and reflexes, allowing to better avoid an arrow that would have hit you. Better armour means that when a weapon hits you, it's more likely that the armour takes all the blow and you are not hurt. There's also the attacker's attack bonus, and thus accuracy : maybe the projectile doesn't hit you not because you moved but because the attacker didn't aim well. Said otherwise, what is mechanically a "miss" can be at least two things : a true miss, or a hit that does no damage.

In BG3, the rules for hitting a target are exactly the same, but what I see on the battlefield does not reflect those rules. So if a goblin is on low ground and throw a projectile up at you, a true miss would realistically mean the projectile would land somewhere that is possibly far behind you. And you wouldn't be in fire at all. But in BG3, 100% of misses are apparently hits that cause no direct damage.

It's not very credible and I feel there's a disconnect between the mechanisms and what happens in battles.


b) Aesthetics.

With so many molotov cocktails flying around, I don't get a Middles Ages and early Renaissance vibe in BG3's Forgotten Realms. If the game took places in the American Far West or a futuristic setting like XCOM, I feel it would work better.

But at the end of day, that aesthetics is Larian's vision of that universe ... So I guess I'm really just bothered by what I feel is a dissonance between what combat looks like and what the rules lead me to expect.


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Yep. Put the saving throw in these AoE's. Why does the throw even have an attack roll, when it creates the AoE exactly where you aim even if you miss?

Why doesn't a fire arrow fly past the target if you miss? How does a tiny flaming arrowhead make a huge fire surface anyway? Wouldn't it be more interesting, even mechanically, if flask = more substance = AoE, and fire arrow = more single target damage but no AoE? Why does literally everything need some poor excuse to create another surface on the battlefield? I'm also looking at you, Phase Spiders by Larian,who now have the ability to drench the battlefield in hundreds of gallons of poison.

Larian's home brew is just so gamey it kind of bluntly reminds you it's a video game all the time, bending all logic and realism just to create more and more interactive game mechanics. Other RPG's don't do it as much and they tend to have more immersive settings. Sometimes less is more.

Last edited by 1varangian; 28/03/21 12:21 PM.
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Originally Posted by Drath Malorn
But at the end of day, that aesthetics is Larian's vision of that universe ... So I guess I'm really just bothered by what I feel is a dissonance between what combat looks like and what the rules lead me to expect.
But that's just the thing. It's NOT only Larian's vision.

They are making a D&D game set in Forgotten Realms, which has a vast amount of source material and the massive legacy of BG 1&2 to respect and build on. They can't just saturate it with their gimmicky video game tropes because that changes the tone of the entire setting. BG has humour but you don't eat pigs heads in combat, and D&D is not about spamming surfaces with arrows.

I absolutely love D&D and all previous crpg adaptations. At the same time, I don't enjoy Divinity much and couldn't finish either 1 or 2. I only bought them because there was a bit of an RPG draught. I don't agree an RPG absolutely needs the stuff Larian insists video games apparently have to have and are slapping on top of the 5e system. Solasta works incredibly well on 5e RAW as a video game.

Last edited by 1varangian; 28/03/21 01:45 PM.
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A huge +1 from me too for the OP's post and this thread. Combat in this game is aggravating and ridiculous in so many ways because of all of Larian's silly gimmicks, and the worst part is that Larian seems to believe their gimmicks are actually so very cool. Larian should reserve their silly gimmicks for their D:OS games and leave them out of this D&D game where they do not belong.

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+1


I liked original spellcasting system more ... frown

Anyway ... i cast Eldritch Blast!
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Originally Posted by 1varangian
Originally Posted by Drath Malorn
But at the end of day, that aesthetics is Larian's vision of that universe ... So I guess I'm really just bothered by what I feel is a dissonance between what combat looks like and what the rules lead me to expect.
But that's just the thing. It's NOT only Larian's vision.

They are making a D&D game set in Forgotten Realms, which has a vast amount of source material and the massive legacy of BG 1&2 to respect and build on. They can't just saturate it with their gimmicky video game tropes because that changes the tone of the entire setting.

Well ... when I spent some time reading what Larian was saying in interviews, one impression I formed from what I read is that, when asked about expectations and legacy of Baldur's Gate, Larian's answer was that they prefer not thinking about all that and just focus on making a game they will like, hoping that many players will like it too. Many interviews featured both WotC and Larian, and they explained that Larian essentially has carte blanche.

So Larian can do and is doing 100% their take, both on combat in DnD and the aesthetics of the Forgotten Realms universe. I'm not saying this situation is good or bad or anything. I'm just saying that's how the situation is. And thus what we players can expect.

Last edited by Drath Malorn; 28/03/21 03:43 PM. Reason: incomplete sentence

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Hell yes, +1.

It's very frustrating that almost every round of every battle, even the environment attacks you, and there is zero defense. Goblins just SHOWERING you in "fire grenades" just seem ridiculous, for example. Also they sure do have lots of spells aswell. At the goblin camp, if a fight breaks out - BOOM, every surface is on fire, two of your characters have "hunter's mark" on them, and one gets a sleep spell on them and another gets color spray. All this before you even get to do anything.

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Originally Posted by kanisatha
A huge +1 from me too for the OP's post and this thread. Combat in this game is aggravating and ridiculous in so many ways because of all of Larian's silly gimmicks, and the worst part is that Larian seems to believe their gimmicks are actually so very cool. Larian should reserve their silly gimmicks for their D:OS games and leave them out of this D&D game where they do not belong.

Well I said Larian is the Michael Bay of video game developers so of course they think their gimmicks are cool.

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As much as I like the game so far, I have to agree with the OP. This non stop ''collateral damage'', as I like to call it, is very invasive and the game would be much better without it.

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Originally Posted by Drath Malorn
Originally Posted by 1varangian
Originally Posted by Drath Malorn
But at the end of day, that aesthetics is Larian's vision of that universe ... So I guess I'm really just bothered by what I feel is a dissonance between what combat looks like and what the rules lead me to expect.
But that's just the thing. It's NOT only Larian's vision.

They are making a D&D game set in Forgotten Realms, which has a vast amount of source material and the massive legacy of BG 1&2 to respect and build on. They can't just saturate it with their gimmicky video game tropes because that changes the tone of the entire setting.

Well ... when I spent some time reading saying in interviews, one impression I formed from what I read is that, when asked about expectations and legacy of Baldur's Gate, Larian's answer was that they prefer not thinking about all that and just focus on making a game they will like, hoping that many players will like it too. Many interviews featured both WotC and Larian, and they explained that Larian essentially has carte blanche.

So Larian can do and is doing 100% their take, both on combat in DnD and the aesthetics of the Forgotten Realms universe. I'm not saying this situation is good or bad or anything. I'm just saying that's how the situation is. And thus what we players can expect.
That's the biggest risk as well.

Because DOS was successful, it's possible to think the more BG3 becomes DOS the better off it will be. But when you start changing 5e into DOS you might end up with something that will be a watered down version of both games. That's what BG3 is looking to me, currently. And the combat is not good. Solasta proves raw 5e is actually better and more tactical when certain moves or tactics haven't been buffed out of proportion.

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+1
We should get a (low-DC) Dexterity Saving Throw to avoid any splash damage and/or a missed attack roll should result in the projectile hitting an off-target area on the ground. Perhaps 1 foot x (the difference in attack roll and AC) in a random direction.

Please allow us to use concentration spells effectively. I would actually use Bless if I knew that SH wouldn't lose it a turn from now due to unavoidable splash damage.

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I 100% agree the Concentration issue is a problem, but how exactly is the damage you describe different from casting Shatter? To me it seems like a semantics argument; as in, if they had thrown the bottle just next to you instead of targeted on you that would have been fine? Or is it the automatic damage from fire? Because that's a feature in PnP...

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Originally Posted by Elessaria666
I 100% agree the Concentration issue is a problem, but how exactly is the damage you describe different from casting Shatter? To me it seems like a semantics argument; as in, if they had thrown the bottle just next to you instead of targeted on you that would have been fine? Or is it the automatic damage from fire? Because that's a feature in PnP...


The automatic damage from fire. What feature in PnP allows a player character to deal guaranteed automatic fire damage to another?

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This thread touches on a larger topic that comprises many more things similar to the one you mentioned: For some reason, Larian decides to throw away so many aspects of the 5e system, a system which they actively advertise to base the game on. A system with rules that have been tried and tested for years and years by hundreds of thousands of DnD players worldwide. DnD 5e combat just WORKS. It works just fine the way it does.

Like you mentioned, a change that might seem minor to Larian, like the effects of a fire bottle, affects a myriad of other systems in the game, first and foremost concentration spells. But this can be applied to so many things, for example: I can do as many long rests as I like? Oh great, I guess my warlock's main feature that sets him apart from other spellcasters, namely that I recover spell slots on short rests, is now useless.
Example number two, the famous butchered rogue that has no expertise, sneak attack works completely differently, and disengage is now a bonus action for everyone. Im sure this won't influnce the games balance, am I right? Oh yeah, and also getting advantage to actually trigger the sneak attack is easier than ever.

And so on, there are tons of examples.

+1 to this thread

Last edited by Sigi98; 28/03/21 05:38 PM.
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Originally Posted by Passerby
Originally Posted by Elessaria666
I 100% agree the Concentration issue is a problem, but how exactly is the damage you describe different from casting Shatter? To me it seems like a semantics argument; as in, if they had thrown the bottle just next to you instead of targeted on you that would have been fine? Or is it the automatic damage from fire? Because that's a feature in PnP...


The automatic damage from fire. What feature in PnP allows a player character to deal guaranteed automatic fire damage to another?
There are a few things in 5e that deal automatic damage with few options for defense. Magic Missile can be stopped by Counterspell or if the target has the Shield spell. Heat Metal is automatic damage (again, stoppable by Counterspell). That's what I've got off the top of my head - I'm probably missing a couple of other automatic damage, but they're few and far between. Most things that would light you on fire (which would then deal some automatic damage if you don't put it out) give you a chance to save against them.

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