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Introducing the Cover rules from 5e PHB page 196. For a rough summary, shooting "through" another creature (ally or enemy) provides your target with +2 to its AC, if the creature is covering at least 1/2 of the target. So, as an example:

X -> YZ

If X shoots at Y, X rolls their attack as normal.

If X shoots at Z, Z gets a bonus of +2 to its AC

Implementing this solves the problems created by granting Advantage/Disadvantage to attacking from/against a target above/below you. For starters, it's less of a mechanical bonus or penalty to the Attack roll, which makes the impact on combat of even small changes in height less pronounced. Solving that problem can trickle down to realigning enemy AC/HP values with what they should be in the monster's stat block, which solves a whole host of other issues.

However, it still provides a reward/penalty for use of the 3d terrain. Using the previous example, if X is 10 meters up in the air, and shoots at Z, Z would likely not receive any bonus to its AC because X is high enough so that Y isn't blocking at least 1/2 of Z. Moreover, X will have the reward of being able to Move to the edge of the cliff/roof/etc., shoot, then move backwards to possibly gain Cover from whatever is providing their height advantage.

Last edited by Isaac Springsong; 19/10/20 09:13 PM.
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I like this idea in theory (especially as you suggest giving rid of height adv/dis), but there'd be some difficulties. Currently, the game uses LoS to determine if it is even possible to hit someone: i.e., only caring about Total Cover. So to adapt your suggestions, they'd have to change that. Okay, sure, now characters are "see through" for the purposes of targeting other characters and the game counts how many characters your line goes through when calculating AC.

But Larian currently allows you to target different parts of character models to determine if you hit (If i can draw a line to someone's head but not their torso, Larian allows me to shoot firebolt at them without penalty). How is this implemented with cover? Does the game have to check what percentage of the target is covered by another character(s), drawing all the possible lines of attack? Not sure how resource-intensive calculation this would be, but at the very least I could see players complaining about unfairness if they disagreed with the assessment. Unfortunately, determining if you're "shooting through" another creature is easier in 2D grid-based combat, of which this game is neither.

I'll provide a compromise suggestion, where height always give +2 to attack and low-ground always -2. This is both simple and not as powerful as the current adv/dis, and sort of approximates the scenarios you brought up. If you're on high ground (rafter or cliff), the enemy probably can't see more than half of your body due to there being terrain in the way...

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Originally Posted by mrfuji3
I like this idea in theory (especially as you suggest giving rid of height adv/dis), but there'd be some difficulties. Currently, the game uses LoS to determine if it is even possible to hit someone: i.e., only caring about Total Cover. So to adapt your suggestions, they'd have to change that. Okay, sure, now characters are "see through" for the purposes of targeting other characters and the game counts how many characters your line goes through when calculating AC.

But Larian currently allows you to target different parts of character models to determine if you hit (If i can draw a line to someone's head but not their torso, Larian allows me to shoot firebolt at them without penalty). How is this implemented with cover? Does the game have to check what percentage of the target is covered by another character(s), drawing all the possible lines of attack? Not sure how resource-intensive calculation this would be, but at the very least I could see players complaining about unfairness if they disagreed with the assessment. Unfortunately, determining if you're "shooting through" another creature is easier in 2D grid-based combat, of which this game is neither.

I'll provide a compromise suggestion, where height always give +2 to attack and low-ground always -2. This is both simple and not as powerful as the current adv/dis, and sort of approximates the scenarios you brought up. If you're on high ground (rafter or cliff), the enemy probably can't see more than half of your body due to there being terrain in the way...


+2/-2 for backstabbing purposes as well.

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Originally Posted by Sludge Khalid
+2/-2 for backstabbing purposes as well.

You want -2 for...frontstabbing??? xD

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half cover for some highground scenarios sounds good but backstab is just stupid.
in turn based combat it looks ok but it really doesn't make any sense.
there is already a "backstab" mechanic in 5e it's called sneak attack, rogues have it and it makes sense.

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Backstabing is *sort of* ok as bunch of mechanisms by which it's easy to get advantage on attacks have been removed. 5e Flanking rules are a bit of a mess so meh if it's different. The high ground / low ground advantage is a bit silly. It really should be cover which is a mechanism already available in the rules. It's also worth noting that there's a feat "Spell Sniper" which bypasses this mechanic, showing how (un)important it's meant to be.

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yeah it seems pretty easy to solve, keep the range improvement for spells, but dump the extra stuff (spells should not be affected by gravity), for arrows and throwing stuff it does makes sense

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Originally Posted by brunotavm
yeah it seems pretty easy to solve, keep the range improvement for spells, but dump the extra stuff (spells should not be affected by gravity), for arrows and throwing stuff it does makes sense


+1

They seem to have simply transplanted those effects from DOS2.

Last edited by dza101; 20/10/20 02:05 AM.
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I don't think half cover by line of sight will be added to this engine. However, they could (should) remove advantage and disadvantage from high elevation, and replace the disadvantage with a -2 for low cover.

Same could/should be done for backstabbing. Advantage is way too much, but +2 for flanking seems fine to me.

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Originally Posted by nizanegusa
half cover for some highground scenarios sounds good but backstab is just stupid.
in turn based combat it looks ok but it really doesn't make any sense.
there is already a "backstab" mechanic in 5e it's called sneak attack, rogues have it and it makes sense.


You do know that hitting from behind is a variant rule in 5e right? So no Sneak Attack isn't the "back stab" mechanic. They are litterally using a variant rule in DnD. Sneak Attack doesn't even need to be from behind to go off in 5e, you just need to be sneaky when you are attacking.

I personally don't mind the current Advantage system Larian went with. To be honest cover and advantage is some of those systems most tables have some form of house rule on anyways. At my table we use "Help action is a reaction" so people can give advantage once per round if they are within melee range. (they are distracting the enemy while their ally hits).
We used to use flanking, but that just lead to "Conga Line of Death" scenarios where you had enemy-ally-enemy-ally-enemy lines so everyone got advantag.

Height is actually a form of cover anyways. Being on high ground is benificial irl because you gain cover from it, and same with low ground.

The reason I like the rules as is: It makes the battlefield positioning matter, and thus makes combat more engaging, and tactical.

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Originally Posted by Aurgelmir
[quote=nizanegusa]
We used to use flanking, but that just lead to "Conga Line of Death" scenarios where you had enemy-ally-enemy-ally-enemy lines so everyone got advantage.


This is what we have now actually. Lae'zel kangaroos about every turn to get free advantage, it's ridiculous and devalues all other sources of advantage like Faery Fire.

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Originally Posted by Slapstick
Originally Posted by Aurgelmir
[quote=nizanegusa]
We used to use flanking, but that just lead to "Conga Line of Death" scenarios where you had enemy-ally-enemy-ally-enemy lines so everyone got advantage.


This is what we have now actually. Lae'zel kangaroos about every turn to get free advantage, it's ridiculous and devalues all other sources of advantage like Faery Fire.


Problem there imo isn't backstab, but that Larian made all the Cunning actions available to everyone.
Make Disengage a bonus action and suddenly trying to get into backstab comes at a cost if you are surrounded.

In my opinion it's really the Bonus Actions that's the major issue, not the advantage rules.

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*Ideally* Larian will realize how much better the game would be with either can actual Grid overlay (even if only during combat rounds ala Wasteland 3), or by tightening up the current grid significantly so it is better at approximating the 5ft squares. From those change, the process for implementing Cover gets a lot easier. Yes, Larian will have to change their engine's coding, which is not a bad thing.

I'll start a separate thread for feedback on the backstab mechanic, but as Slapstick astutely pointed out, it completely devalues the means of gaining Advantage when all you have to do is circle strafe your enemy each turn.

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Originally Posted by Isaac Springsong
*Ideally* Larian will realize how much better the game would be with either can actual Grid overlay (even if only during combat rounds ala Wasteland 3), or by tightening up the current grid significantly so it is better at approximating the 5ft squares. From those change, the process for implementing Cover gets a lot easier. Yes, Larian will have to change their engine's coding, which is not a bad thing.

I'll start a separate thread for feedback on the backstab mechanic, but as Slapstick astutely pointed out, it completely devalues the means of gaining Advantage when all you have to do is circle strafe your enemy each turn.


I'm not sure I agree with this one. I think it would take some immersion out of the gameplay for the sake of being by the book. I would usually sway to being in more line with 5e in most cases, but I think certain restriction in 5e are based on the fact that you are playing with a human DM that shouldn't have to worry about doing calculus while roleplaying a battle scene. We are playing with a computer DM that can make all those calculations instantaneously, so why not use that to make the gameplay feel more lifelike?

I do agree that advantage handout's could be toned down though. I like the ideas of adjusting to +/-2 to simulate cover or flanking.

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Originally Posted by Aurgelmir
Originally Posted by Slapstick
Originally Posted by Aurgelmir
[quote=nizanegusa]
We used to use flanking, but that just lead to "Conga Line of Death" scenarios where you had enemy-ally-enemy-ally-enemy lines so everyone got advantage.


This is what we have now actually. Lae'zel kangaroos about every turn to get free advantage, it's ridiculous and devalues all other sources of advantage like Faery Fire.


Problem there imo isn't backstab, but that Larian made all the Cunning actions available to everyone.
Make Disengage a bonus action and suddenly trying to get into backstab comes at a cost if you are surrounded.

In my opinion it's really the Bonus Actions that's the major issue, not the advantage rules.


The problem is that you don’t even need a bonus action to get into backstab, try order your character to walk behind an enemy, it doesn’t trigger AoO. So you literally get free advantage, cost only movement.

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Originally Posted by Isaac Springsong
*Ideally* Larian will realize how much better the game would be with either can actual Grid overlay (even if only during combat rounds ala Wasteland 3), or by tightening up the current grid significantly so it is better at approximating the 5ft squares. From those change, the process for implementing Cover gets a lot easier. Yes, Larian will have to change their engine's coding, which is not a bad thing.

I'll start a separate thread for feedback on the backstab mechanic, but as Slapstick astutely pointed out, it completely devalues the means of gaining Advantage when all you have to do is circle strafe your enemy each turn.


Absolutely not a fan of "grid overlays" and I struggle to imagine what benefit would introduce to the current game.
Vector-based movement made Temple of Elemental Evil great and works rather well here, in a 3D environment.


Party control in Baldur's Gate 3 is a complete mess that begs to be addressed. SAY NO TO THE TOILET CHAIN
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Originally Posted by dunehunter
Originally Posted by Aurgelmir
Originally Posted by Slapstick
Originally Posted by Aurgelmir
[quote=nizanegusa]
We used to use flanking, but that just lead to "Conga Line of Death" scenarios where you had enemy-ally-enemy-ally-enemy lines so everyone got advantage.


This is what we have now actually. Lae'zel kangaroos about every turn to get free advantage, it's ridiculous and devalues all other sources of advantage like Faery Fire.


Problem there imo isn't backstab, but that Larian made all the Cunning actions available to everyone.
Make Disengage a bonus action and suddenly trying to get into backstab comes at a cost if you are surrounded.

In my opinion it's really the Bonus Actions that's the major issue, not the advantage rules.


The problem is that you don’t even need a bonus action to get into backstab, try order your character to walk behind an enemy, it doesn’t trigger AoO. So you literally get free advantage, cost only movement.


This is what I have an issue with, you can just marry go round backstabs and not have to worry about an AoO. Hopefully this won't stay as is.

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You don't trigger attacks of opportunity unless you leave a creature's reach. Moving around them in the middle of combat is not going to trigger an attack of opportunity, even if faithful to 5e rules.

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Originally Posted by Fisher
You don't trigger attacks of opportunity unless you leave a creature's reach. Moving around them in the middle of combat is not going to trigger an attack of opportunity, even if faithful to 5e rules.

If we're being faithful to DnD rules, you don't get advantage from being behind someone either. Rogues can already sneak attack just because allies are close, we don't need to have this backstab system on top of that.

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If Larian thinks missing in a video game is not fun, reduce enemy AC seems to be a better solution than giving everyone easy access to advantages. Because free advantage really cheapens the value of many abilities and spells.

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