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#758374 21/02/21 10:37 PM
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Some folks might be interested in that. How big a boost does Advantage represent ?

Unlike many other games and many things in 5E, where you'd get a straight up bonus of +X to something, Advantage means your roll two d20 and keep the higher of the two. This means that it is somewhat not expressed in the same language/unit/currency as a standard "+X to thingy rolls", although some conversions can be made.


One way look at how much Advantage represents is to look at the effective bonus. When rolling two d20 and keeping the max, how much bigger is the result compared to rolling one d20 ? The answer is the effective bonus is on average 3.325 (having an average at 13.825 instead of 10.5 for the simple d20).


Another way, quite popular, to look at how much Advantage represents is to look at the equivalent bonus. If p is your chance of success on an attack roll, benefitting from Advantage increases that hit chance by an amount i(p) = p*(1-p). Because of the uniformity of the d20, this can easily translated into an equivalent bonus : the standard bonus that would have increased your hit chance as much. Having Advantage means you have an equivalent bonus b(p) = 20*p*(1-p).

A couple of theoretical examples.
  • Say your hit chance is p = 50%, or equivalently your roll target is t = 11. Then i(p) = 25%, your equivalent bonus is a +5.
  • Say your hit chance is p = 65%, or equivalently your roll target is t = 8. Then i(p) = 22.75%, your equivalent bonus is a +4.5.
  • Say your hit chance is p = 80%, or equivalently your roll target is t = 5. Then i(p) = 16%, your equivalent bonus is a +3.2.
  • Say your hit chance is p = 100%, or equivalently your roll target is t = 1. Then i(p) = 0%, your equivalent bonus is a +0.

Clearly, Advantage is less beneficial when your base hit chance is high (or low). Also to note, everything is symmetric if your p is below 50%. Advantage won't help you much if you have p=5%, and will essentially give you +4.5 if p = 35%. Advantage is at its most beneficial when p = 50%.

So if you typically find your hit chance between 50% and 80% without Advantage, you will essentially benefit from a +5 to +3.2.

But how about real monsters ? Let's assume you have a level 1--3 character, with 16 in the Ability Score used for their Attack Roll, and you are Proficient, so your total AS+Proficiency bonuses are +5. I have selected some monsters that I feel a low-level party could encounter.
  • Generic Monster CR1 (DMG p274) with AC=13. That means your roll target is t = 8, your hit chance is p = 65%.
  • Zombie : AC = 8, t = 3, and the hit chance is p = 90%.
  • Acolyte, Badger, Giant Vulture : AC = 10, t = 5, and the hit chance is p = 80%.
  • Harpy, Brown Bear : AC = 11, t = 6, and the hit chance is p = 75%.
  • Bandit : AC = 12, t = 7, and the hit chance is p = 70%.
  • Skeleton : AC = 13, t = 8, and the hit chance is p = 65%.
  • Giant Spider : AC = 14, t = 9, and the hit chance is p = 60%.
  • Goblin, Gnoll : AC = 15, t = 10, and the hit chance is p = 55%.
  • Bugbear : AC = 16, t = 11, and the hit chance is p = 50%.
  • Goblin Boss : AC = 17, t = 12, and the hit chance is p = 45%.
  • Hobgoblin : AC = 18, t = 13, and the hit chance is p = 40%.

Note that I took these AC from the Monster Manual and didn't relauch my BG3. Larian overall reduced some AC, so you might have higher hit chance in practice.

I feel the typical range of hit chance is about 40%-80%. That means that Advantage typically gives you an equivalent bonus between 3.2 and +5. Now, let's assume you find yourself in a fight against single-type enemies, which were selected from a list such that your hit chance is between 40% and 90%. Assume the selection is random and uniform. Your average equivalent bonus from Advantage will be 4.05.


Finally, when using the Passive Checks rule, Advantage provides a +5. [EDIT, thanks LukasPrism]


Now, whether you prefer effective bonus or equivalent bonus, how big is that bonus, compared to other sources ?

  • Ability Scores + Proficiency Bonuses can go from a starting +5 up to a +11 at level 17, meaning you gain a +6. Standard enemy difficulty, and notably the suggested AC of the Generic Monster (DMG p274), progresses with you, at the same speed. So I feel these are not real bonuses, but more the baseline of the arms race. Although, if your level 17 characters come back to the goblin punks who bullying you at level 1, then you did get a +6. This comes in very slowly though.
  • As far as magic weapons go, it seems that the strongest Attack Roll bonus you can get is a +3.
  • A spell like Bless gives a bonus of 1d4, which means an average of +2.5.
  • The Archery Fighting Style gives a +2 to attack rolls (with ranged weapons). [EDIT]

So Advantage is pretty dope.

(And this is only thinking about hit chances. Rolling two d20 also increases the probability of landing a 20, which on average doubles the damage, so the impact of Advantage in terms of average damage output would be a bit better. But it's not always all about damage.)

Last edited by Drath Malorn; 22/02/21 07:03 AM. Reason: Added Fighting Style (Archery) and Passive Checks.

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So essentially: Free Advantage based on nothing more than positioning is a massive advantage on par or better than the most powerful magical weapons in the setting?

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Originally Posted by Scribe
So essentially: Free Advantage based on nothing more than positioning is a massive advantage on par or better than the most powerful magical weapons in the setting?

Yes. Hence the outcry.

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Just wanted to add, that you increase your chance to crit from 5% to 9.75%, and your chance to critically miss is reduced from 5% to 0.25%.

If you take a fighter (Champion) with level 3 the crit chance would normally be 10%, with advantage it's 19%.

And it gets really funny if you play an Elf and take the feat Elven Accuracy 😉

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Originally Posted by daMichi
Just wanted to add, that you increase your chance to crit from 5% to 9.75%, and your chance to critically miss is reduced from 5% to 0.25%.

If you take a fighter (Champion) with level 3 the crit chance would normally be 10%, with advantage it's 19%.

And it gets really funny if you play an Elf and take the feat Elven Accuracy 😉

I don’t think we will see elven accuracy in BG3 with current height advantage. It would be hilariously overpowered.

Last edited by spectralhunter; 22/02/21 12:22 AM.
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Originally Posted by spectralhunter
Originally Posted by Scribe
So essentially: Free Advantage based on nothing more than positioning is a massive advantage on par or better than the most powerful magical weapons in the setting?

Yes. Hence the outcry.

It’s not like Larian shouldn’t have known about this. It says in the PHB that if you get advantage on passive abilities it equates to a +5 bonus, which is in line with what Drath says.

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Originally Posted by LukasPrism
Originally Posted by spectralhunter
Originally Posted by Scribe
So essentially: Free Advantage based on nothing more than positioning is a massive advantage on par or better than the most powerful magical weapons in the setting?

Yes. Hence the outcry.

It’s not like Larian shouldn’t have known about this. It says in the PHB that if you get advantage on passive abilities it equates to a +5 bonus, which is in line with what Drath says.

They knew. Of course they knew.

Which gives me little hope that we will see any significant changes.

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I don't mean to be rude, but wouldn't this have been very fitting for the other current thread we have on what advantage means?


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The thread that made me think about the technical/numerical value of Advantage was essentially about High-Ground. I just wanted to make Advantage separate.

Originally Posted by Scribe
So essentially: Free Advantage based on nothing more than positioning is a massive advantage on par or better than the most powerful magical weapons in the setting?

Yes, and this is also true of Advantage gained from any resource-costing ability or spell, of course.

Originally Posted by LukasPrism
It says in the PHB that if you get advantage on passive abilities it equates to a +5 bonus, which is in line with what Drath says.

Damn it ! I like the Passive Checks rule and I forgot about that.


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Originally Posted by Dexai
I don't mean to be rude, but wouldn't this have been very fitting for the other current thread we have on what advantage means?

Well your right but honestly..... does it matter? Larian ignories it anyway so it doenst matter if a thread has 8 pages or 80 pages. Noone at larian cares! Its their DnD 6e that gopt approved by WotC so everything is fine.

And even IF THEY WOULD care... they dont have the staff doing such nonese fixes. First there must be torches and stuff like that fixed.

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Originally Posted by LukasPrism
Originally Posted by spectralhunter
Originally Posted by Scribe
So essentially: Free Advantage based on nothing more than positioning is a massive advantage on par or better than the most powerful magical weapons in the setting?

Yes. Hence the outcry.

It’s not like Larian shouldn’t have known about this. It says in the PHB that if you get advantage on passive abilities it equates to a +5 bonus, which is in line with what Drath says.
You're right, it's right there on page 175 smile

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Side comment for emphasis:

Foresight is a 9th level spell - that is, the highest possible echelon of magical casting, that contains spells like meteor swarm and wish. It's available to 17th level pure casters that have dedicated their entire adventuring career to gaining this degree of magical ability.

Foresight's purpose is to give one target free advantage all the time for 8 hours.

Last edited by Niara; 22/02/21 07:35 AM.
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Originally Posted by Niara
Side comment for emphasis:

Foresight is a 9th level spell - that is, the highest possible echelon of magical casting, that contains spells like meteor swarm and wish. It's available to 17th level pure casters that have dedicated their entire adventuring career to gaining this degree of magical ability.

Foresight's purpose is to give one target free advantage all the time for 8 hours.


Yep true.... that means you only have to wait for lvl 17 until you can stop playing super Mario. That gives hope!

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Originally Posted by Baldurs-Gate-Fan
Originally Posted by Niara
Side comment for emphasis:

Foresight is a 9th level spell - that is, the highest possible echelon of magical casting, that contains spells like meteor swarm and wish. It's available to 17th level pure casters that have dedicated their entire adventuring career to gaining this degree of magical ability.

Foresight's purpose is to give one target free advantage all the time for 8 hours.


Yep true.... that means you only have to wait for lvl 17 until you can stop playing super Mario. That gives hope!

Foresight only gives you advantage, it doesn't give your enemies disadvantage. So really you should still play Super Mario because that spell only gives at best half the advantage of high ground.

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Originally Posted by Rack
Originally Posted by Baldurs-Gate-Fan
Originally Posted by Niara
Side comment for emphasis:

Foresight is a 9th level spell - that is, the highest possible echelon of magical casting, that contains spells like meteor swarm and wish. It's available to 17th level pure casters that have dedicated their entire adventuring career to gaining this degree of magical ability.

Foresight's purpose is to give one target free advantage all the time for 8 hours.


Yep true.... that means you only have to wait for lvl 17 until you can stop playing super Mario. That gives hope!

Foresight only gives you advantage, it doesn't give your enemies disadvantage. So really you should still play Super Mario because that spell only gives at best half the advantage of high ground.


THats sooo cool.... so basicaly in Larians game you can outclass a 9th lvl spell just by hitting jump as a bonus actions. Thats awesome gameplay! Good job Larian. But hey at least we got good graphics or?

Last edited by Baldurs-Gate-Fan; 22/02/21 10:39 AM.
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So having less elevation in BG3 is basically like being blinded. What the actual...

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Originally Posted by Niara
Side comment for emphasis:

Foresight is a 9th level spell - that is, the highest possible echelon of magical casting, that contains spells like meteor swarm and wish. It's available to 17th level pure casters that have dedicated their entire adventuring career to gaining this degree of magical ability.

Foresight's purpose is to give one target free advantage all the time for 8 hours.

At least this is somewhat balanced out with enemies also being able to exploit the same (height only) advantage (oftentimes placed in advantageous tactical positions at the onset of combat, and an AI who prioritizes height advantage literally above all else wink ).

Alternatively height/flanking advantage is much better than the Barbarian's Reckless Attack - which is a core mechanic of that class. Reckless Attacks gives the Barbarian advantage to all attacks, but enemies likewise get advantage to their attacks vs the Barbarian. This allows the Barbarian to be a DPS machine and tank because it in effect taunts enemies by incentivizing them to attack the Barbarian in preference of more vulnerable party members. Totally broken ability/mechanic by the over-incentivizing of tactical positioning (which I actually do agree should provide a small bonus, ie. +2).

Last edited by Seraphael; 22/02/21 11:44 AM.
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Originally Posted by Niara
Side comment for emphasis:

Foresight is a 9th level spell - that is, the highest possible echelon of magical casting, that contains spells like meteor swarm and wish. It's available to 17th level pure casters that have dedicated their entire adventuring career to gaining this degree of magical ability.

Foresight's purpose is to give one target free advantage all the time for 8 hours.

So well spotted.

I like this idea (also expressed by others) : if we look more broadly that my post, which was strictly about the inner-working and the numbers-output of Advantage, and we look at the cost of getting Advantage, what is comparable to what ?
  • Backstab costs nothing if you walk around the enemy, or a Bonus Action if you Jump, and provides essentially-permanent Advantage on Attack Rolls.
  • High-Ground costs little to set up, or a bit more depending on the encounter, and then provides ongoing Advantage on Attack Rolls as well as giving the enemies Disadvantage on Attack Rolls against us.
  • Foresight costs a level-9 spell slot, takes 1 minute (=10 rounds) to cast, lasts 1h, can affect only one target at a time, and gives ongoing Advantage on Attack Rolls (and ST and Ability Checks) as well as giving the enemies Disadvantage on Attack Rolls.

So basically High-Ground hands out the effect of a level-9 spell, without the long casting time, and to everyone. My understanding of its impact has just been reframed.


On a different note, is +2 really a "small" bonus ? Here I'm not interested in the source of the +2 bonus, just the magnitude. If Advantage is about a +3.33, a +2 is still about 60% of that bonus.


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Originally Posted by Drath Malorn
On a different note, is +2 really a "small" bonus ? Here I'm not interested in the source of the +2 bonus, just the magnitude. If Advantage is about a +3.33, a +2 is still about 60% of that bonus.
Is an apple large? Everything is relative.

Friends is a cantrip that gives you advantage to all charisma checks for a conversation (in effect a nerf to skill based classes such as Rogue and Bard who are already nerfed by the issue of save-scumming). Bless is a 1st level spell that gives 3 party members +1-4 attack rolls/saves for 10 turns. Staff of Arcane Blessing is a early level "uncommon" magic item that gives the wielder permanent bless, +1-4 attack rolls/save, AND +2-8 on spell attack rolls (and this is a bonus that STACKS with advantage virtually guaranteeing "never"/seldom to miss).

I think we should bear in mind that there are a lot of people who complain about RNG, and this issue has been on the forefront of Larian's mind since before EA. Missing/failing is objectively not fun, nor is the save-scumming it tends to incentivize. However, Larian is likely over-correcting considering this would be handled, at least in part, by a working difficulty setting. Missing in combat could also be portrayed as the enemy dodged or blocked (if dex or shield is enough to make an attack miss) both to provide more variation in combat and to mitigate the sense of failure some people find hard to tolerate.

Last edited by Seraphael; 22/02/21 01:27 PM.
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Originally Posted by Drath Malorn
Originally Posted by Niara
Side comment for emphasis:

Foresight is a 9th level spell - that is, the highest possible echelon of magical casting, that contains spells like meteor swarm and wish. It's available to 17th level pure casters that have dedicated their entire adventuring career to gaining this degree of magical ability.

Foresight's purpose is to give one target free advantage all the time for 8 hours.

So well spotted.

I like this idea (also expressed by others) : if we look more broadly that my post, which was strictly about the inner-working and the numbers-output of Advantage, and we look at the cost of getting Advantage, what is comparable to what ?
  • Backstab costs nothing if you walk around the enemy, or a Bonus Action if you Jump, and provides essentially-permanent Advantage on Attack Rolls.
  • High-Ground costs little to set up, or a bit more depending on the encounter, and then provides ongoing Advantage on Attack Rolls as well as giving the enemies Disadvantage on Attack Rolls against us.
  • Foresight costs a level-9 spell slot, takes 1 minute (=10 rounds) to cast, lasts 1h, can affect only one target at a time, and gives ongoing Advantage on Attack Rolls (and ST and Ability Checks) as well as giving the enemies Disadvantage on Attack Rolls.

So basically High-Ground hands out the effect of a level-9 spell, without the long casting time, and to everyone. My understanding of its impact has just been reframed.


On a different note, is +2 really a "small" bonus ? Here I'm not interested in the source of the +2 bonus, just the magnitude. If Advantage is about a +3.33, a +2 is still about 60% of that bonus.

A +2 which can stack with other bonuses is a very good bonus.

The main reason I've defaulted to +2 is because it lines up the cover bonuses (half cover is +2 to AC, 3/4rs cover is +5) from the PHB.


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