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#825184 04/08/22 01:44 PM
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So I marched into the Owlbear cave without spell slots. Thought I'd see if I can just cheese it somehow. Party of 3: Oghmar (Dwarf Cleric of Moradin), Shadowheart, Gale.

Fight goes:

Owlbear downs Oghmar, Gale "helps" Oghmar, Shadowheart stabs away with dual Daggers
Owlbear downs Oghmar, Gale "helps" Oghmar, Shadowheart stabs away with dual Daggers
Owlbear downs Oghmar, Gale "helps" Oghmar, Shadowheart stabs away with dual Daggers
Owlbear downs Oghmar, Gale "helps" Oghmar, Shadowheart stabs away with dual Daggers
Owlbear misses both attacks, everyone attacks
Owlbear downs Oghmar, Gale "helps" Oghmar, Shadowheart stabs away with dual Daggers
Owlbear downs Oghmar, Gale "helps" Oghmar, Shadowheart stabs away with dual Daggers
Owlbear misses both attacks, everyone attacks
Owlbear downs Oghmar, Gale "helps" Oghmar, Shadowheart stabs away with dual Daggers
Owlbear downs Oghmar, Gale "helps" Oghmar, Shadowheart stabs away with dual Daggers
Owlbear downs Oghmar, Gale "helps" Oghmar, Shadowheart stabs away with dual Daggers
Owlbear misses both attacks, everyone attacks
Owlbear downs Oghmar, Gale "helps" Oghmar, Shadowheart stabs away with dual Daggers, Owlbear dies.

How has this stupidity persisted for 8 patches? I should have lost, but instead it was the Owlbear who never stood a chance. How do mechanics like this not get fixed? It felt just as stupid as it looked.

Nevermind that the brightly lit area of the lair was considered "obscured".

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Unfortunately, in the D&D 5e system, there is no penalty for getting downed and healing is much more effective at bringing someone back from 0 to X HP rather than X to Y HP. You see this "whack-a-mole" situation occurring in PnP 5e mainly with Healing Word since it is only a bonus action, but of course is limited by the amount of spell slots to cast Healing Word.

This situation is dumb in PnP 5e, but Larian's decision to allow the "Help" action to restore a downed ally to positive HP makes it so much worse. It means it is impossible for a party to lose against enemy(s) with a number of attacks less than or equal to half the party size. Larian should fix this, by one or both of:
- having the Help action just stabilize a downed enemy upon a successful medicine check
- by giving downed characters successive penalties each time they go down before a long rest. E.g., gain a level of exhaustion each time you're downed. Once you get 6 levels of exhaustion you die; a short rest restores 1 level; a long rest restores all. Or maybe failed death saving throws persist throughout the day. Something.

Note: I'm not totally sure that Help still brings characters to 1hp, since I refuse to use it in my playthroughs. If it actually only stabilizes PCs (and enemies still focus those downed PCs), then it still should at least require a successful medicine check so that it's not guaranteed.

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I do find lighting to be not very informative. I hope it is work in progress as Larian keeps working on the lighting system, and in final release visual light/dark will correspond to being well lit/obscured.

Yeah, it's one of those mechanics that makes it super difficult to die, unless the enemy can down majority of your party in one swoop in between your turns.

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I like how there's a bit of a buffer between unconscious and dying, more so than in previous editions of D&D.

That said, bringing back downed PC's is too effective in 5e, and Larian just cranked that cheese to 11 by making it an action available to anyone and introducing thrown healing potions.

I'm all for both fatigue / cumulative penalties for getting downed AND Medicine checks that only stabilize the dying. And removing the ridiculous potion throwing. Downed PC's should stay down and it should be something to avoid at all costs. Powerful magical healing should be required to bring someone back into the fight.

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its fine as it is. If you want to stabilize instead of revive with "help" leave it exclusivly to tactician mode. Reviving is just a cost sink from that annoying zombie thing. I rather not waste my time, hence help exists. It saves a lot of time

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Originally Posted by 1varangian
Owlbear downs Oghmar, Gale "helps" Oghmar, Shadowheart stabs away with dual Daggers
Owlbear downs Oghmar, Gale "helps" Oghmar, Shadowheart stabs away with dual Daggers
Owlbear downs Oghmar, Gale "helps" Oghmar, Shadowheart stabs away with dual Daggers
Owlbear downs Oghmar, Gale "helps" Oghmar, Shadowheart stabs away with dual Daggers
Owlbear misses both attacks, everyone attacks
Owlbear downs Oghmar, Gale "helps" Oghmar, Shadowheart stabs away with dual Daggers
Owlbear downs Oghmar, Gale "helps" Oghmar, Shadowheart stabs away with dual Daggers
Owlbear misses both attacks, everyone attacks
Owlbear downs Oghmar, Gale "helps" Oghmar, Shadowheart stabs away with dual Daggers
Owlbear downs Oghmar, Gale "helps" Oghmar, Shadowheart stabs away with dual Daggers
Owlbear downs Oghmar, Gale "helps" Oghmar, Shadowheart stabs away with dual Daggers
Owlbear misses both attacks, everyone attacks
Owlbear downs Oghmar, Gale "helps" Oghmar, Shadowheart stabs away with dual Daggers, Owlbear dies.


Guy goes to the doctor and says, "Doc, every time I punch myself in the face, I get a bruise."

Doctor says, "Why don't you stop punching yourself in the face?"

*

I guess what I'm saying is--and I mean this sincerely--if you don't like the mechanic, why do you keep using it turn after turn?

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As can be seen in that list, sometimes using help will result in getting multiple attacks in on the owlbear, because the owlbear misses. So it's objectively more beneficial to keep using help, however tedious it is. The choice is to do a tedious thing that will help you eventually win, or consciously lose out on a source of damage for the rest of the fight without any tangible benefit. If the only benefit to not helping is that you don't have to engage with an annoying mechanic, and not helping could potentially cost you the combat, because now you're down a damage dealer and the owlbear is likely to turn its attention to another target, then the mechanic itself is bad and needs some kind of alteration.

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Originally Posted by Gray Ghost
If the only benefit to not helping is that you don't have to engage with an annoying mechanic, and not helping could potentially cost you the combat, because now you're down a damage dealer and the owlbear is likely to turn its attention to another target, then the mechanic itself is bad and needs some kind of alteration.

I don't think I understand what you're saying. Is this what you mean?

Example:

"I don't like this mechanic."

--then why do you use the mechanic?

"Because it helps me win."

--but you don't want the mechanic in the game?

"Correct."

--what would happen in that fight if the mechanic weren't in the game?

"I would lose the fight."

--so you would rather lose the fight than have the mechanic in the game?

"That's right."

--then why do you use the mechanic?

"Because it helps me win."

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I have mixed feeling about this. The OP did a good job at portraying a situation where this works poorly, however if we want to do it justice - there are a lot of fights where you'd get screwed for pursuing that strategy. A big beast is not always a tough enemy. A sole enemy is not always cheesable. Try this strategy against spectator and you are doomed. Try this against bullete and you are doomed. I bet it might work with grym, not sure though. There are not even that many fights like that, where you are against a single powerful enemy. So we can agree that using help to bring back allies to 1 hp is as you say 'stupid' in this particular scenario. But is it stupid in general? Is it stupid in a githyanki fight? Is it stupid in a duergar fight in the underdark? Is it stupid in the gnoll fight? I doubt it. May be we should address the enemy and its behavior rather than the whole mechanic that works fine everywhere else

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Originally Posted by JandK
Originally Posted by Gray Ghost
If the only benefit to not helping is that you don't have to engage with an annoying mechanic, and not helping could potentially cost you the combat, because now you're down a damage dealer and the owlbear is likely to turn its attention to another target, then the mechanic itself is bad and needs some kind of alteration.

I don't think I understand what you're saying. Is this what you mean?

Example:

"I don't like this mechanic."

--then why do you use the mechanic?

"Because it helps me win."

--but you don't want the mechanic in the game?

"Correct."

--what would happen in that fight if the mechanic weren't in the game?

"I would lose the fight."

--so you would rather lose the fight than have the mechanic in the game?

"That's right."

--then why do you use the mechanic?

"Because it helps me win."

Yeah, that's it pretty much. In my experience it's harder to make a choice to let yourself lose. If the option is out of your hands entirely, then you can put it down to either not enough skill on your part, bad luck, etc. But opting to just not use it entirely means that you're actively hurting your own chance to win. You're not losing because you don't have enough skill, you're losing because you didn't want to deal with an annoying mechanic. I don't think most people would consider that a satisfying loss. You don't come away feeling as though you gained more experience or system mastery from it, because you know exactly what you could have done to win, you just didn't want to deal with the tedium. And if the only benefit to making a choice is because you don't want to deal with a mechanic, then the mechanic probably needs a second look.

To go back to your prior example, it's not going to the doctor and complaining about getting bruised every time you punch yourself in the face. It's going to the doctor and complaining that punching yourself in the face is curing your stomach aches.

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The thing is that owlbear is not by any means a very hard enemy. At least it didn't feel that way to me. It might be that we are leaning in a direction with all this "impossible fight that I need to overcome by tedious cheesing" while it isn't even applicable - for owlbeat fight is nothing but easy. I wonder if we try to create a problem out of nowhere here. Because, again, one example of the OP just happens to prove his point, but is hardly convincing to call the whole mechanic problematic

Upd: by easy I mean that even when giving advice to a struggling player I'd suggest anything rather than the above-mentioned cheese. This fight has sooo many solutions to it, that are not tedious.

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Speaking from my own experience, the fight has always been challenging to me. It's been the kind challenging I could figure out, but it's definitely on the hard end of the spectrum for me, with the Githyanki fight being a whole other beast that I've given up even trying anymore.

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Originally Posted by JandK
Originally Posted by Gray Ghost
If the only benefit to not helping is that you don't have to engage with an annoying mechanic, and not helping could potentially cost you the combat, because now you're down a damage dealer and the owlbear is likely to turn its attention to another target, then the mechanic itself is bad and needs some kind of alteration.

I don't think I understand what you're saying. Is this what you mean?

Example:

"I don't like this mechanic."

--then why do you use the mechanic?

"Because it helps me win."

--but you don't want the mechanic in the game?

"Correct."

--what would happen in that fight if the mechanic weren't in the game?

"I would lose the fight."

--so you would rather lose the fight than have the mechanic in the game?

"That's right."

--then why do you use the mechanic?

"Because it helps me win."

I see your point but consider this. The special weapon attack that Larian added the game. I don't like the mechanic and I don't use it (mostly because I forget it exists). I don't lose anything by not using it because it is a completely extra mechanic that Larian homebrewed. Regular weapon attacks work just fine without that. So I am not complaining about that feature. It is fine, it exists and it does not bother me.

For that help action, Larian changed the original mechanic. By not using it, you don't have access to original mechanic and Larian's version of it. The complaint here is about the change. I don't have the option to ignore it or use the version I like.

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Someone getting knocked out and woken up 7 times in the same fight is stupid no matter what. I don't care if it's only cheesable when there's one or two enemies. I don't want to see combat turn into whac-a-mole.

A much better system would be one that had some actual use for the Medicine skill and where having characters knocked out would have meaningful tactical consequences.

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"just pretend you can't do X" is one of the worst responses to people raising legitimate points going around.

Don't like shove? Don't use it? Don't like stealth bonus action? Don't use it! Don't like..

At some point the game should function well when people are playing the... You know... Actual game, not having to make up their own rules for everything to try and make the experience better.

This mechanic is one of them, and something simple like a cumulative count per combat after which a character dies is a pretty simple and reasonable one.

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Okay, okay, I get it, no need to get so pressing with your wants and wishes laugh
But pleeease, avoid these "something is something, period" rethorics...
What you find stupid, I find hilarious! Some people watch movies and play games from a standpoint of realism and common sense, some play them for sheer entertainment. Why won't we just stop somewhere in between? I will be very sad if help is reworked, because I use a whac-a-mole (thats very funny by the way) strategy in a fight vs cambions on the nautiloid! It is always good fun...

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Just one question - how is dying and losing a fight for good a better experience? xD
I think that the whole "problem" we discuss here will be partially solved by the game difficulties in the future. If you want a good 'experience' you can adjust the difficulty to feat your needs, if you want to 'struggle and overcome' then by all means - keep your party members on the brink of death and win against the overwhelming odds! Am I wrong on this one?

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Originally Posted by neprostoman
Okay, okay, I get it, no need to get so pressing with your wants and wishes laugh
But pleeease, avoid these "something is something, period" rethorics...
What you find stupid, I find hilarious! Some people watch movies and play games from a standpoint of realism and common sense, some play them for sheer entertainment. Why won't we just stop somewhere in between? I will be very sad if help is reworked, because I use a whac-a-mole (thats very funny by the way) strategy in a fight vs cambions on the nautiloid! It is always good fun...
This is why it would have been necessary to have difficulty modes in EA. While something silly or OP you like pretty much ruins the game for me, I wouldn't want to take away your fun. And it's pointless to discuss features that Larian are planning to sort through different game modes. But we don't know what they are planning. I do know a lot of time would have been saved and a lot of pointless arguing would have been avoided if people could have been playing EA on Normal / Story / Core Rules settings.

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I am all-in for highly adjustable settings and rules, so everyone can find what fits them best!

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Originally Posted by neprostoman
The thing is that owlbear is not by any means a very hard enemy. At least it didn't feel that way to me. It might be that we are leaning in a direction with all this "impossible fight that I need to overcome by tedious cheesing" while it isn't even applicable - for owlbeat fight is nothing but easy. I wonder if we try to create a problem out of nowhere here. Because, again, one example of the OP just happens to prove his point, but is hardly convincing to call the whole mechanic problematic.
I did find the scenario that OP described to happen more often then not when I am in loosing situation. Often enough for me to put it into one bag with push/stealth as sloppily designed, abusable mechanic. I did have an encounter in trhe underdark tower, where Laez did all the work while remaining 3 party members kept resurecting each other over and over again. The are exceptions - like gith patrol as they have an ability to down majority of your party before you get to move. But in an even matchup, "help" seems to me to be a major, abusable advantage over the enemies.

I do wonder how problematic the mechanic will remain on higher level - with multi attack being more common resurrecting with 1hp might not be as beneficial as it is now.

Based on the content we have, I would lean toward “help” not resurrecting fallen comrades and forcing players to use healing spells or items if they want to do so. It’s difficult to say how the game will work in the long run, with more attacks and AoE spells to deal with.

All that being said, help is near bottom of my concerns - it’s a sloppy design that pops up fairly rarely in my gameplay.

Last edited by Wormerine; 05/08/22 10:55 AM.
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