Tuesday, August 2, 2016

5E rule variant: heavy obscurement

Heavy obscurement is so beneficial and so easy to acquire that I've decided to change the rules for it, so that being unseen or hidden does [I]not[/I] give you advantage on ranged attacks (but does enable sneak attack). It still gives advantage as usual on any melee attack (irrespective of weapon reach).

This does several things:

(1) Eliminates the worst abuse of Minor Illusion/Darkness/Fog Cloud/mundane camouflage. Under the vanilla rule, spells like Fog Cloud are disproportionately powerful compared to other spells which grant advantage (Faerie Fire) but allow a saving throw first.

(2) Eliminates the single most annoying thing about binary advantage (that heavy obscurement alone cancels out any number of disadvantage conditions like long range + prone + restrained + frightened, etc.).

(3) Makes more sense, physically. A failed melee attack can represent a successful parry, but a ranged attack cannot generally be parried--a failed attack just represents a miss. Missing on a ranged attack is easier than missing on a melee attack, because melee attacks can be redirected in-flight. Thus, it makes sense that being unseen helps melee attacks but not ranged attacks. Under this rule, camouflage will still help you defensively, but the fact that your foe doesn't know where exactly you are hiding in that bush won't somehow make you better at shooting him.

(4) Gives more of a niche for melee in the game, especially for night-fighting, because when it's dark melee attacks are resolved normally (if neither side has darkvision) but ranged attacks are at disadvantage.


If I esteem mankind to be in error, shall I bear them down? No. I will lift them up, and in their own way too, if I cannot persuade them my way is better; and I will not seek to compel any man to believe as I do, only by the force of reasoning, for truth will cut its own way.

I could not love thee, dear, so much,
Loved I not Honor more.

No comments: