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  1. - Top - End - #91
    Troll in the Playground
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    Default Re: Fighting Style: Protection, is it worth?

    Defense is fine, its always on. +1AC and that can be significant.

    Players at my table have murdered up and down the sword coast for +1 plate armor

    The styles are about usage, there is a thread recently about a sentinel/protection tag team.... okay here protection is going to be awesome

    Dueling at lower levels is awesome, +2 damage on an attack is lethal. But at 20th level is +8 damage that big? or for an 11th level paladin is +4 damage worth it when you have improved divine smite, smite, and smite spells?

    Protection can stop a critical hit, that is huge at any level. But I have seen lots of players all spread out in melee seeking glory and with no one to protect.

    It is really about team dynamics.

    The thing about defense is it good for any style, and for a paladin any weapon layout. If you take duelist style, you are stuck S&B probably

    The thing is a paladin shouldn't be relegated to weapon choices, especially if you are the only extra attack melee combatant, you don't need the damage from dueling you have smite, also you have the bless spell so even at 12th level when you come across a magic greatsword you can snag GWM and that's why defense might be the better choice.

    Fighting styles, unless you are 100% sure... like an archer or TWF, can be a trap. Defensive style is good for any melee combatant

  2. - Top - End - #92
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    Default Re: Fighting Style: Protection, is it worth?

    Quote Originally Posted by djreynolds View Post
    Protection can stop a critical hit, that is huge at any level. But I have seen lots of players all spread out in melee seeking glory and with no one to protect.
    I know, I know. I have been in groups where the barbarian "man, why would anyone take Wolf when Bear is so much better!"
    <sigh>

  3. - Top - End - #93
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    Default Re: Fighting Style: Protection, is it worth?

    Quote Originally Posted by Snails View Post
    I know, I know. I have been in groups where the barbarian "man, why would anyone take Wolf when Bear is so much better!"
    <sigh>
    Right, its like playing a wizard and your just about to drop a fireball and everyone charges in....

    I would really love to see a well-oiled team actually play, I would love to DM that.

  4. - Top - End - #94
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    MindFlayer

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    Default Re: Fighting Style: Protection, is it worth?

    Quote Originally Posted by djreynolds View Post
    Right, its like playing a wizard and your just about to drop a fireball and everyone charges in....

    I would really love to see a well-oiled team actually play, I would love to DM that.
    It's a lot of fun to DM for. I hope you find such a group!

    I actually think it's tragic that so many people demonize "minmaxers" because the most fun group of roleplayers I've had the privilege of playing with and DMing for are also hardcore optimizers who pull out all the stops on team combos and the like. And it's a blast. Not to mention that I feel like it enhances the story, rather than detracts from it, when players are really invested in the struggles of their characters to survive and succeed.

    I've never understood the objection that the DM can't keep up with the "overpowered" PCs. It's not like I'm on a budget for the challenges I can throw at them. I can scale up the difficulty infinitely.

  5. - Top - End - #95
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    Default Re: Fighting Style: Protection, is it worth?

    Quote Originally Posted by LudicSavant View Post
    It's a lot of fun to DM for. I hope you find such a group!
    We can hope. I even cue players and even nestle groups of mooks in small cluster, they just really "recklessly attack"

    At least their wizard took evocation and has sculpt spell

  6. - Top - End - #96
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    Default Re: Fighting Style: Protection, is it worth?

    Having played a squishy frontline fighter (monk/rogue), I always appreciated having the Paladin next to me ready to impose disadvantage.

  7. - Top - End - #97
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    Default Re: Fighting Style: Protection, is it worth?

    Quote Originally Posted by djreynolds View Post
    We can hope. I even cue players and even nestle groups of mooks in small cluster, they just really "recklessly attack"

    At least their wizard took evocation and has sculpt spell
    I know your pain. "Why would anyone go Wolf when Bear is so much better?" <sigh>

  8. - Top - End - #98
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    PaladinGuy

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    Default Re: Fighting Style: Protection, is it worth?

    As someone who likes playing tanks, the question is quite easy. Yes, I feel protection is worth it.
    • I don't care if isn't "always on" - it's there when I need it.
    • I don't care the enemy can walk away without me taking an opportunity attack. I welcome him walking away (since I'm suing protection when the enemy is in a bad spot, ... yeah, move. PLEASE do.)
    • I don't care +1 AC on my towering AC is great - for it also makes enemies want to attack me even less. and I got hp up the wazoo anyway (goliath HAM fighter FTW).
    • That one point of AC is not worth it, if it's the difference between a cleric who needs to spend resources curing a downed ally vs one who can debuf the enemy.


    In the end, I'm geared to take it like a boss. my allies aren't.
    Protection encourages enemies to ply my game - not theirs.

    That makes it worth it. Simple as that.

    -------------------

    Also, to the people who think that a single opportunity attack is sufficient to keep a monster at bay.
    ... you do realise that they guy you're guarding can still make his opportunity attack, right?

    Well, the fighter used his reaction, so now I can just walk around this fighter & rogue and *gurgle*
    *drops dead*
    Rogue: wans't me *bluff check*
    Last edited by qube; 2019-02-12 at 01:22 AM.
    Yes, tabaxi grappler. It's a thing

    RFC1925: With sufficient thrust, pigs fly just fine. However, this is not necessarily a good idea.
    Alucard (TFS): I do things. I take very enthusiastic walks through the woods
    Math Rule of thumb: 1/X chance : There's about a 2/3 of it happening at least once in X tries
    Actually, "(e-1)/e for a limit to infinitiy", but, it's a good rule of thumb

  9. - Top - End - #99
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    ElfRangerGuy

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    Default Re: Fighting Style: Protection, is it worth?

    Quote Originally Posted by ad_hoc View Post
    You're already going to be the last one alive most of the time because you have the highest AC. Adding more AC on top of that won't change that you're the last to die.



    If party gets to dictate what the enemy creatures do so much as to pick who gets attacked, then there is no real threat and it doesn't matter what options are taken.

    The game is on easy mode so everything is good.
    Correction: should have been players running by.

    It's presumptuous of you to write that I play on easy mode. There's many ways to make enemies have to deal with the high AC characters: positioning, battlefield control and visibility being top of the list. That make that 1ac worth a lot and losing your reaction very bad. YMMV
    Rule of Cool and Rules as Fun. My favourite D&D session had 3 dice rolls. I'm currently curious to any system that has a higher amount of choices in combat than 5e from the beginning of the game; especially for non-spellcasters. Please PM any recommendations.

  10. - Top - End - #100
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    PaladinGuy

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    Default Re: Fighting Style: Protection, is it worth?

    Quote Originally Posted by Skylivedk View Post
    Correction: should have been players running by.

    It's presumptuous of you to write that I play on easy mode. There's many ways to make enemies have to deal with the high AC characters: positioning, battlefield control and visibility being top of the list. That make that 1ac worth a lot and losing your reaction very bad. YMMV
    Can you elaborate, 'cause I feel you're either in a Shrodinger's box, or try to act as though a very specific senario is something common. How can you have gotten yourself in a situation where both
    • the enemy can attack an adjacent ally (a.k.a. you're in a situation where a protection fighting style fighter would lose his reaction to give disadvantage)
    • the enemy wants move away and attack someone else (since, apparently, you want to keep your reaction for if he triggers an OA)
    • your opportunity attack actually matters (Seriously, if you as monster got 100 hp, soaking 1d8+4 to shred the wizard is morth then worth it)
    • the enemy attacks you (a.k.a. you're in a situation that that +1 AC is worth anything)
    • AND somehow that +1 AC is worth "a lot" *


    * in a void, +1 AC is a lot on a high AC, because of the increasing return (getting hit on a 19+ vs 20-only, is a 50% means getting hit 50% less) - but when you take into account hp, that's not a "huge boost", but "icying on the cake" - you'll already have more then enough hp to tank with a 19+ so, getting hit even is from a certain optic meaningless.
    Last edited by qube; 2019-02-12 at 12:45 PM.
    Yes, tabaxi grappler. It's a thing

    RFC1925: With sufficient thrust, pigs fly just fine. However, this is not necessarily a good idea.
    Alucard (TFS): I do things. I take very enthusiastic walks through the woods
    Math Rule of thumb: 1/X chance : There's about a 2/3 of it happening at least once in X tries
    Actually, "(e-1)/e for a limit to infinitiy", but, it's a good rule of thumb

  11. - Top - End - #101
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    Default Re: Fighting Style: Protection, is it worth?

    Quote Originally Posted by Skylivedk View Post
    It's presumptuous of you to write that I play on easy mode. There's many ways to make enemies have to deal with the high AC characters: positioning, battlefield control and visibility being top of the list. That make that 1ac worth a lot and losing your reaction very bad. YMMV
    Like I said earlier, people online seem to be playing very different 5e games than I am. It sounds like you're routinely fighting in very cramped corridors against enemies without things like reach, ranged attacks, unusual movement, or spells. But when I think of the hard fights I've been involved in, they often involve open spaces, flying or teleporting enemies, multiple opponents, opponents using stealth/invisibility, and opponents who aren't limited to just melee. There's only so much you can do, especially when it takes a round or two before you can land battlefield control spells past the bulk counterspelling. I just don't see how you consistently force the opponents to concentrate AC attacks on high AC characters when you have enemies using tactics and either a good number of enemies (1-2 per PC) or single tough opponents like a mummy lord, who has what's effectively a teleport.

  12. - Top - End - #102
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    Default Re: Fighting Style: Protection, is it worth?

    I gotta say there has been a great argument made for a paladin and protection style.

    1. S&B paladin can still smite, lot of damage and can let the fighter and barbarian run with GWM
    2. Duelist style +2 for a paladin isn't a big deal with smite, so perhaps protection makes a better choice.

    But I value defensive styles +1,
    Would you rather have an 18 strength or 20 strength... it's only +1 to your attack
    If that + 1 in your attack stat is that strong, I've seen up wards of 10% increase in attacks landed, wouldn't you want +1 to defense?

    At my table I let players change them out, really, because it allows for growth

    But arguments for both sides have been really enlightening, especially for paladin's and protection style

  13. - Top - End - #103
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    PaladinGuy

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    Default Re: Fighting Style: Protection, is it worth?

    Quote Originally Posted by djreynolds View Post
    If that + 1 in your attack stat is that strong
    Sigh, I actually quite dislike it when people spread this myth. It's actually not "that strong", in fact, in quite possible it's inferior to what is commonly considered the lowest boost, namely +1 damage
    • 55% hit chance, 1d8+4 = avr 4.475 (incl. the 5% crit chance)
    • 50% hit chance, 1d8+5 = avr 4.5 (incl. the 5% crit chance)

    +2 STR, OTOH, obvious does both; which results in a a kwadratic boost to average damage.
    Yes, tabaxi grappler. It's a thing

    RFC1925: With sufficient thrust, pigs fly just fine. However, this is not necessarily a good idea.
    Alucard (TFS): I do things. I take very enthusiastic walks through the woods
    Math Rule of thumb: 1/X chance : There's about a 2/3 of it happening at least once in X tries
    Actually, "(e-1)/e for a limit to infinitiy", but, it's a good rule of thumb

  14. - Top - End - #104
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    OrcBarbarianGuy

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    Default Re: Fighting Style: Protection, is it worth?

    Quote Originally Posted by qube View Post
    +2 STR, OTOH, obvious does both; which results in a a kwadratic boost to average damage.
    Quadratic?

    Or is this a joke I'm not aware of.

  15. - Top - End - #105
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    Default Re: Fighting Style: Protection, is it worth?

    +1 to hit, not just +1 to damage.

    +1 to hit. It will increase your overall damage output per day. Just more attacks hitting

    So +1 to A.C. is the reversal to that +1 to hit.

    It may not be a noticeable increase in damage throughout the day, but it's something.

    Protection style can be very powerful, but for me it's big draw back is it forces you to be S&B.

    Defensive style allows for any weapon layout.

  16. - Top - End - #106
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    Default Re: Fighting Style: Protection, is it worth?

    Quote Originally Posted by djreynolds View Post
    Protection style can be very powerful, but for me it's big draw back is it forces you to be S&B.

    Defensive style allows for any weapon layout.
    That is fair; defense is the most flexible.

    I can see there are many builds and certain parties for which Protection would be a poor choice. I just do not believe that it is never a good choice.

    If averages were all that mattered, the PCs win every battle without picking up the dice. Tactics are about making good results and good luck more likely, while mitigating bad luck. Protection potentially smooths out bad luck, so if you can employ it effectively it is actually more valuable than simple averages suggest.

    Not every party can make good use of Protection, as I already said.

  17. - Top - End - #107
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    Default Re: Fighting Style: Protection, is it worth?

    Quote Originally Posted by Snails View Post
    If averages were all that mattered, the PCs win every battle without picking up the dice. Tactics are about making good results and good luck more likely, while mitigating bad luck. Protection potentially smooths out bad luck, so if you can employ it effectively it is actually more valuable than simple averages suggest.
    This is one of many factors people overlook when attempting to 'optimize'.

    It's not just about simple math.
    If you are trying to abuse the game; Don't. And you're probably wrong anyway.

  18. - Top - End - #108
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    Default Re: Fighting Style: Protection, is it worth?

    Quote Originally Posted by djreynolds View Post
    I gotta say there has been a great argument made for a paladin and protection style.

    1. S&B paladin can still smite, lot of damage and can let the fighter and barbarian run with GWM
    2. Duelist style +2 for a paladin isn't a big deal with smite, so perhaps protection makes a better choice.
    Sentinel is a great pick for many paladins. And it competes for your reaction, so if you pick it, then that takes value away from protection. Defense fs helps a little with giving you sentinel attacks on a more regular basis. Being able to make sentinel attacks on a regular basis also adds value to dueling.

    Even without sentinel, paladins have the ability to threaten with strong opportunity attacks, cause they can add to them the damage from IDS and smites. Yes, smites use spell slots, so you cannot smite infinitely. But opportunity attacks are usually a good time to smite. Because when someone leaves your reach to go after your casters, you want that person dead faster than the enemies that are sticking next to you and who try to beat your 20-21 AC.

    Nothing is fixed and no fighting style is bad, until you know your allies. In a party with many melee tough-ish allies (and assuming I am not planning for sentinel), I would take protection. Firstly because OA's dont matter much in such a party, secondly because as it was said previously, because protection then becomes a way of distributing risk/damage a bit more evenly across your melee allies, whom you want up and conscious so that the party will keep going on maximum efficiency (no downed character). But in a party with few tanks (many casters/ skirmishers/ archers), I would avoid protection (and I'd go with one of the other fighting styles), because of the exact opposite reasons. That is, the less less value to mitigate some damage on the fighter standing next to me, because it's only me that is sharing the tanking burden with that fighter. There is less value in me using my reaction with protection, when OA's will be important for me in this set up. There is even less incentive for the fighter to stick and fight next to me (to make any use of protection), because with many squishy characters the tankier ones might need to spread in order to answer emergency type of situations (eg 2 enemies managed to get next to the wizard and I need to go over there asap and smite them, or lay on hands the wizard, or whatever).

    I'd add, and this is based purely on opinion and experience and not on anything I would call solid fact, that the times where one plays at a party where protection would be the best choice are relatively few. Because IMO you need many melee and tanky enough allies to make good use of it.
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  19. - Top - End - #109
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    MindFlayer

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    Default Re: Fighting Style: Protection, is it worth?

    There seems to be this premise bandied about that the person selecting a fighting style is already going to have the highest AC, despite not investing in abilities that boost their AC beyond their base kit (like Defense). I think that's quite a hasty assumption. That Sorlock in the back line has a 19 base AC and plenty of slots for Shield, Absorb Elements, and bigger defensive spells. That Cleric over there is a Hill Dwarf who bumped up to 18 Con when they took Resilient (Constitution) and is wearing plate and a shield, has Defensive Duelist (because dwarves can dump strength while wearing plate), and has a bevy of powerful defensive spells. The Arcane Trickster is a tank in their own right when targeting them is even an option. Often the party will be imposing Disadvantage without the aid of Protection. And so on and so forth.

    Personally, I've played at tables where a person whose defenses consist of just plate, a shield, and a d10 hit die would actually be the party's squishiest member when it comes to AC-targeting attacks.

    Quote Originally Posted by OverLordOcelot View Post
    Like I said earlier, people online seem to be playing very different 5e games than I am. It sounds like you're routinely fighting in very cramped corridors against enemies without things like reach, ranged attacks, unusual movement, or spells. But when I think of the hard fights I've been involved in, they often involve open spaces, flying or teleporting enemies, multiple opponents, opponents using stealth/invisibility, and opponents who aren't limited to just melee. There's only so much you can do, especially when it takes a round or two before you can land battlefield control spells past the bulk counterspelling. I just don't see how you consistently force the opponents to concentrate AC attacks on high AC characters when you have enemies using tactics and either a good number of enemies (1-2 per PC) or single tough opponents like a mummy lord, who has what's effectively a teleport.
    So let's take the example of the Mummy Lord and their "teleport." Let's even say that they successfully used that to get past you, despite the fact that it actually cannot get past various tanking abilities, like Sentinel.

    Now, that teleport took 2 legendary actions. If they had just attacked the person in melee with them already instead of teleporting, they would have gotten 2 extra attacks. What this means is that the new target not only has to be less durable than the melee fighter to be the "correct target," they have to be less durable by enough that 2 extra attacks (or anything else they can do with Legendary actions) wouldn't make up the difference. For spellcasters with Misty Step it's often even worse; they've used up their spell for the turn. That's a serious opportunity cost that may well offset any benefit they get from targeting someone with a slightly lower AC.

    This is before we even really get into the kinds of abilities and strategies good tank builds can use to really throw a monkey wrench into the enemy's decision tree, but it is already sufficient to falsify the premise that a character with a lower AC is necessarily a better target, and demonstrates how one character's durability can be leveraged in a way that offsets a difference in durability between two or more characters. Don't get me wrong, it's possible for players to over-invest in AC when other options could be more beneficial for their particular situation, but taking Defense doesn't necessarily mean that you're doing that.

    _______

    So what about all those other, less specific things you mentioned?

    Flying enemies? That often puts the enemy in a more precarious position when in melee with a proper tank, not a less precarious one. That Aarakocra tries to leave your space and gets reduced to zero by Sentinel or Eldritch Smite or Tripping Attack or any of a number of other things, and they fall. What if they were a mage concentrating on keeping themselves aloft? They have to make Concentration checks or fall! Someone else holding then aloft? Then you can use dispel, or just go hit that someone else.

    Ranged enemies? If an enemy is in melee with you, they have Disadvantage on all ranged attacks (and also can't better angle their attacks for getting around cover and the like). They need to get out of melee range with you, with all of the attendant consequences of trying to do that.

    Stealth/Invisibility? If you can't see the creature attacking, Protection doesn't work, while Defense does.

    Enemies who use something other than AC targeting attacks? Then Protection isn't going to defend people any more than Defense is.

    Open spaces? All of the stuff I just mentioned applies in open spaces. If anything, open spaces open up some new kiting options for your allies.

    Swarming foes? Protection applies to only a single enemy attack.

    Quote Originally Posted by Corran View Post
    Nothing is fixed and no fighting style is bad, until you know your allies.
    This. Whether Protection or Defense is best will depend on your build and party composition.

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    Default Re: Fighting Style: Protection, is it worth?

    Quote Originally Posted by Skylivedk View Post
    I don't get this argument. If you use Protection on an ally, that person is probably already close to melee, so not super squishy. By using Protection, you've removed your own Attack of Opportunity. Haven't you just made it easier for players to run past your lines?
    You are assuming things. Protection also works on ranged attacks, as long as: a) you can see who is attacking, b) it is a target other than you, but within 5' of you.

    "Protection: When a creature you can see attacks a target other than you that is within 5 feet of you, you can use your reaction to impose disadvantage on the attack roll. You must be wielding a shield."

    Yup, that means you can protect nouns (a person, place, thing), be it the attack is melee or ranged, weapon or spell. Caster's Firebolt targeting the landlady's roses next to you? Yeah, you can Protection that.

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    Default Re: Fighting Style: Protection, is it worth?

    Quote Originally Posted by qube View Post
    Can you elaborate, 'cause I feel you're either in a Shrodinger's box, or try to act as though a very specific senario is something common. How can you have gotten yourself in a situation where both
    • the enemy can attack an adjacent ally (a.k.a. you're in a situation where a protection fighting style fighter would lose his reaction to give disadvantage)
    • the enemy wants move away and attack someone else (since, apparently, you want to keep your reaction for if he triggers an OA)
    • your opportunity attack actually matters (Seriously, if you as monster got 100 hp, soaking 1d8+4 to shred the wizard is morth then worth it)
    • the enemy attacks you (a.k.a. you're in a situation that that +1 AC is worth anything)
    • AND somehow that +1 AC is worth "a lot" *


    * in a void, +1 AC is a lot on a high AC, because of the increasing return (getting hit on a 19+ vs 20-only, is a 50% means getting hit 50% less) - but when you take into account hp, that's not a "huge boost", but "icying on the cake" - you'll already have more then enough hp to tank with a 19+ so, getting hit even is from a certain optic meaningless.
    1) Forced movement first, split allies. Any kind of darkness, blinding effect, etc.
    2) Sentinel is a top of the line feat for melee tanks.
    3) Again, Sentinel, but also OAs with Smite, Sneak Attack, Booming Blade or other spell (from Warcaster - quite normal on Padlocks, Sorcadins, Baradins etc.).
    4) Again, Sentinel; high DPS from other features (manoeuvres, GWM, Smite, etc.)

    I'm not saying it's useless, just that you and your melee buddy have to fight in a very specific way, which has to be matched by the opponents NOT doing it and that the Action Economy opportunity cost can be significant. I'm happy to see the use on Paladins: It has made me actually consider the feat for some builds, whereas before I had put it to the back of my mind. Mostly for Conquest Paladins though, since most other Paladins I probably want to multi into a Cha spell-caster and then I have more fun with Warcaster or Reaction spells.

    Quote Originally Posted by OverLordOcelot View Post
    Like I said earlier, people online seem to be playing very different 5e games than I am. It sounds like you're routinely fighting in very cramped corridors against enemies without things like reach, ranged attacks, unusual movement, or spells. But when I think of the hard fights I've been involved in, they often involve open spaces, flying or teleporting enemies, multiple opponents, opponents using stealth/invisibility, and opponents who aren't limited to just melee. There's only so much you can do, especially when it takes a round or two before you can land battlefield control spells past the bulk counterspelling. I just don't see how you consistently force the opponents to concentrate AC attacks on high AC characters when you have enemies using tactics and either a good number of enemies (1-2 per PC) or single tough opponents like a mummy lord, who has what's effectively a teleport.
    Not really. See above. And also below from Ludic Servant. Depends on party composition. I DM a campaign where the main party members (lvl 9) are:
    Openhanded Monk (8) / Ranger (1)
    Sorcadin
    Forge Cleric/Abjurer
    Wolfbarian

    - often aided by Diviner (2)/Arcane Trickster (7), sometimes a Battlemaster/Rogue
    In this party, Protection is bad for everybody who can take it. It might have been OK for the Sorcadin, but since he is in reality one of the most vulnerable (not squishy) in the party, and the only one he could really defend can spend 1 ki-point and outdo Protection, it would have been a horrible pick. Also, he prefers having reactions to either punish people, Shield or use Absorb Elements.

    I play as a Gnome Illusionist with a Cavalier, a Sword Bard and a Shepherd druid. - not a viable option for the Cavalier.


    Quote Originally Posted by qube View Post
    Sigh, I actually quite dislike it when people spread this myth. It's actually not "that strong", in fact, in quite possible it's inferior to what is commonly considered the lowest boost, namely +1 damage
    • 55% hit chance, 1d8+4 = avr 4.475 (incl. the 5% crit chance)
    • 50% hit chance, 1d8+5 = avr 4.5 (incl. the 5% crit chance)

    +2 STR, OTOH, obvious does both; which results in a a kwadratic boost to average damage.
    It is NOT a 5% increase in most cases. Considering the amount of riders melee classes usually throw around, that extra hit chance has an added value which is harder to compute. I do agree though that often you want the riders/special effects from feats before the stat increase (GWM, PAM, Sentinel, Warcaster, Mobile, etc.). Also the feats are, IMO and IMX, more fun.

    Quote Originally Posted by LudicSavant View Post
    There seems to be this premise bandied about that the person selecting a fighting style is already going to have the highest AC, despite not investing in abilities that boost their AC beyond their base kit (like Defense). I think that's quite a hasty assumption. That Sorlock in the back line has a 19 base AC and plenty of slots for Shield, Absorb Elements, and bigger defensive spells. That Cleric over there is a Hill Dwarf who bumped up to 18 Con when they took Resilient (Constitution) and is wearing plate and a shield, has Defensive Duelist (because dwarves can dump strength while wearing plate), and has a bevy of powerful defensive spells. The Arcane Trickster is a tank in their own right when targeting them is even an option. Often the party will be imposing Disadvantage without the aid of Protection. And so on and so forth.

    [SNIP]
    So what about all those other, less specific things you mentioned?

    [SNIP Great examples]

    Whether Protection or Defense is best will depend on your build and party composition.
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    Rule of Cool and Rules as Fun. My favourite D&D session had 3 dice rolls. I'm currently curious to any system that has a higher amount of choices in combat than 5e from the beginning of the game; especially for non-spellcasters. Please PM any recommendations.

  22. - Top - End - #112
    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Aug 2018

    Default Re: Fighting Style: Protection, is it worth?

    I wish it said the following.

    Any enemy with in 5 ft of you that makes an attack must target you. If you are not targeted, you can use your reaction to attack the enemy before they make their attack. If the target is dropped to zero HPs they do not get to attack.

  23. - Top - End - #113
    Troll in the Playground
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    Massachusetts

    Default Re: Fighting Style: Protection, is it worth?

    All the styles are good.

    And there are times when you will not a style. There are times when an archer will have to break out the sword and shield.

    Everyone has given awesome theory about how good protection is or is not.

    And remember, fighter 1 level to grab another style.

    Good luck

  24. - Top - End - #114
    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Default Re: Fighting Style: Protection, is it worth?

    What about Booming Blade to keep peoole from wanting to move?

  25. - Top - End - #115
    Pixie in the Playground
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    Mar 2018

    Default Re: Fighting Style: Protection, is it worth?

    Quote Originally Posted by djreynolds View Post
    Players at my table have murdered up and down the sword coast for +1 plate armor
    Right?!? "The Haters" will say that's completely different though...

    Protection might be effective as a primary fighting style for certain party builds that are set up to maximize its use. In the party my PC had Protection, it's use came up very infrequently, and that was with me actively trying to set up for it to be useful (justified from an RP perspective), and the DM taking pity on my choice and extending the range to 30' with a magic item.

    Defense is generally better as a second fighting style, if you have some way to pick it up, but remains useful much more often and in more situations. When you got that AC pumped up so an enemy needs (for example) an 17-18-19-20 to hit you and you can bump it by 1 more, that's not a 5% decrease in to hit chance, it is 25%. Still probably better to hit harder in the first place though.

    Granted this is just my opinion (based on experience as a player in multiple campaigns), but if you're getting more than the slightest bit of use out of Protection, your DM is probably taking it easy on you and setting it up to work. As a PC I always found ways to position around this sort of ability in an enemy. If the NPC's generally aren't...well...

  26. - Top - End - #116
    Dwarf in the Playground
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    Jan 2019

    Default Re: Fighting Style: Protection, is it worth?

    So let's take the example of the Mummy Lord and their "teleport." Let's even say that they successfully used that to get past you, despite the fact that it actually cannot get past various tanking abilities, like Sentinel.
    First, no one specified sentinel, so suddenly bringing it up while snidely commenting that it wasn't accounted for is just silly. Second, the claim is completely wrong. The 'convert to dust' ability gives a 60' move, which can simply detour to go AROUND a character with sentinel. If sentinel character is already in melee and the room is cramped, then odds are the mummy can simply stay in reach of sentinel guy while walking to the target he wants. If not, then the mummy lord just moves past the sentinel character on his turn. If the sentinel guy hits him to freeze him, then attacks or casts a spell on his turn, then uses the legendary action to move where he wants to go on the next initiative tick, and sentinel guy has no reaction to stop him. If the sentinel guy doesn't hit him, then he just strolls to where he wants to go.

    Also, if you're planning on doing something like "Tank stands in the doorway, squishy guy stands in the back", remember that mummy lords are generally in tombs, which are known for traps. It's really not uncommon for a fight like that to involve the door closing, which is going to turn your clever positioning into "hope the tank can solo the enemy". That's part of why I get the impression that people online must either be playing really easy games or doing pure white room analysis, I would never go into a tomb expecting that there is no way the door could be sealed by a powerful enemy during combat.

    Now, that teleport took 2 legendary actions. If they had just attacked the person in melee with them already instead of teleporting, they would have gotten 2 extra attacks. What this means is that the new target not only has to be less durable than the melee fighter to be the "correct target," they have to be less durable by enough that 2 extra attacks (or anything else they can do with Legendary actions) wouldn't make up the difference.
    A good example of a target that's clearly worth this is someone who appears to be the only wizard or cleric in the party, as they're likely to be the only ones able to cast remove curse. If the mummy lord can take down that one character, then the party has no way to cure the curse his hits have inflicted, and even if they 'win' in the short term the mummy's curse will lead them to join the Mummy Lord in death within a few days. Or if there's only one person using fire attacks, cutting their doubled damage out is likely worth two attacks on a high AC character.

    For spellcasters with Misty Step it's often even worse; they've used up their spell for the turn. That's a serious opportunity cost that may well offset any benefit they get from targeting someone with a slightly lower AC.
    Why would a caster that doesn't have a strong melee attack misty step into melee with someone? If a caster who doesn't want to melee someone is using spells to teleport into melee range, then the DM is just playing him incredibly stupidly.

    This is before we even really get into the kinds of abilities and strategies good tank builds can use to really throw a monkey wrench into the enemy's decision tree, but it is already sufficient to falsify the premise that a character with a lower AC is necessarily a better target,
    I'm not sure why you're writing that in response to me, I never claimed that a character with a lower AC is necessarily a better target, and I don't believe the premise. Falisfying something I didn't say and don't believe is pretty pointless, you may as well 'prove' that water is wet. What I quoted and disagreed with was the claim that "There's many ways to make enemies have to deal with the high AC characters: positioning, battlefield control and visibility being top of the list." I am disagreeing with the premise that it's easy to force enemies to fight high AC characters instead of low AC characters, whether the enemy wants to target low AC enemies in the first place is a seperate question that depends on circumstances.

    Flying enemies? That often puts the enemy in a more precarious position when in melee with a proper tank, not a less precarious one... Ranged enemies? If an enemy is in melee with you, they have Disadvantage on all ranged attacks (and also can't better angle their attacks for getting around cover and the like). Stealth/Invisibility? If you can't see the creature attacking, Protection doesn't work, while Defense does.
    Flying enemies played intelligently will attack targets of their choice instead of flying straight to the tank and putting themselves in a 'precarious position'. If they have flyby they'll only end their turn in melee when they want to. Ranged enemies played intelligently won't all bunch up and allow you to be in melee with all of them at once. Stealthed enemies will pick their target, then reveal themselves when they attack. This idea that tanks are somehow in 15 different places on the battlefield at once with unlimited reactions to punish every enemy everywhere is just silly.

    Enemies who use something other than AC targeting attacks? Then Protection isn't going to defend people any more than Defense is. Swarming foes? Protection applies to only a single enemy attack.
    You seem to be under the misapprehension that I was arguing for protection over defense, when in fact I have done no such thing. None of this protection vs defense stuff that you're posting indicates how the tank is going to force people to attack the high AC target over the lower one, which is the claim I disagreed with.

    Open spaces? All of the stuff I just mentioned applies in open spaces. If anything, open spaces open up some new kiting options for your allies.
    Kiting doesn't work against an enemy that is faster than you, has ranged attacks, or can stop your movement. And, again, it doesn't actually force the enemy to attack the high AC character over a low AC one.
    Last edited by OverLordOcelot; 2019-02-13 at 01:26 PM.

  27. - Top - End - #117
    Halfling in the Playground
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    May 2014

    Default Re: Fighting Style: Protection, is it worth?

    It has saved 2 members of the game Iím in several times over sonid say its good

  28. - Top - End - #118
    Troll in the Playground
     
    Pex's Avatar

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    Default Re: Fighting Style: Protection, is it worth?

    Quote Originally Posted by djreynolds View Post

    2. Duelist style +2 for a paladin isn't a big deal with smite, so perhaps protection makes a better choice.
    It is a big deal when the paladin isn't smiting.
    Quote Originally Posted by OgresAreCute View Post
    "Welcome to Dungeons and Dragons fifth edition, where the DCs are made up and the rules don't matter."

  29. - Top - End - #119
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    BlueKnightGuy

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    Default Re: Fighting Style: Protection, is it worth?

    After looking at each of the fighting styles, I think each of them fit a role:

    • Archery: Your team has plenty of melee defense and could use more ranged offense
    • Defense: You are the team's primary melee combatant and you expect to be attacked a lot.
    • Dueling: Your team needs a slightly more durable front line.
    • Great Weapon Fighting: Your team has a durable front line but needs more damage. You need your Bonus Action. Your team does not need more ranged combatants.
    • Protection: Your team has a lot of melee damage but it needs some durability to keep them alive.
    • Two-Weapon Fighting: Your team has a durable front line but needs more damage. You do not need your Bonus Action. Your team may need more ranged combatants.


    However, I find that most players prefer to play ranged characters, which causes options like Protection and Two-Weapon Fighting to fall behind in power (as they are best in melee-focused teams). Naturally, things like Defense or Dueling are going to see more use when the character in question is one of the only melee combatants.

    Homebrewery

    Prestige Options, using existing classes to open up more unique character builds.
    Improved Ability Checks, fixing unused skills by improving player agency.
    Improved Stealth, creating long-term stealth that supports melee combat.
    Improved Initiative, maintaining tension even after combat ends.
    Adrenaline Surge, fitting Short Rests into combat to fix bosses/Short Rest Classes.
    Pain, using Exhaustion to make tactical martial combatants.

  30. - Top - End - #120
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: Fighting Style: Protection, is it worth?

    I would put it this way...

    Protection vs Defense (or other) is much like the question of Wolf totem vs. Bear totem.

    If it is obvious to you that Wolf totem is the most awesome, it is probably because you have a party where 3+ meleeists are clustering up to rip the enemy apart -- Protection will be easy to use effectively.

    If it is obvious to you that Bear totem is the most awesome, it is probably because you have a party where the ability to solo and not need rescuing for a few rounds is valuable -- Protection will prove worthless.

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