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    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    PaladinGuy

    Join Date
    Mar 2014

    Default Accepting Disadvantage to Gain Advantage?

    So I was playing Squad recently and I was advancing on a village under the cover of trees and bushes. I had to decide between staying in good cover, thus limiting my opportunities to both see and be seen, or to expose myself more and thus see more of the village.

    It occurred to me later that this option could perhaps be modeled in 5E by accepting Disadvantage on Perception checks in order to gain Advantage on Stealth checks (the inverse wouldn't make sense; adventurers don't get Advantage to spot goblins lurking in the bushes just because they themselves are standing in plain sight in the middle of the road).

    I'm curious: aside from the RAW example of Reckless Attack, is this an option in your games? Can you gain a transient, situational advantage in one area by accepting a transient, situational disadvantage in another? Or is that too granular for 5E?
    Last edited by NecessaryWeevil; 2019-10-11 at 04:48 PM.
    “I believe you find life such a problem because you think there are good people and bad people. You're wrong, of course. There are, always and only, the bad people, but some of them are on opposite sides.”
    - Lord Havelock Vetinari, Patrician of Ankh-Morpork

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    BarbarianGuy

    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Accepting Disadvantage to Gain Advantage?

    Quote Originally Posted by NecessaryWeevil View Post
    It occurred to me later that this option could perhaps be modeled in 5E by accepting Disadvantage on Perception checks in order to gain Advantage on Stealth checks (the inverse wouldn't make sense; adventurers don't get Advantage to spot goblins lurking in the bushes just because they themselves are standing in plain sight in the middle of the road).
    Player: I move to get a better angle on that likely ambush spot.
    DM: Ok, but you'll have to basically walk out into the middle of the road to do it.

    I mean it's not ridiculous...

    Quote Originally Posted by NecessaryWeevil View Post
    I'm curious: aside from the RAW example of Reckless Attack, is this an option in your games? Can you gain a transient, situational advantage in one area by accepting a transient, situational disadvantage in another? Or is that too granular for 5E?
    I like the idea in general and I think it could be valid for specific homebrew features you might cook up, but the tradeoff would have to be set up ahead of time. I wouldn't want to use it as a general open-ended mechanic.

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    ElfWarriorGuy

    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Location
    United States
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Accepting Disadvantage to Gain Advantage?

    I have a few trade-offs that I sometimes offer to my players.

    A player can vigorously scrutinize an NPC, gaining advantage on Insight checks, but disadvantage on subsequent Persuasion or Deception checks against that NPC.

    Investigation and Perception can also work as useful inverses; focusing intensely on riddling out specific details of the environment can come at the cost of general situational awareness.

    For one specific player, we worked out a deal where she would accept semi-regular advantage on Religion checks at the cost of semi-regular disadvantage on History checks, to reflect her character's sheltered religious upbringing.
    Last edited by Catullus64; 2019-10-11 at 06:33 PM.
    Si nous résistons à nos passions, c’est plus par leur faiblesse que par notre force.
    If we overcome our passions, it is more due to their weakness than our own strength.

    Si nous n’avions point d’orgueil, nous ne nous plaindrions pas de celui des autres.
    If we had no pride at all, we would not complain of the pride of others.

    -Francois, duc de La Rochefoucauld

    Threads begin when you please, but they do not end where you will.
    -Niccolo Machiavelli, Paraphrase

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Titan in the Playground
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    The Land of Cleves
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Accepting Disadvantage to Gain Advantage?

    I think that Reckless Attack is the only place where it's explicitly spelled out in the rules, but since a DM is free to give out Advantage or Disadvantage situationally, they're free to give them out for the same situation. Like the situation you describe in the OP.
    Time travels in divers paces with divers persons.
    As You Like It, III:ii:328

    Chronos's Unalliterative Skillmonkey Guide
    Current Homebrew: 5th edition psionics

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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Flumph

    Join Date
    Aug 2016

    Default Re: Accepting Disadvantage to Gain Advantage?

    Cloak of Flies, the warlock invocation, grants advantage to Intimidation checks but disadvantage on all other charisma checks.

    I can think of other circumstances where a DM may want to give out both at the same time - say a thief is trying to pick a lock sneakily, if someone else with thieves tools proficiency came over and helped I could see giving advantage on the thieves tools check but disadvantage on any stealth check to avoid notice for what was going on.

  6. - Top - End - #6
    Ogre in the Playground
    Join Date
    Mar 2011

    Default Re: Accepting Disadvantage to Gain Advantage?

    Quote Originally Posted by NecessaryWeevil View Post
    So I was playing Squad recently and I was advancing on a village under the cover of trees and bushes. I had to decide between staying in good cover, thus limiting my opportunities to both see and be seen, or to expose myself more and thus see more of the village.

    It occurred to me later that this option could perhaps be modeled in 5E by accepting Disadvantage on Perception checks in order to gain Advantage on Stealth checks (the inverse wouldn't make sense; adventurers don't get Advantage to spot goblins lurking in the bushes just because they themselves are standing in plain sight in the middle of the road).
    As DM, I'd invoke obscurement rules. You take disadvantage on Perception checks to see anything that is lightly obscured (from your PoV). Likewise any creatures has disadvantage on Perception checks to see you (if you are lightly obscured from their perspective.) Both sides can't see anything that is heavily obscured from their perspective (i.e. autofail all sight Perception checks).

    If abstracted away, like if the player is stealthing through an area out-of-combat, I just use two set of checks (one for the player, one for the enemies) and assume both sides are lightly obscured w.r.t to each other if the player sticks to forest cover, instead of laboriously working out LoS turn-by-turn.

    In all the above cases, obscurement wouldn't work against Perception checks that don't rely on vision, like Scent. (but Stealth would still work, and is abstracted by the character moving upwind or using other methods to disguise their scent.)

    I wouldn't give advantage on Stealth checks because I feel this situation is already well modeled by the vision and obscurement rules. (Also because obscurement shouldn't work against non-visual methods of detection.)

    Quote Originally Posted by NecessaryWeevil View Post
    I'm curious: aside from the RAW example of Reckless Attack, is this an option in your games? Can you gain a transient, situational advantage in one area by accepting a transient, situational disadvantage in another? Or is that too granular for 5E?
    Generally no. Letting a player just arbitrarily accept disadvantage in one field for advantage in another (for all situations of a general type) is too gamey for me and prone to exploits (like taking the disadvantage when it doesn't matter.) The way I handle it, assuming the character doesn't already have a feature or game effect that explicitly grants advantage/disadvantage, is that the player describes a course of action, and I assign advantage or disadvantage as appropriate (depending on environmental factors, NPC disposition, etc.). I may hint at advantageous actions to take if I feel it should be obvious to the character (not necessarily the player).
    Last edited by NNescio; 2019-10-12 at 08:35 AM.
    Quote Originally Posted by kardar233 View Post
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