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D&D Next Q&A: 10/31/13
Rodney Thompson

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1 How does the Lucky feat interact with disadvantage? How does the halfling’s Lucky trait interact with advantage/disadvantage and the Lucky feat?

When you spend a luck point, you roll an additional d20 and then choose which d20 to use, regardless of whether you have advantage, disadvantage, and so on. So, you can use luck points to effectively turn disadvantage into advantage, and then some. As for the halfling’s Lucky trait, you first roll all dice (regardless of whether you have advantage or disadvantage, or whether you spend luck points), figure out which die to use for the attack roll, ability check, or saving throw, and then, if the die you picked rolls a natural 1, you would reroll only that die and use the new roll. Thus, the halfling trait works best when you have disadvantage only, since when you roll that natural 1 you’re forced to take it no matter what the other die says; at that point, the halfling’s Lucky trait kicks in, allowing you to reroll it and take the second result.

2 How and when do bonuses from magic items stack? Does a bonus from a spell stack with a bonus from a magic item?

Right now, everything stacks unless something specifically says that it doesn’t. Of course, you can’t wear more than one of many types of magic items (for example, you can’t wear two sets of boots), so in that sense there is something in place to prevent stacking. As long as you can wear/wield/use it, though, magic items always stack, as do any other spells or effects in the game unless an exception is specifically called out.

3 How does damage on a miss interact with poison? Does the poison take effect as long as damage is dealt? How about Sneak Attack?

Dealing damage on a miss does not turn the miss into a hit; thus, anything that triggers on hitting the creature does not trigger when you miss them, even if you still deal damage. Poisons specifically require you to hit the creature, as does the Sneak Attack feature.

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Rodney Thompson
Rodney Thompson began freelancing in the RPG industry in 2001 before graduating from the University of Tennessee. In 2007 he joined the Wizards of the Coast staff as the lead designer and developer for the new Star Wars RPG product line. Rodney is the co-designer of Lords of Waterdeep and is currently a designer for Dungeons & Dragons.
I completely disagree with this ruling. Why is disadvantage given the same lucky feat ruling as advantage while making neutral dice rolling the worst situation? I understand having neutral being the worst possible scenario under lucky circumstances, but this undermines the advantage/disadvantage mechanics because of the wording in the lucky feat. I believe there is a simple solution:

When spending a luck point on a roll with disadvantage, you should first roll two d20s, take the worst roll of the two, and then add an additional d20 and choose between the worst of the two d20s and the additional d20 rolled. This option creates three tiered levels of possibilities between advantage, neutral and disadvantage working with the lucky feat mechanic.
Posted By: BenderGameboy (1/17/2014 5:52:19 PM)


Keeping the Lucky feat simple seems to be kicking your butts as far as player understanding. How about not introducing mechanics similar to advantage/disadvantage so you don't wear out the extra roll's welcome? Lucky could confer a static bonus 3 times a day, or you might make it a little more interesting without overcomplicating the instructions per:

You can benefit from your luck up to 3 times between each long rest, but the amount of the bonus decreases each time you use the Lucky feat. The first time you call on your luck, you gain a +3 bonus to the chosen roll. The second roll receives +2 and the third only a +1 as your luck runs out, until you have taken another long rest. (The halfling's Lucky trait treads irreconciliably on many DMs' house rules concerning mishaps such as fumble tables. I think it could use a similar rewrite, perhaps interacting with the Short Rest mechanic.)
Posted By: RadperT (11/4/2013 10:22:48 AM)


How about magic Rings? I can conceivably wear two rings on each finger assuming they are sized correctly. That makes 20 rings of magical goodness. Of course you have to find that many to begin with but wouldn't there be a limit?
My thoughts on this are that your body can withstand a certain level of magical resonance from items. Once that level has been reached you start having unwanted effects. The magic item's abilities merge with each other and warp. Removing the excess items will return things to normal.
I don't think there should be a concrete rule as such but more of advise for DMs to handle things like this.
Posted By: Rartemass (11/3/2013 4:28:19 PM)


I think there SHOULD be a rule, then if you want to wear more than one ring on each hand you can take a feat that allows you to wear a magical collar, amulet, necklace, helm, hat and circlet at the same time too.
Posted By: RadperT (11/4/2013 10:03:00 AM)


The online tools were a mistake to begin with. Half of the fun of dnd id character creation. Taking that away and replacing it with the original system of actually doing it yourself is awesome. I hope they never do a computer version again.
Posted By: ChasenBrandstone (11/1/2013 10:49:23 PM)


I don't think online tools are a mistake. WotC's way of handling them is, however.

The character builder should be FREE. Let all of your loyal customers make PCs quickly and easily. Include a password or code inside the core rulebooks to allow for free access to the CB to people who bought the PHB. And give every book-buyer a pdf of the book they just bought.

People can pay for the rules compendium, and people can pay for Dragon and Dungeon. The magazines need to stick to 100+ pages every month to make it worth the money. WotC needs to publish more player submitted content as well. There are thousands of people who do for free what you lucky bastards get a salary for. Seriously, what is Hasbro playing you guys for? Sitting around, drinking over priced coffee and playing DnD? Write, edit, and publish, people.
Posted By: seti (11/3/2013 1:09:59 AM)


I disagree. With 4E there are far too many options at character creation. If I had to scour every book for every feat/power/magic item it would take a week to create a character.
The online tools make it simpler to see all the options with a single click. There are limitations in it, such as only showing what you have the prerequisites for. I may be missing out on a power or feat that fits the build perfectly because I have STR 12 instead of 13. The builder should help by showing things the character almost qualifies for so the character can work towards it over a few levels.
Perhaps the tools for DnD Next should focus on character development rather than creation. Have tools that assist in choosing a direction for the character. Basically start out with an idea of where you want the character to be by level X and the online tools assist with plotting a path to achieve that goal. Eg You want to become a Archlich, then you need a spell casting class, access to X feats, these s... (see all)
Posted By: Rartemass (11/3/2013 4:49:36 PM)


Excuse me? This is the most selfish post I have ever read. If you don't want to use the online tools, you have the option not to use them. However, the reverse is not true if the tools are never developed.
Are you so self-righteous that you would propose the tools' exclusion just because it does not match *your* idea of fun? Other people may have a different opinion.
I think that character creation is half the fun as well. I happen to like having all the resources at finger tips rather than having to thumb though all the books to find the material I need.

How does allowing *me* the option to use online tools hinder *your* enjoyment if you decide use paper and pencil instead? Does it bother you so much that someone enjoys the game in a different way than you do???
Posted By: Etrigaen (11/4/2013 1:16:07 AM)


What's happening to the online tools, specifically the Online Character Creator (WHICH SEEMS TO BE DOWN FOR THE PAST FEW DAYS). I'm still running a 4e campaign and if the 4e version of those tools just go away, I'm screwed.

In reply to the above: THANK YOU. I feel the issue of online tools is being swept under the rug. I also expect to have some equivalent suite of online tools for 5e. I would like hear some news on how that will work.
Posted By: Etrigaen (11/1/2013 11:59:21 AM)


Roll your check with disadvantage, note your result. Then role you luck die. Chose the better result. Should be that easy. Done.
Posted By: Etrigaen (11/1/2013 11:41:56 AM)


What's happening to the online tools, specifically the Online Character Creator (WHICH SEEMS TO BE DOWN FOR THE PAST FEW DAYS). I'm still running a 4e campaign and if the 4e version of those tools just go away, I'm screwed.
Posted By: TimmyTooTall (11/1/2013 9:04:49 AM)


"Damage on a miss shouldn't be in the game to begin with."

Why not? And don't say 'because it never was in the game before'. Casters have had damage on a miss since ODnD. (ie: monster makes a successful save, monster still takes 1/2 damage)

I think it makes sense. Even if an attack fails to do significant damage; it could be powerful, jarring, or unbalancing to the enemy so that it does in fact wear the victim down a bit. Remember, HP in DnD have never been 100% meat.
Posted By: seti (11/1/2013 6:23:09 AM)


Can a character gain the benefits of wearing magic armbands and bracers at the same time?
Posted By: WastingX (10/31/2013 4:31:50 PM)


I'd say no. Just like you can't wear two pairs of magic boots, or two magic hats and gain the benefits of both. Armbands and Bracers both occupy the 'arms' slot.
Posted By: seti (11/1/2013 6:27:06 AM)


Bracers go on the forearms, and you can slide an armband almost all the way up to your shoulder. I don't see why not!
Posted By: RadperT (11/1/2013 9:11:46 PM)


I believe the luck roll doesn't always help disadvantage. If you need a 12 to hit and your rolls are a 9 and a 4, then the luck extra roll would do nothing regardless of the roll. With disadvantage, you would replace the 4 with your luck roll, 15. however the 9 is still a miss as disadv reqires the lower of the 2 rolls.
Posted By: stormkhan (10/31/2013 3:59:49 PM)


I'm not questioning how the mechanic works - I'm questioning why the mechanic works that way.

It seems odd to me that if you spend a Luck Point with Disadvantage you then get even better odds (3 rolls) than you would if you had Advantage (2 rolls).

I'm just not sure I'm sold on an ability that not only negates Disadvantage, it takes it a step further into Advantage and then some. If spending that Luck Point while you had Disadvantage resulted in you turning that into Advantage (still only 2 dice, but you pick highest rather than lowest now) I can understand.

I guess I would prefer if it was as follows: When you spend a Luck Point you gain advantage, even if you would normally have disadvantage. If you already have advantage prior to spending the Luck Point, then you gain a third dice.
Posted By: jfriant (10/31/2013 3:32:18 PM)


Good point Ramzour :-)
Posted By: tirwin (10/31/2013 11:24:18 AM)


Damage on a miss shouldn't be in the game to begin with.
Posted By: dmgorgon (10/31/2013 10:45:19 AM)


wait, so if you have disadvantage and the Lucky feat, if you spend a Luck Point, you would roll 3 dice (one from disadvantage and one from Lucky) and then pick the highest?

Doesn't that encourage someone with the Lucky feat to intentionall put themselves into horrible situations?

Or do you still only roll just 2 dice and then select the highest? (Effectively just flipping disadvantage to advantage).

And what about if you have advantage? Do you roll 3 dice? If not, you would never combine a Luck Point with advantage.

I'm cornfused.
Posted By: jfriant (10/31/2013 6:51:08 AM)


If you have Disadvantage and you spend a Luck Point, you roll 3d20 and choose the highest of the 3 dice. I don't see a problem with it. You used a limited resource to change your luck. The enemy thought you were at a Disadvantage, but you get really lucky and somehow manage to win the roll! Working as intended.

If you have Advantage, there is a chance you will still roll low on both dice. So using a Luck Point when you have Advantage isn't entirely dumb. Maybe you know you REALLY need a high number to succeed. It's a way to give yourself "double advantage", because Lucky is a separate mechanic and therefore stacks with Adv/Disadv.
Posted By: Ramzour (10/31/2013 8:12:39 AM)


Saying "you roll 3 dice" is a bit misleading. If I have disadvantage and roll 2 dice, I have to take the lowest. As a halfling if the lowest is a 1 at that time you can then reroll that die and take the higher. For example, if I need a 10 to hit and roll a 1 and a 9, disadvantage indicates that you have to take that 1. What Rodney stated though is that if you choose to reroll that 1 based on the Lucky trait, you can then use that roll no matter what. If you roll a 20 you get to use that even though 9 is lower in your disadvantage. If you roll another 1 you have to use that. You DO NOT get to choose the 9 out of the 3 dice like Ramzour was saying.

Instead of saying "you roll 3 dice" it is better to say "you roll 2 dice for disadvantage, then if you downselect a 1 out of that, you may reroll that 1 as the lucky trait and take the new result"
Posted By: Nachofan (10/31/2013 9:32:06 AM)


We're talking about the Lucky feat, not the Halfling racial ability. It's not misleading because you actually do roll three d20's. So what I said was correct.

Now if you're talking about the Halfling's Lucky're right. You don't roll 3d20. You just re-roll the d20 if you are stuck with a 1. And you are then forced to keep your re-roll.
Posted By: Ramzour (10/31/2013 9:37:48 AM)


On bonus stacking...don't forget that spell Concentration prevents a lot of the old problems with stacking buffs.
Posted By: Ramzour (10/31/2013 5:35:09 AM)


what a mess... stay simple please ;-)
Posted By: Duqian (10/31/2013 2:36:40 AM)