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[5e] Bounded Accuracy Design Philosophy

Posted: Mon Aug 05, 2019 2:30 am
by shesheyan
Interesting article :

Bounded accuracy is a fundamental design philosophy underlying the mathematics used in the core rules for attack roll hit probability. It is unique in D&D history, in that it is one of the few times the developer was publicly vocal about their development standards, going so far as to even give it a name, and expressing this idea through official statements. This is a big departure from the typically secretive or silent R&D department for past editions.

https://www.dandwiki.com/wiki/Understan ... Guideline)

Re: [5e] Bounded Accuracy Design Philosophy

Posted: Mon Aug 05, 2019 11:50 pm
by willpell
It probably surprises nobody that I'm rather not a fan of Bounded Accuracy (beyond the fact that it was nice of the developer to admit his philosophy outright, even if it was wrong IMO).

Re: [5e] Bounded Accuracy Design Philosophy

Posted: Tue Aug 06, 2019 12:00 am
by shesheyan
willpell wrote:
Mon Aug 05, 2019 11:50 pm
It probably surprises nobody that I'm rather not a fan of Bounded Accuracy (beyond the fact that it was nice of the developer to admit his philosophy outright, even if it was wrong IMO).
I really enjoy Bounded Accuracy because it allows me to do Low Fantasy with D&D. I tried in the past but the 3e and 4e «treadmills» always got in my way. My current group of level three characters only have 1 magic item for the party - an intelligent sword. I handed it out for narrative purposes only, not because the game forced me to do it. Very refreshing.

Re: [5e] Bounded Accuracy Design Philosophy

Posted: Tue Aug 06, 2019 12:10 am
by Havard
Quite interesting to hear their thoughts in detail.

Without bounded accuracy, you end up with the d20 making less and less of a difference. I'm not sure I'd call most 5E games low fantasy, but the game should stay fairly dynamic even at the high levels.

-Havard

Re: [5e] Bounded Accuracy Design Philosophy

Posted: Tue Aug 06, 2019 4:28 am
by Hugin
shesheyan wrote:
Tue Aug 06, 2019 12:00 am
I really enjoy Bounded Accuracy because it allows me to do Low Fantasy with D&D. I tried in the past but the 3e and 4e «treadmills» always got in my way. My current group of level three characters only have 1 magic item for the party - an intelligent sword. I handed it out for narrative purposes only, not because the game forced me to do it. Very refreshing.
I absolutely agree! I love the application of Bounded Accuracy in 5E. It really helps to keep ability scores relevant, essentially eliminates reliance on magical items, and (one of my favourites) keeps lower-level monsters useful for more of the PC levels. Seriously, Bounded Accuracy is one of my favourite aspects of 5E.

My one observation where I think 5E could have made a good adjustment surrounding Bounded Accuracy, however, is in PC ability score generation methods. I feel that that the game actually runs better when the PCs do not have high ability scores to start the game with. Using the point buy works alright (with a few points less working even better), but the high scores generally allowed by rolling methods such as the suggested roll 4d6 and drop the lowest, creates characters that can be a touch overpowered within 5E's Bounded Accuracy framework.

If you can have your PCs start a little more modestly, building ability scores through increases during play, the Bounded Accuracy philosophy will really shine through the campaign.

Re: [5e] Bounded Accuracy Design Philosophy

Posted: Tue Aug 06, 2019 12:42 pm
by pawsplay
willpell wrote:
Mon Aug 05, 2019 11:50 pm
It probably surprises nobody that I'm rather not a fan of Bounded Accuracy (beyond the fact that it was nice of the developer to admit his philosophy outright, even if it was wrong IMO).
Wrong in what sense? It was the overriding philosophy of AD&D and BEMCI D&D, which were very stringy about bonuses.

Re: [5e] Bounded Accuracy Design Philosophy

Posted: Fri Aug 09, 2019 2:02 am
by willpell
Havard wrote:
Tue Aug 06, 2019 12:10 am
Quite interesting to hear their thoughts in detail.
Without bounded accuracy, you end up with the d20 making less and less of a difference.
Whereas with bounded accuracy, the d20 becomes much more prominent, and I would call that a bad thing. I don't like having randomness play more than a small role, unless we're doing something very low-investment like Betrayal at House on the Hill. For D&D, it's all about investment to me, and part of that is in crafting a character who has a specialty where they can get reliable results, with only a minimal chance of being screwed by bad luck.
pawsplay wrote:
Tue Aug 06, 2019 12:42 pm
Wrong in what sense? It was the overriding philosophy of AD&D and BEMCI D&D, which were very stringy about bonuses.
Wrong in my opinion, to be clear. For pretty much the aforementioned reason.

Re: [5e] Bounded Accuracy Design Philosophy

Posted: Fri Aug 09, 2019 6:52 am
by Morfie
Without bounded accuracy, the d20 becomes pointless at higher level play.
A high level 3e char is usually so high-powered that a lot of low level monsters need to roll 20 just to hit it. Dice rolling becomes very boring.

Re: [5e] Bounded Accuracy Design Philosophy

Posted: Sat Aug 10, 2019 7:48 pm
by talsine
shesheyan wrote:
Tue Aug 06, 2019 12:00 am
willpell wrote:
Mon Aug 05, 2019 11:50 pm
It probably surprises nobody that I'm rather not a fan of Bounded Accuracy (beyond the fact that it was nice of the developer to admit his philosophy outright, even if it was wrong IMO).
I really enjoy Bounded Accuracy because it allows me to do Low Fantasy with D&D. I tried in the past but the 3e and 4e «treadmills» always got in my way. My current group of level three characters only have 1 magic item for the party - an intelligent sword. I handed it out for narrative purposes only, not because the game forced me to do it. Very refreshing.
D&D isn't ment to do Low Fantasy though, that was never the design intent. If you want Low Fantasy, they are better games for it than D&D. Bounded Accuracy just means that your characters never see real, meaningful improvement. And yes, as someone else mentioned, it means that low level monsters remain a threat throughout the life span of a character. This is a bug, not a feature as far as I am concerned. I don't want to have to worry about goblins the entire life span of my character and, worse, i hate the fact that high level monsters are more sacks of hit points than they are meaningful threats. 5E hits a sweet spot between levels 7 and 10, which is where most people stop anyway, but that doesn't mean people don't want to go beyond that.

While i understand Bounded accuracy, and i even understand why some people might like it, it is one of the main reasons that I returned my PHB the day after i bought it. i knew it would never be a game I would want to play, and time has only borne this out.

MODERATOR NOTE (by Big Mac): Strawman argument about this post split off and put into Black Pudding.

Re: [5e] Bounded Accuracy Design Philosophy

Posted: Sun Aug 11, 2019 7:39 am
by Dread Delgath
I can't agree that 5e supports low fantasy. Low MAGIC, perhaps, because characters are designed with anime style (IMO) powers granted at specific levels.

IMO low fantasy would have less flashy abilities that grant characters so many bonuses to attacks & damage.

Re: [5e] Bounded Accuracy Design Philosophy

Posted: Sun Aug 11, 2019 5:16 pm
by pawsplay
D&D was originally designed to support Conan, Fafhrd and the Grey Mouser, and the heroes of epic fantasy battles. Bounded accuracy is in keeping with a setting of perilous adventure.

Re: [5e] Bounded Accuracy Design Philosophy

Posted: Mon Aug 12, 2019 12:29 pm
by zontoxira
pawsplay wrote:
Tue Aug 06, 2019 12:42 pm
Wrong in what sense? it was the overriding philosophy of AD&D and BEMCI D&D, which were very stringy about bonuses.
pawsplay wrote:
Sun Aug 11, 2019 5:16 pm
D&D was originally designed to support Conan, Fafhrd and the Grey Mouser, and the heroes of epic fantasy battles. Bounded accuracy is in keeping with a setting of perilous adventure.
I'd love to hear more about that.
I can't say 5e is low fantasy or low magic. You have elves, dwarves, even dragonborn and tieflings. And all classes are somehow equipped with magical abilities, either through subclasses or with special features.
As for bounded accuracy, I believe it was incorporated also as a counter-measure to number bloating of earlier editions. While I appreciate the effort, I still find it a bit overwhelming at times (our 10th level fighter/warlock deals an average of 40 damage per round, 80 if he uses Action Surge, enough to insta-kill several monsters).

Re: [5e] Bounded Accuracy Design Philosophy

Posted: Mon Aug 12, 2019 2:34 pm
by pawsplay
The 5e numbers looked small to me, so I went back and looked at the THAC0 tables for BECMI and AD&D. They are actually very similar. It's really 3e and 4e that introduced progression rates that tracked closely to your level.

In earlier editions, things like sleep and fireball were insta-kill. You would decide, is it time to use the insta-kill? Or save it?

Re: [5e] Bounded Accuracy Design Philosophy

Posted: Tue Aug 13, 2019 10:38 pm
by shesheyan
talsine wrote:
Sat Aug 10, 2019 7:48 pm
shesheyan wrote:
Tue Aug 06, 2019 12:00 am
willpell wrote:
Mon Aug 05, 2019 11:50 pm
It probably surprises nobody that I'm rather not a fan of Bounded Accuracy (beyond the fact that it was nice of the developer to admit his philosophy outright, even if it was wrong IMO).
I really enjoy Bounded Accuracy because it allows me to do Low Fantasy with D&D. I tried in the past but the 3e and 4e «treadmills» always got in my way. My current group of level three characters only have 1 magic item for the party - an intelligent sword. I handed it out for narrative purposes only, not because the game forced me to do it. Very refreshing.
D&D isn't ment to do Low Fantasy though, that was never the design intent. If you want Low Fantasy, they are better games for it than D&D. Bounded Accuracy just means that your characters never see real, meaningful improvement. And yes, as someone else mentioned, it means that low level monsters remain a threat throughout the life span of a character. This is a bug, not a feature as far as I am concerned. I don't want to have to worry about goblins the entire life span of my character and, worse, i hate the fact that high level monsters are more sacks of hit points than they are meaningful threats. 5E hits a sweet spot between levels 7 and 10, which is where most people stop anyway, but that doesn't mean people don't want to go beyond that.

While i understand Bounded accuracy, and i even understand why some people might like it, it is one of the main reasons that I returned my PHB the day after i bought it. i knew it would never be a game I would want to play, and time has only borne this out.

MODERATOR NOTE (by Big Mac): Strawman argument about this post split off and put into Black Pudding.
Please IP ban me from this forum.... I am serious. Do not send me private messages to try to resolve this. I'm done with The Piazza. End of story.

Re: [5e] Bounded Accuracy Design Philosophy

Posted: Wed Aug 14, 2019 1:24 am
by willpell
shesheyan wrote:
Tue Aug 13, 2019 10:38 pm
Please IP ban me from this forum.... I am serious. Do not send me private messages to try to resolve this. I'm done with The Piazza. End of story.
Well, that seems a rather extreme reaction. But so long; enjoy wheverever you go next.

Re: [5e] Bounded Accuracy Design Philosophy

Posted: Sat Aug 17, 2019 2:32 am
by Dread Delgath
I am very sorry to see you go away, Shesheyan. You have contributed so much to our gaming experiences here. :(

Everyone has their differences, and that's ultimately okay. If you feel that those differences are enough to separate yourself from everyone here, we will learn to cope without you.

I hope you enjoy your gaming elsewhere as much as we enjoy ours here.

Re: [5e] Bounded Accuracy Design Philosophy

Posted: Sat Aug 17, 2019 2:50 am
by Dread Delgath
zontoxira wrote:
Mon Aug 12, 2019 12:29 pm
I can't say 5e is low fantasy or low magic. You have elves, dwarves, even dragonborn and tieflings. And all classes are somehow equipped with magical abilities, either through subclasses or with special features.
As for bounded accuracy, I believe it was incorporated also as a counter-measure to number bloating of earlier editions. While I appreciate the effort, I still find it a bit overwhelming at times (our 10th level fighter/warlock deals an average of 40 damage per round, 80 if he uses Action Surge, enough to insta-kill several monsters).
Agreed!

I should add that 5e has magic items, but it designed to play without any magic items, or at least very few for the PCs. I mean, PCs are limited to attuning to 3 (attunement required) items. This seems harsh to me, except I have witnessed first hand just how powerful PCs can get with only one special (attunement required) magic item.

Their power levels by 8th level are through the roof compared to 1e, 2e, & Classic D&D.

3e & 4e did amplify power & ability inflation, (again IMO) that 5e keeps, but through this "bounded accuracy" philosophy has done away with limitless ability adds, visible mostly in level cap of 20, and also the AC cap at 20-25.

For example, Let's give a 5e and a 1e fighter a +1 sword, and see which character NEEDS it more at level 8. ;)