Dungeons & Dragons Online

Is stealth a bad player strategy in 5E?

Content of the article: "Is stealth a bad player strategy in 5E?"

I’ve been kickin this idea around for a bit and it’s fun off in several tangential directions but at this point I think it’s a valid question to ask.

Stealth is a really appealing idea, but I think the core mechanics of how D&D works seriously disincentivize it’s use. In a lot of situations, extended stealth encounters require multiple skill checks, but all it takes is 1 failure to throw the whole thing out the window. And because stealth tends to be a split-party situation (because we all know how often group stealth works out for big parties), the deeper you get into a stealth run, the more vulnerable you are if you get detected because you are often that much further from backup, with a lot more danger between you and your party.

I feel like in a game where the outcome of any given action is semi-random, a strategy that involves multiple checks and can be completely crippled by a single failure is far from optimal, and the value of the reward is generally not commensurate with the risk involved. Plus, if you spend 20 minutes of a session attempting a stealth run and whiff it, it kinda feels like 20 minutes wasted for anyone not involved (i.e. everyone but the rogue).

Anybody else feeling this way? Have you guys got any fixes or tricks for running stealth that makes it more viable & fun for your players?

EDIT: lots of recommendations for group checks and skill challenges, which is sort of where my head goes for a solution too, so that’s heartening to see.

Read:  Alright, I need some help for an optional miniboss fight witch takes place in a kobold encampment full of traps, fire, and lots of smaller loot like a bit of gold and weapons, along with other creatures alongside the feral kobolds.

I wish I had time to respond to everyone, but barring that I’ll just share some new thoughts here:

• I do think incremental failure is probably the best way to mitigate the unbalanced risk-reward ratio with stealth checks, and skill challenges are the first solution that comes to mind there.

• theres a lot of different scenarios posed by a lot of the responses here, and on their own in think the examples work well to illustrate their points, but they do all seem to be pretty specific scenarios where stealth is working well, which to me raises another question: is the design space for “good” stealth scenarios in D&D more limited than other sorts of encounters?

• and I kind of think the answer is “probably not,” but it seems that way because designing for stealth is just more difficult than other encounters because of the mechanics you have to work with. Kinda feels like one more thing to wish the DMG had included advice for on top of everything else :

Source: reddit.com

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