Today we will be looking at the Advantage mechanic in DnD 5e. Naturally, we will also mention it’s counterpart – the Disadvantage mechanic.
We talked about the importance of Advantage in a previous post looking at the Rogue class. So this article will covert the other aspects of advantage, and how it correlates to all of the classes.
Of course, if you’re here; then you’re probably curious how to get it?
We’ll get to that shortly. First, we need to look at the mechanic, to understand how it works, and only then can we get to answering that question.
So, without further ado. Let’s get into it.
Table of Contents
What is Advantage and Disadvantage in DnD 5e
The Advantage – and it’s counterpart, the Disadvantage mechanic serve as follows.
They offer the player the ability to roll 2 d20 dice instead of the usual 1d20.
Both mechanics offer you the same ability. But, here’s the catch.
Advantages oblige you to pick the roll with the higher number, while Disadvantages oblige you to pick the roll with the lower number.
Pretty simple to understand right?
Here’s the tricky part.
In theory. the d20 having 20 different values of numbers. When rolled, offer you a 5% chance at getting any of the 20 different numbers. With two d20, that chance is doubled.
This principle works for other types of calculations as well.
Theoretically, if you divide the d20 into many different parts, the larger the part gets – the higher the percentage of a roll falling into that part.
Sounds confusing, so let me elaborate with an example.
If you divide the d20 into two halves, the chance of getting a number between 1 – 10 is 50%. And the chance of getting a number between 10 – 20 is also 50%. But, if you divide the d20 into uneven parts. Like a split between 1 – 15 and 15 – 20. Then the chance of you getting a roll in the 1 – 15 range jumps to 75%. What all this means is that, each time you roll with an Advantage or Disadvantage. The chances of winning big or losing big jump up exponentially.
All that math aside. Let’s look at the question we are looking to answer today.
How to get Advantage in DnD 5e?
For once, this is actually left to the player and DM to decide. There are the flanking mechanics and attacking a creature suffering from the blinded condition. But other than that, it’s up to you to decide.
So, I’ll just list the most common situations and ways in which you can get advantages.
- Using the Help action: This action can be used quite often in combat and is one of the quickest ways to achieve an advantage.
- Using the Dodge action: This actually serves to give your opponent a disadvantage on their attach towards you. But any disadvantage that your enemy has is an advantage on your part in my book.
- Certain spells: This is situational. For some situations certain spells will work that won’t work in other situations. One important spell of note here is Exhaustion, at Level 1 it imposes disadvantage on all ability checks. While at Level 3 it also includes all attack and saving throw rolls.
- Attacking unsuspecting creatures: Self-explanatory, if the enemy hasn’t seen you yet, you can bonk them over the head better – if they have a head that is.
- Prone or lying on the ground: This is also true for nature. Creatures knocked on the ground are at a big disadvantage in combat, unless you’re doing Judo that is.
- Certain lore reasons: As mentioned before, sometimes for lore reasons you may get an advantage or disadvantage.
And that’s basically it.
It’s a pretty simple mechanic to learn and master. There are a few more things I’d like to mention thought.
For starters, the Lucky feat is not considered an advantage. It just lets you roll an additional d20.
And one other thing. Many players are confused what happens when you have an advantage and disadvantage at the same time. Simple, they cancel each other out.
And no matter how many advantage gaining effects or disadvantage gaining effects you stack on you, the result will remain the same.
For more information on the mechanic, consult the Player’s Handbook.