Combat without dice/with minimal dice strikes me as, fundamentally, a desirable question.* I know I'd like to see answers to it! But I wonder if it's an XY problem. OP seems to have a simply-identifiable problem: "We like playing 5e in lots of ways, but would like less rolling in combat." And they've identified using the DMG's "minimal dice" guidance as their route to take.

Should we be advising this user that they should simply pose their problem, and trust that if "use the DMG's 'minimal dice' guidance, here's how I did it" is a good answer, it'll come?

* - It looks like we don't have a good, canonical question on making 5e combat less of a grind, believe it or not.

  • 4
    \$\begingroup\$ It suffers from "combat with dice is a core mechanic" syndrome. It's like magic without saving throws. This appears to me to be a question that begs for "are you sure you are using the right game system" in an answer. \$\endgroup\$ Jun 21, 2017 at 22:10
  • \$\begingroup\$ reading the part of the DMG he mentions, the diceless variant rule (p.236) is for non-combat only. Albeit, the DMG is pretty passive-aggressive about saying: "some DMs use dice for combat only"... Is it telling us that combat unavoidably needs dice, that's what I read at least. \$\endgroup\$
    – daze413
    Jun 21, 2017 at 22:32
  • \$\begingroup\$ @KorvinStarmast that's exactly the thought I had: I'd love to answer OP with "I've run a 5e out-of-combat/DW in-combat hybrid that seems to solve your problem, blah blah blah" but the way they pose it rules out that sort of answer. \$\endgroup\$
    – nitsua60 Mod
    Jun 21, 2017 at 23:12
  • \$\begingroup\$ should we attempt to make that canonical question? \$\endgroup\$
    – Mindwin
    Jun 29, 2017 at 3:58
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Mindwin my instinct would be to let it arise organically. The only time I've posed a "canonical" question that I didn't actually have, I knew I pretty-much had the answer in hand (here); in this case it's anything-but that cut-and-dry. \$\endgroup\$
    – nitsua60 Mod
    Jun 29, 2017 at 11:45

2 Answers 2


Yes, it does

I suspect that the reason the DMG optional rule is mentioned as the solution is to legitimize the question, so that it wouldn't become an opinion-based Q. While it does the job, it now falls into the XY question category.

It could be improved by citing the DMG optional rule as a precedent, or one of the options they would consider acceptable. If a different solution exists, and since it seems they are open to house rules or homebrew to remove dice from their game, then that solution should not be a frame challenge but instead a valid answer to their Q.

  • \$\begingroup\$ He's edited it considerably, and seems to be closer to a question that can be reopened. Point of DMG citation is a good one. \$\endgroup\$ Jun 22, 2017 at 13:24

While I believe analyzing the consequences of 'canon' optional rules certainly has its place, it may really not be what this asker is after. Still a legitimate question in its own right though (even the Original version).


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