There are a lot of things that I really like about 5th edition, and one of those things is advantage and disadvantage. In D&D, the primary conflict resolution mechanic is the rolling of a twenty-sided die. Roll the d20, and see if you hit some target number. Modifiers to that roll (and to the target number) reflect how good you are at that task and how difficult that task is. In previous editions, that was more or less all there was – you got a modifier for being behind soft cover, lost some modifiers for being caught unaware, and so on and so forth. 5th edition changes this, by introducing advantage and disadvantage.
- If you have advantage, roll two d20s and take the higher of the two.
- If you have disadvantage, roll two d20s and take the lower of the two.
I’ve always lamented the fact that D&D lacks probability curves, which are one of the few things that dice are really good at generating. This helps to make the odds of success and failure more realistic.