Cutting Words

ThinkDM

There’s a strange mechanic in D&D 5th Edition that doesn’t really jive with the way play flows at the table.

The mechanic allows you to add a die to your roll “after the roll, but before the result is known.”

Cutting Words

The prime example of this mechanic is the College of Lore Bard’s Cutting Words feature:

Cutting Words allows you to roll a die and subtract it from the result of the rolling creature’s die. For some reason unbeknownst to us, it adds a rider that prevents the player from knowing whether the feature can even help.

Determine vs. Disclose

Technically, Cutting Words says “before the DM determines whether the…roll…succeeds.” However, this is an impractical consideration. The DM generally knows whether the roll is a hit when the die lands.

That gives the player no time to use the feature. Alternatively, if the DM isn’t THAC0-ing out the target…

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