Broad term used to describe when the player characters meet with a group of NPCs. They can range from hostile to friendly, randomized to story-driven.

learn more… | top users | synonyms

1
vote
1answer
140 views

Encounter Budget in D&D 4e after Essentials

When the first 4e books came out, the encounter building chapter suggested to limit the enemies' level: from party level -2 to party level +4 Has this changed over the years, especially after ...
10
votes
4answers
945 views

How do characters retreat from an encounter?

5e Starter Set spoilers below How do I handle a retreat and/or pursuit in this case? I guess I could keep "shifting" the grid over so they never get to the end of the world so to speak, but how ...
1
vote
1answer
103 views

In Emerald Spire, is a room or entire floor an encounter, and when should I give out treasure?

This is my first time as a GM, and our second session played, and I need this answered: how big is an encounter? I'm doing the emerald spire and I'm trying to figure out: is the entire level an ...
13
votes
3answers
396 views

Techniques to improvise and run interesting social and mundane scenes

Last session (I GM Traveller, a hard science fiction rpg) I realized my lack of skills when I found myself willing to spend some minutes in playing a scene involved a 3 years old child causing trouble ...
4
votes
2answers
313 views

What's a good way to deal with Random Encounters inside Dungeons? [closed]

I've been wondering, what's an interesting way to use random encounters while exploring dungeons? We're currently playing D&D Next Playtest and every 10 minutes of dungeon turns or such I make a ...
7
votes
2answers
255 views

What is a good way of managing status effects in medium-size encounters in D&D 3.5?

Recently, my three 6th-level players (Sorcerer, Druid, Barbarian) encountered some 15 orc barbarians. The sorcerer started casting Glitterdust (save or be blinded) and Stinking Cloud (save or be ...
4
votes
3answers
242 views

Do creatures from other planes typically travel into the material plane?

I'm using Pathfinder and I'm a fairly new GM and I'm running my first campaign in a world I hand crafted. It's a planet in the material plane and has the usual characteristics that a real planet ...
8
votes
1answer
186 views

Should this encounter have been this easy?

While playing through Dawn of Defiance: The Traitor's Gambit, my 3 first-level PCs defeated the first encounter (CR1) within a single round. Are we misreading some rules or are they meant to be this ...
10
votes
5answers
445 views

Good source book for wilderness/road encounters?

I'm a GM and like for my players to have several interesting encounters when making long road journeys between cities. I especially enjoy when the party has options of how to deal with what they ...
3
votes
2answers
989 views

Are there D&D random encounter tables where # monsters encountered is dependent upon party size?

For example, say a party of adventurers is journeying through a wilderness region which is known to be patrolled by Orcs and other nasties. A party of 2-3 adventurers would surely attract less ...
3
votes
2answers
241 views

What's the best way to DM semi-large battles (~50 guys on each side)?

In one of the campaigns I'm running, the players are about to enter a large fight (~50 vs ~50). This includes around 40 regular units, and 6 Player Characters versus around 45 regular units and 5 ...
7
votes
4answers
640 views

Exactly, what is an encounter?

Ok, I know this may sound really strange but I don't exact understand it. Can an "encounter" just be combat, or also a skill check? For example if I have a conversation with a NPC and I need several ...
3
votes
1answer
183 views

How to add roleplayed investigation in a “search for the items” city quest?

The situations is this: the party has to find three rare starship components in order to make its starship fly. These items are a modified computer part, a military motor piece and a century old motor ...
2
votes
5answers
358 views

How many creatures should face a party of 6 PCs?

I am going to DM for the first time. The group of players is 6 people. I have no clue on how many creatures I should make them face. For example, a group of 2 people would face about 3-5 bugbears but ...
10
votes
5answers
309 views

Is it okay to take power/actions away from PCs to add drama?

In the game I have running right now, one of the PCs have had a run in with a local "gang" of sorts. An encounter between the two is approaching, but I'm struggling to think of the best way to set up ...
11
votes
5answers
6k views

Awarding XP for combat encounters in Dnd 4e

I am a very inexperienced DM. I have here what must be an obvious question, but I can't seem to find any solid clarification. How is XP rewarded after a combat encounter? Is the total monsters' XP ...
7
votes
3answers
924 views

Frequency of combat encounters in Pathfinder

I'm starting a new self-designed Pathfinder campaign as the DM and I'm unsure how many combat encounters I should plan each session. The characters will start at level 1. The group consists of 4 ...
2
votes
2answers
248 views

Moldvay D&D First Round in Encounter

I'm confused about how to DM the first round of an encounter using Moldvay's rules, specifically, when is the DM supposed to use the Monster Reaction table on page B24. Say a party encounters a group ...
21
votes
4answers
8k views

What challenge ratings can my party handle?

I play D&D 3.5. I have a party of 6 players and myself as a DM. In my "career" as a DM, I seem to have no to little difficulty with adding monsters and encounters. But I have never understood how ...
16
votes
8answers
585 views

What would clever creatures do to protect their lair?

(This question is for fantasy worlds like in D&D and other such games.) Usually, as the adventuring party goes up in ability, they end up facing stronger and more powerful characters. Let's say ...
13
votes
5answers
422 views

Help with epic battle

As a core part of the campaign I'm about to start, I want to include a poem detailing the last stand of a valiant paladin against a number of giants. He dies valiantly to save a town the giants were ...
9
votes
2answers
287 views

What are good techniques to adapt module maps to 3D terrain and/or 2D tilesets?

This is slightly related to How to Use Module Maps but instead of being about how to adapt published small maps to 1" scale or using playmats, I'm interested in technique for adapting to pre-published ...
4
votes
1answer
530 views

Is throwing other PC's possible? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: How do you rule halfling tossing as a combat action? Hello, one of my fellow players brought upon a good question to me; is possible to throw another PC almost like a ...
21
votes
4answers
430 views

How do I alert the rest of the party that a character within the party has stolen a major plot device?

I'm running a campaign in which a rogue has stolen a powerful necromantic focus (and is keeping it outside of the box that protects the world from it.) The party doesn't know, and I'm looking for a ...
10
votes
5answers
1k views

How to run a chess inspired D&D4E encounter?

Is there a way that you could run a chess inspired encounter for D&D 4E? I'm thinking like the characters themselves are involved in a human chess game albeit still allowing them to keep some of ...
6
votes
5answers
977 views

How can I turn the Kobold Hall delve into a full-fledged Adventure?

For my first experience as a DM, I'm taking the Kobold Hall adventure included in the first DMG, and repurposing it. The overall idea is to turn it from a 5 encounter delve to a "Level 1 to Level 2 ...
14
votes
8answers
703 views

How do I adjudicate the natural tendency for hikers to spread in D&D 4e?

This question inspired by this rather grognardian post over on the Tao of D&D. Functionally, the post asserts: But suggest to a party that they're too far apart to hear one another as they ...
5
votes
1answer
977 views

Are there any free tools for designing encounters or traps?

I'm trying to design a module and I was wondering if there were any free or open source encounter or trap designers for D&D 4e Mostly I just like something that lets me fill in the blanks and ...
5
votes
2answers
302 views

How to fix this scenario for D&D Encounters?

I just finished running a D&D Encounters season 3 ep 11 session, and I'm dissatisfied with how it ended; I want to fix it next week with a bit of retroactive play before moving on to the finale. ...
8
votes
2answers
726 views

What is the D&D 4E encounter system?

In answering a question on applying old-school rules to 4E, R.S. Conley suggests "Not use the encounter system. Just set up a region sandbox style and what the player find they have to deal with" I ...
14
votes
6answers
687 views

How should I budget for ally/third party NPCs in 4e combats?

I've done a few combats recently where the PCs and their enemies were not the only participants in the fight. I wasn't sure how to budget XP in this case. In the case of an NPC ally to the PCs, I ...
5
votes
2answers
365 views

How can I judge rarity of monsters?

One of the things I like about 4e is the scalability of monsters. If I say, for example, that kobolds are common I can then make then the most common monster for encounters for quite a few levels. ...
11
votes
8answers
457 views

10-100 Troglodytes is too many!

I'm picking on troglodytes as an example. In MMI, the number of troglodytes appearing in their lair(cave system/dungeon) is 10-100. Troglodytes are a nice, not-too-tough, HD2 monster with some ...
5
votes
1answer
488 views

What is an appropriate encounter in Deathwatch?

I've been reading through Deathwatch and I've finally gotten a grip on the fact that space marines are seriously tough characters compared to the other games in the Warhammer 40k RPG line. The ...
41
votes
13answers
2k views

How to communicate to the players that an encounter can be solved also through diplomacy?

When you play D&D, you are not supposed to chat with the enemy during encounters. The system is made for fighting. However, in some circumstances, it would be nice to make the players conscious ...
9
votes
5answers
367 views

Monster Complement for Fire Beetles

I've been writing an encounter with fire beetles in a sewer. I need a good monster to complement them while keeping it at a level 1 or 2 encounter.