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.

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47
votes
13answers
3k 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 ...
18
votes
3answers
2k views

Ogre CR calculation: is it wrong or am I missing something?

My question is about the basic ogre CR calculation in the monster manual, which doesn't make senses to me. I tried to make a concept of an "armored ogre" with chain mail and pikes (AC 16 and 15 ...
21
votes
4answers
16k 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 ...
12
votes
8answers
509 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
827 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 ...
15
votes
7answers
1k 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 ...
23
votes
3answers
3k views

Can a character gain two levels with the same encounter?

We played with the Deck of Many Things last night and a character drew the card that gives you 50000 XP. The character was 14 and the XP amount was enough for him to gain the next two levels. 15 and ...
37
votes
7answers
6k views

My party bypassed a combat encouter. Should they still get XP?

Some thug bandits set up a road block on the main road to extract a toll from passerbys. It was twilight when my party encountered them. They used the Rogue to scout ahead, and they ultimately decided ...
9
votes
2answers
340 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 ...
14
votes
8answers
823 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 ...
12
votes
3answers
2k views

Is the first encounter of the starter set really “deadly”?

Reading the DMG I'm confused by the encounter difficulty chart. It seems straight forward, but upon really testing it I've found that according to the chart, the very first encounter in Lost Mines of ...
10
votes
3answers
483 views

How can I avoid making extended/prolonged encounters boring?

I have run this campaign for just over a year. Many encounters later, I have come to one snag; If I run an encounter that lasts for more than a few rounds, I lose all my flair. I just resort to "hit" ...