Hot answers tagged

66

Short answer: whatever makes sense. When in battle, you generally don't just strike at random foes. Depending on the combatant's training and role they will choose different targets. Each creature you decide to send into battle should have some preferred tactic to utilize and as the DM, you get to decide what tactic makes the most sense. Some examples: A ...


65

The key does lie in not sweating the details, but the trick is that which is the least intuitive one: positioning! Follow three principles and theatre of the mind becomes much easier: Use descriptive detail When describing a fight scene, say in general terms where everything is relative to each other. You're not used to giving this detail verbally when ...


65

AngryDM Says Something About This Once your characters are obviously going to win, end the encounter/fight. That's tough, but I'm going to sum up what he said. (You should still read it, though) You need to figure out what the main question the encounter is trying to answer, and when the answer becomes obvious, end the encounter! Yes, I know AngryDM's ...


63

I'll deal with your first example first: standing on a table in that situation is not particularly an advantage. It's also, therefore, very unlikely behaviour for a martial artist. (Not counting Feng Shui players). Standing slightly up from your opponent, on the other hand, is an advantage for many of the reasons below. It brings your kicks to better ...


59

I suspect you're underestimating the effects of the wargaming roots, both on D&D specifically and on role-playing games in general, which, in those early days, were all but synonymous. The cover of the original edition of D&D, published in 1974, described it as "Rules for Fantastic Medieval Wargames". Although it included various non-wargaming ...


59

How do the Kobolds remember which parts are trapped? Basically, this answer is about weaving the Kobold's own marking system into the narrative. It does assume you draw your own maps and don't use Dungeon Tiles or anything. Obtain 6 or so pretty looking symbols (they don't need to have meaning, but if they look Draconic it's bonus awesome) Mark every ...


49

0. Do your players want this, too? If you haven't discussed a different playstyle I think they're reasonable to still expect the "sporty" style you were previously playing. That's why I think--even one session in--a change like this would be equivalent to starting a new campaign: same setting and same characters, but different game. If you have not had ...


48

Combat needs to move. It's the most detail packed in the least in-game time most systems have to offer. And yet it's also (usually) supposed to feel fast-paced and action packed. So yes, it's perfectly acceptable to hurry players along to the point of skipping a turn. It's even a rule in some systems. Here's an example from the Star Wars RPG (although I ...


46

I grapple with this question all the time. I'm not sure this is the best answer, but I try to start by having the enemy negotiate with them. Early in a campaign, I'll have the enemy surrender on reasonable terms. The trick is to implant the idea that negotiating doesn't lead to a worse outcome, and that the "bad guys" may want something the PCs are ...


45

Here are some suggestions, won through hard experience: Allow for Other Objectives To Be Achieved I've found that engaging combat has more at stake than simple survival. Placing other objectives which are not "kill that enemy" are a good idea. If a player achieves their objectives without outright killing their enemies, they feel clever and may not mind ...


43

Yes, you must apply all the damage--but you can still leave your target alive. Except in the case of instant death: "when damage reduces [one] to 0 hit points and there is damage remaining, [one dies] if the remaining damage equals or exceeds [one's] hit point maximum." (PHB p.197) Monsters and Death Most DMs have a monster die the instant it drops ...


38

Lead by showing. Have the enemies talk during fights, shouting threats or bantering. Make sure that this is relevant to what's going on (or about to happen) and not just throw-away one-liners: have the enemies snarl angrily and promise painful death to the PC who wounded them, declare revenge for their fallen comrades, shout quick instructions or ...


38

Scenario 1, a bag of holding into a portable hole: No. When the bag of holding is placed into the portable hole, a gate is opened and the two items are sucked into it and forever lost. Essentially, they consume each other. There is no mention of anything else getting sucked into the gate or if the gate allows other creatures and objects travel to the astral ...


37

There are no facing rules in 5e by default. Thus one provokes an OA leaving an opponent's reach no matter how you imagine the characters are faced. The reasoning behind this is that the round represents six seconds of movement: thrusts, parrying, bobbing-and-weaving, &c.* In your example, the answer is: yes, Atone would provoke an OA from Dip. If you ...


36

You can have several tricks to get around this, I've used similar methods with fantasy and cyberpunk games. Security Weapons are keycoded, or Palmprinting - this stops anyone but a certain person using it. Yes you can bypass it, but it's either difficult or very pricey. Limited uses Yes, you've got a melta gun - but getting ammo/powerpacks for it is ...


34

Flip back to pages 54 and 55 of the Start Set's adventure booklet, at the beginning of Appendix B: Monsters. This section explains how to read the monster's stats. I want to bring your attention in particular to the text in the heading Actions (p. 55, bolded phrase my emphasis): Hit. Any damage or other effects that occur as a result of an attack hitting ...


34

Yes (Likely). According to 5e designer and official rules expert Jeremy Crawford, "When temporary hit points absorb damage for you, you're still taking damage, just not to your real hit points." On 25 August 2014, Crawford was asked about a similar situation over twitter by @Mathew_Reuther: @JeremyECrawford If my Temporary Hit Points are 10 and I take ...


34

Possible exceptions: The player already has advantage; granting them advantage again does nothing, but imposing disadvantage on the monster does. The 'Lucky' feat allows the underdog with disadvantage to go from "roll two, choose the worst" to effectively "roll three, choose the best". Asymmetry: Stopping the bad guy from doing something might be more ...


34

You are correct Game Over is something that depends on the game. Outside of RPG you would think of Game Over either as the fact that you can't continue with the game as a player (some card or board games), you lose some of your progress but can try again (Video games with saves) or have to start over from scratch (saveless video games). The social contract, ...


34

The rule about all of its heads dying is an exception particular to the hydra. It is not immune to the effects of being defeated when reduced to 0 hp. If the hydra were immune to defeat at 0 hp, its description would have to say so.


32

See DFRPG: p.200 for Attacks p.207 for Maneuvers Whenever you attack someone, you choose the appropriate Skill to roll - Fists for punches, Weapons for knives/swords, Guns for guns, etc.. Roll 4dF (the 4 Fudge dice) and add the result of the roll, which will be between -4 and +4 to the Skill you chose. The defender gets to make a defense roll with an ...


32

According to The ever useful d20PFSRD: In a round of combat, you can do either : 1 Full-round action OR 1 Standard action plus 1 Move action (in any order) OR 2 Move actions (effectively trading your Standard action for a Move action) Plus a combination of : 1 Swift or Immediate Action AND Any number of Free Actions A few special cases The 5 ft. ...


32

Yes, the creature is dead when it reaches 0 hit points. Basic Rules (p. 75) When you drop to 0 hit points, you either die outright or fall unconscious, as explained in the following sections. Basic Rules, DM (p. 3) A monster usually dies or is destroyed when it drops to 0 hit points. For more on hit points, see the player’s D&D basic rules ...


31

Yes, you can tell DMG p.26 When running a combat, make sure that you describe nonlethal and lethal damage differently. The distinction should be clear—both in the players’ imaginations and on their character sheets. Does this only apply to damage the characters receive? Personally I am happy to take what the rulebooks say at face value: "make ...


31

Yes, Prayer of Healing would take 100 combat rounds to cast, if you tried to cast it during combat. Additionally, the cleric would also have to avoid being attacked to maintain Concentration: getting hit would initiate a Constitution Check against DC 10 or the damage taken, whichever is higher. For this reason, spells that take more than an Action for ...


30

You are correct; movement may be resumed after an Attack of Opportunity. Movement is "spent" by the foot; as in, if a creature has a movement speed of "30ft", then they can spend that much speed during a move action. If they are interrupted by an opportunity attack after 10ft, then they still have 20ft left to spend. To further support this, look at the ...


29

Used to be that RAW, the sniper wasn't getting the sneak attack. Why? No good reason other than that "a legalistic reading of the rules said so." There are no end of huge threads on paizo.com going over in tortuous detail how vision and stealth and all that work in PF core, especially here and here, and the summary was "slavishly following the rules means ...


27

The most common way this is done is as a "switch" on the entire campaign: the campaign's "you know your HP point total" switch is set to "no". Jason White's answer already covers the reason for such a blanket campaign feature well. This is almost always done at the campaign-wide level to make players more careful with the lives of their PCs. That isn't to ...


27

My view has always been that if they need to pause to ask you a rules question, for a better description, etc, then it's fair to let them slow the combat down to get answers to those things. But if they're just sitting there waging an internal struggle (or even just arguing with other party members) about whether they should smack the monster with their +5 ...



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