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62

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 ...


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 ...


47

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 ...


38

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 ...


33

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 ...


32

You're seeing one of the classic military ideas play out in your game - control of chokepoints. As many other people have pointed out, the advantage to controlling a chokepoint is that you can step back and force the enemy to push a narrow front of combatants against a broad base of defenders- so the person coming through the door is taking the most ...


32

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 ...


23

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 ...


22

It's been a while since I dealt with 3.5, but couldn't enemies armed with missile weapons just ready actions to "shoot them when they come into range"? That's certainly not a "screw you" approach. As a way to mix things up, you could also introduce terrain that makes this strategy less viable (much reduced line of sight, for example.) or NPCs who are ...


21

Think in terms of how you—as a player, not a DM—might tackle an opponent doing what your players are. There are several things I can think of. Spellcasters with Protection from Arrows and Slow or Grease are good start points. Protection from Arrows removes their attacking options while Slow and Grease, among other spells, are excellent for taking away ...


20

The problem, basically, is that PC defenses and to-hit values increase every other level, and monster to-hit and defenses increase every level. So if you're L8 party (on average) hits 60% of the time, and gets hit 40% of the time. If you face a L15 minion, your party's going to be hit 75% of the time, and is only going to hit 25% of the time. Your PCs will ...


19

You are correct in your rules understanding. There are of course missile and reach weapons, though in this situation both usually will incur a cover penalty to hit. And splash weapons, and spells - but this definitely isn't a rules exercise, it's an exercise in tactics. A bottleneck isn't necessarily bad. Keeping enemies bottled up at a chokepoint allows ...


17

A Swift Action Can Be Taken During the Surprise Round The Surprise Round says... If some but not all of the combatants are aware of their opponents, a surprise round happens before regular rounds begin. In initiative order (highest to lowest), combatants who started the battle aware of their opponents each take a standard or move action during the ...


17

The first and third points aren’t really big deals; actually, the third point would be a disadvantage of save-or-dies. Would be, if the numbers were more reasonable. By the numbers: you can probably make someone fail a saving throw Ultimately, caster classes have every reason to pump their save DCs as much as they can. The ability score that sets the ...


17

A flaming or flaming burst weapon can deal 1d6 fire damage on a hit, if that feature has been activated. Fire damage by-passes a troll’s Regeneration, dealing lethal damage and eliminating the healing for a turn. Setting it on fire is not necessary to damage a troll. On the other hand, fire damage does not automatically start a fire; for the most ...


17

Well, as you stated, a smart approach when this happens is to just ask the player, but with that out of the question here are some options I might use in this situation: Give objectives. Try to add in something extra to the fight, maybe a lever to pulled, or even better, a door to be unlocked (either locky-picky, or with hacking). A cool way to use this is ...


17

No. You don't need a board for 5e. 5e is intended to be played however you'd like. Some groups (like the ones I GM), prefer to use a battle mat and minis to represent the play space. However, other groups have success either running the game entirely in their mind, or by tracking things much more loosely using pencils and graph paper, or just any kind of ...


16

This answer is about the mechanics I would apply, and not about intended results or morals of the PC behaviour. First, use the Grapple rules, because they seem most appropriate for dragging a creature around: The tied-up goblin can be considered Helpless, thus all Grapple checks against it auto-succeed. The rules for grapple cover moving the ...


16

There are really only a few ways to speed up combat, and most of them really depend on what is bogging you down. Here is the advice I'd give if you really want to make sure you get through as fast as possible: Limit Turn Time. This is the biggie, and you're already doing it with the carrot method (providing a chip worth a +1 to any d20 roll). That's great. ...


16

That very much depends on what you mean by "in game." During a game? Certainly: PC: "I fall on my sword." DM: "Okay. You die." Using standard combat options? No. At least, not guaranteed at every table by a common understanding of the rules. Coup de grace requires that the target be helpless before it's an option, and whether you're helpless to ...


16

This is a powerful tactic, but it does have limitations. There are a number of counters to it. To begin with, it breaks down in environments where sight lines are limited, and enemies don't need to chase the rogue down. If the rogue needs to get past the monsters, and the monsters have cover available, the tactic fails. While the rogue can kite ...


16

It is legal, yes. Note that move actions are defined one square at a time. The running enemy could choose to stop when you teleport in to threaten them. But if they don’t, and leave a threatened square, they provoke from you.


16

Yes, the familiar can grant advantage with the Help action, and its presence adjacent to an enemy can allow sneak attacks. Bear in mind, though, that most familiars have extremely low health and AC, and will likely die in a single hit, requiring 10g and at least 1 hour to resummon.


16

Remember that the Matrix is layered over the real world. If he can physically see the gun, finding which icon belongs to it is super-simple; it's the one that's physically located in the same place. The only benefit they might get from running silent is making him waste an action to locate a handful of their weapons; that's if they're allowed to run ...


15

As written, I would say yes: you have made a charge, since there's no longer any such thing as a "partial charge" in 3.5. This is another reason why Pounce is awesome.


15

Nothing stays the same forever. The players won't be expecting to 'get away with' this tactic much longer. If it was my group, I think I'd let them enjoy it while it lasted. When the campaign was ready to move away from the wide open terrain into tight, cramped dungeons, I think we'd all laugh about the good old days on the wide open Outlands and enjoy ...


15

Reward Non-Combat solutions How you reward your players is dependent on the players. Some players will respond to non-traditional investments of XP (the tradition in D&D is to give XP for the murder of animals, you could offer XP for simply solving a problem†). Some players will respond to material items, others will respond to, you as the GM, buying ...


15

It means once per attack. Whenever the system refers to an Attack Action it explicitly does so and you can always tell the difference besides it saying Attack Action vs. attack because Attack Action is capitalized and attack is left lowercase. This is no way overpowered as superiority dice are a limited resource. A higher level fighter could use all of ...


15

Tactical Combat requires a challenge. Challenge in D&D combat is going to come from groups of different enemies, environmental challenges, and other activities going on during the combat. Fighting a bunch of goblins isn't that hard. Fighting a bunch of goblins, some with swords, some with bows, backed up by some giant rat skirmishers and supported by ...


15

Don't use combat mechanics AngryDM writes a piece here about D&D combat (which can be applied to any system, really; they all have such heavy combat focus 'by the book'). His posts on encounters and combat are solid reads, and the 'Zombie Horde' is actually a specific encounter that he uses as an example in the linked post. His suggestion: don't use ...



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