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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 ...


58

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 ...


37

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 ...


32

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 ...


31

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 ...


31

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 ...


21

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 biggest key to creating interesting boss fights (in my experience) is to introduce an element of surprise or guess work. Fights are boring if they're just constant dice rolls back and forth where everything goes as expected. But you can make mechanics which keep the players guessing and on their toes, which force them to constantly be thinking about ...


20

Take a hint from the big computer rpg boss fights - even if you don't play them, you could find inspiration on youtube videos of them. First - a commonly used concept in boss fights there is 'stages' where you make a memorable fight longer but not repetitive by splitting it in sub-fights with different styles, i.e., after 'defeating' the initial phase HP, ...


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 ...


18

It matters for some characters If you have, for example, Two-Weapon Fighting, Flurry of Blows, Rapid Shot, or haste, you may have more than one attack even though you have low BAB. You would need a Full-Attack to use those. Even with only one attack, some characters (e.g. a 3rd-level Swordlord Fighter) can get other benefits from making a Full Attack, and ...


18

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 ...


18

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

First off, since the question is tagged rogue-trader, I'll reiterate that the PCs are already able to get their hands on the best gear out there anyhow. "You're the owners and command staff of a 5km warpship with access to resources in excess of some worlds' annual gross planetary production" will get you pretty far. As in, if you want to buy a melta gun, ...


17

Abstractions Before you tweak the combat system, make sure you understand how its abstraction works. A single attack roll is not necessarily a single swipe of a character's sword. Rather, it represents your character trying hard to kill his opponent for the round. It could be a single slash, or it could be a lengthy clash of steel-on-steel coupled with ...


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 ...


16

From RAW When a creature’s hit points drop below 0, it becomes unconscious. When a creature’s hit points reach a negative total equal to its Constitution score, it dies. -- Core, page 12 under 'Hit points' 'Creature' would imply that the rules effect everyone. Although there are some exceptions, such as Undead and Constructs Not at risk of death ...


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 ...


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

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 ...


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 ...


14

The suggested mechanic uses similar maths that optimisers use to build combat-focussed characters. Also White Dwarf magazine presented an optional Monster Mark system of experience built around expected damage to a standardised fighter (I think this may even of made it into a TSR product, but I may be mis-remembering). In the unmodified game, there are lots ...


14

Yep, allies are hit too, otherwise it would say "each Enemy in the blast", as is the case on plenty of attacks (For example, Fire Shroud, contrast with Shock sphere).


14

Coup de Grace is not gone, it's just not explicitly called out. Unconscious....Any attack that hits this creature is a critical hit if the attacker is within 5 feet of the creature (PHB 292) This same wording is also used for Paralyzed. You don't have this mechanic potentially leading to automatic death (though it can with the already in place death ...


13

In short, you are right and misinformed. The general rule is, when the situation fits the rule, and there is nothing in another rule to counter that, then you interpret the situation as in that rule. In your case, when your off-hand weapon is light, -2/-2 is applied with TWF, and -4/-8 without it. Nowhere in the rule calls for the kind of weapon in the main ...


13

Fate Worlds: Kriegszeppelin Valkyrie You might find what you want in Fate Worlds Vol.1, specifically "Kriegszeppelin Valkyrie" (KV). It is a mod/campaign where PCs are WWI pilots. Their planes are stationed on a giant flying aircraft carrier, the eponym Kriegszeppelin Valkyrie. Change "planes" to fighters and "flying aircraft carrier" to "capital ship", and ...



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