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The party I am in is currently involved in an attack against a fortified manor house and knows that there is a subterranean component to the compound as well. We are certain there are a good many fights between us and the cult leader that likely has a lair at the darkest depths of the dungeon.

The party consists of 6 players (Monk, Inquisitor, Occultist, Investigator (me), Barbarian, and Ranger) at level 6. We have a higher than recommended point buy for the module, as well as more players than normally recommended. We're well equipped and using the Automatic Bonus Progression system. My point is that on the front of it, we can survive most "normal" encounters with little help or resource expenditure. However, when things get hairy, encounters can get pretty desperate; we have seen a couple character deaths in the game already.

Before we began our assault, we appropriately used long term buffs, as well as applied a few short term buffs (we did nearly TPK the first time we came here). It turns out the "surface guards" were significantly fewer than were expected, and that when prepared (as in having weapons drawn before we knocked on the door) it was a fairly trivial encounter. Inside the courtyard as well were some potentially dangerous enemies, but we were prepared and made short work of them as well. I should note it was a slightly long fight (really it was two distinct encounters flowing into each other), but the dangerous enemies were dispatched quickly. After that though, it was all quiet, and the short term buffs wore off as we explored.

During this fight though, many of the players expended some fairly limited character resources. The Inquisitor pronounced one of his 2/day Judgements (to fairly limited effect) as well as some of his few rounds of Bane on these enemies, the Occultist used Focus Points to give Bane to someone, a good number of rounds of rage were used, etc. Frankly it was overkill. Besides rage, most of these abilities were activated after the enemies were killed, in preparation of unseen, and ultimately non-existent, foes.

Now part of this is of course part and parcel of playing this sort of game, and I want to say I respect that these players are certainly having fun doing these sorts of things. Still though, we now have a good bit fewer resources available to us as we make our delve into the dungeon, and we're just through the front gate.

The notion of the "15-minute adventuring day" has been thrown around the table before, and it certainly has been downplayed as strategy. Resting is certainly fairly risky here, as the stakes apparently are that the entire town will be destroyed if the cult's ritual is allowed to complete (and we don't know the timetable on that).

I want to say something about the rate at which we're using resources, but I don't want to be that sort of player. I don't want to be telling other people how to play their characters, but at the same time, I don't want it to take a character death or some major failure to hit home the need for pacing the use of resources.

What are ways to broach the subject of character resource usage with the party that won't come across as controlling? Or perhaps is there any perspective I should be taking to minimize my concern over resource usage?

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  • \$\begingroup\$ What value does being on a team hold to the players at your table? \$\endgroup\$ – KorvinStarmast Jun 27 '17 at 22:01
  • \$\begingroup\$ @KorvinStarmast We're a group of friends that have been gaming for years. We generally try to have our character's all work together and rarely do we have characters that are lone wolf types doing their own thing. So I would say being a team is a fairly high priority. \$\endgroup\$ – Kommissar Jun 28 '17 at 7:20
  • \$\begingroup\$ Have you encountered any Kuru in this manor house? \$\endgroup\$ – Jared Goguen Jun 28 '17 at 14:12
  • \$\begingroup\$ @JaredGoguen Yes, we're playing Strange Aeons. We've only encountered Kuru in the outlying facilities of the house (guard house, kitchen, etc.). But the issue is that the guardhouse fight was ended in 2 rounds, and there were only 2 Kuru in there. Judgement, Shield, Rage rounds, Bane rounds and Focus Point bane were applied in that fight (against Kuru) but not meaningfully benefited from due to speed of encounter and party size (with all the PCs ready and piling on no buffs were needed). By the time we found more Kuru that all wore off. \$\endgroup\$ – Kommissar Jun 28 '17 at 15:02
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Kommissar Not to spoil anything, but our party needed to rest halfway through the manor. \$\endgroup\$ – Jared Goguen Jun 28 '17 at 18:06
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Don't advise, ask.

I suggest you find a quiet moment in which to say the following:

"Hey guys, I'm worried about the end-fight of this arc, and I was wondering, what resources do we think we'll need to save for that? I was thinking we'd at least need X, Y and Z."

I think this will work, but there's a common pitfall with this technique: Often people will disguise their advice as a question rather than actually asking the question. Don't do this. The distinction here being that if you're asking, you don't pre-know the answer, and their inputs are a useful part of the conclusion's answer.

The easiest(but not only) way to avoid this is by assuming that each person knows best how to manage their own resources, and as such, has the final say regarding what does or doesn't need saving.

After the discussion, try not to bring it back up. If you must(again, following the easiest way) don't characterize the conclusion as an agreement, but as their previous decision, and accept their right to change their previous decision based on what they feel is a worthy change of circumstances.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ To me this comes across as a little passive-aggressive \$\endgroup\$ – Wibbs Jun 27 '17 at 20:53
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Wibbs, as me being passive-aggressive or my advise would make OP come across passive-aggressive? \$\endgroup\$ – godskook Jun 27 '17 at 20:53
  • \$\begingroup\$ The latter - phrasing an opinion as a thinly veiled question can come across as very passive-aggressive if you aren't very, very careful \$\endgroup\$ – Wibbs Jun 27 '17 at 21:02
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Wibbs I specifically advise against doing that in this answer. Is it that I'm not clear enough or that you missed it previously? "there's a common pitfall with this technique: Often people will disguise their advice as a question rather than actually asking the question." \$\endgroup\$ – godskook Jun 27 '17 at 21:06
  • \$\begingroup\$ Hey, that little edit makes all the difference +1 \$\endgroup\$ – Wibbs Jun 28 '17 at 6:41
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I would say (coming from the perspective of a GM) seek your GM's help! First, speak with your party. Be frank, but not overbearing. That can be as simple as noting what you observed. Don't fill it with emotion or frustration, but simply state facts. "I saw that we used ______ at ________, and it ended up not really doing us any favors. We need to plan so that we are more prepared." Or even voice your worries in a very upfront way, "This endgame, at the rate we're going, is going to be torture. You guys saw that almost-TPK at the beginning, yeah? I don't think running on luck is the way to go." (Something along those lines.)

If people view that as passive-aggressive, bring it up to your GM/DM (offline preferably). Their job is to help mediate between party members, as it isn't guaranteed everyone will see eye-to-eye. Generally, GMs have the best interested of the party at heart, and aren't actively gunning to kill their players (knock on wood). They're also concerned with how your experience is going. They'll address it. And if they don't, worst-case is to find another campaign.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ I also like the idea of bringing in the GM to see how they feel about the resource use... do they expect you to rest less? ETc \$\endgroup\$ – Ifusaso Jun 28 '17 at 5:10
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As your PC is an investigator, meaning an intelligent guy with lots of knowledge skills (most likely), and one that should be inquisitive, you could bring this topic up ingame.

In my experience one character advising the other characters is received better than one player advising the group.

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I support the advice to do it in character. Whether by being awed at the artillery being unleashed, or panicking that there won't be any left later on. Encouraging party members to hunt out new sources of ammunition, equipment or buffs might also make them more aware of what they're using up.

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