I will be running a DnD 5e Campaign for my girlfriend (+ her pet dog) and possibly her sister as well.

Considering it will only be 2 real PCs I feel that combat will be very linear and boring. Most of the fun times in battle I have experienced both as a player and a GM would have been when squads of PCs and monsters use tactical placement and abilities to aid each other (bless, hold person, sleep).

So, the first combat I plan for the campaign is just my GF + dog facing off with a bear, I foresee this just becoming them three standing next to each other and slapping one another until something dies.

Question: How could I spice up small battles which cannot really have higher-level squad tactics?

Clarification: I've been asked why i think it would be a boring encounter. i will try to explain with two different scenarios.

Scenario 1: 4 PCs V.S squad of 3 orcs and a hyena

Here, the barbarian together with the paladin move forward to engage the hyena and create a choke point where the orc wielding a crossbow is unable to get a good view of the cleric and wizard at the back. The hyena and an orc try to get around to the soft casters but are stopped by the sentinel attack from the paladin. Being stuck in a group in front, the wizard moves ahead and casts burning hands to heavily damage the hyena and orcs behind.

Scenario 2: 1PC V.S a bear

Ranger moves up to the bear to hit it with her shortsword. Bear swipes at her twice due to multiattack. Ranger rolls to hit again, Bear rolls again, Ranger rolls, bear rolls, ranger rolls.....

Based on the two situations, the second seems a lot more boring and static.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Relevant \$\endgroup\$
    – Ben
    Commented May 16, 2018 at 23:48
  • \$\begingroup\$ This would be way too broad and a bit unclear as well. What do you mean by "spice up"? And why do you think the bear battle will be boring, especially as a first combat with beginners? I think this question might be closed, but if you want to hop into Role-playing Games Chat we can talk about it more freely. \$\endgroup\$
    – daze413
    Commented May 16, 2018 at 23:57
  • \$\begingroup\$ added some scenarios \$\endgroup\$ Commented May 17, 2018 at 2:41
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ flipped but related: Are melee combatants limited to standing around saying “I attack”? Does Warlock combat just equal Eldritch Blast spam? \$\endgroup\$
    – daze413
    Commented May 17, 2018 at 2:59
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ So, let's focus on how you can make the Ranger v. Bear more "interesting". But there's another problem here, we don't know what you mean by "interesting". What's interesting to me might not be interesting to you, so that's unclear. Another problem is that you can change literally anything and everything about the combat to make it interesting, and anyone's idea is as solid as mine, so there is no "correct" answer, that would make the question both too broad and primarily opinion-based. We can help you focus more on what exactly you want out of the answer so voters can upvote one correct answer \$\endgroup\$
    – daze413
    Commented May 17, 2018 at 4:27


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