There are many threads which talk about NPC/Monster Resistances, Immunities, and Creature Tactics, but I couldn't find anything about the following:

How do I, as a DM, handle PC resistances, immunities and buffs?

Example: a Paladin Aura that boosts the group's resistances to enemy spells.

Do I outmaneuver the more resilient targets, attack the weaker ones or do I want to attack the ones with the aura so that the PCs can actually see that their strategy has provided an advantage against the enemy?

Of course I can always argument with the creature's intelligence and tactical behaviour, but in a more or less meta standard, it could reward the group for using their skills.

TL;DR: Is it better for a DM to play along with the group's magical buffs and resistances to reward the groups strategy (e.g. PCs with Auras or Blessing) or for them to try to get the best results for the enemy's goal to victory?

  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ "Better" how? What is the goal you want to accomplish? Either might work depending on what style of play you and your players prefer. \$\endgroup\$ – V2Blast Sep 6 '18 at 22:35
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ I did vote to close because this is strongly opinion-based, with opinions to either side being equally as valued. Stack Exchange doesn't do "all opinions matter" that well. If it was a little more refined so that there is a possibility of a single, explicit answer being the best answer, then I would gladly remove the vote, but as of right now, I could say "burn the characters" or "make them win", and there's no way to gauge which is more correct. \$\endgroup\$ – Daniel Zastoupil Sep 6 '18 at 23:10
  • \$\begingroup\$ I feel like an important consideration for either the question or the answer is "is metagaming undesirable?" If so, that might narrow the scope too... \$\endgroup\$ – Isaac Reefman Sep 7 '18 at 1:28

It depends

If the enemies are not that observant, they might not realize that one of the characters is a paladin simply due to the fact that the paladin’s aura, being one of resistance, is probably invisible. In this case, not knowing that the paladin is a paladin, they would be unprepared to fight the aura. However, if the enemies are observant enough to notice that one character looks a lot like a like a paladin (shining armor, sword, inspiring everyone else, etc.), they may be prepared. In addition, the DM may rule that the resistance to enemy spells looks like a force field, in which case the enemies will most likely see it. Also, note that observance can be based on a perception check or passive perception, the DM’s choice. However, the DM should never use their “out of NPC knowledge” any more than players use their out of character knowledge.


Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.