So I'm a bit of a jerk when playing 5e. Last game, I was the warlock who cast darkness on the battlefield. I can see in the dark obviously, but no one else could. It did help us survive, but it dragged on the fight for a long, long time. In another game where I am GM, I know one of my players could pull off the same trick, and I hate when combat drags on.
So I'm looking for a way, as a GM, to speed up such a combat without nerfing or banning the darkness warlock trick. I want an answer about resolving the combat faster when the reason it is slow is the system itself (that no one can hit anything). I know how I could turn the situation into a parley or giving players an escape route—I'm not interested in that. I know I could change the battlefield by making stuff up to force the PCs out of their darkness, but I'm afraid this is going to strain their suspension of disbelief and I'd like to reward the players for using what can be a strong control spell.
For the sake of this question, answers can assume a few things:
The players are backed into a corner and blocked the entrance of whatever hole they are in with a darkness spell.
The end of the hole itself is not in the darkness.
The enemy is not interested in rushing in the darkness and surrounding the sphere of darkness so that the players can't run away.
I'm willing to bend the rules a lot, but assume that the game is played close to RAW in general, such that answers should not break much from the spirit of the rules.
The effect of blinded is run mostly as RAW. So for all players except the warlock:
- All attacks in and out are done at disadvantage
- Vision is blocked such that spells usually must be aimed at random unless something highlights an enemy.
- Everyone is afraid to move out of the darkness
I think any experience for speeding up combat in different scenario could be acceptable as long as the bottleneck is something that is baked into the system. My problem is different from "My players are too slow" and closer to "My players can't hit anything because of the system and it makes the games boring for everyone".