I recently had a session where the party was on board a boat (Smugglers) with a crew size of 40 which got into a fight with a boat (Royal Marines) with a crew size of 60.

Obviously I didn't put the whole crew into combat, I limited it to 10 Smugglers and 10 Marines (plus the captain of each boat).

Including the party, this meant there were 26 people on the initiative sheet, 22 of which were NPCs under my control fighting against each other. This meant that most of the fight was spent with the party watching me playing with myself.

Obviously this is unacceptable.

What would be a better way to deal with this? My job is to make the players have fun and not sitting around bored while I figuratively jerk off, but I also want to impress upon them the scale of a large battle.

I am willing to accept any and all suggestions, no matter how crazy (including incorporating other game systems).

  • \$\begingroup\$ Is this PF or 3.5e, or a mashup of both? \$\endgroup\$
    – Shalvenay
    Nov 19, 2016 at 23:20
  • \$\begingroup\$ Possibly, a duplicate of Combat rules for large battles \$\endgroup\$
    – Ols
    Nov 19, 2016 at 23:52
  • \$\begingroup\$ Likely a duplicate of How do I quicken / sum up larger (but not army-scale) d20/DnD3.x combat?. ghosthardware, does that Q&A answer your question? \$\endgroup\$ Nov 20, 2016 at 0:04
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Shalvenay PF, but 3.5 combat is close enough that I figure I would add the tag as well. \$\endgroup\$ Nov 20, 2016 at 0:55
  • \$\begingroup\$ @SevenSidedDie That more-or-less answers my question. I'm open to more suggestions, but I'm satisfied enough to close the question as soon as I'm able. \$\endgroup\$ Nov 20, 2016 at 0:55


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