Questions tagged [combat]

For questions primarily about combat, the systems used in roleplaying games to resolve conflict through violent means, often to the death of one or more characters. Combat often involves several subsystems that determine whether harm is inflicted (to-hit) and the extent of that harm (damage).

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
82
votes
7answers
35k views

D&D 5e and "Theatre of the Mind" in combat

Our target play style for combat encounters would be to use battle boards roughly half the time (when there is enough of interest in play that the tactics are fun to play out), and to skip that with ...
75
votes
12answers
10k views

What is the purpose of easy combat scenarios that don't need resource expenditure?

This is something I've been thinking about as a DM in my encounter design: Why have easy/medium/etc combat encounters that don't really require resources to successfully complete? Given the limited ...
73
votes
11answers
193k views

Does Warlock combat just equal Eldritch Blast spam?

Been looking over the warlock because I thought it would be cool to make a spellcaster that can also mix it up in melee combat. After all how awesome is it to conjure up a magical weapon and start ...
69
votes
18answers
19k views

How do I challenge my PCs who fight every battle like Mongol horse archers?

In my last few game sessions, my players have begun adopting a strategy which is working wonders in the campaign we are playing. In this Planescape campaign, we are on the Outlands, which has a lot of ...
69
votes
5answers
50k views

Are melee combatants limited to standing around saying "I attack"?

Recently I heard a friend saying that melee combatants had fewer options than 4e or 3.x: Ranged combat was somewhat interesting in that you could deal with cover, aiming, and so forth. Fighters ...
68
votes
13answers
6k views

How to communicate to the players that an encounter can be solved also through diplomacy?

When you play D&D, you are not supposed to chat with the enemy during encounters. The system is made for fighting. However, in some circumstances, it would be nice to make the players conscious ...
58
votes
3answers
5k views

Do 10 second turns/60 second rounds make spellcasters horrible?

My DM insists on the combat being 10 seconds per turn and the round time to be the sum of all turn times (so a minute for 6 participants, for example). I am aware that this is not how turn/round time ...
57
votes
6answers
13k views

Since advantage and disadvantage caused in a heavily obscured area cancel out, what effect does it have in combat?

The rules say that creatures in a heavily obscured area "effectively suffer from the blinded condition". The blinded condition states: Attacks rolls against the creature have advantage, and the ...
54
votes
10answers
12k views

How can I end combat quickly when the outcome is inevitable?

I'm DMing for a party of 6. In our next session, I'm planning on running four combat encounters. With such a large group, I've found that it usually takes an hour or two to get through a single battle....
53
votes
14answers
17k views

How to break the "Death Loop" resulting from unfortunate initiative order

In a recent session, an encounter with a single particularly tough Orc (who was my doppelganger, trying to kill me) left the party dealing chip damage a few rounds at a time while they attempted to ...
53
votes
12answers
11k views

How do I make an unwinnable fight fun?

In one of my campaigns, it's possible that I'm going to have to pull off a Hopeless Boss Fight depending on the choices of my player (we're playing one-on-one). The gist is that they're interfering ...
50
votes
6answers
7k views

How can I make my enemies feel real and make combat more engaging?

As a newer DM, I have trouble making some of the more routine combats feel unique or urgent. I believe this is because the enemies my PCs are fighting tend to act like an AI, or just attack until they ...
49
votes
10answers
3k views

Is it fair to press the players for decisions during combat?

My group tends to over-analyse during combat, which slows everything down. I press upon my players to make their decision and roll the dice quickly. My players are all experienced in the system and I ...
49
votes
8answers
16k views

How does one handle a bottleneck of enemies in a doorway?

As a new DM I'm still learning how to control the monsters in a battle. A situation came up last game and although it was fine and fun, I wonder if there are better strategies for a DM to avoid a ...
49
votes
8answers
33k views

How can I speed up combat?

Combat at my table (5 players plus me, the GM) takes a long time. Even only moderately-complex combats usually take about an hour. I find myself wanting to end the session early if the group is about ...
47
votes
6answers
9k views

How did D&D end up so focused on fighting, when its inspirations weren't?

There are a lot of systems around nowadays that don't focus on combat, and that's great. But I was struck recently by the fact that D&D has always been, and remains, heavily oriented toward ...
45
votes
1answer
10k views

Does a short combat or casting one spell interrupt a Long Rest?

D&D Basic Rules v0.1 says on page 67 that a long rest is interrupted by "at least 1 hour of walking, fighting, casting spells". So does that mean that 59 minutes of combat doesn't interrupt the ...
44
votes
6answers
269k views

Does flanking always grant advantage, or is it up to discussion?

The rules packet does not provide any specific rules about flanking. However the rule does say that the DM has lots of leeway in deciding when to give advantage or disadvantage in combat. Should it ...
43
votes
4answers
3k views

How do I introduce an inexperienced player to the FATE combat system?

One of the things that I love about the FATE system is how flexible it is; even given the less than crunchy nature of the system, you have options galore. That's given one of my players analysis ...
43
votes
4answers
7k views

How do I avoid being and feeling useless as a player new to D&D combat?

I tried playing D&D 4th edition a few years ago. While I enjoyed it, this particular thing put me off. I didn't know about this SE at the time, so I couldn't ask this. Events in this question are ...
42
votes
11answers
5k views

Are there practical methods for dealing with indecisive players during combat?

Following up on How to deal with indecisive, overthinking players?. This question got closed, because it was not specific enough. I will offer a more detailed scenario from our play group. Context My ...
42
votes
8answers
6k views

How can I encourage combat as war-style play in my campaign?

I've recently begun a new D&D 5e campaign with a group of players who have all just come from a Pathfinder adventure path. I was the GM for that campaign and it was a very on-the-rails adventure ...
42
votes
25answers
9k views

How can I speed up D&D 3.5e combat?

I'm looking for ways to speed up the combat in my D&D 3.5 game. It seems that turns - both player and non-player - simply take too long. I have thought about giving everyone a 30 second timer, but ...
39
votes
16answers
15k views

Narrative Combat versus Use of Miniatures

When I first started playing D&D, my DM did not use battlemaps or miniatures to describe combat. Everything was described to us, and questions to the DM were part and parcel of the experience, ...
38
votes
5answers
7k views

What insight does True Strike grant?

The part of the True Strike spell I am concerned with reads: Your magic grants you a brief insight into the target’s defenses. I'd always considered this to be flavor text. But a friend of mine ...
38
votes
4answers
6k views

How do I reward creative combat improvisation without making it overpowered?

I have a level five fighter who enjoys using the terrain as a weapon in a somewhat WWE style. I am at a loss as to how to go about adjusting the damage he does for the less than by-the-book actions. ...
38
votes
1answer
32k views

How does Stealth work with Sneak Attack?

So, in Pathfinder, it seems that being able to use stealth in order to gain sneak attacks only works in the surprise round, with the rules as written. So, imagine a scenario where we have a sniper (...
37
votes
4answers
4k views

How do I fight with Heavy Armor as a Wizard with Tenser's Transformation?

Tenser's Transformation is a rather unique, gish-y spell that lets wizards toss their spellbooks aside and take up arms like their Fighter counterparts. One aspect of this spell that disappoints me ...
37
votes
3answers
8k views

Can I say something to an ally when it's not my turn and we are both in combat?

For instance I want to suggest a spell or a generic action to an ally because my PC has a better view of the battlefield. Can I do that or I must wait my turn?
37
votes
2answers
6k views

How to resolve surprise and "instant actioning" initiating combat

DMed for the first time yesterday and one of the things I feel I need to sort out, among other comments, improvements, and similar, is how combat itself is actually initiated. The main example I want ...
35
votes
9answers
7k views

How do I run a game when my PCs have different approaches to combat?

Following on from the question How can I make sure my players' decisions have consequences?: I'm frustrated as a DM because I feel like the different players / PCs in my (level 5) group want ...
35
votes
6answers
8k views

Which player character do I attack first?

When I played 1st and 2nd edition AD&D, I was always a player. The party was written down in order and numbered. When monsters would attack us, the DM would roll the die and check which character ...
35
votes
11answers
159k views

Can the rogue repeatedly hide in combat to sneak attack the same enemy?

One of my players is a rogue and has been, on his turn, using Cunning Action to hide as a bonus action and immediately afterwards attacking. I have been ruling that this does work to grant him ...
35
votes
2answers
4k views

Am I hit when I have immunity?

My character is immune to a specific type of damage, and an opponent attacks him with that type of damage. I know my character will not be getting any damage from that attack. My opponent ...
34
votes
8answers
5k views

How can a single creature safely flee from a combat?

This question is really more of a tactics and plotting question than a rules question. In D&D 5e, a creature can avoid opportunity attacks when running away by using the Disengage action (although ...
34
votes
6answers
3k views

How can I use Animate Objects in combat, without slowing combat down for everyone?

My wizard has acquired the animate objects spell, and I'm discussing with my GM how I'm going to use it in combat. We are concerned that using the spell may slow down combat and make it less fun for ...
34
votes
7answers
5k views

How would combat work without opportunity attacks?

Opportunity attacks have a long history in the world of tabletop games and D&D in particular. 3.5e/PF both had an exhaustive list of actions which can or can not trigger an OA. Various games have ...
34
votes
3answers
8k views

How can I make combat less static in D&D 5e?

I am GMing the 5e starter set with a group with experienced players from Pathfinder, and during the last dungeon (Wave echo cave), they expressed their dissatisfaction with the combat system of the 5e....
34
votes
7answers
61k views

How can I make combat more tactically interesting for me as a DM?

For me, I find it very difficult to enjoy DMing combat encounters. Combat is generally very dry and monotonous. What can I do to make combat more enjoyable for me as a DM? Some of the issues I have ...
34
votes
3answers
220k views

Wielding two weapons without "Two-Weapon Fighting" or "Dual Wielder"?

We have a Barbarian on our team that very much likes to switch up his weapons; he goes from a Dwarven Hammer, to a pair of Hand-Axes, to occasionally just going bare-fisted. No issues there, he's ...
34
votes
3answers
29k views

Can a Familiar aid a Rogue's Sneak Attack?

A Rogue character with the Arcane Trickster archetype chooses Find Familiar as her non-enchantment, non-illusion, 1st level spell. How does that creature interact with the Sneak Attack feature? From ...
33
votes
5answers
7k views

How to increase difficulty in Dungeon World

I've been GMing for a couple of sessions now and I'm still struggling at making encounters or situations more difficult. I will describe dangerous situations and encounters in fiction but the ...
33
votes
4answers
7k views

What happens if a creature is killed between its attack and damage rolls

Came across a scenario that’s a little odd: A creature hits a character with an attack. The character has an ability that deals damage when he is hit. Based on other rulings the damage from the ...
33
votes
5answers
20k views

Why is attacking from higher ground an advantage? [closed]

I just don't understand how attacking someone from higher ground is an advantage in melee combat. I always think of two examples where I can't see this to be an advantage. Example 1: A kung-fu fight ...
32
votes
2answers
5k views

Is 5th Edition D&D combat faster than in 3.5 at low levels?

I am trying to get a group together, and we cannot agree on an edition of D&D. An argument being made by the pro-5e side is that 5th edition D&D goes faster than in revised 3rd edition, all ...
31
votes
14answers
36k views

How do I design exciting, fun boss fights for my players?

So I've DM'd three separate games, of which one that I'm largely happy with. However, one consistent problem I run into is designing fun, exciting, and interesting boss fights. I've run into two major ...
31
votes
4answers
13k views

How can I make combat challenging, without simply making it take longer?

My players and I like to have fewer, harder combat encounters, as we'd rather be roleplaying than working through combats that we know the PCs will win. It seems hard to arrange for this in 5e. I ...
31
votes
3answers
8k views

Can Bag of Holding + Portable Hole Turn Enemies Inside-Out?

First, the player is swallowed by a large monster, such as the Tarrasque or a Dragon. Next, the player puts a bag of holding into a portable hole. This opens a gate to the Astral plane inside the ...
31
votes
5answers
7k views

Is grabbing an opponent's arms to prevent casting within the "scope" 5e's combat?

Recently, my players faced off against an enemy spellcaster. During the fight, the barbarian stated that it was his intention to grab the spellcaster in a bearhug, pinning his arms to his sides to ...
30
votes
8answers
7k views

How hard is too hard for monster tactics?

Fairly straight-forward question: How good should you make your monsters' combat tactics? I recently came across a situation similar to this... Party attacked by monsters. Party is taken off guard, ...

1
2 3 4 5
28