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Questions tagged [encounters]

For questions about encounters, a broad term used to describe when the player characters meet with a group of NPCs. They can range from hostile to friendly, randomized to story-driven.

10
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3answers
825 views

How much XP should you award if the encounter was not solved via battle? [duplicate]

I have created an encounter with monsters, with their relevant CR and XP. Normally, when the party kills everyone, they are rewarded the XP. If the party chooses to, and succeeds in, resolving the ...
2
votes
2answers
116 views

Is it possible to use the Handle Animal skill to calm down a hostile animal?

We've recently encountered a pack of wolves that were trained by goblins, but their masters weren't anywhere nearby. Is it possible to use Handle animal to make them less hostile?
20
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2answers
3k views

How can I add encounters in the Lost Mine of Phandelver campaign without giving PCs too much XP?

I'm currently reading the LMOP scenario. I was thinking about adding some encounters if the PCs want to explore the forest or other side-story zones that aren't considered in the book. But actually I ...
7
votes
1answer
2k views

At what level can a party fight a mimic?

I'm actually starting to get into DnD and I may be soon buy the DnD starter set. Mimic is a monster whose concept I love, and I would like to put at least one as soon as possible when I'll DM, even if ...
7
votes
0answers
124 views

When does combat end? [duplicate]

This answer says that the (enemy) bugbear is part of the combat when he knows about it. This answer says you can only be surprised at the beginning of combat. Could the unnoticed bugbear wait until ...
4
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2answers
83 views

How do I use the encounter chance tables in the AD&D 1e DMG?

I'm trying to set up a campaign and I'm not great at math. We play old school 1e AD&D. The 1e DMG gives two tables on page 47 for chance of an encounter. The base chance of encounter depending on ...
6
votes
1answer
412 views

How can I best run this encounter from the Waterdeep: Dragon Heist adventure? [closed]

I'm reading through the Waterdeep: Dragon Heist adventure. On page 28, there's an encounter with This seems so lame! I'm confused, because I don't understand why the villains are acting this way. ...
-1
votes
1answer
306 views

D&D 3.5 A party of 10lv can defeat Tarrasque [closed]

I'm dungeon master and characters has awaken Tarrasque, team is like the following: barbarian, 10 level wizard, 10 level cleric, 10 level mage, 10 level fighter, 10 level ranger, 10 level Mages don'...
4
votes
1answer
154 views

How do I work out Treasure for Multiple creatures?

I am running a group soon, and I am doing up some treasure for my players. One of my encounters is 2 Chimera who have a Treasure of Standard. Each of them is a CR7 creature, but combined they are ...
3
votes
0answers
359 views

Is this possibly deadly encounter fair to run? [closed]

The Situation One of my players angered a very dangerous guild of assassins, by killing one of their members, that of course got him a nice bounty for his head. In a attempt to deceive the guild, ...
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vote
0answers
26 views

Distributing exp during encounters [duplicate]

When I get to distribute exp to party members, should I give the same amount of EXP to everyone or split it by monsters killed/fight contribution?
16
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5answers
2k views

How can PCs estimate the power of opponents? [duplicate]

It's common for players to assume that opponents are always “level appropriate.” However, mixed level modules change this situation. Recent modules like Tomb of Annihilation can have PCs stepping into ...
22
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9answers
8k views

How can I balance encounters with a party consisting of a sorcerer, monk, rogue, and fighter?

Made a rookie mistake of letting my players (who have never played DnD) choose what class to play without discussing with me or each other, and we ended up with no healer. We've already played quite a ...
4
votes
2answers
194 views

What defines an XP generating encounter for PCs?

Based on this question, what is it that makes something qualify as an XP generating moment? Are those moments generated by the PCs, or by NPCs away from them as well?
7
votes
1answer
465 views

Can you choose to delay rolling your initiative?

This is a follow-up to this question, specifically to that answer. I understand the concern of wreaking havoc on the duration of spells and other effects by delaying your turn at will in the ...
2
votes
1answer
209 views

Can leaving and returning to an encounter make you roll a new initiative? [closed]

Several features, like a Level 15 Battle Master's "Relentless", give one or more bonuses (in this case, a superiority die if you have none left) at the initiative roll of an encounter. My question is ...
11
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2answers
765 views

Are PCs able to appraise the difficulty of an encounter?

Are PCs able to judge, innately or via some skill check, how difficult a fight will be? My assumption is that the adventurers have some knowledge of certain beasties and baddies, and can understand ...
15
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5answers
20k views

How do you make an NPC villain to battle high level characters in 5e?

I am building a campaign centered around the machinations of this one old elf wizard. I'm planning for the dramatic final encounter to be the PCs against him. The problem with this is that the PCs are ...
4
votes
2answers
2k views

What is the challenge rating of an NPC?

The one-shot I am working on has the party primarily rolling against basic NPC's, however I have difficulty figuring out how tough a 3d4 amount of lvl 1 warriors would be for four lvl 3 PC's. Can ...
8
votes
3answers
4k views

What are the options for my restrained and overwhelmed spellcaster NPC?

If my players have grappled, restrained and knocked prone my lone spellcaster NPC (5th level wizard), and then held a blade against his throat, does the NPC have any further options? The NPC had no ...
12
votes
3answers
442 views

Is it normal for play to slow down to look up stats for unexpected enemies/allies?

My friend and I are starting into Dungeon World, but we've encountered a problem while playing, and I'm not sure if it's normal. Whenever the GM is about to introduce a monster there is a few minutes ...
25
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7answers
6k views

How can I reduce the number of encounters per day without throwing off game balance?

I'm running an Open Table sandbox game this summer. The 5E DMG states that they expect 6-8 Medium or Hard combat encounters per day, with about two short rests. If I tried to do that, we'd never get ...
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2answers
2k views

How can I make my Champion Fighter more interesting? [closed]

My group has been playing a swashbuckling campaign that plays out more like an episode of an adventure TV show than it does a dungeon crawl. As such my characters are involved in a handful of ...
24
votes
7answers
5k views

How do you better keep track of enemy abilities and tactics during combat?

Recently, I was trying to follow my own advice and run a very difficult combat encounter that involved varied terrain, non-standard situations, and a decent number of enemies and enemy types. I ...
3
votes
0answers
73 views

Why can less difficult encounters be worth more experience? [duplicate]

So I'm checking out the 5e DMG on encounter building, and it seems that XP is awarded based on monsters defeated (ie; defeating 3 Goblins worth 50xp each is 150xp), but encounter difficulty is based ...
10
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1answer
276 views

Were there Martians in Greyhawk?

The third of the three Dungeons and Dragons booklets Underworld & Wilderness Adventures (1974) on Other Worlds says Some areas of land could be gates into other worlds, dimensions, times, or ...
13
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6answers
3k views

Remembering to add tracks and signs of wandering monsters

When refereeing OSR sandbox game (using whatever rules; key parts are player-driven sandbox play with neutral referee, and rules as negotiable representation of fiction) I use random encounters: ...
3
votes
1answer
364 views

Designing forced-loss encounter for skilled level 1 group [closed]

I'm designing an encounter for a skilled group of level 1s. What I'm trying to do is set up a villain that the party would have to fight later; thus, this encounter is supposed to be a forced loss. (...
11
votes
9answers
3k views

Should I cram all travel encounters into one day?

In my campaign the party is travelling a lot, so I made my own system for random encounters. Basically the party rolls 4 times a day a d20 and on a 19 or 20 an encounter happens. I am running a ...
4
votes
1answer
981 views

How to use spot checks in a wilderness encounter?

The wilderness adventures section (DMG pp. 86-95) lists spotting distances for wilderness encounters. I.e. the maximum distance at which a Spot check for detecting the nearby presence of others can ...
20
votes
4answers
32k views

Is Lost Mines of Phandelver's Young Green Dragon too much for a group of level 3 characters?

My group of 8 level 3 players are about to run through the Thundertree Ruins and will probably have a hand at fighting the dragon. My question stems from the fact that a single poison breath attack ...
22
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5answers
3k views

Non-Combat XP, with combat later

Assume there is a troll guarding a bridge (for all bridges need trolls). Instead of attacking the troll, the party found some intrigue way of bypassing the encounter. I'm happy with it and award them ...
11
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3answers
733 views

How do you determine when an animal is Hostile to the PCs?

I'm trying to understand how as a GM to handle encounters with creatures such as wolves, bears, giant rats, etc. Are animals always hostile to the PCs or is there always an element of animal handling ...
3
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0answers
187 views

How do I approach my DM about toning down the game's lethality? [closed]

I am a new D&D player with a group of 4 players with level 4 characters. Every session at least one and sometimes two of the party end up unconscious and close to dying, and at the end of the ...
1
vote
3answers
2k views

In Hoard of the Dragon Queen is the fight with the 4 guard drakes and a major NPC meant to be extremely deadly?

My party just did the encounter in Hoard of the Dragon Queen with the 4 guard drakes and a major NPC. Is this fight meant to be extremely deadly? I'm a player in this campaign, so I don't have access ...
3
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1answer
696 views

I'm worried the PCs in my low-magic, low-gold campaign can't keep up with the increasing encounter challenge

I'm running a campaign and at the moment. The world in which they live is low-magic (and so the major way to have magic items is to create them), but also the amount of gold they get after each ...
2
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1answer
550 views

How do you calculate experience rewards for defeating NPCs with class levels?

So, We were recently fighting a "monster" wich was using a playable race (no LA) and had levels in druid. How does one calculate exp for this? I was also fighting a vampire, at what stage do you use ...
5
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2answers
1k views

Am I running this Hoard of the Dragon Queen fight right? How is it balanced?

There is a fight in Hoard of the Dragon Queen that seems to be especially lethal, and I'm not sure if I'm reading it and running it right. Is it meant to be that lethal? How are they a CR of 1/4 each?...
27
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3answers
5k views

Can PCs gain XP from “defeating” an enemy who actually just used Feign Death?

I have a NPC who, when is about to be killed, uses Feign Death just before it is killed. As the point is to trick the players, do they gain XP for its death or not? And if so, the full amount or less?
26
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3answers
4k views

Can a character gain two levels with the same encounter?

We played with the Deck of Many Things last night and a character drew the card that gives you 50000 XP. The character was 14 and the XP amount was enough for him to gain the next two levels. 15 and ...
0
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1answer
170 views

How can I make setting up the encounter during play faster? [closed]

While I was DMing, some of the players were getting frustrated with the time it took to get the stats for the enemy NPCs. Having to look at the Monster Manual for the stats of different creatures ...
47
votes
8answers
11k views

My party bypassed a combat encounter. Should they still get XP?

Some thug bandits set up a road block on the main road to extract a toll from passersby. It was twilight when my party encountered them. They used the Rogue to scout ahead, and they ultimately decided ...
7
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1answer
136 views

What happens to spells cast pre-encounter that last till the end of the encounter?

When I know that an encounter will happen in the next few minutes (like I already see/hear the enemies coming), and cast a spell that lasts till the end of the encounter (like Heroic Offense, target ...
10
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1answer
2k views

Are random encounters supposed to supply treasure?

For my purposes, this applies explicitly to running a published adventure like Out of the Abyss, but a general answer would also be useful. When the party has a random encounter with a non-humanoid ...
26
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4answers
9k views

Ogre CR calculation: is it wrong or am I missing something?

My question is about the basic ogre CR calculation in the monster manual, which doesn't make senses to me. I tried to make a concept of an "armored ogre" with chain mail and pikes (AC 16 and 15 (2d10+...
11
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3answers
645 views

How can I avoid making extended/prolonged encounters boring?

I have run this campaign for just over a year. Many encounters later, I have come to one snag; If I run an encounter that lasts for more than a few rounds, I lose all my flair. I just resort to "hit" ...
16
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2answers
1k views

When can I draw my weapon?

I know I'm about to face a bunch of enemies, I have to draw them out first. If I know I'm about to be in a huge battle, can my weapon be drawn before I go in there or do I have to wait until the ...
33
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8answers
3k views

Should the DM allow characters an equal opportunity to flee or avoid an encounter?

Last session I DMed, I killed a player's character. The party wanted to assassinate the main political figure in a town. To inspire general dislike, I made the political figure a racist thug. I run a ...
0
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2answers
352 views

How can low-level PCs avoid death at the hands of a far higher-level foe? [closed]

The low-level PCs We are a party of an Oracle 5, a Rogue 5, a Sword Saint Samurai 5, and a Wizard 7. We have a contract on our heads, put there by an ex-party member in retaliation for some party ...
4
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2answers
914 views

How can I slightly raise the CR of an NPC?

In Hoard of the Dragon Queen: Episode 1, one of the encounters is a dual between one PC and a named NPC. This encounter is supposed to be quite deadly, a level 1 or 2 PC versus a CR 4 NPC. My ...