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.

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Should players know the name of monsters when they are encountered? [duplicate]

This is a question that I frequently ask myself as a DM. I usually play a (home made) rule that you must first succeed on an intelligence check with a DC that varies depending on the knowledge of the ...
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1answer
179 views

Changing griffon feeding habits

In a 5e game I'm running, I want to have some griffons have recently started preying on the local shepherds' flocks. I'd like to give the players a way to fix the situation that doesn't involve ...
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DoIP Dragon Barrow Area D5 – how is this not a likely TPK?

I'm running Dragon of Icespire Peak, and my players have encountered the Dragon Barrow. This question relates to the mechanics of a specific part of the quest, so I've liberally used spoiler blocks to ...
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1answer
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Troglodyte has two different bite stats?

I'm pretty new to this GMing thing, and am running a prebuilt Pathfinder module. I am setting up the next encounter for my party and noticed that the Troglodyte entry in the bestiary has two different ...
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2answers
584 views

How to lead newer players to perform less linearly in encounters?

During a turn, a player has so many possible options, movement (e.g. crawl, climb, jump, grapple...), action (e.g. attack, dash, shove, dodge, hide...), bonus action, and reaction. Also to keep in ...
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2answers
156 views

Campaign focused on short, fast encounters?

I'm going to be running a campaign during the lunch hour at work for a few co-workers. My experience lately has been that a single combat encounter ends up being the centerpiece of a 3-hour session, ...
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2answers
7k views

How to determine CR of a group of enemies?

I have played some games of D&D and when it comes to groups of enemies, I'm always asking myself "Does this encounter have a good CR for my group? Is it too strong/weak?". I might have missed the ...
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244 views

Are there statistics on how many encounters-per-day most tables have? [closed]

Is there a consensus on how many combat encounters most players experience in a DnD 5E adventuring day? From the DMG, pg 84: Assuming typical adventuring conditions and average luck, most ...
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1answer
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Is this a deadly encounter?

My DM is insisting that he is not giving us DEADLY encounters, so I am bringing one example to this community to see if I am calculating incorrectly. I am in an adventuring party as one of THREE ...
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1answer
515 views

How to handle the harder encounters in the White Plume Mountain dungeon?

I plan to incorporate the White Plume Mountain into an ongoing campaign, and there are two encounters that bother me. One of them is the golem puzzle which I fully expect them to fail (for those not ...
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3answers
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Is it possible for both sides of an encounter to be surprised?

Is it possible for both sides of an encounter to be surprised and if so what would happen? This is a hypothetical idea I just came up with but it made me wonder what would happen. Would the surprise ...
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2answers
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How to balance a low-level adventure for higher-level characters?

I am the DM of a group just finishing the 5E starting adventure - Lost Mine of Phandelver. I intend to tie the story we created directly into Tyranny of Dragons. The problem is that the player ...
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2answers
421 views

Is my DM stacking the odds against us? [closed]

So, I'll set the stage. We're a party of 4, level 8 at the moment, with an allied NPC. In our most recent encounter we went up against: ~20 "minions", (<35 HP, +4 to hit) 1 Winter wolf (75 HP, +5 ...
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4answers
2k views

Social Encounters in a West Marches Campaign

I am a new DM with one session under my belt and am planning to run the campaign as a "West Marches" D&D 5e campaign. One of my players requested I have some social encounters next time and I am ...
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170 views

If the characters avoid the encounter through diplomacy, are they awarded the XP for the monsters? [duplicate]

Let's say that a part of the dungeon with X monsters can be either passed through combat OR through careful diplomacy, can the players be awarded XP points the same way if they choose the latter? It ...
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4answers
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Can this party play the Lost Mine of Phandelver adventure without too much trouble?

I recently started DMing the Lost Mine of Phandelver Starter Set adventure for a party of friends, and I'm planning to start running it for a party which will be my three sisters. We started creating ...
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1answer
763 views

Is there a standard frequency for wandering monster checks in a dungeon?

Is there a standard or default frequency for wandering monster checks in an underground dungeon? This concerns both dungeons of my own design, and existing modules either by TSR or Judges Guild that ...
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2answers
789 views

Is there a guide on how to create a monster as a solo combat challenge for a PC?

I have read all about how to create an encounter or "boss" monster for a group of PCs to defeat based on challenge rating, but I have not seen any guidance on how to create/modify a monster to make it ...
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2answers
237 views

How many skill points should I give my players for winning an encounter?

I am about to start my first game with The Dark Eye system (5th edition), and I am wondering how many skill points I should give my players for winning an encounter (not necessarily combat). ...
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2answers
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How does the 'five minute adventuring day' affect class balance?

In the basic rules the The Adventuring Day is described as follows: Assuming typical adventuring conditions and average luck, most adventuring parties can handle about six to eight medium or hard ...
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4answers
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Encounter design and XP thresholds

Our DM gave us what seemed to me to be a very hard encounter so I checked out the DMG to see whats up. Note this was the only encounter of the day and we generally have 1-4 encounters per day. We are ...
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1answer
640 views

Which aspects of D&D 5e will be affected by incorporating the Savage Worlds "Card Draw Initiative"?

The Savage World System In Savage Worlds, Initiative is determined by using a 54-card deck (standard 52-card deck, including the Jokers). Each player and enemy is dealt a card (or group of enemies, ...
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3answers
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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 ...
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2answers
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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?
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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 ...
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2answers
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At what level can a party fight a mimic?

I'm actually starting to get into D&D and I may be soon buy the D&D 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, ...
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483 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 ...
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2answers
135 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 ...
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1answer
933 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. ...
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1answer
634 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'...
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1answer
259 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 ...
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510 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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8answers
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Is Glasstaff and the entire Redbrand Hideout supposed to be this easy?

DISCLAIMER: The whole question has spoilers about Lost Mine of Phandelver. So, I went through the Redbrand Hideout with my party. They This fight was the one they used most resources - two 1st level ...
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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?
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5answers
3k 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 ...
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9answers
10k 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 ...
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2answers
204 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?
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1answer
662 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 ...
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1answer
281 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 ...
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2answers
1k 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 ...
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1answer
1k views

Are there any mechanics to guess CR or learn encounter difficulty in-game?

Is there any rule for a character to guess the CR or learn the difficulty of an enemy or fight? A general sense of challenge may be enough, for example "that guy in full plate looks dangerous to me" (...
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5answers
34k 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 ...
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2answers
5k 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 ...
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3answers
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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 ...
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3answers
481 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 ...
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7answers
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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 ...
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7answers
6k 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 ...
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0answers
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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 ...
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1answer
366 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 ...