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Questions tagged [tactics]

For questions about tactical play, relating to how combat is planned and played out in a game, in individual encounters or in larger group situations. This encompasses tactical concepts directly tied to game mechanics, as well as more abstract discussions.

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3 votes
2 answers
1k views

How can I effectively use the Darkness spell in a party not every member of which has True Sight?

My character in a 5e campaign (High Elven Arcane Trickster 13/Divination Wizard 2) recently helped out a celestial who in return granted him True Sight and the ability to cast the Darkness spell at ...
7 votes
2 answers
4k views

How would I deal with an enemy that intends to camp underground until I die from the environment as a level 12 fairy wizard?

This ties in to my previous question, where the answer was that I can't target them with a spell because the ground acts as full cover. The context for this question is that my enemy (another player) ...
28 votes
4 answers
102k views

Do I get advantage if I have the high ground?

If my character is elevated above a creature (on a table, rock, etc.), is there anywhere in the Player's Handbook or Dungeon Master's Guide that states I gain advantage for my attacks? Do attacks ...
49 votes
11 answers
11k views

How can I discourage/prevent PCs from using door choke-points?

To keep this from being voted as a duplicate of this, let me clarify. The other question asks for DM tactics to battle chokepoints. Its answers are all focused on fighting at these choke-points. I ask ...
13 votes
2 answers
829 views

How can I GM for more tactically-minded players?

I've been GMing a Dungeon World campaign for about a year now, and consider myself an intermediate at understanding the system. My group has recently told me that they miss D&D's tactical combat. ...
36 votes
6 answers
14k views

How are Githyanki effective against Mind Flayers?

The description of the Gith, particularly the Githyanki portrays them as deadly, implacable enemies of Mind Flayers, so much so that they took down the unbelievably vast and powerful ancient Illithid ...
0 votes
1 answer
348 views

How to deal w/ extreme challenge

I play in a small group (3), in a long campaign (3.5y). This is my first campaign in DnD5e. We are at the 18th level currently and got a challenge, that seems impossible for me. I play a vengeance ...
4 votes
1 answer
471 views

Wall of Force Usage: Ankle Whacking

Me and my party are fighting a taller humanoid creature (haven't asked the DM if its large or huge). So I was wondering if it would be valid by RAW to create a floating wall of force dome that extends ...
-5 votes
1 answer
332 views

Rate my build - 5e New to DND need advice [closed]

Point Spread: Attribute /Ability Score/ Racial Bonus/ Total Score/ Ability Modifier/ Strength /8/ /0/ /8/ /-1/ Dexterity /15/ /2/ /17/ /+3/ Constitution /15/ /0/ /15/ /+2/ Intelligence /10/ /0/ /10/ /...
28 votes
6 answers
20k views

What countermeasures protect against Power Word Kill?

My group might be facing a lich soon (as part of a one-shot). Its ninth-level spell is power word kill: You utter a word of power that can compel one creature you can see within range to die ...
37 votes
8 answers
65k 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 ...
2 votes
2 answers
854 views

At 1st level, what lets a cleric help their friends the most?

Assuming a typical D&D party with some combination of ranged and melee attackers, which Divine Domain, racial choice (potentially including feat), spells, or actions/abilities at level 1 helps a ...
11 votes
3 answers
2k views

How to defend allies as a Fighter at level 1?

At first level, the chance for death is fairly high especially for the squishier members of the party. A fighter comes with high hit-dice, a self-healing ability, and starts with chain mail and a ...
24 votes
5 answers
5k views

How did towns mundanely protect themselves against Dragons or bring them to the ground?

Not every town has a party of adventurer's ready to take on big monsters. What methods are expected to be feasible in the combination of system (as of fifth edition) and setting (northern regions of ...
36 votes
6 answers
29k views

What are the ramifications of replacing a square based combat grid with a hex based one?

I have a personal preference for hexes over squares - the latter present some problems in terms of diagonal movement, and aliasing for certain area effects, that are just handled better with hexes. ...
31 votes
9 answers
7k views

How to have enemies that use tactics while also making sure that the encounter is fun for all players?

I am currently running a 5e game for a party of 5 players (level 3). I tend to make my enemies use tactics. My encounters involving a large number of low-CR enemies tend to have roles (so a tank, some ...
5 votes
2 answers
4k views

How can we deal with being frightened?

Last session our party (totem barbarian, mutant (homebrew) druid, starry druid, soulknife rogue, fathomless warlock, conjuration wizard, all 14th level) just got completely pwned by a couple of ...
61 votes
18 answers
19k 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 ...
9 votes
0 answers
192 views

As a PC, which creatures should I attack first? [closed]

Specifically when you’re engaged in an encounter that includes some clearly larger threats and clearly weaker threats, which creatures should I attack first? Does it make the most sense to focus your ...
31 votes
5 answers
4k views

Am I using my high level spells wrong?

I have been playing D&D 5e for only five months. I play a 5th level wizard. My warlock party member constantly berates me for using spell slots in encounters and says I need to "understand ...
20 votes
6 answers
26k views

How can a party defend against the Nightmare Haunting action of a Night Hag?

This question was asked previously with respect to D&D 3.5: What are the ways that a CR-appropriate party can stop a Night Hag's dream haunting? There are some interesting answers there, but ...
5 votes
1 answer
832 views

Should Vow of Enmity or Hexblade's Curse be deployed first? [closed]

Imagine an Oath of Vengeance Paladin 3 / Hexblade 1. This is the big boss, and the character wants to use both Vow of Enmity and Hexblade's Curse on the same target. Vow of Enmity gives advantage on ...
6 votes
3 answers
324 views

What purpose does the quickling's Fade from View ability serve?

In Pathfinder 2e the Quickling has an ability called Fade from View which, as a free action, lets the quickling become invisible until it uses an attack, manipulate, or move action. The quickling can'...
35 votes
8 answers
11k 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 ...
23 votes
4 answers
37k views

How can hunger of Hadar be used effectively?

How can the 3rd-level spell hunger of Hadar be used to deal damage effectively? Although the spell's area covers a 40-ft. diameter and creates difficult terrain, enemies can dash through it or out of ...
19 votes
5 answers
3k views

Spread out AC or consolidate?

Imagine a Party with 4 characters. Each one has different AC: 14 AC/48 HP (squishy caster) 15 AC/50 HP 16 AC/50 HP 17 AC/54 HP (the tank) The Party picks up a Ring of Protection +1. Who "should&...
9 votes
2 answers
202 views

Can a Hunter learn and use tactics by himself?

I'm about to play a game where there are several other players, but they play other creatures like Vampires and Demons making me the only Hunter. Is it possible for me to use tactics without the help ...
29 votes
8 answers
8k views

How can I improve combat so my players don't always use the strategy of collectively focusing fire on one enemy at a time until it's dead?

I'm DMing a 5e campaign with a group of four players. We're all experienced in RPG in general but not specifically in 5e. Players are Level-4 Wizard, Fighter, Rogue and Druid, Circle of the Moon. My ...
9 votes
1 answer
4k views

What can a player do to force down a flying creature?

Dakeyras' answer in this thread got me thinking about how a player would/could counter an enemy that used hovering flight to its full advantage. What specific items/powers/etc. can a character use to ...
46 votes
11 answers
11k views

How to deal with sniping spellcaster PCs?

I am running my first campaign of D&D 5e. We have been playing for two years and I have maybe been a bit too generous with my players. We play with a projector and MapTool, so the players can see ...
21 votes
8 answers
3k views

When is a shield wall a viable tactic?

I have often seen 3-4 people try to form a small shield wall but it falls apart. From this I would have to guess that this is not a viable tactic, at least not with those numbers of people involved. ...
6 votes
2 answers
2k views

How to surpass Construct's Hardness with no heavy-hitter at low level?

In Pathfinder 2E there are enemies like the Animated Armor, constructs with the defensive ability "Construct Armor" which reduces all incoming damage by an amount equal to the listed ...
6 votes
1 answer
359 views

Can a Wizard ready a combat cantrip?

You can use Ready only for single actions: You prepare to use an action that will occur outside your turn. Choose a single action or free action you can use, and designate a trigger. Your turn then ...
3 votes
3 answers
665 views

How much does True Strike improve my DPR?

For simplicity, assume that there are no special effects on criticals, other than a doubling of damage. Without agile is good enough, but it would be welcome. (there are no circumstance penalties, and ...
19 votes
2 answers
2k views

What can Orcus do with Time Stop?

Last night I pitched the Demon Lord Orcus against my level 19 players. With a 26CR, I expected it to be a bigger challenge than it was. Orcus had a Wand of Orcus, and summoned a Nightcrawler, a Death ...
21 votes
2 answers
34k views

Can a short rope used with Rope Trick create a “safe space” during combat?

Rope trick in 5e says: You touch a length of rope that is up to 60 feet long. One end of the rope then rises into the air until the whole rope hangs perpendicular to the ground. At the upper end ...
15 votes
5 answers
4k views

What to do when I'm forced to make battle decisions by other players?

I've been playing a campaign in which there have been a few instances in battles where I feel like I'm being forced to make some non-optimal moves in battle by the rest of the PC group. For example me ...
7 votes
1 answer
248 views

How have Yuan-Ti communities defended their bases against attrition attacks? [closed]

My party are level 14 and we are running a high-level version of Tomb of Annihilation. Based on lore, The Yuan-Ti had superb intelligence compared to other races. The yuan-ti took advantage of ...
50 votes
8 answers
17k 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 ...
6 votes
3 answers
6k views

How to deal with moderately armoured and shielded casters?

Background I am DMing Princes of the Apocalypse for 5e. My past campaigns (mostly 3.5 and 4e) were always quite challenging and tough, my players got quite paranoid, and understandably so. At level ...
6 votes
3 answers
2k views

Given that a Small creature cannot pass through a space occupied by a Tiny creature, but a Medium creature can, will this strategy work?

Based on this question: Given a space occupied by a Tiny enemy, is a Small creature unable to move through it even though a Medium creature could? Could I summon, say, 8 Sprites and have them ...
22 votes
6 answers
4k views

How can I create encounters that encourage players to use non-Attack actions?

In D&D 5e, the players have lots of actions they can take within combat encounters besides attacking. I'm trying to figure out how to encourage them to use a greater variety of actions, especially ...
4 votes
1 answer
156 views

Ranged combat in close quarters

This is a more specified version of this question. Short background: I am rather new to Pen&Paper, thus my tactical knowledge is rather slim. Ranged attacks in Rolemaster are modified by ...
13 votes
2 answers
567 views

How can I learn to play my character when they know more about tactics than I do?

I've recently joined a game of Aberrant, and it's extremely player-driven and roleplay-heavy. This is very different from what I'm used to (D&D 3.PF hack & slash), and I've run into a problem (...
6 votes
0 answers
120 views

Ranged combat - warrior mage [closed]

Background We're a group of four players new to Pen & Paper with a seasoned game master. Up to now we haven't had any active contact with magic skills during combats. Due to a mixture of bad ...
26 votes
4 answers
4k views

Self-Preservation: How to DM NPCs that Love Living?

I have it in mind that humanoid NPCs do not "rage against the dying of the light" as much as they should. Combat encounters frequently result in a full-on massacre, when realistically a single ...
2 votes
2 answers
296 views

Players make a single plan with no backup plan, then complain about DM unfairness when their plan fails [closed]

I have been running a campaign that recently has had two very roleplay/exploration heavy arcs (really 1 arc, and the consequences of that arc). The arc in question was a heist, where the players were ...
1 vote
0 answers
262 views

Is there a guide to implementing realistic army logistics in D&D? [closed]

I just read Grain into Gold. If you don't know it, it is a guide for creating a realistic medieval/fantasy economy. I just wanted to know if there is any equivalent for fantasy army management, ...
5 votes
2 answers
13k views

Why wouldn't a 2017 UA Gunsmith Artificer use Thunder Monger every time?

As part of the 2017 UA Artificer's Gunsmith subtree, you gain the Thunder Monger ability. Why would a player ever choose to not use this ability vs a normal attack with the Thunder Cannon? It always ...
12 votes
2 answers
527 views

What Design Decisions Produce a Strong Positioning Game?

Over the years, I noticed that some games produce a very 'trench warfare' or 'shooting gallery' kind of feel. The 'trench warfare' variant is where once a combat starts, nobody really cares about ...