No, this is a characters, but remember it’s not! The players were trying to kill it’s the characters that we’re trying to kill. You know: okay, okay, yeah, yeah, yeah, right right, no, I’m with you, okay um, but we are still on for the purge, though later right, yeah yeah.
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Let’s get fatalistic with it death making making that D & D more deadly, and what does it mean for didi to be deadly lethal deadly? It’s sort of this word that often gets thrown around in terms of combat and a sort of type of game or certain type of jamming style, but the Dungeon Master’s guide, sort of defines a deadly encounter or deadly combat as being one which could be lethal, potentially Resulting in the deaths of one or more characters, there is a risk of defeat and the players will have to use.
You know good tactics and quick thinking in order to overcome the challenges. Now, personally to me that just sounds like I what I want all of my combats to be at least when I’m a player, because otherwise like what’s the point playing it out. If it’s yeah, there’s not a risk of defeat or something like that. Yes, kind of narrate it then right yeah, I mean you keep that in the RP. You know if it’s just one guy that really can’t party right right.
He could like take a swing at one person, but a lot of this is system dependent right. So we’re talking about Deenie fifth edition. In that case it’s a common thing that you see sometimes where people are saying like. I can’t challenge my party with the baseline monsters or or I have to do something to up my game, to to offer the players a fight that tests their abilities and challenges their their play.
Styles and I think for me it’s it’s often a question that I see Dungeon Master’s, ask and not a lot of players right like it’s one of the things to think about. I mean yes, players would like a challenge, but I don’t know I’ve if I’ve heard a lot of players calling for you know it to be more deadly. I know those people that love playing there go yeah. You know survival mode on hard, but that’s that’s one thing, but D & D is is a whole other.
What do you think the ratio is of like actual DMS versus actual players that want this? Well, I mean obviously there there are players out there who want a challenging and difficult fight. You know fights that require them to think and to to not just go on autopilot or spam, their biggest spell and you’ve, but not read up and try it again. Rest up and try it again: they want to have to consider the situation a lot of times.
Deadly is synonymous with tactical and complex yeah. There are players out there who want a more deadly fight or more challenging fight in their fifth edition games. But in terms of just sort of the people who are asked, it’s usually a dungeon master asking because they feel like it’s not challenging enough or it’s not deadly enough. I bring it up it’s only because it’s like this is one of those areas where you might just like.
Ask your players, hey. How do you guys feel about the fights and combats like? Did you think it was challenging? Did you not? You know that was a hard encounter by the rules of the game. Do you think it was hard? You can get a feel for what your players think versus what you think. It’s very often like as a dungeon master, you sit here. It’s like all. Your pieces die correctly, you’re constantly losing you’re constantly getting your ass kicked.
Your monsters are all over. You know a giant graveyard of of lost potential if things go right, excuse the thinking, sometimes where you might think. Like. Oh man, like cuz, I mean you have this happen to you all the time, all the time it happens to me. It’s happened to me and not just in fifth edition’. It’s happened to me in ultra lethal games like say, Warhammer yeah, where I’ll look at say. The number of enemies that were killed, like you, guys chewed through eight beast men.
I really need to make my fights harder. Moving my perspective from just behind the virtual screen and looking like oh wait: everybody’s characters are below half wounds, to bring it back to fifth edition’. It might be one where actually wow the the players escaped that no one dropped to zero. No one was hurt. You know it was a breeze, all of my enemies are toast and the comment only lasted like maybe four rounds, but if I look at their character sheets that tells a very different story: they’ve used their all their resources.
They’ve you know spell slots have been expended. Hit points have been lost, you know, potions were used. If you talk to them, they might say like no man, I’m stressed like that, was we barely got out of it if you’re thinking about, if you saw the title of article you’re, just like web DM and you’re like yeah, well I’ll, make my fights and combats In fifth edition more lethal, like I would start with having a talk with the players first, because this articles really for people who are newish to the game newish to homebrewing and modifying it, and also have players who have, even though they might be new they’re savvy Enough about the rules and learning them that you might find the base monsters are just not cutting it yeah, and the truth of the matter is, is that the monsters that came out in the same monster manual are not as robust as those that Sun came out.
In photos or Morden Condit’s same with fourth edition and it probably prior editions of D & D as well. Well I mean it is the evolution of things. Is it not? Okay, so our DMS have had talks with their players. Yes, they want to make it more deadly. Let’s go through some some different options on how that can be made possible yeah, so there’s options in the Dungeon Master’s guide to start with. These are in Chapter nine start around page 266.
They begin with healing variants. The first one would be healers kit dependency, and this is basically you know whenever you’re the character, stop for a rest, short or long. It’s been hit dice. This requires a healers kit to be used as a as a sort of an in-game justification for the spending of the hit time. Once you start tying character, abilities to equipment, you’ve now opened the door for there to be situations where they don’t have a healer’s kit or it’s been soiled and ruined.
And it’s not, you know not use or burned up, because the person who had it failed their save for a fireball. Their equipment got singed, so it makes the possibility of of getting to and get their hip points back. Excuse me, it makes the possibility of getting their hip points back up for grabs same with a lot of these, so we’re looking at slow natural healing. This would be no hip points gained on a long rest automatically that you have to use hit dice to get the hip points back.
The gritty realism rest variant. I see this one used a lot and we recommended it, for you know, emphasizing the difficulty of travel and that’s an eight-hour short rest and a week long long, rest, all of those things they they slow down. The game right, like the pacing of your game, will change if you use well all three of them, but certainly any one of them yeah and a lot of the ridicule going towards the cleric is going to evaporate before the dawn jury.
Yeah. You know when, when it comes down to like having the one person in the party who actually has a healing kit you’re, like keeping them stocked on healing, kits yeah and keeping them alive like you’re, going to start thinking about your tactics differently, you’re not going to Have those those renegades running off the Leroy Jenkins is of the world. Let’s face it, there’s so many things sure right yeah, but for the most everyone else, I think that it would lead to a more a more tactically sound game for your players, because it might cause them to think more yeah.
And if you have players who say rush into combat sand and you’re worried that you know, they’ve expressed an interest in in a more challenging fight. But you haven’t seen them display any of the quick thinking and tactics that you think might be necessary to overcome the challenges. Then you know letting them know like hey, hey guys, this thing’s going to be a little different than say the last game we play or, however, you implement the changes, you’re going to need this to heal and it’s going to take longer to heal.
So you might want to think about things more. You might want to consider your approach to things more so that you don’t like drop to zero and need to be like full healed back up. You approach things slower and maybe you don’t lose as many hit points you don’t have to use as many spells, and you can substitute tactical thinking and sort of approaching things, and it was a mindset of problem-solving instead of just like battering ram and our spell thoughts And character abilities will see us through the day yeah I kind of kind of snap out of that article game mentality of like.
Oh, these abilities will come back as soon as they read. You know, yeah. The respawn is like no, no, no you’re going to have to take it. Slow, you’re, going to take it slow and so in the pace of your campaign will slow down. If you’re using say gritty, realism, rest variant – and you know they’re not just like ret short resting for eight hours and then not doing anything after that, they press on where they still adventure and that these long rests happen.
Sort of in between you know, forays to the dungeon or something like that: it’ll slow down the pace of your game right, there’s no more time for downtime activities when they’re in that week-long rest period. Of course, you can still like do some things during a long rest, you don’t have to be sleeping. You can be reading talking. You know, socializing yeah. You can even get in a little bit of fisticuffs as long as it’s not too much of it or too exciting.
You know yeah. It would result in a different game, a game in which they have a lot of free time, and so you might find that’s an advantageous thing or that they have no idea what to do with all this time on their hands. Those are all in the healing and rest variants. There’s two in the comment section and that’s sort of injuries, which is on page 272, and this is a rule. That’s like all right any time you take a crypt any time you drop to zero or or fail death saves by five or more you’re going to roll on this table and there’s going to be a lingering injury.
That’s there you might lose an eye, it might be a hand. This would be one of those actually where I would, the dungeon master and player to sort of like work through it. D & D doesn’t really have a hit point or sorry hit location system. Does it hit point system, and so a lot of combat is just arbitrary in descriptive. You hit them here. You add them there and if you’re now, attaching penalties to certain locations where you’ve been hit, you might want just a simple.
You know hit location where it’s like take a d12 and divide it between head body, arms, legs, torso. You know that kind of thing: yeah head shoulders knees and toes yeah yeah, you know do something like that, so that it feels less arbitrary because it would suck to like be a. I don’t know someone that needs both their limbs. Someone who uses say a great weapon and have one of their limbs. You know disabled for a while when it, you know at the whim of the dungeon master role on the hit location, yeah yeah, yeah yeah, I’m going to have to reinvent the monkey grip feet.
Wield in that right will then that lot that great sword like guts right exactly what I needed yeah like some damage, would be the other one right like well, but yeah like talking about entries. That’s one thing that I love about. Warhammer, oh yeah, like the possibility that you might you could because I’m sorry, if you want this to be realistic, which is kind of what we’re talking about you know there could be a possibility, like oh ya, know, there’s a reason why you’re like seven fingers, Larry Yeah, I’m sure you know beyond just even like sort of realism in it.
I think there’s some low powered D & D that that works really well, when you use sort of like real world assumptions and realism is sort of the goal for it. But as you get up in levels of D & D, that becomes harder and harder maintain yeah, but you still want. Like a you know, you still want a dragon to be terrifying. There is a point at which a DC character can look at some very powerful and terrifying monsters and just go.
Who cares it’s going to take less than a minute to deal with this, and these options that are create a more lethal game will tap that down. A bit, and even as you get higher levels, it’s like oh well, yeah. These are. These are still scary right. It’s not going to take us a long time to recover from this at least yeah. It will give us pause and let us think about how we approach things. That’s for injuries.
Massive death is another one where it’s like. If you, if you take more than half your hit points from a single source of damage, you make a con, save and then another a separate table that has a lot of similar effects to it. But they see more like temporary, like you’re, momentarily dazed or or even worse, right, like there’s some pretty nasty effects on that team. Oh, you can get drop to zero right and you’re all the sudden again, death safe right and, if you’re, using both of the injuries in massive damaging conjunction, then that chances are that that losing more than half your hit points in a single attack, possibly a crit And you might have an injury from hattie than an injury from dropping to zero.
You see how it turns the game that the base D & D game and finishin from like oh yeah, every time I sleep, I get everything back every time I fight. I run the risk of there being permanent injuries. You know that I have to deal with. Obviously, life cleric would be a huge asset, a game like that right, most definitely and and but if you want to make that dragon seem terrifying, one crit from a dragon.
Slash or a winged Buffett and all of a sudden, your fighter got knocked across the room as it’s currently unconscious right, especially if you’re, using these in conjunction with low-level D & D yeah, because, let’s be honest, like first through third level, is plenty lethal for most Groups in fifth edition I find it perfectly lethal and have accidentally killed characters at those levels, even as I’m like trying to teach them a new game and, like you know, hey new player.
This is your second time playing we’re going to have a sample combat oops. This is Barnes dead right, you know, or at least they drop to zero. Now we had to see what the death rules or the death saving throws are like low-level D & D in conjunction with injuries and massive damage would probably be a very different game. Maybe it’s the game for you and you try it out, but those are the options that are in the Dungeon Master’s guide that are ready-made to sort of drop in your game.
Thinking through the the impact that they’ll have is one thing, but you have more tools in your DM toolbox to make the game leave for you. Oh almost definitely so yeah, let’s, let’s go through some some different ways that a Dean could think about altering their their game or the monsters yeah. So there’s some player facing things that a dungeon master can do. They could cap level right. They could just say: hey guys.
Our campaign is not going to get beyond X level. For those of you familiar with the epic six variant of third editions, it says that six level is perfect. Your characters are more than capable of portraying themselves as powerful individuals within their world clerics can heal diseases and cure the masses. Wizards. Can you know level an entire village fighters are more than a match for any average soldier or group of average soldiers at six level.
From there you still gain XP, but you don’t get any levels or benefits. The XP is used to buy feats and other things, and you can use something like that for for fifth edition that. I think the fact that fifth edition has a less unified progression to the classes and the way it’s sort of third edition was like yeah. Everybody at a certain level gets a beat and gets a thing, and even though there were dead levels and like it six level work for that fifth level, you might go from anywhere from 7th to 9th level or lower.
It really depends on your group right. Then you would cap a little another way to do. It is to cap HP. That’s the way that older editions of dungeons dungeons of dragons did it, and it was you know, after usually somewhere between 8th to 10th level. You stopped rolling for hit points and got a fixed number every level, and if you were a warrior or a fighter, you also got to add your Constitution to that, but for most classes, they’re only getting one or two hit points per level after a certain level And it really did a lot to deflate those hit point numbers which meant that the game was still deadly yeah and so your skits still do more sure.
Yeah, don’t fling an epic magic right. Your wizard still sitting over there with like 30, hit points, yo yeah right. If that, if you’re lucky, my my original DD wizard, I think at 8th level was 30-some 3233 hit points, and I was that’s a lot yeah, that’s a lot, given that I spent more than 4 levels with single digits for a while. I got some boosts and it was good, so those are two things that a dungeon master can do sort of like for the players they can also mess with death saves riot.
The common, when I see is to say all right did you drop to 0? Then you you, when you get back up, you still have that one fail that you got when you were dropped, or it might even I’ve seen some people even say like alright, you dropped once and then you were brought back, but now you drop a second time. Well, because it’s the second time you automatically start with one of those failed you’ve already been at death’s or once within the last 30 seconds right yeah, I like maybe doing it where the deaths is only refresh on a short rest or maybe a long long rest.
I, like the long rest refresh or maybe something like you know they refresh on a lesser restoration or oh yeah. What’s the restoration it should be able to because something like that because still you’re draining the resource yeah, I mean that’s the that’s sort of how you think about it and when you for sort of an aside, if you kind of shift your thinking away from only Looking at their hip points as a gauge for how difficult or challenging a fight was, and instead, like we mentioned earlier, look at their entire character, shave and see which spells were used which abilities were used.
You know of very often the reason why it looks from a diems perspective like it wasn’t, that challenging is because the players you know are still standing at the end, but from their perspective and looking at their character sheet, it’s a very different story. So I think that the death saves and capping HP and capping level first of they’re, all conversations to have with the group, but the dungeon master can do things on their side of the screen that that don’t really they don’t need that the players permission to do.
Oh helmet right and those are things like adjusting the monster stats everything’s up for grabs here, the the numbers that are in the Monster Manual usually represent the average, so it’s average hip points average damage that kind of thing. That means that you can adjust. All of that, particularly for hit points you can like double them use max to make it stand out now. Sometimes I can result in a slog.
You know having a monster with a bucket of hit points, but not much else can result in very boring combats. So you want to be careful with this adjustment. A lot of teams do this on the fly right like in the middle of combat, and they will adjust the stats of the monster because they’re like oh man, this is taking too long and we’re running out of time. You know, like heaven forbid, that the real world intrude upon the game for a second, you have to make adjustments for it or maybe you’re you’re, simply like man.
This thing is about to go down and like this creatures about to, I didn’t, expect it to die within around half, and I would like to do more. You know I wore them when I write you know, you know everyone would be disappointed if, if it ended now we’re having a lot of fun, this is a good moment for the game. If we win a couple more rounds – and maybe you describe it differently to maybe you know, you know he gets a second wind or something or an unseen Ally bolsters it or you know some.
You can smooth over a lot of these things with how you present them in the in the campaign. A monster with maximum hit points is a legendary creature, surely giant among its own kind, fearsome dragons things like that. You can look to the D & D adventures as well for a lot of these things because say, and storm Kings Thunder the adjustments that they make to the dragons for the in Liffe and Klaus.
I think those are the two names for the dragons they’re they’re. Very different monsters they take the base one and they modify them same with the Giants that are there and a lot of other ones. Almost every one of them has done that yeah be a good gauge, though that’s just hit points you can do the same with damage. If you use fixed to damage, then try rolling, random and see if that doesn’t make for a more lethal fight, we’re doing a mix like I use the fixed number +1 dice of the damage to give it a bit of a variability.
You can do a lot of things you can just basically say like yeah. Every the first attack this monster makes is always a crit like they just that’s just their big opening shot adjusting the armor class, whether by changing the equipment that the monster has or just changing the armor class. I’d be careful there just because of the way the math of fifth edition works, but an adjustment of one to two isn’t going to hurt anything that much and it might make for a more challenging encounter.
Other than that, you can add legendary actions, legendary resistance, special abilities, there’s a lot that you could add to a monster to modify it mostly we’re here to tell you that you should be doing that and it’s a fun exercise and you can turn those unique monsters Into something special of your campaign world and attach a legend to them, which is, it was always fun. Well, you can mix both parts of what’s fun about teaming the mechanical science or the narrative sciences.
Oh yeah, you got to give them some kind of signature attack. If you’re, you know certain dragon that does this one thing right right, right or say so I did this with Medusa and land between two rivers and I sort of the Medusa has a layer, that’s near a No to the elemental, plaintiff elemental earth, and so the Medusa has mastered just petrification magic period, earth magic period and they’re more like an earthbender from say avatar than they are just like.
You know the the snake-haired Gorgon petrifies people with a glance, and so you know this particular Medusa has full mastery over the petrification. Can animate the statues that she petrifies a complete command of the earth and it’s just a it’s just a Medusa with some things change some special abilities added, some spell like abilities thrown in presented she’s, a sort of majestic terrifying sort of figure of the wasteland who’s.
You know a powerful force to be reckoned with yeah now. I think one of the things about this is by tying these modifications that you make to the story of your game or whatever is going on in it. Players have a chance to disrupt it and maybe weaken the monster right. Oh yeah. Definitely I look forward to my players in Starbound, interacting with the overseer again that was a monster I wanted, but a little bit extra needs a body modification guys so he’s the overseer and give himself some beholder eyes at the end of his tentacles, oh yeah.
So you know it was fun, fun, probably more finger the Barbarian, it’s fun, one of my best being able to land a polymorph on barbarians free. Well, I was, I was really random, like I was rolling randomly for what bean would go off? Oh yeah, I wanted, you know there were forward, it was like disintegrate, polymorph and almost charm and telekinesis yeah. So it was like two of them are pretty bad: either you take them out of the fight or you you could kill them for rent.
You know some. Some red shirts got red shirted. That’s right well, but that’s a good point right, because if you are in that, if you’re in this transitionary phase, where you’re, where you go from playing like the base game, no modifications we’re all learning this to a game where we’re making it our own and part Of that is making it more challenging, then maybe you do have some red shirt NPCs who take the brunt of some of the attacks and and that’s you for a while right, like not always, but they are there to sort of show.
The party like this is what’s in store for you, here’s what we’ve chosen this guy got his arm ripped off. You know this. She got disintegrate. This guy just got to see it. That’s sort of one way of approaching it in terms of like modifying your monsters or things you can do right last little bit is just think about the action economy. One way of making things more lethal is to have your monster, have more actions or to have more of them there.
So you might even you don’t even need to modify a monster if it has a lot of minions and things like that. So considering the action kana me, I think for me: that’s literally counting up the actions on each side and looking and seeing is one of them like way out of balance, then they’re probably going to win and that’s sort of my gauge for the difficulty of a Fight one times: oh, oh definitely yeah you got it.
You got a you got ta at least get close to what they can do. Right yeah I mean, if you really want a challenge. Yeah, if you, if you have a lot more actions than they do, but if you have those actions, how does a DM user is that said, another way to think about this, oh yeah, there are things that you can do that require no changes to the game. At all, and it’s entirely about your approach to playing the monsters and and your approach to how you present combats and everything so to me, the big one here, the one that I really try to get into is playing my monster as a piece in the game.
Yeah and so like what would my monster do? How would they approach this situation? Are they just like a brutish beasts that charges headlong and attacks whatever threat, it seems the most obvious, or are they cunning and manipulative? Are they disciplined and orderly, like all of that, is going to color how I approach the game because to me role playing the monster role playing the NPC and how they would approach a combat is a big part of the challenge of it.
A lot of the monsters that that are in the Dungeon Master’s guide, if you sort of like think for a minute of you know, how would this creature exists in the world? How would it approach things? What does it know about its own abilities? Yeah? Then it you might turn some creatures that go from say. Like you know, it looks like they’re brutish. Give me an example like an ogre. Mage yeah seems like they’re, big brutish type creature.
They’ve got a big area of effect attack. They can sneak around but they’re an ogre, essentially right and you might want to think of them as like. This magical battering ram of sorts. But if you instead at the fact that there they can always be invisible and they have a host of other smell like abilities there. If you use them in a role of like a harasser of someone that that can come and go as they please in say.
A dungeon or a wilderness environment where they might find them, then that’s a different sort of encounter yeah and looking at the spell like abilities of everything. This is one of the reasons why I recommend rolling your random encounters ahead of time and even though you’re rolling them randomly – and you know using your tables or whatever you’re like I throw out that results, I don’t like it.
Whatever method you use getting a chance to read, what’s going on with the monster first before you sit down with the fight as opposed to oh, I rolled this encounter in the middle of the fight all right, let me look up the stats. What can it do? Whatever you know, if you’re using like simple monsters – maybe that’s okay, but if you’re using more complex monsters, you deserve a chance to sit down and think about how you’re going to approach things.
Well, I mean you need to know what the monster can do yeah. So you can use them in the best way possible like so if they are a fairly intelligent monster, they’re going to come at a problem like say some murder, hobo adventurers busting up in their dungeon right. I guess what now we got a dispatch, the troops right now we got a dispatch that you troops yeah, so to meet my sort of like top five strategy and tactics strategy, slash tactics because there’s difference obviously, are these right, the first one being know your enemy And that’s an approach to dungeon mastering that that treats the game world as a you know, sort of seriously.
I don’t just know what the players can do, because I’m the Dungeon Master, but my enemies can find that out. Maybe they’re spies Scouts people that are, you know, trying to get the information that they want from the party there’s magic involved. There’s the party’s reputation there’s survivors from their battles, particularly if you know you sort of go with the fact that all the monsters also make death saves and in the middle of a fight, the players rarely take the chance to just like kill a downed opponent.
So if they’ve just loot the corpses and leave, then they probably maybe left some people alive, and maybe that’s how you know their reputation precedes them it. This turn. This can turn into sort of a game which may be what you want, as the party attempts to keep their enemies from learning information about them, while they also are learning information about their enemies. To me, that’s the appeal of this sort of thing.
You can also read our article on combat as war versus combat a sport for us more approaches to this. The second one, when you’re thinking about strategies and tactics for your enemies is reserves and reserves are always useful and they should be kept out of line of sight of the rest of the party, if possible, in the wings in a separate room through a teleportation circle. Just beyond the veil of reality waiting to slip through once the moment is right, like there’s a lot of different ways, but you don’t want your reserves to be say accidentally fireballed, you know, but you do want them in the world somewhere.
You don’t want them like. In a in a fictional non space, like you know the matrix loading room before they come in there in the world somewhere, but they’re hidden. You know this is useful for many reasons: number one, because they’re out of line of sight, if you don’t need them, you can always just say they did something else, or they were too scared or there’s any number of justifications for why they might not come in Ones that fit with the overall tone of the game, you can bring them in as away an extra wave right whenever you need it and if it turns out that after the first round of combat – and you have a crazy alpha strike, because all the players went First, before you had a chance to and they opened up with all their a OE and best attacks, and it might be like oh sand in the reserves now yeah – that’s that’s just what you can do so having something a buffer, not committing all your forces at Once is something that you should probably be doing.
Readying actions would be a third, don’t forget, ready to actions, there’s a lot of conditions which you might want to use them like I’m ready in action to anyone, who’s, attempting to heal, to ranged, attack them or ready. In action to you know trigger a trap that the party might be near or something in the environments same goes for like dodge other sorts of actions, number four would be divide and conquer, and that is, if you can split the party.
The wall spells are great for this, while a force, while a firewall of stone, really wants form a barrier, because the party will brave a wall of fire if they’re, desperate and that’s right or like a pit trap. That brings them down to another level down to another level of shifting door, a sliding door, a spinning room, there’s a lot of like mechanical thing. You do it the dungeon there there you can split their priorities in that you may be part of your force threaten something that they care about and you force them to be like you know, it can’t be in two places at once.
Maybe you split the party you got to take one of the players loved ones right, they’re being held hostage back here. The fighter runs in players will resist splitting the party, but you know, if you can it’s a good way to make the game more lethal and finally, number five is mixed arms? Don’t you having just one monster type that does one thing is it makes for a less dynamic combat, gives you less options, having multiple monsters with multiple different ways to attack.
Obviously, it makes the solo fight the PCs versus one monster, not, as you know, nots frequenting. Your games, but I think you’ll, find if you include lots of different monsters with lots of different attack types that threaten the PCs on a wide range of levels, big bruisers, to engage the melee guys and ranged attackers and spell support and fast strikers. You can come in and all over the the battlefield.
That’s one way that you can challenge the party, because now they’ve got lots of different threats to think about other than that the individual monsters require a you know. Some of them require a lot of thoughts, and we can spend like the next hour talking about this particular tactic. So that’s kind of my top five, though of what I try to keep in mind when I’m running a challenging, combat any closing thoughts here, after after kind of going through this, they got the dmg options.
You know you: can you can mess with the monsters, mechanics you can mess with how they fight. You know any closing thoughts, though part of the reason why you might want a challenging combat or a comment that that is deadlier is that you want to vary the levels of tension in your game. Yeah there’s an idea that that part of the appeal of RPGs is this rise and fall. This build-up and release and that combat is one of the ways in which tint engines are released, but they’re also ways that tensions can be built right, particularly if it’s a tough combat where the outcome is unclear until the very end.
So a mix of these kinds of things is good. A mix of lethality is good old-school RPGs do this through randomness. They they let the dice determine the the variables in the mixing and then they enjoy the spontaneity of it. The fact that it’s different every time yeah, and so, if you’re not doing that right if you’re not using those random variables in the old-school style, then you have to plan out and sort of say like okay.
Well, maybe this one’s not as tough as the last one and you have a couple of like say, hard to medium fights and then you ramp it up with like a quad deadly. You know something like that: oh yeah, but it’s the mix of it it that that’s the appeal for a lot of players, not necessarily the individual level of challenge. But the fact that there are variable levels is: what’s appealing: you got ta find Kano before you can get to Goro.
You know you got a ramp up right when you’re changing things, particularly if you’re making the game more complex, which a lot of these things will do. Then it has the potential to drag things down and if you’re, finding your fights are already running long, but that people aren’t being challenged, then the only advice I have there is perhaps a different game would suit you better, and that fifth edition, just might not be Your game no big deal.
There’s plenty of games out there to try, but if you’re, in a position where you’re like yeah we’re good our pacing and combats good people are on it with with their spells. They know what dice to roll, even if they’re new, they know the game. These changes might slow things down, so you need to be prepared for that and then, as always, this is a group discussion unless you’re adjusting monster stats, which again you don’t need, advice, permission to do, even though some players will get bent out of shape about it.
The other changes and just the approach to things overall, is worth a discussion with the table because, as we always say, this is not one person’s game. It’s your group’s game and talking about it is almost always the answer. So communication is key and they don’t need to be memorizing monster stats anyway. Sure that’s metagaming, which we have two articles on head on over to patreon for our weekly podcast and so much more web DM is also on twitch with three weekly games, which we upload to web DM plays our second youtube champion: okay, sweet right! Can we go right? Do I have to take these knives on to take my knife, hands didn’t, say no
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