Tabletop Narration - Any advice on simplifying complex battles?

Discussion in 'The Tavern' started by Venomspitter, Aug 27, 2015.

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  1. Venomspitter

    Venomspitter Veteran

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    I'm running a campaign and would like to pit the adventures against larger groups of enemies but want to avoid some of the tedious paperwork or just keep combat as fast paced as possible. Has anyone used any clever tricks or know of any programs out there that might help organize damage/healing done, etc?

    I'm pretty old fashioned in my methods but this is one of the few campaigns the group might actually see to completion. Figured it would be fun to take it up a notch.
     
  2. Yde

    Yde Worg

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    I want to help! But I only know stuff you have to pay for. :/ Play D&D on the Fantasy Grounds Virtual Table | Dungeons & Dragons

    I've pre rolled dies and compiled calculation tables for encounters before to save time, not sure if your group would like that. ^^

    P.S.: You probably know this but cardinal rules for good narration: Make descriptions more vivid by using lighting, smells, flora, fauna etc. :D
     
  3. OP
    Venomspitter

    Venomspitter Veteran

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    Some excellent advice.. In truth, I've been so focused on the story itself that I have overlooked some of the basics you mentioned.

    The group got strong fast so I made 4 lvls of each mob they'll face to increase the difficulty a bit. Matching calculation tables would almost certainly save time.

    Thank you for the input, I'll be sure to spice things up a bit!
     
  4. BiSt

    BiSt New Member

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  5. Allybeboba

    Allybeboba Grandfathered

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    That is the whole idea of D&D combat actually. You and your friends are spoiled on fast combat style video games. Everything should be done right then and right there during the encounter. Each character rolls there initiative and each "monster" rolls theirs. Whether it be a D6, D10, D12 whatever... And then each swing is rolled for ALL to see. And then damage is rolled. Don't determine any more f that beforehand. All of the spur of the moment trappings is part of the excitement. And part of the fun.
    Your party members need not know what you need to get to hit or miss. It is all part of just actually seeing the dice roll and the numbers come up in their their favor or against them that is exciting!
    One good encounter may take an hour if done correctly, depending on how many combatants you have.
     
  6. Yann

    Yann Grandfathered

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    But 15 hour long fights become so...bleh...
    x.x
     
  7. Allybeboba

    Allybeboba Grandfathered

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    So is outdoor cooking, but people still love doing it.
    Why BBQ when you can use a microwave?
     
  8. Yann

    Yann Grandfathered

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    Part of me sees where you're trying to go with that, part of me doesn't. I'm going to assume you're referring to the microwave as the easy solution the OP asked for, and the outdoor cooking as doing it the oldfashioned, original way.

    Even still, that's up to the particular person doing the cooking(DMing), and the people eating the food(the players).
     
  9. OP
    Venomspitter

    Venomspitter Veteran

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    That statement is ironic as this custom tabletop is loosely based off Final Fantasy Tactics, which in my experience, is anything but a fast combat style. You both make good points, but Taco said it best.. I recently pit 3 adventurers against a staggered wave of mobs totaling 3 heals and 6 warrior type overall. In RL that equated to 3 sessions of about 4+ hours each. By those numbers, it's hard to imagine more complex battles being much fun.

    Incidentally tho, I've been making a lot more of the important rolls on the big table for all to see and that most certainly does add to overall excitement.

    Thanks, guys!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 5, 2016
  10. Yann

    Yann Grandfathered

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    This is one of the reasons why doing any form of siege/city assault is a DM's worse nightmare.
     
  11. OP
    Venomspitter

    Venomspitter Veteran

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    That could be next week, lol. Group is currently hidden deep in a small port town and plan to send a human companion to the docks to receive a friendly npc arriving from abroad. What I don't think they are accounting for is that particular companion being sent to the docks is wanted by the king in these lands for murdering guardsman in a nearby town... I'm hoping the dice are on my side and this mission remains fully covert but.. you know....
     

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