Final Fight Ideas

9 posts / 0 new
Last post
Okay so I'm coming to the final battle in my long running an adventure and I'm kinda stuck for interesting terrain ideas. The basic summary of the situation is that there's this kind of inbetween plane that's connected to everywhere at once and portals work by passing through it. Anyhow the players are fighting the BBEG here and they end up doing something that quite dramatically destabilizes the area around them an they spend the final fight teleporting across the planes and areas they've previously visited during the adventure. The thing I'm wondering is how best to handle this and what kind of interesting mechanics to introduce.

The first idea that I came up with was destabilized sections of the battlefield that randomly teleport you to another destabilized section. This should add a lot more maneuverability to the final battle but due to the way that 4th Ed Combat often goes down the portls aren't going to get all THAT much use and as such they alone won't make the fight mechanically memorable. 

So yeah, any ideas? If you're wondering about the enemies it's going to be a Human Elite Warlord type guy with a bunch of Tar Devils backing him up. 
Have the terrain change every couple of rounds. Suddenly they could be underwater, requiring everyone to make endurance checks or take damage, the moment later they could be on top of several floating chunks of stone inside a sea of lava, etc.
Get your Microsoft Word Monster Statistics Block Template here! My Campaign
The teleporting every few rounds was one of the things I was already kind of set on... in hindsight I suppose if I had the portals AND terrain features appropriate to where the fight is happening it should be interesting enough.

Edit: As for current ideas I'm planning on them appearing in one of the more chaotic parts of the Elemental Chaos and atop a spire in an Eladrin city in the Feywild 
Sounds neat. 
You could have the portals moving randomly around the map so there is chance that either the PCs or the BBEG get teleported even if they do not move.  You could also go for total map shifts every other round or something while keeping the arraingment of the combat the same.  If you do this make sure that you have the maps predrawn. 

You could also have stuff come out of the portals.  This could be minions or blasts of fire.  You could even have it form a line as it comes in one portal and goes out a different one.

Hope that helps

Mathius
The teleporting every few rounds was one of the things I was already kind of set on... in hindsight I suppose if I had the portals AND terrain features appropriate to where the fight is happening it should be interesting enough.

Edit: As for current ideas I'm planning on them appearing in one of the more chaotic parts of the Elemental Chaos and atop a spire in an Eladrin city in the Feywild 

The Tarr devils could have powers to create diffult terrain by throwing a large chunk of tarr at the PC's as a minor action (rechargable or an Encounter).

The terrain itself could be islands of solid matter and could suddenly change from earth to freezing chunks of matter (now slippery to run across, DC XX Acrobatics to move over normally or Athletics to jump over otherwise counts as difficult terrain). The other options are electrified terrain that causes damage if the PC ends the turn there or enters the terrain.

Chunks could be unstable and tip, meaning the PC must run up the incline (Athletics check to move normally or counts as a difficult terrain).

Sudden forests of spikey flint trees could cover an island, basically any character entering  or moving through the terrain must make an Acrobatics check to move through or suffer a healing surge of damage. The terrain counts at difficult unless the Acrobatics check is pass by 10 DC's higher than the base check.

An area could become filled with corrosive gas, bringing an attack vs Fortitude against anyone entering the area or take lung damage, anyone moving through the area must make an Endurance check or lose a healing surge. 

You could have chunks raising up to 4 squares high and enemy archers could use this to attack from.

have elemental goo in between the solid islands, that will count as difficult terrain.
You might "teleport" sections of the planes and areas they previously visited to the main battlefield, wherever it is that the party has been, becomes mixed into the battlefield, overlapping the original battlefield and each other:  a section of the battlefield that was solid ground suddenly becomes water... part of a village appears elsewhere, overlapped by yawning tunnels through sections of dugeon and parts of a Necromancer's laboratory... sections of wilderness from various planes mixed freely with bits of city street, with panicked townsfolk and wild animals running for safety across the battlefield... eruptions of elemental fire set forests and villages ablaze...

Minions representing surviving enemies the PCs have made from those planes or areas may attack them on site, blaming the PCs for the sudden disruption in their world, while minions representing friends the PCs have made may band together to help the PCs in some way...
[spoiler New DM Tips]
  • Trying to solve out-of-game problems (like cheating, bad attitudes, or poor sportsmanship) with in-game solutions will almost always result in failure, and will probably make matters worse.
  • Gun Safety Rule #5: Never point the gun at anything you don't intend to destroy. (Never introduce a character, PC, NPC, Villain, or fate of the world into even the possibility of a deadly combat or other dangerous situation, unless you are prepared to destroy it instantly and completely forever.)
  • Know your group's character sheets, and check them over carefully. You don't want surprises, but, more importantly, they are a gold mine of ideas!
  • "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." It's a problem if the players aren't having fun and it interferes with a DM's ability to run the game effectively; if it's not a problem, 'fixing' at best does little to help, and at worst causes problems that didn't exist before.
  • "Hulk Smash" characters are a bad match for open-ended exploration in crowds of civilians; get them out of civilization where they can break things and kill monsters in peace.
  • Success is not necessarily the same thing as killing an opponent. Failure is not necessarily the same thing as dying.
  • Failure is always an option. And it's a fine option, too, as long as failure is interesting, entertaining, and fun!
[/spoiler] The New DM's Group Horror in RPGs "This is exactly what the Leprechauns want you to believe!" - Merb101 "Broken or not, unbalanced or not, if something seems to be preventing the game from being enjoyable, something has to give: either that thing, or other aspects of the game, or your idea of what's enjoyable." - Centauri
Okay so I'm coming to the final battle in my long running an adventure and I'm kinda stuck for interesting terrain ideas. The basic summary of the situation is that there's this kind of inbetween plane that's connected to everywhere at once and portals work by passing through it. Anyhow the players are fighting the BBEG here and they end up doing something that quite dramatically destabilizes the area around them an they spend the final fight teleporting across the planes and areas they've previously visited during the adventure. The thing I'm wondering is how best to handle this and what kind of interesting mechanics to introduce.

The first idea that I came up with was destabilized sections of the battlefield that randomly teleport you to another destabilized section. This should add a lot more maneuverability to the final battle but due to the way that 4th Ed Combat often goes down the portls aren't going to get all THAT much use and as such they alone won't make the fight mechanically memorable. 

So yeah, any ideas? If you're wondering about the enemies it's going to be a Human Elite Warlord type guy with a bunch of Tar Devils backing him up. 



There are only two ways I can think of to get the PCs to even use the portals (that's the real problem here):

1. Give them a big incentive for doing so. Bonuses to hit or damage, healing, that sort of thing.

2. Have the destabilized sections be hazards with forced movement attacks against Fortitude on a set initiative to push, pull, or slide PCs into the areas that teleport. And don't teleport them into hindering terrain or else they'll get a save.

I'm not sure I fully envision what you're going for, but I gather that the issue is having the PCs interact with something (the teleporting terrain) to make the combat interesting. That requires one of the above two suggestions (or possibly both). Otherwise, the PCs will likely pick a spot and grind it out there.

For any decision or adjudication, ask yourself, "Is this going to be fun for everyone?" and "Is this going to lead to the creation of an exciting, memorable story?"

DMs: Dungeon Master 101  |  Session Zero  |  How to Adjudicate Actions  |  No Myth Roleplaying  |  5e Monster Index & Encounter Calculator
Players: Players 101  |  11 Ways to Be a Better Roleplayer  |  You Are Not Your Character  |  Pre-Gen D&D 5e PCs

Content I Created: Adventure Scenarios  |  Actual Play Reports  |  Tools  |  Game Transcripts

Follow me on Twitter: @is3rith

I've had a DM do the teleportation thing with funny terrain and it was a lot of fun but don't make it random.  Make every door lead to another specific door so part of the puzzle is letting the player figure out where one leads, not getting frustrated at ending up on the other side of the battle field.
I've had a DM do the teleportation thing with funny terrain and it was a lot of fun but don't make it random.  Make every door lead to another specific door so part of the puzzle is letting the player figure out where one leads, not getting frustrated at ending up on the other side of the battle field.

I'd say that only the portal ends in the main battlefield are unstable; and they won't leave the main battlefield, so nobody's ever trapped away from combat. Portal ends not near the main battlefield - wherever they may be, on the same plane or another plane - stay put. Also these are non-standard portals, and the ends in the battlefield are somewhat hard to detect - maybe a minor action to check all adjacent squares.

Now, how unstable are they?

Basically, the fewer there are relative to the size of the main battlefield, the more they can move without driving your players nuts.

At the extreme, imagine them battling on a checkerboard where every red square is a portal to another plane - and which portal leads where changes for all portals every time a creature goes through any portal, so it is completely impossible to follow a creature through a portal. The only sane solution to that is to attempt to battle solely on the black squares, and use the red squares to (hopefully) get out for long enough to Second Wind or down a potion. It really doesn't sound special to me; strange, but not something I'd be going "oh, that was neat!" over.

I'm thinking 6-12 (numbered for the DM's convenience) portals on a 12*12 to 20*20 main battlefield. Some ideas on how they move:
1) Every round, some fraction of the portals move
2) Every turn, a random portal has a chance of moving
3) Every time a creature goes through a portal, that portal has a <50% chance of moving - and if it doesn't, there's a chance that some other random portal will move
4) Periodically - less often than every round - some obvious event occurs and all the portals move
5) Any of the above, plus one or two extra portals that never move - are they significant, or not? (Will the combat last long enough for anyone to notice that they never move?)

A portal to somewhere else on the main battlefield can be treated as two portals, or you can treat it as one portal and move both ends simultaneously.

Now a couple questions to resolve:
a) What happens when a portal moves to a location where there is already a creature? You can have the creature go through the portal, or not, or you can move the portal to a nearby vacant square, or you can reroll its new location.
b) How do line of sight, line of effect, adjacency, and reach interact with portals? (Can my reach weapon stretch across a portal? Can it reach through a portal? If I use an area power and its origin square is a portal square, where is its area of effect? How about if the origin square is adjacent to a portal square?)
"The world does not work the way you have been taught it does. We are not real as such; we exist within The Story. Unfortunately for you, you have inherited a condition from your mother known as Primary Protagonist Syndrome, which means The Story is interested in you. It will find you, and if you are not ready for the narrative strands it will throw at you..." - from Footloose
Sign In to post comments