Ok, I'm new to DMing, as in I-Just-Started-Last-Week. I got a group of people that dont really play table top games along with one person who has. I'm the DM because I'm the only one in the group who has played DnD. So far we are running a bit of a o

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Ok, I'm new to DMing, as in I-Just-Started-Last-Week. I got a group of people that dont really play table top games along with one person who has. I'm the DM because I'm the only one in the group who has played DnD. So far we are running a bit of a off the wall campaign involving steam punk and PSI powers but not really running on the Psion races. Story is good, Plot is nice and rich, Characters are interesting, but combat is... ok.

Combat sticks out like a sore thumb in my sessions, it’s something that’s not dreaded, but it’s so bland that it's not really looked forward to. The first encounter they had was with a group of slaves who mistook them as enemies and that turned into a dice fight. The second fight was with a crazy illusionist who was killed after he attacked. The encounter after that was a giant monster made from corpses that sat on top of a furnace that was more interesting because he couldn’t be beat by attacking him, but it still was not as good as just walking around the tavern and picking up clues or finding treasure. and the latest encounter was with the main antagonists grunt Psychic soldiers which ended with the near death of one Player but it was still kinda... Ok...

I don’t just want to avoid combat, but at the same time, I want the players to want to have fun. I can't find anyone who has asked this same question in my searches through YouTube and Google.


So I have to ask, how do i make combat more fun?

Don't have combat for the sake of having it. If it's not fun, and doesn't seem appropriate, don't run it. It's not required. The reason the books focus on it so much, is because it can be hard to adjudicate fairly. So can non-combat, but one tends to not have to justify the destruction of someone's character in non-combat situations, so things can safely and enjoyably be somewhat more free-form.

And that's the primary reason why combat is often boring: because the primary way to fail combat - chararcter death - is so boring. Players stop making interesting character choices because the dice might punishing them in an irrevocable (or at least unenjoyable) way.

So, if you are intent on having combat, look for ways to make failure interesting. Invite your players' input on this matter, as nothing engages in quite the same way as collaboration. If the players have helped determine the reasons why the fight is occuring, who they are fighting, and what both victory and failure in the combat might look like, they will probably enjoy it somewhat more.

Give that a try and see what happens.

If I have to ask the GM for it, then I don't want it.

In your spare time (ha-ha), build a character and run a combat with in and 1-3 monsters. See how it goes. That way you have a better feel for the mechanics.

Send a horde of minions raiding into town. and maybe 1 regular monster. Their goal isn't necessarily to kill, but to property damage. Get the players used to combat mechanics. Once they have it down, it can flow well. (helps when other players aren't constantly interrupting each other's turns...)
I have the old rule of 'if you roll a 1, **** gonna happen', but I never thought of rewarding bad dice rolls. Though I'm more than open to other suggestions.
I have the old rule of 'if you roll a 1, **** gonna happen', but I never thought of rewarding bad dice rolls. Though I'm more than open to other suggestions.

You don't need to reward bad rolls. Failure can and should happen. But failure doesn't have to be boring, and never should be.

If I have to ask the GM for it, then I don't want it.

Let me ask you this...How are you describing what happens in combat? If all you are doing is rolling to hit, you hit, roll damage, next, (going through the mechanical motions) that can be VERY boring.

While D&D does not take into account specific body part damage, you can still describe combat in those terms.  For example:

low level party is facing off against a single Ogre.

PC1 - "I charge into combat and take a swing with my long sword."
roll to hit - miss by one
DM - "OOOO, the ogre anticipates your strike and surprisingly, deftly sidesteps your swing." Or "your sword makes contact with the ogre's body but it does not sink in."  Or "at the last second the ogre brings up his shield and deflects your strike."
PC2 - "I shoot an arrow at the ogre."
roll to hit - critical success
DM - "biding your time you allow your comrade to distract the ogre and you pierce his neck with your arrow and blood is now flowing freely from the wound."
PC3 - "I cast magic missile"
roll damage - minimum damage
DM - "Due to your comrade bobbing and weaving with the ogre your magic missile only grazes the target in the thigh."

Further, as the DM you are not the only person who can describe the hits and misses. Let your players describe what happens too.  Your group obviously has more fun role playing than roll playing so let them role play combat too.

 

IMAGE(http://www.nodiatis.com/pub/19.jpg)

Are you really "entitled to your opinion"?
RedSiegfried wrote:
The cool thing is, you don't even NEED a reason to say yes.  Just stop looking for a reason to say no.
And given the abstract nature of hit points, hits and misses don't even need to be described as such. A miss could be a scratch. A hit could be a desperate dodge. You can really make it as cool as any movie scene. I recommend using mostly minions for a while.

If I have to ask the GM for it, then I don't want it.

Player: "I'm going to attack the miner"
Me: "Alright, roll a d20 for attack and then your damage" (this was their first fight so I was having to tell them how to play as they played.)
Player "I got a 20... and it's a d8... And got a 6"
Me: "Ok... So, you raise your sword and even though the miner tries to defend with his pickaxe, the great sword cleaves through the shaft, through his shoulder and stops at his gut where you pull the sword out and beat him over the head with the hilt, moving onto the next miner who is looking very sheepish at this point."

Player: "Im going to fire at Isaac with my crossbow."
Me: "Cool"
Player: "I rolled a 12"
Me: "It hits."
Player: "And I got a 6 for damage."
Me: "Nice, his arm falls off, smothering the sheriff who was being crushed by it. The bodies all fall down, raining like hail. None seem to hit you, but you doubt that the sheriff will survive for long in that pile of bodies." (Isaac was a giant monster made of corpses)

And what I consider a reward is a cool scene playing out. It missed but it was still awesome.

And I just started showing them how to role play. This group is very new to table top games and usually don’t role-play unless I ask for it, though I'll see if they're comfortable with it about describing their own scenes.



    
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