A Trend in Combat? Whats the Best Way?

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This is going into our 7th-8th session. We have a very full group and gain guest members all the time. We can have anywhere between 6-9 people in out little 3.5 homebrew. But what I've noticed is that the kinds of combat I've been trying have been very hit or miss. Forgive the strangeness but this game can be a little wacky at times so bear with me. (no drugs in any form were ever involved)

The first combat we ever had was in the first session, the players had entered into a coal mine to try and flush out a kidnapper and supposed murderer, when they ran into the victims who had been turned into living thralls. This was very clunky and there was a huge backlash because the combat was so stiff. The party won with only one man not having clothes and for some reason shoving bits of coal in his arse because of his lack thereof. Suffice to say it was not the highlight of the evening.

The second was skipped entirely to basically a quick time event. A giant monster made from flesh and a mad mage. 

The third was during the second session and involved the military, but really there was only one enemy because the others ran away upon his defeat.

The fourth was a Pokémon gym battle in a very broad sense. And ended quickly since there was only one, very strong, enemy. Though much more praise abound with this encounter.

The fifth combat encounter was with an army of goblins attacking a farm and an elite group of goblins with classes that mirrored the party. Two people were downed and one actually died. He was quickly revived at the cost of a level and nothing but cheers about from this encounter that lasted no more than 8 hours. 

The sixth encounter was a side arc that was a free for all between the players that ended well with no hard feelings when our naked ranger, that shoved coal up his arse, won. 

Next, we fought a group of clowns, a quick murder from the mind of one of our players as he DMed for two sessions. Very quick. And then a Ochre Jelly. No one died, and it was a good fight.

for our ninth encounter, we had our purple skinned, ginger afro wizard with ocd had clones made of him and attack the party in a mass. Over 50 mages were killed, and the session ended with our male thief being impregnated by a spider demon. Over all a very dull affair.

And now to the current events. Silent Hill like monsters that were destroying the players, causing them to flee in some situations. And our optional boss, (we had one before, but the boss was a giant floating cat with three eyes the breathed fire with 1 hp and ended up turning into a flaming ball of Crisco that destroyed a donkey cart down the hill.) It turned out ok, but it wasn’t the best.



So basically, only the combat that has an opposing party has been the most fun, I love the idea of Solo bosses, beings so powerful that they can be a threat to the party alone. The final boss to this campaign is a demigod at level 35. but I don’t want to build it up to that and it just be a flop. Plus i want all my encounters to be like the fifth encounter where it was dangerous and very fun, even for as long as it dragged on. Any advice?

....why did the ranger shove coal up his butt? I can't think of any reason why that would be a logical choice. And was it during combat? What in the hell happened? Very surprised no drugs were involved. I would think somebody was drunk.
....why did the ranger shove coal up his butt? I can't think of any reason why that would be a logical choice. And was it during combat? What in the hell happened? Very surprised no drugs were involved. I would think somebody was drunk.




So, we have a rule that if its not on the sheet you dont have it. And well he didnt have anything, Not even a bag. So when he said "I'm going to pick up the coal and store it." I asked "Where?" And he said "In my backpack." and I asked him, "What backpack?" He paused and said, "How can i carry this..." and one player said "in your arse" and it was done. No one in our group has ever been drunk. Ever. Well, except me but that was because I had a wisdom tooth pulled two days before.
If you dont write underwear or socks you not wearing one then? That seems brutal.  Did the pc incurr any penalty fir having a coal up his asss?  I would think at least -1 to athletics or something.

Curious how did the spider impregnate a male pc?  Shove eggs up his butt?
Lot of shoving stuff up butts in seems. 
Nature's pocket
So basically, only the combat that has an opposing party has been the most fun, I love the idea of Solo bosses, beings so powerful that they can be a threat to the party alone. The final boss to this campaign is a demigod at level 35. but I don’t want to build it up to that and it just be a flop. Plus i want all my encounters to be like the fifth encounter where it was dangerous and very fun, even for as long as it dragged on. Any advice?



Solo monsters are hard to balance because every monster has strengths that are intended to frustrate the player characters and weaknesses that the player characaters are supposed to be able to exploit.  In my experience, having multiple monsters with different sets of strengths and weaknesses is more likely to give each party member a chance to shine and frustrate them at the same time.  This brings out the best in tactics and strategy in the group.

So my advice is to not use solo monsters whenever possible.  Even in final BBEG encounters, the BBEG would never fight the party alone...that's why he has minions.

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

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.
If you dont write underwear or socks you not wearing one then? That seems brutal.  Did the pc incurr any penalty fir having a coal up his asss?  I would think at least -1 to athletics or something.

Curious how did the spider impregnate a male pc?  Shove eggs up his butt?
Lot of shoving stuff up butts in seems. 



He did not specify what edition, but if it's 4th I am geniunly surprised the players do not have adventure kits, which include backpacks and belt pouches, providing a place much more comfortable than your butthole to place things.
If you dont write underwear or socks you not wearing one then? That seems brutal.  Did the pc incurr any penalty fir having a coal up his asss?  I would think at least -1 to athletics or something.

Curious how did the spider impregnate a male pc?  Shove eggs up his butt?
Lot of shoving stuff up butts in seems. 



He did not specify what edition, but if it's 4th I am geniunly surprised the players do not have adventure kits, which include backpacks and belt pouches, providing a place much more comfortable than your butthole to place things.




Actually I did, 3.5. And no, all they had to do was write clothes. Everyone else did. Plus the guy was late by 30 mins, didn't make the character sheet, and had to write it in game. He's now one of our most on time members and we all have fond memories of Gopherton (I **** you not, that's his name) the naked ranger.

As a side note, the male pc was impregnated through rolling a 20 on a deplomacy check, then rolling another 20 on a handle animal, and then a 17 on a slight of hand check. Me and another player talked about it and he got a calling card for the spider demon witch thing to summon later, in exchange he contracted a sickness from the demon and we thought about doing a whole "whats he got" going on. The whole thing is here, at least the spider demon part. Shameless promotion, but you asked for it. 

www.youtube.com/watch?v=EXymrrHcjEE

T
his is really just what happens, and even though we had a recent talk about making it more serious and everyone said yes, we all agreed that moments like these are the best.
So basically, only the combat that has an opposing party has been the most fun, I love the idea of Solo bosses, beings so powerful that they can be a threat to the party alone. The final boss to this campaign is a demigod at level 35. but I don’t want to build it up to that and it just be a flop. Plus i want all my encounters to be like the fifth encounter where it was dangerous and very fun, even for as long as it dragged on. Any advice?



Solo monsters are hard to balance because every monster has strengths that are intended to frustrate the player characters and weaknesses that the player characaters are supposed to be able to exploit.  In my experience, having multiple monsters with different sets of strengths and weaknesses is more likely to give each party member a chance to shine and frustrate them at the same time.  This brings out the best in tactics and strategy in the group.

So my advice is to not use solo monsters whenever possible.  Even in final BBEG encounters, the BBEG would never fight the party alone...that's why he has minions.




Man... I guess i just have to suck it up, i wish there was another way though... I'll start throwing in minions when i can and when it makes sense. Thanks.
So basically, only the combat that has an opposing party has been the most fun, I love the idea of Solo bosses, beings so powerful that they can be a threat to the party alone. The final boss to this campaign is a demigod at level 35. but I don’t want to build it up to that and it just be a flop. Plus i want all my encounters to be like the fifth encounter where it was dangerous and very fun, even for as long as it dragged on. Any advice?



Solo monsters are hard to balance because every monster has strengths that are intended to frustrate the player characters and weaknesses that the player characaters are supposed to be able to exploit.  In my experience, having multiple monsters with different sets of strengths and weaknesses is more likely to give each party member a chance to shine and frustrate them at the same time.  This brings out the best in tactics and strategy in the group.

So my advice is to not use solo monsters whenever possible.  Even in final BBEG encounters, the BBEG would never fight the party alone...that's why he has minions.




Man... I guess i just have to suck it up, i wish there was another way though... I'll start throwing in minions when i can and when it makes sense. Thanks.




There is another way...accept that a lot of the time with solo monsters one of two things will happen:

1) the monster's strengths will so far outweigh its weaknesses (when compared to the party) that the party will have a very hard time defeating it
2) the monster's weaknesses will so far outweigh its strengths (when compared to the party) that the party will have little trouble defeating it.

Either way, the encounter will flop.

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

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.
So basically, only the combat that has an opposing party has been the most fun, I love the idea of Solo bosses, beings so powerful that they can be a threat to the party alone. The final boss to this campaign is a demigod at level 35. but I don’t want to build it up to that and it just be a flop. Plus i want all my encounters to be like the fifth encounter where it was dangerous and very fun, even for as long as it dragged on. Any advice?


Solo monsters can be done well. You just have to make them resilient to status conditions imposed by the players that take away actions or lower its accuracy (dazed, stunned, dominated, removed from play, immobilized, blinded, and general "-x to attack rolls"), have them become more dangerous as they get to lower HP, and have them make as many attacks as a normal group of monsters (or deal autodamage, for example with an aura). 

A good way to handle conditions is to ignore the effect of the condition, and instead have the amount of attacks decrease for as long as the condition's duration. 

An interesting way to make them more dangerous as they get to lower HP is to increase the damage output, for example by letting the monster make more attacks or making its aura deal more damage.

Two of the best published solo creatures I've worked with are hydras and beholders. Look them up if you've got DDI or the Monster Vault book. 
Yea, but I guess having groups is for the better.

Solo monsters can be done well. You just have to make them resilient to status conditions imposed by the players that take away actions or lower its accuracy (dazed, stunned, dominated, removed from play, immobilized, blinded, and general "-x to attack rolls"), have them become more dangerous as they get to lower HP, and have them make as many attacks as a normal group of monsters (or deal autodamage, for example with an aura). 

A good way to handle conditions is to ignore the effect of the condition, and instead have the amount of attacks decrease for as long as the condition's duration. 

An interesting way to make them more dangerous as they get to lower HP is to increase the damage output, for example by letting the monster make more attacks or making its aura deal more damage.

Two of the best published solo creatures I've worked with are hydras and beholders. Look them up if you've got DDI or the Monster Vault book. 



Agreed.

Solo monsters are difficult to balance and make interesting for large parties.

Useful abilities for Big Bosses are:


  • Powers that allow them to make saving throws at the start of their turn.

  • Resistances that appear when they become bloodied.

  • Action Points.



I don't know if there are offical monsters that do it but I would also be inclined to make them appear twice on the initiative list (so effectively two monsters).  If you have a large party, them all twatting away at a single target with ages before it retaliates canbe rather dull.  Even if it does do clever stuff on its one turn.