Sometimes the encounter templates from the DMG get old and there is a need to try and create new encounters. If you have any please post them up here for others to try out.
I'll start the ball rolling by posting up several encounters I found on critical-hits.com and was subbmitted by Bartoneus on November 19, 2008. It can be found here. Let it be known that none of these ideas are mine and all are from the site.
- 2 troops (soldier/brute) of level n-3
- 2 skirmishers of level n-3
- 1 lurkers of level n
- Elite (soldier/brute) of level n-2
- 3 skirmishers of level n-3
- 2 lurkers of level n+1
- Elite (soldier/brute/controller) of level n
- 4 skirmishers of level n-1
- 2 lurkers of level n+3
The Assassination Squad is meant to highlight the best Lurker monsters that skulk in the shadows and pick off party members one at a time. One large, tough muscle is used to absorb damage while a group of quick skirmishers move about and create distractions so that the lurking monsters can strike with maximum effectiveness and surprise. The squad is set up to be very mobile for infiltration and surprise attacks. These encounters should typically include lurkers such as assassins or stranglers who will be the highest level monsters in the fight. In most cases all of the monsters should be set up in a way that they are ambushing or surprising the party at the same time, if the lurkers are caught off guard or on their own then the encounter might be over too quickly.
Next I noticed that minions were pretty well left out of the fold in the assumption that you could substitute in 4 of them for any one monster of the same level in any of the encounters; however, I think they could also benefit quite nicely from having their own custom groupings.
- Brute/soldier of level n+2
- 12 minions of level n-2
- 2 brutes/soldiers of level n+3
- 8 minions of level n
- 2 brutes/soldiers of level n+4
- 12 minions of level n+1
- 1 artillery/controller of level n+1
The Tough Gang is meant to represent a truly tough boss character, someone with such a personality that they have attracted their own mob of minions to through around or protect them but really exerts little control over their posse and has minimal leadership skills. Essentially this splits the party sharply between focus fire and crowd control, if either one is too weak then one aspect of the encounter will be tougher for the party to handle. For the hard encounters an artillery or controller is around to really add some real chaos to the melee. An example of this type of group is a particularly strong and tough Bugbear who has acquired an entourage of puny goblins that he pays little mind to. Instead of leading the group and working as a team, the Bugbear is prone to stepping on his allies or picking them up and using them as melee/close range weapons and in return the goblins try their best to flock around the Bugbear and be close to him, preventing him from ever being fully effective in close quarters combat.
For the last Encounter template I am presenting here, I wanted to use an idea that comes up in every party I’ve ever played with and present it from a monster’s perspective as well. When an ally is in the fray, do you still throw that fireball? The answer here is, Yes!
- Controller of level n-2
- 5 brutes of level n-3
- 4 minions of level n-3
- 2 controllers of level n-1
- 5 brutes of level n-2
- 4 minions of level n-1
- 3 controllers of level n+1
- 5 brutes of level n
- 4 minions of level n
Assumed casualties is what these monsters go into combat with, the key controllers sit back and lay down areas of effect without care or worry for their allies well being. Hanging out in such a group, some of the monsters have become quite tough, representing the brutes while others don’t last so long either hacked down by heroes or taken out as collateral damage from the same controllers that have led them into battle. If you tally the xp totals for this template you will find them about one monster over what they should be, as it should be implemented in a manner that the controllers do enough damage to their own side to negate this offset. Besides, no matter what happens those minions aren’t going to last for very long! A perfect example for this would be the classic evil wizard and his ogre bodyguards, who cares if they live or come out of it partially roasted as long as his enemies are fried along with them?