Dungeons & Dragons Online

Balancing Encounters with Dualistic Players

Hey DM's!

I've got a bit of a situation on my hands that I want to nip in the bud before we get much further in my Campaign. In my group, I have both a Unity Domain Cleric (UA) and an Oath of the Ancients Paladin. For reference, the Unity Domain gains some special class features that allow them to add +1d4 to attacks rolls, but more problematically, to split incoming damage and spread it around.

In the beginning, I allowed this subclass because my player was very passionate about the concept and invested in the character, and is in no way a power-gamer. However, during our most recent combat event (a sort of gladiatorial pit), she used the Shared Burden Channel Divinity and redirected what would have almost killed our Druid to our raging barbarian, whom halved the damage and took it with almost no consequence.

This is problematic enough, but the real kicker was that right after this our Paladin proceeded to perform a Divine Smite that nearly one shot the leader of the group they were fighting. For my players, this seemed to be a very empowering moment, and one they bonded over. They had beaten back death and their counterstroke was fatal and won them the day. But for me, despite their excitement it highlighted a serious issue.

Read more:  Bard spell casting focuses are dumb

I'm a first time DM, running my first game. I'm admittedly already a novice at building encounters, but creating enemies to fight with enough HP to last against a Paladin but with enough threat to overcome this ability seems to be a challenge. I don't want to homebrew every encounter with a "nuke" ability because I'm worried it will make her feel trivialized or obviated. But I also want these to have stakes!

So, I want to plan cool encounters that provide challenge to my group, but still produce those cool moments of empowerment that make my players feel good about their decisions and builds. I appreciate any advice, thanks! 🙂

Source: reddit.com

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