Content of the article: "Encounter Advice"
Hello dear subredditers –
I'm DMing my first large-ish combat scenario tomorrow and would like some advice on how to keep it moving and everyone invested. I have it arranged well enough, I've done my homework balancing the encounter so it's not deadly, but combat as you know sometimes goes fairly slowly and I'd like some input on the way I have it set up. So, if the players choose to engage in combat, here's what the opposing forces would look like:
- 4 PCs (wizard elf, druid half elf, half orc fighter, genasi ranger) and 4 NPCs (2 dwarves, 1 human ranger, 1 odd goblin) for a total of 8
- about 22 orcs. I have 2 large groups (8 each, that I'll have attack together), 2 small groups (of 2, archers posted as lookouts) and 2 singular orcs that are scouting right in front of where the PCs will probably end up.
This is how I'll run the orcs/NPCs
large orc group: say the group starts out with 8; I'm not going to roll attack rolls for all of them against a PC they're trying to attack because many of them will not be within striking distance. I'm using a combat map, so usually (unless surrounded) the max number of orcs able to attack a PC/NPC would be 3 (on the map, 2 diagonal to the PC and one directly in front of him/her). So, I'll make attack 3 attack rolls against who they're attacking.
orc group 2 archers: self-explanatory, I roll 2 attack rolls for this group
single orcs: no explanation required
This is meant to be a difficult encounter; high-risk, high-reward. However, I have a few back-ups in place. If they choose to retreat and run back down the road, they have a 1d4 chance of coming across a caravan of soldiers traveling from a nearby city that can be convinced to help. 1 of the NPCs has healing powers and another NPC is equipped with health potions, as are the PCs. One of the PCs also has a ring that heals, with full charges.
I'll be controlling the NPCs as a group as well, to minimize the amount of turns needed in combat.
So, any thoughts on this? Again, this is my first relatively large-scale battle that I'm running so I would love some input
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