Content of the article: "Help With a Siege Encounter"
Players can be unpredictable, but it seems like we're building towards a 'siege' kind of encounter where the players will be defending a cadre of wizards as they enact a ritual. The wizards will be atop a watchtower on the fringe of a kingdom around 500m from a dense forest. The attackers are zealous, xenophobic elves who've struck a bargain with some very angry elemental spirits. So far these spirits have only manifested to the players when their elven companions have bound them into twisted animal forms.
Then I thought it would be cool to bring the big guns to this siege.
I'm thinking a gargantuan creature. Building upon what the players have seen so far, something like a powerful earth elemental spirit given a physical form that can effectively assault a watchtower. After the party fight off a few waves of foes, it will emerge from the treeline in what will hopefully be a dramatic, 'oh shit' moment. Unfortunately I have zero experience with this sort of encounter, and I see a few issues I'd like some help with:
How do I make the creature imposing but not overpowered? If it can just waltz up and knock the tower over with a swing of its fist then it could be very anticlimactic. I suppose it could be incredibly slow?
The party are currently level 9, maybe 10 by the time we get to this encounter. Two of them are melee only and I can see that being an issue. Could it be best for the 'combat' to be more unusual, maybe having the party enter it like a dungeon? I'm not sure if that feels contrived or exciting.
There are going to be plenty of guards helping the party to defend the tower. I haven't used any mass combat rules in the past. Are they fun to use at all? If not, does it feel 'gamey' as a player if I split the combat off and have the party, in the initial stages, fight smaller scale battles – perhaps at a back entrance or a breach in the wall around the tower where a small force makes a secondary assault.
- Easy Rule-of-Thumb for Encounter Building
- Simple Combat Encounter Benchmark You Can Keep In Your Head
- Just a story from my campaign of players not doing what’s expected.
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