Dungeons & Dragons Online

Needing Help with Combat

Content of the article: "Needing Help with Combat"

I'm currently running a Descent into Avernus campaign on Roll20 for a group of six friends (which is the upper limit for the campaign), and for the most part they're having a blast! They're still in Baldur's Gate right now so I haven't really had any serious high level gameplay yet. This is actually my first real by the book experience as a DM, and only my second campaign I've ever really run with my first one being completely homebrew based on what my name suggests, frogs.

My players generally are fans of my RP, and I have plenty of material to throw in from their backgrounds and other fun things I've seen here and on other subs, but I have a pit in my stomach whenever it comes to combat experiences. I think the larger problem comes from the fact that as a player I'm not actually that into combat, so that has carried over into the battles in my campaign being lackluster.

I have two DMs that are in this group, and they've both been upset about doing things like not giving enough details about what armor/shields enemies have so they can't imagine the correct AC, creatures having abilities they shouldn't have (I had some rats climb on players that would require a Dex save from the covered player if a party member attacked the rats). I understand that these things are unavoidable at times and I should be doing what I can to throw players off the track of knowing exactly what the stat blocks of the mobs they're fighting, but sometimes I guess I create circumstances where I don't properly describe combatants and what they are capable of.

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Regardless of those interactions, my worst examples come from the my fights in theDungeon of the Dead Three tunnels where I don't know how to position my enemies in hallways to make for interesting combat, and often times just get them trapped in the mosh pit of the party, getting flanked or surrounded immediately. This coupled with the fact that I have players that have played Warhammer etc. and are basically combat experts puts me at what feels like an extreme disadvantage and doesn't intimidate the players.

If that wasn't enough, when I try to blow them away with a strong move from a larger enemy or boss, it almost always misses and I just have to pretend like it has multi-attack and try again, to miss again. I literally had a fight last night where a giant spider just basically sat and took damage as it was trapped against a wall, and it didn't hit anyone; and it felt awful to hear everyone slowly get bored of the fight after they had just had fun in one just before. Pre-covid if I wanted to do a roll behind my screen and say it hit, it would have a different effect and players took it better than now where it would be invisible. Maybe that's just a hurdle I have to overcome and still do rolls off Roll20 to introduce real fear, but I'm wondering if there is a better approach.

So I guess my question to you is, what should I do to improve my combat experiences? Is there a good source for enemy positioning in fights, or maybe even something campaign specific? I love playing with this group, and I have watched youtube videos of the campaign, but I guess I'm picking the wrong ones or I'm still stuck making wrong decisions coupled with the fact I have so many players here that it's making for un-fun combat.

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TL:DR I suck at making good combat experiences for my players please help

Source: reddit.com

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