I'm a long time player turned DM, currently running an adventure for a party of five lvl5 players.
My group doesn't consist of veterans, but it's definitely not their first rodeo either and thanks to that the usual "slap the enemy till it hits 0HP"-fight isn't some super exciting thing for them, even though I try to play with terrain and surprises and Kobold Fight Club consistently tells me my encounters are deadly. All of them. ¯_(ツ)_/¯
So next step was to add some battle mechanics to the encounters. Special equipment that can be used (ballistas and the likes), mini puzzles (you gotta hit/destroy this first before you can hit that), NPC's with special abilities they had to convince to help them and got to command during the fight and the likes.
Yeah, I'm really not reinventing the wheel here, but I'm trying and so far it seems appreciated, that there is always a little something in the fights.
Getting to the point: So the whole setting is kind of "magic forest" themed and very simply put, the material plane and the fey wild are very close with the planes almost touching (or maybe very much touching) and thus there is a ton of fey creatures, magic and other shenanigans going on in this forest region.
Reading up on the fey wild, one thing that usually stands out is that "the arcane runs more freely and powerfully in this plane" so I thought: Why not an encounter with wild magic, because the area they are in during the encounter is… especially volatile with the planes being so close and interacting. Or something. Not the point. I will think something up.
Moving on 😀
- The general idea is that they fight something on their usual difficulty level.
- At the end of each round there is a wild magic surge in the area.
- I roll on the wild magic table and roll among all participants of the fight to see who is affected, with enemies getting advantage because they are native to this area (Simplified: 1&2 – Player 1; 3&4 – Player 2; 5 – Enemy1; 6 – Enemy2)
And then things happen.
I thought about it affecting everyone but then it may just end the whole encounter (everyone is a baby now!) or render the mechanic without consequence (everyone gets the same buff/debuff) and if it affects an entire faction the same thing might happen if I buff/debuff the group to oblivion with a role or contrary to that, the enemy. That's why I wanted to stick with one randomly chosen creature per round.
Thing is: I obviously have a hard time balancing fights as it is and wonder if this is too chaotic or a lame idea. I searched a little on this sub and saw some other ideas (Wild Magic Dungeon etc.) but that didn't quite hit the mark. I'm sure some more experienced DM's have a better feeling of how fast this could go off the rails, if at all.
Also: I'm basically 100% sure that I'm not the first person to have ever come up with this, so maybe someone here has some experience with such an encounter. Is this fun? Is this too unpredictable? Will the whole fight descend into chaos? Will it just be frustrating and annoying for my players? (Eventhough I don't mind a little frustration. It's freaking hard to make these lovely nerds sweat.)
Thanks for reading this far and sorry in case I made grave mistakes, English isn't my first language. Please, please share your wisdom with me 🙂
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