Sunday, January 26, 2014

Combat Easier Making Thoughts

I thinking of trying a couple of things in the near future to try and streamline combat (in addition to the "learn the rules" project I just posted on).  There are some alternative initiative systems out there that we might consider.  One idea that I wanted to run by you guys is the idea of NPC minions acting on the initiative count.  More important NPCs would still get their own, but the sword and spell fodder would all move on the same turn.  For example, in the last combat of last night, where you faced off against three low-level clerics and the more badass priest would have taken up two spots in the initiative order instead of four.  This is just something that would make it easier for me to track. 

Here is another interesting idea which might be worth considering. 

Another thing that I'm thinking about is reducing the use of miniatures.  That is, I think that it might be useful for me to use generic markers, like blank d6's to represent enemies.  This could have a couple of benefits.  First, it will make the tactical situation clearer.  A lot of times it can get confusing as to what miniature represents an NPC and what miniature represents your other party members.  Secondly, I think it might help the game from a narrative perspective.  Many times, despite the number of miniatures that we have at our disposal, we don't have the right miniatures.  Having a generic marker representing your foes, instead of the wrong miniature may make it easier to visualize them, and the combat the way that they're supposed to look.  If I tell you that you're fighting a drow cleric, that might be easier to visualize if he's not being represented on the board as a bugbear.   I could also number the tokens to make them easier to tell apart for the tracking of hit points.  I'm sure I wouldn't use generic markers for every foe, especially when you would be fighting a unique villain, or one that we had the perfect miniature for.

I look forward to your feedback.  


Degolar said...

The blank enemy markers makes sense to me, though it might be a good idea to have 5-10 each of 5-10 different colors/styles to represent different types in each encounter: "The 4 green d6s are sword-wielding goblins, the 2 brown ones are lizardmen, and the 1 black one is a robed human."

Hadrian said...

Yeah, that's kind of what I was thinking. Thanks for the feedback! As far as the initiative thing goes, I realized last night that I can just delay the NPC actions to group them together in the initiative count. It might not make100% sense in the narrative, but it would accomplish my metagame objectives.