D&D 4th Edition Running 4E combats quickly - Page 4




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  1. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kwalish Kid View Post
    I have to say, my game has sped up appreciably with the use of Mortaneus' DND4eCombatManager (& I was using most of these tips already). It seriously rocks.

    DnD4eCM - RPGnetWiki
    That looks pretty useful to me... except I can't work out how to do anything in it. Is there an instruction page somewhere? I couldn't find one on the wiki.

 

  • #32
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    In my oppinion, the most important things about combat in 4e are:

    A group thats build to win a fight by killing their opponent and not by surviving them. (This is actually very important, we once had a cleric and an inspiring warlord side by side. Every encounter was a drag.)

    The realization (as a DM) that combat in 4e might be fun for the players even though it is rather boring to play the monsters.

  • #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zustiur View Post
    That looks pretty useful to me... except I can't work out how to do anything in it. Is there an instruction page somewhere? I couldn't find one on the wiki.
    Unfortunately, I never got around to doing the documentation for it, and things have gotten busy enough for me that I'm having trouble getting back to it.

    Here's a quick summary of how to get started with it:

    Go to the Library->Open Statblock Library menu option. This is the main 'design the fight' screen. Use this screen to add both PCs and NPCs to the fight.

    The 'Paste' option is for pasting the 'Copy to Rich Text' option from the WotC Monster Builder. The 'CB Load' option is for loading a PC from the WotC Character Builder save file. You can also enter by hand using 'New'.

    Once you get some entries in the Library, you can add them to the fight by clicking on them in the left-side-list of the Library screen, and clicking the 'Add' button at the top of the right-side-list. They'll get added to the right side-list, which is basically the 'staging area' for adding to the fight. Then, when you exit the Library screen, they'll be in the fight.


    I was planning on redoing this screen at some point, as I fully admit the current method is wacky. Maybe I'll get around to it...not sure right now.
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  • #34
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    Honestly, with my particular group, the only thing I've ever had to do is handwave the odd last couple of monsters which the party is obviously going to take down. I tend to make them an offer ("Call this a victory with say, 1 Healing Surge from the Paladin?"), which they tend to accept (not always though).

    I haven't ever applied the suggested "Never use this that or the other monster..." guidelines, other than those that pertain to what is generally considered good 4E encounter design as a whole, and so far we've been lucky enough to avoid what so many others are obviously seeing.
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  • #35
    Ruthlessly nerf the "action denial" abilities that seem to be liberally sprinkled throughout the monster pool (mostly daze: at-will daze, auras that daze, etc.). I've been changing anything I see like this to a lesser condition (e.g. "grants CA") or just removing it entirely.

    I'm also an advocate of the standard lower-HP-higher-damage-monsters solution (which not only makes creatures die faster, but also re-introduces some of the "oshi- we're gonna die" combat pacing from older editions).

  • #36
    Quote Originally Posted by Durn View Post
    Tonight the DM introduced a rule wherein a player would receive 10XP each time he finished his turn in 60 seconds or less. He had a little timer app. It was great. Everyone focused to get their little reward. It had the normally spaced out players planning ahead. At the end of the three hour session I had 110XP, having missed my time twice (as a wizard I think that's a good batting average).
    Anyways, XP for efficiency! FTW and all that.
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    Oooh, I like that one. A carrot approach. Not a huge award, but enough to make people stand up and notice.
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  • #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mortaneus View Post
    Unfortunately, I never got around to doing the documentation for it, and things have gotten busy enough for me that I'm having trouble getting back to it.
    Thanks so much for your explanation. I highly recommend you paste that same explanation onto your webpage/wiki. It was enough of an explanation to solve my problem.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Durn View Post
    Tonight the DM introduced a rule wherein a player would receive 10XP each time he finished his turn in 60 seconds or less. He had a little timer app. It was great. Everyone focused to get their little reward. It had the normally spaced out players planning ahead. At the end of the three hour session I had 110XP, having missed my time twice (as a wizard I think that's a good batting average).
    Anyways, XP for efficiency! FTW and all that.
    cheer!
    I've been rolling this idea over in my head for use in my own games, and I'm almost totally on board with it. One thing I am curious about, though, is whether this has had any effect on how descriptive your players are in combat -- I can see this as inadvertently driving players into the "I attack this monster, 18 vs AC, 9 damage, and I'm done," cycle rather than injecting a bit of flavor into their actions.

    By the same token, how has this interacted with stunting in combat? You're definitely going to eat up some time bantering with the DM about what kind of check to make for prancing about doing [x], as well as getting appropriate DCs figured out.

  • #39
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    Some of the things I've used:

    - Put the minis for your encounters in zip-loc bags when your doing your game planning session for faster access during the game.

    - Index cards numbered 1-20. Give the person with the highest initiative card #1, and #2 goes to the next, etc. Put the cards for the monsters next to the stat blocks. Then everyone simply goes in order from #1 to #20.

    - All monsters take 10 for their initiative (BBEG's should roll, minions should definitely "take 10"). Characters can take 10 or take what they roll on d20 (if it's important to go first for some reason). On the player's side, they will always then know when their turn is next.

    Personally, I use fantasy grounds to track most of my player's stats, initiative, make die rolls and the like (even though we're doing face-to-face gaming), and I find it helps speed up any game I run having all that info at my fingertips. Yay laptops!

  • #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stormonu View Post
    Some of the things I've used:

    - Put the minis for your encounters in zip-loc bags when your doing your game planning session for faster access during the game.
    I do this, but I also put the dice associated with their damage in the bag.
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