D&D 5E 5E Arena of Death


Small God of the Dozens
My wife is out of town for, well, a while, so my boys and I are working on RPG stuff. Just for giggles we decided to do a little lets you and I fight stuff with 5E characters. Here's the plan, each player has a stable of three 6th level characters who take turns going 1 on 1 in a high verticality arena (a big room with a lots of terrain and levels). Each player selects the order his guys fight in secret, and then you reveal the order and have at it. That said, there are some caveats and whatnot we've come up with to help things along. Best out of three matches wins.

1. No magic items, but normal gear limited only by encumbrance.
2. Any 5e race class combos are fine, but no flying races.
3. No Druids. Circle of the Moon can kiss our collective rear ends.
4. Short rest abilities get doubled to stay on par, this is especially keen for Fighters, Warlocks and Monks.
5. Multiclass all you like, from any official 5E book (no UA or 3rd party) V-Human is in

In terms of the arena itself we've taken a page from games like Mordheim. The arena is underground and completely dark (to start) and players start at opposite ends (details TBD). A completely full arena would consist of X terrain pieces and light sources, lets say 16 and 4 respectively, for a total of 20. You roll a d10+10 each match to determine the exact number. There are 3 or 4 large pieces of terrain, 6 or so medium pieces, 6 small pieces, a 4 unquenchable light sources with the range of a torch. You die off and alternate placing terrain/light until its all done. The large and medium terrain will be designed to provide significant height and some movement above ground level via bridges and whatnot (say one bridge per terrain piece, placed after all terrain is down). The arena will be either gridded or closely worked with measurements and rulers to keep specific movement easy to judge (so measure then decide).

That's about as far as we've gotten, but I'd love to hear any and all ideas and/or critique. The Druid thing isn't going to change. No one wants to wade through 240 HP of giant snake before they get to the soft tasty center.

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Small God of the Dozens
Oops, forgot a couple of key caveats. You can't duplicate Feats within your characters, and you can't duplicate Classes 3rd level and above.


Small God of the Dozens
I don't understand the "pieces of terrain" aspect
So think pre-built terrain like you'd see on a Warhammer table (for all sizes). The thought was that the full 20 pieces would completely fill the arena if placed correctly (with 5' gaps for movement ect). The tactics come in how you place the terrain. If you want an open board you take the big pieces and put them off to the side and in the corners. If you want a crowded board that indexes movement and maybe climbing you try to fill the center of the board.

So a big piece might be something that covers, IDK, 10 or 15 5' grid squares and as some significant height. A small piece might be 5 or 6 squares with no height, just some LOS blocking.

Does that make sense?


Tag team* or King of the Hill scenarios might be fun as well. For King of the Hill, the victor remains to fight the next contender, perhaps getting some refresh of abilities before the next combatant enters.

Maybe also allow creatures to replace a single character? I think character level equates to CR at about a 3:1 or 4:1 ratio, so with 6th level characters a creature of about CR 2 should be close to equal.

Which also gives me an idea: Monster hunts - choose one big CR monster and each team brings one (or maybe two) of their characters in to defeat the monster first, before the other team can bag it.

* This might make druids more palatable - they would be their own “tag team”.

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