Who Do You as GM Attack?

  • Fighter

    Votes: 40 32.5%
  • Wizard

    Votes: 21 17.1%
  • Rogue

    Votes: 9 7.3%
  • Cleric

    Votes: 28 22.8%
  • No one; other answer

    Votes: 25 20.3%


NOTE: This poll is marked 5E because I use specific mechanics from that edition to set up the scenario. Obviously it could be adjusted to fit other versions of the game.

Here is the situation:

The party is in a fight for their lives. They are in combat with a powerful, intelligent enemy who has a powerful (save based) attack that does a significant amount of damage. Even on a successful save, it is enough to drop any one of the wounded, near spent characters.

The party has a Fighter who is up in the BBEG's grill, getting ready to hit him hard. Based on previous rounds, it may be hard enough to drop the BBEG.
The party has a wizard who the BBEG has seen cast a lot of spells but not his top tier spell.
The party has a rogue who is sniping from behind cover, and a successful hit is more or less just as likely as the fighter's hit to take the BBEG down.
The party has a cleric who the BBEG knows has spent all of their big magic and could potentially yo-yo a fallen character but not do any significant healing.

The BBEG, as stated, has an attack that can almost certainly drop one of those PCs, as well as bonus action that the BBEG can use for Misty Step or similarly "safe" movement. It is the BBEG's initiative and no PCs have held actions or reaction abilities beyond a standard OA.

You are the GM. Who does the BBEG attack? Why? What then?

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Where is that Singe?
You are the GM. Who does the BBEG attack? Why? What then?
I would need a little more information:

I know the fighter is in melee, and the rogue is at range (although I don't know how far away). I also do not know the distance to the cleric or wizard.

I also don't know the terrain, set-up, etc., which is important to determine which PC the BBEG would target.

If you want to add such information, I'd be happy to answer.


Since the rogue is behind cover, I target them first so BBEG can also benefit from the cover. Hopefully the BBEG can stuff the dead rogue somewhere he can't easily be seen by the cleric so healing word won't work. Then? Probably the cleric or perhaps the wizard if I can't get to the cleric. Kind of depends on how well they know the PCs and their tactics, whether or not the wizard can disable them. The fighter is likely last as long as the BBEG can avoid them, assuming the fighter has the highest AC.

Some of it just depends on circumstances and opportunity, including things like initiative order. If I'm uncertain I'll just roll a die.


Okay, playing this NPC as a caster who is smart but doesn't possess metagame knowledge or is necessarily a tactical genius. They're on their last legs, but so am I, and I can only reliably take down one of them. It doesn't matter which one, the others will be enough to finish me. So with the numbers against me my priority is escape. And thus the real question is, which of them is it best to take off the board to allow that?

I would say the best one to remove is the Fighter. They're the melee opponent who can tie me up with OA, not to mention enabling the Rogue's Sneak Attack. If I take out the Fighter, I can move first and then Misty Step, making it easier to break line of sight and begin my escape. Sure, the Cleric can pick them back up, but that buys me time. Maybe even a full round's head start, depending on turn order. The Rogue is fast but isn't as much of a threat if they can't Sneak Attack. The Wizard might be a danger, depending on what spells they have, but depending on the terrain I might be able to make it hard for them to catch up.

Dropping the Fighter, even if it's temporary, is the best bet for being able to make an escape.
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Goblin Queen (She/Her/Hers)
It depends on the initiative order. If any of the characters who can potentially take the BBEG out act before the Cleric, target them first because they will be unconscious during their turn, then the cleric’s turn will be used getting them back up, so you’re using one action to blank two. If no one acts before the Cleric, the Cleric should be the target to prevent them from getting anyone else back up.

If multiple targets act before the Cleric, or if the Cleric gets downed or runs out of healing spells, priority order gets a bit more complex. If the wizard has spell slots of 3rd level or higher remaining, they should be the highest priority to prevent them from potentially casting Haste, which would increase the PCs’ actions per round. Otherwise, priority should go to Fighter if they have Extra Attack and/or any remaining Action Surges. Otherwise, priority goes to Rogue.

In short, anyone who acts before the Cleric > Cleric with heals available > Wizard with 3rd+ level spell slots available > Fighter with Action Surge available > Rogue > Fighter without Action Surge available > Cleric without heals available > Wizard without 3rd+ level spell slots available.
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Drop the fighter to take away the rogue’s sneak attack (sneak attack coming from the non-incapacitated ally being within 5’ not for simply sniping from behind cover). Then potentially (unless Cleric goes before Fighter) go prone next to (or on top of!?) downed fighter to mess with ranged attacks and/or force Wizard to potentially hurt fighter with AOE.
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More often than not the Wizard... as they are the one that has the most random assortment of abilities that could take me out in all kinds of different ways. Fighter and Rogue have to just hit me enough times, so I can plan my tactics around that. Cleric probably isn't hurting me as much as they are helping their fellows, so for the time being they can be ignored. But the Wizard could come at me and take me out in so many different ways, so I'd rather remove that randomness factor from the battlefield. It's harder to plan when I don't know what I'm planning for.

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