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Hit & Run Encounter

Onslaught

Explorer
Hi all!

I'm prepping a ToA session (in Eberron!) with my player's characters travelling the forest, and I want a tribe of Drow to use hit and run tactics against the players in one (or more?) days.

How would you rule that?
 

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MarkB

Legend
How fast can they run compared to (most of) the PCs? If more than 2-3 PCs are high-mobility characters such as monks or rogues, the drow may have difficulty disengaging.

Have the drow skirmishers consist of rogues and monks who will use bonus-action Dash and/or high natural speed to quickly disengage, and have them attack from hard-to-reach positions such as clifftops or tree platforms.

Have each squad split into two groups. One advances to within 60 feet of the PCs so that they can open with faerie fire and then get in a round of sniping with sleep-poisoned bolts. The other hides 60 feet further back, and will either cover the first group's retreat using darkness or, if the party splits up to pursue the first group, will circle around to try and sneak attack the smallest or slowest sub-group.

If this is their native territory, don't be shy of giving them a few well-placed traps and hazards to slow pursuit.

Don't make them too perfect - let at least some get caught out of cover as they retreat - and if they take more than one or two casualties, let them retreat to regroup, allowing the PCs time to rest and heal up.
 

Eltab

Lord of the Hidden Layer
In the morning:
Arrows flying at you from "out of nowhere" (because the Drow hid and waited for you to show up). If nobody falls, flee. A runner goes back to the village to get more manpower. The intruders will still have to expend medicine or spells to heal up.
After lunch:
Your path has pit traps, the 'lasso a tree' rig, maybe an obvious "this way" Ranger sign (that leads to another ambush) in it.
Evening:
Bigger ambush from more directions, maybe send some wild beasts to cross the intruders' path.
Night:
Pounce on their camp. Scout it carefully and try to take down the intruders' scouts first. Then bulldoze the camp. If you feel paranoid, keep one alive for torture and questioning, followed by enslavement.
Next morning:
Put a dead intruder's body or two back along their old path, hung up like the ToA "Dead Explorers" entry about 'as a warning not to trespass on sacred ground'.
 

FrogReaver

As long as i get to be the frog
Hi all!

I'm prepping a ToA session (in Eberron!) with my player's characters travelling the forest, and I want a tribe of Drow to use hit and run tactics against the players in one (or more?) days.

How would you rule that?

I would give them spider mounts. Spider Mounts sound fun so they can ambush from the trees which provide protection as well as potential paths to bypass terrain features the players will have trouble getting around.
 

Onslaught

Explorer
Thanks all for the ideas : )

How fast can they run compared to (most of) the PCs? If more than 2-3 PCs are high-mobility characters such as monks or rogues, the drow may have difficulty disengaging.
The party has one Monk and one Rogue.

However I can play the "terrain" card, as the place is almost all Difficult Terrain but I already used a (less aggressive tribe of) Drow that isn't hampered by the terrain (as it's their native terrain).

Have each squad split into two groups. One advances to within 60 feet of the PCs so that they can open with faerie fire and then get in a round of sniping with sleep-poisoned bolts. The other hides 60 feet further back, and will either cover the first group's retreat using darkness or, if the party splits up to pursue the first group, will circle around to try and sneak attack the smallest or slowest sub-group.
Mischievous, I like it. I'm thinking of Blessing the main attacker of each group.


Eltab
In the morning: (...) After lunch: (...) Evening: (...) Night:(...)
Next morning:
I like this structure - actually I'm using it to create most jungle travel in the adventure, using that guide from PowerScore to improve ideas.
 

SkidAce

Hero
Supporter
I have done this.

Some NPCs got caught and killed. But the bulk got away twice.

After attacking (and going into initiative) they eventually use dash to get extra movement and break line of sight.

Then they run away in unknown directions. Yes, hard working, fast, or clever players catch a few, but with ranged attacks, terrain, etc (like a real ambush would) the majority get away.

And the PCs feel good if they whittle down their enemies. Do well enough and maybe they will stop attacking ehh?
 

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