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5E How many rounds do most of your combats last?

How many rounds do most of your combats last

  • 1-2

    Votes: 4 3.6%
  • 3-4

    Votes: 61 55.5%
  • 5-6

    Votes: 35 31.8%
  • 6+

    Votes: 10 9.1%

  • Total voters
    110
Time in our game is different; we have 1 minute combat rounds, each round has six 10 second combat phases. There are two weapons tracks. Melee attacks per phase, ranged attacks per round.

This was done to better simulate the rate of fire for missile weapons when compared to how many times a melee weapon could be wielded.

Whatever works for you man, but:


And she's drawing from a back quiver, and not holding the arrows in her hand. She's shooting at around about 1 arrow per second (making her an 11th level Fighter, using Action surge!).

Watch this dude:


He can fire 3 arrows in 0.6 seconds. Accurately. At moving targets, from range.
 

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Asisreo

Archdevil's Advocate
Whatever works for you man, but:


And she's drawing from a back quiver, and not holding the arrows in her hand. She's shooting at around about 1 arrow per second (making her an 11th level Fighter, using Action surge!).

Watch this dude:


He can fire 3 arrows in 0.6 seconds. Accurately. At moving targets, from range.
Holy crap. Somehow the most hardass DM known as God, who doesn't even let you choose a magic class, let's martials do cooler things than a DM running a Conan-style game...
 

Oofta

Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.
When it comes to archery ... I have a lot of issues with it's implementation in 5E. Like, yes, you can fire quickly but what's the draw weight? Then that goes back to should strength be required for bows and so on. Standard longbows had draw weights of 120 lbs with some historians estimating 150 to 180 lbs. The strength needed to pull was so great that it deformed the skeletons of archers over time.

But it's D&D. I don't get too caught up in realism as long as it conforms to basic action movie reality.
 


Oofta

Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.
@Flamestrike
What poundage is the bow the girl is using. Definitely not the same as a medieval war bow which is what the game is modeled on.

It may be theoretically modeled on the medieval war bow but it's more modeled on movies like The Hunger Games which is not particularly realistic.

IMHO war bows should be strength based, not dex based. In my games, they're finesse weapons because it's such a common trope whether it's realistic or not.

I think trying to make D&D more realistic is a rabbit hole of never-ending rules changes, several of which are made by completely uninformed opinion and lack of hard data, especially for things other than longbows. But that's also a different topic. :)
 

@Flamestrike
What poundage is the bow the girl is using. Definitely not the same as a medieval war bow which is what the game is modeled on.

What the hell is a 'medieval war bow'?

The girl and guy above are using composite bows, common in ancient Persia, among the Mongols, Scaracens and elsewhere for the last 2000+ years.

'Draw, nock, aim, fire' isnt exactly a time consuming process.

As for a longbow:


That guy above is easily firing a dozen+ arrows per minute, and he's using a longbow (the slowest manual bow of all). He could double that fire rate with training and experience (he's not exactly racing to get his shots off above).

Bear in mind these guys and gals are just normal guys and girls with some training; they are nott Achillies-esque near mytholgical warriors of legend as represented by the Fighter class.

Remember; a Fighter, Barbarian or Ranger can pretty reliably kill a Grizzly bear from around 3rd level onwards, with nothing more than his bare hands. From 5th level, they're all but assured of victory.

Your average BM fighter has Str 18 at 5th level, dealing 5 damage per punch, plus a superiority dice. He Action surges on turn one, attacks 4 times at +7 (vs AC 11), likely dealing 4d8+20 damage, and bludgeoning a Grizzly to death with his bare hands inside of a few seconds. If he has the Tavern Brawler feat or the Unarmed combat fighting style from UA, the Bear is even more screwed.

If the guys and girls in the videos above an fire a bow that fast, then Achillies, William Tell, Cu Culain and similar legendary warriors (i.e. the Fighter) can do it even faster.
 

CleverNickName

Limit Break Dancing
I voted 5-6, but that's an average. Random encounters usually go for about 2-3 rounds, and scripted encounters tend to run about 8-10. When I'm designing an encounter, I try not to waste my players' time with dinky, low-risk encounters. That's what randoms are for.
 


It may be theoretically modeled on the medieval war bow but it's more modeled on movies like The Hunger Games which is not particularly realistic.

IMHO war bows should be strength based, not dex based. In my games, they're finesse weapons because it's such a common trope whether it's realistic or not.

I think trying to make D&D more realistic is a rabbit hole of never-ending rules changes, several of which are made by completely uninformed opinion and lack of hard data, especially for things other than longbows. But that's also a different topic. :)

Why make the Fighter 'realistic', when he's standing next to a dude who can shoot fire from his hands and teleport?

The Fighter isnt 'the guy at the gym'; he's Achilles, a legendary figure who makes entire armies tremble in fear. This dude can nock and fire a crossbow 8 times in 6 seconds at 20th level. He can reliably bludgeon a bear to death with his bare hands at 5th level in a matter of seconds. He can go toe to toe with a T-Rex, with nothing more than a rusty dagger at mid levels and win.

I hate DMs that try and say 'You cant do that because the middle aged accountant at my medieval reenactment group cant do that'. My reply is always (glancing at the Wizard player) 'I bet you that accountant cant shoot lasers out of his fingers, animate the dead and fly either?'
 

Oofta

Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.
Why make the Fighter 'realistic', when he's standing next to a dude who can shoot fire from his hands and teleport?

The Fighter isnt 'the guy at the gym'; he's Achilles, a legendary figure who makes entire armies tremble in fear. This dude can nock and fire a crossbow 8 times in 6 seconds at 20th level. He can reliably bludgeon a bear to death with his bare hands at 5th level in a matter of seconds. He can go toe to toe with a T-Rex, with nothing more than a rusty dagger at mid levels and win.

I hate DMs that try and say 'You cant do that because the middle aged accountant at my medieval reenactment group cant do that'. My reply is always (glancing at the Wizard player) 'I bet you that accountant cant shoot lasers out of his fingers, animate the dead and fly either?'

I like some semblance of reality in my games. I call it action movie reality.

But I don't have a problem with how many arrows are fired. I have a bit of an issue with longbows being dex based, but not enough to change the rule more than to make longbows versatile.
 


I hate DMs that try and say 'You cant do that because the middle aged accountant at my medieval reenactment group cant do that'. My reply is always (glancing at the Wizard player) 'I bet you that accountant cant shoot lasers out of his fingers, animate the dead and fly either?'

He's going to the wrong medieval reenactment group, then.
 


Xetheral

Three-Headed Sirrush
There are two key factors that influence the length of battles at my table.

First is the size of the battlefield: the more mobile side is often able to choose the battlefield, and usually has an incentive to pick one where they can take advantage of their mobility. This leads to longer fights with lots of movement and dashing. When the more mobile party opts (or is forced) to fight in constrained terrain, the fights go more quickly.

Second is how long it takes the losing side to realize they are overmatched and start trying to withdraw. The longest fights are generally when the overmatched side starts an organized withdrawal (or defiant last stand) early. The shortest are when the overmatched side doesn't realize it in time to attempt an organized withdrawal at all. Routs are hard to predict: if the winning side has an incentive to annihiliate the enemy and sufficent mobility to do so, clean-up can take awhile. If routing the enemy achieves the winning side's objectives, or if the enemy is either unable to flee or too hard to catch, the battle can end immediately when the rout begins.
 

jgsugden

Legend
It is a very flat bell curve around 5 rounds. Very low level combats tend to push shorter as well. However, the combats serve the storyline. The length is a factor of why there is a combat in front of the PCs. There are also those lockdown combats (sleep, hypnotic pattern, etc...) where the length is more a factor of the PCs taking their time to finish off foes.

A small percentage are 1 round combats. The challenge in these is for the PCs to do one or more things quickly, such as silence a guard before they raise an alarm or catch a thief before they escape. I also occasionally through a few goblins at higher level PCs that are in the woods... they never know if it is a cakewalk or a trick. Hint - it is so rarely a trick.

A number are 2 or 3 round combats where the PCs are clearly the superior force, but the enemy is attempting to achieve a task and the PCs need to stop it, or the PCs are the weaker force and need to get in and out of the combat quickly while achieving some goal (push the button, get the treasure, etc...) This length errrrr … also covers those battles with dragons where they recharge their breath weapon twice in a row. That does not end as well for the PCs.

A number are 4 to 6 rounds of combat and present a reasonable challenge to the PCs, generally. The PCs should win with no casualties, but will use up significant resources.

Then there are the 7 to 10 round combats. If a combat lasts this long, the enemy either has great defenses, a bag of hit points or the enemies come in waves. If a combat goes this long, it is often one where PCs need to be efficient to not have any losses.

And then we have the epic battles. These are rarely a surprise to the PCs. They represent an ongoing battle scenario, such as when two armies collide or the PCs need to rush through a Gauntlet. The PCs roll initiative once and do not leave initiative until a goal is achieved or they retreat. One example was a final battle of a campaign where the PCs had to fight their way into a Fortress in Hell in the middle of a Demonic Assault, solve a mystery, and perform a ritual. 63 rounds. A lot of healing magics, rationing of magic, etc... all went into that battle. The wizard used all 22 spells, a bunch of spells with the Staff of the Magi, a dozen scrolls, a huge number of potions, a lot of time battling in different forms (polymorph, shapechange), etc.... and died 2 rounds before the end by using the Retributive Strike of the staff and not getting transported elsewhere - at single digit hit points and surrounded, with the only healer performing a ritual, his only hope for surviving the final battle was to get lucky on the Retributive Strike. Alas...

I run those epic battles rarely. They generally either are: a.) run a gauntlet in a short time (assault or flee), b.) fight your way through warring sides to get to a particular foe, or c.) defend a target from waves of enemy attack.
 

I like some semblance of reality in my games. I call it action movie reality.

You're dealing with fictional superheroes capable of shooting lasers out of their elbows or making pacts with demons, or bringing people back from the dead, or shooting and reloading a crossbow 8 times in a second, or beating a grizzly to death with their bare hands, or poking a Balrog to death with a spear and not breaking a sweat, or getting so angry they can fly, or shapeshifting into elemental forms or wildlife, or becoming good enough at Kung Fu they can enter the Astral plane, or kill a man with they've touched from across the room hours later etc etc.

I mean, that's the baseline for the 'reality' we're speaking of here.
 

Fights tend to be of all lengths, from 1 round to over 10. It skews towards 1-3 round fights with an occasional longer one.

The reason there are a relatively high number of short fights is that we have random encounters, and other insignificant threats that make sense are found in adventures. It's all about world immersion (world exploration, not creating stories, is my usual D&D goal). One thing that I'm sensitive to is trying to make sure that random encounters are somewhat interesting (I spent a ridiculous amount of time making a bunch of interconnected tables to generate them). It can be tricky, and some of the little encounters might seem like wastes of time (small amounts of time, since they are quick). But the presence of those encounters supports and establishes the world, and I think the overall effect of it is positive for the ongoing campaign.

The longest one I've had recently was the fight against the tribe of head hunters in Goodman Game's Isle of Dread. That was satisfying, but it was very long with a couple dozen opponents.

Remember; a Fighter, Barbarian or Ranger can pretty reliably kill a Grizzly bear from around 3rd level onwards, with nothing more than his bare hands. From 5th level, they're all but assured of victory.

That's a good performance benchmark! A list of those by level would be interesting for conceptually placing the power level of warriors. What can a guard, noble, or tribal warrior accomplish, versus a 1st level fighter, 2nd level, etc.

You're dealing with fictional superheroes capable of shooting lasers out of their elbows or making pacts with demons, or bringing people back from the dead, or shooting and reloading a crossbow 8 times in a second, or beating a grizzly to death with their bare hands, or poking a Balrog to death with a spear and not breaking a sweat, or getting so angry they can fly, or shapeshifting into elemental forms or wildlife, or becoming good enough at Kung Fu they can enter the Astral plane, or kill a man with they've touched from across the room hours later etc etc.

I mean, that's the baseline for the 'reality' we're speaking of here.

I think there is merit in D&D's assumptions of a baseline of relatable physics with the supernatural explicitly layered over top of it where it applies (with the ability to play a fighter who doesn't access that supernatural layer).
 

jgsugden

Legend
When it comes to archery ... I have a lot of issues with it's implementation in 5E. Like, yes, you can fire quickly but what's the draw weight? Then that goes back to should strength be required for bows and so on. Standard longbows had draw weights of 120 lbs with some historians estimating 150 to 180 lbs. The strength needed to pull was so great that it deformed the skeletons of archers over time.

But it's D&D. I don't get too caught up in realism as long as it conforms to basic action movie reality.
The idea of dexterity based attacks is accuracy over power. However, there is a bow in a WotC adventure located in a monster description that allows a high strength character to deal 2d6 + your strength modifier as the damage with their bow. If you have a high strength PC (Gauntlets of ogre power), you might use such an oversized bow if you kill this villain.
 

Oofta

Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.
The idea of dexterity based attacks is accuracy over power. However, there is a bow in a WotC adventure located in a monster description that allows a high strength character to deal 2d6 + your strength modifier as the damage with their bow. If you have a high strength PC (Gauntlets of ogre power), you might use such an oversized bow if you kill this villain.

Oh, I get it. I'm even okay with it even if I do disagree. If I were to make a house rule it would probably be that shortbows were dex based and longbows were strength. Or limit bonuses to attack and damage do double your strength modifier.

Instead I just make longbows versatile.
 

Oofta

Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.
You're dealing with fictional superheroes capable of shooting lasers out of their elbows or making pacts with demons, or bringing people back from the dead, or shooting and reloading a crossbow 8 times in a second, or beating a grizzly to death with their bare hands, or poking a Balrog to death with a spear and not breaking a sweat, or getting so angry they can fly, or shapeshifting into elemental forms or wildlife, or becoming good enough at Kung Fu they can enter the Astral plane, or kill a man with they've touched from across the room hours later etc etc.

I mean, that's the baseline for the 'reality' we're speaking of here.

Do you have a point? Any point at all to make, much less one that's at all relevant to anything I've posted or to the topic?

Yes there are magic users and people that have supernatural abilities. On the other hand without magic even at 20th level a fighter isn't superman. Captain America maybe, depending on the version.
 

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