D&D General Should D&D Be "Hard"

Remathilis

Legend
I'm still not sure how you are making the leap here. "Beyond Deadly" is a way of categorizing the potential outcome of the fight. It doesn't say anything about other potential solutions. For example, you don't adjust the CR of an encounter (which is based entirely upon the relative power of the creature versus the party in combat) because the PCs come up with a clever non-combat solution. "Beyond Deadly" is just a way of saying APL +10 or whatever. it is informative, not prescriptive.
The game already advises you if a fight is beyond what a PC can manage. What else do you need?
 

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I think it's fair to point out that you can categorize encounters under the three pillars: combat, social and exploration. You might be very capable of killing a CR 1/8 Noble, but convincing him to help you might be a very difficult social encounter. You can't fight or talk your way out of a snowstorm; you can only use skills and such to survive it.

So going back to the Hydra: it's given you can't survive combat against it. Can you talk to it? Can you sneak around it or otherwise circumvent it? If yes, what's the difficulty level of those other options. If you can't talk to it (it will ignore you and attack) or circumvent it (it will notice you and attack) you're back to the wall.

Which again defeats the idea of a "beyond deadly" encounter range. You might not survive combat, but there should be a solution in one of the other columns that is applicable. If they are all above deadly, then you have the War Games scenario: the only winning move is not to play.

How about a nice game of chess?
I don't really disagree but there is a difference between "the thing you cannot fight" and "the thing that will kill you." You're absolutely correct that there's no reason to crank an encounter to the "Deadly+" or equivalent on every axis. That does seem like an indicator not to play the game, Dr. Falken.
 


Lanefan

Victoria Rules
The category above deadly is "non-encounter".

What's the encounter category of a brick wall? You either avoid it, circumvent it or leave. What is the encounter category of a blizzard? You either escape, avoid, or die. You're not beating either in combat. If the fight can't be won, it's not really a fight.
Ah - now I get it: you're directly equating "encounter" with "fight". False equivalence.

Not every encounter has to be a fight. Get through the town gate guards? Encounter yes, fight no. Meet a sphinx when you're only 2nd level? Encounter yes, fight (I hope!) no. Etc.
 


Remathilis

Legend
Ah - now I get it: you're directly equating "encounter" with "fight". False equivalence.

Not every encounter has to be a fight. Get through the town gate guards? Encounter yes, fight no. Meet a sphinx when you're only 2nd level? Encounter yes, fight (I hope!) no. Etc.
Not fight, but win.

I used the example later, but if an encounter is against a monster I cannot possibly fight in combat (barring fluke dice) then it needs a vector that I can win at. If fighting it is a deadly+ challenge, talking to it should be a reasonable one. If you can't talk and you can't fight, then its perception score better be low enough for me to sneak past. If I can't fight, sneak or talk, then it's not an encounter, it's just a wall blocking my progress.
 

Reynard

Legend
It's avoiding interacting with them. And I personally find the mode where this is what you're usually supposed to do avoiding engaging with the game at all.
I think that is even more reductive than what has been presented already. tension and drama can come from fear of a fight, too.
 

billd91

Not your screen monkey (he/him)
Not fight, but win.

I used the example later, but if an encounter is against a monster I cannot possibly fight in combat (barring fluke dice) then it needs a vector that I can win at. If fighting it is a deadly+ challenge, talking to it should be a reasonable one. If you can't talk and you can't fight, then its perception score better be low enough for me to sneak past. If I can't fight, sneak or talk, then it's not an encounter, it's just a wall blocking my progress.
I don't think "win" is an ideal connotation either. And it may be an entirely reasonable blockage of progress in that particular direction... for now. Not all encounters need to be "won" on the initial meeting.
 

Reynard

Legend
Not fight, but win.

I used the example later, but if an encounter is against a monster I cannot possibly fight in combat (barring fluke dice) then it needs a vector that I can win at. If fighting it is a deadly+ challenge, talking to it should be a reasonable one. If you can't talk and you can't fight, then its perception score better be low enough for me to sneak past. If I can't fight, sneak or talk, then it's not an encounter, it's just a wall blocking my progress.
Why are you still asserting that the presumption was no talking or running or sneaking past? That was never a stipulation.
 


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