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Some suggestions needed for Paragon Encounters

Odysseus

Explorer
The campaign i'm currently Dming has recently entered the paragon tier. And i've noticed I'm not quite challenging the party as much as I was. Part of this I believe is to do with moving into a different Tier of play. The party seem less effected by hit point damage. And the combat duration is alot shorter.
I've tried higher level monsters, but I don't want the encounters to get too deadly or get into combat grind.

So has anybody any advice as how I could make encounted a little more challenging. I'm particulalry interested in ways of adding things onto to an encounter to spice it up. Also bear in mind I already try and make use of terrain. And give the party skill challenges during combat.
 

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malcolm_n

Adventurer
Party survivability getting you down? Already pulling out all the stops you possibly can without overwhelming them? Try PC-Begone, today!

PC-Begone. The handy dandy PC remover that also happens to be the latest craze for overtaxed DMs. Here are 3 easy ways you can use PC-Begone to great effect.

1) Choose a monster that can stun, teleport, or otherwise hinder a defender, and then turn to the party leader or controller with abandon.

2) Set the fight over a dangerous precipice and push PCs into it as regularly as possible (they'll wish they prepared fly instead of stoneskin).

3) Before the fight starts, have the last PC entering the room (usually a controller or leader) get stuck outside. That PC gets to engage in a skill challenge in which others can give up combat actions to help.

Yes, PC-Begone is effective and fun for any DM. Just see all the happy comments we've received from DMs who've effectively applied PC-Begone:

Marc_the_dm: Our party was having way too easy a time at the mid paragon to lower epic tiers. With two leaders in the group, I felt like I could never deal enough damage to take down anybody in the party. With just two coats of PC-begone, I was able to TPK with a bit of focus fire from minions on the same initiative. My party was so happy, one of the leaders actually stopped showing up entirely! Thanks PC-Begone.

PC-Begone. You can find it at any local gaming store, next to the monster manuals and hedge clippers. PC-Begone.


Warning: PC-Begone is not for parties wishing to see all players playing at the same time. It may cause dissolution of party and play experience. In some rare cases, PC-Begone can cause irritation, rash, and throwing of pizza. Consult your physician before using PC-Begone if you have a heart condition, or while taking some steroids. Use as directed, keep out of contact of children.
-----[sblock=PC-Begone]
[/sblock]

But really, it sounds like you're doing everything you can; in our games, tactics played a huge role after heroic tier on both sides of the DM screen. Good luck :)
 
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BobTheNob

First Post
I can assure you I am feeling the same issue. As soon as our party hit paragon, things got alot harder (well, harder to create a good challenge...easier for the players)

Im treating this as a wake up call. To me, alot of the encounters I offered were simply too simplistic, didnt push the players hard enough. I recently had one where the map had 5 designated "weak points" in the floor the players did not know about. One NPC on the map had a standard action that he could acause one of those to collapse, and those on the area plumeted into a large room and had to figure a way into the upper room. The thing I noticed was this greatly reduced the parties power as it broke them up : the artillery section got dumped in a pit, the warlord was stuck between a hole in the floor and some trash npcs, the tanks were in the right place, but with no-one backing them and therefore to little effect and the poor rogue was (yet again) cut off and in seroius trouble (and completely unable to flank).

This is a fairly extreme example and I probably wouldnt be such a nasty again (it was a little harsh) however in doing this I severed the parties very well composed ability to work as a team and came to a conclusion. Its about control and and denying them the nice little "patterns" of situation management they sit back into so comfortably. Throw things at them which will fail if they do the "day to day" means on management.

So, one thing you may try is the enviroment itself. Put in some surprises and see how it works for you.
 

fba827

Adventurer
I think the key concept here is: "Shake things up"

That means from encounter to encounter, as well as mid-encounter, -something- changes to make tactics be different. This can be liberal use of conditions that become more potent after an enemy gets bloodied, or powers/hazards that separate them (or at least block of line of effect with walls and such).

But also make some objectives that focus on things other than simple race of hit points.

(Though it sounds like you may already be doing some of this by the fact that you mention already using terrain/skill challenges during combat)
 

Odysseus

Explorer
Thanks for the ideas and links.
I think what I'll look at doing.
Is to look at different ways I can split the party up, via terrain, skill challange or rp. I have been doing that. But perhaps not often enough.
Review which monsters I'm using. Especially with regard to damage output and conditions.
And look at ways I can change a encounter mid point.
 

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