D&D 5E The Adventuring Day has nothing to do with encounter balance.

jgsugden

Legend
...Your one anecdotal example does not prove a general principal. Neither do mine, so the issue remains open for exploration...
One anecdote does not disprove something generally being true. However, in this instance, my example proves his statement wrong. Read his argument.

We're all open to express our opinions (within the constraints of the message boards). However, that does not mean that a factually false statement should be respected as if it were valid.

A statement that a non-deadly encounter is GOING to be a TEDIOUS SLOG and WILL NOT MATTER (which he stated and then restated) is proven false if anyone can show one example of it not being true - and I can point to a plethora of counter examples from games I've run, games I've played in, games I've observed, Critical Role, Dimension 20, and other situations. Even if you were to say he was just generalizing - it doesn't hold up as it isn't generally true that non-deadly encounters are both tedious slogs and do not matter. Calling them tedious slogs is kind of odd all by itself as these tend to end faster than deadly combats given the relative power advantage ofthe PCs. And if you look at his argument, he openly expresses that he does not understand why you'd have non-deadly encounters (supposing that it is merely to meet a number of combats per day requirement) despite explanations that provide options and merits to different non-deadly encounter options in the posts to which he is responding.

And if you want to go there, I can point to published adventures from Morrus and Enworld that use non-deadly encounters to advance the story and provide alternative challenges other than surviving a threat to life - and do so in a very engaging way.
 

log in or register to remove this ad

billd91

Not your screen monkey (he/him)
One anecdote does not disprove something generally being true. However, in this instance, my example proves his statement wrong. Read his argument.

We're all open to express our opinions (within the constraints of the message boards). However, that does not mean that a factually false statement should be respected as if it were valid.

A statement that a non-deadly encounter is GOING to be a TEDIOUS SLOG and WILL NOT MATTER (which he stated and then restated) is proven false if anyone can show one example of it not being true - and I can point to a plethora of counter examples from games I've run, games I've played in, games I've observed, Critical Role, Dimension 20, and other situations. Even if you were to say he was just generalizing - it doesn't hold up as it isn't generally true that non-deadly encounters are both tedious slogs and do not matter. Calling them tedious slogs is kind of odd all by itself as these tend to end faster than deadly combats given the relative power advantage ofthe PCs. And if you look at his argument, he openly expresses that he does not understand why you'd have non-deadly encounters (supposing that it is merely to meet a number of combats per day requirement) despite explanations that provide options and merits to different non-deadly encounter options in the posts to which he is responding.
You DO understand that tedious slog is an OPINION here? And for him, that may be true. In any event, it's impossible for you to prove it false just because your opinion is different.
 

Enrahim2

Adventurer
You don't need a megadungeon to have attrition matter; I never use classical dungeons and attrition matters all the time when I DM. It just takes a different approach.
No doubt, but I guess you might not folow the encounter encounter boss formula either?

The reason I brought up that is that it not only is almost everywhere in computer games it is also from what I have seen extremely common in published adventures for table top RPGs. As such it was intended to contrast one common pattern where I think it is generally accepted that attrition is essential (and of historic importance), with one pattern where there seem to be strong indications attrition might inded be detrimental to that pattern.

There are of course any number of other patterns that can be employed, and for many of them atrition might be critical. If you were mainly thinking of my secondary rant regarding the more complex systems, i can add that combat with meaning do not exclude combat with attrition as a secondary effect, and that there are ways to generate attrition that is not combat.

Hence I do not advocate for instance removal of attrition, but rather to raise awarness that attrition should never be a goal by itself, but rather be a tool to achieve something. Moreover being aware of situations where presence of attrition is detrimental might inform DMs about when they might want to provide players "cheap" restoration options, like a timeless pocket dimention they can rest one night before facing the big bad boss.
 

ad_hoc

(they/them)
No doubt, but I guess you might not folow the encounter encounter boss formula either?

The reason I brought up that is that it not only is almost everywhere in computer games it is also from what I have seen extremely common in published adventures for table top RPGs. As such it was intended to contrast one common pattern where I think it is generally accepted that attrition is essential (and of historic importance), with one pattern where there seem to be strong indications attrition might inded be detrimental to that pattern.

There are of course any number of other patterns that can be employed, and for many of them atrition might be critical. If you were mainly thinking of my secondary rant regarding the more complex systems, i can add that combat with meaning do not exclude combat with attrition as a secondary effect, and that there are ways to generate attrition that is not combat.

Hence I do not advocate for instance removal of attrition, but rather to raise awarness that attrition should never be a goal by itself, but rather be a tool to achieve something. Moreover being aware of situations where presence of attrition is detrimental might inform DMs about when they might want to provide players "cheap" restoration options, like a timeless pocket dimention they can rest one night before facing the big bad boss.
I only play published adventures and this is not my experience with them at all.

I see all encounters as "story important" because everything at the table is the story.

Random encounters are sometimes the most memorable part of a session.
 

Oofta

Legend
No doubt, but I guess you might not folow the encounter encounter boss formula either?

I don't follow any particular formula. I do what I think makes sense for the ongoing campaign story and what the players enjoy.

The reason I brought up that is that it not only is almost everywhere in computer games it is also from what I have seen extremely common in published adventures for table top RPGs. As such it was intended to contrast one common pattern where I think it is generally accepted that attrition is essential (and of historic importance), with one pattern where there seem to be strong indications attrition might inded be detrimental to that pattern.

There are of course any number of other patterns that can be employed, and for many of them atrition might be critical. If you were mainly thinking of my secondary rant regarding the more complex systems, i can add that combat with meaning do not exclude combat with attrition as a secondary effect, and that there are ways to generate attrition that is not combat.

Hence I do not advocate for instance removal of attrition, but rather to raise awarness that attrition should never be a goal by itself, but rather be a tool to achieve something. Moreover being aware of situations where presence of attrition is detrimental might inform DMs about when they might want to provide players "cheap" restoration options, like a timeless pocket dimention they can rest one night before facing the big bad boss.

There are several goals that are achieved through attrition. Off the top of my head
  1. Balance out class capabilities, the fighter can't keep up with a wizard that goes nova every round at higher levels (although at lower levels they typically excel even then). It's not a perfect solution, but the structure of 4E where everyone had the same AEDU pattern of play just didn't click for a lot of people.
  2. It's a common trope in movies and other fiction, the protagonists must fight their way through wave after wave of enemies before finally facing down the BBEG.
  3. It helps build the tension of the final moment.
  4. It's also about people having to push themselves to their limits, that tension that arises when you're down to your last spell slot or two and if this doesn't work your party will likely fail.
  5. It's about forcing people to think tactically and whether to use their big guns now or wait because you're not sure if you'll need it later.

But not every adventuring day has to be attrition based. Just like not every encounter needs to be a fight to the death. Sometimes I'll set up an encounter and let people know that this is the big fight and they shouldn't hold back. Having to go all out to win can be just as much fun as pushing to the limits over several encounters.

But I guess I don't do "filler" fights just to have fights. They're establishing and reinforcing the overall narrative and advancing the story. If you're going through a forest called "The Really, Really, Bad Evil Wicked Forest Full of Monsters" then you probably should run into a few monsters along the way. Unless of course it's a Scooby-Doo situation where someone just wants scar people off. ;)
 

James Gasik

We don't talk about Pun-Pun
Supporter
Apologies for quoting twice, but I glossed over this at first and have come back to it.

I'm... skeptical, to say the least, about your claims regarding Lolth. I crunched the numbers* and this doesn't add up unless the DM changed things, a lot. So how, exactly, did this level 21 party "stomp all over" Lolth without massively deviating from the expected math?

* I won't bore you with the details unless you want them, TL;DR is "they can only hit her on a crit and she can hit them 100% of the time," with ongoing poisons doing a quarter or more of a typical char's HP.
Was this the infamous Ranger abuses Daily Power so it had to be nerfed incident? I can't remember the name, but there was this Ranger Daily where they could keep shooting until they either A) missed, or B) ran out of arrows. Tactical Warlord attack roll buff basically meant the Ranger fired like 17 times and killed a super powerful enemy; the power got an errata to something like "or until a maximum of 5 attacks".
 

James Gasik

We don't talk about Pun-Pun
Supporter
As an aside, when I was playing a high level character in the Scales of War adventuring path, the DM basically gave up by level 22. We obliterated every solo we came across with action denial and massive damage (ironically, my Ranger was doing most of the denial, as I had a fun combo of "hit enemy = slow, hit slowed enemy = prone" thanks to a few feats and a few powers that let me daze or stun foes -my favorite being a triple hitter Daily- hit once the enemy is slowed (save ends), hit twice, the enemy is also dazed (save ends), hit three times the enemy is also stunned (save ends). One time a solo actually failed the stun save, and that fight was basically OVER.

We once showed up missing two players and had to fight a solo (actually a solo and an elite) that was way overpowered, and was a puzzle boss, where you were meant to weaken it in an ongoing skill challenge. We flubbed all the rolls, powered it up, and...still muddled through and won out of sheer stubbornness.

The only solos that ever really challenged us did so by using their own action denial, or goofy "legendary actions" that gave them multiple turns. The hardest fight we ever faced was actually when we were level 19 and started running into level 21 regular enemies, so the math had us missing more often; once we got our epic destinies, epic weapons and armor and stat buffs, we were fine.

And I say this as someone who really enjoyed my 4e experience- but I'd be lying if I didn't say having more actions than your enemy is worth way more than the enemy having bigger numbers.
 

Stalker0

Legend
So I'm just lying about an edition I don't care about any more. Good to know.

My point is that solos have never worked whether you believe me or not.
With respect, they pulled out the exact stats for the monster and showed that even a super optimized level 21 group would need 20s to hit. That’s just the math.

So did your group have a super buff going or were you all rolling 20s like candy? Because if not, the evidence does suggest it was an altered monster.
 

Stalker0

Legend
Was this the infamous Ranger abuses Daily Power so it had to be nerfed incident? I can't remember the name, but there was this Ranger Daily where they could keep shooting until they either A) missed, or B) ran out of arrows. Tactical Warlord attack roll buff basically meant the Ranger fired like 17 times and killed a super powerful enemy; the power got an errata to something like "or until a maximum of 5 attacks".
Even if it was, again the players should only be hitting on 20s, so that power isn’t going to get a lot of hits off
 

James Gasik

We don't talk about Pun-Pun
Supporter
Even if it was, again the players should only be hitting on 20s, so that power isn’t going to get a lot of hits off
When you're getting a massive hit buff for spending an Action Point in a turn while you've got a Tac Lord in the party, it's probably more like hitting on 15's at that point, and that's not including Dice of Auspicious Fortune, Combat Advantage, or even crazier things like the Eladrin Tactical Warlord Paragon Path that can increase that attack bonus to like +10 for a turn.
 

Remove ads

AD6_gamerati_skyscraper

Remove ads

Upcoming Releases

Top