Want to shake things up: Doorways, Scouting, Caution


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Hussar

Legend
As for fighting in doorways, move about a third of your encounters into hallways. The guards are changing shift, the critter is coming back from the midden, whatever.

That tends to solve a lot of problems.
 

jayoungr

Legend
Supporter
As for fighting in doorways, move about a third of your encounters into hallways. The guards are changing shift, the critter is coming back from the midden, whatever.

That tends to solve a lot of problems.
How so? Forgive me if I sound thick, but a fight in a hallway seems functionally the same as a fight in a doorway. There is still a narrow access point where only a couple of enemies will be able to engage a couple of the PCs, while the other PCs hang back safely and make ranged attacks.
 

How so? Forgive me if I sound thick, but a fight in a hallway seems functionally the same as a fight in a doorway. There is still a narrow access point where only a couple of enemies will be able to engage a couple of the PCs, while the other PCs hang back safely and make ranged attacks.

Forgive me if I'm wrong, but in the case of the corridor fight, wouldn't enemies be getting +2 to +5 to their AC due to the cover provided by the doorway and the intervening party allies? That should make it take a while longer to finish off the enemies, while additional units can come from behind or cast AoE spells or retreat, go for reinforcements, etc.
 

SkidAce

Legend
Supporter
... I'd like to find a way to have any other configuration for the battle: either somehow get the PCs to actually enter the room, or ... I dunno, get the monsters into the hallway somehow?

Have the monsters in the hallway, around a corner.

Or half of them outside the room, and then THEY back up and hold the door, while peppering the party with arrows.
 

Prakriti

Hi, I'm a Mindflayer, but don't let that worry you
Has anyone suggested non-dungeon-based adventures yet? There are no doors, rooms, or hallways in a swamp. Put your party in open terrain and see how they fare. With really dense fog, their ranged weapons could become pretty much useless.
 

iserith

Magic Wordsmith
Door Jams. Within five or ten feet of certain distinguishable doorways in this section of the dungeon are pressure plates in the stone floor. When a weight of at least 100 pounds presses down on the pressure plate, a great slab of iron* drops downward from the ceiling with a grating shriek and seals the doorway. The slab remains in place until there is less than 100 pounds of weight upon the pressure plate at which point the slab retracts swiftly into the ceiling.

A pressure plate can be disabled once its inner workings have been deduced given effort, time, and the appropriate tools. A disabled pressure plate will not cause the slab to drop if it is already in the ceiling or will not raise it if it is already blocking the doorway. Failure in the attempt results in the great pressures of the mechanism in the floor and walls to erupt into an explosion of stone and iron. The pressure plate is disabled, but each creature in a 20-foot-radius of the pressure plate must make a DC 15 Dexterity saving throw. A target takes take 4d10 piercing damage on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one. The area becomes difficult terrain.

The numerous denizens of this level of the dungeon have learned to use these doorways both offensively and defensively in their constant struggle over dungeon turf. They say there's a gauntlet of twenty of them at a choke point in the dungeon, a long blood-soaked corridor cast in hellish magical darkness. There in the doorways lurk eight ropers under the thrall of Lord Villainous which have been transmogrified to look like a pile of discolored bricks instead of a cave formation. They also have devil's sight.

* Slabs of iron have AC 19, HP 50, and damage threshold 10. They are immune to poison and psychic and resistant to cold and fire. Trying to bash down a slab of iron is a noisy affair, drawing unwanted attention from all over this level of the dungeon.
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
Supporter
How so? Forgive me if I sound thick, but a fight in a hallway seems functionally the same as a fight in a doorway.

A fight in a hallway is like having not just a fight in a doorway, but a fight in which all people from both sides are in a doorway. Nobody gets to hide out of sight. Everyone is crammed in vulnerable to area of attack spells and abilities....

And, yes, if your bad guys don't have those ranged attacks, this won't work. But if they do, the PCS are vulnerable to them
 

GMMichael

Guide of Modos
Has anyone suggested non-dungeon-based adventures yet?
Erm, my suggestion was NPCs, not NDBs.

. . .a narrow access point where only a couple of enemies will be able to engage a couple of the PCs, while the other PCs hang back safely and make ranged attacks.
This is one of my pet-peeves. You can't close with an enemy while also attacking from range and not expect friendly fire to occur. Yeah, sure, the wizard could target a blast-radius at a high point in the room/hallway, over the heads of friendlies, but please don't tell me that you expect arrows or lightning bolts to safely pass by your allies who are choked up in a choke point.

Everyone is crammed in vulnerable to area of attack spells and abilities....

And, yes, if your bad guys don't have those ranged attacks, this won't work. But if they do, the PCS are vulnerable to them
Thank you. Everyone is vulnerable. Especially the guy directly in front of you, friend or foe.
 

jayoungr

Legend
Supporter
Has anyone suggested non-dungeon-based adventures yet? There are no doors, rooms, or hallways in a swamp. Put your party in open terrain and see how they fare. With really dense fog, their ranged weapons could become pretty much useless.
I run in a variety of settings. But you can't have every adventure in a foggy swamp, and the doorway thing goes way beyond dungeons--just about any type of building is going to lead to the same approach. Even caverns have the equivalent, where the PCs stand at the entry point to the cavern and chuck fireballs into the main cave from there.
 

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