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You can't win this encounter

Ulfgeir

Adventurer
(Knowing nothing about Tianxia) why didn't you recognize when an opponent would require five times your party's strength to be defeated?

ok, the setting is Wuxia-China, kind of. With the kind of kung fu that that entails.. Think "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" but with even more supernatural stuff.

We had not seen the opponent fight earlier, and there was noone else who had either.

The opponent was a demon that had possessed the body of an ancient monk a couple of thousands of years ago. Appearance-wise, well yes he was in prime physical shape, but kind of looked human. He had like 1-2 weeks ago appeared near our town, and the demon had started eating the corpses of the dead. Something we disapproved of. So we tried setting a trap for him. That did not work well.. Appaerently the demon was drawn to the ancient temple that we had found, and started renovating, and he is unfortunately stuck there.

And well, he was not as tough as he had been, as I had taken away the magical weapon he carried earlier. We had kind of scared the demon away during the day earlier. And he had left some of his belongings behind. We were going to fight him during the night, which was a mistake...

The monk was doing whatever he could to keep the demon from going after the living (unless he got attacked). We had with us a demon-hunter (a npc), and she got killed and devoured to the bones in like 1 round before we had time to react.

Getting an army to go up against him would only lead to lots of corpses for him to eat. You need people with Chi-powers and awesome Kung Fu, and magical weapons.
 

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GMMichael

Guide of Modos
ok, the setting is Wuxia-China, kind of. With the kind of kung fu that that entails.. Think "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" but with even more supernatural stuff. . .
The monk was doing whatever he could to keep the demon from going after the living (unless he got attacked). We had with us a demon-hunter (a npc), and she got killed and devoured to the bones in like 1 round before we had time to react.
Huh. I'm seeing scenes of several kung-fu heroes flinging themselves (feet first, of course) at an opponent, only to get knocked back 50 feet into piles of dust and rubble. At which point, the heroes realize, "erm, maybe we should consult and/or recruit the great wise one..." The following scene has all of the heroes wearing bandages and groaning in pain while the wise one mocks their foolishness.

Also, when the "demon-hunter" in my party gets devoured in one round, that's when I go off in search of a Ring of Protection Against Teeth.
 

Ulfgeir

Adventurer
Huh. I'm seeing scenes of several kung-fu heroes flinging themselves (feet first, of course) at an opponent, only to get knocked back 50 feet into piles of dust and rubble. At which point, the heroes realize, "erm, maybe we should consult and/or recruit the great wise one..." The following scene has all of the heroes wearing bandages and groaning in pain while the wise one mocks their foolishness.

Also, when the "demon-hunter" in my party gets devoured in one round, that's when I go off in search of a Ring of Protection Against Teeth.
Heh, didn't quite get to that, but yes, that would have been the appropriate scene. ;)

Only reason we "scared" it away temporarily during the day, was that 2 of the characters had died earlier (actually being assasinated by one of the other characters), but returned to life, and getting a mission by the ancient gods. Nope, people returning from the dead is not normal. Let's put it this way: their auras are like shining beacons to all things that are sensitive to that, and if they are at the same place, it is magnified a lot. The Demon hunter had commented earlier that their auras were WRONG, but she could not say why. And yes, the two dead-now-alive again characters have had words with the assassin, and explained their displeasure of it. He has gotten the message that he messed up Big Time, and are now working with us to make amends.

edit: we are using the rulesystem, for the original game, and then the general gist of the setting, though the GM made his own world and backstory. So basicaly all the 5 groups of characters we have are involved in restoring the old temples and fixing things that have gone really worng over the past 5000+ years, even if we do not know it at the moment.
 

In re # flee, 2 hard, 1 reasonable...
The Hobbit?
Star Wars also seems to follow that mode.

in re fleeing: why have rules?
For the same reasons to have character gen and combat rules: simply narrating it isn't all that fun and/or fair. As to flight from combat specifically? Try you want the character's abilities to matter, you want to have a consistent method for adjudication, and/or because without them the GM's likely to simply use the combat mechanics to adjudicate it (which often proceeds into TPK).
 

rmcoen

Explorer
The issue I see, with these players I've been DMing in one campaign or another for decades, is this:
M: Guys, this looks bad. I think we should flee.
K: Whatever, sure. I'm at half hits.
C: If we flee we don't get XP!
Me: (remember, I give XP for overcoming challenges and moving the story along. Also dead PCs don't get XP.)
C: Okay, yeah, I'm out of spells anyway. Let's go.
M: I move away, and Action = Dash/DoubleMove/Run [depending on edition], and Minor/Bonus/Etc [edition] move again [because he's always the rogue, even when playing a cleric]
K: I run. I'll take the opportunity attack because AC/HP/Barbarian/etc.
C: I cast expeditious retreat / jump / use-my-little-spaceboots and double-move out.
J: I attack it.
(Everyone looks at him in shock and disbelief.)
J: What? Isn't it my turn? What's going on?

So that particular problem aside [*cough* cough attention span], sometimes the issue is what was said a few posts ago: most monsters move at least 30'. There always seems to be a speed 20' or speed 25' character in the group (dwarf/gnome/halfling, heavy armor, exhaustion, whatever), so the speed 180' sprinting tabaxi rogue or the speed 120' retreating mage can run all they like... the monster catches and eats the unsupported dwarf. Which no one wants. So they end up not fleeing. Even though I did "Session 0: sometimes you need to flee", and "You've been gaming with me for decades, you know I don't necessarily make encounters 'winnable'", and generally try to give lead-in clues, using The Worf Effect.
 

S'mon

Legend
the monster catches and eats the unsupported dwarf. Which no one wants. So they end up not fleeing.

You need to validate their choice by TPKing them :p - or maybe they pull off an astounding victory. But maybe after losing the whole party a few times you'll start to see more sensible behaviour.

Personally I think it's great playing the doomed dwarf and getting to say:

"Och, I'll hold 'em off, ye lot get on outta here! Tell Thorfina I love her!" loads crossbow
 

Snarf Zagyg

Notorious Liquefactionist
But how would you subtly let your players know they're in over their heads.

You kill their characters.

....I mean, once bitten, twice shy and all that. But it's not like the campaign setting is some sort of "gated videogame," wherein they should only expect level-appropriate challenges. Exercise caution. Never attack without sizing up the opponents first. And try to have an escape plan.

Tell you what- a TPK can be a great learning experience.
 

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