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ZEITGEIST Zeitgeist with 3 or 4 players?

plancktum

First Post
Hi.

Recently my Group shrinked to 3 or 4 players.
So I've wondered how to easily adjust the combats to a group of 3 or 4 PCs.

I've thought about halve the "monsters" HP or something about giving my players an additional level.

Do some of you have ideas?
 

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Herobizkit

Adventurer
If you're running by-the-book adventures, taking out 1-2 "toughest" monsters from each encounter should be more than enough. Be sure to adjust the xp appropriately.

If you're not already using the average HP of monsters (most stat blocks already do), then do so.

Try to minimize the controlling types of monsters (ones that lock down players with holds, grabs, paralysis, stuns...)

Also, what is your party make-up? Generally, if you have one caster, one heavy armor-wearer, and one skill guy, you're covered. Healers can be less necessary if you include more healing items.
 

plancktum

First Post
I run Zeitgeist by-the-book and altered nothing in the combats. But I found it hard to manage to reduce the number of monsters, because often there are not that many ;) So I've thought about other ways (maybe something like halve hit-points, which also reduce the combat-time) which aren't change the number of monsters.
 

Tukka

Explorer
So far I've run most of Adventures 1 and 2 unaltered for 4 players. For the Cauldron Hill battle I staggered the appearance of the monsters (which I think is what the book suggests, though it's not too specific about how) with the most deadly creature appearing last. Other fights I made more difficult.

Often the party will only face 1 or 2 battles per day, which means they usually have action points and dailies to burn. And most of the encounters aren't too tough, so a moderately optimized party will get by.

With just three players though, I'm not so sure about running the fights unaltered, though. At that point I'd probably start removing monsters, or staggering their appearance, or possibly assign a companion character to the group.

I know a lot of people like to halve hit points to have fights go faster, and I have reduced the hit points on my monsters slightly (but I'm also am slightly increasing their damage), but I think halving goes a bit too far. It means they'll sometimes die in one or two hits, which if the party wins initiative means that a lot of monsters will never even get to use their signature move or make any kind of impression.
 


Blackbrrd

First Post
Reduce the number of opponents. Preferably by reducing it by one normal monster of the party level per player less than 5. Alternatively, you can reduce an elite to a normal mob (half hp, reduce damage/crowd control). If you reduce an elite, do one for every missing player below 5, or if it's an elite, reduce hp and maybe the damage it does, about 20% pr missing player below 5.

The building blocks of 4e encounters are:
Minion 0.25
Normal mob 1
Elite 2
Solo 5

Add up until you get an amount that equals the amount of players you have. Make the encounter harder/easier by increasing the level of the mobs by 1-2. Rarely use mobs higher/lower in level than that, compared to the party.
 

plancktum

First Post
Reduce the number of opponents. Preferably by reducing it by one normal monster of the party level per player less than 5. Alternatively, you can reduce an elite to a normal mob (half hp, reduce damage/crowd control). If you reduce an elite, do one for every missing player below 5, or if it's an elite, reduce hp and maybe the damage it does, about 20% pr missing player below 5.

The building blocks of 4e encounters are:
Minion 0.25
Normal mob 1
Elite 2
Solo 5

Add up until you get an amount that equals the amount of players you have. Make the encounter harder/easier by increasing the level of the mobs by 1-2. Rarely use mobs higher/lower in level than that, compared to the party.
Ok. THe Building Blocks are helpful.

Are you running 4e or PF?
I'm playing 4e.
 

DonTadow

First Post
Monster building will never be an exact science. What I do (and a lot of top DMs) is reduce the hp of the monster by 10hp to 20hp on the fly when an encounter difficulty seems to be above what is stated for a party size. At that point you'll be able to take statistics for your own party of how to rebalance the encounters. Sometimes this may mean adding an extra nad sometimes this may mean not.
 

plancktum

First Post
Monster building will never be an exact science. What I do (and a lot of top DMs) is reduce the hp of the monster by 10hp to 20hp on the fly when an encounter difficulty seems to be above what is stated for a party size. At that point you'll be able to take statistics for your own party of how to rebalance the encounters. Sometimes this may mean adding an extra nad sometimes this may mean not.

That's a really good idea! I like this adaptive stuff! (as in solving differential equation with adaptive runge-kutta algorithms ;) )
 

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