View Full Version : Easy if Handled Properly

2007-03-26, 01:35 PM
The Dungeon Master's Guide calls for a certain percentage of encounters to be easy if properly handled. I'm having a really hard time to think of a way to apply this to my campaign.

In the current situation, I'm using a d100 to randomly select an encounter. I decided to break it up into the sections as defined in the DMG, but I can't think of any encounters that fit this category. I'm starting to wonder if "Handled Properly" means "Roll again". :smalltongue:

I had an idea that I might try to create situations where diplomacy and reason might deter a group of enemies from attacking. Does this seem to fit?

Additionally, I want to try to avoid littering these forums with basic D&D questions, when so much of what's going on here is more advanced. Does anyone know of a forum or IRC channel where these sorts of inquiries would not be so out of place?

2007-03-26, 01:45 PM
Diplomacy would fit, but I think the writers were referring to the use of proper tactics. This can be anything from bringing a heavy chandelier down on the enemies' heads to taking out a commander whose leadership is central to the cohesion of the force under his command to using cone of cold on fire elementals. In other words, plan a normal challenging encounter, but include a serious weakness that can be exploited by the players with a little forethought.

2007-03-26, 01:51 PM
Handled properly effectively means that it's a challenging encounter, but there is an easy way out, and the PC don't automatically know this. If they don't figure it out then they still only get the lower Xp rating.

A good example is one where there is a enemy that could be turned into a friend, and thereby decrease the opposition. Maybe there are some mercenaries that are working with the duke, bolstering his forces. If the PC's convince the Merc leader to withdraw his forces, or better yet, turn against the duke, getting into the Duke's fortress would be much easier.

2007-03-26, 02:38 PM
Enemies with Greater Invisibility, esay if you can dispel/see through it but otherwise very difficult.

Clerics/Spellcasters with the enemies, significantly easier if you deal with them first.

The other day I threw a few goblins at my party; they were on a walkway over an alley. They threw caltrops throughout the alley and fired crossbows.
If the players jumped the caltrops (which is a DC 5, caltrops are awful) or utilized ranged weapons, they were a few easy goblins. If not, they were snipers.

2007-03-26, 11:01 PM
Example encounter, level 4 party:

You: You see a large, hungry-looking wolf on the perimeter of your camp.
Ranger who's on watch: Does it look hostile?
You: It's circling your camp, long strands of drool trailing from its' maw. What do you think?
Ranger: How hungry-looking you talking about, here, anyway?
You: You can clearly see its' ribs from 20 feet off.
Ranger: I take out one of my rations and offer it. Can I roll Wild Empathy now?
You: Sure.
Ranger: *rolls* I got a result of one million. Does it love me?
You: It does. But perhaps you should make a handle animal roll to keep it from swallowing your field mouse companion at this point...
Ranger: *considers* You know, maybe it's time I got an upgrade...

2007-03-26, 11:04 PM
Maybe a Rakshasa? Assuming they still have their crossbow weakness.

Fax Celestis
2007-03-26, 11:11 PM
Easy battles are more from terrain than from monsters.

2007-03-27, 12:04 AM
Something like a bearded devil or two (depending on party size and ability score/HP generation method) summoning 2d10 or 4d10 lemures among and around a 5th level party can be a real problem, unless your cleric drops Holy Storm to clear all the lemures out in a round (and take a nice chunk out of the bearded devils over the, likely short, duration of the encounter).

2007-03-27, 02:12 AM
A trap counts as an 'encounter' of sorts. Failing to check for traps would be improperly handling the encounter.

Moving quietly enough to enter the hobgoblin barracks while they're all asleep.

The party's fighter uses good roleplay to supplement his intimidate check enough that he gets his enemy to surrender.

Breaking open a keg of brandy, letting it flow under a door, then lighting it on fire as soon as the enemy comes to that door. (Not all brandies are alcoholic enough to burn like that, but some are.)

Stuff like that.

2007-03-27, 06:12 AM
Maybe a Rakshasa? Assuming they still have their crossbow weakness.
You mean the big scary tiger thing? Yeah, they cast spells as a high level sorcerer. And have a ridiculous strength score.

2007-03-27, 07:36 AM
the dmg gives a good example encounter: ogres with an invisible cleric healing them during the fight.
mephits provide another one, they only fast heal in certain situations, make it clear to them by describing them healing at one time and not at another, then all they need to do to make the creatures easier to defeat is deny them the environment they need to heal.
easier with some than others admittedly.

2007-03-27, 07:41 AM
One way to understand the whole "Easy if handled properly" is to look at the flip-side of it:
"Only difficult if the players react like a Tarrasque in a china shop"

Lord Lorac Silvanos
2007-03-27, 07:51 AM
Easy battles are more from terrain than from monsters.

This is a very good point.

Imagine meeting a Hydra in a swamp where you movement is severely restricted and you have no flying capabilities or in a dungeon with a fairly low ceiling.

Now, compare that to meeting it in the open where your mobility is not hampered or when the whole party is flying.

The terrain (and flight) makes all the difference.

2007-03-27, 09:50 PM
A troll. You have fireballs and fly, not so bad. Party of fighters, you're in trouble.