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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    ClericGuy

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    Default How to make combat a little bit faster.

    Hello guys and girls...

    Many people complain that combat takes way too long in 4e. I tried to find the reasoning behind those complains and I think I have discovered that combat in 4e takes too long mostly for three reasons:

    - Reason A: Creatures have way too many hp.
    - Reason B: Creatures have way too high defenses.
    - Reason C: Creatures deal way too low damage.

    Because of these 3 reasons, I came up with the following idea:

    Before each attack, every creature (either PC, NPC or monster) can lose an X amount of its hp and gain an X bonus to its next attack roll or its next damage roll (X can be equal to the creature's level or lower than that but not negative). It is a simple, quick and dirty way to make creatures lose hp faster, bypass high defenses, deal more damage and (mostly for PCs) to use healing surges more often.
    Post if you wish to ask about Ruins & Raiders. I do not answer to PMs anymore.

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Default Re: How to make combat a little bit faster.

    Easiest way to speed things up is to give any player finishing their turn in X time(approximately a minute is good), a +2 to their next attack roll.

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    Beholder

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    Default Re: How to make combat a little bit faster.

    Use more minions that you create yourself, and use them with leaders that, for example, allow the minion a saving throw to avoid damage.

    I find building my own monsters is the best way to make combats run faster, that and making sure the more cognitively challenged players are running the martial eClasses.
    Cheers
    Scrivener of Doom

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Orc in the Playground
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    Default Re: How to make combat a little bit faster.

    <sarcasm>
    Forbid anyone playing a defender or leader or controller. They will only do useless things such as preventing damage (combat lasts longer), healing damage (combat lasts even longer!!!) or, well whatever it is that controllers do! (EVEN LONGER!)
    </sarcasm>

    Id like to raise the following points:

    - Combat in 4E is already the fastest of any edititon. I, as a GM, could easily scram two fights into an evening with 4e, whereas D&D 5e takes quite a bit longer to resolve.

    - Combat is a huge part of the game, as with any Wargaming RPG such as D&D is. If you can make rules to make it more enjoyable, good on you, however, cramming in house rules to make it faster seems weird to me.
    ->>>>>Especially with how healing surges and health pools work, Defenders benefit from the exchange of health to damage more than a striker does. I really dont like that rule. Also strikers gain a lower percent increase on their damage than defender, leaders, controllers. And how does that rule interact with AOE abilities? If each target of the AOE receives the extra damage Or to hit bonusses, say goodbye to single target strikers.

    - If you feel combat is a chore, maybe D&D 4e isnt the system you want to run. Take a look at numenera/cypher system. It cuts out rolling for the GM completely and only relies on player rolls. Combat is the fastest of any system I have experienced ever.

    Quote Originally Posted by MwaO View Post
    Easiest way to speed things up is to give any player finishing their turn in X time(approximately a minute is good), a +2 to their next attack roll.
    Mileage varies from group to group. I have an ADD player in one of my groups. When I put the lowest amount of time pressure on him, hes freaking out, making the evening less enjoyable for everyone.
    Last edited by Angelmaker; 2020-10-23 at 10:47 AM.

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: How to make combat a little bit faster.

    Quote Originally Posted by ScrivenerofDoom View Post
    Use more minions that you create yourself, and use them with leaders that, for example, allow the minion a saving throw to avoid damage.

    I find building my own monsters is the best way to make combats run faster, that and making sure the more cognitively challenged players are running the martial eClasses.

    Eh, minions are variable. Speeds up combat if you've got Sorcerers or Controllers in your party, but if your party is heavy on single target PCs, they slow it down.

    I'll note that I posted a solution in the other thread- grant PCs free Versatile Expertise, Improved Defenses, and 1 damage/2 levels and remove item/feat bonuses to damage and dragonshards from the game. In other words: instead of fancy solutions to fix things for players who aren't interested in baseline optimization, just build the baseline into their characters.

  6. - Top - End - #6
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    ClericGuy

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    Default Re: How to make combat a little bit faster.

    Quote Originally Posted by Angelmaker View Post

    I´d like to raise the following points:

    - Combat in 4E is already the fastest of any edititon. I, as a GM, could easily scram two fights into an evening with 4e, whereas D&D 5e takes quite a bit longer to resolve.

    - Combat is a huge part of the game, as with any Wargaming RPG such as D&D is. If you can make rules to make it more enjoyable, good on you, however, cramming in house rules to make it faster seems weird to me.
    ->>>>>Especially with how healing surges and health pools work, Defenders benefit from the exchange of health to damage more than a striker does. I really don´t like that rule. Also strikers gain a lower percent increase on their damage than defender, leaders, controllers. And how does that rule interact with AOE abilities? If each target of the AOE receives the extra damage Or to hit bonusses, say goodbye to single target strikers.

    - If you feel combat is a chore, maybe D&D 4e isn´t the system you want to run. Take a look at numenera/cypher system. It cuts out rolling for the GM completely and only relies on player rolls. Combat is the fastest of any system I have experienced ever.
    No need for sarcasm, Angelmaker; I actually agree with you that DnD 4th is the fastest dnd combat, but I want to make it even faster (and maybe more appealing to players of other dnd editions too). In my experience, I find that most people compare low level 3.5th edition and 5th edition combat with high level 4th edition combat but never the opposite. Anyway, back on topic...

    Let me clear up a little bit more how the rule is supposed to work:

    - It is a free action.
    - It affects a single target (Target: one creature). That means you lower the hp of yourself, you gain the attack bonus against only a single target or you gain the damage bonus against only a single target.
    - You can drop below zero hp by using this ability (not 100% sure about this).

    Indeed the defender gets more due to having more healing surges than the striker but if that is an issue then it is still an issue imho even without my houserule...
    Post if you wish to ask about Ruins & Raiders. I do not answer to PMs anymore.

  7. - Top - End - #7
    Orc in the Playground
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    Default Re: How to make combat a little bit faster.

    Hi, sorry. The sarcasm tags were intended for comedic purposes, nothing else. I need to get better at this :}

    Regarding your homebrew rule: It DOES sound like effort in the Cypher system. You can drain your own pools in order to achieve greater successes. Except there its already inbuilt in the system and applies to everything, including skills.

    I still dont particularly like the rule. Most players, I think, would rather just go for a +10( if level 10) hit on their daily powers to make sure they land and ignore it for most other purposes. Obviously you know your players better, but this is how I feel about it. I certainly dont care as much to add +10 damage to a 1[W] power with a high chance to miss, whereas making sure my 4[w] daily + rider effect power lands with a +10 to hit sounds delicious.

    So, will it make combat quicker: I guess. Are there better ways: I think so.

    Like, I guess youve already researched this, so are you using monsters from the later monster books? I think someone calculated that the first monster books have broken math behind them, making them just big chunks of HP and there are corrected formulas out there.

  8. - Top - End - #8
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    ClericGuy

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    Default Re: How to make combat a little bit faster.

    Quote Originally Posted by Angelmaker View Post
    Hi, sorry. The sarcasm tags were intended for comedic purposes, nothing else. I need to get better at this :}

    Regarding your homebrew rule: It DOES sound like effort in the Cypher system. You can drain your own pools in order to achieve greater successes. Except there it´s already inbuilt in the system and applies to everything, including skills.

    I still don´t particularly like the rule. Most players, I think, would rather just go for a +10( if level 10) hit on their daily powers to make sure they land and ignore it for most other purposes. Obviously you know your players better, but this is how I feel about it. I certainly don´t care as much to add +10 damage to a 1[W] power with a high chance to miss, whereas making sure my 4[w] daily + rider effect power lands with a +10 to hit sounds delicious.

    So, will it make combat quicker: I guess. Are there better ways: I think so.

    Like, I guess you´ve already researched this, so are you using monsters from the later monster books? I think someone calculated that the first monster books have broken math behind them, making them just big chunks of HP and there are corrected formulas out there.
    Your sarcasm was clever actually, I just wasn't sure if I had unintentionally offended you somehow and you used sarcasm or it was just harmless humor. I guess it was the second. :D

    Personally, if I played with my rule on the table, I would use the X extra damage along with those powers that still deal half damage on a miss. Also, they seem like a good choice to co-op with your team and drop a dangerous Elite or Solo quicker than normal. My point is that the X extra damage has its fair amount of uses too.
    The X extra attack could be also useful to increase your attack especially against Soldiers in almost every attack against them.

    I used to use MM1 monsters most of the time but I also included MM2 monsters as well as monsters from other books (MM3 is one of them but I am not 100% sure). Before I stopped playing for real-life reasons, I was mostly making homebrew monsters by relying to DM's Guide 1 and 2 guidelines as well as my own experience. Unfortunately, I came up with this rule at the end of my DM career and not earlier. :(
    Post if you wish to ask about Ruins & Raiders. I do not answer to PMs anymore.

  9. - Top - End - #9
    Orc in the Playground
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    Default Re: How to make combat a little bit faster.

    In my experience with combat taking a long time, it's rarely been because of those numbers (although that 16 str halfling battlerager with an axe before Expertise was a thing did start to really suffer as we started to approach paragon tier) and almost entirely because people take forever to execute their turns. For some of those players, I feel like your houserule would actually slow down combat even more, as their options multiply. I can see it working well if your table is more easy-going with their choices, though.

    It will shift the relative values of various options, both build-wise and tactical, though. Things that extend your HP supply (regen, temp HP, etc.) becomes more valuable because it's also an offensive resource, to-hit and damage bonuses become less necessary since you can make up for it. Thinking about it like that, I kinda like it, honestly. I think it's more interesting as a 1/round thing or so, though, because that closes the gap a little between multiattackers and non-multiattackers. Of course, if the goal is just to speed up combat as much as possible, you just want a bunch of rangers and a lot of surgeless healing...

  10. - Top - End - #10
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    ClericGuy

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    Default Re: How to make combat a little bit faster.

    Quote Originally Posted by Waddacku View Post
    For some of those players, I feel like your houserule would actually slow down combat even more, as their options multiply.
    First of all, thanks for your positive reply. Second of all, I think it won't slow them down for the same reason our ranger in my party just ignored all his other exploits to focus just on a single one that was very effective at combat; that was called Twin Strike. With this new rule, almost every at-will power of every class has the potential to become a "Twin Strike" (for a cost of course). Think about it... all those people who just don't want to mess with dozens of powers and abilities can finally focus on their at-wills and be relatively effective at combat regardless of their class. Of course, they will never reach the level of effectiveness of the more sophisticated 4th edition players but they will probably be able to stand their ground and deliver either blows that (almost) always hit or that (almost) always deal tons of damage. And all this just with their at-wills.
    Post if you wish to ask about Ruins & Raiders. I do not answer to PMs anymore.

  11. - Top - End - #11
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    Kurald Galain's Avatar

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    Default Re: How to make combat a little bit faster.

    Quote Originally Posted by ARTHAN View Post
    Many people complain that combat takes way too long in 4e. I tried to find the reasoning behind those complains and I think I have discovered that combat in 4e takes too long mostly for three reasons:
    Reason D: fiddly little modifiers.

    Try banning powers or feats that do little situational bonuses, so players don't get attacks like "That's 15 vs his reflex, but 16 if he's bloodied, but 17 if I'm bloodied, but 18 if I'm adjacent to the leader, but 19 if it's tuesday" that they have to recalculate each turn. There are a ton of feats and items (especially) that do this, and most of them aren't particularly good or interesting and just slow down gameplay. Ban them all and see how that goes.
    Guide to the Magus, the Pathfinder Gish class.

    "I would really like to see a game made by Obryn, Kurald Galain, and Knaight from these forums. I'm not joking one bit. I would buy the hell out of that." -- ChubbyRain
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  12. - Top - End - #12
    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: How to make combat a little bit faster.

    Quote Originally Posted by ARTHAN View Post

    I used to use MM1 monsters most of the time but I also included MM2 monsters as well as monsters from other books (MM3 is one of them but I am not 100% sure). Before I stopped playing for real-life reasons, I was mostly making homebrew monsters by relying to DM's Guide 1 and 2 guidelines as well as my own experience. Unfortunately, I came up with this rule at the end of my DM career and not earlier. :(
    This is a big part of your problem. MM1 and 2 used bad math, and thats true of DMG1 (and I believe 2) as well. MM3, Monster Vault 1 and 2, adventures and splatbooks printed post MM3, and to some degree Dark Sun use the proper math, which reduces monster defenses in some cases and increases damage. Most of the MM1 and 2 monsters were reprinted in MV1 or elsewhere with the correct math.

    The correct math can be found here: https://slyflourish.com/master_dm_sheet.pdf and here http://blogofholding.com/wp-content/...inessfront.gif.

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    Titan in the Playground
     
    Lizardfolk

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    Default Re: How to make combat a little bit faster.

    Quote Originally Posted by ARTHAN View Post
    Hello guys and girls...

    Many people complain that combat takes way too long in 4e. I tried to find the reasoning behind those complains and I think I have discovered that combat in 4e takes too long mostly for three reasons:

    - Reason A: Creatures have way too many hp.
    - Reason B: Creatures have way too high defenses.
    - Reason C: Creatures deal way too low damage.

    Because of these 3 reasons, I came up with the following idea:

    Before each attack, every creature (either PC, NPC or monster) can lose an X amount of its hp and gain an X bonus to its next attack roll or its next damage roll (X can be equal to the creature's level or lower than that but not negative). It is a simple, quick and dirty way to make creatures lose hp faster, bypass high defenses, deal more damage and (mostly for PCs) to use healing surges more often.
    An even easier way is to use morale rules. If an elite dies all minions immediately flee or cower, once half of the none-minions die the rest flee or surrender. Combat is way swingier in RL than in fantasy because people do not, as a rule, fight to the death. 1/10 losses is considered crippling rout levels.
    Quote Originally Posted by The Glyphstone View Post
    Vibranium: If it was on the periodic table, its chemical symbol would be "Bs".

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    Orc in the Playground
     
    BardGuy

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    Default Re: How to make combat a little bit faster.

    Quote Originally Posted by Angelmaker View Post
    - Combat in 4E is already the fastest of any edititon. I, as a GM, could easily scram two fights into an evening with 4e, whereas D&D 5e takes quite a bit longer to resolve.
    I'm going to have to respectfully disagree. I've not played 5th ed so hold no opinion on that. But 4th ed at low levels is *much* slower than 1st or 2nd ed and I'd say generally slower than 3rd ed as well.
    A party where everyone's down if they get 3 arrows from the goblins and each goblin is lucky to still be up after 1 hit and mostly we just roll a hit roll and a damage roll is a short fight. Later fights have instakill spells hitting and that also shortens them**

    Having some players using the simpler classes would help (especially those who think more slowly or are less organised when their turn rolls around*). But those same classes tend not to hit as hard from what I read on optimisation sites, so each round is quicker but you have more rounds.


    * yes, I am very carefully not being disrespectful to those with who can't do these things. I've been through roleplaying while caring for small kids, in illness and with people who are not neurotypical. We all have stuff going on some times

    ** No, instakill spells being out of balance with fighters is not a good thing. But "Save or die" is fast
    I love playing in a party with a couple of power-gamers, it frees me up to be Elan!


  15. - Top - End - #15
    Halfling in the Playground
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    Default Re: How to make combat a little bit faster.

    Longest fighting encounters I have ever played in were in 4th ed. I ( the GM ) added what seemed an appropriate # of minions for the guard duty for the structure the PC's were sneaking into. Sneaking turned to fighting. The party of 5 PCs fought 3 main Lieutenants who each had a 5 group minion squad. There was a choke point involved. They killed 3 things every round at first, they used various abilities. But it took 11 combat rounds to down everything. It took 3 full real life hours due to everyone choosing their powers and attacking multiple times. The HP of the lieutenants was too high. Each one had over 250 hp. So in total it was just over 750 hp for the party to chew through and they were not able to single target burn down the bad guys. By the end it was just i use the same at will again.

    The GM took too long per turn because I had 18 things to move on a battle map. 12 attacks to make. Abilities on the LT to choose from, etc.
    The fight turned into a boring repeat slug fest after round 4 because a bunch of powers were used up and at wills were being used.

    Lots of modifies were never an issue. Bloodied/not was never an issue. It comes down to I hit it again with the same power.


    To fix.
    Lower HP on LT - avoid a boring slug fest. Huge box of HP with little ability isn't fun. And after 3 rounds of combat that is what the game turns into.
    Fewer minions. GM moves faster and has less rolling to do.


    Encounter 2 - purple wurm
    I was a player this time. It was just a solo giant box of HP. When it was finally blooded it could swallow whole 1 person who is pretty much out of the fight. Other than that it was over 1000 hp of bite PC, PC turn, PC turn, PC turn, bite ( maybe move a bit), PCPCPC, bite, PCPCPC. Repeat that FOR LIKE 2 hours. There was no choice, no finesse, no tactics. We surrounded it in round 1 and beat it over the course of 2 hours. So boring.
    Last edited by gijoemike; 2020-10-28 at 02:57 PM.

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    Kurald Galain's Avatar

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    Default Re: How to make combat a little bit faster.

    Quote Originally Posted by gijoemike View Post
    it was over 1000 hp of bite PC, PC turn, PC turn, PC turn, bite ( maybe move a bit), PCPCPC, bite, PCPCPC. Repeat that FOR LIKE 2 hours. There was no choice, no finesse, no tactics. We surrounded it in round 1 and beat it over the course of 2 hours. So boring.
    Right. One thing DMs should learn in 4E is to call off combat once the outcome is obvious. Usually after three or four rounds it is clear who's going to win; unsurprisingly, this is also when both sides probably don't have any more tricks up their sleeve (i.e. no encounter powers left).

    Almost always, by this point the PCs will have won, so the DM should wrap up the battle and declare victory. Rarely, it'll be clear by this point that the PCs are not going to win this, so the DM should make that very obvious and tell the PCs to run away and regroup.

    Slogging it out for another our is boring to all involved.
    Guide to the Magus, the Pathfinder Gish class.

    "I would really like to see a game made by Obryn, Kurald Galain, and Knaight from these forums. I'm not joking one bit. I would buy the hell out of that." -- ChubbyRain
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  17. - Top - End - #17
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    RangerGuy

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    Default Re: How to make combat a little bit faster.

    Quote Originally Posted by gijoemike View Post
    Longest fighting encounters I have ever played in were in 4th ed. I ( the GM ) added what seemed an appropriate # of minions for the guard duty for the structure the PC's were sneaking into. Sneaking turned to fighting. The party of 5 PCs fought 3 main Lieutenants who each had a 5 group minion squad. There was a choke point involved. They killed 3 things every round at first, they used various abilities. But it took 11 combat rounds to down everything. It took 3 full real life hours due to everyone choosing their powers and attacking multiple times. The HP of the lieutenants was too high. Each one had over 250 hp. So in total it was just over 750 hp for the party to chew through and they were not able to single target burn down the bad guys. By the end it was just i use the same at will again.

    The GM took too long per turn because I had 18 things to move on a battle map. 12 attacks to make. Abilities on the LT to choose from, etc.
    The fight turned into a boring repeat slug fest after round 4 because a bunch of powers were used up and at wills were being used.

    Lots of modifies were never an issue. Bloodied/not was never an issue. It comes down to I hit it again with the same power.


    To fix.
    Lower HP on LT - avoid a boring slug fest. Huge box of HP with little ability isn't fun. And after 3 rounds of combat that is what the game turns into.
    Fewer minions. GM moves faster and has less rolling to do.


    Encounter 2 - purple wurm
    I was a player this time. It was just a solo giant box of HP. When it was finally blooded it could swallow whole 1 person who is pretty much out of the fight. Other than that it was over 1000 hp of bite PC, PC turn, PC turn, PC turn, bite ( maybe move a bit), PCPCPC, bite, PCPCPC. Repeat that FOR LIKE 2 hours. There was no choice, no finesse, no tactics. We surrounded it in round 1 and beat it over the course of 2 hours. So boring.
    The Purple Worm is also a banner case for the differences between early and late monster design. Taking for example the "Purple Worm" from MM1 (Level 16 Soldier Solo). It has its swallow trick, and a basic attack for 2d8+7 (that's an average of 16, by level 12 when you could start seeing this even a CON 10 Wizard PC will have 64 HP)

    The Monster Vault version is a level 14 Brute Solo, bites for 4d8+8 (average of 26), has 2 minor action attack powers (that do real damage - 3d10+8 and 2d8+ongoing 15), and a triggered action attack (that can hit 2 targets for 3d12+5). Oh, and it frenzies and gets an extra minor action when its bloodied (see those minor action attack powers again). Oh, and half these powers shove enemies around pretty substantial distances.

    Oh right, and 780 HP (MM version) vs 560 (MV).

    I wonder which will be a more exciting fight?

  18. - Top - End - #18
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    Chimera

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    Default Re: How to make combat a little bit faster.

    One thing that I tried and found good, is to pre-generate some d20 rolls. Each player gets their pre-made list and decide what actions to do. Often they'll do multiple attack rolls. They'll just mark rolls off and calculate the result ready to tell the DM. They can also roll damage in the same way, but that matters less.
    While it may feel gimiky to let people plan a big attack when they know they'll roll a 20, but let's face it. The team is going to win anyways. This way they'll get to spend it doing something awesome rather than it boosting some melee basic attack.

  19. - Top - End - #19
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    ClericGuy

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    Default Re: How to make combat a little bit faster.

    I will try to answer to all of you as well as I can.

    @Kurald Galain:
    See my other thread about "reworking bonuses". I think you will find it interesting...

    @masteraleph:
    Indeed that is a big part of my problem (the fact that I use MM1 and MM2 the most) but my rule will allow me to use these books instead of just throwing them to the trash bin if you know what I mean. Moreover, most people logically own the first three core rulebooks (PHB1, DMG1, MM1) and not the rest, so we have to find a way to apply some minor "fixes" to the game here and there in order to make the game enjoyable to people who use those books the most.

    @Tvtyrant:
    Morale rules are good and I have sometimes used them in the past.

    @Duff:
    I find 4th edition heroic tier combat faster than "heroic" tier combat of 3.5th or 5th editions, mostly because combat rules in 4th edition are clear while I find the books of the others editions a little bit messy, especially with the spells, but that probably is just me and my players. Of course, if you just create a party of fighters in 3.5th or 5th, its combat is faster than 4th. But if you include spellcasters, then it is the opposite imho. But your explanation is fair and square and I accept it as a fair opinion; but I will just keep mine opinion.

    @gijoemike:
    I think that, since both players and monsters can and will also use my trade-X-hp-for-X-attack-or-X-damage combat rule, encounters like those you described won't drag for too long ever again, not with my rule on the table. Or at least let's hope so. :P

    @Diego:
    I think that, with my rule on the table, both fights can be interesting because of the hp trading for damage. Of course, MV's will have more tricks and I cannot beat that, but hey, with just a simple rule I can make MM1's purple worm more interesting as well as more competitive. It is far from perfect but it is also far from throwing MM1 to the trash bin, if you know what I mean.

    @Borg286:
    Your rule is interesting! I was thinking of something somewhat similar (if I understood your rule correctly) but it reduced the luck factor way too much so I left the idea.
    Post if you wish to ask about Ruins & Raiders. I do not answer to PMs anymore.

  20. - Top - End - #20
    Orc in the Playground
     
    BardGuy

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    Default Re: How to make combat a little bit faster.

    Quote Originally Posted by Diego View Post
    The Purple Worm is also a banner case for the differences between early and late monster design. Taking for example the "Purple Worm" from MM1 (Level 16 Soldier Solo). It has its swallow trick, and a basic attack for 2d8+7 (that's an average of 16, by level 12 when you could start seeing this even a CON 10 Wizard PC will have 64 HP)

    The Monster Vault version is a level 14 Brute Solo, bites for 4d8+8 (average of 26), has 2 minor action attack powers (that do real damage - 3d10+8 and 2d8+ongoing 15), and a triggered action attack (that can hit 2 targets for 3d12+5). Oh, and it frenzies and gets an extra minor action when its bloodied (see those minor action attack powers again). Oh, and half these powers shove enemies around pretty substantial distances.

    Oh right, and 780 HP (MM version) vs 560 (MV).

    I wonder which will be a more exciting fight?
    The later one is clearly more exciting, but not necessarily faster.
    - The monster's extra actions means the DMs turn takes longer, the triggered attack both takes time to administer and adds to the player's thinking time as they have to include the risk of triggering it in their own (and sometimes other people's) decision making. Is it worth my fighter triggering the reaction if that will free up my rogue to do what they want without risking it?
    - And the ongoing damage - save ends? So that's a save or 3 most turns by players. Something more to remember, something more to do, something more which might trigger feats or powers and something more for the leader to decide if they need to fix

    I think a significant part of the reason fights took so long is the high number of ongoing effects and the range of rules for when they end - end of my turn, end of your turn, end of next turn or save at the end of the turn.

    All of that makes for fights which are interesting. If you like tactical boardgames, this is the edition for you - it's quite good for that.
    But I think you could halve HP even on the later monsters and still have enough of that (with character HP reduced too).
    I love playing in a party with a couple of power-gamers, it frees me up to be Elan!


  21. - Top - End - #21
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    ClericGuy

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    Default Re: How to make combat a little bit faster.

    Quote Originally Posted by Duff View Post
    I think a significant part of the reason fights took so long is the high number of ongoing effects and the range of rules for when they end - end of my turn, end of your turn, end of next turn or save at the end of the turn.

    All of that makes for fights which are interesting. If you like tactical boardgames, this is the edition for you - it's quite good for that.
    But I think you could halve HP even on the later monsters and still have enough of that (with character HP reduced too).
    It is true that the ongoing effects (blinded, dazed, stunned etc.) as well as regeneration or ongoing damage make fights last longer because they make you track a lot of things. But, since that is what makes 4th edition interesting (along with a couple of other things) I think it is a fair trade for the players' free time as well as the DM's. On the other hand, the low damage, low attack and high hp combo does not offer something unique to the game and that is what I try to eliminate with my rule.

    Halving HP of everything is a somewhat good solution but it just solves one thing (high hp) and leaves the other two issues (low damage, low attack) unanswered. That's why I insist so much on my rule; it answers all 3 issues.

    Another "hidden" advantage of my rule is that it allows for a greater variety of combat encounters. The ability to add X attack bonus (X=your lvl) for an X hp cost can allow low level creatures to strike beings of a much higher level with something other than a natural 20. Here are some encounter examples that are a big NO right now and can become a big YES with my rule:

    1) A dozen of low-level standard monsters that their attack is too low to threaten the party. (normally, the party will win with ease but, with my rule, the monsters just have to trade their max hp possible for max attack in order to have a fair chance to win this fight)

    2) High-level minions that their defenses are too high to be reached by the party. (normally, the party has no chance but, with my rule, they just have to trade their max hp possible for max attack in order to just hit the minions)
    Post if you wish to ask about Ruins & Raiders. I do not answer to PMs anymore.

  22. - Top - End - #22
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    ClericGuy

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    Default Re: How to make combat a little bit faster.

    If I think that an early MM monster is likely to slow the game down too much (too many hp for example), I find it's pretty easy to modify them to line up to the new math. Taking a couple of minutes before the combat as the DM to do this change before the combat can be easily made up in the time it takes to run the encounter. As the DM you can do this in advance of the session for most combats, but if the players go off plan, it is fast enough you could do it while people take a bathroom or snack break.

    I'm not really a fan of your rule, but I will admit it does address the issues that you set out to deal with. My problems with it are the same as others have mentioned. You've added another choice for players and DM both for every attack. At my table, pausing to make choices slow the game down rather than speed it up. You're also reducing the randomness that makes the game fun. If I really need an attack to hit, it isn't hard to spend enough hp to make it almost automatic. While that has a cost, as you go up in levels it gets less and less painful to pay, and you have full control over paying it.

  23. - Top - End - #23
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    ClericGuy

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    Default Re: How to make combat a little bit faster.

    Quote Originally Posted by dariathalon View Post
    If I think that an early MM monster is likely to slow the game down too much (too many hp for example), I find it's pretty easy to modify them to line up to the new math. Taking a couple of minutes before the combat as the DM to do this change before the combat can be easily made up in the time it takes to run the encounter. As the DM you can do this in advance of the session for most combats, but if the players go off plan, it is fast enough you could do it while people take a bathroom or snack break.

    I'm not really a fan of your rule, but I will admit it does address the issues that you set out to deal with. My problems with it are the same as others have mentioned. You've added another choice for players and DM both for every attack. At my table, pausing to make choices slow the game down rather than speed it up. You're also reducing the randomness that makes the game fun. If I really need an attack to hit, it isn't hard to spend enough hp to make it almost automatic. While that has a cost, as you go up in levels it gets less and less painful to pay, and you have full control over paying it.
    In general, if you find that it adds an extra choice to the table and find that is a bad thing because it slows your combat down you just need to have a standard use of the ability, both as a DM and as a player. My suggestion is that you always go and trade the maximum possible hp for maximum possible extra damage. That way you keep the randomness, you have a standard choice (so you don't slow down the game) and you make combat fast because everyone loses more hp and deals more damage.
    Post if you wish to ask about Ruins & Raiders. I do not answer to PMs anymore.

  24. - Top - End - #24
    Pixie in the Playground
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    Default Re: How to make combat a little bit faster.

    In my experience (playing only heroic tier), it feels like monsters die far too fast. Unless they're brutes or elites they die in 3 rounds, tops--but fights with those brutes and elites get dull because quickly it's the brute or elite by itself. That doesn't stop them from dishing out the pain, as I typically have 1-2 PCs drop below 0 per fight, so it's not damage that's the trouble.

    The biggest source of slowdown at my tables are

    1) players keep rolling badly (not that the defenses are too high, but that they keep rolling 3s and 5s...)
    2) the extra seconds of going over your options/what your things do/doing the thing
    3) All the misc floating bonuses and penalties making you pause and go "so I have x to hit--wait, I'm standing on one foot so that gives me a -1 and Jeff's waffle iron of woe is giving me a +2" "But the effect from the monster's last attack doesn't end to the end of your next turn so you've got a -1, also you were supposed to take 5 damage from the ongoing..."
    4) Maybe having 5 PCs and 5 Monsters as the standard encounter, thus meaning 10 character turns per round, does inflate things a little.
    5) (specific to online gaming ala Roll20) interacting with the interface.


    If everyone took 30 seconds on their turn and boom it was over, combat would not be long.
    Last edited by Rechan; 2020-11-20 at 04:39 AM.

  25. - Top - End - #25
    Orc in the Playground
     
    BardGuy

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    Default Re: How to make combat a little bit faster.

    Can I have a waffle iron of Woe please? That's gold!
    I love playing in a party with a couple of power-gamers, it frees me up to be Elan!


  26. - Top - End - #26
    Pixie in the Playground
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    Default Re: How to make combat a little bit faster.

    Quote Originally Posted by Duff View Post
    Can I have a waffle iron of Woe please? That's gold!
    Golden brown, I think you mean.

    :D

  27. - Top - End - #27
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    RedWizardGuy

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    Default Re: How to make combat a little bit faster.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tvtyrant View Post
    An even easier way is to use morale rules. If an elite dies all minions immediately flee or cower, once half of the none-minions die the rest flee or surrender. Combat is way swingier in RL than in fantasy because people do not, as a rule, fight to the death. 1/10 losses is considered crippling rout levels.
    This is a very elegant solution and also consider the following: the less HP the PCs have to beat, the faster combat will end.

    That said, you can consider the following scenerios:

    - As said above, the death of key monsters may force others to flee or surrender. Use it at your discretion
    - When more than half of the enemies are bloodied, they may also flee or surrender. Same discretion
    - When dealing with single beefy enemy, you can make a rule where the enemy suffers double damage after bloodied, or before bloodied, or just tweak the enemy's total HP. Either way, give it an "action point" when it reaches bloodied status (or at your discretion) to make up for the loss of beefiness!

  28. - Top - End - #28
    Pixie in the Playground
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    Default Re: How to make combat a little bit faster.

    Problem with morale is if the monster wouldn't be able to surrender or would normally fight to the death. Unintelligent undead. Obvious monsters that can't surrender and would just be killed anyways (say, a giant ooze or slug).

    I had a choker try to surrender and they promptly executed it. Some monsters would realize surrender is essentially suicide, and fight like a cornered rat.

    One thing I do in a situation where there's only one standard monster left and it's clearly not going to make a dent, is to end combat but tax a few PCs one healing surge. Thus "you al ganged up on it, it did a little damage, but was quickly overwhelmed".
    Last edited by Rechan; Yesterday at 10:11 AM.

  29. - Top - End - #29
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Kurald Galain's Avatar

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    Default Re: How to make combat a little bit faster.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rechan View Post
    Problem with morale is if the monster wouldn't be able to surrender or would normally fight to the death.
    The goal is not to have the monsters surrender.

    Rather, the goal is to end the combat when its outcome is clear, because at that point it becomes boring to the players. You can do this in some cases by having monsters surrender, but you could just as easily say "ok, you guys kill the others with ease, next scene".

    Spending a long time on a foregone conclusion is not compelling gameplay.
    Guide to the Magus, the Pathfinder Gish class.

    "I would really like to see a game made by Obryn, Kurald Galain, and Knaight from these forums. I'm not joking one bit. I would buy the hell out of that." -- ChubbyRain
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