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  1. - Top - End - #1
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    WhiteWizardGirl

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    Default How do you deal with players who suck at combat?

    We've all been in a situation where we have to plan around that one guy who min-maxes his character into curb-stomping level-appropriate encounters, but in my current group, I am faced with a novel problem: they are all terrible at D&D combat.

    Their characters are not min-maxed, which is cool. But they also do not use their existing abilities to their full extent and do not coordinate their actions at all, which leads to even underleveled encounters quickly killing them if I don't pull my punches a lot.

    Luckily, my campaign is very RP-heavy, but the players have unanimously requested at least the occasional fight as well as "some dungeon crawls", which prevents me from just shrugging and focusing on the RP. Besides, if we wanted a combat-less roleplaying experience, we would've picked a different system.

    Have any of you been in a similar situation? How do I proceed? I have talked to them several times about at least coordinating in combat, but so far it hasn't stuck.

    We have a big confrontation coming up that will likely escalate into a fight, and I'm having trouble coming up with a balance where I don't just curb-stomp the PCs but also the opponents have more than 4 HP.

    I'm considering just throwing a few better magic items at the party to help up their raw power, but once that's done, it's hard to take back, so I would like to hear alternatives first.

    It probably doesn't help that I am a) pretty good at strategy games and b) much more familiar with the rules than my players. One thing I've started doing is have all low-intelligence monsters act really, really dumb (going after the last person who hit them, even if that means wasting a turn running after a ranged fighter), which has helped the party barely survive an encounter with them.

    Any tips are much appreciated!
    Last edited by BettaGeorge; 2021-03-05 at 12:07 PM.

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    Default Re: How do you deal with players who suck at combat?

    Well, let's start with the obvious:

    Talk to the players. Guide them through some better tips and tricks, see if you can get them to coordinate their abilities better. And make sure they're having fun, of course!
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    WhiteWizardGirl

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    Default Re: How do you deal with players who suck at combat?

    Quote Originally Posted by JNAProductions View Post
    Well, let's start with the obvious:

    Talk to the players. Guide them through some better tips and tricks, see if you can get them to coordinate their abilities better. And make sure they're having fun, of course!
    So far they're having fun, even though they usually lose battles. I would just like to keep the fun while also adding a few battles where they don't almost die.

    Would you happen to have a link to a good 3.5e combat cheat sheet? When you've been running a system for a long time, it gets very hard to think like a newcomer.

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    Default Re: How do you deal with players who suck at combat?

    Quote Originally Posted by BettaGeorge View Post
    So far they're having fun, even though they usually lose battles. I would just like to keep the fun while also adding a few battles where they don't almost die.

    Would you happen to have a link to a good 3.5e combat cheat sheet? When you've been running a system for a long time, it gets very hard to think like a newcomer.
    Nope. I do not. Plus, it'd vary from PC to PC-a charger Fighter isn't the same as a tripper Fighter.

    Maybe post their PC sheets here too, so we can offer more tailored advice?
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    Default Re: How do you deal with players who suck at combat?

    A way to RP it would be to incorporate an NPC party leader to help direct combat, and "teach" them basic strategy.

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    Default Re: How do you deal with players who suck at combat?

    I don't know if any of these work within the setting or story you're creating together, but:
    • You could put them through a mirror-match with someone who wants to defeat but not kill them. Literally throw their own characters at them, but use the tactics you see them not using. Gives them a chance to see their own potential. Wizard running them through an illusionary gauntlet? Mirror of Benign Opposition? Give yourself a reason to model the behavior you want.
    • Give them a combat mentor character, a low-powered Captain America to help call the shots for their Avengers. No one loves escort missions, but escorting the battle-savvy elder who can suggest combat strategies might give them some combat training they carry forward into future sessions.
    • You never learn something completely until you teach it to someone else. Do a mind-swap, forcing them to run each other's characters for a combat or a session with the goal of getting back to their proper bodies. Reading someone else's abilities may force both the owner and the borrower to understand the abilities attached better. Bonus points if you actively encourage them to do 'their character's approach to this character's abilities,' as it might provoke some new tactics.

  7. - Top - End - #7
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    Default Re: How do you deal with players who suck at combat?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lapak View Post
    [*]You could put them through a mirror-match with someone who wants to defeat but not kill them. Literally throw their own characters at them, but use the tactics you see them not using. Gives them a chance to see their own potential. Wizard running them through an illusionary gauntlet? Mirror of Benign Opposition? Give yourself a reason to model the behavior you want.
    If going this route, there's the Aleax for exactly that purpose.

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    Default Re: How do you deal with players who suck at combat?

    Quote Originally Posted by RNightstalker View Post
    If going this route, there's the Aleax for exactly that purpose.
    What is an Aleax?

    I love the idea of giving them a mentor. I might even have a suitable NPC they already know. I'll ask them whether they would be okay with that.

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    Default Re: How do you deal with players who suck at combat?

    Quote Originally Posted by BettaGeorge View Post
    What is an Aleax?

    I love the idea of giving them a mentor. I might even have a suitable NPC they already know. I'll ask them whether they would be okay with that.
    Aleax is in the Book of Exalted Deeds. The entry is normally listed as something a deity sends when one of their followers screws up. But you don't need to use it that way.

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    Default Re: How do you deal with players who suck at combat?

    Quote Originally Posted by BettaGeorge View Post
    What is an Aleax?

    I love the idea of giving them a mentor. I might even have a suitable NPC they already know. I'll ask them whether they would be okay with that.
    A construct made by a deity to hunt someone down. Completely immune to harm from anything except their intended target.

    Probably not suitable for this situation.
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    Default Re: How do you deal with players who suck at combat?

    Buy them a copy of the CRPG adaptation of Temple of Elemental Evil so they can practice at home. It's 3e and turnbased so exactly what you;d get in a real game minus any ad-hoc use of the scenery
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    Default Re: How do you deal with players who suck at combat?

    Quote Originally Posted by JNAProductions View Post
    A construct made by a deity to hunt someone down. Completely immune to harm from anything except their intended target.

    Probably not suitable for this situation.
    Aside from the plot issues, Aleax would super-enforce a one-on-one situation when you're trying to teach them to work together. Nothing that can't be handwaved and homebrewed, but as written they're not quite the thing.

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    Default Re: How do you deal with players who suck at combat?

    They need a mentor and a training montage.

    60% of the time, it works every time.


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    WhiteWizardGirl

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    Default Re: How do you deal with players who suck at combat?

    A training montage, why didn't I think of that! I'll start searching for power ballads right away.

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    Default Re: How do you deal with players who suck at combat?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lapak View Post
    Aside from the plot issues, Aleax would super-enforce a one-on-one situation when you're trying to teach them to work together. Nothing that can't be handwaved and homebrewed, but as written they're not quite the thing.
    It can be...you're right it probably isn't the best for this situation...but it's another tool in the toolbox.

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    Default Re: How do you deal with players who suck at combat?

    Quote Originally Posted by BettaGeorge View Post
    We've all been in a situation where we have to plan around that one guy who min-maxes his character into curb-stomping level-appropriate encounters, but in my current group, I am faced with a novel problem: they are all terrible at D&D combat.

    Their characters are not min-maxed, which is cool. But they also do not use their existing abilities to their full extent and do not coordinate their actions at all, which leads to even underleveled encounters quickly killing them if I don't pull my punches a lot.

    Luckily, my campaign is very RP-heavy, but the players have unanimously requested at least the occasional fight as well as "some dungeon crawls", which prevents me from just shrugging and focusing on the RP. Besides, if we wanted a combat-less roleplaying experience, we would've picked a different system.

    Have any of you been in a similar situation? How do I proceed? I have talked to them several times about at least coordinating in combat, but so far it hasn't stuck.

    We have a big confrontation coming up that will likely escalate into a fight, and I'm having trouble coming up with a balance where I don't just curb-stomp the PCs but also the opponents have more than 4 HP.

    I'm considering just throwing a few better magic items at the party to help up their raw power, but once that's done, it's hard to take back, so I would like to hear alternatives first.

    It probably doesn't help that I am a) pretty good at strategy games and b) much more familiar with the rules than my players. One thing I've started doing is have all low-intelligence monsters act really, really dumb (going after the last person who hit them, even if that means wasting a turn running after a ranged fighter), which has helped the party barely survive an encounter with them.

    Any tips are much appreciated!
    Force the characters to enter situations where thinking things out is a must. If your players can't think you shouldn't pull your punches. Throw at them things that they find challenging and since they lack coordination put them in situations were they face combatants who have coordination and are better off for it. Let them figure out how THEY should coordinate their efforts. If they mess up jokes on them. Life is tough.
    Let them learn from their mistakes in combat, if they don't fate shouldn't pull its punches and roll over cause they are the main characters, it should be merciless.
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    Default Re: How do you deal with players who suck at combat?

    Quote Originally Posted by Omega Supreme View Post
    Force the characters to enter situations where thinking things out is a must. If your players can't think you shouldn't pull your punches. Throw at them things that they find challenging and since they lack coordination put them in situations were they face combatants who have coordination and are better off for it. Let them figure out how THEY should coordinate their efforts. If they mess up jokes on them. Life is tough.
    Let them learn from their mistakes in combat, if they don't fate shouldn't pull its punches and roll over cause they are the main characters, it should be merciless.
    That is a fine way to play. It is not, however, the only way to play.

    In this situation, I think we should defer to the person who actually knows the players and trust them to know better than we do what would be fun for the table.
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    Flumph

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    Default Re: How do you deal with players who suck at combat?

    Similar to a Mirror of Opposition but with a reason it isn't deadly, what about a magic item that requires defeating yourself to activate?

    When you touch it and say the command word, you fall unconscious, and have a mental fight with a copy of yourself. If you win, it activates. If you lose, you just wake up with a headache and/or nonlethal damage.

    Why would it work that way?
    * It's a training tool.
    * It's a holy relic of the god of battle.
    * The psychic duel is what powers the item.

    This would be annoying to do too often, so maybe once you win enough fights you've mastered the item and can activate it normally, or maybe it's an item that would only get used occasionally.
    Last edited by icefractal; 2021-03-05 at 03:20 PM.

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    Default Re: How do you deal with players who suck at combat?

    Take them into a dream world where the group fights carbon copies of themselves.
    Use their characters and obliterate them. Let them see their characters being used right, and it will cue them into possibilities of how they can improve their own strategies.

    Edit: Pass it off as some fey or friendly concerned outsider trying to teach them they could be so much stronger.
    Last edited by Calthropstu; 2021-03-05 at 03:25 PM.

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    Default Re: How do you deal with players who suck at combat?

    Out of curiosity what are all your players characters? Do they have a dysfunctional mix of characters?

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    Default Re: How do you deal with players who suck at combat?

    So, my GM had to handle this issue a few times because of me. Everyone in the group noted that I would roll an unusual # of natural 1s. They even tracked it in a few different games and was always rolling on the low side with d20s. This went on for years. Said GM banned me from using my own dice at one point not because I was cheating but because I was breaking the laws of statistics to the detriment of the group. They also started having me play casters because the enemy makes the saves.

    Back on topic, his solution was to use enemies as normal showing the group better tactics. But he would lower the hp of those enemies by 12 to 20 hp. Basically, 1 good 2 handed weapon swing. This put a handicap on his minions. As we slowly got better he would lower the handicap by only 5 to 12 hps, finally to 0. This way the GM was in complete control of the handicap, no items to deal with. It was invisible to the players so progress wasn't constantly being strived for.

    Sadly, I have still managed to wreck entire campaigns by rolling a nat 1 on a spell resistance check when a 2+ would have succeeded. As the wizard they expected at least 1 of my spells to get through to the demon that had SR. And I still avoid 2 weapon fighting blenders like the plague. Then one day and several sets of dice later it just stopped. I now roll an average of 9.5 to 11 during games sessions. I grant you I haven't needed to track that in years. But I am not the joke of my friends with 'you cannot roll a one...' anymore. I just had a really really long run of bad luck with dice.

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    Default Re: How do you deal with players who suck at combat?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lapak View Post
    I don't know if any of these work within the setting or story you're creating together, but:
    • You could put them through a mirror-match with someone who wants to defeat but not kill them. Literally throw their own characters at them, but use the tactics you see them not using. Gives them a chance to see their own potential. Wizard running them through an illusionary gauntlet? Mirror of Benign Opposition? Give yourself a reason to model the behavior you want.
    • You never learn something completely until you teach it to someone else. Do a mind-swap, forcing them to run each other's characters for a combat or a session with the goal of getting back to their proper bodies. Reading someone else's abilities may force both the owner and the borrower to understand the abilities attached better. Bonus points if you actively encourage them to do 'their character's approach to this character's abilities,' as it might provoke some new tactics.
    Both of these sound like fun one-shots I might have to steal!

    But for the first one specifically, I think the best way to run it would be one evil counterpart at a time, versus the whole party. This has several advantages over a full on scrum. First, they're much less likely to lose, which means you don't even need to come up with a reason for the competent evil counterparts to spare the party. Second, it really hammers home how much of a difference these tactics make, essentially going "Your character, run properly, is strong enough to be a full on boss fight"; relatedly, this means each one will have the party's full focus for a time, rather than splitting that focus up for a longer fight. Third, the whole party ganging up on one challenging opponent should encourage more cooperation than each member squaring off with their clone in a 1v1 duel.
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    Default Re: How do you deal with players who suck at combat?

    Quote Originally Posted by liquidformat View Post
    Out of curiosity what are all your players characters? Do they have a dysfunctional mix of characters?
    I'm curious as to the party composition as well. Also some details on HOW they don't coordinate and HOW they don't fully utilize their abilities might be helpful too. Like, is the wizard (assuming one is exists) only preparing Charm Person? Do they prefer to cast Magic Missile because DAMAGE, instead of casting a battlefield control spell like Sleep? Does the fighter forget to use Power Attack? Are they not flanking things? Do they not focus down targets and instead spread their damage out amongst their opponents (this, and not flanking are the two I see most often in newer players).

    Regardless. You said you've already brought this up with them, so I'm not exactly sure what you can do to drive the message home. I suppose when a player is about to do something in which a tactically superior option is obviously available you can say "are you sure THAT's how you want to do this?", to try to get them to reevaluate things. It's meta-gamey and can take away the immersion and can slow things down, but it's a decent way to remind them that they need to look closer at the battlefield. On the flip side you should remember to act impressed and congratulatory when they DO take the appropriate tactical option. IMO, letting the players figure out the best tactical solution (even with a few hints) is gonna be better long term than an NPC that walks around telling them how to fight.

    I do commiserate with you. I run a game that has a similar (though it sounds like it's not as severe) situation to yours. And it sucks because I want to create these epic encounters where the big bad is super savvy etc but then I know I'll just win because my players won't account for X, Y or Z.

    Of course if everyone (yourself included) is having fun with the game then there's no real problem, and this doesn't actually need to be fixed.
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    Default Re: How do you deal with players who suck at combat?

    Wow, lots of excellent suggestions here!

    Since two of you have inquired after the party composition: The party is a bit skewed since one player left very unexpectedly. Currently (and for the foreseeable future cough pandemic cough) we have (all at level 3):

    A rogue with str 8 who hence only uses ranged attacks and never gets in more than one sneak attack per encounter.

    A wizard who basically prepares a combination of Magic Missile and Burning Hands because, you know, damage!

    And a druid who actually thinks about tactics and carries the entire fight by himself, or at least starts to before having to spend all his actions healing the other two. If it weren't for Summon Nature's Ally's crazy action economy, the party would be dead thrice over.

    Basically, everyone is having fun with the roleplaying parts and the murder investigations, but I have no idea how to do a dungeon crawl that will be fun for this group.

    I had a bit of free time this week and actually playtested two encounters with copies of the party's character sheets, and they actually stood a fair chance in both of them. The only character who was really quite useless was the rogue those 1d8 damage per round just don't influence the outcome of the battle. As far as I can tell, "ranged rogue" is just not a viable thing before level 8 or so, so he basically just stands around and lets the fight happen around him.

    So I'm guessing my main problems are that the wizard player (I've talked to them about this) refuses to prepare spells that don't make them "the hero" (damage spells kill people => good; other spells "only" help your allies => bad) and that I have no idea how to help the rogue player if melee is not an option. (Though I maintain melee is fine even at 8 str sneak attack makes up for that IMO.)

    (Incidentally, how overpowered is Entangle at low levels? It completely incapacitates large groups of enemies, as no enemy spellcaster will be able to make a DC 20 str check like, ever, and the Concentration check to get off a spell while entangled is ridiculously high.)

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    Default Re: How do you deal with players who suck at combat?

    My secret technique is setting up convenient Roll20 macros for the attacks they ought to be using, and linking the macros to their character sheet so that they pop up automatically when their token is selected. If you stick buttons in front of their face, they won't forget about the options they have available!

    As far as magic items that would power them up: if they're panicking when their health gets low and begging the druid for heals, they might enjoy the helm of glorious recovery. Rogue is having trouble getting sneak attacks? How about a shroud of night, or a wand of swift invisibility? And I bet that wizard would love to get their hands on a burning veil and empowered spellshard.
    Last edited by Troacctid; 2021-03-05 at 07:51 PM.

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    Default Re: How do you deal with players who suck at combat?

    3rd level is a bit early, but there are a number of items that would help the ranged Rogue do their thing.
    A Ring of Blinking is of course the gold standard, allowing Sneak Attack on all attacks and some defensive benefits.
    Additionally, there's seeing through smoke (you could port the Goz Mask from Pathfinder) plus a source of smoke (Smokesticks, an Eversmoking Bottle, etc). It might take an action to set up, but from the sound of things that would still be an improvement.

    The Wizard can choose to stop sucking whenever he wants to, maybe give him an enemy spellbook with some non-blasting spells so he has no reason not to try them out.

    Additionally, it sounds like a significant problem is people going down too quickly, forcing healing. Does an NPC healer make sense to add to the group, story-wise?
    Last edited by icefractal; 2021-03-05 at 07:50 PM.

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    Default Re: How do you deal with players who suck at combat?

    Quote Originally Posted by gijoemike View Post
    So, my GM had to handle this issue a few times because of me. Everyone in the group noted that I would roll an unusual # of natural 1s. They even tracked it in a few different games and was always rolling on the low side with d20s. This went on for years. Said GM banned me from using my own dice at one point not because I was cheating but because I was breaking the laws of statistics to the detriment of the group. They also started having me play casters because the enemy makes the saves.
    I made a series of three attacks one time and rolled a total of 4...

    Quote Originally Posted by BettaGeorge View Post
    A rogue with str 8 who hence only uses ranged attacks and never gets in more than one sneak attack per encounter.

    A wizard who basically prepares a combination of Magic Missile and Burning Hands because, you know, damage!

    And a druid who actually thinks about tactics and carries the entire fight by himself, or at least starts to before having to spend all his actions healing the other two. If it weren't for Summon Nature's Ally's crazy action economy, the party would be dead thrice over.

    So I'm guessing my main problems are that the wizard player (I've talked to them about this) refuses to prepare spells that don't make them "the hero" (damage spells kill people => good; other spells "only" help your allies => bad) and that I have no idea how to help the rogue player if melee is not an option. (Though I maintain melee is fine even at 8 str sneak attack makes up for that IMO.)

    (Incidentally, how overpowered is Entangle at low levels? It completely incapacitates large groups of enemies, as no enemy spellcaster will be able to make a DC 20 str check like, ever, and the Concentration check to get off a spell while entangled is ridiculously high.)
    Show them the effects of entangle, grease, blur/blink for the Rogue, a druid using animals to create flanking opportunities...use them against the party with characters that use non-lethal damage...so it isn't a TPK.

  28. - Top - End - #28
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    Default Re: How do you deal with players who suck at combat?

    Quote Originally Posted by BettaGeorge View Post
    Wow, lots of excellent suggestions here!

    A rogue with str 8 who hence only uses ranged attacks and never gets in more than one sneak attack per encounter.
    Sounds like this player could benefit from a higher power floor? Looks like you're playing 3.5e, as opposed to Pathfinder 1e, but I'd recommend subbing in Pathfinder's unchained rogue over the 3.5 one (or at least cherry pick a few features from it). Gives free Weapon Finesse, and grants Dex-to-damage with one finesse weapon at level 3, so that Rogue won't have to worry about a low strength score. And given the druid has been using SNA, the rogue should have flanking buddies.

    Quote Originally Posted by BettaGeorge View Post
    A wizard who basically prepares a combination of Magic Missile and Burning Hands because, you know, damage!
    Yeah, this is a hard habit to break. Also, I totally called it.

    The way I've always tired to handle this is to phrase it is thusly, "Would you rather cast a spell that wins the fight or spell that wastes your time?". Or rephrase spells that don't do damage as spell that functionally do damage. "Yeah so magic missile always 2d4+2 damage which will kill a goblin on average, but sleeps can functionally kill 4 goblins. So what seems like a better use of your time?"

    Quote Originally Posted by BettaGeorge View Post
    And a druid who actually thinks about tactics and carries the entire fight by himself, or at least starts to before having to spend all his actions healing the other two. If it weren't for Summon Nature's Ally's crazy action economy, the party would be dead thrice over.
    May add in a wand of cure light wounds as treasure or quest reward? Then the druid can top off their temamates after each fight and can spend more time doing their druid things.

    Quote Originally Posted by BettaGeorge View Post
    (Incidentally, how overpowered is Entangle at low levels? It completely incapacitates large groups of enemies, as no enemy spellcaster will be able to make a DC 20 str check like, ever, and the Concentration check to get off a spell while entangled is ridiculously high.)

    Very powerful. The problem tends to be the size it's area of effect, as it tends to muck up anyone trying to wade into melee. But your party doesn't seem like they rely on a heavy-hitter melee type so it should be good.

    My biggest pet peeve is, (and this MIGHT be just how I've always read the spell), that everyone uses it like it's a WoW spell and ignore the fact that there needs to be some actual vegetation around to, y'know, entangle people with.
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  29. - Top - End - #29
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    SwashbucklerGuy

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    Default Re: How do you deal with players who suck at combat?

    I agree with the "training montage", give them a "coach" and some "training" fights (which you purposefully pull your punches), even a "training dungeon" to help get them to coordinate better.

    Be willing to let players rebuild their characters. Heck, be ready for players to ask/want to bring in entirely new characters once they start getting a feel for how all the little parts interact. If you want them to keep the same "character" (ie: persona), be willing to let them "suddenly be a whole new class". Remind players to be respectful of other player's choices. It's not that you can't have two druids. It's that Druid 2 shouldn't be an attempt to copy Druid 1's success.

    The point here is to have fun, AND be good at their jobs. They might be better at a new job!

    Quote Originally Posted by BettaGeorge View Post
    Wow, lots of excellent suggestions here!

    Since two of you have inquired after the party composition: The party is a bit skewed since one player left very unexpectedly. Currently (and for the foreseeable future cough pandemic cough) we have (all at level 3):

    A rogue with str 8 who hence only uses ranged attacks and never gets in more than one sneak attack per encounter.
    The rogue might well be reminded that Str determines his bonus damage. You can convey this in a training montage. Rogues are notoriously MAD to cover everything they're supposed to be good at, dexterous scoundels, clever schemers, silver-tongued, and they rely on the remaining stats to cover their two deficient saves and power their bonus damage.

    Alternatively, you could just allow dex to damage. It's not game breaking, but it can be strong with a min-maxer.

    A wizard who basically prepares a combination of Magic Missile and Burning Hands because, you know, damage!
    Wizards can literally be gods in 3.5. Your player may honestly know how to "be a good wizard", but chooses not to because they prefer cool blasty effects. Honestly, I wouldn't stress this too much. There's a certain talent IMO for being the "support" or "control" guy and I know I'm personally not that. I suspect your wizard doesn't either. Doesn't mean he can't be a great blaster! He just might need to be a Focused Specialist Blaster (not a great build, but more slots for the stuff he likes lets him do the stuff he likes more).

    And a druid who actually thinks about tactics and carries the entire fight by himself, or at least starts to before having to spend all his actions healing the other two. If it weren't for Summon Nature's Ally's crazy action economy, the party would be dead thrice over.
    Well, at least someone knows what they're doing.

    Basically, everyone is having fun with the roleplaying parts and the murder investigations, but I have no idea how to do a dungeon crawl that will be fun for this group.
    Try playing with the Morale rules. Use mildly intelligent enemies with a commander. Roll regularly upon hits and deaths for them to continue to fight. Play it up and let the party overhear the whining of the kobolds and encourage the party to "trash talk" the enemy as a way to "beat them via role-play".

    I had a bit of free time this week and actually playtested two encounters with copies of the party's character sheets, and they actually stood a fair chance in both of them. The only character who was really quite useless was the rogue those 1d8 damage per round just don't influence the outcome of the battle. As far as I can tell, "ranged rogue" is just not a viable thing before level 8 or so, so he basically just stands around and lets the fight happen around him.
    See above, morale rules. Maybe the rogue can't break them physically, but he might be able to break their spirits.

    So I'm guessing my main problems are that the wizard player (I've talked to them about this) refuses to prepare spells that don't make them "the hero" (damage spells kill people => good; other spells "only" help your allies => bad)
    Coordinating doesn't have to mean "You CAN cast buff spells, so you MUST cast buff spells." Work with him to enable him to do what he wants: blast stuff! And frankly, if you do, you'll never have to worry about a god-tier wizard later on.
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  30. - Top - End - #30
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    Default Re: How do you deal with players who suck at combat?

    If they have trouble with remembering their abilities and what they can do, you could do some things like Tokens or Power-cards. Sometimes that can help better visualize what your options are.

    If those with Power Attack often forget to do use it, one of the things I did myself for that was to tell the GM that I *always* will use Power Attack (in Pathfinder, so the Power Attack scales automatically) so that I didn't have to remember to declare it all the time, and just write it in on my sheet.
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