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Intersting ideas for D&D mini's in your campagne


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I'm starting this topic as way for DMs to share that one (or more) exceptionaly creative idea they had for combat and the like using D&D (or other brand) table top minatures. I have quite a few diffrent tried and true ideas to have your player characters sitting on the edge of their seats and trying to roll 20s like crazy.

If you can't convince them, confuse them.

- President Harry S Truman

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The first thing on my list of posts, is that I like to throw out the standard grid system. Who really moves like that while fighting??? I've "borrowed" some rules from the Warhammer and Warhammer 40K (respectfully) table top games to make my gaming sessions a bit more interesting. Heres a few tips for you the DM to try out.

 

(I do apologize for any misspellings and gramatical errors you may find. I'm am but a simple man)

 

 

1) The 5 foot in game equals 1 inch rule still applies - however, I don't like to restrict things to the grid system as I said before. 360 degree freedom baby! You'll difinately need a strait edge ruler (both 6 and 12 inch) and possibly, if space allows, a tape measure (for those long range attacks) I would also recomend that you find some clear soft plastic from a hobby shop or the like, and use it to cut our various shapes coinciding with larger area of effect spells.

 

2) Sure your crossbow can fire 120 feet by the rules, but, can you eye ball that distance? - In the grid system, you can easily see if an attack will reach the target or not. The way I prefer, is to have the PC (player character) estimate whether or not he/she is within the proper range. Once all rolls are made, the distance is finally measured out. I like to measure from the front of the PC's character base to the front of the target mini's base. Should things work out, business as usual. Should they not, then your PC's will be more carefull about just hanging out in the back and not getting their hands dirty. It can be quite humorous to watch that Drow ranger Drizzt D'Urden clone think he has the shot only to miss by 5 feet. We wouldn't be able to ask an enemy to "hold still" while measuring out distnce in real life to attack them, so this rule can help add some realism to your campaigne. This also can benifit your PC for avoiding attacks.

 

3) But it was only 2mm off! - Ultimately, the descision to have an attack land on its mark is up to the DM. Sure, you can be leniant, and possibly add your own clauses to the attack range rulings. Try establishing to your PC theres a 5 to 10mm grace distance, maybe for reduced damage and effect. ALWAYS be sure to make these callings prior to combat, so you don't appear to be making things up as you go along!

 

4) Strait lines are reserved for sword wounds! - encourage your PCs to stray from the linear and dull path. Take a little extra on of your alloted movement to zig zag a bit and confuse that enemy. As a DM, you should constantly search for new ways to increase the fun factor. You could say that by zig zagging and using erratic movements, simple enemies such as goblins could be confused and have a slightly lower AC for that attacking round, due to a loss of dexterity against the attacking player. If you can't keep up with them, then your probly can't hit them too well either. Be mindfull to not let your PCs abuse this ruling. If that barbarian keep zigging and zagging, throw him a reflex save vs tripping on a rock he was too busy notice. Always be on the lookout and the alert, both in game, and as a DM. No one likes a PC who always seems to hit his mark by taking advantage of the situtaion. You the DM are in control of the story ultimately, the PCs are interactive filler material.

 

 

 

Thats about it for the bare bones of the grid vs. 360 degree system. As with all things D&D, feel free to take from or add to what you've read. Theres more to follow building up the expansive set of combat rules I use.

If you can't convince them, confuse them.

- President Harry S Truman

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My next segment will be interesting boss encounters

 

 

How many times have you had your PCs just run in and melee down the boss with no real fun involved? I read in another thread (not sure which one) a DM talking about making your villains rememberable and unique, and not to be disapointed when your PCs find a weakness and make quick work of him. Well, theres a way around this.. I like to break my boss battes down into segments and phases. Some phases are combat, others, combat isnt an option! Your PCs will grow to look forward to your boss battles, as each will bring a new and exciting challenge.

 

Boss battle number 1:

 

Prologue: I used this as the very first boss battle in my newest campaigne (involving my 4 PCs as being part of a treasure hunting adventurers guild) Being ship wrecked and stranded on an island, the PCs had a very small window of time to traverse a rocky coast, to get to what was left of their ship, which was also stranded on rocks. The vast majority of thier gear was left on the ship, as they were thrown overboard durring a storm. The ships location was roughly 50 foot away from the rocks the PCs were on, with water in between them. Being incredibly resourcefull, two of my PCs that had Bald Eagles as animal companions, had them both carry the gnome ranger in the party over the 50 foot gap onto the ship. Long story shortend, the gear was condensed into a large chest, and strapped to make shift raft. With raft in water, the eagles latched onto a lenght of rope and carried it back to the PCs, with gnome PC riding the raft full of goods. Why go through all this trouble? why not swim? Very simple. LARGE sharks. the largest, being a little creation of mine, a 20 foot long monster with the ability to come onto land for short periods due to psuedo-lungs and leg like flippers.

 

The battle:

 

The boss started out 110 feet (aprox 22 inches) away from the raft. The 3 PCs, rope in hand, had to haul the raft across the 50 foot channel. Given the weight, the current, bouyancey etc, I devised that party would make strength check (DC 14) to each try and tug at the rope to move the raft, 5 foot at a time. Failed strength check resulted in the raft being stubborn and not budging, natural 20s resulted in a 10 foot move (only had 1 natural 20 rolled...) After each of the 3 PCs made their roll for the round, the "Monsterous Land Shark" would make a 10 foot movement. He wasn't designed to be too terribly fast, and for this fight, he was more so lolling about and cruising up to investigate the raft.

 

The two way split:

 

Should the PCs succeed in getting the raft to shore in time (mine litteraly were one more failed roll away from finding out the hard way of doing things) the raft may be lugged upon the rocks. Not everything should have a roll to it, throw them a treat every once ina while. In my case, the said natural 20 rolled was by the barbarian, with his amazing strength, manage to litterally rip the raft out fo the water towards the PCs. -Humour, in this case, was the tool to keep things rolling- The PCs then made reflex saves to avoid being hit by the raft (my rogue of all PCs was the unlucky one, and took minor damage)

 

Should the PCs fail... well. I wouldn't reccomend the start of the adventure begining with whoever is riding the raft being eaten (unless you plan to have them cut their way out) The boss would have flipped the raft. Take that in any direction you want, a watery fight, gear possibly 20 foot below on the ocean floor.. If anything just have the shark lose unterest and swim away, thus leaving room for more meyham, gathering of gear, saving a drowning PC etc.

 

Phase 2:

 

Should your PCs succeed-

 

The Monsterous Land Shark then comes up onto the rocks and engages them in battle, seeing them as a potential meal. Heres some quick stats for you to use(I use D&D 3.5 by the way)

HP: 37, AC: 16, Bite +2 1D8, Flipper swipe +2 1D6 (add to it however you need)

 

 

The boss was to stay stationary in the enounter. if reduced below 10hp, I would have had him flee, but again, my PC playing the barbarian enraged and wouldn't let escape be an option

 

And there you have it. Short(ish) in description, and sweet. If set up properly, your PCs will be on the edge of their seats and rolling dice like crazy trying to save their companion from being an ill-fated meal.

 

Note: this encounter and boss were designed for a party of 4 level 1 PCs, scale to your liking, sustitute monsters and scenario too.

If you can't convince them, confuse them.

- President Harry S Truman

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2) Sure your crossbow can fire 120 feet by the rules, but, can you eye ball that distance? - In the grid system, you can easily see if an attack will reach the target or not. The way I prefer, is to have the PC (player character) estimate whether or not he/she is within the proper range. Once all rolls are made, the distance is finally measured out. I like to measure from the front of the PC's character base to the front of the target mini's base. Should things work out, business as usual. Should they not, then your PC's will be more carefull about just hanging out in the back and not getting their hands dirty. It can be quite humorous to watch that Drow ranger Drizzt D'Urden clone think he has the shot only to miss by 5 feet.

 

Ok while I agree that I can't tell you exactly 120 feet in 1to 5 inches my supposedly master archer should be able to as easy as breathing. I can tell you if there are exactly 60 cards in my deck of cards without counting. That's because I play way to much cards. It is much less realistic that someone who practices and fights daily with a bow can't tell accurately if a target is out of range. Anyway that's what 1's are. If they roll a 1 and the monster is forever far away then they misjudged the distance. And what about range increments. If a monster is more than 120 feet away you do not automatically miss the difficulty just goes up by 2. If the adjusted difficulty is too much then yes then they would and should miss. Still they should know the distance beforehand because a skilled archer would know if stepping up 5 feet would make a shot so much easier.

 

You the DM are in control of the story ultimately, the PCs are interactive filler material.

 

This is such a backwards way of looking at DMing it makes me sad for your players. role playing is interactive storytelling. That means that the characters and by extension the main plot are completely generated by your players. As the DM you are the setting and the background and the foil to the characters. If your plot was so perfect and amazing that the players were little more that filler than you should write it down and make it a book. Then you should come back and create a compelling setting with interesting plot hooks and try again at being a DM.

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As stated my rulling system posted is a rough guideline, not all bases have been covered (yet) and I'll have you know, that my PCs absolutely love my DMing. I was unaware that this website was for people to bash one anothers skills in play. If you can't say anything constructive, please, don't post anything else here. I did not come here to be made a fool of, I came here to make connections and swap ideas. Your critisisms have been far from constructive.

 

And as far as my choice of words for the over all spectrum of being a DM, I stand by them. The PCs have 75%is control pf whats going on, but, as a DM, you should know that you them DM, control the flow of story, the progression, and the direction. If you let the entire flow go to the PCs, you'll find that your story can take a totally wrong direction. I don't do free-form style DMing. I plan ahead, from point A to point Z, and whether the players cover all points in between is up to them. Not to be rude, but you strike me as a rule lawyer. Lighten up :*

 

As far as writing a novel, I think not. I don't need a book to get my stories across.

 

Yeah sure, your master archer can judge distance. Did I ever cover ANYTHING about special ruling and the like?? No. I stated "take from this what you like and add to if nessesary" I'm not here to re-write the rule books, I'm offering an interesting and new view to other players and DMs alike.

 

So I say again, if you can't leave constructive comments or find ways of helping me to improve the system, them perhaps this section of the forum isn't for you

If you can't convince them, confuse them.

- President Harry S Truman

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Oh, and one more thing on the combat rules I'm working on... Theyre not entirely complete, so I apologize for any confusion that may have created. Its a work in progress, and again, I'm looking for inciteful ideas and ways to better things.

If you can't convince them, confuse them.

- President Harry S Truman

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Alrighty, I hope everyones ready for the second boss battle I've concocted up. Sorry I havent posted in a while, had a minor accident resulting in a torn knee ligament and im hobbling around on a cane for the time being.

 

This style of boss battle can be broken into multiple phases, I actually used it twice for 2 sepperate battles in the same gaming session. It was used twice because the first time was nothing more than a build up.

 

Ever wish you could just totally find ways to do area damage without all the dice rolls and figuring up directions etc.. We'll, though some, if not many of you will laugh at this idea and snub it ( as well as flame me for the inane method) I used a foeux leather topped card table, and bubbles. Yes, you read right, a bottle of 99 cent bubbles.

 

The battle was simple enough to start, a mere tank and spank of a larger than normal lizard folk shaman/cleric type character. He had minor divine powers, nothing too special.. or so it seemed. The lizard folk currently on the island my PCs are on revere an Elder Black Dragon as a god, as he's convinced them he is. The clerics/shaman (what ever you want them to be called) paint their heads black as a symbol of respect and reverence. -quick note: I do at times use things not included in rule books, so bear with me, or find a way to make it work by the rules if thats the kind of DM you are- One of the low level spells they are able to cast is a 1 round casting time, mass damage summoning, for large elemental orbs to reign down and deal damage to whoever they touch. I bit of a last ditch effort spell.

 

Here's where the bubbles come into to play. Once the PCs (lvl 1, 1, 1, and 2) reduced the mini boss down to roughly 10% health, he cast his spell. Every round, at the end of the round, I would dip the stick into the bubbles, and send bubbles all over the table. being fake leather, the bubbles would leave perfectly round dark spots, easily showing where they hit. I only had them deal 1 point of acid based damage. The PCs were hit on a few occations. Once again, I had successfully created a scenario where my PCs were on the edge of their seats and pulling every trick they had in their arsenal. Lizard folk slain, the rain of bubbles ceased. Even when they would land on a player, you could still see the residue all around the mini showing a hit. It took a little bit of attention to detail to notice multiple hits (which werent often at all) but over all, it worked fine. I stood next to the table and released the bubbles roughly 3 foot over the battle, giving them plenty of time to disperse and fly around for random hits.

 

Should you decide to use this for a battle, ensure no fans are on in the room, as most of the bubbles wont even touch the table. Any who had blown bubbles as a kid, which should be nearly anyone, will also know that the amount you get varies each time. Thus, an easy, inexpensive and potentially fun way to deal damage over a large area while making the hits random. In the next segment, I'll explain how I used the bubbles again for the next boss battle, a massive black dragon statue that sprays acid and spawns enemies. Sounds far fetched, I know, how ever, I will explain everything in detail so that its "valid" enough for anyone to use.

If you can't convince them, confuse them.

- President Harry S Truman

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Before anything else I would like to say that I am sorry to hear about your torn knee ligament. As I finally am getting older I have had real breaks and tears for the first time in my life and it is a real showing of my physical fragility which I would prefer not to have.

 

Secondly I would like to sincerely apologize for the tone of my earlier comments. I did not intend to write them as angry as they sound. I was in a bad mood, at work, and I write first and then edit but my boss showed up so I just posted them and then logged out. (I was on my break but my boss would be angry any way and just assume I was slacking)

 

My perception that the archer was an expert was from him being a "Dritz" clone. I presume that means an expert archer and it was that presumption which I now see (referencing your boss fights for level 1 players) which landed me in trouble. Additionally, I have had too many DM's, sadly almost all of them, who seem to think that the players are there as toys for their amusement and that torturing us is comical. Some of your descriptions just hit that nerve.

 

Even though you say you stand by your earlier comments your statement that the players have 75% of the control is not what I was picturing from your remark that they were interactive filler.

 

I have read the rest of your posts on this sight and I find your battles to be both brilliantly written and highly entertaining even for low level characters. I have no doubt that your players love you DMing style.

 

If you are angry at me you could likely call me a Rules Layer but I am more accurately a War Gamer. This means that I use the surroundings and rules to determine my very well planned out character and to plan. When the rules of reality are inconsistent it's like physics randomly changing gravity on you and can be very frustrating. Battle plans without consistency are pointless. However, your rules (as I have seen in your stories) are both fair and creative. It also seems that if I was in your game and asked you why my expert archer can't judge distance you would be willing to listen to reason, which is really all I can ask.

 

I am a long term player and DM and I hope that I will be able to add something to your systems. I don't have as much time as I would like to devote to coming up with them but I do enjoy reading the posts.

 

Finally, no matter what I said I never made a fool of you, only myself. Even if everyone here who was bothering to post were responding negatively it can have no effect on if you appear foolish or not. What you are posting is helpful and useful.

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Its no big deal. I think we can just chalk this up a misunderstanding and move on as gamers and people. We all have our crummy days and need a way to vent one way or another... isnt that what the internet was invtented for? :lol:

 

 

Soon to come, dragon statue battle!

Edited by Bloodsail Admiral Orodoth

If you can't convince them, confuse them.

- President Harry S Truman

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Boss battle number 3!

 

Hopefully my post have been helpfull to you all in creating unique and rememberable encounters.

 

The black dragon statue..

 

I used a D&D Icons edition Gargantuan Black Dragon miniature (dont let the name fool you, he's not very mini, roughly 9 inched tall with nearly a 12 inch wing span, massive compaired to medium creatures who stand ar roughly an inch tall.)

 

You can pick up this model or any of the others I use at

 

http://www.coolstuffinc.com/main_miniature...amp;info4=Packs

 

a very handy website. You can buy box sets or single mini's both used and new for various prices :lol:

 

Now then, I used my fake leather covered table again, to represent a massive Temple. Nearly the entire suface of the table was used to represent the gargantuan temple interior. The black dragon statue sat on the far end, unmoving. Directly underneath him, a rather large chest and various offering to the dragon "god" statue. When the PCs got aprox. 12 inches form him, the red eyes lit up. It was a trap! (might be deviating form the rules again, but here we go) The dragon statues eyes were actually wonderous items set up as traps, with a spell cast on them that triggers when beings other than those pre-designated (lizard folk) get within a certain radius. The powers of the eyes were a summon monster 1 spell (all summons were randomly generated form a table) and the ruby eyes had a permenancy spell cast upon them. Thus, every round, the 2 eyes would summon up 1d4 monsters into the room, regardless of how many were already there. The battle soon became quite epic for my low level PCs, as the Barbarian acted at the "tank" taking down the enemies for the most part. The gnomish ranger and human rogue quickly deduces after a few combat rounds that the eyes were summoning the monsters.

 

Heres a quick description to give when the eyes cast their summoning spell-

 

" The two enormous ruby colored eye shift from a soft red glow to a much brighter spectrum. The air around you thickens with the gathering of magic, and you feel an almost heavy sensation on your body. With a crackling sound and a fizzle of arcane energy, (X amount) of monsters apear out of thin air around you!"

 

You can give this description each time a summon happens verbatim, or reword to your liking. Its nothing more than a template if you will.

 

Now then, once the 2 PCs had noticed the ruby eyes were doing the summoning, the fight was truely on. (1 of m PCs was absent for this game, so I carried on as if he had never been there, and will be simply added in when he returns from his business trip in FL) With 1 PC fighting off the endless waves of monsters, the remaining two had a much more difficult task. The rubies, being roughly 8 inches wide each, had 10 hp and a harness of 5 (not too terribly much for low level PCs to take on) but, being nessled inside the statues massive skull, had an AC of 17 to compensate for the surounding stone and the like, making them a semi difficult target to hit.

 

Right off the bat the Rogue PC rolled a 1 with his crossbow, which I deemd the bow string popped, rendering the item useless. So what does he do? after a series of climb check all, being around a DC of 10 and 12 (dragons are scaley with lots of foot holds after all) manages to climb up to the head and commence to begin chipping away at the ruby with his dagger. I made him roll several balance and climb check to retain his grip and foothold, and to adjust to the onsuing fatigue his body would be feeling while clinging to the side of a jagged surface. The gnome ranger on the other hand.. we'll being a gnome, and my camapinge setting being semi-renaissance, had a flint lock musket style weapon (1d8 damage, x3 crit, 180 foot "accurate" range, weight 8 lbs, exotic, piercing) ** I will explain all the details behind it soon enough in a post, I think you all will like the creativity put into this, its a magical weapon to a degree!***

 

Well, with barbarian slicing and dicing random monsters, the rogue manages to break on of the rubies! Now, the amount of monsters summons has been cut in half (1d2, flip a coin, heads is 1 monster tails is 2) Hehe, I realized I've neglected to throw out the real twist in this fight.. Remember the bubbles.. yeah, the DM positions himself behind the monsterous statue, and blows bubbles once every 2 round to simulate a sparatic acid spray. Its sparatic because it hasn't been used in quite some time and has zero upkeep done to it. The piping used to supply the acid has corroded and has somewhat blocked of part of the flow, giving the acid more of a myst than a spray, and sends it in random directions. So, with the way the bubbles will fly, they actually managed to flow back and hit the Rogue in one occasion.

 

So you have monsters being spawned up, a race to destroy the eyes summoning monsters, and the constant threat of acidic damage (just 1 point per bubble again) to your players and the monsters. Plenty of action, plenty of game play, lots of on the edge action. My PCs succeeded in the fight, after roughly 12 combat rounds. Now the the surprise ending. The spray of acid has had a constant drizzle from the mouth of the dragon. This drizzle, has been sputtering all over the treasure chest, rendering most of its content a smoldering pile of junk. Some of it is salvagable, but I leave its contents up to the DM to decide. There is a small control lever on the rear side of the statue, which can be found with a successfull search check DC of 20. Using this switch will shut off the flow of acid after 1d4 round (i use a random number of round to compensate for the amount of built up pressure behind the flow, its not just going to quit instantly) Unfortunately, the Rogue didn't spot this untill after the fight, but, it gave easier access to the treasure with the fight being over.

 

 

So there you have it, another one of my unique and interesting spins on boss battles!

 

I appologize for my gross gramatical errors and lack of punctuation and capitolization. I'm on some heavy pain killers right now for my knee, and the screen is a bit fuzzy. Not quite feeling myself, but figured I would take the time to post this on my lunch break.

 

Take care all, and happy gaming! :p

If you can't convince them, confuse them.

- President Harry S Truman

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Yay! Bashing Time!

 

Firstly you might want to check out some of the specialist games by the mainstream wargaming companies like Mordheim or Inquisitor or some of the less known games like... like... like the one about warcasters and warjacks (Can't remember the name)

 

If you have the minis, using them to play out generic open air scenarios is fine and if you have access to real wargame terrain like medieval cities, forest mockups etc, it becomes hugely enjoyable. The problem with using minis with rpg games is the sad fact that you can't really cover the amount of problems your pcs are going to get into map wise. When your party manages to start a fight in a throne room or a tap room, the terrain just can't be enough to represent the game and players start feeling unsatisfied.

 

On the other hand its not all doom and gloom. Using minis to represent some parts of the game is actually quite enjoyable. Using some bastardised war-game rules to represent your guys as the leaders of some forces with some henchman attached to them (Archers, Swordsmen, Pikemen, Bodyguards for the casters) in a campaign where the players are the captains and lt.s of a mercenary company is immensly satisfying (And playing out the mercenary force's battle too :banghead:)

IG. We kick ass and not even take names.

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meh, sure, a table top can be mundane in the wrong hands, but, with the right DMing style, you can turn the floor into a desert wasteland. The trick is pretty simple: description description description. If you give bare bones illustrations of how that throne room looks, then yeah, of course a table is gonna be a bit boring and unsuitable for your needs. But with a little elbow grease and creativity, a good, solid, and detailed description of the surroundings will suffice. Take the time to think out a description for your settings and write em' down. never hurts to plan ahead. got a massive pillar in the room? Got nothing pillar like to place there? use a cup. You can DM your heart out, but your players also have to be up to the challenge of using their noodle and that tiny little locked away piece of childhood called an imagination.

If you can't convince them, confuse them.

- President Harry S Truman

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