Would my idea work?


I've had a idea that could be used in several RPG's. Would my idea work?

If theirs a adventure you want to do but your players have characters that are too powerful for it simply change the enemies so that rather then fight as individuals have them fight as groups

Here's 1 example

You want to do The 1st edition DAD Adventure Sethotep, The Adventure is designed for 4 to 6 characters of 2nd to 4th level and during it the characters face 20 Bandits who are 1st Fighters

But your characters have 5 7th level Fighters, so to make the adventure a challenge have The Bandits fight as 4 groups of 5, ideally The Pcs fight each group 1 at a time and have each group of 5 be the equivalent of A 7th level Fighter

This way the enemies The Characters fight are strong enough to have a chance of winning without being strong enough to slaughter The Pcs


  • Abersade
    Posts: 347

    This is a viable solution, and combat noise would be an easy enough way to explain why the groups keep showing up. I'm of the opinion that as a DM/GM you should have a good enough grasp on the combat mechanics of the game you are running in order to be able to subtly shift things around on the fly so that the players always feel like there is some sense of danger in combat without them necessarily actually being in danger, depending of course on how lethal your game is.

    To put that statement another way, think of it like this. It's not like the bandits run in screaming what level or class they are, so the players honestly have no real way of knowing what they are truly up against. Maybe the bandits are actually all 1st level fighters in stolen equipment so their thac0 is terrible and they drop on like two hits, maybe they are all actually vampiric dopplegangers and the players get subdued easily, maybe each of the bandits are actually 3 goblins in a baggy suit of leather armor wielding wooden weapons painted silver, it doesn't so much matter what they fight so long as they feel like they are in some level of danger while doing it. Between that and the fact that the Storyteller always has the option of flubbing dice rolls (for better or worse) combat challenge levels/rating should almost always be fairly easy to manage.

    With that said though... years ago I was running a D&D 3.5 game for a group of 5-6 level 11 characters and wanted to put them up against a beholder, which should have been a slight challenge/fairly average CR. So, prior to the session I ran through three practice fights between the party and a single somewhat prepared beholder and each time the party was totally annihilated. This lead me to a couple of conclusions, the first being that 3.5's CR system was a great deal less than perfect. Anyways, this lead me down a different path entirely and I ended up playtesting a fight with a Battlebriar instead which the playtest versions of the players were able to defeat without too much of a hassle. With that settled I decided to use the Battlebriar in the actual game.

    Folks, it went... not great. See, as it turned out my playtest versions of the characters were thinking about the tactics of the fight much more thorougly than my actual players did. The cleric (and primary healer) tried to off-tank, only to get stuck to the Battlebriar's thorns in the second round of combat and thus be basically unable to reach anyone to apply any healing, which ended up not mattering anyways because our sorcerer decided to cast a huge AOE ice spell that killed the cleric. The next round the ranger was flattened. The round after the sorcerer was flattened. Then the barbarian, whose HP had been taking a beating nearly every round with no heals and whose AC sucked, went down. All that was left was the fighter who had focused so his build on maxing out his AC to the point where virtually nothing could touch him. Unfortunately this also meant that the fighter wasn't actually fantastic at hitting anything or dealing damage and couldn't outpace the Battlebriar's fast healing. The Battlebriar had next to no chance of hitting the fighter, the fighter couldn't actually damage the Battlebriar, so it got bored of the fight and just walked away since the fighter was obviously not a threat.

    The point of that story is that despite all the planning in the world these things don't always work out the way that you would expect them to.

    GM of Rise of the Durnskald: Wrath of the Fallen Goddess - February 2016 CotM

    GM of Core: The Ashes of Alcarna - April 2020 CotM

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