D&D WITH ERIC THE DM #20: Battle Skills

D&D WITH ERIC THE DM #20: Battle Skills

Eric the DM

Hello Traveler! It is good to see you again! Are you wounded?! Here! Sit and I will give you a healing potion or two, I have plenty to spare for my friends!

So, it looks like you’ve been in battle! That’s good! Battle makes you stronger and gives you experience! And wounds can heal! So don’t be afraid to fight!

Since you’re here why not rest a while and I’ll prepare us a meal and pour us some wine. While I’m getting things ready let’s talk about battle!

We have talked about battle before. But today I thought we’d talk about it from a few different angles you may not have considered before. There are many ways to battle that you may not have considered.

Battle isn’t always hack and slash with swords and axes or huge fireball blasts. Sometimes you can battle with your mind! There are several ways to do this. While you are in battle try to call to mind your skills! Many beginner players get caught up in their weapons and spells and forget many if not all your skills can also be used during battle. Here are a few examples:

First you may have some pretty awesome physical skills! Skills like acrobatics, climbing, athletics and more can all find a place in battle. The ability to balance on a ledge, jump a chasm, or climb to a better fighting position can all turn the tide of battle. These may seem kind of obvious and most DMs may prod you to using these types of skills at early levels. Regardless, if you remember these skills yourself and pay attention to your environment you can probably come up with some cool moves of your own!

Less considered in battle are Lore skills. There are many types of lore. City lore, monster lore, region lore, etc. Many of these breakdown into further types, particularly monster lore, which breaks off into many subclasses of monsters. The point is if you have the lore for a certain monster type you are fighting against use it! If you have time before battle attempt several skill rolls and/or attempt to do research into the monster you are fighting. Weaknesses, strengths, attack patterns, etc., can all be incredible knowledge to have before battle. During battle you can use these skills too. Your character may remember a key weakness or some other information in the heat of battle that can turn the tide! If you have the lore of some city you are in you may be able to move your team to a more advantageous spot during the fight or find a way to pin your enemies against a wall! If you know about a region or country you are in you may know about thieving guilds and gangs in the area. How to avoid them and how to fight them or even get them to fight for you! Keep all of this in mind!

Finally consider using off the wall skills either as distractions or in desperation ha ha. This is a true story: Once I was traveling with a beautiful sorceress. She had been traveling with me and my companions for quite some time. While traveling thru some mountains we were ambushed by Orcs! A terrible battle began. We fought hard but we soon realized we were being overwhelmed so began a strategic retreat. We managed to hide ourselves, but they continued to hunt for us relentlessly. Our sorceress saved us! She teleported quite a way away, and began to sing! On her skill roll she rolled a perfect skill check! Her singing was so mesmerizing the entire orc horde turned to her allowing us to escape. As they closed in on her she flew away with another spell and saved the day!

The point is in my many adventures I have seen skills like singing, acting, even storytelling, used effectively in battle. Think outside the box! Smart use of skills is key to being a great tabletop gamer!

OK you are looking well mended and full my friend! I’ve placed another 2 healing potions in your pack for the road. Think nothing of it! Feel free to rest here as long as you like and then get back out there and keep fighting! I believe in you adventurer! Keep rolling those dice!!!
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