D&D WITH ERIC THE DM #44: Battle Pop Off!
I wasn't expecting you back so soon! But no worries, you're welcome here anytime! I have a fire going in the den and some snacks out so go get warm and help yourself!
How has combat been going for you? Are you striking true with spell and sword? Or do you find yourself missing the mark sometimes? Combat is a BIG part of tabletop gaming! Why don't we review the cycle of combat and see if we can make things smoother for you!
No matter what game you're playing, the combat systems in MOST games are very similar. But what can we do before combat to make ourselves ready?
One of the very best things you can do is to arrive at your gaming session early. Set aside 10 minutes of "me time" right before each session. Spend this time reviewing every word on your character sheets. Know your spells, your HP, your Mana. Know what items you have, what weapons you have. You should do this before EVERY GAME! Even if you think you know your character forward and backwards you should STILL do this before every game. Because your character is a living breathing being! Most characters will change during every session. New skills, new weapons, new items, new spells, changes to HP, Stats, enchantments, the list goes on. You are responsible for knowing every aspect of your character and failing to do so will result in missed opportunities! The worst feeling ever is looking over your character sheet after a particularly rough session and realizing you had exactly what was needed to solve a problem!
Ok so you are primed and ready! Adventure has begun and you are in tune with your character. Nice! And then it happens! ROLL INITIATIVE! And battle has begun! Most gaming systems start combat with an initiative roll. The numbers rolled here determine the order in which you will fight. Make sure you apply any bonuses you have! This is an interesting time in the battle because you are now one of two things. You are first to attack, or you are not. If you are first to attack you will probably have to make a quick decision about what to do. Hopefully it will be an easy choice. If you are having a hard time deciding what to do though you may want to take a defensive action initially. This will allow you time to take in the situation and decide on a stronger move on your next attack! If you are not first there are a few things you should do. First is to pay attention. Since you are not attacking right away you have a moment to take things in. Try to think of the battle and the battlefield as a whole. Consider everything from the landscape to the player and enemy positions. Once you have done this choose an action. Know what you want to do. Now you are prepared. But the other main thing to do is watch and listen! Things in battle can change quickly! So don't get caught daydreaming! Listen to what is going on and watch the battle unfold. With each action consider if your chosen action is still the best one. At any moment you may want or NEED to change your plan of attack! By knowing your character, you can be prepared for any situation no matter how suddenly it may occur!
The next thing that happens will be your turn to act! When it is your turn to make your action, you should be prepared. When you know it is your turn to go next you should be hyper aware of what is happening. You are "on deck" as they say. What you do or don't do next could turn the tide of battle!
These are the 3 basic beginning steps of battle. This is very basic as there is a huge amount of nuisance and strategy that also goes into each round of battle but by being aware of these basic steps and, most of all, being aware of your character, you can start to do amazing and incredible things!
Next time we meet I'll go over some more advanced battle concepts. But that’s enough for now! Rest up and heal! A new adventure is right around the corner for you! Keep having fun out there adventurers and KEEP ROLLING THOSE DICE!