Now that we have our system for creating skirmishes, let’s put it into action. Our hypothetical party is a four-character group at 3rd level, consisting of an elven ranger, a dwarf warlock, a hobgoblin rogue, and a human bard. We know that while they put out a lot of damage and are very mobile, they’re […]
The Art of Skirmishing
While manipulating the encounter difficulty chart is a simple way to indicate how factors affect combat difficulty, it’s also imprecise, doesn’t have many gradations, and can be misleading. It still has its uses in adjusting the broad overview of an encounter but is less useful for dealing with more granular modifications, like how NPC roles
Fire lanes are a concept from skirmish wargaming that describe concrete areas of line of sight that allow attacks to be performed at range. Line of sight blockers describe terrain elements that block line of sight and therefore attacks and abilities. Movement blockers describe terrain elements that block or impede movement even if they don’t
A troll in a field is dead. A troll under a bridge is dramatic. A troll in your privy is terrifying. The danger of enemies in 5th edition is based heavily on the circumstances in which they are encountered. Skirmishing doesn’t change this fact but does change the nature of those circumstances. Previously, you’d have
Selim’s dagger came free, the high priest’s corpse slumping over the altar. “That’s it then,” he said. “Let’s see what we’re getting out of this mess.” “Boss,” said Faridah, “we may want to nix the looting.” “Why would—” As he turned, Selim saw the ritual turned loose. The temple was falling apart, tendrils of noxious,
To make a skirmish a skirmish, you will need an objective as well as a condition for ending combat. In a standard combat, these are the same thing. Once a side runs out of combatants, the other side has completed its objective, and the fight has ended. The game is designed around this paradigm, a
The first step of creating any successful skirmish is to set compelling stakes and objectives for that skirmish and to communicate them clearly to the players. The worst-case scenario for a skirmish is the players not caring about the outcome of the fight or not understanding what they need to do to effect that outcome.
You could not call such bloodshed a victory. Dwarven pike had met draconic spear wall, neither buckling until lines were met. Hradakh had been in the thick of it, stabbing his way through the brutal melee, and when the fighting stopped, he and his dragonborn kin held the field.