Select Page

Tools of War: Design Principles for Massive Combat

5th edition isn’t designed for massive combats. One of the most powerful things you can do in 5th edition and its derivatives is to either get more actions or deny people theirs. As the game is simulationist, adding more people into a combat becomes a brute-force way to make this happen, be that hordes of opponents, summoned allied minions, or simply lots of players or allied NPCs. Additionally, each combatant makes every round of combat take...

Tools of War: NPC Allies

NPC allies are a reasonably common feature in home campaigns and published adventures. While a decent way to showcase the allies that characters are invested in, characters who are important to the plot, or just friendly combatants too important to be represented as some sort of disposable minion, they can be annoying to use. And just as with minions and hirelings, they add to the action economy on a one-to-one basis. Controlling them is a...

Tools of War: Commanding Minions

You’re playing a necromancer, and you’ve finally got animate dead. Your last battle leaves you with a small hoard of corpses, and careful spell selection and treasure hoarding has given you the resources to raise, equip, and transport all of them.  You reach the dungeon, a team of bandits riding out to meet you. You command your minions to charge alongside the barbarian and— Oh no. You have to roll initiative for all of these guys…...

Tools of War: Formations and Hordes

Enormous battles against overwhelming odds are a staple of the fantasy genre, of the books and movies and games that inspire so many campaigns. Trying to bring that experience to the tabletop, though, is difficult with the increased bookkeeping, time, and attention that such combats require. To War! There are existing rules to mitigate this. Both the Monster Manual and Dungeon Master’s Guide offer ways to speed up combat or handle large numbers...


Pin It on Pinterest