To Play or To not Play?
It occurs. Everybody’s busy, and solely sure gamers present up. I labored onerous to encourage a mixture of assist casters and fight character sorts, six characters in complete. We play as soon as per week over Roll20. The rule we got here up with is that we might play with a minimal of 4 gamers. If we had all six, nice, I might regulate the sport’s problem on the fly.
However this final encounter concerned ranged fight utilizing cowl in a sniping battle. Our remaining occasion members had been an elven druid, a tiefling sorceress, and a gnome artificer. Aside from the elven ranger, the ranged attackers had been all current. I requested the gamers in the event that they wished to proceed. The three who confirmed up had been actually wanting ahead to the sport, so I made a calculated choice and determined to go forward.
Possibly We Should not Have Performed…
The battle concerned hordes of enemies arriving from above, with a horizontal (as a substitute of an overhead view) map, Area Invaders fashion. There have been big mushrooms to cover behind and plenty of flying clockwork monsters taking pictures radiant rays. The sorceress unleashed fireballs and a storm sphere, whereas the druid used her moonbeam spell in a 40-foot lengthy column (very totally different from the 10-foot facet circle when combating from a top-down perspective!). The artificer ran round therapeutic and offering assist. For the primary couple of rounds, issues had been going within the occasion’s favor.
However there have been too many monsters, which meant that essential hits had been more likely. Despite the fact that the monsters had low Armor Class and low Hit Factors, there have been numerous them, and the essential hits began so as to add up, significantly on the druid. There wasn’t numerous room to cease and heal, as each occasion member was maximizing their motion financial system because the enemy relentlessly got here nearer and nearer to them on the backside of the map.
Then the monsters closed to melee.
When it was a sniping battle, issues had been pretty even. Though the monsters had been being decimated they nonetheless had been scoring hits, however the squishier casters could not stand up to a lot melee for lengthy. That is the place they missed their tanks most. The sorceress summoned a Hound of Ailing Omen and the artificer summoned his eldritch cannon. These soaked up some hits, however not sufficient.
At this level issues had been getting determined. The sorceress went down, as did the Hound and cannon, however that was sufficient for the druid to make use of her moonbeam to wash up the remainder of the attackers after which revive the sorceress. It was an in depth match and the gamers had been sweating.
What I Did Behind the Scenes
I initially had two assaults for each monster, so I lower that in half. It additionally simply made fight transfer quicker, as there have been numerous attackers (15 per wave). I additionally rounded up harm when the monsters had been near 0 hit factors, so in the event that they had been inside 2 or 3, I simply blew them up. The fight was meant to make the PCs really feel highly effective, they usually positively loved wiping opponents off the battlefield.
The monsters additionally got here in waves, which meant that whereas our heroes began out robust, it will definitely wore them down. The monsters weren’t significantly good and had no chief, in order that they reacted to fight circumstances solely after they skilled them (e.g., they did not keep away from the storm sphere at first till a number of received caught in it).
And regardless of all that, it was nonetheless very a lot a swingy battle that might have resulted in a complete occasion kill.
Was It Value It?
The gamers talked about this sport in breathless phrases, thrilled that they survived. I used to be too, as a result of I actually did not need to wipe out the occasion as a result of we selected to play with out the remainder of the group. And but capturing that lightning in a bottle, the place the win is difficult earned, is a part of what makes the sport a lot enjoyable. There are definitely issues I might have finished in a different way, however with so many variables it might typically be onerous to gauge it excellent. It was shut a match, however I believe it was well worth the danger.
Your Flip: How do you deal with video games when half or extra of the occasion is lacking?