We’ve been playing this campaign for awhile now and as DM I’ve had to step in very little. However, I’ve been taking notes as we play and finally sat down and put together a few ideas on making our play time more streamlined and fun. I’m 100% open to criticism and suggestions, so lets hear it!
Combat seems to be a little funky for us and I think there are a few reasons. Before jumping in the deep end and re-working how we do combat altogether, I want to try emphasizing class uniqueness and versatility over the hack-and-slash fights we’ve been having. This is largely my fault as I’ve been running combat more like 4th Edition.
Here’s a list of suggested changes in no particular order.
Current rule: Automatically deals max damage times 2.
Suggested Change Option 1: Rules as Written – Roll your damage dice twice and add the results together. Only affects weapon/spell hits – poison and other effects are added AFTER the combat hits are added together.
Suggested Change Option 2: Max damage on first hit + an extra attack roll. Same as above where other effects apply after the critical hit.
GM’s Note: I think this single change above all others will make combat exciting again (MCEA!)
The Wild Magic table can randomly fire off a random effect when a sorcerer uses a spell. Think of a “normal” magic user using magic like this – they go to the magic fountain, position a glass under the faucet, open it a bit, fill up the glass precisely, and then shut the faucet off. When a sorcerer, especially one who practices Wild Magic, uses magic, it’s a bit different. They approach the fountain with a hammer, smash it, grab as much water as they can, then try to smash it shut again. This has only happened once in the game so far, which is not by design.
Suggested Change: Increasingly higher level spell slot levels will cause a higher chance to provoke a Wild Magic event, using the following table.
|Spell Slot Level||Final Number||D20 Range||% Chance|
|4||3||1, 2, 3||15%|
|5||3||1, 2, 3||15%|
|6||4||1, 2, 3, 4||20%|
|7||4||1, 2, 3, 4||20%|
|8||5||1, 2, 3, 4, 5||25%|
|9||5||1, 2, 3, 4, 5||25%|
GM’s Note: This will effectively make random effects happen significantly more often. If it becomes too much hassle, we can certainly tone it down a bit.
Tides of Chaos
This is another Sorcerer class feature that:
“Allows the character to gain advantage on one attack, ability check, or saving throw. A long rest is required before doing it again.”
The rules go on and say that:
ANY TIME AFTER THIS IS USED, whenever a spell is cast, it provokes an action from the Wild Magic Surge table
GM’s Note: This is less of a suggested change and more of a “Oh, I didn’t know that rule existed” note…
Just a rules clarification here – Assassinate only applies to surprised creatures, which means that it cannot be used after combat has started in 99% of cases.
GM’s Gripe: This ability is poorly named. A re-reading of the rules suggests that this is more an “attack of opportunity” than a “sneaky attack”.
Sneak Attack will apply to most rogue attacks, provided that the rogue is attacking a creature that is either currently engaged in fighting someone else OR the rogue has hidden themselves from combat from a particular creature and re-emerged to make a strike.
GM’s Note: It seems to me that the rules suggest a rogue cannot be stationary for very long in combat, or it will lose the ability to make this strike for the extra damage.
These will do 2d4 + 2 healing instead of 1d8 + 2 (effectively raises the minimum heal) per the rule book.
Group Ability Checks:
These will no longer be partial pass/fail where certain members of the group pass and others fail. IE only a few of you hear/see something coming. Instead, everyone will roll on the ability check (using their modifiers where applicable). If half of the group or more succeeds, the group succeeds. Otherwise, the group fails.
This list is not comprehensive, but are the top things that I think will move us in a more fun direction as we finish up Hoard of the Dragon Queen and move into the Rise of Tiamat adventure!
If there is something about YOUR class that you feel needs to be tweaked or something I can do to make the game fun for you, please let me know!