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2008-04-07 DM Advice – Speed Up Combat

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Summary: A list of things that worked for my group.

Changed:

< * Suggest a common-sense action or Delay if they aren't sure what to do. I find this helps the not-so-tactically-minded players. I suggest "Ready an action to hit the first monster to come within range!" and they'll brighten up and nod.
< *
Provide "combat sheets" for your players where they can write down their to hit, damage, etc. for the various common buff combos. No more mumbling "well... +7 to hit, +1 because of Bless, don't forget Prayer, Protection of Evil, and now I'm Enlarged, or does that cancel? Uhm... and favorite enemy... Uhhh..." Let them compute it once and write it down.

to

> * Provide "combat sheets" for your players where they can write down their to hit, damage, etc. for the various common buff combos. No more mumbling "well... +7 to hit, +1 because of Bless, don't forget Prayer, Protection of Evil, and now I'm Enlarged, or does that cancel? Uhm... and favorite enemy... Uhhh..." Let them compute it once and write it down. Some people can add up lots of numbers very quickly. I'm not one of them, and neither are some of my players. This is for us.
> * Suggest a common-sense action or Delay if they aren't sure what to do. I find this helps the not-so-tactically-minded players. I suggest "Ready an action to hit the first monster to come within range!" and they'll brighten up and nod. Great! Avoid providing more /choice/. More choice results in more time spent making a decision.


In response to a thread on EN World about Suggestions for Speeding Up Combat I provided the following list:

None of the players liked the idea of there being a real timer or the DM hustling the players along.

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Comments

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Summary: One thing we did that worked well -- we'd call out who was up on initiative as well as the next person. The next person was supposed to start . . .

Added:

> ----
> One thing we did that worked well -- we'd call out who was up on initiative as well as the next person. The next person was supposed to start thinking about their action while the person currently up actually rolled their dice and stated their moves, etc.
> Everything you mention is something we did in our games and worked well.
> -- Adrian 2008-04-08 09:00 UTC


Looks good to me, Alex :)

greywulf 2008-04-07 19:56 UTC


I love me some PeerReview! :) Thanks, GreyWulf.

AlexSchroeder 2008-04-07 23:06 UTC


One thing we did that worked well – we’d call out who was up on initiative as well as the next person. The next person was supposed to start thinking about their action while the person currently up actually rolled their dice and stated their moves, etc.

Everything you mention is something we did in our games and worked well.

– Adrian 2008-04-08 09:00 UTC

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