2010-07-07 Seven Players

Over on the 3.5 Private Sanctuary Forum somebody asked The Big Group Issue - Save Us! – and I suggested the following measures:

The simplification for multiple attacks works as follows: Instead of the cascading bonuses for current iterative attacks, up to a possible 4th attack at BAB +16, the variant works as follows:

Statistically, you get similar damage output as current iterative attack rules, except at the corner cases when facing foes whose ACs are extremely high or extremely low relative to your attack bonus. The big advantage – fewer rolls, but in particular fewer different bonuses to add!

You can allow both rules as written and the above simplification at the table. Some players might feel that they’re quick enough at adding things up and they like the rules – no problem. Those that are slow might prefer this simplification.

And finally, enjoy the chaos at the table! Maximize the part that is cool about having so many people at the table. It’s not intimate. It’s not personal. It’s about chaos, mayhem, confusion, and action. If there’s one person that gets the spotlight such as a bard or paladin doing Diplomacy, make sure that this too plays fast and make sure to allow other players to help out. Simply encouraging a lot of Aid Another is a good way to start.

Additional suggestion by Adrian in the comments:



Computer/iPhone dice rollers for big spells (esp. disintegrate and such) are nice. Or, following an example I saw once for a high level D&D Game Day event (or something like that), you could take a level 20 wizard’s disintegrate spell, which would normally be 40d6, and turn it into a few dice plus a large static modifier, i.e., 6d6 + 119. It does take away some of the swinginess of big damage spells.

Also, if the player already knows what he or she is going to do, i.e., the fighter is definitely going to attack this guy, then roll the dice and write down the numbers while others are going, when it is your turn then you can just rattle off the results.

Finally, tell the players what the monster’s AC is. They figure it out after one or two rounds anyways.

– Adrian 2010-07-07 20:21 UTC

Good points, I’ll add them to the list!

AlexSchroeder 2010-07-07 22:22 UTC

Another nice rule I recently read was that players should always have their move prepared and the relevant rules open and at the table. If they don’t, they automatically delay and possibly loose their turn if everybody else has gone.

Playing D&D 3.5 does require the addition of one house rule. It’s no really a rule, but a modification that takes into account 3.5’s design principles. Namely, players have to be on top of the rules. For example, a player cannot simply say, “I grapple the orc.” Because of the many and varied rules, the player needs to state his intentions AND have the PHB open to the page that covers grappling. If they do not have the rules for their spell, special attack or stats for their summoned monster, they get skipped until they do have them. – Christian in Exploring The Magnum Opus That Is Ptolus

It’s evil, but it might speed things up.

AlexSchroeder 2010-07-08 12:52 UTC

Hi Alex - great minds think alike? Your initiative rule is close to that of my own fantasy heartbreaker. How do you like your initiative? (Harald participated in one of the playtest games, and his portrayal of The Dwarf is well-remembered.)

DirkR 2010-07-09 14:33 UTC

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