Home » Ancient Posts » Retreating from Combat is Pointless in D&D?    
0 0 votes
Article Rating
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Blue Tyson

Tried signing up by email, but get a feedburner error message saying subscriptions not enabled…this is turned off, or just me?


Here's a situation: 1 dragon 12 PCs and Henchmen . A retreat is called and if everyone runs in a different direction, someone survives, all stand in a clump waiting to get breath-weaponed to death and there's no reason to run.

Spreading out and running have their uses, campaigns that don't support simple tactics are failing everyone at the table.

"In my opinion, dropping rules for morale checks (for NPCs and monsters), reaction rolls for encounters, and rules for avoiding monsters/retreating from combat is a major reason why so many people seem to expect all encounters with "monsters" to not only automatically result in combat but combat to the death."

You are absolutely correct. The above, plus the fact that more recent editions encourage DMs to "balance" encounters against the strength of the party, rather than having low-level PCs sometimes encounter unbeatable foes. I have extensively houseruled morale, reaction tables, etc into 4e. Bringing those kind of classic elements back into D&D is basically the focus of my blog, so I am very, very pleased to see what you have written here.

As 4e has monster statistics improve by level, basically by formula, some monsters automatically get "priced out" of the player's reach, so throwing monsters of too high a level doesn't work as well as it does in classic editions, were they might still at least have a chance to hit, or be able to force a save against one. My solution was to use higher level monsters within reason and to use variable, swingy totals of monsters to increase the difficulty. This has worked amazingly well in my games.

I also do away with the "magic mart" mentality and rules of more recent additions. This curbs PC power levels significantly.

Anyways, great post!

Big McStrongmuscle

I would also suggest that any party That doesn't pack a few nasty surprises for escapes is a very foolish party. Caltrops, marbles, aniseed bombs, grappling hooks, ropes, smoke bombs.lamp oil, door spikes, chains, locks, horses. All that stuff is on the equipment list for a reason. And that isn't even going into the dozens of hasty exit spells. Or marking easily blocked choke points on the map.