Page 1750 - Victory Conditioning

1st Oct 2022, 6:00 AM in What About Discord?
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Victory Conditioning
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Newbiespud 1st Oct 2022, 6:00 AM edit delete
1750 pages, and for some reason I committed to making every multiple of 10 at least double-length. Thanks, past Spud.

I've seen all kinds of tactics in tabletop combat. From just kicking in the door and figuring it out as you go, to carefully organized breach protocols to minimize risk. Any notable stories about unique or interesting team tactics?

Notice: Guest comic submissions are open! Guidelines here. Deadline: January 27th, 2023.



Toric 1st Oct 2022, 6:38 AM edit delete reply
Actually, we just did the final fight of a published pathfinder campaign. Final room had a major fighty type as the campaign boss, a powerful caster secondary, some golem flunkies, and a good dozen or so goons who were on our heels because we bum rushed straight to the boss room of a big ol' tower.

Round 1, the two melee guys have to burn their movement just to get up to the melee boss. Main fighter gets grappled by a bigby's hand kind of spell, backup can't get all the way there in one go, archers are up on a raised platform, with the cleric and my bard. I use "Bard's escape" (basically a dimension door but allies within 30ft and you can arrange them), and I move the grappled fighter literally 1 space so he's adjacent to the boss and out of the hand. I move the other fighter 2 spaces to be next to him with a Longspear. The rest of us all move 1 or 2 spaces for better line of sight. Literally used a high level spell to move everyone a few feet.

Round 2, everyone focuses on damaging the fighty boss, and I'm still last in initiative. She takes a lot of damage, and I pull out a scroll that I've been holding onto for 6 or 7 levels: Power Word Stun. She had less than 150hp left (though apparently it was close) so she doesn't get a saving throw. Stunned for d4 rounds, ends up being 4. She goes down in 1 more round, and then it's just mop-up.

When the goons came down the stairs behind us, we hit them with a type 7 necklace of fireballs and wasted half of them immediately.
Guest 1st Oct 2022, 7:38 AM edit delete reply
Ah, the time-honored strategy of "hold on to interesting loot in case you need it for a boss fight."
Philadelphus 1st Oct 2022, 11:13 AM edit delete reply
I think the surprising part is "actually use the interesting loot on a boss fight instead of holding on to it 'just in case'"! 😆
Guest 1st Oct 2022, 7:47 AM edit delete reply
We knew there was a Beholder in the next room, ready to blanket us in anti-magic. We also ran into a Rhemoraz earlier, and had polymorphed it into a mouse instead of trying to deal with it head on; we still had it in a bottle. Yeet the "mouse" into the beholder room and wait for the shrieking to stop. We still had to deal with the Beholder, but it was funny.

Elsewhere, we found a Frost Giant waiting for us, with extra Oni adds. So our Paladin/Hexblade/Assassin got thunderous smite up, followed by a haste from our bard and greater invis from the wizard. The results were... spectacular. (assassins automatically crit on anything surprised. Crit is devastating on smites.)

Much later we ran into a shoggoth-thing (homebrew boss monster) holding onto something we needed, but it was deep inside a fortress full of Sladd, and our last attack had gone... poorly. So we got our spelljammer to haul/fling an asteroid through the fortress roof. That went better.
NobleCuriosity 3rd Oct 2022, 6:18 PM edit delete reply
Nice! What system were you playing spelljammer in?
Guest 4th Oct 2022, 9:07 AM edit delete reply
We're playing 5e, but used hodgepodge houserules inspired by previous versions of spelljammer. The ship mostly functioned as a tardis-like plot device to get us to various planes of existence. We plugged an amulet of the planes into it so it could bounce around. The campaign is all about the outer planes going crazy, basically switching/losing their alignment becuase someone or something is screwing with them.
Draxynnic 1st Oct 2022, 8:05 AM edit delete reply
Hostage rescue in a Living Geyhawk scenario - Core, if I remember correctly. Most such scenarios are designed to have three fights. We scout the building using scrying spells. Sure enough, there's a guardroom on the bottom floor, more guards on the balcony above, and the Big Bad on the top with the hostage. Average party level was 6.

We start planning. DM is getting a little agitated that we've taken about an hour and a half planning before entering the building (this is a four-hour convention timeslot, after all). Eventually, though, the planning comes together. Breaking from usual conventions for such games of only having one fight at once, but choosing not to take the metagaming approach that the bad guys are just going to let us take down each set of guards without consequences, we plan out how to keep all three enemy groups occupied at once.

Namely, stealthy character disables the alarm on the door to get into the building, quietly opens it, and locks the bottom-floor guards inside their guardroom (I forget exactly how now, except that it was a temporary solution that we only expected to buy a few rounds. Might have been an arcane trickster wannabe who used a Hold Portal on the door). The wizard who was doing the scrying summons bison through the upper-floor window to charge the Big Bad (who happened to be a squishy spellcaster which, suffice to say, the writers did not expect to be caught completely by surprise). The rest of the party bypasses the sealed-in ground floor guards, charge in, and engage the guards on the floor above, possibly from invisible (again, it's been a while, I don't recall all the details now). As it happens, the Big Bad spellcaster, which again, the writers did NOT expect to be caught completely by surprise, unbuffed, and not immediately ready to threaten the hostage, gets taken out by the battle cattle without an opportunity to react. The guards on the top of the stairs were incapacitated in about two rounds of fighting (my character was a fighter rocking Improved Trip and Disarm feats).

By the time the guards on the bottom floor get the door open, they see that their superiors have already surrendered and and decide that they weren't getting paid enough to fight a battle that had already been lost, especially since the guy paying their bills was already in the process of... let's just say, paying posthumous reparations to the adventuring party for our time and effort. The end result of this fantasy SWAT operation is that after all that time planning, we resolved all of the combat encounters in maybe as much as half an hour and had everything done and dusted and the paperwork filled out with over an hour to spare.
NobleCuriosity 2nd Oct 2022, 7:14 PM edit delete reply
This is the dream when I plan. That said, I have to ask: was it more fun than just storming them in the recommended order would have been?

(Obviously it makes for a more unique story though, which has merit itself!)
Digo 1st Oct 2022, 8:07 AM edit delete reply
I vaguely remember that time I ran a Fate game and the players all ganged up to make a really big flying contraption to dunk on Princess Luna. ^^
CrowMagnon 1st Oct 2022, 10:18 AM edit delete reply
A few weeks ago, my group faced an enemy that feeds off of the fear of isolation, and hit the party with a curse. The cleric and paladin shrugged it off, but our ratfolk blaster-caster and my tiefling occultist got hit with it, and flubbed our knowledge checks so we didn't even know it was a curse. What it did was it made the two of us who were affected unable to see or interacted with our allies, and they couldn't see or interact with us in any way either. But we could still see hostiles, so my character saw the creature that cursed him fighting our paladin for a bit before dimension-dooring out, and deduced that the others were still there.

I tried a few different things to communicate with the rest of the party indirectly, but because of the curse nothing worked. So without any more information about how I could work around the curse and arrange with the others to get it lifted, I went looking for the creature that did it. It was a serious gamble, but the idea was that either the others would also be looking for that creature, or if I got into a fight with it then the noise IT made while doing so might be enough to get the group to congregate in one place.

In that regard, it actually did work sort of. The area we were in wasn't very big, so nobody had to go very far to find the creature, but because I was nervous and not in the best headspace, I didn't layer on as many defenses as I could or should have done. The result was that the others came in just in time to see the monster brutalize an invisible body and drop it to the ground. Thankfully, the paladin was able to finish it off, and our cleric used the position it was in when they saw it drop my corpse so that when she cleansed the area of curses, my body (and the ratfolk who had been doing some scouting and managed to come back to the same place everyone was in at the last minute) came back into view.
albedoequals1 1st Oct 2022, 11:01 AM edit delete reply
Ah, win, the best strategy of them all. As long as you stick to the plan, victory is assured :p

Since the GM is playing two villains that are theoretically smart, it would be natural to withhold information from the GM to force them to improvise during the boss fight
Wolfier 1st Oct 2022, 11:59 AM edit delete reply
All things considered, winging it is kind of the name of the game.

A wild Spike has appeared!
Winged Cat 1st Oct 2022, 1:07 PM edit delete reply
Winged Cat
In a Fate game I have recently started, my human PC acts as a starship's owner and commander, to provide cover for his friend, an AI (another PC) who doesn't want to publicly admit to existing as a sentient thing (due to being hunted - subsentient AI is okay). In exchange, the AI operates the party's starship. My PC feels quite confident and secure any time he is in line of sight of the ship's lasers, given the likely fate of those who would accost him. (At what amounts to point blank range for ship weapons, the AI can aim very precisely.)

When not in direct line of sight of the ship's artillery, my PC is essentially recon and forward observer. He doesn't need much in the way of combat skills, other than to run away and escape. This may lead to problems when subtle measures and minimum destruction are needed. I don't think our GM anticipated two players teaming up to form a walking artillery mission.

And then there's another PC who acts as my PC's partner and romantic interest, just as he is for her. They get a bonus when executing some plan together - in other words, most times they use coordinated tactics. It is possible that she might serve as a forward observer for the AI too; we haven't gotten far enough into the campaign to suss that out yet. Given her vehicular skills, it is likely the three of them will wind up as: she drives, he spots, it shoots.
Starchington Esq. III 2nd Oct 2022, 5:59 AM edit delete reply
So you've made Knight Rider *in space* essentially, have you? Does your character look like the Hoff?
Winged Cat 3rd Oct 2022, 5:47 PM edit delete reply
Winged Cat
Possibly a young and futuristic version. Have some pictures of him and her.
Roguim 1st Oct 2022, 1:21 PM edit delete reply
Yeah a Good and solid Plan Twilight..
So... Is Tirek a self propelling battery in this instance? Like in a RPG, he has high MP but can't replenish with a potion so his MP turn back to 0 and return to old Grandpa Tirek? Or does he get a buff every round recovering all the MP he wasted in the previous round?
Toric 1st Oct 2022, 5:22 PM edit delete reply
I would guess, since he drained the magic from ponies, he regains it at the same rate they would, more or less.

Like, say it takes him 5 ponies worth of magic to blast open a door. He gets that magic back in the time it would take those 5 individually to regain it. But he has let's say 5000 ponies' magic to pull from, so it could be the time it takes for 5000 ponies to recover 1/1000 of their power
bbcisdabomb 1st Oct 2022, 2:24 PM edit delete reply
I played in a Shadowrun game that ran well past the point where we should have died, mainly due to how many insane plans we came up with to get places. Fake SINs to get a job on an oil rig we needed to sabotage? Check. Stealing an APC to get in to an EGO base to launch ourselves to the orbiting space station? Check. Starting the biggest gang war the western US has ever seen just to get in one blacksite? Check. Four "nuclear incidents" (plus one off-screen) over the course of the campaign? Check check check check off-screen check.

I think my favorite was when we needed to steal some containers from a heavily-armed high speed train travelling through some badlands. I had, as the rigger, purchased an armed cargo chopper capable of picking up everything we needed, so we came up with a plan to get the train to stop. We purchased (or maybe stole, I don't remember) an old school bus, planning on dropping it on the tracks and radioing ahead that there had been a mechanical malfunction. One thing led to another, an eventually we ended up with a school bus mostly full of concrete with fake children's heads made of balloons filled with raspberry jam poking out the top. I think we may have also rigged it with some flares to make it extra noticeable. We dropped it on the tracks and radioed a panicked message that the bus full of children had broken down on the train tracks!!!
The damn train sped up and rammed through the bus, spraying concrete and red smears everywhere. It certainly made us less shy about blowing a hole in the side of the train and killing some guards as our plan B!
NobleCuriosity 3rd Oct 2022, 4:48 PM edit delete reply
Wow, I did not foresee your opponents just ramming the bus. Dang. And I thought your party were the villain protagonists!
Terrible DM 2nd Oct 2022, 8:06 AM edit delete reply
- Previous encounter introducing the final boss ended with them using their offensive teleport ability (the rationale for the entire campaign of mysterious threats teleporting into areas for surprise attacks) to kick the party out of their domain instead of just summoning more reinforcements
- Session in between stated in no uncertain terms that the party as well as others had tried to enter said boss domain and everyone was being auto teleported out. This led to that session ending with the party mad scientist granted the breakthrough for an anti teleport field
- Anti teleport device used to breach the domain, final boss lining up for final fight bringing as bodyguards a group of apex versions of each type of monster used for teleport ambushes over the entire campaign
- First turn of combat, party explicitly turns off and puts away anti teleport device in extra dimensional storage
- Final boss offensive teleport was statted as an offensive line AoE (Lightning Bolt), but first use on half of party manages to miss
- Party members targeted do not move for a full round
- Second use of offensive teleport splits party

Are you sure you want to do that?
To be fair, lots of other details were distracting them (like the aforementioned bodyguards). Still, interesting tactical choices.
Guest 2nd Oct 2022, 12:20 PM edit delete reply
We needed to save someone in a cave, but there were too many enemies at the entrance for us to be able to get to the back in time. So we did the only sensible thing and crashed our airship full speed at the entrance to the cave. And most of the party even survived the crash, so yay!
A Quiet Reader 2nd Oct 2022, 5:14 PM edit delete reply
The name "Operation WAMTAPP" amuses me more than it should.
CCC 3rd Oct 2022, 4:06 AM edit delete reply
Playing in Pathfinder, as an Halfling Alchemist (going into Master Chymist for, basically, Jekyll&Hyde). My alchemist can drink a mutagen to gain several benefits, like claws and the ability to hit harder.

We get attacked by giant frogs; before my small alchemist can drink his mutagen, he gets captured by a frog's tongue and dragged into its mouth. Instead of drinking his mutagen, he throws it down the frog's throat...

Fun fact, any non-alchemist drinking a mutagen gets nauseated for an hour. Nauseated is just about the worst of non-lethal conditions - you can't fight, you can't attack, you can't cast spells, you can do nothing but move. (Slowly, and presumably desperately looking for somewhere to throw up).

*Second* giant frog tries the same trick with the alchemist, while his compatriot staggers blearily back into the swamp. Being fresh out of mutagen, this time my alchemist threw one of his bombs down its throat. An alchemical bomb going off inside its stomach is... not good for giant frogs, and that one found himself scattered all over the landscape.

In this time, the rest of the party had dealt with the rest of the frogs - the one that had swallowed the mutagen was the only frog to survive the fight (though it's questionable whether the frog actually appreciated that, given how his stomach was rebelling).
ROARthorin 4th Oct 2022, 6:03 AM edit delete reply
I also used a small sized character as a master chymist. I delayed entry until lvl 14 so my mutagens lasted hours per lvl and I always used ant haul. I was walking around with 30+str all the time at 3x carry capacity. Due to throw anything I would throw our large for medium size barbarian in full plate into the fray if they couldn't cover the distance. As that was well within my light load. Anti-magic fields were not a fun time though.
parker smith 11th Oct 2022, 10:39 AM edit delete reply
uh oh