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  1. - Top - End - #31
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    Kobold

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    Default Re: How do you deal with hordes of enemies?

    There are a number of elven bard kits that exist and at least one is bard/wizard I think it was the loremaster. This DM apparently has opened it up a bit but it does exist from the complete book of bards.

    The reason they question about the priest has only one spell is that unless you have really low wisdom (to the point where may have to worry about casting failure) you will get at least 1 bonus level spell so it is rare to have a priest to have only one spell even at 1st level in 2e AD&D.

    Yea bladesinger has a style and a kit the kit being a fighter/mage only one and the fighting style is expensive but open to most elves. The fighting style is mostly defensive and gives AC or the ability to attack and parry at the same time (I am not sure if the book makes it clear that it is the parry that bocks one attack with an attack roll or if it allowed for the original parry which gives a large generic AC boost). You could also choose an attack bonus but I do not see that as often.

    Yea the bladesinger kit is pretty infamous though I find that it is typically infamous for the wrong reason. People will talk about it being crazy overpowered but that really is not true. It is not that great but what is bad is that the drawbacks are relatively minor (more annoying really) and the biggest one is a RP based one and that is what really should make it infamous as a case study on not balancing something in the right way.
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  2. - Top - End - #32
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    Daemon

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    Default Re: How do you deal with hordes of enemies?

    Oh, I can show straight up standard multi class mage/bards; for example: planescape's MCA2 "Aasimar :mage/bard" . I just was saying what I assumed, as I know few DMs went that way...such as myself, I do not like the pairing at all, too many spells of the same type.

    I'm fine with loremaster kit bards; but they have no need to attach another class (like mage) IMHO. "demi bards" (or demi rangers, etc) needed little to no special rules or twisting like a pretzel to make work, again, IMHO.

    complete book of bards gives options for multi as "Elf
    Mage / Minstrel
    Thief /Gypsy"
    &
    "Half-Elf
    Fighter/True * Blade * Gallant * Skald
    Ranger/True * Meistersinger
    MageILoremaster * Riddlemaster
    Cleric/True
    Druid/Meistersinger
    Thief/True * Gypsy * Jongleur * Thespian"

    which I can take, or more likely, leave, but yeah, house ruling on this matter is no worse then BTB as BTB is weak/poor/lame/dumb on the topic.

    I know bladesong & bladesingers very well indeed.
    Last edited by CE DM; 2018-02-07 at 04:03 PM.

  3. - Top - End - #33
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    EvilClericGuy

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    annoyed Re: How do you deal with hordes of enemies?

    Quote Originally Posted by CE DM View Post
    AC -1 is actually not particularly rare in AD&D or classic D&D...even at L1, certainly not by L2. It is for several classes, but not for several others.
    AD&D: plate mail, 18 dex. plate mail, shield, 17 dex. banded mail, +1 shield, 17 dex. shield spell, ring of protection +1, 18 dex. splinted mail, medium shield prof, +1 shield, 9 DEX. etc, etc
    Mmm'kay, no.

    1. Plate Mail starts at 1300gp. This is well beyond the combined resources of an entire 1st level party, even if there are six of them and they all maxed out their wealth rolls. A second level party might be able to scrape that kind of cash together if they ignore all other expenses.
    2. 17's and 18's are rare outside of CRPGs in any d20 system. A classic "Sword and Board" fighter wearing plate mail and a shield isn't likely to have enough 16 plus ability scores to put them into Dexterity over, say, Constitution or Strength.
    3. Shield +1? Ring of Protection +1? Level 1 parties don't and shouldn't have access to magic items, nor should level 2 parties.

    I stand by what I said earlier. It sounds to me as if OP has a DM that either/or:

    1. Doesn't understand the RAW.
    2. Doesn't like the RAW and refuses to apply them.

  4. - Top - End - #34
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    Default Re: How do you deal with hordes of enemies?

    By the time you are ambushed and surrounded by 20 enemies, you have already lost the encounter. But how did 1/2 level monsters do this to a bunch of elves with a fourth level thief?

    With your thief sneaking ahead, quietly casing out the route, you should see or hear 35 kobolds well in advance of passing half of them to be surrounded. And elves shouldn't be on the standard path where the ambush is anyway.

    Ideally, a 2e party never fights anybody without identifying them and making a plan first.

  5. - Top - End - #35
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    Default Re: How do you deal with hordes of enemies?

    The sleep spell is pretty powerful at low levels

  6. - Top - End - #36
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    Mark Hall's Avatar

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    Default Re: How do you deal with hordes of enemies?

    Quote Originally Posted by jojo View Post
    Mmm'kay, no.

    1. Plate Mail starts at 1300gp. This is well beyond the combined resources of an entire 1st level party, even if there are six of them and they all maxed out their wealth rolls. A second level party might be able to scrape that kind of cash together if they ignore all other expenses.
    2. 17's and 18's are rare outside of CRPGs in any d20 system. A classic "Sword and Board" fighter wearing plate mail and a shield isn't likely to have enough 16 plus ability scores to put them into Dexterity over, say, Constitution or Strength.
    3. Shield +1? Ring of Protection +1? Level 1 parties don't and shouldn't have access to magic items, nor should level 2 parties.

    I stand by what I said earlier. It sounds to me as if OP has a DM that either/or:

    1. Doesn't understand the RAW.
    2. Doesn't like the RAW and refuses to apply them.
    Yeah. I CAN manage a -1 AC at 1st level, using just core AD&D (splint mail is AC 4; shield makes AC 3, and Dex 18 makes AC -1), but it's a pretty severe investment of beginning resources, including attribute points.
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  7. - Top - End - #37
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    Default Re: How do you deal with hordes of enemies?

    Quote Originally Posted by jojo View Post
    Mmm'kay, no.

    1. Plate Mail starts at 1300gp. This is well beyond the combined resources of an entire 1st level party, even if there are six of them and they all maxed out their wealth rolls. A second level party might be able to scrape that kind of cash together if they ignore all other expenses.
    2. 17's and 18's are rare outside of CRPGs in any d20 system. A classic "Sword and Board" fighter wearing plate mail and a shield isn't likely to have enough 16 plus ability scores to put them into Dexterity over, say, Constitution or Strength.
    3. Shield +1? Ring of Protection +1? Level 1 parties don't and shouldn't have access to magic items, nor should level 2 parties.

    I stand by what I said earlier. It sounds to me as if OP has a DM that either/or:

    1. Doesn't understand the RAW.
    2. Doesn't like the RAW and refuses to apply them.
    I believe he's wearing chain mail, (AC 5), got lucky rolls and is a Slyvan Elf so has a Dex of 18, (AC 1), and was Bladesong with two weapon proficiencies put into it, (AC -1). He may be wearing splint mail (AC 4) and have a Dex of 17 instead. The average gold for a Warrior is 125 so either armor is not outside the realm of possiblity. Additionally, he I think he rolled 3 16's, but I wasn't paying attention.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jay R View Post
    By the time you are ambushed and surrounded by 20 enemies, you have already lost the encounter. But how did 1/2 level monsters do this to a bunch of elves with a fourth level thief?

    With your thief sneaking ahead, quietly casing out the route, you should see or hear 35 kobolds well in advance of passing half of them to be surrounded. And elves shouldn't be on the standard path where the ambush is anyway.

    Ideally, a 2e party never fights anybody without identifying them and making a plan first.
    I think it was a part of the module we're running. You know, If the party does x they're attacked by y. If the party does z, they aren't.
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  8. - Top - End - #38
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    Default Re: How do you deal with hordes of enemies?

    Quote Originally Posted by jojo View Post
    Mmm'kay, no.

    1. Plate Mail starts at 1300gp. This is well beyond the combined resources of an entire 1st level party, even if there are six of them and they all maxed out their wealth rolls. A second level party might be able to scrape that kind of cash together if they ignore all other expenses.
    2. 17's and 18's are rare outside of CRPGs in any d20 system. A classic "Sword and Board" fighter wearing plate mail and a shield isn't likely to have enough 16 plus ability scores to put them into Dexterity over, say, Constitution or Strength.
    3. Shield +1? Ring of Protection +1? Level 1 parties don't and shouldn't have access to magic items, nor should level 2 parties.

    I stand by what I said earlier. It sounds to me as if OP has a DM that either/or:

    1. Doesn't understand the RAW.
    2. Doesn't like the RAW and refuses to apply them.
    1. Splint mail is easily affordable at lvl 1 which sets AC at 4.

    2. High rolls can indeed be rare, they do happen on occasion. For instance in this case the player in question, me, got lucky and rolled a 17 and two 16s. With the sylvan elf modifiers puts dex at 17 which further reduces AC to 1.

    3. You are correct, no one had access to magic items at character creation, but they aren't necessary since one-sided weapon style or bladesong style can reduce that further by -2 to a -1 AC and depending on how you feel about both styles stacking could further reduce it to -3.

    I mean, these are all pretty basic things in the rulebook so it seems to me that It's YOU who either doesn't understand the RAW, or don't like it and refuse to apply them.

  9. - Top - End - #39
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    Kobold

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    Default Re: How do you deal with hordes of enemies?

    Quote Originally Posted by The Random NPC View Post
    I believe he's wearing chain mail, (AC 5), got lucky rolls and is a Slyvan Elf so has a Dex of 18, (AC 1), and was Bladesong with two weapon proficiencies put into it, (AC -1). He may be wearing splint mail (AC 4) and have a Dex of 17 instead. The average gold for a Warrior is 125 so either armor is not outside the realm of possiblity. Additionally, he I think he rolled 3 16's, but I wasn't paying attention.



    I think it was a part of the module we're running. You know, If the party does x they're attacked by y. If the party does z, they aren't.
    He must have put 3 points into bladesong since the style requires 2 slots to start with.
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  10. - Top - End - #40
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    Kobold

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    Default Re: How do you deal with hordes of enemies?

    Quote Originally Posted by jojo View Post
    Mmm'kay, no.

    1. Plate Mail starts at 1300gp. This is well beyond the combined resources of an entire 1st level party, even if there are six of them and they all maxed out their wealth rolls. A second level party might be able to scrape that kind of cash together if they ignore all other expenses.
    2. 17's and 18's are rare outside of CRPGs in any d20 system. A classic "Sword and Board" fighter wearing plate mail and a shield isn't likely to have enough 16 plus ability scores to put them into Dexterity over, say, Constitution or Strength.
    3. Shield +1? Ring of Protection +1? Level 1 parties don't and shouldn't have access to magic items, nor should level 2 parties.

    I stand by what I said earlier. It sounds to me as if OP has a DM that either/or:

    1. Doesn't understand the RAW.
    2. Doesn't like the RAW and refuses to apply them.
    Plate mail in my 2e AD&D PHB costs 600 GP. Still more than a standard 1st level character would have but less than half your stated minimum.

    Honestly I would put that 16 in dex or con before strength. Strength is number four on my list of stats to have high on my 2e fighters with the lone exception being if you roll an 18 since that is the only time you get something. Actually I really like high intelligence on my 2e fighters because extra proficiencies are pretty powerful.

    You can get -1 AC without those items or a 17 or higher dex. Splint mail is pretty standard at AC 4 and if you invest in bladesinger style and one handed style you (total of 5 slots 6 if you count the slot spent on a weapon itself) and a dex of 15+ you will have an AC of -1 or better. 6 weapon slots is a lot and personally it is not the way I would go but it is 100% doable if you have a 12 int (+2 proficiencies which warriors can spend on weapon and weapon style prof) which is not much to ask as that is within the range of the more common rolls of the stat dice.

    Expensive and in the long run not as good as sword and shield in most cases but hey it is stylish.
    A vestige for me "Pyro火gnus Friend of Meepo" by Zaydos.

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  11. - Top - End - #41
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    Daemon

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    Default Re: How do you deal with hordes of enemies?

    costs of plate mail armor in old school D&D games
    1e 400 gp
    2e 600 gp
    B/X 60gp
    splint (AC 4) is a mere 80gp in AD&D

    "high" attributes weren't rare, although 2e made noises about it, so some 2e (only) players probably experienced no bonus characters (well, depending on when they got into 2e) & classic D&D players definitely had lower scores (but bonuses as good or better anyway)

    2e introduced ways to improved AC that 1e didn't have, too, and some are obviously in play: 1 handed, Spanish or bladesong style specialty, for examples. shield proficiency (for another 1-3 places), and so forth.

    But the key point is that these guys aren't level one anymore. While 2e games sometimes cut the $ greatly compared to 1e or classic, as XP was (or could be) disconnected to loot, most every heavy armor character could have plate mail by L2, L3 at the worst. They might have +1 chain, or even +1 platemail instead, but what of it?

    I'll roll up a character at L1 though & illustrate just how easy it is once more (2e AD&D)
    S 12 D 17 C 17 I 12 W 9 CH 11
    hmm...kits. warriors & priests of the realms pg 38-40, warrior of the savage north: Mirabar.
    "Mirabar
    Mirabar has a reputation as being the mining center of the Sword Coast. Splendid gems, intricately-clever metalwork, and forge bars of the purest metals comes from Mirabar. Unfortunately, some consider the terrain to be ruined by excessive mining. Indeed, the landscape is pockmarked with mines, quarries, and other scars of industry.
    Mirabar’s population is a mixture of humans and dwarves, and they enjoy a high degree of cooperation and harmony in their mining trades.

    Warriors of Mirabar are practically walking advertisements for their home. They favor any sort of metal armor, most often tastefully decorated with gems and semi-precious stones. Mirabar warriors almost always carry a sword of some sort as their primary weapon. The exceptions to this are the dwarven warriors of Mirabar, who favor hammers and battle axes.
    In concession to their cold climate, warriors of Mirabar wear furs and fur cloaks that they have imported from other regions. These, too, are decorated with gemencrusted clasps.
    Special Advantages
    Coming from a mining and forging area has advantages. Metal armor (chain, plate, splint, scale) costs 20% less than normal, as do metal shields, helms, and melee weapons.
    Mirabaran warriors can choose one of the following nonweapon proficiencies for free: armorer, blacksmithing, gem cutting, language—Dwarvish, mining, or weaponsmithing."
    (all of these sorts also get survival as a bonus NWP, presumablely cold)
    "Special Disadvantages
    All warriors of Mirabar are either humans, dwarves, or gnomes. No other races can be chosen. All warriors must have a minimum Constitution of 12, since a hearty physique needed to survive in the deep mines of the Savage Frontier.
    Due to their focus on the mining trades, many natives of Mirabar, including the warriors, are unfamiliar with woodlands lore. Thus, warriors of Mirabar cannot start out with any of the following nonweapon proficiencies: animal lore, hunting, set snares, and tracking. Note that these nonweapon proficiencies can be picked up later in their careers.
    Some NPCs that protect or worship nature are less than impressed with Mirabar’s haphazard mining tearing up the land. All reactions with such NPCs are penalized at -2 when dealing with such folk."
    lets make him(or her) a dwarf
    now, since: "Geographical kits are usable by any warrior class (fighter, ranger, paladin), and in conjunction with kits found in the Complete Fighter’s Handbook. Dungeon Masters must use discretion, however, as some Fighter’s Handbook kits are inappropriate for Realms warriors. For instance, it is certainly possible to have a Sembian Swashbuckler, but it is not possible to have a desert-dwelling Anauroch Pirate, or a Waterdhavian Barbarian due to kit and setting specifics."
    Let's make him (or her) an "Axe for Hire", whether they are a member of the axes of Mirabar militia will depend on the campaign (I will not use the half $ for arms)
    I'll be brief on this
    "Bonus Nonweapon Proficiencies: Endurance, Local Dwarf History, Local History.
    Equipment: An Axe for Hire may spend his starting money on whatever arms, armor, and equipment he can afford. When he is created, if it is agreed that he is part of a military force with specific equipment requirements, he is required to buy that equipment, but at half the price.
    Special Benefits Fighters receive one free weapon specialization (a hand or missile weapon). It must be one commonly associated with dwarves.
    When employed, he never pays for his own upkeep. Rooms at inns, food and drink are all supplied by his employer.
    Special Hindrances: Dwarves are clannish folk who distrust anyone with an independent attitude. When reacting with other dwarves in any situation other than military, an Axe for Hire suffers a -3 reaction penalty.
    In addition, an Axe for Hire who is part of a military force is subject to the discipline and dictates of its commander. He is no longer free to come and go as he pleases. He is further restricted by the contract he has signed with his employer." Etc, etc, but we aren't really bothered with this/it's probably N/A.
    start $ was standard, 5d4x10; I got 150 gp.

    Helga Diamondtooth of Mirabar
    female dwarf(shield) fighter L1 HP 14 N(LG tendency) AC -3/1/4
    S 12 D 17 C 18 I 12 W 9 CH 10
    WP War hammer sp (+1+2 3/2 att: bonus profs), Axes, picks & hammers (br group +2 slots), weapon & shield style specialist, medium shield, Hand/throwing axe sp (+1+2 3/2 att +1 slot/int)
    NWP Endurance, Local Dwarf History(12-), Local History(10-), Dwarf Runes(14-), Gem Cutting(17-), Survival(cold, 12-) (Bonus); ambidexterous, heraldry (12-), appraising (15-), dancing(17-), rope use (17-)

    splinted mail armor, medium shield, basinet, war hammer, 2 throwing axes
    (90+7+8+2+2).8=87.2 gp of 150. 62.8 gp left for gear, gem cutter tools & from the description, bling.

    nice no penalty 2WC with a shield bash or block for the offhand while retaining it's AC bonus. Obviously looking to one day find a dwarven thrower, axe of hurling, and/or the G/G/H combo of ultimate doom. wp slots for the future would be not too important, but thowing style specialty, some sort of dagger or knife (everyone needs one, but perhaps even WS in one) or maybe more WS within the axe/pick/hammer group. To max combat a bit more, she could have added the dagger to begin with, but this was more about AC, after all...and all of it worked without any kit at all (4 slots: WS in a weapon, shield style, shield prof)

    AC -1 is easy in 2e. sorry.

    Quote Originally Posted by jojo View Post
    Mmm'kay, no.

    1. Plate Mail starts at 1300gp. This is well beyond the combined resources of an entire 1st level party, even if there are six of them and they all maxed out their wealth rolls. A second level party might be able to scrape that kind of cash together if they ignore all other expenses.
    2. 17's and 18's are rare outside of CRPGs in any d20 system. A classic "Sword and Board" fighter wearing plate mail and a shield isn't likely to have enough 16 plus ability scores to put them into Dexterity over, say, Constitution or Strength.
    3. Shield +1? Ring of Protection +1? Level 1 parties don't and shouldn't have access to magic items, nor should level 2 parties.

    I stand by what I said earlier. It sounds to me as if OP has a DM that either/or:

    1. Doesn't understand the RAW.
    2. Doesn't like the RAW and refuses to apply them.
    rebuttal/fact check above

    as to magic items, let's look at some of the old school L1-3 adventure modules, protective/AC items only

    a popular starter is U1 the sinister secret of saltmarsh
    2 +1 rings of protection
    +1 plate mail (human size)
    ...in the first half. another +1 ring of protection in the second half.

    the always popular B2 keep on the borderlands (despite being for B/X):
    ignoring the keep we might find
    +1 ring of protection
    2 +1 shields
    2 suits of +1 plate mail (human, or optionally elf- sized, human -sized)
    2 amulets of protection from "good" (actually, vs anyone of different alignment than the wearer wearer gains -1 AC & +1 save bonuses)

    no? how about T1 village of Hommlet (the start of the temple of elemental evil)?
    only taking the moathouse, we find:
    +1 plate mail (human sized)

    maybe N1 against the cult of the reptile god?
    sticking only to cultists & monster treasures we see:
    +1 plate mail (human sized)
    2 +1 shields
    +1 leather armor (human sized)
    +2 chain mail (human sized)
    +1 ring of protection

    AD&D & classic D&D simply are not like 3e onward in regards to magical loot, gear & $. Or, you could argue with the ghost of Gary Gygax if you wish, about access to magic items.
    Last edited by CE DM; 2018-02-09 at 02:47 AM.

  12. - Top - End - #42
    Orc in the Playground
     
    BardGirl

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    Default Re: How do you deal with hordes of enemies?

    All of these:

    Quote Originally Posted by MeeposFire View Post
    [...] Honestly tactics are your best bet. You need to fight in suh a way to reduce the number of attacks getting to you and keep your attacks up. Bottling them up somewhere can be effective though kobolds tend to be trappers so this may not be an option and they may do it to you instead. Ranged attacks can be good if you can get them (bows with their increased ROF will help a lot so long as you can keep it going). AOE would help but your wizard probaby lacks good options so you will have to go to more mundame methods like flaming oil. Leading the kobolds into an area drenched and oil and lighting it or instance can kill a bunch at a time which is what you may need but once again may not be easy to pull off.
    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Hall View Post
    [...]
    But, really, y'all're outnumbered 5:1. At low levels, that's going to tear you up unless you have something like a conga line of death going on.
    Quote Originally Posted by Thrudd View Post
    Yep. Run away. If you've got a spell that can distract or daze them, use it. Toss down treasure and hope they aren't all bloodthirsty enough to ignore it, Toss some food in case they're hungry and looking at you as dinner.
    Quote Originally Posted by rax View Post
    I second the proposal to run away and fight another day, or at least a few rounds later. Kobolds only have movement 6, so you should have had no trouble getting clear. Ideally, you'll also be able to conduct a fighting retreat, cutting down the closest pursuers as they get near and then retreating when the main body closes with you. If you have access to bows, this becomes easier, since you can either fire on the move, or put some distance between you and the kobolds and then shoot them down when they get within range.

    Morale is another important factor in AD&D. The DMG suggests roleplaying morale as the best choice, but when faced with large numbers of foes, I definitely prefer dicing for morale. The DMG recommends making a morale check after an opponent has lost 25% of its hit points or - in the case of groups of enemies - 25% of their force. So if you had managed to kill four kobolds they would have had to make a morale check, which means rolling above 8-10 (kobold morale) on 2d10. The roll can be further modified by situational modifiers, where losing 25% of the force itself adds a -2 penalty to the kobold's morale.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jay R View Post
    By the time you are ambushed and surrounded by 20 enemies, you have already lost the encounter. But how did 1/2 level monsters do this to a bunch of elves with a fourth level thief?

    With your thief sneaking ahead, quietly casing out the route, you should see or hear 35 kobolds well in advance of passing half of them to be surrounded. And elves shouldn't be on the standard path where the ambush is anyway.

    Ideally, a 2e party never fights anybody without identifying them and making a plan first.
    ... are on point. At some point you cannot 'widgeteer' your way to comfortable nigh invulnerability. This is a feature of the game, and one of my personal hallmarks for a game well-made in my eyes.

    This encounter was essentially out of your 4 man party's range, and mid-caps just made it even moreso. Your widgets at that point were irrelevant, and they should have been. God forbid this was a ranged ambush, and kobolds are a species well known for ambushes:

    With Ambush round, likely Suprise round, and 1st round, atop 2+ ROF, you're looking at ((20 kobolds x 2+ RoF) + 2 to 3 rounds) = 80 ~ 120 attacks or more. Given 1 is Always Miss and 20 Always Hit Rule, you're looking at roughly choking 5% of 80 ~ 120 atks regardless. Higher (worse) ACs would've just made it a faster TPK.

    The bigger question is How is the GM Contextualizing the PCs' Interactions and Observations of the Environment. From what I read, it has much room for improvement. And it seems there's ego issues as his default retort is "You're wrong," which will cause problems in the openness and learning from things going awry.

    Kobolds can be sneaky, but it's pretty lazy to have them pop up like toast from a toaster, a la old skool video game Japanese RPGs. The majority of your characters should have had much more context already fed to them so as to make a more meaningful encounter experience. Is there any recognition of Exploration or Social elements factoring into the experience, or is it Combat Uber Alles?
    Last edited by opaopajr; 2018-02-13 at 11:00 AM.

  13. - Top - End - #43
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: How do you deal with hordes of enemies?

    So, we had another session today. Turns out, scouting does jack all. The rogue was 100 feet ahead of us when some kind of demon crow notices the party and decides to attack. I dropped the ball, and forgot I have spells, but do manage to kill one with my bow. The bladesinger killed two, while the rogue missed. I get hit twice for 4, putting me 1 away from death, so I pointed out the optional rule for negative HP. He decided against it so after considering and rejecting retreat I quaff a potion. Then I'm hit for 5, and there's only 4 birds left. I figured since any attack that hits pretty much kills these, and since two are already wounded, we should try to push through maybe survive. I do manage to kill 1, but one of the remaining 3 hits me and I'm dead, the other 2 hit the rogue and he's dead, the bladesinger mops them up. The priest's player was sick so she survived at least.

    That's all good, I've been told 2e is a more brutal game, but our GM had the nerve to say we were bad at strategy because we just stand there and trade hits. Of course we do, there's no other option for us to take. If we withdraw, we're still in melee and have wasted our turn. If we run, we provoke attacks of opportunity, and since they can fly at least 100 feet in a single round, we've wasted our turn again. There's nothing for us to hide behind, and there's no way for us to gain advantage by surprising the enemy. He explicitly pointed out that our scouting didn't matter because the module says the birds notice us and attack immediately.
    See when a tree falls in the forest, and there's no one there to hear it, you can bet we've bought the vinyl.
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    Default Re: How do you deal with hordes of enemies?

    Oh! He's using AD&D 2e modules almost RAW and without much context (such as seeing crows fly or hearing them caw).

    First off, AD&D 2e modules are notorious for railroads and Mary Sues for a reason. They should not be played RAW, pretty much ever. Also you gotta remember, coming from AD&D 1e, the understood 'best practices' already assumed the GM will tailor stuff as needed. So GMs presumed to give context to the party so as to outsmart their environs and encounters.

    There's very much an old skool aesthetic of "I don't need to spell it out for you. Try it! Do what makes sense to you!" It is akin to the "yes, until told no," vs. "no, until told yes," paradigm divide between old and new game communities.

    The GM is all senses to you players' PCs. If he's Toaster Popping encounters and foisting the blame on you guys, and completely tone deaf to listening for constructive criticism, well, seems like you need an Intervention or should Walk Away.

    Drag him here. Us old fogeys can sort him out.

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    Default Re: How do you deal with hordes of enemies?

    Yeah, he can't say on the one hand "scouting, NOPE! Book says the crow sees you, get on the railroad" and then say "You luzerz didn't use TEH SMRT TACTIX!"

    One thing--IIRC, attacks of opportunity are not a thing in 2E. If you have higher movement, you can run away from it. (But it's been a while, and a younger, foolish me gave away those books, so...)

  16. - Top - End - #46
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    Default Re: How do you deal with hordes of enemies?

    Opportunity Attacks do exist in 2e, but only if you turn and run. But often it's worth it! Withdraw is for an organized retreat, often for a better position, and usually where terrain or numbers can be managed. Actually, it's often useful to use Withdraw so the guy with the highest HP and or AC can be the last one left engaged to then risk turning their back and running.

    But flying "ninja surprise!" opponents with apparently no range limits and superior morale seems a bit much. Crows tend to be territorial. One would presume demon crows to be the similar. Turning your back and running to any sort of safety, just like dealing with wasp or bee swarms, would be merely prudent.

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    Default Re: How do you deal with hordes of enemies?

    I think you can freely break and run from melee if you've got a buddy in the same melee who can then keep your opponent from taking a free swipe at your backside. Been a while since I've checked out those rules, though. Fighting Withdrawal also avoids the free swipe, but you can only move at 1/3 normal speed.

    This DM reminds me of my older brother. Improv is not his forte, and he liked to read directly from the module to determine what happened.

    Best of luck to you! Sounds like you could really use it.
    Thri-Kreen Ranger/Psionicist by me, based off of Rich's A Monster for Every Season

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    Default Re: How do you deal with hordes of enemies?

    "Tactics" can be hard when you don't actually know the position of anything, like whether there's viable cover or a choke point or whether the enemies are grouped or spread out, etc. I'm thinking that in this verbal-only (theater of the mind) combat situation, your best strategy is to suggest the outcome you want for your characters, and let the DM tell you if it is possible and what your characters would need to do to accomplish that. It really is a game of asking questions- ask about anything that could reasonably help you win the combat based on the description the DM has given so far of your environment and situation. It doesn't hurt to preemptively declare how your characters position themselves while traveling and during most attacks in order to minimize confusion and cheese. You might have a prearranged formation for dealing with hordes and another for dealing with single monsters.

    For instance, if birds are attacking you, ask if there is a position nearby that your character can reach where you are covered from above and/or multiple sides to restrict how many can get at you. Ask if there is an obvious route of retreat where you could screen yourselves from most of the enemy. Ask if it looks like the monsters are defending something or if they are focusing on something you are carrying. Say that your characters move onto a formation in which only one enemy can get at each character. If you have area or splash effects, declare that you use it to catch as many enemies as possible without hurting any allies.

    If DM gets tired of non-stop questions, there's always minis and terrain...

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    Default Re: How do you deal with hordes of enemies?

    As it turns out, they were stirges so running wouldn't have mattered. That being said, he misread the attack block and had them doing 1d3+1d4 rather than 1d3 and 1d4 on subsequent turns automatically. Which doesn't help with our terrible HP rolls.
    See when a tree falls in the forest, and there's no one there to hear it, you can bet we've bought the vinyl.
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    Default Re: How do you deal with hordes of enemies?

    It certainly doesn't help, though.

    a DM MUST use common sense/context when DMing; while it might be unlikely or impossible without something "extra" (invisibility, etherealness, etc), almost nothing is truly automatic. OTOH, standard human style scouting might not cut it.

    I hope it's not a ravenloft module, if so then it's possible no magic could even help (according to bad writing)

    Quote Originally Posted by The Random NPC View Post
    So, we had another session today. Turns out, scouting does jack all. The rogue was 100 feet ahead of us when some kind of demon crow notices the party and decides to attack. I dropped the ball, and forgot I have spells, but do manage to kill one with my bow. The bladesinger killed two, while the rogue missed. I get hit twice for 4, putting me 1 away from death, so I pointed out the optional rule for negative HP. He decided against it so after considering and rejecting retreat I quaff a potion. Then I'm hit for 5, and there's only 4 birds left. I figured since any attack that hits pretty much kills these, and since two are already wounded, we should try to push through maybe survive. I do manage to kill 1, but one of the remaining 3 hits me and I'm dead, the other 2 hit the rogue and he's dead, the bladesinger mops them up. The priest's player was sick so she survived at least.

    That's all good, I've been told 2e is a more brutal game, but our GM had the nerve to say we were bad at strategy because we just stand there and trade hits. Of course we do, there's no other option for us to take. If we withdraw, we're still in melee and have wasted our turn. If we run, we provoke attacks of opportunity, and since they can fly at least 100 feet in a single round, we've wasted our turn again. There's nothing for us to hide behind, and there's no way for us to gain advantage by surprising the enemy. He explicitly pointed out that our scouting didn't matter because the module says the birds notice us and attack immediately.
    you messed up, he messed up, kinda a wash I guess. almost.

    His insults at the end, after you & another player died off, though, are gauche.

    2e isn't brutal IMHO, D&D got less & less brutal over time...so 2e is in the middle. However, death at 0 is damned harsh for 2e. Few to none play(ed) it that way, but it is default PH. The DMG contains the optional rule of death at -10 HP (virtually the entire 2e game is a pile of options, it is truly D&D a la carte). This is a modified option from 1e, where it was/could be death at less than -3, but one could bleed until dying at -10). Classic D&D was death at 0 (and thus the most brutal, but all of them COULD be death at 0)

    Make up some new characters, be sure to have a high/highest con score, and probably multiclass fighter/X, no more single class mages or rogues or mage/rogues. Harsh can be adapted to. If you have any say, get SLEEP (it generally will take out these LL encounters at need).

    The DM screwing up damage might well justify negating the encounter IMHO, but in any case, he needs to brush up on the module & critters therein better, even if he's going to be a lunkhead regarding "the modules says" (& hopefully not).

    Yes, there is "withdraw", and the predecessor to AOO's (running away/fleeing combat), which comes to 2e from 1e, but it is not true that there are no AOO's in the 3e+ sense in 2e. There ARE. They are yet another of the innumerable options of 2e AD&D. Attacks of Opportunity were INVENTED in 2e. Players option: combat & tactics to be precise. In fact, much of the book is the prototype of 3e onward combat grid system. Grid combat lovers will love it, as it's really where it all comes from(before then it was of minor effect & unnecessary). Presumably these options are NOT in effect in your current campaign.

    page 13 "Attacks of Opportunity

    Attacks of opportunity occur when a threatened character or creature ignores the enemy next to it or turns its back on a foe. The threatening enemy gets to make an immediate melee attack (or sequence of attacks for monsters with multiple attacks) against the threatened creature. Attacks of opportunity cannot be performed with missile weapons. This is a free attack that does not take the place of any actions the threatening creature had already planned.

    A creature can't make more than one attack of opportunity against a single opponent in the course of a combat round, but if several enemies leave themselves open, the creature can make one free attack against each one.

    There is a limit to the number of attacks of opportunity a single creature may make in one round. Warriors and monsters can make three attacks of opportunity plus one per five levels or Hit Dice. All other characters can make one attack of opportunity plus one per five levels. Thirty
    kobolds trying to swarm past a fighter in a narrow passage will take losses, but some will still get through.

    Surprised characters and monsters cannot make attacks of opportunity during the round in which they are surprised. "

    Note they are more potent pretty much overall than they will later be, even with feats & so forth (combat reflexes & high dex score) added in.

    2e AD&D IS NOT inherently any more railroad-y than any other edition.

    Random NPC: good luck & I hope it gets better!
    Last edited by CE DM; 2018-02-14 at 08:33 PM.

  21. - Top - End - #51
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    Default Re: How do you deal with hordes of enemies?

    Quote Originally Posted by CE DM View Post
    2e AD&D IS NOT inherently any more railroad-y than any other edition.
    This is true for the game itself. The modules published during the 2E era did tend to be somewhat railroady, some more than others.
    Thri-Kreen Ranger/Psionicist by me, based off of Rich's A Monster for Every Season

  22. - Top - End - #52
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    Default Re: How do you deal with hordes of enemies?

    Yeah, AD&D (1e and 2e) is more art studio of options and expected experimentation of best practices than Paint-By-Numbers hand holding. And to confuse the issue more they threw an array of modules and settings presuming GMs and players would figure out what works best for their tastes, (and adjust accordingly as needed,). The biggest challenge here is gently coaxing your GM that being open to player constructive questioning and criticism is not a mortal attack on his "authoritah!" Asking him to be less dogmatic is merely trying to bring him into more accord of the products' times in which they were written.

  23. - Top - End - #53
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    Daemon

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    Default Re: How do you deal with hordes of enemies?

    Yeah, I suppose 2e TSR era modules have an infamy for railroads, but I'm not sure it's entirely deserved. I didn't use modules much by then, although I did get more than my share of them. I probably remember the better 2e modules much more than the bad, and I'm not one that thinks railroads (to a degree) are the worst thing ever/sandboxes are always good (but my own play was naturally sandbox style, so an occasional change is fine). For me, the experiences started with 1e & B/X modules; generally those NOT by Gygax & old hands. I'll "blame" Margaret Weis & Tracey Hickman for the railroad trend at TSR, and it starts in 1e (ravenloft 1&2, desert of desolation 1-3, & especially the dragonlance series, of which I liked the first ravenloft & desert series anyway!)

    That said, I also thought most people used 1e & classic modules for their 2e games anyway, and dungeon magazine is probably the best source for 2e adventures. I could list good 2e modules/boxes, but most aren't L1-3, about the only one coming to mind is the night below box set. Book/part one is great fun! I suppose a fair # of 1e modules were redone as 2e, but I neither think of them as 2e, nor liked any of them as remakes. (Return to the tomb of horrors being an exception/full of new ideas/content)

    I'm really quite curious exactly what 2e module is being played now...Random NPC?
    Last edited by CE DM; 2018-02-15 at 11:18 AM.

  24. - Top - End - #54
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    Default Re: How do you deal with hordes of enemies?

    We started out with Doom of Daggerdale, and we're now playing Sword of the Dales. We're likely to continue with Return of Randel Morn and the Secret of Spiderhaunt. The Bladesinger and I have rolled up some stats for backup characters, he got 18, 17, 16, 15, 14, 14 and I got 18, 17, 16, 16, 14, 13. So I'm thinking of making a Warrior with all Nonweapon Proficency sunk into Skills and Power Throwing and using small Shiruken for a 4/1 attack rate, or a Psionic.
    See when a tree falls in the forest, and there's no one there to hear it, you can bet we've bought the vinyl.
    -Snow White

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  25. - Top - End - #55
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    Daemon

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    Default Re: How do you deal with hordes of enemies?

    Those are some terrific scores. Sad to hear you are descending into the absurd, but perhaps you are soured on the game with reason.

    I never read or played those back in the day, although I did get PDF's a some years ago. I've glanced them over, and doing so again for swords of the dales is see

    a) player choices have an effect on both kobold & stirge encounters on multiple levels
    b) morale, tactics & so forth are explicitly discussed in the module

    so either your DM hasn't read it at all, changes/alters it to the point a module is pointless to use, or you & co simply aren't as hard put as you might think/made some less than ideal choices.

    I can see how the stirge case is perhaps one the module didn't expect a solo scout, which, while annoying perhaps, still was pretty likely to get a lone scout killed (unless they were invisible or some such)

    I'm not going over the whole adventure as I type this, but clearly there are numerous options within the short section I've read...certainly not a railroad, unless the players wanted to run off the opposite direction of the entire affair.

    It's possible, if your group is all relatively uber, that the DM is stiffening up the opposition because he thought it might be too easy otherwise. Or, he might just stink at running it; no way to be sure.

    I suggest cooling down about it & trying a character that suits the game.
    Last edited by CE DM; 2018-02-15 at 08:06 PM.

  26. - Top - End - #56
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    Default Re: How do you deal with hordes of enemies?

    Our GM has decided to be gracious and allow us to use the -10 until death rule the one time. I've just decided to be proactive because I don't believe we'll remain alive.
    See when a tree falls in the forest, and there's no one there to hear it, you can bet we've bought the vinyl.
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  27. - Top - End - #57
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    Daemon

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    Default Re: How do you deal with hordes of enemies?

    odd call on his part

    well, good luck

    drooling over those scores, I'll whip a potent PC for the game/setting you are in:
    18, 17, 16, 16, 14, 13...demi human deities of the realms pgs 161-165

    Moon Elf Cleric/Ranger of Solonor Thelandria L:1/1 XP :0/0?(+10%/+10%) HP: 10 AL:CG AC: (4)5/8 Kit: warrior of the Dales: Archendale
    STR 18% DEX 17 CON 15 INT 14 WIS 17 CHR 13
    WP: longbow(sp+2+2, +1+0, -1+0,-4+0, cover target), bows(tgr +1 hit), long sword(+1 hit), short sword(+1 hit), missile style sp(1/2 MV & full ROF, or full MV & 1/2 ROF, -1 AC w missile vs missile)
    NWP: Religion(Elf 17-), R/W(Espruar, Common 15-), Bowyer/Fletcher(16-), Hunting(16-), Tracking(17-), Animal Lore(14-), Survival(Woodland 14-), Set Snares(16-), Camouflage(14-,sp), Trouble Sense(17- reduces surprise to a 1), Swimming(18-)
    modern languages: Elven, common (no idea what your DM does, I give extras, add goblin, gnoll, hobgoblin, if so & 1 extra NWP or WP slot too)
    MS 25%(13%) HiS 25%(13%) +40% w camo check
    2 weapon combat at no penalty in light armor, animal empathy(auto/save vs R/S/W at -1, shifts reaction 1 step), code of conduct
    major spheres: all, astral, charm, combat, creation, divination, guardian, healing, necromantic, protection, summoning
    minor spheres: animal, elemental (water & earth), plant, travelers
    spells: 3
    GP: turn undead
    90% MR vs sleep/charm; -4 surprise when alone/stealthy types/non metal armored(-2 w door); infravision 60'; find sec doors 1-3, concealed doors 1-3, auto find them on a 1
    +1 hit/dam defending Archendale, -2 reactions vs other Dalemen, -1 reactions vs non Dalemen
    130 gp rolled leather armor, longbow (18 str), short sword, quiver & 12 AP arrows(pile d6 +2 hit vs armor) & 12 broadhead arrows(sheaf d8), holy symbol
    13 gp more in gear, max 3 gp left over
    Last edited by CE DM; 2018-02-15 at 11:21 PM.

  28. - Top - End - #58
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    Default Re: How do you deal with hordes of enemies?

    Sounds like both GM and players are slipping into Adversarial Gaming. Little fun will be had beyond grudge munchkining and pixel bitching rules lawyering. You all are better off doing a hard reset of the campaign and trying again.

    I suggest Levels 1s made at Method I (3d6 straight down) and no optional material turned on at the start. Keep it barebones and calm for both sides of the screen. This way you can work on the strained personal relation dynamics involved, which seems to be bleeding into play.

    Also, you all need to have The Talk.

    Otherwise this'll be a passive aggressive grudge match where no one wins. Seen it too often in a variety of systems. This is a people problem, not a system or module problem.

  29. - Top - End - #59
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    Daemon

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    Default Re: How do you deal with hordes of enemies?

    I suspect you might well be correct, and agree with most of that (as much as one can know about a game from afar), but for me, I'd require being paid considerable $ in the RW to play 2e FR with "Levels 1s made at Method I (3d6 straight down) and no optional material turned on at the start.".

    I'd do that in B/X, though.

    Not that it matters, what those folks will or won't do does.
    Last edited by CE DM; 2018-02-16 at 10:30 AM.

  30. - Top - End - #60
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    Default Re: How do you deal with hordes of enemies?

    Quote Originally Posted by thorr-kan View Post
    Fireball. Fireball is always the answer. Unless the answer is More Fireballs.

    Everybody's advice about tactics, morale, and running for another day are all good advice. 2ED's play style include fights you can't win, negotiation, and running away.

    That said, 2ED's play style also includes blasting, hence the aforementioned fireball. Sixth-level wizards feel like gods when they're first fireball clears out a horde of bad guys.
    At one time I thought this way... until one particular adventure our party was trying to rescue a hostage from an orc tribe in the forest. Well, the resulting major forest fire we caused (in the middle of the night) when we tried to take the orcs by surprise was much more perilous than the fully intact orc band... not to mention we had some very angry druids to deal with after that incident...

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