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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Orc in the Playground
    Join Date
    Dec 2009

    Default Limiting spells per encounter

    In the campaign i am working on, the party will have a lot of days where they will only have one encounter, simply because some parts of the world are simply not that dangerous, they will have plenty of 0 encounter days. And then throwing in 3 encounters in one day, in the same "safe" area would be weird. While one random encounter every few days is reasonable.

    I am afraid a sorcerer will just start throwing all his most powerfull spells at the encounter. Making the encounter less challenging.
    I am using a sorcerer in this example, but can be any class.

    I am considering a few options:
    1. Don't do anything. Obviously this is a common option, but not the one i prefer. But maybe people can convince me it won't be that much of a problem.
    2. Up the CR of the encounter. This is obviously an option, the Sorcerer does his nova-thing and the encounter is still challenging, but i am not sure i like the sorcerer taking the spotlight on every of those encounters where he kills half the encounter and the rest of the party the scraps.
    3. Limit the sorcerer. I heared about spells/encounter instead of spells/day, but that is a too big of a change. I thought of the following idea.

    The sorcerer might have 3 level 3 spellslots, 5 level 2 and 7 level 1.
    If level 1 spells counts as 1, level 2 as 2, and level 3 as 4 points, this adds up to 29 points. I only allow a spellcaster to cast half of this in one encounter, rounded up, so 15 points. Now that i am typing this, it still allows the spellcaster to cast 3 level 3 spells and a level 2 spells before he is almost out of points, which doesn't really help much. Maybe i need a second ruling, where you can only cast half your spells/day rounded up every encounter. So a max of 2 level 3 spells, and 3 level 2 spells.

    I am not sure this works, and i feel going down to like a third of the spells is too prohibiting.

    How do other groups solve this, or just not consider it a problem?

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Pixie in the Playground
    Join Date
    Dec 2016

    Default Re: Limiting spells per encounter

    This is similar to the less combat oriented parts when I run a game my normal solution is just have more noncombat encounters for example meeting NPCs or finding something interesting that with the appropriate skill or application of magic lets the players interact in more ways strange markings, bad weather, damaged bridge, abandoned cart, a glint of something shiny in a tree or at the top of a Cliff it could have/lead to small a amount loot, injured/dead NPC's, clues for the current quest if appropriate, world building stuff

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    RedKnightGirl

    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    California
    Gender
    Male

    d6 Re: Limiting spells per encounter

    Seems higher level game above 6th. Even safe zones get attacked. Orcs will attack a fort with numbers of 100 plus 2 or 3 4th level barbarians.. That would be scouting missions, days of little rest on end. That is a tough fight throw in 5th level cleric they may be running.
    9 wisdom true neutral cleric you know you want me in your adventuring party


  4. - Top - End - #4
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    RedSorcererGirl

    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Seattle, WA

    Lightbulb Re: Limiting spells per encounter

    Quote Originally Posted by Gnaritas View Post
    3. Limit the sorcerer.
    Quote Originally Posted by nighteyes95 View Post
    This is similar to the less combat oriented parts when I run a game my normal solution is just have more noncombat encounters
    Indeed, don't limit the Sorcerer's abilities, but rather adjust the encounters. Yes, a Sorcerer can nova well and take out enemies quickly, however not all encounters are only straight combat. For example:

    • PC's face a Succubus or other charming or dominating monster. Much of the encounter is breaking charm on yourself or others. Once that happens, it's easy to drop the monster.
    • PC's face two parties fighting. It's not easy to determine at first which side is good and which side is evil. Once determined, then you can unload on the evil side.
    • PC's face a huge grappling monster. The meatshields need to free the Sorcerer or keep the monster away from the Sorcerer, so the Sorcerer can cast against it.
    • PC's have to navigate a glass Maze with an obvious magic monster at its center. The Maze part is within an antimagic field, so the meatshields shine while working through the Maze part, until the Sorcerer can shine once they reach the center and can unload magic on the monster.

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Troll in the Playground
    Join Date
    Oct 2011

    Default Re: Limiting spells per encounter

    Quote Originally Posted by nighteyes95 View Post
    This is similar to the less combat oriented parts when I run a game my normal solution is just have more noncombat encounters for example meeting NPCs or finding something interesting that with the appropriate skill or application of magic lets the players interact in more ways strange markings, bad weather, damaged bridge, abandoned cart, a glint of something shiny in a tree or at the top of a Cliff it could have/lead to small a amount loot, injured/dead NPC's, clues for the current quest if appropriate, world building stuff
    Agreed. "Safe" areas have (nearly) as many encounters as unsafe areas - the important thing to remember is that "encounter" and "combat" are not synonymous.

    But the easiest way to limit how many spells the Sorcerer (etc) cast? It's to make the encounter not last but a round or two. Really low CR creatures. Spotting something about to drift out of sight around the bend of a river. Etc.

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