[RPG] How to make combat more tactical


How can I help combat be more diverse? I'm a player, but I'm open to suggesting things to my DM.

We are a party of 5th-level PCs. What we run into is the classic tactical situation every time: the barbarian and cleric tank, and the ranger (me) and wizard sit back and plink away or get in melee and are, well, making death saves. Another thing that happens is the wizard spell-shaping and just fireballing everything, unless he's in melee combat and trying to just kite and run.

Do I just try and get the DM to throw in more opposing mages and such? I wanna use my ranger kit but still have threats/challenges.

Another way to phrase my problem would be: how to engage more classes in combat?

Best Answer

Tactical Combat requires a challenge. Challenge in D&D combat is going to come from groups of different enemies, environmental challenges, and other activities going on during the combat.

Fighting a bunch of goblins isn't that hard.

Fighting a bunch of goblins, some with swords, some with bows, backed up by some giant rat skirmishers and supported by a goblin spellcaster is hard.

Fighting that same bunch of goblins in the middle of a burning building while the rogue is picking the lock chaining a hostage to the wall is really, really hard. Also, fun.

As a player, you can't really do much about this as it is the DM who sets these scenes. You have to encourage your DM to spice up combat. In particular, if combats seem to be too easy, the DM shouldn't add more powerful monsters or more of the same monsters - they should add more types of monsters. Adding skirmish fighters (foes who attack one target then dart away to choose another target - something wolves and giant rats are excellent at) will significantly increase the challenge. Melee fighters should always be backed up with ranged fighters (either weapons or spells). A 5th level party should be facing foes using sleep and command and charm magic.

Having tasks that must be done while combat is raging will certainly require tactics, especially if tradeoffs have to be made. Does the rogue spend a few rounds picking the locks or spend the time fighting? If they pick the locks then they can get the hostage before the fire gets worse, but for those rounds the rogue isn't killing enemies. The DM should be forcing the players to make hard choices.

Encourage your DM to read AngryGM's articles on running kickass combats. Part 1, part 2, part 3.

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