[RPG] Is combat supposed to be this quick


This question is a follow-up to the comments in this answer What ways exist to consistently and reliably grant my allies advantage on the attack roll?

I was confused about timing terms and effects that last 1 minute, like the barbarian rage, for example. Until now, I was sure that each character had approximately 6 seconds to act, and then on his next turn, 1 minute would have passed.

It turns out I am mistaken, as the others users pointed out, and the PHB (p. 181) also says the following:

In combat and other fast-paced situations, the game relies on rounds, a 6-seconds span of time described in chapter 9.

If I understand this correctly, everyone engaged in combat takes turn in the same round, which means in the same 6 seconds. Then another round goes up, etc. This also means that there are 10 rounds in a single minute.

Now this is what disturbs me: in the adventure I am running (party is now level 6), I am pretty sure that most fights we had didn't last 10 rounds..

Is combat supposed to be this quick ?

(I would like to note that even if most of the fights didn't last very long, some of them were difficult and/or deadly, so I don't think it's a matter of difficulty.)

Best Answer

Yes, combat is supposed to be this quick.

Caveat: Since you are at low levels, and both monsters/party have low hit points, you may find that this changes. That will be determined by the complexity of the challenge you present to the party, how smart the enemy is, as well as how many minions are there. The difference between a running battle or a static battle will also influence this.

Now this is what disturbs me: in the adventure I am running (party is now level 6), I am pretty sure that most fights we had didn't last 10 rounds

From Experience

  • Your experience reflects the experience at our table as we went from levels 1 through 6, in terms of how many rounds a given combat encounter lasted.

  • Our problem was that in Real Life Time we had pacing of combat issues as we got used to the new system and got used to our skills ... and the fact that we rarely got all six of us into the game (played on line rather than in person) so that one of us would be running another's character. This slowed down down In Real Time how long each round took, but it didn't extend how many rounds a fight took.

  • Since our adventure party began, we have had one fight, total, that ever lasted longer than 10 rounds. It was a running battle that ended up happening across a number of rooms and corridors.

One of the design goals of 5e was to try and keep combat from taking a lot of real life time per combat. WoTC seems to have succeeded, and a by-product of that (and bounded accuracy keeping armor classes from being too high) seems to be quicker resolution of combat.