“Potential show topic modifying encounters on the Fly. Ever start an encounter that you had planned out and go dang this was harder than I thought or dang they just chunked 3/4 of the big bad hit points and next turn they kill it! This was supposed to be the final fight!
How do you all feel about adjusting the monster’s hit points up or down, adding extra damage, taking away damage, adding additional minions, Etc.
I recently ran an encounter with a basilisk in 5E. This is the first time ever that I’ve been able to use the creature in my 20-plus Years of Gaming. The player character had found the creature’s Lair with some Travellers outside Frozen in stone. They then decided that hell, let’s not go into the cave, let’s wait for the Basilisk to come out and we’ll Ambush it. Smart move and as the game master I was not going to circumvent or punish the players for coming up with a good idea. They made their stealth checks, they set up a trap, which they made their survival check, and they destroyed the Basilisk in two turns.
Now the players got to feel very accomplished about this. They defeated a difficult monster rather easily and took no wounds. The question I asked myself though was this really an interesting encounter, should I have made it harder, should I have given the Basilisk more hit points after the first round of the encounter could go a little longer to make the players feel like they had more of a challenge?
Lately the bigger boss battles have sort of fallen short for me. The players typically have good tactics and roll well and manage to defeat the enemies soundly without endangering them very much. And no I’m not the type of GM that feels bad when my monster gets killed nor do I have a strong interest in slaying a bunch of player characters. I just want interesting stories.”