How should my Warlock player use their familiar during battles?

One of my players has a Warlock character and is using Pact of the Chain for their Pact Boon. They most often cast a pseudodragon as their familiar, but neither of us are sure about how they should be using the pseudodragon during fights. Does the familiar get its own turn in the turn order? Or can the familiar only act when the Warlock gives up their action slot? I read the PHB content, but I’m still unclear how/if the pseudodragon should be used in fights.

Damaging inanimate objects in battles to indirectly gain advantage in battles

  1. I was thinking of using Spell damage to knockdown a dead Tree trunk in order for it to land on two/three skeletons and therefore pinning them effectively in place.

  2. Assuming having 1 Torch lit only with an all-human party (and I am Chaotic Evil), I was thinking of aiming my spell on the Torch effectively putting it out and make my quick getaway.

Are these possible scenarios?

This is for the Table Top game Dungeons and Dragons (DnD-e5). (sorry about that)

Are there positionning rules when using battles maps on Dragon Age RPG?

We have been running a Dragon Age RPG using battle maps (online) as it is more convenient for playing remotely. The core rulebook gives hints about how such a game could run in the section Using Battle Maps in page 52 :

Using miniatures and battle maps in Dragon Age is easy. Two yards in the rules translates into 1 square or hex on the map. Round down if needed. So a character with Speed 9 would move 4 squares or hexes on a battle map with a move action. A short bow with a range of 32 yards can shoot up to 16 squares or hexes on a battle map.

And that is it with the matter of using maps, unless I missed some other rules. But based on the answers on that other RPG.se post, I think there is not : How is the Dragon Age RPG combat supposed to be played?

In our usual experience of battlemap systems like D&D or Pathfinder, that use 5ft squares, you can find clear rules about :

  • Movements : and specifically diagonal movements (odd diagonal = 1 movement, even diagonals = 2)
  • Stacking up : tokens would not usually stack on the map, unless they have a size Tiny or less
  • Zones of threat : ennemies have zones of threat, for example 1 or 2 squares arround them, they control that zone and player are subject to opportunity attacks when moving in that zone
  • Moving through occupied squares : it is impossible to move past an occupied square unless the occupant is willing to let you do so and that you do not finish your movement on that hsquare

Dragon Age RPG does not provide for zones of opportunity attacks and threat zones, with the exception of the minor action press the attack which reacts to the movement of your adjacent foe by a movement of your avatar.

In those conditions there is nothing that would stop or threaten the player to go past one or multiple ennemies unharmed, and that seems a little too permissive. That means under certain circonstances that the player may even move through an occupied tile.

For the time being we agreed with the players on the following rules :

  • there are no zones of threat, so the player can leave or go past a tile adjacent to the foe, but cannot move past them (it may allow an ennemy blockade)
  • As tile are slightly bigger than D&D tiles (2yards vs 5ft) we have allowed allies to stack upon certain conditions, like taking cover for example

But as the longer we will use those rule the harder it will be hard to fix them, my question is :

Do you know some rule that I am yet unaware of ?

Otherwise in your experience, did you have to deal with the same situation ? Did you manage to keep the game balanced and without ruining the gameplay opportunities brought by the stunts system ?

How should I set up and execute air battles in my session to avoid easy encounters?

I’m running the Storm King’s Thunder campaign, and we are at the portion where the PCs get an airship to travel around in, the airship is about 1000ft in the air. There are approximately 5-6 lvl 7 PCs, and they have 3 or 4 hard encounters a day. There are two wizards, a warlock, ranger, paladin, blood hunter, sorcerer, and fighter.

For the most part, they have had fun with the different weapons and enemies they have faced; however, I find that one or two spellcasting PCs have been using spells such as mind sliver, polymorph, and hypnotic pattern to defeat more challenging encounters, such as one with a roc and wyvern. They make the creature make saving throws with hypnotic pattern and cause the enemy to fall to its death, and using mind sliver makes it even harder, especially on low wisdom creatures like rocs. Or with the polymorph spell, they cause the enemy to become a fish or chicken and throw it off the edge, and since the damage carries over, it kills the monster. I realize it was legal and made fights funnier, but it does get annoying when it’s happening in almost every fight. Are there any suggestions on how to keep them on track without them making every encounter easy?

I thought of giving the monsters immunity to these effects, but it sounds like a lame excuse for me not being prepared.

How should I set up and execute air battles in my session to avoid easy encounters? [duplicate]

I’m running the Storm King’s Thunder campaign in dnd 5e, and we are at the portion where the PCs get an airship to travel around in. There are approximately 5-6 lvl 7 PCs, and they have 3 or 4 hard encounters a day. There are two wizards, a warlock, ranger, paladin, blood hunter, sorcerer, and fighter.

For the most part, they have had fun with the different weapons and enemies they have faced; however, I find that one or two spellcasting PCs have been using spells such as mind sliver, polymorph, and hypnotic pattern to defeat more challenging encounters, such as one with a roc and wyvern. They make the creature make saving throws with hypnotic pattern and cause the enemy to fall to its death, and using mind sliver makes it even harder, especially on low wisdom creatures like rocs. Or with the polymorph spell, they cause the enemy to become a fish or chicken and throw it off the edge, and since the damage carries over, it kills the monster. I realize it was legal and made fights funnier, but it does get annoying when it’s happening in almost every fight. Are there any suggestions on how to keep them on track without them making every encounter easy?

I thought of giving the monsters immunity to these effects, but it sounds like a lame excuse for me not being prepared.

Has anyone tested the effect of allowing cantrips to be repeatedly cast between battles?

Short Version: Some characters have cantrips (or unlimited-used abilities) that they would like to have in combat, like Shillelagh. Has anyone tested or experienced methods of allowing these to be ready in advance?

Long Version: I have a player who wants to build an Arcana Cleric who uses Shillelagh, a non-concentration cantrip with a 1-minute duration, for melee combat. She would like to have it ready when combat begins for action economy (to do such other things as casting Spiritual Weapon on the first turn). She figures she can simply cast it continuously while walking around between fights.

I was considering allowing this, with a few caveats. My thoughts were:

  • Constantly casting a cantrip will give Disadvantage to be aware of surroundings, giving a -5 to Passive Perception/Investigation.
  • Since it has a Verbal component, she will be constantly emitting noise, possibly giving enemies some advance warning of the party’s approach.
  • Originally I was going to have her roll a d10 at the start of any battle to see how much time was left on the 1-minute cantrip (since it’s conveniently 10 rounds of duration), but technically she could recast it every 6 seconds to restart the timer, RAW, rather than waiting until it expired.

There are other potential factors, such as aggravating any NPCs that travel with them (imagine someone repeating the same 6 seconds of magic words over and over. ALL. DAY. LONG.), and not being able to renew it while her focus was required elsewhere (like solving a tricky puzzle, or while hiding, or while having a conversation).

Here are my questions:

  • Are there any other factors that need to be weighed, mechanically-speaking?
  • Is there any problem with my interpretation of the ability to recast it every 6 seconds?
  • Has anyone used or witnessed their own method of handling a PC constantly re-using a similar spell or ability?

Rules for DM’ing large scale battles [duplicate]

I am working on a campaign and there is a very good chance that the PC’s may find themselves involved in a large mass battle, a large siege or possibly both if things go slightly sideways in regards to there actions and success through the campaign (of course they may just as equally decide to get out of dodge if it all goes sideways but that is the joy of running a free from open campaign).

I have experience of a system for large battles from 1st edition legend of the 5 rings, a combination of the players attempting to complete heroic actions to sway the battle, combined with dice rolling the skill of the generals behind the scenes to gauge the flow of the battle. Are there any official published 5th edition rules or suggestions as to how to run these kind of large scale battles for D&D?

Turning VTM battles more dynamic

I’m playing a VTM 20th edition campaign with my friends, and they are really liking it, the only thing that is not great is the combat.

Sometimes the group battle just one or two enemies, and it’s fine, but now they are at war with the Sabbath, and the Camarilla is helping then in some battles, but then the combat turns into something like 10 versus 5, and then it gets a little boring, for me, because I’m controlling all the characters and for then, because they need to wait 10 actions to do something.

I know that one solution would be to just reduce the size of the battles, but battles of this size are really great for my storytelling at the moment, is there anything else I can do?