How to balance enemies in BESM 4e?

I’m only somewhat experienced in DMing, and decided to run a game of Big Eyes Small Mouth 4th edition. I’ve started world building around the other characters, and during creation I found that one of the characters can deal 44 damage on a hit. While I’m not worried (yet) about him overpowering the other characters, how would I go about making enemies to fight the group if they can deal that much damage? Do I just make them at higher point pools? Or should I just ignore point pools to a certain extent?

I ask because of how open the system is and how few generic monsters and npcs are given in the system compared to D&D 5e, which I’m more experienced in in comparison.

The main thing I’m worried about is enemies not having enough help and just dying in 2 hits.

How could my enemies find my victims’ corpses left in a Magnificient Mansion?

The magnificent mansion spell states:

When the spell ends, any creatures inside the extradimensional space are expelled into the open spaces nearest to the entrance.

Based on these two questions, it was determined that corpses are objects and that objects could be ‘given’ to the mansion (though I’m not sure I’m satisfied with that conclusion):

  • Is a dead creature's body considered an "object"?
  • What happens to items left in Mordenkainen's Magnificent Mansion?

Regardless, if we take that conclusion as given, suppose I provided the servants poison for the entire banquet and had them use it to massacre a 100-person dinner party. When others attempt to find the deceased using divination magic, what sort of reading would they get? Assuming they could figure out where the bodies were, how could they go about recovering them?

Does Ancestral Guardians make enemies attack my Echo or me?

Let’s say I have three levels in Barbarian and three in Fighter.

As a Barbarian I take the Path of the Ancestral Guardian subclass, so I have Ancestral Protectors:

While you’re raging, the first creature you hit with an attack on your turn becomes the target of the warriors, which hinder its attacks. Until the start of your next turn, that target has disadvantage on any attack roll that isn’t against you, and when the target hits a creature other than you with an attack, that creature has resistance to the damage of the target’s attacks.

I also choose to be an Echo Knight as my Fighter subclass:

When you take the Attack action on your turn, any attack you make with that action can originate from your space or the echo’s space. You make this choice for each attack.

My question is this:

If my first attack originates from the echo’s space, i.e. the echo attacks, would the Ancestral Protectors direct the enemy to attack the echo, or to attack my character? And if it directs to the echo, does the effect remain even after it is dispersed so the baddy still attacks other targets with disadvantage?

Or do I just use the echo to make me a super annoying ranged tank that forces enemies to choose between attacking with both disadvantage and target resistance, and trying to chase me down?

How can I speed up combat with a large number of enemies?

I’m DMing for a campaign where the player characters will sometimes face small squads of creatures, most recently six ground troops and two archers helping out. In this setting, these creatures dominate the land the PCs are in and have an organised military, hence squads of enemies.

Combat tends to go quite slowly, however. Eight enemies and three players means the players spend a lot of time waiting between their turns!

Without reducing the number of enemies in the encounter, how can I speed up combat when the players are fighting many enemies?

Can a PC regularly impose disadvantage on enemies’ saves? If so, how?

There are many ways to get advantage/disadvantage on attacks: the Dodge and Help actions are specifically designed for this in combat, and 10 of the 14 conditions in Appendix A have at least one effect causing (dis)advantage on attacks. Also note they use the universal term “attack roll” with no distinction between melee/ranged or weapon/spell.

By comparison, effects on saving throws seem to be quite rare and limited in scope. In terms of common actions & conditions:

  • The Dodge action gives advantage on Dex saves;
  • The restrained condition gives disadvantage on Dex saves;
  • 4 conditions (paralyzed, petrified, stunned, unconscious) cause Str/Dex saves to fail automatically, in addition to other debilitating effects.

This still leaves 4 of the 6 ability score saves unaccounted for.

Is there any regularly available way that a PC can impose disadvantage on a specific saving throw? For example, in order to make a spell that requires that save more likely to take effect.

For the purpose of defining “regularly available”, I’m looking at these criteria:

  • Either applies universally to all saves (such as “the next spell you cast that requires a save”) or lets the PC choose from more than 1 ability score save.
  • Is available to PCs below level 5 (doesn’t require dedication to a particular class beyond the first advancement tier).
  • Appears in any officially-published book (not Unearthed Arcana or third party).

My players have a habit of always torturing enemies they capture for information, how can I make our adventure less macabre?

So I’m running the lost mines of Phandelver as a new DM and we’re about 5 sessions in. I’ve noticed a pattern that seems to repeat itself: the players defeat and capture an evil NPC character that knows some information, that character is tied up and intimidated/tortured, then that character inevitably spills the information it knows.

This cycle is getting a bit repetitive and depressing. How can I, as a DM, encourage my players to try more diverse ways of obtaining information from uncooperative NPCs without withholding story-critical information?

Arcane Archer’s Piercing Arrow on Larger Enemies

One of the Arcane Shot options for the Arcane Archer fighter (from Xanathar’s Guide to Everything, p. 28-29) is Piercing Arrow. The description of Piercing Arrow is as follows:

Piercing Arrow

You use transmutation magic to give your arrow an ethereal quality. When you use this option, you don’t make an attack roll for the attack. Instead, the arrow fires forward in a line, which is 1 foot wide and 30 feet long, before disappearing. The arrow passes harmlessly through objects, ignoring cover. Each creature in that line must make a Dexterity saving throw. On a failed save, a creature takes damage as if it were hit by the arrow, plus an extra 1d6 piercing damage. On a successful save, a target takes half as much damage.

My question specifically is how is this handled for enemies that are large than your normal 5’x5′ square? A Tarrasque is said to be 70′ long, and if the arrow goes 30′, then it would pass through 6 5’x5′ squares before it’s done. RAW it seems to say it would just hit it a single time.

So versus a large monster, would this basically be a single shot against a large creature (bow damage + 1d6 piercing) and is more tailored to a line of smaller enemies?

Also, would it be too much of an imbalance to have a creature do multiple saves and damage if it passes through multiple squares’ worth of its space? (I’m thinking of something like the Piercing Ammo or Dragon Piercer from Monster Hunter World.)

How does one handle a bottleneck of enemies in a doorway?

As a new DM I’m still learning how to control the monsters in a battle. A situation came up last game and although it was fine and fun, I wonder if there are better strategies for a DM to avoid a bottleneck in a doorway.

Scenario: PCs were up against a door deciding whether they should go in. Hobgoblins on the other side of the door open it and an encounter ensues. However, the encounter is basically the PC at the door trading blows with the NPC at the door, while their respective allies in the back try to shoot over their friends’ heads. Although you can move through an ally’s space, you can’t occupy an ally’s square. This leads me to assume that you can’t move in to an ally’s square, attack from it, and move back out of the square (though please correct me if I’m wrong).

This scenario and understanding of the rules brings me to my question.

What tactics can a DM use in a combat scenario like the one above to make sure that the NPCs are all contributing to the battle? Especially if they have no ranged weapons, is there a way that they can all try to attack?

Are there specific rules for pushing enemies into/over difficult terrain?

In previous editions of Dungeons and Dragons there was typically a reasonable assurance of being able to resist/avoid forced movement, or a way to prevent being harshly penalized for it (saving throw to drop prone rather than going over a cliff in 4e).

In 5e while the number of ways to move enemies around has been reduced from 4e it is still very much present. The Warlock’s repelling blast being the best example in that all it requires is a hit to push an enemy 10′, which is positively deadly near a cliff side. Are there any rules I am missing for this? Obviously it isn’t balance critical as it is terrain specific, and honestly the idea behind it is likely to be seen as fun by most players.

Still it seems very out of place from a numbers perspective in 5e. With typically lower monster HP’s and party damage outputs, and falling damage remaining the same the cliffs have already become deadlier. Even simple environmental damage from some spikes is far more valuable to combat than it used to be. So while I am willing to accept there is nothing to do once an ability has moved someone into a dangerous spot besides watching them suffer, I feel like I might just be missing a rule somewhere.

How should XP be awarded when facing enemies with class levels? [duplicate]

A lot of games I’ve been in have had either enemies with player levels or straight up PvP. How should XP be awarded when facing enemies like that? Should you attempt to calculate the CR of the enemies based on the DMG tables or is there a guideline on how XP should be awarded based on the class levels?