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DMing Large-Scale Combat - Feedback & Discussion


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A group of Vigil roleplayers under the larger, Living World Roleplay Discord server recently participated in a five weeks long arc where we battled an alliance of Frost Legion and Modniir in Harathi Hinterlands. It was an extremely experimental roleplay event where we used large-scale troop warfare, with each player controlling 10 NPCs in a style similar to Fire Emblem. 

 

I thought I'd share my DM notes with the community so other DMs who want to run large-scale combat events can see how we've run them in past and brainstorm how we could run them in the future.


https://docs.google.com/document/d/1DA1kroLvwzQ9dnDVCePbc0ltaV6RhbtB5ThTmTNasv0/edit?usp=sharing

 

The Scouting Event, at the bottom, was meant to be a single week, but it took two weeks. The third week was a casual meeting in the Vigil Keep to go over the mechanics of the first week of battle and to discuss in-character strategies. After that, we ran the Battle Event, and the week after, the boss battle against the Legendary Corrupted Modniir Ulgoth and his guard. 

 

Surprisingly, the large-scale combat event went quite well. It was very confusing. I had to multi-box on all three of my Guild Wars 2 Accounts (Devs, please don't ban me. I only do this for RP. T_T). Obviously, it requires a lot of effort on the DM's part, especially if you are running it alone. However, as the event wore on, the three offensives, north, center, and south, slowly fused together into two groups, then into a final group. It was much easier for the event to become smaller progressively than larger.

The final battle, I had less players than anticipated due to scheduling conflicts, so I cut the [Swirl] and [Star] secondary mechanics, leaving only the weather mages at [Square] to defend over the course of the boss fight. With these changes, we finished the boss before 11:30 EST and had ample time for casual post RP. All-in-all, the boss fight felt very fun, but I also have more experience running boss fights than things like the Scouting or Large-scale Battle Events.

 

Anyway, I just wanted to share this! 

 

What events have you run in the past? How have you managed multiple players, NPCs, and Bosses?

 

How would you have changed the mechanics of an event like this one? What do you think works? What could be improved?

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