What do you get when you have combat veterans playing in your game?
This is a guest post by Scott D. Sveter – Thanks Scott!
Q. What do you get when you have combat veterans playing in your game?
A. MOD-T (Military Operations on Dungeon Terrain)
A couple of months ago I had the great fortune to run a game with some fellow veterans. Thing were going great. Character generation was cool; we had one of each core class and so on. The baddies were chilling inside the room behind a closed door. The rogue checked the door and gave the all clear. This is when everything clicked; the party set up a four man stack in the passage and the thief opened the door. It was beautiful; the first fighter went into the room pushing hard to the left, the second to the right, the ranger and cleric taking the center positions. The four drow warriors inside were blasted and sliced to bits in inside of 2 rounds. Flawless victory!
The keys to their success were not that they were way cool or powerful but the tactics are combat proven and sound. The party discussed how they were going to enter the room right before breaking the door. The rogue checked the door for traps; he also listened and unlocked the door. On a count he opened the door and the assault force entered clearing the room of nastiness.
Entering and clearing a room may sound complicated but it really isn’t. The important thing to remember is that not all monsters will go down on the first hit, but a well prepared plan of attack can put the hurt on them.
The breaching method goes in a simple logical order. It’s important to remember to use your element of surprise to gain a numerical and maneuver advantage over the room occupants.
What follows is an easy step by step method to do this:
Plan the entry and clearance of a room beforehand. It is often necessary to plan such assaults on the fly, so keep in mind a few key points: who will get the door open and how, who enters the room and in what order, and who will stay outside to cover the entry team.
Breech the door to the room. You can breech a door by kicking it down, knocking it down with a sledge hammer, blowing it up with a spell. Ideally, you will only use as much force as is necessary to breech a door.
Tell the number one person to enter the door with her weapon at eye level, both of her eyes opened. Be prepared to attack. She will move with her back against the wall looking across the room and look for bad guys.
Have your number two person enter and go the opposite way through the door he will take up the secondary point of dominance and will cover all of the room you couldn’t see in your sweep.
Any other teammates now enter, and without getting into anyone else’s line of fire, they move along the wall and take up spots equidistant from the number one and two man.
The one man asks if everyone is up. Members of the team will respond in the affirmative if they are certain their sector is clear. If there are more doors to other rooms in the building the leaders will now plan an action to clear that room.
As you dungeon delvers get better at the basics then tweak your breaching techniques to adjust for changes in room shape, size, or nature of beastie. The addition of arcane and divine power cuts both way so beware.
Last but not least – healing
Lastly the number one guy is usually the one who gets it most often, so show him some love with the healing. They’ll crash doors more confidently knowing you got their back.