Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Group power

In many roleplaying games combat is handled as an exchange of blows until one side reaches zero health. Who wins depends on the ratio between what one side deals in damage divided by the health of the other side. Group combat is somewhat more complicated because damage can be concentrated or distributed, but the basic principle remains the same: Who wins depends on who deals a higher percentage of damage compared to the health of the other side.

This is also true for Dungeons & Dragons 4th edition. But D&D, unlike most MMORPGs, doesn't have a maximum group size. And if you do the math, you find that the power of a group goes up exponentially with group size, not linearly. Any additional group member adds both his damage to the damage pool and his health to the health pool; and thus he both increases how much damage the group deals as percentage of the monster's health pool, and decreases how much damage the monsters deal as percentage of the group's health pool.

Yesterday somebody remarked that the upcoming fight against Irontooth is a tough one. Which it is, theoretically. But the average D&D group has 4 or 5 players, and my group has 6 players. Plus one NPC, Lord Padraig of Winterhaven, a paladin of Bahamut. Thus right now I'm more worried that the fight ends up being too easy, not too hard. At least the part outside the kobold's lair was rather on the easy side. Fortunately I can tweak things a bit by playing with the kobold's tactical options. It wouldn't be fun if the fight ends up not being dangerous.

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