How do I know as a GM how much to throw at the players for encounter “Balance”.

How do I know as a GM how much to throw at the players for encounter “Balance”.

How do I know as a GM how much to throw at the players for encounter “Balance”. In the Dark Sun monster list there are a few Gith fighters that are a horde, plus I was considering adding a Gith psionicist which is a large solitary. Is it ok to mix the two types? OR is that sorta the point of DW nothing is balanced and the players should consider running away as a viable option? 

9 thoughts on “How do I know as a GM how much to throw at the players for encounter “Balance”.”

  1. There is no balance, and the players should always expect that they may need to run away.

    Make sure they know that, though. Players used to other games may well assume that all foes will be beatable.

  2. Follow the principles: be a fan.

    Make the encounters interesting by describing the monsters as dynamic dangers: their ACTIONS, more than the stats, can represent a threat; and you can adjust the difficulty of the encounter on the fly, by describing the enemy as more or less capable, aggressive…

    And, always be honest.

  3. Running away is a valid option.  “Strategic retreats” or “assaulting in a different direction”

    Somewhere in the core book there’s an example of kobolds supporting a bigger monster in a fight (choosing to add an extra damage for each member of the kobold horde)… so it’s safe to say mixed enemy types can still makes a valid encounter.

    Characters die.  Don’t pull punches, your players will surprise you.  Or they won’t, and you can make new characters and start a few years in the future when the noted Fronts have been completed and the world is in a state of horror/disrepair/dictatorial-rule/whatever

  4. You can adjust the difficulty of an encounter on the fly by just making harder or softer moves. See Dungeon World Guide by Fontes-May and Dunstan (google it, free download), pg17-19, “How Difficult Is This Fight”? This whole document is excellent.

    Also: the Last Breath move is really fun! Don’t shy away from beating the shit out of the PCs.

  5. GMing is the art of almost but not quite killing characters. (OK there are other stuff GMing is the art of also)

    You simply cannot do this by number crunching beforehand. You have to play each encounter for maximum drama.

    It takes some practise, but it is immensely satisfying if you do it right. (This does not mean you fudge rolls or lie about hit points. It simply means you fight with a goal in mind)

  6. Also, you can defeat your PCs without killing them.  Just DO stuff to them.  Capture them, separate them, take/use up their stuff, etc.

    Defeat is actually really fun.  It makes everything more real, leads to some interesting situations, and breaks up the monster-treasure-monster-treasure monotony of F20 games.

Comments are closed.