Faster Combat Tips

Cribbed from several YouTube videos and blog sites…

* Figure out all characters’ attack and damage modifiers and spell save DCs before play.
* Make sure players know how their characters’ special abilities work before play.
* Have players declare their character’s “default” actions if taken by surprise by an attacker.
* Make sure Initiative Order is written large where everyone can see it.
* Give players 1 full minute between rounds to table talk and plan group tactical actions, but only 15 seconds per player to declare changes during a character’s turn.
* After the minute of planning talk, no “advice” or “committee review” of individual player’s decisions is allowed. (Others’ reaction abilities and corrections to rules misplays should still be allowed.)
* Have players track hit points of damage done to enemies.
* Have players roll their damage dice with the d20 attack roll.
* Use average damage for DMs’ monsters and NPCs.
* Make sure all players are paying attention.
* Remember spellcasters add time to running combats; plan out spells ahead of time.
* DM can roll ahead of turn for monsters and NPCs, even keeping results hidden until needed under a dice cup or opaque Solo cup. (Fun to reveal.)
* Use a greater number of weaker creatures and the Mob attack rule versus a few high-Hit Point creatures.
* Post creature stats openly (maybe require Arcana, Medicine or Insight roll to view).