Yep. Light his ass up.
Caleb pumps Charn full of healing energy, raising Charn's HP to 10.
The largest of the animate plants, standing behind the line of smaller blights, wraps itself in its own branches in some sort of defensive posture.
The tiefling Kairon advances, grabs a vial of alchemist fire from Bird, and hurls it at the blight next to Brianna.
The vial hits the ground and the blight burns enthusiastically to a crisp. It is ash on the golden wind.
The green blight attempts to puncture Prythurkan's scales.
The Monarchy Worshipping Dragonborn is savaged by the assault of needles.
The orange blight steps back out from the ship and attempts to finish Prythurkan off. The orange blight then ducks back into the ship.
Fortunately, Prythurkan doesn't have to endure another round of needles.
The Paladin places one holy hand on his skull. A brief corona circles his head, reminiscent of a crown. He heals his own wounds, barely scratched.
The cowardly kobold Darusthanav marches forward to hide behind Caleb. Kobolds love cover.
Brianna advances directly into the fray, charging into square P2. She attacks the blight in Q2!
Brianna is unable to bring down the blight.
It is now Able's turn. I'll provide an updated map and round summary shortly.
Can I target Orange with an Eldritch blast? If not, I'll target one that is not in melee.
Able stands and steps forward throwing his cloak over his shoulder still providing cover to the prone form of Charn. Casting about in the darkness he locks on a target and summons the pact powers to bring down his foe.
He's got total cover. You could have moved move six squares to N2 to target him. Since you're sticking with Charn, let's just say you blasted one of the blues.
Since there is no penalty in 5e for shooting into melee, you can hit whomever you'd like. There is only a penalty in 5e for shooting out of the melee you're in.
As purple is post-morte, it is now Eryndir's turn.
Eryndir will pop up from his hiding place in N4 and shoot an arrow at Blue 8, working his way down the line. He will then move north from N4 to N0 (requiring 30 feet of movement, due to the difficult terrain in N3 and N0), and use Cunning Action to Hide again.
Damage with Longbow + Sneak Attack
Blue 8 is now bloodied, in the sense that you know he is below 50% hp. Given that he's a plant monster without blood, he's not actually bloodied. This isn't some cartoon, however. This is R rated violence.
Well, since the dwarf decided to move to a terrible position (which I now assume is standard behavior for Brianna), Cor'val will fire at #5 in Q4.
Freakin' hell. Down 3 arrows now. Three rolls and I've a 20, a something, and a 1.
She does have a tendency to engage. This could be helpful if she manages to get behind the enemy front line - ranged characters can flank too.
Bird makes a noise like you would expect from a roaring bonfire. He chucks some alchemist fire at Pink 3.
Unsurprisingly, Pink 3 is now a small pile of ashes.
It is now the Blue Blights turn.
The three needle blights in melee with the dwarf, not liking the idea of being at disadvantage by firing out of melee, instead try to rake her with their needle claws.
The dwarf is now bloodied.
Charn will move east one square to flank with his fellow Dragonborn and attack the plant creature!
Nobody puts Charn down and expects anything other than death.
Ah. Red is dead. Charn'll get to column O, use his action surge to get to column Q, and attack the blue one in front of him. If I can keep that crit, here's the damage.
What did you mean by ranged characters can flank? I'm about to be running a 5e game locally and trying to get a grasp on all the changes.
The page in the DM Guide says "When a creature and at least one of its allies are adjacent to an enemy...they flank that enemy and have advantage on melee attacks."
How I'm reading it is that unless said ranged character is adjacent to the enemy, and thus disadvantaged on ranged attacks, they aren't flanking anyone. Now, for rogues and sneak attack, the rogue only needs one ally adjacent to the enemy to get his sneak dmg on a ranged attack, but that's not flanking. What am I missing?
@Obsidian_Spoon - Flanking in 5e is an optional rule, rather than a base rule. I think that's the case because they want to make the idea that all the combat is narrative (no battlemap) the base game. Adding a map with squares or with hexes makes it much easier to provide tactical level game play because you can track everyone.
If you do run with a battlemap but don't run with a flanking rule, you tend to see a static set of conditions emerge on the map. Attacks of opportunity are NOT an optional rule, so two characters will engage a single character and then everyone stops moving. YMMV, but if I've got a battlemap in play and people stop taking move actions my fights start to look really dull. There are two ways I know of to update that - either create an environmental condition that forces voluntary or involuntary movement every round (such as a river running through the middle of your map) or make your positioning really, really matter with a rule like flanking.
I'm a fan of flanking as written in the DMG when you have at least three melee characters. Meaningful choices make games fun. If you don't have at least three melee characters in the party, flanking starts to work against the PCs at around level 3. Around level 3, when the PCs start gaining subclasses and have a substantial power bump, the number of low level antagonists also rises. So an encounter of 4 PCs vs 4 goblins at level 1 or 2 seems fun, but at level 3 a Medium difficulty encounter requires 8 goblins. Suddenly, every PC is flanked and taking massive damage.
My solution is to let ranged characters flank too. In this game, we've got one melee PC (Charn) and one semi-melee PC (Caleb). The high damage characters (Cor'val, Eryndir, and Able) in this game are all ranged, so we would only provide advantage to NPCs if we only let melee characters flank. If ranged characters can also flank, emergent strategy that works best with this team composition is for your tanks to rush in (kinda like the Dwarf NPC) past the front line and engage with the midline. Your three damage dealers then kill the enemy frontline faster because someone like Charn or Caleb are giving you advantage. Your clock is ticking, however, because Charn and Caleb end up taking more damage too! Caleb, however, is one of the best healing classes available. Having the healer on the frontline instead of the backline makes it easier for Charn to keep taking the hits.
With this team comp, the optional RAW flanking would mean the same strategy would work but only against you. You're totally right otherwise. There is a type of rogue that actually only deals sneak attack damage if he's NOT flanking with anyone, but I can't think of any exceptions other than that.
Ah, excellent. Thanks for breaking it down for me. Are you only allowing ranged flanking at a certain range?
I'm not sure of my upcoming party comp yet, but I'll keep all this in mind. So far, I'm a big fan of 5e, and I wouldn't of even looked at it if you hadn't invited me to this game, so thanks for that too.
I haven't yet found a problem with ranged flanking being turned on, so I'm inclined to say no. If the tank gets too far away from the mid/back lines, the difficulty is on the healer. A heavily armored cleric or a regenerating shapeshifting druid can stick with the tank and keep them up, but ranged characters are going to have issues with splash. A ranged healer like a Celestial Warlock or Divine Soul Sorc can mitigate that somewhat, but they're going to have issues with the tank. 5e does a good job balancing between efficiency and expediency in its healing:
So your healer has to figure out where to stand - do they join the tank and struggle to heal the ranged characters or do they stay in the back and launch more ineffective heals at the tank? I like it when characters have to make those sorts of tactical choices.
I'm really stoked you like 5e. I'm not quite an evangelist for it, but I'll certainly champion its value. If there is one other thing I would recommend you get a good feel for, it's the pace of resting. This entire Chapter Two of the game is going to be a dungeon, which means the rest rules are going to be super important. Long rest classes are simply way too good compared to short rest classes if the DM isn't on top of his pacing game.
Pink is now a pile of ash, so it is now Caleb's turn.
My preference is to get out of this combat without casting any more spells. Caleb will advance to L2 and use the Dodge action.
Kairon grabs another vial from Bird. She advances to N1. She chucks the vial at the blue blight in Q0.
He was almost done, so now he is ash too.
Her timing was excellent, it would be greens' turn. As he is dead, it is orange's turn. Orange disengages from Charn (who put her into melee) and flees further into the ship.
Prythurkan moves M1, N1, O1, P0, Q0, R1. He attacks the blight in Q1.
The kobold Darusthanav appreciated Caleb's dodgyness and hides behind him again.
Brianna attempts to finish off the Blight in Q1.
It's down. It is now Able's turn. I'll make a map later today, but the summary is that the is a blight in Q2, a blight in Q3, and a monsterous plant thing in R2, S2, T2, R3, S3, T3, R4, S4, and T4. It's pretty big.
Burn the blight in Q2.
Able, perhaps annoyed at the efficacy of the wood elves, simply evaporates the blight in Q2. One shot, one kill, and probably more than one cutting insult to be delivered at a later time.
Purple is kaput, so it is now Eryndir's turn.
Eryndir will pop out of his hiding spot in N0 and take a shot at the blight in Q3 with his longbow (enjoying advantage, having just come out of hiding). He'll then use 30 feet of movement to go through O1-O2-O3-P4-Q5-R5 in order to flank the big ass tree monster with Pythurkan.
Just so everyone is on the same page, I'm going to replace the appellation "grumpy" with "The Big Ass Tree Monster" in the next IC recap, unless you murder everything before the next IC recap.
I'm somewhat lost on who is where now.
Pretty clear cut now.
Cor'val will move to M3, cast Hunter's Mark on the big guy as a bonus, and then attack.
The arrow, guided by Cor'val's magic, bites deeply.
Bird moves up and throws alchemist's fire.
Unsurprisingly, the plant has vulnerability to fire. This means that the damage against it is doubled when the source does fire damage.
Max Damage is always nice.
It is now Charn's turn.
Charn moves southeast and two squares east to be due east of Eryndir and attacks the tree critter, flanking with his fellow dragonborn. Charn's player was an idiot and posted in the IC thread, which rolled a 20. So, if we're keeping that, here's the damage.
Charn smashes away quite an awful lot of bark and some wood which stops being so animated as it falls away from the beast. It becomes clear that his slashing attack was much more effective than a bludgeoning or piercing attack.
Out of convenience, I'm posting a reduced init tracker. It is currently Caleb's turn.
5 The Big Ass Tree Monster
Just to be on the safe side (I don't want to end up standing in the dark because someone with a light source gets gobbled up and disappears from the map), Caleb will cast light on his holy symbol then move east until he is one square north of Brianna.
"All vegetation must be carefully pruned and maintained by the Bureau of Public Spaces & Greenery!"
A very prudent decision.
The Big Ass Tree Monster, perhaps displeased by its name, attempts to break the face of the elf Eryndir.
The wood elf barely dodges a very nasty swing.
The tiefling Kairon mutters a word under her breath. If you're interested in knowing what spell she cast, you can roll Intelligence(Knowledge Arcana).
Prythurkan, not liking what he saw almost happened to Eryndir, hacks at the Big Ass Tree Monster with advantage thanks to his flanking buddies.
Chunks of recently living wood go flying as the Dragonborn sets into his foe.
The kobold Darusthanav hides behind Cor'val.
Brianna Goldaxe moves to S1 to flank with Charn. She attempts to further the good work performed by her Crown-wielding companion.