Formations and maneuvers

edits and additions and arguments very welcome! DM may transform questions into statements where appropriate.

Sneak pattern alpha

  • Squall leads, maybe with Kailea. Both moving at half speed.
  • Helia follows some distance behind. That distance will always depend on the terrain, maybe between 30 and 60 feet. However, she must keep eye contact with the scouts.
  • Dharma and Olga follow at a distance, keeping eye contact with Helia. Ideally, they should be 140 feet behind squall. (Based on an average monster with Perception +5 opposed by Olga’s Stealth -9.)
  • Keeping eye contact at all times is crucial. Keeping the distance is easy – stop and go by following the person in front. If Squall wants to advance, temporarily, without being followed, she will use a hand signal. If she hears trouble, hand signal. Helia will mimic the hand signal for the guys in the back.
  • If Squall fears attack is imminent, a hand signal will bring the others running to her. If she wants to regroup without breaking stealth she can just walk back.
  • Now this next part is important. Every one besides Olga and Dharma must be periodically looking back so that hand signals can be passed from back to front. The important one being “We are getting bored and pissed off back here, regroup for consultation or we will start shouting ‘hey squall what do you see!’ and run towards you.”
  • More hand signals?

Breach bang and clear

  • Dharma and Kailiea kick the door open and get a look inside. Olga is right behind them, Squall and Helia prepare to snipe from the back.
  • DM speaks a description of the room, which is presumably only fully seen by the fighters. So the fighters relay the important facts to the others.
  • Knowledge checks from everyone on monsters or hazards in view.
  • Roll initiative.
  • Olga yells some tactical ideas, in character, using an ever expanding dictionary. For starters, we have:
    • Wait —> Delay
    • Watch out! —> Use total defense
    • Don’t let him X! —> Ready an action for when he does X
    • Are you okay? —> Do you need me to cast cure light wounds on you my next turn?
    • Hold on, I’m coming! —> I will cast cure light wounds on you my next turn, so delay your turn until after mine and only then run into the melee.
    • Everyone, stand back while Helia fries them —> Delay your turn and don’t run in the room until it’s Helia’s turn to throw a fireball. Yes, even if it means the bad guys will get to go first.
    • Let them come to us —> This is a good position right here. Instead of wasting it, ready an action to attack an enemy that comes in range.
  • Every fight must eventually become a chaotic free-for-all. If we can be coordinated for a couple of rounds we should feel pretty good.

Pit maneuver

  • Olga yells “pit coming” to Dharma
  • Dharma delays to just behind Olga in the initiative.
  • Olga makes a pit, behind the enemy if possible or under him.
  • If he’s not yet in the pit, Dharma tries to push him in. If she succeeds she turns her attention to other foes. If not she keeps fighting the guy who has to make a save every turn or fall in. (Or move away and provoke.) If he moves away Olga will remove the pit.
  • If there is someone in the pit, Squall and/or Helia delay until Olga moves to stand one square away from the edge and drops her hammer and/or shield.
  • Snipers move to stand by the edge and snipe while Olga holds on to their or bra or underwear, whichever is showing more elastic.
  • If they need to maneuver around the pit they tell Olga where to go and she goes first. This looks strange, but in round based combat is necessary so that you have someone to hold on to your underwear when you get there.

Spell disruption

  • Olga yells “Helia stop her from casting!”
  • Helia readies a magic missile if the enemy starts chanting.
  • Enemy starts casting and gets a MM in the face.

To the victor belong the spoils

  • The last monster shrieks in pain and drops to the ground. Kailea removes its head just to make sure.
  • The heroes take a moment to breath. This can be debated, but my impression would be that even a minute to recuperate from even a minor encounter is a pretty conservative lower bound. Unless we are in an active chase, we would take time to slow down our breathing and wait for our hands to stop shaking and the roaring rush of blood to quiet down. Then wipe the blood and gore from our weapons and pick up dropped backpacks etc. I know we are sometimes under time limited buff spells so there is pressure to proceed too. Ideas?
  • During the wind-down, everyone heals themselves as they see fit, probably to at least above bloodied. Then everyone that is still bloodied should receive healing from Olga. This can be done by a silent signal in front of you, so that Olga can decide which healing option is best to use. Ideas for signals?
  • The party as a group collects all clearly visible items from corpses and from around the room. Unless DM objects, there is no need to specify individually who searches the monster and who looks at the desk etc. If we have reason to suspect traps, we specify that we are being careful not to touch that glowing paper weight or we are staying clear of that funky smelling mold.
  • All items found this way are described by the DM and noted by the treasurer. All magical items of caster level less than or equal to Olga’s Spellcraft check minus 15 (currently CL 6) are identified on the spot. The rest are noted as unidentified.
  • Items of immediate use that do not require a major revamp to a character sheet may be disbursed to their end user right then.
  • Next, if we have reason to look for something hidden, a thorough search of the room can be done as a group. This should mean, by default, looking under desks, behind curtains, under beds, plus whatever we think of specifying. But again, unless the DM objects, we don’t have to specify where everyone stands at every round. And we are assumed to be taking 10 on perception against traps in places where traps are expected.
  • Oops, while opening a desk drawer you hear a click. Who opened it? We should debate this, but one idea is to let the DM find out randomly, possibly excepting characters who specified they are standing watch at the door.
  • Dang, that was a fireball trap. Where is everyone standing? Again, one idea, if the DM can do this, is to make this random. We are all moving about the room looking at stuff and the trap explodes at some random moment.
  • The downside to all this is that all items and secret doors are thus known to all party members. One way around it would be to say that a fraction of 2/5 of all finds are by Helia or Kailea, and so a Sleight of Hand check opposed by Perception is made to see if the others have access to an item, or a Bluff check opposed by Sense Motive will tell if the rest of us also know about that secret door.

No rest for the not wicked

Olga doesn’t mind standing guard. The Fatigued conditioned is not that terrible.


  • Ways to use Entangle? Burning hands? Fog? Cleave?
  • A “run away” maneuver could also be useful…

Formations and maneuvers

Remnants of Thassilon nmovshov