If your players are anything like mine, nothing is ever quite a “normal” encounter.
Throwing a few goblins in a room or a corrupted tree in a clearing would be a simple fight to some players, but not to mine.
As such, I always have to take a second when I’m planning each encounter to ask myself “why?”
Why is this tree here? Why is it corrupted? Can it be healed?
What about the goblins? Are they defending a home? Casually wandering through? Actively hunting the players or setting a trap for them?
It’s an extra layer of planning, but I think it’s made me a better DM and storyteller.
Take a second to think about the motivations for your monsters before your next session, and you’ll be a lot more prepared when the players say “I try to talk to it!” or “I drop to one knee and offer my sword” or other unexpected things like that.
Note: Whole ton of links for y’all today! I pared down the best of last week ’cause I was out.
Yeth Hound Tactics – The Monsters Know What They’re Doing
Duzig’s Hold – Dyson’s Dodecahedron
How Do Your Players Know What Monsters Can Do? – Merric’s Musings
Taking a Look at Shadow of the Demon Lord’s Corruption Mechanic – Dungeon Solvers
Sparkle and Clink: Objective-Oriented Loot Placement – Campaign Mastery
Splitting the Party in D&D – The Alpine DM
Monster Spotlight: Black Dragons – Dungeon Master’s Workshop
The Lost Vaults: 800+ Magic Items from Fourth Edition – DMsGuild – $12.95
Hagmalgams – DMsGuild – $1.95
Encounters in the Savage Underdark – DMsGuild – $14.95
Now get out there and tell a story!