What EldenRing should teach D&D dungeon masters

What EldenRing should teach D&D dungeon masters

Elden Ring is a notoriously brutal video game that is often more survival-horror than a fantasy game. There are hazardous environments and terrible creatures everywhere you look. Players quickly learn that they cant defeat every enemy they see, and adapt their strategy in favor of stealth and running to fight another day.

Elden Ring is often perceived as being designed to frustrate its players, so what can we as DMs learn from it? After all, they wanted to provide a fun table experience, rather than bully our friends. However, they must, for example, maintain an eye on skill and rapid thinking, as long as they choose. Especially if you are running a sandbox game, not every fight should be winnable at first. It should be similar to Elden Ring, where the enemies don''t change with

These are, therefore, a few lessons DMs, GMs, and worldbuilders should learn from Elden Ring.

If your world is full of danger, it should be able to see giants roaming overhead, and legions marching on the road. It will also assisting your players in deciding where to go, and when to rest and hide. Frodo in Mordor, or your own Caelid experience, is a must.

While you should increase the challenge of combat, don''t force your players into a fight they can''t win. Instead, let them see overwhelming power without being first seen. In Elden Ring, players learn how Godrick killed her comrades and spread their body parts onto his own.

Even if players avoid combat, use environmental hazards like Caelids scarlet rot swamps to make travel challenging. Even if players avoid combat, difficult random encounters can make your players think twice about their travel pace and resting just anywhere. Play even your weakest monsters with cunning and survival instincts. Use their Nimble Escape to hide and disengage while attacking at range. Use terrain features and objects to give both sides places to hide and take cover.

When you sequester certain areas, the survival aspect of exploration does get stuck eventually, so be sure to mix it up and have areas that are fairly safe as well. In an open world, you may avoid losing high-level content with clever use of key items and achievements like in Elden Ring. Remember your players might only fly over the gaps in the Lands Between, so you should pay attention to them.

D&D isn''t a video game. Players won''t only spawn outside the boss room when they die. While we may never force the players into a fight they are unlikely to win, their own goals will sometimes force them to take that risk themselves. Even if the party faces a deadly threat, you must move the story along.

To keep the game under control, you need to follow your own rules and plan combatants actions during session preparation. Don''t let them take all the day figuring out the most optimal strategy, however. This anime-style combat dialogue is a bonus in doses, but reduces table time and adds to the suspense. Some DMs use turn timers to keep it under control.

Give the players a chance at victory. Even the weakest creatures are allowed to bring hirelings or associates. Use these methods to hide and hide or high ground. Place objects they can interact with for an advantage or improvised trap. They may lose enough HP if they lose enough or have a detrimental effect.

If the party hides, do not notify them immediately if they did so successfully; the fun part is not knowing! Make sure the group has at least one escape route and be prepared to run a chase sequence. Instead, use failures to improve their survival chances by adding rewards and challenges to your players. This will give your players another chance of success, but not without consequences.

All of this information is for challenging your players and rewarding different playstyles, rather than punishing them. If they feel frustrated with the changes, simply dial them back; Elden Ring may not have an easy mode, but developer From Software has reduced the difficulties in updating.

Regardless of these suggestions, talk with your organization during a Session Zero what level of danger they are comfortable with, and plan your campaign with respect for your players. No DM wants to be maidenless, after all.

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