On the Eve of Battle

2008 May 27
by Stupid Ranger

Last Sunday, we finally got the chance to make some good, forward progress in our campaign. And we know that our next session (hopefully Friday) will be the Big End Battle. Sitting at this vantage point, knowing what is coming next, it’s important to be as prepared as possible. Here’s some thoughts to help you get ready for that battle:

1. Read your character sheet: Before heading in to battle, it’s a good idea to review all your equipment: weapons, armor, and miscellanea. Especially take a look at the miscellanea. Take note of the wands, scrolls, rings, etc that you may have collected. Review the attributes of your magical equipment to see if you have any magic you overlooked; for instance, did you forget that your armor had spell resistance. Make sure you are familiar with everything you’re carrying because during the battle, that simple little thing you forgot you had, like a spare weapon or a potion of spider climb, might make a huge difference.

2. Review your capabilities: I think this may be one of the most important pre-battle checks. Be aware of your attack and damage bonuses; knowing the numbers can make the actual battle less frustrating because you’re not trying to do complicated math on the fly. Take a look at your feats and review the ones that may affect your battle skills. For the magic users, be aware of your prepared spells, as well as the spells you can prepare. If you’re anything like me, your spellcasters have had the same spells prepared for goodness only knows how long; if that’s true, you might want to review and adjust your spells to better suit the upcoming battle.

3. Brainstorm with the rest of the party: You’ve been traveling together for a long time, and you’ve been fighting together for a long time. It doesn’t hurt, however to review everyone’s strengths and weaknesses. How can your spellcasters’ buffing spells can be coordinated for everyone’s benefit? Are your fighters going to all rush in together or are they going to wait for the Big Bad to approach? Who has healing capabilities, and how can those individuals be distributed for the best coverage on the battlefield? Considering strategies like these and others can make sure you are approaching the battle as a team instead of a bunch of people who just happen to be hanging out together.

4. As a player, make sure you have everything you need: Make sure you have all your references (character sheet, notes, reference books, websites, cheat sheets, spell lists) and paraphernalia (dice, pencils, calculator, scratch paper). And, of course, make sure the fridge is stock with the appropriate beverages and the requisite snacks are plentiful!

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