Things to spice up a fight
30+ Different Power Disparities to Make Engaging Fights
In my experience, the most interesting fights occur when there is some sort of power disparity that the players have to overcome. This is a brainstormed list I have used to help improve my combat encounters during my time DMing.
"Just be careful that your PCs have the tools and the want-to to actually think around these situations."
THE DISTANT FOE
1. A summoner is hidden far away and will continue to summon enemies.
2. A summoner is hidden amongst a crowd of innocents and will continue to summon enemies.
3. A sniper is far away and has a bead on the characters.
4. The foe attacks from a superior height advantage.
5. The foe strikes and hides/becomes ethereal.
6. The foe attacks in the dream world.
7. The foe attacks with many illusions.
8. The villain attacks by leaving traps.
THE ETERNAL FOE
1. The enemy has a very high AC and a way to impose disadvantage.
2. The enemy has a very good saving throws.
3. The enemy has a lot of hp and many resistances, but a few specific vulnerabilities.
4. The enemy just regenerates at 0hp unless a specific action is taken.
5. The enemy regenerates unless a specific action is taken.
6. The enemy respawns unless a specific action is taken.
THE ALTERNATE FOE
1. Killing the foe will prevent the players from getting what they want. He has to be defeated in a specific way.
2. The foe is a mind controlled ally.
4. One of the enemies is merely a simulacrum.
5. There is a curse that requires a very specific set of actions to be taken or not taken.
6. The goal is a race to the thing the villain is trying to get to. Success is just slowing the other down.
8. There are multiple powerful foes that can only be defeated if they can be tricked into fighting each other.
9. There are multiple foes that are enemies themselves. The heroes must balance stop them from killing each other.
10. The battle takes place in an environment where some cooperation with the foe is necessary to survive.
THE POWERFUL FOE
1. The foe’s attacks cripple.
2. The foe is overwhelming in melee.
3. The villain is attempting to force the hero to use a specific tactic, and is powerful enough to be dangerous despite this self-imposed disadvantage.
4. The foe can read minds and predict every move.
5. The enemy leaves wounds that fester. They attack and run before striking again later.
6. The villain has overwhelming minions that will leave if they are defeated.
7. The villain is invulnerable save for a weak point on their body that is difficult to reach or expose.
8. The villain has overwhelming power over the hero (minions mostly) and they have to wait for the right time to strike.
THE WEAK HERO
1. There are innocents that the villain is attacking, or perhaps just one target.
2. The heroes have been fighting for a very long time and are greatly weakened.
3. The villain has corned a single hero who needs to get help or just survive long enough to win.
4. The villain has a powerful attack but it needs specific circumstances to pull off.
5. The hero can’t afford to use all their power yet.
6. The circumstances require the hero fight honorably, even when the villain doesn’t.
1001 Fun Fight Locations