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Tutorial: How to Build Encounters and Run Them on D&D Beyond – Posts

D&D Past’s fight tracker and encounter builder instruments have been mixed into Encounters — and it is free to make use of by all registered customers! The device is a useful useful resource for Dungeon Masters who need to plan and run fight encounters with ease. In the event you aren’t but registered, you may join free right here.

Click on beneath for step-by-step directions on utilizing Encounters:

Watch Encounters in motion

The D&D Past crew hopped on stream to indicate off methods to use Encounters. Watch as they face off in opposition to a tarrasque!

Constructing an encounter

Creating a brand new encounter

The very first thing you’re going to need to do is to make an encounter. You’ll be able to entry Encounters from the instruments menu. This can take you to a clean encounter.

Accessing Encounters tool in the menu

Including participant characters to an encounter

In the event you’re making an encounter in your celebration, specify the variety of participant characters and their respective ranges. By default, your encounter shall be set to 4 characters of fifth degree every, giving a median celebration degree of 5. To regulate this, click on the “Handle Characters” button.

Manage characters option in Encounters

This can carry up a menu that allows you to add varied celebration presets that may be personalized, and even pull characters from one among your campaigns. Clicking the “Choose Preset” dropdown will provide you with an inventory of choices, together with preset events of 4 characters of 1st, fifth, eleventh, or seventeenth degree (comparable to the 4 tiers of play), in addition to an inventory of all of your campaigns. Choosing any of those will add the preset to your encounter.

Preset characters in Encounters

If you choose a generic preset, you’ll be offered with 4 character blocks every with a dropdown that allows you to change the extent (1). You may as well add extra characters utilizing the “+ Add Character” button (2) and take away them by clicking the “X” button (3).

Adjusting characters in EncountersIf you choose a marketing campaign, you’ll be offered with a barely totally different view. A abstract of the lively characters in that marketing campaign shall be listed, with their degree being routinely used to calculate the typical celebration degree.

Characters from a campaign

As with the presets, you may add and customise generic characters. Moreover, for those who want to take away a personality from encounter calculations, you may click on the “…” button and choose “Disguise Character.” You may as well choose “View Sheet” to be taken to their character sheet.

Hide or view character options

Utilizing the marketing campaign choice will hyperlink the encounter to the marketing campaign, which means the character knowledge shall be pulled in when operating the encounter, and cube rolls shall be shared.

When you’ve set your celebration composition to your liking, click on the X button within the high proper.

Including monsters

Now that you just’ve arrange your celebration, it is time to choose monsters to problem them with! The simplest approach to discover the monster of your goals — or your gamers’ nightmares — is to make use of the search choice on the high of the listings. However along with the search perform, there are filters to the left. You need to use these to refine the outcomes, so if you wish to see all Giant, CR 3 to five aberrations with a fly pace, you may!

Searching for a monster in Encounters

Having discovered your monsters of selection, you may add them to the encounter by clicking the “+Add” button, which is discovered on the right-hand facet of the monster’s abstract bar, the place you’ll additionally discover its art work, title, supply, creature sort, dimension, problem score, and problem primarily based on the typical degree of your celebration.

Adding a monster to an encounter

You’ll be able to click on any monster’s abstract bar to increase it to view the entire stat block.

Monster stat block in Encounters

Including a monster causes it to look within the abstract listing on the right-hand facet of the display screen.

Encounter summary

If you wish to enhance the variety of monsters of a given sort, you are able to do so in one among two methods. First, you may repeatedly click on the “Add” button. This can add a brand new copy of that monster every time you do. Alternatively, you may click on the “+” button subsequent to the monster’s entry within the encounter abstract, which can enhance the variety of monsters within the encounter. Clicking the “-” button decreases the quantity, and removes them for those who solely have one.

Individual goblins in an encounterGroup of goblins in an encounter

It’s vital to notice that there’s a mechanical distinction between including monsters in these two methods. Including the monster utilizing the “Add” button, in order that it’s listed a number of instances, will end in every monster getting its personal initiative. Rising the variety of monsters utilizing the “+” and “-” buttons will end in all monsters of that kind utilizing the identical initiative roll.

Each of those are rules-accurate methods of rolling for monster initiative and are available all the way down to Dungeon Grasp desire. We wished to make it possible for it was potential to do each when operating encounters.

Encounter abstract

On the high of the encounter abstract sidebar, you’ll see a group of data. That is the encounter’s problem score primarily based on the foundations for evaluating encounter problem. You’ll discover not solely the present problem, complete XP (what you award to your gamers), and adjusted XP (what the issue relies off), but in addition the XP bracket for every of the 4 problem ranges and your each day finances of XP. All of that is routinely calculated primarily based in your celebration preset!

Summary of an encounter

Lastly, there’s a helpful little color-coded bar to indicate how shut you might be to your each day finances!

Encounter difficulty

Encounter particulars

On the high of the encounter builder, you’ll discover two vital areas for including further particulars: the title discipline and the “Abstract” tab.

Summary tab in Encounters

The title discipline permits you to add a customized title to your encounter so to simply establish it later.

Clicking the “Abstract” tab takes you to a separate view the place you may add further data similar to a brief abstract of your encounter, a extra complete description, and different notes! You’ll be able to return to the principle view by clicking the “Monsters” tab.

Saving your encounter

Now that you just’ve made your completely balanced encounter, as all issues ought to be, you’re prepared to put it aside. The save button might be discovered on the right-hand facet of the display screen, subsequent to the Encounter Abstract.

Saving an encounter

When you’ve saved your encounter, you may navigate away from this web page secure within the data that it’ll be prepared for you when it comes time to roll for initiative!

Operating an encounter

Now that we’ve made an encounter, it’s time to run it!

Loading a saved encounter

You’ll find your saved encounters by clicking “My Encounters” below the “Collections” tab of the megamenu.

Navigating to My Encounters

This can take you to an inventory of your saved encounters, the place you can’t solely see the names of your encounters however their creation date, what marketing campaign they’re linked to, problem, participant ranges, and when it was final saved. You’ll be able to type by any of those headers, search by encounter title, or filter by lively marketing campaign.

List of saved encountersTwo vital choices sit on the right-hand facet of every encounter: a “Run” or “Resume” button and the encounter menu button. From that menu, you may edit, duplicate, and delete encounters, and restart them if it’s already been began.

Menu options for an encounter

To load an encounter in an effort to run it, simply click on anyplace on the bar and also you’ll be taken to the pre-combat abstract display screen. This display screen exhibits you all of the monsters within the encounter, a abstract of its problem, and any descriptive data you may need added. You may as well open the Recreation Log from the button within the high proper, in addition to entry the identical menu as earlier than to edit, duplicate, delete, and restart.

Precombat summary screenTo start out the encounter, click on “Run Encounter” beneath the monster listing. In the event you’ve beforehand began this encounter, the button will as an alternative say “Resume Encounter.”

Rolling initiative

As everybody is aware of, fight begins with initiative being rolled. For each monsters and participant characters, you could have the choice to roll routinely or manually enter initiative rolls. Rolling routinely will pull the suitable initiative or Dexterity modifier from both the character sheet or monster stat block. Simply click on the “Auto Roll Initiative” button discovered above the “Participant Characters” listing and the “Monsters” listing.

Auto-roll initiative option in combat tracker

Clicking these buttons will routinely populate the suitable fields and, for those who’ve obtained digital cube enabled, roll a complete lot of math rocks!

In case your encounter makes use of any generic participant character entries, both since you’ve had so as to add some on the fly or the encounter isn’t tied to a marketing campaign, you’ll see entries labeled “Participant Character (A),” “Participant Character (B),” and so on. In the event you routinely roll initiative, the consequence listed for these participant characters will simply be the d20 roll, so that you’ll have to manually add any modifiers.

It’s vital to notice which you could change initiative values at any time and the initiative order will routinely modify, transferring any creatures round to be in the correct order.

Setting hit factors

Monsters and characters linked to character sheets will routinely set hit factors whenever you begin the encounter. For participant characters, will probably be the variety of hit factors their sheet at the moment says they’ve. For monsters, will probably be their common hit factors. Nevertheless, for each monsters and generic participant character entries, you may set the present hit factors utilizing the “Max HP Override” choice.

Click on on the field the place the hit factors are displayed on any monster or generic PC. You’ll see three choices: injury and heal, temp hp, and max hp override. No matter quantity you place into the final choice will set that character’s max hp.

Setting hit points in the combat tracker

That is additionally the way you apply injury and therapeutic to any monster or generic PC, or any non permanent hit factors.

Handbook entry

Handbook entry is a helpful choice if you wish to add stuff to initiative apart from creatures. For instance, you need to use it to:

  • Monitor lair actions
  • Monitor environmental results
  • Add reminders for legendary actions after sure characters’ turns
  • Add reminders for chase penalties

Handbook entry has six fields: title, max hp, armor class, pace, initiative, and amount. Any of those fields besides title might be left clean if the data doesn’t apply. When you’ve stuffed out any initiative occasions that you just want, simply click on “Add.”

Flip data and controls

Beneath the initiative order, you’ll discover flip data. Right here, you will discover the present spherical and the present flip within the spherical. This may be invaluable for monitoring issues like haste or enlarge/scale back.

Moreover, there are two buttons. “Subsequent” advances the flip to the subsequent creature and “Undo” rewinds the flip again to the earlier creature.

Progressing and rewinding initiative

Creature data

Inside the initiative order, there’s abstract data for all creatures within the encounter. Along with their names and art work, if they’ve it, you’ll discover AC and pace for all creatures. Participant characters could have Passive Notion, whereas monsters could have their HP, together with the cube formulation, plus initiative bonus.

Quick reference stats in the combat tracker

Clicking on a monster may also open their stat block within the space to the correct of the initiative order. From there, when you’ve got digital cube enabled and are a subscriber, you’ll have the ability to roll from their stat block immediately into the Recreation Log!

Saving, enhancing, and resuming an encounter

Everyone knows that feeling of getting midway by way of an epic combat and having to pause for the night. Fortunately with the encounters device, it can save you your progress.

Saving and resuming an lively encounter

Encounters routinely saves as you play, so don’t fear about shedding every thing in case your cat jumps in your keyboard and closes your browser window!

To renew an lively encounter, simply navigate to “My Encounters” below the “Collections” tab of the megamenu. There, to the correct of paused encounters, you’ll see a “Resume” button. This can take you straight again into the motion!

Resume an encounter

Modifying an lively encounter

However say your celebration has made a horrible tactical error and alerted the enemy reinforcements? Nicely, that’s the place the edit choice is available in. By clicking the three vertical buttons within the high proper subsequent to the “Recreation Log” button, you may entry the “Edit” choice.

Editing an active encounter

This can take you again into the encounter builder display screen, however with out shedding your progress. From right here you may fully change any a part of the encounter, together with monsters and even what participant characters are taking part. When you’re achieved, hit “Save” and also you’ll be taken to the pre-encounter display screen, however with a “Resume Encounter” button as an alternative of “Run Encounter.”

Resume encounter button

Easter eggs await you in Encounters

Hopefully, this provides you all the guidelines and tips you want to make full use of the Encounters device. It’s a highly effective approach to plan and run fight encounters in D&D Past. Now, I’ll depart you with slightly problem: there are some easter eggs hidden inside the encounter builder, can you discover them?


Davyd is a moderator for D&D Past. A Dungeon Grasp of over fifteen years, he enjoys Marvel films, writing, and naturally operating D&D for his family and friends, together with his daughter Willow (properly, at some point). The three of them dwell with their two cats Asker and Khatleesi in south of England.

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