As part of my efforts to make combat in my D&D 4E campaign more exciting and memorable (Cinematic Combat), I’ve been going through my library of gaming books and keeping an eye out for good ideas from other gamers. I’ll be borrowing and building on some of these concepts, but others are just good ideas that work towards the same goals.
Let me know if you’ve seen other blogs or sites discussing similar ideas that I’ve missed.
A special class of monsters pioneered by @gamefiend, worldbreakers are solo monsters that are designed to have a power that lets them alter the battlefield and open up the use of additional powers. These monsters are great for memorable fights thanks to their ability to keep the battle dynamic. For more info on them, head to At-Will.
Do Something Cool/Think outside the Box
Introduced in the Dungeon Master’s Guide 2, terrain powers are special powers tied to a piece of terrain on the battlefield. Any character or monster can make use of a terrain power, so they work towards a few of my cinematic combat goals by providing more options to players and making the battlefield more dynamic. The DMG2 section on terrain powers is pretty brief, but the basic idea is easily expanded.
Alternate Goals in Combat
@neogrognard makes an argument for using passive skill mechanics for far more than Perception here. While this isn’t directly related to cinematic combat, I suggest using the idea for skill checks related to revealing information about enemies and the battlefield. I think it offers a reward for players whose characters have appropriate skills without requiring the player to think of making a roll.