My favorite games feature epic combat. There’s nothing quite like the clash of steel on steel or the bellow of man and beast each striving to land that killing blow. When armies march and fireballs burst, the bloodthirsty barbarian living inside my puny gamer heart thrills at the chance to snatch crit-victory from the jaws of botch-defeat. Unfortunately, nothing brings epic combat to a screeching halt quite like pulling out the dice and actually starting an epic combat. If you’re familiar with this sentiment, then you know what I’m talking about. Combat can take a long damn time, and there’s not a lot you can do about it.

I mean sure, you can announce who’s on deck in the initiative order. You can institute a timer. Encourage players to write down their conditional modifiers. Invest in condition cards or spell cards. Implement some kind of digital character sheet. Roll multiple attacks ahead of time. Take average damage. Roll your to-hit at the same time as your damage dice. Tell Fred to pull his head out of his ass and the headphones out of his ears.

So OK, maybe there are some things you can do to help with the problem. But at the end of the day, these games are complicated, and no amount of finesse can fix itCase in point, here’s my longest ever turn. We were using the mythic rules in Pathfinder. I was a wizard.

1. Spend a mythic surge to auto-roll a 20 to initiative. (non-action from mythic improved initiative)
2. Say “enormous rapidity” to trigger contingency + mythic haste. (free action)
3. Move behir ally into breath weapon range.
4. Behir readies to breathe if anything approaches.
5. Cast quickened see invisible. (swift action)
6. Cast dazing ball lightning (standard action)
—–6a. Spend a mythic surge to activate mythic spell focus
—–6b. Use versatile evocation to bypass resistance (non-action)
7. Retrieve stored wand. (move action)
8. Spend mythic surge to cast greater invisibility from wand. (2nd standard action from mythic)
9. Re-position thanks to mythic haste. (2nd move action)
10. Realize i should have had the behir attack since it now doesn’t know where I am to guard me. (free action)
11. Ask GM to start a new campaign at a lower level. (free action)

At that point in the campaign, writing stuff down on the play mat became essential. I would wind up crossing things out and reordering my actions as the initiative went around the table, but my turns still wound up taking a silly amount of time to resolve. Nature of the beast, you know?

How about the rest of you guys? What was the longest, most complicated turn sequence you’ve ever encountered? Let’s hear it in the comments!


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