Wow. I have been getting sloppy with my T&T of late. While writing a new scenario almost every two months, I have really started to get rusty around the hinges with the math and magic of the game. Funny, you'd think this couldn't happen considering that I work out ranges for combat and refer to specific spells as both arise in the course of writing it. But where I've noticed is at the tabletop. And I've only noticed now, because I have only been there twice since November.
On the Math of Mass Deathality... At 2011 Carnage, the final encounter for my pseudo-historical/Biblical scenario duo "Raiders of the Temple of Marduk," was a pretty massive MRed demon, with some highly magical abilities. Still in my head, I figured there was a 70% chance of a party of four adventurers with Combat Adds/Intelligence scores around 55 to defeat it. Well, the encounter was exciting. I had to really pull back my punches at first because the delvers were separated. But then when I got them all into mass combat, ignoring the spell abilities of the demon, I total party killed them all in one round of combat. Of course, I did roll an awful lot of five and six pips. The players were groaning as they tallied their results. And the game was an hour over time, so maybe some Jungian metaphysical occurrence occurred overcoming the math.
The second time was at the premier InConTroll, during my "Journey Through a Strange Vale." I was incrementally increasing the number of opponents for a group of seven PCs, with an average Combat Add at somewhere around 45, though the median Wizards' IN score was only at '19.' These opponent's were orks at MR 30. For the first three combat turns, I couldn't get the group to start to lose, and then on the fourth I rolled a TPK. Huh? Well, as this was the first encounter, I then just fudged things, and the kill result was less than a total of a dozen points so NPCs and horses absorbed damage as well.
Now there is no big mystery here to me, just rustiness on the tabletop running. My Delver's damage potential to Monster's damage potential is close. So if either side rolls high and the other side doesn't roll at least half theirs, the average armor rating cannot adsorb enough Hits. This is exacerbated when I am mixing newer and more experienced PCs. Now, while I don't like fudging, I do like mixed experience levels in my player groups, so I'll have to work out more detailed math. I am thinking along some overly detailed minutia like my MR 30 orks should have been MR 26 and that sort of thing.
A Spell a Day Keeps the Rules Lawyer Away... I haven't been having any problems with spells at the tabletop, actually. But I have been having players read the spells that they are casting to the group. This familiarizes newer players to the rules and has the hidden benefit of reminding me of this or that little detail. This practice won't stop until I am running tables full of people with their own books and characters that they made without help from me, though me seeing their Combat Adds and whatnot will always be required. Alas though I think reading a page or two of spells each day before falling asleep will be a helpful ritual.
Saying this bit aloud makes me feel quaint and silly. Ah what the hell, it's not like I never did anything silly before.
In Conclusive Jelly-filled Conclusion...But what I really need to do is get more play-time. I wasn't falling into the lethality pitfall when I was running every two weeks to a month. I am thinking it's time to get over my psychological inhibitions about video-calls.