Building Up To Boss Battles

Struggling to sleep tonight so decided I would share a good tip for tabletop role playing games. If you are running a game you want to make sure you have a good build up to your big boss boss battles. This article will give you a couple good ways to set it up. There are three main parts in setting up the boss battle. First is the initial contact which can be a face to face or an off screen contact. Then there is the set up for the main battle and the reason the players dislike your baddie. Then is the encounter between them. These three things can unfold in many ways.

Initial Contact

The initial contact can be face to face like the players come across them in a battle where the bad guy leaves after dominating. Maybe the bad guy sends minions at the players and then flees. He could talk to the players but nothing prompts a fight yet.

The initial contact could also come in the form of off screen too. This could be handled with a bounty note, or word of mouth from an npc for example.

Both ways can be done well and either way introducing the bad guy in advance is always the way to go. You can build up to the initial contact with clues as well.

Set Up

The set up is the reason for hating the bad guy. Maybe he has been taking people hostage, or he personally stole something from the players, maybe he hurt a friend of the players before. There are many possibilities here. Setting up the fight with some fuel for the fire is a great way to get your players invested in the future encounter.

Final Encounter

The final encounter can be very big or small but if you have built up to the moment it will have a nice payoff. Players who have a reason to dislike the baddies will get much more enjoyment from defeating the bad guy once and for all. If you really want to mess with the players though don’t make it an actual final encounter. Let them get their satisfaction but later reintroduce the same bad guy whether it is by way of escaping from being prisoner, or some other way. This time though let the bad guy learn from his previous mistakes and make him tougher and smarter.

These are my tips for the night. Hope you enjoyed them.