If you're playing D&D 5e with theater of the mind combat, how do you simulate weapons with reach?

I would perhaps consider allowing a character wielding a polearm to use a reaction to attack a creature *entering* their melee range, kinda like a reverse opportunity attack. This could be mitigated by the target using the disengage action.

I don't usually sweat the small stuff like this, but last night we were discussing movement speeds in context of TotM combat and it made me think.

@rimraf Abilities like "reach" or "movement speed" do not transform well into TotM - it is not very well suited to this kind of simulation. The reach of a weapon would only come into play if you attempted to attack someone on the other side of a creek or on a balcony or something like that.

@belchion You're right, and that's the way I usually play it, but some players and/or characters do really care about these quantities. My thought experiment was about whether we could accommodate such players or characters in TotM without making them feel like their character choices were for naught.

Not something I usually care about a lot, but a very similar situation did come up in a friend's game which led to the discussion.

@rimraf In that case, turning "reach" into a "first strike" mechanic (as you suggested) should work: If your enemy has to move towards you, someone with a reach weapon always strikes first. That is a very situational boon.

Sign in to participate in the conversation
Tabletop Social

We are an inclusive Mastodon community for everything tabletop (and more).