Ideas for Resolving Epic Issues Quickly

Because of the nature of Epic Gaming, the players have more control then the DM. My job is to just referee the scenarios and decide what the enemies are doing. Basically, I am no more powerful then the PCs. There is also way too many decisions to make in moving the games forward. This is going to be an epic battle that is much bigger than even the forces of the PC heroes. I have to think of a way to move armies around the world, and resolve hundreds of combat scenarios that we don’t have time to actually play.


This is an important question, and my wife came up with an excellent way to go about resolving it. She suggested playing short, non-combat council sessions where the PCs play the roles of the power brokers in the realm. It is during these discussions where the actions of nations are decided. Who is aiding who? Who is holding back for fear of retaliation? These short, dice-less sessions will last only as long as they have to, and whatever is decided at these sessions stands.


I know that mass combat is going to have to be dealt with, but it is too slow of a process to resolve all of the different battles taking place. I am leaning towards the RISK method of play to quickly determine the conflicts which take place else where.  

I’ll have to create a board, and figure out a rough estimate of how much world time is taken per turn. I may also modify how the RISK combats are decided. That sounds reasonable; this stuff can even be resolved after the War Council Sessions.

So far, even though it hasn’t been play-tested, I am happy with these theories. I think that it would be exciting for a player to actually play a character that he has always heard about, but never gets to meet because I am such a stingy DM. It is also a decent way to get lots of help from everyone; the responsibility on the DMs shoulders during epic games is particularly harsh, and I have never seen a game go very fast without co-DMs. I remember hearing tales of two Dungeon Masters going at once, both with their own tables of PCs and sending notes back in forth between them. This kind of stuff can get pretty crazy! While I have a large gaming group, I still don’t have enough players to run duel games, so I just have to get inventive about things.
Do you have any ideas? Have you ever used the board game RISK to decide combat in your games? Do you see any holes in my theory? I will tell you that I have very mature Players, many who are great DMs in their own right, and I have faith that they will play the NPCs successfully. Is this a game that you yourself would enjoy playing? I haven’t decided if I want to sit on the council, or just watch and take notes. What would you do?


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