How Hobgoblins almost wiped my party

A good portion of the campaign I’m running involves an epic war.  The PC’s are heroes transported from another world in an attempt by the gods to balance the scales.  Right now the enemy holds all the advantages and the pressure is on the PC’s to make a difference.

Hobgoblins make up the majority of the forces they’re encountering, and the first patrols they faced, they slaughtered with ease.  It made me rethink how the Hobgoblins worked, and also I decided to make special units that were more challenging for the players to face.   I’ve been trying to impart the feeling of war through a series of tricks.  Obviously I don’t want the PC’s rushing headlong into legions.  They’d simply get slaughtered.  That doesn’t help tension or let us move forward with the game.  Instead, I’ve tried foreshadowing by having them run across villages and hamlets that are hastily abandoned.  I have them run into advance parties of scouts as random encounters.  (Have to rethink some of the goals of those given this column) In short, in some ways I have to think of each session as kind of a LARP con game.  What is the pacing?  What is the theme/mood we’re trying to achieve?

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