I often find that for cinematic combat scenes, the mechanics of D&D don’t quite achieve exactly what I need them to. Specifically, I don’t think 5th Edition is great at handling hordes of creatures – like a chamber filled with skeletons – or creatures of immense proportion and epic challenge – like a kraken that eats ships for breakfast, or any creature with the Siege Monster feature.
One way I’ve been thinking of changing things up in this regard is to use the mechanics laid out in the Complex Traps section of chapter 2, page 118, ofXanathar’s Guide to Everything. Here they define complex traps;
A complex trap poses multiple dangers to adventurers. After a complex trap activates, it remains dangerous round after round until the characters avoid it or disable it. Some complex traps become more dangerous over time, as they accumulate power or gain speed.
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