Getting separated in a fight is scary enough, especially at low levels when one well placed hit can mean the difference between life and death. To enter into two different fights separately, on purpose is almost inconceivable but we do it. Just recently, in a past session, our party fought in two separate areas as we tried to achieve results at the same time. It can be done but not without a fair amount of pain.
One part of the party was attacked by poachers from a roaming hunting group while the others went off to investigate the loss of a coveted cauldron. It had the ability to provide food for a great amount of people and was a hot commodity. Many had sought after it and lost but the party had succeeded in defeating the hag that owned it first. It had disappeared during a fight in the city and the group was fairly certain that Duergar, in their invisible form, were responsible for the threat.
It was a very close fight. Two of of were one hit away from losing consciousness, if not for some lucky hits we would have been dead. The others suffered terrible injuries and were themselves exhausted after a fight with about seven Duergar. We did achieve our goals, we saved our new Owlbear pet thereby earning their trust and we got back our magic food pot. While I have said that splitting up can be a good thing in the right situation, there can also be not so good situations that you might find yourself in.
If numbers are even and you think you have enough power to take on your opponents, then by all means attack and begin your battle. However, if you find yourself outnumbered or facing a foe that is clearly too powerful for you alone then run. There are mechanics for getting away from a fight that isn’t fair. Adventurers don’t always have to fight, they can make calculated decisions on what to do too. It doesn’t mean you’re cowards, it means you’re smart. Re-grouping is a natural part of battle. It can never hurt to go and get reinforcements before going up against a big bad.
It can be easy to get into the mindset of attacking any threat but sometimes the decision to hold off can be for the better of the party. Assessing threats and acting according to your advantage is exactly what seasoned adventurers would do. That being said, it can be beneficial to fight two birds at once. We were able to achieve two different goals but it was a fight to do so. It was a close fight so I wouldn’t recommend doing it too often.
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