I have an idea for an alternative encounter type that I’d like a little help fleshing out.
Hank uses a room Target for everything in the whole encounter. What if we abstracted that further and gave the room HEARTS and actions, instead of the creatures and tasks in the room?
Say there’s a basic long, narrow room with a locked door at the end. The PCs have to get through, but there are hordes of skeletons behind them. While someone gets the door open, the others must hold off the skeletons. Let’s give this room a Target of 15 and two HEARTS. On each turn, we’re not concerned with tactical movement or distance. We just ask each player what their character does to further their goals. The fighter wants to bash skeletons? Great! Roll against the Target and on a hit do damage to the room HEARTS. The mage wants to erect a barrier to funnel the skeletons? Great! Do effort to the room HEARTS on a hit. The rogue is picking the lock? Great! Effort to the room HEARTS on a hit. (Alternatively, the fighter or mage could do Target damage, as their actions make it easier for the rogue to work.)
On the room’s turn, you could give it two actions to do anything… roomy. Have the skeletons attack, have the lights go out, spring a trap on the door, etc.
Once the room is “defeated,” the PCs get safely through.
This is a bit more abstract than rules-as-written, but I could see this being useful for TotM games. What do you think?