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I don't like combat a huge amount in D&D either. The players I'm with (despite attempts by me to encourage it) rarely describe their attacks or spells, they just roll the dice. The first combat encounter I did in my campaign was a straight up fight and I was bored to tears as the DM.

So I thought about different ways to make it interesting, for example, as my next two combat encounters:

The first was on board a ship, which was attacked by two giant squid and their riders. The riders used the squid to throw them up into the rigging, and starting throwing poisoned kraken teeth at the crew. The squid started trying to pull themselves onto the ship itself. The party all rushed at the closest squid, apart from a caster who stood below the two riders and used "Push" and "Slide" spells to shove them off the rigging, so they fell screaming to the deck (I hadn't even thought of that, tbh, but let him do it because it was very cinematic). He then goes to a ship-mounted ballista and spins it round to point at a squid, which then sprays the rest of the party with slippery black ink before being shot off the railings by the ballista. One of the melee party members slips on the ink and starts sliding towards the edge of the deck. Another party member tries to catch him and just trips instead. The first guy falls off the deck and starts drowning in his full plate armour, requiring the ranger to jump in and save him.

The second one was in a wizards magical tower, he had a large anti-gravity lift shaft, with floating orbs that shot various types of energy at the party. I invented some anti-gravity rules such as moving in a random direction after making a melee swing, being able to bounce off walls and move in 3 dimensions and made up the Orbs stats off the top of my head.

All of the players said that they felt both of those combats were very enjoyable, because it wasn't just some men swinging at monster X. There was a lot of scope for using the environment to your advantage, which people were pleased about, and it also let classes with different roles do different things that the other classes couldn't do.

My next combat encounter will probably be them trying to scale a cliff face to sneak up on a pirate stronghold, and being attacked while climbing, which only lets them use 1 hand to attack/defend, and puts them at risk of being knocked off and left dangling on the end of their ropes, and they have to deal with the opposition quietly.

Mechanically speaking, I find that it helps to use enemies that have low HP but high damage outputs, because they minimize the length of the combat, and also help the PCs feel threatened. If someone has 100hp and is only losing 10hp per swing, he doesn't feel like he's fighting for his life. If he gets hit for 25hp on the other hand, he realises he has to deal with the enemy fast or risk getting slapped down. Not only that, it's unenjoyable to spend several rounds taking negligible damage while just slowly whittling down an enemy from 200hp to 0hp in 15dmg increments.

Hopefully that might have contained some useful ideas.

On a side note, I try never to punish my PCs for choosing combat or talking or sneaking. If I feel that their course of action is unjustified (for example fighting when I've made it very obvious the situation can and should be resolved by talking) then I'll simply make the encounter harder. However having a blanket rule of "I don't like combat, so every time you choose combat I'm going to give you less XP" is unfair to the players. You are there, after all, to facilitate them having fun. Their job is to make your life as stress free as possible while you do this.
 
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