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Tavar
2009-11-13, 06:28 PM
Okay, in the neverending dungeon crawl, I've found something interesting. Low Level Characters have no defenses against traps. Why do I say that? Because a standard starting skillmonkey has between +5 and +7 in search, and the lowest trap dc is 20. Thus, unless you take 20 every step of the way, you'll find fewer traps than you'll trigger. Is this really how it's supposed to work? Or did wizards just mess up their numbers, again?

HCL
2009-11-13, 06:42 PM
Yeah, but a CR 1 trap is not supposed to TPK a party of 4 which is supposed to include a cleric/druid to back you up. And traps are generally expected to be placed at certain locations (like a chest). But the dart trap might be under CRed.

I have not found any dart traps so far but I have prepared with http://www.d20srd.org/srd/psionic/monsters/elan.htm :)

jiriku
2009-11-13, 06:46 PM
It is not extremely unrealistic to take 20 on a search check in areas you deem high-threat. Taking 20 to search a single 5-ft square takes two minutes. If I was dungeon-crawling, I personally would have NO PROBLEM waiting two minutes for the party rogue to check a door before I went through it, or check a desk or chest before I opened it.

Tavar
2009-11-13, 06:50 PM
At this point, though, it's every square that we move.

ericgrau
2009-11-13, 06:52 PM
A CR 1 encounter is a bit much for a level 1 character. Have the rogue search, but the fighter walks down the passage first. A level 4 rogue is meant to solo such encounters, and he can just take a 10 all day. Or spending 2 minutes per 5 feet isn't entirely unreasonable, unless there are monsters nearby. This isn't essential, though, as a fighter can usually take the hit. Btw, if none of the DCs are above 20, you can have the entire party search and save some time. Or if you have a dwarf he can check for traps put in stone or made out of stone as well as a rogue can.

Also of note is that about 1/3 traps also have a DC of 20, even at CR 10. So any class can take a 20 and find some traps at any level.

Tavar
2009-11-13, 06:54 PM
Unfortunately, it's a solo dungeon crawl. And I don't know, taking 20 seems to me like it should be reserved, not be mandatory.

ericgrau
2009-11-13, 06:57 PM
CR 1 for a lone level 1 character is an overwhelming encounter. The only reason you don't face rapid doom is because you're a rogue. Searching everything from top to bottom to make sure you don't die is quite reasonable. And if you're getting xp for these encounters you'll be level 2 after 4 traps.

Tavar
2009-11-13, 06:59 PM
Well, we are gestalt, so that helps. But, on the whole, yeah, the traps are killer.

olelia
2009-11-13, 07:24 PM
We? :smallconfused: I thought it was a solo dungeon crawl.

Tavar
2009-11-13, 07:34 PM
It's multiple games. Essentially, each solo player is going through a different version of the same dungeon.

HCL
2009-11-13, 07:37 PM
You're meant to be challenged btw. Or at least if I was running it, 70% of the characters would die at level 1 :)

Tavar
2009-11-13, 07:42 PM
This is less about those threads than the fact that until level 5 most skill monkeys won't be able to find traps more than half the time unless they take 20, and that's assuming a +2 int bonus.

Tanaric
2009-11-13, 07:44 PM
I don't know how many times I have to suggest ten foot poles, grappling hooks, and 40 lb sacks of flour until the idea sticks.

Tavar
2009-11-13, 07:47 PM
Have you ever carried a ten foot pole? I've never understood how one's actually supposed to carry that on a dungeon crawl and at the same time be able to do anything else.

Starbuck_II
2009-11-13, 07:58 PM
Have you ever carried a ten foot pole? I've never understood how one's actually supposed to carry that on a dungeon crawl and at the same time be able to do anything else.

Collapsable 10 foot foles.

Sstoopidtallkid
2009-11-13, 08:50 PM
For a party, DC 20 is reasonable. Everyone takes 10 to Aid Another, and the Rogue takes 10. 6 of the 10s, plus 4 ranks, +2 Int, and the Rogue's 10 makes him able to hit 22.

Solo, it's much rougher. Solo, the best Trapfinder is a Warlock.

Tavar
2009-11-13, 08:51 PM
For a party, DC 20 is reasonable. Everyone takes 10 to Aid Another, and the Rogue takes 10. 6 of the 10s, plus 4 ranks, +2 Int, and the Rogue's 10 makes him able to hit 22.

Solo, it's much rougher. Solo, the best Trapfinder is a Warlock.

Oh? Well, I am a warlock. Technically a warlock/scout. How should I be looking for traps?

Sstoopidtallkid
2009-11-13, 08:54 PM
Oh? Well, I am a warlock. Technically a warlock/scout. How should I be looking for traps?Summon Swarm for rats to trigger floor traps, Eldritch Blast to open doors and chests, and Detect Magic to cover everything.

Tavar
2009-11-13, 08:56 PM
Hmmmm. You're idea has merit. Plus, I actually picked up the summon swarm invocation. And it's only a, what, full round action? This could prove promising.

Tanaric
2009-11-13, 09:00 PM
I confess to wondering why you weren't using rats earlier. :smalltongue:

Tavar
2009-11-13, 09:06 PM
Honestly? I forgot. Plus, I was still kinda playing him like the druid.

Sstoopidtallkid
2009-11-13, 09:07 PM
Honestly? I forgot. Plus, I was still kinda playing him like the druid....Druids don't send swarms of rats to set off any traps in the hallways ahead of them? Wow, I've been playing them wrong.

Tavar
2009-11-13, 09:23 PM
Level 1 druid using the shapeshift variant.

And he only died because the enemy needed to roll an 18 or higher to hit, and managed to do that the majority of the time.

mostlyharmful
2009-11-14, 07:51 AM
Why not take a 20 every time? If your DM insists on throwing overwhealming encounters at your guy then just let him eat the skill/CR rules and make your character level up in complete safety (albeit a bit boring and monotonous) until you can take a 10 and get on with the dungeon. If I was wandering around on my own in a trapped underground labarinth I'd be damn cautious too so it's not even like it's OOC or anything.

Foryn Gilnith
2009-11-14, 08:04 AM
"Take 20" and "roll once" are extremes. My trapmonkeys typically try to search for something like 1d4+2 times per square. Gives a decent chance without being too slow.

Riffington
2009-11-14, 10:05 AM
CR 1 for a lone level 1 character is an overwhelming encounter.

Wait, isn't that a fair fight?

tyckspoon
2009-11-14, 10:19 AM
Wait, isn't that a fair fight?

Depends on what you define as a fair fight. A character soloing an equal-CR encounter is one where both participants should have roughly an even chance of coming out the winner. If you want a CR appropriate encounter for a solo character, the kind where the players are assumed to win without undue effort, then you need to use CRs of something like level-3. (Example time: 2 orcs are a CR 1 encounter. They will completely slaughter any lone level 1 character they win initiative on, and strongly threaten any they don't. One kobold is a CR appropriate encounter, and any level 1 character can stab it and move along, perhaps taking a survivable hit on the way.)

Mercenary Pen
2009-11-14, 10:27 AM
Wait, isn't that a fair fight?

Nope, a CR1 encounter by 3.5 rules is a fair encounter for a party of same level adventurers though I forget precisely how many adventurers that supposition is based upon.

Mark Hall
2009-11-14, 10:29 AM
FWIW, I personally hate the Trapfinding ability as it is written. I far prefer allowing everyone to find any traps they can make the DC for, and use Trapfinding either to give a bonus to search checks for finding traps, or reduce the time it takes.

Riffington
2009-11-14, 11:12 AM
\If you want a CR appropriate encounter for a solo character, the kind where the players are assumed to win without undue effort,

I think this makes me sad. If the PCs aren't going to have a believable chance of losing, then consider just narrating rather than rolling the scene.

Gpope
2009-11-14, 11:24 AM
I think this makes me sad. If the PCs aren't going to have a believable chance of losing, then consider just narrating rather than rolling the scene.

There's a whole huge continuum between "you have a 50/50 chance of surviving this fight" and "you instantly kill the goblins and go on your merry way", you know. Level-appropriate CRs are supposed to drain about 25% of the daily resources of a party of 4. You will notice that killing off 1 PC deprives the party of exactly 25% of their resources, so it's up to the players to burn spells, potions, daily abilities, etc. to make sure everybody survives.

How exactly do you narrate that? I don't think the players would appreciate it if the DM said "Okay, you run into a pack of hobgoblins. Bob, you throw a fireball spell at them, cross it off your sheet. One of the hobgoblins is an advanced fighter who survives to do some damage. Chuck, you convert your Bull's Strength and Hold Person into CMW. Larry, you're down 7 HP."

Riffington
2009-11-14, 11:35 AM
Well I agree with the continuum. If the fight is one that requires you to use up random potions to win, or where there's a decent chance someone will die, absolutely play it out. I'm not saying every fight needs to be exactly even. But if the only question is whether it takes 2 or 3 charges from your wand of CLW to heal up afterwards...

tyckspoon
2009-11-14, 12:08 PM
Well I agree with the continuum. If the fight is one that requires you to use up random potions to win, or where there's a decent chance someone will die, absolutely play it out. I'm not saying every fight needs to be exactly even. But if the only question is whether it takes 2 or 3 charges from your wand of CLW to heal up afterwards...

Then skip it, sure, if your players don't mind. But that shouldn't be the outcome of an even-CR encounter (if it is, you need to make a note to downgrade the CR of that enemy for future use.) That's the result of significantly below-CR fights, which are meant to be trivial.

Sliver
2009-11-14, 12:18 PM
Collapsable 10 foot foles.

Collapsible poles cost 20gp, and are 12' long.. At least by dungeonscape :smallbiggrin:

I use them if I have enough to spare.. But I died 2 times already (one of them was due to a dart trap dealing 8 damage when I had 5hp (8 max). I was a beguiler//warlock with the summon swarm evocation but I didn't think about using it.. only tried to check for traps with it once.. second time was due to rolling 3 on will save vs color spray)... This time I am a warforged so I saved for a collapsible pole by not buying armor..

Hmm.. My next character will be an Elan psion//something.. psions don't have problems with armor right? swordsage can go well with them?

Eldariel
2009-11-14, 01:06 PM
Nope, a CR1 encounter by 3.5 rules is a fair encounter for a party of same level adventurers though I forget precisely how many adventurers that supposition is based upon.

No, it's a fair fight. It's just that "fair fight" = 50% chance of victory, supposedly. A party is assumed to contain 4 characters; a similar tough fight for the party ("overwhelming" difficulty) is 4 CRs above the party level. A party is expected to be able to handle 4 CR-equivalent fights a day. That's how CR is defined; it should expend 25% of equal-level party-of-4s resources. For a single character, equal CR encounter = 50/50 (as should be obvious, for obvious reasons).

Tavar
2009-11-14, 01:13 PM
Of course, there are multiple Cr 1 encounters in the dungeon, and you aren't getting xp for traps...

Gpope
2009-11-14, 01:19 PM
This is why if I die, my next character will be a hadozee Rogue/Incarnate. You want a trap monkey, I'll show you a trap monkey. :smallbiggrin:

tyckspoon
2009-11-14, 01:23 PM
Of course, there are multiple Cr 1 encounters in the dungeon, and you aren't getting xp for traps...

Traps are encounters too; they have CRs and everything. You certainly do get XP for them. They just don't tend to be very good encounters; for most of the sample traps, you either resolve them with a couple of rolls if you have the skills (you noticed there's a pressure trigger in the next paving stone. You step around it. Have some XP!) or just a random attack if you don't (You stepped on the pressure trigger. An arrow is launched at you from the wall. *roll* It misses/you take 1d6. Have some XP!) There's little player choice as to what to do with them.

Sliver
2009-11-14, 01:24 PM
Of course, there are multiple Cr 1 encounters in the dungeon, and you aren't getting xp for traps...

And you are expected to fight off multiple of those CR1 encounters between rests..

Basically, your character has to be able to handle traps (although for the first floor which is the only one known by now, there were only concealed wires at doors, tripwires and pressure plates, so you don't have to have trapfinding and search to handle those), be able to handle tough encounters, and have some way to go on for the day, either by knowing how to rest, or not needing rest at all and being able to go at it (like dread necro with tomb tainted soul or having enough healing and the dragon shaman's healing aura)

It is a lot to take care of, and you need to do it at level 1. Which makes it really interesting :smallbiggrin: *cant wait to get his new character checked and sent to the neverending death trap*


Traps are encounters too; they have CRs and everything. You certainly do get XP for them. They just don't tend to be very good encounters; for most of the sample traps, you either resolve them with a couple of rolls if you have the skills (you noticed there's a pressure trigger in the next paving stone. You step around it. Have some XP!) or just a random attack if you don't (You stepped on the pressure trigger. An arrow is launched at you from the wall. *roll* It misses/you take 1d6. Have some XP!) There's little player choice as to what to do with them.

Tavar talks about the Neverending dungeon, which is the main reason for the thread's opening. You do not gain there XP for traps (getting some xp for walking over a tripwire?).. But you do gain 100-150xp from each encounter so you level each 10-6 2/3 encounters, which is less then the normal assumed 13 1/3.. Well the encounters are toucher for a solo character too so I guess they should give that much xp anyway... so I have no real point here..

Tavar
2009-11-14, 01:24 PM
True, but rule zero strikes. As does half xp for encounters.

Mark Hall
2009-11-14, 01:25 PM
Nope, a CR1 encounter by 3.5 rules is a fair encounter for a party of same level adventurers though I forget precisely how many adventurers that supposition is based upon.

The theory was bandied about when 3e came out that a CR 1 encounter was supposed to deplete 20% of the resources of a party of four 1st level adventurers. Resources included spells per day, hit points, arrows, etc.