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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Orc in the Playground
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    Default Tips on running away to avoid a TPK

    Working our way through a dungeon we killed a couple devils, and well, this giant humanoid shaped devil with a whip and giant sword has appeared.

    Besides it being huge we have reason to believe it is strong enough to boss around a 17+ level Warlock. We're level 5, it is time to flee.

    The biggest thing working against this demon is its size. It may have to bust its way through some smaller passages to chaise us.

    We have a Bard, Wizard, Ranger, Rogue, Cleric and Fighter.

    Any tips or tricks besides not being the slowest PC? I have Thunderwave at my disposal to maybe collapse walls and a bag of 1000 ball bearings. Think either will be helpful?

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Dwarf in the Playground
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    Default Re: Tips on running away to avoid a TPK

    Quote Originally Posted by MarkVIIIMarc View Post
    Working our way through a dungeon we killed a couple devils, and well, this giant humanoid shaped devil with a whip and giant sword has appeared.

    Besides it being huge we have reason to believe it is strong enough to boss around a 17+ level Warlock. We're level 5, it is time to flee.

    The biggest thing working against this demon is its size. It may have to bust its way through some smaller passages to chaise us.

    We have a Bard, Wizard, Ranger, Rogue, Cleric and Fighter.

    Any tips or tricks besides not being the slowest PC? I have Thunderwave at my disposal to maybe collapse walls and a bag of 1000 ball bearings. Think either will be helpful?
    unless those ball bearings are the size of melons, I don't really think they'll do anything to a giant :P
    If it's what I think it is it's faster than you anyway.
    I'd assume the GM wants to you to run and regroup, just do exactly that.

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    ClericGuy

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    Default Re: Tips on running away to avoid a TPK

    Just tell the DM you leave.

    He's thrown a Balor up against 5th level PCs. He doesnt intend for you to fight it.

    If he makes you fight it despute you advising him you run away, quit the campaign.

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Dwarf in the Playground
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    Default Re: Tips on running away to avoid a TPK

    Quote Originally Posted by Malifice View Post
    Just tell the DM you leave.

    He's thrown a Balor up against 5th level PCs. He doesnt intend for you to fight it.

    If he makes you fight it despute you advising him you run away, quit the campaign.
    That sounds so boring. The DM isn't allowed to set up an exciting chase scene, because you'll walk if he expects you to interact with something you can't take down in a fair fight.

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    Beholder

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    Default Re: Tips on running away to avoid a TPK

    There's a couple of spells that up movement speed(longstrider, expeditious retreat). Your rogue should also ask if he's allowed to double dash.

    For the rest, try to stick to small passages where possible.

    I mean, its fairly obvious you're supposed to run here, but the DM might actually have that flight planned as a kind of encounter, and if he didn't, he might change his mind if you describe your running away in enough detail.

  6. - Top - End - #6
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    SwashbucklerGuy

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    Default Re: Tips on running away to avoid a TPK

    Silent Image a wall across the corridor.. provided it's less than 15'

    Fog cloud also helps...

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    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Asmotherion's Avatar

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    Default Re: Tips on running away to avoid a TPK

    I think it's quite clear you have to run away. Don't waste actions on anything, dash action the hell out of there. Other than that, was it summoned through some magical item or something? Maybe something within reach? Perhaps your DM expects you to destroy the item that summoned it to make it go away? IDK. If it really is a Pit Fiend (and not something else with illusion powers, which is totally something I've pulled on my players more than once and sometimes they took the bait :P), even dashing might not be enough, as those things can teleport anyway.

    If your DM really tries to TPK, and goes with it, don't ever allow him to be a DM ever again. You don't throw a Pit Fiend to 5th level characters, except if it's part of a cinematic/there is a crafty way to get rid of it without a fight, and actually getting killed by it is the fault of the players; on that account, did your party neglect some important piece of information? maybe the Pit Fiend was part of the storyline, and you were not meant to fight it as long as you did everything right...

    I don't know, I just try to justyfy in my mind what DM in his right mind could throw a Pit Fiend at that low of a level... perhaps I'm overthinking it, and your DM is just not a good DM.

    PS: I really hope your DM's Confusion did not come from "calculating your CR", because if so, just explain him kindly that it's not how that works. >_>
    Last edited by Asmotherion; 2017-10-13 at 05:12 AM.

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    Ogre in the Playground
     
    EvilClericGuy

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    Default Re: Tips on running away to avoid a TPK

    Traditional solution is to run for a while until you find a narrow bridge, then lure it on the bridge (wizards work like bait, Shield helps with survivability somewhat. Don't forget few taunts!), then blast the bridge with Shatter or similar spell. The wizard will just have to remember to run after the demon falls instead of standing there, looking tired, that whip has a nasty reach. It doesn't matter that the demon has wings, it won't use them to slow down its fall.

    On the bright side, if the demon takes the wizard down with him, the wizard will propably return in few sessions with a power boost and wardrobe change.
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  9. - Top - End - #9
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    BardGuy

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    Default Re: Tips on running away to avoid a TPK

    Quote Originally Posted by MarkVIIIMarc View Post
    Working our way through a dungeon we killed a couple devils, and well, this giant humanoid shaped devil with a whip and giant sword has appeared.

    Besides it being huge we have reason to believe it is strong enough to boss around a 17+ level Warlock. We're level 5, it is time to flee.

    The biggest thing working against this demon is its size. It may have to bust its way through some smaller passages to chaise us.

    We have a Bard, Wizard, Ranger, Rogue, Cleric and Fighter.

    Any tips or tricks besides not being the slowest PC? I have Thunderwave at my disposal to maybe collapse walls and a bag of 1000 ball bearings. Think either will be helpful?
    Well, as you said the creature being huge is working in your favor.
    Is Gargantuan size still a thing in 5E? AFB so cannot check.
    If it is (or with any reasonable DM really), your best shot is trying to apply an Enlarge on it while it is in a space in which it currently fits well, if anyone has it known. It should make it so that "the creature attains the maximum size in the space available", thus rendering it definitely too large to even crawl into corridors even twice as large as required for your group. In practice, you just severely restricted its movement (at best, there one only way out, it's your win. At worst, creature will have to find another way to circle around, still losing time).
    With any sensible DM that likes to apply ROC, you may even effectively restrain the creature because DM would consider that "attains maximum size in space available" does not imply that proportions are kept, thus making a giant, deformed bloat of meat (or rather, the creature is not deformed per se but forced to put its body in such a position that any movement is impossible).

    Beyond that, any spell (or even cantrips like Mold Earth) that can affect the shape of a passage is worth a shot, again to make a place too narrow for the creature to get through. A Wall of Stone for example would certainly be destroyed in the end, but may get you several turns in which you can safely Dash or plan another move.

    Any diversion or restrain may also work, through Minor Illusion, Phantasmal Force, Command, Fear, Hypnotic Pattern, Ensnaring Strike, Entangle, Darkness (bonus point if you have a familiar with sound-based perception: have it carry a Darkness stone and stay near the creature: even if it is killed, it's quite a small price to pay for party safety -yeah, I'm an ass XD) Haste (have someone draw attention and run somewhere else: obviously you'd better hope this one has good escape/hiding skills like Misty Step, Meld into Stone, Fly etc or he can join you later through another way) etc... Even just a Fog Cloud may be enough if cast in a crossroads for example so the creature cannot see which path you picked (obviously you'd have to be silent too, hence Pass Without Trace being golden here).
    Can be used either to plain flee, or maybe to prepare a hiding place (especially if someone has Pass Without Trace as said).

    If anyone has Longstrider and slots left, it's really time to use them on the slowest members. :)

    Basically, you should try to determine the easiest and most reliable way to either...
    1. hard-slow or stop creature movement for several rounds.
    2. make it "lose" your trace so you can flee with relative safety.
    3. improve your own party speed, stealthiness or defense.

    If you know your way out, option 1 should be the primary one pursued. Otherwise, option 2 may be the best to let you some time to find how to escape. If you have no idea, might as well brace yourself. ;)
    But for nobody to have any of Mold Earth / Minor Illusion, Phantasmal Force / Hypnotic Pattern / Fear / Blindness / Enlarge / Darkness / Haste / Slow or even plain Command / Entangle / Ensnaring Strike / Earth Tremor (knocks prone)... Would seem improbable to me.

    Good luck!
    Last edited by Citan; 2017-10-13 at 06:37 AM.

  10. - Top - End - #10
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    DruidGuy

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    Default Re: Tips on running away to avoid a TPK

    Quote Originally Posted by JackPhoenix View Post
    Traditional solution is to run for a while until you find a narrow bridge, then lure it on the bridge (wizards work like bait, Shield helps with survivability somewhat. Don't forget few taunts!), then blast the bridge with Shatter or similar spell. The wizard will just have to remember to run after the demon falls instead of standing there, looking tired, that whip has a nasty reach. It doesn't matter that the demon has wings, it won't use them to slow down its fall.

    On the bright side, if the demon takes the wizard down with him, the wizard will propably return in few sessions with a power boost and wardrobe change.
    Don't forget that the Wizard must speak some sort of epic phrase to the demon.
    To all the long suffering DMs putting up with our insane plans, crazy ideas, and "unique" solution we would like to say we are sorry. We "would" like to but we won't, since the truth is that we aren't sorry. We will continue to break your plans and make you make up rules at every possible opportunity.

  11. - Top - End - #11
    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Default Re: Tips on running away to avoid a TPK

    Quote Originally Posted by MarkVIIIMarc View Post
    Working our way through a dungeon we killed a couple devils, and well, this giant humanoid shaped devil with a whip and giant sword has appeared.

    Besides it being huge we have reason to believe it is strong enough to boss around a 17+ level Warlock. We're level 5, it is time to flee.

    The biggest thing working against this demon is its size. It may have to bust its way through some smaller passages to chaise us.

    We have a Bard, Wizard, Ranger, Rogue, Cleric and Fighter.

    Any tips or tricks besides not being the slowest PC? I have Thunderwave at my disposal to maybe collapse walls and a bag of 1000 ball bearings. Think either will be helpful?
    Do you know that this needs to be a combat encounter? Diplomacy and or groveling may be a useful option/distraction before you cut and run

    Edit: this comes down to guessing if your DM will entertain such behaviour. If it seems unlikely, ignore.

    Myself, if I put something horribly outlevelled in early, its typically to introduce the party to something of endgame importance. I make it clear that this is not an easy foe, and give them multiple outs.

    The last time they just had a polite chat... this might be very different, context matters.
    Last edited by Spiritchaser; 2017-10-13 at 08:19 AM.

  12. - Top - End - #12
    Halfling in the Playground
     
    BlackDragon

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    Default Re: Tips on running away to avoid a TPK

    make sure he didnt miscalculate, if he accidently did seven level 5s and not 6 . per DMG thats "legal" ....

  13. - Top - End - #13
    Dwarf in the Playground
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    Default Re: Tips on running away to avoid a TPK

    Quote Originally Posted by Anymage View Post
    That sounds so boring. The DM isn't allowed to set up an exciting chase scene, because you'll walk if he expects you to interact with something you can't take down in a fair fight.
    From what I've heard of Balors, it wouldn't be a fair fight at 5th level.

    Besides, running away to die another day is a sort of interacting with the thing? I suggest the Bard plays/sings the Die Another Day song from the Bond movie as they run, just for hilarity's sake.

  14. - Top - End - #14
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    DruidGuy

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    Default Re: Tips on running away to avoid a TPK

    Quote Originally Posted by DarkKnightJin View Post
    From what I've heard of Balors, it wouldn't be a fair fight at 5th level.

    Besides, running away to die another day is a sort of interacting with the thing? I suggest the Bard plays/sings the Die Another Day song from the Bond movie as they run, just for hilarity's sake.
    I believe that the bard's singing from Monty Python's and the Holy Grail is the accepted song for this situation.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l8IkbCeZ9to

    "Brave Sir Robin ran away
    (No!)
    Bravely ran away away
    (I didn't!)
    When danger reared its ugly head
    He bravely turned his tail and fled
    (No!)
    Yes, brave Sir Robin turned about
    (I didn't!)
    And gallantly he chickened out"

    Read more: Monty Python - Brave Sir Robin Ran Away Lyrics | MetroLyrics
    To all the long suffering DMs putting up with our insane plans, crazy ideas, and "unique" solution we would like to say we are sorry. We "would" like to but we won't, since the truth is that we aren't sorry. We will continue to break your plans and make you make up rules at every possible opportunity.

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    Dwarf in the Playground
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    Default Re: Tips on running away to avoid a TPK

    Quote Originally Posted by nickl_2000 View Post
    Don't forget that the Wizard must speak some sort of epic phrase to the demon.
    And spout a list of things he's supposedly done or has titles for. And he should tell the rest of the party to fly, even if he's the one that can cast the Fly spell.

  16. - Top - End - #16
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Zombie

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    Default Re: Tips on running away to avoid a TPK

    Quote Originally Posted by Spiritchaser View Post
    Do you know that this needs to be a combat encounter? Diplomacy and or groveling may be a useful option/distraction before you cut and run

    Edit: this comes down to guessing if your DM will entertain such behaviour. If it seems unlikely, ignore.

    Myself, if I put something horribly outlevelled in early, its typically to introduce the party to something of endgame importance. I make it clear that this is not an easy foe, and give them multiple outs.

    The last time they just had a polite chat... this might be very different, context matters.
    Yep, you can try bargaining. Maybe the DM wants to give you something...with strings attached.
    I am the flush of excitement. The blush on the cheek. I am the Rouge!

  17. - Top - End - #17
    Orc in the Playground
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    Default Re: Tips on running away to avoid a TPK

    Run it shall be then! For the most part we have damage orientated spells. We might have longstrider in our arsenal though.

    On a related note, can us non Rogues run our full speed, take a bonus action then an action of Dash?

  18. - Top - End - #18
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    DruidGuy

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    Default Re: Tips on running away to avoid a TPK

    Quote Originally Posted by MarkVIIIMarc View Post
    Run it shall be then! For the most part we have damage orientated spells. We might have longstrider in our arsenal though.

    On a related note, can us non Rogues run our full speed, take a bonus action then an action of Dash?
    This is a qualified yes (assuming that by run full speed you mean your allocated 30 ft, not your allocated 30ft + dash 30ft). Movement can be split in any way that you like.

    There is nothing stopping you from doing this

    1)Use more full movement (30ft) to run away
    2)Use a bonus action to healing word someone
    3)Use your action to dash for an extra 30 feet of movement.
    Last edited by nickl_2000; 2017-10-13 at 09:00 AM.
    To all the long suffering DMs putting up with our insane plans, crazy ideas, and "unique" solution we would like to say we are sorry. We "would" like to but we won't, since the truth is that we aren't sorry. We will continue to break your plans and make you make up rules at every possible opportunity.

  19. - Top - End - #19
    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Default Re: Tips on running away to avoid a TPK

    Quote Originally Posted by Sigreid View Post
    Yep, you can try bargaining. Maybe the DM wants to give you something...with strings attached.
    Bonus points if the NPC can produce the desired behaviour without the PCs realizing they are being manipulated

    Double bonus points if they figure it out at a perfectly timed later in a stylish “ah-ha” moment.

  20. - Top - End - #20
    Dwarf in the Playground
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    smile Re: Tips on running away to avoid a TPK

    Err Turn and fight that mother!

    What the heck? Yeah man you prob aint gonna win but if you do! If you do! You gain bragging rights "yeah slew a Pit Fiend at level 5...yawn that's the kinda stuff out DM has to throw at us...yeah we starting over next game Mines of Phandelver with Tiamat worked in as the Bad guy,should be easy at level 1".

    Come to think of it, dude even if you die it's awesome! "Yeah My last 5th level character died from a Pit Fiend,I just wasn't feelin it that day you know?"


    Yeah turn and fight that Pit Fiend and show that DM"Don't bring that weak arse $%$% to our table".

  21. - Top - End - #21
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Zombie

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    Default Re: Tips on running away to avoid a TPK

    Quote Originally Posted by Spiritchaser View Post
    Bonus points if the NPC can produce the desired behaviour without the PCs realizing they are being manipulated

    Double bonus points if they figure it out at a perfectly timed later in a stylish “ah-ha” moment.
    Oh, they'll know they are being manipulated. Ideally they won't see the long game. The relatively harmless request is just the first domino in the master plan.
    I am the flush of excitement. The blush on the cheek. I am the Rouge!

  22. - Top - End - #22
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    NecromancerGuy

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    Default Re: Tips on running away to avoid a TPK

    1) be a rogue, then use your move to run 30’, your action to dash another 30’, then your cunning/bonus action to dash another 30’
    2) be a monk
    3) can’t do much for the rest of you - just run and hope for the best. If there’s a guy who’s tired of his character and wants to reroll, he can volunteer to play Gandalf and hold it off while the rest of you run.

    If you’re only 5th level, you wizard won’t yet have dimension door, otherwise that’s a great option.
    Last edited by Strangways; 2017-10-13 at 09:29 AM.

  23. - Top - End - #23
    Pixie in the Playground
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    Default Re: Tips on running away to avoid a TPK

    Fortunately for you, Balors are simular to Plutonium Dragons and will not pursue anyone Level 5 or below.

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    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    NinjaGirl

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    Default Re: Tips on running away to avoid a TPK

    Swords are no more use here.

    Fly, you fools!

  25. - Top - End - #25
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    WolfInSheepsClothing

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    Default Re: Tips on running away to avoid a TPK

    Quote Originally Posted by MarkVIIIMarc View Post
    Working our way through a dungeon we killed a couple devils, and well, this giant humanoid shaped devil with a whip and giant sword has appeared.

    Besides it being huge we have reason to believe it is strong enough to boss around a 17+ level Warlock. We're level 5, it is time to flee.

    The biggest thing working against this demon is its size. It may have to bust its way through some smaller passages to chaise us.

    We have a Bard, Wizard, Ranger, Rogue, Cleric and Fighter.

    Any tips or tricks besides not being the slowest PC? I have Thunderwave at my disposal to maybe collapse walls and a bag of 1000 ball bearings. Think either will be helpful?
    Obviously your DM has read/watched Lord of the Rings a few too many times. Look for a bridge to get the balrogdemon to walk across and have Gandalfthe wizard destroy the bridge.

    Then confiscate your DM's Tolkien collection and buy him/her some classic fantasy books not written by JRR.

  26. - Top - End - #26
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    ClericGirl

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    Default Re: Tips on running away to avoid a TPK

    Quote Originally Posted by Asmotherion View Post
    If it really is a Pit Fiend (and not something else with illusion powers, which is totally something I've pulled on my players more than once and sometimes they took the bait :P), even dashing might not be enough, as those things can teleport anyway.
    Balor (sword and whip), but yeah, they can teleport 120'. As an action.
    You don't throw a Pit Fiend to 5th level characters, except if it's part of a cinematic/there is a crafty way to get rid of it without a fight, and actually getting killed by it is the fault of the players; on that account, did your party neglect some important piece of information? maybe the Pit Fiend was part of the storyline, and you were not meant to fight it as long as you did everything right.
    Balor, but yeah, this too.
    Quote Originally Posted by JackPhoenix View Post
    On the bright side, if the demon takes the wizard down with him, the wizard will propably return in few sessions with a power boost and wardrobe change.
    And a few gallons of bleach.
    Quote Originally Posted by gameogre View Post
    Err Turn and fight that mother! What the heck? Yeah man you prob aint gonna win but if you do! If you do! You gain bragging rights "yeah slew a Pit Fiend at level 5...yawn that's the kinda stuff out DM has to throw at us...yeah we starting over next game Mines of Phandelver with Tiamat worked in as the Bad guy,should be easy at level 1".

    Come to think of it, dude even if you die it's awesome! "Yeah My last 5th level character died from a Pit Fiend,I just wasn't feelin it that day you know?"
    Heh, I like your approach.

    Balor, I think.
    Quote Originally Posted by Malifice View Post
    (paraphrased) Rulings are not 'House Rules.' Rulings are a DM doing what DMs are supposed to do.

  27. - Top - End - #27
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    BardGuy

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    Default Re: Tips on running away to avoid a TPK

    Quote Originally Posted by KorvinStarmast View Post
    Balor (sword and whip), but yeah, they can teleport 120'. As an action.
    Balor, but yeah, this too.
    And a few gallons of bleach.
    Heh, I like your approach.

    Balor, I think.
    So I went to see what actually was a Balor in 5e...
    "Wow, such a frightening beast" was my reaction. Certainly not that big a threat in open spaces (though the teleport and base speed are nasty) but in enclosed areas it must be a real great challenge, especially with all those bonus to saving throws...

    I don't think the OP's creature is a Balor though, because OP did not make any mention of fire or flames around it, and considering how everything is screaming "fiery creature" in stat blocks, I would expect the DM to make a note about it.

    Not that the alternative of the thing being a Pit Fiend would be any better though, with poisoning attacks and Fireball at will...

    Now for a true, honest question: would you as a player or DM, in any game following "fluff-conventions" from D&d books, expect a Wizard to be able to recognize either of those creatures "just because he studies magic"? If yes, at which level? If not, would you still give a chance with appropriate roll (Arcana I'd say)?
    If no to all questions, how much info as a DM would you hint to your players regarding threat level? Would you just "physically describe" the creature, or directly say things like "this feel like too formidable an opponent for you"?

  28. - Top - End - #28
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    Laserlight's Avatar

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    Default Re: Tips on running away to avoid a TPK

    Have the bard or rogue (whichever you feel is more expendable) stay and talk to it; everyone else Move + Dash.
    Junior, half orc paladin of the Order of #3 St Dale the Intimidator: "Ah reckon y'all need to repent."

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    MindFlayer

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    Default Re: Tips on running away to avoid a TPK

    How sandboxy is the campaign? If you heard rumour of a really powerful devil in a dungeon, went to said dungeon and found that the devil at the bottom is... Really powerful then you can't blame the DM for that. You are probably looking at something high on the Doom scale then.

    Otherwise, run, hide or talk. If anyone wants to take warlock levels now is a good chance - he has lost one recently so there may be an opening.

    My advice is to find a way to avoid the bad guy that doesn't downplay his power. The DM is more likely to be harsh on just hiding than they will be on using spells and limited resources to escape. Cheap tricks are likely to make this guy look like a buffoon if they work (so DM more likely to play this guy smart).

    On the other hand, devils are such great and characterful antagonists that it seems a shame to waste them.

    Passed any magic circles on the way in? Know anyone who might respond to a sending spell?

  30. - Top - End - #30
    Orc in the Playground
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    Default Re: Tips on running away to avoid a TPK

    I knew there was a good chance of finding the Baylor (I think it is) in there or the 17th level Power Word Kill having spell caster we thought was the big bad guy. The party either misunderstood or something and we went in. Our goal was to close a portal which is presumably in the room the Baylor is trying to get at us from. We need to get our Cleric into the room for that.

    How does his teleport capability work? We essentially came down some skinny passageways and down a bunch of stairs. More than 120 feet. Can the Baylor teleport and displace rock without killing himself?

    Far as leaving someone behind I am kinda attached to the Bard (my character lol). But we do have a 1,000 GP diamond and a history with some Clerics of Pelor who can reincarnate folks. This assumes we can't use Revivify which the Cleric has for, um, logistical reasons like a Baylor standing on the body.

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