View Full Version : DM Help Brainstorm: escaping from a cage

2015-11-02, 01:55 PM
So I'm planning for my players to be polymorphed into animals and captured by witches. What're some ways that an intelligent animal could conceivably escape its cage, aside from the old "someone left a key slightly too close to the cage"? Any ideas from simple to stupidly complicated are welcome.

We're talking generally cat or dog-sized animals, no monkeys. They have no access to magic while transformed.

2015-11-02, 02:14 PM
What kind of cage?

2015-11-02, 02:18 PM
The metal kind that you store animals in.

Though I can change its material, shape, whatever if that makes for more interesting escape opportunities.

2015-11-02, 02:19 PM
Assuming the standard cubic/rectangular-prism cage, the weak points aren't usually the bars themselves, but the edges and points of the prism. Typically they're spot-welded, attached with clasps, etc. etc. Barring magic, it's almost impossible to make a full cage shape out of a single continuous piece of metal. Also, most cages have doors, most doors have hinges, and hinges are almost always the weakest point of the doors to which they're attached.

2015-11-02, 02:29 PM
My brother's shi'tzu is named Blossom, and my sister's bishon friez was named Peanut. The former is a very, very clever little dog, while the latter...well, she used to get in fights with maple leaves...and lose.

Blossom was adept at opening the latch on her cage, then opening it on Peanut's, and herding Peanut out to play with her. We eventually put Blossom's cage against a wall, door facing said wall, and used Peanut's cage to hold it against the wall as a further weight.

Blossom managed to bounce the cages enough to get some wiggle-room against the wall, prop her cage open just a little, and bounce-wiggle her way up and through the door and the space between the cage and the wall, pushing the cages the whole way, until she was out and on top of her cage.

Then, she'd do the same to move Peanut's cage until she could access Peanut's door and open it.

So that's at least one way.

Lvl 2 Expert
2015-11-02, 02:44 PM
The weakest part of a good locked cage is often the people living around it. The players can't talk to them, but they can make puppy eyes, or wait until someone feeds them, gives them water, walks them, cleans their cage, something like that. Even of they don't open the cage, just biting into their hands might cause them to jerk back, slamming the cage into a wall or stumbling into other cages. Especially if you switch down to say a wooden or bamboo cage this could damage it enough so that at a later time a strength check could open the cage (although wood or bamboo cages would of course be way to tempting to just chew through). Another option would be some way of using leverage. Find a weak spot, like a corner or a chain that wraps around the cage and is in turn held close by a lock, get a long bar from somewhere, stick it in the weak spot, and find a way to apply force. Maybe put it on the ground and let someone wiggle their own cage to fall on top of it (wiggling to fall could also be a way just to try and get your own cage damaged, similar to getting a human to jerk around among the cages). Maybe bark at the right time when a human comes by so they step on it. Another interesting possibility could be a nearby creature of normal intelligence that has the strength to smash at least the smaller cages.

All in all though the scenario is pretty restricting. The more freedom of movement players have the easier it gets to improvise. It's easier to escape a prison yard than an isolation cell.

2015-11-02, 03:43 PM
Thanks for the answers, guys. I understand how restricting it is, that's why I'm asking for ideas rather than expecting them to wing it. I'm gonna mull on the idea some more before actually implementing it.