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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Pixie in the Playground
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    Default How to keep a character from being Killed

    Well Im sort of they guy that is sort of over the newbe stage (as some call it) into the intermediate stage that where you dont have to have characters to back up characters as often but still needs some help on keeping them alive throughout most of the campain. If you have any tips or a book there has what a gamer should and shouldnt do tell me so I wont have to make new characters too often.
    Poke them in the eye!!! Whops wrong battle cry.

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    Sheriff in the Playground Administrator
     
    Roland St. Jude's Avatar

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    Default Re: How to keep a character from being Killed

    I'm not too sure what you're looking for. I don't have a text to point you to, but here are a few pointers.

    1. Retreat. Don't be afraid to retreat, regroup, and re-supply.

    2. Balance Self. Don't build characters that are so optimized that they are one-trick ponies. Don't spend all your wealth on your uber-weapon and forget to buy healing potions.

    3. Balance party. Party balance is critical to survival. PCs playing roles outside their bailiwick have less chance of success and PCs without a key role filled end up bumbling through or paying top dollar for NPC help.

    4. Be aware. While a scout, ten-foot pole, and bag of rats are cliche, there is a benefit to searching ahead and proceeding carefully.

    More later maybe. Is this helpful?
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    Titan in the Playground
     
    GreenSorcererElf

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    Default Re: How to keep a character from being Killed

    First, choose your equipment well, particularly if you're going to be a fighter. Maximize your AC. Work on your battlefield tactics - make sure to add in all your bonuses, flank whenever possible. If you're a spellcaster, hide behind the meatshields. Remember the strengths of your other party members. Don't block your archer's shot, try to work things so that you're all being the most effective combatant you can be.

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    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Abd al-Azrad's Avatar

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    Default Re: How to keep a character from being Killed

    I guess the best advice I can offer someone who doesn't want to die is not to allow yourself to die. Most DMs have nasty encounters every once in a while. The trick with these is to learn when you are risking death, and not to push your luck.

    Also, try to limit an opponent's strengths. A high level wizard is terrifying, yes, but only as long as he's untouchable, with a clear line of effect on your party. Fight wizards in small spaces, with lots of cover. Force them into melee, and ready actions to disrupt spellcasting as often as possible. Similarly, don't go toe-to-toe with any melee character that looks like he could kill you by accident: anything with four or more arms, anything weilding a weapon with x3 or better critical modifiers, anything two or more size categories larger than yourself. Instead, attack their strengths- er, by which I mean, literally, their Strength score. Rays of Enfeeblement are my favourite spells ever for the purpose of crippling enemy fighters, and I never start a fight without one.

    Don't let the party pressure you into risking your life if you don't think you can survive. They'll do that all the time. Liberal application of Suggestion alleviates this problem.
    That is not dead which can eternal lie
    And with strange aeons even death may die.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sophismata View Post
    You are a bad, bad man, Abd.
    Quote Originally Posted by Lycanthromancer View Post
    'Psionics' is just tapping into the core of magic within yourself, whereas the mumbo-jumbo dancing, gibbering, and flinging around esoteric material components is like trying to paint-by-numbers when the guy next to you is rendering works from Picasso by memory alone.

    Abd's contribution to the Animate/End A World project.

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Orc in the Playground
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    Default Re: How to keep a character from being Killed

    Be a dwarven defender - that 12hd is too good to pass up. And the nice defensive array of skills means you can stay alive alot more than you normally coul- oh I'm sorry. Did you mean tactics, not classes? Well then I agree with the above.
    If you have made an avatar for me, do not worry. I have them saved. Your work was not wasted. The reason I am not showing them right now may be because I feel they should be shown off at a better point in time.&&&&Orange Zergling doll by Sneak.

  6. - Top - End - #6
    Pixie in the Playground
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    Default Re: How to keep a character from being Killed

    Don't be afraid to lose your character. If he dies, he dies, but that is the way of the adventurer.

    You will have a lot more fun if you play sensibly, but take risks from time to time.

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    Barbarian in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: How to keep a character from being Killed

    I can't add anything that has not already been said, except to say that this is the single most important piece of advice to hear:

    Quote Originally Posted by Roland St. Jude
    1. Retreat. Don't be afraid to retreat, regroup, and re-supply.
    Never be afraid to run away. There are old soldiers, brave soldiers, but very few old, brave soldiers.
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    Vampire Ninja Death Squirrel by Jacklu
    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Mann View Post
    Frankly, we're a bunch of nerds here, and we like to argue.
    Tosk, Ogre Ranger
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  8. - Top - End - #8
    Pixie in the Playground
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    Default Re: How to keep a character from being Killed

    Also tell me what goes good with what in the DnD base classes and the prestige that goes hand and hand that will make a good character
    Poke them in the eye!!! Whops wrong battle cry.

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    Pixie in the Playground
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    Default Re: How to keep a character from being Killed

    Well, that really depends on what you like to play, and what books you have access too. Staying to the PH and the DMG, rogue/shadow dancer is a good combo, as is wizard/archmage, even if you only take two levels to get mastery of shaping and mastery of elements. Mystic Theurge is good for a multi-class cleric/wizard of course, and on a multi-classing note, Elderitch knight is awsome for a fighter wizard. If you like the sorcerer, perhaps you want to go dragon disciple.

    Of course, you're not required to take a prestige class, and a 20th level rogue can be just as powerful/bad ass as a 10th level rogue/10th level shadow dancer.
    Tiferet: So, can I be the apprentice Logic Ninja? ;D &&&&The Logic Ninja: Yes! You may be my apprentice, and together... we will SHOW THEM ALL! MWAAAAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA... ahem.&&&&Thanks to Sneak for the wonderful avatar

  10. - Top - End - #10
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: How to keep a character from being Killed

    As a DM, the most important thing you can do is leave an escape route out of a tough encounter, as a player the best thing you can do is know when to run away. When that monster over there crits and knocks out my team mate, I'm the first one to run over an use dimension door to get her out. Smart adventurers dont stick around to die.

    Almost any class/prestige class is good if played right. If your not confident in your abilities I suggest trying the fighter, barbarian, paladin, or cleric. They are all tough classes that don't die easy, and have abilities that are fairly easy to understand and use. The other classes (wizards, rogues, bards, ect) tend to be easier to kill and have more complex abilities that are harder to learn how to use properly.

    Reguardless of what class you pick the best thing you can do Is spend the time to learn the abilitys of the class. If your playing rogue learn how sneak attack works and when you can use it. If your playing a sorcerer read each spell you know carefully and understand hows its used. If you dont use your abilities properly, or dont know when to use them, your not getting the full power of the class.
    "Sometimes, we’re heroes. Sometimes, we shoot other people right in the face for money."

    -Shadowrun 4e, Runner's Companion

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    Dwarf in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: How to keep a character from being Killed

    Quote Originally Posted by Meat Shield
    There are old soldiers, brave soldiers, but very few old, brave soldiers.
    I have to disagree. There is a distinction between Bravery, Stupidity, and Blind Allegiance, 2 out of the 3 will get you killed everytime. Which is why I can't stand the way most paladins are played, your noble and brave, not Lawful Moronic!

    Edit: Stupid English Language Rules!
    Quote Originally Posted by Awakened Gelatinus Cube View Post
    -lituracy is never atomatic
    -"despell magic" is broken into despell magic 1-9
    -genisalt characters are allowed with an xp penilty.
    "When in doubt, set something on fire."

    RIP: Gary Gygax (July 27, 1938 – March 4, 2008) - May the world forever be changed by the things you have created.

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    Pixie in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: How to keep a character from being Killed

    Quote Originally Posted by The_dancing_ork
    Well Im sort of they guy that is sort of over the newbe stage (as some call it) into the intermediate stage that where you dont have to have characters to back up characters as often but still needs some help on keeping them alive throughout most of the campain. If you have any tips or a book there has what a gamer should and shouldnt do tell me so I wont have to make new characters too often.

    Simple, don't show up to game.
    Geez, with all these new 4.0 books coming out, its a miracle there are any trees alive.

  13. - Top - End - #13

    Default Re: How to keep a character from being Killed

    Quote Originally Posted by Wolf53226
    your noble and brave, not Lawful Moronic!
    Oh? My noble and brave what?

  14. - Top - End - #14
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: How to keep a character from being Killed

    Quote Originally Posted by Wolf53226

    I have to disagree. There is a distinction between Bravery, Stupidity, and Blind Allegiance, 2 out of the 3 will get you killed everytime. Which is why I can't stand the way most paladins are played, your noble and brave, not Lawful Moronic!

    Edit: Stupid English Language Rules!
    The catch is that many people look at the paladin and think "Obviously, this class is supposed to follow an elaborate code of chivalry."

    The problem with codes of chivalry is that they tend to impose artificial and arbitrary restrictions on the chivalrous warrior's tactics. Generally, they're actually meant to either reduce the lethality of warriors so that they don't end up destroying the society they live in, or to 'nerf' certain weapons like crossbows by making them illegal.

    And a 'nerfed' paladin doesn't tend to last very long in a D&D setting, because well run D&D enemies are more likely to break the rules than historical medieval knights were.
    My favorite exchange:
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    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Abd al-Azrad's Avatar

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    Default Re: How to keep a character from being Killed

    Anyways, one of the weird things going for Paladins is that one can very easily believe they actually do care less about their own lives than their mission. Lawful Moronic notwithstanding, these people have literally been set on a path by their own God, a path that sets all other concerns aside. Charging headlong into a hopeless battle is a stupid idea, but if the Paladin's actions actually help the God's cause, even if those actions are relatively minor in comparison, the Paladin has done something right.

    EDIT: Man, this is just an attack on everyone. I cannot believe I posted this. TLN and Wolf are gonna destroy me now... :-X

    Further EDIT: Yeah, I'm just gonna wuss out on this one. I'm actually a nice guy at heart. But! There were a series of stinging insults of great skill and cunning in here! You be warned, those who would attempt to attack the Mad Arab!
    That is not dead which can eternal lie
    And with strange aeons even death may die.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sophismata View Post
    You are a bad, bad man, Abd.
    Quote Originally Posted by Lycanthromancer View Post
    'Psionics' is just tapping into the core of magic within yourself, whereas the mumbo-jumbo dancing, gibbering, and flinging around esoteric material components is like trying to paint-by-numbers when the guy next to you is rendering works from Picasso by memory alone.

    Abd's contribution to the Animate/End A World project.

  16. - Top - End - #16
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Meat Shield's Avatar

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    Default Re: How to keep a character from being Killed

    Quote Originally Posted by Abd al-Azrad

    You know, I'd like to think I've grown past insulting people for their less-than-perfect spelling. I mean, it just seems like a weak attack, when their intelligence is a much more appealing target.

    I mean, telling someone they misspelled "you're," versus telling someone that they edited their post to correct this issue and still got it wrong? Which stings worse?

    EDIT: Man, this is just an attack on everyone. I cannot believe I posted this. TLN and Wolf are gonna destroy me now... :-X
    Well, nice knowing you Triple-A.
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    Vampire Ninja Death Squirrel by Jacklu
    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Mann View Post
    Frankly, we're a bunch of nerds here, and we like to argue.
    Tosk, Ogre Ranger
    Grishak, Blue Psion Nomad
    Otheym, Warforged Ashworm Dragoon

  17. - Top - End - #17
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    ExHunterEmerald's Avatar

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    Default Re: How to keep a character from being Killed

    Take Cthulhu's message to heart.
    ...that is, we're all but dust with no joy in the dim sparks that our are lives.
    You know, on second thought, consider prozac.
    Terrence Randall and the Kinslayer by NEO|Phyte
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    Terrence Randall by The Stoney One

    Rennac Belnades by Lord Iames.

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    Default Re: How to keep a character from being Killed

    As a newer player---play a cleric and remember 'Cleric, heal theyself!'
    If you are not the meat shield of the party, then hang back. Standing 30' back from people opening doors or investigating small dead-end rooms has saved my wizard twice now from death just recently.
    argle bargle glop glyf?

  19. - Top - End - #19
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Abd al-Azrad's Avatar

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    Default Re: How to keep a character from being Killed

    Quote Originally Posted by Nekkira
    As a newer player---play a cleric and remember 'Cleric, heal theyself!'
    I like this idea, but I think you should take it a step further. If you play a cleric, the entire party will always be bugging you to keep them alive, wasting your efforts preserving your own life. Hence, my idea:

    Play a straight Bard. They get healing spells, but not enough that the party will ask for your extras. Similarly, they can fight, but are excused if they don't, because no one expects wonders from the party Bard. As long as you sing to give the fighters +2 to hit, everyone's happy.
    That is not dead which can eternal lie
    And with strange aeons even death may die.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sophismata View Post
    You are a bad, bad man, Abd.
    Quote Originally Posted by Lycanthromancer View Post
    'Psionics' is just tapping into the core of magic within yourself, whereas the mumbo-jumbo dancing, gibbering, and flinging around esoteric material components is like trying to paint-by-numbers when the guy next to you is rendering works from Picasso by memory alone.

    Abd's contribution to the Animate/End A World project.

  20. - Top - End - #20
    Dwarf in the Playground
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    Default Re: How to keep a character from being Killed

    How to not die:

    1. Don't do anything stupid.
    2. Don't annoy the DM.
    3. Attempt to make yourself indispensable to the DM.

    If you don't do anything stupid, odds are you won't die. (Good) DMs don't set up situations where you have certain death. Generally, it's only certain death if you screw up.

    It's worth noting that most campaigns, character death is annoying to the DM as well, since the story has to pause for another character to reasonably join up.

    Which is what leads to point 2 - if the DM likes your character, you're more likely to have a buffer of stupidity than if you've been really, really annoying. For example - there may, or may not be a convenient overhanging branch spontaneously existing if you fall into a river about to go over a waterfall.

    It won't ensure you don't fall over - but it'll give you a chance to not fall over.

    And if you're the only person who speaks Auran in a story arc that's heavily reliant on it? There may as well be two branches.
    Jeff

  21. - Top - End - #21
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    Saihyol's Avatar

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    Default Re: How to keep a character from being Killed

    Plus you can throw in the occasional offensive spell every now and then to look like you're doing something ;D
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    Halfling in the Playground
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    Default Re: How to keep a character from being Killed

    Accept your own mortality. Don't let the prospect of death paralyze you.

    That being said, remember it's a ROLEPLAYING game. Play your character like he wants to live (assuming he does, most people do). Take chances, but not STUPID ones.

    What the others said: Don't be afraid to retreat and regroup. The DM has an infinite supply of monsters-this character has one life (barring the usual D&D methods to get around mortality). Be patient. You might not get it all done now, but if you stay smart and keep at it, you will eventually get it all done.
    "Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans"-J. Lennon

  23. - Top - End - #23
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: How to keep a character from being Killed

    One word: Phylactery.

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    Default Re: How to keep a character from being Killed

    Quote Originally Posted by The Logic Ninja

    Oh? My noble and brave what?

    LN, I'm sorry, maybe its just my English major background, but I cracked up when I read that.
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    If you put water into a cup, it becomes the cup. You put water into a bottle and it becomes the bottle. You put it in a teapot it becomes the teapot. Now, water can flow or it can crash. Be water my friend.

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  25. - Top - End - #25
    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: How to keep a character from being Killed

    For keeping yourself alive a lot of good advice has been given.

    Other than that I'd stress that staying alive is not THAT important. Don't let your entire game and character design focus around "not dying". I've seen players get t hooked on the non-dying thing and it ends up annoying the hell out of both other players and DMs. Death rates are often linked to Campaigns/playing groups. I play in groups where we can play years without a PC dying, and others where death is a more regular occurance.

    When you do have a PC die, analyse what happened. Why did they die. Did you make a stupid mistake, took the wrong 50/50 choice, run into unlikely dice, or catch the flak from someone elses screwup. Ask the GM what they think.

    Also keep in mind that some PC designs are inherently more likely to die. If you play a really aggresive Barbarian, or a self sacrificing tank, you are more likely to die, indeed there are situations when you probably should die. Play such characters with gusto and enjoy the death scene when it comes (as it probably will). For some characters death itself isn't a character failure. It's how your PC dies that matters. (the more impressive your death the more likely the rest of the party will go to the trouble of bring ing you back)

    Stephen

  26. - Top - End - #26
    Pixie in the Playground
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    Default Re: How to keep a character from being Killed

    The easiest way to survive: Don't go adventuring. XD Of course that means you'll be a commoner succumbing to sickness and house cats. Yes, according to DnD mechanics, a common house cat has enough attacks to kill a 1st level commoner in a single round.

    Work as a team. Cheesy, but it really helps. If everyone's working on a plan, don't decide to run up and hit the wizard with a sword because you'll probably end up with one or two scorching rays to the face. That or a trap of some sort cause what kind of moronic wizard would try and fight off a group of adventurers alone in plain view?
    Pandas are like ninjas in many ways: They are quiet, they are dressed to camouflage, and they are quite elusive. If only they would get up and do some ninja things instead of just sitting around eating bamboo all the time!

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    Pixie in the Playground
     
    NecromancerGirl

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    Default Re: How to keep a character from being Killed

    If all else fails, heroic sacrifices seem a sure way to return to the party. A fair few DMs enjoy seeing such a thing happen. :P

  28. - Top - End - #28
    Dwarf in the Playground
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    Default Re: How to keep a character from being Killed

    One big problem I see a lot is people who put EVERYTHING into trying to cover for a character classe's inherent flaws and are completely ineffective because of it, and end up dying because of that.

    I see a lot of monks done that way. The player's stick their two highest scores in dex and wisdom, waste their feats on spring attack so people can't hit them, and then wonder why they die later. They died because even with all that their monk still only had 17 armor class, and they killed all the damage dealing ability of the class by spending all their feats on the spring attack tree, so they can do a big fat 1d6+1 damage.

    Wizards with uber-high dex, not because they want to hit with the touch attacks they aren't using, but because they want better armor class. 13 is as bad as 10 once you get a few levels in. If that ogre is rolling at +10 to hit against my wizard I would frankly rather have the wizard with 10 dex and 16 con than I would the one with 16 dex and 10 con. The ogre is STILL going to hit me, but at least I might live through it.

    The self-buffer. A friend of mine plays this character. Round 1 of fight, casts shield. Round 2 of fight casts mage armor. Round 3 the fight is over.

    More tips. Unless you are just a DAMAGE MACHINE you should have a slashing weapon, a piercing weapon and a bludgeoning weapon and keep all 3 of them up until the point your favored weapon still does more damage AFTER subtracting DR 5 from it.

    If you have a character who naturally has a free hand in combat (many rogues, many mages, etc), then there should be a potion of healing in it at all times.

    Sometimes having the Barbarian spring the trap is better than having the rogue try to disable it. This can vary from game to game, but I once did an in-depth analysis of traps in about 20 different Living Greyhawk modules and came off with the final result that the rogues should leave the traps alone unless they blow all their feats on trapspringing. A standard 14 int rogue of the proper level with maxed search and disable could mathematically get less than half of them, and that is IF he searched everyplace that had one. Meanwhile a good 20 percent of the traps would GET HIM. In analyzing those traps I found no traps other than death effect traps capable of taking the average barbarian or dwarf fighter of appropriate level, but I did run into a decent number capable of taking out the rogue.

    But you know what is even better than barbarians at finding traps? Donkeys. They cost 8 gold pieces and have all the luck in the world. Most of my characters own pack donkeys, which I actually put on the board during combat and the things just can't die.
    Check out Red Box Fantasy a very modern and different take on retrogaming. http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/paigeoliver

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    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Telok's Avatar

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    Default Re: How to keep a character from being Killed

    Buy a pig. Put it in a poke. Have the wizard do a simple protein conversion of the leftover ears. Ta-daa! A sprung trap and a silk purse.

    Actually dogs work well, you can pick up strays off the street and with a couple ranks of animal handeling train the to fetch silver coins. Trap? Throw a coin.

    That covers traps well, more general stuff bleow.

    Always have a dagger and some rope. They are possibly two of the most useful and versatile items in the game. Trip lines, rope bridges, prisoner restraints, and general climbing stuff with the rope. Small, throwing, concealable, last resort weapons that can spike a door shut in an emergency, or be used a very crude lockpicks (on large enough locks).

    Always have some method of starting a fire, it's fun and useful.

    Cultivate contacts amongst useful NPCs. Police, nobility, clergy (espescially Raise Dead capable ones), and the local thieves guild are all useful people to have on your side. If you can't get them to owe you favors then just try to stay on thier good sides. At least don't go around throwing Fireballs in the middle of the city and trying to act like nothing happened, try to compensate the people whose houses you burned down.

    If you can manage it try not looking like a threat. Don't be the big raging barbarian or the guy in robes with mystic symbols during fights. They draw attention and that means damage. Likewise don't open with your biggest attack unless you're absolutely confident that it's needed. If you can spend the first two rounds of combat getting into position, buffing your self/party, or penalizing your foes, go for it. Kill shots are good, opening nukes are bad.

    In D&D you want to do as much damage, as fast as possible, to the biggest threat. This is because you take no penalties for being low on HP, foes are at full effectiveness as long as they have 1 HP left. Don't bother doing a little damage (less that 35%) to lots of enemies if you can do good damage to the one enemy thats beating on you right now. On the other hand try to be aware of what is and isn't the biggest threat, sometimes dropping Lightningbolts on the ranks of 2 HD archers is better than trying to shoot the Combat Expertise and Platemail guy blocking your tanks.

    Be aware of your resources and limitations, use the approprate tool for the job. Don't ask the rogue with the rapier/dexterity build to hold off the skeletons, don't try to cast Hold Person on the psion, and don't bother using DC 14 poisons on dwarven barbarians. Your wizard can use a crossbow if you don't have anything else to do, and if he's a sorcerer don't be afraid to throw a Magic Missle as a time filler after 7th level.

    More later, mabey.
    Niven's Laws, #5
    If you've nothing to say, say it any way you like. Stylistic innovations, contorted story lines or none, exotic or genderless pronouns, internal inconsistencies, the recipe for preparing your lover as a cannibal banquet: feel free. If what you have to say is important and/or difficult to follow, use the simplest language possible. If the reader doesn't get it then, let it not be your fault.

  30. - Top - End - #30
    Barbarian in the Playground
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    In my own little world
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: How to keep a character from being Killed

    Why wait until you're 7th level, or a sorceror? Get a wand of MM as soon as possible - you will then always have something to do. You never miss, it can be a great finisher, you can ready an MM to disrupt a caster, and using a wand doesn't attract an AoO so you can use it in melee! It's the perfect present!

    Look at me - I'm Robespierre!

    Have you ever considered eating your own lungs? I can show you how to prepare them if you'd like.

    Safe is for NPCs. I live on the edge

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