A 1001 Survival Guide. What are your best adventuring tips?

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Hi All,

I was just checking out the Dungeon Survival Guide, that WotC have just put out. It is not what it should have been, so I thought I would start this thread so they get an idea of what should have been in it. Can people please post their generic advice or tips on surviving dungeons and dragon here. If you could also give a reason for your advice for people who can't read between the lines that would be great. I will go first.

(1) If you are going to be a point man for the party hiding and moving silently to avoid the enemy in dark tunnels or other environments, then having dark vision is a major advantage. Scouting for the party is a bit hard if you can't see where you are going because it's dark. Carrying a touch while you sneak about doesn't really help as the baddies are going to see your touch light. Dwarfs and Half-Orcs make good scouts for the party, because they can see 60 feet in the dark.

Hope to hear from everyone soon. Please don't put any specific adventure spoilers into this thread.

Ok this thread is now very long, so don't bother reading everything if you don't have time. I'm not concerned with stuff being repeated. If I were you I would just go to the last page and start reading there, then respond. There aren't to many issues going more than 4 posts.

We have reached the 1001 mark for the thread, but it still seems to have interested parties. Feel free to post useful advice.

Prom
2. Always do a backgroundcheck before you accept a quest
3. If a BBEG need several objects,remeber you only need one to foil his plans.Don't be stupid and collect them all.
2) Always have a ranged weapon.
((also known as: "Dragons make your melee suck"))
5) Do not meddle in the affairs of dragons. They -really- mean it when they say that ketchup thing.

6) Allways wear a helmet. Having your brain sucked out your head is not fun.
7) Always carry an extra knife
8) Creative use of your surroundings is your friend. A drawbridge can make a wonderful weapon if you use it right. Ditto for that trap the rogue found.
9) "Oi! clothy" will not enamour you to the party cleric or wizard.

10) Retreat is a valid option.

11) Retreating and then returning in the dead of night to wipe out your enemies in their sleep is also a valid option.

12) Remember #11 when the rogue backs down from you in a fight.

13) Stay away from that guy in the corner of the inn.
#14 Never tell the DM "I'm going to kill some time looking for trouble".
15. Don't pick up a duck in a dungeon.

16. Don't waste your magic missiles on the darkness.

17. Fireball is a good spell for detecting enemies.

18. If you think Object X is trapped, don't open it without A: letting the rogue have at it, or B: throwing the rogue at it.

19. Kill them, before they kill you.

20. Always make sure they're dead. 'Specially if they used to be UNdead.

21. Never say no to Healing Potions.

22. If it looks too easy, it probably is, and accepting things at face value will get you killed.
23. Don't get hit.

24. If Hit, hit them harder

25. Leave no witnesses you don't control

26. Remember evil gods cheat on the whole divine interferance thing thats part of why their evil.

27. If you unsure have the barbarian attack it

28. The best defense is one that hurts them alot when they try to hurt you.

29. Dodge and unnamed bonuses stack, pick these up.

30. If you can get fast healing or regeneration do it, you'll always save money in the end.
31. If the DM says, "Are you sure?" Rethink your actions.
Some good advice guys, thanks.

(32) If at all possible have an escape plan, that does not involve trying to run from battle in armour, it does not work that well. Scrolls and spells of "Rope trick" are an old trick most people have used. This way the party can hide from the big beast and heal up for a few hours. And remember don't have the rope and hole to far from the ground. The longer you have to climb the better chance you will die. Make sure you pull the rope up when the last person climbs into the dimension or you will have the enemy following you.

Keep it coming people.

Prom
33. Don't go off by yourself. If you insist on scouting, don't go very far. D&D kills "lone wolf" characters. Or at least it should.

34. Remember your 5-foot step.
Benevolent God of Death "No one told you when to run."
7) Always carry an extra knife

You mean I only get one extra?! ;)

Never underestimate the usefulness of alchemical items.

Remember that alchemical items work in antimagic fields.
35) The standard issue "ten foot pole", is standard issue for a reason.

36) Have your tank use the "ten foot pole".

37) Arrow catchers, meat shields, and tanks are popular for a reason... never leave home without one.

38) Bribe the cleric. You want to be on his good side.

39) Even if you don't have the glue, you should bring Universal Solvent. Oh, and bring the glue too.

40) Immovable rods are your friends.

41) Don't put the pouch of holding in the bag of holding.
42) Spikes on your armor help if you are swallowed whole.
35) The standard issue "ten foot pole", is standard issue for a reason.

43) Remember that dungeon designers by now know about standard issue ten feet poles and will probably build their dungeons accordingly - so bring an eleven feet pole!
44. Remember to check for traps often, and do your bests not to let the other party members walk you into a trap/ambush.

45. Listening/Spot checks can save your life when you think things are all clear. Be cautious to the point of paranoia, and if your party thinks your moving too slow, let them scout.

46. Someone other than yourself scouting means you move to the rear guard and being prepared for a hasty withdrawl when they screw up.

47. The following is a very wise idea put into word by a fellow player.

"Keep your friends where you can see them, and don't keep Enemies!" Tagh Altin

Essentially if you capture someone alive and gleen information from them, dont just cut them loose or they will come back to haunt you.

48. Keep out of the thick of combat. Skirt the battles and take those ambush attacks when you get the chance.
49) Wand of cure light wounds always worth the gold.
49) Wand of cure light wounds always worth the gold.

49 b) If you have access to the Magic Item Compendium, healing belts are always worth the gold (same price as wand of CLW)! :D
Benevolent God of Death "No one told you when to run."
31. If the DM says, "Are you sure?" Rethink your actions.

My DM asks me that all the time... don't know why he bothers, in fact he also makes me roll Wisdom checks and Inteligent checks and even Will Power checks to actually go through with my declarations, it must anoy the heck out of him that I always survive.


50: Gear, Gear, Gear. You want to climb in dungeons and adventure, then you need to pack the tools for the job. 4 or 5 Adventurers can carry alot of stuff, especially with Bags of Holding, etc. Rope, prybars, tool kit, hammers, saws, pick, shovel, wedge, chissle, More rope, block and tackle, grappling hooks, empty sacks, nails........ BRING IT! If you ever find yourself needing to cross a river (build a raft) or prepare an ambush (dig a trench and defensive positions) or make some traps of your own, then you will find a use for tools.

51: DETAILS ARE IMPORTANT, Each peice of Gear you have should be written down in a list with a discription of the item, the more information the better. Don't buy a Coat, Buy a Dark Grey Coat with pockets on the outside and inside on the right and left with flaps and buttons and a hidden pocket in the sleeves, Made of Oiled leather that resists water
(52) Getting ambushed at night while sleeping is troublesome, and happens often. If you wear heavy armour, get a spare set of light armour to wear while sleeping. This is because sleeping in medium or heavy armour fatigues your character. You don't want to be fighting the enemy with a low AC because you took the armour off. If you have medium armour you can take the "Endurance" feat to negate the fatiguing effect of sleeping in medium armour, it is helpful.

Fantastic advice, I hope people don't run out of tips.

Prom
53. Don't annoy the locals too much ,at least if you plan to stay for longer or to come back

54. Never use the main entrance into enemy bases.If possible make your own entrance.

55 .Don't drink unknown liquids
56: If you think it's too powerful for your character to attack, don't have your character attack it.

57: Always purchase a bludgeoning weapon such as a mace or morningstar. Swords may do more damage, but only half damage to skeletons; a mace applies all of its damage.

58: Always spend points on these skills: survival and profession (or craft) - cooking; the choice between trail rats and braised squirrel is unquestionable (not to mention lighter on the shoulders.)
You mean I only get one extra?! ;)

Never underestimate the usefulness of alchemical items.

Remember that alchemical items work in antimagic fields.

I agree.
59:Darkness and Trueseeing is your friend against beholders.
When our group went into a dungeon filled with beholders, we had everyone in the group stay within the radius of the darkness, with trueseeing active. The best the beholders could do against us was sweep their eye over the darkness and shoot at our square. The miss chance saved our lives.
Always. Have. Rope!

And a dagger, but rope first.
You mean I only get one extra?! ;)

Never underestimate the usefulness of alchemical items.

Remember that alchemical items work in antimagic fields.

As long as you have one extra knife you're good. If you no longer have an extra knife its going to be bad.
51: DETAILS ARE IMPORTANT

YES

Be extremely careful when choosing your details, however, the DM might take advantage of any discrepency if he feels you are cheating the system. Or just because he wants to...
And NEVER EVER EVER be the clown of the party unless you are equipped to deal with it; if something that is bad, but funny happens you WILL be the target.
62?: Just because it doesn't deal direct damage or insta-kill doesn't mean it's useless.

63. A + or -1 can mean a world of difference in the right circumstances.

64. Dying is bad. That should be self-evident, but you'd be surprised how many adventurers ignore that rule...

65. Yes, succubi are hot, but level drains and STDs are not worth the hotness.
66. Always pretend to agree with the paladin.
67. 2 INT damage can fell even the most advanced dinosaurs
68. If a woman seems interested in you character, she's an assassin, a succubus, or both.
69. Improved Unarmed Strike is a good investment if you have a loose bonus feat.
70. Try negotiate with everything.
71. Don't wear full plate while boating.
72 - Know your limitations VERY well. Then do everything you can to circumvent them.

73 - Don't **** off anyone with a chaotic alignment unless you're prepared to kill them when/if they turn on you.

74 - Heward's Handy Haversack is ALWAYS the first magic item you should get. AAAAALWAYS. Period.

75 - Put ranks into Knowledge (Religion). It's always a good idea to remember what offends followers of certain deities - and what impresses them, more importantly.

76 - If you can, bring extra weapons. Sunder happens.

77 - Never trust a psion. Ever.

78 - Pay attention to flavor text.

79 - "When confronted with a fork in the road, one where you're not sure whether to take the first or second path... take the third road." Applies only when you're sure that your GM can improvise and it won't completely derail the campaign.

80 - Don't be too afraid to react quickly. An example of a first-level game I was playing once...

DM: "As you open the door, you see a troll sitting in the saun-"
Me: "I close the door!"
DM: "Uh - as I was-"
Me: "Closing the door! Spiking it shut!"
DM: "Ah-"
Me: *rapidly makes door-shutting motions*
DM: "You... close the door before the troll notices you're there. Move silently check."

A good thing I did. We were wiped out after killing a bunch of Giff, and wouldn't have survived a troll warrior.
81. There is no overkill when your life is on the line. There is only "Open Fire" and "I need to reload."

82. Do or do not. There is no try. 'Specially when "Try" translates to "Attempt to do, fail, and then die."

83. Don't assume the arcane caster is what he says he is. You'd be surprised how easy it is to fake another classes' abilities.

84. Magic is a powerful force, but so is a sword through the chest. Don't underestimate the fighters.

85. If you're fighting a balanced enemy party, take out the casters first. Not only are they squishier, but they can make life hellish for you if they buff the fighters from 84 or start nuking you.
86. Know where your towel is at all times.

87. Don't panic.
60. Always let the one with the best Ref/Fort saves enter the room first.

61. Well-played, bards make great buffers.

62. Clerics are not just portable band-aids. With the right domain/weapon combination, they can pack a punch.

63. When necessary, a Bag of Tricks can provide reinforcements and distractions, as well as good comic relief.

64. Don't let a newb handle social situations.
65. When talking to a hight-level paladin who has a direct line of communication with his deity and who has mastered the Sushi-Room Technique, DON'T p*** him off.
66. An extra knife is handy. Rope is nigh unto necessary for survival. The true adventurer, however, never underestimates the power of a Bottle of Fine Wine. Improvised Low grade incendiary device? Circumstance bonus on an unplanned Diplomatic Encounter? Impromptu Caltrops if diplomacy fails? Is there anything this simple item doesn't do? And all while tasting better than water, with a piddly fort save (that most DM's forget anyways).

Adventure in style.
Looks like people where having trouble keeping count, not that it really matters.

(95) Don't let the party bunch up or stand in a closely packed line, thinking that it's a better option. Spread out 10 or 20 feet apart, so that enemy magic users don't throw the most powerful area effect spell they have at the party and blast everyone apart. Fireball is to low a level spell for a magic user not to have it (I know this is pretty obvious).

Posted by holybarbarian,
NEVER EVER EVER be the clown of the party unless you are equipped to deal with it; if something that is bad, but funny happens you WILL be the target.

This advice I love, it's so true. Everyone is doing such a great job, providing useful insights and fundamentals, keep it up.

Prom
95) Always keep track of the marching order. Even if the other players don't, continually remind the DM of where you are. If you're in front, you need to be on point. If you're in back, you need to be rearguard. If you don't think you can do either of those things, stay in the middle.

96) Whenever you come to a closed door in a dangerous area (like, say ... a dungeon!) have someone put their ear against it and roll Listen. Nobody *ever* does this, but it makes the difference between walking into an encounter well-prepared and being caught off-guard.
You did 95 twice

64. Don't let a newb handle social situations.

This is the best advice so far... And I can't resist telling you a story about it...

Last week we were playing, had 15th level pc's. Well the 15th!!! level rogue decided to join the thieves guild, cool right? A 15th level PC should be able to walk into the thieves guild and pretty much own it, right? Well he walks up to somebody who he knows recruits for the guild...
Player:I wanna join your guild thingy
Recruiter: Are you serious??? Or are you trying to be funny.....
Player: I'm an elite rogue! I've ran through many dungeons, I mean look at all of this loot I've stolen!
Recruiter: This isn't funny... If you want in, fine... Go steal this ring from the king, and don't say anything. You're not allowed to talk to me until you're done.
Player:Sounds goo-
Recruiter:-Did I say you could talk?

So a 15th level rogue just got told off by the MAYBE 3rd level rogue....

Anyway back to the thread-

97) Your character doesn't have to be good aligned, the pally and cleric (usually) just has to think you are.

98) Gold doesn't make your character, the loot from other PC's is worth way more to you in the long run :P

99) Rogues are the scariest person in the party. If you really make one angry, plan to make a new one before the rest of the party wakes up...

100) Fighting is not the only option. Avoiding an encounter is an option to, especially when you think you're gonna lose...

101) Your party is 100x more likely to mess with you/play pranks on you than any NPC ever would.

102) The church/city is always corrupt. It is your job as the party to fix it, stop the BBEG in charge of this, and stop existance from ending (The BBEG always throws this in)...