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D&D 3E
Ideas for sleeping groups 
10th-Mar-2004 03:17 pm
The group I'm DMing has been "scouring" an enemy stronghold (actually a burial mound/temple). However, they keep making the mistake decision to rest within the stronghold overnight, with a single party member on guard.

There is only one (nonmagical) way in/out of the stronghold, and the rooms the party rests in usually block the "exit".

The first night, invisible (and hidden) enemies kept trying to pass by, annoying the PC on guard until they stopped guarding the hallway and kept watch in the room. (Yes, I'm serious!)

Another night the group slept in a room at the end of little-used hallway. Again there was no guard outside the door, so they awoke to find that the hallway had been walled up (with a little bit of magical help). They got out of that fairly easily, but still haven't learned a lesson.

Other things I've done is have traps reset, put summoned creatures outside the door, etc.

A couple more items of note:
* Divination, illusion, and "deceptive" spells do not function well. Detect Magic, Invisibility, etc have roughly a 75% chance to fail (without a proper token)

* The characters are 7th-8th level. There's a Wizard (evoker), Druid, Barbarian, Rogue, and Sorcerer. Healing magic is fairly limited.

* The party has established that it excels at wiping out "grunts", so using sheer weight of numbers to whittle down the PCs would break the attackers' morale quickly. (The standard grunts are CR 2 (Barbarian 1/Warrior 2), so they don't fall in one hit).

* The grunts (and leaders) learn from the group's tactics, and revise their strategies. For example, to prevent the PCs from charging, the first rank of grunts usually carries longspears (for the Attack of Opportunity), and archers fire to disrupt spellcasting. When the group started using Reverse Arrows on themselves, the archers eventually either scrounged a few +1 arrows, or shot at the PC's mounts.

I'm running out of ideas of "unkind" things to do to them while they sleep in the mound. Keeping them up all night (noise, nightmares, etc) so the spellcasters can't rest is something I'm saving for later. Wiping out the party while they sleep is not an option.
10th-Mar-2004 12:46 pm (UTC)
Whipping out may not eb an optionb, but I see no reason to wait on making their lives hell.

They're within a temple. Nightmares that hurt, scores of undead, break the door. Gas them unto unconsiousness, and have them captured.
have the character on watch taken out. Silence does wonders. have them each wake in different rooms, captured tied to stones. Steal the Wizard's spell book. The druid's paterons aren't likely to appreciate residing in a symbol of power for a non-nature diety -- they can start to lose favor.

Steal the Rogue's lockpicks, the Barb's favorite weapons, and the Sorc's spell components. 'curse' them. Temporary Con or Wis damage for sleeping where they do.

Lots of options. On the other hand, make sure they're fair./ Its traditional in dungeon crawls to sleep in the dungeon. if you don't think its appropraite to do so, talking with the Players about it, out of character, may be your best bet.
10th-Mar-2004 02:34 pm (UTC)
This is an excellent point... Have you considered talking to them OOC about it? It might cut through all the issues...

I find trying to "teach the players a lesson" is usually futile. It just makes them more stubborn.
10th-Mar-2004 12:53 pm (UTC)
well if it is a burial mound, nothing stops them from having parts of the building fall on them when they sleep, or make it like a sientient building that dumps them in a random place one night while they're out of it. Who knows...keep them spell casters up all night and THEN see what they can do..hehe
10th-Mar-2004 12:54 pm (UTC)
Intelligence based will saves... otherwise they go insane. Or Wisdom based Fort saves... or some sort of save. Otherwise they start "seeing things". You look at them and say what they see. Either bring the player aside and tell them, or tell them in front of the others "You see this, you feel that... etc.." and when the other players react tell them they do not see this. And make it all in this guys head. (I reccomend the superstitious barbarian w/ low will save for this). But make them all take it. Set the DC = 16 + # of days slept here. or something like that.

(if the spell caster succumbs, don't make his spells fail. You secretly roll a % if it fails its a magical mishap to a very interesting end. Good for plot devices too)
11th-Mar-2004 05:07 am (UTC)
The nightmare spell! I love that one. You can so mess with their minds. Does the druid have to pray for his/her spells? Surely their deity won't accept prayers from inside another deity's temple?
11th-Mar-2004 05:22 am (UTC)
Just send something mean....at 8th level you could send a medusa (I think) or a baby dragon. Don't hold back!
11th-Mar-2004 06:48 am (UTC)
the next time why not send a couple oozes after them? mebbe put some kind of drainage hole in the room they're in...a small one... and while they're resting......let it slowly ease it's way into the middle of them....
11th-Mar-2004 08:16 am (UTC)
I run into the same problem all to often.
11th-Mar-2004 08:17 am (UTC)
Some players are just plain dense. An OOC chat might work best. Not knowing the overall layout of things, is there some reason they may not want to rest outside? Is there a really special reason you don't want them sleeping inside? Perhaps they perceive sleeping indoors to be somehow safer or otherwise preferable. If the place is large, they may not want to have to make the trek out and back in to where they 'left off' in their explorations or if they are resting to recharge and heal, they may beleive they have a better shot at defending their campsite than risking a mad dash for the exit. Sleeping in the dungeon is almost a tradtion in D&D. You might want to just let them do it so the adventure can advance rather than waste time and effort on trying to oust them from their chosen campsite. Throw random encounters and such at them as seems really appropriate but otherwise, save your energies for plotting the more important battles and events.
11th-Mar-2004 01:52 pm (UTC)
The first night, invisible (and hidden) enemies kept trying to pass by, annoying the PC on guard until they stopped guarding the hallway and kept watch in the room. (Yes, I'm serious!)

That's a valid tactic. If the enemy has compromised a non-critical parimieter, pulling back to a more defensable position is absolutely a good idea.

As for not putting up guards... Have a few patrols sneak up and, if the PC's don't wake up (Listen at -10 check), have the guards coup de grace them with a pick axe, scycthe, or other x4 critical weapon. Two or more grunts working in tandem, with one watching the party for someone waking up, should be ample.

(And, FWIW, I think one listen check to start, and one check on each strike, is fair. If the PCs aren't enjoying dying, let them wake up automatically after the very first strike. But only on the first night--if they don't set a guard again, strike again.)
16th-Mar-2004 09:14 am (UTC)
Sorry I'm late with this post, but i just came up with something. If this is an evil fotress, there are rules in the book of vile darkness for good and neutral characters who stay in an evil place so long..reduction of ability scores, tendencies toward evil, infernal chracteristics, etc....
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