On the Top Ten Tactics for Hostile Dungeons

10. Lard/Grease: Whether a squeaky door, a greased staircase before a fight, or assisting with opening rusty and old latches, having some lard and grease is always useful.
9. Tiny birds: A lot of times, you'd like to see what would happen if someone went somewhere, only you don't trust it enough to go. With this small sack of birds, you can check for traps, trade to people for passage, notice if the air is toxic, or even distract unintelligent opponents. Taking them along extends your life, at the expense of theirs.
8. Paying attention: At its core, Dungeons & Dragons is about exploring a resonant fantasy realm filled with archetypal representations. This process is handled by conversation using the socratic method. You ask questions, the Dungeon Master gives answers, yeah? If you're not asking questions or listening, you're watching your friends play Dungeons and Dragons. When you all jump in and work together, it raises the experience for all involved.
7. Gloves & Helmet: If you don't have to touch something with your bare hands, don't. Don't press parts of your body (like ears or eyes) against things. You call people that don't wear covers corpses. Get a hat, preferably one made out of metal that lets you see in the dark, grants telepathy, or makes you smart or something. There very well might be treasure in the garbage or latrine, there almost certainly is, but you don't want to go in there yourself.
6. Equipment shenanigans. Casting a light spell on a shield lets you see opponents and plays havoc with enemy archers. Buy a metal sectioned pole, so you can attach a hook, vary length, and carry one in cramped quarters. Collect potions and scrolls and don't hesitate to use them, there's always more magic to find.
5. Hammer & Piton: It holds doors both closed AND open. It draws a lot of attention. It allows you to attach rope to things. They solve problems.
4. Torchbearers & Porters: Yes it's difficult to convince them to head into dangerous territories, but when there are a lot of things that need to be done, having a man or two around who can do them is helpful. Purchase them brightly colored festive outfits. Give them nets and poles to trip up enemies, ball bearings, oil, caltrops and other things they can throw. They can pull people to safety and best of all, they draw archer fire. People don't get into this vocation because they want a safe workplace.
3. Elves & Dwarves: Everyone loves their half-demon, half-cat, half-turtle, kenku-whatever sub race, but facts remain. You want an elf for secret door detection and a dwarf for detecting stonework traps and sliding doors. Often they can see in the dark. If you don't have one in your party, hire one in town as a buddy.
2. Oil: You don't want to need it and not have it. If you want to be sure something is dead, burn it to ash.
1. Ten-Foot Pole: You will want to touch things and not be near them. Trust me.

I hope you explore some fun dungeons this weekend!

Hack & Slash 
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  1. A sack of birds is a new one to me!

    Air bladder
    Torches (light plus weapon plus arson)
    Short steel rod with a mirror on the end
    Quarter staff - it’s only seven feet long but doubles as a pole
    Pole arm - ditto
    Garlic, wolvesbane, belladonna, bag of salt (salt IMO should damage all oozes and gelatinous cubes as well as zombies)
    Elven cloak and boots; elven chain
    100’ of rope

    Whatever else you carry, make sure you have oil. If you have a problem you can’t solve then you probably haven’t lit it on fire yet

    1. Seconded about the dogs. Best OSR force multiplier.

  2. We've found chickens are easier to come by in the average town than tiny birds.
    * A custom pole end you can hammer on that can be used for attaching implements on the end of the pole. (A chicken mounting device for instance, for a giant live cotton swab...)
    * A set of tree movable mantlets, that side by side can block a 10-foot corridor. These have folding supports on the back side and their height is such you can fight over it with spears. Works great against stupid enemies, like undead.
    * A ball of string and an assortment of hooks and stuff you can tie on the end.
    * Candles fit in a pocket and provide an emergency replacement for the lantern.
    * Plague doctor mask for rudimentary protection against gasses and spores.
    * Combat gear disguised as civilian gear: a small linked chainmail sewn inside a jacket, a walking stick with the pommel designed to function as a proper mace, a hat that doubles as a buckler.

    1. These are marvelous ideas, except for the one about sticking a pole into a chicken.

      I will borrow them now!

    2. If you just stick a pole into a chicken it won't stay. You need to tie the chicken on the rope with string.


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