Let us continue the discussion of how to keep your wizardly character alive in T & T solos, and the game in general. In fact, the advice in this section is good for any kind of character.
You see, I happen to think that it is better to be a live coward than a dead duck. And, retreating in the face of overwhelming odds isn’t really cowardice–it’s common sense.
So what does the prudent player do in a situation where he or she is clearly outmatched. Monte Python said it well in their King Arthur movie. “Run away! Run away!”
Sometimes you won’t be allowed to run away. The trap springs shut, and there’s nothing you can do but fight to the bitter end. Sometimes, in a face to face game, you may have a chance to talk your way out of a situation. That often leads to great role-playing and is a lot of fun for everyone. And sometimes the best thing you can do is just turn and run as fast as you can.
Let’s pick another wizard for our example. Ayrik Racer is a Level one wizard with INT and WIZ of 12, He runs into 7 goblins with Monster ratings of 10 each. He might try something tricky, but 7 of them is just too many to beat. What should he do?
Run away. House rule now: in any solo you can run away from a situation if the text doesn’t say you must stay and fight. You run away by stepping back to the paragraph that put you in this dangerous situation and making a different choice. Yes, the monsters saw you. Yes, they want to kill you. But will they actually follow you out of the room?
That depends on the monster. Animals usually won’t follow. Big stupid monsters usually won’t follow. Guardian monsters usually won’t follow–their job is to stay put and guard the dingus. Wandering monsters usually will follow, especially the manlike ones. IN the case of Ayrik and the 7 Goblins, they probably would follow him.
But Ayrik is running away. While the Speed attribute does not automatically mean that characters with higher Speeds move faster in a delving situation, it does give you a good measure of their capabilities. Generally speaking, characters with faster reaction times (that is higher Speed ratings) can run faster than those with slower reaction times. You can’t tell what the speed is for a Goblin with a monster rating of 10. An easy rule of thumb is to give them the same SPD rating as their Monster Rating. Then you look at Ayrik’s SPD rating. If it is higher than 10, he can probably outrun them all. If his SPD rating is lower than 10, he probably can’t get away by running.
But, give him a chance to get away. Against low level monsters like goblins, I would rule that a L1SR on Ayrik’s Speed would be enough to allow a successful retreat. On the other hand, if he were facing a monster twice as big as him, I’d want a L2SR on SPD to escape. And so forth.
Khayd’haik commented that the secret to survival is for the player to take on the role of a Game Master when running through a solo adventure. That’s a very good observation. The real GM is the text, but in cases where the text isn’t clear, it’s perfectly okay (at least under my house rules) for the player to act like a Game Master and say, “What is reasonable under the circumstances?”
Is this a license to cheat? No. Because, where is the fun in cheating? If you want to cheat, then just say you win all the fights, escape all the traps, answer all the puzzles, and escape with all the loot. But, gaming through the situation as if you were in a face to face game is different. Is there a real chance for retreat? Yes? Then take it.
So, when all else fails, try running away. Just step back to the previous paragraph. Make a saving roll that seems reasonable to see if you succeeded in escaping. If you did, then you got away–make another choice and keep playing. If you fail the saving roll, stay at the current paragrajph, fight the combts, and take the consequences.
Remember! When all else fails . . . RUN AWAY! RUN AWAY!
If you’ve ever managed to run from a fight, why not leave a comment?