To quote a fellow traveller, “The day you choose to wear full plate and strap a shield to your off hand is the day you announce to the world you are expendable.” This may sound harsh, but the bottom line is, when you are a group’s walking (shield) wall, that means by definition your role is to absorb hits and prevent the more vulnerable from getting injured. And yes, depending on the situation, that might include staying behind or blocking a door or hallway in a last stand to allow the rest of the group to escape. It does not mean being deliberately suicidal, however.
Category: Adventurer’s Tips Page 1 of 7
Do not take shared background information for granted. Not every character may have learned a specific set of hand signals in the past, or be familiar with how a certain school of swordsmanship does things, or any number of things that might be taken for granted because individually, they are as natural as breathing to one character. That said, such information might be valuable to share with the rest of the party…
Do not be taken in. If things appear too easy, or too convenient, they probably are and there is a catch. Try to think about not only what information you have – but also, who gave it to you, and what they might be trying to accomplish.
I am sure I mentioned this before, but – be prepared to withdraw. In the balance of things, it is better to return healed and prepared, with the understanding that the opponents will be alerted, than it is to be dead and unable to retry. Whether it is acceptable to leave people behind to cover the retreat depends on the situation and the ethics of you and your companions.
Never let an intelligent opponent choose the battleground if you can avoid it. Facing, for example, a tribe of kobolds in a cavern is frightening enough. Facing the same kobolds in their lair, where they know every nook, twist and cranny and have set traps, snares, pits and ambushes, is terrifying.
It cannot be stressed enough. Always be aware of your surroundings. Sound carries. Light sources are visible much farther than they illuminate. Scents carry on winds, and ruined hallways are notoriously drafty. By the same token, keep eyes and ears open for signs of trouble – they can, with any luck, be detected ahead of time. Sometimes well ahead.
Following the last one, if you /have/ to do something overt… be brazen. Most people are going to assume what you are doing is all right if you are projecting the conviction that it is in your actions. Of course, this works better in cities, where not everyone knows each other – use that anonymity.
Resistance need not be major to add up. Be the sand grain in the cogs – civil disobedience, duty “as ordered” (i.e., without any effort made), refusal to serve or slow service, all adds up to increasing “operating expense” for the opposing force. This ties back to understanding your goals – if you aim to overthrow a government, simply making it too expensive to govern might be as efficient as a frontal attack… and much less dangerous to individual health.
When trying to negotiate a solution, remember what can and cannot be accomplished. Shy of mind control, no amount of negotiation will keep a devil from being a nitpicking lawyer, after all…
It is important to keep abreast of local customs and holidays. Not much use taking a day off to resupply when everyone is at the local festival and no craftsmen can be found, for example…