log in or register to remove this ad

 

D&D General If you’ve been knocked out and wake up without your kit, how do you go about MacGyvering an escape?

Fauchard1520

Explorer
I started thinking about this question on account of my Pathfinder 1e Occulitst. If you’re not familiar, the class is all about attuning to “implements,” items that allow you to focus your power and produce psychic effects. I enjoyed the adaptability of the class, but I get all manner of paranoid thinking about how screwed I'd be without my stuff.

The problem isn't exclusive to occultists though. I mean, what happens to a greatweapon specialist without a greatweapon? Where is the wizard without his books? The cleric without her focus? Unless you write “sorcerer” or “monk” on your character sheet, you’re more than likely dependent on some kind of prized possession to be effective.

So here's my question to the board: What is your backup plan? If you’ve been knocked out Chrono Trigger style and wake up in prison without your kit, how do you go about MacGyvering an escape?

(Comic for illustrative purposes.)
 

log in or register to remove this ad

Blue

Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal
I've been in this situation a couple of time with spellcasters. Then is the time to pour over spell lists - anything with S and/or M may still be good to go if you aren't gagged and or bound, and lots of other spell components like a pinch of sand or a live spider can often be acquired while imprisoned. 5e is a lot nicer than previous editions because you (a) don't need a spell book to memorize spells, just to change them, and (b) cantrips are your friend.

For martial characters, improvised weapons are your friend. It's tough - a STR based melee character can still have an offense, but without armor likely has no defense, while a DEX based character can still have some defense, but does really poorly on offense until they can get a knife (dagger) or other finessable weapon.
 

payn

Legend
I kinda prefer that you are not reliant on stuff. PF2 had runes you can move around which doesn't really help. You are even more screwed in that game if you are disarmed or lose your weapon. I prefer to move as much onto the character chassis as possible and let stuff be icing on the cake that you can still manage to eat if its stripped off.
 

I can't remember in which editions or if we even made this rule up but I recall specifically in 2E that if a spellcaster was knocked unconscious or dropped below 0 hp their memorized spells were wiped from the mind correct?
 



Dannyalcatraz

Schmoderator
Staff member
Depends on the individual PC. AND edition. (Or even RPG.)

A long-standing habit of mine is to build characters that aren’t one trick ponies. I want to be able to contribute to the party’s well-being even if naked, so to speak. It’s not something I do 100% of the time, but it’s definitely the majority.

A lot of the time, that means investing some real thought about how to allocate skill points/non-weapon proficiencies/feats/etc. There was a 3.5Ed campaign in which my multiclassed Specialist Diviner was essentially the second best in the party at almost every skill. I did something similar with a very smart Ranger PC.

That was also why I liked the Reserve and Sorcerous Heritage feats, some of the alternative class features, and templates in 3.5Ed.
 
Last edited:

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
The problem with real McGuyvering is that while there are crafting rules, there are no rules for working with crappy, makeshift, or improvised tools.

If we assume that such items impose Disadvantage, eventually your Artificer will make themselves some lockpicking tools....
 


CleverNickName

Limit Break Dancing
I got really creative with hiding my kit. For example, my rogue would braid a set of lockpicks into her hair, and she kept a folded-up scroll in the hollow heel of each boot. (This was back in 3.5E, when a rogue could use scrolls with a Use Magic Device check.)

I haven't built a "jailbreaker" character in 5E yet, but if I were going to do so, I would probably start with:
Race: Eladrin (for the Fey Step ability)​
Background: Criminal (for the Thieves' Tools proficiency)​
Class: Warlock (Hexblade, Pact of the Blade) for the instant weapon​
Options: if the DM allows feats, I'd pick up Dungeon Delver and/or Magic Initiate. And if the DM allows multiclassing, I'd take levels of Sorcerer or Monk.​
 
Last edited:


jgsugden

Legend
The answer: Have a good DM that makes sure that the story unfolding has elements that are fun for each of the players.

D&D in an RPG - a role playing game. Characters play a role in a story. The DM and players should be working together to make a fun game for everyone.

If your PCs end up in a jail cell and escape without gear, as a DM you need to make sure there are opportunities for each PC to do something useful until they can get back to full/good strength. You can't force the PCs to take advantage of the opportunities, and it is reasonable to have them figure out how to get to the opportunities, but they should be there to be found and not be too hard to find.

If you're an artificer without his tools, a wizard without his spellbook, a fighter without weapons, etc... and the DM took them away - and the DM leaves you trapped without any chance of having something fun to do - it is a good time to make some suggestions to the DM. If they don't listen ... well ... evaluate whether that is the right game for you.
 

Mad_Jack

Adventurer
We rip the gnome apart and use the bones from one arm and one leg to fashion tools and weapons for the party. And the barbarian wields the rest of the gnome's corpse as a club.
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
We rip the gnome apart and use the bones from one arm and one leg to fashion tools and weapons for the party. And the barbarian wields the rest of the gnome's corpse as a club.

I think you greatly overestimate even the ability of an 18 Strength to dismember a body without tools.
 

Dannyalcatraz

Schmoderator
Staff member
I think you greatly overestimate even the ability of an 18 Strength to dismember a body without tools.
First, you have to overcome the psychology of exerting yourself so much while handling a sentient being’s body. That’s not easy.

And bodies are designed not to come apart so easily. Unless decomposition has started or you’ve cooked the body a bit, dismemberment without tools is TOUGH.
 

overgeeked

B/X Known World
So here's my question to the board: What is your backup plan? If you’ve been knocked out Chrono Trigger style and wake up in prison without your kit, how do you go about MacGyvering an escape?
Anything you can imagine that’s not the one-trick you’ve designed your pony character around. Try the door. Try the lock. Try the window. Try the bars in the window. Search the cell for anything useful. Look around for other prisoners. Improvise a lock pick and give it a shot. You’re not limited to just what’s on your character sheet. Search your spells known/prepared for anything without material components you could use. If there’s a druid, wildshape. If you’re high enough level, polymorph.
 

MNblockhead

A Title Much Cooler Than Anything on the Old Site
In 5e, the Sorcerer Metamagic class feature "Subtle Spell" is helpful.

Players can also get creative in using the optional tool proficiency rules in Xanathar's to help.
 

Fauchard1520

Explorer
I can't remember in which editions or if we even made this rule up but I recall specifically in 2E that if a spellcaster was knocked unconscious or dropped below 0 hp their memorized spells were wiped from the mind correct?
It's certainly an interesting rule. And kind of preferable to the "Lies of Locke Lamora" style solutions. I feel like any idiot in a fantasy world who captured a mage would know to go for the full Lavinia, but your maimed PC's player would be (rightly) upset about that. That in turn means you've got to build special "mage shackles" or "anti-magic prison cells" instead, and that can feel heavy-handed. This unconscious bit is crazy-punishing if you get hit with the wrong end of a sleep spell, but I do like that it solves the other problem.
 

Lakesidefantasy

Adventurer
This is my que to finally post a thread titled 'Naked People' where we post stat blocks of our current characters without any accoutrement.

I'm serious.

I always suggest to my players that we write down our unarmored AC next to our armored AC. I do it and I believe it serves as a constant reminder that my character is more than an armed and armored killing machine.
 

Voadam

Legend
It came up for my high level fast talking 3.5 good viking wizard eldritch knight demon hunter and was a lot of fun.

While soloing I came upon an isolated town where I agreed to help an archivist and his party checking out a set of magical Standing Stones deal with some marauding hit and run master elves and their forest monsters.

At one point I got grabbed by a treant and beat into non-lethal unconsciousness while making protestations that I wanted to talk. Waking up tied up wearing just a loin cloth with all my magic gear in separate piles, including seeing my spellbook separated out. I have left over spells prepared but cannot cast any while bound. Deep in a forest secret elven druid lair. I thought "Great! Exactly where I want them." There were a couple wild elves (sniper-archer and druidess) and the Treant debating whether to kill me. Being helpless and non-threatening position I was able to hear them talk amongst themselves and then talk to them and figured out they were not actually bad guys and I did not want to kill them. I worked on them and convinced one I was a good guy and eventually they came around and decided to free me.

Woohoo MacGuyvering through Roleplay interaction!

That's when the archivist shows up with his minions to reveal he was actually a cackling badass evil demon worshiping warlock who had put an arcane mark on one of my items and used it to scry out the elves' hideout when I was captured. Being pinned down the Treant gets burned to ashes and the elves are slaughtered by the warlock's cat familiar turned catfolk scout and the archivist's human bard companion revealed to be an old nemesis of mine, Brok the bardic Vrock.

My viking was big and strong so I made round after round of strength checks against the vine bonds on my wrists and as team evil finished off the last elf and turned to me and my pile o magic items I got a natural 20 and burst the vines.

Woohoo! Brute force MacGuyvering for the win!

As all three turned to focus fire on me I figured I had one action before going unconscious again, so went over to the pile with my spellbook, component pouch, and teleported the house ruled 1 mile limit away to begin my one man viking wizard Rambo assault on the evil trio to take them down one by one as they continued their demonic magic researches on the Standing Stones.

A high level eldritch knight with nothing but an extensive spellbook can do a lot of MacGuyver Ramboing.
 

Level Up!

An Advertisement

Advertisement4

Top