Am I the only one who finds the idea of taking a rest in a dungeon patently ridiculous?


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion


Ok, if the party has been really stealthy and most of the inhabitants don't know they are there yet I could see them just taking a rest somewhere relatively private. However, once the dungeon occupants KNOW they are under attack and are on full alert, The whole idea of just camping out and resting for hours (and expecting not to be attacked) is absurd. I remember on the old DND forums someone said it's like if you threw a rock at a hornet's nest and then decided to just take a nap right under it. Now, if the pcs make sure to hide somehow before resting (I assume this is the main use of Rope Trick) then it makes sense but otherwise no.


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Dungeons bursting at the seems with monsters and treasure are not the most realistic of scenarios.

But I agree with you. If the creatures are more spread out and the PCs are stealthy it makes more sense, a bit anyway.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

You're assuming the dungeon is a coherent organization. It really varies from dungeon to dungeon. If it is inhabited by multiple different groups, as The Sunless Citadel, it makes some sense, especially if you made friends with one group. Even if you don't, as the groups are at odds, any violence is likely seen as the standard ongoing battles. I may have the enemies start reinforcing defensible locations, but they likely won't launch an assault unless they get proof you aren't the standard enemy. Now, if it is a tomb, enemies are more likely to stay in their general location, particularly marginally intelligent undead and golems. An army base or other, similar stronghold, especially of a Lawful Evil group, you can bet there would be sweeps going through and very likely to find you. You have to figure the general ecology of the dungeon, and the attitude of the inhabitants.

Scarab Sages

Potions of Nap Stack make resting for 2 hours a much more likely scenario rather than a full 8.

Barricading yourself into a room is also a logical and easy to do step.

Illusion magic at mid to high levels can help.

There are various other types of spells that wizards/arcanists can cast that make small alternate dimensions for resting in, that are easy to hide or difficult to spot.


I haven't been on any dungeon crawls in Pathfinder yet, but I'm reminded of the old computer game 'Castle of the Winds.' The entire game has you going through different levels of a 3 dungeons to defeat an evil god. And that third dungeon was 25 levels deep. You could rest to heal your health, but in order to replenish your mana, you had to actually sleep. And you needed mana in order to cast spells, which were pretty necessary in order to get through the game. Sleeping always ran the risk of being interrupted by a monster, whether you've had time to heal up or not.


Bomanz wrote:

Potions of Nap Stack make resting for 2 hours a much more likely scenario rather than a full 8.

Barricading yourself into a room is also a logical and easy to do step.

Illusion magic at mid to high levels can help.

There are various other types of spells that wizards/arcanists can cast that make small alternate dimensions for resting in, that are easy to hide or difficult to spot.

Barricading probably wouldn't work that well as any smart monsters who are wandering/patrol will get suspicious if there is suddenly a barricade around a door that wasn't there yesterday. It WOULD buy you time to prepare (as it would likely take several rounds do break down the barricade, as well as wake you up due to the noise so you wont get killed in your sleep, but as a stealth measure it doesn't really work. I agree with the other things you listed though.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Barricades work depending on the monsters involved. Animalistic monsters will probably be deterred. Barricade the side of the door you are on, and all they see is a closed door.


They might smell you though.


As others have said I think it depends heavily on how you're going about it and what kinds of enemies normally "live" in the dungeon in question. I know in the old AD&D modules they would let you know if there were additional warbands that were out hunting/gathering and how long it would take for them to return once the PCs entered.

Even if the group goes in the pantry and uses a rope trick spell they may find themselves surrounded and the rooms they cleared out re-occupied because the ones that were out getting food have "come home" and are presently plotting revenge against the ones that attacked them.


I gm and don’t play much. My general rule for sleep is 50% random monster that can be adjusted if they take steps. Depending on the type of dungeon it can also change. So my players know it’s a risk to sleep in the open. I kinda assumed this was the norm, kinda prevents the issue of nonsensical dungeon rest I suppose.


Are we talking something akin to invading an underground fortress, or exploring the underdark? The first, sleeping/camping is generally suicide, as you tend to have a cohesive and dense population. The second is often little different than overland exploring. As PF playstyles tend to discourage resource management in favor of overkill, you see people who literally must sleep after a couple battles or die. The GM has to find away to make this plausible if they enjoy the 5 or fewer encounter day, explosive playstyle. I tend to agree more with the OP but it really is just my preference.


It depends on the nature of the dungeon and the steps the party takes to avoid detection. If for example the dungeon is the lair of a tribe of orcs then resting may be difficult. On the other hand if the dungeon is mostly uninhabited or the monsters are mindless resting makes more sense. Using magic to avoid detection can also make resting more viable. Rope Trick is only a second level spell and last 1 hour per level. There are also other sells and magic items that can allow a party to rest in areas that would normally not be safe.


The most typical dungeon crawls I've run recently were "The Sunless Citadel" and "The Forge of Fury," adapted for 5E in Tales from the Yawning Portal. Each dungeon included at least a couple of places where an intelligent and perceptive party could hide out to rest, and also stash their bulkier loot to collect later. Both adventures had at least one hard-to-find secret passage or room that the local denizens didn't know about. There were also some areas that the locals avoided, out of superstition or out of fear of their current occupants; once the PCs gained access and dealt with the danger there, they had a defensible retreat. That's baked into the adventure itself, and makes sense in context, so I have no beef with that set-up.

On the other hand, it is refreshing to run or play the occasional PFS adventure with a serious time crunch, too. When you know that stopping to rest and recharge will cost you something in the end, you either quickly learn how to manage your resources better, or you fail the mission in some spectacular way.


Even in APs where the whole dungeon was under the control of one big bad i have seen safe spots where the players can rest, it usually a hidden place often even the big bad doesnt know about, but it is there.

Ultimately, i have yet to see a party be completely stupid about this, sure they want to rest, but they go to a place they believe it is safe and use whatever they can to make it safer and then rest.

They dont just sit in the middle of a corridor, sleep and then go around fighting again.

The real reason parties skip rest is time. If they have to get to the big bad in time or crap happens, they are unlikely to rest. That is it.


The Fellowship of the ring rested right in the heart of Moria. Parties have to rest if they want to survive. It's been a part of the game since the beginning and figuring out how to rest safely and wisely is a rite of passage for new players.

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

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Context is super important. If the dungeon is, say, a small keep with a single basement level occupied by a unified force, resting is probably a bad idea since as likely as not you'll wake up with the whole fort surrounding your impromptu campsite. Even in the case of a small dungeon like this though, there are all kinds of factors that could make resting a good idea. If part of the keep is abandoned or rarely used, the risk of discovery might be relatively low, especially if no one in the dungeon is currently looking for the PCs. If the PCs have some kind of magic that conceals their resting place, like rope trick, there might be very little reason for them not to rest and approach the next set of challenges refreshed and ready.

If the dungeon is the Mines of Moria (as mentioned above), you're literally traversing an ancient dwarven kingdom that takes several days to pass directly through at a hurried pace. Even if a wandering band of monsters did discover a locked door, they might not realize that it hasn't always been locked, and even if they do realize that something is amiss there's no telling how far away reinforcements might be. If the dangers of that dungeon are further compounded by competing factions within the dungeon's denizens, the adventurers resting in the old wine cellar might be pretty far down the list of priorities for the creatures that might discover them. Or you rest, get discovered by goblins and an ogre, nearly lose a party member, and then lose your wizard when he drops a bridge to keep the balrog the goblin scouts woke up from murdering the whole party.


Daw wrote:
Are we talking something akin to invading an underground fortress, or exploring the underdark? The first, sleeping/camping is generally suicide, as you tend to have a cohesive and dense population. The second is often little different than overland exploring. As PF playstyles tend to discourage resource management in favor of overkill, you see people who literally must sleep after a couple battles or die. The GM has to find away to make this plausible if they enjoy the 5 or fewer encounter day, explosive playstyle. I tend to agree more with the OP but it really is just my preference.

I meant like the first one. Personally I wouldn't consider the underdark/darklands a dungeon. More like a country or continent that just happens to be underground.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Then yes, sleeping in a fortress is usually a suicidal move. There are exceptions, secret rooms, potent magic, etc.


The point being, if frequent rests are required to support your table's chosen playstyle the GM must recognize this and provide plausible resources, such as hidden areas or whatever. As has been noted many modules do this. It doesn't have to be reasonable, just try and avoid the glaringly stupid stuff.


I totally agree with you. I have communicated to my players that they are free to do whatever they want, but should realistically assume the consequences of their decisions and if they wish to rest, then they should probably invest money and resources that would magically allow them to do so.

I also just like to communicate that the scaling of dungeon maps from room to room can vary considerably depending on whether you are in a cave or a massive castle fortress. A 20 foot hallway between two combat rooms may be 20 feet, but for the sake of table room, it may more realistically be 200 feet. Sound and sights usually travel, but may become muffled.

If they decided to straight up rest out in the open, then I roll a d100 to see if they are attacked in their sleep, of which the percentage of possibility is adjusted based upon how much of a disturbance they've created.


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What dungeon setting are you thinking? How big, what are the inhabitants, are there any environmental effects, etc. If we're talking a 5 room cave-dungeon co-existing on the astral plane with random gravity effects, supernatural fauna and actively hunting Dire Rats then yeah, resting inside is silly.

If however you're thinking of an abandoned mineshaft from Minecraft, or the many levels beneath Castle Greyhawk, or perhaps the depths below the ruins of The Lost City of Barakus, I could see it.

In real life I go an entire weekend without coming out of my house if the weather's bad. If my block and the surrounding neighborhood is a dungeon level, and half the houses were abandoned... I could imagine some squatters sneaking in a couple doors down, barricading themselves in and not being discovered until Monday morning.

So I think it all comes down to how large the place is, how densely packed/organized the inhabitants are and what actions the party has taken to put themselves there.

I can't stress this enough, smart players TAKE ADVANTAGE of more intelligent creatures in a dungeon. If your players are clever they can make an alliance with the goblins against the orcs, or hire the ogre away from the hobgoblins to stand guard outside THEIR chamber. Imagine how far you could take info gathered from intelligent foes under the influence of the Intimidate skill, or Charm Person spell; heck, you could just give your enemies a good old-fashioned bribe and try to use Diplomacy if they're willing to talk.

Knowing places in the dungeon rarely frequented by the inhabitants can be a huge boon when trying to sleep in the dungeon.

Finally, a note to the PCs: don't forget ALL of your skills, abilities and gear when trying to rest in a dungeon. Climbing gear and a mess kit to make an alarm system in nearby tunnels; pitons to spike the door shut; Expeditious Excavation on earthen floors to make a shallow pit in which to sleep; Mount to distract wandering monsters away from your lair. Found a bunch of enemy arrows or daggers? You can use these to help secure the portal in. Tossing rations down a side tunnel after rolling Knowledge: Dungeoneering or Nature to figure the most effective spot can also keep critters from finding you. Profession: Miner or Engineer can even help you expand some tiny crevice or ledge into a safe spot for rest, you just have to get creative.


And you can hope your GM plays your intelligent foes as targets. A party cannot replenish their spells if the bad guys keep waking them up with false attacks, until the party stops responding then the real attacks start. No matter how you spin it, no matter how clever your tricks are, you have to have the GM working with you for it to work.


As I said in the first post, IF the players take pains to hide (either with magic or even with mundane stealth tactics if they are clever enough, i.e think of on Empire Strikes Back where the Millenium Falcon hides on the back of a star destroy and no one spots it. Han must have rolled a 20 on his stealth check) I would say they probably wont get attacked, tho there would probably always be a small chance. If they just set up camp right in the open they should always get attacked unless all the monsters are dead or there is some other good reason (such as the only monsters that are still alive being unable to leave the room they are bound to for some reason.)


Sleeping in a fortress is usually as unnecessary as it is dangerous.

Since adventurers are typically operating on a 15-minute dungeoneering day, most of the time they can just say, "We leave the dungeon, walk five hours to get to a safe distance and find a hiding place to camp in the woods, rest for twelve hours, then return the next day."

If the dungeon is so big that this is impossible, it's probably also big enough that there are safe hiding places.


Matthew Downie wrote:

Sleeping in a fortress is usually as unnecessary as it is dangerous.

Since adventurers are typically operating on a 15-minute dungeoneering day, most of the time they can just say, "We leave the dungeon, walk five hours to get to a safe distance and find a hiding place to camp in the woods, rest for twelve hours, then return the next day."

If the dungeon is so big that this is impossible, it's probably also big enough that there are safe hiding places.

That could work. However, keep in mind smart monsters will do stuff to prepare for the pcs return (barracading doors, putting guys with see invis at every checkpoint etc) and not just take a coffee break until they come back. Also I imagine if a monster with a high survival skill is present there's a chance it will follow the pcs to wherever they are going to rest.


Daw wrote:
And you can hope your GM plays your intelligent foes as targets. A party cannot replenish their spells if the bad guys keep waking them up with false attacks, until the party stops responding then the real attacks start. No matter how you spin it, no matter how clever your tricks are, you have to have the GM working with you for it to work.

I would think that a GM who is accurately playing foes that aren't very intelligent is also a case players should be able to expect here; the kind of tactical skill you depict foes as having sounds like the kind of thing that would quite plausibly never occur to your average goblin or ogre.


Matthew Downie wrote:


Since adventurers are typically operating on a 15-minute dungeoneering day, most of the time they can just say, "We leave the dungeon, walk five hours to get to a safe distance and find a hiding place to camp in the woods, rest for twelve hours, then return the next day."

Presuming nothing in the dungeon is in a position to jump them on the way out.


Magic and magic users have ubiquitously existed for a very long time, any not very smart monsters who have worked out that walls are good defense against martial types will have gotten some idea of basic weaknesses of the magic types.


Daw wrote:
Magic and magic users have ubiquitously existed for a very long time, any not very smart monsters who have worked out that walls are good defense against martial types will have gotten some idea of basic weaknesses of the magic types.

Pathfinder goblins do traditionally seem to have suicidal degrees of stupidity as part of their tactical makeup, though - I think it's in RotRL that there is mention of them tending to get distracted by arbitrary useless things mid-battle. I don't think goblins are reliably smart on the walls being good defences against martials front either; they certainly aren't on the "stopping to eat a worm or laugh at the golin next to you being killed is bad tactics" level, and they survive at all due to extreme fecundity is the impression I have.

(Also, I don't think magic counts as ubiquitous in PF. People are still growing food rather than magically creating it, travelling on ships rather than everyone teleporting, and so on.)


the nerve-eater of Zur-en-Aarh wrote:
(Also, I don't think magic counts as ubiquitous in PF. People are still growing food rather than magically creating it, travelling on ships rather than everyone teleporting, and so on.)

Consider that using the npc array of 13,12,11,10,9,8 randomly distributed among the available stats, every single member of every race that doesn't have a penalty to a mental stat has the potential to cast 0-level spells or better. Compared to only 1/6 of races that don't have a bonus to Str (and 0% of any race with a penalty to it) can qualify for power attack.

Even assuming all 10s and 11s, again every single member of every race that doesn't have penalties in all mental stats can cast at least 0-level spells, but only those with bonuses to str (including 1/6 of humans/half-humans assuming their floating bonus stat is also rendomly distributed) can qualify for power attack.


I don't think it's ridiculous at all. Sleeping in enemy territory has been a staple in all the tables I have played in. Depending on the rpg being played of course.

Not to mention at higher levels magic is a great equalizer.. There is Rope Trip. Tiny Hut which is opaque on the outside and climate controlled. Secure Shelter is a pretty good decent as wall.

Tiny Hut allows one to see through it not the the enemy. Sure monsters and npc can fire into it, the players have total concealment.

Secure Shelter from the SRD "The dwelling does, however, provide considerable security otherwise – it is as strong as a normal stone building, regardless of its material composition. The dwelling resists flames and fire as if it were stone. It is impervious to normal missiles (but not the sort cast by siege engines or giants).

The door, shutters, and even chimney are secure against intrusion, the former two being secured with arcane lock and the latter by an iron grate at the top and a narrow flue. In addition, these three areas are protected by an alarm spell. Finally, an unseen servant is conjured to provide service to you for the duration of the shelter. ".


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the nerve-eater of Zur-en-Aarh wrote:


(Also, I don't think magic counts as ubiquitous in PF. People are still growing food rather than magically creating it, travelling on ships rather than everyone teleporting, and so on.)

Ubiquitous magic doesn't mean it has to be universally powerful enough to cast 3rd level spells enough to feed entire communities or allow 5th level spells to be the preferred method of transportation - it just needs to exist pretty much everywhere, which it does in Golarion (which is what I assume you mean when you say 'PF'). 0th level spells are still magic.

Now if you were in Alphatia or Glantri....

the nerve-eater of Zur-en-Aarh wrote:
Daw wrote:
And you can hope your GM plays your intelligent foes as targets. A party cannot replenish their spells if the bad guys keep waking them up with false attacks, until the party stops responding then the real attacks start. No matter how you spin it, no matter how clever your tricks are, you have to have the GM working with you for it to work.

I would think that a GM who is accurately playing foes that aren't very intelligent is also a case players should be able to expect here; the kind of tactical skill you depict foes as having sounds like the kind of thing that would quite plausibly never occur to your average goblin or ogre.

Anyone else annoyed at how goblins are so often assumed to be stupider than humans despite have a base Intelligence equal to humans?


They're not necessarily stupider. I've known some pretty stupid humans. It's just that goblins have ADHD, and they physically grow up fast. So you're dealing with a bunch of erratic illiterate teenagers with no sensible peer group and few "adult" influences to control them.


It all depends on the type of dungeon. Sleeping in the Mines of Moria? Probably fine, set up a watch cycle and be sure not to kick a set of chainmail armor attached to a bucket down the ventilation shaft. Sleeping in a dragon's lair? He probably already smells the party, so if you think sleeping is a good idea then maybe you do deserve to die.


I agree it is rediculous in concept it simotaniously almost screwed over my party and saved thier hides at once.


I was thinking of a way to get out of dungeons for rests, and the only conclusion I have for easy transport is with mirrors.

A wizard could have a full sized mirror in a bag of holding, and could have the spell Mirror Hideaway or Mirror Transport.

Mirror Hideaway, would be a good 2 hour rest stop when your at least level 2.

Then Mirror Transport could act as a way to leave the dungeon to rest, and re-enter when your ready. Picking up where your mirror was left behind.


What spells besides rope trick could be used to allow you to safely rest in a dungeon? (I'm sure there are plenty, that's just the only one I can think of at the moment).


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Mage's Mansion (L7) for Wizards/Sorcerers and Fairy Ring Retreat (ACG, L7) for Druids/Witches/Shamans.

Although if spellcasters of some sort are looking for the party, then there could be a rude awakening in the middle of the rest cycle, when something comes along with See Invisibility (to find the invisible portal) and Dispel Magic (to dispel the spell, thus dumping the party back onto the original plane with no warning whatsoever). If the scouting spellcaster also has a team of minions to attack, that could be a pretty nasty ambush. (Note: this also applies to Rope Trick and similar spells.)


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

This discussion reminds me of two different parties in the same AP who made the same mistake of camping in the wrong place.

RotR spoiler:
There was a ring of magical standing stones not far from the mouth of the cave system where a dragon was sleeping. If certain actions were taken with the stones (as was required by the AP's storyline), they would give off a loud ringing noise/vibration which was guaranteed to wake up the dragon. This dragon was aged and cunning though, and able to do some very discreet scouting/reconnaissance before acquiring "breakfast".

One party used a series of Stone Shape spells (accompanied by some Engineering skill checks) to create a "bubble" on the cliff face near the cave mouth, and started to rest there. When the dragon investigated his surroundings after the "alarm clock" went off, he quickly found the bubble. A stealthy approach was accomplished with the aid of a blizzard. He then broke the top of the bubble and breathed into it. So the party first woke up when their roof broke, and had to endure most of one round of "combat" (running and screaming, mostly) before a spellcaster got their act together and transported them to safety far, far away.

The other party set up their Secure Shelter spell in the middle of the stone circle. So when the dragon investigated, he found it quite easily. Again, a stealthy approach was assisted by a blizzard. The first sign of trouble for the party was the sound of something heavy landing on their roof, then the door was ripped open and the dragon breathed on the cabin's interior. Again, there was one round of running and screaming before the party's wizard used Teleport to get them the hell out of Dodge.

Incidentally, both resting options would have worked well under other circumstances. The Secure Shelter spell is good if it can be placed in a discreet location, or there are are no enemy spellcasters able to cast Dispel Magic. The Stone Shape spell is also good if it can be used inobtrusively.


Bellona,

Yes it takes little effort to work out reasonable ways to defeat such magicks. If your party needs such breaks to maintain your desired play-style you all agree to overlook this. It is a preference thing. Reasonably, you also need to recognize and accept you are doing this, to avoid heartache if you play with a group that has different conventions and playstyle. Neither playstyle is superior, but they are certainly incompatible.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

In general, the relative danger of resting depends upon the nature of the dungeon itself (as pointed out by previous posters).

For example, if a party has angered a dangerous succubus in an extra-planar dungeon, then they can expect to be woken up in the middle of their rest cycle by minion attacks plus Dominate and Confusion spells. (The party in question has realised that they will now need to Plane Shift out of that dungeon every day.)

Or if the dungeon has capable spellcasters and intelligent flying, stealthy minions with abilities like See Invisibility, then even out of the way locations might not be safe. It might not result in an immediate middle-of-the-night ambush, but instead a series of Alarm spells to alert the enemy spellcasters when the party starts to move again the next day. This allows said enemy spellcasters to prepare new/different spells as needed for a later ambush.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Daw wrote:

Bellona,

Yes it takes little effort to work out reasonable ways to defeat such magicks. If your party needs such breaks to maintain your desired play-style you all agree to overlook this. It is a preference thing. Reasonably, you also need to recognize and accept you are doing this, to avoid heartache if you play with a group that has different conventions and playstyle. Neither playstyle is superior, but they are certainly incompatible.

For me, it's all a question of the opposition.

Are they stupid, distracted, unaware, divided, or anything else which reduces their chances to find the party? Then resting in the dungeon is not likely to be an issue.

If the opposition is intelligent and capable, then dungeon resting is dangerous.


Mudfoot wrote:
It's just that goblins have ADHD,

Golarion goblins.

Does not apply to all (any?) other settings.

I agree that there are lots of stupid humans out there, it's just the idea that all goblins are notably lacking in the brains department and are notably stupider than your average human that annoys me.


Bjørn Røyrvik wrote:
Mudfoot wrote:
It's just that goblins have ADHD,

Golarion goblins.

Does not apply to all (any?) other settings.

I agree that there are lots of stupid humans out there, it's just the idea that all goblins are notably lacking in the brains department and are notably stupider than your average human that annoys me.

Presumably this is a holdover from previous editions, in some of which goblins are a good deal less intelligent than humans (average intelligence of about 8 in AD&D 1E, frex).


Well 8 int is pretty dumb if the average human has 10 int. I would think it's equivalent to at least a mildly mentally handicapped person.


We use rope trick for this. Ask your GM what "the rope cannot be hidden" means, since odds are you can obfuscate it somehow.

But "pitching camp in a dungeon" is pretty silly, yes.

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