(Well except the dwarf, usually. In fact he’s usually the sole survivor.)
There have been several total party kills (TPKs) and near-TPKs (one or two survivors) in Telengard 2.0. In fact the first session was a TPK if I recall correctly. <This post has been languishing in my “drafts” folder for long enough — we’ve been through like three other campaigns since then, and I haven’t been DMing much. Still, because I still grin when I read it, I’m going to go ahead with the post. Fair? No. Funny? I thought so:>
Based on the Telengard experiences, I think the following tips & tricks might be useful if you ever find yourself in a game I am running.
1) Consider fleeing when outnumbered by ghouls or ghasts. Consider fleeing when encountering even one ghoul, if you are first level.
2) Wander into a room with a gaggle of imps who immediately turn invisible? Those are poisonous stingers, son. Seriously, at least consider fleeing.
3) If the party’s resources are nearly depleted, it is a good time to consider exiting the dungeon, even if you think there might be some treasure nearby.
4) “Let’s just try one more room before heading back” and “Let’s just clear this level before heading back.” Those are lyrics to the Death March of a Doomed Party.
5) Trying to backstab or assassinate a major monster/villain/boss is only a good idea if you have an escape plan for if the roll fails. Jumping out the window of an 80′ tower is not an escape plan. Even if you have a ring of feather falling, if you also know the monster and/or its minions can fly.
6) Did I mention that 25% of PC deaths are preventable? Some of the most effective measures you can take are: not being an unarmored front-line fighter; not touching the Yellow Mold; not bashing in a door with a sign that says “Caution, demi-lich at work.”
All of the above tips would have saved someone’s life at some point in Telengard.
As a player, I admit I am a hypocrite about fleeing, many times. But I do consider it an option.