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I will be DMing the Death House adventure very soon. Because I have players that tend to exploit every little loophole, I am wondering the following:

Once the party refused to sacrifice someone and have to escape, would there be an easy escape route by climbing up through the trap door opening in the basement, then going through the wall near the exit and then getting out through the front gate?

To illustrate what I mean, here is a map with the escape route I'm thinking of:

Death House first floor map

As written, once you re-enter the house, all doors will become scythes and all windows will become bricks and inner walls will become brittle and turn into rat swarms. But, there is nothing written about the front gate and whether the wall next to it, is considered an outer wall.

In someone's notes, I read that the only valid escape would be

from the balcony.

Is that really true?

I mean, of course it would be up to me to decide and most likely it would be too easy to just shortcut in the first floor, but I think it still could be argued nonetheless and I want to be sure I didn't overlook anything.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Seems like good place to use the "Create Bonfire" cantrip for good effect. \$\endgroup\$ – Joshua Jun 2 at 18:43
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That's a valid route.

But it's still not easy. You've got to get from location 38 to location 32 in the basement (assuming you even know location 32 exists). Once you're there it's clear from the text that the trapdoor is intended to allow movement from the basement into the house proper.

Then when you're up in the house you're in a poisonous-smoke filled room whose walls will burst with rats when you try to hack through them. It's a shortcut, but no cake-walk.

Welcome to Barovia.

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  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ Can confirm, we had no idea this trapdoor existed when we made it out of Death House... Or that we could break through the walls. \$\endgroup\$ – V2Blast Jun 2 at 5:27
  • \$\begingroup\$ @V2Blast Our DM either forgot the walls are destructible or ruled that way on purpose: we couldn't smash them the same way we couldn't smash outer walls :/ \$\endgroup\$ – AntiDrondert Jun 3 at 11:00

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