I am playing a Pathfinder campaign based on the Beginner Box materials. The party were relatively diplomatic in the first adventure and didn't fight and kill the goblin boss King Fatmouth in Black Fang's dungeon, so I will have him return leading another band of goblins.

As well as specific equipment/strategies to escape (e.g. smoke bombs), what are some less obvious ways (particularly improvising equipment or the environment) to, as a GM, plan for an NPC villain to avoid dying in a combat or leave their fate ambiguous?

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    \$\begingroup\$ Do you want to be within the rules or are you going to wave your hands and come up with an excuse? \$\endgroup\$
    – okeefe
    Jun 11, 2013 at 22:37
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    \$\begingroup\$ So you're not so much looking for suggestions for contingency plans and escape routes, you're looking more for in-combat powers, magic items, and combos that enable a reliable escapes? So less "build a secret backdoor in his base" and more "equip him with Pellets of Sudden Obscurative Smoke and Boots of Retreating-ness" kind of thing? \$\endgroup\$ Jun 11, 2013 at 23:06
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    \$\begingroup\$ I think you should clarify your question. Your question title says, "What are ... combat escape plans for NPCs?", yet in your comment you say, "... but smoke bombs seem like something you'd have specifically so that you could escape." It's not really clear to me what you are asking for here, given that comment. \$\endgroup\$
    – Cypher
    Jun 12, 2013 at 0:14
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    \$\begingroup\$ Keep in mind that people may actually plan to escape combat? As in, "I should keep this in case I get attacked by big bad adventurers!" style. \$\endgroup\$ Jun 12, 2013 at 3:28
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    \$\begingroup\$ Eh, avoiding a list question is 70% on the answerers to answer with techniques instead of being lazy and answering with point implementations of techniques. Maybe I'll edit and reopen sometime when I'm bored. \$\endgroup\$
    – mxyzplk
    Jun 12, 2013 at 12:07

1 Answer 1


In the case of goblins, I'd go with traps. A trapped lair provides hazards for adventurers, but it also allows the cunning inventor a chance to make escape routes and cave-ins designed to obscure his escape under the pretense of a deadly trap. There are a whole bunch of ways that he could fake his death, but what the PCs don't know is that there's hay at the bottom of the pit.


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