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5th level characters vs a purple worm

Jester David

Villager
Under most circumstances I'd agree, but since we're talking about a random encounter that (if I remember the Martek portion correctly) just pops out of the ground/glass and starts snacking, it should probably be modded in some fashion to avoid a no-win kill-a-character-or-three moment. Now, if it's modded as a "cutscene instance" like [MENTION=40552]Quartz[/MENTION] describes, where only major stupidity would get them killed, that's not too bad, and gives them the idea of the danger level if caution is not observed.

Speaking to my own DMing style, I don't like to set up encounters where my players have to use all their resources to survive unless it's part of the main mission they're on. Because we have limited game time, any random encounter that 50/50 could be a TPK I avoid, because it would feel like a chump move, if a moment's tactical mistake or bad roll causes hours worth of reset while we either roll new characters or start a new campaign. I try to aim for more Firefly or Seven Samurai and less Walking Dead/Game of Thrones.
I don’t mind high CR random encounters. Keeps me on my toes as a GM, and encourages improvisation.
And it’s more open ended, rather than being a set encounter, which tend to be more obviously non-combat.
 
I am pretty sure that the people saying it's easier in 5e than 1e haven't actually looked at the stats and are just going off of some '1e = hard, 5e = easy' idea. In 1e a purple worm had AC6 (equivalent to scale mail, or AC14 in 5e terms), average of 75 HP and a 9" move. In 5e, it has AC 18 (full plate, or AC 2 in 1e terms), average of 225HP, and a 50' move. That's more than double the movement (trashing escape strategies), more than triple the raw HP, and an even larger increase in effective HP (since the AC went up by 5 and more 5e spells use attack rolls). It's even worse since, looking back at the modules, the random encounter in the module says to use 54 HP while the 5e conversion just says to use standard.

Sure, PC HP increased; a magic user with no con bonus would have an average of 14 HP, while today he'd have 20, and con bonus arguably would be more likely, bumping it to 30 with +2. But that's the worst case - a fighter would average 32 then and 47 today (Assuming 0 con then and +3 today) while a barbarian woud go from 38 to 53 (assuming 0/+3 like before). But damage went up even more - the bite damage close to doubled (2d12 to 3d8+9), the damage from the swallow doubled from 3d6 to 6d6, and the rule limiting the stinger went away adding second, stronger attack with a DC 19 poison for 42 damage. The standard damage from bite + swallow is 43, while the stinger is 63 - so the swallow is almost enough on average to take down the fighter or barbarian, who will then fall on the second (or third if raging) round, while the stinger takes down even a raging barbarian on average. The resilience of tough characters to attacks if we assume no con bonus in 1e is about actually about the same (13+10 on swallow, then 10 more kills the fighter, then 10 more kills the barb), but there are two of them in the 5e fight and fewer players.

Party damage sees the biggest increase, but I don't think that it went up the 4x needed to compensate for 1e having 1.5 times party size and the 5e worm having 3x the HP (to say nothing of the 5x hp for the actual case). (In comparing damage, note that the party needs to do enough to kill the worm, you can't just look at what one character can do in one round once per rest, especially if that requires a hit roll or failed save, and you have to account for the worm taking people completely out of the fight fast).

Overall, if the 1e version jumps you in melee range (which is what the table entry implies), it's much easier to hurt than the 5e version, at best can take down 1 character per round, and you can run away from it on foot. In 5e, it's faster than any normal character on foot, and just as fast as their camel mounts if they manage to stay riding. I really don't see how you can actually compare the stats and claim that the 1e version is a harder fight, especially with the huge speed increase.

Eh, wouldn't that be 90ft in 1e? Seem to recall 1"= 10ft.
No; if it was a distance 9" would be 90 feet or 90 yards depending on indoors or outdoors, but as a movement works differently (largely IMO because rounds were longer). A regular human had a move of 12", 9" was your move heavy armor or with moderate encumbrance, and I think 6" for heavy. A 9" move would correspond to either a 20' or 22.5' move in 5e (depending on whether you do a functional comparison or literal ratio). I don't think the people talking about running away actually noted that the speed of the monster relative to PCs more than doubled from 1e to 5e and took it into account for the difficulty of running. If the characters start to fight it, then realize they're outclassed in 1e, they can easily get away since even the slow people move just as fast as the worm. In 5e, walking PCs are slower than it and even PCs on camels can't actually outrun it.

The desert in question counts as "a very spacious area" and a party of adventurers, even 3, unless they all cluster together, could be subject to the sting.
If 3 people counts as 'numerous' there's no point in having the qualifier, so I don't accept that interpretation. If you want to run the 1e monster with the ability set it had in 2e (where the tail restriction was removed) that's fine to do in your game, but what I'm comparing here is the RAW 1e version and the 5e version, not the 2e to 5e or your house rules to 5e.

While the Purple Worm wasn't the Tarrasque, it was one of the signature tough hombres in 1e. As far as this module goes in 1e, if you saw one, you would run; my confusion at your post is that the 5e version is *easier* IMO than the 1e because of the whole Big Bad problem that has been discussed here before.
I don't think your claim that the 5e version is easier than the 1e version is based off of the actual stats, as I pointed out above. The 'single Big Bad' problem doesn't happen if the single big bad is one-shotting players, can shrug off the player's best attacks and is immune to a lot of the 'screw the single target' abilities they can bring to bear at that level.

This. Also, I think the OP is forgetting how 1e PCs were. A 10th level Magic User only had an average of 25 hit points. A 10th level fighter might have 60-70 hp. The adventure is for levels 5-7. A 6th level MU will have 15hp, a 6th level fighter will have 40ish. So a 1e purple worm could one shot kill many PCs, not even counting the poison or swallow ability.
I think you're the one forgetting how HPs were (and I have no idea why you're using 6th level HP instead of 5th) I pointed out the HP comparison above, getting double the hit points in the best case (Magic User and assuming low 1e stats) or about 1.5 times in the case most likely to soak hits (fighter or barbarian, again assuming low 1e stats) doesn't make up for quadroupling the damage output AND having a smaller party. And you're forgetting how fragile and slow 1e purple worms were compared to the modern version. 75 HP, AC6 (14 now), slower move than a regular human vs 250hp, AC 18 (2 then), faster move than a regular human as as fast as their horses.

And again the poison is irrelevant because it's not usable in the fight by the version of the monster we're discussing.
 
All of the of 'play it as something they see, or can easily avoid' type responses are good ideas, but boil down to 'don't treat the encounter as a combat encounter to a 'you see a thing in the distance encountter'. That's certainly an option, but to me it's same thing as saying 'yeah, having a full strength 5e purple worm just erupt from the ground like the module says and having the party fight it like the module implies is a bad idea'. It looks like my gut feeling was right (especially now that I dug up the numbers) and that running the encounter as the 'worm bursts out of the ground, roll initiative' fight the module implies is a bad idea, so I'll end up either toning the worm down or making it a 'sighting' encounter. I appreciate the suggestions, even though I'm not individually quote-reply on each of them.

In the context of Pharoah (I3), IIRC, it was exceedingly unlikely you'd ever encounter the Purple Worm.

It wasn't just a random encounter, it was on the special subset on random encounters. So the odds of it happening in any given runthrough were exceedingly slim.
You have a 1 in 10 chance of a random encounter every 2 hours, then roll a d12 on the first table and, on an 11 or 12 roll a d6 on the second table, where one result is the worm. If the characters run through most of the 7 days water they're provided with while exploring (which is a reasonable here) that would be 5 days, or 60 rolls. That leads to an average of around six encounters, one in six of which will be special, and which has a one in six chance of being a worm. So the chance of it happening on a given adventure is around 1 in 6, and I don't consder a 1 in 6 chance 'exceedingly slim' or 'exceedinly unlikely'. I'm not really sure what relevance the unlikliness of the encounter has to do with the topic, but it's not some obscure 'lost the lottery' chance.

Here's the thing: not every encounter should be a fair fight.
I'll repeat. Not every "encounter" should be a perfectly balanced encounter designed so that the PCs have a 90% chance of victory.

It's good to have the occasional fight where the party has to spend ALL their resources just to survive, even if not win. Where the win condition is just escaping or distracting the opponent rather than beating it over the head. Where the party has to react and think creatively rather than just attacking. Or even turn to diplomacy.
Here's the thing: No one here said anything like that. I'll repeat: No one here said anything remotely like "PCs should have a 90% chance of victory in every encounter". In the future, please respond to something that was actually written, or to the topic of the thread. Throwing in a monster that has more HP than the party put together, 2 attacks per round at or near one-shot level for all PCs, moves faster than the PCs, and frequently renders unconscious PCs unrecoverable is just not "PCs should have a 90% chance of victory", it's "Should a random counter likely trash the party to the point that they likely can't continue the adventure."

I also think my definition of 'creative' is pretty different than yours. I don't really consider 'run and hope DM fiat removes abilities from the monster (like its movement) or makes it decide to stop attacking' or 'throw one of the few spells that might disable it and hope it doesn't make its save' to be an interesting kind of creative. And trying diplomacy on an creature with 1 int that doesn't speak any languages is... yeah, good luck with that persuasion check.
 
Under most circumstances I'd agree, but since we're talking about a random encounter that (if I remember the Martek portion correctly) just pops out of the ground/glass and starts snacking, it should probably be modded in some fashion to avoid a no-win kill-a-character-or-three moment.
The literal text of the encounter is "The ground beneath the party begins to shake when suddenly, breaking from beneath the ash, rises a Purple Worm" followed by its stats. That to me is pretty clearly intended to describe a combat encounter, especially since there are 'you see a thing in the distance' encounters in all three modules that have much more visual descriptions.

Because we have limited game time, any random encounter that 50/50 could be a TPK I avoid, because it would feel like a chump move, if a moment's tactical mistake or bad roll causes hours worth of reset while we either roll new characters or start a new campaign. I try to aim for more Firefly or Seven Samurai and less Walking Dead/Game of Thrones.
I actually think it's more than a 50/50 chance of an effective TPK (not literally every character dies, but only 1-2 characters are left alive or recoverable) if the players respond with anything but immediate flight. And the only reason for them to immediately flee instead of trying to fight is that they're metagaming and know the stats of the worm are too high for them at this level. (There actually seems to be a lot of metagaming in the 'in 1e, if we see a purple worm, we know its stats are too high for us at this level so we run' responses, which I'm not a big fan of).
 

Jester David

Villager
Here's the thing: No one here said anything like that. I'll repeat: No one here said anything remotely like "PCs should have a 90% chance of victory in every encounter". In the future, please respond to something that was actually written, or to the topic of the thread. Throwing in a monster that has more HP than the party put together, 2 attacks per round at or near one-shot level for all PCs, moves faster than the PCs, and frequently renders unconscious PCs unrecoverable is just not "PCs should have a 90% chance of victory", it's "Should a random counter likely trash the party to the point that they likely can't continue the adventure."

I also think my definition of 'creative' is pretty different than yours. I don't really consider 'run and hope DM fiat removes abilities from the monster (like its movement) or makes it decide to stop attacking' or 'throw one of the few spells that might disable it and hope it doesn't make its save' to be an interesting kind of creative. And trying diplomacy on an creature with 1 int that doesn't speak any languages is... yeah, good luck with that persuasion check.
No one said anything like that. But it was certainly implied. Because all you could see was that the "monster that has more HP than the party put together".

Everything you mention in the above is completely and totally irrelevant IF the monster decides not to attack and the PCs do not decide to attack. As the DM it is up to YOU to decide how the monster acts and responds. That's not "DM fiat" that's running the game.

Perhaps the purple worm passes by, having just eaten something, and the PCs just need to move out of the way. Or just keep really, really still and hope it moves past without devouring them. So it becomes a Stealth skill challenge of sorts. Perhaps it starts a long distance away and starts charging at the party and they have a small amount of time to race for safety, in a situation akin to Tremors. What if the party tries to find some way to distract the purple worm, through a creative spell or use of the terrain.
All kinds of creative things can happen when you put a group of players up against a foe they have almost no chance of defeating through conventional means. Only then do they really start to consider the unconventional.

Situations like a random roll producing a purple worm that should be able to devastate the entire party without breaking a sweat, and the party surviving because the players thought quickly and devised a cunning plan is exactly the kind of stuff that makes D&D exciting and memorable. The encounter where a level 13 party fights a purple worm in combat and kills it by using an appropriate amount of resources is not: that's just every other combat encounter. One of a hundred. But the time the low level party overcomes it—even if they don't kill it—is very memorable. It's when things get unexpected and crazy that you generate the stories you retell again and again.

"Dude, remember that time we were lost in the desert at level 5 and a freakin' purple worm busted out of the ground in front of us? And we were all like, 'do NOT move'. Then Steve spooked the horses, which ran, and the worm chased them. Then we totally got away. Man, I thought for sure we were worm food that time. Literally."
 

lowkey13

Exterminate all rational thought
You have a 1 in 10 chance of a random encounter every 2 hours, then roll a d12 on the first table and, on an 11 or 12 roll a d6 on the second table, where one result is the worm. If the characters run through most of the 7 days water they're provided with while exploring (which is a reasonable here) that would be 5 days, or 60 rolls. That leads to an average of around six encounters, one in six of which will be special, and which has a one in six chance of being a worm. So the chance of it happening on a given adventure is around 1 in 6, and I don't consder a 1 in 6 chance 'exceedingly slim' or 'exceedinly unlikely'. I'm not really sure what relevance the unlikliness of the encounter has to do with the topic, but it's not some obscure 'lost the lottery' chance.
Two things-

1. A 1 in 6 chance of something happening in a given adventure is "exceedingly unlikely." Of course, you could just re-roll it, as suggested.

2. If your entire point was to argue with all the people that have actually run the module in both the original version and the modified version .... well played.

I'm not a big fan of people soliciting advice so that they can troll the people answering them.
 

Sacrosanct

Slayer of Keraptis
I am pretty sure that the people saying it's easier in 5e than 1e haven't actually looked at the stats and are just going off of some '1e = hard, 5e = easy' idea.
No, people are saying that because it's true, and you seem to be militantly doubling down on your assumptions. For example, you're comparing AC straight across when you're completely forgetting the difference in how hard it is to hit the same AC in each edition.

In 1e, your 5th level cleric has a base +2 to hit, thieves a +1, magic users a +0, and fighters a +4. All PCs in 5e have a +3 prof bonus. The purple worm in 1e has the equivalent of a +12, whereas in 5e it's +9.

In 1e, most fighter type PCs will only have a stat bonus of +1 to hit, thieves maybe a +2 with ranged. No other class will get a bonus to hit. In 5e, every class is going to be at +3 by 5th level.

So that right there puts us at:

1e:
fighter: +5 to hit
thief: +3
clerics: +2
magic users: +0
PW: +12

5e: everyone: +6
PW: +9

I'll spare the exact math, because I'm hoping you can clearly see that comparing an AC14 to AC18 straight across is a bad analysis because while AC18 is higher, the 5e PC is hitting it way more easier than a 1e PC would. The reverse is also true, with the 1e PW hitting the 1e PCs way more easily than the 5e version does with 5e PCs.

Comparing HP straight across is equally flawed for the exact same reason. Oh, and I used 6th level because the level range of the module was 5-7. But sure, let's use your 5th level.

Additionally, even if you don't factor in the differences it was to hit, you're also glaring over a huge omission with HP. In 1e, the PW can do up to 24 points of damage. The average HP of a 5th level PC in 1e is:

MU: 13
Thieves: 18
Clerics: 23
Fighters: 33 (assuming a Con bonus)

That means the 1e PW can one shot any PC who isn't a fighter. In 5e, the PW can do up to 33 points In 5e, the average PC has:

D6 HD: 30 hp
D8 HD: 40 hp
D10 HD: 39 HP (the types usually have a con bonus)
D12 HD: 65 HP (at least 1 con bonus, usually more)

So comparing 1e to 5e, the PW has the ability to one shot kill a lot more of the PCs than they can in 5e. It gets even more scary when you realize that in 1e, there is no saving throw to avoid being swallowed. if the PW hits by 4 or more (or a natural 20), the target is swallowed. When you consider the PW in 1e has a massive +12 to hit, and most 1e PCs at 5th level still have crappy ACs (poor MU and thieves are going to be at the equivalent AC of 10-14), then 1e PCs are going to get swallowed with much greater frequency.


And again the poison is irrelevant because it's not usable in the fight by the version of the monster we're discussing.
Yes it is, as explained by lowkey13. Not sure why you would ignore this when it very much is a factor. Is not the desert a wide open area? So again, save or die (1e) vs take extra damage (5e). Especially brutal when you factor that 5th level PCs in 1e had horrible saves.


So yeah, that's why people are continuing to say 1e is more deadly. Honestly, at this point I'm wondering if you really did play the game (for the record, I played 1e as my preferred edition from 1981 to 2012 when 5e came out, playing that instead of 3e or 4e), so it's not ancient history to me.
 

Bitbrain

Explorer
I recently picked up 5e conversion PDFs for the classic Desert of Desolation modules. Most of the conversion makes sense to me, but one thing that seemed odd is that they did a straight 'use the 5e monster stats' for purple worm encounters. The first Module is for levels 5-7, and the 'typical' 5e party size is 3-5, and a purple worm is a CR15 monster, which makes it seem like this a TPK waiting to happen to me. In 5e I haven't played much at higher levels or Dmed yet, so I don't have a good feel for how these things work, so I might just be underestimating just how much higher level characters can dish out. I wouldn't have a problem with giving the players a really tough fight (especially since this would happen when they have no time pressure), but I wouldn't want to just wipe them out with a hopeless fight.

The old 1e purple worm wasn't nearly as dangerous (especially the 6-8 size party assumed in 1e) - it had a straight 15 d8 hit dice instead of the d20 with con bonus it gets now, so something like 75 hp vs 250, and a much lower damage output. Being swallowed did automatically kill you after six rounds, but the current damage output looks like it would kill most characters at that level in 2-3 rounds. It also had a 'save or die' tail poison in 1e (because 1e loved save or die), but wouldn't be able to use it against a party.
Back in my old group we fought a 5e purple worm once, and I don't think any of us will ever forget it. Seven players of 8th level, and if it weren't for the Fiendlock's Repelling Eldritch blast and the War Clerics' Spirit Guardians, we probably would have had a TPK.

3-5 players at 5-7th level shouldn't try to fight a purple worm. They should avoid it at all costs.
 
1. A 1 in 6 chance of something happening in a given adventure is "exceedingly unlikely."
Your definition of 'exceedingly unlikely' is hugely, radically different than mine. Rolling a six is pretty common, if someone said 'roll a D6 each time you play a new module/adventure/major plot point/ and if you roll a six, your characters die and we start a new campaign' would you really think it 'exceedingly unlikely' that your campaign would get wiped before 10th level? If someone asked to borrow significant money and you knew there was a 1 in 6 chance that they wouldn't pay it back, would you feel confident lending it to them, since it's exceedingly unlikely they wouldn't pay you back?

Of course, you could just re-roll it, as suggested.
Also, water is wet. I'm not really sure why people make blatantly obvious statements that are irrelevant to the question asked. I asked if I was missing something about the strength of the monster vs the characters, I'm well aware that I can change anything in any module that I run that I want to, or ignore the result of a roll, or any of the other typical DM stuff, I figured that out in the 80s. That simply wasn't the question asked, and the question asked clearly implies that I'm aware that I can do that sort of thing.

2. If your entire point was to argue with all the people that have actually run the module in both the original version and the modified version .... well played.
Good thing it wasn't, then? "Oh, you disagree with me on a factual basis, you must have just wanted to argue!" And I ratheer doubt that the people saying the 1e version of the fight is so much tougher than the 5e version have actually run both fights.

I'm not a big fan of people soliciting advice so that they can troll the people answering them.
Disagreeing with people and presenting numerical facts to back up your position is pretty much the opposite of trolling.
 
No one said anything like that. But it was certainly implied. Because all you could see was that the "monster that has more HP than the party put together".
Except that wasn't all I could see, even the initial post mentions more than that.

Everything you mention in the above is completely and totally irrelevant IF the monster decides not to attack and the PCs do not decide to attack. As the DM it is up to YOU to decide how the monster acts and responds. That's not "DM fiat" that's running the game.
And I'm aware that water is wet. I wasn't interested in 'is water wet', rather something like 'I think this volume of water is too much to pour into this plant, is that a correct estimation?' It's weird that you have this intensely hostile response to me, when your position seems to actually be 'you're right that it's too hard as a straight combat, you should modify it like you were thinking'
 

Jester David

Villager
Except that wasn't all I could see, even the initial post mentions more than that.

And I'm aware that water is wet. I wasn't interested in 'is water wet', rather something like 'I think this volume of water is too much to pour into this plant, is that a correct estimation?' It's weird that you have this intensely hostile response to me, when your position seems to actually be 'you're right that it's too hard as a straight combat, you should modify it like you were thinking'
I’m sorry, but my job here isn’t to agree with you.
You started a thread that argued a purple worm would be a TPK (true) and wasn’t as deadly in 1e (false). I just don’t think it’s a big deal. It wasn’t a big deal in 1e. And it isn’t now.

But you seem to have zero interest in actually having a discussion and just want someone to agree with you that purple worms are death machines and the conversion made a horrible mistake. But you’re unlikely to find that here.
 
In 1e, your 5th level cleric has a base +2 to hit, thieves a +1, magic users a +0, and fighters a +4. All PCs in 5e have a +3 prof bonus. The purple worm in 1e has the equivalent of a +12, whereas in 5e it's +9.
You left off weapon specialization for the fighters entirely. If you're going to argue the numbers, you can't include perfect stat bonuses for the 5e characters and ignore major bonuses for the 1e characters.

Comparing HP straight across is equally flawed for the exact same reason. Oh, and I used 6th level because the level range of the module was 5-7. But sure, let's use your 5th level.
I asked about 5th level specifically in the thread title and the OP, hence why I was confused at your using a different level.

Additionally, even if you don't factor in the differences it was to hit, you're also glaring over a huge omission with HP. In 1e, the PW can do up to 24 points of damage. The average HP of a 5th level PC in 1e is:
I did my analysis using an average damage hit. Assuming 'always max damage' but 'average hit points' is just weird, and doesn't go anywhere good.

Yes it is, as explained by lowkey13. Not sure why you would ignore this when it very much is a factor.
No it's not, as explained by me and the 1e MM entry. It's not a factor because I'm looking at a RAW 1e encounter, not a house ruled or 2e encounter.

So yeah, that's why people are continuing to say 1e is more deadly.
I'm not arguing about whether '1e is more deadly', I'm looking specifically at one specific encounter. If you assume the worm always does max damage, assume the PCs are weaker than typical 1e tournament pregen PCs, house rule the worm to be able to use an ability it shouldn't RAW, and don't even look at the issue of whether the party can deal enough damage to kill the worm before dying, sure. But I don't think that's a good analysis.

Honestly, at this point I'm wondering if you really did play the game (for the record, I played 1e as my preferred edition from 1981 to 2012 when 5e came out, playing that instead of 3e or 4e), so it's not ancient history to me.
You didn't even include weapon specialization in your to hit analysis, and you're questioning whether I played the game? And did you really play 1E RAW from 1981 to 2012, because in my experience the vast majority of 1E games did not come close to being RAW, especially long-running ones. (I've never seen anyone use the whole compare weapon speed factors thing to see how many extra attacks you get, for example).
 

Sacrosanct

Slayer of Keraptis
You left off weapon specialization for the fighters entirely. If you're going to argue the numbers, you can't include perfect stat bonuses for the 5e characters and ignore major bonuses for the 1e characters.



I asked about 5th level specifically in the thread title and the OP, hence why I was confused at your using a different level.



I did my analysis using an average damage hit. Assuming 'always max damage' but 'average hit points' is just weird, and doesn't go anywhere good.



No it's not, as explained by me and the 1e MM entry. It's not a factor because I'm looking at a RAW 1e encounter, not a house ruled or 2e encounter.



I'm not arguing about whether '1e is more deadly', I'm looking specifically at one specific encounter. If you assume the worm always does max damage, assume the PCs are weaker than typical 1e tournament pregen PCs, house rule the worm to be able to use an ability it shouldn't RAW, and don't even look at the issue of whether the party can deal enough damage to kill the worm before dying, sure. But I don't think that's a good analysis.



You didn't even include weapon specialization in your to hit analysis, and you're questioning whether I played the game? And did you really play 1E RAW from 1981 to 2012, because in my experience the vast majority of 1E games did not come close to being RAW, especially long-running ones. (I've never seen anyone use the whole compare weapon speed factors thing to see how many extra attacks you get, for example).
Weapon specialization didn't come out until 1985 with Unearthed Arcana. Those adventures were written in 1982.

You keep swinging, and you keep missing. Stop accusing people of not being familiar with the rules when you keep making fundamental mistakes about them.
 

Satyrn

Villager
It's good to have the occasional fight where the party has to spend ALL their resources just to survive, even if not win. Where the win condition is just escaping or distracting the opponent rather than beating it over the head. Where the party has to react and think creatively rather than just attacking. Or even turn to diplomacy.
"Hey Mr. Purple Worm, if you don't eat us, I'll talk to my friend - he's the Prince of Cormyr - about making you a Purple Dragon Knight."
 

Quartz

Explorer
For example, you're comparing AC straight across when you're completely forgetting the difference in how hard it is to hit the same AC in each edition.
Apologies for the nitpick, but aren't you forgetting that in 1E PCs would typically have +1 or +2 weapons (and armour) at that point?
 

ModernApathy

Explorer
I have a copy of the 1E Desert of Desolation, although I've never run it, I picked it up when I played 2E but was always more into picking ideas than running or converting full modules.

By comparison the 1E module is for levels 5-10

the first instance of a Purple Worm on a random table is about 25 pages in but
Despite rolling on a random table for encounter type, you are given a list of examples under the heading 'Desert life encounter' which lists various animals and monsters to choose from, there is no text box at all, just the Purple worm stats.

So unless you specifically choose it, you cannot have it randomly rolled.*
*unless it's somewhere else, I haven't looked through the whole thing, but not in the example I found.

As for the 5E conversion, and the question of is a purple worm a TPK if it attacks a level 5 party?Yep, most likely.
Is this a bad thing to leave in? Not really, lots of great ideas already on this thread about how to run it.

If you really want that TPK though, have it erupt from underneath their camp while their low on resources and trying to rest after a hard days adventuring.
 

Sacrosanct

Slayer of Keraptis
Apologies for the nitpick, but aren't you forgetting that in 1E PCs would typically have +1 or +2 weapons (and armour) at that point?
Didn't forget. I omitted it for a couple reasons. My goal was to show how bonuses to hit from 1e to 5e were different, and the odds that a PC has a +1 item in 1e vs 5e isn't really different. You really can't assume either will have one, or you could say it's likely both had one. Either way, it would be pretty much the same and not much different, and I wanted to highlight the differences. If I was comparing 1e vs 3e I probably would have included it, since 3e really ramped up the magic item bonuses much faster than 1e. But I don't see much difference between 1e and 5e, so I stuck with those areas where there is a clear hard difference.

Basically, I wanted to illustrate how in 5e, it's much easier for a 5th level PC to hit AC X compared to a 5th level 1e PC to hit the same equivalent AC value. Which is pretty important if one is making the argument about how deadly encounters can be.
 
Weapon specialization didn't come out until 1985 with Unearthed Arcana. Those adventures were written in 1982.

You keep swinging, and you keep missing. Stop accusing people of not being familiar with the rules when you keep making fundamental mistakes about them.
I stated 1E rules, I didn't state 1982 1E rules. I'm not missing, people are attempting to set additional conditions then blame be for not fitting the additional conditions.
 
I have a copy of the 1E Desert of Desolation...
the first instance of a Purple Worm on a random table is about 25 pages in but
Despite rolling on a random table for encounter type, you are given a list of examples under the heading 'Desert life encounter' which lists various animals and monsters to choose from, there is no text box at all, just the Purple worm stats.
I'm looking at the single modules and their conversion, as that is what I had. The compilation module probably does have a different encounter table, but the text box I quoted is in the version I referenced.
 

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