D&D General "I make a perception check."

Chaosmancer

Legend
And that's kind of non-trivial from where I sit.

I never said it was trivial. What I was saying is that people don't need maps to navigate every complicated space they find themselves in. No matter how complex and 10 acre corn maze is, I still bet most people can navigate through it given enough time. Time is non-trivial, but it also isn't exactly of dire importance when you are talking a few hours.

The question is whether you're even up to killing the things you hit after two hours. You don't need to get into old megadungeons for there to be one with 20 potential encounters in one, and 2-4 of those may well be all you wanted to really deal with without a chance to recharge by themselves.

Maybe, there are numerous parts that can be adjusted here, from level to enemies to abilities available. But, here's the thing. Lets us say that there are 20 encounters, and there are 5 enemies per encounter. That's 100 enemies. After you kill 100 enemies then... you should be able to take a long rest in the area, because there should be nothing left. And sure, maybe you get 20 enemies in and want to take a short rest, but what I've tended to notice is that after enemy 100... they find another random encounter with 5 enemies.

Also, some things just don't make a lot of sense. This is the common dungeon ecology problem, but even in the wilderness this would crop up. Logically, an owlbear should have about the same territory ranges as a bear. That is 120 to 300 square miles. That is, what, six days of travel? If in one day you meet two owlbears, okay, maybe they were a mated pair. But if in the same day you meet four or five owlbears? That feels wrong to me. That would mean that these massive hunters have been all hunting the same stretch of 20 miles. That's insane.

It is why I get a little annoyed when people say that characters can't rest or take a lot of time, because they will be attacked. At a certain point in time, you've killed enough things in a small enough space that there isn't anything left to be dangerous.
 

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Thomas Shey

Legend
I never said it was trivial. What I was saying is that people don't need maps to navigate every complicated space they find themselves in. No matter how complex and 10 acre corn maze is, I still bet most people can navigate through it given enough time. Time is non-trivial, but it also isn't exactly of dire importance when you are talking a few hours.

But that's the gig: sometimes it is. That's really the issue with all maps; they're to minimize the extra time taken reaching an undesirable (and at some point) dangerous level. But what those levels are depends on the situation, and what the environment is in the first place (since in many cases you want to avoid some parts of a given location in general, and if you get to it once, you really don't want to do it again (in the real world, this often applies to swamps--wandering around and finding yourself back in the swamp yet again has historically not been the best way to reach a ripe old age; the same things apply to some portions of mountains.

I'll leave how this applies to dungeons as a test for the student.

Maybe, there are numerous parts that can be adjusted here, from level to enemies to abilities available. But, here's the thing. Lets us say that there are 20 encounters, and there are 5 enemies per encounter. That's 100 enemies. After you kill 100 enemies then... you should be able to take a long rest in the area, because there should be nothing left. And sure, maybe you get 20 enemies in and want to take a short rest, but what I've tended to notice is that after enemy 100... they find another random encounter with 5 enemies.

Note I'm specifically talking about the situation when mapping first became a thing back in the day. Did you want to actually try to sleep over night in a structure who's extent and occupancy you didn't know? No, generally you didn't. It was done from time to time, but it was a potentially very hazardous idea. And taking on a hundred enemies was probably not something that was going to go well even in sequence for most OD&D characters unless they fairly high level (and probably not even then since a relatively small number of those would not be opponents relatively difficult for them).

The long and the short of it, was that when you wanted to get out, you didn't want to get disoriented and run into yet another problem. Because that was a good and fine way to get a TPK (made all the worse because the already difficult question of fleeing would become all the worse when you were in a hurry and didn't know where you were going).

Also, some things just don't make a lot of sense. This is the common dungeon ecology problem, but even in the wilderness this would crop up. Logically, an owlbear should have about the same territory ranges as a bear. That is 120 to 300 square miles. That is, what, six days of travel? If in one day you meet two owlbears, okay, maybe they were a mated pair. But if in the same day you meet four or five owlbears? That feels wrong to me. That would mean that these massive hunters have been all hunting the same stretch of 20 miles. That's insane.

So, D&D doesn't make sense, news at 11?

It is why I get a little annoyed when people say that characters can't rest or take a lot of time, because they will be attacked. At a certain point in time, you've killed enough things in a small enough space that there isn't anything left to be dangerous.

The question is, is that the point where you need to rest? In the early days of the game it could quite trivially be well before.
 

Chaosmancer

Legend
But that's the gig: sometimes it is. That's really the issue with all maps; they're to minimize the extra time taken reaching an undesirable (and at some point) dangerous level. But what those levels are depends on the situation, and what the environment is in the first place (since in many cases you want to avoid some parts of a given location in general, and if you get to it once, you really don't want to do it again (in the real world, this often applies to swamps--wandering around and finding yourself back in the swamp yet again has historically not been the best way to reach a ripe old age; the same things apply to some portions of mountains.

I'll leave how this applies to dungeons as a test for the student.

I'm only thinking about this in terms of dungeons, because unless you have cartographer's tools and are taking a survey, you ain't making a good map of the countryside. It just isn't possible for a layman to accomplish that.

So, let's avoid thinking that someone without the tools and experience can map a wilderness, and focus on dungeons. Let us say that there is a particularly dangerous place of the dungeon, like a room that is endlessly creating fire. Well, if you turn a corner and see the fire room, you don't go in it. I imagine if you are wandering a building and have certain rooms you don't want to enter again, you can avoid entering them even if you walk towards them.

What about hazards like the entire dungeon is radioactive and multiple hours of exposure might kill you? Sure, that's a threat. But, you likely had some solution to it before going in. Remember, I'm talking about an area the size of multiple city blocks taking a few extra hours if you get incredibly lost. Which also means it probably took you at least and hour or two winding your way through the first time when you mapped it. Sure, there might be a tipping point, but and extra three hours likely isn't it, except in very niche circumstances.

Note I'm specifically talking about the situation when mapping first became a thing back in the day. Did you want to actually try to sleep over night in a structure who's extent and occupancy you didn't know? No, generally you didn't. It was done from time to time, but it was a potentially very hazardous idea. And taking on a hundred enemies was probably not something that was going to go well even in sequence for most OD&D characters unless they fairly high level (and probably not even then since a relatively small number of those would not be opponents relatively difficult for them).

The long and the short of it, was that when you wanted to get out, you didn't want to get disoriented and run into yet another problem. Because that was a good and fine way to get a TPK (made all the worse because the already difficult question of fleeing would become all the worse when you were in a hurry and didn't know where you were going).

Sure, OD&D was different. I was talking about 5e, as was the poster originally being responded to. Fighting that many enemies is a hazardous idea, but it happens. I've run combats where players take out 20 enemies, in a single combat.

The point I'm making isn't that mapping isn't needed because you can kill everyone. It was an aside about the fact that quite a few people who make it dangerous to stay in an area do so via random encounters. But those encounters are purely spawned from nothing. They will continue ad infinitum. Rarely does someone actually apply the logic that would allow you to clear an area.

So, D&D doesn't make sense, news at 11?

And if people did make it make sense, an extra three hours in an underground structure you'd already killed dozens of deadly enemies in would be far safer, rather than just as deadly as before.

The question is, is that the point where you need to rest? In the early days of the game it could quite trivially be well before.

And not talking about earlier part of the game. Talking about the infinite spawn of random encounters. It doesn't matter when you need to rest if the DM never stops rolling for new monsters to appear no matter how many you have killed.
 

Thomas Shey

Legend
So, let's avoid thinking that someone without the tools and experience can map a wilderness, and focus on dungeons. Let us say that there is a particularly dangerous place of the dungeon, like a room that is endlessly creating fire. Well, if you turn a corner and see the fire room, you don't go in it. I imagine if you are wandering a building and have certain rooms you don't want to enter again, you can avoid entering them even if you walk towards them.

Because of course you're going to immediately recognize the fire room coming from a different angle and with bad lighting. I've seen any number of people when lost in large buildings walk well into an area, then look around and go "Wait a minute...I think we've been here before. Oh, yeah, remember that archway?" If that's not you, I'd have to say you're at least a modest exception.

What about hazards like the entire dungeon is radioactive and multiple hours of exposure might kill you? Sure, that's a threat. But, you likely had some solution to it before going in.

In the old day, you made damn good and sure you didn't stay too long which, oddly enough, required making sure you had a clear idea of your path of retreat.

Remember, I'm talking about an area the size of multiple city blocks taking a few extra hours if you get incredibly lost. Which also means it probably took you at least and hour or two winding your way through the first time when you mapped it. Sure, there might be a tipping point, but and extra three hours likely isn't it, except in very niche circumstances.

I'm afraid I simply disagree. Like I said, running low on on things like spells and hit points used to not be exactly an unknown risk, and wandering around to find your way out was a pretty good risk of running into something you hadn't previously hit that you were no longer up for.


Sure, OD&D was different. I was talking about 5e, as was the poster originally being responded to. Fighting that many enemies is a hazardous idea, but it happens. I've run combats where players take out 20 enemies, in a single combat.

And I was talking about where the habit got started and why.

And if people did make it make sense, an extra three hours in an underground structure you'd already killed dozens of deadly enemies in would be far safer, rather than just as deadly as before.

That'd be true if you had the same resources available at the end as at the start.

And not talking about earlier part of the game. Talking about the infinite spawn of random encounters. It doesn't matter when you need to rest if the DM never stops rolling for new monsters to appear no matter how many you have killed.

And mine is you can need to retreat well before you've gotten it thinned out enough for that to be relevant. And again I'm not talking about 5e. I'm neither qualified nor particularly interested in doing so. Note the tag at the top of this thread. It wasn't true in OD&D, and it wasn't even true by the time of 3e.
 

Chaosmancer

Legend
Because of course you're going to immediately recognize the fire room coming from a different angle and with bad lighting. I've seen any number of people when lost in large buildings walk well into an area, then look around and go "Wait a minute...I think we've been here before. Oh, yeah, remember that archway?" If that's not you, I'd have to say you're at least a modest exception.

1) This assumes multiple entrances into the same room. If there isn't multiple ways to get to the same room, then you are going to be able to easily identify the room.

2) I think the heat and sound of roaring fire might still be a clue that they've found the fire room again.

3) We are completely ignoring the utility of chalk.

In the old day, you made damn good and sure you didn't stay too long which, oddly enough, required making sure you had a clear idea of your path of retreat.

And in the old days you still died if the dungeon was bigger than you thought.

But again, how often are you going into dungeons of radioactive decay? I've maybe had... one time in the entire run of 5e where we were in a place where the environment itself was actively harming us, and what you quickly realize as a DM is that these areas have to be either small or the damage incredibly minor, or the entire thing is impassible anyways. Even 1 damage a round turns into 10 damage a minute, 600 damage an hour, which kills ANYTHING you put in it. 1 damage a minute is still 60 damage an hour, and you need to be getting into levels 10+ before you can survive that hour alone. And that's ignoring combat.

And if this is the main argument for why you need to map.... that's too niche to matter.

And I was talking about where the habit got started and why.

And I've never disgreed why the habit started. I've disagreed that it is still a major concern now, in 5e.

That'd be true if you had the same resources available at the end as at the start.

You don't need the exact same resources at the start. Sure, you've used a few abilities, but you still have your at-will options, and THERE SHOULD BE FEWER THREATS. Maybe the wizard no longer has fireball and the paladin can't smite, but the wizard still has firebolt and the paladin still has a sword and shield, and with the number of threats decreasing there is less need for their more powerful options.

And mine is you can need to retreat well before you've gotten it thinned out enough for that to be relevant. And again I'm not talking about 5e. I'm neither qualified nor particularly interested in doing so. Note the tag at the top of this thread. It wasn't true in OD&D, and it wasn't even true by the time of 3e.

I've noted the tag at the top of the thread. If you aren't interested in discussing 5e, maybe instead of insisting on telling me why you are correct, you could acknowledge that 5e is different. Because this entire line of discussion STARTED by discussing 5e's mapping rules. Not 3.X's rules. Not OD&D's rules.

5e characters CAN thin out a significant number of enemies. Just last night in one of my play-by-post games we had a level 6 supported by three level 2-3's (single player game with some NPCs) who took out 16 enemies. They are in a bad way after that fight, but they cleared the entire building of slavers and there is zero reason to suspect more enemies will be coming until they can take a short rest and restore themselves. Because the slavers certainly weren't dealing with attacks every hour on their base.
 

Thomas Shey

Legend
1) This assumes multiple entrances into the same room. If there isn't multiple ways to get to the same room, then you are going to be able to easily identify the room.

Except as I've mentioned, I've seen people not be able to do just that.

2) I think the heat and sound of roaring fire might still be a clue that they've found the fire room again.

If it still is. If it was that easy, they wouldn't have walked into it the first time.

3) We are completely ignoring the utility of chalk.

No, we're assuming its no substitute for knowing where you're going in bad lighting and in a hurry.

And in the old days you still died if the dungeon was bigger than you thought.

But again, how often are you going into dungeons of radioactive decay?

You're the one who brought it up, not me. I don't think its vaguely necessary to my argument.

And I've never disgreed why the habit started. I've disagreed that it is still a major concern now, in 5e.

Not an issue that as I said, I feel either qualified to discuss nor interested in.

I've noted the tag at the top of the thread. If you aren't interested in discussing 5e, maybe instead of insisting on telling me why you are correct, you could acknowledge that 5e is different. Because this entire line of discussion STARTED by discussing 5e's mapping rules. Not 3.X's rules. Not OD&D's rules.

And my response was why it had started, which you argued with. If you only want to talk about it in a more limited context than the thread as a whole, then you could have just ignored my statement and moved on. This wasn't limited to OD&D far as that goes; it was still just as true as of 3e as I noted.
 

Chaosmancer

Legend
No, we're assuming its no substitute for knowing where you're going in bad lighting and in a hurry.

Sure there is.

"Oh, there is a massive chalk X on this door. That means we looked in and decided to never go there again". Perfect substitute.

Also, where is this sudden bad-lighting come from? Everyone lose their light soruces, but they can still see well enough to read a map? How's that work? Also, why are we suddenly in a hurry, we weren't hurrying before, were we?

Weird how you keep adding these things, are we going to be bleeding out and low on water next?

You're the one who brought it up, not me. I don't think its vaguely necessary to my argument.

It is one of the few things I can think of where speed actually matters. Your argument seems to be solely based on "we can't fight more random encounters in the endless random encounters" which... again, meh.

And my response was why it had started, which you argued with. If you only want to talk about it in a more limited context than the thread as a whole, then you could have just ignored my statement and moved on. This wasn't limited to OD&D far as that goes; it was still just as true as of 3e as I noted.

You started with "people can't find places, otherwise maps wouldn't exist" which.... yeah, I'm still willing to push back on, because it just all comes down to speed. Which assumes that the threat level never drops in an area.

But, since you have zero interest in discussion 5e, and I have zero interest in discussing OD&D, let's just drop this.
 

Thomas Shey

Legend
Sure there is.

"Oh, there is a massive chalk X on this door. That means we looked in and decided to never go there again". Perfect substitute.

"Is that the chalk mark you made, or some discoloration in these ruins? Hold on a second, let me see..."

Also, where is this sudden bad-lighting come from? Everyone lose their light soruces, but they can still see well enough to read a map? How's that work? Also, why are we suddenly in a hurry, we weren't hurrying before, were we?

Are you under the impression torchlight is a good light source? Nothing I've ever seen suggests that. Neither are candles or even some lamps. (And to make it clear, I'm not using "bad lighting" as a term-of-art.)

And the reason we're in a hurry is we're low on spell slots and not sure what else is in here with us?

Weird how you keep adding these things, are we going to be bleeding out and low on water next?

I'd used those terms earlier. If you aren't paying attention, that's on you.

It is one of the few things I can think of where speed actually matters. Your argument seems to be solely based on "we can't fight more random encounters in the endless random encounters" which... again, meh.

You're the one who's brought up random encounters, not me. Encounters can come to you without them being random.

You started with "people can't find places, otherwise maps wouldn't exist" which.... yeah, I'm still willing to push back on, because it just all comes down to speed. Which assumes that the threat level never drops in an area.

No, it assumes it doesn't do so net in a situation when the reduction in opponents corresponds to reduction in resources, at least until you've seriously cleaned it down.

But, since you have zero interest in discussion 5e, and I have zero interest in discussing OD&D, let's just drop this.

Fine. Just note I'm not talking about just OD&D but any incarnation of D&D (or a number of other games) where resource consumption is a serious issue. If isn't in 5e, that's as it is, but OD&D was hardly the only game where time consumption was not your friend. In most of them mapping is either just assumed or other tools at hand are available in-character where its a nonissue. OD&D was just firmly about putting every decision and process off on players that it could (in part because character abilities were so schematic).
 

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