You've misread. The petty details on which we didn't dwell were the lack of obvious motivation for the monk and warrior-mage to enter the dragon.I'll take note of the clerics backstory because it comes up later. The last line here is interesting because while you call the backstory details petty they do seem to drive your improvisation later.pemerton said:The latter two characters had no obvious motivation for entering the dungeon, but we didn't dwell too much on these petty details!
I imagine I suggested it. I doubt it was very controversial - three of the four players are old hands (for the fourth this was his first time playing non-4e D&D) and know the difference that dloubling from 1 to 2 HD makes to survivability in classic D&D.1. I notice you have no explanation of who made this decision, DM, players, or if it was a table negotiated decision.
2. If the decision was made by the DM were the players aware of why they were starting at level 2?
The title of the thread is "Played AD&D yesterday (using Appendix A for a random dungeon)". The very next line after the one you quote about not wanting a TPK is "I rolled the dungeon using Appendix A: Random Dungeon Generation, and Appendix C for wandering monsters and room inhabitants". The dungeon was created during play.3. Was this decision made before or after the dungeon and it's inhabitants were created?
The players could absolutely provide this detail! I told them something to the effect of I'll roll up a random dungeon and they could see me rolling my dice and looking at my Appendix A charts and drawing my map as we went along.1. Dungeon was procedurally created by DM and Appendix A+C. I'm curious if parts of it were created during play or all before (no specification).
2. Only the DM knows how the Dungeon was created - meaning a player telling of this adventure couldn't provide this integral detail.
How do you know? For all you know, I expressed a complaint to the players about not going near my ear seekers! It's certainly the sort of thing I would do, either once the moment had passed or at the end of the session.Only the DM would know this information.
I'm assuming that the reader has some basic familiarity with AD&D. The rules for bend bars/lift gates checks are stated in the PHB, p 9:You've listed no explanation on how the check to determine success or failure worked, nor if the players would have known how such a check worked.
The attempt may be made but once, and if the score required is not made, the character will never succeed in the task. ]There follows an example of rolling percentile dice against a 10% chance, which makes it clear that bending is a different task from lifting.
The players rolled their dice, as they would for any declared action that doesn't expressly dictate the GM make the roll.
l did say when it happened - I ad libbed it! As to why, the post does explain that:Here we see the information the PC learns ties directly into his backstory. There's a clear indication that you moved away from the procedures you were relying on for the rest of the dungeon. You've given no explanation for why. You didn't explain when you determined the sigils were sigils of chaos.pemerton said:The PCs then found an octagonal room, which was inscribed with strange runes and sigils (an ad lib by me, not coming from the random tables). The cleric cast Know History, and learned that the sigils were sigils of Chaos, and that the octagon (and other figures featuring the number 8, like 8 crossed arrows) was a sign of Chaos. The chaotic origins of the dungeon also explained its weird architecture, and suggested that the scrolls of Law that the cleric was looking for must have been taken here as loot or for destruction by the chaotics.
That is, having rolled an octagonal room I adlibbed the chaos symbols because they fit with both the octagonality and the PC backstory. I think it's in the Elric/Stormbringer stories that eight crossed arrows are the sign of Chaos. (And a quick Google just confirmed this.)I think if I was going to try AD&D again I would really need to put the effort in to designing a more interesting dungeon - the number of empty rooms was a real issue. On the other hand, a greater density of inhabitants increases the proportion of combat to exploration and the likelihood of a TPK, so I'm not sure that that is a straightforward solution. And increasing the "story" elements (eg chaotic sigils and ancient scrolls) tends to push things in a direction that other systems are probably better at. So, in the end, I'm not sure that this sort of classic D&D is the best fit for our group.
I don't know if they could tell what I was or wasn't taking off the random tables, but I'm pretty sure that they would be able to guess that the tables don't have a chaos sigil entry. I may even have said as much at the time!And more importantly, would the players have known about any of the behind the scenes decision making processes you were using?
It seems that you have missed that this was a real-time random dungeon generation.But as you can see so far, the excerpt you've provided leaves alot of key analysis and play experience questions unanswered. And if you weren't the DM there would be so little mechanical information that such an excerpt would look mostly like just the fiction - something I've been criticized of focusing on.
I also get the impression that your norms for communication between the GM and the players are very different from mine. Most of the stuff that you think players wouldn't know, I'm pretty sure would have been obvious to my players.
As a player in this game, I would be able to report the process of PC gen, and also that the GM rolled a random starting point for the dungeon, and then used the Appendix A tables to generate encounters. I would probably be able to tell that monsters in the corridors, or that turn up in rooms after a time, were wanderers. I would know how the bend bars rolls were resolved, and how the combats were resolved, and that a reaction check was called for. I would know or at least be able to have a good guess that flavouring the octagonal room as a chaos room is not something found on the Appendix A tables. Not very much would be opaque - or, better, not very much was opaque.