D&D General Reviewing my Original D&D one-shot


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MerricB

Eternal Optimist
Supporter
Indeed - I honestly dreaded a TPK in the first room. Fortunately they play smart.

What's funny is that's the smallest possible amount orcs you can encounter in 0e...
There's so much left unsaid in the rules! As you go forward it becomes defined as "encountered in the wilderness", and I really miss the B/X split of "Encountered in Lair or Wilderness" and "Encountered in Dungeon".

Although the OD&D rules do note that the numbers in Monsters & Treasure are used primarily for outdoor encounters, and are rather ambiguous about the number encountered in the dungeon.

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Cheers,
Merric
 

JEB

Legend
There's so much left unsaid in the rules! As you go forward it becomes defined as "encountered in the wilderness", and I really miss the B/X split of "Encountered in Lair or Wilderness" and "Encountered in Dungeon".

Although the OD&D rules do note that the numbers in Monsters & Treasure are used primarily for outdoor encounters, and are rather ambiguous about the number encountered in the dungeon.

View attachment 367150
Cheers,
Merric

So this is one place where running RAW got a bit frustrating. (Probably why I finally broke and made that single exception for recruiting hirelings in session 2.) I tried very hard to find a RAW excuse to lower the encounter numbers for orcs in the dungeon (and for other monsters the players never reached!). I did note what you mentioned above, in Book II, for Number Appearing:

Referee’s option: Increase or decrease according to party concerned (used primarily only for outdoor encounters).

That gave me hope, but they never provided alternative dungeon numbers. So I didn't have any RAW alternative but what was listed.

Then, the section you partially quoted above actually made it worse! Since I had a group of 5, and orcs were Monster Level 1 creatures, and this was Level Beneath Surface 1... I was obliged to double the resulting numbers. And then there's the rest of that passage:

number of variables is too great to make a hard and fast rule. There can be places where 300 Hobgoblins dwell, but how many can come abreast down a typical passage in the dungeons? Allow perhaps 3 in a ten foot wide passage, and the balance will either be behind the front rank or fanning out to come upon the enemy by other routes. The most fearsome man or monster can be overwhelmed by sheer numbers of smaller/weaker creatures provided the latter are able to close!
Which forced me to conclude that yes, the number appearing should be used as provided, and you were just supposed to creatively fit them into the dungeon space. That did at least give me leeway to break the massive orc population (280 IIRC) into patrols of approximately 34 each scattered around the dungeon level (plus one lair with a larger number).

Sidenote: It would have been real interesting had their initial negotiations with the orc patrol worked out, and they'd secured safe passage through their territory. Very very different experience. Oh well.
 

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