Treasure and leveling comparisons: AD&D1, B/ED&D, and D&D3 - updated 11-17-08 (Q1)

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Raven Crowking

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Sometimes certain message board rhetorical techniques (hysterics, pedantry) are called for, I think you'll agree.

Frequently, making sure that people are on the same page in terms of terminology (pedantry) is called for....especially when two meanings of a term are conflated as though they meant the same thing.

(For example, when one imagines that the relationship between XP and level is as direct in 1e and 3e, which is not the case, as 1e has rules limiting how XP can turn into level advancement, such as training, that 3e does not.)

If I thought hysterics were a called for rhetorical technique, though, I'd not have apologized in the other thread.


RC
 

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Storm Raven

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(For example, when one imagines that the relationship between XP and level is as direct in 1e and 3e, which is not the case, as 1e has rules limiting how XP can turn into level advancement, such as training, that 3e does not.)

Is there any 1e adventure presented in this thread in which the PCs would not have the ability to undertake training when called for?

I thought not.

(I'll also note that another very common house rule in 1e was to eliminate training costs and time).
 
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Raven Crowking

First Post
This I look forward to. But I have to wonder why you would bother given the following:

Since you're writing your own RPG, and prefer it over AD&D1 and 3d, why does it matter what the rate of advancement is in AD&D1 vs. 3e D&D? It sounds to me like you've solved the problem.

My concern here is over revisionist history.

Also, this thread came up in one of those "If your DM wants to run it like 1e, tell him it's changed. If he thinks it should be more like 1e, tell him nothing's changed." arguements. Frankly, I am not impressed by this sort of "reasoning".

Thank you for your answer.

Thanks for your civility! :)

Umm, why was this thread resurrected?

I think it was more "Oh hey, if I stir up some controversy, maybe people will download the game in my .sig", to be honest.

ST, you might want to check who resurrected the thread before making remarks like this.

Just saying.


RC
 

Ariosto

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The word "level" means many things, and when applied to a monster it does not mean "level of the dungeon".
Indeed. In the context of that table, monster levels are not on the Arabic number scale but on the Roman I through X. For instance, the normal range of encounters on the 2nd-3rd dungeon levels is with monster levels I through V.
 

Storm Raven

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My concern here is over revisionist history.

Also, this thread came up in one of those "If your DM wants to run it like 1e, tell him it's changed. If he thinks it should be more like 1e, tell him nothing's changed." arguements. Frankly, I am not impressed by this sort of "reasoning".

Where is the revisonist history in this analysis? Are you truly surprised that in 1e PCs would level fast anough that they would be of an appropriate level to meet the challenges in the next step of a series of adventures (i.e. T1-8, UK1-3, and so on)?
 

Raven Crowking

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You are the one who decided to cite a completely useless and incoherent comparison as something significant. When you compare apples to buicks don't be surprised if people make fun of the comparison.

Storm Raven, the next time I read a post from you that seems to actually contribute to the conversation, I will respond to you directly. Until then, well, you know why I haven't responded.

BTW, for those who are interested, there is a wonderful thread by Melan somewhere on EN World (I will see if I can find the link) that examines the structure of older module maps vs. newer ones.

One thing it demonstrates most clearly is that you are far, far less likely to hit every spot on many of the older maps than you are on many of the later ones. This isn't a universal truth, though.....some of the early 3e maps are wonderfully complex.


RC
 

Ariosto

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Why would it be substantially different if they were making repeated forays into Castle Greyhawk?
Because the space in that case would be one with a countless number of possible paths through it even on a single occasion -- and an even greater number of possible "stories" considering the changes in that dynamic environment between one expedition and the next.
 

Storm Raven

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Storm Raven, the next time I read a post from you that seems to actually contribute to the conversation, I will respond to you directly. Until then, well, you know why I haven't responded.

Since the only contribution to the conversation you appear to be willing to accept is one that says "RC you are clearly right in your unsubstantiated arguments concerning the nature of 1e!" I'm guessing you wont be saying much of value from here on out.

Here's the thing: I've played D&D for a long time. Possibly longer than you. I played OD&D, 1e, 2e, and 3e. I have the modules commented on in this thread, and numerous others, and your assertions concerning them and how they played are, in my experience from actual play, completely incorrect. And the position oppsing yours has been substantiated with some actual data, while yours basically amounts to howling shrieks of indignation that level advancement in 1e could be anything other than wildly slower and more difficult than 3e backed by nothing. I'll take the position backed by data that conforms to my actual play experiences with 1e, thank you very much.
 
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Storm Raven

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Because the space in that case would be one with a countless number of possible paths through it even on a single occasion -- and an even greater number of possible "stories" considering the changes in that dynamic environment between one expedition and the next.

But that has no bearing at all on the rate of expected advancement. Which makes me wonder why you think it is somehow a significant element.

I'll also note that from over a decade of playing 1e on three seperate continents, I never once found a single campaign in which the action was focused on a single mega-dungeon as you describe. I did encounter and participate in some campaigns in which published adventures were used (and some in which they were not).

I also fail to see how a single mega dungeon is somehow different from a collection of smaller dungeons. That scenario also has multiple possible paths to completion. Where is the substantive difference here?
 

billd91

Not your screen monkey (he/him)
I've said this before, and I'll repeat myself here: show us the 1e module with substantial amounts of its treasure hidden. Until you do, there's nothing backing up the assertion that 1e modules had lots of hidden treasure.

G1 and G3 both have substantial amounts of hidden treasure. Hey! That's 2 modules to 1 (T1). I guess by the logic you've been arguing, the grognards win this debate. Of course, this really goes to show that looking at a single data point (or even 2) is not very helpful when trying to determine a trend...

The treasure hauls of the A series as well as G2, G3, and the D series are futher complicated by the challenges of getting it out of the dungeon. As some of us have pointed out, not only is there the question of looting everything as the methodology assumes, but there's also the complication of moving it so that it counts for XPs.
 

Storm Raven

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G1 and G3 both have substantial amounts of hidden treasure. Hey! That's 2 modules to 1 (T1). I guess by the logic you've been arguing, the grognards win this debate. Of course, this really goes to show that looking at a single data point (or even 2) is not very helpful when trying to determine a trend...

Perhaps you would care to substantiate that claim? The total treasure survey for those modules is already included in this thread. Go through them and show how much of the treasure is actually hidden.

The treasure hauls of the A series as well as G2, G3, and the D series are futher complicated by the challenges of getting it out of the dungeon. As some of us have pointed out, not only is there the question of looting everything as the methodology assumes, but there's also the complication of moving it so that it counts for XPs.

Most of the treasure in those modules is pretty easily transportable from my experience (especially for a high level party with access to high level magic and magic items). Perhaps you could demonstrate why you think it is not.
 

Ariosto

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the next step of a series of adventures (i.e. T1-8, UK1-3, and so on)
Of "T1-8", only T1 (Village of Hommlett) was ever published separately, and the rest is the Temple -- so that's rather a misnomer. Of the UK modules, I think that only UK2 and UK3 (The Sentinel and The Gauntlet) are linked by anything more than being of British origin (as are U1-U3, which do form a continuous plot-line). C4 and C5 combine 8 RPGA tournament rounds into a narrative, as does the Paul Jaquays I12 (a bit clumsily) to Frank Mentzer's R series of originally separate scenarios.

Some other "series" -- including other parts of those same coded lines -- have no internal relationships at all. A module may well be recommended for higher levels than one later in numerical sequence!
 
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Storm Raven

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Of "T1-8", only T1 (Village of Hommlett) was ever published separately, and the rest is the Temple -- so that's rather a misnomer. Of the UK modules, I think that only UK2 and UK3 (The Sentinel and The Gauntlet) are linked by anything more than being of British origin (as are U1-U3, which do form a continuous plot-line). C4 and C5 combine 8 RPGA tournament rounds into a narrative, as does the Paul Jaquays I12 (a bit clumsily) to Frank Mentzer's R series of originally separate scenarios.

Sorry, I meant U1-3. UK2 and UK3 are linked, but that's not what I meant. But many series of adventures were explicitly linked: T1-8 (the fact that they were published together doesn't change the links), A1-4, G1-3, the aforementioned U1-3, and of course, DL1-10. Why would anyone find it surprising that these modules allowed characters to advance quickly enough to deal with the challenges in the later installments?
 

Raven Crowking

First Post
The treasure hauls of the A series as well as G2, G3, and the D series are futher complicated by the challenges of getting it out of the dungeon. As some of us have pointed out, not only is there the question of looting everything as the methodology assumes, but there's also the complication of moving it so that it counts for XPs.

Not to mention the assumption that the party can perform partial looting, training, and then return to complete the looting without anything having changed during said training time. :hmm:

Yet, if this is not possible, as has been pointed out repeatedly, much of that treasure may well not count toward XP, as the PCs reach their "cap".

The question has never been whether or not training is available, or whether or not the XP are available under optimal conditions, or whether or not every square inch will be checked, or whether or not it is possible to find everything within a module.

The question, as far as actual play experience goes has always been "What is the cost of getting those XP". Note that, in some cases (as with level "caps" and the chance of treasure simply not being there on the next foray; or with most of the possible treasure XP being end-loaded), this is a cost that the PCs are effectively paying in XP.....coming directly off the top of what is available in the module.

In some ways, the "apples to buicks" phrase is apt. Q's initial analysis may be viewed as "apples to apples", but by failing to take this sort of thing into account when drawing conclusions, the comparison becomes "apples to buicks".


RC
 

Storm Raven

First Post
So does The Underworld & Wilderness Adventures. So what?

Why would they be included if the standard play style was assumed to be one giant underground complex?

You've cited some fairly flimsy evidence that the game assumed that everyone would be playing in giant multilevel underground complexes. The text itself supports a variety of other styles, in many cases much more substantially than a random dungeon generator included as an appendix. Why should the text supporting the other play styles be discounted?
 
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Storm Raven

First Post
Not to mention the assumption that the party can perform partial looting, training, and then return to complete the looting without anything having changed during said training time. :hmm:

No one has made that assumption. In fact, most modules provided contingencies for how the inhabitants of a dungeon complex would deal with such a foray and retreat. In many cases, the monsters would gain in strength during the down time, which would mean more XP for the PCs to obtain. Or the monsters would redeploy - making the encounter more difficult but not changing the ultimate reward (or both options). rarely, the adventure would state that the surviving monsters would vacate after a certain point, in G1, Nosra would relocate the G2 with anyone and anything he could take with him, leaving the rest behind. So the benefits would simply be put off until then, not eliminated.

Yet, if this is not possible, as has been pointed out repeatedly, much of that treasure may well not count toward XP, as the PCs reach their "cap".

And for the most part, this is a trivial problem for PCs in most of the adventures presented.

I'm left to wonder why you think it is intended that the adventures were desinged so badly that they didn't allow the PCs to be ready for the next in the series? Surely Gygax knew the rules of the game and designed them to be played in a reasonable manner - but every interpretation you come up with assumes that Gygax was a moron of a dungeon designer who made an adventure series that clearly would result in the PCs being horribly overpowered as they reached the latter stages of the series.
 

billd91

Not your screen monkey (he/him)
Perhaps you would care to substantiate that claim? The total treasure survey for those modules is already included in this thread. Go through them and show how much of the treasure is actually hidden.

In G1, the monetary value of the treasure hidden in a secret area behind a decoy treasure room is 71,635 gp according to my printing. That's 28% of the cash value. It also includes the +2 arrows, the +3 spear, and the two intelligent flametongues. A pretty good chunk of the total.

In G3, about 206,000 gp worth is stashed in a single secret chamber (about 20%) including the ring of three wishes, a dozen potions, 8 scrolls.

Most of the treasure in those modules is pretty easily transportable from my experience (especially for a high level party with access to high level magic and magic items). Perhaps you could demonstrate why you think it is not.

The treasure in the hidden chamber in G3 is in chests and trunks 5-7 feet long and more than half that wide. Each coin is 1/10th of a pound (the copper coins alone weigh 8800 lbs, add in the silver and you're over 15,000 lbs) in encumbrance. Try slogging that down from the remote volcanic region that is the Hellfurnaces. Or get those large tusks down off the frost giant jarl's glacier.
 

Ariosto

First Post
Why would anyone find it surprising that these modules allowed characters to advance quickly enough to deal with the challenges in the later installments?
I don't know that anyone does find it surprising; I certainly do not.

Your personal experience of having never encountered a traditional dungeon, to the extent that you seem even to doubt that Gygax intended it to be normative, is suggestive. I think that 1E modules are on average closer to 3E modules than they are to the sort of campaign assumed in the rules-books -- so the question of how much modules inform play experience is key.

If people are taking the modules as a guide, then Quasqueton's (admittedly but preliminary) work suggests that -- up to "name" level or so -- rates of advancement should be roughly comparable to those in 3E. Skimping on treasure, or reducing (even abolishing) XP for it, would certainly slow advancement. It seems to me that advancement in 2E must be slow, if XP come only from monsters, story awards at most matching awards for monsters, and individual bonuses as per the 2E books.

Why would they be included if the standard play style was assumed to be one giant underground complex?
Because the underworld was not the ONLY element of the campaign! Is this really so difficult to understand?

There is a difference between the "D&D campaign" as dealt with in Gygax's works and the "adventure path" that seems to have been normative for a while. For how long and to what extent? Your experience is a small sample, but so is my very different one.
 

Storm Raven

First Post
In G1, the monetary value of the treasure hidden in a secret area behind a decoy treasure room is 71,635 gp according to my printing. That's 28% of the cash value. It also includes the +2 arrows, the +3 spear, and the two intelligent flametongues. A pretty good chunk of the total.

The problem is that the map to G2 is located in that secret treasure area as well. It is the only way to get to G2, so unless the DM wants the adventure path to end with G1, they have to find the room.

The treasure in the hidden chamber in G3 is in chests and trunks 5-7 feet long and more than half that wide. Each coin is 1/10th of a pound (the copper coins alone weigh 8800 lbs, add in the silver and you're over 15,000 lbs) in encumbrance. Try slogging that down from the remote volcanic region that is the Hellfurnaces. Or get those large tusks down off the frost giant jarl's glacier.

The total value of the copper pieces in that 8,800 lb. of metal is 220 gp, or 220 xp. Trivial by any measure for 10th level characters. The silver is slightly more valuable, about 3,100 gp. But that's such a tiny portion of the total as to be almost negligible (less than 1.5% of the total treasure).

As for the tusks and so on, I suppose you've never heard of Tenser's floating disk or bags of holding?
 

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