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

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Mark CMG

Creative Mountain Games
Quasqueton said:
I’ve read this assertion before, but I haven’t seen this in the adventure modules I’ve gone through. The vast majority of treasure is not hidden. And that treasure that is hidden, is not much, and only rarely “ridiculously” or “devilishly” (as someone else said) well hidden.

The Moathouse's "hidden" treasure:

1- in the belly of a giant frog = a 100gp gem

2- "the brigands have buried a chest. . . Three turns of digging" = 265gp value, +1 arrows (x4)

3- "in the litter of its nesting" = 850gp value

4- In a lone wall cresset, a "nondescript torch stub is a silver baton" = 30gp value

5- "[The giant lizard] has previously swallowed a shield +1, easily found if appropriate actions are taken after the battle." = +1 shield

6- "hidden behind a loose stone" = 500gp value

7- "intermixed with the old carpeting and rags of [the ogre's] bedding" = elven cloak

8- in a pool of water, under a skull = a pin worth a total of 2,000gp

9- in the "mess" of a ghoul nest = 40gp value, 1 potion, 1 scroll

10- "hidden in a cabinet" in the BBEG's chamber = 15,000gp piece of jewelry [Is this actually "hidden", in the context of this discussion? Just in a cabinet.]

Total of 3,785 gp value (out of 30,938gp) not immediately or obviously discoverable. Plus a 15,000gp piece of jewelry "hidden in a cabinet" in the BBEG's chamber, which "If seriously threatened, Lareth will offer all his non-magical treasures---jewelry, coins, and all else---as ransom for his life."

Quasqueton


Most of that treasure should be found by careful searching.
 

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JustinA

Banned
Banned
I think the biggest revelation I'm coming away from this thread with is that my personal experience (that advancement in previous editions was considerably slower) was apparently based entirely on the fact that my groups ignored the XP for GP rules.
 

Quasqueton

First Post
What is the "appropriate action" after a battle to discover a shield in the belly of a giant lizard? ;-)

There are at least three adventures I can think of off the top of my head that had treasure inside a monster's belly -- these two instances in The Village of Hommlet, the ring of regeneration inside the dinosaur in The Isle of Dread, and the gems inside the storoper in Aerie of the Slavelords. What prompted module designers to place treasure in such a place? And how many Players thought to cut open the monsters to find the treasure? Was gutting monster corpses a regular action for many groups? And did monsters ever have non-valuable/magic junk in their bellies?

Quasqueton
 

Slife

First Post
Quasqueton said:
What is the "appropriate action" after a battle to discover a shield in the belly of a giant lizard? ;-)

There are at least three adventures I can think of off the top of my head that had treasure inside a monster's belly -- these two instances in The Village of Hommlet, the ring of regeneration inside the dinosaur in The Isle of Dread, and the gems inside the storoper in Aerie of the Slavelords. What prompted module designers to place treasure in such a place? And how many Players thought to cut open the monsters to find the treasure? Was gutting monster corpses a regular action for many groups? And did monsters ever have non-valuable/magic junk in their bellies?

Quasqueton
Where do you think CRPGs got the idea? Wolves don't have anywhere else to keep hundreds of GP.
 

molonel

First Post
Quasqueton said:
What is the "appropriate action" after a battle to discover a shield in the belly of a giant lizard? ;-)

There are at least three adventures I can think of off the top of my head that had treasure inside a monster's belly -- these two instances in The Village of Hommlet, the ring of regeneration inside the dinosaur in The Isle of Dread, and the gems inside the storoper in Aerie of the Slavelords. What prompted module designers to place treasure in such a place? And how many Players thought to cut open the monsters to find the treasure? Was gutting monster corpses a regular action for many groups? And did monsters ever have non-valuable/magic junk in their bellies?

Quasqueton

I can remember gutting stuff for treasure, yeah. Especially in a wilderness adventure if the DM tracked rations.
 


T. Foster

First Post
Giant frogs, giant lizards, and dinosaurs are all specifically capable of swallowing characters whole, so it's not unreasonable for players to surmise they might have swallowed something interesting in the past that might still be there if they gut it (after all, if it swallows one of the characters whole, all of his treasure will be in there...).

As for the gems in the roper's "gizzard," that's a standard feature of the monster that makes no sense in-milieu or out and is presumably only there to serve as an "easter egg" for players who've read the MM and have good memories. The storoper is just following that pattern.

In neither case do I think the game is either explicitly or even implicitly encouraging players to gut and dissect every monster they defeat.
 

jdrakeh

Front Range Warlock
J Alexander said:
I think the biggest revelation I'm coming away from this thread with is that my personal experience (that advancement in previous editions was considerably slower) was apparently based entirely on the fact that my groups ignored the XP for GP rules.

I think that has a lot to do with it. I know that this is true for me and my old 1e group. If we'd been giving away XP for GP (and GP value of treausure) we would have rocketed through the levels. As it was, we actually preferred the slower progression that ignoring the XP for gold rules provided. Treasure should, IMO, be its own reward.
 

JustinA

Banned
Banned
jdrakeh said:
I think that has a lot to do with it. I know that this is true for me and my old 1e group. If we'd been giving away XP for GP (and GP value of treausure) we would have rocketed through the levels. As it was, we actually preferred the slower progression that ignoring the XP for gold rules provided. Treasure should, IMO, be its own reward.

That was pretty much the thinking in all the groups I played in. (And we're talking about 9-12 different groups stretched over a wide swath of geography.)

I've been slicing 3rd Edition rewards in half for several campaigns now. It's working well. It takes longer for everyone to get to 20th level, but players get 3-6 sessions at each level to actually learn what they can do and get comfortable before powering up again. And it gives us 15-20 sessions within a given range of power, so that larger and more epic adventures don't end up stylistically disjointed (where at the beginning of it you're struggling with rats and a couple days later you're slaying dragons).
 

Quasqueton

First Post
AD&D1 - Descent to the Depths of the Earth - Shrine of the Kuo Toa

This post continues the original "adventure path" (The Temple of Elemental Evil, Against the Giants, Descent to the Depths of the Earth). Clearing out the Kuo Toa Shrine.
AD&D1 party begins at: (738,514 xp each)
Fighter 10
Paladin 10
Cleric 11
Magic-User 11
Illusionist 12
Thief 13


Total gp value: 417,795 gp

Total xp value:
AD&D1: 518,793 xp (not including the xp value of using or selling magic items, nor the 10% bonus for ability scores over 15)

Total magic treasure:
boots of speed
ring of protection +3 (6 charges for saving throws, then useless)
trident of submission
ring of invisibility
manual of gainful exercise
tome of understanding
grim grimoire
helm of underwater vision
gauntlets of swimming and climbing
cleric scroll: lower water, true seeing, restoration
potions: water breathing (x12)
short sword +2 (drow)
dagger +2 (drow)


AD&D1 party finishes at: (824,980 xp each)
Fighter 11
Paladin 10
Cleric 11
Magic-User 12
Illusionist 12
Thief 13
The party's next steps take them into the drow kingdom. Vault of the Drow is for characters levels 10-14, and that's pretty much right where they are.

Quasqueton
 
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Quasqueton

First Post
I think the biggest revelation I'm coming away from this thread with is that my personal experience (that advancement in previous editions was considerably slower) was apparently based entirely on the fact that my groups ignored the XP for GP rules.
At the end of the Giants adventures, the party has 653,268 xp each -- 3,919,608 total.

Of that total xp, 1,172,750 xp was from monsters, and 2,746,858 xp was from gp (not counting magic item xp, either direct or from gp when sold).

That's 70% xp from gold, and only 30% from monsters.

This makes for an interesting situation when using any AD&D1 "adventure path" series. For instance, going through the Temple of Elemental Evil without xp for gp, you get:

After the Moathouse:
AD&D1 party (1,202 xp each)
Fighter 1
Paladin 1
Cleric 1
Magic-User 1
Illusionist 1
Thief 1

After the Last Tower and Upper Rubble:
AD&D1 party (1,743 xp each)
Fighter 1
Paladin 1
Cleric 2
Magic-User 1
Illusionist 1
Thief 2

After Dungeon Level 1:
AD&D1 party (3,938 xp each)
Fighter 2
Paladin 2
Cleric 3
Magic-User 2
Illusionist 2
Thief 3

After Dungeon Level 2:
AD&D1 party (10,741 xp each)
Fighter 4
Paladin 3
Cleric 4
Magic-User 4
Illusionist 4
Thief 5

After Dungeon Level 3:
AD&D1 party (18,485 xp each)
Fighter 5
Paladin 4
Cleric 5
Magic-User 4
Illusionist 5
Thief 5

After Dungeon Level 4:
AD&D1 party (27,499 xp each)
Fighter 5
Paladin 5
Cleric 5 - 2 xp from level 6 (that's *two* xp)
Magic-User 5
Illusionist 5
Thief 6

Without the xp for gp, the AD&D1 party probably couldn't really handle each next level of the dungeon as they finished one. Could a level 1.3 (four level 1s, two level 2s) party really survive the first level of the ToEE?

Note: To repeat what a lot of people miss in this data -- this xp is not including any magic item awards (base or gp sell value), and no bonus for above average ability scores.

And without xp for gp, the AD&D1 party definitely wouldn't be ready for the Giant's series when they finished the Temple adventure. The ToEE module states that the PCs can/should be 8th level when they finish it (the proper level to begin AtG).
. . . a complete campaign adventure which will take beginning characters from 1st all the way to 8th level and possibly beyond!
With xp for gp, the AD&D1 party is:
Fighter 8
Paladin 7
Cleric 8
Magic-User 9
Illusionist 9
Thief 9
-- ready for the Hill Giant adventure.

Quasqueton
 
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Quasqueton

First Post
AD&D1 - Vault of the Drow

Adventuring in the Vault of the Drow.
Vault of the Drow by E. Gary Gygax

AD&D1 party begins at: (824,980 xp each)
Fighter 11
Paladin 10
Cleric 11
Magic-User 12
Illusionist 12
Thief 13

Total gp value: 1,507,717 gp

Total xp value: 2,414,001 xp (not including the xp value of using or selling magic items, nor the 10% bonus for ability scores over 15)

Total magic treasure:
magic-user scrolls: charm monster, invisible stalker, lightning bolt, passwall
potions: healing (x4), plant control (x2), poison, extra healing, flying, frost giant strength (x2), invulnerability (x2), plus 25 more determined randomly
wand of viscid globs
wings of flying
+1 ring of protection
oil of etherealness (x3)
cloak of poisonousness
pipes of the sewers
ring of spell storing: animate dead, knock, maze, polymorph self
+1 arrows (x8)
wand of polymorph (2 charges)
+2 mace
gauntlets of ogre power
+3 crossbow bolt (x72)
ring of polymorph into troglodyte
scroll of protection from elementals
javelin of lightning (x15)
death lance (x8)
scroll of protection from magic
scroll of protection from demons
cleric scrolls: 17 determined randomly
ring of water walking
wand of magic missiles (50 charges)
demon staff (x2)
lurker cloak
spider wand (x2) (50 charges)
ring of antivenom (20 charges)
amulet vs. crystal balls and ESP
+1 ring of protection
ring of invisibility
dust of disappearance (x3)
talisman of lawfulness
Plus BUNCHES, LOTS, TONS, BUTTLOADS of drow weapons and armor from +1 to +5

AD&D1 party finishes at: (1,227,315 xp each)
Fighter 12 (2% away from 13)
Paladin 11
Cleric 13
Magic-User 13
Illusionist 14
Thief 15
Note: I did not include the treasure and xp from the drow city of Erelhe-Cinlu. This omission includes the main defensive wall and the noble houses (map areas 9-17). The city proper is just too random to calculate (not to mention it is 8,000-9,000 drow). The noble houses are given only a general overview with instructions to roll up treasure randomly, and the house leaders are given only basic stats without gear (DM is to assign weapons or armor "commensurate with rank").

The xp numbers also do not include xp for defeating Lolth, herself, although it is possible to encounter her in the temple.

After this adventure, the PCs are entering the Demonweb Pits. Q1 is labeled for "Character Levels 10-14", and that's pretty much right where the PCs are (average: 13). It's pretty impressive that Gary Gygax so well designed/predicted the level advancement through these adventures. They finish one right at the appropriate level to start the next in the series.

Quasqueton
 
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Sandain

Explorer
Fantatsic, I cant wait for more!

For the record, my groups always made liberal sue of detect magic and those wands of detect gems that use to be common in 1E. Treasure was very seldom missed.
 


Quasqueton

First Post
Teaser:

I finally got around to going through Q1 - Queen of the Demonweb Pits. I have the raw data (xp, gp, magic) and I'll post the results for this last module in the original adventure path for AD&D1 in a day or two.

I'm looking forward to finishing this iconic adventure series.

Quasqueton
 


Quasqueton

First Post
AD&D1 - Queen of the Demonweb Pits

Finishing the series by chasing Lolth into her Abyssal home!
Queen of the Demonweb Pits by David C. Sutherland III with Gary Gygax

AD&D1 party begins at: (1,227,315 xp each)
Fighter 12 (2% away from 13)
Paladin 11
Cleric 13
Magic-User 13
Illusionist 14
Thief 15

Total gp value: 290,628 gp

Total xp value [not including Lolth]: 522,112 xp (not including the xp value of using or selling magic items, nor the 10% bonus for ability scores over 15)

Total magic treasure:
scrolls: cure serious wounds (x3), burning hands, ESP, fear, Leomund's trap, Otto's irresistable dance, push, find familiar, ice storm, dispel magic, dispel evil, protection from evil, sanctuary, spiritual hammer, cure blindness, glyph of warding, heal
crystal ball
mace +2
amulet of protection from werewolves
rope of climbing
potions: gaseous form, invulnerability (x2), poison, treasure finding (x2), healing (x9), delusion (x4), fire resistance (x2), heroism, invisibility, undead control, extra healing (x3), flying, dimunition, fire giant strength, speed, sweet water, clairvoyance, stone giant strength
dagger +1
ring of antivenom (20 charges)
mirror of opposition
javelin of lightning (x3)
wings of flying
wand of frost (8 charges)
bag of holding
ring of protection +2
boots of speed
ring of contrariness
two-handed sword +1
ring of protection +1
deathlance (x2)
scroll of protection from lycanthropes
longsword +1, +2 vs. magic-users and enchanted monsters
pendant of truth (3 balls*)
leather armor +1
plate mail of vulnerability
wand of negation (35 charges)
chime of opening
longsword +2 giant slayer
plate mail +2 (drow) (x5)
short sword +1 (drow) (x4)
short sword +2 (drow)
short sword +3 (drow) (x2)
short sword +4 (drow)
plate mail +4 (drow) (x5)
mace +3 (drow)
flail +2 (drow)

* when a ball comes within 5' of an illusion or a magically trapped item or area, it will burst -- 50% chance of dispelling whatever triggered it.

AD&D1 party finishes at: (1,316,167 xp each)
Fighter 13
Paladin 11
Cleric 13 (2.6% from 14th level)
Magic-User 13
Illusionist 14 (0.3% from 15th level -- just 3,833 xp!)
Thief 15 (0.3% from 16th level -- just 3,833 xp!)
The above does not include the xp for defeating/killing Lolth. Defeating the demon lord* on her home plane (where this entire module takes place) is worth 124,700 xp.

I did not include her xp value in the above because I knew some folks would claim that killing her is not likely -- even though she has only 66 hit points! But the module itself explains what will happen if she is slain. In fact, the module discusses three endings for this adventure:
"A. The characters perish in the Demonweb Pits."
"B. The characters defeat Lolth, but she escapes through one of her mirrors."
"C. Lolth is slain on her home plane."

With Lolth's xp added to the end award, the party finishes at:
Fighter 13
Paladin 11 (4.5% from 12th level)
Cleric 13 (1% from 14th level)
Magic-User 13
Illusionist 15
Thief 16
-- Only the illusionist and thief get another level (because they were so close to it before).
-- If the paladin and cleric have prime ability scores of 16 or better, they, too, would gain a level (12th and 14th respectively).

* In this adventure, Lolth is a demon lord: First sentence of her description: "The demoness Lolth is a very powerful and feared demon Lord." The text mentions making her a lesser goddess as an option:
OPTIONAL ABILITIES

As a lesser goddess, Lolth has certain attributes common to all divine beings. The DM may choose not to use these in this module, since a properly-played Lolth will easily destroy most invaders. However, should these abilities be desired or needed for confrontations with a high-level party, the DM may include them in Lolth's abilities. Note that if these optional abilities are used, changes in Lolth's spell selection should be made.
The above also does not include anything in the other-world portals the PCs can go through from the demonweb (areas A through G). Those are essentially extraneous and seperate adventures.

So, to recap this ending:

Not counting Lolth's xp, a 6-member AD&D1 party could end at an average of level 13.2.

Counting Lolth's xp, the party could end at an average of level 13.5.

With bonus xp for high prime ability scores, the party could end at an average of level 13.8.

So, if I were to call it, I'd say PCs going through the ToEE-GDQ adventure path would end the epic adventure at 13th-14th level. The PCs can retire and rest on their laurels.

Quasqueton
 

Quasqueton

First Post
Quas, any plans for some more BX D&D comparisons someday?
I'd love to do this, but this kind of thing takes a lot of time that I just don't have as much of now as I did when I started this project.

Heck, it took me over a year to get around to finishing with this last module of the AD&D1 series.

If I find some time, I'll try to do another adventure or two.

Quasqueton
 

Quasqueton

First Post
If I were to make time to do a Basic/Expert D&D adventure path, what would be the quintessential modules? I've done B2 - Keep on the Borderlands, and the PCs could finish that at 3rd level. What would come next?

I've always thought X1 - Isle of Dread would come next, but that is a convoluted module for this kind of tracking. Exploring the island is a lot of random encounters, yes?

I think it would be best to track dungeon-style adventures. What are the such iconic B/XD&D modules? What's the iconic B/XD&D adventure path?

Quasqueton
 

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