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

Status
Not open for further replies.

AdmundfortGeographer

Getting lost in fantasy maps
Any of the B1 through B4 to start seem to be iconic.

Then X2 Castle Amber. (Levels 3 to 6)

The Master of the Desert Nomads sequence (X4, X5, X10) seems to be an iconic Expert path. (Levels 6 to 14)

Companion level play was much more freeform so the iconic published adventure are difficult to fit in to a classic Adventure Path. The iconic Companion adventure is CM1 Test of the Warlords, that introduced PCs to the region of Norwold. But it is not a traditional adventure, it is a mini campaign with a framework about what PCs might trigger. Still, there are more than a few traditional encounters built in to it with War Machine battles at the finale. Still CM1 lead into CM2 and CM3 which were traditional adventure taking PCs up to 22nd level. A great deal of Companion-level play was about dominion management, though it did focus on the PCs new realms in Norwold under King Ericall. Master-level play introduced plane hopping and back to more, but also mostly loosely linked around their liege King Ericall of Norwold.

Not sure if there are "iconic" Master level adventures, most players seemed to have wanted to start over at level 1 with new characters rather than continue on higher and higher, that or DMs were freestyling it. Going wiht published adventures, follow with M5, to M1, to M3. Ought to take PCs up to level 36. If PCs are short of XP before M3, then toss M2 somewhere after M5.

That's an attempt at something of an adventure path. There is a clear mini-path in there with the popular Master of the Desert Nomads sequence. The rest are stand alone adventures tacked around. While it would be interesting to see how compare high level play in BECMI vs. any other edition, I'm not sure is going beyond level 14 (where Expert ended) would be worth much effort.
 

log in or register to remove this ad

Bullgrit

Adventurer
Did anyone who played through Q1 - Queen of the Demonweb Pits actually slay Lolth?

If so, did the DM give 10x XP for her defeat on her home plane?

What did the PCs do after this adventure/series? Did they retire, or did they find other high-level adventure?

Bullgrit
 

Did anyone who played through Q1 - Queen of the Demonweb Pits actually slay Lolth?

If so, did the DM give 10x XP for her defeat on her home plane?

What did the PCs do after this adventure/series? Did they retire, or did they find other high-level adventure?

Bullgrit

I did not play through it, but my older sister did (losing one of her two oldest characters in the process if I'm remembering properly). They managed to slay Lolth and then returned to their respective dominions. They were all landowners and mostly retired characters before they went through that adventures and returned to the same.

joe b.
 

Crothian

First Post
Did anyone who played through Q1 - Queen of the Demonweb Pits actually slay Lolth?

Yes, we did. it was an odd adventure and not all that fun.

If so, did the DM give 10x XP for her defeat on her home plane?

I think so but it was a long time ago

What did the PCs do after this adventure/series? Did they retire, or did they find other high-level adventure?

Went on to something else. I thin k after that we went to Underdark.
 

MerricB

Eternal Optimist
Did anyone who played through Q1 - Queen of the Demonweb Pits actually slay Lolth?

My favourite (apocryphal) story about slaying Lolth was the high-level thief who managed to backstab her for quadruple damage... only Lolth had a fire shield spell active. Lolth died, but the thief took double the damage he'd dealt and died as well!

Alas, I've never run or played Q1.

Cheers!
 

Ariosto

First Post
Reading from Post #1 ...
Quasqeton said:
This is the level (and xp) that the party of adventurers begin the adventure module.
Of course, characters pre-3E had different XP/level sequences, and also tended to acquire XP at different rates. A singular "party level" could be at best an average. The original tournament characters for D1, for example, ranged from 7th through 13th.

The total value of items that had a value listed for them ... does not include the value of mundane armor, weapons, and equipment taken from fallen foes.
Depending on circumstances, those could be notable contributions to XP; so, potentially, could be things not priced in the module. A bigger point is that just what treasure the characters secure is going to depend upon the players' choices (in combination with luck).

This may be a misleading methodology if returns are less variable in play of the 3E modules selected.

[Total XP value] will not include xp for using or selling the magic items (an AD&D1 rule only).
Again, this is a notable oversight ... but still begs the question of the actual XP value accruing to a given group or individual.

[Total magical treasure] does not include non-treasure magic items, like what the captain of the guard in the town might have.
The very phrase "non-treasure magic items" bears heavy assumptions. One man's (or dark elf's) treasure is often another's, after they have met.

This is the level (and xp) that the party of adventurers come out of the adventure module.
This is confirmation of my worry! How do you know what events shall transpire?

It seems that Gygax and TSR based their "large party" assumption on their personal experiences ... and tournament gatherings (having 6-9 Players in a game).
The Giants and Drow modules were DESIGNED as tournament scenarios!

The PHB advice merely suggests that players "consider how well the party playing will suit the needs it has engendered", including adequate numbers of hirelings and/or henchmen. A benchmark might be inferred from DMG p. 175, treating NPC adventuring parties in the dungeons: "There will always be from 2-5 characters in a character group, with men-at-arms or henchmen to round the party out to 9."

Smaller parties should be of higher average level, and in D1, "Judging from test play, a relatively small party can succeed only if they can return periodically to some base in order to recover and regain spells and equipment."

Variations in party composition can affect sheer survival, as well as the gross and distribution of treasure among survivors -- and the XP awards adjusted for level, and the number of XP needed to attain a level.

In AD&D, there is also the matter of training. That requires not only enough XP but also enough GP and time, and (until attaining "name" level) a higher-level trainer.


I will read on to see what develops, but these are, I think, important caveats to such statistics.
 
Last edited:

Storm Raven

First Post
Reading from Post #1 ...
Of course, characters pre-3E had different XP/level sequences, and also tended to acquire XP at different rates. A singular "party level" could be at best an average. The original tournament characters for D1, for example, ranged from 7th through 13th.

Perhaps you should read the rest of the thread before commenting. All of your concerns are addressed by the methodology.
 

Raven Crowking

First Post
Perhaps you should read the rest of the thread before commenting. All of your concerns are addressed by the methodology.

Not by my reading, they are not. Not by a long shot.

3e has an "If it is there, they will find it" mentality. 4e is even worse: "If it is there, they will find it, or the DM will keep moving it until they do". 1e had no such concept, and the expectation that the players will automatically find whatever is available is wonky at best.

A more accurate methodology would be:

1. Determine area that must be searched.
2. Determine time required to search area.
3. Determine total number of average wandering monsters during searching.
4. Determine average use of resources for dealing with said wandering monsters.
5. Determine rest time required to restore resources.

You now know how many days, weeks, or years it will take to get everything out of the dungeon.....assuming that encumbrance isn't an issue (which means that the DM has been generous indeed with bags of holding and portable holes!).

Determine how long you believe the average party will take in the dungeon, and assume an appropriate % of the treasure on that basis, adding +25 to +50% (on the basis that treasure in obvious areas requires less searching).

Now take a look at the module layout. Are there hidden areas that the party will not necessarily find? Determine some average odds of finding that area, and deduct a % of the treasure hidden in that area accordingly. Be sure to use the same % time for searching this area when determining how long the party must spend to find the treasure.

You can also go through the module and look for "equipment reducers".....things like fireballs and rust monsters, and then make some determination of average equipment loss from these. Subtract from total treasure.

Then (and only then) you might have some idea as to the average haul from a given module. (Assuming that the module was a tournament module, check the scoring section as well.....it might give you a hint as to what players were expected to accomplish easily, and what was only expected to be gotten by the "best of the best".)


RC
 

Storm Raven

First Post
Not by my reading, they are not. Not by a long shot.

3e has an "If it is there, they will find it" mentality. 4e is even worse: "If it is there, they will find it, or the DM will keep moving it until they do". 1e had no such concept, and the expectation that the players will automatically find whatever is available is wonky at best.

Then (and only then) you might have some idea as to the average haul from a given module. (Assuming that the module was a tournament module, check the scoring section as well.....it might give you a hint as to what players were expected to accomplish easily, and what was only expected to be gotten by the "best of the best".)

This has been addressed in the thread, and it turns out the "hidden" treasure in 1e modules amounts to a trivial percentage of the total haul available, and furthermore, the hiding places are in many cases so obvious that only a party compsed of idiots would miss them.

For example, Lareth has jewelry "hidden" in the cabinet in his quarters. No one would ever think to open up that cabinet would they? Further, the text says that Lareth will use this as a bargaining tool if his life is threatened. So much for the treasure being hidden.

But the real key here is that the bulk of the treasure in 1e modules isn't hidden at all. Looking through them, the amount of treasure that is "hidden" turns out to be a trivial portion of the total. Even discounting that amount changes the overall haul by such a modest amount that it isn't worth worrying about.

In other words, your objections have been raised before in this thread, investigated, and found to not match reality.
 

Ariosto

First Post
A load of 20,000 coins is 400 pounds of encumbrance in 3E; in AD&D, it is a short ton -- five times as much!

Moreover, the AD&D characters depend on treasure for most of their XP. They must get it home (and get what prices they can for gems, jewelry, objets d'art, etc.) before getting the XP.

So, unless the XP figures being compared are strictly those for defeating monsters, the undertakings seem to me utterly incommensurate.

Post #1 said:
For AD&D1 and B/ED&D, it includes the standard 1gp = 1xp.
 

Raven Crowking

First Post
This has been addressed in the thread

Inadequately. AFAICT, it is addressed as a claim without real data to back it up.

Raising a single example and then claiming that it relates to all treasure, as you do, would allow me to claim that all treasure is hidden so as to be unlikely to ever be found.

It is an invalid argument.

Perhaps you could point to the post(s) offering something more substantial.


RC
 

Storm Raven

First Post
A load of 20,000 coins is 400 pounds of encumbrance in 3E; in AD&D, it is a short ton -- five times as much!

Moreover, the AD&D characters depend on treasure for most of their XP. They must get it home (and get what prices they can for gems, jewelry, objets d'art, etc.) before getting the XP.

So, unless the XP figures being compared are strictly those for defeating monsters, the undertakings seem to me utterly incommensurate.

If you look at the actual lists of treasure provided, you will find that the bulk of mundane treasure lootable from most modules is in the form of relatively easily transportable gems, jewelry, and other modest encumbrance items. There are relatively few instances in which a pile of coins is lying about to be looted. The concern over the supposed vast weight of treasure to be carried seems to me, based upon a review of the actual treasure found in the modules, to be highly overblown.
 

Raven Crowking

First Post
A load of 20,000 coins is 400 pounds of encumbrance in 3E; in AD&D, it is a short ton -- five times as much!

Moreover, the AD&D characters depend on treasure for most of their XP. They must get it home (and get what prices they can for gems, jewelry, objets d'art, etc.) before getting the XP.

So, unless the XP figures being compared are strictly those for defeating monsters, the undertakings seem to me utterly incommensurate.

Now, now, Ariosto. This thread is about proving that nothing has changed. Don't go bringing facts into it. (Unless you slant them properly, of course. ;) )


RC
 

Storm Raven

First Post
Inadequately. AFAICT, it is addressed as a claim without real data to back it up.

Raising a single example and then claiming that it relates to all treasure, as you do, would allow me to claim that all treasure is hidden so as to be unlikely to ever be found.

It is an invalid argument.

Perhaps you could point to the post(s) offering something more substantial.

Perhaps you should, as I pointed out earlier, read the thread. Quasqueton addressed this issue pretty directly (in Post 119):

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."

So, about 10% of the nonmagical treasure plus a handful of extremely minor items (four +1 arrows, an elven cloak, one potion and one scroll, plus a +1 shield that though hidden is "easy to find"). The only one that seems difficult to find is the buried bandit treasure. The others range from mildly difficult to easy to locate. And they amount to a fairly inconsequential volume of the treasure. Looking through other 1e modules, this pattern is replicated over and over. Most of the treasure is easy to find. A small percentage is hidden in ways that range all over the place in terms of difficulty to locate.
 
Last edited:

Ariosto

First Post
The Drow modules (and perhaps some others) are fortuitously rich in gems and jewelry that make for convenient carrying off.

On the other hand, they are also fairly non-linear scenarios -- especially relative to some other tournament rounds, of course, but also compared with what I have seen of 3E adventures (which I suppose might not be representative).

A simple structure may appear at a very gross level, but the "pearls" on the "string" turn out on closer examination to resemble a wilderness adventure more than a dungeon.

The Temple of Elemental Evil has some problems as a proper campaign dungeon, but it is not terribly much lacking in number of possible paths -- no few of which can end in death rather than gold and glory.
 
Last edited:

Inadequately. AFAICT, it is addressed as a claim without real data to back it up.

Raising a single example and then claiming that it relates to all treasure, as you do, would allow me to claim that all treasure is hidden so as to be unlikely to ever be found.

It is an invalid argument.

Perhaps you could point to the post(s) offering something more substantial.
Invalid, if the single example were the only argument, which it is not. The remainder of the argument lies previously in the thread. If you have indeed read the thread, you should know what is being referred to here.
 

Raven Crowking

First Post
Invalid, if the single example were the only argument, which it is not. The remainder of the argument lies previously in the thread. If you have indeed read the thread, you should know what is being referred to here.

Invalid, if examples are insufficient, or do not demonstrate what they are claimed to demonstrate.


RC
 

Ariosto

First Post
This thread is about proving that nothing has changed.
That may be. It may even be fair to say that in some respects modules have not much changed.

I suppose that could be a fine buzzing distraction from consideration of how the games as presented in the books have changed ... or even from the fact that in my experience (which may not have been unusual), module play was generally something quite distinct from campaign play.

If modules (tournament scenarios, even) are taken today as the normative measure of the game, then that itself may indicate a change.
 

Storm Raven

First Post
Invalid, if examples are insufficient, or do not demonstrate what they are claimed to demonstrate.

So, basically you have no argument other than to repeatedly state that treasure in 1e modules was really hard to find, despite the evidence presented that this wasn't actually the case.

The only people posting contentless rants at this point are you and Aristoi. You've asserted that the treasure in 1e modules should be vastly discounted because it was soo very hard to find. This assertion has been investigated and refuted with concrete examples.

Where are the facts to back up your assertion? Your say-so?

Sorry, but you need something more. Show us the 1e module in the examples with most of its treasure cleverly hidden from discovery. Go ahead. We can wait.
 

Storm Raven

First Post
That may be. It may even be fair to say that in some respects modules have not much changed.

I suppose that could be a fine buzzing distraction from consideration of how the games as presented in the books have changed ... or even from the fact that in my experience (which may not have been unusual), module play was generally something quite distinct from campaign play.

Which is why most modules that had been used as tournament modules had expanded campaign versions in the commercially available products. You think Quas is using modules that were tournament only and somehow not used in many home campaigns?

If modules (tournament scenarios, even) are taken today as the normative measure of the game, then that itself may indicate a change.

The modules available during the 1e era are a decent indicator of what the standard version of play was intended to be. They are also the only neutral baseline we have to evaluate the way the game was intended to be played at the time they were released. If you don't like tounrament modules, then I'm sure a series of 1e adventures can be created taking characters from 1st level to high levels that use entirely non-tournament modules.
 

Status
Not open for further replies.

An Advertisement

Advertisement4

Top