Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Game log 10 June 2018: She didn't sing yet

Dramatis personae


Xóran, fox-man scout
Kim, thief
Mayhem, short barbarian
Ash, squire
Grymalkus, whiny cleric of the war god
Caleb, wizard
Kôštē, cleric of the farming goddess

Quid occurrit


Back in town, the gang bought gear and listened for tales. Four of them heard something worthwhile:

  • Xóran heard that an ogre with a mighty sword and his gang has taken over a mine in the north of the Áos Hills, near the wrecked Abbey of the Respectful Warrior.
  • Ash heard that undead and werewolves haunt the hobbit village of Kīkídzā at night.
  • Mayhem heard that evil cultists had poisoned themselves in their church in the woods, and their riches were still there.
  • Grymálkus heard that sexy Lady Dīdótē of Érrōn Point suddenly had gotten fat.

After a week of all this and some colder weather, they set forth in the sun, first for Érrōn Point, planning on going through there on the way to the hills, wherein they would seek help from Mayhem's kin. On the way, they ran into a gang of eight wayfarers. They tried to walk past, but the woman at the fore of the gang dropped her hood, showing her bulging grey eyes.

She was Grádē, whom they had met that summer, and she recognized Kim, who was at the fore of the party. Grádē was oddly  glad to see Kim, and, after asking if Kim and the others had learnt the true path of Ga’an, told her that the other half of her cult was in Fort Rénnutēs, which was in the hills, south of the Zúbrās Mines, and the goons who staffed the keep didn’t think much of her cult. Unbeknownst to Grádē, the path to the Abbey of the Respectful Warrior would take them near Fort Rénnutēs.

Anyways, shortly after nightfall, they reached Érrōn Point. A peasant woman named Praigên told them that Lady Dīdótē, wife of Lord Néttōr, got fat while putting on a girdle to turn on her husband. Praigên was happy that Dīdótē was now fat, as her husband no longer put his hand in his pants upon seeing her.

After learning this, the heroes went to the small manor house and knocked on the door. A well-dressed and handsome man answered the door, and Ash, leading the gang, said, “We’ve come to see the lady of the house.”

The man said, “My wife is not seeing anyone. Go away.” It was Lord Néttōr.

Xórin and Ash said they would help for nothing at all, but Néttōr bet them they couldn’t. When they again said they would help for nothing at all and there would be nothing in it for him if they couldn’t help, he told them to go away and slammed the door.

Praigên let the gang spend the night at her home. There, after drinking a few beers with her husband, Caleb learned that while the village was clean, it stayed small since Néttōr had gambling debts and never had any money.

Now knowing this, Caleb took the heroes back to the manor house the next day. There, after one of the children answered the door and fetched Néttōr, Caleb told him that they knew about his gambling debts, and tossed a glowing rock up and down in his hand. Néttōr was unimpressed by the glowing rock, but Caleb stared him down, and started tossing the rock higher and higher.

Néttōr got the idea. “What do you want?” He opened the door, letting them inside, and they got to see the family painting with Néttōr and Dīdótē, who was indeed quite comely, at least in the painting.

Caleb said back, “First, we want to fix your wife.”

Lord Néttōr shrugged. “Why should it matter that you want to fix my wife? Every guy in the county wants to fix my wife.”

Xórin then shot in, “Is your wife really that good?”

Néttōr stared icily back at Xórin, saying nothing to him, but instead called out for his wife. After some coaxing, Dīdótē came out. She looked much as she did in the painting, but weighed about twice what the woman in the painting weighed. She brought with her the girdle, which was now wrecked, as she suddenly had become fat upon donning it and her sudden girth had broken the girdle. Caleb felt that this was indeed a magical girdle.

Néttōr and Dīdótē didn’t know who did this, but did know a few things:

  • Dīdótē had bought the girdle from Makšilíā, a dressmaker in the town of Mīštássun (the heroes’ home) who held a lesser noble title.
  • The two had some foes from their misbegotten youth. They didn’t spill any beans, but it was clear that they had been less than lawful.
  • Suggên, a friend of Dīdótē from Ōndrûnkš, had lost her husband last year. Again, Néttōr and Dīdótē did not tell how this happened, but Dīdótē said she was helping Suggên try to learn what had happened.
  • Prailtûvos, the husband of Dīdótē’s friend Attibélon, had tried to sleep with Dīdótē the year before at some kind of games, but Dīdótē had pushed him away.

While not knowing who had done this, the heroes chose to go back to Mīštássun to see if Bašêr, head of the Church of Saundīvós, could come and banish the curse on the farthings of the heroes. On the way, they ran into a gang of bandits who were trying to ambush wayfarers, but found themselves dead at the sword points of the heroes. Once back in Mīštássun at the end of the day, now richer with the 55 copper and 25 silver they found on the bandits and the 1,500 copper they made from selling the lame gear of the bandits, they found that Bašêr was quite eager to help them.

Res aliae


First, we had a long chat about why I don’t write storylines. In a nutshell, I don’t find them fun, and they’re much harder to prepare since the players will go off the rails. Conflicts? I’m all into them, but I want the players to find the conflict that suits them best.

This session had many reaction rolls, and most of them went well, aside from the first one with Néttōr.

I glossed over the fight since from a game tale standpoint it isn’t interesting. I told the players this at the start of the fight, once the bandits had failed their rolls to ambush, and encouraged them to experiment with combat techniques. In one of my favorite gaming moments, Roman’s eyes lit up when he at last understood why the hit location table was so important, and tried a few tricks. The first was one he called “Trimming the Hedges” wherein Xórin used All-Out Attack (Double) and hit each arm of a bandit, trying to cut off each. Neither came off, but both were crippled, taking that bandit out of the fight. Right afterwards, Xórin stabbed a bandit in the vitals and, the next second, did the same to another bandit. As the second bandit died, Xórin said, “Too bad you can’t tell your friends about me,” and howled.

Steph, for her part, got more used to Mayhem swinging for the neck. After beheading one bandit, he stepped towards another, and “axe[d] [him] out nicely” to cut off his head, too, with a crit: “Momma had a baby and his head popped off!”

Five points. In a takeaway from Whiterock that has jibed with things I’ve felt so far, I’ve chosen to give out five points most sessions, as well as lobbing out the unused disadvantages from the character sheets.

Saturday, May 5, 2018

I *played* Dungeon Fantasy last night

For the first time in almost a decade, I was a player in a Dungeon Fantasy game last night:

DF Whiterock Session 2

My character is Ibizaber, the pronunciation of which name tripped up everyone. In the end, I'm going with dripton's "ih-bee-SAY-brr," though the origin of it is a Pink Floyd song. As is my nom de Discord. He's basically an agile frat boy.

It was good to be on the other side of the screen, which I wanted for my rules mastery. Since I'm usually running GURPS, I constantly overlook some optimal moves; frex, I didn't think to go for the Vitals on my backstab against the leader. (Not like it mattered. I rolled a 1 for damage.)

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Number appearing, loot, and in-lair for all Dungeon Fantasy monsters

I'm hoping this comes off alright, as I whipped this up in Excel and am pasting the code into Blogger. Blogger doesn't always handle typed HTML code well.

Anyways, I went through all the Dungeon Fantasy supplements I have, as well as Pyramid articles, and put all the monsters into a spreadsheet and applied my logic for treasure and number appearing derived from the AD&D Monster Manual. Some of this got refined as I typed it; some monsters that were tough but weren't big or smart enough to have treasure otherwise, like the Basilisk, got a some treasure, albeit a lowered amount. Dragons got more treasure as they got bigger, working their way up to Type H. None of this includes leader-types, which will add to the numbers and to the treasure (since they have gear you can loot).

Most of this should be self-explanatory. For the page, I reference the supplement-page, so DF5-32 means page 32 of GURPS Dungeon Fantasy 5: Allies. A P means Pyramid series 3 issue, so P98-19 means page 19 of Pyramid #3/98: Welcome to Dungeon Fantasy. Straight DF48 means page 48 of Monsters from the Dungeon Fantasy Roleplaying Game. I skipped monsters that were unique creatures in an adventure. Some monsters show up from multiple authors; I designated each variant with the author's name. I also added a few animals from the GURPS Basic Set.

<![if supportMisalignedColumns]> <![endif]>
Monster Page App Lair $ Items
Abominable Snowman P50-38 1d 1d-3 (2d-4)×1,000 1d-4
Academy Wyrm DF10-17 1d 1d-3 (2d-4)×1,000 1d-4
Acid Spider DF16, DF2-21 1d 1d-3 (2d-4)×1,000 1d-4
Angelic Emissary DF9-35 1 N/A N/A N/A
Angry Sands DFA1-45 1 N/A N/A N/A
Animated Snowman P50-38 1 N/A N/A N/A
as-Sharak DF16, DF2-21 2d-1 1d-3 4d×1,000 1d-4
Astral Ghost P80-32 1 1d-2 2d×1,000 1d-3
Astral Spider P80-32 1d-1 1d-4 4d×1,000 1d-1
Bandit-Snatcher P98-11 1d 1d-3 4d×1,000 1d-3
Basilisk DFM3-5 1d 1d-3 (1d-2)×1,000 1d-5
Bear DF16, DF5-6, B456 1d-2 1d-3 N/A N/A
Bouda P98-12 4d×10 1d-3 3d×1,000 1d-5
Bounding Turtle, Greater DFA1-45 1d 1d-3 (2d-4)×1,000 1d-4
Bounding Turtle, Lesser DFA1-45 2d+1 1d-3 (2d-4)×1,000 1d-4
Brainworms P80-33 3d+1 N/A N/A N/A
Bronze Spider DF17, DFM1-5 1 N/A N/A N/A
Bugbear DF17, DFM1-6 3d-1 1d-3 4d×1,000 1d-3
Burrowing Serpent DFA1-45 1d 1d-3 (2d-4)×1,000 1d-4
Cat-Folk DF3-5 5d+1 1d-2 4d×1,000 1d-3
Cerberus P108-11 1d 1d-3 (2d-4)×1,000 1d-4
Chaos Monks P80-33 5d+1 1d-3 (2d-1)×1,000 1d-5
Chaos Ooze P80-33 1d-3 N/A N/A N/A
Ciuaclá DF18, DFM1-7 2d-1 1d-3 4d×1,000 1d-4
Cockamander P113-16 2d+1 1d-3 special N/A
Cockatrice DFM3-6 2d+1 1d-3 (1d-2)×1,000 1d-5
Colchis Bull P108-11 1d 1d-3 (1d-2)×1,000 1d-5
Coleopteran DF3-5 2d 1d-2 (2d-1)×1,000 1d-5
Corpse Golem DF18, DFM1-8 3d+1 N/A N/A N/A
Corpse-Eater DF3-5 5d+1 1d-2 4d×1,000 1d-3
Corrosion Crawler P98-13 2d+1 1d-3 (2d-4)×1,000 1d-4
Crushroom DF19, DF2-22 2d-1 N/A N/A N/A
Dark One DF3-6 1d-1 1d-2 4d×1,000 1d-1
Deep Chimera P113-19 1d 1d-3 (2d-4)×1,000 1d-4
Deep One P113-24 5d+1 1d-4 4d×1,000 1d-1
Demon from Between the Stars DF19, DFM1-9 1d-1 N/A N/A N/A
Demon of Old DF20, DFM1-10 1d-1 1d-3 4d×1,000 1d-4
Devilkin DF9-33 2d-1 1d-3 4d×1,000 1d-4
Dinoman DF20, DFM1-11 2d×10 1d-3 3d×1,000 1d-5
Dire Frog P76-31 1d N/A N/A N/A
Dire Hart (With a Vengance) P76-30 1d N/A N/A N/A
Dire Kraken P113-24 1 1d-4 6d×1,000 1d-5
Dire Mammoth P98-13 1d 1d-3 (2d-4)×1,000 1d-4
Dire Vulture DFA1-46 1d 1d-3 (2d-4)×1,000 1d-4
Dire Wolf DF21, DF2-22 2d-1 1d-2 N/A N/A
Dolbok P108-32 2d-1 1d-3 4d×1,000 1d-4
Doomchild DF21, DF2-22 3d+1 1d-3 N/A N/A
Doppelganger DFM3-7 1d 1d-3 4d×1,000 1d-3
Draco-Wasps P50-23 2d+1 1d-3 (2d-4)×1,000 1d-4
Draft Lizards P95-28 2d-1 N/A N/A N/A
Dragon-Blooded DF3-14 5d+1 1d-2 4d×1,000 1d-3
Dragon, Large DF23 1d-2 1d-4 (2d+2)×10,000 1d+2
Dragon, Medium DF22 1d-1 1d-4 (2d-1)×10,000 1d+1
Dragon, Small DF22 1d 1d-3 (10d-3)×1,000 1d
Draug DF23, DFM1-12 1d-1 always 2d×1,000 1d-3
Drowned P106-31 1d-1 1d-3 2d×1,000 1d-3
Dryad DFM3-9 1d 1d-3 4d×1,000 1d-3
Dwarf DF3-6 4d×10 1d-3 8d×1,000 1d-4
Electric Jelly DF24, DFM1-13 1d 1d-3 (2d-4)×1,000 1d-4
Elemental, Air DF24 1 N/A N/A N/A
Elemental, Earth DF25 1 N/A N/A N/A
Elemental, Fire DF25 1 N/A N/A N/A
Elemental, Water DF26 1 N/A N/A N/A
Elf, Half- DF3-7 4d×10 1d-3 8d×1,000 1d-4
Elf, High DF3-7 4d×10 1d-3 8d×1,000 1d-4
Elf, Mountain DF3-7 4d×10 1d-3 8d×1,000 1d-4
Elf, Sea DF3-7 4d×10 1d-3 8d×1,000 1d-4
Elf, Shadow DF3-7 4d×10 1d-3 8d×1,000 1d-4
Elf, Winged DF3-7 4d×10 1d-3 8d×1,000 1d-4
Elf, Wood DF3-8 4d×10 1d-3 8d×1,000 1d-4
Embodied Animal-Spirit DF9-21 1 N/A N/A N/A
Erupting Slime DF26, DF2-23 1d-3 N/A N/A N/A
Excremental P98-14 1 N/A N/A N/A
Eye of Death DF26, DFM1-14 1d-1 1d-4 4d×1,000 1d-1
Faerie Folk, Faun DF3-8 1d 1d-3 4d×1,000 1d-3
Faerie Folk, Leprechaun DF3-9 1d 1d-3 4d×1,000 1d-3
Faerie Folk, Nymph DF3-9 1d 1d-3 4d×1,000 1d-3
Faerie Folk, Pixie DF3-9 1d 1d-3 4d×1,000 1d-3
Fear Seeker P76-9 3d+1 N/A N/A N/A
Fireball Demon DFE1-14 3d+1 N/A N/A N/A
Fish-Folk P98-22 5d+1 1d-2 4d×1,000 1d-3
Flame Lord DFM1-15 1 N/A N/A N/A
Flame Servent Demon DFA1-46 1d-1 1d-3 4d×1,000 1d-4
Flame Wasps DFA1-46 3d+1 N/A N/A N/A
Flaming Skull DF27, DF2-23 1d-1 1d-3 2d×1,000 1d-3
Flesh-Eating Ape DF27, DF2-23 1d 1d-3 (2d-4)×1,000 1d-4
Foul Bat (Batchala) DF28, DF2-23 2d+1 1d-4 N/A N/A
Frost Snake DF28, DF2-24 2d+1 1d-2 N/A N/A
Frozen Dead P106-32 1d-1 1d-3 2d×1,000 1d-3
Fungus DF28, DFM2-5 2d-1 N/A N/A N/A
Gargoyle DF29, DF3-9 2d 1d-2 (2d-1)×1,000 1d-5
Ghoul P108-12 1d-1 1d-3 2d×1,000 1d-3
Giant Ant DFM3-10 4d×10 1d-3 (2d-4)×1,000 1d-4
Giant Ape DF30, DFM1-16 1 1d-3 (2d-4)×1,000 1d-4
Giant Beetle, Big Beetle P108-12 3d-1 N/A N/A N/A
Giant Beetle, Humongous Beetle P108-13 2d-1 1d-3 (2d-4)×1,000 1d-4
Giant Centipede, Big Centipede P108-13 3d+1 N/A N/A N/A
Giant Centipede, Humongous Centipede P108-13 2d-1 1d-3 (2d-4)×1,000 1d-4
Giant Chicken P89-30 2d-1 N/A N/A N/A
Giant Crab P50-23, P98-22 2d-1 N/A N/A N/A
Giant Frog, Big Frog P108-13 3d+1 N/A N/A N/A
Giant Frog, Huge Frog P108-14 2d-1 N/A N/A N/A
Giant Maned Rat DF10-31 2d+1 1d-3 (2d-4)×1,000 1d-4
Giant Piranha P113-24 7d 1d-3 (2d-4)×1,000 1d-4
Giant Rat DF30, DF2-24 3d+1 N/A N/A N/A
Giant Snake, Constrictor DF31 2d-1 N/A N/A N/A
Giant Snake, Viper DF31 3d-1 N/A N/A N/A
Giant Spider, Big Spider DF32 3d+1 N/A N/A N/A
Giant Spider, Huge Spider DF32 3d-1 N/A N/A N/A
Giant Spider, Humongous Spider DF32 2d-1 N/A N/A N/A
Gilded Zombie DFE1-14 1d-1 1d-3 2d×1,000 1d-3
Gladiator Ape DF32, DFM1-17 1d 1d-3 (2d-4)×1,000 1d-4
Glurch P108-29 1d-1 1d-3 4d×1,000 1d-4
Gnome DF3-10 2d×20 1d-3 8d×1,000 1d-4
Goblin-Kin, Goblin DF33, DF3-10 4d×10 1d-3 3d×1,000 1d-5
Goblin-Kin, Half-Orc DF3-10 4d×10 1d-3 8d×1,000 1d-4
Goblin-Kin, Hobgoblin DF34, DF3-11 2d×10 1d-3 3d×1,000 1d-5
Goblin-Kin, Orc DF34, DF3-11 4d×10 1d-3 3d×1,000 1d-5
Goldipox P108-33 3d+1 * * *
Golem-Armor Swordsman DF35, DF2-24 1 N/A N/A N/A
Great White Shark B458 2d-1 1d-4 6d×1,000 1d-5
Grü P98-14 1d 1d-4 4d×1,000 1d-1
Grutel P113-22 5d+1 1d-2 (2d-1)×1,000 1d-5
Gryphon DF35, B460 1d 1d-3 (2d-4)×1,000 1d-4
Half-Ogre DF3-14 5d+1 1d-2 (2d-1)×1,000 1d-5
Half-Spirit, Air-Infused DF3-13 5d+1 1d-2 4d×1,000 1d-3
Half-Spirit, Celestial DF3-12 5d+1 1d-2 4d×1,000 1d-3
Half-Spirit, Earth-Infused DF3-13 5d+1 1d-2 4d×1,000 1d-3
Half-Spirit, Elder-Spawn DF3-12 5d+1 1d-2 4d×1,000 1d-3
Half-Spirit, Fire-Infused DF3-13 5d+1 1d-2 4d×1,000 1d-3
Half-Spirit, Infernal DF3-12 5d+1 1d-2 4d×1,000 1d-3
Half-Spirit, Water-Infused DF3-13 5d+1 1d-2 4d×1,000 1d-3
Halfling DF3-14 2d×20 1d-3 8d×1,000 1d-4
Harpy DFM3-11 1d 1d-3 4d×1,000 1d-3
Hellhound DF35, DF5-26 2d-1 1d-3 4d×1,000 1d-4
Hellwasp P98-15 3d+1 N/A N/A N/A
Helmet Thief P113-21 2d N/A N/A N/A
Hengeyokai P89-20 5d+1 1d-2 4d×1,000 1d-3
Herd Horror P106-32 1d-1 N/A N/A N/A
Hill Giant P102-14 2d-1 1d-2 (2d-1)×1,000 1d-5
Hopping Ghost DFE1-15 1d-1 1d-3 2d×1,000 1d-3
Horde Pygmy DF36, DFM1-18 2d×20 1d-3 3d×1,000 1d-5
Horde Zombie DF36, DF2-24 3d+1 N/A N/A N/A
Horrid Skull DF37, DFM1-19 1d-1 N/A N/A N/A
Hungry Room P76-21 1 always (2d-4)×1,000 1d-4
Hydra P108-14 1d 1d-3 (1d-2)×1,000 1d-5
Ice Weasel DF37, DF5-26 2d+1 1d-3 (2d-4)×1,000 1d-4
Ice Wyrm DF38, DFM1-26 1d-2 1d-3 (2d-4)×1,000 1d-4
Imp DF5-26 2d-1 1d-3 4d×1,000 1d-4
Intruder P76-9 1d 1d-4 4d×1,000 1d-1
Jelly DF38, DFM2-7 1d-3 N/A N/A N/A
Karkadann DF39, DFM1-21 special N/A N/A N/A
Khodoque Crab P98-15 2d+1 1d-3 (2d-4)×1,000 1d-4
Large Boar B458 1d-2 N/A N/A N/A
Lava Lizard DFM3-12 1 N/A N/A N/A
Leaping Leech DF40, DFM1-22 3d+1 N/A N/A N/A
Lernaean Hydra P113-25 1 1d-3 (2d-4)×1,000 1d-4
Lesser Ghost DF9-22 1 1d-2 2d×1,000 1d-3
Lich DF40, DFM1-23 1 1d-5 1d×10,000 1d-3
Lion DF40, B456 2d-1 1d-2 N/A N/A
Living Pit DFM3-13 1 N/A N/A N/A
Lizard Man DF41, DF3-15 4d×10 1d-3 3d×1,000 1d-5
Major Ghost DF9-22 1 1d-2 2d×1,000 1d-3
Manticore DFM3-14 1d 1d-3 (2d-4)×1,000 1d-4
Medusa DFM3-15 5d+1 1d-2 4d×1,000 1d-3
Merfolk P113-25 4d×10 1d-3 8d×1,000 1d-4
Metal Elemental DF9-29 1 N/A N/A N/A
Mimic P98-16 1d-3 1d-2 (1d-1)×1,000 1d-3
Mindwarper DF41, DF2-25 1d-1 1d-4 4d×1,000 1d-1
Minotaur DF42, DF3-14 2d 1d-2 (2d-1)×1,000 1d-5
Mold DF42, DFM2-9 1d-3 N/A N/A N/A
Mummy (Kromm) P106-33 1d-1 1d-3 2d×1,000 1d-3
Mummy (Rice) P98-16 1d-1 1d-3 2d×1,000 1d-3
Nāga P113-26 1d 1d-3 4d×1,000 1d-3
Nankilstlani P98-17 1d-1 1d-3 4d×1,000 1d-4
Needleman P113-20 2d-1 1d-3 4d×1,000 1d-4
Nest Scorpion DFA1-46 3d+1 N/A N/A N/A
Nix P113-26 1d 1d-5 4d×1,000 1d-3
Obsidian Jaguar DF43, DFM1-24 1 N/A N/A N/A
Octopus Blossom DFM3-16 2d-1 N/A N/A N/A
Octopus-Folk (Pulver) P98-22 2d 1d-2 (2d-1)×1,000 1d-5
Octopus-Folk (Saeger) P113-27 2d 1d-2 (2d-1)×1,000 1d-5
Ogre DF44, DF3-14 2d-1 1d-3 3d×1,000 1d-5
Ooze DF44, DFM2-11 1d-3 N/A N/A N/A
Paragriff P113-18 2d+1 1d-3 (2d-4)×1,000 1d-4
Peshkali DF45, DF2-25 2d-1 1d-3 4d×1,000 1d-4
Petty Demon DF9-32 3d+1 N/A N/A N/A
Phase Serpent DFM3-17 2d+1 N/A N/A N/A
Phoenix DFM3-18 1 1d-3 N/A N/A
Pscorpion P76-10 2d+1 1d-3 (2d-4)×1,000 1d-4
Pudding DF46, DFM2-13 1d-3 N/A N/A N/A
Pyro-Tiger P76-11 1d 1d-3 (2d-4)×1,000 1d-4
Python B458 3d-1 N/A N/A N/A
Quarterlings P106-21 2d×20 1d-3 3d×1,000 1d-5
Rabid Demon Dog DFE1-16 3d+1 N/A N/A N/A
Rattlesnake B458 3d+1 N/A N/A N/A
Rock Mite DF47, DFM1-25 2d N/A N/A N/A
Rock Troll DFM3-19 2d+1 N/A N/A N/A
Rot Worm DFM3-20 2d+1 N/A N/A N/A
Sage Statue DFE1-16 1 N/A N/A N/A
Salamander DF5-27 1 N/A N/A N/A
Sea Hag P113-27 1d 1d-3 4d×1,000 1d-3
Servitor Skeleton DF9-26 3d+1 N/A N/A N/A
Servitor Zombie DF9-26 3d+1 N/A N/A N/A
Shadow Warrior DFM3-21 1d-1 1d-3 2d×1,000 1d-3
Shamblethorn P108-14 2d-1 1d-4 (1d-1)×1,000 1d-3
Shoulder Dragon DF5-27 1d 1d-3 4d×1,000 1d-3
Siege Beast DF47, DF2-25 2d-1 1d-2 (2d-1)×1,000 1d-5
Skeleton DF47 3d+1 N/A N/A N/A
Sky Glider P98-17 8d+2 1d-3 (2d-4)×1,000 1d-4
Slime DF48, DFM2-15 1d-3 N/A N/A N/A
Slorn DF49, DFM1-26 1d N/A N/A N/A
Slugbeast DF50, DFM1-27 1d N/A N/A N/A
Small Boar B458 3d+1 N/A N/A N/A
Specter DF50 1d-1 1d-3 2d×1,000 1d-3
Speeding Blade DFA1-48 1d-2 N/A N/A N/A
Sphere of Madness DF51 1d-1 1d-4 4d×1,000 1d-1
Spirit Guardian DF52, DF9-23 1 always 2d×1,000 1d-3
Spirit of Place DF9-24 1 always 2d×1,000 1d-3
Spore Cloud DF52, DFM2-17 1d-3 N/A N/A N/A
Squirrel-pion Kickstarter 2d+1 N/A N/A N/A
Standard Demon DR9-34 2d-1 1d-3 4d×1,000 1d-4
Stone Golem DF54, DF2-26 1 N/A N/A N/A
Stone Shark P98-18 1 N/A N/A N/A
Strix B461 2d+1 1d-3 (2d-4)×1,000 1d-4
Succubus P108-36 2d-1 1d-3 4d×1,000 1d-4
Swamp Alligator P108-20 2d-1 N/A N/A N/A
Swamp Wisp P106-34 1d-1 1d-3 2d×1,000 1d-3
Swarm DF54 3d+1 N/A N/A N/A
Sweeping Void DFE1-16 1d-1 N/A N/A N/A
Sword Spirit DF55, DFM1-29 1 N/A N/A N/A
Sylph DF5-28 1 N/A N/A N/A
Talus DF5-28 1 N/A N/A N/A
Tatterdemalion P98-19 1 N/A N/A N/A
Tengu P89-21 5d+1 1d-2 4d×1,000 1d-3
Tentacles P80-34 1d-1 always 4d×1,000 1d-1
Terrible Dire Bunny P76-32 2d-1 1d-3 (2d-4)×1,000 1d-4
Terrible Hedge P76-32 2d-1 1d-4 (1d-1)×1,000 1d-3
Terrible Terrier P76-31 2d+1 1d-3 (2d-4)×1,000 1d-4
Terrible Whipping Willow P76-32 1 1d-4 (1d-1)×1,000 1d-3
Terribly Dire Wolverine P76-33 2d+1 1d-3 (2d-4)×1,000 1d-4
Throttler DF55, DFM1-30 2d-1 1d-3 8d×1,000 1d-4
Tiger DF56, B456 2d-1 1d-2 N/A N/A
Tiger Shark B457 2d-1 N/A N/A N/A
Timber Wolf B458 3d-1 N/A N/A N/A
Tomb Tree P106-35 1d-1 1d-3 2d×1,000 1d-3
Toxifer DF56, DF2-26 2d-1 1d-3 4d×1,000 1d-4
Triger DF57, DF2-26 1d 1d-3 (2d-4)×1,000 1d-4
Troll DF57, DFM1-31 1d 1d-3 4d×1,000 1d-3
Troll (Racial Template) DF3-15 5d+1 1d-2 4d×1,000 1d-3
Undead Slime DF58, DFM1-32 1 N/A N/A N/A
Undine DF5-29 1 N/A N/A N/A
Vampire DF58 1d-1 1d-3 2d×1,000 1d-3
Vampire (Frick) P50-15 1d-1 1d-3 2d×1,000 1d-3
Virtuous Maid P113-17 1 N/A N/A N/A
Void Brute DF59, DFM1-33 2d-1 N/A N/A N/A
Void Wyrm P80-34 1d-1 1d-4 4d×1,000 1d-1
Void/Sound/Ether Elemental DF9-30 1 N/A N/A N/A
Warband Giant P89-32 1d 1d-2 4d×1,000 1d-3
Watcher at the Edge of Time DF59, DFM1-34 1d-1 1d-4 4d×1,000 1d-1
Water Beetle P113-27 3d+1 N/A N/A N/A
Werewolf DF60 5d+1 1d-2 4d×1,000 1d-3
Wildman DF60, DF3-16 2d 1d-2 (2d-1)×1,000 1d-5
Windroot P98-19 2d-1 N/A N/A N/A
Wood Elemental DF9-31 1 N/A N/A N/A
Wyvern P108-15 1d 1d-3 (2d-4)×1,000 1d-4
Zombie DF62 3d+1 N/A N/A N/A

Monday, March 26, 2018

Game log for 25 March 2018: Wandering shadows

Dramatis personae


Xóran, fox-man scout
Kim, thief
Mayhem, short barbarian
Ash, squire
Áttikos, holy warrior of the sun god
Grymalkus, whiny cleric of the war god
Caleb, wizard
Kôštē, cleric of the farming goddess

Quid occurrit


The gang, weary from its fight with the grey pudding, rested in the room with the dwarf shrine. Luckily, nothing came while they were resting. Afterwards, Ash had the group go back through the maze, planning on taking a hallway later they had bypassed before.

However, back in the room where Kim had turned off the trap, they see a flash in the room. After taking a few seconds to gather themselves, Kim, Xóran, and Mayhem snuck into the room, where Kim and Xóran were able to see a big spider. Their sneakiness helped make short work of the spider.

From there, after a short rest for Caleb’s welfare, they pressed onward and went down one of the turns they didn’t take before. The walked from there into a room with many spider webs and no other ways out. Kim looked around and found 10 copper farthings (which nobody believed was all the loot, but thieving Kim had found loot first), while Mayhem torched the webs.

Afterwards, they wound through another hallway and found themselves at a stairs going up, as well as a hallway back to the big room with the little girl and the coffins. Rather than cut through the big room, they found their way back around and went down a hallway on the other side of the room through which they had yet to go. There, they found another stairs going up, and went up to check out the room, and, while this was the first time they had seen it, they did find some grey gunk that looked like it had come from the pudding.

They went back downstairs, and suddenly, the shadow struck. Áttikos was its target, and when it touched him, he started to feel faint. Still, he kept going, and a few seconds later, Mayhem, Ash, and Kim had beaten it back into the darkness.

From there, they went looking for the workdesk. Before stepping in a room with a big slab and a pickled lung in a jar, Kim saw a slit in the way inside. She prodded it with her torch, then a big axe swung down and smacked her in the chest, knocking her down. Mayhem bound her wounds and Grymálkus and Kôštē healed her, while they watched the axe swing like a pendulum every few seconds. Afterwards, they slipped past the swinging axe, and made their way down a few hallways until they found themselves in a room with

The desk.

It was a teak desk that somehow had not rotted away, and with some milky-white semi-precious  stone inlay to make it look nicer. It had to be a desk from Aikîā Dungeons, an order that somehow hadn’t made it to the jade idol that had made it in a bygone time.

So they took the desk. They made their way back to the stairs, and, after a turn, found one of their marks on the wall. Mayhem had a good idea how to get back, and they soon found themselves in the room with the jade idol. The idol bade them how to put the desk in a corner and to put it on the desk, and it them told them that they had fulfilled their end of the bargain, and their necks were still safe in the dungeon. Whatever that meant.

Still, finding themselves without loot, they thought hard about the cloak, and started looking for it. They made it downstairs again, and ran into a doomchild, which knifed Kim before Mayhem threw it. Afterwards, Caleb realized (or, the GM, amazed that they hadn’t put two and two together, rolled Hidden Lore (Magic Items) for Caleb, and gave him a hint) that little girls don’t belong in dungeons. Maybe it was wearing something?

Thus, they made their way back to the room with the teleportation circle, and stepped into it again, finding themselves again looking at a young girl crying for help under a rock. Caleb, however, was taking no chances, so rather than lift the rock off the girl, he cast Apportation from five yards away. The girl stood up and, once she did so, he dropped the rock on her.

Xóran and Mayhem quickly slew the girl, who, in death again, showed that she was a dwarf zombie in a cloak. As the gang could hear the lids start to come off the coffins, Mayhem grabbed the cloak and they ran to the stairs.

They had just made up the stairs when the shadow caught up with them again. Alone, the shadow tried to keep the gang from taking grave goods, but the grave robbers easily took it down. From there, they easily made their way back to the shining sky and the chilly air.

Res aliae


The first thing that I want to note is the rolls that went right for them.

I went back and counted that I made 39 wandering monster rolls. As well as making the dungeon alive, wandering monster rolls are the time keeper in the dungeon, keeping everyone away from the ten-minute adventuring day. When my players camp in the dungeon, they make sure they are in a room with few doors that monsters can open. Wandering monsters happen on a 6 or less on 3d—9.3% of the time—with clues happening on a 7 (6.9%) if they are moving. For 39 rolls, you’d expect 3.6 wandering monsters.

There were only two: the spider and the shadow warrior. The only clue was left out of the log since the players and the characters missed it in their haste to leave (it was the skittering of little claws after they had reached the first level again). This was amazing luck of the dice; doomchildren roam the second level. These have been painful in sufficient numbers.

As such, they had an easier time; the shadow warrior, while mostly indestructible, doesn't do much damage on its own, while the spider is much weaker while looking for loot than it is in its web.

By the way, +Peter V. Dell'Orto, Roman, who plays Xóran the fox-man, thinks shadow warriors are great monsters, telling me twice how cool it was. I told him he wouldn’t have felt that way had he fought it while the zombies were coming at him. That was smart of them, though who knows what loot they missed?

John thought the cloak was on Caleb’s doppelgänger, and I had to remind him that I had given out the inside poop about that doppelgänger when we went to see Chris for the last time. Nothing to do with a cloak, everything to do with Weirdness Magnet.

Grand total for the last few sessions is 12 points. Had they figured out the cloak without my hint, I might have given out a point or two more; had they not, it would surely have been a couple of points less since they didn't get much loot.

Saturday, March 24, 2018

All Wet Designer's Notes

At long last, I got published. I have about a half-dozen articles sitting in Steven Marsh’s piles, mostly the Dungeon Fantasy one, and have the basics of three more monster articles in Microsoft Word format.

And now, some notes, as well as tying them to my latest obsession, Dungeon Fantasy Naturalism. Which mostly works when you’re not in a dungeon, but, since I run a hex crawl, that’s some of the point of my articles.

Deep One: As b-dog noted on the Forum, these are straight out of Lovecraft. Their physical stats are slightly higher than my first pass (which really was straight out of Shadow over Innsmouth, and I made sure to have my copy nearby at this point) to make them a good fight for 250-point characters, which is an important design consideration.

As for their naturalism stats, my formulas say they should come in groups of 1d-1, an in-lair roll of 1d-4, and have $4d×1,000 loot and 1d-1 magic items. I think this is an excellent place to give the finger to the formulas, as they’re somewhere between Elder Thing and Mundane. They live in a pineapple city under the sea; that’s not 1d-1. I’ll treat them as magical humanoids for some purposes, which means they come in groups of 5d+1 instead. I’ll leave their in-lair roll at 1d-4 since they spend much of their time in the water, and leave their treasure at $4d×1,000 loot and 1d-1 magic items; the loot would be the same anyways.

Unlike most Elder Things, they will have some leader types. To wing sergeants, give those +1 to all stats and +2 to all skills (which factors in the stat boost); to wing chiefs, they have +2 to all stats and +4 to all skills. Deep one clerics will be normal deep ones with IQ 12, Power Investiture 2 (Elder), and some spells; I’d add Minor Healing to their lists at PI 2 since they have a society and their clerics might come with raiding parties. It makes the raiding parties tougher.

Dire Kraken: “Dire” was added in the editing process to distinguish them from the kraken in GURPS Dungeon Fantasy 5: Allies. This is the kraken out of Norse tales. Steven Marsh told me to add the bite attack which makes sense since it needs to eat, but the survivors in the tales don’t get near enough to the kraken to get a look at its mouth. The whirlpool is something of a kluge, as making a big whirlpool is tricky in GURPS. Don’t follow it too slavishly, allow Shiphandling rolls for anyone whose boat is on the outskirts, but it’s goal is to mess up anything getting near the kraken.

Keep in mind that this is the kraken. There can be only one. I’d have it normally near its lair, so an in-lair roll of 1d-4; I use “lair” loosely here to mean, “Wherever the wrecks of old ships with treasure are.” This is big enough and tough enough that it demands having treasure; I’ll take the guidelines for underwater Animals to give $6d×1,000 in loot and 1d-5 magic items.

Giant Piranha: There isn’t too much to say about these guys, as they’re self-explanatory. My earliest draft had swarms of normal piranhas as well, but since there’s a listing for them in the Swarm entry in the Dungeon Fantasy Roleplaying Game, I took them out. Adjusting for their weight and saying that a standard 7.7 lb. piranha comes in an average school of 1,000, these guys come in schools of 7d. This is twice as many as normal animals under SM 0, which seems fair for a school of big fish. They don’t have lairs so they’ll always be together, though I’d give them the standard in-lair roll of 1d-3 to be near some treasure, which I’ll leave at the standard $(2d-4)×1,000 in loot and 1d-4 magic items. If the in-lair roll doesn’t come up negative, there’s no treasure.

Lernaean Hydra: Like the kraken, this is the hydra of Greek myth. It’s adapted slightly to be a more underwater monster (a classical hydra’s Doesn’t Breathe would have the limitation of Oxygen Storage, ×100, and it would not have Enhanced Move 1 (Water)), which differentiates it from the hydra of +Peter V. Dell'Orto in Pyramid #3/108: Dungeon Fantasy Roleplaying Game III. I stuck to the original hydra being Vermiform, not Quadruped.

Incidentally, the hydra helped inspire this article as much as any monster and the thought that if I wanted to get published in Pyramid, monsters would be a better topic than diseases (which I still expect to see, as it’s one of my favorite articles that I’ve written). My players ran into a hydra, for which I used the stats in GURPS Banestorm. While they didn’t take it out, they did much better than I would have thought, which didn’t bode well for the Yrthian hydra in a Dungeon Fantasy setting. So, I looked up Greek legends online and went off those, keeping in mind the power level of 250-point Dungeon Fantasy delvers.

This does bring up one of the few true cuts: its lair, a la the tale of Heracles. I’ll just copy and paste the graf from my original submission:
A hydra’s lair will be full of poisonous gas, which will do 1 point of toxic damage each second to anyone breathing it. Sometimes there are giant crabs (Pyramid #3/98: Welcome to Dungeon Fantasy, p. 21) that live near the hydra. The hydra will not harm these, and the crabs are immune to the poison gas of the hydra’s lair (though not the poison of the hydra, lest a crab get any ideas).
Again, there will be only one. I’d have 2d-4 giant crabs there too, whose game purpose in a combat is to draw some attacks away from the hydra to keep delvers from ganging up on it right away. They’ll have standard in-lair and treasure rolls for dire animals: 1d-3 in-lair, $(2d-4)×1,000 in loot, and 1d-4 magic items.

Merfolk: My one playable race. My goal for any of my monster articles is to make at least one playable race or ally in each one. Like giant piranhas, merfolk are self-explanatory. They’re standard humanoids, so there will be 4d×10 of them in a lair, an in-lair roll of 1d-3, $8d×1,000 in loot, and 1d-4 magic items.

Much like deep ones, they will have leader types. Aside from any clerics being standard clerics, they'll be akin to the leader types for deep ones.

Nāga: Here’s a linguistic note: that line over the “A” is a macron, which means to make sure it’s a long vowel: NAH-ga. The plural is NAH-gah—both long. I generally like ethnic plurals to make things interesting, though sometimes it gets in the way too much (like “kobolde” instead of “kobolds,” which is the genitive singular).

Anyways, the nāga sets up a possible non-standard encounter, which is to go to it to seek a boon. I’d allow any request that’s more-or-less in line of might with a Neutralize Poison spell. Otherwise, they’re punishers of nature. They're highly variable and fickle in Indian tales. I originally had them as Demons until I realized this would make them subject to Banish, so they became Faerie.

Nāgā are standard Faerie: they come in groups of 1d, have an in-lair roll of 1d-3, keep treasure of $4d×1,000 loot and 1d-3 magic items.

Nix: When thinking I would write a Designer’s Note to let me tie in with the Dungeon Fantasy Naturalism blog post I had been writing, I realized that the Germanic nixen would have almost the same stats as the as the Slavic vodyanoi. They’re going to be Ugly and male, but it’s pretty much the same thing: they represent the advice of a mother of “Don’t go near the water!"

Like nāgā, the naturalism stats are mostly standard Faerie: they come in groups of 1d, and keep treasure of $4d×1,000 loot and 1d-3 magic items. I’d have their in-lair roll be 1d-5, however, and if they’re outside their lair, they’re in the shape of a person and will try to bring wayfarers to their lair to drown.

Octopus-Folk: I got these from looking at Cardboard Heroes, thinking, “If Evil Stevie gets the idea to print Cardboard Heroes in a box, what would make a good Dungeon Fantasy monster?” Like merfolk, they’re mostly self-explanatory, but I bumped up their ST in the editing process to make sure they could easily wield two broadswords and be a threat.

Octopus-folk will fall into the category of magical humanoids and have stats accordingly: live in lairs of 2d, have an in-lair roll of 1d-2, and have $(2d-1)×1,000 in loot and 1d-5 magic items. I could see bumping up the in-lair roll to 1d-3, as they’re not big so don’t need a big range.

Sea Hag: Americans and Canadians over 30 might get a little joke in the Notes about sea hags. For those who need a hint, think of raw spinach in a can. Their Terror is selective, as is her Evil Eye. (Yes, that’s a Mötley Crüe reference—I may be a progger, but I am a Gen Xer who grew up in the decade of hair metal.) Those with Magery will cast spells that can lure prey, like illusions or big explosions. Sea hags can be in a dungeon with little work, though they’re going to be near a big pond.

For the naturalism stats, they’re standard Faerie: covens of 1d, an in-lair roll of 1d-3, treasure of $4d×1,000 loot and 1d-3 magic items.

Water Beetle: These guys aren’t too interesting, but there’s always need of masses of dumb monsters. I had originally written up monstrous beetles, but since they showed up in Pyramid #3/108, I tweaked them to keep my work and make them a little more interesting by moving them to the water monsters article. They come in gangs of 3d+1, and won’t have treasure. You stumble on their nest on an in-lair roll of 1d-2; if it isn’t negative, they haven’t lain any eggs.

Friday, March 23, 2018

Dungeon Fantasy Naturalism

This post is an update to another post from a few weeks ago, going into more depth. Some of my reasoning and background is in that post and I shan't repeat it.

I’m going to cut to the chase: I went through the original AD&D Monster Manual and analyzed each monster in a spreadsheet. My first pass was to try to get guidelines for treasure, but then I looked at other things not in Dungeon Fantasy: number appearing and percent in lair.

The point of doing all this was to get guidelines for placing monsters in the game world and giving them appropriate resources. And I made some guidelines.

But first, some notes about these findings.

Treasure: Do you know the biggest determiner as to whether or not a monster has treasure? Intelligence. The monsters that lack treasure have an average Int of 2.1, while those that have monetary and semi-monetary (gems and jewelry) treasure have an average Int of 9.4. The rich monsters only have 4 more hit points (34.4 to 30.4). (Incidentally, hit points account for about 81% of the variance in experience points. If you square monster HP, it's near monster XP. Obviously, there will be exceptions.) They come in bigger groups too (21.1 to 6.3), but we’ll get to that in a bit. Hence, if you’re using Combat Effectiveness Rating to place treasure, you’re going to have issues like goblins, who are sapient and tool-using, having less treasure than a Tyrannosaurus rex unless you override this or make a formula (like IQ squared divided by 100 giving a relative weight).

For those monsters with not much treasure, you'll want to pick whether the loot is a few high-worth items like gems or jewelry or many copper and silver coins. For humanoids, I'd go with the latter. The first is for dumb monsters like shiny gems and kill to get them. Big hoards will have both. In D&D, this is a big deal, since GP found means XP earned, and being unable to take some loot means forsaking its XP. In Dungeon Fantasy, you only need enough for a week’s Cost of Living, paying off your backers, healing up, and topping off your power items.

I didn’t try to get an any estimate of how often the rolls for each treasure type yields nothing, though I did allow for that happening when you roll for low-treasure monsters. Nothing happens more often with magic items. However, it’s anticlimactic to have “You get nothing! Good day, sir!” when you’ve beaten Demogorgon, so I’m shunning that.

Something I didn't cover but is worth noting is that in OD&D and AD&D, each magic item had a chance (25% and 10%, respectively) to be a map instead. Make it lead to $8d×1,000 and 1d-2 magic items or something; these treasure hoards were often big. Yes, I know damn well that the roll of map (I'd have it on a 2-3 on 2d) is a pain in the ass, but they often led to big hoards. Have a suitably tough monster that otherwise doesn't have much treasure near it, like a mutant dire animal.

Number appearing: GURPS has mentality traits that reflect how often the species likes to be around others; this is the whole sliding scale of Loner and Chummy. For those species that like others, I’d do something like adding half again to the numbers if Congenial, twofold if Chummy, and fourfold if Gregarious. For those who don’t like others, I’d have them be one-fourth less if Uncongenial, half if Loner (15), one-fourth if Loner (12), and one only for Loner (9) and Loner (6). This is pretty much pulled right out of my ass; take what you will of it.

Likewise, AD&D has three sizes. You might want to have a more gradual scale of number appearing, going down more slowly as they get bigger or going up more slowly as they get smaller.

The numbers below are for number of fighters in lair. The humanoids will have a like number each of spouses and children. I’ll leave out the nitty gritty of orc breeding and Gygax's sexism. Extrapolating from the D&D Expert Set (p. X27) and Dave Arneson’s and Richard Snider’s First Fantasy Campaign, the average number of monsters encountered out of lair is one fifth the number in lair. So, if your goblin lair has 145 goblins in it, the average number in a non-lair encounter will be 29, which comes out to 8d+1. And when the murder hoboes reach the goblin lair, two squads, or 16d+2, will be out prowling. Per Arneson, each squad will be 1d miles away, and will likely hasten back home once the smoke signals go up that their home is under attack.

In lair: This doesn't vary as predictably as I had hoped, leaving aside Alexander Macris's recommendations in ACKS Lairs & Encounters (which is a great resource I keep meaning to review). For some monsters, like liches, dragons, and demon lords, it's clear that being smarter keeps them in their lair to guard their treasure.

Figuring whether or not you encounter a monster in its lair will go like this. You roll 1d and subtract a number. If the resulting number is negative, then it’s in its lair when you find it. Otherwise, the number represents the number of hexes away (5- or 6-mile hexes) its lair is. On a roll of 0, that means its lair is in this hex, but not where you ran into the monster. (For bigger hexes, its lair is always in the hex, though you can take fivefold this number to be how many miles away its lair is.) On average, the roll is 1d-3, or a 33% in lair chance.

For those who don't know—and don't feel bad if you don't, as it took me years to get this—the badly-explained % In Lair (or % In Liar, if you will) works with random encounters like this. First, you roll to see if the players have an encounter. Then, you roll to see which monster it is on whatever table, then roll how many there will be in the lair. Then, roll % In Lair. If you roll under this number, then the players have stumbled on the monster's lair, and there will be bigger numbers and treasure. If you roll higher than that number, the players have only met a squad of them outside the lair, and if they want to get the treasure beyond pocket change, they'll have to find the lair, so will need to make Tracking rolls. (Courtney Campbell has a summary of what is in the First Fantasy Campaign here.)

One last note: I left out leaders from my analysis to keep things simple. At the easiest, each band of intelligent humanoids will have some kind of leader, who will be tougher than his mooks. Put them with the others at your will; my numbers for those appearing do not include them.

For all these reasons, I highly recommend making lairs of monsters before you roll for your random outdoor encounters for a session. This is what Macris calls a dynamic lair. I have about 40 for when my players run into a truly random encounter.

(One-upping this, Arneson rolled his random encounters before the session started.)

Oh, one last thing before I publish this: smart monsters who have lots of treasure but don't have big numbers (dragons, demon lords, liches) will often be in their lairs. This is one of the few big takeaways I get for this stat.

Making encounter tables: These are looser guidelines than everything else here. They might be better off as observations. Some of them don't come from the Monster Manual.

  • Monsters with big hoards are rarer than poor monsters. Wealth is only valuable if it’s scarce.
  • Tougher monsters (high CER) are rarer than weaker monsters. In the wild, the predator is less numerous than its prey, as wolves outnumbering deer would lead to starving wolves.
  • Monsters with a high lair chance (like 1d-5) will be rarer than ones who are seldom in a lair (like 1d-2). In this case, think of what it means to encounter a monster—you run into it. If a monster stays in its lair all the time, how will you run into it? There’s a reason liches and great wyrm dragons stay inside, and it’s to keep others from finding them. Besides, having a mindwarper and a minotaur have the same frequency on a table means you’ll be stumbling onto more mindwarper lairs. Shades of the quantum ogre come into play if you don’t adjust for this.
  • Monsters should fit their environment. Without some tweaking, the desert monsters in Mirror of the Fire Demon would be odd in the Frozen North.
  • If a monster is a bait-and-switch monster, you need to have examples of the actual version of the monster to pull off the bait-and-switch. There's a reason the four lycanthropes in Monsters & Treasure are all apex predators and not bunnies, since running into a tiger or wolf is almost always filled with danger, while a rabbit wouldn't draw anything more than, "Look at the cute widdwe bunny wabbit! I will name him 'George' and love him and squeeze him and pet him and pat him!"

Think about writing lairs before the game, and having them on hand for when you roll that encounter. All this rolling takes time, and it will take a bit to figure out the composition of treasure hoards.

Animal: If an animal is under SM 0, there will be 3d+1 of them. For animals of SM 0, there will be 3d-1 of them, and for bigger animals, there will be 2d-1 of them. These are going to vary wildly. I’m not going to try to mimic the social organization of real-world animals.

Animals will have no loot unless they are underwater animals. For those, if they have loot, they will have $6d×1,000 and 1d-5 magic items. I’d only have animals who are actually dangerous in some way have treasure, like sharks and whales and giant piranha swarms, and the loot is leftover from their prey.

For animals, the in-lair roll is 1d-3. If an animal doesn’t have loot, you can skip this, or make the roll 1d-2 for those animals to represent stumbling upon its nest.

Construct: There can be only one. And it will have no loot. Whatever owns it may have loot; the construct itself may count as that. And it’s always in its lair.

Demon: If the demon is under both SM +1 and IQ 10, there will be 3d+1 of them; they will tend to be the minions of evil. For those under SM +1 and over IQ 9, there will be 2d-1 of them. For those bigger than SM 0 but having less than IQ 13, there will be 1d-1 of them. Lastly, for those bigger than SM 0 and smarter than IQ 12, there will be one when encountered; these are your demon lords.

The dumb demons will have no loot. For those bigger than SM -1 and smarter than IQ 8, they will have $4d×1,000 loot and 1d-4 magic items. For those bigger than SM 0 and smarter than IQ 12, they will have $14d×1,000 loot and 2d magic items. Demon lords are loaded.

The in-lair roll is 1d-3, or 1d-4 for demon lords. Demons with treasure tend to stay by it for some reason. (Well, we all know the reason, which is that they don’t want delvers to steal their treasure. I mean, duh.)

Dire Animal: Those dire animals under SM +1 will come in groups of 2d+1, and those bigger than SM 0 will come in groups of 1d. Only those dire animals smarter than IQ 3 or bigger than SM +3 will have treasure: $(2d-4)×1,000 loot and 1d-4 magic items. Their in-lair roll is 1d-3.

Divine Servitor: See demons. However, those in the service of their god will have no treasure. Evil has more fun.

Elder Thing: Elder things will come in gangs of 1d-1. Those smarter than IQ 9 and not summoned will have $4d×1,000 loot and 1d-1 magic items. Their in-lair roll is 1d-4.

Elemental: Much like constructs, they come in packs of one and have no loot. Since they’re summoned, they’re obviously not in their lairs.

Faerie: For those smaller than SM 0, they come in groups of 8d, while those of SM 0 or bigger come in groups of 1d. You truly might want some gradually-increasing grades between these, like 2d at SM -1, 4d at SM -2, 8d at SM -3 and so on. Nixies are driving up this number, regardless. They all have treasure of $4d×1,000 loot and 1d-3 magic items. The in-lair roll is 1d-3.

Giant Animal: Mostly, they are like normal animals. A single change is that land giant animals can have treasure. I’d give those bigger than SM +3 and smarter than IQ 3 $(2d-4)×1,000 in loot and 1d-4 magic items. Their in-lair roll stays 1d-3.

Hybrid: Like I said last time, treat them as dire animals. AD&D has no class like this, but for these purposes, they’re more or less the same thing as dire animals, being man-eating mutants who aren’t smart enough to be tool-users.

Mundane: This is pretty much three classes of monster. The first is what D&D 3.5e calls Humanoids, and are your humans, dwarves, and orcs, among others. For them, have 2d×20 of those smaller than SM 0, 2d×10 of those of SM 0 and dumber than IQ 9, 4d×10 for those of SM 0 and smarter than IQ 8, 2d-1 of those bigger than SM 0 and dumber than IQ 10, and 1d for those bigger SM 0 and smarter than IQ 9. For treasure, those under IQ 10 will have $3d×1,000 loot and 1d-5 magic items. Those smarter than IQ 9 will have $8d×1,000 loot and 1d-4 magic items. Their in-lair roll is 1d-3.

The next is a group of which I think as “magical humanoids.” These are Humanoids and Monstrous Humanoids who have odd powers (e.g., medusas, lycanthropes) or have morphologies that deviate quite a bit from the standard humanoid shape (e.g., minotaurs, centaurs). I’d lump proper giants in this group, lumping ogres in with the normal humanoids, though it doesn't matter much. The first group has more treasure, but this group wanders more. Anyways, they come in groups of 5d+1 if smaller than SM +1 and smarter than IQ 9, 2d if smaller than SM +1 and dumber than IQ 10, 2d-1 of those bigger than SM 0 and dumber than IQ 10, and 1d for those bigger SM 0 and smarter than IQ 9. Those dumber than IQ 10 have $(2d-1)×1,000 loot and 1d-5 magic items, while those smarter than IQ 9 have $4d×1,000 loot and 1d-3 magic items. Their in-lair roll is 1d-2; for some reason, they like to wander. I assume their big size (aside from medusas and wererats, they tend to be big) means they have higher dietary requirements and need to hunt more or something. I'd raise the in-lair roll for medusas myself, but that's just me.

Dragons are the third class, aside from a miscellaneous class which is pretty much rock mites so far. Dragons come in groups of 1d-1. Those under IQ 10 have $(10d-3)×1,000 loot and 1d magic items, and have an in-lair check of 1d-3. Smarter ones (IQ 10 or more) have $(2d+2)×10,000 loot and 1d+2 magic items; their in-lair check is 1d-4. A smart dragon doesn’t go flying around announcing its presence, much like demon lords.

Plant: There will be 2d-1 such plants. If they have IQ 6 or higher and are not Bestial, they have  $(1d-1)×1,000 loot and 1d-3 magic items. For those plants that can move, their in-lair check is 1d-4. For those plants that cannot move, they are always in their lair.

Slime: Slimes come in groups of 1d-3. If they have IQ 6 or higher and are not Bestial, they have  $(1d-1)×1,000 loot and 1d-3 magic items if IQ 6 or higher, much like plants. The few slimes that have treasure have an in-lair roll of 1d-2. Most slimes won’t have a lair; that they’re moving dungeon cleanup is the point.

Spirit: Spirits tend to be lonely and come in packs of one. They have $2d×1,000 loot and 1d-3 magic items if they lack either Slave Mentality or Bestial. Their in-lair roll is 1d-2.

Undead: Those undead that have Slave Mentality or Bestial come in gangs of 3d+1. Liches stay alone; others come in groups of 1d-1 otherwise. The undead who lack Slave Mentality of Bestial have $2d×1,000 in loot and 1d-3 magic items. Liches have $1d×10,000 and 1d-3 magic items. Undead other than liches have an in-lair roll of 1d-3; liches roll 1d-5. Like smart dragons and demon lords, liches do not like to alert others to their presence.