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OD&D Wilderness Movement

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Things to Spend Money on in an OD&D Campaign

First level characters roll 3d6 * 10 Gold Pieces and buy their starting equipment from the equipment list in Men & Magic. After a few successful expeditions into the underworld the characters lucky enough to survive are very quickly kitted out with everything they might need: the best armour, useful equipment to cover most conceivable situations, horses, perhaps a wagon? A small boat to travel the waterways of the kingdom. But it soon becomes apparent after a handful of levels have been gained that there is much more loot to and not much to actually spend it on! This might influence a character’s motivation to seek out further adventures. So, what else can a character spend their hard earned treasure hoards on? Things to Spend Money on in an OD&D Campaign (Besides Strongholds) There are a number of services the characters can access in the form of “Specialists”. Underworld & Wilderness Adventures tells us that “There are a number of specialists available to those in positio

OD&D Selling Monsters

I recently came across a situation in my OD&D campaign: "The Castle of the Quest", where my party had defeated and apprehended half a score of bandits who were considered "subdued" as 9 had been put to sleep with a sleep spell and the remaining bandit failed their morale check and surrendered. I decided to sit down with my OD&D books and have a read through to see if I could find something that might indicate what should happen with subdued creatures. Whilst flicking through Vol.1 Men & Magic I noticed the following text in the section regarding non-player characters: "Capture of Non-Player Monsters: Morale dice can cause a man or intelligent monster to attempt to surrender or become subdued. When this happens an offer of service can be made (assuming that communication is possible) as outlined above. Subdued monsters will obey for a time without need to check their reactions, and such monsters are salable (see Book II)." OD&D Selling Monst

Construction of Strongholds in OD&D

Construction of strongholds in OD&D, or any version of D&D for that matter, has always been quite a vague subject with just a few rules scattered around the rulebooks which mostly seem to have been ignored. Here are some quick insights I have noted to help shed some light on to the subject... Underworld & Wilderness Adventures explains that it’s “mandatory to hire an Engineer to build any major stronghold.” and an engineer costs 750 gold pieces per month, but the book gives no indication whatsoever of how long it takes to build any structure! The AD&D Dungeon Masters Guide helps. It says on page 106 “Fortress-like stone constructions take about one week per 10’ cubic section. Normal stone buildings as shown on the cost list, require four months to construct, including interior work.” Construction of strongholds in OD&D The prices of construction are incredibly confusing! There are a few discrepancies that I searched high and low to clarify. Namely, the illustration

OD&D Moving Silently/Hiding in Shadows in Solo Gaming

 It probably occurs to most people when looking at the OD&D thief abilities for the first time that the chances of succeeding when using any of these said abilities at 1st level is pretty slim! At first glance it seems quite harsh on the player. Imagine a 1st level apprentice thief who is a dwarf (so gets some bonus) is attempting to follow an unlawful merchant back to their hideout to retrieve stolen goods. The thief wants to remain hidden and silently so the relevant skills would be the ability to Hide in Shadows and Move Silently. The apprentice only has a 25% and 15% chance of being successful at these things. The obvious issue is that hiding at night time behind barrels of goods, or wagons and carefully following the merchant from a distance is far easier than sneaking up on a guard without much cover and just a little shadow for concealment. So the system as presented is quite ambiguous. OD&D Moving Silently/Hiding in Shadows in Solo Gaming A quick flick through my old ru

OD&D Selling and Pawning Mundane Equipment

I suppose when it comes to the subject of buying and selling in an original Dungeons & Dragons campaign, the general rules of such matters are very much down to the way the economy of the fantasy “world” operates. This is a subjective thing and dependant on the world the referee has decided to build. A quick browse through the three little brown books and the AD&D core rules does not offer much guidance on the matter. OD&D Selling and Pawning Mundane Equipment In Men & Magic it says “It will be necessary for players to equip their characters with various basic items of equipment. Selection of items is strictly up to the players, and Gold Pieces are taken away accordingly (players may sell to one another, of course, and then Gold Pieces would be transferred).” This is about the extent of the discussion regarding selling. This falls short however when a player’s character wants to sell something to an NPC or pawn it (and pawnbrokers were around during the Middle Ages). It

OD&D Hand Hurled Weapons

It’s no surprise to any familiar OD&D player just how deadly combat can be for low level characters. Using ranged weapons against the enemy can offer a huge advantage. The obvious choices are short bows, longbows and crossbows etc. But bows aside, what other weapons can be used in this way? The three little brown OD&D books don't tell us anything about how hand hurled weapons can be used. But with a little digging we can quite easily figure things out. OD&D Hand Hurled Weapons The basic equipment listing on Men & Magic doesn’t really clarify which weapons can be thrown but there is a some information in CHAINMAIL; The table which gives missile ranges for the various troop types gives Heavy Foot a 3” missile range followed by an Asterix. The foot note explains “Troops armed with throwing axes and spears [...] fall into this category.“ There is also another footnote that explains “Javelin armed troops [...] have a 6" range.” Under the Missile Fire section of CHAI