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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 Monsters

Treasure being such an important thing in OD&D, I felt that selling these subdued bandits would be an obvious choice. I searched high and low in Vol.2 Monsters & Treasure to find more information on doing this and almost gave up, deciding that the reference: "such monsters are salable (see Book II)." was some kind of mistake. Then I noticed the following text under the entry for dragons:

"Value of Subdued Dragons: Subdued Dragons can be sold on the open market (going out of existence in the game) for from 500 to 1,000 Gold Pieces per hit point it can take. [...] Offers are determined by the referee merely by rolling a six-sided die to see if the offer will be 500 (die 1), 600 (die2), etc. Gold Pieces. Of course the character or characters who subdued the Dragon could keep it in their own service or sell it to other players for whatever they could get."

For lack of any other information it would seem sensible that any monster subdued for sale on the open market would go "for from 500 to 1,000 Gold Pieces per hit point it can take."

The text also explains: "Length of Subdual: A subdued Dragon will remain in that state until such time as an opportunity presents itself to escape or kill its master, but as long as the master is in a commanding position it will not attempt either course." This mechanic might tie in well with the "prisoner rules" in CHAINMAIL, which explains "A guard of 1 [person] per 5 prisoners must be maintained at all times, or prisoners escape. Escaped prisoners may fight normally on the turn following escape.

And thus we have some simple rules for selling prisoners in OD&D!


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