Thursday, July 21, 2011

Too Tough!

I will NOT be using my latest/greatest dungeon tonight for a couple of very good reasons:

A) I haven't finished it (haven't even started the mapping), which is due to...
B) It's too frigging tough!

Looking over the encounters today, I realized it was far and away out of reach of my current batch of PCs...what the hell was I smoking when I thought this up?! I suppose, I was a little too loosey-goosey with the B/X encounter tables...while it's all well and good to say, "okay monsters on THIS level will use this chart and monsters on THAT level will use the next, it sure helps if there's enough treasure on each successive level to boost the PCs' XP level before the descent.

[that's how I handled the Paschendale Necropolis, just by the way]

This one is just...ugh, retarded, the more I think about it. It's like "breezy, breezy, BAM! everyone's dead." That is NOT cool. I am all for killing player characters when I can, but not in stupid arbitrary ways.

[yes, yes...I realize that's precisely what the players think of my normal killing tactics]

SO...this thing needs to be re-worked. I know what the real problem is (*sigh*) ...the same thing I ran into often enough as a kid. Namely, there is an encounter I REALLY want to use and the PCs aren't the proper level for it. Even sticking it a couple levels down won't work since they'll still be a bunch of candy-ass rooks when they get there.

I want this one to be freaking EPIC.

So let's see what I can do...hmm, first thing is I need to come up with something for tonight. I guess I still have a couple dungeons left to pull out of the hat (and the PCs were clamoring to drop back into the snake den anyway...). That shouldn't be too tough.

Next, I think I need to completely re-vamp the B/X wandering monster charts. I should inventory the critters in the game, cross-reference 'em with the AD&D charts, and stuff my own B/X Companion beasties in there also (as appropriate). Some of these just don't make sense to me. 1D4 medusae are a level 3 encounter, but minotaurs and werewolves aren't appropriate till levels 4-5? How the hell does that make any sense? And where are all the giant snakes, spiders, and bears? Don't the live in dungeons?


If I remember correctly, Labyrinth Lord did a good job of organizing the B/X monsters in the AEC...that might actually be a good place to start. I also might need to re-do some of these treasure types...why is the average horde of an ogre lair (2000gp) so much wimpier than the average size of a bandit lair (17,000gp!!!). Not every bandit group is Ali-Baba's 40 thieves, right?

Hmmm...on a side note, I haven't got around to sticking up the hobbit class yet. I guess Dave gets to keep his halfling as is for the time being...
; )


  1. You do have a mild case of Killer DM. More like Manslaughter DM.

  2. Yeah, encounter tables are jacked. I hate to say it, but they just don't seem to take "real" threat into account. Creatures with deadly or otherwise insurmountable attacks (petrification for instance) crop up too early. I'm not against killing pc's at all, but half a dozen giant spiders with killer poison on level one? Its too harsh.

  3. but how shall they ever learn from their "mistakes" if you start cuddling them? let them apply the famed player skill! more ten foot poles or something...

    don't go soft! you're losing old school-credit here! next you'll be using encounter levels! teh horror!

    sorry, am in a weird mood today...

  4. > I realized it was far and away out of reach of my current batch of PC

    There's no such thing. Players shock me again and again. Recently two 8hd "giant storks" taken out by 1st level party (10 of them and the wand of paralyzing helped). They also slaughtered a 5hd giant snake before it's surprise wore off. Next session a "baby" 6hd Dragon Turtle (although they had expert help with that one). On the other side a handful of 1-1 hd "boglings" was almost a PC slaughter but they (the PCs) ran away.

    Three possible outcomes: Party wins, Party dies, Party runs away. As long as it's fun it doesn't much mater which outcome.