A5 Gamers' Grid/Hex Notebooks

Dungeon Master's Little Black Book -- Kicktraq Mini

Monday, 13 June 2011

Fixing the Encounter Tables Part I

Yesterday, I listed the various first level encounter tables that I'm using to generate my own Monstermark driven version.

Today, I've gone through the Labyrinth Lord rules (including the AEC), and made a list of all the monsters with a monstermark low enough for the level one table.  I may have missed a couple of monsters out, but this is still work in progress and when I've finished tables for the first few levels, I'll decide what needs to be moved up and down.  In Oubliette 6, I plan to include the master tables in the magazine, with some additional tables in the supplemental materials section which can be quickly editied to add/remove creatures, and adjust the % chance of encountering them.

Next, I'll spend some time calculating Monstermarks for creatures in the list that I haven't already worked out.  Then I can begin deciding what number encountered ranges to use, based on an average total Monstermark and the average number of saving throws a party might be required to make.

The picture is of Maow Miniature's Monster Dice

Level 1 Random Encounter List

Bat, Normal
Bat, Giant
Bee, Giant Killer
Beetle, Giant Fire
Beetle, Giant Spitting
Centipede, Giant
Dwarf, Duergar
Elf, Deep
Efl, Drow
Fly, Giant Carnivorous
Golem, Wood
Insect Swarm
Lizard, Giant Gecko
Locust, Subterranean
Man, Acolyte
Man, Berserker
Man, Brigand
Man, Slave
NPC Party
Rat, Giant
Rat, Ordinary
Rot Grub
Snake, Spitting Cobra
Spider, Giant Crab
Toad, Giant
Yellow Mold


  1. Bless you for taking this on!

    Though I admit that what little part of a "Sadistic DM" I have living inside me really likes the "imbalances" found in the original published tables. . . isn't there something fundamentally old-schoolish about throwing "balanced encounters" to the wind?

    That said, you're doing a great thing here and I look forward to seeing the end result (and those tables) in the new issue.

  2. Thanks for the words of encouragement. I agree there should always be a chance that the party has a lethal encounter.

    In the AD&D DM's Guide there's a table (bottom of page 174 in mine) that determines which monster level table you should roll on for a given level of the dungeon. It's a d20 table and at level 1 a roll of 1-16 = a level 1 monster encounter, a roll of 17-19 = a level 2 monster encounter, and a 20 = a level 3 monster encounter. If one makes use of that table, then the otherwise softer AD&D encounters, suddenly have a chance of being really nasty. A quick scan of monsters on the level 3 table and there's: 2-7 bugbears, 1-4 ghouls, 1-3 ogres,1 ochre jelly...

    In my percentile tables, I may have results at the bottom few % to roll on lower tables, and the top few % to roll on higher ones. So the level 3 table may go something like 01 = roll on the level 1 table, 02-05 = roll on the level 2 table. At the top end of the ranges 96-99 = roll on the level 4 table, 00 = roll on the level 5 table.