Friday, March 30, 2012

The Original 7 - Dungeons & Dragons "White Box" - Wandering the Wilderness

No, I haven't forgotten this series of posts, just had a lot of other stuff on my plate.  Now that that is out of the way, lets continue our look at D&D Book 3, The Underworld & Wilderness Adventures.

Looking back at book 1, The Outdoor Survival Board game was a suggested accessory, but not required. Which is strange, as book 3 makes it seem like it is, at the very least, an assumed accessory:
The terrain beyond the immediate surroundings of the dungeon area should be unknown to all but the referee.  Off-hand adventures (WTF is an "off-hand adventure"?) in the wilderness are made on the OUTDOOR SURVIVAL playing board (explained below).  Exploratory journeys, such as expeditions to find land suitable for a castle or in search of some legendary treasure are handled in an entirely different manner. 
OUTDOOR SURVIVAL has a playing board perfect for general adventures.  Catch basins are castles, buildings are towns, and the balance of the terrain is as indicated.
Certainly seems like EGG and DA expected every ref to have a copy, or at least access to a copy of Outdoor Survival.

Heck there are other references to Outdoor Survival in book 3:  Terrain Penalties and Lost Parties both refer the referee to the Outdoor Survival Game Board and Rules for the relevant rules in these sections.  So yeah, you could run your game without OS, but you'd have to make up or fudge the missing rules.  If you ask me, this was either an attempt to send another company business (which I doubt) or a bit of laziness in rules design.

What else?

Wandering Monster tables by terrain type.

Construction of Castles and Stronghold.  This is where the campaign takes a turn in a different direction.  No mention of required levels to build a stronghold, all you need is cash.  The player draws a map of his soon to be build stronghold and gives a copy to the referee - cause you never know when a siege may take place ;)

It is nicely broken down, including diagrams of specific castle section, their dimensions and the cost to build.

Of course, if you have a stronghold, you need to hire people to keep it running and keep it protected.  The monthly cost of everything from Assassins to Men-At-Arms are included, so as to part the PCs from their treasures and gold.

Now here's a tidbit I don't recall:
Players / Characters must pay Gold Pieces equal to 1% of their experience points for support and upkeep, until such a time as they build a stronghold.  If the stronghold is in a wilderness area all support and upkeep costs cease, but if it is in a village or town not controlled by the player / character then support and upkeep payments must continue.
Kinda like a monthly PC tax.

Of course, if the PCs clear land for a barony (in other words, kill off the monsters that are there) they may collect taxes from the inhabitants of 10 gp each per year.

There are also rules for Land Combat (pretty much using Chainmail), Air to Air Missile Combat (which includes hit locations and a Critical Hit Table - damn, I guess crits have been in the game since the beginning) and Naval Combat.

Yep, that's book 3.  Next up:  The Wrap Up.

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