Sunday, August 17, 2014

Stocking Blackmoor Adventures in 1972

After “messing up” the defence of Blackmoor during the great Coot invasion in the spring of 1972,  the Blackmoor players were banished to the area of Loch Gloomen (Lake Gloomy).

We are fortunate this happened, because it led Dave Arneson to create new stocking tables for the buildings and ruins found in the area.  Unlike whatever stocking tables Dave made for Blackmoor dungeon, these tables survive, mostly intact, though in a jumbled format on pages 86 and 87, 1977 print of the First Fantasy Campaign.

In fact we not only have the tables, but we have the results Dave got when he used the tables, which is really useful when sorting out certain lacunae and typos in the tables themselves.  So I’ve sorted it all out, in a much more user friendly fashion.
Note: the tables below only cover the stocking portion, and not the generation and distribution of the adventure areas themselves.

Once the areas to be stocked were known, Dave assigned “Magic” points.  These are in fact what he calls Protection points in Blackmoor dungeon – the points to buy the monsters, not the points to buy the magic items (see yesterday’s discussion). Dave used “magic” and “protection” points separately in Blackmoor dungeon, but here the term is conflated.  For further confusion, Arneson’s notes specify the point range for any given adventure area as 30 – 180 (3d6 * 10) but the lists themselves have nearly double that range (90, 110, 110, 120, 140, 170, 190, 310, 330, 330, 370).  Strangely, there’s nothing in the 200’s. <sigh>

A way to emulate the actual range found in Loch Gloomen would be (3d6 +1) * 10 and I suppose you could add 200 points ¼ of the time.  It’s worth noting here that several different methods seem to have been used on different levels in Blackmoor dungeon and perhaps I’ll ruminate more on that in another posting.   
Once points have been assigned it is time to pick monsters.  Arneson gives us this list for  Lock Gloomen:

2d6
Monster
2
Giant
3
True Troll
4
Roc
5
Air Elemental
6
Ogre
7
Basilisk
8
Goblins
9
Ghouls
10
Lycanthrope
11
Balrog
12
Dragon

No doubt monsters were usually chosen to match the amount of protection points in an area, but clearly they could be diced for also.  The cost of a given monster is as given in CHAINMAIL, however, should one wish to, any monster can be used with this protection point method by using its average hit points as its cost.

In Loch Gloomen, where there were monsters, there were treasures, and every place had a monster.  Here is how Arneson generated the treasure: follow the results on the table below to the subtables indicated.
  

D6

1
Wealth
2
Potions & Amulets*
3
Weaponry
4
Tech and Intel
5
Combination Two of the above
6
Combination Three of the above
*33% chance (1 or 2 on a d6) it is an amulet instead of a potion.  Note what I labeled "Tech and Intel" Arneson had labeled as "Information".

Wealth  = 1d20 +4 times 1000 (4000 – 24000) Gold Pieces.

Potions & Amulets
2D6

2
Shape Changing;
3
ESP
4
Longevity
5
Flying;
6
Strength
7
Sight
8
Obedience (animal)
9
Reaction Time
10
Magic Spells
11
Invisibility
12
Teleportation; (Maximum 6 Turn Durations and 12 Uses)

Note: in the text it reads “Magic 7 Amulets (+1 …2)” – I think this means amulets instead of magic potions on a roll of 1 or 2 on a d6. The number seven looks like a typo, possibly for an ampersand (same key).


Weaponry
2D6

2
Super Roc, level  8
3
Hero Roc, level 4
4
Swords
5
Fireball Wand
6
Hero Horse, level 4
7
Swords
8
Armor
9
Bow and Arrows
10
Lightning Bolt Thrower (laser) (Wand)
11
Super Horse,  level 8
12
Bow and Arrows

Note: The fire ball wand is not listed, but there is no listing specified for pip number 5 or for 11 either.  Since fireball wands show up twice in the Lake Gloomen rooms, it must have been in one of these slots.  Also at the spot in the FFC list where one would expect number 11 to be is “super animals 4-8” and notes indicating that horses are at pip slot 6 and Rocs are at pips 3 and 2)  So horses level 8 (lower probability) are presumably at the 11 pip slot where the note was positioned, and level 4 horses at pip slot 6.  So, by default the empty pip slot 5 is where the missing fireball wand must be and that fits with its relatively frequent appearance in Lake Gloomen rooms.

Tech and Intel
2D6

2
Special Devices
3
Flying Machine
4
Teleportation Machine
5
Ancient Books and Manuscripts
6
Clothing, etc.
7
Store of Normal Weapons
8
Ancient Books and Manuscripts
9
Crysta1 Ball
10
Fighting Machine
11
Water Machine
12
Special Devices

Note: Special Devices - I suppose this could be anything, however the only unaccounted treasure found in Lake Gloomen rooms is scrolls of level 3 spells.  Scrolls do not appear anywhere on these tables so I assume the spell scrolls were chosen via Special Devices.  I'd recommend substituting scrolls in the special devices slot  to anyone wanting to use these tables for stocking, 

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