Monday, August 30, 2021

OED Traps Digest

Yesterday on Wandering DMs we pretty much had a blast trying (not quite succeeding) at designing an entire dungeon adventure live in a single hour. This was not just wildly productive, it was so much fun!

Among the things you'd see if you watched that is that when push comes to shove, Paul & I use a mishmash of whatever resources are at hand to get the job done. Some OD&D, B/X, and AD&D books get involved. We use Matt Finch's Tome of Adventure Design to get some initial ideas flowing. Plus a couple of custom resources via OED Games, of course. 

One such resource is the OED Monster Determination charts, which gets used as drop-in for OD&D monster tables. That's something that compiles monsters from later D&D products (i.e., original D&D Supplement I: Greyhawk by Gygax and Supplement II: Blackmoor by Arneson), and also gives me a lot more confidence in the relative danger levels, because they've been assessed by a few billion computer-simulated melees (see more detail in that linked page). 

Note that we only got our dungeon about half-stocked in the hour, with our special DM-designed tentpole areas, and one or two random monsters to boot. (Arguably the delay was me being my usual chatty self.) As we talked about finishing the rest in a future episode, likely with some tricks and traps, the question was posed how we flesh out those pieces. 

Here's the answer: I have another custom batch of tables called the OED Traps Digest that I've used behind-the-scenes for about 8 years now. One of the things that frustrated me a bit with classic D&D is that there's plenty of mentions in the books, tables even, for what kind of traps could be included -- but with just a few exceptions, no mechanical stats for those traps!

So the Traps Digest gives me a set of tables -- again, in a format that drops into the same OD&D system for determining monster levels -- from which I can either tastefully select or randomly roll, depending on the situation. And there are short "stat blocks" that I can copy-paste into adventure and not distract myself from writing the high-level content I'm rolling out for a dungeon area. Is it perfect? Probably not, but it's definitely saved me time and focus. 

Since viewers kindly asked about it, here it is. What do you think -- and what edits would you suggest? Tune in and see what comes from this the next time we do a Dungeon Design Dash episode. :-)

OED Traps Digest

Monday, August 9, 2021

Meet the Tomb of Horrors at Cracked

Quick post today: Our good friend Stephen Buckley had an article on the Tomb of Horrors published at Cracked.com last week, and we think it's really nifty. Humorous, but also some serious and thoughtful points there, we think. You may even recognize some of the people he cites. 


Tell us all what you thought of that? Hopefully more like that in the future.