Monday, August 6, 2012, 5:02 AM
Congratulations! We're up to page 66 in the DMG...of 240. I hope I'm providing a comprehensive enough reading for everyone. Of course, some later sections such as Magic Items (pp 125-168) won't explore every single item; only a few iconics, and I'm not going to run down every critter in the monster tables from pp. 196-215, so we're further on that it seems....
Close to Striking Range: This just clarifies that if you move up to your base speed to engage an opponent, combat moves to the next round. A strange contradiction here; this section clarifies that if the opponent is over 1" (10 ft/yards) away, "Play goes to the next round after this, as melee is not possible, although other activity can, of course, take place such as that detailed above." But I seem to recall earlier (or perhaps later; I can't remember where, exactly) it clarified that one can move up to half his base movement and still attack.
Charging has several factors involved in first edition, rather than simply doubling base speed and granting a bonus to hit and penalty to AC (though in practice, once factors are accounted for, the end result is similar; it's just broken down differently and the rationale explained).
Now, here is the first place where the difference in scale outdoors vs. indoors actually makes a practical difference. Outdoors, with the 1"=10 yard scale, bipedal creatures increase speed by 1/3 for charging; quadrupeds increase it by half-again. The text references Swords & Spells, which is difficult to come by these days. I have a copy (and a PDF), but really, it's not necessary to have this reference here. Swords & Spells is simply a detailed fantasy miniatures mass battle system, and this reference is merely a reference to a table on page 3 of that document, which shows the 1/3 "charge bonus" to movement.
Movement indoors, on the other hand, sees base speed doubled, just like in later editions of the game.
Of course, an opponent must be with 1" at the end of a charge move for melee to take place.
Armor Class of Charging Creatures: in first edition, charging creatures lose their Dexterity Bonus to AC, which results also in AC being penalized by one. This is an important factor to remember, and should very likely be repeated elsewhere, but isn't. I'll repeat: Any character who loses their Dexterity bonus to AC also sees AC penalized by one (thus, AC 3 becomes AC 4). For a character with an 18 Dexterity, this is pretty brutal. What exactly the rationale is for this rule, I cannot say, unless AC granted by armor also counts in the armor's mobility allowance, though that seems off, as every kind of armor, no matter how light or heavy, effectively then grants 1 point of AC for dodging...hrm. Still, this seems to be upheld in the fact that "There is no penalty to AC 10 creatures for charging, however." (p. 66)
Melee At [sic] End of Charge: "Initiative is NOT checked at the end of the charge" (p. 66)... a strange statement, as one would assume that if you begin the charge, it occurs on your initiative turn. However, it goes on to clarify that the opponent with the longer weapon strikes first (a shadowy precursor of 3.x's Threatened Space and Reach). IF the charging creature survives a "first strike" by an opponent with a longer reach weapon, he gains +2 to hit.
Set Weapons Against [sic] Possible Opponent Charge: If an opponent with a longer weapon (such as a spear or pole arm) sets his weapon against a hard object such as a wall, or even angled into the ground, and scores a hit against a charging opponent, the set weapon deals double damage. I might prefer something a tiny bit more robust here, perhaps a contested roll to see if the weapons can be set in such a way that the charging opponent cannot avoid by breaking off the charge...but I suppose it works as-is. It's simple and elegant, and really, if a character decides to charge someone with spears or pole arms...I suppose that's just a risk you knowingly take.
The first few sub-sections of this part deal with weapon speed, a much debated element of first edition AD&D. Most of us who use weapon speed, I daresay, have adopted some adaptation of the second edition formula, where weapon speed simply directly influences initiative. That's certainly the system I use. But I'll try and simplify and make sense of the actual first edition system here, which is actually not all that complex and would work just fine by the book.
Indeed, for those who often complain that first edition combat isn't robust enough, and just boils down to "hit, damage, hit, damage," these little fiddly bits may be kind of what's missing for you.
Initiative, as discussed earlier, is "the key factor as to which side strikes blows first each melee round. This is modified by creatures with attack routines, whether by natural or magical ability. It is also modified by weapon length when one opponent is charging into melee contact." (p. 66)
Simultaneous Initiative: Here we have the first direct reference to weapon speed. When two people have the same initiative, first strike goes to the combatant with the lower weapon speed. Thus, a short sword will always have first strike over a long sword, and a long sword over a great sword.
Weapon Speed Factor: This section expounds upon what weapon speed factor entails within the scope of play. It is, as one would expect, a number that represents the heft, balance, prep and recovery time to use a weapon. However, it is not normally figured into initiative due to the 1-minute melee duration, but only acts as a "tie breaker" for combatants who share the same initiative score.
This being said, "When weapon speed factor is the determinant of which opponent strikes first in a melee round, there is a chance that one opponent will be able to make multiple attacks." (p. 66) This means that the only time you get multiple attacks due to weapon speed is when you share the same initiative as your opponent and strike first as a result of having a faster weapon.
In this case, if your weapon speed is half that of your opponent's, you can strike twice. If your weapon speed is at least ten less that of your opponent's, you get to strike three times: twice before your opponent, and once simultaneously with him. Suddenly, despite the reach, a short sword vs. a pike or halberd is a very attractive option indeed. Remember, however, that as explained earlier, reach is also important, as an opponent with a longer weapon gets first strike as you close to within striking distance. Thus, an attacker with a short sword against a defender with a pike would see the pike wielder striking first, as the short sword wielder closes; the short sword wielder would then attack twice before both he and the pike wielder attacked simultaneously.
Other Weapon Factor Determinants: This section details how the math works on determining when a weapon strikes with respect to a spell's casting time, but it's not very well explained and can be a headache. I'll try to clarify it here.
The formula given is simple enough: First subtract the losing initiative die roll from the wielder's weapon speed. Then subtract the adjusted weapon speed from the spell's casting time. Ignore the odd statement "treating negative results as positive," and rather assume that a negative result means, "comes x segments after the spell completes."
Thus, a character wielding a long sword with a weapon speed of 5 who loses initiative with a roll of 1 is attacking a wizard casting fireball (casting time 3). 5-1=4, and 3-4=-1, The sword would attack 1 segment after the spell completes.
If the sword-wielder had rolled a 2 for initiative, we have 5-1=3, and 3-3=0. The blow would land at the same time as the spell was cast.
If the sword-wielder had rolled a 3, we have 5-3=2 and 3-2=1. The positive result indicates the sword blow strikes 1 segment before the spell completes and disrupt the spell (provided, of course, the attack is successful).
And so on and so forth.
As a side note, this seems to somewhat contradict the earlier statement that spell casting is resolved with missile fire before melee begins.
In my house system initiative is rolled on a d10, adding dexterity bonus and subtracting weapon speed, then proceeding from highest to lowest, with initiative score indicating the segment on which you act. Results over 10 and below 1 function as tie breakers. Missile fire and spells are resolved first, proceeding in order of initiative. Thus, spell casters always begin casting on segment 10, with casting time determining what segment the spell activates on (though I do allow casters to choose to delay casting until they are in regular melee passes, such as with a cleric who anticipates the need to cast a Cure Light Wounds on an injured companion during the fight). In the case of the fire ball, the caster begins on 10 and the spell activates on 7. Any character--missile or melee--who acts on segment 7-10 can disrupt the spell. But that's just how I roll, and no, it ain't perfect!
Striking to Subdue: Interestingly here, there is no penalty to attempt to inflict subdual damage with a bladed weapon as there is in later editions. One simply decides to strike to subdue, and 75% of damage done is then temporary damage, with 25% being "real." This particular section doesn't break down how temporary damage works.
Special "To Hit" Bonuses: I really sort of wonder why all this information under "Further Actions" was not placed under the "MELEE" section on page 69, but it is what it is, I suppose. Here we are told that off-balance or encumbered opponents grant a +2 to hit; stunned, slowed, or partially bound opponents grant +4; and sleeping, held, paralyzed, or otherwise immobile or helpless opponents can be automatically hit (and, the book states, automatically slain). This is something roundly missing from later editions. In 3.x, for example, one needs to actually roll to hit an opponent (albeit with a huge bonus) to perform a coup-de-grace. It always seemed rather ludicrous to me that it's possible to miss an opponent who is laying there motionless...or that one could somehow fail to, say, slit his throat.
Wednesday, August 1, 2012, 8:06 AM
So it seems that somehow or another every comment that's been left on any of my blogs has been wiped.
This makes me rather angry as there were some really good comments left. Please be assured that I did not delete a single comment from my blog.
I hope WotC is aware of this issue and straightens it out soon...
Wednesday, August 1, 2012, 5:12 AM
SPELLCASTING DURING MELEE
Believe it or not, here (along with "breaking off from melee," about 5 pages down the line) we see the roots of attacks of opportunity, all the way back in first edition.
In later editions, with their 6-second melee rounds (equivalent to a segment in AD&D), it was sometimes hard to reconcile spell disruption if you really took the time to think about it. After all, if a spell took one action to cast (and you could even move after), how can someone hit you and disrupt it?
In AD&D, most spells higher than third level had a casting time of at least one round, which meant they took a full minute of ritual to get off (Spells of third level and below, incidentally, mostly had casting times equal to their level in segments, which, as a side note, is why I use a d10 for initiative; lets me know exactly what segment a character acts on).
A great deal goes on in that minute's worth of time--and there's plenty of time for someone to whack you with a club or shoot you with a bow while casting. Also, there was no concentration check for disruption. You got hit and took damage, your spell fizzled. Period. This may seem harsh, but consider the sheer power of higher level wizards in first edition. The ability to disrupt their spells was a powerful balancing factor in the game.
This means that while in melee combat, a wizard could feasibly and safely cast a first level spell, so long as no enemies act on the same segment as he. A second level spell could be safely used so long as nobody acts within two segments, and a third, so long as he has three segments' worth of free movement.
A fourth level or higher spell, however, he'd have problems with unless his enemy missed him on a melee attack.
The book gives us five guidelines for spell casting in melee.
1. Casters must note what spell they intend to cast (and its casting time) before initiative dice are rolled. This makes sense on some level, particularly if he may be casting a higher level spell requiring him to begin casting immediately. On another level, if he's casting a lower level spell requiring only one or two segments to complete, there's no reason (in my opinion) that the DM shouldn't allow him to change his mind if, for example, he's attacked before his turn.
This brings up another interesting interpretive point. Do magic users cast on their initiative segment or no? The book indicates that they attack along with ranged attacks, which would mean that spells, like missile fire, are always resolved first...or at least, are begun first. That would seem to jibe with the requirement above that casters have to declare their spell before initiative is rolled. The book remains difficult on this, however; do missile weapons act on a completely separate initiative sequence? Generally speaking, I have everyone roll for initiative once. I then resolve missile fire in the order in which their dice would otherwise indicate (basically ignoring the initiative scores of those who are engaging in melee combat until this is done), then move to melee. Magic users casting spells would, I presume, work the same way. However, while they'd begin casting along with ranged troops, they would complete casting on the appropriate segment of melee combat as indicated by their spell's casting time. Thus, all spell casters begin casting on segment 1 of melee combat, regardless of their initiative die. First level spells would then activate on segment 2, second level on segment 3, and third level on segment 4. This leaves an opening for a caster using a first level spell to be disrupted, if an enemy has rolled a 10 (or higher) for initiative (on my house initiative system), allowing him to act on the first segment (basically just after missile fire goes off).
2. The by-the-book system for initiative isn't much different; it's just that all attacks are begun on segments 1-6 of combat (p. 65, DMG). The second point for handling spell casting in melee--ignoring my interpretation using my initiative system above--states that all attacks against the spell caster come on the segment indicated by the winning side's initiative die, even if the PCs' side is the winner. I'm having a hard time working this bit out, but I presume the idea is that it's a balancing factor to allow enemies a chance to disrupt the spell.
3. Intelligent creatures will, lacking other specific motivations, always attack a spell caster first, as all intelligent creatures can recognize the danger of spells and magic users.
4. The spell caster loses his or her Dexterity Reaction Bonus to AC when casting in melee combat.
5. Any successful attack or non-saved-against attack disrupts the spell. This is a cause of much debate amongst (shall I say it?) munchkins. For years there were players that would argue, "if I poke him with a pointy stick, even though it doesn't really damage him, that's an attack so it should ruin his spell!" To that I give a resounding NO. To qualify as a successful attack, it has to do real damage or cause some other quantifiable negative effect (such as an enemy caster throwing off a sleep spell before the PC caster finishes his spell).
Now, here's an interesting tidbit. Unless I am mistaken, activating a magic item such as a wand in 3.x provoked an AoO (and I could be mistaken; it's been a good while since I played 3.x). In AD&D, magic items are single attacks that cannot be disrupted. It does clarify that rods, wands, staffs, etc., attack with missile discharge.
Effects of Cover on Spells and Spell-like powers: Cover provides its normal AC bonus to saving throws against area effect or damaging spells. Further, if 90% cover is available, a successful "half-damage" save means no damage will be suffered. Good stuff.
Monster Charm Power: This alters the "charm person or monster" spell-like ability of monsters such as nixies and vampires. Unlike the spell of the same name, monster charm powers are more like domination; not only is the subject favorably inclined towards the monster, but he or she is, until the power wears off, subject to commands from his or her "master." Telepathic communication is possible within 60' or line of sight (whichever is greater), and the subject will obey any command that isn't physically harmful, including giving away worldly possessions, betraying friends, etc, but not committing suicide or attacking an obviously superior foe (a vampire couldn't make a third level thrall attack a Type VI demon, for example).
We're all pretty well familiar with how this works. Even in 3.x the cleric made his check and referenced a chart to see the success of the action. This is one of the very few elements of D&D that didn't change much up through third edition (I'm not going to compare 4th, as it's the first version of the game, IMO, where the rules disconnect is so great as to make it a wholly different game from prior editions--and I'd ask we not discuss the good or bad of that here. There's a preponderance of 4e discussion threads all over the D&D boards for that).
Clerics, rather than having a set number of turn attempts per day as in later editions, can attempt to turn any given type of undead once per encounter. In effect, you get one shot at it, and if it fails you can't try again next round...though if there's a second cleric in your group, she can give it a shot.
That being said, it is specific that it's a type of undead. So long as you're successful in your attempt, you can turn a second type of undead in the same encounter. That means if you turn a group of zombies (and are successful), you can then try and turn the skeletons with them next round. If that's successful, you can move on to the mummy that's with them, etc. The book clarifies that the DM may opt to disallow turning for the most powerful among the undead. So if the aforementioned group of zombies, skeletons and a mummy is led by a vampire, the DM could grant "turn immunity" to the vampire for this encounter, though he should inform the cleric's player of that.
Evil Clerics: Just as in later editions, evil clerics can compel undead to obey them, rather than turning the creatures. If the cleric gains a "Turn" result on his attempt against such creatures, they will remain neutral or serve the cleric for up to 24 hours (24 hours minus the minimum number needed to turn the creature).
It's interesting that the book discusses creatures being neutral or serving, but gives no advice on how to adjudicate neutrality vs. servitude. The implication is that very powerful undead like liches or demons and devils (yes, in first edition, the turning ability works against creatures from the "lower" planes as well as on corporeal undead) will be neutral, while those of ghost or vampire status or less will serve, but it's not 100% clear.
Hostile action against undead cancels the cleric's control over them.
Counter-affecting: enemy clerics can try to cancel a cleric's turn or control ability by making his own turn check. Straightforward, but a bit easy as it doesn't take the difference in power between the two clerics into account. I'd probably rule that to do this the counter-effect has to take place via turning an undead with hit dice equivalent to the enemy cleric (i.e. you're not re-turning the undead in question; you're attempting to turn the power of the other cleric).
Evil Areas: Some areas can be designated "evil," inflicting a penalty to attempts to turn undead in that area at the DM's discretion. This is similar to Turn Resistance in later editions of the game, but associated with an area rather than a creature.
Friday, July 27, 2012, 8:37 AM
Here we have the classic reaction system, which really (at least, up through 3.5) never changed much, save that it moved from % dice to a straight d20 roll in 3.x. And we have morale checks.
Oh, how I miss morale checks. So much fun to be had in morale checks.
Next, we have guidelines for avoiding encounters, mostly reminders that the DM should know his NPC's well enough to be able to determine whether or not they pursue a fleeing party who has been detected.
The single paragraph regarding attempts to Parley is amusing, and once again indicative of a certain come-and-go antagonism between DMs and players in the old days, particularly the following:
"It is common for player characters to attack first, parley afterwards. It is recommended that you devise encounters which penalize such action so as to encourage parleying attempts--which will usually be fruitless, of course!" (DMG, 63).
There is information here regarding damage to items hurled or fired into the area effect of a spell, i.e. a hammer thrown at a target just as a fireball goes off in the same spot. Generally, it's just a nod to the "Item Saving Throw" table which is found later on page 80 (but not here cross-referenced for page number; naughty, naughty).
The section on missile discharge into melee, while it makes some good sense, is a bit overcomplicated compared to systems that came later. Rather than simply assigning the target a degree of cover for each opponent in the group, this seems to indicate it's impossible to target a specific combatant in melee, and any missiles fired into a melee have a fairly random chance to hit any combatant based on the size and number of participants.
Personally, I prefer the ability to target a specific individual, with random hits occurring should the shot miss due to the individual's cover (that being other combatants).
The only exception to this rule, Gygax writes, is if there is an opponent that is significantly larger than everyone else. In this case, he can be targeted with no penalties or worries. So if you're fighting a dragon or giant, you're fine to shoot it.
For Giants throwing rocks, the reader is directed to the rules on small catapults, giant-hurled boulders being similar in nature.
Strength Bonus Considerations: Here we have the first mention of what would later be known as "Strength bows," or in 3.x, "Composite bows" (composite bows were a wholly different animal in first edition, being simply just another type of bow). In first edition, a strength bow would grant the strength bonus to hit, as well as to damage, unlike later editions, where it only added to damage. Slung or hurled weapons, of course, always gain strength bonus.
Dexterity Penalty and Bonus Considerations: Dexterity "to hit" adjustment for missile weapons applied to initiative in first ed. as well as the actual bonus or penalty to hit an opponent.
An interesting thing to ponder: Does a strength bow then gain both the Strength and Dexterity bonuses to hit? This isn't clear in the rules, but would make, for example, a strong thief a very deadly opponent indeed.
Note regarding giant and machine missiles: A blurb reminding (or informing) the DM that giants or siege engines throwing great rocks don't allow targets their dexterity bonus to AC, as they are too big. Since earlier we were directed to the siege engine rules for Giant-hurled rocks...this bit probably belongs in that section, not here.
Missile fire cover and concealment adjustments: Here we have the basic % of cover and concealment translated into AC bonus for the target. Personally, I've always preferred to just translate the % cover into a straight miss-chance, with failure on the % dice indicating striking the cover, and the % concealment into a hide percentage (you can't attack what you can't see). It's an extra die roll, but it replaces extra calculation to determine whether you would've hit the target if not for the cover and blah, blah, blah, so it's a trade off. It also, as I mentioned earlier, makes for a very simple method of determining firing into melee.
Here we have the breakdown of damage and splash area for things like oil, acid, holy water, and poison. Interestingly, a character's strength has nothing at all to do with how far he can throw something. This always kind of bugged me; all thrown items have a range of 1/2/3".
Here we do get into what I think may be a bit of overcomplication, but what at the same time could add a lot of fun "Groan!" moments: when you hit with a grenade-like missile, you have to roll again on the item saving throw table to see if it actually breaks.
Splash damage extends out to 3' surrounding the point of impact. It's somewhat frustrating how Gygax jumps between inches and feet to identify areas and distance, though presumably measurements in feet denote that regardless of indoor or outdoor scale, that's the area/range/distance.
Once again here we have a reiteration that boulders have a 1' or 2' area of effect. More information is given that for every 14 lbs. of weight, 1d6 damage is dealt (or 1 point of damage per foot of distance dropped between 10 and 60').
A simple system is given for determining the direction and number of feet by which a missed throw misses. 1d6 determines feet, 1d8 direction. Easy and intuitive to remember, though oddly the d8 begins with long right (1:30) instead of straight ahead (12:00).
One more interesting tidbit: a reminder that unholy water damages paladins. Good stuff; I'd nearly forgotten that.
Thursday, July 19, 2012, 7:18 AM
Encounters, Combat, and Initiative
This fairly well-done section gives us all the basics of AD&D Combat in less than two columns of text. It begins with a clarification that combat is broken down into one minute melee rounds (a serious change from later editions, wherein a melee round is equivalent to what would be a segment in AD&D). This also results in a far greater abstraction of events than appears in later editions of the game, and in other games that have followed. It's not that AD&D combat was not cinematic; it's that all those cinematic elements were on the impetus of the DM to describe. The old adage, "it's all in how good your GM is" was never truer than in the handling of combat in AD&D first edition. Your attack roll does not represent the fact that you only swing your sword once per minute. Rather, it represents an assumption that the monsters you're fighting are in fact trained (or at least, desperate) warriors themselves, and that roll is the sum total of the openings you get in a one-minute battle that may allow you to have an effect upon your opponent.
I don't say "damage your opponent," because that presumes a largely mistaken idea, which is that hit points represent the physical damage a character can take before dying.
The book is pretty clear: any character or monster or creature can be killed by a single direct sword blow. What, then, does the escalation of Hit Points represent? They represent your prowess in battle situations. They represent endurance, skill, parrying, dodging, the works. The decreasing of a hit point total represents all of those near misses and exertion that wear down a warrior in battle. The increasing base--after the first hit die--represents your character getting better at going the distance before taking that fatal hit. The closest any character comes to an actual total of increasing damage points (again, beyond the very first hit die) is his Constitution bonus, though even that is not an exact representation and itself represents endurance as well as toughness. Gygax writes:
Damage scored to characters or certain monsters is actually not substantially physical -- a mere nick or scratch until the last handful of hit points are considered -- it is a matter fo wearing away the endurance, the luck, the magical protections. With respect to most monsters such damage is, in fact, more physically substantial, although as with adjustments in armor class rating for speed and agility, there are also similar additions in hit points. (DMG, p. 61)
This is getting slightly ahead of ourselves; a more substantial discussion of hit points comes 20 pages later, and I'll address it in more detail when I get there, but it fits here as well, and it is here that it's first mentioned.
It's not a perfect system by any means--particularly when one considers the variance in weapon damage. If hit points represent dodging, weaving, and parrying, then why does a long sword deal more damage than a short sword? Surely it doesn't take more energy to duck one or the other. And why doesn't swinging your weapon cause you to suffer hit point loss? Swinging a two-handed sword or battle axe is heavy business. Still, as an abstract, it works wonderfully, and really, I've yet to encounter a system where combat runs as fast as it did in AD&D. But we'll get to that later (and I'd ask people to withhold comments on the speed of play or lack thereof until I get to the combat matrices).
Following the explanation and rationale for 1-minute melee rounds, we are given a step-by-step breakdown of how combat works in game. The steps are as follows:
1. Determine surprise conditions
2. If not already known by the DM, determine distance (most people, I think, skip this step)
3. Following surprise, or if equal conditions exist, roll for initiative
4. Adjudicate actions taken (avoid, wait, attack melee or missile, parley, grapple, etc.)
5. Determine results of actions (damage, held conditions, etc.)
6. Lather, rinse, repeat from step 3. Surprise:
The instructions on determining surprise are pretty clear: roll a d6, and a result of 1 or 2 indicates surprise. A single roll is made for the party, and a single roll is made for all enemies, using the most favorable conditions available. Thus, if a party has, for example, a ranger that is surprised only on a roll of 1, his condition affects the entire party (making rangers really
useful to have around).
Individual characters (and monsters) can mitigate surprise situations based on their Dexterity reaction. In this manner, the party might be surprised, but the thief, with a high Dex score, might get to act as normal during that period.
The difference between the higher and lower results determines how many segments
of time the surprising party has to act against the surprised. A segment is noted here parenthetically as six seconds of time. Thus, our time keeping underground is cleverly divided into tens, while still remaining on a 60-minute cycle. Each segment is six seconds. Ten segments are a round (60 seconds/1 minute). Ten rounds form a turn, or ten minutes.
During a surprise segment, a character can perform any action they could take in a single round. In this case, making an attack does, in fact, mean you make a swing of the sword. The surprise basically results in one or more openings for your character's assault. What's worse, surprise is really brutal in AD&D, as if, for example, a party surprises a group of orcs and gets a six on their surprise die while the orcs roll a one, the party may now attack five times
before the orcs "wake up."
The exception to this is spellcasting, which is fixed in duration and not dependent upon openings in combat. Thus, only spells with a casting time equal or less than the surprise segments allotted can be cast during the surprise round. Otherwise, the spell can be started, but won't go off until after regular initiative is begun.
My only issue with surprise as it stands is the use of the d6. The options are too limited and too easily mitigated by dexterity bonuses, particularly if a ranger is present in the party. It wouldn't be difficult to maintain similar probabilities using a higher die. Instead of a d6, for example, roll a d12 for surprise, with a 1-4 indicating surprised conditions. A ranger's ability reduces this to 1-2. Of course, the rarity of surprise occurring may have been exactly the intent, but if this is the case, why not just get rid of it altogether?
Next we have a blurb that is mostly advice for the DM to keep in mind when determining factors that may contribute to surprise. Things such as eating, sleeping, pooping (though he calls it "Waste elimination"), distraction, morale, and environment. No real game mechanics are given, just solid DM reminders.
Following Surprise, we are given a brief set of guidelines for determining Distance
of random encounters. Basically, we're given a distance of d6+4" (50-100 feet indoors, 50-100 yards outdoors) and then a list of potential modifying factors at the DM's discretion. General extra details that are useful to have if the situation arises, but which I expect won't be used very often, as most DMs will know the distance between parties at the start of an encounter and if they don't many will just wing it. Initiative
Let's face it--we all know what Initiative is and how it works. The differences here are that in AD&D it's rolled on a d6 (though I always used a d10; I like a larger range of possibilities), the fact that initiative is rolled by group rather than individual, and the way multiple attacks are handled vs. attack routines. An attack routine is your typical claw/claw/bite; creatures with a routine roll all attacks in the routine at the same time. Multiple attacks are a specialized fighter with 3/2 attacks. In this case the second attack, when allowed, comes at the tail end of the round.
If both the winning and losing parties have creatures with multiple attacks (for the sake of argument, two specialized fighters both with an extra attack) the winner goes first and third, the loser second and last.
Damage is inflicted in initiative order as attacks are resolved; the winner first, the loser second. In the case of a tie, all damage is resolved, meaning all parties both take and receive damage. No tie-breaker re-rolls.
Weapon speed does not factor into initiative in first edition,
due to the lengthy one-minute melee round. Its effect will be discussed later.
In my own games, I simplify things using an amalgamation of all three editions: Initiative is rolled by each character and monster on a d10, then modified by weapon speed and dexterity bonus.Footnote:
I believe that when I originally wrote this, I had surprise wrong, though that may be in another section...in any case, I was roundly put in my place on the RPGNet forums as to my error; the OSRIC rules have an excellent breakdown of exactly how Surprise works.
Wednesday, July 18, 2012, 8:57 AM
INFRAVISION AND ULTRAVISION
This section has no introductory text; it just jumps right in. As a general comment, I've got to say, I miss infravision. Low light vision, while probably more realistic, just somehow doesn't have the flavor that infravision does.
Infravision: Mostly a reiteration of what the PHB says, Infravision is the ability to see heat patterns. Most of us who grew up in the 80's would come to call it "Predator vision" as, well, let's be honest, that's what it looks like. This section deals with all the things that spoil infravision, such as cold-blooded animals deep in a cave (their bodies are close to the same temperature as the rocks around them), fire, any light that gives off heat. It also allows for tracking of creatures by residual heat patterns, as in footprints, so long as they have passed less than two rounds (minutes) earlier.
One of the neatest tidbits is that critters with "unusual" infravision, ie. they see farther than the normal 60' range, actually see by emitting radiation from their eyes in a sort of "infrared radar", causing bright pinpoint red glows when viewed by other creatures with normal infravision. Just one of those fun, quirky flavor bits that has been lost in later editions because someone on the design team thought it was dumb or "not realistic" enough.
Ultravision: Few creatures in AD&D actually had Ultravision, but everyone in third ed does. It's your basic low light vision, using ambient ultraviolet radiation to see. I always pictured it in shades of green like nightvision goggles, though that's not explicit in the rules. It works the same as low light vision, too, allowing sight in darkness as normal vision in twilight. However, going deep underground foils ultravision because of the lack of ultraviolet radiation available by which to see.
I'm going to half-go back on what I said earlier, here. As much as I dig infravision, I always thought that subterranean creatures, such as dwarves, drow, half-orcs, kobolds, orcs, goblins, and perhaps even gnomes should have infravision, while surface elves, who live under the twilight sky, should have ultravision. But that's just a nitpick.
This section deals with invisibility from the DM's standpoint--that is, how to foil it if and when players begin to abuse the ability. Invisibility is not an unbeatable superpower, as the book reminds us. There are many weaknesses inherent in it. For example, it doesn't dampen sound, so invisible characters without the ability to move silently will still make noise. Also, it doesn't dampen smell, so a dire wolf, for example, may still be able to pinpoint the location of an invisible character; however, I'll deal with that example (animals) in a moment. Dust or powder on the floor will betray the character through footprints, and any sort of particulate thrown in the air will coat the character, spoiling the effect.
Invisibility is proof against stupid animals; while they may be able to smell the character, not being able to see the target will generally just confound them, much as a lingering smell of human might alert a deer in the forest that there may be danger nearby, but if it can't see the human, all it can do is avoid the area altogether.
Finally, a very interesting addition: Detection of Invisibility based on experience level/hit dice. This represents characters knowing what to look for on a battlefield, be it from training or simply well-honed instincts, to detect immanent danger. Basically, a character throws percentile dice against a table that cross-references their intelligence score (interesting; I'd have gone with Wisdom, myself) against their level or hit dice to determine successfully detecting an invisible enemy. A 15th+ level character with an Int of 17+ detects invisibility 95% of the time, while a 15th level character with a 3 Int has a 20% chance to detect. On the other end of the spectrum, a 7th-level character with 17+ Int detects 5% of the time, while one with a lower Int than 17 has no chance to detect at all. No character below 7th level can detect invisibility in this manner.
An odd reminder that for a mirror to be reflective it needs a light source. This is strange, as if a character can see, there's a light source, even if said light is only ultraviolet or infrared radiation. Am I missing something?
DETECTION OF EVIL/GOOD
This is the section that deals with the difference between Know Alignment and Detect Evil. A paladin's Detect Evil ability, for example, will absolutely not tell him that the NE shopkeeper on the corner is evil. The spell or ability to Detect Evil detects only powerful, supernatural evil. Creatures inherently connected to evil, such as demons, devils, aligned undead, evil gods and their servitors, etc, will detect. Anti-Paladins will detect. Your run-of-the-mill 5th level CE fighter will not. Paladins detect as good. Ki-rin detect as good. Angels and good gods detect as good. You get the idea.
The text is clear that player characters only begin gaining such a powerful attachment to their alignment at higher levels (minimum 8th level, and then only if they are intent upon immediate appropriate actions). Powerful magic items that have an alignment-based purpose (artifacts, intelligent weapons, Holy Avengers, etc.) will radiate good or evil. More mundane magic items won't. There's room for DM interpretation here. For example, does a +1 long sword/+2 vs. demons radiate good? Probably not, but the text isn't specific. Holy and Unholy water radiate alignment.
Listening at Doors
Here we differentiate something that got lost in translation: the difference between the thief ability to Hear Noise, and the act of actually attempting to listen at a door. Any character can attempt to do so, but Mr. Gygax gets a bit crotchety here (did his players abuse the act of listening, I have to wonder), reminding DMs that a player has to remove all headgear to listen, leaving their head vulnerable to attack from the other side of the door or by ear seekers (wow, that's harsh), that everyone else has to be absolutely silent, and it takes a full round/minute to listen.
After this bit of caution, we get a base percentage chance (and its equivalent d20 requisite) to hear noise by race, followed by a note that "keen-eared" individuals gain a bonus, to be determined by an extra roll the first time the character listens (the chance to be keen-eared is the same as the chance to hear a noise--fairly elegant, actually).
The text then goes on to admonish the DM to take care not to give too much away. For example, don't say, "You hear ogres." Say, "You hear heavy footsteps clumping around, and deep, rumbling voices, though the words are difficult to make out." Good, practical advice that a lot of DMs don't follow. Let's face it, we all fall prey to laziness at some point or another, but the flavor does tend to fly out of the game when you say, "You hear four ogres," or "You find what looks like a +1 sword. Don't bother to roll; it's a +1 sword." Those are extreme examples, but you get the point.
Finally, we are told that a maximum of three characters can listen at a door, and a maximum of three tries can be made before "the strain becomes too great," which I interpret as losing focus and the rest of the party getting too fidgety to remain absolutely silent.
All-in-all, more good stuff, a few really neat gems hidden amongst a lot of stuff that we as modern DMs take for granted, but which a burgeoning DM in 1979 would've really appreciated.
Tuesday, July 17, 2012, 5:16 AM
TRAVEL IN THE KNOWN PLANES OF EXISTENCE
The real point of this section is to illustrate that the possibilities for play in AD&D are endless. We begin with a paragraph or two discussing exactly the fact that travel amongst the planes might leave fantasy and travel into the realms of science fiction, horror, "or just about anything else desired." In fact, TSR would later explore these elements with varying success in Spelljammer and Ravenloft. One could even argue that science fiction elements have been present in AD&D from the beginning with the crashed space ship and nukes in Blackmoor.
But I digress. Here Gygax discusses the multiverse that defines the AD&D cosmology. He goes on to illustrate that the planes are the ultimate "ticket to creativity" for a DM, who is free to change anything from combat to the way spells work to the very laws of physics in another plane of existence. Essentially, the idea is that when your campaign becomes "ho hum, another dungeon crawl," the DM can shake things up by shifting everyone to another plane of existence, be it another Prime (the worlds of Gamma World
and Boot Hill
are, naturally, suggested), one of the Elemental Planes, or the Astral or Ethereal.
A rather fantastical brief example is then given regarding a plane of existence whereby there exists a breathable atmosphere all the way from the Earth to the moon, allowing free travel between the two, which begs the question "what is the moon like?"
Overall, this section is little more than a blurb, but Jeff Grubb's later Manual of the Planes
fills in the blanks nicely. We'll deal with that down the road, though.
Here's another one of those frustrating organizational idiosyncrasies that continuously pop up where movement is concerned. First, this section would be better termed "Outdoor Travel," as it really gives daily travel rates on foot, mounted, and waterborne, rather than "movement rates," which heretofore have been established as turn- and round-based rates of movement in inches.
As this section basically deals with what we've seen in the sections on outdoor and waterbourne adventuring, it may have been better situated before travel in the planes.
Also, an aerial travel section is overlooked here, as is underwater (though for the latter that would be tricky save the presence of continuous magic items).
In the end, it would have been better to have one big section covering all movement rules instead of having them scattered throughout the book.
Friday, July 13, 2012, 8:13 AM
As with many sections of the DMG, this one begins with a cross-reference to Appendix C: Random monster encounters, waterborne encounters for determining monster encounters. Following this, we have a breakdown of the different general classes of naval vessels player characters may encounter. As with many games, these are abbreviated of necessity, but Gygax does a pretty impressive job of dividing different ships into classes. The classes he lays out are as follows:
Rowboat: 1-10 man small vessel, a lifeboat or canoe.
Barge/Raft: Long, flat craft capable of carrying 1-100 people.
Galley: Long, slender vessels with one or two masts and banks of oars. The type common in AD&D, he says, is similar to the Drakkar viking longship.
Merchant Ships: Cogs, carracks and caravels fall into this category. Generally single-masted.
Warships: Large, fast ships designed for battle, possessing 2 or more masts and multiple ballistae (remember, no gunpowder in AD&D), but often not very seaworthy.
The ships are further broken down, given a long paragraph for each, which is more than enough information to place any given ship you can think of into one of these classes.
Next we are given a "Hull Value" for each ship. This exactly equates to a vessel's hit points, and is expressed in a range which can be broken down into die rolls if desired (small merchant ships, for example, have 6-36 or 6d6 Hull Value). The section informs up that repairs can be made at sea so long as the ship doesn't suffer more than half its Hull Value in damage; otherwise, the vessel must put into port.
Next we have length and width of a vessel by class.
For Crew, we are cross-referenced back to the EXPERT HIRELINGS section.
Next up we have rules governing determination of Wind Direction and Force, and the effects this will have on a ship at sea, followed by rules for crew Exhaustion.
Finally, we have Movement and Speed of ships based on class by sail, oar, and wind force. That wraps up the basic "Ship at sea" rules, which are quite comprehensive and actually pretty simple once you have everything recorded.
After this, oddly out of sequence, we get combat notes. The first of these is Burn Damage of Controlled Fires, breaking down the circumstances under which burn damage must be determined (10 flaming arrows, one flaming catapult pitch, each 5 die (and up) fireball and each 8 die (and up) lightning bolt).
Following this, we have a conversion of base damage to hull damage on a table, followed by a description of the measures needed to contain such damage so that the fire doesn't spread out of control; if it does, the DM must then consult the next section, Ships' Burning Time of Uncontrolled Fires. It does not tell us what exactly the effect of this uncontrolled burning time is, but my reading is that this is how long it will take for the ship to be consumed by fire and go down, based on the fact that, for example, the burning time for a warship is given as 3-12 turns, or 30 minutes to 2 hours, about the real-world time it would take a ship consumed in flames to go down.
Following the fire damage, we get your basic naval combat rules, which are again quite fast-play and intuitive, though the current generation of gamers may have some issue with the amount of DM fiat involved. Rules included are Ramming, Grappling and Boarding, Melee (following boarding; mostly a blurb saying it's standard, but creatures like sea serpents and giant squids are at an advantage and directing the reader to the Monster Manual for specifics), Sinking a ship, Ships' Capture, and Swimming. For use of ballistae and siege weaponry on ships, the reader is directed to the appropriate section of the book (yes, an entire section is dedicated to siege warfare, and we'll get to that), but just for the sake of completeness, I'll add that use of siege engines is largely the same as any other sort of ranged combat, though with bonuses and penalties involved due to the complexity of targeting with siege engines and ballistae.
The final section here is a brief glossary of General Naval Terminology, an excellent "flavor" inclusion.
All-in-all, these rules aren't quite as evocative as the aerial combat rules, mostly because they're not as fantastic in nature, but are still amazingly well-thought and easy to handle. The more I read of this, the more I like it and the more convinced I am that first edition is just not the cluttered, overcomplicated mess a lot of gamers make it out to be. It may not be truly unified, but personally I think there's something to be said for taking each system as it comes and dealing with it the best way possible instead of shoehorning everything into one system. Both are valid approaches, and both work well if handled properly. And AD&D first edition, thus far, was to my mind and in my opinion handled quite properly.
Another really neat section that, much like the Aerial Adventures section, is evocative largely because of the fantastical nature of underwater adventures. Certainly this is something that we could do in a modern game no sweat, but in AD&D you don't have SCUBA gear and deep sea diving suits. Not to mention, in a fantasy game, as Gygax writes, "the ocean floor is home to numerous ancient submarine civilizations and dark, green realms of creatures half-man and half-fish...mountains of sunken loot that have been collected there over the centuries...pearls the size of a man's head...beautiful mermaids with green eyes and blue skin...."
Incidentally, for anyone keeping track...we're up to pages 54-57 of the DMG. Yes, we have a long way to go. Heh.
Breathing: The most obvious obstacle to underwater adventuring is discussed first. It reminds the DM of spells such as water breathing, airy water, wish, and even polymorph that can neatly solve the issue, as well as potions and magic items. The temporary nature of most magical water breathing methods can act to add an entirely different flavor to underwater adventuring than above, as players find the time they have to accomplish their goals drastically shortened. When adventuring underwater through the use of spells or potions, the party literally is racing against the clock, and if the party spell casters load up on spells to allow breathing underwater, they lose much of their utility in a fight.
Movement: This section deals with the obvious forms of movement underwater: swimming and walking. Yes, walking. The game is explicit that anyone wearing armor heavier than leather or carrying more than 20 lbs. of gear is going to sink like a stone and be forced to walk on the ocean floor. For simplicity's sake, movement rates are very basically adjusted underwater: they are the same as indoor and underground movement even though underwater is for categorization purposes outdoors; for those persons who can swim the environment becomes three-dimensional, much as with airborne adventures. One interesting tidbit: a ring of free action functions normally underwater, allowing triple underground movement.
Vision: This section brings a bit more complexity into the picture, differentiating between fresh and salt water, and depth to determine the distance one can see. Interestingly (and I'm not sure how accurate this is, or why) characters can see twice as far in salt water (100') as in fresh (50'). Characters can also see normally until they reach a depth equal to the distance of vision (thus, in fresh water, characters can see normally to a distance of 50' until they reach a depth of 50', after which vision is obscured). The book says that at this point the DM can choose to either treat characters as though they are in the dark, or for extra realism can reduce visibility by 10' per every 10' submerged beyond the base distance. So if a character in fresh water submerges to a depth of 51-60', his vision lowers by 10' to 40'.
Infra- and ultravision, the DM is instructed, work underwater, though shifting currents and varying temperatures will confuse and confound infravision to a degree. Ultravision becomes halved at 100' depth and is useless at 200' as there is no ultraviolet radiation penetrating that far down.
Finally, the book gives us a paragraph on physical obscurements to vision, such as seaweed, coral, mud, and schools of fish, and reminding the DM that light sources are useless to penetrate heavy clouds of mud, which despite the fact that it doesn't block movement, functions just like a wall for characters trying to see through it (they can't).
Combat: Given the resistance underwater, only piercing and thrusting weapons work (so your typical dwarf with a hammer and axe is hosed). Missile weapons do not function unless specially designed for use underwater (spear and harpoon guns, basically) which costs 10x the normal price.
We are given a brief bit of information about the use of underwater combat nets here, which teeters on the brink of being really cool, but falls short in that while we have some instruction on the use of nets underwater (-4 to hit unless you have a proficiency), we are given absolutely no mechanics for the effect of being entangled in a net, nor does the book follow up some of the suggested strategies (stretch a net between two characters to catch a charging merman, set up traps with nets that drop on foes) with mechanics on how these things should work. This is somewhat disappointing, though given the propensity of "save or die" situations in first edition, it's very possible the intent is that if you get tangled in a net, you're utterly helpless. For my money, I'd probably impose a severe penalty to all actions, but allow characters to fight to get free. In the end, this is the most disappointing bit of this section, as a bit more detail in the guidelines for the use of combat nets underwater would be extraordinarily cool. Checking the Monster Manual, I see little more detail under the "Sahuagin" entry--these are supposed to be the masters of the combat net. The entry under the creature in the MM simply says that their nets are barbed making it nearly impossible for an unarmored person with a strength of less than 16 to escape.
Underwater spell use: Finally, in this section we are given a laundry list of spells that either do not function or whose functions are altered underwater. This section is preceded by a bit of introductory text that includes a sentence which I have so missed in 3.x: "As Dungeon Master, you can alter whatever spell preparations and effects you deem necessary and reasonable."
To its credit, 4e appears to have a sight on returning some of the power to the DM that 3.x robbed by design, but yeah, it's nice to return to the days when the DM, and not the book, was the final arbiter of his game.
Instead of going down the entire list of altered and useless spells, I'll just say that a party who enters underwater adventuring without a lot of forethought is going to find themselves sorely surprised when that fireball just extinguishes without exploding, and the lightning bolt the wizard intends to cast from his extended hand instead charges the whole area, inflicting damage in a 2" sphere around him. Really neat and brutal stuff that will be horribly detrimental to PCs until they learn to use it, and then will in some ways make them even more brutal to their foes underwater (take Otiluke's Freezing Sphere, for example, which freezes a block of ice equal to 50 cubic feet per level of the caster!)
The one spell here I disagree with is the non-functionality of "Speak with dead." There seems to be an assumption that one can't speak underwater, which of course is not true. Speech is muffled, certainly, but is possible. If it weren't, no spell with a verbal component could be cast.
Thursday, July 12, 2012, 6:12 AM
ADVENTURES IN THE AIR
Frankly, this is one of my favorite sections of the DMG. I was absolutely floored at just how solid the aerial combat rules in first edition are, given that nobody since then can seem to come up with a really great set (SWSE being a possible exception, and hopefully my upcoming rules in the WWII book for AFMBE--cheap plug).
The section begins by making the (very true) point that aerial combat takes place in a far different environment than normal combat, which is why it needs its own set of rules. It goes on then to detail various Flying Mounts and the benefits and drawbacks of caring for and training each. Griffons, for example, are carnivorous and require "enormous amounts of food, especially after prolonged aviation." They cannot be stabled with normal horses, as they will eat the horses. Hippogriffs, in contrast, are easier to train and handle, but aren't as reliable or devoted as mounts.
Following this information, we get the ratio of flying time to rest required, and the amount of in-game training time needed to master battle on a flying mount.
The next section dives full bore into the Aerial Combat rules. It outlines the function of speed, maneuverability, and attack modes in the context of the system.
For speed, the DM is directed to each creature's entry in the Monster Manual, and instructed to convert aerial speed per turn into speed per round. It then gives guidelines for how fast a creature can climb and dive, based on its speed. Diving creatures double damage from attacks due to momentum. The rules don't take terminal velocity or the force of gravity into account specifically, save to say that creatures can dive three times as fast as they can climb (roughly) but that's likely because if they did the system would become overly complicated.
Maneuverability is rated from Class A: creature can turn 180 degrees per round, requires one segment to reach max speed, can hover in place, stop and turn on a dime...to Class E: creature can turn 30 degrees per round and requires 4 full rounds to reach maximum speed). Interestingly, the most feared creatures in the game--dragons--are rated at Class E, due presumably to their bulkiness and lack of aerodynamics.
Attack Modes: This section breaks down every flying critter in the Monster Manual, and gives its maneuverability, strategy and M.O. for aerial combat in a neat, brief stat block. Quite useful, really. Part of me thinks this information should've been in the Monster Manual, but truthfully, it probably fits better here.
Following monsters, it breaks down the means by which "Men" (read: humans, demihumans, and humanoids) can fly, including spells and magic items.
Following this breakdown of information, we get into Conducting Combat, the actual system. It recommends the use of miniatures (one area that I will readily concede miniature figures would be of enormous use, given the complexities of the system), but states that the combat can be conducted "on paper," with nothing more than a pencil and a hex grid, which is also quite true.
There are two methods given. The simple method has combatants only able to turn at the beginning and end of their move, i.e. they can only move in a straight line during their turn.
For those desiring more realism, detailed rules are provided outlining how turns within each maneuverability class can be handled during the round. A character with Maneuverability A, for example, can do a full U-turn, or can make up to six, 30-degree turns in a round, or three, 60-degree turns, etc, provided that the flier does not exceed his or her speed in the round.
Aerial Missile Fire is next. Basically, the rules here are that all range increments are increased by one in the air (so short becomes medium).
Finally, we are given rules for remaining airborne when the mount or flier has sustained Damage. Greater than 50% of hit points taken forces the mount to land. Greater than 75% results in an uncontrolled plummet. Feathered wings, being more difficult to damage, gain extra hit points for this purpose, but only to the percentage total. For example, a Griffon with 50 hit points still has only 50 hit points, but instead of being forced to land after taking 25, because its wings are feathered it can stay airborne until it has taken 37 points of damage, and will plummet only if killed. The basic formula is to add half-again the total hit points to the base hit points (in this case, 50 + 25=75) and determine "forced to land" and "plummet" totals based on that modified number.
Finally, we get a note that made me chuckle. It's just a reminder that if players don't remember to have their characters take a minute to strap in when they leap in the saddle, they'll fall out within the first round and take 1d6 damage from the impact per 10 feet of the fall, while their mount goes off into the sunset alone.
Overall, this is a very fast, workable, intuitive and reads as though it would be a lot of fun, aerial combat system. Some aspects, I recognize, were kept into third edition, but honestly I never engaged in aerial combat in 3e so I don't know how similar the systems are. In any case, a lot of modern designers (of any game, not just D&D) could do worse than to look back at the roots of the hobby to find inspiration and techniques in some areas.
Wednesday, July 11, 2012, 11:35 AM
This rather expansive section gets into a lot of really neat detail and systems regarding adventuring in both mundane (outdoor land and dungeon) and unusual (underwater and aerial) environs. Some of the stuff in here, modern game designers could learn something from reading.
Adventures in the Outdoors: This bit largely discusses establishing your campaign setting. It includes a brief mention of creating your party's base of operations and a nearby dungeon in which to begin. It then goes on to suggest that a detailed map of the surrounding area is essential to maintaining cohesiveness in your game, and provides a quick explanation of how to use a hex grid to measure scale. It also, naturally, recommends the World of Greyhawk campaign setting for those without the time to design a world of their own.
Land Adventures: The first thing we get herein is the famous (or infamous, depending on your gaming philosophy) wandering encounter tables, broken down by terrain type, time of day, and base chance of encounter. Here we see the first clear example of why different dice are using when making checks; Gygax's system is designed around probability, not die type. Thus, a hostile monster encounter in a population dense area doesn't have a target on a 20-sided die, rather, it has a 1 in 20 chance of occurring. Likewise, in a wilderness area such hostile monsters pose a greater threat, and so the chance is 1 in 10. Naturally, rolling a d20 and d10 respectively are the most straightforward means of interpreting this issue, but percentile dice could just as easily be used, checking against a 5% and 10% chance, respectively. Indeed, more of AD&D first edition than I remembered is in fact based around a percentile system. It makes me somewhat curious what it would take to convert the standard combat rules to d%.
But I'll get to that later, when we talk about the unarmed combat and grappling rules.
Following the chances, we're given procedures for making checks, determining encounter distance, and confrontation. This may sound humorous, but I would LOVE to play this game with an eidetic DM who'd read the book through and memorized every word and chart of it. I bet it'd be a blast. For most of us, though, a lot of these minutiae disappeared into the mire of "unneeded detail," and were replaced with the more intuitive Ability Check rules that would later appear in Oriental Adventures and the Dungeoneer's and Wilderness Survival Guides (more on those down the line).
Next we get into Movement. The first thing it says (to my eternal mute rage) is "movement rates have been given elsewhere."
Yeah. If you're smart enough to have taken all the offhanded mentions and bits and pieces of information dropped at various odd places and put them together to realize that a human in leather or padded armor moves at 12", everyone else moves at 9". And indoors or underground that means 120 feet or 90 feet, respectively, but outdoors that means 360 feet and 270 feet, respectively.
Okay, that's probably not the last time you'll hear that rant, but it's done for now.
Next we have rules for parties becoming lost, and how to adjudicate such situations. Fun stuff, but I think most GMs and DMs will agree that if a party gets lost, it's likely because it was planned as part of the story and the DM will have something worked up for that already. But if you're looking for a way to stretch out a session or want to shake things up a bit, these rules could be great fun. Again, we have the chance of becoming lost expressed in probability, which is most easily done on a single d10, but could as easily be checked on percentile dice. Following this, we are given the direction and degrees off course the party has wandered.
Finally, we get procedures for a party realizing they have wandered off-course, which could result in becoming hopelessly lost with enough bad die rolls. Again, if you're looking to just extend a session, buy yourself time, or inject a bit of excitement, lots of fun. Otherwise, probably not something that you'll use too much.
Finally, we get rules for rest and forced movement. The rules stipulate that daily travel rates take into account the necessary rest periods, and that if the party wishes to push themselves further, additional rest will be required to recover properly. A brief chart is given that breaks down the additional rest needed per extra 10% of maximum distance traveled.
In typical old-school Gygaxian fashion, pushing animals in this manner has a percentage chance of them just dropping dead, and players lose ability score points or hit dice (not hit points, mind you; hit dice) for pushing themselves. Man, first edition was gloriously brutal. Very much unlike today's, "it's near-impossible to kill a character" games, death was a constant threat in AD&D and, I suspect, one that made successful adventures far more rewarding than they are in modern incarnations of game, wherein it's just expected your characters are going to triumph over adversity.