The material below is Open Game Content
Labyrinths & Monsters
Many adventures will take place in labyrinths. These locations, also sometimes called dungeons, vary considerably in type and location. What they all have in common, however, is a theme. Labyrinths are usually underground caverns, passageways, and rooms filled with dangerous monsters, traps, riddles, and riches. The characters will have some purpose for being there, whether it is a specific task that must be fulfilled or whether the characters are simply seeking excitement, fame, and wealth.
For the sake of survival, characters team up to undertake adventures in labyrinths, because any number or type of monsters could lie in wait. Groups should generally be composed of a diverse array of classes, so that different characters are able to contribute different talents for any given situation. A thief can check for traps, for instance, and fighters are good for muscle. Clerics have spells, including spells for healing, and magic-users are capable of powerful offensive and defensive magic.
Occasionally, there are not enough group members to take on the challenges of the labyrinth. The group may hire NPCs, or retainers, for extra hands. Rarely, the LL will allow players to play more than one character. However, in these cases characters belonging to the same player cannot offer each other special treatment, such as trading or giving away riches or magical items, unless the LL rules it acceptable.
Once the group consists of a good mix of complementary characters, the group marching order should be established. This will depend largely on the width of the passages in a labyrinth. Generally, characters should march in pairs, side by side, forming a line of pairs. A standard marching order would be tougher characters, like fighters, in the front, while thieves follow second, and elves and magic-users next to last. Relatively strong characters, like dwarves and clerics, should guard the rear. If enough fighters are present, they can take up the rear as well. Marching order should be written down, so that it is always clear as the group progresses through the labyrinth where everyone is. If a large map is being used, the players might use dice, paper miniatures, or even fancy, painted metal figures to represent their characters and where they are in the marching order.
One player should be designated as the labyrinth mapper. The labyrinth mapper will draw the labyrinth as the characters explore it, so that the group does not get lost, and also to keep a record of which areas have been explored. Labyrinths are typically mapped on graph paper with¼1/4” square grids, with a scale of 10 feet per square. The labyrinth mapper, more than any other player, must be alert to all descriptions of areas the LL offers, because if there is an error in a map, it could result in hardship, or even injury, to the group. If the character belonging to a labyrinth mapper dies, the player must hand over labyrinth mapping duties to a player with a living character. This character, in the game, takes the map from the dead character and continues his dead friend’s work.
The following rules apply to adventuring in labyrinths. Additional rules are offered later in this section for other kinds of environments.
Time and Movement
When in the labyrinth, characters take actions in time increments called turns. One turn is the equivalent in game time to 10 minutes. Character actions that take one turn can include looking for secret doors or traps in a 10’ x 10’ room, or moving the full movement rate (120 feet unless heavily encumbered) while mapping. As characters make their way through labyrinths, their movement rates account for the fact that they are exploring, watching their footing, mapping, and taking care to avoid obstacles. This is referred to as exploring movement. Combat movement occurs when characters meet foes or more immediate challenges. In these cases characters move at 1/3 their movement per round, usually 40 feet, unless heavily encumbered. Rounds are ten seconds of game time each, so there are 60 rounds in a turn. Finally, the third kind of speed is running speed. Running speed is the full character speed, 120 feet, and it is traveled in one round.
If using a large map and metal figures, all of these distances may be precisely measured on a map grid, and pieces representing characters, monsters, and other labyrinth features will be kept track of as well. Commonly, on large play maps one square is equal to 5 feet, and this scale will be used to measure all distances. In all matters of time and movement, the LL is the final authority on what may be accomplished in a given period of time.
Exploring labyrinths is strenuous work, and all characters must rest. Characters can explore, fight, or otherwise remain active for 5 turns before needing to rest for 1 turn. If the characters press on without resting, they all suffer a penalty of -1 to hit and damage rolls until they have rested for 1 turn. Further, resting is useful for elves, magic-users, and clerics to recover spells. This is discussed in Section 3.
Carrying Capacity and Encumbrance
This is an optional rule, and is used if the LL wants to make sure characters carry more realistic weights. It is important to keep track of how much weight characters are carrying, because they can only haul so much treasure from a labyrinth, and if they are heavily weighed down they cannot move as fast. Encumbrance is measured in pounds, and is calculated based on adding the weights of all significant items carried, including weapons and armor. The maximum any character can carry is 160 pounds. Character speed will be affected based on encumbrance. Refer to the Movement and Encumbrance Table.
Movement and Encumbrance Table
|Encumbrance*||Turn Movement||Encounter Movement||Running Movement|
|Up to 40 lbs.||120’||40’ per round||120’ per round|
|41 to 60 lbs.||90’||30’ per round||90’ per round|
|61 to 80 lbs.||60’||20’ per round||60’ per round|
|81 to 160 lbs.||30’||10’ per round||30’ per round|
* At the LL’s discretion, a character wearing armor in addition to carrying weight of a given category will move at the speed listed for the next slowest category.
Light and Darkness
Since labyrinth adventures occur underground, there is usually not a light source. For this reason, characters will want to bring torches or lanterns. These light sources emit light in a 30’ radius. Lanterns use flasks of oil as fuel, and a lantern can burn continuously on 1 flask of oil for 24 turns. Torches burn continuously for 6 turns before burning out. Note that characters or monsters that carry a light source are unable to surprise opponents, because the light gives them away ahead of time. Many monsters and demi-humans have infravision. Characters who have infravision can see the heat energy that radiates off of living things. Generally, living things will be visible as tones of red, yellow, and blue, while cool items are gray and very cold objects are black. Note that this light does not allow demi-humans to read, because fine detail is not visible. Infravision only functions in the darkness, so any visible light, whether normal or magical, will disrupt it. Any characters who cannot see due to darkness or blindness suffer –4 to hit when attacking.
Labyrinths often have many doors, some secret and others obvious. Many are locked, and a thief will need to attempt to pick locks. However, characters can attempt to break a door down. In this case, the player rolls 1d6. A result of 2 or less means the door has been broken down. Strength adjustments apply, but no matter what the adjustment there must always be a chance of success or failure. Bonuses cannot take the success range above 5 or below 1 on 1d6. For example, if a character has a STR of 15 he receives a +1 to open doors. He would instead need to roll 3 or less on 1d6 to succeed. A character with STR 5 has -2 to open doors, but since the odds cannot go below 1, if the player rolls a 1 on 1d6, he succeeds in breaking down the door.
Secret doors can only be spotted if characters are specifically looking for them. The LL rolls 1d6 when a player declares that his character is looking for secret doors. A result of 1 on 1d6 is a success, except that elves have better vision and succeed on a roll of 1 or 2 on 1d6. A character can only attempt to look for secret doors once in any given area, and it takes 1 turn. A second attempt cannot be made in the same area. Since the LL rolls the dice, the player never know if the roll failed or if there simply is no door in the area searched.
Players will sometimes want their character to listen at a door to hear any noises beyond. Again, the LL rolls 1d6. A roll of 1 results in success, and a roll of 1 or 2 succeeds for demi-humans due to their keen hearing. A thief has specially trained for this task, and has a different chance of success (refer to the Thief Skills table). This attempt may only be made one time at any door by a character. Note that some creatures, such as undead, do not make noise.
Traps and Trap Detection
Thieves have a special skill to detect traps, but characters of all classes can search for non-magical traps. All characters except dwarves can succeed in spotting a trap on a roll of 1 on 1d6. Dwarves succeed on a roll of 1 or 2 on 1d6. Players must declare that their characters are actively looking for traps, and they must be looking in the right place. This roll may only be made once in a particular location, and it takes 1 turn per effort made. The LL secretly rolls the dice for these checks, because the players will never know if they failed to find the trap or if there is not one present.
Traps have specific triggers, whether it is opening a door or walking over a particular area. Every time a character makes an action that could trigger a trap, the LL rolls 1d6. A result of 1 or 2 indicates that the trap springs. Normally, a trap has a specific effect that cannot be avoided. Examples include a trapped floor dumping the characters into a pit of spikes, or a poisoned needle in a door handle.
Wilderness adventures have certain similarities to labyrinth adventures. Players must decide where they are going, what equipment they need, and how to get there. Some things to consider are what the conditions of travel will be. Do the characters need warm clothes? Do they need horses for travel or carrying gear? What kinds of special equipment are needed?
Otherwise, wilderness adventures are carried out like other adventures. The characters journey in an established marching order, but the action takes place in a wilderness, such as a forest or glen, rather than underground. The mapper should record the group’s progress if the area is unexplored, or the group may already have acquired a map of the area. The LL will have a map prepared beforehand, so that he knows the layout of the land. Unlike labyrinth maps, wildness maps are usually recorded on graph paper with hex grids, at a scale of 6 or 10 miles for each hex. Larger area maps will typically have a scale of 1 hex = 24 miles.
Time and Wilderness Movement
The wilderness is not cramped like in a labyrinth, and characters can usually see further ahead and not be as wary of obstacles. For this reason, movement is measured in yards rather than feet in the wilderness. A character that could move 120’ per turn in a labyrinth can move 120 yards (360’) per turn in the wilderness. Further, characters can move, per day, their movement rate divided by 5 in miles per day. So a character that moves at 120 (feet or yards, depending on environment) can move 24 miles in the wilderness per day. It’s likely that not all characters will have the same movement, so if they wish to stay together they must move as fast as the slowest character. Also note that the number of miles characters can move in 1 day presented here assumes a clear trail and easy travel. Other conditions will reduce the distance traveled in a day by fractions, as detailed below.
|Terrain||Movement reduced by…|
|Desert, hills, wooded areas||-1/3|
|Thick jungle, swamps, mountains||-1/2|
|Road travel, clear wide trails||+1/2|
For example, if characters can travel 24 miles normally, but are following roads, they can travel 36 miles a day (24 + 12). If they are traveling through swampy land, they travel 12 miles (24 – 12) per day. Furthermore, certain kinds of terrain can slow travel at the LL’s discretion, such as if the characters have to cross canyons, large rivers, or other formations. In addition to these conditions that can influence travel rates, characters may engage in a forced march. A forced march is a day of hard, tiring travel, but increases travel speed by +1/2. However, the characters must rest for 24 hours after a forced march. Otherwise, during wilderness travel the characters have to rest one day per six days of travel.
Weapon and spell ranges are measured in yards in the wilderness also, but note that areas of effect remain the same for spells and other effects.
Unless there is an encounter, the LL will direct players through time in increments of days while traveling in the wilderness. When an encounter occurs, time is measured in rounds. Unlike in labyrinths, wilderness adventures do not often measure time in turns.
Characters can confidently follow trails, roads, and other well-known landmarks without fear of becoming lost. However, when traveling across the wilderness it is easy to lose direction. At the start of each day of travel, the LL will roll d%, consulting the table below to determine if the group loses direction.
|Terrain||Chance of Losing Direction|
|Mountains or Hills||32%|
|Jungle or Swamp||50%|
If the roll indicates that the group is lost, they likely will not realize it immediately. They will set out for their travels, and may not understand they are off course for days. The LL will decide which direction the group is traveling, and how far off it is from their intended direction. One option is to pick a direction only slightly off of course. For example, if the group intended to go south, they are actually headed southwest or west.
When characters are climbing in a difficult or tense situation, the LL can require an ability check versus DEX (See Section 5). Note that only thieves are able to climb extremely steep and high surfaces, due to their special training and knowledge of the use of climbing equipment.
Rations and Foraging
When adventuring in a labyrinth, there may be very little available to eat. Characters must take rations with them to cover the extent of time they expect to be away from town. However, they may occasionally kill an edible monster.
When in the wilderness, characters can hunt or scavenge for food. Scavenging for food is an activity that can be accomplished without hindering travel by gathering fruit, nuts, or small animals. For each day of travel while scavenging, roll 1d6. A result of 1 indicates that sufficient food for 1d6 human sized beings has been acquired. Hunting follows the same roll, but succeeds on 1-2, and must be engaged as the sole activity for a day. No traveling is possible. In addition, there will be one Wandering Monster check, from the table appropriate for the terrain, while the group is hunting.
If characters go for a full day or more without food, the LL may begin to apply penalties to attack rolls, require more frequent rest and a reduction in movement, or even begin to deduct hit points in extreme cases.
It is assumed that every character knows how to swim. Characters move at half their normal movement when swimming. Characters that are encumbered will have a probability of drowning, which is at the LL’s discretion. Heavily encumbered characters, wearing plate mail armor and/or carrying a large proportion of treasure, will likely have above 90% chance of drowning. Characters carrying less treasure or wearing lighter armor may have as little as 10% chance of drowning. The LL might first allow an ability check versus STR or CON before deciding if the players roll to check for drowning.
When traveling by air, the total number of miles one can normally travel on land per day is multiplied by 2. For example, a character flying with a movement of 120’ can travel 48 miles per day. This time might be slowed if there are adverse conditions, such as very high mountains, storms, or thick fog. There are many magical items that grant characters the ability to fly, as well as spells and winged mounts.
In general, winged beasts may carry riders or other burdens in increasing size based on HD multiples of 3. For example, a creature with 3 HD could carry a halfling or human child. A creature with 6 HD could carry an adult human or elf, or two halflings. A creature with 12 HD can carry large animals like horses, or four adult humans. Finally, a creature with 24 HD could carry a very a large animal, or four horses, or 8 humans.
Adventures at sea or otherwise on water require more extensive rules, and are covered in Section 5.
Retainers are NPCs that are hired by characters for extra hands during an adventure. Characters are limited to a finite number of retainers, which is indicated by the character’s CHA score. Retainers are not mindless slaves, and although they will share the risks of the PCs, they will not act as battle fodder willingly. In fact, if abused in any way, retainers will typically warn others of this abuse and the PCs will soon find it difficult to hire other retainers.
Retainers are recruited through negotiation. The LL plays the roles of the NPCs the PCs attempt to hire. The PCs can just walk up to strangers in pubs, or seek adventurer guilds. Alternatively, they may advertise by putting up fliers or other means. The PCs will have to explain what the job entails and the rates of pay. Some means of pay might include a percentage of any treasure recovered, or a flat payment. Players will also typically pay for any new adventuring gear or weapons the retainers will require for the adventure, and may need to secure them mounts. After the offers are made, the LL will roll 2d6 on the table below to decide the potential retainer’s reactions:
Reaction to Hiring Offer
|Roll||Offer Result and Reaction|
|2||Agrees to offer*|
|3-5||Agrees to offer|
* The offer is accepted with very good spirit, and the retainer’s morale receives a bonus of +1 for the adventure’s duration.
** The potential retainer acts so negatively to the offer that he spreads negative rumors about the PC, which results in a +1 to the roll on any further reactions to hiring rolled on the table above while recruiting in the same town or area.
In LL the most common races are humans and halflings, and these races will be available most often as retainers. More rarely dwarves and elves will be available for hire. Retainers can be of any class or level, except that the hiring PC must be of an equal level or higher than the retainers he hires.
Retainers have a morale rating, indicated by the hiring character’s CHA. This rating can be adjusted at the LL’s discretion. It can be increased if the PC has been particularly good to the retainer, or reduced if the PC has been cruel or contrary to his word. Morale rolls are made each time the retainer is exposed to a particularly perilous situation, and at the end of an adventure. The LL rolls 2d6, and if the result is lower than the morale rating, accounting for any adjustments, the roll has succeeded. If the roll fails, the retainer will likely flee. If the roll is failed at the end of an adventure, this retainer will not work for the PC again.
Retainers and Experience
Although retainers are “played” by the LL, they acquire experience in the same way PCs do, can advance in level, and are affected by all of the same class rules. Because retainers follow instructions when on an adventure, thus not engaging in problem solving, they suffer a penalty of -50% to experience points (they get 1/2 of a share).
Hiring Specialists and Mercenaries
Unlike retainers, mercenaries and specialists do not accompany characters on adventures. Mercenaries are hired soldiers, and will guard, patrol, and otherwise serve in wilderness settings, but only as part of a larger force, not an adventuring group. Specialists are hired individuals who have a particular trade or who have special knowledge. These individuals are usually hired for a specific task. It must be noted that mercenaries and specialists do not count toward a character’s maximum number of retainers, since they are not the same kind of hired help.
Like hiring retainers, mercenaries and specialists can be located through perusing pubs or through posting notices of help wanted. Also, in the case of professional specialists, these individuals may have shops or a reputation that the characters can follow.
Kinds of Mercenaries
Mercenaries are typically hired as soldiers and guards. They have morale like retainers, but mercenary morale is based simply on a business relationship and not as much on the CHA of the hiring character. Soldiers will have bonuses or penalties to morale based on working conditions. If the mercenaries are being killed frequently or subjected to other abuses, morale will be low. If the mercenaries are enjoying riches and excitement, it might be higher. All of these factors are considered by the LL.
|Mercenary Type||Base Morale|
|Barbarians or humanoids||7|
|Fanatic or Devoted Soldiers||10|
GP Wage per Month
|Light Infantry Gear: sword, shield, leather armor||-||5||1||3||2|
|Heavy Infantry Gear: sword, shield, chainmail armor||5||7||-||4||2|
|Crossbowman Gear: heavy crossbow, chainmail armor||7||-||-||5||3|
|Mounted Crossbowman Gear: crossbow||20||-||-||-||-|
|Bowman Gear: sword, short bow, leather armor||-||12||4||7||5|
|Mounted Bowman Gear: shortbow||-||35||-||15||-|
|Longbowman Gear: sword, longbow, chainmail armor||-||25||-||10||-|
|Light Mounted Gear: lance, leather armor||-||25||-||10||-|
|Medium Mounted Gear: lance, chainmail armor||-||-||-||15||-|
|Heavy Mounted Gear: lance, sword, plate armor||-||-||-||20||-|
|Wolf Mounted Gear: spear, leather armor||-||-||6||-||-|
Note that armorers are required to make and repair troop armor and weapons. The rates suggested for hiring troops apply only when the troops are not in an active wartime situation, during which time all wages are multiplied by 2. Refer to the table nearby for typical wages of mercenary types based on race and class.
Kinds of Specialists
Below are several possible specialists and typical monthly pay rates. This list is not exhaustive, and the LL may create more kinds of specialists as needed.
Rate: 800 gp + 1d4x100 gp, per month
Alchemists are valuable specialists because they dedicate their expertise to creating potions and other concoctions. As a result, when reproducing a potion based on a sample deduct the cost and time involved by half of what it would take a magic-user. However, it takes them twice as long at twice the cost to research and create new potions.
Rate: 400 gp + 1d2 x 100 gp, per month
All animal trainers are specialized in a particular kind of animal, and can have up to 6 animals under their care at a time. Trainers are not required for common animals like dogs or horses, but more exotic animals, like a pegasus, would require a specialized trainer.
The LL decides how long an animal must be trained, based on the nature of the training. It will take a minimum of 1 month to tame a wild animal, or to teach an already tame animal one behavior. After the first month, an animal has become accustomed to a trainer and can be taught additional behaviors at half the time per behavior. If training is interrupted, all time already spent on that particular behavior is lost. If an animal is being tamed and the time is interrupted, the animal will rebel and cannot ever be tamed.
Rate: 80 gp + 1d4 x 10 gp, per month
Per month, a blacksmith can make 5 weapons, 1 complete suit of armor, or up to 3 shields. In addition to being hired for producing weapons and armor, blacksmiths are hired at the frequency of 1 per 50 troops in order to fix armor and weapons. Blacksmiths will sometimes have apprentices (who will require half pay each) and production or troop weapon coverage is multiplied by 2 per 3 of these apprentices.
Rate: 700 gp + 2d4 x 10 gp, per month
Engineers plan and oversee large construction projects, such as building strongholds. The number of engineers required is based on the value of the project. A minimum of 1 engineer is needed, with an additional engineer per 100,000 gp value of the project. For example, if a project is 60,000 gp it will require 1 engineer, and if it is 200,000 gp it will require 2 engineers. Human engineers usually handle large aboveground structures, while dwarves will be hired for underground construction.
Rate: 1,800 gp + 1d4 x 100 gp, per month
Sages are rare; they usually specialize in a subject area, such as a sage specialist in dragons. Sages may be consulted for information. If the information is particularly difficult to obtain, it will cost the characters extra. Characters may have to pay the monthly rate in addition to any other supplies the sage needs to research their question. The LL will decide these costs. In addition, despite the special knowledge sages have, they are occasionally wrong when it comes to particularly obscure questions. The LL will decide what questions are obscure and the probability of achieving a wrong answer. If the characters receive a wrong answer, they may not realize it!
Rate: See below
There are four types of seafarer, listed as follows by order of gp cost per month: rowers, 3 gp; sailors, 12 gp, navigators, 175 gp; and captains, 275 gp. Navigators and captains, at the LL’s discretion, could randomly cost more than or less than the listed value by 1d4 x 10 gp.
Rowers are unskilled normal humans who man oars of vessels. Sailors are skilled normal humans who can handle a ship. The navigator understands how to read charts and navigate based on instruments and the position of the stars. He is required any time a ship will venture beyond sight of a coast. A captain is required for any large ship, is skilled like a sailor, and has more intimate knowledge of the particular coasts he frequents.
Rate: 400 gp + 1d2 x 100 gp, per month
Spies are usually of the thief class, but can be any class. A scout is hired by a character to gather information, either about a specific person, persons, or even to spy on an area. It is up to the character to find and hire a spy. The LL will determine the probability of whether the spy succeeds in the mission, based on the circumstances, and how much time any particular spying job will take. Spies may or may not be reliable, and could stab the hiring character in the back (maybe literally!).
All characters that make it through an adventure alive receive experience points (XP). Experience points are gained from two sources, treasure and monsters. Characters only gain XP from treasure of a non-magical nature, at the rate of 1 XP per 1 gold piece (gp) value of the item. The values of all items are added together, and converted to gp units if necessary. For example, if the group finds a gold statue worth 500 gp and a gem worth 250 gp, these are added up to 750 XP, and divided evenly between the characters.
All monsters that are defeated (either outsmarted or killed), grant XP based on how powerful they are. All monsters begin with a base XP determined by hit dice (HD), and receive a bonus for each special ability they have (fire breath, spell-like abilities, etc.). Refer to the Monster Experience Points Table.
Monster Experience Points Table
|Monster HD||Base XP||Bonus XP/Ability|
|Less than 1||5||1|
* For monsters of HD 22 and higher, add a cumulative 250 XP for the Base and Bonus categories.
The first step in calculating each monster’s XP is to write down the base number. If the monster has HD 4, you would write down 80. Next, multiply the value for the XP bonus per ability by the number of special abilities the monster has. If a HD 4 monster has 3 special abilities, the total bonus is (3 x 55 = 165). So for this monster that has HD 4 and 3 special abilities, the group receives a total of 245 XP (80 + 165). The totals for each monster defeated are calculated and added to all XP from treasure, and the grand total for all XP is divided among all group members. However, as mentioned previously, retainers receive 1/2 of a share each.
The LL may decide to grant XP bonuses to those players who did particularly well, and were particularly cunning. Likewise, he may penalize other players who did not do their share of the work in an adventure. In addition, characters receive XP bonuses or penalties based on their score in their class prime requisites, as detailed in Section 2: Characters. All bonuses or penalties are applied to the grand total XP a particular character receives at the end of an adventure. For example, if Pardue the Holy receives 1,200 XP at the end of an adventure, and he has a prime requisite that grants him +10% to experience, then the total XP after this bonus that Pardue receives is 1,320 XP ((1,200 x .10) + 1,200 = 1,320).
As a general rule, characters should not be given enough experience to advance 2 levels or more in one adventure. For example, if Alexandra the Elf is 1st level with 0 XP, she should receive no more than 8,124 XP in one adventure (a huge sum!), which is 1 XP short of reaching 3rd level.