Friday, March 10, 2023

Solving First Level - Resting in the Dungeon?

The natural product of two recent lines of thinking - figuring out how first level is "meant" to be played, and monsters that counter resting in the dungeon.

Notably, in Moldvay there really aren't any monsters on the first dungeon level's wandering monster table who hard-counter resting in a room where you've secured the door.  This means a first level party with only one sleep a day actually has a lot of leeway to recover that critical spell.  Traverse the dungeon to the stairs to the second level, hole up and recover the sleep if you had to use it to get there, go down to the second level and look for unguarded treasure, pop back up when you've spent the sleep and recover it safely near the top of the stairs...

Your ability to take out a lair is still quite limited, since your max sleeps per day is still only one, but your ability to survive wandering monsters is much improved.  And then rations and water become a limiting factor on the duration of your dungeoneering expeditions - though camping in pitch blackness in a sealed room in a haunted underworld certainly sounds...  demoralizing.  Not that torch smoke in an enclosed space sounds much better.  You start out with torches and fresh rations and then upgrade into lanterns and iron rations as you get the money for them...

There are probably amusing tradeoffs in waste management too - a 12-person party produces a fair bit of excrement per day.  If you leave it lying around it might attract vermin and molds.  If you pack it out with you then it costs encumbrance and might attract monsters with strong senses of smell.  Dare you use the dreaded dungeon bathroom, based on real FLGS bathrooms?

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