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Treasure and Experience in Classic D&D Adventures

It started with a curious notion, and it built up from going through one adventure module noting certain things mentally. Then it became actually taking notes on a piece of paper, and comparing between them.

Following this introduction will be lists of the treasure (gp value, xp value, and magic items) in the iconic adventure series of AD&D1 and BD&D. For many of these adventures, I include the xp/level advancement of a set of D&D3 PCs for a leveling speed comparison with the AD&D1/BD&D PCs.

This is a perpetual project for me, so this page may be updated at random times as I collect further data.

The layout of the data:

Party begins at: This is the level (and xp) that the party of adventurers begin the adventure module. For the adventure path modules, the levels (and xp) will carry over from one adventure in the series to the next.

Total gp value: This is the total value of items that had a value listed for them in the adventure module (usually coins*, gems, and jewelry). It does not include the value of mundane armor, weapons, and equipment taken from fallen foes.

Total xp value: This is the total value of enemies and/or challenges that had a xp value (or CR for the D&D3 PCs). For AD&D1 and B/ED&D, it includes the standard 1gp = 1xp. But this will not include xp for using or selling the magic items (an AD&D1 rule only). It also does not include the 5-10% bonus xp for having a prime requisite ability score above 12-15. Although this means the AD&D1 and B/ED&D xp values will not be as high as they could be in actual play, these extra xp are too variable to include in this data list.

Total magic treasure: This includes magic items listed as treasure in the module. It does not include non-treasure magic items, like what the captain of the guard in the town might have, or things that might have a magical effect but what can’t be taken by the PCs, like a magic altar.

Party finishes at: This is the level (and xp) that the party of adventurers come out of the adventure module.

The data is a listing/calculation of every set/numbered encounter in the adventure. I do not include wandering monsters (too variable).

AD&D1 and B/ED&D rules and adventures expected a larger party of adventurers than D&D3 assumes. (Some AD&D1 and B/ED&D adventures expected/suggested as many as 10 PCs.) For these adventures I’m using 6 PCs in my calculations because:

1- In my experience, with several groups through the years, I’ve never seen more than 6 PCs regularly in a game

2- WotC did research in the late 90s to find out what the normal average was for most game groups, and their data showed 5 PCs were the average (4-6).**

For AD&D1 parties***: a fighter, paladin, cleric, magic-user, illusionist, and thief.

For B/ED&D parties***: a fighter, cleric, magic-user, thief, elf, and dwarf.****

To compare the leveling rates between AD&D1/BD&D and D&D3, I’ll use these D&D3 PCs:

D&D3 to AD&D1 comparison party: a fighter, paladin, cleric, wizard, illusionist, and rogue.

D&D3 to B/ED&D comparison party: a fighter, cleric, wizard, rogue, fighter/wizard, and fighter

* AD&D1 coinage was 1 gp = 20 sp = 200 cp = 1/5 pp.

B/ED&D coinage was 1 gp = 10 sp = 100 cp = 1/5 pp.

D&D3 coinage is 1 gp = 10 sp = 100 cp = 1/10 pp.

**It seems that Gygax and TSR based their “large party” assumption on their personal experiences (like EGG sometimes having upwards of 20 Players at his table at one time) and tournament gatherings (having 6-9 Players in a game) rather than on market sample information of actual home games (which reports say they had none).

*** The various classes in AD&D1 and B/ED&D used different xp charts, so I chose 6 different classes to show how they level up at the different rates.

**** In B/ED&D, the elf, dwarf, and halfling were classes as well as races. Elves were essentially fighter/magic-users; dwarves and halflings were essentially just fighters. Since halflings had a level cap at 8th, I chose to drop them from the list of characters here. (Elves capped at 10th, and dwarves capped at 12th.)

I hope you find this data as interesting as I have found it. I’ll start with the beginning adventures of the original iconic adventure path series.

Bullgrit

————————————

Abbreviations

OD&D: Original D&D (1974)

AD&D1: Advanced D&D first edition (1977)

B/ED&D: Basic and Expert D&D; coexistent with AD&D1 (1977 & 1981)

AD&D2: Advanced D&D second edition (1989)

D&D3: D&D third edition and third edition revised (2000)

E. Gary Gygax (EGG): original creator, designer, & author of AD&D1

TSR: original publisher/company for D&D

WotC: current publisher/company for D&D

xp: experience points

gp: gold pieces

————————————

 

The Temple of Elemental Evil – start

The Moathouse
by E. Gary Gygax

AD&D1 party begins at: (0 xp each)
Fighter 1
Paladin 1
Cleric 1
Magic-User 1
Illusionist 1
Thief 1

D&D3 party begins at: (0 xp each)
Fighter 1
Paladin 1
Cleric 1
Wizard 1
Illusionist 1
Rogue 1

Total gp value: 30,938 gp*

Total xp value:

AD&D1: 38,148 xp (not including the xp value of using or selling magic items, nor the 10% bonus for ability scores over 15)

D&D3: 25,548 xp

Total magic treasure:
+1 plate mail armor
+1 arrows (x4)
staff of striking
phylactery of action
potion of undead control
scroll of protection from undead
magic-user scroll spells: push, stinking cloud, fly

AD&D1 party finishes at: (6,358 xp each)
Fighter 3
Paladin 3
Cleric 4
Magic-User 3
Illusionist 3
Thief 4

D&D3 party finishes at: (4,258 xp each)
Fighter 3
Paladin 3
Cleric 3
Wizard 3
Illusionist 3
Rogue 3

*Interesting Note: The portable treasure in Hommlet, (a village of just 166 persons, not counting children), amounts to 134,324 gp.

The Temple of Elemental Evil – continue

The Last Tower and Upper Rubble
by E. Gary Gygax & Frank Mentzer

AD&D1 party begins at: (6,358 xp each)
Fighter 3
Paladin 3
Cleric 4
Magic-User 3
Illusionist 3
Thief 4

D&D3 party begins at: (4,258 xp each)
Fighter 3
Paladin 3
Cleric 3
Wizard 3
Illusionist 3
Rogue 3

Total gp value: 7,079 gp

Total xp value:

AD&D1: 10,329 xp (not including the xp value of using or selling magic items, nor the 10% bonus for ability scores over 15)

D&D3: 9,450 xp

Total magic treasure:
+1 longsword
+2 shield
+1 arrows (x9)
cloak of elvenkind
potions: healing, speed, extra healing, water breathing

AD&D1 party continues at: (8,079 xp each)
Fighter 4
Paladin 3
Cleric 4
Magic-User 3
Illusionist 3
Thief 4

D&D3 party continues at: (5,833 xp each)
Fighter 3
Paladin 3
Cleric 3
Wizard 3
Illusionist 3
Rogue 3

The Temple of Elemental Evil – continue

Dungeon Level 1
by E. Gary Gygax & Frank Mentzer

AD&D1 party continues at: (8,079 xp each)
Fighter 4
Paladin 3
Cleric 4
Magic-User 3
Illusionist 3
Thief 4

D&D3 party continues at: (5,833 xp each)
Fighter 3
Paladin 3
Cleric 3
Wizard 3
Illusionist 3
Rogue 3

Total gp value: 29,686 gp

Total xp value:

AD&D1: 42,855 xp (not not including the xp value of using or selling magic items, nor the 10% bonus for ability scores over 15)

D&D3: 53,550 xp

Total magic treasure:
+3 crossbow bolt (x1)
+2 chainmail armor
+2 dagger
+1 shield
+1 morning star
+1 ring mail armor
+1 battle axe
+1 mace
+1 cloak of protection
+1 ring of protection
ring of shooting stars
rope of climbing
stone of weight (cursed item)
elfin chainmail (technically, not magic)
wand of paralyzation (38 charges)
scroll of protection from undead
jars of Keoghtam’s ointment (x3)
javelin of lightning (probably used by enemy)
potions: healing (x3), speed, dimunition
scroll of protection from earth elementals
cleric scroll spells: animate dead, prayer

AD&D1 party continues at: (15,221 xp each)
Fighter 4
Paladin 4
Cleric 5
Magic-User 4
Illusionist 4
Thief 5

D&D3 party continues at: (14,758 xp each)
Fighter 5
Paladin 5
Cleric 5
Wizard 5
Illusionist 5
Rogue 5

The Temple of Elemental Evil – continue

Dungeon Level 2
by E. Gary Gygax & Frank Mentzer

AD&D1 party continues at: (15,221 xp each)
Fighter 4
Paladin 4
Cleric 5
Magic-User 4
Illusionist 4
Thief 5

D&D3 party continues at: (14,758 xp each)
Fighter 5
Paladin 5
Cleric 5
Wizard 5
Illusionist 5
Rogue 5

Total gp value: 105,084 gp

Total xp value:

AD&D1: 145,902 xp (not including the xp value of using or selling magic items, nor the 10% bonus for ability scores over 15)

D&D3: 69,684 xp (does not include xp for 1 drelb, and 1 sumonster — I do not have CRs for these creatures)

Total magic treasure:
+3 longsword frostbrand, (intelligent, Lawful Good, detect evil, detect magic, detect shifting walls and rooms, levitation)
+2 warhammer
+2 chainmail
+2 ring of protection
+2 broadsword
+2 shield
+2 cloak of protection
+1 longsword flametongue
+1 shortsword, +3 vs. lycanthropes and shapechangers
+1 plate mail armor
+1 banded mail armor
+1 shield
+1 dagger (x2)
+1 chainmail armor
+1 cloak of protection
+1 mace
+1 ring of protection
+1 short sword
+1 leather armor
rod of smiting
dagger of venom
bag of holding (100# version)
ring of free action
ring of fire resistance (x3)
necklace of adaptation
rope of entanglement
cloak of the manta ray
gargoyle cloak (x4)
trident of yearning
potions: invisibility, healing, extra healing, poison, water breathing, fire resistance (x2)
scroll of protection from devils
scroll of protection from elements
scroll of protection from lycanthropes
continual light gems (several)
cleric scroll spells: dispel magic, flame strike, tongues, resist fire, neutralize poison, true seeing, purify food and drink, flame strike, part water, control weather
magic-user scroll spells: friends, magic missile, knock, mirror image, web, slow, rary’s mnemonic enhancer
illusionist scroll spell: misdirection

AD&D1 party finishes at: (39,538 xp each)
Fighter 6
Paladin 5
Cleric 6
Magic-User 5 (1% away from 6)
Illusionist 6
Thief 6

D&D3 party finishes at: (26,372 xp each)
Fighter 7
Paladin 7
Cleric 7
Wizard 7
Illusionist 7
Rogue 7

Note: If each of the AD&D1 characters had a 16 in their prime requisite ability score (Strength for fighters, Intelligence for magic-users, etc.), the AD&D1 party would be:

AD&D1 party finishes at: (43,492 xp each)
Fighter 6
Paladin 5
Cleric 6
Magic-User 6
Illusionist 6 (illusionists cannot get a bonus for high ability scores)
Thief 7

The magic-user and thief gained a level.

The Temple of Elemental Evil – continue

Dungeon Level 3
by E. Gary Gygax & Frank Mentzer

AD&D1 party continues at: (39,538 xp each)
Fighter 6
Paladin 5
Cleric 6
Magic-User 5 (1% away from 6)
Illusionist 6
Thief 6

D&D3 party continues at: (26,372 xp each)
Fighter 7
Paladin 7
Cleric 7
Wizard 7
Illusionist 7
Rogue 7

Total gp value: 183,279 gp (plus 9 random gems and 2 random jewelry)

Total xp value:

AD&D1: 229,744 xp (not including the xp value of using or selling magic items, nor the 10% bonus for ability scores over 15)

D&D3: 47,203 xp (does not include xp for 2 leucrotta — I do not have a CR for these creatures)

Total magic treasure:
+3 periapt of proof against poison
+3 crossbow bolts (x5)
+2 javelin
+2 shield
+2 spear, backbiter
+1 chainmail
+1 shield
+1 battle axe
+1 short sword (x2)
+1 longbow
+1 leather armor
elfin chainmail (technically, not magical)
crossbow of speed (missing string)
bracers of defense AC 6 [+4 AC] (x2)
belt of holding (special)
boots of elvenkind (small)
cloak of elvenkind
expanding/shrinking storage box (special)
rod of protection against turning and control (special)
cloak of poisonousness
necklace with one pebble evoking an Otiluke’s freezing sphere (special)
ring of delusion (seems like x-ray vision)
tome of leadership and influence
vacuous grimoire
ebony fly
crystal hypnosis ball
ring of invisibility
mirror of mental prowess
wand of lightning (5-50 charges)
wand of wonder (50 charges)
potions: plant control, red dragon control, hill giant strength, dimunition, healing, delusion (seems like treasure finding), speed, ESP, flying, sweetwater, polymorphing
scroll of protection from undead
scroll of protection from magic
magic-user scroll spells: spider-climb, levitate, infravision, extension I, gust of wind, tongues, polymorph self, remove curse, airy water, limited wish, magic mouth, fly, charm person, polymorph other, (7 random spells)
magic-user’s spell book with 97 spell levels (up to 5th)
cleric scroll spells: animate dead, raise dead, restoration
incense of meditation (x6)

AD&D1 party continues at: (77,829 xp each)
Fighter 7
Paladin 6
Cleric 7
Magic-User 7
Illusionist 7
Thief 8

D&D3 party continues at: (34,239 xp each)
Fighter 8
Paladin 8
Cleric 8
Wizard 8
Illusionist 8
Rogue 8

The Temple of Elemental Evil – continue

Dungeon Level 4
by E. Gary Gygax & Frank Mentzer

AD&D1 party continues at: (77,829 xp each)
Fighter 7
Paladin 6
Cleric 7
Magic-User 7
Illusionist 7
Thief 8

D&D3 party continues at: (34,239 xp each)
Fighter 8
Paladin 8
Cleric 8
Wizard 8
Illusionist 8
Rogue 8

Total gp value: 450,751 gp

Total xp value:

AD&D1: 504,835 xp (not including the xp value of using or selling magic items, nor the 10% bonus for ability scores over 15)

D&D3: 42,066 xp

Total magic treasure:
+3 plate mail
+3 shield
+3 sling stone (permanent)
+2 hammer
+2 shield
+2 ring of protection
+1 plate mail
bracers of defense AC 3 [+7 AC]
bracers of defense AC 4 [+6 AC]
staff of striking
ebony fly (cursed after 7 uses)
stone of controlling earth elementals
potions: extra healing (x2), speed (x2), healing, growth, (29 random), flying, polymorphing, climbing, invisibility
boots of levitation
ring of fire resistance
rope of entanglement
portable hole
cloak of poisonousness
mirror of lifetrapping (1 compartment)
ring of featherfall
book of vile darkness
ring of free action
rod of smiting
Daern’s instant fortress
wand of fear (unknown charges)
wand of ice storms (42 charges)
wand of fire (unknown charges)
wand of metal command (21 charges)
half a candle of invocation
candle of invocation (chaotic evil)
Magic-user spell book with 20 spell levels (up to 2nd)
Magic-user spell book with 69 spell levels (up to 5th)
cleric scroll spells: silence 15′ radius (x2), dispel magic (x2), cure critical wounds (x2), flamestrike (x2), slay living (x2)

AD&D1 party finishes at: (161,968 xp each)
Fighter 8
Paladin 7
Cleric 8
Magic-User 9
Illusionist 9
Thief 10

D&D3 party finishes at: (41,250 xp each)
Fighter 9
Paladin 9
Cleric 9
Wizard 9
Illusionist 9
Rogue 9

————————————

Commentary

The above finishes the main objective of the Temple of Elemental Evil adventure. There’s more to the adventure: explore the elemental nodes, then destroy the Golden Orb of Death, and/or kill the demoness Zuggtmoy. As the text of the adventure states:

“The fourth level of the dungeon is the true climax of the whole campaign. . . .

The anticlimax [sic] comes when the party finally reaches the portion of the third level wherein Zuggtmoy is bound.”

The above data does not include the separated prison section of the dungeons. The ways of getting to that area are very limited, and the party could wipe out the entire temple forces and never know it is there. The high priests don’t even know Zuggtmoy is there.

The elemental nodes are huge, and encounters are strictly on a random wandering monster basis. The text even states that exploring the nodes can be a full campaign in itself.

The party could consider the sacking of the 4th level of the dungeon the end of the adventure, and they would not be wrong. Exploring the nodes, assembling the Golden Orb of Death, destroying the orb, and killing the demoness are superfluous at this point, and the text says as much.

So, for this data, I am calling the ToEE complete. The Temple of Elemental Evil adventure states that it will/can take adventurers from 1st to 8th level, and this it does.

Next, the AD&D1 and D&D3 parties will be moving on to the Giants series.

Bullgrit

————————————

Commentary

By the adventure modules, as written, magic items were not rarer in AD&D1 than they are in D&D3. In fact, by the same levels, a party will probably have quite a bit more magic in AD&D1 than in D&D3. But D&D3 allows the PCs to tailor and customize their magic items to better suit their needs. An AD&D1 fighter may have a +1 broadsword, a +1 spear, a +1 hand axe, and a +2 dagger at 5th level, but the D&D3 fighter might have his preferred +2 greatsword at 5th level. (A quantity vs. quality issue?)

[You may note that weapons are armor are stated as “+1 longsword” in stead of the standard D&D3 style of “longsword +1.” I’m listing the items in the AD&D1 standard style because these are AD&D1 adventure modules.]

And especially note things like potions and scrolls. The poor AD&D1 illusionist in this adventure doesn’t find a scroll until about 6th level—AD&D1 illusionists were a separate character class, with their own spell list—and it has only one spell. A D&D3 spell caster can have a handful of chosen spell scrolls by 3rd level, either by purchasing them or scribing them personally. But AD&D1 spell casters just got what they found.

Also, by the adventure modules, as written, the AD&D1 characters did not level up slower than the D&D3 characters do. At least not at these low to mid levels. I suspect that what many people remember as very slow leveling in AD&D1 is a result of DMs not including as much treasure in their home made adventures as the official adventures include and assume. For instance, an official adventure might have 1,000 xp worth of monsters and then 9,000 gp as treasure (for a total 10,000 xp). But an individual DM’s adventure may have 1,000 xp worth of monsters and only 2,000 gp as treasure (for a total 3,000 xp). Thus leveling was slowed greatly. But this is an effect of the DM, not the rules.

Or the DM might not have given xp for gp. From discussions on Internet message boards, this seems the most common factor. A lot of DMs ignored or house ruled out the rule of giving xp for gp treasure value. Most xp from these adventures came from gp value, so not using this rule would make a big difference.

More xp than listed in the above data could come from the magic items found. For instance, a +1 sword (for example) is worth 400 xp to the character using it, or it can be sold for 2,000 gp which would be translated to 2,000 xp for the whole party.

So, for example, the Moathouse magic treasure is worth 9,600 xp if used (more than the total monster xp), or 33,800 gp/xp if sold (over 4 times the total monster xp). Selling the items increases the xp award from 38,148 xp to 71,948 xp.

The Dungeon Level 1 (ToEE) magic treasure is worth 12,610 xp if used (559 xp short of the total monster xp), or 76,400 gp/xp if sold (almost 6 times the total monster xp). Selling the items increases the xp award from 42,855 xp to 119,255 xp!

And then there was the 10% bonus to xp for having a primary ability score over 15.

Taken in all, there were plenty of xp to be awarded in AD&D1 adventure modules. But AD&D1 also had the training to level rules. By the book, when a character gained enough xp to level up, he or she must stop for one to four weeks to train. Only after the weeks of training could the character level up. From Internet forum discussions, a lot of DMs ignored this rule too.

The AD&D1 train to level rule causes logistical problems for a campaign because the xp requirements for leveling varied greatly between the classes. For instance, a thief only needed 1,251 xp to make 2nd level, the fighter needed 2,001 xp, and the magic-user needed 2,501 xp.

By the train to level rule, a character stops gaining xp until he trains to level up. So when the thief had gained enough xp to level, the party would be left with a decision: drop out of the action for a couple weeks and let the thief train to level up, or continue and screw the thief on further xp. Then when the fighter reached his 2,001st xp, they had the decision all over again. It’s no wonder that most DMs ignored the train to level rule and just let PCs level as they earned xp.

So, there are so many possible variables in people’s experiences with level advancement in AD&D1.

– Did the DM give xp for gp?

– Did the DM give xp for magic items (used or sold for gp)?

– Did the DM enforce the training rules?

– Did the DM cut out a lot of the treasure from the published material?

But even though these variables exist, it is interesting to see how the baseline works out.

Bullgrit

————————————

Commentary

Regarding xp awards and level advancement rates, let’s look at how things would go if the PCs were very slack or unlucky in their search for treasure in the ToEE.

If the parties only defeated 75% of the monsters and recovered only 75% of the treasure, they would be here for levels:

AD&D1 party finishes ToEE at: (121,476 xp each)
Fighter 7
Paladin 7
Cleric 8
Magic-User 8
Illusionist 8
Thief 9
Average: level 7.8 (0.7 level lower than 100% kill/loot rate)

 

If the AD&D party only defeated 50% of the monsters and recovered only 50% of the treasure, they would be here for levels:

AD&D1 party finishes ToEE at: (80,984 xp each)
Fighter 7
Paladin 6
Cleric 7
Magic-User 8
Illusionist 7
Thief 8
Average: level 7.2 (1.3 levels lower than 100% kill/loot rate)

NOTE: This still does not include xp for magic items. The xp value of magic items (kept or sold) is not at all a trivial amount.

Bullgrit

————————————

Against the Giants – start

The Steading of the Hill Giant Chief
by E. Gary Gygax

AD&D1 party begins at: (161,968 xp each)
Fighter 8
Paladin 7
Cleric 8
Magic-User 9
Illusionist 9
Thief 10

D&D3 party begins at: (41,250 xp each)
Fighter 9
Paladin 9
Cleric 9
Wizard 9
Illusionist 9
Rogue 9

Total gp value: 252,675 gp

Total xp value:

AD&D1: 380,420 xp (not including the xp value of using or selling magic items, nor the 10% bonus for ability scores over 15)

D&D3: 84,835 xp

Total magic treasure:
+3 battle axe
+3 spear
+3 shield
+2 war hammer
+2 giant slaying sword (x4 vs. giants, intelligent Neutral Good)
+2 arrows (x11)
+1 flametongue (intelligent, Chaotic Neutral or Chaotic Good, detects gems [types and number])
+1 flametongue (intelligent, Lawful Neutral or Neutral Good)
javelin of lightning (x5)
scarab of insanity
adamantine chain (teleports users to frost giant adventure glacier)
potions: extra healing, hill giant control, healing, poison (x2), storm giant strength, delusion, water breathing (x4)

AD&D1 party finishes at: (225,371 xp each)
Fighter 8
Paladin 8
Cleric 9
Magic-User 9
Illusionist 10
Thief 11

D&D3 party finishes at: (55,389 xp each)
Fighter 11
Paladin 11
Cleric 11
Wizard 11
Illusionist 11
Rogue 11

————————————

Commentary

Just for class comparison interest, the xp required to get from 9th level (name level for most classes) to 10th level in AD&D1:
Fighter 250,000
Paladin 350,000
Cleric 225,000
Magic-User 115,000
Illusionist 75,000
Thief 50,000

A basic fighter requires FIVE TIMES as many xp to go from 9th level to 10th level compared to the thief. In AD&D1, character class balance was controlled with experience point requirements. Experience being equal, a thief character was usually always the highest level—as much as 3 levels higher than the fighter of equivalent experience points. The paladin was usually always the lowest level.

Bullgrit

————————————

Against the Giants – continued

Glacial Rift of the Frost Giant Jarl
by E. Gary Gygax

AD&D1 party begins at: (225,371 xp each)
Fighter 8
Paladin 8
Cleric 9
Magic-User 9
Illusionist 10
Thief 11

D&D3 party begins at: (55,389 xp each)
Fighter 11
Paladin 11
Cleric 11
Wizard 11
Illusionist 11
Rogue 11

Total gp value: 626,058 gp

Total xp value:

AD&D1: 948,640 xp (not including the xp value of using or selling magic items, nor the 10% bonus for ability scores over 15)

D&D3: 160,332 xp

Total magic treasure:
hammer of thunderbolts
+3 frostbrand longsword
+3 chainmail
+2 giant slayer bastard sword
+2 dagger
+2 bolts (x11)
+2 plate mail
+2 shield
+1 battle axe
+1 shield, +4 vs. missiles
+1 shield
heavy crossbow of speed
ring of three wishes
ring of invisibility
cursed scroll
ring of fire resistance
armor of vulnerability
potions: healing (x3), poison (x2), fire resistance, dimunition, polymorph self, frost giant control, cloud giant strength, delusion, extra healing, storm giant strength, human control, oil of slipperiness, speed
box of holding
necklace of missiles (5 beads)
iron horn of valhalla
pearl of wisdom
Nolzur’s marvelous pigments (x8)
scroll of protection from magic
scroll of protection from elementals
wand of cold (16 charges)
wand of paralyzation (45 charges)
magic-user scroll spells: crystal brittle, energy drain
cleric scroll spells: cure serious wounds

AD&D1 party finishes at: (383,477 xp each)
Fighter 9
Paladin 9
Cleric 9
Magic-User 11
Illusionist 10
Thief 11

D&D3 party finishes at: (82,111 xp each)
Fighter 13
Paladin 13
Cleric 13
Wizard 13
Illusionist 13
Rogue 13

All the AD&D1 characters are now name level.

Against the Giants – continued

Hall of the Fire Giant King
by E. Gary Gygax

AD&D1 party begins at: (383,477 xp each)
Fighter 9
Paladin 9
Cleric 9
Magic-User 11
Illusionist 10
Thief 11

D&D3 party begins at: (82,111 xp each)
Fighter 13
Paladin 13
Cleric 13
Wizard 13
Illusionist 13
Rogue 13

Total gp value: 1,061,319 gp (yes, that’s over 1 million)

Total xp value:

AD&D1: 1,618,746 xp (not including the xp value of using or selling magic items, nor the 10% bonus for ability scores over 15)

D&D3: 156,168 xp

Total magic treasure:
+4 attack/+6 damage flaming greatsword (“huge”)
+4 mace (“giant-sized”)
+4 plate mail
+3 hammer
+3 battle axe
+3 ring of protection (x2)
+2 red dragon slaying longsword (“determine abilities randomly”)
+2 plate mail
+2 shield
+1 axe
+1 morning star (x4)
+1 longbow
+1 arrows (x20)
javelin of lightning (x4)
-2 shield of missile attraction (“giant-sized”)
-2 longsword
white dragon hide cloak
hellhound cloak
mirror that shows invisible or magically changed creatures in their real form
gauntlets of ogre power
ring of invisibility
ring of contrariness
ring of commanding water elementals
ring of delusion “with contact poison inside (die, no saving throw)”
ring of three wishes
ring of shooting stars
rod of cancellation
pipes of the sewers
lesser purple tentacle rod
lesser russet tentacle rod
greater purple tentacle rod
gem of controlling fire elementals
wand of viscid globs (79 charges)
potions: fire giant control (x2), delusion, mammal control, ESP, extra-healing (x3), invulnerability, undead control, poison, dimunition, healing, human control, philter of love, philter of persuasiveness, poison, polymorph self, fire resistance (x4), speed (x2), plus four randomly determined
demon staff
amulet of the planes
tome of clear thought
bolt of power (x3)
cleric scrolls: detect lie, true seeing, continual darkness, cure critical wounds, symbol of persuasion, word of recall, gate, unholy word, restoration
magic-user scroll: wish, plus 7 spells (“any”)
“a scroll with feet randomly determined 7th level spells—cleric, druid, or magic-user, matching the class of the first such character who examines it” [sic]
scrolls: protection from lycanthropes
“12 potions and eight scrolls, determined at random, but no poison, delusion, cursed, or otherwise harmful items”
“One black cloak, one pair of black boots, (man-sized), give 75% chance to be invisible/move silently in dungeons”
7 carved statues (each gives a -1 curse on “hits, damage, saves, etc.”, cumulative)
+5 chainmail (x3 – drow item)
+4 short sword (drow item)
+4 mace (drow item)
+3 dagger (drow item)
+3 shield (x3 – drow item)
+3 buckler (x9 – drow item)
+3 short sword (x2 – drow item)
+3 chainmail (drow item)
+3 mace (x2 – drow item)
+2 short sword (x9 – drow item)
+2 chainmail (x16 – drow items)
+2 shield (x18 – drow items)
+1 short sword (x55 – drow items)
+1 chainmail (x40 – drow item)
+1 shield (x19 – drow item)
+1 plate mail (drow item)
+1 shield (drow item)
+1 dagger (x46 – drow item)

AD&D1 party finishes at: (653,268 xp each)
Fighter 10
Paladin 9
Cleric 10
Magic-User 11
Illusionist 11
Thief 12

D&D3 party finishes at: (108,139 xp each)
Fighter 15
Paladin 15
Cleric 15
Wizard 15
Illusionist 15
Rogue 15

If we add in the 10% bonus for prime requisite ability score(s) above 15, the paladin, cleric, and illusionist would gain a level.

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Commentary

Regarding the “drow item” notation in the Fire Giant adventure: I identified these items because they are special cases. They will lose power and corrode over time, outside of the underdark. The AD&D1 Fiend Folio says,

“When these are exposed to direct sunlight, irreversible decay starts and the items will become totally useless in 2-12 days. If protected from sunlight, they will retain their special properties for 31-50 days before becoming normal items; and if exposed to the radiations of the Drow homeland for a period of 1 week out of every 4 weeks, the items could remain potent indefinitely.”

Many of the drow-made items in the adventures are found outside the drow homeland. And so far in the adventures I’ve covered, the PCs are headed for the drow homeland. So, it is quite possible that these items will continue to function as magical for the extent of this entire series of adventures (from the time they are acquired). But anyway, it is rather redundant, as the PCs have plenty of magic items other than the drow-made stuff.

Bullgrit

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Commentary

Looking at the data for this iconic AD&D1 adventure series:

Below AD&D1 “name level,” the PCs gain levels at about a [AD&D1] 1:1 [D&D3] ratio. After AD&D1 “name level,” the AD&D1 level advancement starts slowing down, while the D&D3 level advancement stays about the same rate, something like a [AD&D1] .5:1 [D&D3] ratio.

Bullgrit

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Commentary

At the end of the Giants adventures, the party has 653,268 xp each; 3,919,608 total. Of that total xp, 1,172,750 xp was from monsters, and 2,746,858 xp was from gp (not counting magic item xp, either direct or from gp when sold). That’s 70% xp from gold, and only 30% from monsters.

So you can see how not giving xp for gp would severely slow down level advancement. It is ironic how one of the biggest complaints about D&D3 is that the characters advance in level too fast—faster than AD&D1 characters did. One: this is not how the adventures were designed and written. Two: altering the xp awards for D&D3 is probably one of the easiest things to house rule. Those that like slower advancement obviously house ruled xp awards in AD&D1. Why don’t they just do the same in D&D3?

Bullgrit

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Commentary

Again regarding xp awards and level advancement rates, let’s look at how things would go if the PCs were very slack or unlucky in their search for treasure in the ToEE.

If the parties only defeated 50% of the monsters and recovered only 50% of the treasure, they would be here for levels:

AD&D1 party finishes the Giants series at: (326,634 xp each)
Fighter 9
Paladin 9
Cleric 9
Magic-User 10
Illusionist 10
Thief 11
Average: 9.7 (0.8 level less than 100% kill/loot rate)

NOTE: This still does not include xp for magic items. The xp value of magic items (kept or sold) is not at all a trivial amount.

So, considering the whole run through Temple of Elemental Evil and Against the Giants, the PCs were only gaining xp at half the rate I’ve tracked in the data, they would only be lower level by about 1 level.

Bullgrit

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Descent to the Depths of the Earth – start

Descent to the Depths of the Earth
by E. Gary Gygax

AD&D1 party begins at: (653,268 xp each)
Fighter 10
Paladin 9
Cleric 10
Magic-User 11
Illusionist 11
Thief 12

D&D3 party begins at: (108,139 xp each)
Fighter 15
Paladin 15
Cleric 15
Wizard 15
Illusionist 15
Rogue 15

Total gp value: 324,458 gp

Total xp value:

AD&D1: 511,476 xp (not including the xp value of using or selling magic items, nor the 10% bonus for ability scores over 15)

D&D3: 60,751 xp

Total magic treasure:
+3 ring of protection
+2 bastard sword
jug of alchemy
javelin of lightning x2
rope of entanglement
lurker cloak
cleric scrolls: find traps, neutralize poison (x2), tongues, cure critical wounds, heal, stone tell, cure light wounds, tongues, conjure animals
potions: healing (x3), polymorph self, extra healing (x3), plant control (x4), longevity
portable hole
dust of sneezing and choking
staff of striking
scarab of protection from evil clerics
magic-user scrolls: knock, tongues, minor globe of invulnerability, wall of ice, stone to flesh, charm plants, symbol of fear
scarab of death
scrolls: protection from undead, protection from demons
poisonous cloak
bead from a necklace of fireballs (9-die fireball)
Plus lots of +1 through +5 drow weapons and armor

AD&D1 party finishes at: (738,514 xp each)
Fighter 10
Paladin 10
Cleric 11
Magic-User 11
Illusionist 12
Thief 13

D&D3 party finishes at: (118,139 xp each)
Fighter 15
Paladin 15
Cleric 15
Wizard 15
Illusionist 15
Rogue 15

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Commentary

The Descent to the Depths of the Earth adventure module [D1-2, which includes Shrine of the Kuo Toa (not yet included in this data)] says, on the cover, “An Adventure for Characters Levels 9-14.” This closely matches the levels this party came out of the Giants series at, (levels 9-12). The Vault of the Drow adventure module says it is for levels 10-14, and that is probably what this group will be when they reach that adventure. So it seems that Gygax pretty well figured the level gains an AD&D1 party would be making through these adventures. And that makes sense, since he ran these for his personal campaign, and saw them run through tournaments.

It should be noted that the descent adventure was designed to have a lot of random encounters along the way. But random encounters are just that – random. So I didn’t/couldn’t include them in this data. The above numbers are just from the set encounters.

Bullgrit

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Descent to the Depths of the Earth – continued

Shrine of the Kuo Toa
by E. Gary Gygax

AD&D1 party begins at: (738,514 xp each)
Fighter 10
Paladin 10
Cleric 11
Magic-User 11
Illusionist 12
Thief 13

Total gp value: 417,795 gp

Total xp value:

AD&D1: 518,793 xp (not including the xp value of using or selling magic items, nor the 10% bonus for ability scores over 15)

Total magic treasure:
boots of speed
+3 ring of protection (6 charges for saving throws, then useless)
trident of submission
ring of invisibility
manual of gainful exercise
tome of understanding
grim grimoire
helm of underwater vision
gauntlets of swimming and climbing
cleric scroll: lower water, true seeing, restoration
potions: water breathing (x12)
+2 short sword (drow)
+2 dagger (drow)

AD&D1 party finishes at: (824,980 xp each)
Fighter 11
Paladin 10
Cleric 11
Magic-User 12
Illusionist 12
Thief 13

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Commentary

The party’s next steps take them into the drow kingdom. Vault of the Drow is for characters levels 10-14, and that’s pretty much right where they are.

I’ve stopped tracking the xp for the D&D3 party for three reasons. One: the monsters and challenges are mostly lower level stuff, so the D&D3 party would be getting little to no xp for this adventure anyway. Two: we’ve already seen the change in level advancement from 1:1 ratio to .5:1 ratio. Although continuing to track the xp and level advancement would be interesting. . . Three: figuring up the xp for the D&D3 party is very tedious and time consuming. I’m not getting paid for the time and effort.

Bullgrit

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Vault of the Drow

Vault of the Drow
by E. Gary Gygax

AD&D1 party begins at: (824,980 xp each)
Fighter 11
Paladin 10
Cleric 11
Magic-User 12
Illusionist 12
Thief 13

Total gp value: 1,507,717 gp

Total xp value: 2,414,001 xp (not including the xp value of using or selling magic items, nor the 10% bonus for ability scores over 15)

Total magic treasure:
magic-user scrolls: charm monster, invisible stalker, lightning bolt, passwall
potions: healing (x4), plant control (x2), poison, extra healing, flying, frost giant strength (x2), invulnerability (x2), plus 25 more determined randomly
wand of viscid globs
wings of flying
+1 ring of protection
oil of etherealness (x3)
cloak of poisonousness
pipes of the sewers
ring of spell storing: animate dead, knock, maze, polymorph self
+1 arrows (x8)
wand of polymorph (2 charges)
+2 mace
gauntlets of ogre power
+3 crossbow bolt (x72)
ring of polymorph into troglodyte
scroll of protection from elementals
javelin of lightning (x15)
death lance (x8)
scroll of protection from magic
scroll of protection from demons
cleric scrolls: 17 determined randomly
ring of water walking
wand of magic missiles (50 charges)
demon staff (x2)
lurker cloak
spider wand (x2) (50 charges)
ring of antivenom (20 charges)
amulet vs. crystal balls and ESP
+1 ring of protection
ring of invisibility
dust of disappearance (x3)
talisman of lawfulness
Plus BUNCHES, LOTS, TONS, BUTTLOADS of drow weapons and armor from +1 to +5 (could be a 4-digit number)

AD&D1 party finishes at: (1,227,315 xp each)
Fighter 12 (2% away from 13)
Paladin 11
Cleric 13
Magic-User 13
Illusionist 14
Thief 15

Note: I did not include the treasure and xp from the drow city of Erelhe-Cinlu. This omission includes the main defensive wall and the noble houses (map areas 9-17). The city proper is just too random to calculate (not to mention it’s 8,000-9,000 drow). The noble houses are given only a general overview with instructions to roll up treasure randomly, and the house leaders are given only basic stats without gear (DM is to assign weapons or armor “commensurate with rank”).

The xp numbers also do not include xp for defeating Lolth, herself, although it is possible to encounter her in the temple.

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Commentary

After this adventure, the PCs are entering the Demonweb Pits. Q1 is labeled for “Character Levels 10-14”, and that’s pretty much right where the PCs are (average: 13). It’s pretty impressive that Gary Gygax so well designed/predicted the level advancement through these adventures. They finish one right at the appropriate level to start the next in the series.

Bullgrit

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Queen of the Demonweb Pits

Queen of the Demonweb Pits
by David C. Sutherland III with Gary Gygax

AD&D1 party begins at: (1,227,315 xp each)
Fighter 12 (2% away from 13)
Paladin 11
Cleric 13
Magic-User 13
Illusionist 14
Thief 15

Total gp value: 290,628 gp

Total xp value [not including Lolth]: 522,112 xp (not including the xp value of using or selling magic items, nor the 10% bonus for ability scores over 15)

Total magic treasure:
scrolls: cure serious wounds (x3), burning hands, ESP, fear, Leomund’s trap, Otto’s irresistable dance, push, find familiar, ice storm, dispel magic, dispel evil, protection from evil, sanctuary, spiritual hammer, cure blindness, glyph of warding, heal
crystal ball
mace +2
amulet of protection from werewolves
rope of climbing
potions: gaseous form, invulnerability (x2), poison, treasure finding (x2), healing (x9), delusion (x4), fire resistance (x2), heroism, invisibility, undead control, extra healing (x3), flying, dimunition, fire giant strength, speed, sweet water, clairvoyance, stone giant strength
dagger +1
ring of antivenom (20 charges)
mirror of opposition
javelin of lightning (x3)
wings of flying
wand of frost (8 charges)
bag of holding
ring of protection +2
boots of speed
ring of contrariness
two-handed sword +1
ring of protection +1
deathlance (x2)
scroll of protection from lycanthropes
longsword +1, +2 vs. magic-users and enchanted monsters
pendant of truth (3 balls*)
leather armor +1
plate mail of vulnerability
wand of negation (35 charges)
chime of opening
longsword +2 giant slayer
plate mail +2 (drow) (x5)
short sword +1 (drow) (x4)
short sword +2 (drow)
short sword +3 (drow) (x2)
short sword +4 (drow)
plate mail +4 (drow) (x5)
mace +3 (drow)
flail +2 (drow)
* when a ball comes within 5′ of an illusion or a magically trapped item or area, it will burst — 50% chance of dispelling whatever triggered it.

AD&D1 party finishes at: (1,316,167 xp each)
Fighter 13
Paladin 11
Cleric 13 (2.6% from 14th level)
Magic-User 13
Illusionist 14 (0.3% from 15th level — just 3,833 xp!)
Thief 15 (0.3% from 16th level — just 3,833 xp!)

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Commentary

The above does not include the xp for defeating/killing Lolth. Defeating the demon lord* on her home plane (where this entire module takes place) is worth 124,700 xp.

I did not include her xp value in the above because some consider killing her as not likely — even though she has only 66 hit points! But the module itself explains what will happen if she is slain. In fact, the module discusses three endings for this adventure:

“A. The characters perish in the Demonweb Pits.”

“B. The characters defeat Lolth, but she escapes through one of her mirrors.”

“C. Lolth is slain on her home plane.”

With Lolth’s xp added to the end award, the party finishes at:
Fighter 13
Paladin 11 (4.5% from 12th level)
Cleric 13 (1% from 14th level)
Magic-User 13
Illusionist 15
Thief 16

— Only the illusionist and thief get another level (because they were so close to it before).

— If the paladin and cleric have prime ability scores of 16 or better, they, too, would gain a level (12th and 14th respectively).

* In this adventure, Lolth is a demon lord: First sentence of her description: “The demoness Lolth is a very powerful and feared demon Lord.” The text mentions making her a lesser goddess as an option:

OPTIONAL ABILITIES

As a lesser goddess, Lolth has certain attributes common to all divine beings. The DM may choose not to use these in this module, since a properly-played Lolth will easily destroy most invaders. However, should these abilities be desired or needed for confrontations with a high-level party, the DM may include them in Lolth’s abilities. Note that if these optional abilities are used, changes in Lolth’s spell selection should be made.

The above also does not include anything in the other-world portals the PCs can go through from the demonweb (areas A through G). Those are essentially extraneous and seperate adventures.

Bullgrit

————————————

————————————

AD&D1 Treasure Types

I never actually used the official treasure type tables in the AD&D1 Monster Manual. I always just placed treasure as I judged appropriate. Compared to the treasure given in official, published AD&D1 modules, I was stingy. Judging from the treasure given in official, published AD&D1 modules, I figured I was probably stingy compared to the treasure type tables too. But I never really knew for certain.

I got curious recently about how the old AD&D1 treasure type tables worked. So I did some calculating and random rolling.

To start with, I looked at Treasure Type A:
Calculating using a weighted average formula, total treasure value = 32,904.4 gp (not including magic item gp value)

Then I actually rolled on the charts:

Treasure Type A #1 (rolled results)
5,000 cp
3,000 sp
1,000 pp
32 gems (50gp x7, 55gp x5, 500gp x15, 1,000gp x5)*
15 jewelry (900gp x3, 1,000gp x3, 1,400gp x3, 3,000 x3, 5,000 x3)**

Total treasure value = 52,200 gp

Treasure Type A #2 (rolled results)
6,000 sp
5,000 ep
pipes of the sewers
potion of longevity
potion of flying

Total treasure value = 2,530 gp (not including magic item gp value)

* Gems were rolled up in groups of up to 5.

** Jewelry was rolled up in groups of 3.

Monsters that have treasure type A: lich (1), locathah (20-200), bandits (20-200), giant squid (1), and troglodytes (10-100).

Treasure Type A gives a 30% chance for “Any 3” magic items. Rolling within that 30% chance for the second record, I was a little disappointed to roll two potions on the full magic item chart.

Then I considered a standard orc lair:

From the AD&D1 Monster Manual:

ORC
NO. APPEARING: 30-300 [plus a couple or three dozen elite-types per the ratios in the MM listing]
TREASURE TYPE: Individuals L; C, O, Q (X 10), S in lair

Calculating using a weighted average formula, total treasure value = 5,626.7 gp (including individual treasure, but not including magic item gp value)

Then I actually rolled on all the charts:

Orc Lair #1 (rolled results)
164 orc warriors
10,000 cp
10 gems (50gp x5, 450gp x5)*
4 potions (plant control, healing, delusion, philter of love)
plus an average of 7 ep on each individual

Total treasure value = 3,124 gp (including individual treasure**, but not including magic item gp value)

Orc Lair #2 (rolled results)
157 orc warriors
1,000 sp
4 gems (100gp x4)*
3 jewelry (5,000gp, 7,000gp, 7,000gp)
7 potions (oil of slipperiness, sweet water, sweet water, giant strength [stone giant], polymorph self, giant strength [cloud giant], giant control [stone giant])
plus an average of 7 ep on each individual

Total treasure value = 19,999.5 gp (including individual treasure**, but not including magic item gp value)

* Gems were rolled up in groups of up to 5.

** I used the average for individual treasure — I’m not about to roll 2d6 over 300 times.

Notice the different results for the two orc tribes. I figure they must be from opposite sides of the track.

This experiment shows me that trying to figure averages for AD&D1 treasure types is pretty useless. The variation between the calculated averages and actual rolls, and between multiple actual rolls is just so vast.

I want to roll for Treasure Type H, next. All dragons but the lowly white have Treasure Type H. I’d love to roll 10 tests, to see a full spread of results, but rolling on all these charts is just so very complicated and time consuming. For instance, for that first Treasure Type A record, I rolled at least 46 dice (counting d% as 1 die). Forty-six dice! For one treasure hoard. For just the orc tribe populations, I rolled 30d10, twice.

Bullgrit

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The Lost Caverns of Tsojcanth

The Lost Caverns of Tsojcanth
by Gary Gygax

An adventure for character levels 6-10, for AD&D1.

Total gp value: 293,960gp

Total magic treasure:
+2 dagger longtooth
bracers of defense AC 5
+1 arrows (x4)
cloak of poisonousness
boots of levitation
boots of dancing
magic boat*
lens of detection
bag of holding
horn of fog
+1 ring of protection
+2 battle axe, +4 vs. undead and negative plane creatures
+1 cursed broadsword (yes, that’s plus one)**
necklace of missiles (one 9HD missile)
wand of magic missiles (100 charges)
+2 battle axe
ring of warmth
bracers of defense AC 7
candle of invocation (Chaotic Good)
serpentine owl
+1 short sword
+2 scale mail
+2 spear
periapt of proof against poison +3
wings of flying
+1 horseman’s pick
cloak of elvenkind
boots of elvenkind
rug of smothering
Keoghtom’s ointment (x2)
brooch of shielding
scrolls of protection: elementals, possession
potions: healing, vitality, green dragon control, water breathing (x2), extra healing, dimunition, poison, polymorph self, plant control, clairvoyance
magic-user scrolls: slow, stone to flesh, phase door (17th level), write, fool’s gold, magic mouth, dispel magic, distance distortion, statue, darkness, forget, fly, animal growth, cloudkill
cleric scrolls: resist fire, remove curse, raise dead, heal
illusionist scrolls: color spray, non-detection, maze
+4 bastard sword (Chaotic Evil)
+2 plate mail
slippers of spiderclimb
Daoud’s wondrous lanthorn
prison of Zagyg
Demonomicon
manual of bodily health
manual of gainful exercise
manual of quickness of action
tome of clear thought
tome of leadership and influence
tome of understanding

* Moves and stops on command, and shrinks to 10% size on command.

** “The cursed broadsword is absolutely neutral in alignment, and it has the power to generate illusion (as a wand) even though it has no discernible intelligence. Such illusions last for 1d4+4 melee rounds, and operate periodically after an interval of from 3d6 turns.”

This is just one dungeon with two levels. But just look at the treasure and magic items.

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Keep on the Borderlands

The Caves of Chaos
by Gary Gygax

BD&D party (0 xp):
[Human] Fighter 1
[Human] Cleric 1
[Human] Magic-User 1
[Human] Thief 1
Elf [Fighter/Magic-User] 1
Dwarf [Fighter] 1
Halfling [Fighter] 1

D&D3 party (0 xp):
Human Fighter 1
Human Cleric 1
Human Wizard 1
Human Rogue 1
Elf Fighter/Wizard 0/0
Dwarf Fighter 1
Halfling Fighter 1

The adventure says it is designed for 6 to 9 characters, and there are 7 total classes in BD&D, so I went with 7 PCs (1 of each class) for this adventure. [Although I’ve never played in or run KotB with more than 6 PCs, and the norm for my BD&D playing was 4 Players/PCs.]

Total gold value: 29,852 gp

Total magic items:
shield +1 (x3)
potion of healing (x4)
scroll of fireball
hand axe +1 (x2)
rope of climbing
arrow +1 (x6)
potion of invisibility
scroll of cure light wounds, hold person
potion of poison
wand of paralyzation (7 charges)
scroll of protection from undead (x2)
spear +1
staff of healing
plate mail +1 (x2)
potion of gaseous form (x2)
potion of growth
sword -1 cursed
elven boots
snake staff
scroll of detect magic, hold person, silence 15′ radius
sword +2
helm of alignment change
wand of enemy detection (9 charges)
potion of stone to flesh (x6)
amulet of protection from turning (x28)
amulet of protection from good (x6)

Total defeated enemies:
81 kobolds
2 giant centipedes
42 orcs
38 goblins
1 ogre
51 hobgoblins
3 gray oozes
1 owlbear
24 bugbear
13 stirges
5 fire beetles
1 minotaur
37 gnolls
32 skeletons
39 zombies
9 clerics
1 wight
1 gelatinous cube
1 medusa

After clearing the caves (not counting any “refills”):

BD&D party (5,151 xp):
[Human] Fighter 3
[Human] Cleric 3
[Human] Magic-User 3
[Human] Thief 4
Elf [Fighter/Magic-User] 2
Dwarf [Fighter] 3
Halfling [Fighter] 3

D&D3 party (10,425 xp):
Human Fighter 5
Human Cleric 5
Human Wizard 5
Human Rogue 5
Elf Fighter/Wizard 2/3
Dwarf Fighter 5
Halfling Fighter 5

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Commentary

Notice the low gp treasure in this low-level BD&D adventure compared to the treasure in the low-level AD&D adventure, The Village of Hommlet and the first level or two of The Temple of Elemental Evil.

Bullgrit

————————————

Tomb of Horrors

Tomb of Horrors
by Gary Gygax

An adventure for character levels 10-14, for AD&D1.

Total gp value:* 305,790 gp

Total magic treasure:**
gem of seeing (12 uses, which will probably all be used up in the Tomb)
+1 ring of protection (which will probably be destroyed in the Tomb)
6 healing potions
scroll of 7 spells (1st & 2nd level spells only)
ring of fire resistance
potion of dimunition
flail +1
sword of defending +4
“cursed sword” x2 (no explanation for which kind of cursed sword)
cursed spear of back biting
12 potions (rolled for randomly)
6 scrolls (rolled for randomly)
1 ring (rolled for randomly)
1 rod (rolled for randomly)
1 staff (rolled for randomly)
3 miscellaneous magic items (rolled for randomly)

* Not included in the gp value above: Acererak’s skull contains 130,000 gp worth of gems. [Also see commentary below.]

** There are a few ways Tomb raiders can have [all] their items stripped from them and collected in the last chamber. If those characters died or gave up the adventure, their items can be found and recovered by successful parties. (Finders keepers, losers weepers!) [Also see commentary below.]

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Commentary

I didn’t include the value of Acererak’s skull gems for three reasons:

  1. I’ve seen some posit that Acererak’s skull is actually the last trap/test in the Tomb. PCs should leave it alone and just take the other treasure.
  2. Whenever the skull is touched, it rises and drains the soul, (no save), of a character, (not necessarily the character who touched it). The method of killing the skull is so convoluted that it is doubtful the PCs will manage the feat on the spot.
  3. If the adventurers do manage to kill the skull, they must crush the gems in the skull to release drained souls.

So the likelihood of gaining even some of the skull’s gems is very low.

There is a relatively very small amount of more treasure or magic items that can be gained, (and lost), in one chamber of the Tomb, but the actual item is determined randomly.

As for xp value in this adventure:

Treasure xp is half the normal, (1xp per 2gp value), so without defeating Acererak’s skull, the total xp value of this tomb raid is 152,895 xp. Defeating the skull adds 100,000 xp to the total, for 252,895 xp. So 150K or 250K xp to be split among the surviving characters. (Six surviving characters = 25,483 or 42,149 xp each. For reference: a 12th level fighter needs 250,000 xp for 13th level; a magic-user needs 375,000 xp.)

Compare all of this to the total gp and xp that can be earned in Hall of the Fire Giant King (the adventure of equivalent level): 1 million gp, 1.6 million xp — 3.5 times more gp, and 10.6 or 6.4 times more xp.

Bullgrit