On a Yellow Dingo's Fungus Guide I-V

A long time ago, a blogger, Yellow Dingo posted many weird and wonderful things. Sadly (s)he is no longer with us. The best work by yellow dingo was a series on weird and dangerous fungus that was posted to his blog.. Sadly, that blog is now lost, to a spammer. However, some members of our community managed to save that information.

In the spirit of archival and rejuvenation, I am without permission (and with no charge to my patrons), reposting that wonderful series here on this blog. All writing and art is credit to the original poster at Yellow Dingo. All fungus statted up for Labyrinth Lord, but easily convertable to any system from Original Dungeons and Dragons to 5th Edition. Anyone who feels strongly that this is a bad (or good) idea, feel free to contact me with your concerns. My personal hard drive and OSR back channels are not nearly as resilient as the cloud. Enjoy.

From the defunct Yellow Dingo Appendix blog:

A Guide to Dangerous Fungi I-V


EnvironmentCaves, Dungeons, Fungi ForestsAlignmentNeutral
Armour Class7Hit Dice4
Move20' (8')Intelligence1
Attacks2 Tentacles / 1 BiteDamageGrapple / 1d6 + Special
No. Appearing1Save AsFighter: L3
Treasure TypeNilXP Value75

Description: Also known as the Cave Kraken, these large fungi come with heavy root like appendages extending from the trunk of the plant. Any foe entering within ten feet of the plant will be grappled by two of the tentacles (or one tentacle each if two or more foes can be attacked at once). A beak exists under the cluster of limbs which when a grapple is successful (any successful hit roll against the target) the Death-kap will bite – infecting the victim (save vs. poison) with spore that will germinate in 7-10 days as a new Death-kap (killing the victim).

Colossal Death-kap: These are known to exist in fungi forests in huge numbers and are often mistaken for trees though their prey is more on the scale of giants and dragons.


EnvironmentOther living hostsAlignmentasdf
Armour Class9Hit Dice1 hp / eyestalk
No. Appearing1Save AsNormal Human
Treasure TypenilXP Value6
Description: These fungi are parasitic in nature and will infect any open wound as spores growing into a mature eyestalk at the rate of one per week connecting into a host’s neural network and functioning as an actual eye. The host will eventually die after a number of eyestalks equal to his/her/its hit-points have grown to maturity. The infestation can be removed by fire and remove disease and remove curse though it will leave the victim blinded for many days until the brain gets used to decreased neural transmitter activity. This particular fungus is capable of functioning with the Oozers as their ‘eyes’.


EnvironmentCaves, Dungeons, Fungi ForestsAlignmentNeutral
Armour Class9Hit Dice1 hp
Move0'IntelligenceIndividual (1), Collectively (2-100)
No. Appearing1-100Save AsNormal Human
Treasure TypenilXP Value6
Description: These fungi are unusual in that even though they are individually weak they are a collective intelligence. Depending on the scale of intelligence they are as smart as a door-knob or as brilliant as an Immortal.
The Ooze they give off is a mind control agent on par with a mass charm spell. As a consequence they have the ability (depending on parallel neuron capacity) to manipulate an entire region by simply infecting victims with ooze (save vs. spell). The needs of the plant are very specific— survival—and given the capacity of these particular fungi to infect and control other host are capable of being the BBEG that most Adventurers are incapable of comprehending.


EnvironmentFungi ForestsAlignmentNeutral
Armour ClassMushroom: 4
Hit Dice4-7
Mushroom: 8-14 hp
Body: 32-59 hp
MoveBurrowing 30' (10')Intelligence1
No. Appearing1(1)Save AsFighter: L4-7
Treasure TypeIXP Value75, 175, 275, 450
Description: Officially it isn’t a Fungi, it only looks like one. It is actually a kind of giant worm with teeth. The four to seven foot tall ‘Mushroom’ is a lure/mouth with bone teeth which is pushed to the surface by the worm in order to breathe and feed on prey.
When prey enters within fifty feet of the ‘mushroom’ the trunk of the mushroom stretches out to fifty feet and the mouth takes a bite out of the target. A successful hit will swallow anything up to Halfling size.


EnvironmentCaves, Dungeons Fungi ForestsAlignmentNeutral
Armour Class8Hit Dice1/2*
Move20' (7')Intelligence2
AttacksSpecialDamageSee Description
No. Appearing1 (1 mature and 1-10 immature)Save AsFighter: L1
Treasure TypeNilXP Value6
Description: They may look like cute little mushroom people about a foot tall but they are nasty little buggers. They like to rub themselves against any adventurers (or other prey) swanning through their habitat coating their prey in an attractant that will draw aggressive species to the target in a frenzied attack (ML12, +2 Hit Roll Bonus). They then lay spores in the carcass which germinate into 3d4 new Smudgers. Outdoors/Fungi Forest the Attractant will draw predators to the victim from up to a mile away so the DM may consider any encounters with attracted predators to be at maximum population.

Fairy Lights

EnvironmentOther living hosts, Mushroom Forests, Caves, DungeonsAlignmentChaotic
Armour Class9Hit Dice1/2*
No. Appearing1Save AsNormal Human
Treasure TypeNilXP Value6
Description: These annoying glowing fungi charm Pixies in large numbers (as Mass Charm spell) and cause the Pixies to act as a chaotic alignment.

Lightning Brush

EnvironmentCaves, Dungeons, Mushroom Forests, Heavy ForestsAlignmentNeutral
Armour Class9Hit Dice1 hp/stalk
AttacksLightning DischargeDamage1 hp/stalk
No. Appearing1-100 stalksSave AsNormal Human
Treasure TypeNilXP Value6 xp/stalk
Description:  These Amber stalks will discharge a lightning bolt through any foe within one hundred feet. They take a day to recharge before a second electrical strike can be discharged. Outdoors: A huge lightning brush can be mistaken for a dead tree and will kill all other trees out to a hundred feet radius with its lightning creating a region of ‘lightning-struck’ trees.

Monarch's Crown

EnvironmentOther living hostsAlignmentAs Host
Armour ClassAs HostHit DiceAs Host
MoveAs HostIntelligence2x host
AttacksAs HostDamageAs Host
No. Appearing1Save AsFighter: LX
Treasure TypeAs HostXP ValueAs Host
MoraleAs Host
Description: Monarch’s Crown is in fact the final stage of these fungi. The victim having been infected with spore has experienced loss of bone and marrow as the fungi uses it to grow the crown from the victim’s skull. Unfortunately the victim develops a need to suck the marrow from bones of freshly killed victims and should he/she/it be exposed to sunlight will germinate into spores as though the whole body was a spore pod. Not even killing the Host will kill these fungi.
The Monarch’s Crown has one advantage – it doubles the existing intelligence of the victim. Consequently some subterranean cultures deliberately infect their ruling class with the Monarch’s Crown.

Death's Hand

EnvironmentOther living hosts, Dungeons, Caves, Fungal ForestsAlignmentNeutral
Armour Class9Hit Dice1
Move15' (5')Intelligence1
No. Appearing0 (1)Save AsFighter: L1
Treasure TypeAs HostXP Value13
Description: The Spores of these fungi are breathed in. It will then grow in the lungs until it can dig its way out in to the chest cavity and grab the heart which it will crush – feeding on the blood like a sponge - until the victim is dead. It will then rip its way out of the chest and find some place to plant itself until it goes to spore.

Miasma Tree

EnvironmentCaves, Fungal Forests, Green Dragon LairsAlignmentNeutral
Armour Class8Hit Dice1*
AttacksUp to six branches / Poison CloudDamage1d6 per branch / Special
No. Appearing1-10 (1-100)Save AsFighter: LX
Treasure TypekXP Value13
Description: Also known as the Miner’s Tree, these fungi will bludgeon any foe who damages the gas bladder. The Gas Bladder in its branches is how it absorbs poisonous gasses found in deep dungeons crystallizing them into gemstones and refined metals of highest purity.
Green Dragons keep these in order to farm their own poisonous gasses into gems and precious metals. Rupturing the gas bladder requires a save vs. poison or death ensues.

Web of Som

EnvironmentDungeons, Caves, Mushroom ForestsAlignmentNeutral
Armour Class9Hit Dice1/2*
No. Appearing1 (1)Save AsNormal Human
Treasure TypeNilXP Value6
Description: This white fine fungal web can be found growing in pretty much any cave, dungeon or subterranean wilderness.
It has the ability to analyse environmental changes and counter them with Weather Control (as the spell). If a warm body of a PC is detected (raising the temperature of the room) it will counter the temperature increase with cold. A fireball spell will be countered with an ice storm out of nowhere followed by a tornado to bring in non toxic air.

Goblin's Mother

EnvironmentMushroom Forests, Caves, DungeonsAlignmentNeutral
Armour Class9Hit Dice7*
No. Appearing1 (1-100)Save AsFighter: LX
Treasure TypeNilXP Value850
Description: This large ‘cup’ is filled with primordial ooze from which Black Goblins are born at the rate of one an hour. This mushroom is very popular with fiends that dwell in the deepest cavers who are raising an army of black goblins as their minions.  Black Goblins are a lot like Kobolds except they have no fear (12ML) and can move twice as fast.

Hob's Nail

EnvironmentCaves, Dungeons, Fungal Forests, Heavy ForestsAlignmentNeutral
Armour Class2Hit Dice1*
No. Appearing1Save AsNormal Human
Treasure TypeNilXP Value13
Description: Also known as the Coffin Nail, his iron-like purple ‘shroom’ will cause undead who have been destroyed by a cleric to return to the world of undeath. Some intelligent undead (vampires, lich, etc.) will cultivate the fungi for the purpose of a second chance at undeath although few are willing to become the ‘minion’ of a mushroom for the centuries it takes the ‘shroom’ to produce offspring and become an Odic. Elves can use it to return as Banshee.

Hack & Slash 

On Reader Mail, 3e to 5e Conversion

Happy post-Gencon Monday morning everyone. Congratulations to the strength of the independent press, with Contessa and A Red and Pleasant land winning multiple times! Also, congratulations to Jolly Blackburn and our community, for pulling together to turn the Knights of the Dinner Table Live Action Series Kickstarter into a success at Gencon! My heart soars.

However, gaming season is upon us, and it is time to get back to work (and play). We'll start light with some reader mail.

John writes:

I was referred to your blog today as possibly having a reference that would help convert 3.5 characters to 5e.  I perused your blog indices for the better part of 30 minutes, but I could not find what I was looking for.  I have a mothballed campaign that I would like to start up again, using 5e instead of 3.5, and I would like to keep the players' old characters but create 5e versions of them to move on.  Is there anything on your site that would provide a little guidance in this vein?
Barring that, then just one piece of advice:  the 3.5 characters are levels 5 and 6.  I am still absorbing the 5e PHB info, but my general impression at this point is that 1st level 5e characters are about as powerful as 3rd level v3.5 characters, and quick and dirty I was thinking I could basically just back everyone up about 2 levels and go from there, if there are not any more substantive conversion charts or discussions available.  What is your opinion on this idea? 

Excellent question! This is both very simple and very complicated.

My last 3rd edition character was a lazer warlock. They way he worked is, he took six levels in warlock, then switched over to hellfire warlock for the bonus damage, then would find/craft a lesser chasuble of fell power to boost his damage further, finally taking a splash into the Binder class for 2 levels so I could pick up a bond with Dahlver-Nar to make me immune to the Constitution drain from the hellfire blast.

I might have played some 3rd edition at some point. I can't say I miss it.

If your character's are like those above, full of dips into classes and prestige classes to create crazy builds, well then, I think your best bet is to allow your players to recreate their 5e classes using the new rules. If they were going for some kind of special effect or build, creating a subclass power (like the many classes available here on this blog) would be how I would implement that.

If, instead, however, they just made some characters to have fun and then go adventuring, then conversion should be pretty easy. I'd say that your comment about power levels isn't 100% correct. 1st level 5th edition characters start off about as weak as any other edition, but they rapidly rise in power and competence. I'd say 3rd level in 5th edition dungeons and dragons is about equivalent to 5th level 3rd edition players, or 1st level 4th edition characters.  There's another large leap in power around 5th level for characters in 5th edition, making them equivalent to much more difficult challenges.

So in your situation, I'd let players pick a class and then be third level!

Thanks for the question. Comments are always welcome, and you can feel free to ask your own questions, about anything—REALLY ANYTHING AT ALL— at my email, campbell atsymbol oook dot cz


Hack & Slash 

On Principled Profit, The Con Man and the Fraud

I normally stay pretty positive over here. Today, we're putting that aside for a bit of social responsibility.

I think it would be fair to say I idolize several members of the gaming industry: Russ Nicholson, Larry Elmore, Gary Gygax; that's part of the fun of being a fan.

So I think Jolly Blackburn is pretty damn great. Not only is he the first publisher of a retroclone (authorized no less), it also happens to be one of the best tabletop games I've ever played. He's also an artist and has been publishing Knights of the Dinner Table, which has been making many, many, thousands of gamers laugh for years.

Jolly Blackburn aligned himself with d20 entertainment run by Ken Whitman to produce live action versions of his Knights of the Dinner Table strip. I was thrilled by this, but did not back it.


Let's talk about Ken Whitman for a minute.

Ken Whitman has a history of starting a new company (Historically Print on Demand, but lately film production), over promising results, and then either delivering sub-par product late, or not at all. During the period where the product is overdue, he does not respond to investors or backers, writes long posts on social media about how everyone else is sabotaging him, and exhibits other strange behavior.

He's been doing this same thing for over 20 years.

Proof (the rabbit hole)
Books for traveller not materializing - 1996
Books paid for don't materialize at Gencon, and those that do fall apart - 2005
Testimonials from that thread linked below:
Unfulfilled Knights Quest Family Card Game (Comments)
Rapid POD sales pitch (Ken offers big purple publishing opportunities in broken english) 2006
Ken looking to borrow 22+k for ink on Prosper which listed him as "High Risk" with an 84% debt to income ratio -2006
Ken steals from Postmortem Studios - 2007
ENWorld thread about RapidPOD problems at Gencon - 2007
Ken's appearance on the Biggest RPG Villains Thread on the RPGsite
Ken Witman spams backers of projects with new projects 2014
Ken Whitman deletes Jolly Blackburn (Ken removes Jolly from the Live Action Series Kickstarter Groups on Facebook and posts elsewhere calling him a "Concern Troll" to sabotage his work) -2015 
Tales of woe from the Semi-fulfilled Knights of the Dinner Table Live Action Series -2015
Ken Whitman's blog that just says "Ken Whitman"
A blog devoted to memes discussing Ken Whitman
There's more. But how much over how long do you need?

So why today?

Because Gen-Con is this weekend and there is a supposed premier of more episodes of the Knights of the Dinner Table Live Action Series along with an after party. Will this happen? I don't know. What I do know is this (Via Jolly Blackburn):

  • Ken will not talk about the premiere
  • No invitations have been sent out
  • None of the actors were invited or had arrangements made
  • The Episodes haven't been seen in finished form
  • He's deleted people from the facebook group who are making inquiries into the status of their rewards.

Does Ken always fail to meet his obligations? No. Sometimes he refunds money. Sometimes he delivers product. People who have worked with him, such as Jolly, were aware of his reputation. They were giving him a second chance. So why is this an issue?

Because this is about the principle of profit. We are a small section of a small hobby. Ken among others have been running cons now for years, burning both customers, creators, and publishers again and again.

Sadly, there's only one way to combat this inequity, and that's to be informed. So, not in the purpose of being negative, but instead in the hopes of being productive, this page contains an extensive collection of information about the personal experiences of people who've worked with Ken. The best of which is, "He gave me back my money, so I can't call him a thief any more." We have to be active and be informed. The next time you back a project or pick someone to work with, see who's involved. Post links to pages like this. Spread the word and keep people informed.

This isn't principled. Someone produces content that's dull and charges for it? Eh. Someone throws together interesting random 100 item lists and throws them up on rpgnow? Eh. Someone with a blog or youtube channel starts a patreon so they can devote more time to their hobby? Eh. They did some work; if people want to pay them for it, great!

Ken Whitman just steals from people. He does whatever the minimum is that he must to keep the hottest fires from burning him and ignores the rest. And having worked with thousands of degenerate gamblers, drug addicts, and other people driven by poor judgement, I've never seen any change in the behavior as long as it continues to be enabled. Kickstarter, Go Fund Me, Indiegogo and others have given scammers and get rich quick schemers a new lease on scams. If we want to continue to use them to produce beautiful on-time products like The Book of Giants, Bones, and Divinity:Original Sin we have to be vigilant against con-men.

What's my motivation in all this? Who's got the balls to call one of the funniest, best spirited, most creative people in our industry a troll? If there's ever an award for best gamer, Jolly is up for it. I've got a voice, I'm going to use it.

I eagerly await rave reviews of episodes 2 & 3 from the Gencon premier. Only time will tell.

Back to the normal programming soon.

Hack & Slash 

On a 5th Edition Bard College, The Motley Fool


Bard College

At 3rd level, you delve into the advanced techniques of a bard college of your choice: the College of Lore, College of the Motley Fool, or the College of Valor, all are detailed at the end of the class description. Your choice grants you features at 3rd level and again at 6th and 14th level.

Bard colleges
The way of the bard is gregarious. Bards seek each other out to swap songs and stories, boast of their accomplishments, and share their knowledge. Bards form loose associations, which they call colleges, to facilitate their gatherings and preserve their traditions.

College of the Motley Fool
Bards of the College of the Motley Fool choose a difficult path. They are seen as divinely inspired servants, free from legal recourse, allowed to say that which others will not. They seek a pure ideal of wit, neither male nor female, and cloaked in mystery. They tempt fate, their lives walking a line between glory of the masses or brutal punishment by those fearful of their mien.

Defensive Caper
When you join the College of the Motley Fool at 3rd level, as long as you wear no armor, and wield no melee or ranged weapon, your armor class is equal to 10 + your Dexterity Bonus + your Charisma Bonus

Knife's Edge
At 3rd level you are considered proficient with all weapons that have the Thrown property. When throwing weapons, your attack rolls are not made at disadvantage if you throw while adjacent to a threatening opponent, nor while throwing up to the maximum range of the item. These do not count as ranged weapons for the purpose of defensive caper.

Jesters also gain the ability to physically harm opponents with insults. As an attack, you may expend a bardic inspiration die, and make a verbal attack, using your Proficiency Bonus + your Charisma Modifier against a creature that you can see within 60 feet of you that can understand your language, against an armor class of 10 + their Intelligence modifier. The damage done is your bardic inspiration die plus your Charisma and Intelligence modifiers. 

Pie in the Face
At 6th level, you gain the ability to throw a harmless object at an opponent, such as a cream pie, a sticky ball of gunk, or other weird or disgusting item. If you hit your target, they make ability checks and attack rolls at disadvantage till they spend a move action removing or cleaning the item up. This attack only affects humanoids.

Harlequin's Protection
At 6th level, as long as you are garbed in motley, you are immune to charms, enchantments, and compulsions.

Twist of Fate
Starting at 14th level, whenever you are dealt lethal damage you may make a DC 15 Dexterity saving throw. On a success, you avoid that damage. This ability can be used once per long rest.

Starting at 14th level, whenever you are garbed in motley, you are permanently under the effect of a Mind Blank spell.

Hack & Slash 

On 5e Classes, Thief-Acrobat

The Acrobat, by Axlsalles

Roguish Archetype

At 3rd level, you choose an archetype that you emulate in the exercise of your rogue abilities: Thief, Assassin, Acrobat, or Arcane Trickster, all detailed at the end of the class description. Your archetype choice grants you features at 3rd level and then again at 9th, 13th, and 17th level.

Roguish Archetypes

Rogues have many features in common, including their emphasis on perfecting their skills, their precise and deadly approach to combat, and their increasingly quick reflexes. But different rogues steer those talents in varying directions, embodied by the rogue archetypes.

Your choice of archetype is a reflection of your focusnot necessarily an indication of your chosen profession, but a description of your preferred techniques.

Your grace and poise have granted you preternatural abilities, both in combat and without. your regimen of physical exercise builds coordination, muscle tone, and balance. This allows you to literally dance around opponents and reach areas other people might find unreachable.

Vertical Grace
Starting at 3rd level, the Thief-Acrobat can fall up to 10 feet times 1/2 their level safely. You also can climb faster than normal, climbing no longer costs you extra movement. When making a jump of any type, standing or running, the distance you jump increases by a number of feet equal to your Dexterity modifier.

When you select this archetype at 3rd level, you have advantage on Dexterity (Acrobatics) Checks

Battle Grace
Starting at 9th level, You gain the ability to Dodge as a bonus action. Standing up from prone no longer costs any movement.

Pole Work
At 13th level, you gain mastery over placement and movement. Opponents no longer block your movement. You may move through the squares of hostile creatures at no penalty, it is assumed that you are moving over or by them. You still have to disengage to avoid an attack if you leave the threatened area of a creature.

Wall Walker
When you reach 17th level, you gain a climb speed equal to your normal speed.

Deadly Defender

At 17th level, anyone who uses a melee attack action against you when you have taken the Dodge action grants you advantage on your next attack against them. This allows you to do sneak attack damage. This effect only lasts until the end of your next turn. 

Hack & Slash 

On Reader Mail, The Mystery of % in lair

Brian writes:

"I'm having trouble (maybe) wrapping my mind around AD&D (1e) Wandering Monsters and the percentage chance of finding a monster in it's 'Lair'. Are the Wandering Monsters only supposed to be monsters that have lairs within the dungeon? Is the '% in Lair' the chance that when a monster is encountered it is encountered in its lair, or is it the chance that after finding a monster's lair that the monster will be present (as opposed to wandering the dungeon or doing whatever else monsters do)?

It seems like there should be some correlation between the two, but I have so far been unable to find this correlation either explicitly stated or refuted."

Yeah, it's confusing.

Original procedures of play are what dictated the usefulness of this statistic. Simply put: when you have a random encounter in the wilderness, is the creature wandering or did you discover the creature at its lair. It probably doesn't take much valuable with it out and about; at home you'll find greater riches with a consummate increase in danger!

It's important to note that it is never a chance that a lair is found empty. Although it is possible to find an empty lair, it is never found using % in lair, because of the procedure used. First you roll to discover that you have an encounter, and since you always encounter a monster, you won't encounter an monster-less lair, randomly, per the procedure.

That's the short version. The work is shown below:

The text of the 1st edition Monster Manual states:

"% IN LAIR indicates the chance of encountering the monster in question where it domiciles and stores its treasure (if any). If a monster encountered is not in its lair it will not have any treasure unless it carries 'individual' treasure or some form of magic. Whether or not an encounter is occurring in the monster's lair might be totally unknown to the person or persons involved until after the outcome of the encounter is resolved."

This indicates that the encounter happens before the lair determination. This leaves us with a lot of questions. Does this affect the number of monsters? Is this related to just wilderness travel or also dungeon exploration?

Arneson goes into more detail in the Judge's Guild product, the First Fantasy Campaign.

The text indicates he might have been a little compulsive. He determined the contents of all the hexes ahead of time. Each hex had an average of two encounters, achieved by rolling a d6 and ignoring results of six. This indicates the number of encounters in the hex. Then the types of encounters those are were indicated by random rolls on the wilderness tables.  If a monster came up more than once, it was a larger group. This indicated the type of encounters in the hex.

The % in lair was used as above. When an encounter is indicated, you roll to determine if you encounter the monsters wandering or in their lair. However, only part of the total group of monsters would be inside the lair at any given time, indicated by rolling 1d6x10%, and subtracting from 100. There's another system in place to determine where those other monsters are in relation to the lair.

The interesting thing about this is that the % in lair roll determines the players location within the hex, which seems somewhat strange, given the tendency of Arneson to over-prepare. Of course this resolves itself nicely, when the whole thing is taken as a procedure to describe an activity abstractly for the purposes of a game.

The relevant text from the FFC is quoted below:

"Outdoors in Blackmoor Travel from one perilous adventure to another in a neighboring Castle can result in a great deal of frustration of the players, or al least confusion, as the road is always populated by evil creatures. After all it is supposed to be some sort of civilization and it must have some form of communications, if for no other reason than to move all the treasure around from Castle to Castle. With a little work, the Outdoor adventures can be enjoyable, and the format of an overall campaign, can lead to the pacification of area over time.
To reflect the above. the Judge should grid off the map into Sectors, also called Hexes or Squares. Each of these hexes will contain some adventures which may range from a Monster holed up in a small cave to an abandoned Castle full of Orcs. A chart is provided for laying out the basics of the area and can be modified to suit the individual taste of the Judge and his eagerness to lay out all the needed work. Each square should contain in average of say, two encounters (assuming 10 miles by 10 miles), determined by rolling 1 six-sided dice (upon a roll of six would mean that there are no adventures in the square). This will determine how many encounters live in the area.
For each encounter, consult the Encounter Matrix for the type of creature that lives at each spot. Whenever there is an encounter in the area, in the future, il will be restricted to one of those already present (see advanced method for other results). If there are four encounters you roll a four-sided die to determine which of the four has been found, all other details having already been worked out. The normal chances of the creature being in it's lair are worked out as they normally are. So if Encounter six has a 30% chance of being found in it's lair, then that percentage is used and the number of Creatures encountered will then be any number up to the total number present in the hex. Again to avoid confusion, you may wish to take the maximum number of creatures that is(sic) listed on the Monster Matrix to representative of the population in the hex for each encounter, given a plus or minus 10% to keep the players on their toes.
For each time that the creatures are found in their lairs, there will be a chance that a portion of them are out in the countryside. To determine this number, assume that 40% of the population is always in the camp and that up to 60% (10 - 60%) are always outside of the camp. Roll a die again and see how many miles (1 - 6 miles) they are away from the camp. On a roll of six. the creatures outside of camp are in two equal sized groups and you would roll again to determine how many miles away they are.
Note: Whenever sixes appear again, divide that proportion of the creatures in half again and roll for their positions. In this way, In original group of creatures starting at, say, 50 strong could first divide into two groups of 25, then 12, then 6, etc.. . .
" -First Fantasy Campaign

Note that this means a lot of important things. First, if you encounter a monster not in the lair, the ability of a character to track allows you to locate the lair, which in many cases would be unfindable. This is particularly true of single powerful creatures like medusa and other large predators that are small in number discovered entirely outside of their lair. After all, 10% of 3 manticores is 0 manticores. I've also commented before about the difficulty ofwilderness encounters. The method listed above allows one over time to clear out the dangers in a hex, though unsurprisingly he immediately begins describing a process to simulate population growth and monster migration to the hex after the above section.

But wait, there's more!

"TREASURE TYPE refers to the table which shows the parameters for various types of valuables which the monster in question might possess. If individual treasure is indicated, each individual monster of that type will carry, or possibly carry, the treasure shown. Otherwise, treasures are only found in the lairs of monsters, as explained above." - Monster Manual 1st edition

So in addition to only possibly finding the monster in the lair, there's only a possibility of treasure actually being in the lair. This is of course in conflict with Moldvay who redefines the procedure, removing the % in lair entirely and suggesting that treasure be given out proportionally to the monsters encountered, though this might be expected based on the basic rules focus on dungeon crawling.

Expert Dungeons & Dragons also has wilderness encounters, though no mention is made of how to randomly find lairs. There are several references to lairs and suggestions that the Dungeon Master should design several generic lairs ahead of time if one is encountered, but no random generation of lair encounters. It does note that as many as five times of the normal number of monsters show up in lairs, along with the advice that the Dungeon Master should tailor the encounter to their players. Of course this is in theme with the advice given to Dungeon Masters:

"'But I rolled it!' A common mistake most DMs make is to rely too much on random die rolls. An entire evening can be spoiled if an unplanned wilderness encounter on the way to the dungeon goes badly for the party. The DM must use good judgment in addition to random tables. Encounters should be scaled to the strength of the party and should be in harmony with the theme of the adventure." - Expert Rulebook, Page X59

The advice given in B/X (Basic/Expert) concisely communicates the volume of material written in the OSR about how to play, making it a larger part about why it's such a superior version of Dungeons & Dragons.

As to the difference between wandering and random monsters, I've written at it at length before. Essentially, random monsters are just that, random encounters with monsters, whereas wandering monsters are encounters with monsters that live nearby.

The relevant text is located here:

"Encounters: A 'monster' can be a kindly wizard or a crazed dwarf, a friendly brass dragon or a malicious manticore. Such are the possibilities of encounters in dungeon, wilderness, or town. Chance meetings are known as encounters with wandering monsters. Finding a creature where it has been placed by the referee is usually referred to as a set encounter.
 Wandering monsters can be totally random or pre-planned. A party wandering in the woods outdoors or on a deserted maze in the dungeon might run into nearly any sort of monster. If the woods were the home of a tribe of centaurs, or the dungeon level one constructed by a band of orcs, certain prescribed encounters would randomly occur, however. At prescribed intervals, your DM will generate a random number to find if any meeting with a wandering monster occurs. . . .
 Set encounters are meetings with monsters placed by your DM. All such encounters will be in, or near, the monster's (or monsters') lair; so, unlike encounters with wandering monsters, these incidents promise a fair chance for gain if the monster or monsters are successfully dealt with. A successful expedition usually is aimed at o particular monster or group of lairs discovered during previous excursions Note: a lair is wherever the monster dwells - even such places as a castle, guard house, temple or other construction.
" - Player's Handbook, 1st Edition, page 103

In conclusion, come up with a system that works for you, that puts the needs of the game and gameplay first, using the available resources as tools. In my personal experience, limiting the different types of encounters in an area to a bell curve from 2-6 to 2-8 will do the most to provide a strong character to an area. 

Brian, I apologize for the long delay in the reply, and hope this answers your question definitively, or lacking that, provides you enough information that you understand it better. I hope everyone found at least something new or of interest above. Thanks for writing in. Questions can be sent to campbell at oook dot cz.

Hack & Slash 

On Gormand's Larder, a Free Adventure via Illustration

If I may direct your attention to this free illustrated adventure.

So, what gets me, is when people characterize the old school renaissance for being a bunch of old fogies, or talk about Dungeons & Dragons like it's not innovative enough to drive new play, nothing being produced is as avant garde as this project.

This is true for a huge percentage of stuff in the old school Dungeons & Dragons scene. Vornheim redefines the city book. On the Non-Player Character codifies the hidden social actions in Dungeons and Dragons. A Fire on the Velvet Horizon is a monster book unlike any published. This list goes on and on, of new, innovative works that can completely change the way you run games.

This is a six page adventure, without any text, with only gorgeous illustrations and it's completely free. If you use it, make sure to let the author know! It's brilliant!


Hack & Slash 
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