AD&D – Miniatures and Terrain

My latest AD&D session saw six players and one easily-forgotten thief henchmen delving into the Caverns of the Oracle, my own mega-dungeon. Unusually for this campaign, I used my Dwarven Forge dungeon tiles for the session, representing where the characters were standing.

The basic trouble with this is that AD&D uses a 1″ on the tabletop represents 3 1/3 feet in the game, so it’s difficult to accurately represent rooms. Corridors were actually not so hard, as the basic floor/wall tiles give 1½” of usable space, thus two together gives exactly 3″ of walking space, enough for a group to squeeze into.

As far as these sessions go, it wasn’t my greatest one. The group had three fights: the first against a party of enemy adventurers, the second against seven xorn, and the third against a stone golem.

The first combat had four 6th level NPCs (fighter, 2 clerics, 1 thief) and their five 2nd level fighter henchmen. The NPCs surprised the party for two segments, and the NPC fighters moved forward whilst the thief hid and the two clerics started casting Hold Person spells against the PCs. Unfortunately, Jesse cast magic missile upon acting in the next turn – with a casting time of 1 segment, that easily beat the hold person’s 5 segments, even with two segments of the spell already completed. Josh cast silence to negate the clerics, then successfully negotiated a hold person spell to neutralise the enemy clerics. After that, it was just troublesome dealing with the enemy high-level fighter – once he was dealt with, the group were easily able to account for the rest.

Here’s a picture of the combat. The NPCs are to the bottom of the picture, the PCs to the top:

The fight against the xorns was really tough – the group were basically saved by the use of a prayer spell. With a -2 armour class, the Xorn are one of the most dangerous creatures in the original monster manual. Brian’s character was unconscious by the time the group won, and the group then retreated to heal!

The stone golem was fairly easily defeated, but then Tait’s character threw open a chest which he hoped held the magic plate-mail of one of his previous characters who was killed by trolls in that room. It held jewellery instead – and a petrification trap, which he failed to save against. His impatience defeated him – if he’d just waited for Rich’s thief, he could have survived that one.

The miniatures made it quite clear to the players who could participate in the combat. Sondra’s druid really needs a spear to poke enemies when she’s standing in the second rank!

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