Thursday, March 24, 2011

Question for OD&D LBB/White Box types?

So I'm DMing a LBB OD&D/Whitebox d6 & d20 type game, and I've found that converting "normal D&D" material on the fly is a snap, except for one thing, monster damage.

There is a precedent in LBB D&D (& EPT) for some monsters inflicting multiple dice of damage, such as giants.

If you are converting a post-greyhawk/AD&D/B/XD&D monster to LBB OD&D, at what point (if any) do you decide that the monster's attacks do more than one dice of damage? Or do you use another scheme.

In an encounter with a giant crocodile that was listed with a 3-24 damage bite, I decided to roll 3 six-siders and use the highest roll; but I could see rolling two or three dice for damage (4-24 roughly equals 3 d8 "hit dice" which would be 3-18 in d6 "hit dice").

I also use "latter era nice-guy Gygaxian/Master of the Game" PC hit dice; PCs roll 1 die per level, with fighters getting a +1 per die, so the PCs do have more HP than standard LBB characters.

So how do you guys handle this?


  1. Pretty much all 3LBB monsters do 1d6 damage, even a dragon when it bites. Giants do 2d6 and seem to be the standard against which other powerful monsters are measured (i.e. djinn do 2d6-1 perhaps because they're not quite as strong as a giant). An ogre does 1d6+2 "due to their size". Only the black pudding and earth elemental (when on the ground) do 3d6 damage. Obviously some creatures have multiple attacks.

    So when it comes to converting monsters to an OD&D game, unless there is a really good reason for making them do extra damage, I'd stick with 1d6 for most monsters, 2d6 for the truly physically powerful types (remembering that dragons, purple worms and ents only do 1d6 for physical attacks), and keep 3d6 for the truly monstrously awesome.

    Giant crocodile? I'd make it 2d6.

  2. For the giant crocodile in white box I have it do 1d6, but if it scores a hit (any hit) it will hold on and automatically do 1d6 in following rounds. This beefs it up a little, as well as mimicing some actual behaviour.

  3. If I don't simply use the monster stats as listed (minus any large pluses) I do a square root of hitdice worth of damage for monster attacks. 3 or less HD = 1d6 damage, 4-8HD = 2d6 damage, 9-15 HD = 3d6, 16+HD = 4d6. Tough monsters with this scheme are heavy hitters.

  4. Good question! I follow something like JDJarvis's example, although I more than not see what monster is similar and go with the similar. OD&D has a flat curve up until the point you get to tangling with the truly powerful creatures.

  5. Thanks for the insight guys, your feedback has helped me somewhat adjust to the LBB mindset :)

  6. JDJarvis: Is that from me Empire of the Petal Throne, or did you come up with a similar scheme independently?

  7. It's a quick and easy way to have the big-baddies bad. I think it came from my own mind, EPT had a fiddly chart for damage but it could have inspired me.

    Only took me a year and a half to reply: let's see that happen with G+ ;-)