Thursday, September 15, 2011

OD&D: Awesome Castle Inhabitants & Types of Guards/Retainers Table

EDIT: Jeff Rients already did pretty much this exact post.

One of the more charming sections of The Underworld & Wilderness Adventure deals with procedural determination of castle inhabitants and their reaction to the party. My favorite part is "Types of Guards/Retainers":

d6 - Occupant & Types of Guards/Retainers in Castle
1. Lord (9+ level fighter) with (d4): 1. 1-8 Champions (7th level fighters), 2. 1-6 Griffons (with 4th-level fighter riders), 3. 1-10 Myrmidons (6th level fighters), 4. 1-4 Giants (any variety can be neutral or chaotic)

2. Superhero (8th level fighter) with (d4): 1. 1-8 Myrmidons (6th level fighters), 2. 1-4 Rocs (6 HD lawful giant eagles, with 4th level fighter riders), 3. 1-4 Ogres (may be neutral or chaotic), 4. 1-10 Swashbucklers (5th level fighters)

3. Wizard (11+ level magic-user) with (d4): 1. 1-4 Dragons (any alignment), 2. 1-4 Balrogs (chaotic), 3. 1-4 Wyverns (neutral), 4. 1-4 Basilisks (chaotic)

4. Necromancer (10th level magic-user) with (d4): 1. 1-4 Chimeras (neutral or chaotic), 2. 1-6 Manticores (chaotic), 3. 1-12 Lycanthropes (any alignment), 4. 1-12 Gargoyles (chaotic)

5. Patriarch (lawful 8+ level cleric) with (d4): 1. 1-20 Heroes (4th level fighters), 2. 1-6 Superheroes (8th level fighters), 3. 1-10 Ents, 4. 1-8 Hippogriffs (with 4th level fighter riders)

6. Evil High Priest (chaotic 8+ level cleric) with (d4): 1. 1-10 Trolls, 2. 1-6 Vampires, 3. 1-20 White Apes, 4. 1-10 Spectres

Also every castle has 30-180 men-at-arms and possibly some flunkies of 3rd-8th level depending on the character class of the castle master.

Although AD&D and B/X D&D contain similar rules, they don't have the awesome table for determining what monsters serve the castle master, obviously a grave omission on the part of later editions...

A DM can use the alignment of the generated monsters to determine the alignment of the castle inhabitant (unsurprisingly magic-users seem to exhibit a tendency towards chaos...).

An enterprising DM could easily expand the above tables or substitute entries with other creatures of similar power and "theme."

The AD&D Dungeon Master's Guide has a similar, yet more complicated table, that determines castle type & size, and includes the possibilities of the castle being deserted; deserted with monsters; inhabited by a band of bandits, brigands, berserkers, or dervishes; as well as druids, paladins, rangers, illusionists, monks, thieves and assassins.

But it sadly does not include a table to determine what monsters serve as the special guards. What kinds of monsters would serve as guards for illusionists, monks, assassins (giant snakes?), etc.?


  1. I believe these were the original purpose of henchmen and charisma limit, as 0d&d says level characters and monsterous henchmen (subdued dragons etc), which makes charisma anything but a dump stat.

    Ad&d went more towards the historical, and we lost a lot of that sweet sweet gonzo fantasy. Think of the charisma limit as the limit on how many fantastic and heroic units a lord could have in his chainmail army.

  2. Assassins get the gorbels. Illusionists get the garbugs.

    Everyone has a basement full of meenlocks.

  3. You've inspired me to post a version of that table that I made for castle inhabitants in a gonzo kind of game. Thanks!

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