|Coming to you from the glamorous |
Mother-in-Law's Basement Studio
(Vacation gaming is awesome!)
Tuesday night was my first full-length session playing a Candlekeep Mysteries adventure using Lamentations of The Flame Princess for my podcast. I found it quite revealing about the assumptions made between different editions of D&D
(Spoilers ahead for "The Joy of Extradimensional Spaces" )
Now, keep in mind Lamentations of The Flame Princess is not a perfect analog to Basic and Expert Dungeons & Dragons. The classes have been tweaked somewhat. Elves cannot see in the dark, for example. And only fighters get better at hitting things.
One of the first things you know is that combat is assumed to be way more often in Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition . Rather than relying on things like reaction rolls, most monsters in the adventure entitled "The Joy of Extradimensional Spaces" attack automatically. Some to defend their owners property, some as a prank (nonsensically), some out of hunger. Even creatures with no reason to hang around and murder player characters attempt to do so.
And there are a lot of monsters. For a first level dungeon, this adventure included an imp, a quasif, two flying swords, one mimic, two fairy dragons, four crawling hands, one powerful animated library, and one swarm of animated books. I was rightly concerned that this could lead to a TPK with the average soft first level BD&D characters.
|Candlekeep Mysteries cover Art|
By Clint Cearly;
©2021 Wizards of the Coast
This is also reflected in the way the adventure rewards the PCs. If PCs are awarded experience for killing monsters primarily and level 1 requires only 300xp, then this monster a-go-go dungeon will have you half-way to level 3. On the other hand, if you are being rewarded for finding treasure, and fighting monsters is designed to have a low reward:risk ratio, and level 1 is meant to be a challenge, not a formality, this dungeon offers a pittance that doesn't even take a Thief close to the 1,700 they need for level 2.
This is well discussed osr OSR and not really news. But there is a flipside to this I had to see played out to understand.
Modules written for modern Dungeons & Dragons don't assume cautious, strategic play at all.