Thursday, June 9, 2011

Consolidated surprise roll

In OD&D, a 1-2 result on a d6 indicates surprise. A second d6 roll indicates the distance at which the surprised group becomes aware of the other party: 1-2 means 10' distant, 3-4 means 20' distant, and 5-6 means 30' distant.

I thought of an alternative method that's nearly equivalent and slightly faster.

Roll a d8 to check for surprise. A result of 1-3 indicates surprise. Multiply that same roll by 10 to get the encounter distance in feet. Since the non-surprise encounter distance is 40-80', that same roll is still good for the encounter distance if there's no surprise.

Using that method, the chance of surprise increases 4%, and the average non-surprise encounter distance goes from 50' to 60'. I think it's close enough to be worthwhile.


  1. Yeah, very neat. Added to Links to Wisdom under encounter, surprise.

  2. Great stuff Paul, I wish I'd thought of it. :-)

  3. NIIIIICE! Great idea. I might just switch to d8s for Init too... :)


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