Wednesday, June 1, 2022

Get Resurrekt

 Farting around with AD&D content generation!

 Over on the Twitter, Aaron the Pedantic asserted that resurrection in AD&D was more prevalent than in the Appendix N literature that inspired it.  That seems true enough to me given that AD&D even HAS resurrection in it.  Which Appendix N material has a straight-up “resurrection by priest” in it?

But the conversation gave me the impression that Aaron, and perhaps others, think resurrection is as common in AD&D as it seems to be in some later editions.  I don’t think it is - purely the gut talking here.  I can’t remember any resurrection in any of my AD&D games going all the way back; nary a one.  I remember one time the party had to settle for a reincarnation, and that was a huge deal at the time.

Skip over the lower-level raise dead for the moment, which is great and all, but you need a fresher corpse. Let's stick with resurrection, since that's the verbiage we were using in the Twit thread. Resurrection is a seventh-level spell, so you need a 16th-level cleric with 18 WIS to cast it (PH20). Presuming you don’t have an 16th-level cleric in your party, how do you even get access to a resurrection spell?

You can't encounter a 16th-level cleric in a dungeon unless you're on the 16th level (or lower), per DMG175.

Seems like you’re better off finding a suitable cleric on the overland map.  Maybe you know of one, in the big city in your campaign.  I hope you do, because coming across a friendly resurrection-capable cleric while exploring the wilderness is extremely unlikely.  Again, I’m just farting around here, and welcome commentary and picking-apart of any of this.

Chance a space/hex includes a castle: 3% (per DMG173, Random Wilderness Terrain)

Chance an uninhabited area has a fortress: 5% (per DMG182, Outdoor Random Monster Encounters)   These seem like parallel methods; let’s default to the higher chance for our purposes here, 5%.

DMG183, castle size influences chance of “character type” inhabitants thusly:

small  30%

medium  35%

large  40%

But also have Humans result thusly (sending us to the Monster Manual for details):

small 10%

medium  15%

large  20%

Only four kinds of humans can be in that castle; let’s presume we’re rolling a 1d4 here and there are equal chances of the four.

Bandits can only have 5-6th level cleric

Brigands, same

Berserkers, 7th level

Dervishes do much better, up to 12th level, but that won't hit the mark.

DMG184, if it’s a “character-type” castle, chance of a cleric is 18%.

This cleric is of level 9th-12th.  Call it a 50% chance of having a character of 11th level or higher.

In order to have access to resurrection, the cleric must be 11th level and have the capacity to cast 7th-level spells (requiring 18 WIS, but note that NPC clerics get a +2 WIS; let’s presume for the sake of this investigation that any given 11th level cleric has 18 WIS).

Taking even the most generous spreads, that’s:

5%, 40%, 18%, 50%.  That’s a .0018 chance of a given hex containing a cleric capable of casting resurrection on behalf of suitably-aligned PCs.

Am I gaming this out right?  Do you actually have a better chance of finding a Dervish fortress in the wilderness than you do an other-cleric-owned castle?  That’s pretty interesting by itself.

Permanent death in the unexplored wilderness awaits!

No comments:

Post a Comment