Dungeons. Dragons. Graph paper. Funny dice.

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.


The Jovial Priest, June 9, 2011 at 2:51 PM

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

Anonymous, June 9, 2011 at 6:55 PM

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

Jim, June 9, 2011 at 9:08 PM

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

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