Wednesday, March 17, 2010

One of these things is not like the other.

Here's some info from Labyrinth Lord.  With the exception of the Thief's Find Traps number, these numbers are good for B/X D&D as well.  I need to put a chart like this on my screen or include fields for this data on the charsheets.

ClassFind Secret DoorListen at DoorFind Trap
Halfling1 in 62 in 61 in 6
Elf2 in 62 in 61 in 6
Dwarf1 in 62 in 62 in 6
Fighter1 in 61 in 61 in 6
Magic-User1 in 61 in 61 in 6
Cleric1 in 61 in 61 in 6
Thief1 in 62+ in 614%+

As usual, the Thief is problematic. According to page B22 everybody has a 1 in 6 chance of finding a trap, except for dwarves who get 2 in 6. Labyrinth Lord has the same language. But starting B/X thieves only have a 10% chance to find traps, with the LL version getting a mighty 14% at first level.  Page 13 of my Labyrinth Lord rulebook specifies that thieves only get one chance to find any given trap.  That would make them actually worse at finding traps than everyone else in the party.

You'd think that goes against the intent of the design, but it wouldn't have been hard to quash the confusion by starting Find Traps at 17% or more.  What do other DMs do in this situation?  I tend to allow two rolls, a d6 roll and a percentile roll, but that strikes me as an inelegant way to handle the issue.