Wednesday, April 19, 2017

AD&D Adventure Log sample entry oddities

I have two fully intact copies of the AD&D Adventure Log. I owned one other which I took apart to use in play in various campaigns.

I must have read every single detail of the sample log a hundred times at least. I still quote "Fred 9802 talked back to Odin -- and lived!" on occasion.

It's not a sample of actual play, of course. It barely makes sense as that. But it's fun to look at in any case.

And the are so many oddities on this.

- Who wrote this? It looks like Jeff Dee's lettering.

- The orcs, gnolls, lurker above, fire giant, and umber hulk all have average HP. Most of the HP are clustered right around the average. Many of the PCs? Average on the nose or just off of it. Try it. 7th level ranger? 8d8 HP, 4.5 per die, has 36 HP. Morgan Ironwolf? 43, average is 42. Lakesla? Average is 17.5, has 18 HP.

- the dragon has 37 HP. A huge, adult, black dragon with 37 HP. I guess it was wounded? Actually, it seems more like someone tried to give it almost average HP (4.5 x 8 = 36, 37 is one point higher). If you don't know AD&D dragons, they get fixed HP per age category. An adult has 5 per hit die, and so it should have 40.

- lots of high-ST fighters. Three with 18/01 or better (and Fred 9802 has 18/91 - 99)

- one cleric (who died, heh) out of 10 PCs, yet three thieves. Come on, guys, I know it's hard because AD&D limited multi-class clerics so badly it was pure cleric or purely bad choice, but you can see how you need two here.

- Black Dougal, dead once again. His purpose is to die in the example, I see.

- characters #4, #9, and #10 all appear to have 17 DEX while #2 has an 18.

- 5th through 8th level characters, including three Magic-Users and on Cleric but no Continual Light spells or light noted from magic swords (which are fairly plentiful in the group.)

- All of the multi-class characters have the same level in both classes - no one is at one of those fairly frequent points where one class is above the other.

- I don't think I ever saw a Net of Snaring in play outside of this sheet.

- Divine intervention with backtalk.

- Stat-raising magic chairs.

- Lawful Neutral Ranger?

Still so fun to look at, for me. All of that implied play and weirdness. And that 37 HP dragon.


  1. It does look like Jeff Dee's handwriting. And FWIW, Morgan Ironwolf is in there, and Dee drew her picture in whichever (A)D&D product she appeared in. Tenuous, but who knows.

    1. Morgan Ironwolf's illustration appears in the Tom Moldvay D&D Basic Set.

  2. Morgan Ironwolf was pretty awesome. I like these notes a lot.

  3. The dragon lost 3 HP for failing to backtalk Odin.

    1. That seems like the only explanation to really fit the facts, now that you say it.


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