A Monster for Every Season: Summer 2
You can get A Monster for Every Season: Summer 2 now at Gumroad
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 30 of 56
  1. - Top - End - #1
    Halfling in the Playground
     
    BlackDragon

    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    New Mexico
    Gender
    Male

    Default 2nd editon AD&D secret doors

    what do you roll when checking for secret doors in AD&D 2nd edition? I've read core rules many times over the last five years and never found a straight forward answer to this, nor have my players.

    The DMG description of doors (pg. 130) details how long it will take to search, and notes that once found generally the character has discovered how to open it thus no roll to open is required; however, it doesn't discuss how to roll for finding the door to begin with.
    Under concealed doors section it says that "Any search for concealed doors will reveal them" but that's an entirely different thing. Finding the secret door wouldn't be automatically successful correct? especially since:

    The PH says under the race description for elves (pg. 22) that they have a "1 in three chance to find a secret door" while actively searching for one.

    Am I over looking something? Or is the only difference between searching for concealed and secret doors the time expended? This has been a source of frustration for a long time now and at this point I would just be happy to have an answer, even if it makes me look stupid.

    Thanks.
    Sharper than a serpent's tooth it is to have a misspelled username.

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Troll in the Playground
    Join Date
    Feb 2013

    Default Re: 2nd editon AD&D secret doors

    I could swear it was a 1/6 chance (i.e. 1 on 1d6), all the way back to OD&D, but I'm away from books.

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Halfling in the Playground
     
    BlackDragon

    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    New Mexico
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: 2nd editon AD&D secret doors

    Well I suppose that seems fair. Thanks
    Sharper than a serpent's tooth it is to have a misspelled username.

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Titan in the Playground
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Dallas, TX
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: 2nd editon AD&D secret doors

    Roll up an elf for the party.

    Edit: Oh, all right. I'll be serious. You're right. The three references to secret doors in the index don't give a clear answer, except for elves (1 in 6 if they walk past it; 2 in 6 if they are actively searching).

    We always assumed that it was 1 in 6 for others if they actively search, like in original D&D.

    But we also always had an elf.
    Last edited by Jay R; 2013-12-21 at 12:47 AM.

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    SwashbucklerGuy

    Join Date
    Jul 2009

    Default Re: 2nd editon AD&D secret doors

    When searching, I believe it is 1 in 6 (a 1 on a d6) for everyone except elves, that find them on 1 in 2 (1 to 3 on a d6.)

  6. - Top - End - #6
    Orc in the Playground
    Join Date
    Aug 2013

    Default Re: 2nd editon AD&D secret doors

    1 in 6 for most people. Elves are 2 in 6.

    Also, you can only search once, ever. If you fail to find it the first time, you never will.

  7. - Top - End - #7
    Ogre in the Playground
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    NJ
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: 2nd editon AD&D secret doors

    Quote Originally Posted by skyth View Post
    1 in 6 for most people. Elves are 2 in 6.

    Also, you can only search once, ever. If you fail to find it the first time, you never will.
    Until you level up.
    It doesn't matter what game you're playing as long as you're having fun.

  8. - Top - End - #8
    Troll in the Playground
     
    Flumph

    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Lincoln, RI
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: 2nd editon AD&D secret doors

    I always used the 1 in 6 chance for characters that weren't elves. I also house ruled that Thieves/Rogues also had the same chance to spot secret doors as elves.
    Last edited by nyjastul69; 2013-12-21 at 11:44 AM.
    Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.- Benjamin Franklin


    I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it. -Evelyn Beatrice Hall

  9. - Top - End - #9
    Troll in the Playground
    Join Date
    Feb 2013

    Default Re: 2nd editon AD&D secret doors

    Quote Originally Posted by skyth View Post
    1 in 6 for most people. Elves are 2 in 6.

    Also, you can only search once, ever. If you fail to find it the first time, you never will.
    I run ACKS and I permit multiple searches (not sure if that's by the book or not). It takes one turn (10 minutes) to search a 10'x10' area (one "map square" in dungeons), so unless the PCs know/guess exactly where the door is (which they may, if they did a good job mapping!), every going-over they give a room or passage means several 1/6 chance wandering monster checks, as well as burning through several torches/flasks of lamp oil... which creates a nice time pressure.

  10. - Top - End - #10
    Halfling in the Playground
     
    BlackDragon

    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    New Mexico
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: 2nd editon AD&D secret doors

    Quote Originally Posted by nyjastul69 View Post
    I always used the 1 in 6 chance for characters that weren't elves. I also house ruled that Thieves/Rogues also had the same chance to spot secret doors as elves.
    I like this, I believe I'll handle my future secret door checks the same way.
    Sharper than a serpent's tooth it is to have a misspelled username.

  11. - Top - End - #11
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    DwarfClericGuy

    Join Date
    Jul 2007

    Default Re: 2nd editon AD&D secret doors

    Quote Originally Posted by Jay R View Post
    Roll up an elf for the party.

    Edit: Oh, all right. I'll be serious. You're right. The three references to secret doors in the index don't give a clear answer, except for elves (1 in 6 if they walk past it; 2 in 6 if they are actively searching).

    We always assumed that it was 1 in 6 for others if they actively search, like in original D&D.

    But we also always had an elf.
    My group does the same thing. However the elf never found them, it was usually the human.

    I never did like the rule. It just did not fit in a game that expected players to think through problems. If players were properly searching a room, they should have been asking questions, and had their characters examine their environment.

  12. - Top - End - #12
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Ravens_cry's Avatar

    Join Date
    Sep 2008

    Default Re: 2nd editon AD&D secret doors

    I admit I've never seen how it goes down in play, but looking through some old AD&D books I was gifted, I never liked the 'Only try once' rules a lot of checks had. Sure, it stops people from spamming checks, but it also means that it can easily stop the adventure dead in its tracks if the 18-00 Strength Fighter suddenly finds they didn't make sufficient sacrifices to the Dice Gods.
    Has this being anyone else's experience or am I just a spoiled d20 player?
    Quote Originally Posted by Calanon View Post
    Raven_Cry's comments often have the effects of a +5 Tome of Understanding

  13. - Top - End - #13
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    ElfWarriorGuy

    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    San Antonio
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: 2nd editon AD&D secret doors

    Smart playing can help more than spamming dice in 2e...

  14. - Top - End - #14
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Ravens_cry's Avatar

    Join Date
    Sep 2008

    Default Re: 2nd editon AD&D secret doors

    Quote Originally Posted by Vertharrad View Post
    Smart playing can help more than spamming dice in 2e...
    True, but it still strikes me as bad design.
    Quote Originally Posted by Calanon View Post
    Raven_Cry's comments often have the effects of a +5 Tome of Understanding

  15. - Top - End - #15
    Barbarian in the Playground
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location

    Default Re: 2nd editon AD&D secret doors

    Quote Originally Posted by Ravens_cry View Post
    I admit I've never seen how it goes down in play, but looking through some old AD&D books I was gifted, I never liked the 'Only try once' rules a lot of checks had. Sure, it stops people from spamming checks, but it also means that it can easily stop the adventure dead in its tracks if the 18-00 Strength Fighter suddenly finds they didn't make sufficient sacrifices to the Dice Gods.
    Has this being anyone else's experience or am I just a spoiled d20 player?
    You might be a spoiled d20 player for all I know (:P), but the real point here is different:

    If the adventure grinds to a halt because of a single failed roll - be that for detecting secret doors, convincing the chancellor to give you access to the treasury, calculating the exact time of the Grand Conjunction, or anything else - then that is a horribly badly designed adventure (regardless of edition or game system). In our hypothetical case of a secret room in a dungeon, either the contents should not be vital to "victory" (killing the villain, getting the McGuffin, etc.), or there should be at least one other way of getting there.
    "I had thought - I had been told - that a 'funny' thing is a thing of goodness. It isn't. Not ever is it funny to the person it happens to. Like that sheriff without his pants. The goodness is in the laughing. I grok it is a bravery... and a sharing... against pain and sorrow and defeat."

  16. - Top - End - #16
    Troll in the Playground
    Join Date
    Feb 2013

    Default Re: 2nd editon AD&D secret doors

    Quote Originally Posted by Ravens_cry View Post
    I admit I've never seen how it goes down in play, but looking through some old AD&D books I was gifted, I never liked the 'Only try once' rules a lot of checks had. Sure, it stops people from spamming checks, but it also means that it can easily stop the adventure dead in its tracks if the 18-00 Strength Fighter suddenly finds they didn't make sufficient sacrifices to the Dice Gods.
    Has this being anyone else's experience or am I just a spoiled d20 player?
    I don't care about spamming dice. If my players want to spend all day searching the same dungeon room over and over for secret doors or hidden treasure, they can. There's a natural limiter: wandering monster checks. If the reward they're looking for is even significant to them, then the danger is going to be proportionate, and the longer they spend in one place, the more they'll run into monsters (if any intelligent enemies with a lair on that or adjacent levels escape, there'll be a non-random encounter coming up, too!).

    I can think of very few physical actions I'd limit to "one try only ever"; rather, I use the time pressure. Every attempt to bash down a door takes a round (and causes noise that warns or attracts enemies), every attempt to pick the lock takes a turn (no noise, but every two turns is a random encounter check), etc.

    And, of course, unless the adventurers are quite high-level (especially in ACKS), they're going to be running low on all sorts of supplies. And if they're spending so much time as to look completely incompetent, their followers and henchmen might even start making Loyalty Rolls...

    This all also accounts for the fact that spending more time at a task should increase your chances.

    Some tests could specifically be given a "number of attempts" limiter, preferrably organically; for instance, rolling a natural 1 on ACKS tests could mean a colossal screw-up (like jamming a lock, or triggering a trap you're trying to find or remove).

  17. - Top - End - #17
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    ken-do-nim's Avatar

    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Mansfield, MA
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: 2nd editon AD&D secret doors

    Quote Originally Posted by Ravens_cry View Post
    I admit I've never seen how it goes down in play, but looking through some old AD&D books I was gifted, I never liked the 'Only try once' rules a lot of checks had. Sure, it stops people from spamming checks, but it also means that it can easily stop the adventure dead in its tracks if the 18-00 Strength Fighter suddenly finds they didn't make sufficient sacrifices to the Dice Gods.
    Has this being anyone else's experience or am I just a spoiled d20 player?
    I play 1st edition and I do not recall this 'only try once' stuff. Makes no sense in a game which has a wandering monster rule.
    canon: I am running a 2e adventure series starting with the Tomb of Horrors. this will be open RPG and Skype. This game is Sunday morning at 9am PST running to 1-2pm PST. After Tomb is finished we will play another shorter game (2-4 sessions).. I need a couple more players

    elyssian: What kind of slots are you trying to fill? Healbot, Tank, ect...

    canon: It's the Tomb of Horrors. All the slots are labeled 'Victim.'

  18. - Top - End - #18
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Ravens_cry's Avatar

    Join Date
    Sep 2008

    Default Re: 2nd editon AD&D secret doors

    Quote Originally Posted by ken-do-nim View Post
    I play 1st edition and I do not recall this 'only try once' stuff. Makes no sense in a game which has a wandering monster rule.
    Page 9 of AD&D 1st edition PHB in the Notes Regarding Strength Table II.
    Bend Bars/Lift Gates states the percentage chance the character has of bending normal soft iron bars or of lifting a vertically moving gate (such as a small portcullis baring a passage). The attempt may be made but once, and if the score required is not made, the character will never succeed in the task.
    All italics original to the text.
    Quote Originally Posted by Calanon View Post
    Raven_Cry's comments often have the effects of a +5 Tome of Understanding

  19. - Top - End - #19
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    Kobold

    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Euphonistan
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: 2nd editon AD&D secret doors

    As I recall you see it with some thief skill checks as well. Often though it says you can try again if your percentage chance changes (it almost always or always says for the better).

  20. - Top - End - #20
    Ogre in the Playground
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    NJ
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: 2nd editon AD&D secret doors

    Quote Originally Posted by Ravens_cry View Post
    True, but it still strikes me as bad design.
    Only if you don't know why it's there. It's designed specifically to encourage other thinking than "how much do I have to roll to get through the door?" playing.

    There are lots and lots and LOTS of ways through a door other than just bashing it with your shoulder and not being able to think of any of them strikes me as bad players.
    It doesn't matter what game you're playing as long as you're having fun.

  21. - Top - End - #21
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Matthew's Avatar

    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Kanagawa, Japan
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: 2nd editon AD&D secret doors

    We fielded this question to Steve Winter or David Cook a while ago, especially in light of the First Quest rules including a set probability. Basically they wanted every door to have its own probability of detection, but it was an oversight not to have a default the same as first edition.
    It is a joyful thing indeed to hold intimate converse with a man after one’s own heart, chatting without reserve about things of interest or the fleeting topics of the world; but such, alas, are few and far between.

    – Yoshida Kenko (1283-1350), Tsurezure-Gusa (1340)

  22. - Top - End - #22
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    ken-do-nim's Avatar

    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Mansfield, MA
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: 2nd editon AD&D secret doors

    Quote Originally Posted by Ravens_cry View Post
    Page 9 of AD&D 1st edition PHB in the Notes Regarding Strength Table II.

    All italics original to the text.
    Ah, I was looking at thief skills, not bend bars.
    canon: I am running a 2e adventure series starting with the Tomb of Horrors. this will be open RPG and Skype. This game is Sunday morning at 9am PST running to 1-2pm PST. After Tomb is finished we will play another shorter game (2-4 sessions).. I need a couple more players

    elyssian: What kind of slots are you trying to fill? Healbot, Tank, ect...

    canon: It's the Tomb of Horrors. All the slots are labeled 'Victim.'

  23. - Top - End - #23
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Lurkmoar's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jan 2011

    Default Re: 2nd editon AD&D secret doors

    If a thief fails an attempt at opening locks, he does have to level up to try that particular lock again. That's the only one I'm aware of that has that bit though. With climb walls a failed check meant you had to move a significant distance or circumstances changed (someone lowers a rope).

    As for secret doors, I took the meaning that you could spend more time searching for doors. Locate Object was usually handy if dice didn't work. Sometimes.
    Don't know your name but bring the pain.

  24. - Top - End - #24
    Banned
     
    SiuiS's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Somewhere south of Hell
    Gender
    Female

    Default Re: 2nd editon AD&D secret doors

    Quote Originally Posted by nyjastul69 View Post
    I always used the 1 in 6 chance for characters that weren't elves. I also house ruled that Thieves/Rogues also had the same chance to spot secret doors as elves.
    Thieves should actually get both their normal thief skill chance and also still the regular chance everyone else gets if the thief skill fails, so that should cover it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ravens_cry View Post
    Page 9 of AD&D 1st edition PHB in the Notes Regarding Strength Table II.

    All italics original to the text.
    That seems like a native exception to the rules for strength though.

  25. - Top - End - #25
    Troll in the Playground
    Join Date
    Feb 2013

    Default Re: 2nd editon AD&D secret doors

    Quote Originally Posted by SiuiS View Post
    Thieves should actually get both their normal thief skill chance and also still the regular chance everyone else gets if the thief skill fails, so that should cover it.
    There's no thief skill for detecting secret doors, though; nyjastul69 is basically giving them a (sensible) extra bennie.

    My immediate experience with ACKS was that every party needs either a dwarf (detecting secret doors & traps in dungeons only), or an elf AND a thief (detecting secret doors and detecting traps). Basically, in traditional/old-school D&D, a party is crazy if they don't have those abilities covered, preferrably with redundancies.

  26. - Top - End - #26
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    Kobold

    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Euphonistan
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: 2nd editon AD&D secret doors

    My experience has been that thieves are very dependent on the DM for how necessary they are. They could be near useless or the MVP of the party. For most DMs they will be somewhere in the middle closer to MVP status if you use a decent amount of traps, locks, and ambush situations.

    As a case in point if you were to play "Warriors of the Eternal Sun", which is a D&D game on the Sega Genesis thieves are near worthless. The reason being is that their are few precious times that the thief skills are needed and back stabbing is just not that useful in that game.

    On the other hand we have Baldur's Gate 2 for the computer. In that game the strategy guide actually goes out on a limb and declares the thief as the official MVP of the game and for good reason. There are a lot of traps in the game which can be deadly. It also sports a lot of locks with good treasure. Combine that with the XP gains for defeating those two things and you would lose a lot without a thief. They are also great to have for combat because you get lots of chances to back stab (especially if you invest in invisibility potions and rings) and actually allow you to use the optional rule to allow thieves to set traps (though they make it a per day ability with its own thief progression rather than just being part of the remove traps ability but that is probably fair due to its power). They can also auto detect secret doors while searching for traps and can put points into detect illusion (which is one of the only ways to detect invisible enemies that are using the protection from divination spell).

    While these are video games and thus more limited than table top it goes to show how different the usefulness of the thief is depending on your game table. If you have a DM like Warriors of the eternal sun then the thief will suck. If your DM is more like BG2 they will rock.

    Even though you can sort of replace the thief with clever tactics and spells (summon monster, knock, find traps, true sight, etc) it is usually very expensive (in money, actions, time, and other resources) and so a thief retains their value in the party in AD&D.

  27. - Top - End - #27
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    DwarfClericGuy

    Join Date
    Jul 2007

    Default Re: 2nd editon AD&D secret doors

    Quote Originally Posted by Premier View Post
    You might be a spoiled d20 player for all I know (:P), but the real point here is different:

    If the adventure grinds to a halt because of a single failed roll - be that for detecting secret doors, convincing the chancellor to give you access to the treasury, calculating the exact time of the Grand Conjunction, or anything else - then that is a horribly badly designed adventure (regardless of edition or game system). In our hypothetical case of a secret room in a dungeon, either the contents should not be vital to "victory" (killing the villain, getting the McGuffin, etc.), or there should be at least one other way of getting there.
    I'm sorry, if your adventure fails on one failed dice roll then you either had a horrible GM, horrible players, or both. If the players failed at some thing that would have helped them a lot. Then it changes the direction of the story. A good RPG campaign has a lose structure but grows organically.

  28. - Top - End - #28
    Banned
     
    SiuiS's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Somewhere south of Hell
    Gender
    Female

    Default Re: 2nd editon AD&D secret doors

    Quote Originally Posted by Rhynn View Post
    There's no thief skill for detecting secret doors, though; nyjastul69 is basically giving them a (sensible) extra bennie.

    My immediate experience with ACKS was that every party needs either a dwarf (detecting secret doors & traps in dungeons only), or an elf AND a thief (detecting secret doors and detecting traps). Basically, in traditional/old-school D&D, a party is crazy if they don't have those abilities covered, preferrably with redundancies.
    I'll admit to not playing without an elven thief in twenty five years. So I was just sort of going by recollection >_<

    Quote Originally Posted by Hawriel View Post
    I'm sorry, if your adventure fails on one failed dice roll then you either had a horrible GM, horrible players, or both. If the players failed at some thing that would have helped them a lot. Then it changes the direction of the story. A good RPG campaign has a lose structure but grows organically.
    This is mostly good advice, but needs to be given context. No single roll should lead to failure; you shouldn't lose the game forever because you flub attack roll 3, jump check 17 or miss secret door 12.

    But... If the entire campaign moves everything to a head, and the resolution of the entire game comes down at the end to a single roll? I know too many DMs who let "don't let the game hinge on a single roll" rob their game of gravitas. If all of existence boils down to whether you or Asmodeus makes this next dexterity check, for the love of Frigga don't dilute it.

  29. - Top - End - #29
    Troll in the Playground
    Join Date
    Feb 2013

    Default Re: 2nd editon AD&D secret doors

    Quote Originally Posted by SiuiS View Post
    But... If the entire campaign moves everything to a head, and the resolution of the entire game comes down at the end to a single roll? I know too many DMs who let "don't let the game hinge on a single roll" rob their game of gravitas. If all of existence boils down to whether you or Asmodeus makes this next dexterity check, for the love of Frigga don't dilute it.
    There's a significant difference between "fail" and "grind to a halt."

    The PCs absolutely should be able to fail as a consequence of a roll: the dragon makes its save against that last powerful spell and roasts them, or whatever.

    But if a single failed roll of causes the game to come to a halt, there's bad design or bad gamemastering afoot. Call of Cthulhu adventures are often at least theoretically guilty of this: a failed skill test can mean a critical clue is missed and the PCs are stuck milling around aimlessly. There's plenty of ways to mitigate that, if one has the experience and/or foresight, but not all GMs are experienced (or possessed of foresight; or even hindsight).

  30. - Top - End - #30
    Banned
     
    SiuiS's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Somewhere south of Hell
    Gender
    Female

    Default Re: 2nd editon AD&D secret doors

    Quote Originally Posted by Rhynn View Post
    There's a significant difference between "fail" and "grind to a halt."

    The PCs absolutely should be able to fail as a consequence of a roll: the dragon makes its save against that last powerful spell and roasts them, or whatever.

    But if a single failed roll of causes the game to come to a halt, there's bad design or bad gamemastering afoot. Call of Cthulhu adventures are often at least theoretically guilty of this: a failed skill test can mean a critical clue is missed and the PCs are stuck milling around aimlessly. There's plenty of ways to mitigate that, if one has the experience and/or foresight, but not all GMs are experienced (or possessed of foresight; or even hindsight).
    And again, you're missing the point of that. If the last roll of the game would grind the good guys to a halt on failure? That's not bad game mastering. That's actually good game mastering! It has built in closure. You know, either way, the results are irrevocable.

    Changing that, is basically lengthening the game to give the PCs time to win. As ever, the situation should be evaluated for context and weighed on it's own merits.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •