“The difference between courageous and foolish is knowledge of risk.”—Adventurer Handbook
Early in our Deep Halls explorations, we were careful and systematic. Lantern overhead, we probed with pole into the advancing pool of light.
It was in making adjustments for experience stocked but unearned that we first diverged from the central hall. The way less certain, we made use then of the notion of a clever party. In brief, the amount of experience stocked in a dungeon level enables a party of average cleverness to be successful, while allowing some room, on one side, for a more clever party to achieve greater success and, on the other side, ample room for failure.
Upcoming explorations take us farther into The Deep Halls’ convoluted caverns. In upcoming articles, we adjust for party size, consider awarding more XP for treasure, and propose solutions for the noncontiguous problem.
Having determined the deadliness of The Deep Halls Level 1 and adjusted to a ratio of 2:1, stocked XP to that necessary for a party of three to gain 2nd level, we now consider it fixed. That is, regardless of further adjustments, we do not recalculate the deadliness ratio. This because each adjustment increases uncertainty, and with increasing uncertainty, the meaning of a “deadliness ratio,” already tentative, is drained. Therefore, where we must consider earned XP, we assume the raw value without multiplying by the ratio.
Furthermore, though Levels 2 and 3 have differing numbers of rooms, each inhabited by stronger monsters and more valuable treasures, we leave the math for deeper levels undone. Instead, we apply the treasure sequence that enables success on Level 1. Leaving open the question of survivability, we descend into The Deep Halls with the thrill of risking our lives.
The deadliness ratio serves as a warning. Knowledgeable of the risk, we dare to enter, if acceptable, or, if not, chose adventure elsewhere without questioning our courage.
Having decided the endeavor is not foolhardy, we delve deeper, keeping in mind the clever party. It is by ability that players must overcome the challenges of this “twisted and nightmarish” dungeon. Where further adjustments seem to invalidate the deadliness ratio, we examine how the clever party compensates.
Let’s hire a light bearer and give him the ten-foot pole. From here on: weapons in hand.