Thought experiment: What should a generic pantheon look
For a hexcrawl module I’m writing, I didn’t want to go with
specific gods, but I’ve struggled to come up with something generic that the DM
could easily adapt to their setting.
I want to make less work for GMs. This is prompted by me
encountering things in modules like “A steep hill rises from the forest
and at its top there is a shrine where stands an old statue of Yemathic, about
20 feet tall” and not finding enough about Yemathic to know what is
intended. (OK, pages and pages on, including passing a few more references, I
found out that it was a god or goddess – not sure which – of justice.)
The Greeks and Romans had almost the same gods, just with
different names: Ares vs. Mars. Then the Romans tried to translate every local
deity into their pantheon: “Oh, your god Taranis is just another name for
Jupiter.” So that is the hybrid I’m looking for: “You encounter a wall
painting and a shrine to what the runes name as Ausdia, a goddess of the sun,
with a solar halo behind her head.” Easy to reskin to Apollo or Belenus or
Dol Arrah or Frey or Odur or Pelor or Phlotus or Re-Horakht or the homebrewed
One approach would be just to go with the 5e domains:
Knowledge, Life, Light, Nature, Tempest, Trickery, and War.
For another approach, I re-read “Appendix B: Gods of the Multiverse” from the 5e PHB and did a word count on the Deity column:
I’m going to go with 8 (so I can use a d8 to look up a god),
with a d6 for gender (1-3=god, 4-6=goddess):
god/goddess of death [War domain]
god/goddess of fertility [Life]
god/goddess of knowledge [Knowledge]
god/goddess of magic [Trickery]
god/goddess of nature [Nature]
god/goddess of the sea [Tempest]
god/goddess of the sun [Light]
god/goddess of war [War]
I’m going to leave out alignment references, as I think those are easy for a GM to swap in as needed.
For when I want to use a d12 (ancient ruins):
god/goddess of craft [Knowledge domain]
god/goddess of death [War]
god/goddess of fertility [Life]
god/goddess of fire [Trickery]
god/goddess of healing [Life]
god/goddess of knowledge [Knowledge]
god/goddess of magic [Trickery]
god/goddess of nature [Nature]
god/goddess of the sea [Tempest]
god/goddess of storms [Tempest]
god/goddess of the sun [Light]
god/goddess of war [War]
A common pattern, which I omitted from these, is to have gods of a race: god of giants (5 references in the PHB), god of elves (4), etc. Those can easily be added depending on the history of a location.
I love the Dungeon Contest’s one-page dungeons, where you can see the entire dungeon and its contents at a glance. Especially those dungeons that get beyond the fixed narrative structure of five-room dungeons. My own attempt for the Dungeon Contest was thematic but probably unoriginal, though it did lead to three great sessions in my last campaign and the rise of a new Big Bad Evil Gal (you can download Catacombs of the Lich Queen here).
So I was disappointed when I ran Hex Describe for the
first time and realized it lacked any single-page dungeons in its hexes. I
suggested something quite simple, providing five bullets built from three types
of rooms (entrance, interior, final):
Well Ktrey Parker ran with it, adding themes and adapting his tables, and Alex Schroeder built a dungeon-map generator, and together we iterated and iterated, ending up here:
For my current hexcrawl campaign, the Hexedland, I created a
10-by-10 hexmap using Text Mapper.
I used the random generator based on Erin D. Smale’s algorithm, then keep
tweaking the results by hand until I got something I liked. For instance, I
wanted the starting hex to border each type of other terrain (forest, mountains,
hills, swamp, lake, grassland) so that players could choose the type of environment
(and therefore monsters) they wanted to encounter. I lengthened a mountain
range that divided the middle of the map, and had the west side be arid and the
east side be fertile, indicating that rains blow westward.
Editing the map doesn’t involve drawing but involves
changing descriptions of hexes:
I also ended up adding names into the map for some of the
major landmarks. The following illustration is just of a random map, as I don’t
want my players to see the actual map I’m using. Half the fun is in the
Now why create maps like this?
The key reason is that you can then copy that map into Hex Describe
and create an entire campaign!
All of a sudden you have 100 regions that your players can
go explore! And of course you can hack and edit any description to better suit
your players’ interest. But it is much easier to start with 100 descriptions already
generated then to start with a blank page.
So far I’ve extensively rewritten each of the hexes my players have visited, keeping some elements from Hex Describe’s output. For instance, I’m replacing the Halberds & Helmets cosmology with the gods from my one-page pantheon. But the random hexes generate ideas that push me to be more creative and inspire confidence that, should my players set off in an unexpected direction (as they often do) or get lost (less often), I can describe where they end up.
The general advice for DMs building their own campaign worlds is to recognize that most of world creation won’t end up being experienced by the players. While you can go full Tolkien if you wish (to obey your own muse), you’re typically better off creating simple systems and then using fractal design to zoom in on those parts that players show an interest in.
For my Hexedland campaign, rather than write The Silmarillion, I developed a one-page pantheon, where the description of each god shared the major myth associated with that god. Read together, this provides a summary of the mythos. What follows is what I provided players at Session Zero:
Humans believe in all 12 gods, but most have two gods they consider patrons. They wear an upper arm ring with a symbol of their favored god and a finger ring with the symbol of their second god. They do not need to pick a god that exactly matches their alignment.
Common beliefs no matter which gods a player favors:
Gods are notomniscient. They rely on prayers to learn what is happening in the world.
Gods are notomnipotent either. They channel their actions through clerics and believers.
Some people became gods, either through Diahaj granting them apotheosis or through them recruiting enough worshipers to achieve it on their own (Tolcu-Tolcu).
Where a spell on a scroll can only be read by magic users, a spell on a prayer leaf can be read by anyone. A prayer leaf is a piece of parchment folded in half and then folded in thirds and placed in a small leather pouch.
Each god has an associated taboo, an activity a character must avoid. For instance, followers of Wenmaju avoid dry food (rations), while followers of Pentwer won’t set traps or associate with someone who sets traps. Violating a taboo will suspend a player’s ability to use any prayer leaves until a tithe has been paid to the right temple in Auspele.
The twelve gods often contest one another in mortal affairs. Other, more idiosyncratic gods are worshipped elsewhere.
Deity / Algnmnt.
Archetype / Taboo
Creator / public eating
Sunburst with 12 rays
She created the sun, the trinity, and peopled the world with immortal plants and walking trees. No one ate anyone else.
Lawbreaker / jokes
The god of the trinity, he rebelled and created animals and night and death. Sometimes called “The Devourer.”
Caregiver / selfishness
Crescent moon & star
The goddess of the trinity, after the first nightfall, she grew the moon and the stars.
Magician / routine
The other-gendered god of the trinity, they transformed substances, resurrected the dead, and deified mortals.
Lover / dry foods
A sublimely beautiful intersex human, they were wooed by each of the trinity.
Hero / torture
Bow with arrow
Originally a princess, she singlehandedly defended her brothers from an orc attack and then found and freed her kidnapped husband. Mother of Coronosej.
Ruler / frivolity
She created an alliance of races, defeated an invasion of monsters, and became the first empress of Cedreg.
Explorer / setting traps
A dwarf, he went into the wilderness and blazed a trail for settlers. (Caring little for who already lived in the wild.)
Sage / deception
An elf, she compiled lore on the lands opened up by Pentwer.
Everyman / luxury goods
Originally a human farmer, he was the first to tame bees and cultivate honey.
Jester / books & scrolls
A halfling bard, she stole honey and invented mead.
Innocent / bigotry
City on a hill
She taught cosmopolitanism and radical inclusiveness to the citizens of the empire, became widely worshipped and achieved apotheosis on her own.
I know O5R is seen as an oxymoron by many, but let’s go
through the “Old School Principles for Players” section of Principia Apocrypha and determine what’s the least
we have to change about 5e to live this philosophy. Its principles:
Learn When to Run
Combat as War, Not Sport
Don’t Be Limited by Your Character Sheet
Live Your Backstory
Power Is Earned, Heroism Proven
Scrutinize the World
Interrogate the Fiction
The Only Dead End Is Death
Let Your Creativity Flow
to Win, Savor Loss
I would argue most of the rule changes have to happen
“behind the screen” rather than for the players. For the players, though:
Learn When to Run – In my O5R campaign,
the players know that encounters aren’t balanced. The fear is so strong they
now sometimes run from threats they can defeat.
Combat as War, Not Sport – They’re better
than in our straight 5e campaign but have room to improve. After swearing they
would hate a session without combat, we had a session without combat, and they
all enjoyed it.
Don’t Be Limited by Your Character Sheet –
This one has taken coaching. “I approach the leader and do a Persuasion check.”
“OK, but first what are you saying?”
Live Your Backstory – Our Session 0 had
them describe their relationship with the PC of the player next to them. (Next
campaign I want to approach this with a DCC-style Level 0 funnel.)
Power Is Earned, Heroism Proven – They recognize
this principle and are already planning ahead. “We’ll attack that goblin tribe
after we’ve learnt more about their lair and progressed further. Maybe we can
convince the Wolf Claw orcs to attack with us.”
Scrutinize the World – This is why we
abandoned Forgotten Realms (the most well-documented campaign setting in
history) in favor of a homebrew hex crawl. (Thanks to Hex Describe.) I still
can’t get anyone to make maps, though. But they are deciphering the runic
alphabet I’m using!
Interrogate theFiction – This is
the hardest for them. There is a retreat to mechanics. “I do a Perception
check.” “First, what are you looking at and for?”
The Only Dead End Is Death – I’d argue
removing resurrection-style spells is the main change needed to 5e. This group
was resurrection-happy in Forgotten Realms. (Though Holmes wrote, “A seventh
level cleric can raise the dead, if you can find one! Also, of course, wish
rings and other magic can restore the deceased adventurer to his comrades and
Let Your Creativity Flow – They often
come up with very creative approaches to situations and problems. Last campaign
(which wasn’t O5R) they used a soul-stealing sword to capture the soul of the
lich, when they couldn’t find her phylactery.
to Win, Savor Loss – They do not savor loss. Three PCs were aged 10 to 40
years each due to a ghost’s Horrifying Visage and one of the players (25ish
IRL) is so angry IRL that her character is now 38 years old that I’m starting
to feel old indeed! But at least that has inspired an interesting quest to find
the ingredients for a potion of lesser restoration (which will only roll back
the clock for these three).
Behind the scenes, there’s a lot more work for the DM to use
Learn When to Run – The 5e DMG says, “Choose
the starting attitude of a creature the adventurers are interacting with:
friendly, indifferent, or hostile.” I use the Holmes 2d6 rules: 2, attacks;
3-5, hostile; 6-8, uncertain; 9-11, friendly; 12, enthusiastic.
Combat as War, Not Sport – They haven’t
realized it yet, but every short rest I roll 2d6 and if a 6 comes up the rest
is interrupted by a wandering monster. I’m trying to get them to better husband
Don’t Be Limited by Your Character Sheet
– I’ve kind of given up here. I tried to enforce Adventurers League rules of
PHB+1 but that doesn’t help the DM when everyone picks a different book. I have
characters from XGE, from Eberron, from Unearthed Arcana. But
this is old school, too; Holmes wrote, “At the Dungeon Master’s discretion a
character can be anything his or her player wants him to be… Thus, an
expedition might include, in addition to the four basic classes and races
(human, elven, dwarven, halflingish), a
centaur, a lawful werebear, and a Japanese Samurai fighting man.” (Which is
why I always laugh when OSR purists insist on 4 races and 4 classes.) I am
definitely regretting the artificer, though, as I lose some control over the
Live Your Backstory – I’ve nudged the
players out of town, as 5e had them expecting more stuff to happen in town,
especially related to backstory.
Power Is Earned, Heroism Proven – I’ve
custom-created a magic-item table that offers limited upgrades. They’re all
about leveling up, though, so that’s how they see their “power earned.”
(Depending on how the session went, I award a third to half the XP they need to
level up. This group has no interest in spending loot on manors,
retainers, political influence, etc. I
tried repeatedly last year.)
Scrutinize the World – The most work, by
far. I spent a bit of the summer working on the campaign setting, so I wouldn’t
have to prep much during the year. (Our last campaign ran from September to
July.) It’s definitely cliché old school – they’re in one of the last bastions
of human society, uncertain of what happened to the empire their city-state was
part of 4 centuries ago or why their city-state was spared.
The Only Dead End Is Death – We use the
three standard death saves. Too ingrained for the players to change, though we
talked about it.
Let Your Creativity Flow – I’m adding
constraints to encourage creativity. Our last campaign, in Melvaunt, often
involved players buying whatever magic item they wanted (from Thentia). Every
player had a bag of holding; no bags of holding in this world, and we’re
to Win, Savor Loss – They really don’t want to start new characters at
level 1 but want to introduce them at the same level as the dead character.
This bums me out, but they were unanimous.
I have players that only know the core 5e mechanics of
combat, attribute checks, and advantage/disadvantage, and do fine. And those mechanics
are more than rich enough to hang an OSR game on. As for many of the other
rules, they are often race and class and level specific, and those players who
want to live off their 5e character sheet can and do. If I could, I’d limit the
spell list more – many of the spells seem too powerful: my players use Mage
Hand to pound the dungeon floor checking for traps, and use familiars to scout
far ahead in the wilderness.
Still, my players want 5e and interesting sessions; I want
OSR; so far O5R has made us all happy.
Another bit of advice that I find particularly useful from Sly Flourish is to add three features to a fantastic location for players to interact with (see “What are three fantastic features of this location?” in Creative Mind Exercises for D&D). For a recent delve into a mine, for my 5e campaign, my three were a rusted minecart, rail track, and a trellis bridge over a deep chasm.
I didn’t create any rules for minecarts, nor do I think you should. Instead, improvise rules for features using your RPG system’s mechanics. For instance:
The artificer took a turn to oil the wheels of the minecart, which I ruled he automatically succeeded at. (Where’s the fun in a minecart that doesn’t move?!)
When players decided to get in and later get out of the minecart, I ruled they had half their movement range on a turn when they did that.
The track sloped down, so when players entered or exited the cart, then the player at the front of the minecart had to make a strength DC check (which increased as more players entered, from 15 to 18).
The minecart became portable cover for ranged attacks against troglodytes entering the mine. Treated as regular cover. (The wizard minor-illusioned a cover over the cart!)
When one of the players hopped out, the cart started to move, so another player slammed his foot on a brake outside the minecart (which I had never described, but the players assumed would be there, so there it was). I decided on the fly that the brake was rusty and that I’d reverse the strength check for the fun of it – a high roll would break the brake; he rolled a 3, so I ruled he engaged the brake successfully.
The half-orc missed the players talking about the narrow bridge over the chasm and decided to shoot the cart over the chasm – she failed a dexterity check (on trying to push the cart a certain way) and ended up going on a roller coaster ride! Fortunately for her, the dwarves had engineered the track to incline back up (improvised at the table) and come to a gentle stop outside the new shafts the dwarves had been digging before abandoning the mine.
Now “low prep” doesn’t mean “no prep” – you should prep what
you enjoy prepping and what you find hard to improvise at the table. Keeping in
mind that players are by their nature unpredictable.
In this case, my players had already had a session in this mine system and had found the loot while purposefully avoiding the dragon they had all told me back in Session 0 they wanted to fight. The troglodytes were just supposed to provide a strong start to the session – I expected the players to use the minecart to escape from the troglodytes and find another way out. Instead, of course, the strong “start” became almost the entire session as they magicked, battled, and then drove away the dozen troglodytes.
Sketching out rule subsystems for each feature of a fantastic location, such as the minecart, would have just been too much prep, in my case. And had I done it they would have probably spent all their time crawling along the trellis instead!
DriveThruRPG and DMsGuild (same corporate parent) publish the number of their products that sell at different “metal tiers”. For instance, DriveThruRPG has had 10,719 products (as of today) sell 50 to 99 copies (Copper tier), compared to 1,792 products at that level for DMsGuild.
Extrapolating from these, you find that 72% of DriveThruRPG
products haven’t even sold 50 copies, and 90% of DMsGuild products haven’t
either. So if you’re looking for a quick market forecast for the RPG product
you’re planning to sell through these channels, “under 50” is a good estimate
(probably “under 10”).
It’s good to be the aggregator, though: DriveThruRPG has sold perhaps 8.8 million products, while DMsGuild has sold perhaps 1.5 million. (Those estimates will be off by an order of magnitude if non-metal products sell more than 4 copies apiece – my best guess, averaged across the two sites.)
Products per Tier
Products per Tier
Note: Thanks to Tory for pointing out that the thresholds are off by 1. Minor effect on the math. Can’t trust everything you read! 😉
OK, so here’s a system that’s Old School and evocative of every one of these: Bardic Voice, Luck, Psychic Ability, Smell, Social Standing, and Power. (Plus Strength, Intelligence, and Dexterity – of course.) Clearly it’s a game about singing, psionic ants.
While still following Matt Shea’s advice, instead of
“Scenes”, I’ve relabeled that section in my notes
“Situations”. Here’s a good example of why.
Last night my PCs encountered a band of 19 orcs: I had
prepped interesting terrain for a battle or a staged retreat, plus I had
written a sentence about the leader’s motivation. The players could engage with
this situation in any of the Three Pillars
of roleplaying: exploration, social, or combat.
One of the PCs had ended up in prison at the end of the
prior session (he had been possessed by a ghost and then, possessed, tried to
commit regicide). So his player introduced a new PC, whom I knew nothing about
beforehand: a 16-charisma dragonborn archeologist.
Heck, I didn’t even know there were dragonborn in this
That provided me with a good reminder that roleplaying is
co-creation between players and the DM, even in a homebrew setting.
While I never would have expected an archeologist, the overall
campaign arc is about exploring ancient ruins to learn why the empire fell, so
that was a good call on the player’s part.
As mentioned, an hour or two into play, 19 orcs appear on
the horizon. Selma, our naïve half-orc PC, wants to approach the orcs but gets
talked out of it. The dragonborn player, whose regular PC has by now been broken
out of prison, decides to make a point of how evil the orcs are and sacrifice
his new character by marching him off to the orcs all alone.
Off the dragonborn goes. But he rolls a 24 on a Persuasion
All I knew about the orc leader, besides his name, Jomongen,
was that it was his motivation to study the old empire to establish a new one. So
now Jomongen wants to bring the architect back to his citadel to explain his
land’s role in the old empire!
With this unexpected new ally, suddenly secrets and clues
(again from Sly Flourish’s guide for session prep) now end up being volunteered
by their new orc ally instead of discovered in other ways!
And I accidentally have the orc leader talk about the
dragonborn’s tail, so now dragonborn have tails in this world. (That’s canon
So, yeah. The DM’s job is to provide *situations*. The
players’ decisions will create the scenes.
As with T&T, I had attributes: ST (Strength), DX (Dexterity), and CN (Constitution, used for hit points). But I skipped LK (Luck) and CH (Charisma), and I used D&D’s WS (Wisdom) instead of T&T’s IQ (Intelligence). Like T&T, and unlike D&D, attributes could increase: in my case, quickly, after every monster, rolling three dice and if the total exceeds an attribute you can increase that attribute; if it doesn’t exceed any attribute, take that amount in gold instead. Powerful characters would gain wealth, while weaker characters would gain power. Unlike in T&T, attributes couldn’t increase past 18, though.
Combat was different. As with T&T, monsters had one number (this MR was based on how deep and how far you were in the dungeon), which was used for all their attributes (CN=3*MR, ST=3*MR, etc.). But missile attacks (F for FIRE, using DX plus a bonus for level deep) lost effectiveness after the first round, melee attacks (A for ATTACK, using ST) quickly lost effectiveness during an encounter, and spell attacks (C for CAST SPELL, using WS) gradually lost effectiveness. If you rolled under your attribute score (on 3 dice), you doubled your result, so better attributes minimized your downside. Your result was compared to the monster’s, and the difference was the damage and determined who it was dealt to (a difference of 0 harmed no one). After killing a monster, you could heal up to the monster’s level, providing the incentive for attacking tougher monsters.
Saving rolls were different too: they were done on three dice instead of two, with no cascading rolls in case of doubles. You had to roll under your attribute to succeed. A wisdom saving roll is needed when looking for traps, and a dexterity saving roll when jumping away from triggered traps or for parrying an attack when fleeing a monster.
A last shout-out to T&T: the troll was the toughest monster!
The Pocket Computer would only display 24 characters at a
time. After a PRINT statement, you’d hit a key to see the next PRINT statement.
The Pocket Computer had a Tiny BASIC that lacked the ELSE statement (a common omission), but also RND, DATA, READ, and RESTORE. However, unlike TRS-80 Level I BASIC (my first programming language), which only had two string variables (up to 16 characters each), the PC-1 had 26 string variables of 7 characters each – sort of. They were actually an overlay over the 26 numeric variables: if you used A$, you couldn’t use A (numeric variable), and so forth. Also the array A() would alias these variables: A(1) was the same as A, A(2) was B, etc.
The PC-1 only had 1,425 bytes of RAM available for
programming, and I must have hit that limit because my TRS-80 Level II BASIC
listing had longer text descriptions and an additional command.
The goal is to collect the most gold. Commands:
Attack with a sword (uses ST)
Cast spell (uses WS)
Fire missile (uses DX)
Traps? (detects a trap in an empty room using
Inventory (shows your attributes)
You can play Tunnels & Traps with Joshua Bell’s great Applesoft BASIC emulator. Copy and paste the following code, modified a bit to work there:
1 DIM A(26):GOTO 7
3 D=0:FOR I=1TO 3:R=23*R:R=R-32767*INT(R/32767):D=D+R-6*INT(R/6)+1:NEXT :RETURN
5 PRINT "ST"; S; " DX"; F; " WS"; W; " CN"; C; " GD"; G:RETURN
6 GOTO 30
7 PRINT "TUNNELS & TRAPS":INPUT "EXPLORE TUNNEL #?";N:R=N
8 GOSUB 3:S=D:GOSUB 3:F=D:GOSUB 3:W=D:GOSUB 3:C=D:G=0:GOSUB 5
9 PRINT:INPUT "COMMAND?";A$:GOSUB 3:GOSUB 10:GOTO 9
10 IF A$="A" THEN T=S-E:PRINT "SWORD";:GOTO 76
12 IF A$="C" THEN T=W-E/3:PRINT "SPELL";:GOTO 76
13 IF A$="D" THEN Z=Z-1:GOTO 6
14 IF A$="E" THEN X=X+1:GOTO 6
15 IF A$="F" THEN T=(F+L)*(E=0):PRINT "ARROW";:GOTO 76
18 IF A$="I" GOTO 5
20 IF A$="N" THEN Y=Y-1:GOTO 6
22 IF A$="S" THEN Y=Y+1:GOTO 6
23 IF A$="T" THEN T=W:GOTO 62
24 IF A$="U" THEN Z=Z+1:GOTO 6
26 IF A$="W" THEN X=X-1:GOTO 6
28 PRINT "NOR SOU EAST WEST UP DN":PRINT "ATTK CAST FIRE INV TRPS?":RETURN
30 IF M<0THEN GOSUB 62
31 IF M>0THEN A$="X":PRINT "PARRY";:T=W:GOSUB 80
32 L=INT((ABS(X)+ABS(Y)+3*ABS(Z))/3)+1:M=0:GOSUB 3:IF D>7 THEN M=L:REM
38 IF D<5 THEN PRINT "TRAP";:T=F:M=-L
40 IF M=0 THEN PRINT "NOTHING";
41 IF D<7 THEN M=-L
42 IF M=1 THEN PRINT "IMP";
44 IF M=2 THEN PRINT "KOBOLD";
46 IF M=3 THEN PRINT "GOBLIN";
48 IF M=4 THEN PRINT "HOBGOBLIN";
50 IF M=5 THEN PRINT "ORC";
52 IF M=6 THEN PRINT "HALFORC";
54 IF M=7 THEN PRINT "OGRE";
56 IF M>7 THEN PRINT "TROLL";
58 PRINT " HERE!"
60 IF D>4 THEN RETURN
62 GOSUB 3:IF (D<T)AND(M<0) THEN PRINT "YOU JUST ESCAPE A TRAP!":M=0:RETURN
64 IF M>=0 THEN PRINT "NO TRAP DETECTED.":RETURN
66 GOSUB 3:IF A$="T"THEN D=INT(D/2)
68 IF D>L THEN D=L
70 IF D>C THEN D=C-1
72 C=C-D:PRINT "A TRAP CAUSED ";D;" DAMAGE.":RETURN
76 E=E+1:IF M<=0 THEN PRINT "S ARE USELESS HERE!":RETURN
78 GOSUB 3:IF D<T THEN D=D+D
80 P=D:GOSUB 3:IF D<L*2 THEN D=D+D
82 IF P>=D AND A$<>"X" THEN M=M-(P-D)/3:PRINT " HIT FOR ";P-D;" DAMAGE."
83 IF P>=D AND A$="X" THEN PRINT " SUCCEEDED."
84 IF P<D THEN C=C+P-D:PRINT " MISSED.":PRINT "YOU TOOK ";D-P;" DAMAGE."
86 IF C<1 THEN PRINT "YOU DIED IN TUNNEL ";N;"!":GOSUB 5:PRINT:END
88 IF M>0 THEN RETURN
90 PRINT "YOU KILLED IT!":M=0:E=0
91 GOSUB 3:PRINT "ROLL OF ";D;": ";:IF C<L THEN C=L:IF C>18 THEN C=18
92 IF (D<=S)AND(D<=F)AND(D<=W)THEN G=G+D:PRINT "GOLD!":GOTO 5
94 IF (S>=F)AND(S>=W)THEN T=19:U=23:V=6:IF (F>=W)THEN U=6: V=23
95 IF (F>S)AND(F>=W)THEN T=6:U=23:V=19:IF (S>=W)THEN U=19: V=23
96 IF (W>S)AND(W>F)THEN T=23:U=6:V=19:IF (S>=F)THEN U=19: V=6
97 IF D>A(T)THEN GOTO 195
98 IF D>A(U)THEN T=U:GOTO 195
195 IF (T=6)THEN F=F+1:PRINT "DEXTERITY!":GOTO 5
196 IF (T=19)THEN S=S+1:PRINT "STRENGTH!":GOTO 5
197 IF (T=23)THEN W=W+1:PRINT "WISDOM!":GOTO 5
198 GOTO 5
And below is the PC-1 source code. You’ll have to forgive the lack of comments. There wasn’t sufficient memory to have any! And it is spaghetti code, inspired by assembly language: the common subroutines had one-digit line numbers that jumped down because every byte counted, and RETURN took less space than GOTO 9. The whole thing later got much further developed in the comparative luxury of 16KB RAM on the TRS-80 Model I Level 2. But that’s a post for another day.