Oct 13, 2010

OD&D Construction Confusion

Page 21 of Volume 3: The Underworld and Wilderness Adventures doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me. Maybe I'm just dense, but there are some ambiguities I can't figure out.

Gate House & Gate cost 3,000 gp but Gate House costs 4,500 gp?
What is the 9000 next to the drawing on the top left?
Towers: what does it mean "to shorten 10' -10%"? To shorten from what?
What is the difference between Barbican 14,000 and Barbican 20,000?

This feels like the illustrations came in late and the text didn't jive with it and some quick changes were made at the last minute or something. This page just isn't layed out well (in a booklet that isn't exactly a paragon of layout to begin with*).

*note that a huge part of the charm is the hand made feel of the set, so this is not a complaint.


  1. Apparently, the Barbican 20,000 can easily contain a large Black Pudding whilst the Barbican 14,000 can not...

  2. I've been chewing this over myself while working on my clone project. The "shorten 10 feet" comment appears to be based on a 40 foot height standard for 40-foot diameter towers or a 30 foot height for 20-foot diameter towers. I haven't come up with comfortable explanations for the rest, though.

  3. A good DM should have killed off the PCs long before they reach name level, thus solving the problem of building strongholds ;)

  4. I believe that the upper left illustration would be of a gatehouse with drawbridge (and presumably with a portcullis as well).

    Cheers, and thank you for you blog! :D

  5. The short answer, as in several other places in the 3lBBs, is that Gygax screwed up Arneson's notes.

    Check the FFC. Its the Gate that is supposed to cost 3000, Square Tower 4000,

    Drawbridge isn't listed in FFC (probably an older draft than what Gygax was given) but the D&D diagram has 2000 for that.

    3000 + 4000 + 2000 + 9000