Saturday, 5 February 2011

DM Advice?

Does anyone have a game mechanic for noise in dungeons. How do you decide if other monsters are alerted and come to investigate? DM fiat?

I am less interested in whether the monster physically hears the noise; what I am interested in is deciding if the noise they hear is worth investigating. Some dungeons might have lots of noise and in-fighting may be common.

I was thinking of:
Starting chance of being alerted by noise is 6 in 6
For every 20 feet reduce by 1 in 6
For every door or corner reduce by 1 in 6

This assumes the monster can't see the combat, where the chance of being alerted is 6in6.

In hyperalert states (monsters recently attacked) this could reduce to every 10'. Relaxed unalert states 40'.

Thoughts? Too cumbersome?

Whatever the case - wish me luck. I DM Keep on the Borderlands tonight. It's why my blogging has slowed as I prepared.

My first DM attempt in 17 years, to a group of aged novices. I may need more than luck!


  1. Your system seems pretty elegant; I am always a sucker for any game mechanic that is d6-based.

  2. P.S. Good luck with the DM'ing tonight -- I'm sure it will go great! (And I hope we'll get a play report afterward. . . )

  3. That sounds like a reasonable mechanic. Unless there's a stocked monster in one of the immediately adjacent rooms, I just do a 1 in 6 wandering monster check in the even of loud noises.

    How did your game go?

  4. It does seem a bit heavyweight, you've got a network-effects issue with scanning all the stuff within 20xN distance and knowing what's there and making noise checks for them.

    Agree with Paul above, it's common to just say "loud noise causes a wandering monster check". If places are specially keyed with warning/response tactics (in B2, see goblins "Bree-Yark", caves D/area 18), then that's special. That's all IMO, of course.