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Sunday, September 12, 2010

More Thoughts on % In Lair

When I wrote up that analysis of the % In Lair column from the Vol. II monster table, I was working on the assumption that this was meant to be a percentile die roll to see if the monster is in the lair when the party enters. That's the way I used that number. I have also heard of people using it to determine if a random wilderness encounter means that the party has discovered a monster lair as opposed to wandering monsters.

But I'm wondering if it is really meant to be a multiplier for stocking monster lairs: when creating a bandit camp, 15% of the total number of bandits will be in the camp proper, while the rest will be on raids, at guard posts, or about to arrive back.

Any thoughts?


  1. I always thought it was a multiplier, honestly. 20% in lair meant to me that there was supposed to be 20% of forehead-demons (or whatever) sitting back and the rest would be there.

    So, in other words, yes. I was honestly unaware that it could be used as a percentage chance that you run across some dudes in their lair. But I haven't ever run a game with the LBBs, so what do I know?

  2. That's a cool twist on % in lair -- I'd never considered that possibility.

    Assuming continuity from game to game, the first interpretation is the most likely one. Here's what the 1st Edition AD&D Monster Manual (1977) has to say:

    % IN LAIR indicates the chance of encountering the monster in question where it domiciles and stores its treasure (if any). If a monster encountered is not in its lair it will not hve any treasure unless it carries "individual" treasure or some form of magic. Whether or not an encounter is occurring in the monster's lair might be totally unknown to the person or persons involved until after the outcome of the encounter is resolved.

  3. @Superhero Necromancer: Now, the question is: did the % In Lair change meaning from OD&D to AD&D? There's some support for that in the LBB entries for human, orc, and goblin encounters, since it mentions what you will find if the encounter is specifically in the lair, versus what you will find if they are traveling.

    I'm thinking though that it had less to do with random encounters and more to do with random stocking. I think this is the main reason why I never used it that way: creating a lair on the fly is too much work. Since the die rolls in the previous post were based on the probabilities, they can be repurposed for stocking rolls.