August 19th, 2010: Greetings good readers. Summer is winding down and so is the misadventures of Corellon, Heironeous, Boccob and Mayaheine. Adapted from actual comic book ads for D&D, this series has just one more issue after this one before it abruptly quits in the middle of the quest. Why? I have no idea. But until then, enjoy!
Of course, check out my commentary at the end of the strip.
-mortellan





Characters getting lost in D&D used to be a convoluted yet realistic system in 1e/2e. It was quite easy to get lost assuming the PCs had no ranger, or map or well defined natural landmarks. In most of my Greyhawk campaigns and I suspect yours, this virtually never happened because everything had been explored on the map save the most remote areas of the Flanaess. A lot of classic D&D however was built on exploring the unknown(Isle of Dread immediately comes to mind), so randomly traveling around in circles on a hex-based map was then quite possible. Throw in the World of Greyhawk Weather Charts from the 1983 Boxed Set and suddenly getting lost got a whole lot easier when traveling through fogs or torrential rain.
Getting lost became less an integral system of its own in 3e and was made into a minor hazard to avoid on the Survival skill chart (DC15) much like steering clear of quicksand. Easy enough for most characters to overcome and essentially handwaved for all but the noobiest of rangers. Which is good for practical reasons, because who wants to spend valuable game time rolling up 'getting lost' results (and random encounters to boot) while hopelessly looking for a lost city, when you can just blunder your way into the wilderness, self assured that the DM will eventually get you to your destination anyhow? Realistic? No. Practical? Yes. I haven't seen 4th edition's take on getting lost, but I see no reason for it to be handled any differently than in 3rd edition. But Gygax was a wargamer as we know and he favored simulation rules and random charts for everything. So while we had the system at hand and rarely used it if ever, at least it was nice to know we DMs had such rules at our fingertips just in case the players needed it...

-mortellan


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