Sunday 20 February 2022

How to build a Domain in AD&D 1st Edition Part 5


Machodor War Flag

Welcome back. This final instalment covers another month in the life of the Machodor domain, with some tips to make life a bit easier, and a big conflict at the end. 

In the encounter periods so far I have generated monetary & magic item treasure by hand, which is a great way to learn how all the tables work; but, I'm sure I don't need to tell you, takes quite a long time!

I now use this Generator for the task, which I highly recommend. I use it for monetary treasure, magic items, and NPC generation too. Though I still do some magic item rolls by hand just because I like to. The generator also taught me some things I didn't realise before now; like, every magic sword has a 25% chance of having unusual powers, and, most treasure type rolls should first determine if the item is a treasure map. These processes are detailed in the DMG on page 166 & 120 respectively, but the treasure map generator in particular seems like a really great way to quickly turn something into an adventure hook. You'll find examples of both of these being used below. The only downside to using the generator is that it includes Unearthed Arcana items, which we don't use in the Trollopulous campaign, so I have to modify those results manually. Of course, that is not a problem for doing the monetary treasure. 

Third Period Encounters

The "Uninhabited" table no longer being required, these were the results for the third period of encounters on the "Inhabited" table;

  • Week 1
    • 250 Merchants (d6 result 5)
    • 270 Nomads
    • 210 Orcs
  • Week 2
    • 12 Ogres
    • 80 Bandits
    • 140 Gnolls
  • Week 3
    • 140 Brigands
    • 240 Dervish
    • 200 Merchants (d6 result 4)
  • Week 4
    • 120 Brigands
    • 5 Giant Rats
    • 90 Pilgrims

Suitable Encounters

This was not nearly as good a month for merchants as the previous one. Once again, the d6 result for their base number is also multiplied by 10,000gp to derive the value of their goods. With a total of 9 rolled that becomes 90,000gp in goods which breaks down to;
  • Duty at 2% = 1800
  • 10% Luxury Goods Tariff at 5% = 450
  • Sales tax of 10% = 9000
For a total of 11,250 gp. 

I assume Entry Fees are incorporated into the gate guards' salaries and don't bother calculating them anymore.


These guys are Neutral and fiercely independent, but also influenced by their Lawful Good Dervish brethren (who now form a large part of the Machodorian defences) and do not want to get on their bad side. After meeting Macho Mandalf and having a positive reaction, they paid their citizenship fees and were assigned the region North of Murkwell in exchange for patrol duties in the area.

Total 1,123 in tribe (+100 slaves)
          L 1   2  3 4  5  6  7 8 9 10 11 12 T
Fighters    0   12 9 6  5  4  1 1 0  1       39
Clerics     0   0  2                         2
Mages       0   0  0 1          1            2

Group Treasure (Items)
Cloak of the Manta Ray, 
Scroll of Protection from Demons, 
Map to Monetary Treasure: outdoors, 31 miles distant and is secreted in a town. [4000 copper pieces, 4000 silver pieces, 30000 electrum pieces, 1900 platinum pieces, and 9 pieces of jewelry]

Group Treasure (Gems, Jewelry, Coins)
2000 cp, 3000 sp, 
Gems (47): 10 gp Blue Quartz, 10 gp Lapis Lazuli, 10 gp Malachite, 10 gp Rhodochrosite, 10 gp Tiger Eye Agate, 100 gp Blue Quartz, 100 gp Blue Quartz, 100 gp Chrysoprase, 100 gp Chrysoprase, 100 gp Chrysoprase, 100 gp Jade, 100 gp Jasper, 100 gp Rhodochrosite, 100 gp Rock Crystal, 1000 gp Topaz, 14 gp Azurite, 1400 gp Star Ruby, 200 gp Chrysoprase, 200 gp Moonstone, 200 gp Rock Crystal, 200 gp Star Rose Quartz, 35 gp Hematite, 5 gp Hematite, 5 gp Malachite, 50 gp Blue Quartz, 50 gp Eye Agate, 50 gp Eye Agate, 50 gp Hematite, 50 gp Lapis Lazuli, 50 gp Lapis Lazuli, 50 gp Moss Agate, 50 gp Obsidian, 50 gp Star Rose Quartz, 50 gp Tiger Eye Agate, 50 gp Turquoise, 500 gp Amethyst, 500 gp Jade, 500 gp Jet, 500 gp Topaz, 60 gp Rhodochrosite, 60 gp Sardonyx, 600 gp Coral, 7 gp Rhodochrosite, 70 gp Moss Agate, 750 gp Aquamarine, 900 gp Emerald, 900 gp Fire Opal. 
Total Value: 10106 gp., 
Jewelry (23): 13200 gp Pendant, 1100 gp Coffer, 5000 gp Chalice, 1000 gp Medal, 3000 gp Bracelet, 900 gp Medal, 3000 gp Small Box, 6000 gp Sceptre, 5000 gp Goblet, 5000 gp Decanter, 2000 gp Chain, 5000 gp Choker, 9000 gp Anklet, 1000 gp Headband, 6000 gp Pendant, 6000 gp Fob, 500 gp Buckle, 20000 gp Headband, 5000 gp Pin, 6000 gp Choker, 500 gp Coffer, 12000 gp Sceptre, 7000 gp Coronet. 
Total Value: 123200 gp.

The above was generated rather than done by hand. It is very useful to know how much treasure various groups in your domain have, as this will give you an idea of what they might have the resources to buy or build. For example, each of the Dervish groups in Minas Mandalf have charge of a single gate, and are building additional stone fortifications and a Church as well. Together with Macho Mandalf they are chipping in to finance the Minas Mandalf Cathedral. In the case of these Nomads, they are really doing well for themselves, so much so they might make a good target for Thief PCs.

Anyway, continuing on with the Nomad encounter and giving all the details;

Nomad Leader Heez Amad Bast'd
Neutral Male Human Fighter, Lvl: 10, Atr: 17/11/14/11/13/15,  HP: 64
Secondary Skill: Husbandman
Personality: Inquisitive, Weird

Items: Chainmail  +4, Potion of Sweet Water, Sword +2, Dragon Slayer [Unusual Abilities: Int: 17, Alignment: Neutral Good, Communication: speech and telepathy, Languages: 1 (White Dragon), Extra Ability: read non-magic languages and magic, Powers/Abilities: detect elevator/shifting rooms/walls in a 1" radius, locate object in 12" radius, detect evil/good in a 1" radius, clairaudience, 3" range - 3 times/day, 1 round per use]

Other Fighters
  • Chain mail +1 *3, Chain mail +2, Chain mail +3
  • Shield +3 *2, Shield +4 *2 Shield +1 *3, Shield +2 
  • Sword +2, Giant Slayer
  • Sword +2 *2
  • Sword +1, +2 vs. magic-using and enchanted creatures
  • Sword +3, Frost Brand: +6 vs. fire using/dwelling creatures
  • Sword +1, +4 vs. reptiles
  • Sword +4
  • Sword +4, Defender [Unusual Abilities: Int: 13, Alignment: Neutral good, Communication: empathy, , Powers/Abilities: detect secret doors in a 1" radius]
  • Sword +1 [Unusual Abilities: Int: 13, Alignment: Neutral Good, Communication: empathy, , Powers/Abilities: detect sloping passages in a 1" radius, detect gems, kind, and number in a 1/2" radius
Misc. Weapons
  • Javelin +3
  • Bolt +3, 3-12
  • Spear +2
  • Hammer +3
  • Morning Star +2
  • Mace +1
  • Dagger +3
  • Potion of Heroism, 
  • Potion of Treasure Finding, 
  • Potion of Plant Control, 
  • Oil of Acid Resistance,
  • Potion of Speed*2,
  • Potion of Sweet Water
  • Shield +4, 
  • Chain mail +2
  • Spell Scroll (Mage: Continual Light, Protection From Evil, 10' Radius, Clairaudience)
  • Wand of Magic Missiles
  • Ring of Spell Turning
Also 540 women, 270 young, 400 horse, 800 other animals, and 100 slaves

Citizenship fees 12,230gp 

Dervish (240)

       L 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 T
Fighters 0 0 8 6 4 4                22
Cleric   0     1       1       1    3
Mage           2       1            3

(Money and Magic Items generated in the same way as for the Nomads, not included here)

Citizenship fees 2,690gp

Pilgrims (90, Chaotic Good, horsed)*
       L 1 2 3  4  5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 T
Rangers  2 1 0  0  2 1 0 4            10
Thief                  1              1
Cleric     0 4 1  1  1 1 0 1          9

*worked out as per Monster Manual entry p69

(Money and Magic Items generated in the same way as for the Nomads, not included here)

Note; as these Pilgrims are Chaotic Good, they do not automatically become citizens the same way the Lawful Good encounters do (since Macho Mandalf is Lawful Good). A successful reaction roll is required first. Since the Level 8 Rangers, Level 6 Thief (and Level 8 Cleric) were made offers to join special units, I rolled for their individual alignments; with the Rangers coming up Lawful Good and the Thief Chaotic Good. For Pilgrim Clerics I always assume their alignment matches that of the Pilgrims themselves (so Chaotic Good in this case). 

Citizenship fees 1,100gp

243 Refugees from the chaos of Trollopulous.

Unsuitable Encounter

There were 5 main monster encounters worth considering;  Orcs, Bandits, Gnolls, and two groups of Brigands. The roll came up for the Brigands. The location came up on the Road west of Gnomesville.

Encounter Location 

Brigands 140 + 120 = 260 total base
       L 1 2  3  4  5  6  7 8 9 10 T
Fighters 0 12 18 8  6  5  2 0 1 1  53
Clerics  0 0  0  0  0  0  0 0 0 0  0        
Mages    0 0  0  0  0  0  0 0 1 1  1

Brigand Leader 1
Santxol: Lawful Evil Male Human Fighter, Lvl: 10, Atr: 13/11/13/16/16/12,  HP: 57
Secondary Skill: Limner/painter
Personality: Foolish, Miserly, Incompetent
  • Platemail +1 
  • Sword +1 [Unusual Abilities: Int: 14, Alignment: Neutral Evil, Communication: speech, Languages: 4 (Troll, Medusian, Salamander, White Dragon), Powers/Abilities: detect evil/good in a 1" radius, detect traps of large size in a 1" radius] 
  • Dagger +2, +3 vs. creatures larger than man-sized
  • Potion Fire Breath

Brigand Leader 2
Baiona: Lawful Evil Male Human Fighter, Lvl: 9, Atr: 15/9/13/8/9/14, HP: 53
Secondary Skill: Limner/painter
Personality: Contrary, Suspicious, Criminal

  • Platemail +1 
  • Sword +3
  • Potion of Animal Control - Fish
Brigand Mage 1
Hodge: Neutral Evil Male Human Magic User, Lvl: 9, Atr: 10/10/8/14/14/14, HP: 22
Secondary Skill: None
Personality: Ruthless, Moody

Spellbook: First: Read Magic, Detect Magic, Magic Missile, Charm Person, Affect Normal Fires, Enlarge, Taunt, Tenser's Floating Disk, Alarm. Second: Locate Object, Invisibility, Shatter, Preserve. Third: Detect Illusion, Explosive Runes, Leomund's Tiny Hut, Fireball. Fourth: Fire Trap, Confusion, Evard's Black Tentacles. Fifth: Avoidance, Fabricate.

Wand of Magic Missiles

Brigand Mage 2
Thukydides: Lawful Neutral Male Human Magic User, Lvl: 10, Atr: 8/16/12/13/13/11,  HP: 26
Secondary Skill: Hunter/Fisher (line) & Fisher (net)
Personality: Mysterious, Ruthless

Spellbook: First: Read Magic, Identify, Ventriloqism, Tenser's Floating Disk, Comprehend Languages, Charm Person, Shocking Grasp. Second: Shatter,Detect Invisibility, Third: Water Breathing, Fly, Hold Person, Phantasmal Force, Leomund's Tiny Hut, Protection From Evil, 10' Radius. Fourth: Plant Growth, Fumble, Remove Curse, Minor Globe of Invulnerability, Dispel Illusion. Fifth: Cone of Cold, Transmute Rock to Mud, Extension II.

Looking at that combination of personality types as well as the secondary skills, I could easily believe the two Brigand leaders previously worked together as skilled painters before some misfortune compelled them to become successful bandits and finally evil brigands. Looking at the personality types of the mages, they had nothing that would make up for the shortcomings of their leaders and were not likely to work together.

Encounter Resolution;

The Brigands initial plan was to intercept the merchants who were passing through in week three; but, their heavy escort, which included a new dervish force of over 200 troops, made this impossible. Instead they joined with another Brigand group in week four and planned to waylay a group of Pilgrims. 

Unfortunately for the Brigands, their overconfident and poorly directed scouts were discovered by Rangers among the Pilgrim group, and then, with the aid of some Pegasi, tracked back to their hidden Castle in the mountains to the south east. There they hunkered down complacently behind its walls.

 so inaccessible only a Pegasus can reach it

Using scrying, Macho Mandalf was able to discover their plans and take the usual steps to capture the leaders. However, he also discovered a cave complex accessible from below the Castle that the Brigands had been using, and realised they could escape via this route if a siege was attempted. So, using a Mirror of Mental Prowess, he deployed a company of Gnomes deep into the cave complex with orders to prevent any such escape by sealing all passages to the castle that they could find. 

Finding themselves under air assault from the Mandorian Pegasus Corps, with Wizards in support, and failing their morale check after the capture of their leaders, the rank and file Brigands fled into the caves, leaving their captives and slaves behind in the castle. The brigands did not the respect the resolve of the Machodorian forces blocking their escape route, and found to their dismay that Gnomes are not to be taken lightly on their chosen battlefield. 

1st Gnome Division Heavy Weapons Squad

Caught between the passages sealed by the gnomes and multiple Cloudkill spells from Macho Mandalf, the Brigands came to a sticky end. The castle is currently occupied by the Gnomes, but this is not to their liking. To ensure it can no longer serve as a base for evil forces, the Ragnar Clan of dwarves has agreed to occupy the castle and explore the cavern complex below, which may lead to an alternate route through the mountains to the east.

The monetary treasure retrieved from the Brigands was worth; 194,786gp
The magic items XP was; 63,010
Combat XP was; 26,813

This is a very much larger total than the previous month, and, once split 50/50 with his allies, the remainder allowed Macho Mandalf to complete the long journey from Level 11 to Level 12! Now he has all the resources required to do some serious spell research (except time to himself).  

Thanks for reading this series of posts on Domain management in AD&D 1st Edition, you are now up to date with the domain of Machodor (as per January 2022). I wish you the best of luck applying what I've shown you in this series to your own domains, and leave you with one last thought:

"Once these territories become settled and population abounds (relatively speaking) they can be used as centers for activity — good or evil or whatever. That is, they can attract more of the ilk which inhabit them, draw opponents sworn to exterminate them, trigger raids or reprisals, etc. Much of this depends upon some action being taken — hopefully by the player character forming active groups from the population base and doing something(..)" DMG pg. 94 

I would extend this to say that it is incumbent upon the Domain player to do something to make an impact on the campaign with all the many units, treasures, and funds that will come his way using this system. Otherwise, why amass them?

Update: Part 6 of this series can be found here


  1. Thank you for doing this work!

  2. Per PHB p. 27, isn't it impossible for a thief to be chaotic good? He could be chaotic neutral or neutral good.

    1. "All thieves are neutral or evil, although they can be neutral good (rarely), and of lawful or chaotic nature." TBH this is quite difficult to parse, it would make more sense with the second and third clauses swapped, but yes I think you are right as it is written.

  3. How did you ascertain that there was a castle for the bandits to hole up in? I know in the MM they have a 20% chance to have a castle/fort lair. Just picking your brain here. Thanks again for the blog post!

    1. Brigands are distinct from Bandits, and have a slight higher chance of a cave or castle for a base; "The brigands will have a cave complex lair 20% of the time and a castle 30% of the time." MM p.67
      I just rolled using those chances and got one of each.


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