The monster is indifferent


I realized that even though I’ve read both Lab Lord & ACKS a couple of times, and played like a dozen sessions in a Lab Lord campaign (where after a while turns, torches etc fell to the handwave-wayside), I never really grokked the game. I don’t have a B/X background, either.
I have some ideas for the setting/world but I figured I needed to become more familiar with the blow-by-blow basic + I am lonely and had nothing better to do.
So I grabbed some graph paper, scratch paper, dice, a few abaci and the ACKS book and sat down alone in front of a copy of that poster Paul Hughes made that visualises the random dungeon generators from the back of the 1e DMG (from a popular and trademarked fantasy game).

I rolled 18 d6:es in a box and read them out as if reading a book, three at a time, in order to get my stacks. I.e. the three top left ones where 6, 4, 6 so I wrote 16 for Strength.
I chose Fighter because I didn’t want to bother with spells and I chose the default Mercenary template and equipment package.
I then went to the dungeon and realized that I had no light. So I went back and grabbed 5 torches but nothing else (except what the template gave me).

I set the goal for myself to try to return alive with some treasure, no matter how small, using the treasure generator from the poster instead of the real one from ACKS (I mean, just for now). For monsters, I decided to use ACKS’ table for those that have a 1/6 chance to arrive every second turn, while using the table on the poster for any monsters I find.
I used one of the abaci to count torches, steps (figuring 12 steps = one turn of careful mapping — is that correct?) and turns, so I could know when to change torches, roll for wandering monsters etc.

I’m mapping out what I do but don’t note monsters or treasure — figuring I would re-stock it if I wanted to reuse the map for real, with a group (not that I have any lack of dungeon maps),.

After a while (I passed some stairs but didn’t dare go down them, the rest of the rooms where empty for a while) I found a room that had both treasure and a kobold.
Neither the kobold nor I was surprised and I rolled a reaction roll. The kobold was indifferent.

So what does that mean, indifferent monster?

At first I thought it meant it wouldn’t harm me if I took the treasure. But the ACKS rulebook says further down that even friendly monsters are reluctant to give their treasure away.
I interpreted it as meaning that I at least could walk away safely [I’m still on the first torch and have plenty of unexplored avenues to try] without a fight, or I could fight it for the treasure (murderhobo style).
For now, I’ll walk away while I wait for you guys opinion on what “indifferent” could mean?

I mean, in practice. I get the dictionary definition :slight_smile:
(BTW your markdown lite thing doesn’t seem to break lines & paragraphs so I switched it to plain text – hence the asterisks.)

I would interpret “indifferent” to mean the reaction of a jaded New Yorker in Times Square to a tourist… They are just an obstacle to your day that you don’t care about it. If they get in your face or try and rob you, though, it’s on.

Thanks for the quick reply, Alex, but are you saying that the kobold considers the treasure in the room hers? Or like “Oh, this treasure was just lying around here, who cares? Go ahead…”

The next monster I found was a giant rat. It was surprised.
So if it’s surprised, I guess that means I have to decide whether to fight it without a reaction roll (with the +2 throw free round) because if I try to talk to it to get a reaction, it’s obviously not surprised. Is this correct?
Sorry for the super-obvious questions here…

Refer to the monster’s treasure type. If it is a Hoarder or Raider type it will consider the treasure to be its own. If it is an Incidental type it will not.

That is correct.

No worries at all on the questions. It’s a pleasure whenever new players are introduced to ACKS.

Yes, I fully support and cheer you on in your solo dungeon exploration. That is awesome.

Also I always thought of an indifferent reaction roll as the bare minimum of not attacking the PCs off the bat. You could probably work out a system of solo parley rules by adding various bonuses/modifiers to reaction rolls after the initial reaction.

Bribe a little + 2
Bribe a lot +3
Friendly conversation +1
Be snooty -1
Be a jerk -3
Offer help +2
Threaten/Bluff randomly +5 or -5