I’ve been looking at some old D&D modules lately and wondering how to convert them to Dungeon Fantasy. One of the things that gave me some trouble was movement.

Dungeon movement in AD&D is by default extremely methodical and done with an almost paranoid level of caution1. This is why even an entirely unencumbered party moves only 120ft/40m over ten minutes. They’re moving reeal slow; they’re trying to maintain stealth; they’re looking for traps and secret passages; someone is mapping. You move five times faster if you don’t have to map, and ten times faster if you throw caution to the wind and tromp through the dungeon at combat speed.

This is important because AD&D wants you to track turns precisely and roll for wandering monsters every so often. As a delver, you ideally want to get in, get the treasure, and get out as soon as possible. Every extra turn you spend in there has a chance of bringing in hostile enemies who don’t have any loot.

Dungeon Fantasy (either version) expects the party to move cautiously but doesn’t have specific or timing rules for it2. So, when you convert AD&D modules to Dungeon Fantasy, how do you handle movement?

The easy solution is to just glom the AD&D turn and movement rules into Dungeon Fantasy! The resulting amalgamented abomination is actually rather playable. Check it out:

Dungeon Fantasy Movement

Time spent inside a dungeon is measured in ten-minute turns, like in ye olde days. When exploring a dungeon, delvers are by default assumed to be moving very cautiously and methodically, keeping their marching order. When moving this way, they cover a distance per turn equal to ten times the Move of the slowest party member, measured in yards or meters. For example, a party containing a heavily armored knight with Move 3 would explore 30 yards/meters in a turn3.

Moving this way is slow, and costs the party 1 FP per 5 turns of movement, but has several benefits:

  • The party is assumed to be on the lookout for danger. They roll to detect traps, enemies and other hazards automatically without having to state they are doing so.

  • Similarly, they can make Stealth rolls to avoid detection by monsters. If they’re walking together, this is a group Stealth roll as detailed in Exploits p. 6. All the usual factors for stealth are still at play here, such as light sources and so on.

  • This is the pace that allows the PCs to map the dungeon as per Exploits p. 18.

Actively investigating a room for treasure and secret doors also takes a turn and requires the normal rolls for these procedures. Turns spent searching do count for tracking FP cost.

The FP cost makes ye olde routine of delving for 5 turns and resting for one an efficient way to proceed, though the delvers can elect to push forward and take the FP loss if they’re pressed for time. The party can elect to move at five times this pace and still retain the first two benefits above, which makes traversing already-mapped portions of the dungeon a lot faster.

These rules are perfect for playing in converted old-school modules. You can use the modules’ own rules for random encounters with them, though obviously you’ll still want to convert the monsters. It’s probably okay to ignore these rules in modules made specifically for the DFRPG, since they tend to assume a faster pace.

  1. Which is the right amount of caution for Gygaxian dungeons. 

  2. Even though the headers in its dungeon exploration section are remarkably similar to those of AD&D. 

  3. Divide that by 3 to get convert it to ten-foot squares.