Thursday, May 5, 2011

What's the most rational thing to do? Do the opposite.

So anyway, this idea from my last post likely has no legs, but I want to throw up a few numbers for comparison.  This is assuming a max of Level 14 standard (BX or Mentzer BE only).

Level 1: 0 xp, 4d6 hit dice, spells 2/1, Turn S D, Z T, G T, Wi 7, Wr 9, M 11
Level 2: 12,000 xp, 8d6 hit dice, spells 3/3/2/1, Turn S D, Z D, G D, Wi D, Wr D, M T, S T, V 7
Level 3: 200,000 xp, 9d6+3 hit dice, spells 4/4/4/3/2/1, Turn S D+, Z D, G D, Wi D, Wr D, M D, S D, V T
Level 4: 600,000 xp, 9d6+5 hit dice, spells 5/5/5/3/3/2, Turn S D+, Z D+, G D, Wi D, Wr D, M D, S D, V D

Level 1: 0 xp, 3d8 hit dice
Level 2: 8000 xp, 6d8 hit dice
Level 3: 64,000 xp, 9d8 hit dice
Level 4: 360,000 xp, 9d8+6 hit dice
Level 5: 720,000 xp, 9d8+10 hit dice

Level 1: 0 xp, 5d4 hit dice, spells 2/2/1
Level 2: 40,000 xp, 9d4+1 hit dice, spells 3/3/3/3/2
Level 3: 600,000 xp, 9d4+5 hit dice, spells 4/4/4/4/3/2

Level 1: 0 xp, 4d4 hit dice, OL 30, F/RT 25, PP 35, MS 35, HS 25, CSS 90, HN 1-3
Level 2: 9600 xp, 8d4 hit dice,  OL 65, F/RT 60, PP 65, MS 65, HS 55, CSS 94, HN 1-4
Level 3: 160,000 xp, 9d4+6 hit dice,  OL 96, F/RT 95, PP 105, MS 96, HS 90, CSS 98, HN 1-5
Level 4: 640,000 xp, 9d4+10 hit dice, OL 99, F/RT 99, PP 125, MS 99, HS 99, CSS 99, HN 1-5

Call it 'Sweet Spot' D&D.  Characters start out fairly competent, and can grow in power quite a bit, but it takes a long time to see any growth, so unlike the normal game, those who relish the 'level up' thrill won't like it.

A few things I might change around--no cap on hit dice (possibly only for Fighters), or go with AD&D die types for classes (Cleric d8, Fighter d10, M-U d4, Thief d6), and maybe giving Fighters double damage with any weapon at Level 3 and triple damage at level 5. 


  1. If I understand the problem correctly (players feel low level characters are underpowered or die too quickly), I would probably research the following:

    (1) The content/adventure should involve less saving throws, or effects should be more 'granulated' (i.e. instead of save or die, let a missed save result in damage over time). Is better equipment available for purchase nearby and are 'civilized services' available to them if they can scrape up the gold?

    (2) Perhaps party size is too small - get those henchmen/hirelings in there!

    (3) Perhaps some NPC 'sponsorship' or negotiation can give them access to better equipment in return for special service.

    (4) If the above can't help, consider granulating level advancement. For a very basic example: Instead of requiring 2,000 XP for second level which gains a saving throw bump, a hit die, a combat bump, and/or a spell, consider researching the specific benefits to each character hitting level 2 and break them up into 'sub-levels'.

    In the above example, if a character class offered four different benefits for the next level, perhaps it could be broken up so that a single benefit is gained every 500 XP that the character has gained.

    It's not the most elegant solution, but it might allow a bit more character empowerment to their rolls. The 'sub-levels' wouldn't require training to get the individual benefits.

    In any case, by third to fifth level they probably wouldn't need to use granulation at all.

    Sorry for the long comment.

  2. If you use this system, let us know how it works out.

  3. I recently posted a modified mechanic that allows the Game Master to easily adjust difficulty systematically. What do you guys think?