Wednesday, January 30, 2013

XP Evolution - The Humanoids

Continuing my analysis of the change in experience point calculations between 1e and 3e, this post looks at the Humanoid group as defined in 3rd Edition - bugbears, gnolls, goblins, hobgoblins, kobolds, lizardmen, locathah, mermen, orcs, sahaugin and troglodytes.  (OK, I'll admit that 3e considers dwarves, elves, halflings and gnomes as humanoids also, but I like 1e's term of 'demi-humans' for them.)

I've placed a summary table below the fold showing the treasure, calculated experience and book experience points for average members of each race.

In crunching the numbers in the table I noticed a couple of things about the way the book values and calculated values correlate with in an edition..  One is that the ratio of 3e experience points calculated using the 1e formulas tallies pretty well with the 3e book values; in fact the calculated value is just 4% higher than the book.  On the other hand, the first edition book values are one third higher than the calculated values.

Both of these are easy to explain, for the 3e values the experience points for characters in levels 1-3 equal the average treasure value of the monster.  This won't hold true as we move up the food chain to more challenging creatures, but humanoids are all low level.  Because the calculation gives one XP for each GP, the huge amount of gold each monster is worth overwhelms the paltry experience points that would be received for the monster itself.

For the 1st Edition values, a chunk of the discrepancy is a table error.  The Experience Point table in Appendix E gives the humble bugbear a formula of 135 xp + 4 per hit point + treasure.  The problem is that the calculation on page 84 uses 60 xp as the basic XP for a 3 HD monster - and 25 for a single Special Ability (Missile Discharge)  I can not come up with a combination using the calculation that would give the bugbear 135 xp + hp.  I considered throwing the error out of my analysis, but when 1e came out we never checked these calculations, they were from E. Gary's lips to our ears and therefore the word of at least a demi-god.  If I threw it out it wouldn't reflect how the game was actually played.

I thought that I'd see a huge game imbalance due to the amount of cash flooding into 3rd Edition, on the average each monster is worth sixty four times the treasure that it was in 1e.  But the difference in the numbers of monsters to be slain in order to advance only provides about 40% more cash to a 3e character as they advance to level 2.

Race3e Avg Treasure (GP)1e Ind. Treasure (GP)Calculated XP with 3e TreasureCalculated XP with 1e TreasureBook 1e XPBook 3e XP
Kobold500599 750

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