Thursday, 10 November 2011

Two questions

1 -
With an AD&D beastie like this, that states hp, but not Hit Dice...

How do you run this in combat? Is that 88hp supposed to be a maxxed out HD11? I have never understood how this is supposed to work in gameplay and it's bugged me for about 20 years(*).

2 -
Mentzer Fighter needs 2000xp to get to 2nd level.
B/X Fighter needs 2000xp to get to 2nd level.
OD&D Fighting Man needs 2000xp to get to 2nd level.
Swords & Wizardry Core Rules Fighter needs 2000xp to get to 2nd level.
Swords & Wizardry White Box Fighting Man needs 2000xp to get to 2nd level.
Labyrinth Lord Fighters needs 2035xp to get to 2nd level.


Where does that 35 come from and more importantly, what's so significant about it that it justifies changing something of a tradition in D&D? Why did somebody think, I know it's important to change that 2000 to 2035? In fact, what is up with LL xp anyway? And the required amounts to level up are all to cock so that a Dwarf requires the bizarre figure of 2187 to reach level 1 and a Magic-User requires 2501 just to be bloody awkward.

What on Earth is the thinking behind this?

(*) EDIT - Suddenly releases that 20 years ago is only actually late 1991. Make it more like 25.


  1. 1. I use the maximum HD on the attack chart for creatures rated only for hit points. What is that, "22+ HD" maybe?

    2. Its a copyright concern. IANAL, the presentation of rules is a major concern here. So if you want your XP chart to look like a normal D&D xp chart (same presentation) it might be good to not use the exact same data. I don't entirely buy that line of thinking, but that's the thought process behind it as I understand it.

  2. DMG page 197 shows THAC0 7 for Juiblex.

    Powerful demons and devils without explicitly listed hit dice generally attack as 16+ HD creatures.

    Other sorts of creatures without explicit hit dice are handled by dividing their hp by 4.5 and using that as their hit dice. (See the Beholder and the Golems for examples.)

  3. Cheers chaps,

    I never noticed the THAC0 column in Appendix E (although I've only ever played AD&D half a dozen or so times). Dragged my DMG off the bookshelf and 16HD+ creatures do indeed have a THAC0 of 7.

  4. I was reading Deities & Demigods the other day, and nearly all of the personalities in there are rated by HP only. The explanation there is that HD attack is defined by the highest Save-as class - i.e. Saves as "Fighter-Lvl12/Thief-Lvl6" means it would attack as a 12th level fighter, but I can see that beastie has no save stats either. THACO!? Must use tables...

    If you want to check out more strange XP Level discrepancies, have a look at OSRIC - where the author is quite deliberate in making the XP counts different from AD&D - seemingly just for variety and possible copyright infringement avoidance (?)

  5. XP tables are a prime target for companies (like WotC) to get a product pulled because those tables are an "unnatural" progression.

    If the tables looked exactly the same as they do in B/X D&D then there can only be one reason for that, the author copied those tables.

    In D&D3 the progression is a mathematical one so it can be replicated.

    The author of LL did exactly what he should have done.

  6. @Tim - But for most classes, up until Name level, at least, there is just a mathematical progression. Double the XP needed from the previous level.


    It only becomes semi-arbitrary at really high levels, where some classes need +100,000xp, some need 120,000xp, some need 150,000xp.

  7. Yeah, as a copyright lawyer myself, I'd have thought the obvious thing to have done would have been to use a non-copyrightable mathematical progression that approximates to the table, eg for Fighter: "2000 for 2nd, x2 per level until 9th, then 250,000/level thereafter".

  8. DMG fixed-hp monsters have hit dice equal to hp/4.5. Though I personally like the idea of Juiblex only having 11 hit dice.