High stats = level adjustment

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

I've read in this group a number of times that it's been found that a
character with exceptionally high ability scores is roughly equivalent
in power to a character with more average ability scores, but of one or
two levels higher (i.e., Alfred the 3rd-level Fighter has scores of 15,
14, 13, 12, 10, 8, and is equivalent to Bob the 1st-level Godly Fighter
with scores of 18, 17, 18, 15, 16, 16). Does anyone have real numbers
detailing this equivalence?

Here's what I'm thinking: Have players choose their characters' stats.
Then they calculate the number of points such a character would cost
under the point-buy system. If the number of points is, say, <= 32,
there is no level adjustment; if the number of points is > 32 and <= 64,
there is a +1 LA; if >64, +2 LA.

My gut tells me that this is too simplistic, and that a 64-point
character is worth more than a +1 LA, and so on...so I'm curious to see
if anyone has a clear idea of how to make such a system work. Thoughts?

-Will
20 answers Last reply
More about high stats level adjustment
  1. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

    Will Green wrote:
    > I've read in this group a number of times that it's been found that a

    > character with exceptionally high ability scores is roughly
    equivalent
    > in power to a character with more average ability scores, but of one
    or
    > two levels higher (i.e., Alfred the 3rd-level Fighter has scores of
    15,
    > 14, 13, 12, 10, 8, and is equivalent to Bob the 1st-level Godly
    Fighter
    > with scores of 18, 17, 18, 15, 16, 16). Does anyone have real
    numbers
    > detailing this equivalence?
    >
    > Here's what I'm thinking: Have players choose their characters'
    stats.
    > Then they calculate the number of points such a character would cost
    > under the point-buy system. If the number of points is, say, <= 32,
    > there is no level adjustment; if the number of points is > 32 and <=
    64,
    > there is a +1 LA; if >64, +2 LA.
    >
    > My gut tells me that this is too simplistic, and that a 64-point
    > character is worth more than a +1 LA, and so on...so I'm curious to
    see
    > if anyone has a clear idea of how to make such a system work.
    Thoughts?

    Actually, that's not a bad thought.

    Personally, I just have my players pick stats and i've never had it get
    out of hand, but that might be a nice way of compromising: maintain
    numeric balance while allowing te characters to choose their own stats
    and thus fully determine their character concept. I like it. Let me
    look at some numbers.
  2. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

    MICHAEL BROWN wrote:
    > "Will Green" <will_j_green@yXaXhXoXo.com> wrote in message
    > news:av7Yd.8200$DW.5138@newssvr17.news.prodigy.com...
    > > Here's what I'm thinking: Have players choose their characters'
    stats.
    > > Then they calculate the number of points such a character would
    cost
    > > under the point-buy system. If the number of points is, say, <=
    32,
    > > there is no level adjustment; if the number of points is > 32 and
    <= 64,
    > > there is a +1 LA; if >64, +2 LA.
    >
    > I've used this idea in house rules before (the principle, not the
    > implementation). It's a very, very good one.

    Hey, no fair. You have to tell me your implementation now!

    Don't make me beg.

    -Will
  3. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

    Will Green wrote:
    > I've read in this group a number of times that it's been found that a

    > character with exceptionally high ability scores is roughly
    equivalent
    > in power to a character with more average ability scores, but of one
    or
    > two levels higher (i.e., Alfred the 3rd-level Fighter has scores of
    15,
    > 14, 13, 12, 10, 8, and is equivalent to Bob the 1st-level Godly
    Fighter
    > with scores of 18, 17, 18, 15, 16, 16). Does anyone have real
    numbers
    > detailing this equivalence?
    >

    accourding to my calculations & comparisons it comes out to about 9
    points per LA if spread evenly, and closer to 6 if lumped in prime
    scores for the class.

    > Here's what I'm thinking: Have players choose their characters'
    stats.
    > Then they calculate the number of points such a character would cost
    > under the point-buy system. If the number of points is, say, <= 32,
    > there is no level adjustment; if the number of points is > 32 and <=
    64,
    > there is a +1 LA; if >64, +2 LA.
    >

    I assume you are talking strait 1 point = 1 ability score point, not a
    buy system like they have in the DMG? If you go the point buy system
    it gets more difficult because points arent worth as much as scores.

    - Justisaur
  4. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

    Will Green wrote:
    [...]
    > Here's what I'm thinking: Have players choose their characters' stats.
    > Then they calculate the number of points such a character would cost
    > under the point-buy system. If the number of points is, say, <= 32,
    > there is no level adjustment; if the number of points is > 32 and <= 64,
    > there is a +1 LA; if >64, +2 LA.

    Expect: To see 100% of PCs having ability scores bought with
    *exactly* 31 or 63 points.

    Understand: That you have *absolutely* *no* *right* to
    criticize your players for making those kinds of choices.

    > My gut tells me that this is too simplistic, and that a 64-point
    > character is worth more than a +1 LA, and so on...so I'm curious to see

    You may be right.

    > if anyone has a clear idea of how to make such a system work. Thoughts?

    I think starting with Rupert's findings is the way to go:

    25 points: +0 LA.
    32 points: +1 LA.

    Then figure out a reasonable point total for +2 LA, keeping
    in mind that unless it becomes legal to buy ability scores
    up to above 18 (before the "racial" bonus), you'll
    eventually reach a point total where giving out more points
    has little effect, because any character can "max" his four
    most important ability scores.


    --
    Peter Knutsen
    sagatafl.org
  5. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

    Being in my pro-player bias mode for a moment, I actually like this
    idea. I know high stats != bad roleplaying, as an old sig of mine use
    to say, but I can appreciate there is a difference between a 15, 14,
    13, 12, 10, 8 character and a 18, 18, 16, 14, 14, 12 character as far
    as game mechanics works.

    Query: Presume you work out the numbers to "perfection" but all the
    players pick ability scores that would give them +1 LA. Now all the
    characters are of the same power level. Do you still calculate XP and
    assess level increases by the LA +1 or just do "normal" XP since
    everyone is the same. I guess the same can be said regardless of this
    system if everyone just chose to play a non-standard race in the first
    place where all the races are of the same LA. For example, what if
    everyone is a renegade Drow worshipping Ellistraee trying to overthrow
    the Lolth order and return the Drow to the welcoming light of the
    Sanhedrine? (Hey, that would make for a cool campaign, despite I
    wouldn't be playing a human. :P)

    Gerald Katz
  6. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

    On Fri, 11 Mar 2005 02:36:54 GMT, Will Green
    <will_j_green@yXaXhXoXo.com> carved upon a tablet of ether:

    > My gut tells me that this is too simplistic, and that a 64-point
    > character is worth more than a +1 LA, and so on...so I'm curious to see
    > if anyone has a clear idea of how to make such a system work. Thoughts?

    I've lost the calculations, but I worked it out by considering how
    much of an ability boost you'd need for a level's worth of BAB, saves,
    skill points, hit points, and so on. There are somethings abilities
    can't buy you (multiple attacks, some feats and class abilities,
    higher level spell slots, etc.), but abilities can also buy you things
    that levels rarely grant you (AC and weapon damage primarily).
    Overall, I assumed these things balanced out and examined those things
    that both levels and high abilities gain you. I found that +1 to the
    average of your abilities (and thus +6 to the total of them) was
    roughly the same as +1 level. Thus a 32-point point buy character has
    about +1 LA compared to a 25-point 'standard' character or one with
    the 'elite' ability array. Play has born that out.

    I suspect that after a certain point it will take more points to get
    the same effect because once the main 2-3 abilities are at racial
    maximums the boost is in areas that don't make as much difference to a
    character. For example a fighter with Str 18, Dex 18, Con 18, Int 10,
    Wis 18, Cha 10 isn't a whole lot worse than one with Str 18, Dex 18,
    Con 18, Int 18, Wis 18, Cha 18, even though his abilities average
    15-1/3 rather than 18.


    --
    Rupert Boleyn <rboleyn@paradise.net.nz>
    "Just because the truth will set you free doesn't mean the truth itself
    should be free."
  7. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

    Time to step up the meds; I could have sworn Rupert Boleyn just said...
    > I suspect that after a certain point it will take more points to get
    > the same effect because once the main 2-3 abilities are at racial
    > maximums the boost is in areas that don't make as much difference to a
    > character. For example a fighter with Str 18, Dex 18, Con 18, Int 10,
    > Wis 18, Cha 10 isn't a whole lot worse than one with Str 18, Dex 18,
    > Con 18, Int 18, Wis 18, Cha 18, even though his abilities average
    > 15-1/3 rather than 18.

    If you're playing with racial maximums, you're house ruling, perhaps
    without realizing it. The rules are quite clear that you can keep
    raising scores without limit. Or do you mean just at character creation?
    (By "past a certain point" I assumed you meant at higher levels.)
  8. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

    In article <av7Yd.8200$DW.5138@newssvr17.news.prodigy.com>,
    Will Green <will_j_green@yXaXhXoXo.com> wrote:

    > I've read in this group a number of times that it's been found that a
    > character with exceptionally high ability scores is roughly equivalent
    > in power to a character with more average ability scores, but of one or
    > two levels higher (i.e., Alfred the 3rd-level Fighter has scores of 15,
    > 14, 13, 12, 10, 8, and is equivalent to Bob the 1st-level Godly Fighter
    > with scores of 18, 17, 18, 15, 16, 16). Does anyone have real numbers
    > detailing this equivalence?
    >
    > Here's what I'm thinking: Have players choose their characters' stats.
    > Then they calculate the number of points such a character would cost
    > under the point-buy system. If the number of points is, say, <= 32,
    > there is no level adjustment; if the number of points is > 32 and <= 64,
    > there is a +1 LA; if >64, +2 LA.

    I vaguely recalled someone opining that +7 in total stat bonuses was
    *about* equal to a level. So I plugged that with a few unjustified
    assumptions into the point buy system and worked out something like:

    LA+0: 25pts
    LA+1: 40pts
    LA+2: 56pts

    My gut feeling was that any such system was going to be mildly gameable,
    however. Spellcasters will probably be the losers since stats mean less
    to them than class levels and they will have to take the LA+0 option.
    Whereas non-casting classes that enjoy having good stats across the
    board can munch out with high stats at less real cost.

    So I ran some quick numbers, and it looks to me that at medium levels
    the LA+2 option as I presented it is slightly but significantly superior
    for rogues and fighting types, more so in terms of skills and saves than
    raw power (but in raw power, slightly, too).

    My best guess at a balanced rule would be something like:

    LA+0: 25pts
    LA+1: 35pts
    LA+2 : 45pts

    This will probably allow some non-spellcasters to be a wee bit more
    powerful than they normally would be at mid to high levels (barring
    something funny happening with break points and/or multiclassing), but
    not in any really significant way. For most cases I *think* it will be
    close enough for jazz.

    Knowing players, who often like having high stats just because, I
    imagine you'd get takers.

    Kevin Lowe,
    Tasmania.
  9. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

    "Will Green" <will_j_green@yXaXhXoXo.com> wrote in message
    news:av7Yd.8200$DW.5138@newssvr17.news.prodigy.com...
    > Here's what I'm thinking: Have players choose their characters' stats.
    > Then they calculate the number of points such a character would cost
    > under the point-buy system. If the number of points is, say, <= 32,
    > there is no level adjustment; if the number of points is > 32 and <= 64,
    > there is a +1 LA; if >64, +2 LA.

    I've used this idea in house rules before (the principle, not the
    implementation). It's a very, very good one.

    -Michael
  10. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

    On Fri, 11 Mar 2005 06:47:34 GMT, Jeff Heikkinen <no.way@jose.org>
    carved upon a tablet of ether:

    > Time to step up the meds; I could have sworn Rupert Boleyn just said...
    > > I suspect that after a certain point it will take more points to get
    > > the same effect because once the main 2-3 abilities are at racial
    > > maximums the boost is in areas that don't make as much difference to a
    > > character. For example a fighter with Str 18, Dex 18, Con 18, Int 10,
    > > Wis 18, Cha 10 isn't a whole lot worse than one with Str 18, Dex 18,
    > > Con 18, Int 18, Wis 18, Cha 18, even though his abilities average
    > > 15-1/3 rather than 18.
    >
    > If you're playing with racial maximums, you're house ruling, perhaps
    > without realizing it. The rules are quite clear that you can keep
    > raising scores without limit. Or do you mean just at character creation?
    > (By "past a certain point" I assumed you meant at higher levels.)

    I meant during creation. By "past a certain point" I meant once the
    abilities get high enough.


    --
    Rupert Boleyn <rboleyn@paradise.net.nz>
    "Just because the truth will set you free doesn't mean the truth itself
    should be free."
  11. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

    "Peter Knutsen" <peter@sagatafl.invalid> wrote in message
    news:39djqaF612pu9U1@individual.net...
    >
    > Will Green wrote:
    > [...]
    >> Here's what I'm thinking: Have players choose their characters' stats.
    >> Then they calculate the number of points such a character would cost
    >> under the point-buy system. If the number of points is, say, <= 32,
    >> there is no level adjustment; if the number of points is > 32 and <= 64,
    >> there is a +1 LA; if >64, +2 LA.
    >
    > Expect: To see 100% of PCs having ability scores bought with *exactly* 31
    > or 63 points.

    Absolutely.

    > Understand: That you have *absolutely* *no* *right* to criticize your
    > players for making those kinds of choices.

    Agreed. On the other hand, you really only need to do this if some of your
    players want high stats, and some prefer lower stats. My group generally
    uses a base 90 stat points (*not* the point buy system), divided between the
    6 stats (giving an average of 15 in each stat, which is right around the
    average iconic Forgotten Realms NPC's stats). Of course, significant NPCs,
    including special monsters like dragons and beholders, have this stat array
    as well, and are generally "beefed up" for a higher-powered game.

    --
    ^v^v^Malachias Invictus^v^v^

    It matters not how strait the gate,
    How charged with punishment the scroll,
    I am the Master of my fate:
    I am the Captain of my soul.

    from _Invictus_, by William Ernest Henley
  12. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

    In article <39duamF60mtu1U1@individual.net>,
    Peter Knutsen <peter@sagatafl.invalid> wrote:
    >I just happen to disapprove of the strong incentive to land
    >exactly on 31 or 63 buy points. It offends my sense of
    >numerical astethics.

    I suspect one would need "fractional" LA to avoid this, which opens a whole
    other can of worms.
    --
    "Yo' ideas need to be thinked befo' they are say'd" - Ian Lamb, age 3.5
    http://www.cs.queensu.ca/~dalamb/ qucis->cs to reply (it's a long story...)
  13. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

    "David Alex Lamb" <dalamb@qucis.queensu.ca> wrote in message
    news:d0t5bn$3od$1@knot.queensu.ca...
    > In article <39duamF60mtu1U1@individual.net>,
    > Peter Knutsen <peter@sagatafl.invalid> wrote:
    >>I just happen to disapprove of the strong incentive to land
    >>exactly on 31 or 63 buy points. It offends my sense of
    >>numerical astethics.
    >
    > I suspect one would need "fractional" LA to avoid this, which opens a
    > whole
    > other can of worms.

    You could always set an "experience premium" instead: a flat experience cost
    per "point buy point" that has to be bought off via an experience reduction
    of 10% or more until the buyoff is complete. You could set the experience
    "tax" at 10% for up to a certain level, raising it to 15%, 20%, etc. as the
    points progress higher.

    --
    ^v^v^Malachias Invictus^v^v^

    It matters not how strait the gate,
    How charged with punishment the scroll,
    I am the Master of my fate:
    I am the Captain of my soul.

    from _Invictus_, by William Ernest Henley
  14. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

    David Alex Lamb <dalamb@qucis.queensu.ca> wrote:
    >In article <39duamF60mtu1U1@individual.net>,
    >Peter Knutsen <peter@sagatafl.invalid> wrote:
    >>I just happen to disapprove of the strong incentive to land
    >>exactly on 31 or 63 buy points. It offends my sense of
    >>numerical astethics.

    >I suspect one would need "fractional" LA to avoid this, which opens a whole
    >other can of worms.

    Just use one of the other proposed systems and give them a
    set number of points per +1 LA. Figuring out exactly what
    those point totals should be could be tricky, but it would
    definitely be less prone to abuse than "Pick a number between
    30 and 64. Oh, you all picked 63 again."

    Pete
  15. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

    Peter Knutsen <peter@sagatafl.invalid> wrote in
    news:39djqaF612pu9U1@individual.net:

    >
    > Will Green wrote:
    > [...]
    >> Here's what I'm thinking: Have players choose their characters'
    >> stats. Then they calculate the number of points such a
    >> character would cost under the point-buy system. If the number
    >> of points is, say, <= 32, there is no level adjustment; if the
    >> number of points is > 32 and <= 64, there is a +1 LA; if >64,
    >> +2 LA.
    >
    > Expect: To see 100% of PCs having ability scores bought with
    > *exactly* 31 or 63 points.
    >
    > Understand: That you have *absolutely* *no* *right* to
    > criticize your players for making those kinds of choices.


    Solution: players choose the point buy total before creating the
    character: 25, 32, or 64
  16. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

    "Will" <will_j_green@yahoo.com> wrote in message
    news:1110567806.624785.218160@z14g2000cwz.googlegroups.com...
    > MICHAEL BROWN wrote:
    > > "Will Green" <will_j_green@yXaXhXoXo.com> wrote in message
    > > I've used this idea in house rules before (the principle, not the
    > > implementation). It's a very, very good one.
    >
    > Hey, no fair. You have to tell me your implementation now!
    > Don't make me beg.

    I can't help you with that; it was an earlier edition player's option
    extension. Rather than making all classes and races equal, we just made the
    player pay a fair XP cost for their power (or lack thereof), and so XP
    advancement rate was set in accordance class, race, and stats. This worked
    out well enough for us, but I admire the greater simplicity of 3rded's
    effort put into simply balancing the classes against one another once and
    for all. :)

    3rdEd LA is a fine analogue to our mechanics for extending advancement
    rates, so it's certainly an appropriate tool. Another mechanism would be to
    make use of Cook's "race levels" ideas in his arcana unearthed; those
    wanting to be of superior stock have to take a level of elite-human prestige
    class or whatnot which would give few benefits other than stat boosts.

    -Michael
  17. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

    Will Green wrote:
    > I've read in this group a number of times that it's been found that a
    > character with exceptionally high ability scores is roughly equivalent
    > in power to a character with more average ability scores, but of one or
    > two levels higher (i.e., Alfred the 3rd-level Fighter has scores of 15,
    > 14, 13, 12, 10, 8, and is equivalent to Bob the 1st-level Godly Fighter
    > with scores of 18, 17, 18, 15, 16, 16). Does anyone have real numbers
    > detailing this equivalence?

    In general, +2 to all ability scores above the standard races is
    worth about one level. It gives +1hp/level, +1 to all saves, hit and
    damage, all skills, and opposed rolls. Also +1 to DCs, and eventually +4
    spell slots. Spellcasters miss out a little, but can build around it to
    some extent.

    Assume near-minimum die rolls of 14/12/10/10/08/08 (14 points),
    average die rolls of 16/14/14/12/10/08 (28 points), and a high set of
    die rolls of 18/16/16/14/12/10 (48 points).

    Those are about 1 level better than each other. If you want to get
    real keen, you can use partial LA's, so that if 20 extra stat-buy points
    is worth +1 LA (1000 XP/level), then 1 extra stat-buy point is worth
    +1/20 LA (50 XP/level).
    You could say the standard is 25 points, and use +150 XP/level for
    28, +350 XP/level for 32, or even roll dice and just add up the costs of
    what stats people end up with.

    PS: you also have to start LA levels lower than guys with zero,
    which sums out to [1000XP * LA(LA+1)/2] over the per level number.

    You can even get into fun redoing the races with fractional LA.

    --
    tussock

    Aspie at work, sorry in advance.
  18. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

    dalamb@qucis.queensu.ca (David Alex Lamb) typed:

    >In article <39duamF60mtu1U1@individual.net>,
    >Peter Knutsen <peter@sagatafl.invalid> wrote:
    >>I just happen to disapprove of the strong incentive to land
    >>exactly on 31 or 63 buy points. It offends my sense of
    >>numerical astethics.
    >
    >I suspect one would need "fractional" LA to avoid this, which opens a whole
    >other can of worms.

    When the PCs IMC were rolled up (with actual dice - I gave the players
    the choice), I gave characters with bad stats extra xp. It was
    something like 200xp per +.

    As I limited all the characters to a total bonus of +3 to +7, this
    wasn't a radical difference and they all started at the same level,
    though the weaker ones levelled first. It was significant until about
    5th level but became fairly irrelevant after that, so an additional xp
    penalty might be needed, say 3% per +.

    Note how this goes against the 1e principle where characters with a
    primary stat (eg Str for fighters) of 16+ gained 10% EXTRA xp, rather
    than being penalised on balance grounds.

    --
    Jim or Sarah Davies, but probably Jim

    D&D and Star Fleet Battles stuff on http://www.aaargh.org
  19. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

    Hadsil wrote:

    > Query: Presume you work out the numbers to "perfection" but all the
    > players pick ability scores that would give them +1 LA. Now all the
    > characters are of the same power level. Do you still calculate XP
    and
    > assess level increases by the LA +1 or just do "normal" XP since
    > everyone is the same. I guess the same can be said regardless of
    this
    > system if everyone just chose to play a non-standard race in the
    first
    > place where all the races are of the same LA. For example, what if
    > everyone is a renegade Drow worshipping Ellistraee trying to
    overthrow
    > the Lolth order and return the Drow to the welcoming light of the
    > Sanhedrine? (Hey, that would make for a cool campaign, despite I
    > wouldn't be playing a human. :P)
    >

    That's an interesting question. Generally I would have to say no, you
    don't treat them as level 1 instead of 2 otherwise you are going to
    have all your encounters significantly easier than they should be.
    However as there are a ton of different ability score generation
    methods and those could easily make a difference of 1 or 2 LA in
    practice and you don't count them as such, it's pretty much up to the
    DM if he wants to make the campain easier (or harder).

    3d6 drop em where they lay is pretty different in power from 4d6
    arrange as desired - I'd say in practice there's about a 2 LA
    difference between them, slightly more than one for the actual
    difference average 10.5 to average 12.5 which is 12 total points, and
    slightly lesss than one for arranging as desired . Same could be said
    between low and high powered point buys.

    - Justisaur
  20. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

    forumite@netzero.com wrote:

    > everyone is a renegade Drow worshipping Ellistraee trying to overthrow
    > the Lolth order and return the Drow to the welcoming light of the
    > Sanhedrine?

    Why would the Eilistraee-worshippers want the other drow to become
    Jewish?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sanhedrin


    --
    Jasin Zujovic
    jzujovic@inet.hr
Ask a new question

Read More

Video Games