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dasbif
Joined Dec 2009
2 Posts
Hi all,

I am running a campaign, and am having my players optimize themselves.  One has chosen to play a Goliath Barbarian, and I am just trying to make sure I understand how her experience falls out.  I am having all of the players start at level 9 (36,000 xp), with 36,000 gold (the equipment at level happens to be the same at level 9, how cool is that?)

I want her to start with the correct amount of experience relative to the other players, so let's just assume she leveled up with a party of 4 that were of normal ECL, earning 1000,3000, etc. experience each level to gain 1 level each time they gained experience.  How Much experience should she end up with at level 9?

As I understand it, www.d20srd.org/srd/variant/races/reducin... reducing level adjustments means that at Barbarian 3 (ecl 4) she will then buy off, with 3000 xp, the level adjustment, making her level 3 when the rest of the party is level 4.  With her ECL at those first few levels, and then the being lower level exp increase after the buyoff, what would her exp total be when the rest of the party is reaching level 9 and 36000 xp?

(I am trying to get the math right, but am having trouble figuring out how to approach the problem.)

Thank you very much for your help with this!
ElVizard
Joined Jul 2011
90 Posts
By DMG, a party of 4 people should beat 13 "challenges" of their CR to level up. This start to change the experience given to the goliath by 3rd level (4th of the party).
So tecnically, the party should beat:
13 CR-4
13 CR-5
13 CR-6
13 CR-7
13 CR-8

it's a tought work, but you should start calculating 1 by 1 the experience that gives each CR to the goliath.
For example: He hit's level 3 with 6,000 xp. He pays the 3,000 xp to reduce he's LA. He's now at ECL 3 with 3,000 xp. The party now start to face CR-4 's. Each one gives the goliath 337.5 xp. So with 9 CR-4's the goliath gets 3037,5 xp, and hits level 4. Now the party face the las CR-4, which gives him 300 xp.
The party start facing the CR-5 now, and each one gives the goliath 400 xp. He's at 6037.5 xp so he needs 3962.5 xp to reach 5. That's about 10 CR-5's.
keep doing this and you'll get the amount you are looking for. It's a little tedious, but you only have to do it till level nine, so it isn't much.
Please pass the results when you are finished, so other people don't have to do it again if they need to.
Slagger_the_Chuul
Joined May 2001
7677 Posts
By DMG, a party of 4 people should beat 13 "challenges" of their CR to level up.

That's not exactly true; it's supposedly 13 and an extra 1/3, which means that in practical terms the party will sometimes need to defeat 14 "challenges" of their CR to level up.

But the result might vary a bit depending on what they actually fought (or are supposed to have fought), since the character who has paid off their ECL while sometimes be getting more XP for being behind and sometimes they won't.  The numbers come out a little differently if, for example, they always fight creatures one CR above their party level when compared to always fighting creatures at their party level (against a constant stream of "challenging" encounters, the +1 LA actually ends up a few points ahead of the standard characters by around level 17 as a coincidence of the varying XP amounts they receives).

Given that they catch up most of the way, I'd be tempted to come up with some kind of convenient approximation to subtract from the normal experience point total.

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ElVizard
Joined Jul 2011
90 Posts
That's not exactly true; it's supposedly 13
and an extra 1/3, which means that in practical terms the party will sometimes need to defeat 14 "challenges" of their CR to level up

You're right, I forget that fraction. Still, it can be calculated with the last at 4/3 fraction or a separate 1/3*(xp from the CR).

But the result might vary a bit depending on what they actually fought (or are supposed to have fought), since the character who has paid off their ECL while sometimes be getting more XP for being behind and sometimes they won't.  The numbers come out a little differently if, for example, they always fight creatures one CR above their party level when compared to always fighting creatures at their party level (against a constant stream of "challenging" encounters, the +1 LA actually ends up a few points ahead of the standard characters by around level 17 as a coincidence of the varying XP amounts they receives).

Given that they catch up most of the way, I'd be tempted to come up with some kind of convenient approximation to subtract from the normal experience point total.

This is true, you can get an exact calculation. But you can't even say they will reach the exact amount of experience to get to that level. Also you have interpretation and other types of experiences. So to be "balanced" he wants to calculate how close from the party should he be.
dasbif
Joined Dec 2009
2 Posts
By DMG, a party of 4 people should beat 13 "challenges" of their CR to level up.

That's not exactly true; it's supposedly 13 and an extra 1/3, which means that in practical terms the party will sometimes need to defeat 14 "challenges" of their CR to level up.

But the result might vary a bit depending on what they actually fought (or are supposed to have fought), since the character who has paid off their ECL while sometimes be getting more XP for being behind and sometimes they won't.  The numbers come out a little differently if, for example, they always fight creatures one CR above their party level when compared to always fighting creatures at their party level (against a constant stream of "challenging" encounters, the +1 LA actually ends up a few points ahead of the standard characters by around level 17 as a coincidence of the varying XP amounts they receives).

Given that they catch up most of the way, I'd be tempted to come up with some kind of convenient approximation to subtract from the normal experience point total.

I was just about to try and start crunching the numbers in a massive excel spreadsheet, then saw your reply and realized it's truth, and simplicity.  Do you think it would be reasonable to just have her be an 8th level LA +0 Goliath with 28,000 xp and the rest of the party at 9th level with 36000, then play standard and she will catch up over time?  That would make her "a level behind" the rest of the party, making her on-par with the increased abilities.  I think.

I'm trying to handle it in a fair manner, since it is such a complicated system for calculating the drawback of the level adjustment!
ElVizard
Joined Jul 2011
90 Posts
8000 xp seems too much difference when the cost he must pay is 3000 xp. But if the first challenges aren't "you must be 9th level or you can't pass this", he'll probably catch them. I would make him pay the 3000 xp so he start at 33,000 xp. But it's up to your decision, you know better how are you going to handle your campaign than me :P
Slagger_the_Chuul
Joined May 2001
7677 Posts
Do you think it would be reasonable to just have her be an 8th level LA +0 Goliath with 28,000 xp and the rest of the party at 9th level with 36000, then play standard and she will catch up over time?  That would make her "a level behind" the rest of the party, making her on-par with the increased abilities.  I think.

It's reasonable as an alternative to the buyoff (it's sort of the middle ground between the buyoff and normal LA, but you'd have to separately account for starting equipment), but it's not reasonable as a representation of the buyoff cost, which would be much less than if you actually calculated it (it starts out as less than half that cost, and by level 9 the catchup design of XP awards has only reduced it further).

What you really want is to reduce the original cost based on the number of levels since you paid it, but it's hard to be sure of the right amount for the reduction without looking at a range of examples.  You want it to tail off pretty quickly (which it does), without completely vanishing (even though it can actually vanish, or even run negative with all-challenging awards, this isn't desirable).

For something quick to calculate, you could cut the total cost of paying off the LA by 500 XP per level after you gain it, to a minimum of 500 XP.  Then just subtract the cost from the normal XP total of a non-LA character to determine their total XP.

So for a +1 LA character, you'd reduce the cost to 2,500 XP (they start at 7,500 XP when everyone else has 10,000 XP) if they started in a group at 5th level; you only reduce the cost based on them gaining 4th level, since they don't personally reach 5th level.  For a 9th-level start, you'd reduce it by 2,500 XP (that's 500 XP for group levels 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8) which also happens to result the minimum of 500 XP, so they have 35,500 XP when everyone else has 36,000 XP.

The kraken stirs. And ten billion sushi dinners cry out for vengeance. - Good Omens

Co-Author of the Dreamfane, Euralden Eye, Fulminating Crab, Gajuisan Crawler, Gruesome LurkerIronglass Rose, Sheengrass Swarm, Spryjack, Usunag, and Warp Drifter, and author of the Magmal Horror from Force of Nature.