Broken XP curve

OK, did a little math.  No wonder I was getting bored as a DM while running this.

I looked over the XP to level requirements, and I got a bit of a surprise I hadn't pieced together yet.  IMO there's a glaring problems with the curve.  I hope it is not un-noticed and will be adjusted.  As is, it's a big part of why I won't be testing the Barbarian packet.  The first one was bad enough.

Lookeee here:

From Level 1 to 2: 250 xp required per character

A level 1 monster reanges from 10-50 XP
Min: 10 XP = 25 monsters per PC * 5 PC party - 125 monsters
Max: 50 XP = 5 monsters per PC * 5 PC party = 25 monsters

Split the difference in the middle = 75 total level 1 monsters average to level up

From Level 2 to 3: 700 more XP required, range from 60-100 XP
Min: 60 XP = 11.7 monsters per PC * 5 PC party =58 monsters
Max: 100 XP = 7 monsters per PC * 5 PC party = 35 monsters

Average number = 46 monsters to level up

A similar trend continues throughout.

As a DM, even with fights taking 2-3 rounds, I just don't have the time or inclination to wade through this many fights and find endless excuses for characters to fight armies of what are basically minions just to level up.  The higher XP-level monsters, that might be workable, but that would constrain my choices as a DM.  It's gone from tabletop MMO to tabletop FPS.  That's not for me.

Add to this that a 60 XP encounter is in no way a challenge for level 1 characters, much less a 'tough' challenge, these stats and figures would not work for me as written.  I suppose I could simply start my players against level 3 mobs and keep 2 levels ahead of them to keep the challenge and XP curve ahead of them, and artificially constrain the number of mobs required to level that way.  Anyone tried that yet?  How did it work out?

I really hope the monsters get much more balanced and soon.  2-3 rounds too short a fight.  I'd prefer 4-5 average.  Monsters need some heft, and fights should be more meaningful than steamroller-fests.  They don't need to be mechanically overloaded to be challenging.  The Need For Speed Factor is dialed up way too high for my taste, and myself and some of my players got bored after awhile. In such a system, spell slots also become a huge problem, since the mage and cleric are quickly confined to the cantrip realm, with tons more lifting yet to do in any given adventuring day.  Meantime they become a two-trick pony, with serious issues around repetitive actions.    

As I noted on my survey, the balance factor is very badly off, IMO.   

Am I crazed?  What do you all think?  Am I missing something?  I am working with the assumption they will change/fix this in the near future. 
I completely agree. My level 2 players literally wiped out an entire clan of Kobolds today, wading through gore in a cave for about 4 hours, and still aren't halfway to level 3, after being level 2 for a session before this as well.

I don't want it to be too fast, but this is ridiculous.
Isn't quest exp still a thing? Maybe those numbers need to go up. "Kill a clan of kobolds" sounds genocidal enough to be a large quest, could easily be a quarter to a half a level.
Also, one kobold is 10xp but 10 kobolds at once are not 100xp but more. as challenge rises with more enemies at once. 
The majority of the monsters - especially ones that are more miniony (more low-level monsters than high-level monsters) border on irrelevantly weak at-level unless they're used in quite large numbers or in unusual settings. Whatever the intent is supposed to be, currently at-level is about a lower bound on where I would use a monster other than as set dressing, at least at lower levels and at least for the lower-XP ones.

In general, the monster math is in a pretty bad place right now, and XP is just part of it.
Dwarves invented beer so they could toast to their axes. Dwarves invented axes to kill people and take their beer. Swanmay Syndrome: Despite the percentages given in the Monster Manual, in reality 100% of groups of swans contain a Swanmay, because otherwise the DM would not have put any swans in the game.
Isn't quest exp still a thing? Maybe those numbers need to go up. "Kill a clan of kobolds" sounds genocidal enough to be a large quest, could easily be a quarter to a half a level.



I was going to suggest quest exp. I know it sounds gamey, but screw it. You are the Dm. 

So you got quest exp and skill exp. If monster exp is too slow, then speed it up. ^.^

Actually the monsteer math itself isn't bad.

It's just that the XP values and Level values don't match the monsters.

If you follow the XP guide
Level 1-2 monsters are "minions"
Level 3-4 monsters are "standards"
Level 5-9 monsters are "elites"
Level 10+ monsters are "solos"

If you follow the levels only
Level 1-2 monsters are weak
Level 3-4 monsters are about right
Level 5-9 monsters are brokenly overpowered or underpowered
Level 10+ monsters are weak

Orzel, Halfelven son of Zel, Mystic Ranger, Bane to Dragons, Death to Undeath, Killer of Abyssals, King of the Wilds. Constitution Based Class for Next!


I take it you've never played AD&D.

Kobold gave 7xp.
You needed around 2000xp to 2nd level.

Tongue Out 


Not saying I approve. Just saying...
In the DM Guidelines page 12 it says that if you want to build an encounter using a lot of monsters the encounter might be more difficult than the table indicates. If the characters are outnumbered 2 to 1, an easy encounter becomes average, and an average encounter becomes tough. If they’re outnumbered 3 to 1, what looks like an easy encounter is probably tough.

I took this to mean that if the players are outnumbered 2 to 1, I add 50% to each encounter.

If they are outnumbered by 3 to 1 or more, I triple the xp amounts.

I tend to have players level up every 3-4 gaming sessions (which last about 3 hours each).

I adjust xp with quest xp and achievement xp and other roleplaying xp to achieve this.

I don't think combat length, leveling, or combat difficulty should increase with levels.  A 3-4 round combat at 2nd level should still be a 3-4 round combat at 16th level.  

The math isn't that difficult.  Not sure why WOTC can't seem to get it right.  I still think they need to hire a mathematician who has significant input into the design process.   
Not to be such a 3.5 fanboy, but that game had it right. How much XP do I need to level up? Your current level times 1000. Everyone could remember that without ever consulting the chart.

I suppose I didn't factor in the clause that explains the challenge rating goes up depending on how outnumbered the party is.

I also didn't think until I read some other threads that they're trying to make 1-10 the main game and 11-20 the epic game.

I take it you've never played AD&D.

Kobold gave 7xp.
You needed around 2000xp to 2nd level.

 


Not saying I approve. Just saying...



True but you also got XP for gold value of the treasure.
So I did some math on this:

Level    XP needed    Change from
            for next         last level
            Level             requirements
    
1          250               250
2          700               450
3          1300             600
4          2500            1200
5          5200            2700
6          6500            1300
7          9000            2500
8         13000           4000
9         18000           5000
10       21000           3000
11       19000          -2000
12       24000           5000
13       30000           6000
14       40000          10000
15       40000            0
16       50000          10000
17       50000            0
18       60000          10000
19       60000            0

As you can see there's no logic to it whatsoever. I don't know where they got this progression.
Thankfully my group foresaw this, and we improvised beforehand (we rolled 3d8 each and gained 10 XP times the result before starting the campaign-- so quest experience minus the quest). It obviously doesn't fix the problem, but we've always just seen the experience curve as just a suggesion.
As you can see there's no logic to it whatsoever. I don't know where they got this progression.

The intentionally 'dead' levels are the easiest ones (relatively) to get out of.
Or rather, that was the gimmick a playtest or two ago.

I assume this is something that'll change to a more 'regular' formula eventually.  Methinks Mearls and the Gang are using this bumpy table just to troll the lunatics who reverse-engineered the first several XP tables.
In the DM Guidelines page 12 it says that if you want to build an encounter using a lot of monsters the encounter might be more difficult than the table indicates. If the characters are outnumbered 2 to 1, an easy encounter becomes average, and an average encounter becomes tough. If they’re outnumbered 3 to 1, what looks like an easy encounter is probably tough.



I think the needs to go the other way as well.


If the PCs outnumber the monsters by 2 to 1, an average encounter becomes easier and if they outnumber the monsters by 3 to 1, a hard encounter becomes easy.


Carl   
In the DM Guidelines page 12 it says that if you want to build an encounter using a lot of monsters the encounter might be more difficult than the table indicates. If the characters are outnumbered 2 to 1, an easy encounter becomes average, and an average encounter becomes tough. If they’re outnumbered 3 to 1, what looks like an easy encounter is probably tough.



I think the needs to go the other way as well.


If the PCs outnumber the monsters by 2 to 1, an average encounter becomes easier and if they outnumber the monsters by 3 to 1, a hard encounter becomes easy.


Carl   


Probably so.  I've noticed that a high level monster is fairly easy if it is by itself against a large party.  A party of 3rd level characters made short work of an 8th level demon by itself.

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