## Monster XP Math

I just made a table of the monsters in the bestiary, with their level and their XP value. While attempting to mark them as "easy", "average", and "hard", I noticed that the XP values simply go up with level; there is nothing similar to a "solo" or a "minion" past the first levels. This creates something odd at higher levels: you have to use much lower enemies to stock a full fight, even one of an average difficulty level, unless you want to just use singular monsters (which we all know get torn down by the PCs very quickly).

Just to grab a random level, and a monster I like, here's what the xp budget looks like. I'll use a party of 4, because that just feels nice and standard.

A party of 4 level 12 PCs have an xp budget of 5,600 for easy, 8,400 for average, and 16,400 for tough.

Level 12 monsters range from 5,310 to 6,340 xp. That's not a very large spectrum of xp values at that point; the high is only 19% larger than the low (when the high at level 1 was 100% larger than the low).

Worse still, you can't even use 2 of these creatures for an "average" encounter; you could use 3 for a tough encounter, though. In order to do a typical 4v4 fight, you will need to use level 8 opponents (of which I only have the Succubus to compare).

While bounded accuracy enables us to use creatures for longer, the rapid scaling of HP and Damage means low level monsters just aren't threatening. At least minions were dealing 1/2 their level appropriate damage, and you got 4 of them, and their defenses were even, in 4E.

Poe's Law is alive and well.

HeRaw
Joined Dec 1969
Yep totally.

Maybe would it solve the problem if HP and Damage were bound too?
ren1999
Joined Dec 1969
How about post a table fixing the problem?

Kira3696.Tripod.Com
I'd have to run way more test combats than I have the time to do. Designing the game isn't my 9 to 5. If I could fix it that easily, I'd be selling a system of my own.

The only, simple, way to fix it would be to increase the XP numbers drastically, and ensure that the low of a level was 1/2 the medium, and the high was x2 the medium, but that's going to create some really fast growth and may not balance when using higher and lower level monsters.

The lack of minions, elites, and solos makes this difficult.

Poe's Law is alive and well.

The XP chart is bogus.
I will have a level 10 Vrock(3300xp) fighting a 4 member party of level 3(tough fight should be 480xp) characters in an adventure I'm creating to play after Blingdenstone.

The difficulty should be off the charts, yet in 3 practice fights, the most I managed to do was to get a character down to 4 hp. And the vrock has resistance to non-magical weapons, which the party does not have(bar the monk's fists)!

Encounter building table is full of s***
Yeah, but that's a simple disconnect between actual and expected PC power level.  It's existed in every edition of D&D so far, including 4e (although at least 4e was reasonably predictable in how far off it was), and it would be absurd to expect it to be accurate at this stage of the playtest when PC power levels are having seismic shifts every other month.  What the OP is talking about is something far more fundamentally off, and something that really ought to be right.  It is currently impossible to build a fight to their guidelines out of at-level monsters.  That's just ridiculous, and it's basic arithmetic not this nebulous concept of balance.  There's no excuse for it to be wrong on what, their fourth iteration on the bestiary?
ren1999
Joined Dec 1969
Essentially,
a character should advance after one adventure module.

some pathfinder adventure paths go from 1st to 4th level, then 5th in the next module.
So you should progress your characters in this way,

In the shrine of the Kuo-Toa, there are 35 areas to explore.
The party is at least 9th level.
In Vault of the Drow, the party is at least 10th level.
Now if we award 25 experience points per monster level,
And we make each encounter moderately challenging,
let's say 4 characters should defeat 4 monsters of roughly equal level or less,
that would be 100xp per encounter.
That would be 3500xp needed to advance to 2nd level.
Then add 3500xp+3500xp, 7000 xp to advance to 3rd level.
3500x3=10,500 to advance to 4th.

If there are 6 2nd level party members,
25xpX6=150x2=300xp per encounter x35
7500 needed to advance to Level 2.

Or you could keep level progression standard, 3,500xp needed to advance to 2nd.

Or you could just stop tracking XP all together and award 1 point for each encounter and level up the party after 35 points.

Or don't track Xp and award the party a level-up after the module is over.

Kira3696.Tripod.Com
Psikerlord
Joined Mar 2007
2488 Posts
I just made a table of the monsters in the bestiary, with their level and their XP value. While attempting to mark them as "easy", "average", and "hard", I noticed that the XP values simply go up with level; there is nothing similar to a "solo" or a "minion" past the first levels. This creates something odd at higher levels: you have to use much lower enemies to stock a full fight, even one of an average difficulty level, unless you want to just use singular monsters (which we all know get torn down by the PCs very quickly).

Just to grab a random level, and a monster I like, here's what the xp budget looks like. I'll use a party of 4, because that just feels nice and standard.

A party of 4 level 12 PCs have an xp budget of 5,600 for easy, 8,400 for average, and 16,400 for tough.

Level 12 monsters range from 5,310 to 6,340 xp. That's not a very large spectrum of xp values at that point; the high is only 19% larger than the low (when the high at level 1 was 100% larger than the low).

Worse still, you can't even use 2 of these creatures for an "average" encounter; you could use 3 for a tough encounter, though. In order to do a typical 4v4 fight, you will need to use level 8 opponents (of which I only have the Succubus to compare).

While bounded accuracy enables us to use creatures for longer, the rapid scaling of HP and Damage means low level monsters just aren't threatening. At least minions were dealing 1/2 their level appropriate damage, and you got 4 of them, and their defenses were even, in 4E.

Just use 2 for an average encounter. It is only a rough guide. In fact inevitably after a few fights you get a feel for where your party is compared to the average power curve and you'll end up adjusting things anyway to suit your table.
how about we go back to dms making encounters based on the partys skill and abilitites and not generic abstract numbers. it would take the dm more time to make stuff to run but the results would be more in line with the needs of seperate groups.
Emerikol
Joined Dec 1969
Keep in mind folks that the numbers for monsters are pretty rough right now.  They are focused on other things.   I believe they will work harder at getting the monsters somewhere good once they've nailed down the basics of the game.