Monday, April 05, 2010

Swords & Wizardry: A Monster Analysis Table, By Hit Dice...

Good Morning, All:

For my 101st post on this blog, I thought I'd do something special. At the end of this post is a table I've created as part of my analysis of Swords & Wizardry in regards to suggested monster stats. I calculated the data based on the following assumptions:

  1. After a cursory review, the base number of Hit Dice for a given Challenge Rating in 3E, which indicates roughly the average party level equivalent for a given monster, appears relatively consistent with the same number of Hit Dice for an equivalent challenge in Swords & Wizardry.
  2. Using the average Hit Dice per Challenge Rating as indicated in Bad Axe Game's Trailblazer tables, I can adequately assign a basic character level to each Hit Dice.
  3. Using the Fighting-Man's attack rolls at each character level, and assuming that the average monster probably should require about a 12 on the d20 to hit it, I can determine the base AC and thus the base Ascending AC for a given Hit Die value.
  4. Save progression is given in the Swords & Wizardry rules, and is reprinted here for the sake of consistency.
  5. Using the Cleric as the median character in terms of hit points, it is possible to calculate the number of hitpoints an average character can have at each character level.
  6. A suggested minor damage value can be calculated from the base hitpoints for a character of the appropriate level such that four average uses of that damage should disable the average character. That value can be converted to a given die type (with preference towards d6s). When dealing with fractions, round down so as to favor the character.
  7. A suggested moderate damage value can be calculated as per minor damage values, save that only three average uses of that damage should disable the average character.
  8. A suggested major damage value can be calculated as per minor damage values, save that only two average uses of that damage should disable the average character.

The suggested values are simply that, suggestions. I wouldn't move the AC more than four points higher or lower than these suggested values, but that's simply my thoughts on the matter.

In regards to the Minor, Moderate and Major Damage suggested values, these are simply provided as a suggestion for gauging the relative power of a special ability. As I tend to look at the life expectancy of a monster at around three rounds, at least at lower levels, I will tend to use the Moderate Damage as my guideline. For powerful breath weapons, the Major Damage category works well for creating a nasty surprise and a deep respect for the creature. Minor damage should be reserved for things that you don't want to be incapacitating, but something that's different from the usual claw-claw-bite routine.

I don't know how useful this might be for your own monster creation efforts, but as I wanted to do it for my own monster work, I figure that I should at least share the effort in case it helps others. If you don't find it useful, it won't hurt my feelings at all.

Table: Suggested Monster Stats By Hit Dice, Swords & Wizardry
HDAC [AAC]SVMinor DmgModerate DmgMajor Dmg
18 [11]171d41d61d8
27 [12]161d41d61d8
37 [12]141d61d82d6
46 [13]131d62d63d6
56 [13]121d62d63d6
65 [14]112d63d64d6
75 [14]92d63d65d6
84 [15]83d64d67d6
93 [16]64d65d68d6
103 [16]54d65d68d6
112 [17]44d66d69d6
121 [18]35d66d610d6
130 [19]35d67d610d6
140 [19]35d67d611d6
15-1 [20]35d67d611d6
16-1 [20]35d67d611d6
17-2 [21]36d68d612d6
18-2 [21]36d68d612d6
19-3 [22]36d68d613d6
20-4 [23]36d69d613d6
21-4 [23]36d69d613d6
22-5 [24]37d69d614d6
23-5 [24]37d69d614d6
24-6 [25]37d610d615d6
25-6 [25]37d610d615d6
26-6 [25]37d610d615d6
27-7 [26]37d610d615d6
28-7 [26]38d610d616d6
29-8 [27]38d611d616d6
30-8 [27]38d611d617d6

Enjoy,
Flynn

1 comment:

Russell Bailey said...

This is fascinating, and very useful in my own efforts.

One of the things I'm asking myself about my sekrit project is to what extent preserving the math of existing D&D is valuable. So it's valuable to see an analysis of that math.