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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Save progression is given in the Swords & Wizardry rules, and is reprinted here for the sake of consistency.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
|HD||AC [AAC]||SV||Minor Dmg||Moderate Dmg||Major Dmg|