Oddities with the Experience Table

# Thread: Oddities with the Experience Table

1. ## Oddities with the Experience Table

The experience chart (PH, p. 29) seems a little... odd. It took me some playing around with the numbers to figure out what was bothering my inner mathematician.

After 2nd level, the amount of experience you need to gain a level goes up by 250 points (i.e., you need +1,000 to reach level 2, +1,250 to reach level 3, etc.). After four levels of this, the 'additional' amount increases to 500. About the point you'd expect this to continue, it gets extremely erratic on levels 11 (+1,500) and 12 (+500), then reverts back to +1,000 at 13th and 14th. Levels 15-18 add +2,000 each, and 19-20 start at +4,000 -- this implies the amount added doubles every four levels.

Except that level 21 adds +8,000, and 22 adds +3,000. After that little bit of weirdness, it does +10,000 for four levels, and +25,000 for the last four.

Clearly, there was a pattern here, but it looks like they mangled it a bit halfway to make the numbers look pretty and end up with an even million at 30th level. Those changes result in some really weird differences, and though overall there is a gradual increase in XP costs (including a rather sharp rise at level 23), if you made a chart of the XP table it would have a noticeable dip at level 22.

Just to see how it would play out, I took the implied progression and smoothed it out. I also took the idea that the increase would actually double every 4 levels, instead of having the last eight levels jump up by an arbitrary amount. (Both of these have the end-result of lowering the XP needed to reach level 30; the former by about 30K, the latter by about 175K.)

Granted, this last step was largely unnecessary, since there won't be any advancement past 30th level, but I included it as a thought experiment. I'd considered reworking it to use the last three parts (4K-10K-25K), and have the increase go up by 2.5× each time, but the results were unreadable.

The first 10 levels are identical (they don't start doing weird things with it until 11th). From 11th to 20th level, the variant methods only vary from the RAW by 500 XP. At 21st level, though, the difference jumps up to 4,500 XP, and increases by another 3,000 each level. (With the doubling method, the difference goes up even more at 23rd level and beyond.)

Here's a rough chart of the results; the first column is from the RAW, the second removes the 'jagged' parts, and the third assumes a simple doubling every time. The numbers on the latter two look funny, but the progression itself is easier to predict.

Code:
RAW    Smooth   Doubler
1          0         0         0
2      1,000     1,000     1,000
3      2,250     2,250     2,250
4      3,750     3,750     3,750
5      5,500     5,500     5,500
6      7,500     7,500     7,500
7     10,000    10,000    10,000
8     13,000    13,000    13,000
9     16,500    16,500    16,500
10     20,500    20,500    20,500
11     26,000    25,500    25,500 <- 500 XP difference
12     32,000    31,500    31,500
13     39,000    38,500    38,500
14     47,000    46,500    46,500
15     57,000    56,500    56,500
16     69,000    68,500    68,500
17     83,000    82,500    82,500
18     99,000    98,500    98,500
19    119,000   118,500   118,500
20    143,000   142,500   142,500
21    175,000   170,500   170,500 <- 4,500 XP difference
22    210,000   202,500   202,500 <- 7,500 XP difference
23    255,000   244,500   242,500 <- 10,500/12,500
24    310,000   296,500   290,500 <- 13,500/19,500
25    375,000   358,500   346,500 <- 16,500/28,500
26    450,000   430,500   410,500 <- 19,500/39,500
27    550,000   527,500   490,500 <- 22,500/59,500
28    675,000   649,500   586,500 <- 25,500/88,500
29    825,000   796,500   698,500 <- 28,500/126,500
30  1,000,000   968,500   826,500 <- 31,500/176,500

2. It makes a lot more sense if you look at monster XP by level. Starting at second level, the amount of XP you get from a standard monster goes up by 25, for 4 levels until you reach 5th for 200XP. Then the increase is by 50 for each level for 4 levels until you reach 9th. Then the increase is by 100 for 4 levels until you reach 13, etc. etc.

3. Why must there be an reason it must be an formula.. maybe they just like the numbers and looked if it wasnt that unbalanced..

4. 11th level is heroic --> paragon
21st level is paragon --> epic

5. I haven't yet looked at the Monster Manual. If I'm reading my notes correctly, it would seem to imply that 22nd-level monsters are worth less XP than 21st-level ones. (Or, at least, that the increase is less between 21-22 than it is from 20-21.)

I haven't yet looked at the Monster Manual. If I'm reading my notes correctly, it would seem to imply that 22nd-level monsters are worth less XP than 21st-level ones. (Or, at least, that the increase is less between 21-22 than it is from 20-21.)
The diffirence between 20th and 21st is 400 and the diffirence between 21st and 22nd is 950, so I dont understand what you are talking about.

7. Originally Posted by Oompa
Why must there be an reason it must be an formula.. maybe they just like the numbers and looked if it wasnt that unbalanced..
wait, wasn't one of the strength of 3e getting rid of all the "illogical" rules in the previous edition? so why is now cool to reintroduce designers' arbiter?!?

8. Originally Posted by Spell
wait, wasn't one of the strength of 3e getting rid of all the "illogical" rules in the previous edition? so why is now cool to reintroduce designers' arbiter?!?
But the math isnt random. The problem is that the OP is looking at it from the wrong end. Leveling up is not a strict function of accumulation of X amount of XP, even though mathematically thats what it comes down to. Leveling up is the end result of having 10 encounters of your level. In other words its the result of you gaining an amount of XP worth 1 monster of your level * 10. Obviously they didnt make up the amount of XP you need to level up before they made up the amount of XP a monster gives you if you defeat it. If you look at the monster progression chart you will see that there is a a basis to the madness and its not all random.

9. Originally Posted by ForbidenMaster
The diffirence between 20th and 21st is 400 and the diffirence between 21st and 22nd is 950, so I dont understand what you are talking about.
I guess I need to look at the charts for granting XP and see if they have any oddities. Give me a couple days -- I'm in the middle of a project right now, and don't know when I'll get a chance to look at the other two books (I've been mainly focusing on the PH).

I'll let you know how that analysis works as soon as I can.

10. The monster XP increases double every 4 levels, and then get wacky in the epic tier, so it wouldn't surprise me that player XP needed to level starts shooting up at that point as well.