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Are CRs redoundant?

WSmith

First Post
Time to kick the hornet's nest! :D

Something got me thinking about CRs. In theory, they are supposed to give lower class characters higher XP for more powerful monsters. In turn, Higher powered PCs would get less XP for slaying less powerful monsters. You do the chart thing and then give out the XP dependant upon the chart. I agree with the concept.

But is it redoundant? The reason I ask is this. In prior editions, classes used different XP tables to advance in levels. When Monsters had a fixed XP, that would be divided among the members. Killing an Orc ment more to a thief than a magic-user, cause he advances in levels quicker. So a fixed XP monster could skew the progression a tad, and provide incongruity among classes.

Now, with all characters using the same XP advancement table, killing and orc means just as much to a rogue as a wizard. HERE is where my question stems. The intent of CRs as I said above is to try to distribute XP between the realitive power of the PCs and monsters. If a monster has a fixed XP, and a low level (1st lvl) group gains 350 XP a piece for an encounter, those XP help them advance much quicker than if a higher level (10th lvl say) group over came the same monster. So is there really a need to do all that chart stuff?

Maybe there is an aspect of CRs I misunderstand, which if is the case please point it out. Thank you. :D
 

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Agamon

Adventurer
Now, with all characters using the same XP advancement table, killing and orc means just as much to a rogue as a wizard. HERE is where my question stems. The intent of CRs as I said above is to try to distribute XP between the realitive power of the PCs and monsters. If a monster has a fixed XP, and a low level (1st lvl) group gains 350 XP a piece for an encounter, those XP help them advance much quicker than if a higher level (10th lvl say) group over came the same monster. So is there really a need to do all that chart stuff?

Maybe I didn't plug my brain in today, but what exactly are you saying here?

I do know, XPs aside, CRs are good for a quick judge of the power of a monster (unless of course, it's a dragon :rolleyes: ).
 

Zerovoid

First Post
I think I agree with you on this. If everything is worth the same, a low lever character is already learning more, since they gain a greater percentage of what they need to reach the next level. If a high level character kills something wimpy, the xp is insignifigant.

I guess WOTC just wanted to emphasize this aspect even more, but I can't see why. I guess the idea is that if something is really wimpy, then even a linear relationship can't adequetly express its lack of ability to damage you, or something.
 

Fayredeth

First Post
Another part of the CR system that you seem to forget is that the designers wanted it so that at approximately the correct CR level for the characters, the characters would advance in level after about 13 encounters. So if a group of higher level characters go around hacking orcs all the time, it's going to take a lot more orcs, and they will get better at hacking those orcs until they don't break a sweat. With the current system, it incorporates that idea that they will eventually be so experienced with dealing with the less powerful creatures that there is no battle experience benefit, and thus no experience points are awarded. Under the fixed-point system, no matter how many orcs you slaughter, even if your 20th level and have hacked orcs all the way up there for the past decade, you will still "learn" just as much from the next orc as you did from the last.

But beyond that, it doesn't change things much. :D
 

WSmith

First Post
Fayredeth said:
Another part of the CR system that you seem to forget is that the designers wanted it so that at approximately the correct CR level for the characters, the characters would advance in level after about 13 encounters.

Humm. That does make some sense. For some odd reason I never recall hearing this before. It must have been the lemoncurry. :D
 

graydoom

First Post
I think one reason for the way WotC did it was to implement diminishing returns... to make it so 20th level characters couldn't gain exp by killing hordes of weak monsters.
 

kenjib

First Post
Another alternate way to do it would have been something like this:

XP needed per level = 1000

XP Awards:

CR = Party Level -5 or lower: 0
CR = Party Level -4: 15
CR = Party Level -3: 30
CR = Party Level -2: 45
CR = Party Level -1: 60
CR = Party Level: 75
CR = Party Level + 1: 100
CR = Party Level + 2: 125
CR = Party Level + 3: 150
CR = Party Level + 4: 175
CR = Party Level + 5 or higher: 200
 

Terraism

Explorer
kenjib said:
Another alternate way to do it would have been something like this:

XP needed per level = 1000

XP Awards:

CR = Party Level -5 or lower: 0
CR = Party Level -4: 15
CR = Party Level -3: 30
CR = Party Level -2: 45
CR = Party Level -1: 60
CR = Party Level: 75
CR = Party Level + 1: 100
CR = Party Level + 2: 125
CR = Party Level + 3: 150
CR = Party Level + 4: 175
CR = Party Level + 5 or higher: 200

I'm assuming that these are percentages? If so, I like the idea, though having the CR equal to the party level worth only 75% percent of normal seems a bit odd. Even so, I tend to like the CR system, though I'll admit the inaccuracies that crop up are a bit annoying.

Gee, as soon as I posted it I read the first line and saw exactly what you meant... gee - the chart makes much more sense now. I think this would work, except for the fact that advancement isn't the only thing that relies on level - spells and items do too. I think it'd be much harder to scale spells and items if every level required the same amount of 'new' XP to advance - as is, a spell that uses 5000 XP (read, wish) has that amount because then it can't be used by low level casters - they can't use something that'll drain so much of their XP that they'll lose a level. (Yes, I know that the actual level of the spell is above them, but I believe there are ways of circumventing that.) Furthermore, item creation costs are designed to be somewhat trivial for high-level casters, but take a major chunk from lower levels. With this method, an object that costs 500 XP to make would take the same 'oomph' from a 15th level wizard as a 5th. (I think the point is better made here.)

What I'd really like to see from Wizards is perhaps a nicely done 5-10 page web supplement detailing CRs, how they're calculated, and better guidelines. On the other hand, considering how off Wizard's seems to be sometimes it might be better to have someone else do that. Upper Krust seems to have the upper level of CR worked out quite well... paging! :)
 

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mmu1

First Post
What you're saying made sense under 2nd edition, where you needed, what, 250 or 500 times more XP to go up from 19 to 20 than to go up from 1 to 2 - whereas in 3rd edition, it's only 19 times as much experience... So without the whole CR system and the chart, it would actually be absurdly easy to go through the high-levels by killing lower-level monsters. Assuming you could get a DM to let you get away with it, that is...
 

Zerovoid

First Post
I've thought about the CR system some more, and I guess it is needed. With the old system in 2e, where you needed double for each level, the constant xp system worked. It looks like the cr system doesn't work, if we just look at goblins and 20th level characters. The problem is, since it now takes a linear amount of xp to raise levels, it would only take twice as many 10th level monsters to get from 19th to 20th level as it would 20th level monsters. Obviously, the 10th level monsters are no threat at all.

To have constant xp, you need some sort of nonlinear system, so that you gain the same % of the xp you need for your next level for killing a monster with a given CR difference, no matter what level you are.
 

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Sulimo

First Post
re: CR's redundant?

I've often wondered about this. Especially in the case of games where the amount of magic items and spells were significantly lower than the standard.
 

Ravellion

serves Gnome Master
Agamon said:


Maybe I didn't plug my brain in today, but what exactly are you saying here?

I do know, XPs aside, CRs are good for a quick judge of the power of a monster (unless of course, it's a dragon :rolleyes: ).

LOL! Just DM'ed a CR10 Black adult today... was worth just as much XP as the three random chimeras on the way back to the strong hold.

Black Dragon: 8 round fight, druid almost died, Wizard completely out of spells, everyone playing their best.

Chimeras: "Chaaaaarge!" (2 rounds later) "The same XP as the Dragon!? You've got to be kidding!"

Rav
 

kenjib

First Post
That's a good point about the XP cost for creating magic items and spells Terraism. It does cause a problem. I don't really like the idea of using XP as an expendable currency to start with though. There's that really stupid rule about how you can't expend XP on a spell or magic item if it would take you below your current level. How the heck do you explain that one in non-metagame terms? Get rid of this rule though, and you introduce some other problems that might need to be addressed.

I think there should be a different mechanism for limiting magic item creation and spell use other than XP drain, but I'm not sure what the best way to do it would be. Yeah, a seemingly simple change like what I pointed out has some far reaching consequences. Oh well.
 

Squire James

First Post
Don't hold your breath waiting for WoTC to come up with a comprehensive CR document (unless you're an air genasi, of course). It's pretty obvious to me that their monster CR's are guesses based on (at best) playtesting against parties of various levels.
 

Henry@home

First Post
Both Skip Williams and Piratecat have said as much, at different locations, so it is apparently true. There were many playtesters involved with testing CR's on monsters, and from descriptions it sounds like it was done about the way a novice at cooking learns how to bake a cake: End result - 12 ruined cakes in the garbage, and 1 beautiful cake on the kitchen table. :)
 

William Ronald

First Post
I thought that WoTC was leaning more towards the ECL as introduced in the Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting.

One thing I would like to see is something to detail how to reward experience points for military battles. Hmm, maybe a supplement called Total War. (There are some situations where I can see awarding experience points for fighting large numbers of low level creatures. I recall that Honorius, a roman, stood on a narrow bridge and fought lesser opponents one man at a time until the friendly troops arrive. I think a character should get some credit for trying to be heroic.)
 

Numion

First Post
Another advantage of the CR system is that it allows for easy calculation of classed mosnter XP awards. Giving a´kobold a level of barbarian and giving a Dragon a level of barbarian are very different things. The CR system accounts for this in regards of the XP awarded.

Some people think that the CR system is broken if you give levels to monster, so go figure...
 

Fenes

First Post
I don't use CR's to give out XP, only to judge the power of a craeture, and since I don't follow the wealth guidelines too closely, not even often at that.
I don't care about how much xp a classed minotaur should give, or what classes it should have. I develop an adventure, and give out xp when it is finished. Doesn't matter if the PCs won or lost, if the slaughtered the foes or outhought them. For that there are in-game rewards like fame and fortune. XP will accumulate no matter the luck or skill of the players, and at a rate set by the DM and the group.
 

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graydoom

First Post
Seconding what Fenes said, you don't have to use the CR to determine XP. You can just use it to estimate whether the monster would be a good challenge, and then award however much XP you want to award. This has the benefit of advancing the PCs at the rate you think they should advance.
 

JoeGKushner

First Post
I hate the CR/XP system in 3.0 and in 3.5. The table is taken perhaps directly form Rolemaster. The idea that all classes advance at the same time, once again, from Rolemaster.

I'm old school and remember when xp was class based. That's okay in some ways as the classes certainly had a wide range of power variancy which isn't quite as bad now but monsters had a variable value based on it's actual hit points. Then TSR decided people were stupid and just gave flat XP awards. Now it's the Rolemaster system where the XP awards are variable based on the level of the characters fighting it.

Well, that's fine, but why not complete the route with all of the xp awards that were available in rolemaster for skill use? For spell use? For all the little things like dying and coming back.

The system in 3.5 (Forgotten Realms variant) works and I'm glad that they're able to advance lower leverl characters faster but it's still pretty unelegant.

Perhaps common xp values need to be provided under the challenge rating in monster books with a division value next ot it? Like:

CR 1 Party Size Divided XP
1-3 300 4 75
1-3 300 4 60

Ext...
 

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