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Equating AD&D 2e XP to 5th edition CR

Quickleaf

Legend
I've been converting AD&D 2e monsters to 5th edition recently, and did some XP Value to Challenge Rating comparisons that others might find useful. I use it to guesstimate the Challenge Rating I should aim for when converting monsters from AD&D 2e.

Three things before I get into the meat of it...

1. This is just a comparison, not a scientific conversion tool.
[sblock]This is just a comparison using the very handy Monster Sorter (see www.mouseferatu.com) created by [MENTION=1288]Mouseferatu[/MENTION]. For actual conversion I use both James Bowman's Simple Conversion Guides and [MENTION=84774]surfarcher[/MENTION]'s blog: http://surfarcher.blogspot.com/.[/sblock]

2. Discrepancies do occur.
[sblock]Discrepancies do occur. In part this is because AD&D XP Values are only roughly accurate representations of the threat a monster will present to the party; in particular some of the higher level monsters can be off by a couple thousand XP. To compensate for this I focused my comparison as much as possible on monsters with sub-types that fall into hierarchies (e.g. devils, dinosaurs, giants, hags, etc). In part, this is also due to the bounded accuracy tightening monsters toward the center; in particular, humanoid monsters with low XPs have been given a boost in 5e.[/sblock]

3. Focuses exclusively on 2e to 5e conversion.
[sblock]I'm not paying attention to 3e and 4e monsters for the purposes of this comparison. However, when discrepancies arise, one of places I'd look for explanation is whether the monster was vastly downgraded or upgraded in 3e or 4e, and possibly 5e is carrying that change over. Also, when converting monsters, it is always a good idea to examine the monster across multiple editions.[/sblock]

Ok, let's get into the comparison...

CR 1/8 includes monsters like Flumph, Kobold, Manes*, Merfolk, Monodrone, Poisonous Snake, and Stirge. 2e XP values range from 7 to 420 (the Manes being an outlier at 975) and are all over the place.

CR 1/4 includes monsters like Bullywug, Dretch*, Duodrone, Giant Poisonous Snake, Steam Mephit, Goblin, and Pterandon. 2e XP values range from 15 to 420 (the Dretch being an outlier at 1,400) and are all over the place.

CR 1/2 includes monsters like Cockatrice, Giant Wasp, Gray Ooze, Hobgoblin, Magma Mephit, and Tridrone. 2e XP values range from 35 to 650, with 270 the most common.

CR 1 includes monsters like Bugbear, Fire Snake (Salamander), Giant Spider, Ghoul, Imp/Quasit, Quadrone. 2e XP values range from 120 to 2,000, with most falling in the 175 to 650 range.

CR 2 includes monsters like Ogre, Giant Constrictor Snake, Pentadrone, Sea Hag, Spined Devil, and Wererat. 2e XP values range from 270 to 3,000, with most falling in the 650 to 1,400 range.

CR 3 includes monsters like Ankylosaurus, Bearded Devil*, Green Hag, Phase Spider, Spectator (Beholder), Werewolf, and Wight. 2e XP values range from 420 to 4,000 (the Bearded Devil is an outlier at 6,000), with 1,400 the most common.

CR 4 includes monsters like Banshee, Black Pudding, Bone Naga, Lamia, Shadow Demon, Succubus/Incubus*, Wereboar/Weretiger. 2e XP values range from 650 to 4,000 (the Succubus is an outlier at 11,000), with 2,000 being the most common.

CR 5 includes monsters like Barlgura, Barbed Devil, Flesh Golem, Hill Giant, Night Hag*, Triceratops, and Werebear. 2e XP values range from 1,400 to 8,000 (the Night Hag is an outlier at 12,000), with 3,000 being the most common.

CR 6 includes monsters like the Chasme(*?), Chimera, Cyclops, Drider, Galeb Dhur, Mammoth, Medusa, and Vrock*. 2e XP values range from 2,000 to 10,000 (the Vrock is an outlier at 19,000, and possibly the Chasme too at 14,000), with about 5,000 being the most common.

CR 7 includes monsters like Blue Slaad, Giant Ape, Mind Flayer, ONI (Ogre Mage), Stone Giant, and Yuan-ti Abomination. Comparison is a bit tricky because there aren't many CR 7 monsters in the MM, and because there is no AD&D 2e Giant Ape that I can find, and Yuan-ti have "Variable" XP. All I can say for now is that the most common 2e XP value seems to be 9,000.

CR 8 includes monsters like Chain Devil (Kyton), Frost Giant, Green Slaad, Hezrou, Spirit Naga, and Tyrannosaurus Rex. 2e XP values range from 5,000 to 14,000, and cover that whole range pretty evenly.

CR 9 includes monsters like Bone Devil, Clay Golem, Cloud Giant, Fire Giant, Glabrezu, and Gray Slaad. 2e XP values range from 5,000 to 15,000, though most falling in the 7,000 to 12,000 range.

CR 10 includes monsters like Aboleth, Death Slaad*, Deva, Guardian Naga, Stone Golem, and Yochlol. 2e XP values range from 5,000 to 15,000 (the Death Slaad is an outlier at 22,000), with too few CR 10 monsters to determine the most common range.

CR 11 includes monsters like Behir, Genie (Dao, Djinn, Efreet, Marid), Gynosphinx*, Horned Devil (Cornungon), Remorhaz, and Roc. 2e XP values range from 5,000 to 16,000 (the Gynosphinx being an outlier at only 3,000), with most falling into the 8,000 to 10,000 range.

CR 12 includes monsters like Arcanoloth, Erinyes, and...that's it! The 2e Erinyes is worth 7,000 XP and the 2e Arcanoloth 20,000. Too few CR 12 monsters to determine the range.

CR 13 includes monsters like Adult White Dragon, Beholder, Nalfeshnee, Rakshasa (I used the "Rukh/Rajah" XP value), Storm Giant, Vampire, and Ultraloth. 2e XP values range from 7,000 to 25,000, with most falling in the 8,000 to 14,000 range. Note that the 25,000 Ultraloth may or may not be an outlier.

CR 14 includes monsters like Adult Black Dragon, Death Tyrant (Beholder), Ice Devil, and...that's it! Their 2e XP values are 13,000 and 13,000 and 19,000, respectively. Too few CR 14 monsters to determine the range. Interestingly, the undead Beholder is more powerful in 5th edition, whereas in 2e it was worth only 13,000 compared to the Beholder's 14,000.

CR 15 includes monsters like Adult Green Dragon, upgraded Vampire Spellcaster/Warrior, and...that's it! The 2e XP value of the dragon is 14,000 and the upgraded Vampire would probably be worth at least as much as an Eastern Vampire (9,000). Again, too few CR 15 monsters to determine a range.

CR 16 includes monsters like Adult Silver Dragon, Iron Golem, Marilith, Planetar, and...that's it! The 2e XP values range from 13,000 to 23,000, with too few CR 16 monsters to determine the most common bandwidth within that range.

CR 17 includes monsters like Adult Red Dragon, Androsphinx, Death Knight, Dracolich (Blue Adult), Dragon Turtle, and Goristro. The 2e XP values range from 6,000 to 23,000, with too few CR 17 monsters to determine the most common range. My hunch is the Androsphinx and Death Knight have been given a power boost in 5th edition, so the more realistic lower XP range would be the Dragon Turtle (10,000).

CR 18 includes monsters like the Demilich...and that's it! The Demilich's 2e XP value is 10,000, so who knows what the appropriate XP range for this CR is!

CR 19 includes monsters like the Balor...and crickets! Kidding! The Balor's 2e XP value is 26,000, so who know what the appropriate XP range for this CR is!

CR 20 includes monsters like Ancient Brass Dragon, Ancient White Dragon, Pit Fiend...and that's it! For comparing XP values I treat "ancient dragon" as 2e "wyrm." 2e XP values range from 18,000 to 21,000.

CR 21 includes monsters like Ancient Black Dragon, Ancient Copper Dragon, Lich, and Solar. 2e XP values range from 19,000 to 32,000 (the Lich is an outlier at 8,000 XP, and for all I know the Solar at 32,000 may be an outlier too).

CR 22 includes monsters like Ancient Bronze Dragon, Ancient Green Dragon...and that's it. Their 2e XP values are 24,000 and 21,000 respectively.

CR 23 includes monsters like Ancient Blue Dragon, Ancient Silver Dragon, Empyrean ("Titan" in 2e)...and that's it! Their 2e XP values range from 21,000 to 23,000.

CR 24 includes monsters like Ancient Gold Dragon, Ancient Red Dragon...and that's it! Their 2e XP values are 24,000 and 23,000 respectively.

CR 30 includes one monster: the Tarrasque. Its 2e XP value is a whopping 107,000!!!
 
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Barolo

First Post
Hi, [MENTION=20323]Quickleaf[/MENTION], just out of curiosity, some monsters in 2e, while having pretty much the same stats on different sources, had different xp values. For instance, the Pit Fiend and Balor had highly inflated xp values in the monstrous manual, quite different from Planescape. Did one source errata the other, or was there an sourcebook hierarchy, that you used to select the xp values?
 

Quickleaf

Legend
Hi, [MENTION=20323]Quickleaf[/MENTION], just out of curiosity, some monsters in 2e, while having pretty much the same stats on different sources, had different xp values. For instance, the Pit Fiend and Balor had highly inflated xp values in the monstrous manual, quite different from Planescape. Did one source errata the other, or was there an sourcebook hierarchy, that you used to select the xp values?
To be honest, I'm not sure about that answer. I no longer own any AD&D books besides a few Al-Qadim and Planescape books/boxes, maybe one or two more, but I gave most of my gaming collection to my friend's younger brother when I moved to Colorado for college in '98. These days, my gaming library is more digital than physical.

I know what you're talking about, however. Generally later books superseded older books, so the AD&D 1e Monster Manual (1977) was superseded by the AD&D 2e Monstrous Compendium (1989). Then there was the Outer Planes Monstrous Appendix (1991) but I can't recall if there were XP discrepancies there. And then all of that was superseded by the AD&D 2e Monstrous Manual (1993), which I thought would have been the same as Planescape (released in 1994).

I'd need to see the stats side by side to figure out the rationale. AD&D usually was a bit more opaque but there was some reasoning behind the XP values.

EDIT: To be clear, for the planar monsters I used the Planescape Monstrous Compendium Appendix (1994) for their AD&D 2e XP values.

EDIT EDIT: Also, it's worth mentioning that I made that thread BEFORE the 5e Monster Manual was released. What I use it for is when converting a monster from AD&D 2e > 5e, it gives me a sense of the ballpark destination CR for that monster.
 
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Celebrim

Legend
I think you've mostly just shown why conversion between systems is hard or impossible.

Anyone familiar with the 1e or 2e attributes of the Death Slaad and the Yochlol would know that they are monsters of vastly different lethality and potential challenge, and that the range of characters with which you would challenge with one or the other is quite different. A Death Slaad is by no means an outlier in context of its XP and challenge in 2e. Nor is it necessarily the case that it's CR is wrong in 5e given the monster's attributes.

The outlier is really the difference in the power of the two different monsters between editions. They are both called 'Death Slaad', but in the process you've gone from a monster that was designed to provide a challenge to characters above 'name level' where the game was presumed to be almost over, to a monster designed to provide challenge to characters in the middle of their careers. I don't think any 1e or 2e player would intuitively think of a Balor as being vastly more powerful than a Death Slaad, Arcanaloth or an Ultraloth, when in fact those later monsters were added to the game based on play testing that suggested a party of high level characters needed vastly more potent foes than originally existed. What we've seen over time is a vast increase in relative power of a Balor, and now in 5e, a vast decrease in the power of Death Slaad, Arcanaloths, and Ultraloths. And since that was probably intentional, I don't think that there is even a ballpark to bash a conversion in. Some of that change (power up of the Balor) happened in 3e, but I'd guess most of the change (power down of an Arcanaloth or Death Slaad) is a product of 5e reflavoring or repowering monsters.

I'm not hugely familiar with 5e, but the best example of this deliberate re-powering of monsters in 5e I can think of is the Flind, which in earlier editions was basically a creature only one step of challenge above an ordinary gnoll - as a hobgoblin was to a goblin perhaps. But in 5e a monster with the same name is a not the same monster at all, but is to a gnoll more what a barghest is (was?) to a goblin.

Basically, what you have to deal with in each edition change is a certain amount of house rules becoming canon, where the designers decide to bring their own ideas of how powerful or cool a monster should be into the game, and what changes would best reflect how they see the monster.
 
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S'mon

Legend
Agree with Celebrim. One thing I've noticed running Pathfinder adventures in 5e is that even when the monster is statted in 5e, often the CR is far different. An extreme case on Sunday was a Coatl - CR 10 in Pathfinder, CR 3 in 5e. So I had to use a conversion of the PF stats, which worked ok. It does mean my PF Bestiary sees continued use!
 

Davelozzi

Explorer
Agree with Celebrim. One thing I've noticed running Pathfinder adventures in 5e is that even when the monster is statted in 5e, often the CR is far different. An extreme case on Sunday was a Coatl - CR 10 in Pathfinder, CR 3 in 5e. So I had to use a conversion of the PF stats, which worked ok. It does mean my PF Bestiary sees continued use!
How much effort are you finding that PFRPG to 5e conversion takes? Was it a pain in the butt?


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S'mon

Legend
How much effort are you finding that PFRPG to 5e conversion takes? Was it a pain in the butt?
Takes a bit of effort compared to using written 5e stats, but much easier than using PF stats for Pathfinder. :) I can do it ad hoc if necessary, though not ideal - eg on Sunday during the game I realised I had no stats for some scrimshaw golem critter & had to call up the PF stats on my phone & quickly convert... ended up having too low DPR for the CR, but still useable.

Generally, using 5e MM stats works best when practicable, but converted PF stats still work well - much better than trying to create 5e monsters from scratch via the DMG rules.
 


Ath-kethin

Elder Thing
How much effort are you finding that PFRPG to 5e conversion takes? Was it a pain in the butt?
Jumping in out of nowhere: when I want to convert a creature that has PFRPG stats, I use this converter: http://marklenser.com/5econverter/

You literally copy the Pathfinder statistics and dump them into the box, and it spits out a 5e conversion for you.

Often the resulting creature needs some tweaking, but it's a fast and effective way of getting started.
 

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