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Question about Trailblazer statistical charts.

Oryan77

Adventurer
I've recently started reading the Trailblazer: New Horizons in 3.5 RP pdf for the first time (I've skimmed it before, just never sat down and read it).

I wanted to jot down some notes for myself in regards to making sure I'm balancing things correctly in my own game. But I have a couple of questions about the charts in the pdf:

1. On page 9, table 1-3: Monster Attack Progression vs Player Character AC, is the column "Total AC" a good guide to follow to make sure the PCs AC is 'average' for their level on the first column "PC level vs CR"? I want to make sure that I provide enough AC boosting items to the PCs so nobody is way under powered. And I'd like to get an idea for what type of AC is way over powered per level.

2a. On page 11, table 1-5: Player Character Saves vs. Monster DCs, does the column labeled "Monster DC trend" mean that those are the average DC checks that PCs would need to beat according to their level in the first column labeled "PC level vs CR"? So at PC level 1, the average monster DC will be a 12? Is this a good chart to refer to when making up my own DCs for traps and things? So if a trap is a CR1, an average DC for it could be a 12?

2b. Can I also use this chart (Total Poor Save & Total Good Save columns) to gauge the PCs saves in order to tell if they are under powered or over powered?

3. On page 13, the table named "Major / Minor Magic Item Choices, does this chart make a good guide for knowing what levels PC should have enhancement bonus items at? So give out +1 items up through 5th level, but by 6-8th levels, they should have a few +2 items, and by 9th-11 level, they should now have some +3 items? I want to make sure they aren't just using +1 items with no +2 items far too late into their career, or using higher plus items too early in their career.
 

Wulf Ratbane

Villager
1. On page 9, table 1-3: Monster Attack Progression vs Player Character AC, is the column "Total AC" a good guide to follow to make sure the PCs AC is 'average' for their level on the first column "PC level vs CR"? I want to make sure that I provide enough AC boosting items to the PCs so nobody is way under powered. And I'd like to get an idea for what type of AC is way over powered per level.
The TOTAL AC column is a good column for comparisons against a PC who focuses on keeping his AC high. Note, for example, that it includes a heavy shield; including a magic shield bonus as levels advance. For a character who doesn't use a shield, you're going to eventually fall behind by 7 AC (+2 for the shield and +5 in magic bonuses).

You may find that a more useful column is the Monster Attack Bonus. This column lists the average attack bonus for a monster at any given CR. If you want your PC to get hit only about 30% of the time (meaning the monster needs to roll a 15 or better to hit them) then the players want to get their AC to 15+ the number listed there. If you want the players to get hit about half the time (roll 11+) then shoot for an AC of 11+ the number listed there.

Note that there's an awful lot of wiggle room here. Not all monsters will have exactly that attack bonus (it is an average, after all); not all players should be expected to have tip-top gear at all times; not all monsters will attack AC directly (there's also touch AC to worry about). And depending on what kind of gear you give out (is mithril on your agenda?) some players will be able to exceed the ACs listed there.

I just make sure to dish out one set of top line gear, over time; let the players worry about whether they funnel it all to their party tank (putting all their eggs in one basket so to speak) or spread it around, how they handle hand-me-downs, and so on.

2a. On page 11, table 1-5: Player Character Saves vs. Monster DCs, does the column labeled "Monster DC trend" mean that those are the average DC checks that PCs would need to beat according to their level in the first column labeled "PC level vs CR"? So at PC level 1, the average monster DC will be a 12? Is this a good chart to refer to when making up my own DCs for traps and things? So if a trap is a CR1, an average DC for it could be a 12?
Yep, yep, yep, and yep.

2b. Can I also use this chart (Total Poor Save & Total Good Save columns) to gauge the PCs saves in order to tell if they are under powered or over powered?
Yes. The problem with saving throws, however, is not how the PCs perform on average against run-of-the-mills saves. It's that the time that the Saving Throw mechanic sucks the most is against the player with the worst save who just rolled a really low roll against an effect that is really really bad. At times like that: Gosh, the system seems really broken and unfair.

Action Points are really better at addressing "catastrophic edge cases."

3. On page 13, the table named "Major / Minor Magic Item Choices, does this chart make a good guide for knowing what levels PC should have enhancement bonus items at? So give out +1 items up through 5th level, but by 6-8th levels, they should have a few +2 items, and by 9th-11 level, they should now have some +3 items? I want to make sure they aren't just using +1 items with no +2 items far too late into their career, or using higher plus items too early in their career.
Yes.
 

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