Treasure and leveling comparisons: AD&D1, B/ED&D, and D&D3 - updated 11-17-08 (Q1)

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kaomera

Explorer
First of all: Wow, Quasqueton, quite an undertaking. I am impressed, and this is very thought-provoking...

I can't say that I'm incredibly surprised by the results. IMHO, AD&D "tops out" at a lot lower level than 3.x; specifically "name level" (10 to 14) tended to be the end-game, rather than approaching Epic (16-20).

Having said that (and aside from the real point of this topic, I know) I'd like to say that there are some very significant (IMHO) differences in AD&D / 3.x that don't show up directly in the numbers. First of all, 3.x tends to be more standardized. There are specific expectations built into the game as far as how many encounters are needed to level and PC wealth / magic item levels. A core-rules magic-item creation system is one of the big ones, you just didn't see many non-retired / NPC Magic Users in AD&D making any kind of magic items. Also, between the XP caps on going up more than one level at a time and training requirements (both of which I saw used in maybe 80%+ of the AD&D games I was involved with, IIRC) and the fact that most published modules did not seem to assume that PCs would uncover every last bit of treasure and/or play through every last encounter, I think that there was a lot more room in AD&D for deviations from the norm. (Of course, given that, the norm is still just that...) And in both systems I did (and still do) prefer a larger group, 6 to 8 being optimal, but don't expect every player to show up for every session.
 

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Quasqueton

First Post
Complication in treasure calculations

I'm working on another AD&D1 adventure module, and I've come to a complication in figuring gp values. Several treasure hoards in this adventure include unpriced gems and jewelry. For instance:
7,000 sp, 9,000 gp, 800 pp, 21 gems, 2 pieces of jewelry, 1 potion of . . .
To determine the gem and jewelry value, I have the charts on pages 25-26 in the AD&D1 DMG.

Gem base value chart summary:
01-25 = 10 gp base value
26-50 = 50 gp base value
51-70 = 100 gp
71-90 = 500 gp
91-99 = 1,000 gp
00 = 5,000 gp
This chart just gives the base value. A second chart determines if the gem in question is actually of higher or lower value than the base. (Interestingly, the odds are better that the value will increase than decrease.) But for this data collection, I'm just going to use the base value. Going further in the randomness is too complicated.

Jewelry base value chart summary:
01-10 = 100 - 1,000 gp base value
11-20 = 200 - 1,200 gp base value
21-40 = 300 - 1,800 gp
41-50 = 500 - 3,000 gp
51-70 = 1,000 - 6,000 gp
71-90 = 2,000 - 8,000 gp
91-00 = 2,000 - 12,000 gp
This chart, too, just gives the base value. After the base is determined, more rolls (a d10, a d8, and a d6) can increase (considerably) the value of the piece of jewelry (but never decrease). But, again, for this data collection, I'm just going to use the base value. Going further in the randomness is too complicated.

Now, I have a question for any and all probability gurus in the audience:

Looking at the two charts above, what would be the average value of a gem, and what would be the average value of a piece of jewelry?

Usually, I've been assuming an average roll for any random values -- say an item is said as "3 pieces of jewelry valued at 200 - 1,200 gp each", I'd use 700 gp each as the average. But when no value is given in the adventure text, the DMG charts are a bit more complicated.

I could just assume an average roll on the d% (51 or 55?), and then an average roll for the base value (3,500 for jewelry). This would mean all gems are worth 100 gp, and all jewelry are worth 3,500 gp. But would this be accurate?

Any math help would be appreciated.

Quasqueton
 

Use a weighted average.

Gem chart: 275 gp.

Jewelry chart: weighted average of the mean value for each roll result, = 2910 gp.

Edit:

Just in case weighted averages need explaining, for the gems it is:

[(25 instances of 10 gp) + (25 x 50) + (20 x 100) + (20 x 500) + (9 x 1000) + (1 x 5000)] divided by 100 instances = 275 gp average.
 
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Slife

First Post
I'll give them a weight based on their % chance of coming up, and average the jewelry's ranges.

For gems I get

(250 + 1250 + 2000 + 10000 +9000 + 5000)/100

= an average of 275 gp per gem.


For jewelry

Average values of range :
01-10 = 550
11-20 = 700
21-40 = 1050
41-50 = 1750
51-70 = 3500
71-90 = 5000
91-00 = 7000

(550+700+2100+1750+7000+10000+7000)/10

= 2910 gp average.
 

One more difference that the treasure analysis makes me wonder about: how closely distributed is the treasure in published modules to the "treasure standard" as reflected by the treasure tables in the DMGs?

I know the 3E designers (at least early on) took great pains not only to make sure encounter levels were appropriately distributed, but also that the treasure provided was appropriate to the EL. On the other hand, I've never really felt that the treasure distribution in 1E modules followed any sort of rule, and I suspected it didn't abide by the treasure tables -- it always felt more individually placed. But I'm not sure that is fact.

So the question is: at the end of each adventure, would the characters have wealth appropriate for their level, and does the treasure placement hold with the treasure type assignments?

I expect the first question can be answered from the data at hand, but the second requires in-depth analysis of individual encounters and is probably too tough to do.
 

00Machado

First Post
Quasqueton said:
If getting from 1st to 8th level took 40 game sessions, as I suggested above, (1 level per 5-6 game sessions), they could reach level 10 in about 52 game sessions, just as EGG said was proper in his mind/intention/experience.

The “release notes” from WotC on the reformulating of the D&D xp chart and rate, said that they wanted a group to be able to reach level 20 within 2 years. That would mean the group could reach level 10 in 1 year (52 weekly game sessions). (I’ve heard “2 years” and “18 months”, but I can’t find the information on the WotC Web site right now.)

I'm curious to know if this correlates to actual experience by those whove played the Paizo adventure paths. How long has it taken people to get through those? What was the frequency and duration of your play sessions?
 

the Jester

Legend
Olgar Shiverstone said:
One more difference that the treasure analysis makes me wonder about: how closely distributed is the treasure in published modules to the "treasure standard" as reflected by the treasure tables in the DMGs?

.... >snip< ....

So the question is: at the end of each adventure, would the characters have wealth appropriate for their level, and does the treasure placement hold with the treasure type assignments?

I expect the first question can be answered from the data at hand, but the second requires in-depth analysis of individual encounters and is probably too tough to do.

Not necessarily! You could look for creatures that were supposed to have treasure types that were somewhat specialized, such as Q (gems only) or T (scrolls only)... and if the creatures with those treasure types had other types of treasure, then you know that in that instance it didn't follow the tables! :)

I've been running a 1e pickup game from time to time lately, and I've been using the treasure tables a lot. It's fun. :)
 

SWBaxter

First Post
00Machado said:
I'm curious to know if this correlates to actual experience by those whove played the Paizo adventure paths. How long has it taken people to get through those? What was the frequency and duration of your play sessions?

Dunno about the adventure paths, but I found the pace was pretty accurate in Return to the Temple of Elemental Evil, which spans about 10 levels (4th to 14th or so) and took my group about a year to get through it (spread over two calendar years, we took breaks to play other stuff).
 


Ridley's Cohort

First Post
Baron Opal said:
One thing that I would like to throw out there is that the levels for the D&D3 party are rather appropriate given their environment. We see the party at 9th for the Steading, 11th for the Rift, and 13th for the Hall. I would say that this is even at the lower level of survivability for characters in this environment, translated to 3rd edition.

I ran a translation of the Steading for 15th level characters under 3.0. It was easy for them, but they still took a beating at the end. I guessed that after the fact a party at 12th level, again at 3.0e, would be the optimal starting level for a challenging game. It would be tough to run the Steading with a party of 9th level characters.

We went through Giants in a 3.0 game starting at 8th level with a ~8-9 PC party. We got butchered. The DM showed some mercy because the rate of losing XP from deaths was on average comparable to our rewards from victories, so he eased up on the death XP penalty and pushed us all up to 11th for G2.

I cannot brag about our performance in G1. The DM upped the difficulty slightly in a few ways. But I can say that a party of merely 6 9th level PCs can easily fail to complete this module. The combination of player mistakes being rewarded extremely swiftly with PC deaths at the hands of offense-heavy giants, and the fact you may get almost nothing in terms of monetary rewards until you secure the treasure trove means that the party may degrade in effectivenes as the module grinds on.

That campaign is on a back burner, but havign ground through about half the module, I can say 8 11th level PCs is about right for G2. 6 11th level PCs would have to play extremely smart play or they might fail outright, too.

The upgrading of the giants under 3e rules makes a huge difference.

Your average Hill Giant in 1e has 9d8 hit points and can theorectically be killed by a single lucky Fireball, certainly he will be dead or on death's door after 2 Fireballs. Your average 3.0 Hill Giant weighs in at ~100 HPs, and higher still in 3.5. Even with the harsher saving throws in 3e, the typical Hill Giant can survive 3 Fireballs (giants have enough HD that have a high likelihood that they will succeed in at least 1 of the 3 Reflex saving throws).

The bottom line is that a 3.0 Wizard (ab)using 3.0 Haste and tossing direct damage is not more effective overall than a 1e Wizard fighting 1e Hill Giants. Under 3.5 rules, direct damage is simply hopeless and you absolutely have to exploit other spell tactics.
 

Quasqueton

First Post
Thanks Olgar Shiverstone and Slife. Of course, it’s just my luck that those numbers don’t come out to nice round figures for easy mental computing.

Quasqueton
 

Ghendar

First Post
Quasqueton said:
I will probably be adding data from other classic adventures as well.

Look at B5 Horror on the Hill. That module has a BOAT LOAD of treasure and magic.

I guess the level 1-3 pcs needed all that stuff to defeat the dragon at the end of the module. yes, that's right a level 1-3 adventure with a dragon at the end.
 

MerricB

Eternal Optimist
Ridley's Cohort said:
The upgrading of the giants under 3e rules makes a huge difference.

Just a note: Giants were upgraded under 2e rules. They didn't actually change that much in 3e from 2e. They gained a lot of hit dice in 2e.

Cheers!
 

Delta

First Post
Random Comments:

- Yes, giants changed radically from 1st-->3rd Edition. 2E about doubled their hit dice. 3E piled on another factor from huge Constitutions. When I did a 3E conversion, I noted lots of EL 11, 13, 15 encounters in G1-3, with one each about EL 16-17 per module. Quasqueton, are you using 3E-style giants for the 3E XP? Because it's a very different adventure from the AD&D giants.

- Drow weapons in AD&D do decay in sunlight. But they also decay after 30 days, even in the underdark, anywhere other than the Vault. So in saying they're good throughout D1-3, you are assuming no more than 30 days of adventuring time.

- Using gem & jewelry "base value" expected values is the best thing. The increase/decrease table, by the book, was never included in modules -- by RAW you were supposed to be making those rolls on all the stuff listed in modules anyway.
 

TerraDave

5ever, or until 2024
It has been said before

This is such a great thread. I am really looking foward to more adventures being included. Just thought I would share.
 

Quasqueton

First Post
Quasqueton, are you using 3E-style giants for the 3E XP? Because it's a very different adventure from the AD&D giants.
I don't understand this question.

The AD&D1 giants give AD&D1 xp to the AD&D1 characters.

The D&D3 giants give D&D3 xp to the D&D3 characters.

Where you thinking I was giving AD&D1 xp to the D&D3 characters, or D&D3 xp to the AD&D1 characters?

Drow weapons in AD&D do decay in sunlight. But they also decay after 30 days, even in the underdark, anywhere other than the Vault. So in saying they're good throughout D1-3, you are assuming no more than 30 days of adventuring time.
The adventure text merely says, "They lose their power if exposed to sunlight."

The AD&D1 Fiend Folio says, "When these are exposed to direct sunlight, irreversilbe decay starts and the items will become totally useless in 2-12 days. If protected from sunlight, they will retain their special properties for 31-50 days before becoming normal items; and if exposed to the radiations of the Drow homeland for a period of 1 week out of every 4 weeks, the items could remain potent indefinitely."

Many of the drow-made items in the adventures are found outside the drow homeland. And so far in the adventures I've covered, the PCs are headed for the drow homeland. So, it is quite possible that these items will continue to function as magical for the extent of this entire series of adventures (from the time they are acquired). But anyway, it is rather redundant, as the PCs have plenty of magic items other than the drow-made stuff.

Using gem & jewelry "base value" expected values is the best thing. The increase/decrease table, by the book, was never included in modules -- by RAW you were supposed to be making those rolls on all the stuff listed in modules anyway.
The adventure module that prompted my questions on this subject actually uses the term "base value" for some gems and jewelry treasure. Plus there's all those treasures that merely say "X gems" and "Y jewelry" that pretty much requires the DM to roll on the DMG charts.

Quasqueton
 

SWBaxter

First Post
Quasqueton said:
I don't understand this question.

The AD&D1 giants give AD&D1 xp to the AD&D1 characters.

The D&D3 giants give D&D3 xp to the D&D3 characters.

Where you thinking I was giving AD&D1 xp to the D&D3 characters, or D&D3 xp to the AD&D1 characters?

I would guess he was wondering if you were using AD&D giant stats for the D&D3 encounters, which would make an individual hill giant around CR 2 or 3, rather than 7.
 

Quasqueton

First Post
I would guess he was wondering if you were using AD&D giant stats for the D&D3 encounters, which would make an individual hill giant around CR 2 or 3, rather than 7.
I am truly stunned at the confusion someone must have about this data to even conceive of this kind of question. (I mean no offense to anyone.)

I am not running the adventures.

I'm simply looking at the encounters, adding up the gold values, noting the magic items, and figuring up the xp.

If an encounter has 4 hill giants:

I'm figuring up the AD&D1 xp for those 4 [AD&D1] hill giants (using the AD&D1 formula, including the xp for whatever non-magic-item treasure they have) and adding it to the AD&D1 xp for the AD&D1 characters.

Then I figure up the D&D3 xp for those 4 [D&D3] hill giants (using the D&D3 formula) and adding it to the D&D3 xp for the D&D3 characters.

Basically, it is a straight comparison -- how much xp would an AD&D1 party get against 4 [AD&D1] hill giants, compared to how much xp would a D&D3 party get against 4 [D&D3] hill giants.

Quasqueton
 
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MerricB

Eternal Optimist
Quasqueton said:
I am truly stunned at the confusion someone must have about this data to even conceive of this kind of question. (I mean no offense to anyone.)

...snip...

Basically, it is a straight comparison -- how much xp would an AD&D1 party get against 4 [AD&D1] hill giants, compared to how much xp would a D&D3 party get against 4 [D&D3] hill giants.

The problem being, of course, that AD&D Hill Giants aren't the same as D&D3 Hill Giants. They're different monsters. (If you compared AD&D2 Hill Giants against D&D3 Hill Giants, it'd be closer).

Cheers!
 

Delta

First Post
Quasqueton said:
I am truly stunned at the confusion someone must have about this data to even conceive of this kind of question. (I mean no offense to anyone.)

Geez, why do you have to be so antagonistic everything?

One option when converting the modules is to turn AD&D1 8HD hill giants into D&D3 12HD hill giants (CR 7). But then the required PC levels are different, the other monsters weaker in relation, etc.

A second option is to turn AD&D1 8HD hill giants into custom D&D3 8HD hill giants (CR 5). Lots of people do this to great efficacy. ( http://home.gwi.net/~rdorman/frilond/rul/dm/hillgiant.htm )

But whatever. Apparently I'm talking Greek.
 

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