Monday, May 3, 2021

Updated Elf XP (OSR D&D-BECMI)


Well now, since I have this handy-dandy tool to calculate character class experience levels, it’s time to go back and update the ones I posted earlier.

Art Credit: Elven City Landscape by Ravensey Travis Lacey on Deviantart

Let’s start with the elf.

I had originally guesstimated the xp needed to reach level 2 to be 3,000 (down from 4,000 in the classic rules) in line with my original goal to ease requirements for low level pcs. Here’s the formula I just used on the Excel tool:

If spells are limited to level 6, then 3,100 xp seems appropriate. If you absolutely insist on counting the "extra" 50 xp, enter +50 in the discretionary modifier box, otherwise base xp are rounded down. If spells go all the way to level 9 as I had it in the original article, then the Excel tool points to 4,100.

Given that the classic elf character in the original rules is limited to level 5 spells, both of the two optional versions are definitely more attractive in the long run. I prefer the “elf-lite” version, with the lower xp load and spells limited to level 6, which definitely helps with level advancement early on. "Design à la carte!"

The above stats could be abbreviated as follows:

bhd 2, ct 3, st 3, cs 1, mus 3, uca 1, ra 3, ss 4, wp 4 ap 4
or 2-3-3-1-3-1-3-4-4-4.

What About a Cleric? I ran numbers for an elven cleric (a standard cleric plus the elf's racial abilities, but with the elf's saves). With up to spells level 5, the base xp amounts to 1,800. With the full range of spells, then the elven cleric's base xp is about 2,000. You get the idea. Optional Elven Cleric Profile: 2-2-3-3-1-2-3-3-3-4.

What About a Thief? While I'm at it, a standard thief's experience requirement allowing for elven racial abilities and saves amounts to: roll the drums... 1,500 base xp. This is starting to look like AD&D, with the exception that humans and demi-humans with the same character class still have different base xp requirements, since most things are accounted for. In the AD&D game, elven and human thieves use the same advancement table. Want a few magic-user spells to boot? No problem. Add them to the tab and have some fun! Optional Elven Thief Profile: 1-2-3-1-1-3-3-4-3-2.

Here are the updated advancement and saving throws tables for an old-style magic-using/sword-fighting elf.


Thankfully, the Excel tool  doesn’t produce results that go totally nuts. In any case, you can tweak stuff to your heart's content. If you want to copy/paste tables from the spreadsheet, you'll need to "unprotect" the document first. Either restore the protection when you're done or don't save your Excel file before closing. It is safest to use it while its protection is switched on. At worst, you can always download a clean copy.

More in a few days.

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