One of the founders of our hobby and one of the most unsung contributors to Dungeons & Dragons, Len Lakofka has passed away at the age of 76.
Along with the many adventures, classes, spells, and rules he created, Len was also father of the Suel in Greyhawk, designer of their gods, and namesake of the Lendore Isles.
The value of his work goes without saying, but his presence will be sorely missed. The adventures of Leomund go on.
I have analyzed 3.5 and found hidden equivalencies, which apply across the board, and when used allow one to roughly compare overall meta-value between different creatures, classes, items, and abilities. This breakdown can be applied to every aspect of the stat block. This comparison is better and more granular than CR, but is still an approximate. That advantage of the KDS system, however, is that it can be used to compare ANY ability, even powers or spells or supernatural or extraordinary effects, and extract a rough meta-value which allows the potential power to be compared to almost any other aspect of the game.
Why is it still rough? The hidden equivalencies mean that almost all aspects of the game can be converted to the same unit. In mathematical terms, this should mean that if a=b, and b=c, then c must = a. However, this is D&D math (pun intended). So sadly, even within the exact same unit in D&D, there are differences in overall meta-value of the various units. Thus, even after converting all aspects of the game to the same unit, there is still the internal high value and low value within the actual units. If a more knowledgeable person who also happens to have more free time than myself were to take interest in this, perhaps the inaccuracies could be reduced, or even eliminated.
The high level overview of the process as used to compare CR* between targets is as follows:
*Extract the Hidden Equivalency Value from the source target.
*Convert the HEV to KDS, which stands for Kobold Death Squad - or in other words, the number of 1st level non-classed kobolds it would take to match the potential meta-value. In other words the HEV value of said single Kobold is set to 1 KDS.
*Extract the HEV of the comparison target.
*Convert the HEV to KDS.
*Compare the two.
*Add creatures until the KDS values are equal. This should equal an actual challenge for the party/character.
*Note that for non-CR comparisons, the raw HEV can be used to compare, skipping the conversion to KDS.
For example, let's compare a kobold to the standard default party. The scenario is that the party was investigating a cave, and were non-lethally captured and knocked out by the cunning food-catching traps of the itinerant kobolds. They were divested of their offensive and defensive equipment and 'secured' in another cave. The kobolds are debating what to do next. The party escapes and found the wizard's spellbook, but have not found their equipment yet.
For purposes of this comparison, the PHB shall be used as the source for the party information instead of the Monster Manual (as some of the races are in the MM1 as well as PHB). The kobold is drawn from the sample classed warrior in the MM1. This comparison does not include equipment (except for the wizard's spellbook), only racial and class abilities. Average stats are used for the kobold as per the MM1, elite stats (flattened) are used for the party.
My initial calculation of the HEV of an individual kobold warriro is 14. This converts to a KDS of 1.
The party calculations are:
A pre-class human is 5.
A pre-class elf is 12
A pre-class halfling is 9
A pre-class dwarf is 8
A level 1 cleric is 16 (without equipment, but with standard and domain spells available)
A level 1 wizard is 28 (without equipment, but with spells memorized and spellbook)
A level 1 rogue is 10 (without equipment)
A level 1 fighter is 15 (without equipment)
This gives a party total HEV of 103
Convert the HEV of the party to KDS and the result is 7.357....
Thus, it should actually take about 7-8 kobold warriors with equipment to provide a serious challenge to a generic standard first level party without most of their equipment, compared to the listed default 1/4th CR in the MM1. If the party has their equipment, then their HEV will shift up by about 20-40 depending on equipment selected. It will also increase their HEV and lower the kobold's HEV if they manage to obtain the kobold's weapons....
I used this scenario to demonstrate the fine-tuned nature of the KDS system, but it needs a lot of work. I wonder if anyone else is curious about it and would be interested in more details? _________________ Does the walker choose the path, or does the path choose the walker?
flattened standard and flattened elite arrays for simplicity. (all 10's and 11's for the first, and all 12's for the second) _________________ Does the walker choose the path, or does the path choose the walker?
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