Monk progression: Is this an error or a valid rule?

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Monk progression: Is this an error or a valid rule?

Post by mmtbb »

I would have posted this in the errata for the 3rd print, but I want to make sure it isn't actually the rule first. Under the monk progression chart from level 11-12 there is a whopping 500,000 xp difference. Then to get to level 13 it drops to 250,000. I am assuming that it is supposed to be 750,000-1,000,000 instead of 1,250,000. Is that right?

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Re: Monk progression: Is this an error or a valid rule?

Post by gideon_thorne »

mmtbb wrote:
I would have posted this in the errata for the 3rd print, but I want to make sure it isn't actually the rule first. Under the monk progression chart from level 11-12 there is a whopping 500,000 xp difference. Then to get to level 13 it drops to 250,000. I am assuming that it is supposed to be 750,000-1,000,000 instead of 1,250,000. Is that right?

The chart is correct as it stands. The experience bumps happen in all the charts due to the cost of various abilities. Its not a smooth progression.
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Post by BLOOD AXE »

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Post by Traveller »

Before I answer, welcome to the crusade.

In answer to your query, the progression as given in the book is correct.
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Post by Lord Dynel »

Yeppers, it is correct, just to echo those before me.

But they're probably more official sources, and what I'm saying can not be taken as official, in the least.

I'm not trying to be snarky, but remember what I was talking about in the other Monk thread. Sometimes it is difficult to "unlearn" what you have learned. 3rd Edition had one nice, neat progression chart - something I had a problem with from Day 1. Classes were not balanced enough use the same progression chart. 1e and 2e got it right - classes were different and had different abilities. Therefore, different XP charts.

C&C goes one more step and doesn't go by a standard progression (i.e. the points needed to go from level to level) like previous editions of D&D did before - if a particular level is not too spectacular, then the XP needed for that level represents that. In the Monk's case, at level 12 he gets Quivering Palm, but level 11 theres nothing too great (unless you count another +1 to Still Mind). Therefore, the experience needed to reach level 12 is much more than levels before it, and after it! I think this is pretty good representation of what a particular level holds for the character, where new abilities are concerned.

Another good example - take a look at the wizard and illusionist XP charts. No offense to the illusionist lovers out there, but the XP chart is identical to level 12. That's when the wizard starts to pull away in terms of power, and why the wizard needs to earn more experience from that point on.

At least that's my theory...I could be full of it.
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Post by mmtbb »

Lord Dynel,

Yes, all of that makes sense. That wasn't what I was saying. I mean in this strange case it actually costs LESS (HALF to be exact) xps to make it to the NEXT level than the one before. It cost 250,000 to make it to 11th, it costs 500,000 to make it to 12th, THEN only 250,000 to make it to 13th! Does that make sense?

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Post by gideon_thorne »

mmtbb wrote:
Lord Dynel,

Yes, all of that makes sense. That wasn't what I was saying. I mean in this strange case it actually costs LESS (HALF to be exact) xps to make it to the NEXT level than the one before. It cost 250,000 to make it to 11th, it costs 500,000 to make it to 12th, THEN only 250,000 to make it to 13th! Does that make sense?

As already explained, the class gets a bump in power, hence the increase at that point. It doesn't follow a linear increase. There are going to be more than a few instances where the xp total looks odd like this.
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Post by mmtbb »

gideon_thorne,

Are you one of the writers who wrote C&C?

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Post by serleran »

as someone who is one of the developers -- Peter, and the others, are right. However, the only person who can say with absolute authority on the manner is Davis Chenault, who is directly responsible for the XP progressions. I have broken them down (sorry, I am forbidden from making it available due to a promise to Steve Chenault) and the reason there is ever a bump in XP costs is this -- something is gained, and that something is a new ability. The costs are not based off or against, any other class, per se -- the fighter class sets the standards (that is, all weapon ability is valued at X, so having less than this is equal to Y) and so, they are dynamic in a sense, and somewhat on a sliding scale (evidenced by the non-linear progressions.)

And, a side note -- the Chenault brothers own TLG.

Peter (gideon_thorne) is the Troll Lord artist.

And, me... well, I'm nobody. Just ask. But, you'd see my name on M&T and Engineering Dungeons.

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Post by mmtbb »

thanks for the info

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Post by Traveller »

Lord Dynel wrote:
But they're probably more official sources, and what I'm saying can not be taken as official, in the least.

Pete and Robert are official sources. I'm just the errata monkey.
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Post by gideon_thorne »

mmtbb wrote:
gideon_thorne,

Are you one of the writers who wrote C&C?

*chuckles* Well, lets just say I'm one of the great mediators who kept a large number of folks in the developmental stages from killing each other.
I'm also the fellow that laid out the books. Which necessitates a fair bit of reading to make sure everything is more or less where its supposed to go.

I, perhaps, know the whys and wherefores of the system nearly as well as the folks who did the main writing though.
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Post by mmtbb »

I have bought the Player's handbook so far. I have a good chunk of change to buy more C&C books IF this is the right fit for me. I don't want anyone to get in trouble for divulging info they shouldn't, but in this case I really need a good behind-the-scenes explanation. If Davis is the only one who can really tell me why, is there a way that I could ask Davis about this?

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Post by gideon_thorne »

mmtbb wrote:
I have bought the Player's handbook so far. I have a good chunk of change to buy more C&C books IF this is the right fit for me. I don't want anyone to get in trouble for divulging info they shouldn't, but in this case I really need a good behind-the-scenes explanation. If Davis is the only one who can really tell me why, is there a way that I could ask Davis about this?

The good 'behind the scenes' explanation is this. Various abilities cost various points, and when a character gains them, is where you'll see similar xp bumps. As per the exact details and costs thereof, thats information that TLG, for their own reasons, wishes to keep proprietary.

I can virtually guarantee you won't get an answer out of Davis. I can count on one hand the number of times he's answered a rules question. And thats even with me cornering him in a room and not letting him escape.
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Post by serleran »

And, the times involve displaying the middle finger, right Peter? ;)

Sorry, but there are some things that we can't really answer even when we want to.

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Post by mmtbb »

*Sigh* Ok, ok. I guess I'll post my analysis here and be done with it (not that it will make the difference I would hope it would). Thank you guys for being patient. This post is a long one.

here is what I found. I really feel that if read carefully, it is very justifiable:

I just painstakingly went through ever class, level by level in AD&D 1st edition, 2nd edition AND 3rd edition! In D&D there is NEVER in any of the editions a case where you need LESS experience points to get to the next level than you did the one before. It may stay the same, but never less. Look at this fictitious example:

8th 200,001-330,000 = 130,000 xps difference

9th 330,001-490,000 = 160,000 xps difference

10th 490,001-890,000 = 400,000 xps difference

11th 890,000-1,050,000 = 160,000 xps difference

In this example it would cost 400,000 xps to get from 10th to 11th. HOWEVER, it costs only 160000 to get to level 12? Huh?! If this example were real, it would go against every level in every class in every official d&d editions ever made! I mean not one guru ever felt that there was an exception to this rule.

Even in C&C, I have looked at every class slowly. Every class follows the exact same pattern found in 1st edition d&d, EXCEPT this one instance. It truly seems like a calculation error.

Finally, if this incredible leap in XP's is because of an ability gained (enough to raise 2 full levels), then what could be THAT important? The only thing really gained at level 12 is quivering palm. Is quivering palm really worth 500,000 xp's? There is not one other class at any level in C&C that is required to get 500,000 xps to advance just 1 level. There is something wrong here. Look at Quivering Palm. It can only be used once a week (this is a killer)!! Only on creatures of a LOWER level than you (this rule alone has made it almost useless when it really matters), can only be used on certain types of creatures. If misses it is lost for a week, AND the target gets a saving throw! THis is weak compared to other abilities in the game:

A Death attack is extremely close to quivering palm, but BETTER. According to rules, an assasin's Death Attack can be used on anyone at ANY level, not once a week, or even once a day, but technically EVERY encounter if he is situated right. If he misses, he just has to wait, and then can do it again, and again! It can even be done with a ranged weapon!! When does the assasin get this great ability? 1st level.

The magic user at 12th level gets the great "Disintigrate" spell, which is far more superior to the quivering palm. You can't hide from it, you don't even need to roll a "hit". Can effect anyone. You get 1 saving throw. If you fail, you are worse than dead. Only a resurection spell or 2 wishes can bring you back. If you succeed your saving throw, you still take a huge amount of damage. What's more it can be used TWICE a day. The Magic user needs only the same amount of xps as the level before to get this ability.

It would make total sense to me that in this specific case, a simple calulation error was made for this level jump. Nothing else would make sense.

whew!!! I just wish someone saw the logic in this, and double checked it. There is always a chance that it could have been erred. No one's perfect
Anyway, it's late and I'm tired. Sorry to bore you guys.

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Post by serleran »

Quote:
In D&D there is NEVER in any of the editions a case where you need LESS experience points to get to the next level than you did the one before.

Not quite true, as I remember it.

Druid (Unearthed Arcana and 2nd Edition.) Bard (1st Edition PHB, technically.) Druids, for example, require something like 750K at level 15, and then, at 16 (in UA) they drop to 500K -- that's a 250,000 difference. Bards, on the other hand, cycle through two classes before becoming "bards" and the 2nd one is thief, which is always lower XP wise than the first which is fighter.

So, there is some precedence, but fairly obscure. However, it can be argued that when these occur, you actually gain more for less cost -- for example, a bard that switched to thief requires less XP to advance, but now has all the thief abilities.

Also, your logic behind the breakdown is somewhat flawed -- yes, the assassin gets death attack at first level, but then spend every level, for double cost, improving it -- the monk, on the other had, pays for what he's already got (like all classes) and then a bit more for death attack (equivalent) and it is far more powerful when he gets it, because the difficulty is much higher -- it also leaves absolutely no evidence of death, which is a power in its own right.

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Post by mmtbb »

serleran wrote:
Wrong.

Druid (Unearthed Arcana and 2nd Edition.) Bard (1st Edition PHB, technically.)

You are right on the druid . There is one level out of the 20 in one edition, though it is explained in the text that this happens because the druid steps down and actually loses abilities.

The bard in 1st addition was optional and was actually a mixture of character classes that all advanced correctly, right?

As to the other things mentioned, is Quivering Palm really worth 500,000 xps to get?

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Post by serleran »

The class levels for bard do not advance correctly (I am not sure what that means) -- they advance one at a time. That is, between 2 - 7 (I think that's right; been a while since I played a 1e bard...) you have to switch to thief. You then advance as a thief until 5 - 9 (or somesuch) and then switch again -- it is then that you regain all your abilities, but always attack as the fighter level, and so on and so forth.

Some consider it the first "prestige class." I, personally, find it interesting. Also, a fun experiment to convert to C&C...

Regarding the question about quivering palm -- no, it, alone is not worth 500,000. You're not factoring in the standard progression rate. I'm sorry, but this cannot be explained without going into the "formulae" of class creation.

Suffice it to say -- standard progression (until "name level") assumes a doubling of the level before. After this, the sliding scale kicks in -- there is still an element of the previous level progression, but it is not as all-important. What is, generally, is the degree of "power" of the class (what abilities are gained, how effective they are, how generally useful, and so on and so forth) with a seeming "ad hoc" modification used by the chart creator to make the class archetypal -- that is, thieves will advance before a fighter and a fighter will advance before a paladin. Not much else, except more vague generalities can be discussed -- if you really want to try to get an answer, PM cleaverthepit.

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Post by Turanil »

mmtbb wrote:
Lord Dynel,

Yes, all of that makes sense. That wasn't what I was saying. I mean in this strange case it actually costs LESS (HALF to be exact) xps to make it to the NEXT level than the one before. It cost 250,000 to make it to 11th, it costs 500,000 to make it to 12th, THEN only 250,000 to make it to 13th! Does that make sense?

I agree it looks dumb, even if there was some valid intent behind it. Me, I would just reduce the XP requirement to 250.000 for said level, and that's it.
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Post by Thoom »

My mother always told me that when you try a new recipe, you should follow the recipe "as is" the first time, then you can change everything in it to your taste.

I make an effort to do the same thing with game systems I try. I've been playing 1st edition AD&D for 25 years (among many other things) and when I read C&C there were many times I had the reflex "but this is not like..."

But a game system is a complex mixture and balance between classes is an important part of what makes a great game. I'm willing to try the system as is before I make too many changes in it. It seems there IS a formula, and it looks like a lot of thought was put into balancing the XP progression at higher levels. That tells me these developers took great care to balance things. Believe what you will, but simply putting a linear progression on XP is easier but certainly doesn't make for balance at lower and higher levels.

In 1st ed. AD&D for example, a high level cleric spends way too much XP to get some levels compared to a wizard, while at low levels the reverse is true.

So bottom line is that I'm willing to try the game as a whole first before making changes because it's not always apparent what factors into balance over time.

And the fact that they spent time on figuring out the proper XP progression tells a lot about their dedication to balance and quality.

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Post by Breakdaddy »

The answer you'd get from Davis is the same answer that Pete and Robert already gave. I've discussed this some with Davis and that's pretty much the long and short of it. Each level that gives new abilities gets an XP cost bump due to the power increase conferred by the acquisition of these new abilities. If this doesn't work for your game you can change it with no ill effect.
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Post by gideon_thorne »

mmtbb wrote:
It would make total sense to me that in this specific case, a simple calulation error was made for this level jump. Nothing else would make sense.

whew!!! I just wish someone saw the logic in this, and double checked it. There is always a chance that it could have been erred. No one's perfect
Anyway, it's late and I'm tired. Sorry to bore you guys.

Well, one thing your assuming is that the monk only gets the one ability at 12th level. The class gets a variety of things at that level. Its not just quivering palm, its a +4 bump in Ki strike, possibly the bumps in Still Mind are being factored in. Not to mention a couple of other ability bumps that hit before and after 12th level. I expect thats where the big chunk of xp cost is coming from.
Sense is defined by perspective and having all the facts. It may not make outward sense to folks reading the book. But then again, not everything in the book is going too. Suffice it to say, it does have a logic to it.
As for the magic user, the cost of his spells are already factored into the charts. Spell casting is pretty much all the class does as far as abilities go. At least, BTB.
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Post by mmtbb »

gideon_thorne wrote:
Well, one thing your assuming is that the monk only gets the one ability at 12th level. The class gets a variety of things at that level. Its not just quivering palm, its a +4 bump in Ki strike, possibly the bumps in Still Mind are being factored in. Not to mention a couple of other ability bumps that hit before and after 12th level. I expect thats where the big chunk of xp cost is coming from.

Actually, I truly tried to look at everything in the whole picture. I am not saying I know the whole picture, because there is obviously something else that I don't know about. I was just looking for the biggest change in the level. Ki strike, still mind and many of the rest you mentioned have bumped up a few times before 12th, but there is no evidence of a huge xp change for these. That is why I looked specifically at Quivering Palm. Regardless, there are many fantastic abilities that are gained by other character classes in C&C. None of the other 12 classes have such a drastic spike UP in xp's the a drastic spike down for the next level.

Turanil,

Thanks for the nod
PS. I think Quivering Palm is one of the most broken abilities in all of d&d. In theory it was supposed to be powerful. I have played all kinds of monks over the years and have actually experienced using this power. It hardly works, and never when you really need it because most of the real villians are your level or higher.

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Post by Treebore »

I agree that doing the Monk XP's this way is definitely "wonky".

All I can suggest is do what I ave done with everything I have considered "wonky" about C&C, change it to what I don't think is "wonky". Which is something I do with every RPG I have ever played, I have yet to find an RPG that didn't do numerous things I considered "wonky", so I always have house rules.
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Post by Arioch »

I assumed the book was correct

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Post by Traveller »

mmtbb,

Not to be too much of an ass, but the problem I believe you're having is that you are expecting C&C to emulate Dungeons & Dragons much more closely than it in fact does. This expectation is a normal one, given that Dungeons & Dragons is by far the most popular role playing game in existence. However, it leads to situations such as the one I believe you're having, wherein Castles & Crusades does something in a manner unlike Dungeons & Dragons. The natural response, and one that I deal with all too often as chief errata monkey, is that it MUST be a mistake. Such responses fail to take into account that this game is not Dungeons & Dragons, and as a result, fail to take into account that not everything is as it seems.

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Post by mmtbb »

Traveller wrote:
mmtbb,

Not to be too much of an ass, but the problem I believe you're having is that you are expecting C&C to emulate Dungeons & Dragons much more closely than it in fact does. This expectation is a normal one, given that Dungeons & Dragons is by far the most popular role playing game in existence. However, it leads to situations such as the one I believe you're having, wherein Castles & Crusades does something in a manner unlike Dungeons & Dragons. The natural response, and one that I deal with all too often as chief errata monkey, is that it MUST be a mistake. Such responses fail to take into account that this game is not Dungeons & Dragons, and as a result, fail to take into account that not everything is as it seems.

You must unlearn what you have learned.

Traveller, before I bought the PHB for C&C I read all the reviews I could find. They all said about the same thing: "Follows original D&D and AD&D closely. Those that want those old school adventures again should buy it." Surprisingly, I actually think C&C does emulate AD&D rather closely.

I have found that C&C classes are very close to their AD&D counterparts. They all follow the same pattern. In fact I have looked closely at each class, level by level, ability by ability. I have seen nothing out of the ordinary EXCEPT for this one case that baffles me.

Anyway, I think we have gone about as far as we can go in this thread.

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Post by magehammer »

So, mmtbb,

Are you going to play the monk? As is? modified? Not at all?

Just curious as to how this all going to turn out.
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Post by Lord Dynel »

Traveller wrote:
Not to be too much of an ass, but the problem I believe you're having is that you are expecting C&C to emulate Dungeons & Dragons much more closely than it in fact does. This expectation is a normal one, given that Dungeons & Dragons is by far the most popular role playing game in existence. However, it leads to situations such as the one I believe you're having, wherein Castles & Crusades does something in a manner unlike Dungeons & Dragons. The natural response, and one that I deal with all too often as chief errata monkey, is that it MUST be a mistake. Such responses fail to take into account that this game is not Dungeons & Dragons, and as a result, fail to take into account that not everything is as it seems.

Exactly.

I was trying to get at this earlier. And I hope I didn't come across as an ass either. But I was coming across these, too, when I first came around to checking C&C out. I saw little nuances that were just different enough from AD&D that I thought to myself, "This must be a mistake," or "Why is this not more like AD&D?" Well, I finally realized that, in a lot of cases, the differences in C&C made sense - sometimes more sense than the way it originally was in AD&D. Once I realized this, understanding why things are the way they are, understanding the differences are a lot easier. And I agree with you, mmttb, the game looks and feels a lot like AD&D - more so than any WotC offering ever has.

But I don't want you to think I'm talking just to hear myself talk. I want you to know that you're not the only one with questions. Maybe try to look at the monk thing from the perspective of it being an improvement to the way it was in AD&D. Think of wackiness in the XP table as a counterbalance to all the things that monks get at 12th level (extra Deflect Missiles, another "plus" to Ki Strike, another AC bump, and the Quivering Palm).

It took me a little while but I was finally able to seperate C&C from AD&D and 3.x D&D in my mind. That was the biggest hurdle I had in embracing C&C.
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