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  1. #1
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    Could anyone tell me the ECL for Death Knight template from Monster Manual 2? Thanks in advance.

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    The ECL for the Death Knight template from the MM2 is +5, and his CR is +3.
    Woudn't it be simpler if the CR and the ECL be the same?...

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    > The ECL for the Death Knight template from the MM2 is +5, and his CR is
    > +3.
    > Woudn`t it be simpler if the CR and the ECL be the same?...

    Huh, I though they should be the same. So what do I apply to get the effective level?

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  4. #4
    Site Moderator kgauck's Avatar
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    > Huh, I though they should be the same. So what do I apply to get
    > the effective level?

    ECL gets you the effective character level, note that it is a modifier. CR is
    the challenge rating, it tells me what row to cross index my party against to
    determine how many experience points they get for defeating one. The fact
    that a death knight is a CR 3 creature tells me it is a fitting encounter for
    a normal 3rd level party, meaning that at least one party member is seriously
    threatened by the encounter. If ECL and CR were the same, aside from being
    redundant, I would have to mentally calculate to figure out how many of
    individual death knights my party was suited to encounter, and how much
    experience is merited by the encounter.

    Kenneth Gauck
    kgauck@mchsi.com

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  5. #5
    Birthright Developer irdeggman's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Lord Grave


    > The ECL for the Death Knight template from the MM2 is +5, and his CR is
    > +3.
    > Woudn`t it be simpler if the CR and the ECL be the same?...

    Huh, I though they should be the same. So what do I apply to get the effective level?
    ECL and CR are considered the same for "classed" characters, that is those that have standard class levels, i.e., classes other than NPC classes from the DMG.

    The CR given in the MMII assumes the creature as written without additional class levels.

    ECL actualy stands for effective character level, what is normally done when this phrase is used is that it refers to a modifier, e.g., ECL +2. Savage Species started presenting creatures in terms of the actual effective character level vice with a modifier.
    Duane Eggert

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    You should use the ECL (+5 for the Death Knight template).
    So, a death knight fighter 5 would have an effective character level of 10 (5 levels +5 from his template). He would need the XP needed to advance to level 11 to become a fighter 6...
    The CR is just a tool to measure how hard it will be for the PCs to defeat the creature. Aside from determining how much XP each creature is worth, it has no effect on the game.

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    Site Moderator kgauck's Avatar
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    ----- Original Message -----
    From: "irdeggman" <brnetboard@BIRTHRIGHT.NET>
    Sent: Wednesday, May 21, 2003 4:26 AM


    > ECL and CR are considered the same for "classed" characters, that is
    > those that have standard class levels, i.e., classes other than NPC
    classes
    > from the DMG.

    Of these, this one strikes me as most inaccurate. After all, is it likely
    that a 3rd level character (pick a class) is going to A) seriously threaten
    one character of B) drain a quarter of the party`s resources, when
    confronting a well balanced group of four 3rd level characters? I think the
    3rd level character is closer to a CR of 2. Even when we get to much higher
    level characters, I`m not sure that a 15th level character will launch a
    first strike which will satisfy A on a reliable basis. B is even less
    likely because a balanced party has an easier time putting you in a
    situation where if the character goes rock, the party goes paper, and so on.
    The mix of skills makes it too easy to put you in a damned if you do and
    damned if you don`t type of situation. All of this leads me to believe that
    classed characters should have a CR that is 2/3`s of their effective level.

    Kenneth Gauck
    kgauck@mchsi.com

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  8. #8
    Administrator Green Knight's Avatar
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    One problem with characters and CR is that PC classed characters are
    inherently "unbalanced" on their own, since they are specialists and not
    generalists. A wizard isn`t going to be as effective (in an absolute
    sense) on his own as if he had say a fighter, a cleric and a rogue with
    him.

    So a 10th level wizard might IMO be "worth" CR 6-8 depending on the
    situation, but a full CR 10 only when in a mixed group. Of course, the
    group itself will be EL 14 if there were 4 ECL 10 members. This is
    interesting, because it means that two equally powerful groups clashing
    are considered quite a challenge...it can go either way.

    If you disagree, compare the lone wizard to the lone dragon, who is IMO
    much more balanced with a variety of magical and martial abilities. Face
    a 10th level wizard against a juvenile black dragon (CR 6) and my bet is
    on the dragon 9 times out of 10. Under no circumstance is this easy
    challenge for the wizard. With an adult back dragon (CR 10) against a
    10th level party, it is a different story. It`s not a walkover, but
    neither is it life threatening.

    I have also found that characters NEED to be maxed out, and have all the
    magic (and other stuff) allowed them at their level. A party with less
    (useful!) magic items will be significantly hampered. IMO most NPC will
    rarely have this amount of equipment, if only to keep the loot out of PC
    hands. Hey, if all NPCs have the full worth of gear, the PC will soon
    have too much stuff for their level. It’s a bad circle really. Epic
    Handbook goes as far as to quantify this problem; epic NPC have lower
    CRs than their level would otherwise indicate. I think this holds true
    for lower levels as well.

    Even so, I still find PC CRs to be a bit high. If used with the standard
    amount of gear and ability spread, and working in a group of 4 or so,
    I`ll still subtract one from the final CR. With NPC classes this problem
    is worse; there is no way a Warrior 10 is CR 9!

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  9. #9
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    > > Huh, I though they should be the same. So what do I apply to get
    > > the effective level?
    >
    > ECL gets you the effective character level, note that it is a modifier.
    > CR is
    > the challenge rating, it tells me what row to cross index my party against
    > to
    > determine how many experience points they get for defeating one. The fact
    > that a death knight is a CR 3 creature tells me it is a fitting encounter
    > for
    > a normal 3rd level party, meaning that at least one party member is
    > seriously
    > threatened by the encounter. If ECL and CR were the same, aside from
    > being
    > redundant, I would have to mentally calculate to figure out how many of
    > individual death knights my party was suited to encounter, and how much
    > experience is merited by the encounter.

    Oh, yeah, I know that. I was confused with CR+3. It should be only CR3. Thanks people.

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  10. #10
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    Oh, yeah, I know that. I was confused with CR+3. It should be only CR3. Thanks people.
    I put the CR as "+3" because the Death Knight is not a creature. It's a template, so it really doesn't has a CR, only a CR modifier.
    You can't have a "death knight". You must have a (for example) "death knight fighter 7". His CR would be 10 (7 from his fighter levels plus 3 from his death knight template), so he would be a challenge to a party of four 10th level PCs...

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