Apr 19, 2011

New XP System for Labyrinth Lord

My goal: create a consistent system for creating monster experience points that does two things. First, it increases the value of low-level monsters and decreases the value of high-level monsters as measured by their hit dice (HD). Second, it provides a consistent method accounting for factors in addition to special abilities and starting HD. To do this, I start with a question: What are the important qualities of a monster in terms of play mechanics? The answer to this question determines the factors that I include in the determination of experience points if such experience is a significant factor, i.e., reward, of a game system (and it is). I use Labyrinth Lord basic information for this activity.

The important qualities include armor class (AC), maximum movement (MM), hit dice (HD), number of attacks (AT), maximum damage (MD), morale (M), save (S), and special abilities (SA). The qualities were organized into two categories based on how important they were in combat mechanics. Values for each quality are written as a formula.

I’m still tweaking the formulas, but the end result is what I wanted; higher XP for low-HD creatures and lower for high-HD monsters and a system that accounts for more than specials and hit dice. I input the sums of each formula above into a single cell in my spreadsheet program. In this way, when I create an original monster, it is easy to create an XP value that is consistent within my world.


  1. In Oubliette Issue 5 I published a Labyrinth Lord version of the Monstermark System which is useful for grading monsters as opponents. I extended it to include a revised XP calculation which I think is much better balanced than the standard rules.

    I think yours does a good job of beefing up lower HD monsters, but it might be better if you could use average total damage rather than number of attack and maximum damage. One thing's for sure any of these methods show up how out of balance the usual way of calculating XP can be.

  2. @Oublieditor

    Great point! Damage was something I debated briefly and, as you see, have assigned relatively little value to. I may change this in future revisions. The great thing about having in spreadsheet form is that I can play around and tweak different factors very easily. I'm also working on converting the entire LL bestiary into Excel.

  3. Hmm - yeah, interesting. Some of those low level monsters are quite fearsome, but the xp is very low. I'll have to mull your chart over.

    - Ark


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