Sunday, March 16, 2014

Leveling Out the Thief

For some odd reason, thief advancement in B/X slows down at higher levels. The best comparison for thief advancement is the cleric; the cleric starts at 1500 xp for level 2 and doubles the requirement each level until level 8 (100,000) when progression then moves to 100k per level thereafter, capping out at 700,000 for level 14.

Therefore, since the thief starts lower and has lower thresholds, his advancement at higher levels should also be lower than the cleric’s. If we keep the same basic formula, but set his terminal increase at 80k per level, we end up with the following advancement: 1250 for level 2, doubling every level thereafter until 8 (80,000) at which point it becomes 80k per level thereafter, capping out at 560k for level 14.

This means that a thief at 560k has earned level 14; at the exact same xp threshold: a cleric is level 12; a fighter is level 11; a magic user is level 10; a dwarf is level 11; an elf is level 9; and a stoutling has been level 8 for a while…


  1. Michael, though it was not in original BX, why not just use a common xp level progression for all classes. I would rather a common level progression for simplicity and tweak the class powers and advancements (BAB, saves, spells, etc) to get the balance that you are looking to achieve. Having the variable of both the xp advancement and the class advancement seems that it would be more difficult for the designer and unnecessarily complicated for the players new to the game.

  2. I generally like the different advancement by class. It balances out things like the elf and the fighter or magic user... if an elf gets the full abilities of a fighter and magic user, it makes sense that he advances more slowly. I could create a uniform advancement table, but then I'd have to make significant changes to the elf class. I could do this easily enough (limit the elf to medium armor; slow the spell progression to not match the magic user)... okay. As I've written my response challenging your basic premise, it appears that I've talked myself into agreeing with you!

    Well... time to go tinker! Thanks for the suggestion.

  3. As a suggestion for your elf question alternate granting fighter and magic on the levels. First level Elf has 1st level fighter stuff, 2nd level elf get his/her/its first spell, 3rd level fights as 2nd level, 4th level second spell, 5th level fights as third and so on as the levels go up and everyone progression slows it should provide enough of a difference to make straight up fighters and mages as attractive as elves.