Chad Perrin: SOB

5 August 2008

D&D 3.5 Experience Level Charts

Filed under: RPG — apotheon @ 03:51

This is part of my RPG series of entries here at SOB. See the inaugural entry in the series for more details.


In checking through logs of activity here at SOB, I discovered that someone had gotten here by way of the search string 3.5 exp level chart. As of today, the top of the Google search results for that search string looks like this:

As you can see, my last SOB entry just before this one — Pathfinder RPG a3 XP converter — is the number two hit for 3.5 exp level chart. That seemed pretty odd to me, considering the D&D 3.5 SRD is widely available under an open content license (the OGL). In fact, nowhere on that first page of results is there a link to an SRD site. Then, Pez mentioned in comments below that the d20 license forbids describing character advancement for covered works, and I realized that the SRD didn't actually include experience advancement tables. Well, luckily for me I never distributed anything under the d20 license that described character advancement — but I'm sure I would have noticed that restriction of the d20 license if I did.

I want people who come to SOB looking for a D&D 3.5 experience chart to get something useful out of it. With luck, this entry will top the previous entry in Google results.

So, here's a short list of options for checking on experience point advancement rates for D&D 3.5:

  • pfconv – Web Interface — While this doesn't provide an XP advancement table, entering an experience total will give you the level of a character with that many experience points as part of the results. As such, the page to which the Google hit leads does provide a possibly useful result, though perhaps too limited for some people, by way of the link on the earlier SOB entry to the pfconv Web interface.

Here's a slightly longer list of places you'd expect to find such information, if not for the licensing terms of the d20 license and the omission of experience tables from the SRD:

  • System Reference Document v3.5 at systemreferencedocuments.org — including Wizards of the Coast OGL materials for D&D 3.5 other than the core SRD itself

  • Hypertext d20 SRD at d20srd.org — another SRD site that includes WotC OGL materials for D&D 3.5 in addition to the core SRD itself

  • Wizards of the Coast Open Game Content at D&D Wiki — information from the D&D 3.5 SRD and Unearthed Arcana, with some non-core SRD materials mixed in with the SRD materials

10 Comments

  1. [...] I had a psionic character in a D&D game named Ainan Blalock. That character's class is Psion (Nomad), with the Elocator prestige class, and he is a member of the Elan race, all three of which are described in the Expanded Psionics Handbook, published by Wizards of the Coast. The rules presented in the EPH are also available under the terms of the OGL, and can be found at any of a number of SRD sites online. I listed some SRD resources in my previous post, D&D 3.5 Experience Level Charts. [...]

    Pingback by Chad Perrin: SOB » Elan for PRPGa3 — 6 August 2008 @ 09:40

  2. Under the SRD/OGL/whatever, experience points & rules for creating/leveling your character are not open content that can be freely distributed.

    d20srd.org's FAQ section points out:

    The d20 license restricts some information from being included. Specifically…

    "No Covered Product may contain rules or instructions of any kind that:

    * Describe a process for Creating a Character
    * Describe a process for Applying the Effects of Experience to a Character"
    

    Comment by Pez — 6 August 2008 @ 04:24

  3. Hmm. So it does.

    1. I'll make a note of that in the above.

    2. That doesn't apply to the OGL — just the d20 license (which would be why I overlooked it). As long as you don't call what you're doing "the d20 system", or use the d20 logo, you can discuss leveling all you like.

    3. You can even copy the experience charts in the PHB itself if you really want to — though you may have to do it under the auspices of the doctrine of fair use, and maybe even defend it in court.

    Comment by apotheon — 6 August 2008 @ 04:38

  4. [...] discussed a little of this very briefly in my D&D 3.5 Experience Level Charts entry here at SOB, along with a reference to how you can use my pfconv Web interface (or the pfconv [...]

    Pingback by Chad Perrin: SOB » calculating XP (and other leveling data) for D&D 3.5 — 29 August 2008 @ 11:21

  5. I've noticed that there isn't anything on treasure rewards either.

    This is interesting- it seems like WOTC doesn't mind providing players with an online reference, but when it comes to balanced character advancement and rewards, they keep their cards close to their chest. I suppose this is a way to keep D&D's extraneous information available, but denies player access to the heart of the game.

    Comment by Waba — 9 March 2009 @ 05:25

  6. Let's talk about quadratic formulas. Here's an example:

    n*(n+1)/2

    So for example if n=3, 3*(3+1)/2 = 3*4/2 = 12/2 = 6

    If n happens to be your current level, the solution to this formula just happens to give you the XP total you need for the next level, in thousands of XP.

    I've duplicated no copyrighted content. It's just a mathematical observation.

    Comment by Randy — 15 February 2010 @ 06:11

  7. Thanks, Randy! You might be interested in another SOB entry, calculating XP (and other leveling data) for D&D 3.5, which discusses formulae for reproducing the information in leveling charts and programmatic ways to automate that process.

    Comment by apotheon — 16 February 2010 @ 06:07

  8. Thanks for making this a valuable link after all, Chad!

    Comment by John — 27 August 2010 @ 12:21

  9. "I want people who come to SOB looking for a D&D 3.5 experience chart to get something useful out of it. With luck, this entry will top the previous entry in Google results."

    Not sure this was THE top result, but it had the intended effect nonetheless. Job's a good'un.

    Comment by Rutskarn — 14 October 2010 @ 05:05

  10. I'm glad you found it useful, John and Rutskarn!

    Comment by apotheon — 14 October 2010 @ 11:22

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