Idiomdrottning’s homepage

HD to XP (guest starring the 5e SRD)

Listed 5e HD to XP

The idea for this first table is to go through the SRD (using the life-changing magic of structure and interpretation of computer programs) and calculate out the average XP, median XP, and the median CR.

For “HD” in this table, it’s the HD as listed in the 5e SRD. For example, a tiny li’l Sea Horse has 1d4 HD and is therefore counted as a 1 HD creature.

It does map up pretty well with only a couple of weird cases where average and median looks completely out of wack. Looking at you, Rakshasa at HD 13! Immune to everything & is worth 10000 xp. (BTW, can’t believe it’s in the SRD? I would’ve guessed it was product identity. But I’m glad it isn’t! Such a classic.)

5e HD Average XP Median XP Median CR
1 14 10 0
2 42 37.5 0.1875
3 93 100 0.5
4 123 100 0.5
5 239 200 1
6 359 450 2
7 494 450 2
8 644 700 3
9 1000 700 3
10 2005 1100 4
11 1833 1800 5
12 2300 1800 5
13 4133 2600 6.5
14 4350 3950 8
15 5200 3900 8
16 6581 6550 10.5
17 9390 7200 11
18 15958 15000 16
19 16375 18000 17
20 19333 15000 16
21 27500 27500 20
22 29500 29500 19.5
24 33000 33000 21
25 50000 50000 23
26 50000 50000 23
27 50000 50000 23
28 62000 62000 24
33 155000 155000 30

B/X style HD to XP

But in the B/X hit dice are always d8s (i.e. it doesn’t differ by size category), and there’s no con bonus to XP for monsters. Some creatures do have 1+2 or whatever (which means 1d8 + 2).

So looking at the 5e SRD again, with the 5e average hit points converted into an B/X HD equivalent, we get:

B/X HD equivalent RC xp ACKS xp LotFP xp 2e XP Average 5e XP Median 5e XP Median 5e CR
0 5 5 5 7 14 10 0
1 10 10 10 15 15 10 0
2 20 20 25 35 52 25 0.125
3 35 50 50 65 48 50 0.25
4 75 80 75 120 90 100 0.5
5 175 200 100 175 130 100 0.5
6 275 320 250 270 235 200 1
7 450 440 500 420 372 450 2
8 650 600 750 650 307 200 1
9 900 700 1000 975 600 450 2
10 1000 850 1250 1400 532 450 2
11 1100 1000 1500 2000 450 450 2
12 1250 1200 1500 2000 575 700 3
13 1350 1400 1500 3000 564 450 2
14 1500 1600 1500 4000 1125 1125 3.5
15 1650 1800 1500 5000 878 700 3
16 1850 2000 1500 6000 1800 1800 5
17 2000 2200 1500 7000 2050 1100 4
18 2125 2400 1500 8000 1250 1250 4
19 2250 2600 1500 9000 1986 1100 4
20 2375 2800 1500 10000 1433 1800 5
21 2500 3000 1500 11000 1660 1800 5
22 2750 3250 1500 12000 5900 4750 8
23 3000 3500 1500 13000 2050 2050 5.5
24 3250 3750 1500 14000 3860 2300 6
25 3500 4000 1500 15000 1883 1800 5
26 3750 4250 1500 16000 2900 2900 7
27 4000 4500 1500 17000 1700 1700 5
28 4250 4750 1500 18000 2843 2300 6
30 4750 5250 1500 20000 6782 3900 8
31 5000 5500 1500 21000 4450 4450 8.5
32 5250 5750 1500 22000 6300 6150 10
33 5500 6000 1500 23000 7200 7200 11
34 5750 6250 1500 24000 6700 6700 10.5
35 6000 6500 1500 25000 3950 3950 8
36 6250 6750 1500 26000 6100 6100 10
37 6500 7000 1500 27000 6100 6100 10
38 6750 7250 1500 28000 6950 6950 10.5
40 7250 7750 1500 30000 7300 5900 10
41 7500 8000 1500 31000 10750 10750 13.5
42 7750 8250 1500 32000 15000 15000 16
43 8000 8500 1500 33000 9350 9350 12.5
44 8250 8750 1500 34000 11040 10000 13
46 8750 9250 1500 36000 13000 13000 15
47 9000 9500 1500 37000 14000 14000 15.5
50 9750 10250 1500 40000 16500 16500 16.5
51 10000 10500 1500 41000 10000 10000 13
54 10750 11250 1500 44000 24000 24000 18.5
55 11000 11500 1500 45000 10100 10100 13
57 11500 12000 1500 47000 18000 18000 17
58 11750 12250 1500 48000 22000 22000 19
66 13750 14250 1500 56000 25000 25000 20
67 14000 14500 1500 57000 25000 25000 20
74 15750 16250 1500 64000 25000 25000 20
76 16250 16750 1500 66000 18000 18000 17
78 16750 17250 1500 68000 33000 33000 21
82 17750 18250 1500 72000 33000 33000 21
86 18750 19250 1500 76000 41000 41000 22
99 22000 22500 1500 89000 41000 41000 22
105 23500 24000 1500 95000 50000 50000 23
107 24000 24500 1500 97000 50000 50000 23
108 24250 24750 1500 98000 50000 50000 23
121 27500 28000 1500 111000 62000 62000 24
150 34750 35250 1500 140000 155000 155000 30

Moldvay basic has monsters up to five HD and those all match up note for note with the RC, so I just used the RC for the rest because I can’t find my Cook expert set… it’s possible that the one I had was a loaner? Instantly revealed as OSR fraud & poser! T_T

Old monsters

The purpose of this is of course that even though it’s so easy to convert OSR and TSR monsters to 5e (to hit bonus is 2 + half HD, or 20 - THACO, and AC is 19-AC for B/X and 20-AC for 2e. For 3e, average normal and touch AC, and for to hit use the appropriate strength or dex mod +3. For all of these, to hits are capped at +12 and AC is capped at 22), the missing puzzle pieces has been XP. Blog of Holding showed that the XP calculator in the DMG is incorrect. so I wanted to try to find out another quick way to get “good enough” xp for these old monsters. 3e’s XP and CR system is too complicated for me #MathIsHard but how about the other games?

Using B/X monsters

Looking at this table, it looks like you can use B/X monster XP pretty much straight up! That’s awesome. It matches up well enough for me. ACKS and B/X are close enough both to each other and to 5e, too, and so is LotFP up to its HD 11 cap.

I’m glad that 5e was made so compatible with B/X. In B/X you get most of your XP from gold and treasure, but the 5e XP curves are adjusted for this. Five points of XP in ACKS is about the same as one point of XP in 5e. Mostly.

Asterisks, and such… in these games you add on more XP for special abilites and asterisks. But it’s only a little bit of a difference and it’s still close enough.

It’s wonderful that you can use material from this classic OSR darling edition straight up with 5e.

Using 2e monsters

I have a bunch of the al-Qadim boxes so I love being able to run 2e monsters straight up. The big problem is XP.

Looking at this table, we see that 2e XP is completely out of wack to 5e; sometimes it’s twice as much, sometimes it’s four times as much… That’s not what I was hoping for, I convert a lot of 2e stuff and these XP values are all over the place.

2e has its own system of “Hit Dice Value Modifiers” that’s easier to use than the B/X model of “asterisks” but applying it only makes the results even more out of wack. It’s so typical of 2e; you see something and it’s cool and detailed and flavorful, like the State Machine weather system but then once you apply it the results are just… wtf.

In this case, it’s kind of defensible as it got rid of xp for gold. And, that also gives us an avenue to address this; 2e changed monster XP payouts from B/X (I guess from 0e/1e; I just live in such a B/X bubble that I forget about 0e, Holmes, 1e etc) while 5e instead changed the XP thresholds characters needed to level to get to the same result. So here is a quick conversion formula:

2e XP under 1000 : use 2e value straight up.

2e XP 4000 or more : divide 2e XP by four

2e XP 1001 to 3999 : just say it’s 1500, close enough

Veins of the Earth

Now to the bad news. I love Veins of the Earth and I wanted to use some of its monsters.

In Veins of the Earth page 14 it says

EXPERIENCE POINTS: This the assumed experience points value, Lamentations of the Flame Princess standard. May be low for other games.

That wouldn’t be a prob for 5e; LotFP monster XP isn’t low for 5e, it’s on par. However, the XP values listed in Veins are all over the place. Twice the normal LotFP/5e value for its HD. Sometimes ten times! Sometimes more! For example, Atomic Bees on p 29. One hd. 1500 xp! In normal LotFP, it should be 10 xp. But… these have save vs death. So does B/X killer bee which is half a HD and one asterisk, for 6 xp. And is it 1500 per bee? The average number appearing is seven. 250 if you stumble upon a hive. (Not that far off from the killer bee in Moldvay which appears at an average of 3.5.) The next page over has a Blackfoot Gigaferret. 5hd. Also 1500 xp. Wait, what? And in normal LotFP, it should be 100 xp.

I’m not saying the players don’t deserve 1500 times seven for killing a patrol of atomic bees but… they kinda don’t…? The Moldvay killer bees AC is 13 in 5e terms and the Veins atomic bees AC is 18 in 5e terms. That’s a big difference, sure. On the other hand, the Moldvay bees are more dangerous because even on a successful save, the stinger slowly eats into you.

Other entities like the Funginid Slaves only have four times the normal XP, not 15 times or 150 times. It’s all over the place is what I’m saying. Not sure how to address!