Generating Hoards by the Cards, Card Values

In Generating Hoards by the Cards, Groundwork, I suggested different cards might have different ranges of values.

I’ve calculated possible values such that each card is roughly the same amount larger (by ratio) than the card below it.  The values of Aces and Twos overlap the nominal upper values of the next-lower tier, and the values of Queens and Kings overlap the nominal lower values of the next-higher tier.  The table below shows the approximate nominal value of each card.

Additional values (two below Ace, two above King, and two tiers below Basic and two above Epic (three above Legendary)) are shown because they may be useful when ‘near the edges’ of the main body of the table.

Card Values by Tier

Tier Basic– Basic- Basic Expert Heroic Master Champion Legendary Epic Epic+ Epic++
Echelon Level -7..-4 -3..0 1..4 5..8 9..12 13..16 17..20 21..24 25..28 29..32 33..36
D&D 3.x CR ? ? 1/6..1/2 1..4 5..8 9..12 13..16 17..20 21..24 25..28 29..32
3 8 25 75 225 675 2,025 6,075 18,225 54,675 164,025
3 10 29 86 258 774 2,323 6,969 20,908 62,723 188,170
Ace 4 11 33 99 296 888 2,665 7,995 23,985 71,956 215,869
2 4 13 38 113 340 1,019 3,057 9,172 27,516 82,549 247,646
3 5 14 43 130 390 1,169 3,507 10,522 31,567 94,700 284,100
4 6 17 50 149 447 1,341 4,024 12,071 36,213 108,640 325,920
5 6 19 57 171 513 1,539 4,616 13,848 41,544 124,632 373,896
6 7 22 65 196 588 1,765 5,295 15,886 47,659 142,978 428,935
7 8 25 75 225 675 2,025 6,075 18,225 54,675 164,025 492,075
8 10 29 86 258 774 2,323 6,969 20,908 62,723 188,170 564,510
9 11 33 99 296 888 2,665 7,995 23,985 71,956 215,869 647,607
10 13 38 113 340 1,019 3,057 9,172 27,516 82,549 247,646 742,937
Jack 14 43 130 390 1,169 3,507 10,522 31,567 94,700 284,100 852,299
Queen 17 50 149 447 1,341 4,024 12,071 36,213 108,640 325,920 977,760
King 19 57 171 513 1,539 4,616 13,848 41,544 124,632 373,896 1,121,688
22 65 196 588 1,765 5,295 15,886 47,659 142,978 428,935 1,286,804
25 75 225 675 2,025 6,075 18,225 54,675 164,025 492,075 1,476,225

The values above are merely guidelines and suggestions.  I will be presenting a sample table (at least partially filled) below for potions, where I try to keep (for example) ‘first-level’ potions (spell level 1, caster level 1) in slots worth about 50 gold pieces.  This aligns with my sense of mathematical elegance… but it’s entirely valid to say that all Basic slots are filled with first-level potions.

Populated Potion Table (Incomplete)

Ace flask acid tanglefoot bag 2 first-level potions second-level potion
2 flask acid tanglefoot bag oil of bless weapon second-level potion resist energy 30
3 first-level potion 3 first-level potions resist energy 30
4 alchemist’s fire first-level potion 3 first-level potions oil of greater magic weapon +2
5 alchemist’s fire first-level potion 3 first-level potions protection from arrows 15/magic
6 zero-level potion 2 holy water
7 bottle fine wine zero-level potion third-level potion
8 bottle fine wine holy water 2 first-level potions potion of enlarge person (CL5) third-level potion
9 flask acid thunderstone 2 first-level potions second-level potion third-level potion
10 thunderstone 2 first-level potions second-level potion potion of good hope
Jack antitoxin 3 first-level potions second-level potion oil of greater magic weapon +2
Queen antitoxin 3 first-level potions
King first-level potion 3 first-level potions
Tier Basic– Basic- Basic Expert Heroic Master Champion Legendary Epic Epic+ Epic++
Echelon Level -7..-4 -3..0 1..4 5..8 9..12 13..16 17..20 21..24 25..28 29..32 33..36
D&D 3.x CR ? ? 1/6..1/2 1..4 5..8 9..12 13..16 17..20 21..24 25..28 29..32

I’m skipping a lot here — the ‘first-level potion’, ‘second-level potion’, and ‘third-level potion’ entries are obviously placeholders.  I’d probably select common potions (such as cure light wounds) to fill these slots, if I were preparing a general table.  I might use it just as a marker and roll the spell randomly when the card is drawn.  Where I name specific potions they are typically non-standard cost (oil of bless weapon is shown as a 100 gp potion, the potion of enlarge person is shown as a 250gp potion because it has Caster Level 5).

Incidentally, this would be much easier if I were at home.  Trying to populate this on a single monitor is way more hassle than if I could have the reference material open on the second monitor (as at home) or if I could have the book open next to me (they’re all at home too).

Closing Comments

As much as this table is incomplete, I think it shows that it can be workable.

I’ll look into filling this in more later, or more likely taking a little more time and building a better table (I’m trying to do this quickly while on my lunch break at work).  It seems to be a little light on the chances of drawing any particular potion, so I’ll want to check frequencies in core books to see how likely potions are.  I suspect I’m not hugely out of line because at low levels there is only a small chance of a minor magic item, and then a mediocre chance of a potion, and then each specific potion has only a small chance on the table.  I suspect that if I were to map out the probabilities entirely, it might be plausible that the chance of getting a common potion is comparable between the method presented in the core books and the method presented here.

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  1. on June 25, 2012 at 10:29 pm