Equivalent Character Level Calculator and Guide

Version 1.06. February 16, 2003.

Version history:

v 1.06 Updated the ECL system as it was revised. More monsters expected soon. (I said that 4 months ago, so …. please hope.

v 1.05 Many, many monsters added thanks to Knight Otu. (April 2002)

v 1.00 First official version full of all clarifications any player would need; all kinks worked out.

Since Beta versions, many new Monster sources have been added.

This wonderful system was invented by the D&D enthusiast Soldarin; in other words, direct questions about the system to him. (Soldarin@hotmail.com). Visit his website about this topic (an in-depth look at the rules) at http://www.webspawner.com/users/soldarin/index.htmlhttp://soldarin.tripod.com/rpgpages/.

I am Jeremy (DoktrJerms), the editor. I, too, am a D&D enthusiast. I edited, making this document more legible, and added important rules facts here and there. I also maintain the website where you can get this. Contact me at jc84@evansville.edu. Thanks again to Knight Otu for nearly 200 calculations.

For the latest version, proceed to http://csserver.evansville.edu/~jc84/DD3/

To find the Equivalent Character Level (ECL) for a race, use the following system. Begin by recording the modifiers for the abilities below.

Size: +1 per size category greater than medium or smaller than small.

Hit Dice: Treat 1 HD creature as 0 HD ones, as this takes only creature HD into account. (Note that a creature's minimum ECL is its number of Hit Dice.)

Speed: Greater speed than warranted by size +0.2 per 50% of base land speed (minimum +0.2 if greater, round down). Lower speed gives a negative level modifier (minimum –0.2 if smaller, round down). More than one mode of movement (swim, burrow, etc.) over 10 ft. adds another +0.2. Flight adds another +0.5.

AC: Natural armor or deflection bonus to AC +0.2 per +1.

Attacks: More attacks than usual due to extra arms, heads etc. +0.2. (Add in only once.)

Reach: Greater or smaller reach than usual for the size category +/-0.5. If reach differs more than one category (i.e. a huge creature with the reach of a medium sized creature) that’s another +/-0.2.

Special powers

[Abilities, like SR, that scale with level should be rated one category higher than their base value would indicate. Minor to medium, medium to major. Major powers remain major. Things you can’t seem to fit in this system can often be taken to be minor powers. For example the availability of psionic feats to a psionic creature would be counted as a +0.2]

Major powers: +1, examples include:

Medium powers: +0.5, examples include:

Minor powers: +0.2, examples include:

Special: Incorporeal is too powerful for a +1 increase, I'd suggest a +2 increase for this special quality in and of itself.


Spell-like abilities

(Of all abilities on the list, this requires special judgement; if very powerful, add as much as 1 point.)

Major powers, +1

Medium Powers, +.5

Minor Powers, +.2

Equivalence to casting spells/using psionic powers as a class:

Special weaknesses

Major weaknesses: -1, examples include:

Medium weaknesses: -0.5, examples include:

Minor weaknesses: -0.2, examples include:

Ability adjustments

The Monster Manual gives average ability scores for each monster. Calculate the ability adjustments based on each average ability score, subtract 10 if the score is even, subtract 11 if the score is odd. (e.g. a score of 7 is 7 - 11 = -4, a score of 20 is 20 - 10 = +10.) Note an ability adjustment is NOT an ability modifier. Such as 18 STR give +4 strength.

An alternative way to calculate ability adjustments is that they are equal to two times the corresponding ability modifier.

Total all the STR, DEX, and CON ability adjustements. Add + .1 x total adjustments.

Total all the INT, WIS, and CHA ability adjustments. Add +..05 x total adjustments.

Note that if the totals are negative, this lowers the total ECL rating.

If the STR is greater than or equal to 20, add an addition +0.2.

See page 23 in the DMG, tables 2-5 and 2-6, concerning ability score penalties.

Skills

Some races (such as the Kobold) have bonuses to skills because of race, explicitly listed at the end of the MM entry. Provisional (i.e. situational) modifiers count only for half.

Add +.05 per bonus skill rank.

Special Note: You need to adjust the base skill modifiers for the race into skill ranks before giving them to characters, because the character's ability scores will likely NOT be average. The maximum a race can have is the number of hit dice plus three. You must subtract from the listed, composite skill bonus in the MM the appropriate ability modifier for the average monster ability score and also the racial skill bonus to get the ranks in each skill. Players get all the skill ranks from the race, all the racial skill bonuses, and the appropriate ability bonus to a skill. But it is wise to track these separately.

Final ECL

Add all modifiers together. Round down.

If you get a ECL of 1 for a creature with 1 HD, recalculate using the HD modifier for one HD.

(Note that a creature's minimum ECL is its number of Hit Dice, except when using a 1 HD monster. If a 1 HD monster receives a 0 ECL, that creature gets hit points by class and NONE of the creature hit dice. 0 ECL creatures also do not get the race's average skill points; they gain skill points by level but do get racial skill bonuses. The most famous example of both these traits is the Kobold.)

There are two systems for using the ECL to create a character. The original system was straightforward, and the revised system makes more sense. (Editor's note: Wizards released a new system in some supplement I haven't seen.)

Original system

As found in the DMG. Add the ECL to the character’s class levels for determining effective starting level. Treat the Character as having its race as its favored class (no XP penalty) equal to his ECL. You may have a character without any class levels (other than "monster race levels"), with room for advancement.

Revised System (Recommended)

Your monster PC will have two levels. The first is his primary level. Add class levels to the monster's standard HD (0 for a 0 ECL creature). This is his primary level for all considerations EXCEPT experience points and starting gold/equipment. The experience level determines the character's level advancement using experience and starting gold/equipment. (Again, the "monster class" counts as the favored class for your monster PC.)

Skills

This section is brought to you by your editor. I added a little bit of rules clarification. If you don't like it, ask your DM for something better!

Multi-classed characters either have a skill as a class skill or not. If one of the skills is a class skill, it is considered a class skill for calculating max skill ranks. Again, use the number of hit dice to determine the "monster class level" for skill ranks.

The new rule from your editor: all the skills your character has for his race as part of the standard monster race are considered class skills.

Remember: if your monster class has a class skill, but your advancing class does not, YOU STILL PAY THE DOUBLE cross-skill point penalty, because you are spending that Class's skill points.

Example: Tiqueena starts the game as Nymph, who is a 1st level Telepath. Her primary level is 3 (Nymph HD) + 1 level as a Telepath = level 4. She executes her psion powers as a first level psion, not a fourth level character! She starts with an ability score increase because she gains one at 4th level. (She does not gain the two bonus feats for 1st and 3rd level because these are included in her Nymph "race class.") She starts with 28,000 experience points, just enough to be 8th level because 7 (her ECL) + 1 Telepath level is 8. She starts with 27,000 gp worth of equipment (see p145 DMG), exactly what an 8th level character would carry. After attaining 17,000 more experience points, Tiqueena has 45,000 experience, enough to be a 10th level character (gaining two levels), a 3rd level Telepath who is a Nymph. She gains a bonus feat, because a 6th level character (3 HD + 3 class levels) gains a bonus feat.

 

Monster Race, ECL

New v1.05: We began adding lists according to the supplement, primarily because alphabetizing them would be too taxing. See after this section for more sources.

List 1: Monsters are from the Monster Manual, unless otherwise noted.

PsiHB stands for Psionic's handbook (or any Psionic web enhancement).

MotP stands for Manual of the Planes.
FRCS stands for Forgotten Realms Campaign Sourcebook.

Aboleth, +12
Achaierai +10

Allip, +6
Anarchic/Axiomatic, +2 (MotP)

Aranea, +6

Arrowhawk, Adult +9
Arrowhawk, Elder +19
Arrowhawk, Juveline +6

Athach, +15
Awakened Ape (4 HD), +5

Awakened Ape (6 HD), +6

Awakened Baboon (1 HD), +1

Awakened Baboon (3 HD), +3

Azer, +3

Baneguard:

Barghest:

Belker +10
Behir, +12
Beholder, +14

Beholderkin, Spectator +8
Blink Dog, +4
Blue (PsiHB), +1

Bodak, +9
Bugbear, +3

Caller in Darkness (PsiHB) +11


Celestial

Centaur, +5
Chaos Beast, +10

Choker, +5

Chosen of Bane (FRCS) +6 *probably too low*

Chosen of Mystra (FRCS) +6 *probably too low*

Chimera +10

Choker +4

Chuul, +12
Cloaker, +9

Couatl, +19

Crysmal (PsiHB) +7

Delver, +15

Demon:

Destrachan +10

Devil:

Devourer, +16

Displacer Beast +8

Doppleganger:

Dracolich (FRCS), +5


Dragon (Young, Chromatic):

Dragon (Young, Gem) (PsiHB Web):

Dragon (Young, Metallic):

Dragon Turtle +18

Dragonne +10


Drider:


Dryad, +2 (treebound)

Dragon Turtle +18

Dragonne +10

Dwarf, Derro +1

Dwarf, Duergar +2

Elf: Drow, +2
Ethereal Filcher +5

Ethereal Marauder +2

Ettercap +5

Ettin, +11

Formian:

Gargoyle, +6

Gargoyle, Kir-Lanan (FRCS)+6


Genie:

Ghoul:

Giant:


Giant Eagle, +5
Giant Owl, +6
Githyanki (PsiHB), +2

Githzerai (PsiHB), +2

Gnoll, +2
Gnome: Svirfneblin +3

Gnome: Forest +1
Goblin, +0

Green Warder, +5 (MoF)

Griffon, +8
Grimlock, +3

Groundling, +4 (MoF)

Hag:


Harpy, +7
Hell Hound +5

Hobgoblin, +0

Hippogriff +5

Howler +8


Invisible Stalker, +10
Intellect Devourer (PsiHB), +9

Kobold, +0
Kirlanan, +4 (FRCS)

Kraken, +24
Kuo-Toa, +5
Lamia, +9
Lammasu, +15
Lillend, +16
Lizardfolk, +2
Locathah, +2
Magmin, +4
Manticore +9

Medusa, +6
Mephit, +7
Merfolk, +0
Mimic, +7
Mind Flayer, +10
Minotaur, +8
Mohrg, +14
Mummy, +7

Naga:


Neothelid (PsiHB) +26

Night Hag, +15
Nightmare, +11

Nightshade, Nighcrawler +30

Nightshade, Nightwalker +26

Nightshade, Nightwing +24

Nymph, +7
Ogre: Ogre, +5; Ogre Mage, +9
Orc, +0
Otyugh +6

Pegasus, +6

Phaerim, +10 (MoF)
Phasm, +15

Phthisic (PsiHB), +12

Planetouched:


Pseudodragon, +6

Puppeteer (PsiHB), +6
Rakshasa, +19

Roper, +12
Sahuagin, +3
Salamander: Flamebrother, +5; Average Salamander, +10; Noble Salamander, +20
Satyr, +5
Shade (FRCS) +2

Shadow, +6

Shadow Creature (MoP) +3

Shambling Mound, +11

Shocker Lizard +3

Skum, +3

Slaad:


Spectre, +8


Sphinx:


Sprite:


Tarrasque, +64

Temporal Filcher +8
Thoqqua +4

Thought Eater +3

Thri-kreen (PsiHB Web), +8

Titan, +49

Tojanida:

Treant, +13
Tressym (FRCS) +3
Triton, +3
Troglodyte, +2
Troll, +8
Umber Hulk, +10
Unicorn, +6

Vargouille +1

Wight, +5
Will o’ Wisp, +11
Winter Wolf, +7

Worg +5
Wraith, +6

Wyvern +11
Xill, +10

Xorn:

Yrthak +14


Yuanti:

 

 

 

Template Section:

Celestial/Fiendish, +2 (assuming power increases with level)
Ghost, +4
Half-Celestial/Half-Fiend, +3
Half-Dragon, +4
Lich, +6

Psionic Creature (PsiHB) +5


Lycanthropes:

Vampire, +10

List 2: Monsters of Faerûn

Contributed by Knight Otu

Aarakocra +1

Alaghi +9 or +11 (two sources conflict)

Asabi +3

Asabi, Stingtail +7

Banelar +15

Bat, Deep, Nighthunter +2

Bat, Deep, Sinister +8

Beholderkin, Deathkiss +12

Beholderkin, Gouger +15

Bullywug +1

Chitine +2

Choldrith +10 or +9 (two sources conflict)

Chosen One, +2

Cloaker Lord +25 or +21 (two sources conflict)

(+.5 for Componentless Spellcasting)

Curst +3 (Retaining it's intelligence)

Dark Tree +10

Demon, Ghour +23

Demon, Yochlol +13

Devil, Abishai, Black +12

Devil, Abishai, Blue +15

Devil, Abishai, Green +13

Devil, Abishai, Red +17

Devil, Abishai, White +10

Doppelganger, Greater +11

Dragon, Young Brown +18

Dragon, Young Deep +19

Dragon, Young Fang +14

Dragon, Young Shadow +17

Dragon, Young Song +19

Dragonkin +9

Dwarf: Urdunnir, +2

Firenewt +2

Ghaunadan +8

Giant, Fog Giant +15

Giant, Phaerlin Giant +10

Gibberling +0

Goblin, Dekanter +4

Golem, Gemstone, Diamond +16

Golem, Gemstone, Emerald +14

Golem, Gemstone, Ruby +12

Green Warder +5

Groundling +4

Half-Fiend, Draegloth +12

Hybsil +3 or +1 (two sources conflict)

Ibrandlin +18

Ice Serpent +8

Leucrotta +7

Malaugrym +10

Meazel +4

Myrlochar +9

Peryton +7

Phaerimm +10

Planetouched, Fey'ri +2

Planetouched, Tanarukk

+5 or +6 (two sources conflict)

Pterafolk +7

Quaggoth +4

Revenant +4

Shalarin +0

Sharn, +22

Siv +1

Spectral Panther +7

Stinger +6

Tall Mouther +8

Tomb Tapper +15

Unicorn, Black +7

Wemic +6 or +7 (two sources conflict)

Yuan-Ti, Broodguard +1

Yuan-ti, Tainted One +2

Zombie, Tyrantfog +5

List 3: Magic of Faerûn

Contributed by Knight Out

Crypt Spawn +1

(Using natural Armor +3)

Scalamagdrion +15

Spectral Mage +3

The Magister +9

List 4: Miscellaneous Collection

Contributed by Knight Otu

Heart of Nightfang Spire

Mooncalf +23

Into the Dragon's Lair/Manual of Planes

Shadow Creature +3

Return to the Temple of Elemental Evil

Blade Spirit +9

Burning Skeleton +5

Grell +7

Half-Elemental +2 also in Manual of Planes

The Standing Stone

Gravewight +5

Hobyah +8

The Sunless Citadel

Twig Blight +1

Dragon # 281

Deepling +4

Genocid +12

Jawg +30

Minwhelgo +7

Dragon # 285

Breathdrinker +11

Demonically Fused Elemental +5

Firetongue Frog +5

Grue, Chaggrin +7

Grue, Harginn +7

Grue, Ildriss +7

Grue, Vardigg +7

Orlythys +12

Rukarazyll +19

Trallusk +13

Dragon # 286

Moor Cat +12

Mord Wraith +20

Mwellret +6

Rock Troll +4

Shadowen +19

Skull Bearer +29

Dragon # 287

Chaos Eater +18

Chaoswyrd +20

Dream Element +3 Has Wis Score

Dungeon # 85

Scarlet Child +1

Dungeon # 86

Draconian, Baaz +4

Kender +0

Epic Level Handbook Handout

Thorciasid +37

Piratecat's Storyhour

Trillith +12

Relics & Rituals
Mummy, Greater +4

List 5: Manual of the Planes

Contributed by Knight Otu

Anarchic Creature +2

Astral Dreadnought +32

Axiomatic Creature +2

Bahamut +113

Bariaur +1

Celestial, Firre +25

Celestial, Leonal +21

Demon, Armanite +12

Demon, Goristo +26

Demon, Uridezu +12

Devil, Narzugon +15

Devil, Spinagon +9

Energon, Xag-Ya +6

Energon, Xeg-Yi +6

Ephemera, Dusk Beast +7

Ephemera, Ecalypse +16

Genie, Dao +12 *Cannot grant Wishes

Genie, Marid +16 *Cannot grant Wishes

Inevitable, Kolyarut +13

Inevitable, Marut +17

Inevitable, Zelekhut +12

Mercane +11

Tiamat +107

Yugoloth, Canoloth +10

Yugoloth, Mezzoloth +13

Yugoloth, Nycaloth +19

Yugoloth, Ultroloth +19

WE: Manual of the Planes

Modron, Monodrone +0

Modron, Monodrone, Messenger +1

Modron, Duodrone +2

Modron, Tridrone +5

Modron, Quadrone +6

Modron, Quadrone, Winged +7

Modron, Pentadrone +9

Modron, Decaton +22

Modron, Nonaton +26

Modron, Octon +28

Modron, Septon +41 *uncertain of ECL

Modron, Hexton +33

Modron, Quinton +35

Modron, Quarton +37

Modron, Tertian +60

Modron, Secundus +72

assuming +.6 per Monk Level

List 6: Creature Collection I

Contributed by Knight Otu

Abandoned +4

Alley Reaper +3

Asaath +5

Bat Devil +5

Belsamaug +4

Bone Lord +12

Bottle-Imp +9

Brewer Gnome +6

Carnival, Jack of Tears +40

Carnival, Alligator Warrior +8

Carnival, Blood Kraken +15

Carnival, Plague Wretch +5

Celestian +15 level, Dex 10

Charfiend +3

Coal Goblin +2

Coreanic Steed +8

Dragon, Firewrack +26

Dragon, Seawrack +19

Dragon, Tar +43

Dragon, Woodwrack +41

Dragonman +11

Drendari's Avatar +95

assuming +.8 for rogue levels

Dwarf, Charduni +1

Dwarf, Forsaken +0

Elf, Forsaken +0

Emperor Stag +14

Exemplar +2 not considering extra HD

Fatling +13

Fleshcrawler +7

Frost Ape +2 Should be Humanoid

Garabrud, the Obsidian Hound +23

Gorgon, High +23 Gorgon, Low +11

Great Harrier +20

Hag, Brine +22

Hag, Cavern +23

Hag, Ice +19

Hag, Moon +37 level

Hag, Storm +16

Hag, Swamp +12

Halfling, Scarred Lands +1

Hamadryad +8

Hanid +11

Harpy, Scarred Lands +5

Herald of Vangal +22

Hollow Knight +6

Hornsaw Unicorn +13

Huror +20

Ice Ghoul +4

Ice Haunt +7

Inn-Wight +4

Inquisitor +20

Iron Tusker +19

Keffiz +8

Manticora +3

Marrow Knight +12

Memory Eater +4

Miredweller +4

Mistwalker +6

Morgaunt +4

Murdersprite +2

Narleth +8

Orafaun +8

Orafaun, Patriarch +12

Paragon Crocodile +15

Proud +6

Pyre +7

Ratman +1

Ratman, Brown Gorger +1

Ratman, Diseased +1

Ratman, Foamer +3

Ratman, Red Witch +4 River Nymph +5

Runnk +3

Sage Camel +14

Sand Burrower +10

Sandmasker +12

Savant Hydra +23

Siren Vulture +2

Skin Devil +6

Skyquill +10

Slarecian Gargoyle +10

Slarecian Ghoul +9

Slarecian Shadowman +10

Sleet Devil +9

Spider-Eye Goblin +2

Spirit of the Plague +6

Steel Giant +18

Steppe Troll +8

Stick Giant +30 Should have d8's as HD

Storm Kin +13

Strife Elemental +5

Swamp Gobbler +6

Thunder Orb +6

Tokal Tribesman +3

Trogodon +6

Ubantu Tribesman +0

Unhallowed, Faithless Knight +12 Unhallowed, False Lover +12

Unhallowed, Forsaken Priest +13 Unhallowed, Treacherous Thief +11 Unholy Child +6

Were-Vulture +6

Willow Tree Warrior +9

Woods Haunt +11

*doubt correct, due to high speed

 

List 7: Creature Collection II

Contributed by Knight Otu

Abyssal Lamprey +6

Acid Shambler +2

Arcane Devourer +13

Arch Lurker +10

Athentia, the Great Sphinx +59

Bane Cloud +4

Belsameth Spider +4

Bitter Tree +22

Blade Beast +6

Blood Crone +34

Blood Maiden +3

Blood Reaper +13

Blood Sea Mutant +2

Blood Sprite +3

Bloodless +6 Dex Bonus should be +2

Bonewing +8

Burned Ones +10

Carnival, Bone Bosun -1

Carnival, Heron Priest +9

Carnival, Dark Harlequin +6

Carnival, Shadowjester +2

Cloudsting +14

Conundrum +3 Str Bonus should be +6

Corpse Whisperer +7

Daemon, Grisly Minstrel +16

Daemon, Moon +25

Daemon, Plague Angel +15

Dananshee +3

Darkling Sentinel +15

Demon, Abyssal Larva +6

Demon, Blade +15

Demon, Blood Horror +16

Demon, Leonine +14

Demon, Locust +22

Deryth (Joined) +11

Despair +19

Devil, Heartclutch +10

Devil, Iron +23

Dragon, Young Slarecian +17

Dream Folk +8

Dreamwrack +7

Dreamwraith +11

Elder Larva +17

Face Stealer +4

Filcher +0

Flayed Giant +10

Forest Walker +21

Gallows Eye +11

Gauntling +6

Gaurak Troll +14

Grotesque Herder +13

Grotesque Parasite +7

Guardian of the Damned +46

Hagling, Brine +4

Hagling, Cavern +4

Hagling, Ice +4

Hagling, Moon +4

Hagling, Storm +4

Hagling, Swamp +4

Hex Creature, Single-Hex +1

Hex Creature, Tri-Hex +3

Hope +19

Howling Abomination +14

Hrinruuk's Hound +7

Ioun Beholder +13

Legion of One +18

Mirror Fiend +19

Moon Giant +29

Naga, Crown +21

Naga, Hollow +22 Night-Touched Controller +11

Night-Touched Hound +7

Pestilite +8

Pilfer Sprite +8

Piscean, Black +23 Piscean, Green +6

Quicksilver Stalker +8

Ratman, Daywalker +4

Ratman, Stalker +4

Ratman, White Wraith +4

Sagon +0

Sand Mummy +7

Sand Mummy, Unholy One +9

Scar Twin +8

Seeker's Bane +3

Shackledeath +14

Shadow Lord +9

Shadowcat +5

Shadowraven +4

Skein +9

Skeletal Host +9

Skin Weaver +4

Skull King +16 Slarecian Gatekeeper +25

Slarecian Shadowspawn +6

Slarecian Worm +8

Slime Reaver +4

Soul Guardian +15

Stormchild +2

Sundered Woman +6

Surged Giant +11

Sutak +2

Tauron +15

Thulkan +17

Time Killer +6

Touch Corrupter +6

Tundra Lord +15

Tuscar +6

Ukrudan Stalker +10

Unitaur +8

Vangal's Chosen +0

Vermin Host, Cockroach +6

Vermin Host, Leech +5

Vermin Host, Rat +4

Vermin Host, Spider +5

Vertigen +2

Windrider +8