I have a pen and paper game that I'm creating, but I'm running across issues in keeping the ratios between high and low level players similar in the battle and reward equations. Obviously a higher level player should receive less experience, but have the upper-hand in battle when fighting lower level players and monsters. Here is how I'm calculating things currently:

Battle starts  
If player.dex > enemy.dex  
Accuracy = ((player.dex - enemy.dex)/2)*20  

If player.dex < enemy.dex  
Accuracy = ((enemy.dex*player.dex)-enemy.dex)/player.dex  

Accuracy is a percentage tested against a roll of a 100 sided die.

If accuracy > roll  
Hit success

If accuracy < roll  
Hit fails

If hit success  

All of the attacker's damaging items (spiked helms and shields, weapons, etc.) are added together and applied as such:

Damage = (player.str + item.damage)-(enemy.dex + enemy.armor)

If the player is fighting a monster, I have a base amount of gold and experience which is modified according to the player:

Gold gained = (enemy.gold*rand(1,10))/player.level  
Exp gained = (enemy.exp*rand(1,3))/player.level  

If the player is fighting another player, then there will have to be a different equation for the rewards, but I'm not sure how to go about creating that one.

As this is my first attempt at creating (though I'm an avid RPGer), I'm not sure if there is kind of an "industry standard" form of calculating these things or not. I'm also afraid that these equations won't hold up once the player reaches higher levels (say level 50+). Can anyone give me some advice on this? I want it to be fairly deterministic because I may put it into a computer program eventually.

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ What ratios are you trying to balance? How are they unbalanced now? How do you want it to scale from 1 to 50? Geometrically? Linearly? Something else? You've thrown a bunch of equations at us without telling us what you want them to do and where they're falling short and what they're falling short of. Could you perhaps share the design goals that have lead you to this initial form of the combat subsystem so we know where you're aiming? \$\endgroup\$ Jul 29, 2012 at 1:21
  • \$\begingroup\$ @sevensideddie I'm thinking it'll have to be a linear progression, as I'm not mathematically inclined enough for geometric. As it stands now, it seems that there isn't going to be enough experience awarded at higher levels to climb progressively toward the next level. I mean that at say level 10 you need 5000 exp for the next level, but gained exp seems to come out very low. As I said, I've got a base exp and gold amount set for each creature, so I guess I could manage it by editing those, but I'm not sure. I'm new to the whole system creation thing. \$\endgroup\$ Jul 29, 2012 at 2:50

1 Answer 1


Most RPGs do not try to be exceedingly rigorous about this. The one exception is really later editions of D&D which have a Challenge Rating mechanic - here's a calculator for 3.5e and here's the procedure for Pathfinder - combined with a geometric progression of XP required per level. No, it doesn't scale up to level 50. Most games use a less granular "here's 2 XP from that adventure, add to your skills" or even a "level when the Gm wants everyone to" model.


You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .