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'''Effective character levels (ECLs)''' are a way to compensate for the traits of the more powerful [[race]]s. The average [[drow]], for example, has several powerful abilities that make them more powerful than [[human]]s. To compensate for this, [[PnP]] use the concept of an ECL.
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'''Effective character level''' ('''ECL''') is a way to compensate for certain [[class]]es having a harder time at low levels in Neverwinter Nights (especially in single player). This is implemented in NWN by considering a killed monster to have a higher [[challenge rating]] (CR) based on the class levels of the killer. With the [[expansion pack]]s, NWN abandoned the use of ECL; thus it is only used in the [[original campaign]] and in modules made with a Toolset that does not have the expansions. For a multiclassed character, the bonus to CR for the monsters killed is the sum of the bonus for each class (by its class level).
   
If drow have an ECL of +2, that would mean that they’re treated as two levels higher than other races at the same amount of XP. For example, a human with 11000 XP would normally be level 5; a drow with 11000 XP is level 3. ECLs “lag” your character behind by a certain number of levels, to compensate for your more powerful racial capabilities.
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{| class="centertable subheaders" style="text-align:center"
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!rowspan="2"|Current<br />level
  +
!colspan="7"|CR bonus
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|-
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![[bard]]
  +
![[cleric]]
  +
![[druid]]
  +
![[monk]]
  +
![[rogue]]
  +
![[sorcerer]]<br />[[wizard]]
  +
!others
  +
|-
  +
!1
  +
|0
  +
|0
  +
|0
  +
|0
  +
|0
  +
|0
  +
|0
  +
|-
  +
!2
  +
|1
  +
|1
  +
|1
  +
|0
  +
|1
  +
|1
  +
|0
  +
|-
  +
!3
  +
|1
  +
|2
  +
|1
  +
|0
  +
|1
  +
|2
  +
|0
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|-
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!4
  +
|2
  +
|2
  +
|2
  +
|1
  +
|2
  +
|2
  +
|0
  +
|-
  +
!5
  +
|1
  +
|3
  +
|2
  +
|2
  +
|1
  +
|3
  +
|0
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|-
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!6
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|1
  +
|2
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|2
  +
|1
  +
|1
  +
|2
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|0
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|-
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!7
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|1
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|0
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|0
  +
|0
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|1
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|1
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|0
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|-
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!8
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|1
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|0
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|0
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|0
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|0
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|0
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|0
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|-
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!9
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|1
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|0
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|0
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|0
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|0
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|0
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|0
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|-
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!10
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|1
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|0
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|0
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|0
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|0
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|0
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|0
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|-
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!11
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|1
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|0
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|0
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|0
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|0
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|0
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|0
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|-
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!12
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|1
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|0
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|0
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|0
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|0
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|0
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|0
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|-
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!13
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|1
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|0
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|0
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|0
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|0
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|0
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|0
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|-
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!14-20
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|0
  +
|0
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|0
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|0
  +
|0
  +
|0
  +
|0
  +
|}
   
== Notes ==
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The original campaign did not factor in classes going beyond 20 levels (as there was a level 20 cap when it was released). However, playing this campaign (or a [[module]] made with a [[Toolset]] without the [[expansion pack]]s) with a character with classes beyond level 20 (requires the [[Hordes of the Underdark]] expansion) will cause that class to contribute a CR bonus equal to the entire class level. Thus a [[wizard]] 5/[[cleric]] 5/[[sorcerer]] 30 would generate a CR bonus of 3 + 3 + 30 = 36, and thus would get as much experience points for killing a creature with a challenge rating of 4 as killing one with a challenge rating of 40 (as 40 is the maximum CR for XP calculation).
   
*[[BioWare]] did not implement ECL in the conventional sense because Neverwinter Nights does not (by default) support [[subrace]]s and monster races which are the main sources of ECL and thus it was not needed.
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== Pen and paper comparison ==
   
*BioWare did, however, implement a class-based ECL system where some classes get bonuses such that the game treats them as if they were lower than their actual level.
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In [[pen and paper]] D&D, ECL is used to compensate for the traits of the more powerful [[race]]s. The average [[drow]], for example, has several powerful abilities that make her more powerful than a [[human]], and so would always be considered to be two levels higher than the sum of her class levels. Thus a drow character would gain levels slower than a human, balancing out the racial advantages.
  +
[[BioWare]] did not implement this racial ECL presumably because they implemented neither [[subrace]]s nor monster races, which are the main sources of racial ECL.
   
*Many [[module]]s have [[script]]ed various systems to handle subraces. One such system involves giving such characters Racial [[Hit Die]] however this solution is at best flawed as GUI limitations prevent characters from taking more than 3 classes and Racial HD take up one slot limiting special races to only 2 classes.
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Some modules have [[script]]ed various systems to implement subraces, and some of these include pen-and-paper style ECL. One such system utilizes racial [[hit dice]], but this solution has the drawback of using one of the character's three potential classes for these racial hit dice, limiting characters with racial hit dice to two "real" classes.
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[[category:game rules]]
[[Category:Game rules]]
 

Latest revision as of 07:31, December 13, 2016

Effective character level (ECL) is a way to compensate for certain classes having a harder time at low levels in Neverwinter Nights (especially in single player). This is implemented in NWN by considering a killed monster to have a higher challenge rating (CR) based on the class levels of the killer. With the expansion packs, NWN abandoned the use of ECL; thus it is only used in the original campaign and in modules made with a Toolset that does not have the expansions. For a multiclassed character, the bonus to CR for the monsters killed is the sum of the bonus for each class (by its class level).

Current
level
CR bonus
bard cleric druid monk rogue sorcerer
wizard
others
1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2 1 1 1 0 1 1 0
3 1 2 1 0 1 2 0
4 2 2 2 1 2 2 0
5 1 3 2 2 1 3 0
6 1 2 2 1 1 2 0
7 1 0 0 0 1 1 0
8 1 0 0 0 0 0 0
9 1 0 0 0 0 0 0
10 1 0 0 0 0 0 0
11 1 0 0 0 0 0 0
12 1 0 0 0 0 0 0
13 1 0 0 0 0 0 0
14-20 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

The original campaign did not factor in classes going beyond 20 levels (as there was a level 20 cap when it was released). However, playing this campaign (or a module made with a Toolset without the expansion packs) with a character with classes beyond level 20 (requires the Hordes of the Underdark expansion) will cause that class to contribute a CR bonus equal to the entire class level. Thus a wizard 5/cleric 5/sorcerer 30 would generate a CR bonus of 3 + 3 + 30 = 36, and thus would get as much experience points for killing a creature with a challenge rating of 4 as killing one with a challenge rating of 40 (as 40 is the maximum CR for XP calculation).

Pen and paper comparison Edit

In pen and paper D&D, ECL is used to compensate for the traits of the more powerful races. The average drow, for example, has several powerful abilities that make her more powerful than a human, and so would always be considered to be two levels higher than the sum of her class levels. Thus a drow character would gain levels slower than a human, balancing out the racial advantages. BioWare did not implement this racial ECL presumably because they implemented neither subraces nor monster races, which are the main sources of racial ECL.

Some modules have scripted various systems to implement subraces, and some of these include pen-and-paper style ECL. One such system utilizes racial hit dice, but this solution has the drawback of using one of the character's three potential classes for these racial hit dice, limiting characters with racial hit dice to two "real" classes.

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