Friday, August 19, 2011

Stupid Question Regarding Swords & Wizardry "CL" vs. AD&D/OSRIC "Dungeon Level"

So I'm trying to hack out some over the top OSR monster book encounter tables (utilizing the monsters from the Swords & Wizardry Monster Book AND Monsters of Myth AND Malevolent and Benign AND Tome of Horrors Complete AND the indices from the AD&D Monster Manual II), starting with the dungeons, and I have a pretty stupid question for folks that are Swords & Wizardry AND AD&D/OSRIC mavens...

For AD&D/OSRIC monsters are arranged on a "Dungeon Level" scale from 1/I to 10/X BUT Swords & Wizardry uses a Challenge Level system without a cap that extends waaay past 10/X.

Is there any quick rules of thumb regarding converting S&W CL to AD&D/OSRIC "Dungeon Level" or am I just being obtuse/overthinking this? I'm actually way stupider than usual lately so please bear with me.


  1. I don't think there's much difference in how these are used or how they correspond to the dungeon level. Check out the tables on page 93 of S&W, and you should be able to break down the correspondence between CL and dungeon level so that it is analogous to the AD&D/OSRIC system.

  2. If you have access to Castles & Crusades, it has a system for generating a monster's AD&D style "level." It might be worth doing on the S&W monsters. Conversely you might want to try converting the AD&D monsters to the S&W system.

    That might be too much work so you might just wanna say "fuck it" and assume they're roughly equivalent.

  3. I prefer to use this approach when sizing monsters for encounters, based on BECMI -- create each encounter to have monsters with 1/2 the hit dice of the party. See the discussion on this vs. CR here:

  4. I think most creatures in S&W would be in AD&D anyway, so maybe you could just use the rating they have in AD&D?

    As far as I can gather from p93 of my copy of the 'Core Rules' version, a Challenge Level by itself doesn't determine what dungeon level the monster will be found on.

    For example CL3 creatures can be found on levels 1 to 6. On level 1 there'll be one of them, on level 6 there'll be 16d6 of them.

    So if you want to have a monster only exist on one level, I'd start by deciding how many of them are encountered, then find the entry that's closest to that.

    For example for a CL4 creature that's encountered in groups of 2-8, you might put them on level 4 (the table has 2d6 CL4 creatures on level 4).

  5. The issue is that between all of my OSR monster books I have about 1500 monsters split between S&W and OSRIC so I'm not going to be doing any real number crunching.

    However I did some comparisons between monsters in both systems and I think I'm hacking together a CL/Level conversion algorithin.