Could you give an explanation for finding a given creature's HEV? For example, how did you find those numbers for the human, elf, halfling, and dwarf?
The CR comparison is one thing, but the class and race comparison is likely where most of us are going to be interested.
I realized that almost all abilities and metrics in D&D can actually be represented by a single "unit". In other words, one of the aspects of the stat block actually duplicates and thus can represent or be equivalent to almost all if not all of the others entries in the stat block. This allows all of the other stats to be 'converted' into 'units' of that specific aspect. That 'unit' is feats. However, there are many different kinds of feats: low level prereqs versus high level prereqs, waste-of-time feats versus value-added feats, epic versus non-epic. Thus the "roughness" of the conversion and comparison.
The key concepts involved are that a) the effect of every ability is replicated in a feat (or more than one feat) somewhere in the game, and b) that feats can be converted into GP value based on the rule given in the A&EG - which gives us two methods for calculating the worth of powers, spells, and items - one based on the number of feats it takes to replicate the end effect as described above, and two based on the gp value of the item compared to the gp value of the feats.
Thus the Hidden Equivalency Value represents how many feats it takes to duplicate as closely as possible any given specific ability. This represents the "potential" weight of a given character or monster, but can even compare an item, power, spell, or special ability. Obviously some feats are more effective than others, thus converting abilities to feats can only represent the potential value of that ability.
For the v0.1 KDS, I have been ignoring the difference between epic and non-epic feats, and only looking at the end result of number of feats. Also, it is quite probable that I've missed details. One that occurred to me today is that I failed to account for the weapon and armor proficiency of the kobold warriors, since I believe the MM1 states somewhere that monsters are considered proficient with any equipment listed in the stat block? Here is a partial table I have constructed, and hope that others can help improve:
|BAB||epic prowess||+1 to attack|
|Fort||great fortitude||+2 to fort (luck of heroes adds +1 to all saves)|
|Ref||lightning reflexes||+2 to reflex (luck of heroes adds +1 to all saves)|
|Will||iron will||+2 to will (luck of heroes adds +1 to all saves)|
|Skill points||open minded or Acrobatic||5 skill points per feat OR 4 skill point equivalents per feat|
|light armor||armor proficiency light||gain proficiency with selected equipment|
|medium armor||armor proficiency medium||gain proficiency with selected equipment|
|heavy armor||armor proficiency heavy||gain proficiency with selected equipment|
|shield||shield proficiency||gain proficiency with selected equipment|
|tower shield||tower shield proficiency||gain proficiency with selected equipment|
|simple weapons||simple weapon proficiency||gain proficiency with selected equipment|
|martial weapons||martial weapon proficiency||gain proficiency with selected equipment|
|exotic weapons||exotic weapon proficiency||gain proficiency with selected equipment|
|unarmed attacks||improved unarmed strike||gain proficiency with body as a weapon|
|AC||dodge||+1 to AC|
|natural armor||improved natural armor||+1 to natural armor|
|initiative ||fire heritage or guerrilla scout||+1 to initiative|
|critical threat||improved critical||x2 crit threat range (find better one?)|
|HP||toughness||+3 hit points|
|iterative attack||rapid fire||extra attack|
|spellcasting ability||magical training||gain spellcasting and 3 cantrips, cast as sorcerer or wiz (you choose)|
|spell||extra spell||gain extra spell known|
|spell slot||extra slot||gain extra casting slot |
|gaining higher level spellcasting||improved spell capacity||epic, grants one higher level of spellcasting|
|power||expanded knowledge||gain extra power known|
|power points||wild talent or hidden talent||gain psionic ability and +2 pp|
|psionic ability||wild talent or hidden talent||gain psionic ability and +2 pp|
|gaining higher level manifesting||improved manifesting||epic, grants one higher level of manifesting|
|Character feat|| counts as one feat|
|Character stat||see specific stats|
|Str||great strength||+1 to stat|
|Con||great consititution||+1 to stat|
|Dex||great dexterity||+1 to stat|
|Int||great intelligence||+1 to stat|
|Wis||great wisdom||+1 to stat|
|Cha||great charisma||+1 to stat|
|HD||???||typically overridden by 1st class level, at least for humanoids. |
|magic item slots||additional magic item space ||epic feat|
|speed||speed of thought||+10' movement speed|
|lifespan||extended life span||adds one half, thus two of these feats are equivalent to the age of any given creature – since all creatures have this, don’t bother including|
|spontaneous casting||spontaneous/healer/wounder/summoner||swap out a spell|
This table needs to be expanded to cover more things... for example the feats from Lords of Madness could cover abomination type monsters, and so forth.
Using this table, we can break down all (or most) of D&D into feats and feat equivalents (for example, some class features or monster abilities might take more than one feat to replicate the effect) and this gives us a rough basis for comparing the potential power of any given aspect of the game: creatures, characters, classes, items, powers, spells, special abilities, and so on. Obviously, this comparison is not perfect, nor is it especially precise. I feel that it is more precise than the current CR system, and thus has value.
One thing I am unclear on is that where there are multiple feats that replicate a given ability, is it better to go with the feat that has the high number, or the feat that has the low number? For example, improved initiative grants +4, but another feats grants +1 - which would be the better representation for the value? Is +1 init worth a feat, or is +4 the better representation of the worth? And so on and so forth for every one that has multiple differing numbers.
In any case, the HEV (Hidden Equivalency Value) is simply the total number of feats that a given thing represents. In the case of Wizard level 1, I came up with a value of 28 feats worth of stuff. The fighter level 1, I came up with 15 feats worth of stuff. And so on. The PC race values were taken from the PHB since I was planning on adding the class anyway. I could convert a power or spell or item into HEV as well using this method. Since I came up with 14 for the Kobold warrior, I set that as equal to 1 KDS (Kobold Death Squad). Why kobolds? It's kind of a tradition in D&D, from Tucker's Koblolds down to Meep, it's the best representation, I feel. And it's funny, at least to me. ^^
So, here is the framework, I welcome feedback.
PS: It may be of interest that the 2nd level of fighter has an HEV of 6, and the 2nd level of Wizard has an HEV of 7 (plus new spells found AND copied into spellbook, again not counting equipment owned or treasure found in my base calculations). I find it interesting that the KDS system I have envisioned numerically demonstrates the increasing gap between caster types and non caster types....