The Same Game Test (DnD Guideline)
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Same Game Test
The Same Game Test is a balance guideline used to gauge the level of power a character class or option versus a more traditional option. The information in the Dungeon Master's Guide and Monster Manual states that a character of any given level should have, on average, a 50% chance to win an encounter against a creature with a CR equal to the character's level or a group of creatures in a single encounter whose EL equals the character's level.
Using the Tier system for rating SRD classes, one can determine that an option that performs as stated above is relatively located around the same power level as a tier 4 option, like the Rogue. Characters who perform noticeably better than 50% on a Same Game Test, especially at later levels, are generally considered to fall into the area of tiers 1 and 2. Characters who perform noticeably worse than 50%, especially at higher levels, are generally considered to fall into tier 5, along with the Fighter and Monk.
This guideline seeks to assist in determining the power level of classes and character options by allowing them to directly compare to the performance of other classes and builds. This wiki does not formally accept the notion of the Tier system, or the ideas that it puts forth, but the Same Game Test can still be used to compare performance against SRD classes.
The original Same Game Test for tenth level characters
- A hallway filled with magical runes.
- A Fire Giant on an active volcano, who hides under lava if kited.
- A Young Blue Dragon, soaring over a seemingly endless expanse of sand dunes.
- A Bebilith hidden on the ceiling of a cave in the abyss.
- A Vrock in a demonic forest.
- A tag team of Mind Flayers in a cramped underground structure.
- An Evil Necromancer in a graveyard with extensive catacombs.
- 6 Trolls in a small cave behind a waterfall.
- 12 Shadows in an inn after the lights have been doused for the night.
A fifth level Same Game Test
- A locked door behind an arbitrarily high number of assorted CR 4 traps.
- A huge Animated iron statue in a throne room.
- A Basilisk in its desert burrow.
- A Large Fire Elemental in a mystic forge.
- A Manticore on the wing above a plain.
- A Phase Spider anywhere. They're tricky creatures like that.
- A couple of Centaur Archers in a light to medium wood.
- A Howler/Allip tag team in an abandoned temple to a dark god.
- A Grimlock assault team (4 members) hidden in a cavern.
- A Cleric of Hextor (with his dozen zombies) in a crypt.
A fifteenth level Same Game Test
- A Marut in a metropolis.
- A Hullathoin (with its army of skeletons and bloodfiend locusts).
- A Nightmare Beast deep in a hedge maze.
- A Windghost in the sky.
- A Yakfolk cleric with a party of Dao, submerged in the elemental plane of earth.
- A Drow Priestess with an army of ghouls.
- A warparty of Cloud Giants, in the process of assaulting the party's favorite village.
- A Mature Adult White Dragon, in its cavernous lair on the side of a mountain made entirely of ice, with an extensive series of tunnels it dug to inconvenience creatures that can't burrow or climb icy walls.
- A Death Slaad riding a Titanic Toad.
- A Cornugon in a cave structure with massive, 300 foot caves, who has obscured some of the connecting tunnels with illusions.
- A Gelugon and his Iron Golem bodyguard, travelling hellish glaciers in a blizzard.
- A Rube Goldberg series of contingent weirds triggered to a set of symbols of pain surrounding the artifact.
- A pair of Glabrezus, teleporting to trap the players in a 15 foot wide tunnel.
- A harem of Succubi using a brothel as cover while they prepare to allow more demons into the material plane.
- Twenty Dire Bears in a forest.
- A dozen Medusa archers mounted on Hellcats pretending to be hellcat-less archaelogists in a ruined temple complex.
- A forest made out of lava and infested with hostile fire-element dire badgers.
- A pair of Beholders in a disintegrated cavern structure, filled with smooth vertical tunnels and heavy plug-shaped objects waiting to be dropped into them.