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Race Points vs ECL


Rules Questions


Hello all! I am typically a "Core only" kind of guy, but I am getting things raved up for a new homebrew game that will be starting in a month or two. I am wanting to branch out away from my "Core only" mindset.

I will be starting them off at level 3, less squishy and able to focus on concept building vs survival building. First level is tough.

Back in 3.5 there were things called ECL, equivalent/effective class level. There were races that if they were a ECL +1 plus lvl 1 fighter they were "equal" to a level 2 character.

Flash forward to Pathfinder and they now have Race Points. If you were to break them down in to ECL what point range would be a level 1 or a level 2?

I want to give people options based on character concept the ability to play races I normally don't allow, but to keep things balanced.

I hope this makes since what I am asking. I tried to search ECL and race points but nothing came up. Thanks for the help in advance.


Is this table what you're looking for?


Fuzzy-Wuzzy wrote:
Is this table what you're looking for?

Note that this table isn't a modifier on a PLAYERS level but on the PARTY average level.

RelicBlackOUT wrote:
If you were to break them down in to ECL what point range would be a level 1 or a level 2?

There is none, however there is point where a party could see it's level shift from 1 to 2 if one or more players have 20+ rp characters. And even if the level shifts at 1st it may not at 6, 11 or 16 as the modifier drops at these levels. For instance, at 11th level a party of 28RP centaurs has no modifier on party level.

For instance, one player has a 35RP drider and the other 5 have 8 RP 1/2 orcs: The average party RP is 12.5 and as you "round the result to the nearest multiple of 10" that's a 10 meaning the party has no modifier.


@graystone Interesting. I don't know how they centaurs would not be a higher "ECL" even once they are higher level. Don't they have racial hit die?

What is the typical range for the standard starting races? 10 ish?

I understand why they switched things, it also was cool that it allows people to build races, but I still miss those good ole black and white ECL.


RelicBlackOUT wrote:

@graystone Interesting. I don't know how they centaurs would not be a higher "ECL" even once they are higher level. Don't they have racial hit die?

What is the typical range for the standard starting races? 10 ish?

I understand why they switched things, it also was cool that it allows people to build races, but I still miss those good ole black and white ECL.

Centaurs: If you look under example races under other they list centaurs. centaur They have NO racial HD. Any race made for players will have none of those.

"ECL" at higher level: The rational is that the higher the class level, the less important race abilities are. This means that at 16th level, 16th level druid matters so much more than centaur or human. the abilities that where awesome at 1st are much less so once class features start stacking up.

Starting races: Core goes from 8 [1/2 orc] to 11 [dwarf]. This is deceiving though as the HUGE amount of options available to make them much more powerful than the numbers seem. For instance, even though 1/2 orc comes in with the lowest RP, I'd rank it the most powerful along with human [9 RP]. Alternate Racial Traits, Favored Class Options, Racial feats, Racial archetypes, racial weapons, ect aren't reflected in those RP's.

Expanded: they range from 5 to 24, though again some of those numbers are deceiving.


RelicBlackOUT wrote:

Back in 3.5 there were things called ECL, equivalent/effective class level. There were races that if they were a ECL +1 plus lvl 1 fighter they were "equal" to a level 2 character.

Flash forward to Pathfinder and they now have Race Points. If you were to break them down in to ECL what point range would be a level 1 or a level 2?

The Race Point system isn't widely used. It's not particularly accurate, and races can be much stronger or weaker than their RP indicates. RP can be useful as a general guideline for GM's, but you should never directly use it as a hard rule since it's a ridiculously easy system to game if your players know how you're using it.

There are very few races that merit a level adjustment similar to 3.5 ECL, and unless you're looking to play something actually monstrous (like, say, a Ghoul Rogue or a Pixie Sorcerer) just allow players to use non-standard races with no adjustments. There are a handful of races you want to be cautious about - Drow Nobles and Deep Gnomes come to mind - but their racial features are so obviously out to lunch that you should be able to spot the problems on your own without actually going to the effort of calculating their RP.

TL;DR - use race points only as a guideline, and always apply your own discretion.

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