Icewind Dale II Tweaked Experience Tables
(originally appeared on Luiz's Realm)
Why modify the experience tables?
One of the annoyances in IWD2's implementation of 3E's experience system, which includes a "Challenge Rating" modifier, is that in some cases encounters will earn you little or even no experience ... and even though technically some of these encounters may be regarded as "trivial" because of your party's level, in true Icewind Dale tradition they can actually be extremely tough indeed.
Much of the maths behind this process is complex, and Luiz doesn't pretend to understand it in full, and doesn't imagine that many Nobel Prize-winning geeks could either. In essence, it can lead to (a) frustration that you aren't being rewarded for battles that can kill you, or (b) inventive ways of getting around the maths, either by adding in "junk" low-level characters to bring down your party's average level (and so boost the calculation of encounters' Challenge Rating) or by a truly masochistic process called "level-squatting", whereby you defer levelling up, even though your characters have acquired the experience to do so, and so accrue a greater end-game total of experience (finally levelling up at later intervals, and getting to higher levels that way). Both of these methods will allow characters to get an extra level or two by the end of the game, and therefore access to some rather sexy high-level spells, etc, but neither is a particularly satisfactory way of approaching the actual playing experience.
That's why I've made these tweaked tables available.
Using the tables
Simply download and unzip the file of your choice into Icewind Dale 2's /Override folder. If you don't like what it is doing to your game, delete it, and the game will revert to its standard experience table. Because both the following files have the same name ("MONCRATE.2DA" - the name the game recognises) you can only use one or the other at any one time. If you wish to try both, download one to the override folder and the other to a temporary folder, and swap them around as you wish.
The standard table, extended
here to Download ~
This is the normal experience table for IWD2, but extended "downwards" so that encounters which the game calculates as "trivial" (as per 3E rules) will now usually earn some modicum of experience. Not guaranteed, nor intended, to give you phat exp all the time, but it won't "break" game balance either.
The extended table, boosted by 10%
here to Download ~
This is the above table, but with all encounter experience reward values boosted by 10%. The intention with this table is to allow characters to attain an extra level (or possibly two) by the end of the game, without having to revert to the counterintuitive behaviours already outlined. This table has not been thoroughly tested however, and so may not precisely achieve the stated goal. It may also have unexpected ramifications for encounter difficulty and overall game-balance. If you find it is making your game weird, you can delete this table with no nasty side-effects. As far as it has been tested though, it is working as it was intended to.