This is the first in a series on the ludicracy of D&D math.

I'm not necessarily talking about the way certain in-game situations are handled; I'm talking about the math involved with the actually design of the game.

But first a little background: I have seen many times where someone or another has attempted to convert the traditional D&D "level" model in to more of a "point buy" model, whereas the PC's advancement is done ala carte, which is to promote ultimate customization and versatility (whether you are simply using xp to purchase these abilities, or are given "character points" at each level with which to by abilities, etc.).

This got me thinking: "what are these things really worth, and how were these values determined?"

**Q3**

D&D math part 1: Skills and Feats.

Given:

- 1 skill point = +1 to a skill

- (skill bonus)^{2} x 100gp = gp value of skill bonus

So, lets look at a couple of related feats (and for the purposes of this thought experiment, I'll just use feats that have no prereqs, since once you start considering prereqs this will quickly implode):

- Skill Focus: = +3 to a skill = 3 skill points = 900gp

- (whatever +2/+2 feat) = +2 to 2 skills = 4 skill points = 800gp

- Open Minded = 5 skill points = 500gp-2500gp (depending on how those skill points are spent)

- Jack of all Trades: this one is pretty tricky -- there are 20 "trained-only" skills; and this feat is really only useful for those ; for the purposes of the math, we'll count these as 3/4 value (average between in-class and cross-class -- for in-class each 1/2 is only worth 1/2 ; for cross-class each is worth a whole skill point) and that, on average, a random PC will have ranks in any 5 of them:

-- 3/4^{2} = 9/16 x 100gp = 56.25gp ; 56gp x 15 skills **= 843.75gp**

So, how much is a feat worth? More specifically, a feat that can be taken by any 1st-level character. 3 skill points? 4 skill points? 5 skill points? 10 skill points? 500gp? 2500gp? That's a fivefold swing! Is the difference in utility really that much?

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Speaking of feats, look at Toughness:

- = 3HP x2=6HP

- average CLW from a 1st-2nd level cleric gives 6HP.

- 1 CLW scroll = 25gp. To take this a step further -- a non-slot item that casts CLW 1/day (by my math) is only 10gp (but to be fair, a different interpretation would be 1500gp)

2 feats = 10gp? (okay, okay -- 1500 is a little more reasonable)

Discuss.