D&D Glossary

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effective character level

This number represents a creature's overall power relative to that of a character from the Player's Handbook. A creature with an effective character level (ECL) of 10 is roughly equivalent to a 10th-level character. A creature's ECL is the sum of its Hit Dice (including class levels) and level adjustment. For instance, a splinterwaif has 2 HD and a +4 level adjustment. It is the equivalent of a 6th-level character.

Source: MM, MM3

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