What level?

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What level?

Postby ClawCarver » Mon Oct 09, 2017 8:41 am

Back in the day, when we were teenagers and played D&D almost every day, my favourite games to play were those around levels 4-7. Reasonably beefy characters who had gathered a few magic items and could go up against a range of foes including dragons, hydras, giants, etc., and yet could be (and often were) brought to ruin by level-draining undead or a failed save versus poison.

Nowadays, I find the brutal, hardscrabble, survival horror of 1st-level adventures, in which a single spear-thrust can kill and resource management is key, to be strangely satisfying, and I have renewed respect for the triumphant achievement of a character gaining 2nd level. That said, I'm still pleased when the characters gain a couple of levels of "cushioning" and their tactical options begin to expand. At 5th level, magic-users can start casting spells like Dispel Magic, Fireball, Fly, or Water Breathing, all of which are (literally) game-changing. When I have ideas for adventures, they tend to be suitable for 3rd-5th level characters, say around the 10,000 XP mark.

What's your "sweet spot" for adventuring in terms of levels?
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Re: What level?

Postby merias » Mon Oct 09, 2017 7:42 pm

Back in the day, level 12+ was not uncommon, but not now. My recent WB campaign had PCs of 4th-5th level, which seemed a good balance of power and risk. Getting past that takes a lot longer anyway, due to the doubling XP requirements for most classes, so that seems like a good spot to hangout for a while. That said, I also love low-level play, both as a player and DM, and our group does mostly that lately.
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Re: What level?

Postby ClawCarver » Tue Oct 10, 2017 9:14 pm

I recall you saying in another thread that you award 100 XP per HD for monsters defeated, rather than the nonlinear scale introduced in Supplement I: Greyhawk (a variant of which is in every edition of S&W). That will have the effect of speeding play at low levels and slowing it at higher levels, which seems highly desirable to me, so I intend to use that system in future, at least when playing White Box.
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Re: What level?

Postby mordrene » Fri Oct 13, 2017 5:00 pm

This reminds me of the E6 rules for low low fanasy. basically everyone max level is 6.
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Re: What level?

Postby ClawCarver » Mon Nov 20, 2017 10:29 am

mordrene wrote:This reminds me of the E6 rules for low low fanasy. basically everyone max level is 6.


I hadn't heard of E6 before, thanks. For anyone else who's interested, here's a link to a document explaining the concept: http://esix.pbworks.com/f/E6v041.pdf

Perhaps this was an influence on John Stater's Bloody Basic game, of which there are several variants, but maximum level is 6 in all of them. (In the "classic edition", a 6th-level fighter is a Grognard. I've mentioned elsewhere my dislike of level titles, but that one amuses me.)
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Re: What level?

Postby merias » Mon Jul 02, 2018 1:53 pm

Going through some older threads, excuse the necromancy :D. I've seen a similar idea that uses Holmes basic as an entire game, so nothing past level 3. The idea being that the rulebook has the higher-level monsters and more powerful magic items already, so why complicate things by going outside of that?
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Re: What level?

Postby FaerieGodfather » Wed Jun 24, 2020 9:41 am

For me... if it doesn't include high-level D&D it isn't really D&D. I didn't really play with my Rules Cyclopedia until I was grown, but the tantalizing hints of Immortalty-- in the Wrath of the Immortals set I never owned-- shaped my idea of what D&D was. I like it best around 15th-16th level, but the brass ring of the higher levels and the Quest has to be there for me.
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Re: What level?

Postby merias » Wed Jun 24, 2020 11:19 am

I think it would be interesting to play at higher levels, but the game has to support it as far as challenges for the PCs. I would like to try early D&D's end-game sometime where at 9th level you get the stronghold and followers. But I'd never get my players up that high nowadays unless we started there.
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