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    Canonfire :: View topic - Player experience in Greyhawk
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    Player experience in Greyhawk
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    Journeyman Greytalker

    Joined: Aug 01, 2004
    Posts: 252
    From: Nyrond

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    Sun Sep 28, 2008 11:18 am  
    Player experience in Greyhawk

    3.5 was designed to have the character's levels rise, by old 1st ed AD&D standards, extrememly quick. Now personally, I find this to leave a bitter taste in my mouth. If pc's rise too quickly, there isn't the chance for them to connect with the world they are playing in. In your WoG campaign, do you feel that the original 3.5 experience charts are reasonable or do you use a slower advancement chart? I feel that characters need to connect with the npc's of Greyhawk to enjoy the rich history and setting that is Greyhawk. I'm about to start my own campaign within a couple of weeks and hope to take advantage of your...experience. Cool
    Master Greytalker

    Joined: Aug 17, 2004
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    From: Computer Desk

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    Sun Sep 28, 2008 3:01 pm  

    Perhaps I am the wrong person to ask being more concerned with character development then levels; I have always felt slower level advancement was better. Early on the group I played with did away with experience entirely. PCs advanced when the DM informed them. It worked well; no math and the focus was on roleplaying within the world not on levels.

    Lower levels restrict PC choices and allow the DM to encourage interaction within the gameworld. ie; low level character confronted with a lair of orcs should visit the nearby town - visit the market; contact the local authorities even hire a henchman or two.

    All this social interaction is lost if the PCs can simply destroy everything in their path. The party interaction rather then cooperative becomes competitive the more powerful PCs become. Rather then how do we solve this problem; it becomes I get to use X on them.
    Journeyman Greytalker

    Joined: Dec 07, 2003
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    Sun Sep 28, 2008 5:22 pm  

    As long as I make name level in the first real year of play, I'm happy. If I'm playing weekly or bi-weekly and it's 3 months before 2nd level, I'm leaving. That's just the kind of game I prefer. Any version of the xp rules can support this.
    Black Hand of Oblivion

    Joined: Feb 16, 2003
    Posts: 3815
    From: So. Cal

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    Sun Sep 28, 2008 6:35 pm  

    Even under 1e/2e, if you are playing often and the action is hot and heavy and you are overcoming a lot of adversaries/situations, then yes you should be levelling up at a decent rate. Now, if you are like me and you don't play as often as you'd like to, you won't level up that quickly in real time. We tend to roleplay quite a bit and screw around as well. D&D is for us a very social event and so we don't always get a lot accomplished in-game. You know, it's kind of like GREYtalk. Laughing

    The very first time I figured XPs in 3.0 I thought things were moving along a bit quickly, but then again maybe that was just because it was the beginning levels. When the trend continued in the second adventure(which I began to total XPs on each section of the adventure so I noticed this quickly), I took some time to delve into the XP system to see how it worked in detail and I found that it did indeed advance much more quickly than what we were used to, and at all levels. You might call it XP advancemnt at a "cinematic rate"(as in Dragonslayer the hero starts as a wizard's apprentice but by the end of the movie he was fighting seasoned soldiers and battleing with the monstrous dragon that is terrorizing the village- The Dragonslayer AP!!! Laughing). The rate of advancement was way beyond what had been the norm in my continuing campaign, and so I began to cut everything in half. This resulted in a rate of advancement closer to what everyone was used to.

    So, I've toned things down very greatly. I have even gone so far as to cut XP by more than half on occasion. The newer adventures are requiring less of the characters and giving them bigger rewards. Considering how much action the older adventures have compared to the new ones, this does not sit well with me. Only one of the newer advntures really felt as if it had the potential to rquire as much of hte pcharacters as most of the older modeuls, and that was Forge of Fury. Even still, I added a bit to that adventure in the way of a whole forge level for the duergar(if you ask me, it's a big oversight to not have a forge in a module called "Forge of Fury"Wink), and I also added a whole other level of tunnels for the troglodytes. This last bit was done not so much because the module needed anything elese, but just because I wanted to. By the end of it all, the 2nd level characters had gained a full level to become 3rd level, and were well on their way to 4th level(which is where I wanted them to be).


    Last edited by Cebrion on Sun Sep 28, 2008 7:02 pm; edited 1 time in total
    Apprentice Greytalker

    Joined: Aug 24, 2005
    Posts: 46
    From: Toronto

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    Sun Sep 28, 2008 6:51 pm  

    To tell you the truth in the 2nd and 3rd ed. games I've DMed I've never seen a link between the speed of level progression, character growth, and/or meaningful interaction with the game world.
    The xp progression in 3rd ed. is brisk, that's for sure, so if you're into a realism intensive game then you will definitely want to modify it. With the combination of fast xp gain, and shorter periods of down time (compared to other editions) it doesn't take that many months of game time if the characters are adventuring a lot for them to rise from nothing (1st) to greatness (10+). But then again this is a world with magic, dragons, and zillions of monsters so hyper realism in D&D has never really interested me.
    Like I said before though I never really found that this had any impact whatsoever on roleplaying. Some of my players only want to talk to interesting NPCs, learn secrets and solve mysteries. Some only want to fight monsters in climactic battle for hordes of glittering riches. This was the case at first level and it still is at fifteenth level. I think that in the end it really comes down to what your players want out of the game (and most groups aren't homogeneous). It's your game and you should use the xp system that you feel the most comfortable with, but it's not going to change the reasons your players come to the table each session.
    Adept Greytalker

    Joined: Feb 20, 2008
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    Sun Sep 28, 2008 10:37 pm  

    With my game, I usually have them gain one level every four sessions at a minimum at lower levels (though 1st to 2nd level usually comes a little quicker).

    We play every Sunday, so that's more or less a level a month for us.

    I believe that leveling too quickly does not give your character a real chance to get used to what he's just gotten. You learn to fight with what you have. Of course, we all have to cope with some players who build a character around a build that "kicks in" at certain levels. I try to discourage this, as I find myself pressed to grant xp so they can get to their level and get their wanted power.

    I never cave in.

    Regardless of that, I prefer players to build their character in their heads and then figure out what classes can bring them to life, not the other way around.

    In the end, to me at least, experience is about playing your character which is where the true challenge of the game comes from. I had a character, played by a local here, Gargoyle, who pretty much signed his own death warrant to get something he wanted done. He will die, but his character will get what he wants.

    That's a damn fine thing, to me.
    Master Greytalker

    Joined: Apr 13, 2006
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    From: Frinton on Sea England

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    Mon Sep 29, 2008 12:04 am  

    Level progression is one of the few areas of the game that I don't compromise on or give in to player demands; I like slow level progression and enjoyment of the game, and the running of a character, in "the now". Every level should be enjoyed for what it is and not as a stepping stone to the next. That's how I like it and I get few complaints. We play 15 or so sessions a year and characters generally advance in level every 10-12 sessions.

    Up to now I've used my own xp rules that grant around 35% of that recommended in the 3.5 rules, although I also use individual xp awards that add another 5-10%.

    Having just converted to Pathfinder, I now use the "slow" progression table in those rules but have kept my own individual awards in place.
    Master Greytalker

    Joined: Dec 07, 2003
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    Mon Sep 29, 2008 4:45 am  

    After 18 years my pcs were levels 12-14 (although we don't play all the time). With 4e, they were all downgraded to 10 (by consensus) with a view to picking paragon paths after 'playtesting' in the Champions Belt.

    I think you can make progression as slow as you like. I want to play a lot of the classic mods so I don't want the pcs to advance too fast so that they are too powerful to do them. With 4e, I am going to have to convert the mods anyway so it has freed me up somewhat to adjust the levels ofthe mods. Relatively slow progression is still my preference (will start by halving xp and see how that goes).

    However, to avoid allowing the pcs to stagnate, I am going to let them retrain between each adventure rather than when they gain a level.
    Adept Greytalker

    Joined: Mar 13, 2008
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    From: brazil

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    Mon Sep 29, 2008 5:28 am  

    in the beggining, yes.

    now, that im older, we dont have a connection btween level and world connection.


    well, we are t 5 level (2ed) for almost 20 adventures (game sections), and the pcs dont got half the Xp to the next level. i know, sometimes we just role play (as in our Hommlet interogation adventures), so theres no much XP.

    but i think that world connection is a "how the DM presents the world" thing
    Adept Greytalker

    Joined: May 14, 2003
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    From: the Free City of Dyvers (Kansas City, MO)

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    Mon Sep 29, 2008 6:12 am  

    Generally, I do feel that the 3.x level advancement is too quick, and it doesn't let the players really get to know their own characters and its capabilities. As to interaction with each other and setting NPCs, however, I feel that is less dependent on how quickly or slowly PCs level, and more on how much the DM and players involve themselves/each other in the game. As with many things, you get what you give.
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    Journeyman Greytalker

    Joined: Aug 30, 2001
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    From: Niflheim, 9to5

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    Mon Sep 29, 2008 8:37 pm  

    I play by 1st edition rules. After about a year of in-game time, the characters are usually about 10th level. This is after continuous adventuring, including time between adventures for the 1-4 weeks of training, but little else - no spell research or item creation, for example. After another year of constant adventuring, they've gained another 4 levels. After a third year, another 2 levels.

    This sort of logarithmic rate of advancement seems reasonable to me, although perhaps a bit too fast. How much continuous adventuring should it take to become one of the most powerful people on Oerth (i.e. 16+ level), sans resources, followers, information networks, etc.? Five years? Ten? I've always figured that a person could maybe only handle 5 years or so of constant adventuring before they burned out. Afterwards, they would fall back to a few adventures a year, while spending most of their time engaged in more responsible/respectible activities. At this stage, levels become a less important measure of power. So much capital is expended in the course of research or item creation, that those who are able to create the means of generating continuous streams of it are much more formidable.

    Of course, none of this addresses the real world rate of advancement, but that should take a back seat to the in-game rate, in my opinion.

    Don
    Adept Greytalker

    Joined: May 14, 2003
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    From: the Free City of Dyvers (Kansas City, MO)

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    Tue Sep 30, 2008 5:37 am  

    IronGolem wrote:
    ...
    Of course, none of this addresses the real world rate of advancement, but that should take a back seat to the in-game rate, in my opinion.

    Don

    Well, the vast majority of people IRL don't go out slaying orcs and trolls, nor dragons and demons. I guess that's why we all level so slowly... Laughing
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    Grandmaster Greytalker

    Joined: Nov 07, 2004
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    From: Mt. Smolderac

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    Tue Sep 30, 2008 8:08 am  

    In my current campaign the 2 pc's leveled up to 2nd after a long adventure (I describe it in this thread. That was under 3.5 rules and we're switching to 4e. Level advancement seems to be designed to be even faster in 4e than 3.5 but I'm in favor of slowing it down some, so at the very most the pc's only level up after each major step in the campaign arc (A loose reworking of B10 - Nights Dark Terror). My theory is you pretty much level up when it suits the story line. By the end they should be 5th to 6th level and I can lead them into either the Slaver series or ToEE. Haven't decided which one yet. Probably the latter since they have a pissed off Zuggtmoy cult leader to get back to.
    Journeyman Greytalker

    Joined: Aug 30, 2001
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    From: Niflheim, 9to5

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    Tue Sep 30, 2008 8:21 am  

    gargoyle wrote:
    IronGolem wrote:
    ...
    Of course, none of this addresses the real world rate of advancement, but that should take a back seat to the in-game rate, in my opinion.

    Don

    Well, the vast majority of people IRL don't go out slaying orcs and trolls, nor dragons and demons. I guess that's why we all level so slowly... Laughing


    Hehe. Why I outta...! Smile I meant the real world rate of advancement of the characters in the game, of course.
    Adept Greytalker

    Joined: May 14, 2002
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    From: Renton WA

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    Wed Oct 01, 2008 5:42 am  

    Quote:
    After another year of constant adventuring, they've gained another 4 levels. After a third year, another 2 levels.
    does the adventuring slow down in that thrid year... because under 1e rules, most characters should need the same amount of experience for each level at that level... so you would think that if a year gained Joe the cleric four levels when he needed say 150k a level, the next year would gain himm 4 levels as well, since he still needed 150k a level.
    Journeyman Greytalker

    Joined: Aug 30, 2001
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    From: Niflheim, 9to5

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    Wed Oct 01, 2008 10:56 am  

    cwslyclgh wrote:
    Quote:
    After another year of constant adventuring, they've gained another 4 levels. After a third year, another 2 levels.
    does the adventuring slow down in that thrid year... because under 1e rules, most characters should need the same amount of experience for each level at that level... so you would think that if a year gained Joe the cleric four levels when he needed say 150k a level, the next year would gain himm 4 levels as well, since he still needed 150k a level.


    That is probably due to the lack of published adventures for those levels. The characters were going through lower-level (albeit beefed up) adventures and garnering less experience for it.
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