Should 4th ed be point and level based?
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  1. #1
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    Should 4th ed be point and level based?

    Looking at the thread about Champions of Valor, they have organization substiution levels.

    This sounds like a great mechanic, similiar to racial substiution levels.

    However, at some point, the sheer wealth of options must crumble around itself.

    Would D&D be better off using levels as a tool in terms of how many feats, hit points and skills you can have, and using points to buy those things?

    I'm starting to think so....

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    There was a time when I would have said yes, but not anymore. All of those extra options are just options. The core books should be a class/level system, which in my opinion is at the heart of D&D. Also, an entirely point based system might be too difficult for newbies, and after all, D&D is the "gateway RPG".

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    Quote Originally Posted by JoeGKushner
    Looking at the thread about Champions of Valor, they have organization substiution levels.

    This sounds like a great mechanic, similiar to racial substiution levels.

    However, at some point, the sheer wealth of options must crumble around itself.

    Would D&D be better off using levels as a tool in terms of how many feats, hit points and skills you can have, and using points to buy those things?

    I'm starting to think so....

    This may be at least something to consider. One of the problems that Second Edition faced in its later years was that DMs and players often struggled with all the options abailable to them.

    Part of this is due to feat replication. Too many of the feats are similar in that they grant a bonus to related skills. Another problem are feat chains. Possibly a feat can be taken repeatedly to achieve improved effects --- sort of like levels of a feat.

    One of my concerns about the approach of buying feats, hit points, and skills with points is the issue of balance in terms of a classes core abilities. For example, I could see some players having characters cut skills and feats down a little to improve hit points. (I am beginning to think that perhaps a d6 for hit points for primarily spell casting classes, a la Arcana Unearthed/Arcana Evolved might be a good idea -- especially at low levels.)

    I think one thing that a future edition might want to do is consider what rules work the best for different concepts. Mind you, not everyone will be pleased with any change in the current rules. However, I imagine that we will eventually see a new edition. Perhaps getting a lot of feedback from players and GMs, as well as looking at the best ideas in the D20 industry and other games might be useful steps for WotC to determine what options to pursue for a future edition.

  4. #4
    I like how Mutants and masterminds works power level caps. Really good for reigning in number crunchers who try and bean count thier damage into the triple digits

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    I think it should be based on how far you can hawk a loogey. I go for distance as well as accuracy.

  6. #6
    Is there some indication that removing the tried and proven level concept of D&D will cause revenues to increase for WOTC? I don't see it. I'm sure some of the "rpg elitists" will say the game is stuck in the past with its levels but I don't think that is true with the majority of people. The level system is alive and well in the MMORPG genre and a lot of future players will come from their ranks so a level based D&D is easier for newbies to grasp IMO.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Flexor the Mighty!
    Is there some indication that removing the tried and proven level concept of D&D will cause revenues to increase for WOTC? I don't see it. I'm sure some of the "rpg elitists" will say the game is stuck in the past with its levels but I don't think that is true with the majority of people. The level system is alive and well in the MMORPG genre and a lot of future players will come from their ranks so a level based D&D is easier for newbies to grasp IMO.
    I'm not saying eliminate levels. I think levels can act as a good cap of what you can do or what you should be able to do.

    Having said that, I think a point buy system would be better if combined with levels. Unless I'm misremembering things, Mutants & Masterminds does this no?

    I like how Mutants and masterminds works power level caps. Really good for reigning in number crunchers who try and bean count thier damage into the triple digits

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    XP and level-based advancement are absolutely core to what makes the game of D&D. I will be mortified if they remove it in a future edition.

  9. #9
    Yes M&M does this, you buy up your ability scores, AC, attack bonus,, skills, special attacks and save bonuses*. all capped by the power level of the game. You use XP to raise these numbers in the same way.

    It is the GM's call to raise power level [which is recomended every so often] so if you 'max out' at character creation, then you have to use XP to round out your abilities, feats, etc, rather than "Pump Up the Damage, Pump Up the damage!"

    ** BUT it also ditches HP for a 4th save, a toughness save, where instead of HP sucking up each succesfull hit, your toughness might negate the damage. Failing the save results in reduced chances to save vs further damage if you only fail by a little, being dazed for a round and then having -2 on all your rolls if failed by a larger amount, going up to being knocked out if you fail the roll by 20 or so [base rules are for gold to bronze era super heroes who are knocked out rather than killed.] blue rose has the same HP system, but with lethal damge and non lethal damage tracks.

    It is a softened up WoD Spiral of Death for D20
    Check green ronin's preview PDFs of M&M and Blue rose to see the systems in more detail

    3. POWER LEVEL
    Your GM sets the starting power level for the series. Generally this is 10th
    level, but it may range anywhere from around 5th level to 20th level or
    more. All characters begin play at the same power level, which determines
    their starting power points and where you can spend them. See Power
    Level later in this chapter for details.
    4. BASIC ABILITIES
    Choose the ability scores you want your character to have and pay 1 power
    point for each ability score point over 10. Choose the attack bonus and
    defense bonus for your character, paying 2 power points per +1 to attack
    or defense bonus. Choose the saving throw bonuses for your character,
    paying 1 power point per +1 save bonus. Keep in mind these bonuses are
    limited by power level. See Chapter 2: Basic Abilities, for details on
    these abilities and Power Level later in this chapter for more on power
    level limits.
    5. SKILLS
    Choose the skill ranks you want your character to have and pay 1 power
    point per 4 skill ranks. Keep in mind your character cant have a rank in
    any skill greater than the campaigns power level +5. See Chapter 3:
    Skills, for details.
    6. FEATS
    Choose the feats you want your character to have and pay 1 power point
    per feat or rank in a feat. See Chapter 4: Feats, for details.
    7. POWERS
    Choose the powers you want your character to have and pay the powers
    base cost, multiplied by the number of ranks. Power modifiers increase
    or reduce a powers capabilities and cost. See Chapter 5: Powers, for
    details.
    8. COMPLICATIONS & DRAWBACKS
    Choose the complications you want your character to have. Choose the
    drawbacks you want your character to have (if any) and add their value
    to the power points you have to spend. Keep in mind youre generally
    limited to no more points in drawbacks than the campaigns power level.
    See Chapter 6, for more detail on complications, drawbacks and their
    effects.
    9. CHECK YOUR MATH
    Go back through and add up the cost of your heros ability scores, attack
    bonus, defense bonus, saving throw bonuses, skills, feats, and powers, and
    subtract the value of your heros drawbacks. You should end up with a
    figure equal to the starting power points shown on the Starting Power
    Points Table on page 24. If not, double-check your math and either
    remove or add traits to your character to reach the starting power point
    total.


    A post for the systems workings
    http://www.enworld.org/showthread.php?t=154558
    Last edited by frankthedm; Tuesday, 8th November, 2005 at 07:49 PM.

  10. #10
    I don't know about "points" per se, but along the lines of True20 every level gets a new feat and you can essentially spend it as you choose.

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