L&L: The Challenges of High Level Play - Page 3
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  1. #21
    Quote Originally Posted by Noir le Lotus View Post
    Sometimes I have the feeling that these L&L articles are more written to push our expectations in one direction than to really listen our opinions.
    I think that it's partly expectation managment and partly testing the waters. If the designers really want to do X or think that Y might be a good idea - then airing A and Y in a poll sees what the reaction might be.

    I guess that a balanced "Meh" reaction means that they can push something forward and a "Hell, No!" reaction means that it's not worth the cost in goodwill (c.f. political capital) to push something forwards.

    I hope that sometimes there's a "Gosh"" reaction too where we, the voters, are unexpectedly keen on something thrown in as an experiement, i.e. Action points: ~2:1 vote for them to be core rules - and not really a heritage mechanic in D&D. (Are they in d20 Modern?)

  2. #22
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    (The people who say that the game breaks down at such-and-such a level are self-defining themselves as people who don't care for that style of high-level play, which is fine, of course!)

    I can hardly even begin to point out all of the problems with the thinking behind this assertion. He's washing his hands of the responsibility for how he is about to marginalize and mischaracterize a huge group of people who have a plethora of, sometimes unrelated, problems with high level gaming in D&D (often not in other systems). He's already tried to marginalize people who suggest limiting the level with a clever first paragraph that neatly sidesteps the obvious answer. Don't make a game the same way except that it stops at a given level of supposed breakdown, make a game of fewer levels that packs all of the good stuff into the levels it has.

    I know, I know, they need to sell lots of books and having lots of levels seems like a natural solution to that corporate mandate. Couple that with the Spinal Tap Amp Effect: if the dial goes up to eleven certain people will be believe that is meaningful. Apparently for D&D, it's easier to change the numbers around the dial than to address what those numbers mean. I think some folks at WotC need to get their head out of their amp.

  3. #23
    Quote Originally Posted by Dausuul View Post
    The 3E model holds that PCs remain engaged in dungeon crawling from beginning to end, but the nature of the dungeons and the experience of the crawl changes dramatically. A high-level PC in the 3E model will be going on quests and battling monsters just like always, but the quests will be on distant planes where the very nature of reality is different, and the battles will look less like medieval skirmishes and more like superheroes duking it out.

    AD&D stood in between the BD&D and 3E models--there was a clear implication that high-level AD&D PCs would establish strongholds and rule domains, but there was far less support than in BD&D. Since 3E's release, the BD&D model has pretty much ceased to exist. Neither 3E nor 4E lent any support to it to speak of. I would really like to see the BD&D model revived in 5E, and the 3E model toned down.
    I would prefer a hybrid 3e/4e/BD&D model, where the group/DM could choose if and when their campaign changes its nature. Low level kingdom building and high level (planar) dungeoneering should both be possible depending on which options you use.

    There have to be *some* changes that always happen with level growth, but I would like to see them toned down from 3e levels but not as far as 4e.

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    Quote Originally Posted by erf_beto View Post
    what's up with the last week poll results?
    how are we suppose to know what those numbers mean? 0.o?
    For some reason they took the "what things should be optional" rather than the "what things should be core" poll. And then they didn't label it.

    Why? Well, hopefully it's a technical error, due to Cook being massively incompetent with technology, and he will apologise and (get someone competent to) fix it.

  5. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hassassin View Post
    I would prefer a hybrid 3e/4e/BD&D model, where the group/DM could choose if and when their campaign changes its nature. Low level kingdom building and high level (planar) dungeoneering should both be possible depending on which options you use.
    I'd be on board with this, as long as there is a way to take a campaign into the high levels without going into "wahoo" mode.

  6. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ahnehnois View Post
    If you think "quadratic wizards vs. linear fighters" is a "problem" that needs to be "fixed", or that there was ever something fundamentally wrong with high-level play, you probably shouldn't be playing D&D.
    Really?

  7. #27
    Quote Originally Posted by Hassassin View Post
    I would prefer a hybrid 3e/4e/BD&D model, where the group/DM could choose if and when their campaign changes its nature. Low level kingdom building and high level (planar) dungeoneering should both be possible depending on which options you use.

    There have to be *some* changes that always happen with level growth, but I would like to see them toned down from 3e levels but not as far as 4e.
    This wouldn't be a bad idea...

    Anyways, if 5E is going to be modular and flexible, then it doesn't need to obey the idea that low level play is gritty play and high level play is superheroic play. That approach is full of all kinds of well known flaws, such as forcing people who want to play heroes to endure grittiness, having a low cap for the level range for those who like gritty play, and making the game take too long to reach the really exciting stuff for those who really enjoy that.

    4E had a decent idea restricting things like flight and teleportation to certain tiers, but I wonder if there are better alternatives. Flight and teleportation would be fine at low levels for some campaigns, and would never be appropriate for others. Ideally, that kind of thing could be added on to various levels of "gritty vs. heroic" or "low magic vs high magic" dials which are separate from the level system. The question, though, is what that would leave for the progression of levels and tiers.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TwinBahamut View Post
    Flight and teleportation would be fine at low levels for some campaigns, and would never be appropriate for others.

    Indeed, but rather fine for some settings at low levels and never appropriate for other settings even at high levels. Characters are part of the setting and often the reason that such magicks stand out as aberrant is because it divorces those characters from the setting when put in their hands. I'm not saying that a character cannot rise to be the best example of whatever within the setting, and should always be unique (though that is as much a matter of roleplaying as mechanics) but certain magicks react with certain settings like dropping the Predator onto Earth. This is another reason why I feel a ruleset should be written to the genre and not to an assumed setting, and then allow the settings to handle what elements are appropriate, perhaps picking and choosing from modules of elements presented as optional within the genre ruleset.

  9. #29
    Quote Originally Posted by Mark CMG View Post
    (The people who say that the game breaks down at such-and-such a level are self-defining themselves as people who don't care for that style of high-level play, which is fine, of course!)
    I can hardly even begin to point out all of the problems with the thinking behind this assertion. He's washing his hands of the responsibility for how he is about to marginalize and mischaracterize a huge group of people who have a plethora of, sometimes unrelated, problems with high level gaming in D&D (often not in other systems).
    I hadn't noticed this before, but Monte's statement here is terrible. I like high-level play, I want functional high-level play. I just want it to be fast, to provide an experience different from low-level play and to include the modern character options and task resolution mechanics of the later versions of D&D. None of the editions of D&D have offered this. That's why I say the game breaks down.

    -KS

  10. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by TwinBahamut View Post
    4E had a decent idea restricting things like flight and teleportation to certain tiers, but I wonder if there are better alternatives. Flight and teleportation would be fine at low levels for some campaigns, and would never be appropriate for others. Ideally, that kind of thing could be added on to various levels of "gritty vs. heroic" or "low magic vs high magic" dials which are separate from the level system. The question, though, is what that would leave for the progression of levels and tiers.
    It's an interesting question, and I think it requires digging a little deeper into what causes high-level play to become like superheroes.

    Here are the elements that I feel combine to create the "wahoo" effect at high levels:

    • An explosion of save-or-die effects (rocket tag) combined with easy resurrection. Death is a revolving door.
    • Widespread ability to fly at will. This completely changes the nature of the battlefield.
    • Freely usable, precisely targeted long-range teleportation. Geography is now irrelevant. Dungeons that are not teleport-warded might as well not exist.
    • Freely usable divination that is both specific and reliable. The fog of war is irrelevant. Secrets that are not divination-warded might as well not exist.

    Basically, what all this comes down to is certain abilities (resurrection, insta-kill, flight, teleportation, divination) being usable without cost, or with costs so low as to be no real limit on use. So, I think that points the way to putting a dial on wahoo. Segregate the wahoo abilities into their own module of spells and magic items. Then provide the following settings for that module:

    • Not Available. You can't have any.
    • By Authorization Only. Using this material requires the expenditure of a resource which is under the DM's direct control. You get only what the DM hands out; when you use it up, you don't automatically get more.
    • Limited Use. Using this material requires the expenditure of a limited resource. You can get more, but it's non-trivial and forces you to ration your use of wahoo. Alternatively, access rather than use is limited; the wizard may be able to fly more or less at will, but cannot grant the same ability to the rest of the party, so combat remains ground-based overall. This is high-level 4E with rituals.
    • Unlimited Use. Using this material requires no resource which cannot be quickly replenished. This is high-level 3E.
    Last edited by Dausuul; Monday, 20th February, 2012 at 09:14 PM.

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