L&L: The Challenges of High Level Play - Page 4
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  1. #31
    I repeat my assertion from an earlier poll that they need to examine the campaigns by genres and power level material in 4th edition Fantasy Hero, clean it up and adapt it to D&D, and think about the implications of what that means for modular options.

    You can't even begin to talk about what does and does not belong in "high level" play until you decide whether you are discussing epic fantasy, high fantasy, sword and sorcerery, low "gritty" fantasy" -- and not infrequently, how those intersect with the amount of horror, comedy, drama, etc. in the campaign. (The same is also true of low level play, but can often be fudged in a given ruleset in ways that simply aren't available once the power level rachets up.)

  2. #32
    Quote Originally Posted by Dausuul View Post
    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:
    Spell rarity would be one possible solution. Segregate spells into common (anything that replicates a low level effect, just with more juice), uncommon (short term/range game altering effects) and rare (long term/range game "breaking").

    Anyone can pick common spells as they level up or create a character. Uncommon spells are usually available in a limited way (perhaps only if you succeed in a check). Rare spells can by default only be found in-game as scrolls or other rewards. The DM could instead start a superhero campaign with all spells common, while a gritty campaign might include no rare spells and uncommon spells only as rewards.

    Of course, this would have to be balanced with non-spellcasting classes. That's the hard part.

  3. #33
    Quote Originally Posted by Mark CMG View Post
    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.
    I must say that I don't understand why you're choosing the term "setting" over my choice of the word "campaign." If you ask me, the latter is far more relevant to this kind of discussion than the former...

    Settings don't presume levels of grittiness. You can run a campaign set in modern Earth with any level of grittiness or heroism. The Hobbit, the Lord of the Rings, and the Silmarrillion all share a setting, but are all completely different in scope and tone. Some settings, like Eberron, embrace almost totally incompatible playstyles (such as pulp heroic action and noir gritty intrigue), and give reasonable support for both. The choice between them, thus, is a campaign level decision, not a setting level decision.

    Of course, overall setting choices are always subordinate to campaign choices. People choose settings for their relevance to a desired campaign style, not the other way around. As such, settings are very often portrayed inconsistently across different campaigns. This is the same thing as how modern Earth is portrayed very differently across different movies, books, and TV shows.

    I hope I'm not getting too caught up on the difference here...

  4. #34
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    I took the poll results from last week and dropped them into Excel and sorted from highest to lowest. Some pretty interesting stuff (all usual poll caveats apply, of course.)

    BELONG IN CORE

    Critical Hits 4698
    Skills 4322
    Feats 4044
    Saving Throws 3744
    Non-Vancian Magic 2930
    Ability for Characters to Create Magic Items 2828
    Action Points 2781
    Rituals 2774
    Powers 2631
    Themes 2589
    Second Wind 2432
    Exotic Weapons 2411
    Healing Surges 2364
    Vancian Magic 2283
    Prestige Classes 2166
    Critical Fumbles 2134
    Paragon Paths 1823
    Epic Destinies 1756
    Kits 1408
    Morale Rules 1287
    Weapon Speed Factors 1072
    Weapons Versus Armor Table 900

    BELONG IN SUPPLEMENTS

    Ability for Characters to Create Magic Items 2061
    Epic Destinies 1863
    Morale Rules 1799
    Critical Fumbles 1786
    Prestige Classes 1695
    Exotic Weapons 1678
    Weapon Speed Factors 1653
    Themes 1647
    Weapons Versus Armor Table 1618
    Paragon Paths 1616
    Kits 1580
    Rituals 1540
    Action Points 1518
    Vancian Magic 1295
    Non-Vancian Magic 1271
    Powers 1193
    Feats 1155
    Healing Surges 1066
    Critical Hits 1061
    Second Wind 1015
    Skills 994
    Saving Throws 698

  5. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by TwinBahamut View Post
    I must say that I don't understand why you're choosing the term "setting" over my choice of the word "campaign." If you ask me, the latter is far more relevant to this kind of discussion than the former...

    Settings don't presume levels of grittiness. You can run a campaign set in modern Earth with any level of grittiness or heroism. The Hobbit, the Lord of the Rings, and the Silmarrillion all share a setting, but are all completely different in scope and tone. Some settings, like Eberron, embrace almost totally incompatible playstyles (such as pulp heroic action and noir gritty intrigue), and give reasonable support for both. The choice between them, thus, is a campaign level decision, not a setting level decision.

    Of course, overall setting choices are always subordinate to campaign choices. People choose settings for their relevance to a desired campaign style, not the other way around. As such, settings are very often portrayed inconsistently across different campaigns. This is the same thing as how modern Earth is portrayed very differently across different movies, books, and TV shows.

    I hope I'm not getting too caught up on the difference here...

    Campaigns are a series of actions or events. Settings are more than just place, they are also a matter of time and circumstance. Does that clarify things?

  6. #36
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    So, just so I can record my votes here:
    It is difficult to play (as a PC) at high level
    3: depends on the game and other gamers.
    It is difficult to run games (as a DM) at high level
    5: only if you don't know what you're doing(ie: poor planning) or poor players.
    High level games require special considerations to run well (as a DM)
    1: of course they do.
    High level games require special considerations to play well (as a PC)
    2: less than as DM though.
    High level is just low level with bigger numbers
    5: absolutely not.
    High level play should be no different from low level in feel
    3: if the "feel" is "fun", then yes, otherwise, it should certainly be different, but then that also depends on the scale of the campaign.
    High level play should be no different from low level in gameplay
    3: Again this is kinda dependent upon the campaign, but I feel that it should be, based on how I run my games.
    I dislike high level play
    5: I dislike bad games, doesn't matter what level. Level has, in my experience, had almost no bearing on quality of play except when other players or the DM purposefully threw their hands up in the air and made no effort to make the game enjoyable.
    I dislike low level play
    3: I dislike certain types of low-level play. I dislike low-level play that lacks progression(story, level, whatever). I dislike repetition. I dislike grinding kobolds. I dislike mundanity.

  7. #37
    Quote Originally Posted by davethegame View Post
    I took the poll results from last week and dropped them into Excel and sorted from highest to lowest. Some pretty interesting stuff (all usual poll caveats apply, of course.)
    Ok, so they added the full poll results.

    Do I remember wrong or was the original phrasing "I want to see in core" and "I want to see as an option"? Seems they changed "core" => in core set and "option" => in supplements, so does that mean no modularity in the core set?

  8. #38
    Personally, I loved high level play in third edition, but I tend to play spellcasters. I have no problems with the effects being thrown around, save or die effects, or any of what was there.

    But, I recognize that we had to do a lot of outside the box thinking and work to make sure that the non-spellcasters were able to participate in the world altering activities of the casters. Some of that was handled with equipment, some with politics, fame, and other out of combat activities. Most of it involved the spellcasters using resources to make the non-spellcasters more effective. Either through buff spells or through crafting magic items.

    We were able to make it work and all have fun, but there's no denying that it involved a lot of system mastery and a flexible DM. Of course, that aspect was also fun. I like that style of gaming.

    I certainly support making it easier. In particular, making non-spell casters have a natural role in high level play is important. And not just in combat. I just don't want the playing field leveled by nerfing casters. I want all the crazy stuff and complex strategy, but with everyone involved and not slowed down by the mechanics.

  9. #39
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    Here's what I think Monte is kind of approaching:

    The tiers are playstyles.

    Someone who likes playing a more gritty, "we are commoners with weapons who fear orcs" vibe kind of game shouldn't necessarily LIKE playing 25th level D&D, due to the changes that happen to your character. Someone who likes playing "big fat heroes save the world" shouldn't necessarily LIKE playing 1st level D&D, with your fear of kobold crits. Someone who likes playing "we're compentent adventurers" shouldn't necessarily like either of those extremes.

    D&D can cover all these playstyles (and more), and changing between them. It's important that the DM and the players all understand that the change happens, and how to prevent it if they don't want it.
    Last edited by I'm A Banana; Tuesday, 21st February, 2012 at 01:01 AM.
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  10. #40
    Quote Originally Posted by Kamikaze Midget View Post
    The tiers are playstyles.
    Exactly. If you like crazy superpowers, play epic. If you like gritty, play at low levels. If you don't want superpowers, play E6. If you don't want grit, start above 1st level.

    D&D has to cover all kinds of styles to attract the variety of players that it needs, and spreading them out over 20 levels is one way of doing that within one book of rules.

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