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Thread: High-Level Play
Monday, 5th November, 2012, 05:00 AM #1
What level do you play to when youâ??re playing Dungeons & Dragons? Do you go beyond 10th level with a given character with any amount of regularity? If not, why? If so, what do you want to see your character do at those higher levels? Mike takes a look at some of the things that the D&D Next team is addressingwith high-level play in the next few months.
Read High-Level Play on D&D Insider here!
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Monday, 5th November, 2012, 05:10 AM #2
Cutpurse (Lvl 5)
the legacy system sounds fun (epic destiny?)
Monday, 5th November, 2012, 05:25 AM #3
The lich thing sounds cool. I hope they do it properly. I want to become a lich at level 11, and spend the next 10 levels building an undead army and trying to take over the world (eventually becoming the BBEG in someone else's story).
But yeah, the legacy system sounds cool. Not sure how they're going to justify why you have to kill X monsters before you can figure out how to hire people to build a castle, but it's all very pleasingly old-school.
Monday, 5th November, 2012, 05:33 AM #4
Cutpurse (Lvl 5)
perhaps by the time your level 10 people respect you enough to become your followers
Monday, 5th November, 2012, 06:29 AM #5
In the end this is just a continuation of epic destinies coupled with AD&Ds 10th level requirement.
Lets see if WotC actually manages to make it about more then power for dungeon crawling and if the rest of the system is actually able to handle political etc. gameplay.
Monday, 5th November, 2012, 06:34 AM #6
Scout (Lvl 6)
anyone have any actual thoughts on the 3.x epic destinies mechanics?
Monday, 5th November, 2012, 07:57 AM #7
Superhero (Lvl 15)
I'm cautiously optimistic. I like everything Mearls talked about in that article. I think high level play needs to be approached differently, and this is really the first edition to approach it in a truly different fashion.
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Monday, 5th November, 2012, 08:13 AM #8
Gallant (Lvl 3)
A guy born as the crown prince does the same thing an entirely different way (and possibly the adventurer ways as well if he's also a PC).
Monday, 5th November, 2012, 08:36 AM #9
The Grand Druid (Lvl 20)
(cross posting with the WotC boards)
I really can't entirely agree with Mr. Mearls on this.
High level play hasn't seen as much attention because it can get funky and the rules have broken down. Even 4e grew a little softer in Paragon and Epic, with option bloat and poor math initially. And once the math was fixed Epic saw very little support. The problem is not that no one plays Epic or wants to play Epic, it's that we're not given the tools to make Epic fun.
"Tools" does not just mean mechanics (but does include mechanics) but also involves advice, adventures, advice, monsters, and maybe some advice. DMs need to really be aided and assisted in making high level play engaging and fun.
Similarly, Epic cannot be more of the same only with bigger numbers (like 4e). It needs to play and feel different. You cannot just "fight more powerful creatures and maybe visit a different plane". That could be handled by reflavouring. "This orc is really a balor". You may still be in a dungeon but it shouldn't be a plain old dungeon. Just because the dungeon is somewhere crazy doesn't make the experience any more grand and epic. High level play should embrace frequent teleporting, regular flying, and the ability to commonly do fantastic things.
Some of the article reads too much like a direct reaction to 4e Epic where hand size and option paralysis set in. Which is something to be aware of and avoided. But reigning in options too far just makes the game samey and limits the Epic feel. Epic wizards shouldn't only be Epic for two rounds each day.
There are plenty of examples of high level adventures, but most have been done poorly. I ran my group through the original Dragonlance adventure path, and had a lot of troubles with the last few parts. Mostly as the parties were becoming so high level while the adventures were not changing to accommodate the increasing power. The modules assumed people would go down with the sinking ship or spend weeks trekking across enemy occupied territory when the heroes were of a level when they'd have access to teleportation magic.
As an example of an alternative tactic, the next big Paizo release for GenCon 2013 is Mythic Adventures, which is the Epic rules for Pathfinder. Only instead of additional levels, it's a power boost that lays overtop the existing rules. This will probably work adequately at best with PF, but with 5e's designed modularity a similar tactic might not be a bad idea. For the people who want to play Big Damn Heroes from the start of the game.
The legacy system sounds like a good example of a rules modules that should be possible to overlay at any level. Likewise, there should be ways of making the low levels a little more heroic and epic.
For rituals, sometimes the simplest way is the easiest. Only change gold when the ritual has a level equal to your highest or second highest spell slot. This mirrors 4e where the cost of low level rituals was negligible without actually having to overly inflate the cost of rituals or ask the high level party to track minor amounts of gold.
At 5th level the wizard and cleric can just cast 1st level spells as rituals for free.
Monday, 5th November, 2012, 09:07 AM #10
For me, the tiers were like this;
Third Level: You're not going to die trivially to something stupid. Congratulations. It's worth taking the time to name yourself!
Fifth level: It is now within the bounds of reason for your teammates to cobble together enough cash to raise you should you die, but don't count on it.
Seventh Level: People know who you are. You probably have a keep or a tower. Maybe a title.
Ninth Level: You are now important enough that an NPC will probably want to Raise you, should you die.
Thirteenth Level: You are no longer an adventurer, you've got enough plans and research to manage. Though you will still come out of 'retirement' when the world or your friends are threatened.
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