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Thread: High-Level Play
Tuesday, 6th November, 2012, 01:48 PM #41
Guide (Lvl 11)
I find this to be their best use actually. In fact, I've only ever given a few milestones out in combat. I've never used them as a balancing mechanic. I use them to reward the PCs for:
- Playing to their character archetype/theme when that choice is sub-optimal (from a metagame perspective).
- Intentionally driving the narrative forward in a dynamic and interesting way (that is coherent both thematically and genre-wise) especially when it involves a sub-optimal choice.
With regards to non-combat challenges, we use them for two explicit purposes:
1) Player gets to reroll and use the second roll.
2) Player gets to narrative rights to the results of the roll (pass or fail), thus setting up the next portion of the non-combat encounter for the next player to deal with (which has both meta-game and narrative implications).
Outside of non-combat challenges they are for:
Player gets narrative rights to create something out of whole cloth (an NPC, a syndicate, a locale, even an encounter) for the players to deal with (which, after their exposition of it, of course, I play out).
We exclusively use them for p42 Improvised Limited Use Exploits/Spells/Terrain effects. We tailor everyones' Paragon Path AP Feature around this usage.
I'm sure that this is "off the grid" for most tables but we're quite happy with the results that stem from the way we reward and use them.
Last edited by Manbearcat; Tuesday, 6th November, 2012 at 02:59 PM.
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Tuesday, 6th November, 2012, 04:57 PM #42
Guide (Lvl 11)
The decision has an affect on pacing, because milestones earn the players action points. Now, it may be easy to convert milestones to be "true" milestones as shown by Rel, but, house ruling aside, the default rules do not support what I think is one of the major approaches to playing D&D.
For those interested, below is Rel's original fix and Mearls's reply that they had considered an approach similar to Rel's, but decided against it to avoid a hassle with lableing dungeon encounters important or unimportant.
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Wednesday, 7th November, 2012, 06:34 AM #43
Spellbinder (Lvl 16)
Thanks for the mention, Greg K! It's been a LONG time since I wrote that!
Thursday, 8th November, 2012, 09:34 AM #44
Magsman (Lvl 14)
I like the article part about the Legacy system. I don't think such system necessarily implies a minimum level tho, but it's definitely something that could be useful to many DMs, including me.
I also think that high-level campaigns are a VERY complicated topic.
First of all, it's even hard to define WHAT is high level... Is "10" high level? I think first, it depends on how many levels the core rules support "individually" i.e. with enough material directed at those levels. BECMI supports up to 36th, 3e up to 20th, 4e up to 30th. They also have rules for "beyond max level" but then it takes a different form and the material tends to be not individually tailored to specific levels. That said, 10th level is less than 30% towards the "end-of-game level" in BECMI and 50% in 3e.
Numbers have a psychological effect, but beyond that they really don't define "high level game". What does +10 to attack rolls mean, if you are fighting monsters with +10 AC? More important than absolute numbers could be relative numbers, because it determines what monsters that previously were challenging won't be anymore, or how many monsters of the same kind can you take now. 3e, 4e and 5e have significant differences here, resulting in different ranges of encounter levels that you can put in a campaign, and this is something that definitely has a more tangible effect on what is "high level feel".
But more than anything else, high level is defined by special abilities: invisibility, flying, teleporting, scrying, asking questions to Gods, polymorphing, plane-shifting, resurrecting, and laying waste on very large areas are examples (with some campaign dependency... plane-shifting in Planescape may not feel much high level at all).
And IIRC, the levels at which those stuff appear in the game (both for PCs and monsters) have practically remained the same across all editions. Or not?
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