Level Spread in Your Party?


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    Level Spread in Your Party?

    What's the level spread like in your campaigns? Do you try and keep all the players around the same level (much easier with 3E)? If not how much of a disparity are you willing to put up with? If one of the players is 10th at what level is it pointless to have another character (8th?, 6th?) What's the greatest disparity you've had in a 3E game (not counting ECL's)?

    For myself I like to keep the party pretty close, it's easier for a player to have fun if his character isn't completely overmatched, but at the same time penalties for death have to mean something, and there are those nasty level draing undead running around...
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    Re: Level Spread in Your Party?

    I've seen a spread of at most 4th-7th in one of my games, about the most I'd be comfortable with. I think the lowest needs to be around 2/3 the level of the highest to make much contribution.
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    to close

    in the campaigns i play all the charcters are very close.

    but i find it to be a little unrealistic. characters aren't all going to learn at the same speed. i think a little spread in needed so charcters all dont go up levels at the same time.

    but having charcters all at different levels brings problems
    ITS NOT RESPONDING!!

  • #4
    My group has a mix of 10th and 9th level characters. Ironically, the characters that create items have the most XP. The difference comes from attendance (many), item creation (wizard and my character), death (fighter, paladin, ranger), level drain (sorceress), and people bringing in new characters (paladin, archer, then the paladin's player brought in a ranger).

    I would say that the acceptable difference in levels depends on the current level of the group. A level one character will have a hard time in a group of 5th level guys, but a level 16 in a group of 20th level characters will have some problems but should still be able to make worthwhile contributions.

    If the group is level 10, then I'd think an okay range would be 8- 10. A level 6 character will be absurdly out gunned. If he's a fighter, he's essentially playing around with a rogue's HP, probably weaker attacks, and little other special benefits. Unless he's an archer, he'll get mauled. Even if he does stay back, he'll still be at great risk.

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    So what do you do if someone keeps dying and getting raised? If the rest of the party has managed to not die once and are all level 10, but the unlucky wizard has died three times and is level 7, what happens when he dies again. Do you make him roll up a new character or do you start bending the rules?

    The problem is that once someone dies once and losses a level it's just that much easier for them to die again, because they're weaker than the rest of the party. Soon it turns into a positive feedback loop. At what point do you just make them create a new character?
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    We have an 11th level Barbarian, 13th Druid, 13th Monk, and 14 Bard. Having the traditionally weaker chharacters higher in level helps out with keeping everyone happy.

  • #7
    Originally posted by EOL
    So what do you do if someone keeps dying and getting raised? If the rest of the party has managed to not die once and are all level 10, but the unlucky wizard has died three times and is level 7, what happens when he dies again. Do you make him roll up a new character or do you start bending the rules?

    The problem is that once someone dies once and losses a level it's just that much easier for them to die again, because they're weaker than the rest of the party. Soon it turns into a positive feedback loop. At what point do you just make them create a new character?
    This is just a "What I do", but I have a couple of rules here. First, any new character comes in at two levels behind the lowest level character currently, and anyone who falls more than two levels behind the next highest level character gains enough XP at the end of the sesson to raise him a level, no questions asked. Of course, I like some level/XP disparity in my games, so YMMV.

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    Our RTTTOEE party is now all level 8 & 9 (as of last session at the Fire Bridge, the level 9's outnumber the 8's by 1).

    How much of a spread do I accept? depends on the game. In a dungeoneering game (which we mostly do currently with all the playtesting we do) we stick within a level or two of the party median. More role-playing-intensive games can support more variety, in my experience.

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  • #9
    I usually keep the group very close. In fact, if we bring in a new PC, its level will be the average party level, or the average -1. My greatest level spread in my current campaign has been a mere 2 levels (of course, the highest level achieved was level 7, before death and resurrection brought him down to the party average level 6)
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    The RttToEE campaign I just left had a spread of 7th-10th level characters at one stage. The lower-level guys didn't seem to be in that much extra danger. After a few rounds of combat it would be obvious that they were less of a threat, so the bad guys would start concentrating on the higher level people.

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