I was thinking about adding level to Attack Rolls and Saves for PCs and monsters to make it feel more of like a real progression. I haven't gotten too far down that line of theory, since other systems have already done the same thing. I'd just prefer for a 15th level monster to feel like a challenge for a party around 15th level - not a "tough fight" for a party of 6th level characters. After a party faces a foe like that in early mid-tier, I just don't know where to go with it. Do you end up running 10 Balors at 12th level?I agree about the basic 5E leveling. I think that was part of the design to appeal to casuals and OSR gamers. My opinion is that it is pretty boring. I disagree about BA though. I think PF2 has shown that you can do level stat progression, while leaving abilities to a more horizontal development.
Other games have Big Darn Heroes too. Pathfinder 2e, D&D 4e, Gamma World, etc., all have some very over-the-top moments. But I don't think any of them are so easy that winning is a foregone conclusion. Or at least the feeling is that during desperate times, the "big guns" have to come out. 5e feels too much like "copy and paste" with every battle.Sure, why not? D&D is about being Big Darn Heroes, yes. They specifically designed the numbers of 5E so that the players are the House, and the House always wins. It's kind of the opposite of Call or Cthulu, but a similar approach should work even if the outcome is 180 degrees off. The point is to get together with friends and have a good time, not to be a "challenge." Insofar as there is a challenge to be found, it will be resource attrition, though obviously thst is optional to the table.
More narrative systems (like Dungeon World) are fine because they aren't designed to be long campaigns that last for months/years. 5e just doesn't have enough interesting things in it to sustain diverse sessions. IMO, at least.
Actually, 4 PCs for most of the time - since the cleric was pulled out of the fight to engage a shadow demon in a solo fight (that came out of her background). Once she returned, the battle was truly engaged. Don't get me wrong, that fight with Strahd ended up being epic, but I played Strahd to his full potential, and they won fair and square. I'd have to seriously modify future combats to challenge them appropriately.A bunch of heroes getting together and killing Strahd sounds awesome to me. I assume that was more than 5 PCs...?