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[FLPBCNFAIS]I don't like Energy Drain as written in the books. How about you?

How do you feel about it?

  • I like Energy Drain as written in the DMG

    Votes: 31 47.0%
  • I don't really like permanent leveldrain but don't care enough to rule 0 it.

    Votes: 15 22.7%
  • I don't like it and I have or want to rule 0 it.

    Votes: 20 30.3%

  • Total voters
    66

Bonedagger

First Post
This is a [FLPBCNFAIS - Felt Like Posting But Could Not Find An Interesting Subject] thread.

I never really liked the idea of permanent level drain. I would like to know how others feel about it.
 
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Crothian

First Post
I don't like to take away levels because then you need to go back and undo things on the character sheet. I will, however take away XP. So, when hit with a level drain that become permanent your 15th level rogue will only have 98,000xp (half way between 14th and 15th). So, nothing on the character sheet is altered but you are in the hole for XP. That is how I ruled Zero it.
 



SableWyvern

First Post
I'm pretty much with Hong and Crothian.

I stole an idea someone else on the boards came up with: each lost level equates to an XP debt of 500 x current level. I do the this for all level losses, regardless of the cause. If there are multiple level-losses involved, each new debt is counted at the next lowest level.
 


Although it's a royal pain in the @$$ when someone does lose a level, thanks to the mess it can make of a character sheet, I know of no other "game mechanic" shall we say, that truly makes players actually FEAR certain types of undead. Especially with 1e and 2e. The wight hits, you LOSE A LEVEL! No saving throw. Ouch!

This was very effective with low level characters without access to Restoration.

"What? There's a wight in that lost hidden tomb guarding the Mystical Blade of Whatnot? No thanks. Let's go fight that pack of ogres instead..."

Other games might have fear checks with dice, but AD&D had undead that actually put some fear into players.

At least my players :)
 

trix

First Post
...

I'm with northrundicandus.

Although level loss is permanent, it only takes effect when the players next sleep / end of the gaming session / lunch break.

Some undead are ment to be 'feared'. The players shouldnt 'want' to go wading into combat. I know its a schlep to undo stuff, but hell, they should consider fleeing for a change.

One funny side-effect i've encountered: Players trekking for 2 days, without sleep, to get to someplace where they can get Restoration cast (otherwise their levelloss is permanent when they sleep).

-Tim
 

Al

First Post
Excuse me, but isn't Energy Drain a 9th level spell?

So...you don't mind Prismatic Sphere (makes you nearly impervious to people without Disjunction), Mordenkainen's Disjunction (destroy permanent magical items and artifacts), Time Stop (ultimate combat spell), Imprisonment (goodbye forever, no save), Wail of the Banshee (kill everyone) but yet you have a problem with Energy Drain.

Energy Drain? When a cleric half your level can undo the damage you've wrought?

If it's from a inconvenience point-of-view, this is a ridiculous objection. After all, creating a new character is much more arduous than merely levelling-down a character. And raising the dead is more difficult than merely casting restoration- and using freedom is far more tricky than either (spell level-wise).

If it's from a mechanical problem of when the PCs are restored, just jot down how much XP they've lost. When they get restored, this amount of XP is recovered (or a proportion thereof, for Restoration as opposed to Gtr. Restoration).

If it's from the point-of-view that it's mean, let me let you in on a secret. Levelling down is no more 'unpleasant' than dying (unless you're level one perhaps). Finger of Death (7th level) causes permanent DEATH, and Disintegrate (6th level) goes one better. Energy Drain (9th level) merely level drains you, which nowhere near as bad. So this isn't an argument either.

With these three arguments destroyed, who can't like Energy Drain?
 

Al... I think the issue most people have with energy drain is that they tend to encounter it on the player side WELL before they are anywhere near 9th lvl spells.

The bevy of undead that have the effect more than make up for the fact that it's easy to get rid of when you're uber.

At low levels, it sucks to get slapped with one... no question about it. That being said, I like it the way it is in the dmg because it puts the fear of god into the players.

-F
 

mmadsen

First Post
I never really liked the idea of permanent level drain. I would like to know how others feel about it.
I just find Level Drain a hokey mechanic. Inspired by rereading The Lord of the Rings last year, I decided to go with a more Nazgul-esque drain. I make a "negative level" -2 to all abilities (Str, Dex, etc.) -- and thus -1 to all Skills, To-Hit, etc. -- that works like a disease. Thus, the character could continue to get worse without rest and treatment.
 

Darkness

Hand and Eye of Piratecat [Moderator]
In general, I like it.

I'm not sure whether I like vampire to drain levels with slam attacks, but there's a different thread for that particular topic. Hmm... I think I'll go there now and read it... :p

Later, folks. :cool:
 

Bonedagger

First Post
Darkness said:
...but there's a different thread for that particular topic. Hmm... I think I'll go there now and read it... :p

Later, folks. :cool:

Hey. I did warn you that this was a [FLPBCNFAIS] thread. :D



I did like the idea about energy drain having a disease background though.

Personally I have gone from having it being something that can be cured with rest and then to... Ups. Better not risk having this thread moved. Never mind.
 
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Al

First Post
Femerus the Gnecro said:
Al... I think the issue most people have with energy drain is that they tend to encounter it on the player side WELL before they are anywhere near 9th lvl spells.

The bevy of undead that have the effect more than make up for the fact that it's easy to get rid of when you're uber.

At low levels, it sucks to get slapped with one... no question about it. That being said, I like it the way it is in the dmg because it puts the fear of god into the players.

-F

Oopsy- I thought Energy Drain meant 'Energy Drain' the 9th level spell, not energy drain the concept. I'm too case-sensitive :rolleyes:

Still, it doesn't suck any more than getting killed (depends on DM's policy of new characters). Yes, it's a royal pain, but a 4th level cleric spell is quite cheap (min. 280gp) so nothing that a character can't save up for (seeing as he should be around 4th level and hence in theory have around 9000gp worth of stuff.) Just hope there's a friendly cleric in town...
 

MeepoTheMighty

First Post
I don't know any DMs who make you start back over at 1st level after you get killed. Just doesn't seem like you'd be able to do anything with the rest of the party. Besides, getting killed gives you an opportunity to try out different characters.
 

mmadsen

First Post
I did like the idea about energy drain having a disease background though.
Thank you, Bonedagger. For the most part, the level drain is there for historical reasons and because it's one of the few mechanics that really scares players. Anything semi-permanent and hard to heal could work though.
 

Plane Sailing

Astral Admin - Mwahahaha!
I never have liked it, and from 1e days I used a Str drain to represent level drains (Shadows drained 1str, wights et all 2 Str, Spectres et al 4 points)

What I do now is use the Con drain which the wight and wraith have, but just increase the potency of that for spectres... and my vampires can't drain energy when the slam you, they have to grapple and then bite...
 

mmadsen

First Post
I never have liked it, and from 1e days I used a Str drain to represent level drains (Shadows drained 1str, wights et all 2 Str, Spectres et al 4 points) What I do now is use the Con drain which the wight and wraith have, but just increase the potency of that for spectres...
This brings up another point: don't Str Drain and Con Drain go together? It seems a bit silly to be sapped of one but not the other.
 

ForceUser

Explorer
I like it because it instills fear - real fear - in the player group of certain monster types. My DM does XP loss instead of negative levels, and that doesn't make me fear those monsters. Hey, I'm not getting any weaker; I didn't lose anything but time.

In my game, there's level loss. I think if you tinker with it, you also have to tinker with the availability of restoration spells and resurrections. That's too much work for me.
 

mmadsen

First Post
I like it because it instills fear - real fear - in the player group of certain monster types.
Right, but anything semi-permanent and hard to heal could work to scare players. Well, anything semi-permanent, hard-to-heal, and damaging. Your DM's use of experience-point loss doesn't "hurt" much, as you pointed out.
In my game, there's level loss. I think if you tinker with it, you also have to tinker with the availability of restoration spells and resurrections. That's too much work for me.
I don't see the need for any extra tinkering. If you replace negative levels with -2 to all abilities, what breaks?
 

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