How Do You Like Your Extents of Progression?

Reynard

Legend
I was going to make this a poll but I think it might be a little too complex for that.

What I mean by "extents of progression" is: during the life of a given campaign, how much do your want your character to grow? My broad, easily refuted categories follow.

"Zero to Hero" -- your character starts out as a nobody and eventually rises to the heights of power (in the context of the setting). From farm boy to demi-god, or neglected orphan to master wizard quidditch champion.

"One to Hero" -- okay, you aren't completely useless at the beginning. You are competent -- a knight or a skilled normal or whatever, but you still gain great power (with or without great responsibility). Maybe an example is Batman's career from Year One to Morrison BatGod.

"Powerful Out the Gate and Only Getting Better" -- The character starts out powerful and continues to become moreso. I can't actually think of too many examples of this beyond, say, super heroes who learn to master their abilities over time.

"Always Powerful But No Progression" -- the character starts out at a powerful position but does not really "improve" (even though they may change and grow in other ways).

"Zero to Zero.5" -- You start out a schlub and barely get noticeably better at anything. Horror games do this.

"Competent With Little Change" -- like most procedural TV characters, you start out competent and while you have experiences, they don't necessarily translate to increased power or capability.

"Special Case: Gear Only Progression" -- Some RPGs do this, where you may start out a zero or competent, but in either case only new equipment (guns, power armor, space ships) amount to increases in power or capability.

I know that is an unwieldy and incomplete list, so feel free to ignore it. In any case: what kind of progression do you like for player characters in RPGs? Does it change based on game and/or genre? Does any game do your favored kind particularly well?

Thanks.
 

log in or register to remove this ad


ichabod

Legned
I just like progression. Leveling characters, or whatever the equivalent is in a given RPG, is one of my favorite things about RPGs. I want to feel that my character has earned that progression, but the progression is the key part. So I don't care where it starts or where it ends, as long as there is lots of progression in between.
 

Pedantic

Legend
I'm somewhat less concerned with where the scale starts than I am that the nature of the game (how players approach and resolve problems, what constitutes a meaningful problem, what mechanics are used to deal with problems etc.) should change significantly as players increase in level. The gameplay loop itself should shift with progression.
 


TwoSix

Dirty, realism-hating munchkin powergamer
Depends on the game and genre, certainly.

Assuming a game in the D&D-like genre (medieval fantasy, with decent amounts of magic and magitech), my preference is a game with characters that start competent but not superheroic. Probably around what 5e would rank at 3rd-4th level of competency.

Then I prefer soft scaling from then on mechanically, basically just hit points and maybe some attack numbers increasing. Most progression should be driven by the narrative and by acquisition; characters find new magic items and new techniques, undergo magical transformations, and craft specialized items as they discover new resources. The end point can be anywhere from heroic to superheroic, depending on the type of campaign.
 

aco175

Legend
For 5e, I find that 1st level is not going from 0-to-hero, but more from 1-to-hero. They start off clearly above commoners. I like it fine this way and remember not liking a module back in 2e days where PCs start off as 0-level commoners and gain class stuff along the way. Might be this one- Treasure Hunt.

1695045334183.png
 

payn

He'll flip ya...Flip ya for real...
Competent starting Journeyman to (non-super) Hero.
Pretty much this. I have never liked high level D&D or the progression treadmill. I do enjoy some progress, but on a scale of 3E-E6 or OSR. My favorite Sci-Fi is Traveller which is "competent with little change". The progress I am interested in is more of a setting/story based sense in having an impact by deeds and actions.
 

Competent to heroic but stopping short of super heroic.

In D&D terms you start at level 3 and end up around level 7. In movie terms you start out as John McClain in Die Hard (a tough cop who can defeat a bigger group with cleaver tactics and luck) and but peak well before you become John McClain in Live Free or Die Hard (taking out a fighter jet with a semi truck).
 
Last edited:

aco175

Legend
Competent to heroic but stopping short of super heroic.

In D&D terms you start at level 3 and end up around level 7. In movie terms you start out as John McClain in Die Hard (a tough cop who can defeat a bigger group with cleaver tactics and luck) and but peak well before you become John McClain in Live Free or Die Hard (taking out a fighter jet with a semi truck).
In his defense, he did just reach 17th level for that movie. I would make a funny about his epic level John McClain, but Bruce Willis is having health problems.
 

Remove ads

AD6_gamerati_skyscraper

Remove ads

Upcoming Releases

Top