How Do You Like Your Extents of Progression?

overgeeked

B/X Known World
Depends on the game and the genre.

Most progression is a treadmill illusion. Your numbers go up but so do the bad guys' numbers. You’re changing the names of the monsters but comparatively nothing really changes.

I prefer progress that’s diegetic, that is progress that’s in the fiction rather than strictly mechanical. Reputation, titles, land, access, allies, etc.
 

log in or register to remove this ad

Cadence

Legend
Supporter
Depends on the game and the genre.

Most progression is a treadmill illusion. Your numbers go up but so do the bad guys' numbers. You’re changing the names of the monsters but comparatively nothing really changes.

Is that fixed somewhat if, say, the low level D&D characters periodically encounter things they had best run away from or submit to, and then gradually don't need to as they advance?
 

overgeeked

B/X Known World
Is that fixed somewhat if, say, the low level D&D characters periodically encounter things they had best run away from or submit to, and then gradually don't need to as they advance?
Not really, no. Not for me at least. The only fix I can see is having the PCs and the monster levels be completely independent of each other. Say a random table based on the location. With monster rarity dictating the chances of appearing. So you wander into a swamp and there’s an ancient black dragon living there, but only one, so say a 1-in-100 chance of encountering the dragon. Doesn’t matter what level the PCs are. But, removing low-level monsters from the chart as the PCs level would just bring back the other end of the same problem.

You could argue that high-level monsters wouldn’t bother with low-level PCs unless provoked, say entering the dragon’s lair. Or that low-level monsters would try to avoid high-level PCs if at all possible. But that’s best handled after those encounters are rolled rather than as an excuse to exclude them in the first place.
 

Cadence

Legend
Supporter
Not really, no. Not for me at least. The only fix I can see is having the PCs and the monster levels be completely independent of each other. Say a random table based on the location. With monster rarity dictating the chances of appearing. So you wander into a swamp and there’s an ancient black dragon living there, but only one, so say a 1-in-100 chance of encountering the dragon. Doesn’t matter what level the PCs are. But, removing low-level monsters from the chart as the PCs level would just bring back the other end of the same problem.

You could argue that high-level monsters wouldn’t bother with low-level PCs unless provoked, say entering the dragon’s lair. Or that low-level monsters would try to avoid high-level PCs if at all possible. But that’s best handled after those encounters are rolled rather than as an excuse to exclude them in the first place.

I always assume the high level characters could keep digging up the easy to fight monsters if they really wanted to.

James Bond and the Mission Impossible Crew could keep going after small local drug dealers if they wanted too, Superman could decide to spend his time on Batman's rogues gallery, etc... Just doesn't seem that exciting.
 

TwoSix

Dirty, realism-hating munchkin powergamer
I prefer progress that’s diegetic, that is progress that’s in the fiction rather than strictly mechanical. Reputation, titles, land, access, allies, etc.
To be fair, you can absolutely have diegetic progression that's also mechanically relevant. Gaining a +2 sword at the end of the dungeon is a form of diegetic progression, since it happens during the course of the narrative.

Gaining levels isn't diegetic progression, because it happens due to metagame factors (except for a game where XP and/or milestones and levels are actually something apparent in the fiction).
 

overgeeked

B/X Known World
I always assume the high level characters could keep digging up the easy to fight monsters if they really wanted to.

James Bond and the Mission Impossible Crew could keep going after small local drug dealers if they wanted too, Superman could decide to spend his time on Batman's rogues gallery, etc... Just doesn't seem that exciting.
It all depends on what your goal is. Are you more interested in creating a world that feels real or are you more interested in creating something like a story.
 

overgeeked

B/X Known World
To be fair, you can absolutely have diegetic progression that's also mechanically relevant. Gaining a +2 sword at the end of the dungeon is a form of diegetic progression, since it happens during the course of the narrative.

Gaining levels isn't diegetic progression, because it happens due to metagame factors (except for a game where XP and/or milestones and levels are actually something apparent in the fiction).
Ish. You can make leveling diegetic. Look at cultivation stories or many shonen power systems.
 

Competent starting Journeyman to (non-super) Hero.
Same for me. Game examples would be Broken Compass, Neon-City Overdrive or PbtA games like The Sprawl.

I'm also fine with One to Hero. Thinking of stuff like Savage Worlds here (especially if you start at Seasoned), where your capabilities border on super-heroic by the end, but are still quite a bit below high-level D&D.
 

Cadence

Legend
Supporter
It all depends on what your goal is. Are you more interested in creating a world that feels real or are you more interested in creating something like a story.
It doesn't feel like either an interesting use of the world or a good story to me to have Superman spend lots and lots of time going after low powered villains who have no defense against his super speed, super brain, or super vision. It does feel like a good panel or two to have happen now and then though (usually while something else is happening in the thought balloons or conversation with someone else). Similarly for James Bond going after small time hoods.
 
Last edited:


Remove ads

AD6_gamerati_skyscraper

Remove ads

Upcoming Releases

Top