LEB Discussion Thread '09

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stonegod

Spawn of Khyber/LEB Judge
LEB is in the process of transitioning to 4E. This thread is where we will discuss the various technical issues of how this should be done. This is also the place for general discussion about LEB.

Things to discuss:
- Character creation (rules, how many, starting level)
- Voting on new sources/proposals
- DM credits/Player credits
- Transition for old LEB material (characters, DM credits, etc.)
- Other administrivia

I look forward to working with you all!
 
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renau1g

Visitor
Wunderbar! I'm glad to hear it stonegod.

I also look forward to continuing the story of Eberron into the brave new 4e world, especially while I await my copy of the Player's Guide to arrive.
 
I guess the first big point of departure is that the Eberron material will be usable on day 1 here, while not for another 3 months in L4W...

That said, I'm still interested in having a portal between these worlds so that players can hop between them if they wish.
 

Oni

Visitor
I'm going to suggest you stick with the standard character creation at 22 point buy, since so many feats (more and more lately it seems) and some powers seem to be balanced around that. 25 point buy, as is used in L4W, is nice in that it lets you get away with a lot more suboptimal combinations, but I think it's asking for problems down the road.
 

renau1g

Visitor
Also, if we're starting at a higher level (and I hope we are), I'm more than fine with 22 points, having got used to it in RPGA rules now.
 

stonegod

Spawn of Khyber/LEB Judge
I guess the first big point of departure is that the Eberron material will be usable on day 1 here, while not for another 3 months in L4W...
Yes, that'll be the biggest. However, one issue is whether to import all of L4W's decisions on new material as is or not.
That said, I'm still interested in having a portal between these worlds so that players can hop between them if they wish.
I agree with the sentiment in the voting thread that crossing would not be a good idea. Aside from tone, there will be differences in allowed materials, character creation, judge ruling, etc. that would be too much of a headache.
I'm going to suggest you stick with the standard character creation at 22 point buy...
Also, if we're starting at a higher level (and I hope we are), I'm more than fine with 22 points, having got used to it in RPGA rules now.
I'm not opposed, but let's see what the consensus is. We had a high 33 pt (uber-heroic) buy for 3.5 Eberron.
 

stonegod

Spawn of Khyber/LEB Judge
I've gone an closed the old Living Eberron major threads (charter, etc, etc.) I have also created a mostly empty Wiki page that will be filled out later (keep the discussion for here now!)
 

Atanatotatos

Visitor
Hey, nice to be here! Well, I'd start saying that we'll probably won't want to allow stuff from the Forgotten Realms Player's Guide, aside from classes and races. It would surely conflict with Eberron stuff.
Also, I'd love if we allowed players to choose among different starting levels (probably something like 1-3, or 1-5 at most): the pbp community is saturated (IMO) with 1st level games, and a bit more choice in the matter is interesting both for players and DMS.
As for point-buy, I'd say the really important matter is to decide wether we want a "nerfing attitude" or not: are we really preoccupied with balance, or are we going to trust players and DMs to behave, and just let the rules be?
 
Very nice SG....

I also like the idea starting at low to mid heroic tier. As was said, 1st level games seem to be the norm, and while first level is good fun, I believe the different levels will in the long run attract more players and DMs.

22 point is fine with me, though I wouldn't be opposed to 25 like L4E. I think things that are legal in L4E could be lumped in with allowed sources, as long as flavor isn't interrupted.

Also, I am also opposed to crossing over between "worlds."
 
If you use a substantially higher point buy, consider raising feat prereqs across the board. (One problem is that odd numbers are used for prereqs, while even numbers increase your modifier - you'd need to raise the prereqs by 2 full points to keep that, which would be a LOT of extra points at character creation.)

I don't think letting people pick from a range of starting levels would work - given a choice from levels 1 to 3, who's going to pick 1? I think a better option is to ramp up the experience awards so that people advance to a spread of levels quickly. L4W's time xp is good (and it's fun to play in games where going up a level is a real accomplishment) but in my home game I'm just doubling all experience awards so that we level twice as fast. If you jigger things so that characters go up a level every two or three months you'll get a nice spread of levels fairly quickly, with new joiners making up the low levels.
 

Lord Sessadore

Explorer
Just note that you have to ramp up treasure rewards to match. And that it will make slightly more work for judges/character approvers, since you'll have level-up approvals more often.

That said, I think it'd be fun to have a fast-advancement scheme. Especially in PbP, it would help to get more of a variety of things in, since you could move "up the ladder" in challenge level more often.

Edit: And, for what it's worth, I also like the idea of starting higher than 1st level. And I'm pretty sure having character crossover wouldn't be a great idea, if only for the mechanical considerations.
 
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Erekose13

Visitor
I think moving this to 4e would be enough to get me back in too. Not ready to be a judge again yet, but I'm game to start playing here.

Re: sources/approval/etc why not just go with character builder? I suppose that it is a little exclusionist, but we could use that as a baseline for what to allow. It would allow very quick addition to new content, but force us to accept any WotC nerfs at the same time (ie like Minotaurs).
 

stonegod

Spawn of Khyber/LEB Judge
This is long! Jump to the end for my summary/thoughts.
Well, I'd start saying that we'll probably won't want to allow stuff from the Forgotten Realms Player's Guide, aside from classes and races. It would surely conflict with Eberron stuff.
Re: sources/approval/etc why not just go with character builder? I suppose that it is a little exclusionist, but we could use that as a baseline for what to allow. It would allow very quick addition to new content, but force us to accept any WotC nerfs at the same time (ie like Minotaurs).
I agree that non-Eberron material (the FRPG and PH Channel Divinity feats) are not appropriate for Eberron, though one could make the argument for reflavoring them. As for "take all from the CB", that would accelerate acceptance of material dramatically as that isn't even close to a 3month wait; 2wks, tops now. I'm not sure I'm comfortable with that rapid acceptance, as there are things that require eying to make sure things don't go wrong. Speaking of...
As for point-buy, I'd say the really important matter is to decide wether we want a "nerfing attitude" or not: are we really preoccupied with balance, or are we going to trust players and DMs to behave, and just let the rules be?
While in general I favor letting the DM (and then judge) adjudicate their own games, the issue that PCs can jump from game to game and that different DMs favor different sort of balances means we need some method to achieve a LEB-wide consensus. WotC makes mistakes, and in some cases can take more than the 3mo (or whatever) timeframe we have traditionally used to fix them. In addition, PbP is a different beast than real life games, and some abilities will have the same balance. Thus, I thing there is still a need to review material by the judges/community.

That being said, many things which are "broken" are broken in very narrow cases. Yes, there are numerous ways to kill Orcus in one hit. Does that mean that our players will cheese that? Maybe, maybe not. But the judges review of such gives us a chance to see blatantly broken things early and plan how to address it (even if it is "allow it until a player abuses it and then whack them with the stick of Bad PC".
Also, I'd love if we allowed players to choose among different starting levels (probably something like 1-3, or 1-5 at most): the pbp community is saturated (IMO) with 1st level games, and a bit more choice in the matter is interesting both for players and DMS.
I also like the idea starting at low to mid heroic tier. As was said, 1st level games seem to be the norm, and while first level is good fun, I believe the different levels will in the long run attract more players and DMs.
Edit: And, for what it's worth, I also like the idea of starting higher than 1st level. And I'm pretty sure having character crossover wouldn't be a great idea, if only for the mechanical considerations.
I don't think letting people pick from a range of starting levels would work - given a choice from levels 1 to 3, who's going to pick 1?
LEB had the choice of 1, 2, or 3rd. About half went 1st, the other 3rd when all levels were open. Whether that'll continue... *shrugs* As I'm said, I'm not opposed, but I'm not for it either.

Regardless of what we decide, I believe we need to start with one character per PC again initially with another allowed after they level up that character one level. One PC ensures we do not swamp up available DMs with only a small core of people.
22 point is fine with me, though I wouldn't be opposed to 25 like L4E. I think things that are legal in L4E could be lumped in with allowed sources, as long as flavor isn't interrupted.
If you use a substantially higher point buy, consider raising feat prereqs across the board. (One problem is that odd numbers are used for prereqs, while even numbers increase your modifier - you'd need to raise the prereqs by 2 full points to keep that, which would be a LOT of extra points at character creation.)
I think I'd just go with 22pt buy. Yes, then means L4W characters are more powerful relatively, but if we have higher level starts and accelerated development, it'll wash out. Plus, as mentioned before, much of 4E's balance assumes the 22pt buy.
I think a better option is to ramp up the experience awards so that people advance to a spread of levels quickly. L4W's time xp is good (and it's fun to play in games where going up a level is a real accomplishment) but in my home game I'm just doubling all experience awards so that we level twice as fast. If you jigger things so that characters go up a level every two or three months you'll get a nice spread of levels fairly quickly, with new joiners making up the low levels.
Just note that you have to ramp up treasure rewards to match. And that it will make slightly more work for judges/character approvers, since you'll have level-up approvals more often.

That said, I think it'd be fun to have a fast-advancement scheme. Especially in PbP, it would help to get more of a variety of things in, since you could move "up the ladder" in challenge level more often.
LEB when on 3.5 years and its highest level PC was 5th (no DM credits); there were several 4th. L4W's been going a year and we almost have a small group of 3rd; not sure how many 2nd's they have. My LEW character's 2nd after being in play for 2 years. So I am definitely sympathetic for faster character advancement. On the flip side, that means there will be a much larger gap between newer players and older players and the separation in levels will increase that much higher. Something to consider.

Given that L4W's time-XP rules were designed to give PCs a level every 12 months, that means in the year since L4W started, most PCs have gained one level by encounters and 1 by time. The question then is what do we want as a ratio? It'll affect several things (such as treasure, DM awards, etc). Do we want two time-based levels per year? Three? I'm a bit hesitant about going too fast. I think fast XP is nice, and fits the adventuresome tone of Eberron, though.

So, a lot of thoughts. In summary, my proposals would be:
- 22pt buy
- At start, all published WotC hardcovers as of the start allowed barring non-Eberron specific items (PoL/FR Divine feats, etc.). Dragon magazines, promotional items, and other items available in the CB would need to be proposed separately. All Errata apply. We can decide if there is anything in the above we want to modify or not as well.
- 1 character of X level, where X is to be decided. Several favor 1–3 right now.
- Time-based XP should be X levels/year. L4W uses 1. Suggestion is 2, 3 tops by me. We need to figure out how to deal with treasure as well.

We still need to look at the issue of DM credits. I also would like to propose some level of transfer of "awards" from the old LEB to the new LEB such as DM credits or PC levels to reward folks that played in the original and want to continue on. Yes, this heavily favors me, I know :), so there should be some rational limit on it.
 
I think new material being approved through the builder might be a good idea. If our community ends up smaller and the advancement is quicker, we could identify problems before L4E gets their hands on them.

I think we need to come to a decision on starting level. I don't think a range would work as well as having everybody starting the same. As far as time exp goes, I'd think 2 level/yr is a good number.
 

Atanatotatos

Visitor
So... my ideas: I oppose using the Character Builder as a reference. A lot of people aren't subscribrs, plus it's not like WotC is that fast and efficient in recognizing its own design mistakes, so...
2 levels per year seems reasonable to me. And although that might seem a bit too much, I believe people who are playing characters in LEB should be able to convert them in LE4 at the same level. That will encourage them to re-start, too.
The choice to start at a higher level than 1st is important to me. For one thing, I don't think it's a non.choice, because a lot of people like to start their character at 1st level and bring him/her up all the way, in my experience. Also, there's probably less difference between a 1st level character and a 3rd level one in 4e than in 3e. Much less.

Also...

[sblock=MMM]3,000 posts! YAY![/sblock]
 

stonegod

Spawn of Khyber/LEB Judge
One thing to consider on the higher level start: Levels limit what one can effectively hit/maximum level of possible enemies, so it would be ideal to keep the range low enough that a party of folks from a range of levels still could be reasonably challenged. So a 1–3 range would work better than a 1–5 range, for example.
 

renau1g

Visitor
I play in our local RPGA game and the ranges are 1-4, & 4-7. I played my 1st level Warden in a game levelled up to 4 and I wasn't out of my league, I hit on about a 12 or 13 almost every time so I missed about 10% more than normal. Not that big a deal. I like in 4e that a 1 & 3 level PC's can adventure together and not feel out of place.
 

stonegod

Spawn of Khyber/LEB Judge
I play in our local RPGA game and the ranges are 1-4, & 4-7. I played my 1st level Warden in a game levelled up to 4 and I wasn't out of my league, I hit on about a 12 or 13 almost every time so I missed about 10% more than normal. Not that big a deal. I like in 4e that a 1 & 3 level PC's can adventure together and not feel out of place.
Yes, but a 1st and 7th would not mesh as well, methinks.
 

Lord Sessadore

Explorer
Yeah, I think a 1-3 range would probably be ideal. Level 3's won't completely outclass level 1's, so they could conceivably be in the same party.

Personally, I'd rather not use the CB as the standard. Of course, I'm biased, because I don't subscribe, so I can't get the updates. But I also think that WotC isn't all that quick with their errata, even of things that probably should be fixed or at least clarified.

Also, I think it'd be good to have PC levels and DM credits transfer almost directly from LEB. It should probably depend on what is decided for DM credits and whatnot, as well. For example, if you got 2 DM credits per month in LEB and you get 3 DM credits per month in this incarnation, then old DM's credits should be multiplied by 1.5. Or something like that, anyway. Good motivation for players and DMs from LEB to come back.
 
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