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Missed session catch-up XP

iserith

Magic Wordsmith
So basically my experience with different levels at the table do not count.
For you, of course it does. In a discussion, maybe yes, maybe no. I'd have to hear more about the context of that situation to decide if I would find that a fair demonstration compared to my own weekly experience for several years now. You're still welcome to your preferences even without that as a stated basis for it. You like what you like and that's cool.

You've basically said "shut up whiner, your experience doesn't matter".

Do you not see that?
"I don’t like ketchup because it’s too blue."

"Ketchup isn’t blue."

"You don’t get to tell me how I feel about ketchup."

I’m not saying your point is as insane as thinking ketchup is blue. I'm saying there is a part of your position that’s up for discussion, however you might feel about ketchup overall.
 

Oofta

Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.
For you, of course it does. In a discussion, maybe yes, maybe no. I'd have to hear more about the context of that situation to decide if I would find that a fair demonstration compared to my own weekly experience for several years now. You're still welcome to your preferences even without that as a stated basis for it. You like what you like and that's cool.



"I don’t like ketchup because it’s too blue."

"Ketchup isn’t blue."

"You don’t get to tell me how I feel about ketchup."

I’m not saying your point is as insane as thinking ketchup is blue. I'm saying there is a part of your position that’s up for discussion, however you might feel about ketchup overall.
To repeat one recent experience:
My wife and I show up at an epic with level 1 characters. They both die. Twice. We then bring in 4th level characters and they save the group from a TPK. The first set of characters were a waste of time.

In another case, again with AL, we had a new guy join. He's 9th level and we're 5th ... he's destroying the enemy and taking minimal damage while we chink away.

I like a sense of accomplishment when I game. I like to feel that my PC made a reasonable contribution to defeating the bad guys and winning the day. As much as D&D is not a competitive game, I don't want to feel like the junior varsity playing with the pros. Watching from the sidelines while the "real" adventurers save the day is not as much fun.

What really bothers me is that you dismiss my experience as if it didn't happen. I'm just acknowledging what should be an obvious fact that higher level characters, on average, contribute more to the game from a mechanical perspective. If they didn't, why would we bother leveling?

As always, play the way you want, do what makes sense for your group. I prefer to keep people the same level, I see no reason to let some PCs fall behind on the power curve because they can't make every game.
 

pming

Explorer
Hiya!

(TL;DR Not a problem with a PC getting no XP. They make up for it by getting a bit more because of harder challenges to their level).

I'm with [MENTION=20564]Blue[/MENTION] (his first post on this thread, #3 point) and [MENTION=97077]iserith[/MENTION]. If the player misses the game session, then his PC either becomes an "APC" (no, not that, the A stands for Absent...mostly...). A character who is not able to attend, or misses some part of the game (beginning because they had to work late, or the end because they had to do something like pick someone up at the airport, etc), that persons character becomes an APC. While in "APC mode", the character generally is 'ignored' by the world if at all possible. The character hangs at the back and doesn't offer advice, doesn't perform skills, doesn't really do much of anything. If the situation requires the PC's interaction, one of the players makes the decision, with me overriding it if it seems out of character or isn't "necessary"; e.g., they find a chest and it's locked...the APC thief does NOT deal with it because opening the chest is not 'required'; when the player is back, then she can decide if she wants to look for traps and pick the lock).

With regard to combat, monsters will generally attack others first and the APC will try and do non-combat stuff (support or 'watch the hall' or something). But if combat is no option, a player rolls. The one exception to the rules is that the APC gets a free "delay of death rolls" until they can roll it; if the PC's can use some magic to keep the APC alive after the fight, then great. Yes, this does pretty much 'remove' the Death Roll mechanic from affecting the APC a lot of the time (PC's usually have SOMETHING they can do to help a character at 0 hp). EXCEPTION!: If the entire party is killed/removed...then an unconscious APC is automatically "captures" or (usually more likely) killed, resulting in a TPK. All of us understand that this is our rule. This is accepted by everyone at the table and we all think it is fine and makes sense. Yes, on occasion a player has left early only to find out between sessions "Er...sorry, Tracy, Silvia the Slick is dead. The whole party was killed by an otyugh". It is accepted as part of the game in our group.

Now, for PC's that can get to a safe spot (a camp, town, whatever), they are 'safe', because they aren't at the actual adventure (dungeon, etc).

The APC gets ZERO XP if they are 'safe' and not at the actual adventuring locale. Again, we all accept this as a group.

When/if a PC ends up lagging behind others...uh...well, never bothered us. Like, ever really. As I've said in other threads about this sort of topic, I've run 1e AD&D games where the PC's can be rather largely apart, level wise, from others. In other words, I can have a 7th, two 5th, a 4th, a 2nd and a 1st level PC all in a party (IIRC, AD&D 1e) and nothing "broke". Yes, the 1st and 2nd level PC's were hard pressed to not die...but that didn't detract from their players fun. In fact, it added an extra level of challenge and RP'ing opportunities as the 'newbs' were in awe at how amazingly heroic the 5th, let alone the 7th, level PC's were. And, with AD&D's XP system, the lower level PC's gained XP pretty dang fast so they were up to 3rd or even 4th in relatively short fashion.

In 5e, with the whole Bounded Accuracy thing...differently leveled PC's isn't much of a problem. The 7th level PC can take on a group of 5 goblins by himself while the 2nd and 1st can work together taking on two or three as a team. (actually, same sort of thing in 1e, but with a bit of a different "hit to damage taken" ratio). A lower level PC will and should get an XP bonus because the challenge is different for them (harder).

^_^

Paul L. Ming
 

iserith

Magic Wordsmith
To repeat one recent experience:
My wife and I show up at an epic with level 1 characters. They both die. Twice. We then bring in 4th level characters and they save the group from a TPK. The first set of characters were a waste of time.

In another case, again with AL, we had a new guy join. He's 9th level and we're 5th ... he's destroying the enemy and taking minimal damage while we chink away.
Are you overlooking the additional vital context of those games - how the adventure is designed, how the DM runs it, what strategy and tactics the party employed, the luck of the dice, etc. - and settling on it being solely level disparity that was the issue? I mean, I've seen plenty of same-level adventurers die, too. I've seen plenty of same-level characters outshine others in certain areas because of the particular pillar in play or how the dice land. Surely you have, too, given your experience. So I don't think it's reasonable to lay this entirely at the feet of level disparity.

Watching from the sidelines while the "real" adventurers save the day is not as much fun.
My own experience shows that this is simply not what happens, certainly not on an ongoing basis. Unless the player chooses to do that.

What really bothers me is that you dismiss my experience as if it didn't happen. I'm just acknowledging what should be an obvious fact that higher level characters, on average, contribute more to the game from a mechanical perspective. If they didn't, why would we bother leveling?

As always, play the way you want, do what makes sense for your group. I prefer to keep people the same level, I see no reason to let some PCs fall behind on the power curve because they can't make every game.
That characters of different levels contribute differently is a given. My position is that you can still contribute meaningfully despite level disparity.

As to your particular preference, truly I don't care. But I will debate the stated basis of those preferences if they are debatable. In this case, I would say they are. Sometimes people have a preference first and then give a post-hoc justification for it. That's what this looks like to me, for what it's worth. If someone comes along and calls the justification into question, it can be interpreted as dismissing the preference when that's not what is going on.
 

Mallus

Hero
1. Simple Rule: there is a party XP total. Every PC playing in a session has it.

2. Simpler Rule: there is no XP. PCs level when the DM says so, or after an agreed-upon interval.
 

Oofta

Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.
Are you overlooking the additional vital context of those games - how the adventure is designed, how the DM runs it, what strategy and tactics the party employed, the luck of the dice, etc. - and settling on it being solely level disparity that was the issue? I mean, I've seen plenty of same-level adventurers die, too. I've seen plenty of same-level characters outshine others in certain areas because of the particular pillar in play or how the dice land. Surely you have, too, given your experience. So I don't think it's reasonable to lay this entirely at the feet of level disparity.



My own experience shows that this is simply not what happens, certainly not on an ongoing basis. Unless the player chooses to do that.



That characters of different levels contribute differently is a given. My position is that you can still contribute meaningfully despite level disparity.

As to your particular preference, truly I don't care. But I will debate the stated basis of those preferences if they are debatable. In this case, I would say they are. Sometimes people have a preference first and then give a post-hoc justification for it. That's what this looks like to me, for what it's worth. If someone comes along and calls the justification into question, it can be interpreted as dismissing the preference when that's not what is going on.
So in other words: my opinion and experiences do not count. Your opinion is "justified by experience" mine is just crap.

As far as the actual topic, this is a mountain out of a molehill. I see no upside to not having people of the same level. Someone that is lower level will, in my experience, frequently enjoy the game less. So no upside, only downside. Hence my decision to keep everyone at the same level.
 

Warpiglet

Explorer
I'm with Iserith, In my game no attendance= no XP. My game has a spread of about 5 levels between the most frequently attending players' characters & replacement characters for those who died. Those who attend less frequently (due to real life issues like...work) are now 2-3 levels behind the highest level pcs and it hasn't really been a problem.

I don't really get this modern "it's not fun if we aren't all the same level" type of attitude. You earn xp by being present at a session in my games (whether by slaying monsters or stealing their stuff, or my typical by getting a preset amount of xp per session no matter what happens). If you can't make it for whatever reason then tough. It is also not fun sometimes for the rest of the players to be expecting to utilise your pcs skills one week and you aren't there but we accept other things real life events/commitments intrude on game night, shrug and deal with it.

But that being said, the player most effected by crappy work hours doesn't complain about not being the same level as the highest level pc. He simply gets on with the game, rolls his dice, enjoys being present, contributes to the story/game and is not underwhelming or overshadowed by the higher level pcs by any stretch of the imagination- which is one of the strengths of 5e.

Stormdale
I DON'T WANT unearned experience. I am a pain that way. I don't like doing one shots with leveled up characters...

I want to earn it the hard way and if the character dies, they die. I am DMing my pals and there are no shortcuts. We have gotten together 6 0r 7 times and we are 4th level. Everyone earned it. When we hit 5th it will be sweet.

I am probably a bit obsessive about earning it. By the same token, I don't roll until I get what I want...I take what I get and grind. And if I live?

The rewards are sweet!
 

iserith

Magic Wordsmith
So in other words: my opinion and experiences do not count. Your opinion is "justified by experience" mine is just crap.
Your experiences and mine differ. Your statements do lead me to believe that you have a preference first ("no level disparity") and you justify it later with a debatable example that appears to ignore all other possible factors that created that outcome. That certainly has the look of confirmation bias to me. When reasonably questioned on that, you get defensive and accuse me of saying things I'm not saying.

Look, it's okay to have a preference, even an unjustified one. I'm not dismissing it. I am reasonably questioning the justification you stated for it. If you don't want to discuss that, it's okay. But please don't go around saying that I'm dismissing your preferences or calling your experience "crap." Because I'm not and it's not fair to say that I am.
 

iserith

Magic Wordsmith
I DON'T WANT unearned experience. I am a pain that way. I don't like doing one shots with leveled up characters...

I want to earn it the hard way and if the character dies, they die. I am DMing my pals and there are no shortcuts. We have gotten together 6 0r 7 times and we are 4th level. Everyone earned it. When we hit 5th it will be sweet.

I am probably a bit obsessive about earning it. By the same token, I don't roll until I get what I want...I take what I get and grind. And if I live?

The rewards are sweet!
I'm happy to play in one-shots (and run them), but as a player, I do like to earn my rewards. It needn't necessarily be standard XP either. I just want to know the thing I have to do to get what is necessary to advance so I can get after it. The "everyone level when DM feels like it" thing doesn't work for me. I get why people do it and it certainly made a lot of sense in D&D 3e and D&D 4e because level disparity could be a problem. But in D&D 5e? Nah, not for me.

I would add that, in my regular groups, all the players are happy when someone else gains a level, even if it's a higher level than they are. One's teammate just got a boost and that helps everybody! Alex being resentful of Sean for being able to play more and gaining levels quicker is totally foreign to us.
 

Oofta

Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.
Your experiences and mine differ. Your statements do lead me to believe that you have a preference first ("no level disparity") and you justify it later with a debatable example that appears to ignore all other possible factors that created that outcome. That certainly has the look of confirmation bias to me. When reasonably questioned on that, you get defensive and accuse me of saying things I'm not saying.

Look, it's okay to have a preference, even an unjustified one. I'm not dismissing it. I am reasonably questioning the justification you stated for it. If you don't want to discuss that, it's okay. But please don't go around saying that I'm dismissing your preferences or calling your experience "crap." Because I'm not and it's not fair to say that I am.
Right. So my explanation is "debatable example that ignores all other possible factors" that you have never named. You're just saying my opinion crap ... sorry that my opinion is unjustified crap. Oops. Not valid because it's "confirmation bias". Poe-tae-toe poe-tah-toe.

Or it could just be that we have different preferences, with neither one being particularly justified. I'm OK with that. A lot of things about D&D come down to preference. Some people like sushi. No matter how much you tell me I haven't had "good" sushi even though I've tried it at upscale restaurants, I like my fish cooked.

I've given what I view as a downside to disparate levels and given my experience when I played in games where there was a significant difference. You? You've just said my opinion is wrong because I disagree.
 

Seramus

Explorer
I just don't understand that.
Understanding is not necessary. There are countless times in my life where I didn’t understand why my friends were upset, and I still needed to respect their feelings.

That doesn’t mean you need to invite those people to your game. You lay out the rules ahead of time, and they agree to them and abide by them.
 

iserith

Magic Wordsmith
Right. So my explanation is "debatable example that ignores all other possible factors" that you have never named.
I was referring to the only examples you provided which were scant on detail but big on jumping to a conclusion for a preference you already hold. On its face, that looks like confirmation bias which makes the justification for your preference suspect.

You're just saying my opinion crap ... sorry that my opinion is unjustified crap. Oops. Not valid because it's "confirmation bias". Poe-tae-toe poe-tah-toe.
Or it could just be that we have different preferences, with neither one being particularly justified. I'm OK with that. A lot of things about D&D come down to preference. Some people like sushi. No matter how much you tell me I haven't had "good" sushi even though I've tried it at upscale restaurants, I like my fish cooked.
I've given what I view as a downside to disparate levels and given my experience when I played in games where there was a significant difference. You? You've just said my opinion is wrong because I disagree.
I questioned your stated justification for your preference. I did not criticize your preference. If you had just given your preference, I'd have nothing to question (or criticize). Preferences are unassailable in that regard.

Please stop saying I'm saying things I'm not saying. I am not obligated to defend positions I do not hold.
 
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Oofta

Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.
I was referring to the only examples you provided which were scant on detail but big on jumping to a conclusion for a preference you already hold. On its face, that looks like confirmation bias which makes the justification for your preference suspect.







I questioned your stated justification for your preference. I did not criticize your preference. If you had just given your preference, I'd have nothing to question (or criticize). Preferences are unassailable in that regard.

Please stop saying I'm saying things I'm not saying. I am not obligated to defend positions I do not hold.
I was originally responding to things like
I'm not saying use XP. But the argument for not using XP because "it's not fun to be a level behind" seems odd to me.
Multiple people have explained and given examples. I'm not the only one I tried to explain why some people don't like playing lower level characters.

It's OK that you don't understand. You've repeated that
I just don't understand that ... But feeling "bummed" about this sort of thing is something I don't understand.
You stated
the argument that PCs of disparate levels can't be on the same team and still contribute meaningfully is simply incorrect. And you don't have to take my word for it - try it out and see.
So I gave an example from AL. My wife and I brought 2 1st level characters to an epic. They (and their clones) died. Our 4th level characters kicked ass. First set of characters? Little more than fodder. Second set? Prevented a probable TPK.

But you dismissed my experience as not "borne out by practical experience".

I'm arguing against any assertion that such characters can't meaningfully contribute because of their difference in levels.
I do question preferences that are stated to be based on things that aren't borne out by practical experience.
Then you dismiss my justification and example

But I will debate the stated basis of those preferences if they are debatable. In this case, I would say they are. Sometimes people have a preference first and then give a post-hoc justification for it. That's what this looks like to me, for what it's worth. If someone comes along and calls the justification into question, it can be interpreted as dismissing the preference when that's not what is going on.
And then you continue with an insult.

you have a preference first ("no level disparity") and you justify it later with a debatable example
It doesn't bother me that we hold different opinions. What bothers me is that you're dismissive of other people's experiences and reasons for their opinions. Call it a pet peeve.

I simply see no advantage to have some PCs in the party at a lower level. Some people do not like feeling like they cannot contribute much to the success of the team.
 

iserith

Magic Wordsmith
I was originally responding to things like

Multiple people have explained and given examples. I'm not the only one I tried to explain why some people don't like playing lower level characters.

It's OK that you don't understand. You've repeated that

You stated
As I recall, there are two main answers more or less to things I've stated I don't understand:

1. Level disparity makes it so some PCs can't meaningfully contribute.
2. I dunno, feelings or something.

For 2, I got nothing. However poorly I might view someone who looks at a fellow player with a better attendance record and, as a result, a higher-level character with resentment, that's just a person I choose not to play with (as [MENTION=6812658]Seramus[/MENTION] helpfully pointed out). Or generally associate with on any level whatsoever. That can be set aside as a preference without a, let's call it, tangible justification.

For 1, I simply disagree with that position. That was true in D&D 3e and 4e, but D&D 5e is designed in such a way where that's just not the case. AC and DCs doesn't scale up too high compared to other games. I pondered earlier whether this preference was based in part on assumptions brought in from other games which is a common thing in my experience. People treat the current edition of D&D like a previous edition of D&D all the time. Evidence of this can be seen on D&D forums frequently. Especially really experienced DMs. Based on what I've personally seen. I don't think it's out of line to speculate that may be a basis for some people's preference.

So I gave an example from AL. My wife and I brought 2 1st level characters to an epic. They (and their clones) died. Our 4th level characters kicked ass. First set of characters? Little more than fodder. Second set? Prevented a probable TPK.

But you dismissed my experience as not "borne out by practical experience".
My question, which remains unanswered, was whether you weighed this evidence for your conclusion against situations in which those same outcomes occurred with same-level PCs. Because those same outcomes that you pin on level disparity can certainly happen in other games that don't have PCs of disparate levels. We also don't know anything about the adventure design, the party tactics, the cohesion of the group, the fairness of the DM, etc. I'm not denying you had an experience. Rather, I'm questioning your conclusion based on that experience.

Then you dismiss my justification and example

And then you continue with an insult.
It's not an insult to observe that you (1) have a preference and (2) came upon "evidence" that justified your preference and possibly ignored everything else other than that evidence. We should all guard against confirmation bias, don't you think? Maybe that's what's going on here. Maybe it's not. It's up for discussion.

For my part, I had a preference for no XP and all PCs leveling up at the same time in D&D 3e and 4e which was based on level disparity being a pretty big problem in those games. That's not a big problem in D&D 5e. So I changed my approach. For this game.

It doesn't bother me that we hold different opinions. What bothers me is that you're dismissive of other people's experiences and reasons for their opinions. Call it a pet peeve.

I simply see no advantage to have some PCs in the party at a lower level. Some people do not like feeling like they cannot contribute much to the success of the team.
It's not dismissive to criticize or question a justification for a preference offered as fact, nor does that criticism or questioning dismiss the preference. I would say someone has to be greatly reading into things to conclude otherwise. I honestly don't care what you prefer with regard to how to award XP and whether you keep PCs at the same level. I'm trying to get at your stated justification for that preference, something you offered which doesn't hold water in my view.

Now, if you feel your preference can't stand on its own once that justification is found to be in error, that's a different story. But that's on you to figure out. I'm perfectly fine with a preference being unjustified as I stated earlier in this post (and upthread as well).
 

ccs

39th lv DM
In games where I'm tracking advancement via XP, no, I do not give partial rewards for absent players.

A vital part of what earns you xp at my table is you (not your PC) contributing to the RL group. Could be the jokes you tell. The minis you bring. The pizza you chip in for. Could be you chiming in on the plans the characters are making. Offering your insights on situations. Could be YOU learning relevant bits of plot detail. etc etc etc. But without you there? None of that happens.
In fact.... You're absence hinders things. Sometimes I have to adjust plans/encounters. Sometimes we need to do extra work & NPC your character. Sometimes things need to be rationalized in-game as why your PC is absent/inactive/etc. Sometimes, even if your PC is NPC'd, some fights are a lot more difficult as others aren't doing a good job running their character + yours. And so on.
So NO, your absence will NOT be rewarded.

Yes, this has led to a few lv disparities within the group. But no ones particularly fussed about this. The people I play with just take it as a challenge to contribute in more creative ways if they think their PC is outmatched in some encounters. And after awhile? They end up catching up to the rest lv wise.

The only time I hand out "free" xp is when I have to cancel a game on short notice.
 

Oofta

Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.
[MENTION=97077]iserith[/MENTION],
Can we agree that a 20th level character is more capable and competent than a 1st level character from a mechanical perspective? That in and out of combat, any time a roll of the dice is called for to determine outcome the 20th level character is more likely to succeed (or survive) than the 1st?

If we can, then level does make a difference. The significance of that difference may not matter to you, it does to some people.

To the OP - the reason I don't hand out XP is for multiple reasons
  • One of the main reasons to have levels is so that at higher levels the PCs can take on more difficult challenges. As the story progresses, I want the group to face more difficult challenges.
  • I don't want to have to worry about multiple levels. As long as I've been DMing if someone needs to bring in a new character (either to replace a PC that died or a new player) I've made them the same level as everyone else (originally I had them 1 level lower but decided it didn't matter). It just makes it easier as a DM, and I'm lazy. Many monsters that will be a challenge for a moderately high level party will obliterate a low level one.
  • Some people will feel like their PC is not a hero if they are completely overshadowed by everyone else. This of course, will vary.
  • I have PCs level when it makes sense for the story and based on what the group wants so I don't ever track XP anyway.
  • I understand that some people view XP as a reward - I don't. Playing is it's own reward, it sucks enough to miss games. In an ideal world, a player gets a sense of achievement from watching their PC grow, but the world is not ideal. I'd rather have the simplicity of equal levels without the discouragement of falling behind the group because life interferes with play.

I've run games like this for decades, no one seems to miss tracking XP. Ultimately though, you should ask your group what they want to do because different people play for different reasons.
 

jasper

Rotten DM
This comes down to how APC (absent pcs thanks Paul) are handled. So far it seems the follow
1. Not appearing in this session xp will not be given.
2. Invisible Sidekick. Gets xp and does noncombat stuff. Xp is variable to dm.
3. PC is guest starring by x. X is running the pc. Xp is full.
As other have stated, 5E bounded accuracy does allow a wider spread in levels but only up to a point.
And we are back to the old arguments on how far can the group/player tolerate the spread before it becomes unworkable. Or I think the dm start playing the villains stupid. My current homebrew rules would be FREE XP to get the pc to lowest level of the regular playing pc. Why? I live in a college, military, old fart town. I understand that life is greater than the game.
 

jasper

Rotten DM
As to pcs dying in epics in adventure league games. I have played in and dm epics. And talked to other dms. The big reason people die in Adventure League. TEAMWORK FAILURE. Because people and couples go in as individuals, and the rest of the table will not try to do teamwork. My first kill in AL was due to the individuals wanting to kill monsters instead of taking two rounds out to stabilize a team mate. About a third to a half of the names of skully are due lack of team work. Either the group did not gel. Or someone tick the rest of group off and the team let the goober do his own thing and die.
 

iserith

Magic Wordsmith
[MENTION=97077]iserith[/MENTION],
Can we agree that a 20th level character is more capable and competent than a 1st level character from a mechanical perspective? That in and out of combat, any time a roll of the dice is called for to determine outcome the 20th level character is more likely to succeed (or survive) than the 1st?

If we can, then level does make a difference. The significance of that difference may not matter to you, it does to some people.
I've said several times now that there's a difference. My position is that lower-level characters can still meaningfully contribute in parties with higher-level characters and that said lower-level characters will end up leveling up fast enough where those differences vanish very quickly. Anyone who has regularly played with characters of varying level can tell you the same thing. Everyone in my two groups could tell you this. A lot of people in my multilevel one-off adventures could too.

As for whether the 20th-level character is more likely to succeed than the 1st-level character, it depends on the character and the roll. The same goes for characters of any level, even if they are the same level.

On that note, I will also add that if this preference for all characters being the same level is based on not wanting "differences," then that justification is also quickly called into question when considering that even same-level characters are good in different areas. My fighter is not nearly as good in exploration challenges as the ranger and we're the same level. If keeping PCs all with the same XP is the corrective for "differences," then what's the corrective for my fighter being different from the ranger when it comes to tackling exploration challenges? If there is no corrective, then it seems that differences between character capability is not really an issue at all. It's something else.

To wit, and by your own words:

It just makes it easier as a DM, and I'm lazy.
And that's okay! There's really no need for post-hoc justifications for your preference that are easily knocked down.

I've run games like this for decades
Which I called upthread. People import preferences from an old game to a new game all the time, even if that new game has completely changed the basis for having that preference in the first place. In previous editions of the game, it was a pretty big problem to have PCs of disparate levels, enough of one where D&D 4e even had optional rules to deal with it. It's not as big a problem in D&D 5e. But some don't bother to adjust their approaches to the new game and continue operating as if the same problem existed. And, again, that's okay! But let's call it what it is. Which you've done. Finally. So thanks.
 

Oofta

Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.
As to pcs dying in epics in adventure league games. I have played in and dm epics. And talked to other dms. The big reason people die in Adventure League. TEAMWORK FAILURE. Because people and couples go in as individuals, and the rest of the table will not try to do teamwork. My first kill in AL was due to the individuals wanting to kill monsters instead of taking two rounds out to stabilize a team mate. About a third to a half of the names of skully are due lack of team work. Either the group did not gel. Or someone tick the rest of group off and the team let the goober do his own thing and die.
AL does have issues now and then. After all it's often a random group of people that just happen to show up so you get luck of the draw.

But it can can happen in any game even if the PCs work together if the spread of levels is too high. Any creature, caster or environmental hazard has an area effect that will be a challenge for a mid-to-high level may well kill low level PCs outright. That evil wizard is not going to avoid fireballing the low level guy. He's evil, he'll probably make sure the intern dies first.

Our deaths in the epic were along the lines of fully healed to dead in one turn, it wasn't an issue of lack of cooperation. I had some issues with the way the game and wandering monsters were handled, but that's another story.
 

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