Musing on Conan themes in RPGs

aramis erak

Legend
Is there another word, better than 'level', that you would prefer to use to describe the difference between a game in which you gain power/abilities piecemeal, versus one where you achieve that in chunks with numbers/labels attached to them?

EDIT: I understand that in theory the distinction could have no relevance to gameplay, because a highly granular progression could still be based on levels. But in practice that would mean a lot of levels. So in general the distinction between leveling and non-leveling games tends to be a difference in power curves.
It's worth noting that a low-number-of-rather-broad-skills skill driven game is very much like a class and level game with readily available multiclassing into many narrow classes. Key exemplar? Modiphius' Star Trek Adventures and Dune RPGs. STA has 6 "departments" which are also used as the skills. Essentially, STA PC's are multiclassed into all 6. NPCs aren't always, being allowed to have zero's. Dune has 5 skills...
 

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xoth.publishing

Swords against tentacles!
What ability is the first level barbarian using to interrupt the lion's pounce?

EDIT: Which is really not the point. Read the Tower of the Elephant, then compare The Phoenix on the Sword. What is the level progression? In what way does the former read like an account of a 1st level D&D adventure whereas the later is 9th (or whatever) level?

As an aside, I wrote up Tower of the Elephant for D&D 3E back in 2002 (boggles my mind that it was 21 years ago...!). I put it at character levels 4-7, but it was intended for a small party (2-4 PCs).


BTW, the same adventure has also been converted to AD&D and to DCC RPG.
 


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