D&D 5E No One Plays High Level?

payn

He'll flip ya...Flip ya for real...
I've never seen anyone not use the XP penalty rules, but most of the games I played then (and still play today) are pretty close to RAW.
At Pathfinder we ditched XP and never looked back as well. Maybe we did during 3E im getting old its fuzzy now.
 

log in or register to remove this ad

SteveC

Doing the best imitation of myself
I’ve heard it come up with Adventurer’s League, but there the rate of advancement really can be high, which is why they give you an option to slow your own advancement.
I see the same thing in Pathfinder Society and did a little in Living Forgotten Realms (the 4E adventure's league). The issue there is that most of the adventures that get run are in the low tiers, so if you want to play a lot of sessions, you'll quickly level out of it. If you have a character you want to really play, you want to do that.

I'm not sure how it is in AL, but with the Pathfinder society, you level every three adventures. The tiers of adventures I've seen are 1-4, 5-8 and ... I haven't seen higher level ones. If it's something similar with AL, and you play every week you'd level out really fast. I can see that as an issue.
 

payn

He'll flip ya...Flip ya for real...
I see the same thing in Pathfinder Society and did a little in Living Forgotten Realms (the 4E adventure's league). The issue there is that most of the adventures that get run are in the low tiers, so if you want to play a lot of sessions, you'll quickly level out of it. If you have a character you want to really play, you want to do that.

I'm not sure how it is in AL, but with the Pathfinder society, you level every three adventures. The tiers of adventures I've seen are 1-4, 5-8 and ... I haven't seen higher level ones. If it's something similar with AL, and you play every week you'd level out really fast. I can see that as an issue.
My experience was that folks who played weekly in PFS had a bundle of characters they would switch through. That was some years ago though.
 

billd91

Not your screen monkey (he/him)
I see the same thing in Pathfinder Society and did a little in Living Forgotten Realms (the 4E adventure's league). The issue there is that most of the adventures that get run are in the low tiers, so if you want to play a lot of sessions, you'll quickly level out of it. If you have a character you want to really play, you want to do that.

I'm not sure how it is in AL, but with the Pathfinder society, you level every three adventures. The tiers of adventures I've seen are 1-4, 5-8 and ... I haven't seen higher level ones. If it's something similar with AL, and you play every week you'd level out really fast. I can see that as an issue.
Oh, it's faster in current AL. You can level up EVERY adventure. You can defer the level-up to increase the treasure output, but you can only do that once, I believe. Technically, I suppose you could ultimately defer taking levels indefinitely, you just can't increase your gold by doing so.
Not that anyone really checks, mind you.
 

SteveC

Doing the best imitation of myself
To be clear, you mean you've never heard players complain about leveling quickly, right? Because I've had plenty of players that want to level up, get xp etc. and playfully chide myself or other GMs with "have we leveled yet?"

I've run multiple 5e campaigns to levels 18+, but I wouldn't consider 12-14 "high level."
5e isn't BAD at high levels (I guess I'd call 15+ "high level"), it can certainly be more prone to slogging but it's usually because players accrue more power (magic items, features, spells, etc) and the stakes are more pronounced, so they take longer to make sure they're making the right moves during combat.
I was definitely trying to say that I've never seen a player complain about wanting to level slower. Every time I've seen complaints it's been "are we there yet?"

As for levels, we hit level 14 and my wizard got a feature from being a bladesinger (Int mod to damage) and no other spells. At level 15 and 16, I'll get one more spell of 8th level (which I expect to take Maze to typically prepare, and Clone/Demiplane as spells to use outside of adventuring). The thing is, that one extra spell slot doesn't really mean much. Yes, Maze is a great spell, but over an adventuring day, that gets cast once.

When I hit 17th level, that will be 9th level spells and that gives some amazing options, (hello Shapechange) but that's a ways away. I don't think that you have to hit 17th level to consider it high level play.

It's strange to find myself defending 5E, but it seems to work decently at high levels. I suppose there is some optimizing cheese that could make it go out of whack, but even our player who really optimizes hasn't been that far from the rest of the group.
 

ECMO3

Hero
Only if you define trap as "non-combat" or "minimally combat" which isn't the definition. I frequently took non-combat feats for story reasons and still kicked ass. You could even have no combat feats and kick ass.

It is the same thing with the non combat feats

The character who never thought of being doing something before is taking skill focus to boost his pitiful stealth at high level. So I am taking a weak skill focus, first level feat at a level I should be taking skill master or claim skill or something like that.


If you weren't a power gamer it was actually fairly hard to make a bad character. Non-optimal, sure. Bad, not so easy.

Almost all my characters in 3.5E felt very contrived, limited and for the most part underpowered as I dumped points into cross class skills, waited agonizingly high levels to get the skills required to do a PRC class that did not compliment my original class (there is a reason I mentioned going shadowdancer from a base fighter). Taking useless feats you did not care about and made no sense because they were prerequisites for something you did.

Why the heck do I need to take Combat Expertise and Dodge and Spring Attack to learn Whirwind attack? Why can't I just learn Whirlwind attack, and if I want my character to learn Whirlwind attack because I spent a night in a Dervish camp, why can'tt I just pick it up next level instead of needing like 4 different other feats first.


This is hugely false. There are TONS of great feats gated by level(base attack X, hide X, etc.) and do not need a tree to have been started.

These are not options for most players. If I need 6 ranks in hide and I am a 10th level fighter with a 0 hide I am going to need 6 more levels to get there with a normal intelligence and I am going to have to completely stop investing in other skills in that time.

That is the whole problem. Why should I need BAB X or Hide Y to take a feat. Just let me take the feat!


If you power game, sure. But powe rgaming eliminates more options than you are saying get eliminated by tying race to class.

Whatever you pick, powergaming or not eliminates most picks.

For example not picking the prereqs for Whirlwind attack means you can't take Whirlwind Attack. It doe snot matter if you powergamed or if you picked a bunch off traps, the fact that they were not the 4 you need mean you are locked out.

The DM can allow, change or refuse anything, per RAW.

Sure but we are talking about RAW here.

If I am going to use this strawman, then the 5E DM can allow all 3.5E feats and PRC classes in a 5E game, he can give all PCs a feat choice every level and completely eliminates all the 3.5E prerequisites .... well I guess that means there are actually way more total options in 5E because the DM is free to do this in 5E right?

1-3 =/= many. Most of the time you are just missing a few skill points and you can dedicate a few level's worth to get there.

No most of the time you are missing like 20 skill points.

Take using Ninja to qualify for Shadowdancer as per your example. I need 8 ranks in move siliently, 10 in hide and 5 ranks in perform.

Ninja is a skill-happy class, you get 6 a level so that would be 4 levels to get all those points .... but perform is cross-class for a Ninja. So it is 5 levels before you have the bare minimums to jump into Shadowdancer and after this 5-level investment you are still not even really good at hiding.


Invest a few levels of skill points.

Not a few, many, many levels. If you are a fighter you are getting 2 points a level and cross-class skill costs 2 points to boost a point. You will actually never get to where you are good at it. In 5E I go from being not good to being an expert in ONE LEVEL.

So you go to the plane of shadow and as a result you are now Mister Nature Guy with Natural Explorer, natury ranger spells,

No. To start with you have Deft Explorer, not Natural explorer. Ranger is a known spell class, you choose your spells and your subclass spells include illusions the shadowfell is known for and Fear that fits the theme really well.

You don't have to play a nature-ranger in 5E. That is the whole point!

favored enemies that don't make sense

Good thing you don't need to take favored enemy as a Ranger .... although I would say Undead favored enemy fits perfectly for a Shadow-fell aligned character

, fighting styles that don't make sense(shadows make me fight different!),

Blind Fighting!

and and on.

Before "on and on", you need to provide a single example of something.
 

James Gasik

We don't talk about Pun-Pun
Supporter
Generally, if your group is going to have issues in high level play, I feel it's going to come up sooner than later. If your group is a pack of damage fiends and your casters think Fireball and Spirit Guardians are the be all and end all of spells, the game corrects itself as monster hit points inflate rather quickly, as damage boosts come slowly and in a predictable fashion- which follows the monster design rather neatly if you're progressing as intended (the game designers know when martials get Extra Attack, so you might see a jump in the hit points of monsters level 5 characters will encounter). Multiclassing and access to Feats can skew this (there were a lot of complaints about GWM up until a few years ago, as +10 damage on all attacks is ridiculous, and players quickly found ways to mitigate the -5 to hit. Now, however, everyone seems kind of chill about it, lol).

If, however, there are particularly strong builds, combos, good synergy between characters, and/or your party is more concerned with locking down or otherwise making enemies pretty much useless, you should see those trends long before you see anything as ridiculous as Forcecage.

I'm not saying a DM can't be surprised by how powerful the PC's can become out of the blue, but it feels like the warning signs should have been there. What I think a lot of DM's think is that this problem corrects itself with more powerful enemies in the same way as big damage numbers will, and that's not the case.

You need to really consider encounter design, enemies that complement each other, interesting battlefields, in-combat challenges, and alternate win conditions beyond "kill anything that moves". This can be a lot more work for many DM's than they really want to put into the game- it takes a lot more prep on the DM to run a game than any of the players, especially as the game progresses.

DM burnout can quickly become a factor if they have to bash their heads against the wall between sessions to prepare for the next, and it gets worse if their plans fall flat. All of this is likely the real reason why high level play is rarer to see.

It's not really a fault of the game itself- it's very clear about the experience it's trying to give it's players, for the most part. Good guidance for troubleshooting and recognizing issues in short order is what's needed- and there's a lot out there, but it's hard to really understand good advice from bad.

And the 5e DMG doesn't really do enough in my opinion. We'll see how 2024 goes, but a DMG2 would be a great book to see. Sadly, we probably won't, since it probably won't make enough money for the company.
 

nevin

Hero
At Pathfinder we ditched XP and never looked back as well. Maybe we did during 3E im getting old its fuzzy now.
make's it too dependent on DM and can easily remove motivations to do things. I've heard a lot of people rave about how it fixed thier murder hobo problems but I've seen it leave a DM completely flumoxed over what reward to offer a player that didn't care about the things he thought would be motivational. I'm not a fan of milestone or any other form restricting leveling.
 

payn

He'll flip ya...Flip ya for real...
make's it too dependent on DM and can easily remove motivations to do things. I've heard a lot of people rave about how it fixed thier murder hobo problems but I've seen it leave a DM completely flumoxed over what reward to offer a player that didn't care about the things he thought would be motivational. I'm not a fan of milestone or any other form restricting leveling.
To each their own, but my games improved significantly. XP lead the PCs around by the nose. They left a lot of interesting options and character beats unexplored because there just wasnt enough XP incentive in it. They also got very metagamey about how they approached play. Maybe its because I also am a big fan of flat progression games like Traveller that it works for me. Engaging the game is its own reward, and the only one required.
 

nevin

Hero
Almost all my characters in 3.5E felt very contrived, limited and for the most part underpowered as I dumped points into cross class skills, waited agonizingly high levels to get the skills required to do a PRC class that did not compliment my original class (there is a reason I mentioned going shadowdancer from a base fighter). Taking useless feats you did not care about and made no sense because they were prerequisites for something you did.

Why the heck do I need to take Combat Expertise and Dodge and Spring Attack to learn Whirwind attack? Why can't I just learn Whirlwind attack, and if I want my character to learn Whirlwind attack because I spent a night in a Dervish camp, why can'tt I just pick it up next level instead of needing like 4 different other feats first.
that would be because 3.5 and pathfinder 1e embraced the idea of min maxing and trap feats and to get to the true power you had to suffer through the leveling process with the near useless feats to get there. That was by design. the 3.5 method of fixing 3.0's execesses was similar to the 1e wizard design philosophy. If you want power you have to be weak and pitiful for the appropriate number of levels before you get it.
 

Remove ads

AD6_gamerati_skyscraper

Remove ads

Upcoming Releases

Top