D&D General Power and Society

Dausuul

Legend
If you are assuming that the XP rules are part of the "physics" of the game world, then every nation would seek ways to exploit those rules, in much the same way that modern society exploits hell out of real-world physics. The form of those exploits would depend on how the rules were applied, but the goal would be the same: Level up as many characters as possible, as fast as possible, in a controllable and predictable way. Adventures would not involve going on quests and exploring remote ruins. They would look more like tournaments or gladiatorial arenas, with combat being as lethal as necessary to ensure people keep leveling up.

You'd end up with a whole world like the Magic setting of Amonkhet. This is why I prefer to say that the XP rules are a contrivance to make the game more fun, which applies only to the PCs and does not represent how the world as a whole works.
 

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Coroc

Hero
With a AC 23, if they are in positions where he can move around and "get them", they would be slaughtered.



The class distribution depends on the table/game world. In RL, the politicians would be the spellcaster equivalent IMO. And clerics are already leaders, I mean the Pope is the world leader with probably the most followers (over a billion catholics and all), with maybe the leaders of China and India (over a billion each) having more.
Don't forget the queen
 


clearstream

(He, Him)
If you are assuming that the XP rules are part of the "physics" of the game world, then every nation would seek ways to exploit those rules, in much the same way that modern society exploits hell out of real-world physics. The form of those exploits would depend on how the rules were applied, but the goal would be the same: Level up as many characters as possible, as fast as possible, in a controllable and predictable way. Adventures would not involve going on quests and exploring remote ruins. They would look more like tournaments or gladiatorial arenas, with combat being as lethal as necessary to ensure people keep leveling up.

You'd end up with a whole world like the Magic setting of Amonkhet. This is why I prefer to say that the XP rules are a contrivance to make the game more fun, which applies only to the PCs and does not represent how the world as a whole works.
Yes, I think that one has to suppose the metaphysics are not fully and expressly understood (just like physics in our world). Also that the mechanical representation may be a simplification (i.e. this is a good model of how it works, but there are complexities that are not captured).

Tournaments are lossy as pointed out by @Celebrim, so an inwardly-focused process would cause a polity to experience dwindling power. Instead, it needs to adventure outwards.

When that is contemplated in a context of layers of previous civilisations, which were at a higher power level than current (i.e. the golden ages are in the past trope of fantasy), with magic items available from dungeoning which as @dnd4vr shows are going to be very impactful, I feel able to present a consistent world that does not end up like Amonkhet.
 

Samloyal23

Adventurer
Influential People and Organisations
Power pivots on PCs and CCEQs, who can count themselves as strong as a small or even large army. This results in high-tier characters occupying the rulership roles of most polities—the Open Lord in Waterdeep and Matron Baenre in Menzoberranzan are examples. Heirs to power may have great advantages—magic items and loyal guardians—but to rule they must first adventure.

The unpredictable availability and concentration of power causes volatility, which elites attempt to mitigate via collaborative structures, designed to tip the balance in favour of people that they approve of—the Red Wizards, the hidden Lords and the Ruling Council of Eight are examples.

CCEQ? What is that?

Powerful people like high level heroes are not unpredictable. They tend to be more predictable than a common person because they are more likely to do something that is logical and strategic.
 

clearstream

(He, Him)
CCEQ? What is that?

Powerful people like high level heroes are not unpredictable. They tend to be more predictable than a common person because they are more likely to do something that is logical and strategic.
Oops, it's explained in surrounding text in the original, but I only copied part of that here.

CCEQ = character-class equivalent, i.e. a creature in the MM like Archmage, who has some level of equivalence with a character, without following all the class rules in the PHB. Often the level of a creature for character-class equivalence can be estimated from its hit dice and proficiency bonuses.
 

clearstream

(He, Him)
Powerful people like high level heroes are not unpredictable. They tend to be more predictable than a common person because they are more likely to do something that is logical and strategic.
I might reword that. It is the availability and concentration of power that is unpredictable, not necessarily the people. Heroes... they keep coming out of the woodwork like lice or rats ;)
 

Samloyal23

Adventurer
I might reword that. It is the availability and concentration of power that is unpredictable, not necessarily the people. Heroes... they keep coming out of the woodwork like lice or rats ;)
Once you identify a hero's abilities and priorities, you can predict his actions, he becomes less likely to do stupidly random things.
 

Samloyal23

Adventurer
Oops, it's explained in surrounding text in the original, but I only copied part of that here.

CCEQ = character-class equivalent, i.e. a creature in the MM like Archmage, who has some level of equivalence with a character, without following all the class rules in the PHB. Often the level of a creature for character-class equivalence can be estimated from its hit dice and proficiency bonuses.
Wouldn't be easier to just give a creature or NPC character levels?
 

clearstream

(He, Him)
Once you identify a hero's abilities and priorities, you can predict his actions, he becomes less likely to do stupidly random things.
Hmm, it seems my meaning was again unclear. The "unpredictability" cited is - specifically, and only - that of difficulty in predicting who will gain power. And not anything to do with how that person (or any person with CCEQ power) might act!

So, of N people randomly doing stuff, it is unpredictable which ones will gain power because they can all take down grandma's pitchfork and start off on a life of adventure... that can snowball over 30 days to overwhelming (tier 4) power.
 

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