Level Up (A5E) So where do ya'll plan to start with LU?


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Zaukrie

New Publisher
I’m interested to see what people can do with the new exploration rules. Cause they didn’t really impress me From what I could see. Seemed like more like better Fleshed out survival rules with more non combat stuff on random encounter tables. Which the people that find existing O5e explore rules pointless and boring will still find pointless and boring. If you’re playing a prewritten story heavy point crawl game there is nothing you can do to make the space between the points interesting. It’s all meaningless struggle for the players. You have to play a more emergent storyline style game to make random exploration interesting. No amount of awesome random tables can make exploration matter if the game is about a different story. It’s on the gm/dm to make the places in between connect and matter to the plot, if it’s a plot game, which most people play.
That's one person's opinion..... Which I completely disagree with. Not everything in a plot driven game needs to feed the plot, for one.
 

Smackpixi

Adventurer
That's one person's opinion..... Which I completely disagree with. Not everything in a plot driven game needs to feed the plot, for one.
I don’t disagree, but just saying if on the way to route the gnolls from the village they’re occupying, a thing they care about, the party must cross a tricky crevasse, survive a goblin ambush, then pass a ruined temple, that’s great. Or is it? Done we’ll all of those things can be meaningful, sure. And on the way back they will pass an abandoned house, have to navigate some rapids down the river, and get snared in an ettercap trap. End of day, did we make the journey interesting or did we just put a tax on the players getting to and from naughty word they care about?

really not criticizing, just trying to understand how it’s fun for players. Side tracks can be more fun than the main story, so I guess it goes to the quality of the generated journey. Absolutely roll that up before you get to the table cause doubt anything can sap enthusiasm more than knowing the next encounter is brought to you by the random encounter table.
 

Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
I don’t disagree, but just saying if on the way to route the gnolls from the village they’re occupying, a thing they care about, the party must cross a tricky crevasse, survive a goblin ambush, then pass a ruined temple, that’s great. Or is it? Done we’ll all of those things can be meaningful, sure. And on the way back they will pass an abandoned house, have to navigate some rapids down the river, and get snared in an ettercap trap. End of day, did we make the journey interesting or did we just put a tax on the players getting to and from naughty word they care about?

really not criticizing, just trying to understand how it’s fun for players. Side tracks can be more fun than the main story, so I guess it goes to the quality of the generated journey. Absolutely roll that up before you get to the table cause doubt anything can sap enthusiasm more than knowing the next encounter is brought to you by the random encounter table.
I mean, we found it fun. Fun is subjective, I guess, but the feedback we’ve gotten on journey plsytests has been very positive.
 



Faolyn

(she/her)
I don’t disagree, but just saying if on the way to route the gnolls from the village they’re occupying, a thing they care about, the party must cross a tricky crevasse, survive a goblin ambush, then pass a ruined temple, that’s great. Or is it? Done we’ll all of those things can be meaningful, sure. And on the way back they will pass an abandoned house, have to navigate some rapids down the river, and get snared in an ettercap trap. End of day, did we make the journey interesting or did we just put a tax on the players getting to and from naughty word they care about?
Would those things be interesting if they were planned encounters or adventure plots? If the answer is yes, then they made the journey more interesting. If the answer is no, then they wouldn't. If the answer is yes, if they were done well... then just work on doing them well as part of a journey.
 


BabbageUK

Explorer
I would presume if the journey rules are being used that the players gave consent based on interest in using them.
I'm a little confused. Why would you need consent from the players? Surely it's supposed to be seamless and unobtrusive. Players wouldn't (shouldn't) know and, more importantly, they could be used or ignored as needed. I'd feel bad as a Narrator (because that's what we're called nowadays! :) ) if my players thought they were in some kind of mini-game.
 

Angus MacDeth

Explorer
I saw this thread and thought I'd drop in to mention that I started using Level Up in my weekly game about two hours after the Kickstarter closed and I got the PDFs.

I ran the climactic battle of our current scenario using the Monstrous Menagerie version of the Night Hag, alongside Corrupted Pixies from Kobold Press's Tome of Beasts II and a Banderhobb from Volo's Guide to Monsters (as well as some Monstrous Menagerie Commoner and Warrior NPC allies for the PCs), and everything went off without a hitch. Running the Night Hag was easy, thanks to the streamlined format of the A5E stat block.

As far as I'm concerned, the Monstrous Menagerie has already replaced the Monster Manual. It solves my biggest complaints about 5th-edition monsters by removing the need to look up spells for spellcasting creatures and integrating "add-on" effects of specific actions into the action's description. Bravo to Paul Hughes and the rest of the design team!

I'm planning to introduce other elements of Level Up in our next session, including the new combat actions, world actions, updated spells, and a couple of new magic items. I'm also looking forward to trying the journey rules as soon as the opportunity arises.

The next time the PCs gain a level, I'll offer my players the option of rebuilding their characters using Level Up classes. I don't want to require it, but I'm guessing most of them will want to give the new options a try.

Anyway, I just wanted to share my enthusiasm and encourage everyone to just jump right in!
 
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Faolyn

(she/her)
I'm a little confused. Why would you need consent from the players? Surely it's supposed to be seamless and unobtrusive. Players wouldn't (shouldn't) know and, more importantly, they could be used or ignored as needed. I'd feel bad as a Narrator (because that's what we're called nowadays! :) ) if my players thought they were in some kind of mini-game.
I would guess some players just want to skip straight to the plot and ignore the getting there part.
 

BabbageUK

Explorer
I would guess some players just want to skip straight to the plot and ignore the getting there part.
That wasn't what I was getting at really, so apologies if not clear. I meant the whole "you can only use these rules if we, the players, agree" thing.
 

FitzTheRuke

Legend
I would guess some players just want to skip straight to the plot and ignore the getting there part.
I think it might come down to personality. Some people like the journey (no pun intended) just as much as they enjoy the destination, or more. I mean this both figuratively and literally. It goes for entertainment (cut to the chase!); actual travel (are we there yet?); tasks (no fun until its done); etc.

People who enjoy time-consuming meticulous hobbies (especially crafts) often enjoy the details.

Obviously, the middle bits can always be a slog (to anyone) if the details aren't to their taste. On the other hand, if it's well-done, I think even the most "jump-to-the-end" type person will come around. Or at least be patient enough for the rest of the players to enjoy themselves.

LU journey rules are definitely designed to try to balance this.
 


Silvercat Moonpaw

Adventurer
That wasn't what I was getting at really, so apologies if not clear. I meant the whole "you can only use these rules if we, the players, agree" thing.
These days I assume GMs and players discuss what they do and do not want out of a game, and therefore it is good sportspanship for a GM to not simply use a journey system without at some point having said "I'd like to try using this system for handling journeys between places, is that okay?"
 

BabbageUK

Explorer
These days I assume GMs and players discuss what they do and do not want out of a game, and therefore it is good sportspanship for a GM to not simply use a journey system without at some point having said "I'd like to try using this system for handling journeys between places, is that okay?"
Maybe I'm missing something but I always got the impression that it isn't a 'all the time' or 'none of the time' thing. As a Narrator I would use them where appropriate, and not all the time - always at the speed of plot, so to speak.
 


Smackpixi

Adventurer
ok, let me try again. Making the journey interesting is a matter of adventure design. If the players know that Bob the evil mage is holed up in Luskan with the chalice of ultimate power, nothing that happens along the way to Luskan will be interesting or fun no matter how good your random tables are, or your challenging but simple supply mechanics are. It will just be a pain in the ass between characters and the story.

However, if players only know that Bob went north with the chalice, then the journey becomes interesting. And you can use new journey mechanics to roll up encounters along the way, or you can just design them yourself. But some of the encounters should have clues to where Bob is going with the chalice.

thats an interesting and engaging journey. But that’s adventure design. i didn’t get the Level Up DM book with the journey mechanics, so maybe I’m speaking out of place here, but I read the summary of how it works, and even if you can roll 6 d20s and suddenly conjure the entirety of Forgotten Realms out of thin air It will still be a pointless place unless the DM attaches a story to the abandoned cabin, ettercap snare, and tricky crevasse.

i don’t doubt for a second that new journey mechanics are fantastic for filling the spaces between with interesting stuff. I do doubt that players will give a crap about them unless DM imbues that stuff with meaning. Which, brings me back to point, new mechanics fix nothing, DM still has to make journey matter or skip it.
 

Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
ok, let me try again. Making the journey interesting is a matter of adventure design. If the players know that Bob the evil mage is holed up in Luskan with the chalice of ultimate power, nothing that happens along the way to Luskan will be interesting or fun no matter how good your random tables are, or your challenging but simple supply mechanics are. It will just be a pain in the ass between characters and the story.

However, if players only know that Bob went north with the chalice, then the journey becomes interesting. And you can use new journey mechanics to roll up encounters along the way, or you can just design them yourself. But some of the encounters should have clues to where Bob is going with the chalice.

thats an interesting and engaging journey. But that’s adventure design. i didn’t get the Level Up DM book with the journey mechanics, so maybe I’m speaking out of place here, but I read the summary of how it works, and even if you can roll 6 d20s and suddenly conjure the entirety of Forgotten Realms out of thin air It will still be a pointless place unless the DM attaches a story to the abandoned cabin, ettercap snare, and tricky crevasse.

i don’t doubt for a second that new journey mechanics are fantastic for filling the spaces between with interesting stuff. I do doubt that players will give a crap about them unless DM imbues that stuff with meaning. Which, brings me back to point, new mechanics fix nothing, DM still has to make journey matter or skip it.
We got it first time. We just didn’t agree. :)
 


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