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WotC DnD

Level Advancement

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#1 RPGMP3 Newsbot

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Posted 29 January 2014 - 12:10 AM

How many goblins? How many encounters? How many sessions? James asks these questions and more in this week’s column. We’re very interested in hearing your thoughts on these questions, so please read and respond!

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#2 Daniel


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Posted 29 January 2014 - 02:14 AM

'Without frequent small rewards, players begin to feel like their efforts aren't paying off.'


In the context given I have to disagree with this statement 100%.  Mechanical rewards (levels) are not needed to keep players at the table.  Sufficiently well written modules, with challenge, intrigue and a half-decent player-led narrative will keep your group engaged fair better than attempting to utilize psychological tricks like some kind of paper-based pauper's MMO.

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#3 LightPagoda


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Posted 29 January 2014 - 06:27 AM

successfully overcoming a challenge can often be a rewards in itself.  I think there are enough counter examples against that statement to show the level mechanic (while it can be fun) is not needed.  'Advancement' in Dresden/Fate is slow and character growth is more about character change than power level growth for example.

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#4 Hal


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Posted 29 January 2014 - 08:16 AM

Sadly I think DnD has entrenched itself in the fast rise to POWER model so EXP is expected...


I think it was solidified by 4e where there was a set number of encounters per level.


I have always been on the fence about the difference in EXP in games like Rolemaster (where a character's individual achievement is taken into account and he gets the benefits of his personal actions) and DnD where everyone goes up at the same rate (nowadays). Rolemaster can be a bitch to track and calculate and you can get characters that level so much faster than the Healer or the other casters in the party (especially if they are taking and surviving massive criticals).


I guess as long as advancement seems to match the feeling of the game I am playing then I don't think it matters too much but I am not keen on mandated advancement. Sometimes we go slow, sometime we go fast depending on what has been happening in the game. DnD being mandated sounds like we are just going to be railroaded from one set piece encounter (with associated option map to purchase) to the next.


Hal :hal:

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#5 Pencil-Monkey



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Posted 29 January 2014 - 09:59 AM

There are RPGs that don't focus on XP and level grinding.

Or you could just play Paranoia, where the PCs are expected to TPK every session. ;) Rather neatly obviates the problem.

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