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46709 Posts in 5588 Topics by 13299 Members Latest Member: - Jason DAngelo Most online today: 78 - most online ever: 843 (October 22, 2020, 11:18:00 PM)
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Author Topic: Re: A D&D Exercise for Sorcerer Players  (Read 6040 times)

Posts: 99

« on: February 11, 2008, 03:23:00 PM »

Wow, Jesse...what a fantastic discussion topic (though I’m not sure that it belongs in Ron’s forum).  The idea that character level in D&D measures “effectiveness” not necessarily experience or seasoned-ness of a character is a little mind-blowing. 

Of course, wasn’t Isildur (of Tolkien’s books) felled by orcish arrows? And only a bit after cutting the One Ring from Sauron’s hand?

Switching to this method of game play explores the possibility of character level measuring a character’s importance to the game adventure.  For example if Lord Mucky-Muck is only 1st level (and thus has only 4 hit points) he’ll be removed from the story a lot sooner than Taran the Assistant Pig-Keeper (a level 12 orphan or whatever).

However, while you can mix and match the meanings in D&D, the game system itself is a pitted against you, especially in the current edition of the game:

-   Level is gained based on “experience” points, implying a higher level character is more experienced (i.e. as he has more “experience points”)
-   Higher level characters have access to more feats and special abilities
-   Comparison of characters from different level brackets.  As long as everything is level or continues to scale in the same direction (for example Level 1 is great but Level 8 is legendary) things are okay. Once you have Lord Mucky-Muck (level 1 paladin) engaged in a skill contest with Taran (level 12 rogue) you’re going to have a hard time justifying the high level character losing in a particular area without re-vamping the whole skill mechanic of the game.
-   Magic-using characters would really seem to break the deal, unless you are really re-defining what a magic user is in the game (for example a “powerful magic user” only has access to 2 or 3 spells).

Of course, Gandalf never seemed to use that many spells in the LOTR books (pyrotechnics, light, shatter, hold portal…hmm, maybe a couple more), but then you’re not just re-structuring what game effectiveness means in D&D…you’re now in a position where you need to re-structure players’ expectations of what D&D IS.

It would be interesting to run a game like this, though…certainly worth a post in the Actual Play forum.


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