Redefining and Reviewing

Wraith

Newbie
Very true, Dan.


So here's a thought. How about a hard level cap at 20? If the system doesn't work past that point, why are we playing beyond it?
 

Ezri

Knight
HQ Staff
Because people like to continue to grow. Even in the real world people change jobs, go back to school etc because they want to continue to grow and be challenged. And while yes we can create secondary, tertiary (and so on) characters, if you still enjoy playing your primary and the character has in-game goals, it would be painful to think that your character could never progress in skills and abilities to help you towards those goals.

I think many of us are in agreement that the rules need a bit of an overhaul to support the long term, higher level players, but I don't think anybody's yet come up with a solution that does that, without diminishing the low level game as well. If you've got one, I think a lot of us would like to hear it.
 

jpariury

Duke
k, different tack entirely on simplifying: get rid of ten-minute timers (or rather, most timers entirely). Currently, you can be under one Command effect of your choice (or a Control Undead, a Create Undead, and multiple Turn Undeads), four Withers (or Restore if Undead), an Earth Blade, a Chaos Blade, a Magic Blade, an Elemental Blade, Destruction, Silence, Destruction, Paralysis (unless undead), a Subjugate (possibly), Weakness, a Drain (or Purify) Dominate, Laugh, Hallucinate, Intoxicate, Feeblemind, Paranoia, Berserk, and a Prison. While having all those is unlikely, having multiple Withers is pretty common, and having three or four ten-minute effects isn't unheard of by any stretch, and on top of this, you need to have a solid grasp on anything that happened to you in the past hour so that you can be sure and ignore it if Amnesia'd. So, ten minute effects, in practice, become this weird variable duration effect somewhere between "it doesn't matter because I got it cured" and "well, it seems like I've had this effect long enough, so let's say it's down". For a new player just hitting the ground running, it's going to be hard enough tracking body and armor over the course of combat.

There are some useful time-blocks: logistical periods. Many of the non-takeout effects could be replaced, imo, with a duration of "until the next logistical period". Yes, it makes the actual duration semi-variable (in that a Drain on Friday night lasts 19+ hours, and a Drain on Saturday at 5pm lasts one hour), and is a significant increase in detrimental power, but that also means it makes the curatives that much more necessary, and by extension more powerful as well.

Shorter durations are also much more manageable. Counting out sixty seconds for an effect that removes you from most forms of play is pretty simple (see Blacksmithing/First Aid), but is long enough to be a functional detriment. Five seconds for something minor is also workable (see Disarm). The Dead count is mostly manageable because for the most part you ignore everything go ahead and start a stop watch. The one thing that screws with it is the Create Undead, because you potentially remain in play nearly fifteen minutes. But again, if Create Undead lasted until the next logistics...
 

elliotbay

Knight
Oregon Staff
Marshal
I don't like the idea of a level cap, because it enforces a time when you have to stop playing, or stop advancing in skill. However, one could make it functionally impossible to attain the higher levels, in the same way that nobody's going to gobbie back 20 deaths. My suggestions with the experience system were focused on keeping the growth curve the same, but there's no reason you couldn't change the curve to be based on square roots or something.


With respect to JP's timer change suggestion, :thumbsup:
 

Wraith

Newbie
So what, then, is the difference between a level cap and what we have now where a high level character might gain one build a year? Just that the end point is stated.
 

elliotbay

Knight
Oregon Staff
Marshal
There's still a feeling of advancement.
 

Avaran

Baron
elliotbay said:
There's still a feeling of advancement.
How so?

If I am getting less than a build per year (as an example), where is my feeling of advancement? Do I have to wait for 3 years before I can have that feeling so I have 3 build to purchase that next spell slot/skill/weapon skill?

Via items? You can get those when you're level 1 same as you can when you're level 51 (and in theory, the challenge should be relatively the same), so are likely independent of level (which is an OOG concept anyway, right?).

Via political structure? That would work if both the campaign supported it and if the character even had aspirations toward that end. Some do, most don't.

Staying alive? If a high level character is happy to come out of a situation alive, I'd shudder to think how a low-level character would even survive such an encounter.

Just asking questions here. ;)
 

elliotbay

Knight
Oregon Staff
Marshal
Avaran said:
elliotbay said:
There's still a feeling of advancement.
If I am getting less than a build per year (as an example), where is my feeling of advancement? Do I have to wait for 3 years before I can have that feeling so I have 3 build to purchase that next spell slot/skill/weapon skill?
So, maybe there's not at that point. I would still feel better about a system in which you gradually get to that point than a system with a brick wall. It also seems more realistic to me. There's no point in real life where you hit a point and its impossible to get any better at tasks. It just gradually happens that it's harder to noticeably improve.
 

Wraith

Newbie
elliotbay said:
Avaran said:
elliotbay said:
There's still a feeling of advancement.
If I am getting less than a build per year (as an example), where is my feeling of advancement? Do I have to wait for 3 years before I can have that feeling so I have 3 build to purchase that next spell slot/skill/weapon skill?
So, maybe there's not at that point. I would still feel better about a system in which you gradually get to that point than a system with a brick wall. It also seems more realistic to me. There's no point in real life where you hit a point and its impossible to get any better at tasks. It just gradually happens that it's harder to noticeably improve.

There most definitely is a point in real life where you hit your peak and start to decline. Just compare Arnold Schwarzenneger now to the Conan days. Consider it this way. If there is no limit to how powerful a mortal man can become in-game, why does that thousand year old lich have so little build?
 

elliotbay

Knight
Oregon Staff
Marshal
Wraith said:
There most definitely is a point in real life where you hit your peak and start to decline. Just compare Arnold Schwarzenneger now to the Conan days.
It doesn't come suddenly, though, and it's not the same for everyone.
 

Wraith

Newbie
Still, I like a level cap. It provides us with two useful things.

Firstly, it serves as a control for the end-game scaling. Low-level characters can survive and thrive in a level ~20 scaled town mod, and high-end enemies stay scary without having to resort to Dragon Magic and a 8.5" x 11" monster card to list all of their defenses.

Secondly, it gives us a time frame for a character's goals. As I like the game scaled, it should be deadly enough that by the time a character reaches level 20, it will most likely have taken a few deaths, and be very leery of taking the big risks that an up-and-coming character might due to the increasing chance of permanent death. Additionally, more of their challenges should be political rather than straight up questing, simply because very powerful adventurers are the sort of thing the local government will either see as a threat or a great asset, often both at the same time.

Ideally, although it doesn't work for all PC's, a high level character should be in a position of responsibility that requires them to make choices that are more important than the loot they get. Having an actual IG nobility that -matters- is a big part of that, although at least in the chapters I play in, it is rather scarce. Likely due to the increase in antiheroic concepts rather than the traditional hero, but that's another thread entirely. :D


This means that the rewards for players who have hit cap have to be in other places than build. Accomplishing plot points, surviving epic challenges, and working towards their goals are what the focus becomes, rather than buying that next prof or spell.
 

MKing

Scout
Wraith said:
Still, I like a level cap. It provides us with two useful things.

Firstly, it serves as a control for the end-game scaling. Low-level characters can survive and thrive in a level ~20 scaled town mod, and high-end enemies stay scary without having to resort to Dragon Magic and a 8.5" x 11" monster card to list all of their defenses.

Secondly, it gives us a time frame for a character's goals. As I like the game scaled, it should be deadly enough that by the time a character reaches level 20, it will most likely have taken a few deaths, and be very leery of taking the big risks that an up-and-coming character might due to the increasing chance of permanent death. Additionally, more of their challenges should be political rather than straight up questing, simply because very powerful adventurers are the sort of thing the local government will either see as a threat or a great asset, often both at the same time.

Ideally, although it doesn't work for all PC's, a high level character should be in a position of responsibility that requires them to make choices that are more important than the loot they get. Having an actual IG nobility that -matters- is a big part of that, although at least in the chapters I play in, it is rather scarce. Likely due to the increase in antiheroic concepts rather than the traditional hero, but that's another thread entirely. :D


This means that the rewards for players who have hit cap have to be in other places than build. Accomplishing plot points, surviving epic challenges, and working towards their goals are what the focus becomes, rather than buying that next prof or spell.
The main chapter I play at has no real problem stating a town battle with PCs ranging from 4th to 41st...thoughs are the 2 extreams...APL is still anywhere from 17-25 depending on which Players are there. Gaining that IG nobility might be good for some but what about the others that play this game as a "sport"..pay money to play a game where you are trying to build up and get stuff...they have a right to play the game their way if they want.. trying to tell people that there is a hard cap of 20 in this game would just as bad as saying, hey...we're going to reset the game..everyone is 1st level and you lose everything you have except base starting equipment..lots of people yelling and scream about the time and money they have put into their characters and so on and so on...what needs to be changed is how XP works both XP to Build and Build into Level....and yes if done right then every one is going to lose levels which means they are going to lose skills, but a lot of the damage bloat and level bloat will come way down..
 

Talen

Adept
Poalo said:
The reason why XP is needed at some level is because while everyone may not get the same amount of build from attending an event. The amount of build that everyone receives is proportional to everyone else. The XP that everyone gets from something is the same, the amount of build is not. It is a lot easier to say/write "Everyone who attends a long weekend receives 90 XP.", then to say/write "Joe gets 9 build for a long weekend, Bobby gets 5, and Larry gets .7"

Mike D.
That's the point. You give people X amount of build based on level for a blanket. You don't need XP for that in any way, shape or form- in fact, most LARPs that use a build system never bothered with the concept of XP in the first place.

The reason it exists in Alliance (and it's predecessor) is simple. The original system had us killing monsters for little plastic XP chips that we'd turn in towards build, so they wanted to make you turn in more XP chips per level to get a build point.

Now that we're not all harvesting XP from the bodies of dead NPC's and those little chips no longer exist (and haven't for ages), the entire step is about as needed to Alliance as your appendix is to keeping your heart beating or your lungs drawing air. Just give people a base build/day for their level and go with that. So Joe gets 3/day, Bobby gets 1.7, Larry gets .2 (keep it simple, tenths are fine.). The build is all that matters, and you can express "blankets" as "equivalent to X days of events".

At the end of the day, Joe gets his nine, Bobby gets 5.1, Larry gets .6 and life goes on with much less math and the same results in the end. You want to give them super bonus special build, just do it.
 

RiddickDale

Squire
Moderator
Public Relations Committee
TBH.... I would probably prefer that type of method. Less numbers on the card = better. This is especially true if you can just simplify it for the same result.
 

Talen

Adept
jpariury said:
Not "you must have memorized one", but "you must have that spell slot" rather than the current "you can cast up to four levels higher than you spent build on".

I'm not a fan. I'd rather it be "you must be capable of producing it to use it" for alchemy.
See what NERO did, which is exactly that for alchemy in 9th Edition.

I wouldn't mind seeing them put limits on magic item use, though. As in:

You must be a scholar to use this item.
You must be a scholar or templar to use this item.
You must be a scholar, templar, adept, or...
...anyone can use this item.

You must have at least have a 9th rank Celestial spell slot to know how to use this item.
You must have at least 12 spell slots to know how to use this item.

And proceed to put the odds of these limitations showing up when an item is made as very-freaking-high-99.9999% (not even as a flaw, but as a simple result of making the item)....but any result that would not allow the creator to use it can be rerolled until one comes up that would, unless it's part of a flaw. Obviously, you'd want to tune those lists a bit. A DA'd sword would probably have very few restrictions on it being useless to a fighter unless you REALLY screwed up, but the staff you just made loaded with a pack-o-Lightning Storms is very likely to end up useful only to a powerful Celestial caster or perhaps just scholars (or scholars and templars).

That MI's are so universally useful and usable (in most cases) is a big challenge. The "anyone can use this powerful item" should be the miracle exception worth a king's ransom, not something the average ritualist can make simple enough to use by a dirt farmer who barely knows how to say "Invoke". :)
 
We just got a nifty magic item that can only be used by lvls 11 and lower. it seems like a cool concept for magic items. I like the idea of restricing magic items to class/lvl. That way lower level characters would not get constantly screwed and fighter/ rouges could get items that actually benefit their class as opposed to random magic effects.
 

Mike Ventrella

Duke
Owner
Moderator
HQ Staff
Cpt.MarcusNelson said:
We just got a nifty magic item that can only be used by lvls 11 and lower. it seems like a cool concept for magic items. I like the idea of restricing magic items to class/lvl. That way lower level characters would not get constantly screwed and fighter/ rouges could get items that actually benefit their class as opposed to random magic effects.
How do we explain that IG when levels are an OOG concept?
 

RiddickDale

Squire
Moderator
Public Relations Committee
Fearless Leader said:
Cpt.MarcusNelson said:
We just got a nifty magic item that can only be used by lvls 11 and lower. it seems like a cool concept for magic items. I like the idea of restricing magic items to class/lvl. That way lower level characters would not get constantly screwed and fighter/ rouges could get items that actually benefit their class as opposed to random magic effects.
How do we explain that IG when levels are an OOG concept?
Magic item flaws aren't necessarily IG things. The item just inexplicably doesn't work unless the right conditions are met.

That only really breaks genre is the players TRY to explain it in game. If you just roll with it... and give the item to the little guy.. then its cool.
 
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