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Thread: Tyranny of the Level Drainers
04-20-1999, 03:26 AM #1Craig DalrympleGuest
Tyranny of the Level Drainers
Time for me to chip in!
I was introduced to the idea that undead creatures would not drain levels
a few years back by a DM who's old enough to be my father (and I'm a
father so do some math). His undead creatures would instead drain
either STR or CON in addition to dealing out some physical damage
to the players when we got hit.
This added a whole new spectrum to fighting the undead, as a high
CON warrior might not walk away with such a high con. The points
were not permanently lost, they came back at a slow pace. The
counter to the non permanence was that if you actually were reduced
to 0 in a stat, you died and rose up the next day as a creature of the
same type that killed you.
I belive he was inspired to this via some of the Van Richten's books
for Ravenloft. They are some damn good books and can help ANY
setting. Especially one with such a dark place as the Shadow World.
This is why it works so well with Birthright. Nobody really knows for
sure what the SW is like. Nor do we know what it does to the "normal"
undead creatures out there. I've taken to the point of changing their
abilities somewhat and using tactics like the above to make it more
strange and unknown to the players in my games. (Tod, you should
be filing this away for future reference ;P ) It's a great tact to keep
them on their toes. It's one thing to expect a level drain, it's another
thing entirely when you start loosing some stats. ;)
Now for the real Rant.
Level Drain sucks as an ability anyway and should be dropped from
the game (actually it should have never made 2nd edition). There is
no "fun" in having your character bust his hump for a level or two only
to have some crap monster take it all away. This mechanic is a
holdover from the more "roll" playing games of the past when the
entire industry was in its infancy and things weren't as well developed
as they are now.
Any method that replaces level draining and maintains the air of fear
it generates is fine with me.
04-20-1999, 04:22 AM #2
- Join Date
- Apr 2006
Tyranny of the Level Drainers
Craig Dalrymple wrote:
> Time for me to chip in!
> Level Drain sucks as an ability anyway and should be dropped from
> the game (actually it should have never made 2nd edition). There is
> no "fun" in having your character bust his hump for a level or two only
> to have some crap monster take it all away. This mechanic is a
> holdover from the more "roll" playing games of the past when the
> entire industry was in its infancy and things weren't as well developed
> as they are now.
> Any method that replaces level draining and maintains the air of fear
> it generates is fine with me.
OK, obviously I've mentioned that I hate level draining too.. (and in
general, I use a modification of the idea where you kill the creature to
get your level back). That being said, I do like them, a certain amount,
to throw a little caution into the mix. Even in my campaign, access to
restoration is quite limited (or was up until VERY recently and will be
from now on as well), so I can use even some of the less frightening
level drainers and make my PC's use strategy. there is no such thing as
plain 'ol hack and slash when you're fighting something that has the
capacity to pull away 200k plus of your hard won xp 1-in-20 (and usually
more often). I don't like them as common monsters, but the ability is ok
to remain for the more powerful types.
Actually, one of the better sessions for teaching the lesson of
preparedness was when the group had to clean out a nest of vampires (and
yes, the guy leading them was Very nasty).
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