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  1. #1
    Site Moderator geeman's Avatar
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    One of the issues that has recently come up in my gaming group is the size
    of XP awards in the 3e core rules. The consensus (a rare thing in my
    group) being that 3e awards too much XP, making the leveling up process
    much more rapid than 2e. Now, I do like the CR award system in general and
    I think it works pretty in relation to EL, etc. but lower numbers in Table
    7-1 are making more and more sense to me. I thought the players in my
    group would howl when I proposed halving them but was surprised when they
    came back and suggested quartering them instead.

    I think this is particularly an issue in a BR campaign which is supposedly
    a "low level" setting with extraordinarily long-lived NPCs running
    around. Thirteen and a third "average" encounters for a character level
    means many characters and NPCs would soon reach levels far higher than
    those suggested in the published materials, especially if one wants to do
    things like give story awards or grant experience for having "defeated" (in
    a non-combat way) many opponents in the political encounters. Aside from
    that... lower XP awards just allows players to invest more into their
    characters, developing their personalities and role-playing aspects at a
    pace that isn`t outstripped by the characters` power. It`s not at all
    unusual for 3e characters to go from 1st to 5th level in less than a month
    or two of game time. That`s not a lot in comparison to previous editions
    of the game and I`d suggest not really enough time to meaningfully play a
    character`s development.

    For those reasons (and a few others particular to the nature of the
    campaigns I run) I think I`m going to go with much lower XP awards than
    those suggested in the DMG.

    Anyone have comments or suggestions on what XP awards should be in a BR
    campaign or in D&D in general?

    Gary

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  2. #2
    Site Moderator kgauck's Avatar
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    I really liked the low level setting, and I`m continuing to develope NPC`s
    who are either low level (1-4) or moderate (5-8), leaving high levels to
    PC`s and published characters.

    However, the more I look at character design in 3e, the more I think that
    its designed for high level operation. This was a neccesary adaptation to
    multi-classing. The ranger, for whatever reason, didn`t follow this design
    theory as closely, hence its attractiveness as a one-level multi-class.
    Power and abilities have been stretched upward. Its also true that low
    level charaters tend to resemble each other more in terms of what they can
    do, and that as they get into the second ten levels they begin to really
    reflect the design philosophy of the player and his character concept.

    Where does this leave Birthright? Well, I`m begining to accept the idea
    that high levels in and of themselves are not to out of character with BR,
    but to maintain that sense of low flash, I`m being very careful with magic
    (it remains rare), and with unsubtle powers. The problem with FR is not
    (from a BR pov) that the charaters are high level, its that they are
    omnicapable. The increase in mundane powers and skills doesn`t threaten the
    BR world, its powerful characters teleporting around with long strings of
    contingency spells arranged to immediatly achieve their ends. Every
    character must seek out great magics or be left behind.

    Of course access to those unsubtle spells is already limited from a global
    perspective by the rarity of bloodlines. But from a game perspective, they
    can be as present as ever. This means I`ll be removing powers that seem to
    manifest to forcefully on the world, or reserving them to powerful blood
    powers. Raising the levels of certain spells, or altering the way they
    appear to work. Lighting bolt might just become call lighting. And the
    imposition that powerful magic does in the world.

    I`m not really sure that higher levels is the problem. It may just be some
    of the high fantasy powers that tend to go with them.

    Kenneth Gauck
    kgauck@mchsi.com

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  3. #3
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    I agree that in 3º edition players receive much more xp, and therefore level up very fast. The point is in my group we actually like that way. Not that we are all munchkin (well, maybe a little :P ), but we think that there are so many different characters and campaigns that we don't want to expend, for example, 5 years of real time to get to the high levels and do things like King Arthur or William Wallace. We level up an average of one level every two game sessions. In fact I like lown level more than high, but it's hard to get a campaign to last enough to achieve the high levels, so, if you take too long, it's a part of the game you may never play.
    But it's just our way of gaming.

  4. #4
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    I REALLY agree with Kenneth Gauk. What I like in Birthright and don't like in other scenarios is not only the high levels of the NPCs (that too...) but is most the vulgarization of powers and magic. Like: "Honey, the children are late for scholl. Ok, dear, so I will just teleport them."
    Or something like this. ;)

  5. #5
    Site Moderator geeman's Avatar
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    At 09:33 AM 8/23/2002 +0200, Sir Justine wrote:

    > I agree that in 3º edition players receive much more xp, and therefore
    > level up very fast. The point is in my group we actually like that way.
    > Not that we are all munchkin (well, maybe a little :P ), but we think
    > that there are so many different characters and campaigns that we don`t
    > want to expend, for example, 5 years of real time to get to the high
    > levels and do things like King Arthur or William Wallace. We level up an
    > average of one level every two game sessions. In fact I like lown level
    > more than high, but it`s hard to get a campaign to last enough to achieve
    > the high levels, so, if you take too long, it`s a part of the game you
    > may never play.
    >But it`s just our way of gaming.

    The DM can just start characters off at 5th, 8th, 93rd level or whatever
    and play from there if that suits the campaign. Playing a PC that starts
    off at 1st level and rises to the King Arthur/William Wallace point should
    take several years of game time, though, shouldn`t it? Real time is kind
    of hard to rate, depending on how zealous one is, of course.

    Gary

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  6. #6
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    Just my two cents...it really hasn't been a problem for me! And the system itself has made it very easy for me to hand out X.P. However, I would be interested in knowing what other people in my group think.
    Lord Eldred
    High Councilor of the
    United Provinces of Cerilia
    "May Haelyn bring justice to your realm"

  7. #7
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    One thing I'd like to point out. Yes, its relatively easy for someone who adventures to go up from level 1 to level 5 in relatively no time. But mid-level and up... gets tough to achieve. In 2nd edition, the first few level were hard to achieve, but once you reached level 10, you started to go up in levels like crazy, with each level being more easy than the last one. In 3e, its the other way arround. The first levels are easy to achieve, the latest levels are not. In fact, they become harder and harder with each level. Unless of course, you like to complete trips through the Abyss, and manage in coming back alive.
    Respectfully submitted,

    Temujin,
    Would-be ruler of you all. =)

  8. #8
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    I very much like that BR has an epic feel to it. This feel is reinforced by the rules that allow you to rule a domain.

    No other D&D campaign setting really makes you a mover and shaker.

    So why are people interested in keeping their campaigns at low levels?

    I would want to play BR at an epic level. I would insist in any game that I ran that the players start at first level.

    Starting from obscurity makes the rise to epic levels of power all the more interesting and exciting.

    The Gorgon and the Magian are epic level NPCs, and consequently there should be an opportunity to rise to that level and, consequently, to use the Epic Level Handbook.

    The great thing about the 3e is that it is so flexible. It allows the DM to tailor the game to fit his or her view of fantasy gaming.

    What I am hoping for is that the designers of the new BR rules retain this flexibility. The rules should allow those who like low level campaigns to feel at home and those that want to go munchkin to also feel at home.

    Usermaatre "The Power of the Truth of Ra"

  9. #9
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    The way I see it usermaatre is anything you don't like about the new 3e birthright rules, you ignore and make your own rules. I think that is the greatest thing about d & d in general and that is it allows the GM flexibility in creating an environment/rule system that they and their players like to play in.
    Lord Eldred
    High Councilor of the
    United Provinces of Cerilia
    "May Haelyn bring justice to your realm"

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