View Full Version : Serial D&D game where PCs are retired/replaced after 3rd Level?

2007-09-17, 01:08 AM
Hello Folks,

Has anyone run a game where PCs are constantly rotating in and out based on when they reach some low level, like 3rd or 5th so it creates a sort of Troupe Play situation? Kinda like a TV show.

My idea is this: Let's say your game group has 5 people. 3 start at 1st level, and two start at 2nd, with one almost half way to 3rd. As play progresses, the 1st levels get to 2nd, the 2nd get to 3rd and "go away", and those two players start 1st level characters. Each person in the group has the opportunity to play a novice and an experience guy and mentor the "next generation" of PCs. It gives the GM a pool of upper level PCs to bring back into the game as plot hooks. And it provides a timeline of growth for the game, especially if it is based in a city or small village.

The group is growing in characterizations and allows players to have different character experiences. A "gone" PC can influence/advance the story by doing things like sending a new PC a magic sword to help with the "new" problem.

It would require total buy-in on the part of the players, to develop new characters as their more experienced ones leave, and not make a cookie cutter replacement.

Any ideas on this? Have you done something like this? I'd love to see your POV on it.

I also cross posted this at RPG.net (http://forum.rpg.net/showthread.php?t=354840).


Kurald Galain
2007-09-17, 02:31 AM
I wouldn't like it, actually. It discourages people from getting attached to their character, and just as the characters are getting some cool abilities you have to drop it and play a level-1 char again.

Basically, if you're not really going to use the leveling system, D&D is probably not such a good choice for an RPG.

2007-09-17, 03:40 AM
yeah as a player i would also hate it for much the same reasons

2007-09-17, 04:04 AM
I've been in groups where a character replacement occurred with the previous character staying on as a mentor-type NPC, but it was done on an individual basis under unusual circumstances, and it was at much higher level.

At face value, stopping characters at third level will encourage people to not go out and adventure or solve mysteries or whatever you award xp for unless the progression is slowed down to near glacial levels. You're also cutting out the vast majority of possible monsters, traps, items, spells, etc. as those are most common at the 7-14 range.

I'm gonna have to go with 'not to my taste' here.

However, I have considered a gestalt game where the characters were a single 'soul' that represented a class progression of their first character in the series, all of the characters after that had one 'side' always as the same, and switched out backstories and one side of the class progression whenever they died or the campaign shifted, while retaining familiar abilities and the basic personality traits of the original.

I have never gotten a game like that off the ground, let alone had a group around long enough to really test it.

2007-09-17, 08:53 AM
This only works in settings where the group matters more than the individual. I can count the number of those I have run on one finger.

It was a guild, and the player were constantly changing time periods, trying to improve the guild. It failed because players don't directly benefit all that much from a stronger guild.

Eventually, I had to have an apocalypse adventure, just to end the game on a good note.

2007-09-17, 10:10 AM
hmm, it would be fun i guess, but only if you level really slowly, so you can still get in the skin of your character.

i guess it all depends on the playing style of the group, but if everyone agrees on it, and the leveling doesn't go that fast, i could see it be great.