View Full Version : Training Scenario

2007-10-14, 07:31 AM
While the core books list 1st level as a respectable grasp of the basics of any particiular class it's always bothered me that this simply isn't the case, demonstratably. PCs at this level start off challenged by tiny groups of animals and every NPC with class levels they're liable to meet is significantly better than them, add in that out there are NPCs with logorithmic levels of superiority and monsters that could wipe out whole armies of 1st levelers without trying hard it becomes increasingly difficult to think of a 1st level fighter, cleric, wizard, etc. as anything other than the first step of an apprenticeship.

that led me to the next couple of steps in the thought process, training and apprenticeship.

step 1.) Spellcasters can build traps, which can include summoning traps. They can also learn a feat to make their magic automatically deal subdual damage. combaine these in a nice big underground room, along with interesting illusions and traps to form a "Room of Danger" if you will that simulates combat and enables looow level adventurers to engage in combat and team based challenges without getting mowed down in short order. They wouldn't learn as fast as in real life and death situations of course but they wouldn't have to. there doesn't seem to be any reason why an acadamy of wizardry or combat should have to churn out graduates below fifth or sixth level after a couple of years, which doesn't seem an onerous expense for a city trying to produce the next generation of protectors and leaders.

step 2.) Having graduated from Elminsters School for the Gifted, PCx could simply charge off into the undergrowth and still risk dying, afterall he has an attitude of a typical newb albeit with more raw power and magic at his disposal. So step in the mentoring process, as in the real world medieval era you were apprenticed to an experianced craftsman for a while to shake the kinks out so they should be able to tag along after a tenth level ranger or paladin or something. The fluff says this rounds them out in a real environment with the benefit of an eperianced guide. The crunch side is that they are part of a team taking on CRs well above what a balenced group of four level five PCs could and so leveling up faster.

at the end of it I'm forced to infer that the above would work well to increase the numbers of low and midlevel PCs in any developed civilized area, with the rich who can afford to send their children on such courses continuing to monopolize the PCs. Wilderness areas could manage it to some degree provided there was a comunal spirit and the experianced high levelers had an interest in the continuation of their communities and not simply personal gain. Savage and Monstrous populations seem to be SOL. which would go some way to explaining why they live in the mountains in caves instead of the nice verdant temperate plains.

So, what do people think of an institutionalized education system that goes on to level 4/5/6 with a "masters" til 8/9?

2007-10-14, 07:36 AM
I like it, but I would have the school churning out like, level 3 PCs, and then "Masters being about level 5~7. Otherwise, half your campaign belongs essentially to NPCs, and that is just poor form.

2007-10-14, 08:15 AM
See, I've always thought of the class/level thing in a slightly more abstract kind of way.

Higher level NPCs (with class levels that is) are either ex-adventurers, or they got to where they are very slowly, progressing 'naturally'. A wizard who spends all his life in an isolated cottage studying magic 16 hours a day is going to become a higher level wizard, wether they're facing danger or not. When the adventurers are acquring XP, it's a more rapid acceleration specifically because they're extraordinary (heroic?) characters doing extraordinary things.

But the thing to remember is that adventurers are FLIPPIN LUNATICS, not to mention probably a batch of misfits. In fact, that's exactly what they are. They're a mish-mosh of classes and races who can survive better together than alone.
It's easy to fall into the mindset that the way the adventurers function is the same way the rest of the world functions, but it's simply not true. A high level NPC expert doesn't become high level by fighting trolls, he becomes high level by spending his entire life in his field of expertise. A king didn't become a high level aristocrat by wrestling demons, he became high level by attending all of his cities high-society get togethers every year since he was a 12 year old boy.
Exceptions to those patterns exist. The adventurer types ARE the exception. Most people don't go through a "I'm going to kill mindflayers! :smallsmile: " period of their lives. If you walk into a village and say "I'm going to go explore that haunted dungeon just outside of town", your average commoner is going to smack their forhead and say "you're doing WHAT?"

I'm rambling, but with a purpose.

The rules for XP, advancing player characters, ect, exist because it's a game, but also because player characters are the odd ones out. They're MADMEN who strap on a breastplates and go into pitch black dungeons to fight demons because "What else am I gonna do with my time?". They're lunatics, they're misfits, and they are simply not like everyone else. They might be more powerful (but then, they also have a 1 in 20 chance of dying every 6 seconds for weeks at a time), but that's why you're playing them.
Unless you're in an NPC-class-only game, which is a lot more fun than you'd think.

The idea of a simulation-school that churns out adventurer types instead of mundane people is interesting, but be careful taking it too far. In most worlds, 5th and 6th level characters are as skilled and fantastic as normal people can possibly ever be in their lives. In places like faerun, the numbers are tweaked higher, but being an 8th or 9th level character is still REALLY REALLY immpressive to the world at large. A school that made 9th level characters would be Hollywood.

2007-10-14, 01:38 PM
I've thought about that. A level 1 shocking grasp trap is usable an unlimited number of times for around 300 gp. It also gives xp as a CR1 encounter. The average commoner has 4 hit points. So by taking 1d6 points of damage 4 times over the course of a few days, the commoner can get 1200 xp with no risk for dying and instantly be level two. Install one of these and it's possible to have every villager go up to level 8, when you stop getting xp for weak encounters.

Josh the Aspie
2007-10-14, 01:53 PM
Actually, if you build a town According to the DMG, the majority of people with PC class levels you're going to meet will be level 1. These are the other relative newbies, who have a reasonable grasp of the basics of their class, and have not gone out of their way to, say, root out the kobolds in the nearby mine.

You do have a reasonable grasp of your profession, what you may well be lacking is a lot of real world experience. Rather than being equivalent to apprentice level, I'd argue that you're more of a journeyman. You're ready to set out on your own and get more experience... in your journeys without your master looking over your shoulder... but you haven't yet reached the level where you can be considered a master that others would want to learn from (level 6 at the earliest, with the leadership feat).

Low level PCs should not be going out there to conquer the challenges that scourge the earth. Rather, they go out to handle problems that the town guard -could- handle, except that their job description says they stay in the town in case the things come after the town. They handle the wild bore that's chasing down travelers or the like. They're new to the profession, but they -do- have a firm grasp of the basics of it.

At level 2, the fighter could reliably take the average guardsman in a fight, representing that he is -above- the level of the grunts, but he should still show respect to the captain of the town watch, because the guy can still pprobably wipe the floor with him.