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View Poll Results: Whats your favorite starting level?

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  • 1-5

    155 73.81%
  • 5-10

    43 20.48%
  • 10-15

    11 5.24%
  • 15-20 or beyond.

    1 0.48%
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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Halfling in the Playground
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    Default Whats your prefered starting level for campaigns?

    I noticed alot of people complain about how horribly broken DnD gets at later levels...This makes me curious as to what starting level most people use here. I usualy start off low, 7 being the highest I usualy have (Just enough to get most PrCs started)
    Last edited by Necomancer; 2006-12-23 at 11:04 PM.

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    Default Re: Whats your prefered starting level for campaigns?

    Early levels for me. it makes things easier to handle for a DM and your still at the point where getting outnumbered by grunts is a pretty big threat. Though I've mostly DMed, so I may be a bit biased.
    Will be edited by Ryuuk : Sometime in the future.

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    Default Re: Whats your prefered starting level for campaigns?

    I pretty much refuse to play at level 1 ever again.

    The mid levels are a good starting point, 7-10. There's still some semblance of balance, but there's room to work with build-wise and you're not afraid of kobolds.

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    Default Re: Whats your prefered starting level for campaigns?

    10-15 for me. I like a lot more RP based stuff and frankly don't care about power level that much but before level 10 you just die to easy and can't really do anything heroic.

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    Halfling in the Playground
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    Default Re: Whats your prefered starting level for campaigns?

    You can do plenty of heroic things before level 10. It all depends on what you challenge PCs with. It helps to not think "well...reputation wise this guy should be level 15 to 20". Its better to think "My PCs are level 6 so the all powerful dark warlord should be about CR 10 at most". Does a CR 10 creature sound like a all powerful dark warlord? No...but is it a heroic challenge lower level PCs can do? Yes...wich to me is more important.

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    Default Re: Whats your prefered starting level for campaigns?

    I like levels 10+ just because a lot of builds that are really fun and interesting at higher levels just plain suck before that point. If you're playing a standard character and the focus is on roleplaying then it doesn't really matter, but if you're trying to run a gish or something with a prestige class the low levels are going to be really tedius.
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    Default Re: Whats your prefered starting level for campaigns?

    Yeah its heroic to save a village but its not that heroic and if you are saving a city at less than level 10, well for me, it just stretches believability to far. I mean, the city should have an NPC or 5 who can do the same thing.

    In your exampel it doesn't really make sense, I mean why does the level 17 wizard who is good even allow that all powerful dark warlord to stay around. It's a simple telpeort, power word kill, teleport out mission and the problem is delt with. The BBEG isn't that big or bad at low levels.

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    Default Re: Whats your prefered starting level for campaigns?

    Level 1, with quick and easy level ups (DM exp bonus's). Then at level 5 the levels slow down, and you get to the juicy stuff after earning a rep.
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    Default Re: Whats your prefered starting level for campaigns?

    5-8
    You have the most options around that time.

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    Default Re: Whats your prefered starting level for campaigns?

    1-3, i love the buildup, i can't get into a powerful character unless i know what he did to get there. backstorys are for pre-level things.
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    Default Re: Whats your prefered starting level for campaigns?

    Quote Originally Posted by Emperor Tippy View Post
    Yeah its heroic to save a village but its not that heroic and if you are saving a city at less than level 10, well for me, it just stretches believability to far. I mean, the city should have an NPC or 5 who can do the same thing.

    In your exampel it doesn't really make sense, I mean why does the level 17 wizard who is good even allow that all powerful dark warlord to stay around. It's a simple telpeort, power word kill, teleport out mission and the problem is delt with. The BBEG isn't that big or bad at low levels.
    The games I make is themed around the *players*. Why doesn't a level 17 wizard do that? Because he can't or doesn't want too or doesn't exist. I'm making a world for the players play in, to do heroic and adventurious things in...and beleive it or not not all settings have level 20 NPCs walking around in every city. I know many DMs who have the PCs be very powerful when compared to most other people even when they're low level. I know one person who said level 15 was godly in his world.

    Not every world is faurun and has a gandu-er...Elmister running around. You can also easily say the level 17 wizard doesn't know about the dark lord or, just as easily, say there isn't a level 17 wizard capable of doing that anywhere nearby. Personaly I have the world reflect the current level of the party, if they attempt to take on a king who legends say should be very very strong, and the players are low level, I make all their challenges equal to their level.
    Last edited by Necomancer; 2006-12-24 at 12:39 AM.

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    Default Re: Whats your prefered starting level for campaigns?

    Quote Originally Posted by Necomancer View Post
    The games I make is themed around the *players*.
    Same. As are most peoples games. But that doesn't mean that I have to make the game utterly unrealistic. And a level 10 fighter being a "All Powerful Dark Warlord" is utterly unrealistic. It simply stretches suspension of disbelief to far. Why is he all powerful when a level 15 wizard is a lot more powerful, and at level 10 he won't be much of a warlord.

    Why doesn't a level 17 wizard do that? Because he can't or doesn't want too or doesn't exist.
    Why would a good wizard not want to? I mean a level 17 wizard could go out and get rid of 1 "All Powerful Dark Warlord" a day without any problem or risk. And he would be doing the world a good service.

    I'm making a world for the players play in, to do heroic and adventurious things in
    Same. That doesn't mean that the players can all the sudden be uberpowerful. Savign a village is heroic and adventurous at a low level. Killing the huge dire bear that has been tormenting the villagers is much more realistic than an "All Powerful Dark Warlord" and is the same about the same CR. It is also believable. The level 17 wizard can't save every village from a bear but he woudl be saving a city from a warband or killing the "All Powerful Dark Warlord" that could actually become all powerful and actually is a threat to the world at large. My players would go on an adventure to slay the bear. And be counted as heros in the village and by the time the bear slayign was dead they would have gained 2 or 3 levels. Now they go on to saving a town from a minor wizard or an evil noble. Or perhaps they find a dungeon to explore.

    ....and beleive it or not not all settings have level 20 NPCs walking around in every city.
    That wizard has teleport and can scry or be reached from every one of those cities. He woudl come and kill the "All Powerful Dark Warlord" one day real quickly. And if no wizard like that would do it for free the city would higher one to do it for a couple of thousand GP.

    I know many DMs who have the PCs be very powerful when compared to most other people even when they're low level.
    I do it to. I just also have more powerful NPC's in the world. And they take a roll.

    I know one person who said level 15 was godly in his world.
    Depending on the world it may well be. But that shouldn't really be the case. Most monsters are a big threat.

    Not every world is faurun and has a gandu-er...Elmister running around.
    Actually most should have at least 1 or 2 unless there is an in world reason for them to not be around. Your players will not be the only adventurers ever. What about last generations adventurers?

    You can also easily say the level 17 wizard doesn't know about the dark lord
    Not really. Scrying, being notified by the city. Any effective dark lord would be noticed by the wizard. And if not noticed he isn't much of a threat at all and the PC's killing him isn't very heroic.

    or, just as easily, say there isn't a level 17 wizard capable of doing that anywhere nearby.
    Greater teleport makes the whole world nearby.

    Personaly I have the world reflect the current level of the party, if they attempt to take on a king who legends say should be very very strong, and the players are low level, I make all their challenges equal to their level.
    That is the problem. My worlds power level doesn't change. If you are stupid enough to take on the very, very strong king at level 6-10 then you deserve to have your asses handed to you for being stupid. If you do it at level 20 then you would have a chance but it would still be hard. Even if the king personally is level 10 he has a kingdoms worth of resources protecting him.

  13. - Top - End - #13
    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Default Re: Whats your prefered starting level for campaigns?

    In your exampel it doesn't really make sense, I mean why does the level 17 wizard who is good even allow that all powerful dark warlord to stay around. It's a simple telpeort, power word kill, teleport out mission and the problem is delt with. The BBEG isn't that big or bad at low levels.
    Well there's two things to do:

    1. The Dark Lord is really big and powerful and the Good Wizard is already fighting him in own way. Because he Dark Lord has his hands full with the Good Wizard the PCs can fly under his radar and start knocking off his underlings and then after gaining a stack of levels hit him when he's vulnerable (basically think LoTRs what level are Sam and Frodo when compared to Sauron? I think if they were powerful killing machines a lot of what makes the books great would be destroyed and I know I'd rather play as Frodo than as Gandalf).

    2. Not play campaigns based on Epic Fantasy. I know that I am sick of Evil Dark Lords that Want to Conquer/Destroy the World and Kill all the Cute Puppies Because they are EVIL.

    Personally I like starting at level 2-4 so that players can start off multiclassed and not have to suddenly learn a completely new skill set in the second adventure if they want to be multiclassed.

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    Default Re: Whats your prefered starting level for campaigns?

    Quote Originally Posted by Emperor Tippy View Post
    Same. As are most peoples games. But that doesn't mean that I have to make the game utterly unrealistic. And a level 10 fighter being a "All Powerful Dark Warlord" is utterly unrealistic. It simply stretches suspension of disbelief to far. Why is he all powerful when a level 15 wizard is a lot more powerful, and at level 10 he won't be much of a warlord.
    ...Who said he'd be a level 10 fighter? I said CR 10. And he'd be CR 10 because thats the current level of challenge the PCs can take...and it doesn't make the game utter unrealistic to admit its a game. You can easily say hes all powerful and have him be CR 10 to the PCs simply because thats the challenges they're able to take. CR is there only for battle mechanics. You can easily seperate it from in game fluff.


    Quote Originally Posted by Emperor Tippy View Post
    Why would a good wizard not want to? I mean a level 17 wizard could go out and get rid of 1 "All Powerful Dark Warlord" a day without any problem or risk. And he would be doing the world a good service.
    He may not be good? He may not care? It doesn't really matter since the level 17 wizard only exists if you say he does anyways.


    Quote Originally Posted by Emperor Tippy View Post
    Same. That doesn't mean that the players can all the sudden be uberpowerful. Savign a village is heroic and adventurous at a low level. Killing the huge dire bear that has been tormenting the villagers is much more realistic than an "All Powerful Dark Warlord" and is the same about the same CR. It is also believable. The level 17 wizard can't save every village from a bear but he woudl be saving a city from a warband or killing the "All Powerful Dark Warlord" that could actually become all powerful and actually is a threat to the world at large. My players would go on an adventure to slay the bear. And be counted as heros in the village and by the time the bear slayign was dead they would have gained 2 or 3 levels. Now they go on to saving a town from a minor wizard or an evil noble. Or perhaps they find a dungeon to explore.
    Why doesn't it mean the players can't be ubberpowerful? Why can't you play a all powerful PC at low level? You can argue that its unrealistic all you want but I'll just counter with it's a ****in' game. You can do it if you want and theres no problem with it. If you can't deal with the idea that mages can summon horrible demons from beyond and make them tap dance for the mage's pleasure why can't you deal with this? You can easily RP power at low levels, especialy if you're in a realm where people like you are rare and not just another set of adventuring goofs.


    Quote Originally Posted by Emperor Tippy View Post
    That wizard has teleport and can scry or be reached from every one of those cities. He woudl come and kill the "All Powerful Dark Warlord" one day real quickly. And if no wizard like that would do it for free the city would higher one to do it for a couple of thousand GP.
    Why? He'd have to know where to scry and why, if he was a good all powerful dark lord he could easily keep himself secret from the world.


    Quote Originally Posted by Emperor Tippy View Post
    I do it to. I just also have more powerful NPC's in the world. And they take a roll.
    Then your world is for the players and your NPCs. I have my NPCs take a role too, but never let them overshadow the players. They're the focus. The NPCs are there to assist and help the players, but arn't there to do the job for them. If you can't come up with a reason for them not to join in and do it themselves then I have to question your creativity as a DM.


    Quote Originally Posted by Emperor Tippy View Post
    Depending on the world it may well be. But that shouldn't really be the case. Most monsters are a big threat.
    Why shouldn't it be the case? Just say most more powerful monsters don't exist or are so rare they hardly come up...or you can just not bring them up. You don't have to say something exists when it can very well not.


    Quote Originally Posted by Emperor Tippy View Post
    Actually most should have at least 1 or 2 unless there is an in world reason for them to not be around. Your players will not be the only adventurers ever. What about last generations adventurers?
    Because its lame and uncreative? I have a gandulf myself named Scorch but hes not the going around saving the world type. Hell he mostly hangs out in his magic shop and only lends a guiding hand to the players when hes okay with it...and I only said one DM I know says the PCs are the only adventurers in his world. I prefer the idea that they exist, but are so rare that you'll likely to only see one or two in a entire lifetime (in human years, that is)


    Quote Originally Posted by Emperor Tippy View Post
    Not really. Scrying, being notified by the city. Any effective dark lord would be noticed by the wizard. And if not noticed he isn't much of a threat at all and the PC's killing him isn't very heroic.
    Any effecitve dark lord would have a defense against scrying.

    Quote Originally Posted by Emperor Tippy View Post
    That is the problem. My worlds power level doesn't change. If you are stupid enough to take on the very, very strong king at level 6-10 then you deserve to have your asses handed to you for being stupid. If you do it at level 20 then you would have a chance but it would still be hard. Even if the king personally is level 10 he has a kingdoms worth of resources protecting him.
    See, I work with my players to make it so they're chars *can* achieve their goals if they're a mixture of smart, lucky and careful. If you want to call a player stupid for playing a char who might have a goal you dislike in your campaign, then honestly I think that player needs a new DM. If the player is a problem for other reasons I understand, as in he does it against the entire nature of the campaign or party or against his aligment...but if the party decides its a good idea and is within their aligment and ideals, then I'm willing to change the focus of the campaign for them. Especialy if I like the idea.

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    Default Re: Whats your prefered starting level for campaigns?

    @^^
    Read my last post. I said that if you were going to play at lower levels the threats would not be a BBEG but something like a dire bear or perhaps a couple of low level bandits or maybe a ghoul on the loose. A reasonably large problem for a village or a town but not so large that the BGG (Big Bad Good Guy) comes in and ends it before tea one day.

    As for situation 1 I was referring to necromancer calling a level 10 fighter an "All Powerful Dark Warlord".

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    Default Re: Whats your prefered starting level for campaigns?

    I chose 5-10, though more accurately I chose 8-10. I've done level 1 mooks more than I care to think about, in many games that sometimes fall apart almost before they can begin. Last year I was in a game where I started at level 9 and it was great. I got to fight things other than goblins, kobolds, or wolves for once. I could take a couple of solid hits without worrying about dying. Good times. Unfortunately, that game fell apart after a couple months, but at least I got to actually be something other than a tap-you're-down mook for a while. After that I decided I'm pretty much done with low-level.
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    Default Re: Whats your prefered starting level for campaigns?

    I like to start at the beginning. The story of how the PCs got to be powerful is more interesting to me than what they do at the highest levels. I also think it's more heroic for the vulnerable low powered person to be out fighting the good fight than it is for the super-powerful, nigh-unkillable wizard who will be ressurected even if he dies. I also think it encourages more role-playing to start at lower levels.
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    Default Re: Whats your prefered starting level for campaigns?

    Quote Originally Posted by Emperor Tippy View Post
    @^^
    Read my last post. I said that if you were going to play at lower levels the threats would not be a BBEG but something like a dire bear or perhaps a couple of low level bandits or maybe a ghoul on the loose. A reasonably large problem for a village or a town but not so large that the BGG (Big Bad Good Guy) comes in and ends it before tea one day.

    As for situation 1 I was referring to necromancer calling a level 10 fighter an "All Powerful Dark Warlord".
    I'm simply saying it doesn't have to be that way. You can be huge and heroic at low levels simply by making the flavor of the challenge reflect that. You could be going to kill a orc raiding party with a CR 10 leader, or a all powerful darklord, could be the exact same challenge but they just have a diffrent flavor is all. One just seems more epic and heroic

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    Default Re: Whats your prefered starting level for campaigns?

    Quote Originally Posted by Necomancer View Post
    ...Who said he'd be a level 10 fighter?
    CR 10. Warlord. One implies a player race and a fighter type. The other implies level 10. See if you can figure it out.

    I said CR 10. And he'd be CR 10 because thats the current level of challenge the PCs can take
    And I used a CR 10 bear. The difference is that one is believable and the other isn't. See if you can tell which is which.

    ...and it doesn't make the game utter unrealistic to admit its a game.
    It is a game. Its called suspension of belief and your "All Powerful Dark Warlord" are stretching it while a dire bear isn't. They are mechanically equal.

    You can easily say hes all powerful and have him be CR 10 to the PCs simply because thats the challenges they're able to take.
    No you can't. He is not all powerful at CR 10. He may be a minor bandit leader who is bothering a single village or 2 but that is about it. He would never be a threat to a city or even a large town.

    CR is there only for battle mechanics. You can easily seperate it from in game fluff.
    Yep. But you should try to make the immersion in the game world as realistic as you can and a level 10 character beign considered all powerful is frankly not realistic.


    He may not be good? He may not care?
    Good would and there would be more than 1 level 17 wizard in a world.

    It doesn't really matter since the level 17 wizard only exists if you say he does anyways.
    Why exactly wouldn't the wizard exist? Start naming reasons. There isn't any reason short of DM fiat that he wouldn't exist in a regular D&D world.



    Why doesn't it mean the players can't be ubberpowerful? Why can't you play a all powerful PC at low level?
    Because until level 3 a house cat is a threat to a wizard. At level 5 most things in the MM can slaughter your party easily. At level 10 a city is expected to have at least 1 level 13 wizard who could prollyl destroy your party on his own. Uberpower isn't reached until near epic. It simply isn't.

    You can argue that its unrealistic all you want but I'll just counter with it's a ****in' game.
    Its a game where you create a world and then the world follows those rules.

    You can do it if you want and theres no problem with it.
    I'm not sure what you are reffering to here.

    If you can't deal with the idea that mages can summon horrible demons from beyond and make them tap dance for the mage's pleasure why can't you deal with this?
    Because that mage does not break suspension of belief. A level 10 fighter being considered an all powerful threat does.

    You can easily RP power at low levels,
    Not really. Even if onyl 1 in 100,000 becomes a level 17+ wizard would would still have about 1 per nation or more. That is power. A leve l10 warlord is not power.

    especialy if you're in a realm where people like you are rare and not just another set of adventuring goofs.
    1 in 100,000 is incredibly rare. For reference, someone that rare would be one of only 70,000 in the whole world of seven billion. In a D&D world of 100 million you would have 100 people of that power level.


    Why? He'd have to know where to scry and why, if he was a good all powerful dark lord he could easily keep himself secret from the world.
    And how exactly does he do that at CR 10? And if he was all powerful and a warlord he would not be secret.


    Then your world is for the players and your NPCs.
    No my world is like nature. Utterly indifferent to the players. Just because the players are level 20 does not mean that all of the sudden their will be 500 level 17+ wizard in the world when their was only 2 in the world at level 10. The PC's can change the world but the world is not a being that changes for the PC's.

    I have my NPCs take a role too, but never let them overshadow the players.
    It is simple. The PC's have a role. The NPC's have a role. Those roles are quite clear. You don't attack the dragon at level 5 or go and try to kill a king at level 7. At level 20? Sure.

    They're the focus.
    My PC's are the focus but if they think that just because they are PC's I will let them kill a king thats level 15 and has a kingdoms resources, they are idiotic and will end up in the dungeon. I may allow them to escape later but only once. If they go and try to kill the king a second time they will be killed by that king.

    The NPCs are there to assist and help the players,
    No. The NPC's exist. Some may help the PC's, some may hinder the PC's, but the vast majority are utterly indifferent to the PC's existence until the PC's reach a high level.

    but arn't there to do the job for them.
    True. The NPC's have roles and jobs. They will not come out of their role to help the PC's or to hinder the PC's but that does not mean that they will stop their role if a PC decides to try and take it over. Just because the PC says that he wants to kill the king at level 5 does not mean that the king or his bodyguards will allow it.

    If you can't come up with a reason for them not to join in and do it themselves then I have to question your creativity as a DM.
    *Sigh*. I question yours. You can't come up with a challenge besides a generic "All Powerful Dark Warlord"? I came up with an equal challenge that is utterly believable. A bear on the loose? Easily a threat to a village. A warlord on the loose? Will be dealt with by the wizard because he could be a threat to the city.




    Why shouldn't it be the case? Just say most more powerful monsters don't exist or are so rare they hardly come up...or you can just not bring them up. You don't have to say something exists when it can very well not.
    And you are not playing D&D. You are playing a d20 game using entirely homebrewed stuff. Thats fine, just don't say its D&D when you ignore 80% of the core rules.



    Because its lame and uncreative?
    Whats lame and uncreative is that you can't make a world that is actually believable.

    I have a gandulf myself named Scorch but hes not the going around saving the world type.
    And D&D is high-magic as teh default and shoudl have a couple of dozen "gandulf"s, a good number of whom regularly save the world.

    Hell he mostly hangs out in his magic shop and only lends a guiding hand to the players when hes okay with it
    Yeah and if a warlord every threatened his city or if an old friend asked him to coem and deal with this bandit bothering his city? He would pop over in a heartbeat and lay down the smack then be home for dinner.

    ...and I only said one DM I know says the PCs are the only adventurers in his world. I prefer the idea that they exist, but are so rare that you'll likely to only see one or two in a entire lifetime (in human years, that is)
    But they gravitate towards each other. They may make up only 1% of the worlds population but they only really deal with other adventurers.




    Any effecitve dark lord would have a defense against scrying.
    At CR 10? That could stop a scrying attempt from a 17th level wizard?



    See, I work with my players to make it so they're chars *can* achieve their goals if they're a mixture of smart, lucky and careful.
    My players can achieve theirs as well. I have had 7 different campaigns end with the PC's ruling the prime material plane. They had that goal in mind from level 1 and it took them 19 more levels to accomplish it and most of the work was done in the last 5 levels. They had to be smart, lucky, creative, and careful to do it but it was doable. Hell I have even had some manage to become gods, and one even managed to become overdeity. It doesn't mean it has to happen within 1 adventure or within 2 levels.

    If you want to call a player stupid for playing a char who might have a goal you dislike in your campaign, then honestly I think that player needs a new DM.
    I never once called the player stupid. I called the DM stupid if he would let the players dethrone a powerful king at level 5. Its a perfectly valid goal, the player just shouldn't expect to accomplish it before level 18 or so.

    If the player is a problem for other reasons I understand, as in he does it against the entire nature of the campaign or party or against his aligment...but if the party decides its a good idea and is within their aligment and ideals, then I'm willing to change the focus of the campaign for them. Especialy if I like the idea.
    I change campaign foci all the time to match what the players want. I don't change the world though. You want to rule the world? Sure its fine with me but don't expect it to happen before level 20 at the earliest and I will not make it any easier than normal for you to do it.

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    Default Re: Whats your prefered starting level for campaigns?

    Quote Originally Posted by Necomancer View Post
    You can be huge and heroic at low levels
    I never said you couldn't. Just that you couldn't be heroic on a world wide or even country wide scale.

    You could be going to kill a orc raiding party with a CR 10 leader,
    If he was threatening some out of the way hamlet? Sure. If those orcs were threatening a city? It would be dealt with by someone else before you ever got in sight of that leader.

    or a all powerful darklord, could be the exact same challenge but they just have a diffrent flavor is all.
    No they don't. All powerful dark lord implies a very big difference in power level when compared to an Orc raiding party. An all powerful dark lord sends out orc raiding parties to do his bidding. Zykon is an all powerful dark lord. He commands a hoard. And has killed a epic or almost epic wizard already. That is "All Powerful Dark Warlord" material. Some piddling CR 10 fighter? Thats maybe a lieutenant in the "All Powerful Dark Warlord"'s forces.

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    Default Re: Whats your prefered starting level for campaigns?

    I'm actually fond of the 3-10 range myself, and most of my games tend to end up at around this level.

    You can do a whole lot at level ten, and that's usually as high as my games tend to go.

    And a level 10 fighter is the BBEG if plot decrees it. Maybe he fought Elminster, and won. Everyone else is just as shocked as your characters are. Or just as maybe, he's been playing off the extremely few stronger-than-him forces in the world against each other, and pleasantly placed himself in the commanding role when everything worked perfectly.

    I'm also a fan of 'There simply isn't anyone stronger'. After all, a level 10 unit can beat up a hoard of level 1 units single-handedly. You don't need to arbitrarily decide that 20 is the highest leveled NPC in the game anymore than you need to decide on 13, 34, or 90.
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    Default Re: Whats your prefered starting level for campaigns?

    My god you really like to pick apart every post you dislike. I barely had any text there and you still managed all that.

    Quote Originally Posted by Emperor Tippy View Post
    CR 10. Warlord. One implies a player race and a fighter type. The other implies level 10. See if you can figure it out.
    A warlord can be many things. Yes it implied ability to battle, but who said hes limited to that? Clerics can battle too.


    Quote Originally Posted by Emperor Tippy View Post
    And I used a CR 10 bear. The difference is that one is believable and the other isn't. See if you can tell which is which.
    No see its *easily* beleivable. Honestly if your so narrow minded that you can't look beyond CRs then thats really something you should try getting over. I can easilly beleive it, my players can, I'm sure many people can. If you can't then thats you.


    Quote Originally Posted by Emperor Tippy View Post
    It is a game. Its called suspension of belief and your "All Powerful Dark Warlord" are stretching it while a dire bear isn't. They are mechanically equal.
    No it isn't. The CR has nothing to do with a challenge flavor wise in my games. If it does in yours great, you worry more about mechanics then roleplay. Thats your choice.


    Quote Originally Posted by Emperor Tippy View Post
    No you can't. He is not all powerful at CR 10. He may be a minor bandit leader who is bothering a single village or 2 but that is about it. He would never be a threat to a city or even a large town.
    Again I ask why not? You're not giving me any proof as to why not you're just repeating yourself and saying "no...No it can't cause it doesn't make sense" but the thing is it does. In a village of CR 1/2 commoners a CR 2 orc is a major threat. In a city with CR 1 guards a CR 10 warlord is a large threat. It all depends on how you build the world

    Quote Originally Posted by Emperor Tippy View Post
    Yep. But you should try to make the immersion in the game world as realistic as you can and a level 10 character beign considered all powerful is frankly not realistic.
    No, I don't try and make it as realistic as I can because its a *fantasy* game. If I want realistic I'll play d20 modern or arcana where a well placed sword or bullet can actualy kill you in one hit. DnD is bad if you want realism.



    Quote Originally Posted by Emperor Tippy View Post
    Good would and there would be more than 1 level 17 wizard in a world.
    Only if you allow there to be. Why would there be? What if this is a low adventure world were only the most legendary wizards reach that amount of power?


    Quote Originally Posted by Emperor Tippy View Post
    Why exactly wouldn't the wizard exist? Start naming reasons. There isn't any reason short of DM fiat that he wouldn't exist in a regular D&D world.
    I just said. Its a low adventure world were magic is rare. Were it actualy takes a long long time to study and those who know it guard it from the masses for it could be dangerious in the wrong hands. Magic isn't readily available. Its hard to master and very few people can measure up to it. In a world of int 10 commoners I imagine there would be very few who could know any arcane magic and those who could would not always find they're possible calling.



    Quote Originally Posted by Emperor Tippy View Post
    Because until level 3 a house cat is a threat to a wizard. At level 5 most things in the MM can slaughter your party easily. At level 10 a city is expected to have at least 1 level 13 wizard who could prollyl destroy your party on his own. Uberpower isn't reached until near epic. It simply isn't.
    Again, only if the DM lets these things happen. As a DM you're making a story for your players and if you want them to get beaten up by a house cat and say most things from the MM exist then go ahead and have them be weak. Alternavely you can have monsters be rare, realize that a house cat can do at most 1 damage and will miss on most attacks so no, it can't kill most players before level 3 (I've had this conversation before).


    Quote Originally Posted by Emperor Tippy View Post
    Its a game where you create a world and then the world follows those rules.
    Rules wich you yourself make. Being a DM is convient like that.


    Quote Originally Posted by Emperor Tippy View Post
    I'm not sure what you are reffering to here.
    I'm saying as a DM you can do it with little problem. For some reason you seem to think there are standards every DM must include in his world, but there isn't. A DM can make the world however he wants it.


    Quote Originally Posted by Emperor Tippy View Post
    Because that mage does not break suspension of belief. A level 10 fighter being considered an all powerful threat does.
    Only if you only pay attention to mechanics and CR.


    Quote Originally Posted by Emperor Tippy View Post
    Not really. Even if onyl 1 in 100,000 becomes a level 17+ wizard would would still have about 1 per nation or more. That is power. A leve l10 warlord is not power.
    If you even have nations that big. Even so even in most games world I'd say 1 in several million is more likely. As you said, most level ones die very easily so getting to level 17 should be nearly impossible. Especialy since most arcanists don't have the guidance of metagaming that PCs have so they know a spell might be more powerful then another and know the basics of what it does, but they wouldn't know the advanced mechanics a player does that allows them to make ubber chars. So yeah, I'd say a level 17 would be rare enough that they could easily not even exist.


    Quote Originally Posted by Emperor Tippy View Post
    1 in 100,000 is incredibly rare. For reference, someone that rare would be one of only 70,000 in the whole world of seven billion. In a D&D world of 100 million you would have 100 people of that power level.


    Quote Originally Posted by Emperor Tippy View Post
    And how exactly does he do that at CR 10? And if he was all powerful and a warlord he would not be secret.
    By using magic that has no mechanic effect but exists flavor wise. Call it DM fiat if you want. I call it being creative and going beyond the rules to achieve a goal. Honestly if you want to stick to the rules so much go ahead, but I prefer to ignore them once in awhile and just do things my way.



    Quote Originally Posted by Emperor Tippy View Post
    No my world is like nature. Utterly indifferent to the players. Just because the players are level 20 does not mean that all of the sudden their will be 500 level 17+ wizard in the world when their was only 2 in the world at level 10. The PC's can change the world but the world is not a being that changes for the PC's.
    So your world isn't for the players then? See, mine is.


    Quote Originally Posted by Emperor Tippy View Post
    It is simple. The PC's have a role. The NPC's have a role. Those roles are quite clear. You don't attack the dragon at level 5 or go and try to kill a king at level 7. At level 20? Sure.
    No see, in my worlds...I ignore what level the PCs and enemies are in favor of making adventures that the PCs can do and still look heroic. The characters shouldn't be aware of their level anyways. If I went from level 1 to 10 I'd certain think I could take on a dragon with all the experience I've had. Why should I think otherwise?


    Quote Originally Posted by Emperor Tippy View Post
    My PC's are the focus but if they think that just because they are PC's I will let them kill a king thats level 15 and has a kingdoms resources, they are idiotic and will end up in the dungeon. I may allow them to escape later but only once. If they go and try to kill the king a second time they will be killed by that king.
    You know if we left levels out of this and talked about this like it was a story rather then a game this conversation would be alot diffrent. I'm going to do that. If the PCs want to kill the king even though they're inexperienced that makes them more unlikely villains/heros to me then weak idiots trying to kill someone.


    Quote Originally Posted by Emperor Tippy View Post
    No. The NPC's exist. Some may help the PC's, some may hinder the PC's, but the vast majority are utterly indifferent to the PC's existence until the PC's reach a high level.
    I wonder how the NPCs know the PCs reached high levels exactly. Do they have a homing beacon that goes off when someone reaches level 10? Anyways, my NPCs play roles related to the PCs. They may go off and do their own thing, but they in no way are ment to overshadow the PCs. If a all powerful wizard goes and kills a dark lord for whatever reason hes overshadowing the PCs. Weither it makes sense for him to do so or not this is still true.


    Quote Originally Posted by Emperor Tippy View Post
    True. The NPC's have roles and jobs. They will not come out of their role to help the PC's or to hinder the PC's but that does not mean that they will stop their role if a PC decides to try and take it over. Just because the PC says that he wants to kill the king at level 5 does not mean that the king or his bodyguards will allow it.
    Of course not, but why do the king and his bodyguards have to be more powerful then the PCs? Why shouldn't they be able to take on the king? Again, I'd like it if you could awnser this without resorting to getting into mechanics. No mention of levels and such.


    Quote Originally Posted by Emperor Tippy View Post
    *Sigh*. I question yours. You can't come up with a challenge besides a generic "All Powerful Dark Warlord"? I came up with an equal challenge that is utterly believable. A bear on the loose? Easily a threat to a village. A warlord on the loose? Will be dealt with by the wizard because he could be a threat to the city.
    ...It was a crappy example challenge. The challenge of my first campaign's challenge was two nations ruled over by humans who subject other races to their will, one owned by a evil dark lich who commanded massive undead armies and one ruled by a insane alienist king and his brother who's army specializes in their use of fiends. If you really thought the evil dark lord was ment as a entire campaign concept then I should inform you I'm much more creative then that. I might start with a simple concept but its what you build upon that concept that makes it great.




    Quote Originally Posted by Emperor Tippy View Post
    And you are not playing D&D. You are playing a d20 game using entirely homebrewed stuff. Thats fine, just don't say its D&D when you ignore 80% of the core rules.
    ...Since when am I ignoring 80% of the core rules? I'm using the DnD system just fine. I might ignore one or two rules at most and thats during a whole campaign. Hell I'm hardly using any homebrewed stuff at all, you're just assuming I am because I DM diffrently from you.




    Quote Originally Posted by Emperor Tippy View Post
    Whats lame and uncreative is that you can't make a world that is actually believable.
    And this is why I'm going to make this my last post. This is going to get much too personal if I continue. My worlds have been perfectly beleivable and acceptable by everyone I've ever DMed. If you can't beleive them then maby you should stop being so narrow minded and try thinking in terms of story instead of levels?


    Quote Originally Posted by Emperor Tippy View Post
    And D&D is high-magic as teh default and shoudl have a couple of dozen "gandulf"s, a good number of whom regularly save the world.
    Thats the standard, yup. Good old boring standard. Kill the dire rat, meet at the tavern. Save the lady from the bugbears. Yup...good old boring standard.


    Quote Originally Posted by Emperor Tippy View Post
    Yeah and if a warlord every threatened his city or if an old friend asked him to coem and deal with this bandit bothering his city? He would pop over in a heartbeat and lay down the smack then be home for dinner.
    And why would he do that? Why can't the PCs learn of him in another way? Stop what apears to be a minor problem only to find a greater one that no one else is aware of? Plenty of games start off this way, hell every DnD to video game I've played has had this plot...




    Quote Originally Posted by Emperor Tippy View Post
    But they gravitate towards each other. They may make up only 1% of the worlds population but they only really deal with other adventurers.
    Sure. Thats what fantasy is. A place where unlikely things happen. DnD isn't just high magic. Its high fantasy. Unlikely things happen quite a bit.





    Quote Originally Posted by Emperor Tippy View Post
    At CR 10? That could stop a scrying attempt from a 17th level wizard?
    Yup. Accuse me of DM fiat if you want. I see it as simply giving the PCs a chance to actualy do something heroic without having to give them alot of power. If thats DM fiat then I gladly admit to it.





    Quote Originally Posted by Emperor Tippy View Post
    My players can achieve theirs as well. I have had 7 different campaigns end with the PC's ruling the prime material plane. They had that goal in mind from level 1 and it took them 19 more levels to accomplish it and most of the work was done in the last 5 levels. They had to be smart, lucky, creative, and careful to do it but it was doable. Hell I have even had some manage to become gods, and one even managed to become overdeity. It doesn't mean it has to happen within 1 adventure or within 2 levels.
    So you play with power gamers. Noted. I think I get a good idea of where you're coming from, but I strongly prefer another place.


    Quote Originally Posted by Emperor Tippy View Post
    I never once called the player stupid. I called the DM stupid if he would let the players dethrone a powerful king at level 5. Its a perfectly valid goal, the player just shouldn't expect to accomplish it before level 18 or so.
    I'd let them only because I don't see levels as a problem. Honestly I think you as a DM and your players metagame much too often.



    Quote Originally Posted by Emperor Tippy View Post
    I change campaign foci all the time to match what the players want. I don't change the world though. You want to rule the world? Sure its fine with me but don't expect it to happen before level 20 at the earliest and I will not make it any easier than normal for you to do it.
    Again, too much forcus on mechanics and metagaming and power gaming. Anyways I'm done. I'm going to do some actual RPing that doesn't involve any mechanics or worries about who has the most power. Sorry I let this get so personal.

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    Default Re: Whats your prefered starting level for campaigns?

    I prefer to run sword and sorcery over high fantasy in DnD- one of Gygax's primary influences to DnD was a Sword and Sorcery book that I enjoy a lot. However, I still include a BBEG, just one that you cannot fight until you are at a level where it is believable. The BBEG could be working under the radar, causing problems in the world. I prime example of that is Morrowind- you start off doing basic kill things that are annoying our village quests, fed ex quests, etc, and over time move into bigger, more important quests that all relate to the BBEG, but he hasn't been revealed yet, all you get are hints. And when the BBEG is revealed, you have to fight him in different ways that lead to an all out encounter. Mystery in games is a good thing.
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    Default Re: Whats your prefered starting level for campaigns?

    Well I think that Tippy's point of view makes a certain amount of sense if you play in a world with black and white morality. If there's somone who's obviously evil, someone who's obviously good SHOULD be helping take them out. That's why I like throwing black and white mentality out, then things make a lot more sense and there are plenty of challenges for the PCs without them (justifiably) whining "why aren't all the good high level characters taking care of it."

    For example you could go George R. R. Martin-style and have the player's home village threatened by bandits/foraging soldiers/rogue mercenaries. Are there powerful lord types who could easily take out the threat and who are supposedly "good?" Sure, but they were the one who hired the foraging soldiers who are stealing all the local NPCs stuff and raped the PC's cousin. They care about putting the "true king" on the throne and don't give a **** if a couple thousand peasants die to make that happen.

    Or think the real world. Have the players be something analagous to Darfuri peasants and the bad guys like the Janjiweed. Why aren't the 20th level wizards smoking the bad guys? For the same reason that all of the most powerful militaries in the world aren't doing **** about what's going on in Darfur. Maybe the 20th level "good" wizard is a mendacious idiot who is spending all of his time tracking down the dragon who tried to kill his father and doesn't give a **** if the PC's village gets massacred.

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    Default Re: Whats your prefered starting level for campaigns?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bosh View Post
    Well I think that Tippy's point of view makes a certain amount of sense if you play in a world with black and white morality. If there's somone who's obviously evil, someone who's obviously good SHOULD be helping take them out. That's why I like throwing black and white mentality out, then things make a lot more sense and there are plenty of challenges for the PCs without them (justifiably) whining "why aren't all the good high level characters taking care of it."

    For example you could go George R. R. Martin-style and have the player's home village threatened by bandits/foraging soldiers/rogue mercenaries. Are there powerful lord types who could easily take out the threat and who are supposedly "good?" Sure, but they were the one who hired the foraging soldiers who are stealing all the local NPCs stuff and raped the PC's cousin. They care about putting the "true king" on the throne and don't give a **** if a couple thousand peasants die to make that happen.

    Or think the real world. Have the players be something analagous to Darfuri peasants and the bad guys like the Janjiweed. Why aren't the 20th level wizards smoking the bad guys? For the same reason that all of the most powerful militaries in the world aren't doing **** about what's going on in Darfur. Maybe the 20th level "good" wizard is a mendacious idiot who is spending all of his time tracking down the dragon who tried to kill his father and doesn't give a **** if the PC's village gets massacred.
    Doesn't require black and white morality. The feudal system had nobles who were given a lot of good stuff but the catch was that for it, they were supposed to protect the area and help the king keep order there (and help in wars too but irrelevant...).

    If someone tries to conquer a city there, noble should hire a highest level npc he can find to take care of it because
    a) If someone conquers the city, the previous owner no longer controls it
    b) The king could take away their position if they can't keep up the order
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    Default Re: Whats your prefered starting level for campaigns?

    Out of curiousity, why do the PCs have to encounter the Dark Lord / Evil Leader immediately? My campaigns tend to last at least 35 sessions (normally 50+ sessions) there is time to encounter a minor minion, and another, etc. etc., working their way up the ladder (gaining experience and loot) before eventually meeting the bad guy (if ever).

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    Default Re: Whats your prefered starting level for campaigns?

    Quote Originally Posted by BnF95 View Post
    Out of curiousity, why do the PCs have to encounter the Dark Lord / Evil Leader immediately? My campaigns tend to last at least 35 sessions (normally 50+ sessions) there is time to encounter a minor minion, and another, etc. etc., working their way up the ladder (gaining experience and loot) before eventually meeting the bad guy (if ever).
    Exactly, which is what Tippy has been saying, I think.

    At low levels, they save the hamlet from the minion and at high levels, the city or country from BBEG.
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    Default Re: Whats your prefered starting level for campaigns?

    Quote Originally Posted by Pegasos989 View Post
    Exactly, which is what Tippy has been saying, I think.

    At low levels, they save the hamlet from the minion and at high levels, the city or country from BBEG.
    Exactly.

    The world exists. The PC's can have what ever goal that they dream up. I as the DM will get them in to situations where this goal becomes possible. I will not change the world so that they get their goal accomplished within a coupel of levels.

    My point in this whole thing was "Sure, you can kill the "All Powerful Dark Warlord, but he isn't CR 10 just because you are level 6. He is CR 17 and will stay CR 17 until you kill him or someone else kills him"

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    Default Re: Whats your prefered starting level for campaigns?

    I always start at level 3.

    It prevents accidentally killing characters with a CR 1/4 encounter. It allows for both planned and unplanned character growth. It generally prevents those "All of those stack?!?!" sort of moments and allows you to adjust to anything like them that occurs as the characters level.

    Start small and local, build from there. That's my preference.

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    Default Re: Whats your prefered starting level for campaigns?

    You know, I have started campaigns at LVL 1 and LVL 10, and I have never seen a campaign go above 17. Personally, I prefer level 1 for long running games, and lvl 10 for short little mini-adventures. If your DM can't keep you engaged and produce enjoyable adventures at LvL 1, he is a hack. There are plenty of "heroic" things to do at early Levels that aren't earth shattering. Keep in mind, your world effects how the game is played to, while in Faerun a 10th lvl warlord isn't ****, in other gameworlds a 10th LvL warlord is hot ****. Likewise, if the world is crawling with higher level foes, no doubt, the higher level foes maybe be dealing with higher level encounters, and see the lower level situations as beneath them.

    I am reminded of a story about a group of low level PCs who were working for a high level wizard, and when the wizard gave them a hard task that was going to take a long time, they asked the wizard why he doesn't do it. The wizard responded: "Ok, I will handle the orc encampement, and you can go to the portal to the Abyss and hold off the hordes of demons that are currently pouring through." You see my point?

    There are just tons of options for low level PCs, and while I agree, PCs are a bit too squishy at lvls 1 and 2, most of the campaigns I have played in had as past those levels pretty quickly with only mildly dangerous adventures.

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