Level gains?

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Postby critter80 » Sun May 08, 2005 5:19 am

Provided that the challenges overcome by the PCs continue to get comensurately more difficult with each new level, I think it's perfectly fine to use the same rate of progression from 1 through 20. The group that I play in has been using this method of leveling up for a couple of years now. It's just easier than worrying about experience points. We all level up together, and we do it at the end of story archs.
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Postby timemrick » Sun May 08, 2005 12:24 pm

I would suggest keeping the progression fairly even. There is ample precedent for this in previous d20 games:

In D&D, XP awards are scaled so that each level requires, on average, the same number of encounters of a level that challenges a party of their level--and thus, theoretically, the same number of sessions or adventures. Under that system, I've noticed that PCs tend to reach 2nd level quickly, then settle into a fairly regular progression. Another GM I know, who has run at higher levels than I have, has observed that in his game, leveling slowed slightly after about 10th level, because a "typical" challenge could rapidly become a very deadly one at those levels.

Call of Cthuhu d20 uses a different system (with two options, actually), but is designed for an equivalent rate of advancement. Option 1 awards XP based on adventure goals (which are rarely "defeating monsters"); the XP received scales with character level. Option 2 is exactly what Blue Rose uses: no XP, characters level when the GM deems appropriate, and the suggested rate is every other adventure. (BTW, I'd heartily recommend option 1 for any GM who wants to quantify advancement in BR more precisely than the core rules do, or who wants a simplified XP system for D&D.)

In both games, having level progression remain at a steady rate means that players can expect to receive new abilities at a consistent, and fairly frequent, rate. And after all, gaining cool new abilities is the real heart of the reward system in any d20 game.

If you want to play around with that rate, go ahead--it's your game. But be sure to let your players know that you intend to do this--esp. if they've played other d20 games--so they will know what to expect.
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Postby dm4hire » Sun May 08, 2005 12:31 pm

I've been thinking about this and I like the idea of tying level advancement to rituals and ceremonies. A good way to do that would be, using the Adept as an example, tying the advancement to story related events of those natures. So the Adept is ready to go up in level. He/she belongs to an organization which tests their members some way before promoting them or granting them a given title. It could even be a reason for them to go on a quest. The Adept in question has to scale a mountain and retrieve a feather from a bird which lives upon it. When he returns and completes the ceremony he is now second level. A few adventures go by and one of the NPC members pulls him aside and says that they have observed their potential and feel that it is time for them to undergo the next test.

You could also associate it with great happenings. Perhaps the player had been playing extremely well but often has a little difficulty that an extra level might help fix. During an encounter the PC is killed, but this time their patron diety intervenes and resurrects them personally. Granting them a level gain as a boon for their great service and as a show of their respect for the characters efforts. The level increase would be a reflection of the knowledge granted by the diety.

Just a few ideas off the top of my head.
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Postby critter80 » Fri May 13, 2005 4:12 am

dm4hire,
I really like that idea of giving them promotions or such as an in-game rank. I'll have to think about how I might be able to incorporate that into my game. It's rather 1st-edition sounding, and it could be very fun.
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Postby dm4hire » Fri May 13, 2005 6:23 am

Another alternative is to handle advancement as suggested in the Grimm RPG which uses the same advancement idea as BR. In it however it recommends that advancement be given after the completion of each story. For BR you could run it where after a given given module or encounter happens. Through this I mean running the campaign in steps basicly. Sort of like in a videogame with different level bosses. After they defeat the current boss they advance. Here's an example for this method:

PC's stop a gang of thugs from attacking someone. This leads to adventure where they end up facing off with the gang's leader. End of 1st level and advance to second. After the fight with the gang leader they find that the item they are after has been sold off to the local thieves guild. They fight their way through the lower ranks of the guild till they find someone with the information they need and then advance again. This keeps going till they find the item they are after, learning that it has some major signifigance in the world which leads to something else and it keeps branching up and up.

Each major objective becomes a focal point for change in the story and in the advancement of the characters. They've learned something and advancing should reflect that. I mention fighting but it doesn't have to be fighting. The theives guild would hold lots of actual bluff, information, and diplomacy checks as well as combat, but in a sense it is still fighting just mentally.

BTW glad you like the other idea critter80.
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Re: Level gains?

Postby reverend keith » Fri May 13, 2005 10:56 am

Nisarg wrote:What methodology do you all feel to use for handling level gains?

Do you grant a level based on an exceptional act?
Or on steady progress?
Does it depend on training or repeated effort on the player's part to advance in his chosen profession?
Or is it more about role play?

Errr... yes.

So long as I can handle level inflation at a reasonably steady rate, I do all of the above.

I try to aim for a level every three sessions, but I try to syncronize that with the end of an adventure, a pivotable moment, or downtime/training. That being said, if I found a reason to give them a level due to RP reasons, I do that as well.
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Postby Citizen Arcane » Tue May 17, 2005 1:19 pm

I would do True20 leveling pretty much by group consensus.

If a majority of the players feel like it's time to level up, then it is...
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Postby timemrick » Tue May 17, 2005 3:07 pm

Citizen Arcane wrote:I would do True20 leveling pretty much by group consensus.

If a majority of the players feel like it's time to level up, then it is...

Man, I wish that worked in one of my current D&D games. :yar: The slowness of advancement is the biggest gripes we have with our DM.
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Postby Citizen Arcane » Wed May 18, 2005 8:41 am

Nisarg wrote:Bah, this isn't a democracy.
Players are usually a greedy lot, who want to level far too often.
They may "gripe" at not going up in level as often as they believe they want, but then it makes each level gain something especially valuable when they DO go up.

I suppose it would be dependent on the maturity level of the gaming group...
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Postby Citizen Arcane » Wed May 18, 2005 9:16 am

Perhaps your experience is not universal?
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Postby Chairman Aeon » Wed Jun 08, 2005 8:36 pm

My players' characters will level when the cash is in my hand. >:)

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