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On D&D adaptations. Which lv range do you prefer?

Chose one level range.


  • Total voters
    174
  • Poll closed .

Cryomancer

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I know that some games offer lv 1 to 20 campaing, in that case, see in which range you spend most of your time with the game. For eg, PF:KM has a lv 1 to 20 campaing, but unless you are soloing with no XP share, you only have low level gameplay on the first chapter and first half of second chapter and only high level on the 6th and seventh chapter which makes me consider kingmaker a mostly mid level campaign.

On the poll options, I will try avoid putting lv 1~20 campaigns. I saw some people, mostly 5e players saying that lv 10 is high level and saw some people saying that lv 15 on ending of BG2:SoA is "mid level", so I will standardize in the following ways :
  • Low levels AKA "Dungeons & Kobolds" = Lv 1 to 7.
  • Mid level = Lv 8 to 15
  • High and epic level = lv 16+
Low level D&D is mostly "dungeons & kobolds" adventures. Where you fight unarmed poorly trained bandits, kobolds and other things like that. Mid level is where you start to have cool options instead of just "i attack", on 2e, paladins become able to cast divine spells at lv 9. Necromancer specialized wizards get animate dead at lv 9 too. Is where you can start to fight some mythical creatures like a Ten-Headed Hydra. High level often includes PC's gaining nobility titles, a stronghold among other things and adventuring in other planes, like Abyss, city of embers, elemental plane of water, carceri, limbo... On epic level, characters still continue to have adventures in all types of crazy places but also get powerful magic, Netherese epic level magicians has floating magical cities. I an putting high and epic level together cuz both aren't that different.

That said, I know that some people would say that they loved NWN2 MotB campaign but din't like high level, but IMO campaigns like hordes of the underdark and mask of the betrayer can't work on low level cuz the campaign can't create the same atmosphere, challenges and story with a low level character.
 
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Butter

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The exciting part of low level play is hitting your next level-up, because it means doubling your health pool and number of spells. The exciting part of mid level play is the actual game, because you can be thrown more curveball encounters when you have a wider set of tools. The game breaks down once you get 9th level spells and meaningful progression essentially no longer exists.
 

Cryomancer

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as I don't acknowledge editions newer than 2E as being D&D, mid-level is about levels 4-8.

Iv lv 4 is mid level for you, what Netherese is in your opinion? BTW, Netheril: Empire of Magic is 2e and Karsus is lv 42.
His level is 0 because he's dead.

When he was alive.

My point is that lv 4 can't be mid level. Rangers, Paladins and other "hybrid" classes only get their most basic spells at lv 9. And even "specialized" classes, a necromancer specialized wizard only becomes able to cast animate dead at lv 9. Sorry but the notion that a paladin or ranger needs to be high level to have a basic cure spell and a necromancer to have a skeleton, is not something that I can agree.

because it means doubling your health pool and number of spells. The exciting part of mid level play is the actual game, because you can be thrown more curveball encounters when you have a wider set of tools. The game breaks down once you get 9th level spells and meaningful progression essentially no longer exists.

I disagree. Every spell which a PC can cast, a NPC can cast, so tier 9 magic can be used against the player.
 

*-*/\--/\~

Cipher
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The first two options. Also, 3.5 and older editions, not the MMO on paper shit that came after.
 
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NJClaw

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1-7 is a bit too restrictive, I'd say 1-12 is the sweet spot for me. After that, I start to care less and less about each level up. I think the only games where this hasn't happened to me are KotC 1 and 2.
 

Bara

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My point is that lv 4 can't be mid level.

Yeah level 4-8 for me are mid-level going by B/X D&D where the cap is level 14.

Pull out the Companion Set if the story calls for higher level adventures or big show downs but usually stop at a little over 20.
 

huskarls

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Depends on the execution and time frame, newer dnd and its derivatives has cantrips, adjusted dmg values, and other things i cant really place that makes low/mid level less different that it used to be.

But going back to execution, in ToEE you had encounter design where low level spells would be useful and fighters got feats to give them more finesse early on, then on the other hand you had bg 1 were your 4 hp wiz would get one shotted regardless of positioning every 2nd fight against hordes of trash mobs.
 

Haplo

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Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire
Dislike low levels, wolves & kobolds; by high levels game balance and sense tends to fall apart.
So mid levels it is (~11-14) - when you have a more versatile toolbox and are not pushovers - but maybe also not totally OP yet, I guess.
 
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Kliwer

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Let me tell you something: I am currently revisiting D&D 3. I will tell you the best method of playing this system (PnP).

- Level range: 2-10 (maybe 12-14 in the final phase of the campaign); level 1 is a bit pointless as characters die from one accidental critic.

- Relatively sparing disposal of magic items (2-3 magic items per character);

- Maximum two classes per character;

- Resignation from any supplements; no additional feats, no special prestige classes - playing only on the basis of the Player's Handbook and Dungeon Master's Guide.

Such game is really fine. Everything is well-balanced and interesting. All special rules for combat (horse riding, cover, flanking, grappling) and exploration (falling, drowning, disease) are relevant and affect the gameplay. Above level 10 (and/or with a lot of magic items) all these modifiers become too marginal. Assuming that the game is not pure hack and slash - all classes are equally playable (the bard is great in all dialogue or espionage scenarios, the ranger's abilities are indispensable as long as the Dungeon Master can make wilderness travel suitably dangerous, etc.). I recommend this way of playing. Each additional supplement, each additional feat or prestige class is either useless or harmful.

Regarding video games: for some reason, games like Baldur's Gate 1 or the introductory Gold Box games (Champions of Krynn, Curse of the Azure Bonds) are among my favorites. At higher levels, the gameplay gets too ridiculous and overloaded with magic. All tactical moves are less important. Temple of Elemental Evil is the best D&D 3 adaptation for a reason. For example, while playing NWN2 in the second half of the game, I just didn't want to administer these dozens of spells.

Let us add that the game at high levels is much more difficult to balance properly. With the SCS mod - all of BG1 and the first half of BG2 are great. The difficulty level of the fights is adequate, the battles are challenging but winable in many ways. In the second half of BG2 and at ToB, everything is going overboard. The fights are - paradoxically - much more random.
 

laclongquan

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7-8 is a good cornerstone because all casters have useful spells by now, even Ranger.

Specialized martial class also receive quite a few feats of their own. Like Paladin's Fiendslayer.

From a tactical combat aspect, all class are fully utilizable in battle.
 

Gargaune

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I like starting off at level 1, but it's typically levels 6 to 12 that I enjoy the most. Levels 15 and up aren't as exciting and you start tripping over character options and equipment.
 

Darth Canoli

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Level 2-14 is the sweet spot for me.

Level 1 is just boring, RPG should start at level 2 or give the opportunity to level up really fast to level 2.
Late level gets more and more annoying.

It doens't happen in KotC though, except you'll hit the level cap too early which takes away half the fun.

In KotC 2, late level are annoying too, pre-buffs were a mistake because monsters have them too and every fucking mage/dragon has mirror images, too high spell resistances and so on.

ToEE low level adventure is just great but it's just asking for more quality content to get to level 14-16.

Dark Sun did it right even if i hate level caps.

Overall, D&D cRPG adaptation made three mistakes :
- Pre-buffs
- HP bloat (should have halved HP gain on level up and CON bonus)
- High level spells being overpowered and fireball being overpowered in many games as well.

S0rcererV1ct0r Shattered Lands
 

JarlFrank

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Steve gets a Kidney but I don't even get a tag.
The exciting part of low level play is hitting your next level-up, because it means doubling your health pool and number of spells. The exciting part of mid level play is the actual game, because you can be thrown more curveball encounters when you have a wider set of tools. The game breaks down once you get 9th level spells and meaningful progression essentially no longer exists.

This is why I like mid-level the most. Level 1 and level 2 is boring in D&D, let's be honest. It's also too much based on luck. Your HP is so low one crit can kill you, but the same applies to enemies. Neither you nor the enemies have large enough spell pools to cast a lot of interesting stuff. One grease and one magic missile and you're out, then it's just melee where you roll your dice and hope you roll above 10 while your enemies roll below 10.
Every class becomes more interesting in mid-levels. Combat is still lethal as HP pools aren't too high yet, but they're also not so low a single unlucky crit takes out your fighter. Options increase dramatically. You get a lot more spells for all classes, including the iconic spells such as web and fireball (which work perfectly in combination). In 3rd edition your fighters get enough feats to be able to do more interesting stuff than just roll the dice for attack, and you also get magic weapons at that point with which to diversify your strategy.
Higher levels become boring again not because of a lack of progression, but because of power creep and bloat. HP pools keep rising with each levelup, even after all your caster classes unlocked all the highest level spells, so at epic levels combat becomes a slog. Physical attacks no longer matter due to high HP pools so it's just a matter of slinging your best fuckoff spells at the enemy while countering his fuckoff spells with hard counters. Ironically the amount of tactical options decrease at epic levels because some tactics that were sound at mid-level are now no longer effective.

Mid level is where it's at. Low level is just gambling - everyone has low HP, low AC, low to hit, and barely any spell slots, so it's all about rolling the dice and getting lucky. At high levels everyone is a bloated superman and fights turn into a slog.
 

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