30 Core Levels...


4th Edition


WotC is promising us 30 core levels, with "cool new abilities" every time you level up. That sounds cool, on one level, but it makers me wonder. At present, with 20 base levels, there are still dead levels. Has "power creep" now become a "power landslide"? I mean, in 1e, a 10th-level fighter was about equivalent to 10 1st-level fighters. That's what the level was meant to indicate. And very few characters ever got into the upper teens because of the scaling xp costs.

Now, that same 10th level fighter is more likely to be 15th, and have all kinds of abilities he lacked in previous editions, so he'll probably be able to hew through dozens of 1st level fighters without breaking a sweat. That's perfect for a Marvel Superheroes game, but for anyone running a slightly "grittier" campaign, the idea that any PC can kill whole armies sort of puts a damper on some of the fun, in my opionion. Why would Aragorn need the dead legions if he could just pick up a sword and kill 10,000,000 orcs himself without any trouble? 30 "ability-packed" levels makes me think that PCs will be the equivalent of gods after a few adventures, when compared to most of the rest of the world's population.

I'm wondering how to deal with this. Giving all commoners a bunch of PC class levels seems a bit silly. But a kid who's been on maybe 2 adventures should not be able to kill droves of soldiers (1st-level Warriors) without worrying a bit.

Dark Archive

Kirth Gersen wrote:
Why would Aragorn need the dead legions if he could just pick up a sword and kill 10,000,000 orcs himself without any trouble?

Like ummmm, lets say.....Drizzt? ;P

Actually though, I think they stated that 30th level character will be roughly equivalent to 20th level 3e characters.

Dark Archive RPG Superstar 2013 Top 32

Kirth Gersen wrote:

30 "ability-packed" levels makes me think that PCs will be the equivalent of gods after a few adventures, when compared to most of the rest of the world's population.

I'm wondering how to deal with this. Giving all commoners a bunch of PC class levels seems a bit silly. But a kid who's been on maybe 2 adventures should not be able to kill droves of soldiers (1st-level Warriors) without worrying a bit.

Well, it might be that the new system is designed so that the NPC classes are getting a few boosts as well. Also, I'm guessing that monsters will have "cool new abilities" based on their hit dice. It makes the world as a whole a generally more dangerous place, but that seems fitting with their "points of light" theme. It also makes adventurers really stand out as people of significant skill and ability.


From what I understand, using the Star Wars Saga rules, the NPC classes are now more Mooky than ever. All the Non-Heroic classes I think get 1d4 Hp as their Hit Dice.

Otherwise advancement will be the same. If you have played SW Saga, anyone, please weigh in on this. I haven't but it seems like the same feel as SW Revised, just no cumbersome Wound/Vit. system.

The whole point of this system seems to be, throw 30 Xth level thugs at the party. But the Thugs (this what they were called in SW: Revised) only have a small amount of HP, so while they are a legitimate threat to the party (i.e. have a full fighter BAB), they drop like flies (limited feats, limited weapon and armor feats, no special abilities, etc).
The point? A more cinematic feel, which is kinda the point of Star Wars. I'm not to sure how that fits into D&D though. The problem with this is, you'll likely see even more of the 10th level Fighter mowing down mobs of fools.

It depends on what they do. If P.H. Dungeon weighs in on this thread, there will be more info. P.H. has played SW Saga.


Yasha0006 wrote:

From what I understand, using the Star Wars Saga rules, the NPC classes are now more Mooky than ever. All the Non-Heroic classes I think get 1d4 Hp as their Hit Dice.

Otherwise advancement will be the same. If you have played SW Saga, anyone, please weigh in on this. I haven't but it seems like the same feel as SW Revised, just no cumbersome Wound/Vit. system.

The whole point of this system seems to be, throw 30 Xth level thugs at the party. But the Thugs (this what they were called in SW: Revised) only have a small amount of HP, so while they are a legitimate threat to the party (i.e. have a full fighter BAB), they drop like flies (limited feats, limited weapon and armor feats, no special abilities, etc).
The point? A more cinematic feel, which is kinda the point of Star Wars. I'm not to sure how that fits into D&D though. The problem with this is, you'll likely see even more of the 10th level Fighter mowing down mobs of fools.

It depends on what they do. If P.H. Dungeon weighs in on this thread, there will be more info. P.H. has played SW Saga.

Me, I like to call 'em Glass Joes- yeah they MIGHT actually hit you and do some damage, but more likely they will help you look good as they collapse onto your sword.

Liberty's Edge

DangerDwarf mentioned that he thinks a 30th level character would be equivalent to a 20th, which I think would be need but I suspect isn't the case. They have said that the core MM is going to have monsters from 1-30 in it, but they have confirmed that Orcus is going to be stated up in it as well. Being that depending on where you look at his stats he's normally somewhere between the mid 20s to the upper 30s I figure thats going to put the levels at least somewhat equal to what the current system has them, at least in terms of power level.

-Tarlane


Freehold DM wrote:
Me, I like to call 'em Glass Joes- yeah they MIGHT actually hit you and do some damage, but more likely they will help you look good as they collapse onto your sword.

Ugh! Blah! The whole idea of Pez-dispenser badguys has always made me cry. Then again the crunch has always been more like guidelines than actual rules for me and mine.

We run badguys that are dang near the same as PC's. If there's a horde of them, then they will likely kill you. It's clever thinking and strategy that saves the day--you know, like in well written book (or, ahem, the real world).

I guess it comes down to this. I hate being handed a cheap and cheesy victory. It's never satisfying and it always feels fake. It feels fake when Drizz't does it. It feels cheap when Aragorn does it (seriously when he tells Frodo to run and turns and the ENTIRE unit of Uruk-hai that have been following them is standing there like in a fifteen by fifteen block of ironclad death I went "wow that's cool that they'd sacrifice a major character like that, Aragorn is a real friend" Then when Aragorn dives in and starts taking them out left and right like it's not even an effort I just kinda set down my popcorn and suffered through the last part of the movie). I hate that sort of blatant favoritism. It doesn't tell me how cool Aragorn is. It makes me mock him. It makes me say, gee the writer must LOVE you.

Ditto in a roleplaying game. If I found out a DM of mine was running 2 hitpoint badguys, I would probably drop a couple of decimal places off my own tally.

I like characters with lots of tactical options, who become more flexible powerful fighters as they level up--who are capable of doing clever unexpected things. More hit points I've always hated. We run humans with 8 hp + Con modifier. That's it. You want more hp? Buy freakin' Toughness buddy.

Scarab Sages

I think you are right to say that the 15th-level fighter will feel like a Marvel Super-Hero. I think this is by design. They (WOTC) have mentioned that the 30 levels are so as to create "tiers" of play.

From Enworld:

"Levels run from 1-30; these levels attempt to capture the feel of the "sweet range" of 3E, which is levels 7-14.

* 1-10 Heroic: foes are orcs and ogres, some giants, small dragons. Adventures tend to be local.
* 11 - 20 Paragon: on par with the current low to mid teens right now. Bigger threats are faced that might threaten a kingdom.
* 21 - 30 Epic: world or planar threats.

Heroic, paragon, epic tiers are "not hard-edged boundaries", so a 9th-level character isn't all that different from a 11th-level character, but there are some mechanical differences. "The mechanics are informed by what tier you're in, but it's not a major change by any means." Different "tiers" do have different rules; not terribly different, but not exactly the same.""

The idea is that if you like the gritty feel, stay in levels 1-10 for your campaign. Super-Heroes? Stay in Levels 10-20. God-like? 20-30.

Tier 1: Captain America (Normal, but enhanced Human)
Tier 2: The Incredible Hulk (Superhuman)
Tier 3: The Mighty Thor (a near god in comic books)

**Disclaimer: I am not a comic-book buff, nor a Marvel Comics fan. But I think these are accurate enough for illustrative purposes.


I guess what I'm after is more like tier one characters taking on all three tiers of adventures, not because they have Galactus like hitpoints or the ability to sluggerbat enemies into orbit with ridiculous Cloud Strife feats, but because they are smart and talented but still fairly "gritty" characters. Granted though I think there's been a lot of power inflation when a dude who can't take ten swords through his chest gets called "gritty".

I just want guys who operate by the physics of the whatever world they're in rather than having to stomach a lot of unsavory video gamey mechanics. Even simple things like armor as damage reduction and a Base Defense Bonus that goes up with level have helped the game stay very real and be exciting and epic but without all the goofy.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

Just tell me what level I can cast Fireball and I'll be happy.


Same level, but magic gets adjusted to the hit point scale. Same with backstab. Instead of 6d6 its 1d6+6 or instead of 4d8 it's 1d8+4. That way you don't have spells that are way beyond the potency they'd ever need to be.

On the other hand I just hate the idea of making a saving throw and just instantly getting out of things. The idea of saves for half damage or will saves to ignore mind affecting spells just strike me as lame and undramatic. No. Someone throws a fireball at you, you deal with it--same as any other encounter. What do you do? You just stand there with a dumb look on your face? You take full damage, no save. You step back into a stone doorway and hit the ground? You might take none. Same as if it were a conventional fire. Things don't get easier to avoid just because they're "magic". So yeah, someone casts fear on you--you're afraid now. Someone makes you see an imaginary bridge over a cliff. You see it. You still have your freedom to respond to the situation however you want, so you're not guaranteed to be screwed, but it doesn't cheat magic users by giving their foes a cheap out either.

So in my games magic might be more realistically scaled for damage, but it also works a heckovalot more often.


Grimcleaver wrote:

I guess what I'm after is more like tier one characters taking on all three tiers of adventures, not because they have Galactus like hitpoints or the ability to sluggerbat enemies into orbit with ridiculous Cloud Strife feats, but because they are smart and talented but still fairly "gritty" characters. Granted though I think there's been a lot of power inflation when a dude who can't take ten swords through his chest gets called "gritty".

I just want guys who operate by the physics of the whatever world they're in rather than having to stomach a lot of unsavory video gamey mechanics. Even simple things like armor as damage reduction and a Base Defense Bonus that goes up with level have helped the game stay very real and be exciting and epic but without all the goofy.

YEAH! I want to play in your campaign. My favorite rules mechanics so far have been Victory Games' "James Bond 007" rules, in which, if you engage in a lot of pointless combat without cleverly evening the odds first, you WILL get killed. I converted some AD&D adventures to those mechanics and it was a blast--best campaign we ever played--but it got to be a pain in the neck doing all the conversions, so here I am playing D&D again. New edition, same problems; newer edition, same old problems in spades.


DangerDwarf wrote:
Kirth Gersen wrote:
Why would Aragorn need the dead legions if he could just pick up a sword and kill 10,000,000 orcs himself without any trouble?

Like ummmm, lets say.....Drizzt? ;P

Actually though, I think they stated that 30th level character will be roughly equivalent to 20th level 3e characters.

I believe when first announced things were interpreted this way but subsequent announcments have cast some doubt on this. Also, if levels 21-30 are described as EPIC, I think it's at least feasible that a 30th level 4e character will have a higher power level than a 3e 20th level. We already know that 1st level in 4e will be significantly more powerful than 1st level in 3e.

I hope I'm wrong and that 30th 4e = 20th 3e. All of the "kewl powerz" teasers aren't inspiring me with a lot of hope, though.


Tarlane wrote:

DangerDwarf mentioned that he thinks a 30th level character would be equivalent to a 20th, which I think would be need but I suspect isn't the case. They have said that the core MM is going to have monsters from 1-30 in it, but they have confirmed that Orcus is going to be stated up in it as well. Being that depending on where you look at his stats he's normally somewhere between the mid 20s to the upper 30s I figure thats going to put the levels at least somewhat equal to what the current system has them, at least in terms of power level.

-Tarlane

Sorry. Didn't read down far enough to see that you'd made essentially the same point.


BPorter wrote:
DangerDwarf wrote:
I think they stated that 30th level character will be roughly equivalent to 20th level 3e characters.
I believe when first announced things were interpreted this way but subsequent announcments have cast some doubt on this.

Yeah, I had been under the same impression early on. Over in Heth's Whadaya Want thread, I'd mentioned much the same thing actually (thinking 4E lvl 30 = 3E lvl 20). However, Disenchanter quoted news from ENWorld that basically breaks it down like this:

* The power-progression thru the levels is flatter now rather than curving upwards towards 20th level.
* A 4E lvl 20 is perhaps slightly more powerful than a 3E lvl 20.
* 21-30 is still considered Epic level though with the flatter power curve a 4E lvl 30 may not be as munchkin as in 3E.
* It takes 10 4E encounters to raise a level rather than 13.3 — whether these are now actually challenging encounters remains to be seen.
* It takes as long to reach level 30 in 4E as it does level 20 in 3E — mind You, at the time this estimate was posted, the speed of leveling was not yet set-in-stone.

Having looked at StarWars Saga several times now, this seems like it would be fairly accurate. In SWSE, the classes go up to level 20 and the basic BAB & Save progressions are still roughly equivalent to their 3E values. Thus it would make sense for level 20 characters in both editions to be similarly bad-a$$.

What will be interesting is that by drawing a straight line from level 1 to level 20, You would dramatically increase the power of the mid-level character. This could be interesting and I could see DMs who prefer to run grittier campaigns stretching out the XP scale for the lowest levels to extend that feel. Although if SWSE's Damage Threshold system is employed, the threat of a single attack holding the chance of lethality would be preserved at any level of play (which I like).

Now something else that I haven't seen mentioned (with respect to the speed of leveling) is the fact that combat is faster in SWSE and presumably in 4E than it is in 3E. Therefore, I would suspect that has something to do with why characters would level almost 50% more quickly (as of that posting) rather than the smaller difference between 10 and 13.3 encounters.

The Exchange Contributor, RPG Superstar 2008 Top 6

DangerDwarf wrote:
Kirth Gersen wrote:
Why would Aragorn need the dead legions if he could just pick up a sword and kill 10,000,000 orcs himself without any trouble?

Like ummmm, lets say.....Drizzt? ;P

Actually though, I think they stated that 30th level character will be roughly equivalent to 20th level 3e characters.

The opposite. They said characters of equal level would be somewhat more powerful.


Somewhere I read that the designers are attempting to make the power curve more linear and less exponential. My guess is that means 4E 1st level characters will more closely resemble 3E 3rd level characters (in other words, they'll be able to slay a lot of goblins straight out of the gate) while high level spell effects (such as save or die spells) will be removed from the game to reduce the wild swings prevalent in high level combat. Also, abilities and powers appear to be shifting to per day, per encounter, and at will abilities. My sense is that the designers don't necessarily want 4E characters to kick more butt than 3E characters, but do want them to kick butt longer before resting for the night.

EDIT: Right, what Laithoron said.


Jebadiah Utecht wrote:
Also, abilities and powers appear to be shifting to per day, per encounter, and at will abilities. My sense is that the designers don't necessarily want 4E characters to kick more butt than 3E characters, but do want them to kick butt longer before resting for the night.

And like You said too! I agree with Your assessment that the redesign is placing great emphasis on party dynamics and ensuring that everyone still has something meaningful to contribute at their tick of Ye Olde Initiative Clock.

I think that's great. There's nothing quite so disruptive as having one or two players that are bored. Whether it's because the fighter's full attack is taking forever to resolve or that player is out of spells, a bored player will find ways to keep themselves entertained. With less disciplined groups that can often derail the game as laptops, iPods, cell phones and comic books appear out of nowhere...


so...
26-30 are Immortal levels, right?
;)


I sudden feel inclined to stat up an female asian character with green eyes...

Scarab Sages

I've been resisting the MMO comparison, but I suddenly dinged (pun intended).

In MMO's, A "mage" at level 60 may have a spell book of 30 spells, but in any given encounter that mage is likely only to use the same 4-7 spells. Some spells he uses before hand (buffs). Part of this is due to cool-down times.

Typical combat spells (and most spells in general) are on a fast cool-down that roughly equates to an initiative turn (call these at-will). Some spells are instant cast (call these at-will swift/immediate spells). Some spells have noticeable longer cool-downs: 5min, 15 min, 30 min, 60 min, etc. Some of these last you could say are "Per encounter" and some are "Per Day".

Food for thought.


Laithoron wrote:
I sudden feel inclined to stat up an female asian character with green eyes...

well, like my pal Jack Burton always says, "When the wizards are clawing at your continuity and all the hells are breaking loose and you got your chocolate in my peanut butter, then whip out your boot knife and stab somethin, it will make things alot better."


swirler wrote:
well, like my pal Jack Burton always says,

Who? ;)

I always thought he said "What the hell."


swirler wrote:
Laithoron wrote:
I sudden feel inclined to stat up an female asian character with green eyes...
well, like my pal Jack Burton always says, "When the wizards are clawing at your continuity and all the hells are breaking loose and you got your chocolate in my peanut butter, then whip out your boot knife and stab somethin, it will make things alot better."

God, I love that movie.


TheDrone wrote:
swirler wrote:
well, like my pal Jack Burton always says,

Who? ;)

I always thought he said "What the hell."

Jack Burton... me!

well ol' Jack always says, "What the Hell.
But only after he's had a thick stack of 'Lo Pan brand Pancakes and Waffles'
Like the motto always says
"Lo Pan will bring the thunder back to your little china!"

*takes medication*
oops sorry


I foresee some big trouble brewing here.

They should have made the levels go up to 36. That's the mystical number here. 3+6=9=3^2=Trinity

Dark Archive RPG Superstar 2013 Top 32

My biggest fear about the whole "cool new abilities each level" bit is that I don't want combat to turn into an episode of "The Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers":

Ftr: "I haul up and swing my axe at the ogre. I'm going to use my Burning Axe Strike!"
*rolls dice, stuff happens*
Rgr: "I activate my Thousand Yard Stare for a +10 bonus to hit at long range and fire by bow!"
*more rolling, stuff happens*
Rog: "I maneuver behind the ogre to flank with the fighter, then activate my Dance of Knives ability and full attack!"
*rolling, stuff*
Wiz: "I... cast magic missile."
*groaning, dice are rolled, stuff happens*
Clr: "Since no one is hurt, I'll go ahead and join the melee with Holy Thunder Hammer!"
*rolling, stuff happening again, DM summarizes actions and calls for the next round*
Ftr: "Since my Burning Axe Strike hit last round, I get a bonus on my Raging Phoenix Attack this round! I'm gonna use that!"
etc. etc. etc. etc. ad nauseum...

Please don't let this happen. Please.


Fatespinner wrote:

My biggest fear about the whole "cool new abilities each level" bit is that I don't want combat to turn into an episode of "The Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers":

Funny you should say that. I have a player playing a Warblade from the Book of Nine Swords in my current game. He is only second level but everyone already picks on him because his attacks sounds like he's a Power Ranger. Since there has been a lot of comparison between BoNS and 4e, I think each member of an adventuring party will need to start picking their Ranger color. ;p


Laithoron wrote:


* It takes 10 4E encounters to raise a level rather than 13.3 — whether these are now actually challenging encounters remains to be seen.

This will be interesting since if the idea is to get more encounters in a day, but it will take less encounters to level. Will we be seeing characters level every day in game? Will is be short bursts of leveling with long periods of story with no leveling? I'm interested in see how it all turns out.

Scarab Sages

Fatespinner wrote:
My biggest fear about the whole "cool new abilities each level" bit is that I don't want combat to turn into an episode of "The Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers":

Oh yeah, I wake up at night with cold sweats from the nightmares. Although I call it "Pokemon" D&D:

Player: A critical Hit with my Thunder Strike! I drop the Ogre!
DM: Since you used a Thunder Strike, your Eevee evolves into a Jolteon! Here's your Digital Jolteon Card.
Player: Yay!

Dark Archive

Fatespinner wrote:
My biggest fear about the whole "cool new abilities each level" bit is that I don't want combat to turn into an episode of "The Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers":

*chuckles* Truth be told....

Is 3.5e really all far from that with its million and one "mighty morphin" ranger powers...I mean feats?

Dark Archive RPG Superstar 2013 Top 32

Chris P wrote:
Fatespinner wrote:

My biggest fear about the whole "cool new abilities each level" bit is that I don't want combat to turn into an episode of "The Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers":

Funny you should say that. I have a player playing a Warblade from the Book of Nine Swords in my current game. He is only second level but everyone already picks on him because his attacks sounds like he's a Power Ranger. Since there has been a lot of comparison between BoNS and 4e, I think each member of an adventuring party will need to start picking their Ranger color. ;p

This is also exactly why I don't care for the Bo9S either.

Scarab Sages RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

Kirth Gersen wrote:
WotC is promising us 30 core levels, with "cool new abilities" every time you level up. That sounds cool, on one level, but it makers me wonder. At present, with 20 base levels, there are still dead levels. Has "power creep" now become a "power landslide"?

I think that the new abilities are gained are Racial Abilities. From what I gather (and so far this has been the ONLY thing about 4e that I like); Instead of ECLs, you can start with say a 1st lvl Drow, but who doesn't have all of the Drow Racial abilities. As they level, these abilities slowly manifest as "Racial Levels".

ie. I take a 1st level Drow Fighter.
I get 1 Bonus Feat for being a 1st level Fighter and I might get +2DEX, -2 CON as a normal Elf (+ other Elf abilities) but no additional Drow abilities.
I hit 2nd level and get another Bonus Fighter Feat + I also gain Darness as a Drow Racial Spell-like Ability.
I hit 3rd level and get my normal Feat.
I hit 4th level and get my Bonus Fighter Feat.
I hit 5th level and Gain Levitate as a Drow Spell-like Ability.
etc..

This is what I have assumed from this "30 Ability Packed Levels" Announcement. I streess again though, this is just my Assumption.


Fatespinner wrote:

My biggest fear about the whole "cool new abilities each level" bit is that I don't want combat to turn into an episode of "The Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers":

Please don't let this happen. Please.

Hey now! I want my Mighty Morphin' Power (Gaming) D & D thank you very much! ~grins~ Not really.

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Sharoth wrote:
Hey now! I want my Mighty Morphin' Power (Gaming) D & D thank you very much! ~grins~ Not really.

And you don't even have to wait for 4e to get it! Its a 3.5e thing too folks.

Click Here for 3.5e mighty morphin power gaming goodness!


Well, I figure if I take a Ranger 1 / Druid 4+ I can have my Mighty Morphin' Power Ranger right there!


DangerDwarf wrote:
Sharoth wrote:
Hey now! I want my Mighty Morphin' Power (Gaming) D & D thank you very much! ~grins~ Not really.

And you don't even have to wait for 4e to get it! Its a 3.5e thing too folks.

Click Here for 3.5e mighty morphin power gaming goodness!

~chuckles~ Work will not let me look at that link, but I will check it out tonight when I get home.

Dark Archive

Sharoth wrote:
~chuckles~ Work will not let me look at that link, but I will check it out tonight when I get home.

Its just the power ranger gaming goodness of the WotC Character Optimization forum.

Not only does it tell you the best powers to pick, but how to get them most use out of them.

So, again. Folks can't point at 4e with an "Eeeeeew! Power gamers dream!"
=P


Fatespinner wrote:

My biggest fear about the whole "cool new abilities each level" bit is that I don't want combat to turn into an episode of "The Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers":

I was starting to get psyched on some of cool new things we might see in 4e. This is the first time I have felt scared.


DangerDwarf wrote:

*chuckles* Truth be told....

Is 3.5e really all far from that with its million and one "mighty morphin" ranger powers...I mean feats?

that horse...

it's dead Jim


Laithoron wrote:

* A 4E lvl 20 is perhaps slightly more powerful than a 3E lvl 20.

* It takes 10 4E encounters to raise a level rather than 13.3 — whether these are now actually challenging encounters remains to be seen.
* It takes as long to reach level 30 in 4E as it does level 20 in 3E — mind You, at the time this estimate was posted, the speed of leveling was not yet set-in-stone.

I hope to God this is wrong. But it fits with what they've been telling us. Ultra-fast progression for comic book superheroes is apparently the name of the game for 4th edition. 3rd edition progression is already so fast that my group will do anything just to slow it down a bit, so that they can actually use one of their "cool new abilities" before gaining 6 more levels and finding it's obsolete. If level progression in 4e is half again FASTER, then you might as well just roll up a 30th level character and be done with it.


swirler wrote:
DangerDwarf wrote:

*chuckles* Truth be told....

Is 3.5e really all far from that with its million and one "mighty morphin" ranger powers...I mean feats?

that horse...

it's dead Jim

True, but I heard that its carcass was rendered into the glue used in the bindings for the 4E books. Go figure right!

Dark Archive

swirler wrote:

that horse...

it's dead Jim

As is the whole:

"I've never played it nor really understand what it is going to be BUT 4e sucks and/or will be overpowered because..."

Yeah, thats a dead horse too.


flash_cxxi wrote:
Instead of ECLs, you can start with say a 1st lvl Drow, but who doesn't have all of the Drow Racial abilities. As they level, these abilities slowly manifest as "Racial Levels".

Yick! I sure hope not. I really hate the idea of monsters and races getting better at being races and monsters with XP. That just feels clunky. I've never really liked it. I would rather they just trimmed all the weird stuff that drow just don't need back to the point where these "new drow" are an okay starting race. Heck they were fine to pick as a race back in 2nd edition. Likewise I wouldn't mind seeing some Iron Kingdoms type monster subtypes suitable as races (Ogrun, Trollkin and Gobbers) trimmed all the often unnecessary superpowers and with backstory written where they might concievably be able to integrate into civil society.

I wouldn't even mind a new conceit where there are just some creatures that don't have every suite of powers as every other. That monsters come with possible powers that can be given to them to up their challenge, but that it's perfectly okay to see some ghouls that can't paralyse you, or some medusas with no gaze attack, or some trolls who don't regenerate. Certainly that would allow some favorite creatures to be used in low level play, where otherwise they would just be patently unfair. That way the PC versions of things like trolls and drow would be the baseline ones rather than being strange, nerfed versions of the "real" ones.

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