What is your prefered maximum character level that you like to play to in the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game?


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion

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Dark Archive

Dunno about the rest of you, but after 6-9 months of weekly play it takes to reach level 12, I'm ready to try a new character concept anyway. In PFS I have 3 characters going and dozens I want to try, so I'm fine that these will retire after 33 adventures each.


sunshadow21 wrote:
It certainly does get bogged down if you insist on doing the exact same thing you did at level 1, level 5, and even level 10.
FoxBat wrote:
To be fair, this is more or less what 3E/PF encourages out of the box.

Both good points. This is exactly what an epic level setting would fix and what 2nd edition did so well with Planescape. You reach high levels, go out to the planes, and suddenly your level 17 character plays like it’s level 3 but gets to keep all the goodies and RP history.

There is nothing political about a dungeon crawl in Pandemonium , exploring the Beastlands or getting out of dodge of a Blood War flare up. You like the struggle to survive at first level? How about going to a place that fleshy mortals literally can barely survive just being there even with expensive magical equipment, forget fighting its natives.

High level play is not for everyone and it is a lot more work for the GM. But the major argument (besides the economic risk for Paizo) against epic level rules is ironically the strongest argument for them.


What the poll shows so far is that among the votes a good deal want 20+ level of play while even more want 15 or lower level of play.

And like most internet polls this one is from from having a useful amount of data.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16

To make the data useful you'd basically have to force everyone on the boards to take the poll, which would then get the fence sitters up and their opinions in there.

Epic is definitely for a specific mindset. There's people who want to see it just to see it (I've only ever had one group of PC's make it to 20, but I love reading the stuff), and others who just don't care and have found their comfort zone sooner.

==Aelryinth


Over the years most of our campaigns have not made it to epic levels. They usually end because of GM burn out. But we go into these campaigns thinking, hoping they will go at least to level 20.

We just ended a campaign (3.5) at level 20 with a climactic ending - but I still wanted more. We finally hit 20th and I wanted to feel the power for a while.

And in my campaign they are 10th - 11th now, yet I am still a little impatient to see them hit really high levels. There are some nasty over-the-top NPC's, adventures, and heck even monsters straight out of the Bestiary that I can't wait to use.

And when they do hit level 20 - Spelljammer baby!! That's right I am gonna convert Spelljammer to Pathfinder, and I am doing a combination Stargate meets Babylon 5 type thing where the neogi are like the shadows... well you get the idea.


20+ all the way.

I think the the dev's just need to teach us how to play properly at that level. Then we can enjoy it instead of it going as crazy as everyone says.

For instance what if the 20+ rules included political feats etc. That'd be neat.


klevis69 wrote:


I think the the dev's just need to teach us how to play properly at that level.

Its not about teaching you how to run a game. There are fundamental mechanic issues with games of that level. The rules come to a screeching stand still and yes I have ran 20+ level games. They take way to much time, involve way to much book keeping, move way to slow and highlight every flaw in the system 3 fold.

Past a point the game gets in the way.


As DM, most of my games begin around 6th-8th level. Characters can expect to gain a couple levels, but 10th level is usually the cap.

"Epic" monsters get scaled down so that devils and dragons can make their appearances.


I prefer 16th. That way Oracles and Sorcerers can use the same high level spells as Wizards and Clerics.

Talking about high levels, I owned the world of Greyhawk campaign setting many years ago (2nd ed D&D I think) and I remember seeing some city that was controlled by 1000 level 30th wizards. Imagine as a GM trying to manage one of those wizards in a campaign, let alone a thousand of them.


Wow...
Pretty amazed that the curve is so high, and furthermore that 20+ is in a commanding lead.
I think there are a number of systems I have played over the years that better accommodate extreme high levels of play, d20 based systems get really cumbersome the higher you get.
To each their own, I guess.
I guess the fact that you _could_ vote any number of times (every time I look at the poll results it prompts me to vote as if I haven't previously), coupled with the fact that there is a push from some people lately to get an Epic ruleset in PF constructed, it shouldn't come as a surprise that the results look like they do.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I am pretty surprised at the high support for Epic as well. Part of why I created the poll was to confirm if "Epic Supporters" were part of a minority. I suspected they were. I sort of felt that with Pathfinder's changes to the 3.5 system that after level 15 you were pretty much epic already. Apparently some people just can't get enough power :)


Kor - Orc Scrollkeeper wrote:
I am pretty surprised at the high support for Epic as well. Part of why I created the poll was to confirm if "Epic Supporters" were part of a minority. I suspected they were. I sort of felt that with Pathfinder's changes to the 3.5 system that after level 15 you were pretty much epic already. Apparently some people just can't get enough power :)

I mostly want epic rules for the many epic level villains in Golarion that I want to use in my games. Tar-Baphon, Geb, Baba Yaga, etc.


Mine would be 11 or 12. At that level, Wizards and Sorcerers can turn someone into stone, Clerics can Raise Dead and Fighters get their Greater Specialization.


20th.

The minimum level at which I will start playing is 5th. 5 levels gives enough time "off-screen" to justify whatever creative build I've dreamed up, rather than having to make up some cockamamie reason why I've suddenly sprouted a Gunslinger level dip after traveling 4 months in the desert.

I would have voted for epic rather than just 20, but PF doesn't actually have epic rules, and I'm wary of systems with loose rules, especially where characters sport godlike powers. (I'm looking at you GURPS...)


Pathfinder Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

15th.

I would not GM or play in a game above 20, and doubt I would much enjoy a game between 15 and 20.

The game is at its best from 5-9. The players are great heroes, but not inhuman.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I'm a fan of e6.


Thalin wrote:
Dunno about the rest of you, but after 6-9 months of weekly play it takes to reach level 12, I'm ready to try a new character concept anyway. In PFS I have 3 characters going and dozens I want to try, so I'm fine that these will retire after 33 adventures each.

I'm just the opposite. I see the system and how it in general promotes characters going to 20 (even when PFS and the generally 15ish endings of Adventure Paths run counter to that) and I want a character to reach 20th level. I want to hit that goal at the end of the road, to 'achieve Nirvana', to find my star, whatever you want to call it.

Pathfinder, as presented, is a 20 level game, and every time a campaign ends before that (at least without LOTS of advanced warning that it will end early) it feels like the character just freezes in time, to never achieve completion.

There is SOOO MUCH in the game, ending at 12th or 15th level keeps you from ever getting to use some of it.

Now a game that were more designed for limited level play, that I could enjoy playing on a smaller scope. But Pathfinder as presented? Take me to twenty please, even if you want to spend years doing it.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber

Enjoy 8th, 12th max if I had my choice.

Dark Archive

Ideally, I'd either retire a character as soon as he reached level 21 (or I'd just gotten to play at 20 for a decent amount of time) or keep playing it and his 21st level would be a prestige class.


I think that 10th-15th levels are the best, since that is just on the cusp of the truly epic, so it gives players a chance to truly shake the world while still excluding most of the more over the top elements of the highest levels.

That said there is something to be said for the 16th-20th level range. How else can you fight ancient dragons and demon lords and gods and demiliches and so on and so forth. Every once in a while you have to play a game which just lets loose.

For those who flatly refuse to play anything above mid levels, I have a question for you. How can you stand to look at the rulebooks and know that you will never be able to use so many of the cool shiny options in it? Sure Lord of the Rings is what D&D is supposed to be based on, but go find the most preposterous wuxia film that you can and D&D is also that.

Liberty's Edge

Jeremiziah wrote:

But, regardless of what any poll or survey of Pathfinder players suggests, the majority of players don't play or want to play above 15th level.

Seriously, this isn't an opinion. It's a fact.

Show your work.


c873788 wrote:
Talking about high levels, I owned the world of Greyhawk campaign setting many years ago (2nd ed D&D I think) and I remember seeing some city that was controlled by 1000 level 30th wizards. Imagine as a GM trying to manage one of those wizards in a campaign, let alone a thousand of them.

This reminds me of a question I have been wanting to ask without starting a new thread.

Has anyone built Elminster with the current Pathfinder rules?

Part of me is looking forward to statting him up for my FR campaign, but then again part of me would love to find that someone has already done it - and they are happy to share it with me. :-)


I'd say topping out at 30 or so would be my limit for one character. Make one guy that can do planar traveling and messing with demon lords and lesser gods and the like.

About 25 would be good on average. What's the point of getting a capstone ability if you can't use it? All my players were unhappy they hit 20 and then basically moved on to a new character without enjoying their power. So I let got them to 20 halfway through the last adventure, so they could use their capstone for at least half an adventure.

I hope Pathfinder can do a better job with epic rules than 3.5 did. They had some nice ideas, but overall that book was nearly unuseable. Looked like Wizards published a half-complete book. I'd rather see some refinement and extension of the current rules with adventure and monster support rather than trying to take the rules in an entirely different direction like 3.5 did.


Between 10-15. After that it's just ridiculous if caster's are involved.


Both as a DM and a player, I generally get bored around level 12 or so. I generally start my campaign around level 1~2.

I just feel like the adventures get very redundant at high levels. Fights drag out to ridiculously long lengths, unless everything is save or die.

I feel like the journey is just as important as the destination, but at high levels, most parties just teleport/fly/portal to wherever they need to go. I like to encourage ground movement.

I've run one campaign to level 20, and all the high level stuff just felt very blah to me. Part of this probably has to do with my relative disinterest with spells. Both for creating npc's, and having to deal with players use of high level ones. Magic seems to get overpowered fairly quickly once you hit level 5+ spells.

One thing I like to do, is that as a DM, I add in a lot of magic items that take experience to power, so that characters stay at levels longer than normal.

Dark Archive

It'd be an interesting campaign to set up:

*You cannot take more than 10 levels in one class
*If your first class was a full caster, you cannot take any classes that increase that caster's caster level
*If your first class is full BAB or monk, your second class must be a 3/4 (or half) BAB non-monk.
*Any prestige / similar base classes that increase class abilities cannot make them operate above their level 5 abilities. So a rogue/vivisector would be capped at 5d6 sneak.

So you could continue to level, but would be restricted to 5th level spells (4th for bard-types, 3rd for pally-types). You'd still be getting more powerful and could set up synergies (fighter/inquisitor), but the uber-powers would be cut off.


Thalin wrote:

It'd be an interesting campaign to set up:

*You cannot take more than 10 levels in one class
*If your first class was a full caster, you cannot take any classes that increase that caster's caster level
*If your first class is full BAB or monk, your second class must be a 3/4 (or half) BAB non-monk.
*Any prestige / similar base classes that increase class abilities cannot make them operate above their level 5 abilities. So a rogue/vivisector would be capped at 5d6 sneak.

So you could continue to level, but would be restricted to 5th level spells (4th for bard-types, 3rd for pally-types). You'd still be getting more powerful and could set up synergies (fighter/inquisitor), but the uber-powers would be cut off.

Sounnds dull. I'd prefer not to be hobbled.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16

c873788 wrote:

I prefer 16th. That way Oracles and Sorcerers can use the same high level spells as Wizards and Clerics.

Talking about high levels, I owned the world of Greyhawk campaign setting many years ago (2nd ed D&D I think) and I remember seeing some city that was controlled by 1000 level 30th wizards. Imagine as a GM trying to manage one of those wizards in a campaign, let alone a thousand of them.

A CITY? In Greyhawk?

Are you sure you aren't thinking of the 1000 36th level Archmages who form the council for the nation of Alphatia in the Basic Game World of Mystara?

==Aelryinth

Shadow Lodge

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Aelryinth wrote:
c873788 wrote:

I prefer 16th. That way Oracles and Sorcerers can use the same high level spells as Wizards and Clerics.

Talking about high levels, I owned the world of Greyhawk campaign setting many years ago (2nd ed D&D I think) and I remember seeing some city that was controlled by 1000 level 30th wizards. Imagine as a GM trying to manage one of those wizards in a campaign, let alone a thousand of them.

A CITY? In Greyhawk?

Are you sure you aren't thinking of the 1000 36th level Archmages who form the council for the nation of Alphatia in the Basic Game World of Mystara?

==Aelryinth

Or possibly any random village in the Forgotten Realms?


Kor - Orc Scrollkeeper wrote:

In another thread there was some discussion as to whether people supported Epic levels. This made me wonder what level people like to "top out" at.

I have chosen some "top out" levels based on my gaming experience. If your preferred maximum level does not appear in the list then please select the next closest.

Thank you.

http://www.d20.ca/poll/index.html

This poll will close in 8 days from now.

Sadly, they don't have an option for unlimited.

Dark Archive

I picked 8th level.

I'm the guy who has forty-five City of Heroes/Villains characters, most of them below half the max level. I love the low and mid levels, and get bored around the higher levels.

It's not high power that turns me off, I obviously love playing superheroes, after all, I just am both an efficiency freak (why progress to the point of having seventy special abilities, only five of which you are likely to use?) and a simplicity freak.

In most level-based games, high level characters feel cluttered, to me, as things keep piling up, level by level. I can fit Superman or Thor's powers onto an M&M character sheet, but to play a 15th level Wizard in D&D/PF, or a 45th level Conjurer in EQ2, I need pages and pages of stuff (or three dozen buttons on my screen).

I think I get 'option paralysis' more easily than most.


I'm going to vote 18-20, just so that we can deal with the last two campaigns where we had tpk and have to deal with the undead versions of our former selves.
1d20 + 0 ⇒ (2) + 0 = 2 diplomacy


taepodong wrote:

I voted 15, but just as easily could have voted 12. Somewhere in that range is where the game becomes less fun for me as a GM because of the amount of information I need to have on hand, and prep time gets out of control. I have also noticed as a player that some time in that range the game is less fun because the GM is experiencing what I just mentioned, and it shows.

And let's face it, like someone already mentioned in this thread, you are a total package of badass by level 12 anyway, going much further is just overkill. Also, over a couple decades of gaming, I can say that 90%+ of the best times I had in D&D/d20/level based systems were in the range between about 5 and 10.

Exactly!

I enjoy playing levels 1-2 (many people don't), but mechanically I think the sweet spot for Pathfinder is levels 3-12.

Shadow Lodge

Ashiel wrote:
Sadly, they don't have an option for unlimited.

I thought the last one fit for that.


Epic, Definitely Epic. If you aren't getting to 20+ in your games you are missing out on the capstone abilities. (That being said most of the games actually tend to run out at 17-18th level despite my personal prefrences)


sunshadow21 wrote:
Level 20 with the caveat that as soon as you hit double digits, the game needs to shift from being pure combat and DM driven to having the players take over certain aspects of the world and campaign. This keeps them involved and reasonably focused, while allowing the DM to keep his focus on the overall plot and storyline without getting bogged down in the details of all the NPCs and such.

I love this. In my campaign Korvosa is a fledgling Kingdom Ruled by the 20th level paladin that participated in curse of the Crimson Throne.

That adventure Path really lent alot of good high level loose ends to complete. Once the PC's killed Lorthact, and exiled House Ornelyos it was an easy matter to get the City State.

They also wiped out the Korvosan church of Asmodeus and resanctified it as a temple to Desna. The Hellknights who helped them attack the church were NOT pleased.

Scarab Sages

Enevhar Aldarion wrote:
In any version of AD&D/Pathfinder/D20 I have ever played, when the levels get to the teens, that is when it is about time to start over with new characters in a new campaign.

Games usually start getting a lot less fun for me past 12.

Scarab Sages

Set wrote:

I picked 8th level.

I'm the guy who has forty-five City of Heroes/Villains characters, most of them below half the max level. I love the low and mid levels, and get bored around the higher levels.

Same here. I've got 4 servers full of characters in CoH, but only 1 past level 30. Most of my characters have xp disabled.

Grand Lodge

Did someone go crazy and keep re-voting? 75 votes for levels 21-30 out of over 200


Helaman wrote:
Did someone go crazy and keep re-voting? 75 votes for levels 21-30 out of over 200

You can't re-vote, I tried. It tells you that your vote has already been recorded and accepted.


I like all levels of play for many of the reasons mentioned already.

My thing is though for whatever game I am playing, I like to know where I can expect to generally retire the character (if possible). I generally get aggravated when a DM says we will play until about level 15 because that is where the story arc should play out to completion, but then after three levels (or just when you are really getting into the character and enjoying it thoroughly) the DM decides he/she is bored with the story arc and the game ends with no closure.

My favorite levels to play to are post 20 (preferably before level 25), but I have never been able to play a character to those levels myself. I have only been able to GM games from levels 1 - 27. These characters knew from the beginning though that there were numerous epically powerful NPCS such as divine and arcane casters, rogues, fighters and so on in the world. For me the reward is watching the players enjoy their characters become truly epic. Does it take awhile to prepare for? Yes. Is combat slower? You bet. Did the players have fun? I think so (didn't hear any complaints). I've ran games that stopped at levels 12 - 16 as well and upon conclusion, it just felt like there was so much more those characters could have done...

I have also played in games that were agreed to be played for a short duration where we started at higher levels (e.g., 14, 20, 24, etc...) and those were difficult just because you had no 'feel' for things the character did to get there. Playing with all the abilities that are obtained at those levels is fun and I hope those desiring to try that level someday find a DM willing to toil through it for everyone's enjoyment. Higher level games, to me, take effort on player's and the DM to have things move smoothly.


Helaman wrote:
Did someone go crazy and keep re-voting? 75 votes for levels 21-30 out of over 200

It would seem that a lot of people want epic levels. ;-)


Helaman wrote:
Did someone go crazy and keep re-voting? 75 votes for levels 21-30 out of over 200

There's alot of people that like epic play!

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16

It's not even so much as if they would play it, it's if they would buy it.

a good set of Epic rules would be a blast just to read and dream...especially if it expands the canon of the Golarion universe.

==Aelryinth


Aelryinth wrote:

It's not even so much as if they would play it, it's if they would buy it.

a good set of Epic rules would be a blast just to read and dream...especially if it expands the canon of the Golarion universe.

==Aelryinth

Well said.


TOZ wrote:
Ashiel wrote:
Sadly, they don't have an option for unlimited.
I thought the last one fit for that.

Well the poll defined epic as 21-30.


Tiny Coffee Golem wrote:
Helaman wrote:
Did someone go crazy and keep re-voting? 75 votes for levels 21-30 out of over 200
It would seem that a lot of people want epic levels. ;-)

Honeslty ya can break the poll down into just two options by the votes. 1-15th and 20+, once you do this the votes are dead even really.


seekerofshadowlight wrote:
Tiny Coffee Golem wrote:
Helaman wrote:
Did someone go crazy and keep re-voting? 75 votes for levels 21-30 out of over 200
It would seem that a lot of people want epic levels. ;-)
Honeslty ya can break the poll down into just two options by the votes. 1-15th and 20+, once you do this the votes are dead even really.

I imagine that's sufficient to publish epic material. If you want it use it and if you dont want it don't. Everyone is happy. yay.


Tiny Coffee Golem wrote:

I imagine that's sufficient to publish epic material. If you want it use it and if you dont want it don't. Everyone is happy. yay.

I would disagree, internet polls are not all that useful as data for sales. Interesting yes, but not something you should gamble on with a massive chunk of your sales.

All we know here is 70 people who want it found a poll on the internet and said they want it and about 3 times that number in the same poll showed no interest in 21+. I would guess 70 people is not a large percentage of the total sales for pathfinder. If hat poll was all inclusive and represented sales as a whole it shows 1/4th the people polled want that product.

Some people want it. Is it enough to gamble 1/3rd of your core book sales on? Not on this poll alone I would say.

Contributor

I have to say that as a designer writing adventures for players above level 15 becomes tedious for me. Also, so much of the storytelling can be circumvented or messed up by player magic that developing a coherent and challenging narrative is a real b%#+@. I stop wanting to design something fun and start feeling much more adversarial: just what can I do to kill some of these guys?

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