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


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion

1 to 50 of 174 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | next > last >>

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.


I prefer the game to cap out at around 20-21, with the adventure focusing less and less on combat as you pass 10th level.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

I like about 12, past that the game starts to break down and it gets hard and harder on the GM and players.

And lets be honest here, at 12th you are epic.You are Hercules, you are Beowulf. You are more powerful then Gandalf and make mere mortal tremble in your shadow, your very steps change the world in ways that make you a legend and myth for ages to come.


I voted 20. I feel it would be a waste of capstones with anything less. :)


3 people marked this as a favorite.

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.

Shadow Lodge

Heh. Epic levels winning out so far.

Liberty's Edge

1 person marked this as a favorite.

If I had my way all games would go from 3rd to ~8th.

3rd level is my preferred starting level because IMO 1st level just sucks. Only having one-two feats and a limitied number of skill points makes it really hard to establish your character's identity as far as mechanics are concerned and it's impossible to represent any sort of multiclassed character. 3rd level lets characters multiclass, opens up a second feat slot for everyone, 2nd level spells for full progression casters, rage powers for babarians, tricks for rogues, etc.

I'm also one of those naysayers that hates high level 3.5/PFRPG. I prefer my gaming to be less high fantasy and it becomes nearly impossibly to present any sort of narrative that isn't completely derailed by magic at higher levels. 8th level means most characters are getting their iterative attacks, casters are looking at 4th level spells, and everyone is generally feeling pretty badass without being nearly deities. There is no pesky Raise Dead, Scrying, or Teleport at this level to foul things up.

Sovereign Court

1 person marked this as a favorite.

I'm a fan of things finishing up at lower levels, but I'm kind of really bored with the whole save the world style scenarios.

Shadow Lodge

I like to play to at least 15. The game changes a bit when you get high level magic, but it gives you a lot of time at the table and a lot of space mechanically to watch your character grow up and change. You're a world shaker at high level, but that's part of the fun.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

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.

The Exchange

Leaving out all my opinions for once, my last two campaigns came to a natural end when the APL was about 13th or 14th. Longest-running characters I've had (that started at 1st level) ended in the 11th to 13th-level range. Mind you, all those were 3.x games, not PF...


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 voted 15 because the one game I played to 23 really started to drag after 15. 8-12 is to me the "sweet spot" enough levels to do your thing and well and a lot of iconic monsters in that level range (some that aren't OGL sadly) but some campaigns might need a few more levels to wrap up.


10-12ish is it for me -- past that you're really starting to get into magic in the hands of the PCs that's either drastically game-changing or you're needing scenarios that specifically invalidate it, which mostly feels like a cop out to me. (E.g. you're invading a palace where teleportation and scrying don't work... again... )


1 person marked this as a favorite.

I think level 7 is the sweet spot in Pathfinder/3.5e. It works well until level 10 or 11, and beyond that I would prefer to just start with a fresh character.


I like lower levels. It is fun to get the full round attack at sixth level for martial classes and have a few levels to play around with it, so around eighth or ninth is probably tops for me.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

favorite level: 4
prefered maximum: 8

Grand Lodge

Black Knight wrote:
I think level 7 is the sweet spot in Pathfinder/3.5e. It works well until level 10 or 11, and beyond that I would prefer to just start with a fresh character.

That was my vote, that said I think the game works ok until 10-12 just that magic becomes part of the calculations and a lot of things become magic driven beyond 10th.

Edit: Also looking forward to the latest XLS update goodness you have for us.


3 people marked this as a favorite.

I voted epic, because I think every level range has its appeal.

At Level 1-4 it is challenging to scale physical obstacles (Walls and stuff since there is no fly yet) and to get creative using what you have at hand to solve problems (I call them the MacGyver levels ^^)

As Level 5-10 progresses you can solve already a lot of problems with your abilities and face off with many different enemies. Yet you are not really so powerful that you do not have to fear rather "mundane" dangers.

When reaching Level 11-15 you have become sort of a little out of place with the normal world. Things that would outright kill any NPC is only a flesh wound. Higher authorities consult you (or hunt you... depending what you did) and your word weights heavy.
You can own an army or fight an army (by yourself).

The final levels of 16-20 (and beyond) are truly out there. You go to places normal mortals can't even dream about (Planes other than the Material Plane). You mingle in the affairs of deity's and the rulers of the Demon lands.
You might even become a deity yourself.

Every level range has its own appeal and I wouldn't want to miss a single one. I prefer to start at level 1 and ending around 20 (+/- a few levels to wrap up the storyline).

Of course the instances are rare where you can really go from 1 to 20 (In only managed once in 3.5), so I sometimes join games at higher levels too. In those cases I often use the opportunity to play a monster race with high CR so I still only have 1 class level.

Going into epic levels mostly happens as means necessary to finish a story arc. I haven't started at level 20 just to play at epic levels. Maybe I will try that sometime, but I doubt I will do it more than once.
And fighting alone should never be the sole focus of any level range. I don't think I have ever leveled up by pure monster bashing XP.

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

Favored Level: 7th.
Preferred Maximum: 12th. (Which was my vote.)
Beyond 12th, It really becomes too much of a stretch to keep playing.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

15th

BUT I enjoyed an specific epic level campaign STARTING at 20th level.

Silver Crusade

2 people marked this as a favorite.

The optimum level you should finish at is the level you reach when the story has played out and everybody has agreed to stop.

If that's 8th level then fine. Equally if that's 38th level it's fine.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

At least level 10, no higher than level 15. I would go for 12.

I'm surprised to see the results thus far. More weight to 20+ than I would have expected. I find the game gets bogged down at very high levels.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

I voted EpIc/Mythic level because i really want a book covering this subject, but for me every level is fun to play.


I voted epic. 20 is my minimim, and 30 would be my maximum. That is how far I plan to take my current campaign. I would not join a campaign as a player if I knew for certain the campaign was not going to at least 15th. But I respect and understand those who disagree.

I know it is a lot more difficult to prepare for those games, but I am still looking forward to it.


When I DM v3.5 it's E6
When I DM PFRPG it'll be E8 (haven't DM it yet)

What I love about low-level play is that it's more realistic in my opinion. Monsters in this range are all viable threats, keeping my idea of verisimilitude. Yet monters at higher levels aren't out of the scope of confrontations, they're just not a lot of CR 14 dragons out there for example.

My favored Maximum level would be between 10-12. In this range, spellcasters are already taking over but it's the last levels where Melee-based and non-spellcasters can still be useful. Anywhere past this, and your better off having your Fighter retire and roll up a spellcaster to add to the partie's usefulness.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

I voted epic, for much the same reasons as kaymanklynman. The game, and the levels, are all in what you do with them.

I've actually never been in a game that went that high, but I want the option.

Still, why limit yourself?

And, after all, epic is kinda 'old school'. IIRC, it wasn't until 3.0 that there were level limits other than racial, anyway.

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

Diffan wrote:

When I DM v3.5 it's E6

When I DM PFRPG it'll be E8 (haven't DM it yet)

Umm ... what is this "E6" and "E8" refering to? Can someone clarify these abbreviations?


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Epic, and NOT limited to 30.

I prefer no hard level limit.


Pathfinder Lost Omens Subscriber

I voted epic. My group has used the 3.5 rules to reach epic twice, finishing at level 22 once and level 25 the next time; we used the Age of Worms campaign to reach epic once and a 3.5 conversion of The Bloodstone Saga (H1-H4) the second time.

Unfortunately it looks like we'll need to look outside Paizo for high level stuff (i.e. Slumbering Tsar from FGG) for the immediate future.

Epic levels might have bigger stat blocks, but they also have bigger payoffs in terms of player satisfaction when accomplishing goals on a much grander scale than is possible pre-20. At least that has been my gaming group's experience so far. Not trying to derail this thread, that has just been my group's experience...others will have had different experiences, I am certain.

DJF

Shadow Lodge

Lord Fyre wrote:


Umm ... what is this "E6" and "E8" refering to? Can someone clarify these abbreviations?

E6: The Game Inside D&D. For E8, just extend it two levels.

Shadow Lodge

Lord Fyre wrote:
Umm ... what is this "E6" and "E8" refering to? Can someone clarify these abbreviations?

I'll give you the exceedingly brief version: It's a advancement variant where PCs stop leveling at level 6 (or 8, or another number of the group's choosing). Essentially level 6 becomes the level cap. HOWEVER, the character does still advance through gaining more feats. Whenever you accumulate enough XP to move up to the next level, instead of all the normal leveling stuff (HD increase, spells per day, ability increases, etc), you gain another feat. The system does make some modifications to feats to allow level 6ish characters to access them (such as removing BAB requirements over +6, etc).

The Exchange

Fundamentally, I think pathfinder (like 3.5 before it) has a problem.

The game gets unwieldy at high levels - unweildy all around.
Fighters get *too* many attacks with too many effects. Figuring out which of the 9 color dice the archer is throwing affects the BBEG and which kinds of DR and which spell effects....

Figuring out how many actions the wizards have, and how many monsters will be summoned. Three rounds where the wizard just acts by himself due to time stop.

This trait *unweildy* is pretty much a function of the game design. Fantasy hero, gurps, call of cthulu, paranoia do not have this problem- they scale perfectly fine..

Pathfinder is a combat game - its about going about and fighting adventures - characters are not capable enough at low level to be bet setting up a wizards tower, or starting a career - or being a diplomat - again- unlike other game systems.

So to answer the question posed by the OP.
I think the PFS game tops out too quickly - 33 adventures and your done frankly.. *sucks*. And I don't like the 3adventure/level bit - it diminishes roleplaying.

So - the game as constituted - I'd like to see 16.
If it were more focused on a world that players could change - as long as players wanted to play, I'd LOVE that kind of environment.

Maybe they don't level- but they continue to affect the world


I voted for level 12. However, I actually range from 8th to 12th, with the rare 15th plus. I did run a couple of 2E campaigns where the players hit 17th or 18th level - both involved Divine Ascension.

I've been doing a homebrew game, in which I'm pushing things to the upper teens maybe as far as level 20, but made some adjustments to spell advancement so that the highest level spells Wizards and Clerics can cast are 7th, with Bards topping out at 4th.It's been working pretty decently so far. 8th and 9th level spells do exist, however, they fall into the realm of Dragons, Liches, and extraplanar entities.


Epic for me. 1 through 25ish is my ideal. I’ve played in (if I’m remembering correctly...) three epic level campaigns and two that went to the 19-20 range (all in 3/3.5 editions), though I’ve never GMed one past ~12-15.

Many of y’all might be surprised how entertaining the game can be when both you and your main enemies are either literally or functionally immortal. And for combat goodness, it is just a matter of heading into the planes where no one is impressed by your ‘epicness’.

Obnoxiousness:
God wizard huh? Hahahaha. Aw, she killed a tarrasque with a group of her little friends and thinks she’s a badass now. How cute.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Voted.
Epic FTW baby.
I'll admit, I started playing RPGs on the videogame, Final Fantasy and the likes. So when I create a character I want the same kind of experience, that ends with fighting god-like beings and changing the world. I want my characters to be LEGENDS, sung to eternity.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Yeah, see I don't like games with hard limits; 30+ for me as a GM and occasional player.

Liberty's Edge

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Treantmonk wrote:
I'm surprised to see the results thus far. More weight to 20+ than I would have expected. I find the game gets bogged down at very high levels.

It absolutely does get bogged down. It's nigh-unplayable anywhere north of 15.

The problem with this poll, and activities like it, is that every supporter of Epic Rules comes out to support Epic Rules, because they want Epic rules.Whereas, people who don't want epic rules already have what they want (non-epic rules), so they don't care, and don't vote, etc.

The worst part is, people generally fail to understand that it's the very resources that develop the game they play that would be pulled to support the game that they don't play, therefore hurting the game they play. So, when a thread gets started about epic rules, it reads like "Sure!" "Count me in!" "Where do I sign up?", because it's only the people who want those rules responding. 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.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Jeremiziah wrote:

It absolutely does get bogged down. It's nigh-unplayable anywhere north of 15.

The problem with this poll, and activities like it, is that every supporter of Epic Rules comes out to support Epic Rules, because they want Epic rules.Whereas, people who don't want epic rules already have what they want (non-epic rules), so they don't care, and don't vote, etc.

The worst part is, people generally fail to understand that it's the very resources that develop the game they play that would be pulled to support the game that they don't play, therefore hurting the game they play. So, when a thread gets started about epic rules, it reads like "Sure!" "Count me in!" "Where do I sign up?", because it's only the people who want those rules responding. 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.

I think there is a difference between a desire for epic rules and a desire to play epic levels. I don't particularly care if there are epic rules or not. If they did exist, I might use them, and then again I might not. But I still intend to take my campaign into epic levels.

I can use the current pathfinder rules for epic level play, I don't actually need epic level rules to do that. It may mean more work, more prep time, and different kinds of adventures - but I am very much looking forward to it.


IkeDoe wrote:

15th

BUT I enjoyed an specific epic level campaign STARTING at 20th level.

I've only played a few, but Epic campaigns are so much fun!


Jeremiziah wrote:
Treantmonk wrote:
I'm surprised to see the results thus far. More weight to 20+ than I would have expected. I find the game gets bogged down at very high levels.

It absolutely does get bogged down. It's nigh-unplayable anywhere north of 15.

The problem with this poll, and activities like it, is that every supporter of Epic Rules comes out to support Epic Rules, because they want Epic rules.Whereas, people who don't want epic rules already have what they want (non-epic rules), so they don't care, and don't vote, etc.

The worst part is, people generally fail to understand that it's the very resources that develop the game they play that would be pulled to support the game that they don't play, therefore hurting the game they play. So, when a thread gets started about epic rules, it reads like "Sure!" "Count me in!" "Where do I sign up?", because it's only the people who want those rules responding. 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.

To call something fact one requires proof. This thread alone seems to disagree with your opinion on the matter. Would you care to prove me wrong by linking an appropriately scientific or even quasi-scientific study?

Dark Archive

I think the 12 capstone of PFS was well thought out; doubt I would change it. 10 may be my ideal, with 5-8 being the most fun. For what it is worth, I would also skip 1 & 2. (so 3-12)


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Jeremiziah wrote:

the majority of players don't play or want to play above 15th level.

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

I’m wondering if this ‘fact’ is supported by anything other than bold font... Your bias is clear when you say 15+ is nearly unplayable, so why would anyone take your assertions at face value. And remember there are plenty of products pathfinder puts time and resources into that the majority of players don’t necessarily use or care about, epic support won’t “hurt the game” anymore than most other supplementary products.

I’m sure the first part of Jeremiziah’s statement is correct – that is a good assumption. Otherwise a lot of groups start their campaigns at 15th level, which is hard to believe.

The second part though, I’m not so sure. Is that a provable fact? I don’t think so, not without better polling methods – has a statistically sound survey been done? Even sales figures wouldn’t work because A) ‘willing and able to buy’ and ‘want to play’ are not the same, and B) there are fewer epic level products available making it tricky to separate out the reasons why they don’t sell as well as any given low level product, (EDIT: Or C) maybe like Dren Everblack said. People want epic games , just not rules or published adventures.). Then there is the issue of the eventual text-bloat that happens at higher levels affecting a print product’s value. I also don’t think it is a given that the APs for example would sell worse or that the majority of people would quit them partway through if they went up to higher levels for the sole reason that they don’t enjoy 15+ level play. Seriously. :P


Thalin wrote:
I think the 12 capstone of PFS was well thought out; doubt I would change it. 10 may be my ideal, with 5-8 being the most fun. For what it is worth, I would also skip 1 & 2. (so 3-12)

I also find the first few levels tedious.


I like my noob-garden, but not for long. Ideally I like to be level three by the end of the third session and then start progressing slower, with level ups every 4 sessions or so (assuming 4-6 hour sessions).


Level 10, or at least, that's about the top end power level I prefer. If they took levels 1 through 10, and stretched that out over 15, 20, or even 30 levels, I would be fine with that too.


Dren Everblack wrote:
Jeremiziah wrote:

It absolutely does get bogged down. It's nigh-unplayable anywhere north of 15.

The problem with this poll, and activities like it, is that every supporter of Epic Rules comes out to support Epic Rules, because they want Epic rules.Whereas, people who don't want epic rules already have what they want (non-epic rules), so they don't care, and don't vote, etc.

The worst part is, people generally fail to understand that it's the very resources that develop the game they play that would be pulled to support the game that they don't play, therefore hurting the game they play. So, when a thread gets started about epic rules, it reads like "Sure!" "Count me in!" "Where do I sign up?", because it's only the people who want those rules responding. 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.

I think there is a difference between a desire for epic rules and a desire to play epic levels. I don't particularly care if there are epic rules or not. If they did exist, I might use them, and then again I might not. But I still intend to take my campaign into epic levels.

I can use the current pathfinder rules for epic level play, I don't actually need epic level rules to do that. It may mean more work, more prep time, and different kinds of adventures - but I am very much looking forward to it.

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. Once you hit double digits, tactical self contained battles and dungeon crawls become pointless very quickly, which is why I put in my caveat that the game style must change to a more strategic one, where the PCs are running and controlling aspects of the world, coming up with their own goals, and treating their PC as just one resource among many available to achieve larger strategic goals that cannot be accomplished by raw power, whether it be magic, social, or something else. Taking cues from Elminster, and the Circle of Nine, people with that kind of power usually settle down or forced to use their power in more subtle, indirect ways in order to accomplish their goals. This style of play also allows the DM to shift a lot of the work to the players, making high level play a true team effort. The biggest reason that I've seen high level campaigns break down is that a lot of players aren't willing to step up and take charge of their piece of the campaign.

I also agree that while an epic handbook would be nice to see at some point, it's possible to play at those levels without one. The key is to remember that what worked at low level isn't going to work at high level, and to not fight high level magic. Rather, at that point, the DM simply needs to come up with an overall plot and picture of the world, one that requires high levels of power and magic simply to see, understand, and participate in, and let the players figure out how the details of how they plan on meeting the challenges the world presents them.

Dark Archive

I voted but my real feelings would be to take levels 1-12 and stretch them out and fill them back in with similar leveled abilities and make them go to 1-20. Then take 13-20 and stretch them to be the epic 20-30 levels.


As a GM I can handle level 20+ games, but I prefer 15 to 17. As a player I have never gotten to play past level 13 for various reasons, but I would like to do it one day.


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.

To be fair, this is more or less what 3E/PF encourages out of the box. 2E was better about guiding players away from this with built-in class assumptions like fighters would develop keeps, druids would advance to leadership positions, etc, and that their money should go into that kind of influence and capital rather than +4 swords from magimart.

It's also fair to question whether having to switch playstyle is a good thing. If people like dungeon spelunking or grand adventuring, why should they have to switch to a more political approach? Maybe if the DMG at least warned people about this kind of assumed shift in style, it wouldn't go over so badly.

I don't think opinions of people that haven't actually played up to X cap should count. For example most would probably want a limitless level system all things being equal, only those who have played up to X level and experienced difficulty would have reason to think different. (Not saying that there aren't many people who do have experience with and enjoy high-level play. But I suspect many of the poll responders don't.)

1 to 50 of 174 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | next > last >>
Community / Forums / Pathfinder / Pathfinder First Edition / General Discussion / What is your prefered maximum character level that you like to play to in the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game? All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.