What do you consider 'low', 'mid', and 'high' level?


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion


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I got to thinking this morning, what is the general concensus the range levels?

I consider the following:

  • Low: 1 - 7
  • Mid: 8 - 14
  • High: 15+

    What do you consider the ranges to be?

  • Silver Crusade

    3 people marked this as a favorite.
    Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

    Low 1-4
    Mid 5-12
    High 13+

    Low: before 3rd level spells
    Mid: before 7th level spells

    Liberty's Edge

    What Gorbacz said.


    3 people marked this as a favorite.

    Low: 1

    Mid: 2

    High: 3

    Playing past 3rd level is for Munchkins, you Munchkins. ;-p

    Shadow Lodge

    Pathfinder Card Game, Companion, Lost Omens, Maps, Pawns, Rulebook Subscriber
    Jeremiziah wrote:
    What Gorbacz said.

    +1


    3 people marked this as a favorite.

    1-4 low
    5-8 med
    9-12 high
    13- over epic

    I have never played over 14. .....
    I fill a little small now


    I kinda agree with Kyras. But I rarely play over 8.

    Liberty's Edge

    JohnF wrote:
    Jeremiziah wrote:
    What Gorbacz said.

    +2


    1-4

    5-11

    12+


    Low: 1st-3rd
    Mid: 5th-7th
    High: 8th
    Not Interested: Much past 8th

    :)


    Low: 1-7
    Mid: 8-15
    High: 16-20
    Mythic: 20-30
    Godly: 31-60


    In my experience 20th level rarely happens. With that in mind, here's my list.

    Low: 1-4
    Mid: 5-11
    High: 12-17

    Grand Lodge

    Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

    I prefer the breakdown given in the E6 document

    1-5: Gritty
    6-12: Heroic
    12-18:Superheroic
    18+ Proto-Godlike.


    Basic: 1-4
    Expert: 5-8
    Advanced: 9-12
    Master: 13-16
    Epic: 17-20

    Sorry, just getting nostalgic about the old D&D boxed sets. :-) Five tiers of four levels each just goes too evenly into 20 to resist.

    Gorbacz does have a good point about spell levels/keystone abilities playing into it though.


    I gave this some thought and adjusted my previous idea on the subject. 3rd level spells, in my mind, are good jump in power level over 1st and 2nd. Similarly, 7-9 represent the top echelon of magic power, so...

    low 1-4
    medium 5-12
    high 13+

    Throughout my career I've played low and medium way more than high.

    Liberty's Edge

    Low: 1-5
    Medium: 6-10
    High: 11-15
    Really High: 16-20

    Seldom if ever do I go over 15 or so, though.


    I am with Deadmanwalking on this. My current campaign is planned for levels 1-10. Depending upon the ending, overall feeling and mood I might follow it with another campaign with the same characters at levels 10-13 or 15.


    Which 7th level spells start to change the nature of the game?


    Deadmanwalking wrote:

    Low: 1-5

    Medium: 6-10
    High: 11-15
    Really High: 16-20

    Seldom if ever do I go over 15 or so, though.

    In my experience there is a huge power jump as players hit level 6, and it is suddenly more difficult for the GM to provide challenging encounters (from the perspective of both GM and player). None of our recent Pathfinder campaigns has been past 10th level, though that has nothing to do with the game or the level, just RL changing course.


    Low: 1-4/5
    To me, low levels are characterized by a few things
    - The lack of iterative attacks means that most martial character (excluding TWFers, monks and some archers at the high end) have no reason to full attack, leading to very mobile combats.
    - Spellcasters don't have the spells/day to make casting their normal standard action in combat.
    - Characters with limited "power up" ability - Paladins, Barbarians, Inquisitors, Bards, etc. - need to meaningfully ration that ability.
    - Magical crafting plays a very minimal role, if any at all.
    - A significant chunk of the feats available will be spent on no-brainers or feat taxes, limiting character diversity.
    - PrCs are unavailable.
    - Leveling up often involves the acquisition of really class-defining abilities, as opposed to side froufrou or simple boosts to existing abilities.
    - Resurrection is all but unavailable.
    - Mechanical simplicity can bore some experienced players.

    Mid: 5/6-10
    To me, mid levels are characterized by a few things
    - The overwhelming majority of character options become available - there are very few options that require a level higher than this to take.
    - PrCs are online
    - All class-defining abilties are solidly online.
    - Full spellcasters have the spells/day to really feel like spellcasters.
    - Characters mechanically begin to come into their own as individuals.
    - A meaningful diversity of magic items is available.
    - Builds that are out-of-band power-level-wise begin to stress the system a bit.
    - Most builds come "fully online" here.
    - Resurrection is often difficult.

    High: 11+
    - All character options become available
    - System math begins to degrade somewhat
    - Characters have accrued enough character options right now that they will often do things that players have never seen before, especially for less-played classes and for spellcasters, and in the realm of magic items - lots of "wow!" moments.
    - Resurrection is relatively easy.
    - The impact of an individual level is usually lessened, particularly for non-spellcasters, as most fundamental character options have already been chosen.
    - Mechanical complexity starts to tax some players' ability to track things.

    Liberty's Edge

    I tend to agree with Joyd's summary, for the most part (though multiple attacks in 1-5 are a bit more common than implied, at least among archers and other ranged characters).

    Silver Crusade

    Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
    The Rot Grub wrote:
    Which 7th level spells start to change the nature of the game?

    limited wish, simulacrum.

    Scarab Sages

    Fallen_Mage wrote:

    *Casts: Create Thread*

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    I got to thinking this morning, what is the general concensus the range levels?

    I consider the following:

  • Low: 1 - 7
  • Mid: 8 - 14
  • High: 15+

    What do you consider the ranges to be?

  • Low: 1 - 3
    Gritty... one hit and you're either dead or almost dead

  • Mid: 4 - 6
    Super-heroic... characters can now do stuff way beyond the common person

  • High: 7+
    Goofy... flying rhinos.


  • low: 1-5
    mid: 6-15
    high: 16+

    We are a bunch of munchkins and get in to high tier most games. Our current game is supposedly going to level 35+ leveling about once a month but it is an intentionally super epic game with a 45 point buy and artifact level items at level one. It's nonsense but it's great fun it's not that hard to make challenging encounters if you just throw out the MM and make it up as you go along.


    Low level is when the wizard nurtures a secret hate for all of the melee characters.

    Mid level is when you get access to teleport and raise dead.

    High level is when the players try to get their martial characters to die so that they can reroll as casters and play rocket tag like the rest of the party.


    I've always considered "mid-level" to begin somewhere around 5th level or so. "High level" would be 16th and over.


    1-4 Low
    5-12 Mid
    13+ High

    AKA "The Gorbacz", apparently.

    PS. I'd love to see various Paizonian opinions.

    The Exchange

    Let's see.....20 divided by 3 equals 6.66666666666666, or round up to 7.....
    So low would be 1-7, mid would be 8-14, high would be 15+...roughly.
    I would lower mid to 8-13 and up high's range to 14+ but that is just semantics.


    Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, PF Special Edition Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Superscriber

    Low: 1-5
    Medium: 6-10
    High: 11+

    Dark Archive

    Low: 1-10
    Mid: 11-20
    High: 20+


    Low: 1-5
    Spells are almost never game changers in and of themselves at these levels, and 3rd level spells are still rare enough at 5th level that you still have to ration all of your spells carefully, just like you do any other class feature that has per day uses. Handing out magic items is still mostly a DM perogative aside from a few basics. Dungeon style adventures work throughout this band without any difficulty.

    Medium: 6-12
    Spells are significantly more powerful and plentiful, but not yet overwhelming in either power or number. As joyd mentioned, this is where most of the truly defining class features really kick in, and the efforts of individualization really become apparent. It is also where magic items really shift from DM control to DM final approval as players gain access to more and more customization options, which is both good and bad. The type of adventures that work starts to shift with linear dungeons becoming less and less effective, though they can still be done with a lot of work on the DM's part.

    High: 13+
    7th level spells, even in limited quantities, can complicate the game significantly for both players and DM; casters can routinely plan on not using all of their spell slots in a given day, making keeping the lower level spell slots relevant a significant challenge. Almost all classes have their defining features in place and expanded upon at this stage, which can be good, having the core of the character in place and settled can help, and bad, options can start to pile up faster than some player's ability to manage them. Managing magic items, and party resources in general, is now the primary job for the DM, and a significant part time job for players. Players most be as active in shaping the campaign and individual characters as the DM or it will get overwhelming since effective adventures have to effectively span entire regions, if not worlds and planes. The DM's role has effectively shifted to being the person who tracks the effects the PCs' actions have on the larger world and universe as they work to complete their personal goals, which they must have in order for a campaign to work at this level.


    Low: 1-8
    Mid: 9-12
    High: 13+

    This isn't just because 9-12 are literally the middle 4 levels, but because level 9 is where the party really first gets the ability to bring the dead back to life. (Yes, there's Reincarnation before that, but that's no Raise Dead.) And level 13 starts high level because it's the lowest level I could place a high level game.

    I'm aiming for my next campaign to end around level 12. My last campaign ended around (mixed-level party) 8/9. Anything beyond level 12 is pretty epic IMO.


    Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

    Low: 1-5
    Mid: 6-12
    High: 13-20
    Epic: 21+


    roguerouge wrote:

    Low level is when the wizard nurtures a secret hate for all of the melee characters.

    Mid level is when you get access to teleport and raise dead.

    High level is when the players try to get their martial characters to die so that they can reroll as casters and play rocket tag like the rest of the party.

    ~laughter~


    wow. I expected this thread to last only a few rounds (aka posts). Must have accidently Extended it.


    In second ( ie: my childhood and teen years) we would run campaigns for years at a time so it was 1-8,9-14, 15-20+

    Now with my current group we play one year campaigns with designed begining middle and end, plus we have moved from 3 to 3.5 to Pathfinder.

    The spread now looks more like 1-6,7-11,12-15/16. Every class hits their power jumps at different levels obviously, but as a whole party I see significant jumps in wealth, versatility, and damage output in those areas.

    It occurs to me though, that we as a group tend to horde loot and do large sell offs at certain intervals that hit around those times as well. Partially because we are just that way, we prefer to have a handful of good items over a ton of little ones, and paritially because our DM sits somewhere in the middle of the yea olde magic shoppe debate, where selling anything of serious value requires a road trip to a major metropolis.

    Scarab Sages

    Joyd and Uninvited Ghost's estimations are closest to my own experience. When characters have only 1st and 2nd level spells and skill modifiers that can still fail basic tasks occasionally, mundane threats are still relatively threatening - crossing a pit or sneaking into a locked and guarded room are good puzzles. In my Eberron game, all that someone needed to do to protect a room was lock the door, post a guard or two, and cast Alarm, and we had an hour of play.

    That changed when characters got 3rd level spells like Fly and Dispel Magic, and had skill checks that would beat untrained mundanes 90-100% of the time. "Scry and fry" was still out of reach, but entirely physical, mundane challenges didn't cut it anymore unless they were intricately designed multiple-layer puzzles designed by NPCs who were expecting magic. Most of the time, challenging the PCs meant having some magic to match their capabilities. Even the martial characters and rogues had some magic items, were constantly buffed by the casters, and sometimes minor casting abilities of their own. However, the ways that they can 'cheat' reality are either minor (like 1st-2nd level spells), risky (like Teleport), or heavily limited (like Raise Dead), so the GM can still assume "big picture" limitations. The dead can stay dead if the body is destroyed or lost, and Teleport isn't always the best way of skipping that overland journey - you might fail and end up in a similar looking room five hundred miles in the wrong direction. Fly lets you skip pit traps, but every time you do, you lose a fireball or jedi mind trick (Suggestion).

    I agree with Gorbacz - 7th level and above changes the game. Greater Teleport, Resurrection, and the ability to use 3rd-5th level spells often and effectively. No longer does casting Passwall or Overland Flight mean you're dead in the water in combat later today. A group of clever players can turn the game into a supers campaign around 13th level. 12 has become my de facto level cap in games I GM. I and my players consider 13+ to be something akin to 'epic' play - the characters move beyond the last vestiges of human limitation, death is a speed bump, distance irrelevant, physical barriers insignificant, and magical obstacles are just a question of how many times Dispel Magic needs to be cast (from a staff or wand, easily affordable at this stage) before the caster rolls over the DC. We don't really consider purely martial characters above 12th level to be able to keep up, except as sidekicks to casters, loaded with buffs and being a wall between squishy demigods and the opposition.

    Multiclass or hybrid casters get into 3rd and 4th level magic now, allowing them to still be viable, but I wouldn't play a Fighter or Cavalier at these levels, but I trust the system math and power balance to stay in place until 13th level. The cracks start to show around 11th or 12th, but the combination of 7th level spells and the more noticeable deterioration of the game's math makes 13 the breaking point for me. I've never needed epic levels because the PCs tend to become demigods from 13 onward. Seven levels of demigod is all that I have needed thus far.

    TL,DR: I agree with Joyd, Gorbacz, and Uninvited Ghost. IMHO, with Pathfinder's rules improvements and good players/GM, the "Quadratic Caster" problem can be avoided until 13th level. I love PF/d20, but I'd be plenty happy if the game had a hard level cap around 12-14, where PFS, and the Adventurer Conqueror King system draw the line.


    I've been actively DMing for almost half my life. With old school AD&D low level was 1-3, mid was 4-9, and high was anything 10+. Reason for this wasn't just spells and wealth caps, it was what the party could reasonably do. When you got to 10th, it was quite feasible for a 10+ party to handle nearly anything in the MM if properly prepared and with a little luck. Your non spell level abilities pretty much capped, and you were just adding small increments of ability to your guy at that point, in fact many races couldn't even advance past hard limits.

    In 3.x and PF, I've found that 5-6th level is where combats get complicated. Fly is the major factor here, as it changes combat immensely. Good AoE and battlefield control spells are also key for this threshold.

    I consider 9th a mini benchmark, due to teleport and the first few major save or die spells (magic jar, cloud kill, baleful poly, dominate), and ways to mitigate death such as breath of life. Ground encounters are increasing shut down by controller walls. At this level martials who can't fly or get around physical obstacles are increasing irrelevant against enemies with exotic movement.

    At 13th the game goes into high gear, the amount of buffs/counter buffs, control areas, and exotic movement and modifiers gets to be very difficult to keep track of. Death is a minor setback short of party wipe, resources available to PCs exceed all but the wealthiest NPCs, new problems arise such as finding towns large enough to purchase level appropriate gear from. Careful gear selection and optimized builds are the only way martials stay relevant (though their damage is absurd, they still have to figure out how to deliver it).

    One of the major problems with high level play is its increasingly difficult to reign in troublesome in character behavior. You can't really stop a party from robbing a village blind, after all the guards are going to be no challenge, and if they are, the party is likely to ask "where were you guys when we were fighting the kobold army back 10 levels ago?"


    1-5 or maybe 6 or so is low level.

    7 to around 13 or 14 is med..

    15+ is high'ish.

    None of it really starts to break down.. it just takes more effort on the parts of the PC's to keep things moving smoothly in combat and alot more (out of game) time for the DM to keep things going smoothly.

    to me-

    Low is when the DM has the rails firmly on the track and there is little to nothing the PC's can do to alter it. They are basically on his choo-choo going where the DM wants, doing what the DM wants, using the methods the DM has prepared. The Dm also has to have the problem and counter to it well thought out and put in place because the PC's have very few tools to come at something "outside the box".

    Middle is where that starts to waver somewhat. The PC's start to have enough options to sway the rails abit, maybe jumping to a side track or so that the DM might not have prepared for but more or less they are still along for the ride. On the flip side, the PC's have more tools at their disposal so the DM can more freely throw oddities at them and just trust that they have brains and the willingness to use them.

    High is when the train is gone, the tracks are scrap and the PC's are essentially doing what they want how they want. While it can be intimidating for the DM it can also be extremely freeing. Its a time when he can finally ditch dungeons and such and expect the PC's to use their magic and extreme martial might to get the job done without being spoon fed things in the adventures. He can routinely throw whatever he wants at the PC's while trusting that they can and should figure out some way through/around/whatever.

    As for what I prefer: I prefer low when I'm currently in a high, and I prefer high when I'm struggling in the lows.

    The middle seems to be the area where i'm not really jonesing for the simplicity for the lowers or the better abilities of the highs. :)

    -S


    I'm really surprised how all over the map people's answers are.

    Dark Archive

    sunshadow21 wrote:

    Low: 1-5

    Spells are almost never game changers in and of themselves at these levels, and 3rd level spells are still rare enough at 5th level that you still have to ration all of your spells carefully, just like you do any other class feature that has per day uses. Handing out magic items is still mostly a DM perogative aside from a few basics. Dungeon style adventures work throughout this band without any difficulty.

    Medium: 6-12
    Spells are significantly more powerful and plentiful, but not yet overwhelming in either power or number. As joyd mentioned, this is where most of the truly defining class features really kick in, and the efforts of individualization really become apparent. It is also where magic items really shift from DM control to DM final approval as players gain access to more and more customization options, which is both good and bad. The type of adventures that work starts to shift with linear dungeons becoming less and less effective, though they can still be done with a lot of work on the DM's part.

    High: 13+
    7th level spells, even in limited quantities, can complicate the game significantly for both players and DM; casters can routinely plan on not using all of their spell slots in a given day, making keeping the lower level spell slots relevant a significant challenge. Almost all classes have their defining features in place and expanded upon at this stage, which can be good, having the core of the character in place and settled can help, and bad, options can start to pile up faster than some player's ability to manage them. Managing magic items, and party resources in general, is now the primary job for the DM, and a significant part time job for players. Players most be as active in shaping the campaign and individual characters as the DM or it will get overwhelming since effective adventures have to effectively span entire regions, if not worlds and planes. The DM's role has effectively shifted to being the person who tracks the effects the PCs' actions have on the larger world...

    Agreed.


    low: 1-2 ability modifiiers are the most important part of your statistics

    medium 3-6 classes show their specialities, but out of the box thinking can really help.

    high 7-12 you can get away with robbing a city, murdering a king and other stuff, npc's rarely stand a chance against you.

    complicated 13- 16: you will boldly go where no mortal has gone before, what was the boss before is now but a minion. If you are likely to reach this level, you'll probably have a build for lvl 1-20.

    the big challenge 17-18: you see the pinnacle of your relative power, all those places you heard before, like the abyss, are not longer hell on earth, but can be raided at will.

    the end 19-20: you will most likely see one last place, or face on last challenge to save the world or have your soul destroyed.


    Low: 1 - 6

    Med: 7 - 14

    High: 15+

    Levels 1 - 6 are when your character is starting out and scraping by to survive. Level 7 - 14, some have gone with a Prestige Class and are now coming into their own. They have some power, but aren't quite there yet for power. 15+ the characters are big movers and shakers in the world. They still can't challenge authority figures by any means (without severe repercussions).

    Dark Archive

    Low: 1-10

    Mid: 11-15

    High: 16+

    Of course, I'm mainly thinking in terms of melee characters where you're in low levels until you get that third iterative attack.


    Low 1-4
    Mid 5-10
    High 11-16
    Very High 17+

    Easy to die at low level, competent adventurers at mid level, harder to challenge at high level and semi retired / tied down with responsibilities at very high level. I could waffle a bit about the exact level numbers but this is fairly representative for my game.

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