Create RPGA legal characters at any level with CCG2.0

191 posts / 0 new
Last post
For public RPGA events, you are not a public coordinator if you exclude people. The cardinal sin in the RPGA is for a person to show up to play at a Public RPGA event and they don't get to play at all.



The goal in a public event is that all interested players get to play, yes.  Sometimes, you're going to get situations where that simply isn't possible:
- Too many players for the DMs available
- Too many players for the space available
- Too few players able to play at a particular tier
- Players showing up well after the game is underway
- etc.

When any of the above happens, a coordinator is going to have to conduct some form of triage, and, unfortuantely, possibly have to turn someone away.
"Of course [Richard] has a knife. He always has a knife. We all have knives. It's 1183, and we're barbarians!" - Eleanor of Aquitaine, "The Lion in Winter"
When any of the above happens, a coordinator is going to have to conduct some form of triage, and, unfortuantely, possibly have to turn someone away.



Exactly. The RPGA does not spell out by what method the coordinator can make this decision, but the easiest way to me is to simply say, "This person DMs every X weeks, this person refuses to ever DM. I'm going to sit the person who DMs."

As long as you're upfront about this when organizing play, I'm not sure where the problem is going to be.
I still think the LG APL system could help with a lot of the problems here, as well as provide an easier way to work on story lines that unfold in a region over several quarters that people can play in.

You would just need restrictions (play up or down no more than 3 levels above your level) about crossing back across Tier boundries. (i.e an 11th level character could not drop down and play an APL 8 or APL 10 module but if a 9th or 10th level felt comfortable doing so they could play an APL 12 module.  This would also work if the new player at 1st level wants to play with a group and they are all 5th 6th or 7th level they could agree to play an module at APL 4.

And as I stated above as well the regional admins and writers could work on 1 or 2 story lines they could draw out over several quarters that all players within a tier could get through.  This way people can play their 1st or 5th or even 8th level character in a module and continue and even finish the story line within a region.  Gives the characters a better feel for their region and makes them feel as if they are a part of the region.

And I think that if they did the rewards in the modules like they do in the MYRE modules the 7th level player having to play down to APL 4 for the 1st level player to play would not be punished so much items wise.  Use the core modules and specials etc to give out stuff from the AV's and Dragon articles etc.

But I guess I am the only one who sees how this could work and feels that it would work better.
You would just need restrictions (play up or down no more than 3 levels above your level) about crossing back across Tier boundries. (i.e an 11th level character could not drop down and play an APL 8 or APL 10 module but if a 9th or 10th level felt comfortable doing so they could play an APL 12 module.  This would also work if the new player at 1st level wants to play with a group and they are all 5th 6th or 7th level they could agree to play an module at APL 4.



My first LG experience was playing a badly DM'd mod at APL 4(two-rounder no less). I think someone warned me before playing that the DM in particular wasn't very good. If they hadn't, I suspect that would have been my last experience with the RPGA.

You don't want new players playing 4-7 mods with 1st level characters. 
Considering you wouldnt have 4-7 modules any longer that isnt a problem and your problem was the GM not the module.

As it is now 1-4 modules are basically APL2 (low) and APL4 (high) and 4-7 modules are basically APL6 9 (low) and APL8 (high).  So that 1st level character would not be playing in a 4-7 module as you say.
Considering you wouldnt have 4-7 modules any longer that isnt a problem and your problem was the GM not the module.

As it is now 1-4 modules are basically APL2 (low) and APL4 (high) and 4-7 modules are basically APL6 9 (low) and APL8 (high).  So that 1st level character would not be playing in a 4-7 module as you say.



Let me rephrase then. You don't want 1st level characters playing mods designed for 4-5th level characters. It isn't fun for new players, especially for those who are experiencing a living campaign mod for the 1st time.

Part of the problem was the DM. Part of the problem was the APL 4 mod with a 1st level character.
I cant recall the number of times I survived or didnt survive playing up in LG.

And working together as a group to the benefit of all in the group isnt fun to you? 
And working together as a group to the benefit of all in the group isnt fun to you? 



Not sure what that has to do with 1st level characters in APL 4 mods not being fun. They're not. Quite frankly, I'm glad that the APL system like that is gone. Worst part of LG.
The APL system didn't seem intrinsically better than what we have in LFR. If LG had only written modules playable at one APL, it would have been awful; a H1 module is essentially an APL 2.5 module -- playable by any character less than three levels away. You could write a 'two-level' version playable at APL 2.5 and 6.5 if you like  (H1 and H2) but as has been pointed out, that's just more work and why not instead have two different modules that are each tailored to be H1 and H2 rather than one that tries to be both?

In mustering I've seen about the same results with LG and LFR in terms of the number of times I've not been able to play the character I'd prefer to. The nicer thing about LFR is that the I'm not under pressure to play the same mod with a different character to make the correct APL. It was very annoying in LG to hope to pay my Verbobonc character for a given mod at (say) APL 10 and then find only APL 4 mustering and have to play a different character, destroying story for the APL 10 Verby character. Replaying helps, but the base concept is better -- if a character can play a mod, then APL considerations will not make you play that mod with a different character.
I cant recall the number of times I survived or didnt survive playing up in LG.

And working together as a group to the benefit of all in the group isnt fun to you? 



4e is not 3x. "Not hitting" but "always getting hit" is not fun, and higher APL = higher defenses.

Dan Anderson @EpicUthrac
Total Confusion www.totalcon.com
LFR Calimshan Writing Director
LFR Epic Writing Director

LFR Myth Drannor Writing Director

I have unfortunately had to play a 3rd level character in a level 4-7 module played on High twice just so tables could make .  And I was a Great Weapon Fighter and had no problems really.  Its all about knowing how to play your character and how to work with your team.

Now had we had APLs that would have been an APL 8 module and I couldnt have played but they could have elected to play Low (approx APL 6) and I could have played within the rules etc.

A new player playing a 1-4 module on High would be about the same as playing an APL 4.  But with the APL's there could be anyone from 1st thru 7th level also playing at the table.  APLs open up a wider range of play options for everyone, not just new people. 
I have unfortunately had to play a 3rd level character in a level 4-7 module played on High twice just so tables could make .  And I was a Great Weapon Fighter and had no problems really.  Its all about knowing how to play your character and how to work with your team.



I didn't say I couldn't make it work personally. As someone who played a Monk 2 with a Wis of 8 in an LG core special at APL 4 and was easily the 2nd most valuable member of the party or who played a Rogue 1/Ranger 1 who took down 3/4s of an encounter all by himself at APL 4, I'm sure I could play up in LFR and contribute.

I said it wasn't fun. .There's a distinct difference. Especially when the person in question is new to LFR and/or 4e and doesn't know how to play their character or work with their team. They get to sit there being confused while nothing they do is effective and/or getting ordered around by the experienced players so as to not get killed.

That's how to convince new players to not come back... 
That exact same player is going to have that exact same problem whether he is playing an APL 2, 4 or 6 or 20 module.  The problem you are describing is a problem with the player.

What going back to an APL type system does do is provide for people, new or experienced, to play at a table.  If you have say 3 level 5 or 6 players they have no choice but to play a 4-7 module.  So if Joe Noob wants to sit at the table he cant play because the way the level bands work in LFR.  This same problem keeps the 3 5th level characters from playing a 1-4 module with Joe.  But with the APL system they could all play and the table could make because they could all play the module at APL4.

APL 2 - Playable by Character Levels 1-5 (5)
APL 4 - Playable by Character Levels 1-7 (7)
APL 6 - Playable by Character Levels 3-9 (7)
APL 8 - Playable by Character Levels 5-10 (6)
APL 10 - Playable by Character Levels 7-10 (4)

H1 - Playable by Characters Levels 1-4 (4)
H2 - Playable by Characters Levels 4-7 (4)
H3 - Playable by Characters Levels 7-10 (4)

I figured I would provide that little chart so those that arent familiar with the APL system will have something to base their opinions upon.
That exact same player is going to have that exact same problem whether he is playing an APL 2, 4 or 6 or 20 module.  The problem you are describing is a problem with the player.



Yes, and that tends to happen when you're new to a system. Like many new players of LFR...

But with the APL system they could all play and the table could make because they could all play the module at APL4.



They do have a choice - they can have new characters to play. Sure, they might not enjoy playing new characters, but they'll come back knowing that they will eventually play that 4-7 mod. The player new to LFR might wonder at the stupidity of it and decide to not come back.

A lot of new players to LG did just that... 

They do have a choice - they can have new characters to play. Sure, they might not enjoy playing new characters, but they'll come back knowing that they will eventually play that 4-7 mod. The player new to LFR might wonder at the stupidity of it and decide to not come back.



Because writing up first level character number 20 is soooo much fun.  Undecided 

Why make the others make all brand new characters and put off playing module X when if we had the APL system they could still play the module and so could the Joe Noob? 

Because writing up first level character number 20 is soooo much fun.   




You have 20 level 1 characters? And you can't get one to Paragon? What is wrong with this picture?

They do have a choice - they can have new characters to play. Sure, they might not enjoy playing new characters, but they'll come back knowing that they will eventually play that 4-7 mod. The player new to LFR might wonder at the stupidity of it and decide to not come back.



Because writing up first level character number 20 is soooo much fun.  Undecided 




Honestly, they need to suck it up. You've got players who won't judge and won't help new players have an enjoyable experience. They need to realize that RPGA is not just about them individually having a good time.

Why make the others make all brand new characters and put off playing module X when if we had the APL system they could still play the module and so could the Joe Noob? 



Because the 3 experienced players know they'll eventually have a better time with their high level characters. Joe Noob just has this mod(or maybe one or two additional ones) to compare. He has a bad time, he's likely not coming back.

I have no sympathy for those players. I just spent 3 months having an enjoyable time of making sure that a new player to our group had a good play experience. That meant the group ate a lot of mods to make sure we weren't replaying. It meant we rotated DMs and everyone DM'd. It meant I had to keep track of what level everyone's character was. And it meant a lot of us delayed paragon tier play for it.

And hey, it worked out fine and we've got a much better group for it.

Moderator Note:

There doesn't seem to be much in the way of constructive discussion going on any longer in this thread.  Positions have been stated, and now we've gotten to the point of re-stating those positions repeatedly, and some borderline flaming of others' positions.


I'm going to leave the thread open for now, but, unless the thread does return to some sort of actual discussion, I'll be asking to have it closed in a day or so.

"Of course [Richard] has a knife. He always has a knife. We all have knives. It's 1183, and we're barbarians!" - Eleanor of Aquitaine, "The Lion in Winter"
[W]ith the APL's there could be anyone from 1st thru 7th level also playing at the table.



And this sounds like a good thing to anyone? A 7th level character has about +6 to his attacks and AC, and more than double the hit points. How is a writer supposed to make adventures that challenge the higher level character without being immediate auto-death for the second?

Having characters 3 levels apart play together is pushing things.

Even from 1st to 4th level, you get a serious power difference:
1 encounter, 1 daily, maybe 1 magic item
as compared to:
2 encounters, 1 utility, 12-16 more hit points, 2-5 magic items, minimum 2 points better (10%+) to hit and defenses
Adding in a 7th level PC gets:
3 encounters, 2 dailies, 2 utilities, 5-8 magic items, 20-31 more hit points, minimum 3 points better (15%) to hit and defenses

Serious power level differences, there.

Optomized 1st level build (20 primary stat. which a 4E newbie isn't going to have):
+9 to hit vs AC, +6 vs NAD (including focused expertise)
1d12 + 5 damage (fullblade, but then the to hit is lower) or
2d4 + 5 damage (magic missile)
18-35 hit points (from 8 Con wizard to 18 Con Warden)
AC 20 (sword and board Paladin, all others will be lower, down to 15 AC for Wizard)

Semi-optimized 7th level build (19 primary stat):
+11 to hit vs AC, +8 vs NAD (+2 weapon or implement, no focused expertise)
1d12 + 6 damage (fullblade, +2 magic, not counting any additional feats or items)
2d4 + 6 damage (same as weapon)
30-83 hit points
AC 26 for defenders (Paladin in masterwork plate with shield, even a Wizard is probably going to be at AC 19+ at tis point)

Just as an example, of a real 6th level PC:
My Dwarven Fighter:
+12 to hit vs AC, 1d12 + 10 damage
Opportunity attacks, and combay challenge attacks: +16 vs AC, 1d12 +14 damage.
Would make a 1st level PC feel less than sterling, yes?
[W]ith the APL's there could be anyone from 1st thru 7th level also playing at the table.



And this sounds like a good thing to anyone? A 7th level character has about +6 to his attacks and AC, and more than double the hit points. How is a writer supposed to make adventures that challenge the higher level character without being immediate auto-death for the second?




If its the only way for the 1st level player or the 7th level player to be able to play, I am sure that either one would rather play than not play.
If its the only way for the 1st level player or the 7th level player to be able to play, I am sure that either one would rather play than not play.


Sometimes, but more often then not, that is not the case. I have refused more then enough tables in LG, leaving me with nothing to do. Nothing is worse then being ineffective a couple of hours in my experience....

If its the only way for the 1st level player or the 7th level player to be able to play, I am sure that either one would rather play than not play.


Sometimes, but more often then not, that is not the case. I have refused more then enough tables in LG, leaving me with nothing to do. Nothing is worse then being ineffective a couple of hours in my experience....




There is. Getting into an APL 4 game with a 2nd level PC, finding that the APL of the party would have, barely, been APL 2, and that the GM was a known (but not to newbie me) PC killer. Out of the whole party, only one PC, and it wasn't mine, escaped alive. Such a (sarcasm) wonderful (end sarcasm) cap to my introduction to LG at a local con.

Nothing is worse then being ineffective a couple of hours in my experience....

And I think that's a perfectly fine decision for you to personally make. The real question is whether, from a campaign point of view, it makes sense to outlaw behavior solely on the basis that you don't think the participants will have fun.

Yesterday, I attended a convention (which I had nothing to do with organizing nor any control over those doing such) in which the organizer chose to place the two 10th level PCs who showed up to play SPEC1-3 with the group of three 11th level PCs who had shown up to do the same.

This is obviously and entirely illegal under the LFR rules.  From what I could tell, however, those involved enjoyed themselves, certainly moreso than if they had done nothing for four hours or had to roll up new 1st level PCs.

I think it makes perfect sense to create limits such that PCs can't unduly benefit by playing above or below the level they're supposed to.  Play restrictions based on nothing more than "campaign staff knows better than you what kind of game you'll have fun with", however, do not strike me as particularly useful.
I think it may make sense to stretch the current APL system to be a little more inclusive if everyone at the table agrees to it, but there should be some limit.

A character a single level below the target range can probably still contribute and have fun. A first level character trying to play epic level games probably wouldn't last a round of combat.
I think it may make sense to stretch the current APL system to be a little more inclusive if everyone at the table agrees to it, but there should be some limit.

A character a single level below the target range can probably still contribute and have fun. A first level character trying to play epic level games probably wouldn't last a round of combat.





Which is, of course, why no one has proposed allowing that.

As I recall, the specific proposal made in this thread was that players must be within one or two levels of the 'appropriate' level (with some adjustment for low and high tier).  For example, a second or third level character would be allowed to play a 4-7 low adventure, but not 4-7 high (or, of course, anything higher).

Personally, I don't think that a second level would be 'ineffective' in such an adventure.  After all - he's only at -1 to hit relative to the fourth and fifth levels and his AC is likewise only one (maybe two, depending on magic items) lower.  Hardly 'ineffective'.

And this: "Getting into an APL 4 game with a 2nd level PC, finding that the APL of the party would have, barely, been APL 2, and that the GM was a known (but not to newbie me) PC killer. Out of the whole party, only one PC, and it wasn't mine, escaped alive, " is wholly irrelevant to this thread as this has much more to do with the DM's competence and personality than it does with either the LG APL system or the LFR level band system.

Carl
Having characters 3 levels apart play together is pushing things.



Oh come on, it's not that big a deal.

If you put a level-7 and a level-10 at the same table, then the level-10 has two extra powers that will most likely come into play only once, and slightly higher but not noticeably different attack and defense scores. That is not a "serious power level difference". You get far greater power differential by putting a skilled player's optimized level-8 character next to the level-8 char of a palyer that's neither optimizing nor tactically minded.

Player skill makes all the difference. A few levels? That's just a few minor numerical changes.

From experience, the difference between 1 and 4, and between 7 and 10 seem very noticeable. 1-4 is obvious: Twice the number of non-at-will powers, three times the number of feats, stat bump, 50% more hits. Assuming you take one of myriad of ways to bum your attack (expertise, weapon prof...) the difference in attack is quite often +5 (+2 level; +1 stat; +1 feat; +1 weapon) which is a serious difference. Real optimizers will not have the stat bump bonus, but then they'll have played Black Knight with all their characters so they can get the +2 vicious weapon and still be +5.

7-10 doesn't seem on paper as big a difference, but it seems to be there all right. Definitely not as bad as 1-4, but I guess the stat bump does it? Or are the dailies that good? 4-7 seems much more uniform anyway.
It happened. Reasonably restricted 5th, 8th and 11th lvl characters. They will be weaker, but they still didn't earn it.