Character Trees and Multiple-Adventures

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Here's my idea;

Each player makes up to four PCs and each of those PCs are active in up to four different adventures in four different areas of Athas. For instance, one PC could be in Tyr for one game and the next time, a different PC in Ur-Draxa.

Each of the four PCs will come from different walks of life; in one game, a noblemen or high-templar, the next, a slave or gladitor-slave while another, a freeman. Also, where one PC is a Nobleman and master of the other PCs that are slaves or freeman, the next game, he may be the slave to the same PC who is the High-Templar in this game.

Each of the four games will be completely different than the others. For instance, one could focus on a troup of Gladiators in Tyr while another is about court-intrigue in Ur-Draxa while another could be about a merchant house and trading in the Ivory-Triangle while another, could focus on an Elf-Tribe.

The PCs may do with their XP as they wish; if one really likes his defiler, they may put all their XP they earn from the three other PCs into him to advance him.

Each of the four PCs will start out at differnt levels of XP depending on the game; they could be level one, three, six, or twelve plus.

Famous Athasian last words: "Hey, you're wrong. I know elves, I've played AD&D for eight years. They're noble, sylvan creatures who will honor their word." In the desert, everything's further than it looks.
Not a bad idea, however; most people have trouble enough running one campaign, let alone four. The reason they dropped the character tree thing, was that most people were already pretty much switching out characters as they pleased, if they was the type of game the wanted to play.

That being said, I think it'd be fun to play in a game like that, but it sounds like a lot of work for the DM.

I was going to try to run a gladiator campaign where everyone had two characters, one who was a slave in the gladiator house and the other who was a freeman who was otherwise connected to the house, be it a guard, a trainer, cook, etc, etc.

Still might, just need some more time and players. 
Ahhh Character Trees, I do miss them from the old Dark Sun.  The benefit of your one of your "off-duty" characters gaining a level with your 'on duty" character should not be ignored.

In the campaign that we most successfully used character trees, most if not all the characters became offiliated with a mercenary band that they needed to come up with a plausible background reason to join.  It worked really well, and lead to some very interesting interactions between the various characters.... 

Having an organization or group that your pcs are all involved with, say the Veiled Alliance, or a merchant house, can let you have different adventures in different areas, with some character overflow, ie, the character journeyed to this other place, etc.

As for your idea, it seems like a lot of work.....Creative and fun, but time consuming for all involved.  I also worry about balance, if 1 player loves his defiler and piles all the experience into that character, well, his other 2 characters are going to be way behind in balance and be lead weights in whatever party they are attached to.  To cite your example of Ur Draxa, somebody with a low level character there is just gonna be a resource drain for the leader character and ineffective in their role in the party.
The concept of character trees is great, and in the 2E days I designed a campaign making heavy use of them--one set of characters were all gladiators, one set were all either nobles or nobles' servants/slaves, so on and so forth. Each session was either a "gladiators" session, a "slaves/nobles" session, etc.  And the main plot could really only be figured out if you saw it from each of the groups' perspectives, and at some point they would meet up and then you could choose freely among which characters to use.

The insurmountable problem with that is that you basically have to have an enormous amount of time to devote to the game--at the very least, weekly meetings for 4-6 hours each, if not twice weekly. Even with weekly meetings, you're only playing your gladiator characters once every four weeks, so you never really get familiar with their powers (a greater problem in 4E than in 2E) or their personalities, and you tend to forget the little details that are the whole point of this type of campaign.

If I ever had a nightly game, I'd do it this way, but it simply doesn't work if you can't devote an extraordinary amount of time to it.
My group does 2 characters- one that they play and another that gets 1/2 the experience so if a main character dies then the next one comes into play. Not as cool as the original character but what we have done with it.
2 sounds workable. I don't see the point in giving half XP instead of full XP (unless you play with people who would purposely jump off cliffs with their main character because they know their second character won't be penalized), but that's a broader philosophical thing I have with D&D in general.
Our group are roommates and we sometimes play every single day!

It's actaully no big deal for me as I get bored with just running one game. Not really bored, just I am constantly thinking up new games.
Famous Athasian last words: "Hey, you're wrong. I know elves, I've played AD&D for eight years. They're noble, sylvan creatures who will honor their word." In the desert, everything's further than it looks.
It will be great if you could play 4 differents campaigns! I'm like the majority : it's very hard to play just one regularly...  (and we're still trying to start a secondary campaign by forum Surprised)

But I'm agree with OneWeirdCat : if the players share the XP as they wish, this could quickly become unbalanced.

Anyway, your players are lucky! Cool

My campaigns :

Dark Sun : La Décade des Héros (4E)

Al-Qadim / Golden Voyages (Next) Planescape (Next)

And excuse my baaadly and ruuusty english...

Wow, I am jealous!  Oh, I wish I was still playing once a week, but life complicates my pursuit of DnD!  Have fun with those campaigns!  I look forward to seeing what you do in Ur Draxa, I would be nervous to run anything there!
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