Should books on Tiers be released separately?

Instead of getting levels 1-20 (or 1-30 or even 30+) all in one book out at the same time should WotC release that content later? Much like the old Basic D&D boxed sets with bands of levels. That way they can release books with the Core levels and classes and options in 2013 while testing levels 11+ play testing them for longer.

The advantage is higher level play can be really solid. And we still get the content about the same time with playtesting. And as so many people will be starting fresh they won't need that content right away. So the Core books can have more low level content and options. Instead of 6 or 8 classes from levels 1-20 there can be 12+ classes from 1-10. 

The disadvantage is not having solid rules right away, a longer play testing period. And we would have to rely on WotC to actually release that content in a year. As seen with the treatment of Epic tier in 4e, they're not great on their followthrough. 

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No. I don't want my game unfinished at release. I also don't want to have to buy several books to get the full game.
Are you familiar with the 3rd edition epic level handbook?



Putting off high levels until after the game is published doesn't make anything better. 
Personal opinion...

Do the tiers need to be associated with levels?


Perhaps each tier is simply a module that dials the overall power level up and down.  Consider...

Gritty - Roll 3d6 for ability scores, roll starting hit points, magic is limited, etc.

Heroic - Roll 4d6 drop the lowest or 28 point buy, hit points = Con score at level 1, magic is scarce in the world but not limited for PCs.

Paragon - 32 point buy for ability scores, hit points = Con score plus some number, magic is well known.

Epic - 40 point by for ability scores, hit points = 2x Con score plus some number, magic is commonplace.

The numbers are just examples, the point is, each tier of play is, perhaps, more about play style than character level.  You could play an Epic tier campaign from level 1 while another table plays a Gritty tier campaign from level 1.               

All around helpful simian

Personal opinion...

Do the tiers need to be associated with levels?


Perhaps each tier is simply a module that dials the overall power level up and down.  Consider...

Gritty - Roll 3d6 for ability scores, roll starting hit points, magic is limited, etc.

Heroic - Roll 4d6 drop the lowest or 28 point buy, hit points = Con score at level 1, magic is scarce in the world but not limited for PCs.

Paragon - 32 point buy for ability scores, hit points = Con score plus some number, magic is well known.

Epic - 40 point by for ability scores, hit points = 2x Con score plus some number, magic is commonplace.

The numbers are just examples, the point is, each tier of play is, perhaps, more about play style than character level.  You could play an Epic tier campaign from level 1 while another table plays a Gritty tier campaign from level 1.               



If levels don't represent character power, what is the point of having levels?
He's not asking about level's he's asking about teirs, specifically about separating tier from level to mean something else, so instead of paragon teir meaning a level 11-20 character it instead means 32 point buy and solid HP.

BAsically the game-world becomes paragon or epic rather than the characters.

I'm kinda mixed on the higher level stuff, on the one hand they are promising a fairly massive amount of content in the form of 15+ classes. It might be a good idea to keep the book at a manageable size if they focus on low-level play, on the other hand the epic rules in 3e were iffy precisely because they were tacked on instead of flowing naturally.


I like the idea of different rules for play styles like gritty or dramatic, but i don't think teir is the right word, flavor? tone?  
Personal opinion...

Rampant is correct, my idea is that tier (perhaps "campaign module"?) is a play style consideration, not a character level consideration.

An Epic Campaign Module would still have character levels 1-10 or 1-20 or what have you, but the type of story and play style is quite different across all levels from the Gritty Campaign Module.

Just a few thoughts on the subject of levels and play styles.   

All around helpful simian

He's not asking about level's he's asking about teirs, specifically about separating tier from level to mean something else, so instead of paragon teir meaning a level 11-20 character it instead means 32 point buy and solid HP.

BAsically the game-world becomes paragon or epic rather than the characters.

I'm kinda mixed on the higher level stuff, on the one hand they are promising a fairly massive amount of content in the form of 15+ classes. It might be a good idea to keep the book at a manageable size if they focus on low-level play, on the other hand the epic rules in 3e were iffy precisely because they were tacked on instead of flowing naturally.


I like the idea of different rules for play styles like gritty or dramatic, but i don't think teir is the right word, flavor? tone?  



My problem is with the idea of a level 1 "epic" character, or a level 20 "gritty" character. I don't mind the idea of modules for "Use this if you want a lower powered campaign" or "Use this if you want a more cinematic experience", but that is not the same thing as character tiers, which is what is explicitly being discussed in this topic.

My point is that as you level your character gains power and progresses through the tiers. This has been true in D&D even in games where tiers weren't officially defined. To me, that progression is one of the defining things of D&D, where you start out killing orcs and end killing Demon Kings, Dragons, and Gods. I've played games where you don't get that kind of progression, and game power level is set from character generation. While some of those games can be cool, it is most definitely not D&D.
Are you familiar with the 3rd edition epic level handbook?

Putting off high levels until after the game is published doesn't make anything better. 


It wasn't publically playtested for an additional year and was a 3.0 product.

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I am of the opinion that whenever a book introduces a new class, then the entire class should be included.  That means the core books, too.
Are you familiar with the 3rd edition epic level handbook?

Putting off high levels until after the game is published doesn't make anything better. 


It wasn't publically playtested for an additional year and was a 3.0 product.



The same is likely to be true of trying to turn high level play into splat books in DDN. Or do you honestly think they're going to put every splat book in their production line through half the playtesting they are doing for core?

And what does being a 3.0 product have to do with it? They apparently thought it was good enough to let go on to 3.5 with only a few minor tweaks. This is something else I doubt would be any better in 5e if they try making it a separate book.
No, finish the game before publication.
I am of the opinion that whenever a book introduces a new class, then the entire class should be included.  That means the core books, too.


Only if the class has an end. No reason that a L11-20 book couldn't be followed by a L21-30 book or even a L31-40 book. 

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Ah yes, bounded levels vs unbounded levels.

As a player I like unbounded levels, it gives me an excuse to commit five kinds of genocide.

As a game designer I hate unbounded levels because it means the system has to be either excrutiatingly perfect or you have to make sweeping changes to the progression at some point, al a 3e. 

As a story teller and world builder I'm torn because while there is always a bigger fish, on the other hand eventually you do hit a point of diminishing returns, especially if one's interests have expanded since the orc killing days.

I'd like it if there were other things to do with a peak level character's resources, things like creating nations, organizations, legendary magical artifacts, and whole new planes.
No.

Paragon and Epic play has to designed at the same time as Gritty and Heroic or the math won't wrk.

And if you designed paragon with herioc... you might as well release it.


Look at it this way.

The currect fighter starts with +3 Weapon attack and it increases by +1 at the 4th level. Following this pattern it would increase again at 8th to +5.The books goess to 10th level and is shiped out. The cleric's and wizard's attack never increases. Okay

The paragon is produced. The fighter gets +1 to attack at levels 12, 16, and is at +8 at 20. The fighter is +8. The cleric is +2. The wizaard is +2 Woah has bounded accuracy break?

Oh, I forgot the +1 to two ability scores. The fighter is probably maxxing his attack ability. The wizard is probabaly not putting many points to it. So the fighter is walking around with +16 and the wizard is holding +4.

The precedence of the first book might not workfor the second. So 10-20 needs its own set of crazy confusing dissassociated rules. And it's Epic Handbook all over again.

Orzel, Halfelven son of Zel, Mystic Ranger, Bane to Dragons, Death to Undeath, Killer of Abyssals, King of the Wilds. Constitution Based Class for Next!

I think everyone agrees, all levels, especially the highest levels, must be designed at the same time.



Im unsure about how I feel about presentation. On the one hand, it helps to focus on the specific range of levels that the players are going thru, the same way as an adventure focuses on the relevant levels. On the other hand, there should be encounters that are satisfyingly easy, and other encounters that players should run away from. So there is a need for a mix of levels, especially where bounded accuracy means high level heroes will continue to encounter low level monsters.



Despite 4e I dont think three 10-level ranges: heroic, paragon, and epic.

I still think in narrower 5-level ranges, always have: 

• 0-4 (lowest) 
• 5-9
• 10-14
• 15-19 (highest)
• 20+.

I often refer to the “lowest levels”, really meaning the Wizard doesnt have Fireball yet. These narrower tiers also work better when talking about adventures, where heroes are sometimes different levels for various reasons.
Why not the BECMI tiers?
1-3
4-14
15-25
26-36
37+
Why not the BECMI tiers?
1-3
4-14
15-25
26-36
37+


Level 4 is awefully different from level 14!
I think it depends on page space limits jester and the benefits of making such a move.

What additional game modules/ classes/ monsters/ dm guidelines are we gonna get for a lets say 1-10 core set?

Do they need more time to balance things better in higher levels?

Is the price lower (smaller books)?

Perhaps a survey before such a move could be beneficial to all, showing us the pros and cons of such a move.

But right off the bat, no I wouldnt mind a 1-10 level core set.

 

I am of the opinion that whenever a book introduces a new class, then the entire class should be included.  That means the core books, too.


Only if the class has an end. No reason that a L11-20 book couldn't be followed by a L21-30 book or even a L31-40 book. 


All classes have an end.  There's always a level past which the level progression charts don't go.  If Wizards wants to do some Epic-style thing like they did in 3E, then that's fine.  I won't bother with it.  But, if the game goes up to 20, levels 1-20 should be in the PHB.  If the game goes to 30, then levels 1-30 should be in the PHB.

I don't know many people who would put down hard-earned money (and let's face it, disposable income is becoming scarcer) on half, a third or a quarter of a class.  I know I won't; that's why I never bothered with Dragon Age.  I want the entire class in one book.  I don't care if they split up the charts by tier like they do in the 4e Essentials books, but if I buy the PHB, then the PHB needs to be the only book I need to play any of the classes that are included in it, up to the maximum supported level of the game.
There was a topic like this earlier and he makes a case for it too, but my answer remains No.

Finished copy for the Core. If anything I'd like it to be more like Pathfinder where the Players Handbook is really the only book you need to play the game and the DM guide and Beastiary are what you need if you really want to get into it on the DM side. 

I'd like to add my voice to the choir and say no way.



As for gritty vs epic campaign settings, yeah there's something in that and a DM will do that anyway. That choice of play style is often recognized in the writing. But putting specific math to it is probably a mistake if for no other reason it'll create an expectation that the DM will always use the same parameters, and they won't. At least it'll do that, at worst it'll create 3 concurrent versions of the game that all have to be updated independantly of each other.



But yeah please no half baked ideas in publication. We have enough of those that do cover the basics to house rule around without them publishing half finished stuff.

I'll be honest. I truly want the idea of arbitrary tiers to die in a fire. It's far too metagamey for me, and it leads to the awkwardly implied notion that characters of certain levels aren't allowed to go certain places or do certain things based on that arbitrary designation.

Yes, we'd love to help the village fight off the undead baron from the keep of clan McCliche, but we won't be that tier for another level, so sorry.

Tiers. Ugg.
Shemeska the Marauder, Freelancer 5 / Yugoloth 10
I'll be honest. I truly want the idea of arbitrary tiers to die in a fire. It's far too metagamey for me, and it leads to the awkwardly implied notion that characters of certain levels aren't allowed to go certain places or do certain things based on that arbitrary designation.

Yes, we'd love to help the village fight off the undead baron from the keep of clan McCliche, but we won't be that tier for another level, so sorry.

Tiers. Ugg.



Maybe at the edges of the teirs it's silly but in the extremes it's one of those things we can just use to talk about what kind of game we're doing. Like I wouldn't pitt a goup of lvl 5 characters against a fortress full of storm giants and carving them into two different tiers is a reasonable way of keeping that distinction more or less intact.


But in principle yes, a lvl 3 character isn't different enough from a lvl 4 character to stop them from going into that tier's content.

I prefer levels 1-20, with the character progression starting to slow around 10th level in regards to raw power, but at the same time through prestige classes, paragon paths, or similar mechanisms the scope of the characters start to move over into group based effects and world building. They can release a Epic edition later.
Here's a question, what if levels 11-20 were fundamentally different? Such as not having regular classes at all, which end at L10, and only having Prestige Classes or Paragon Paths at that point?

And given the majority of players and games focus on low levels (1-10), if the first book focuses on that the most content can be generated for the levels people are most likely to see and have a chance to use (instead of having a third of every book focusing on levels and spells and monsters players will never use).
Instead the higher levels are there for people who want to play them but you also don't need to cart around books of monsters and spells for low levels that will  also never be used. 


Let's face it, the playtest has been public for half a year and we've only seen a quarter of the levels. Even if the playtest goes the full two years we're unlikely to really get the same amount of time to test high level play before they need to get the books to print. We might get two books of 15 levels each.

5 Minute WorkdayMy Webcomic Updated Tue & Thur

The compilation of my Worldbuilding blog series is now available: 

Jester David's How-To Guide to Fantasy Worldbuilding.

Here's a question, what if levels 11-20 were fundamentally different? Such as not having regular classes at all, which end at L10, and only having Prestige Classes or Paragon Paths at that point?

And given the majority of players and games focus on low levels (1-10), if the first book focuses on that the most content can be generated for the levels people are most likely to see and have a chance to use (instead of having a third of every book focusing on levels and spells and monsters players will never use).
Instead the higher levels are there for people who want to play them but you also don't need to cart around books of monsters and spells for low levels that will  also never be used. 



Let's face it, the playtest has been public for half a year and we've only seen a quarter of the levels. Even if the playtest goes the full two years we're unlikely to really get the same amount of time to test high level play before they need to get the books to print. We might get two books of 15 levels each.



Well if they did design the game that way then it'd make sense but I don't think they will. For a start, it's reinventing the wheel in a place nobody's particularly asking for a change. 1-20 is the traditional range, 4e did the 1-30 thing and that's fine too but really, there's a basic expectation in the player base that we're going to see at least 20, maybe 30 levels worth of game in the book. If they decide to confound that expectation then they better have a good reason to do it. Also we don't want to go down the road of shaking up more than you have to with this edition. They've got enough on their hands with trying to let everyone play whatever they want, systems wise, without having to add different books to encompass different levels and big distinctions between the breaking points as well.


Basically I think the change would be a bad move because it's a change that nobody's really asked for that disrupts our general preconceptions about what D&D is.


There's also the perception that more level range = more game. That's not necessarily true but just look at how video games have expanded crpgs more or less since the beginning: first thing they do is raise the level or xp ceiling. People buy it because they want to feel like they're getting more powerful. We all know that power is relative and largely illusionary because the DM can always put something on the table that'll wreck you but we still buy it.

Instead of 6 or 8 classes from levels 1-20 there can be 12+ classes from 1-10. 

No thanks. I'd rather have the 4 classic D&D races and classes from levels 1-20 in a Basic set (as an homage to classic D&D), and an alternative Expert set that features 10 classes from levels 1-20 plus some expanded material (essentially in the same format as the hardbound editions from 1st through 4th).

See my proposal here for more info.

community.wizards.com/bhaelfire/blog/201...


I'm a huge fan of the classic Mentzer boxed editions (BECMI), but the thing that always bugged me about them was having to wait until each boxed was released before I could advance my characters. Also, having the rules cut up and distributed over several sets was disjointing and created inconsistencies between rules. I'd much rather see a rules-light Basic edition in the spirit of the original BECMI sets, but with more cohesion and clarity.

Also this would make a nice analogy to the game's history, as the Basic set would be in the spirit of the classic D&D game, whereas the Expert set would be more akin to AD&D — each filling the same niche as their predecessors, but being 100% compatible with each other this time around.

D&D Next - Basic and Expert Editions

I firmly believe that there should be two editions of the game; the core rules released as a "Basic" set and a more complicated expanded rules edition released as an "Expert" set. These two editions would provide separate entry points to the game; one for new players or players that want a more classic D&D game and another entry point for experienced gamers that want more options and all the other things they have come to expect from previous editions.

Also, they must release several rules modules covering the main elements of the game (i.e., classes, races, combat, magic, monsters, etc.) upon launch to further expand the game for those that still need more complexity in a particular element of the game.


Here's a mockup of the Basic Set I created.



(CLICK HERE TO VIEW LARGER IMAGE)
  

Basic Set

This boxed set contains a simple, "bare bones" edition of the game; the core rules. It's for those that want a rules-light edition of the game that is extremely modifiable or for new players that get intimidated easily by too many rules and/or options. The Basic Set contains everything needed to play with all the "classic" D&D races (i.e., Human, Dwarf, Elf, and Halfling) and classes (i.e., Cleric, Fighter, Rogue, Wizard) all the way up to maximum level (i.e., 20th Level).

The Basic boxed set contains:

Quick Start Rules
A "choose your own way" adventure intended as an intro to RPGs and basic D&D terms.

Player's Handbook
(Softcover, 125 pages)
Features rules for playing the classic D&D races and classes all the way up to 20th level.

Dungeon Master's Guide

(Softcover, 125 pages)
Includes the basic rules for dungeon masters.

Monster Manual
(Softcover, 100 pages)
Includes all the classic iconic monsters from D&D. 

Introductory Adventure
(Keep on the Borderlands)
An introductory adventure for beginning players and DMs.

Also includes: 

Character Sheets
Reference Sheets
Set of Dice


Expert Set

A set of hardbound rules that contains the core rules plus expanded races and classes, more spells and a large selection of optional rules modules — that is, pretty much everything that experienced players have come to expect. Each expert edition manual may be purchased separately, or in a boxed set. The Expert set includes:

Expert PHB (Hardcover, 225 pages. $35 Includes core rules plus 10 playable races, 10 character classes, expanded selection of spells and rules modules for players.)
Expert DMG (Hardcover, 250 pages. $35 Includes core rules plus expanded rules modules for DMs.)
Expert MM (Hardcover, 225 pages. $35 Includes an expanded list of monsters and creatures to challenge characters)


Expansions

These expansion rules modules can be used with both the Basic and Expert sets. Each expansion covers one specific aspect of the game, such as character creation, combat, spells, monsters, etc.) 

Hall of Heroes (Hardcover, 225 pages. $35 Includes a vast selection of playable character races and classes, new and old all in one book)
Combat and Tactics (Hardcover, 225 pages. $35 Includes dozens of new and old optional rules for combat all in one book)
Creature Compendium (Hardcover, 350 pages.$35 Includes hundreds of monsters, new and old all in one book)
The Grimoire (Hardcover, 225 pages. $35 Includes hundreds of new and old spells all in one book)





A Million Hit Points of Light: Shedding Light on Damage

A Million Hit Points of Light: Shedding Light on Damage and Hit Points

In my personal campaigns, I use the following system for damage and dying. It's a slight modification of the long-standing principles etsablished by the D&D game, only with a new definition of what 0 or less hit points means. I've been using it for years because it works really well. However, I've made some adjustments to take advantage of the D&D Next rules. I've decided to present the first part in a Q&A format for better clarity. So let's begin...

What are hit points?
The premise is very simple, but often misunderstood; hit points are an abstraction that represent the character's ability to avoid serious damage, not necessarily their ability to take serious damage. This is a very important distinction. They represent a combination of skillful maneuvering, toughness, stamina and luck. Some targets have more hit points because they are physically tougher and are harder to injure...others have more because they are experienced combatants and have learned how to turn near fatal blows into mere scratches by skillful maneuvering...and then others are just plain lucky. Once a character runs out of hit points they become vulnerable to serious life-threatening injuries.

So what exactly does it mean to "hit" with a successful attack roll, then?
It means that through your own skill and ability you may have wounded your target if the target lacks the hit points to avoid the full brunt of the attack. That's an important thing to keep in mind; a successful "hit" does not necessarily mean you physically damaged your target. It just means that your attack was well placed and forced the target to exert themselves in such a way as to leave them vulnerable to further attacks. For example, instead of severing the target's arm, the attack merely grazes them leaving a minor cut.

But the attack did 25 points of damage! Why did it only "graze" the target?
Because the target has more than 25 hit points. Your attack forced them to exert a lot of energy to avoid the attack, but because of their combat skill, toughness, stamina and luck, they managed to avoid being seriously injured. However, because of this attack, they may not have the reserves to avoid your next attack. Perhaps you knocked them off balance or the attack left them so fatigued they lack the stamina to evade another attack. It's the DM's call on how they want to narrate the exact reason the blow didn't kill or wound the target.

Yeah, but what about "touch" attacks that rely on physical contact?
Making physical contact with a target is a lot different than striking them, so these types of attacks are the exception. If a touch attack succeeds, the attacker manages to make contact with their target.

If hit points and weapon damage don't always represent actual damage to the target, then what does it represent?
Think of the damage from an attack as more like a "threat level" rather than actual physical damage that transfers directly to the target's body. That is, the more damage an attack does, the harder it is to avoid serious injury. For example, an attack that causes 14 points of damage is more likely to wound the target than 3 points of damage (depending on how many hit points the target has left). The higher the damage, the greater the chance is that the target will become seriously injured. So, an attack that does 34 points of damage could be thought of as a "threat level of 34." If the target doesn't have the hit points to negate that threat, they become seriously injured.

Ok, but shouldn't armor reduce the amount of damage delivered from an attack?
It does reduce damage; by making it harder for an attack to cause serious injury. A successful hit against an armored target suggests that the attack may have circumvented the target's armor by striking in a vulnerable area.

What about poison and other types of non-combat damage?
Hit point loss from non-physical forms of damage represents the character spitting the poison out just in time before it takes full strength or perhaps the poison just wasn't strong enough to affect them drastically, but still weakens them. Again, it's the DMs call on how to narrate the reasons why the character avoids serious harm from the damage.

If hit points don't don't represent actual damage then how does that make sense with spells like Cure Serious Wounds and other forms of healing like healer kits with bandages?
Hit points do represent some physical damage, just not serious physical damage. Healing magic and other forms of healing still affect these minor wounds just as well as more serious wounds. For example, bandaging up minor cuts and abrasions helps the character rejuvenate and relieve the pain and/or fatigue of hit point loss. The key thing to remember is that it's an abstraction that allows the DM freedom to interpret and narrate it as they see fit.

What if my attack reduces the target to 0 or less hit points?
If a player is reduced to 0 or less hit points they are wounded. If a monster or NPC is reduce to 0 or less hit points they are killed.

Why are monsters killed immediately and not players?
Because unless the monsters are crucial to the story, it makes combat resolution much faster. It is assumed that players immediately execute a coup de grace on wounded monsters as a finishing move.

What if a character is wounded by poison or other types of non-physical damage?
If a character becomes wounded from non-combat damage they still receive the effects of being wounded, regardless if they show any physical signs of injury (i.e., internal injuries are still considered injuries).

Ok. I get it...but what happens once a character is wounded?
See below.
 

Damage and Dying

Once a character is reduced to 0 or less hit points, they start taking real damage. In other words, their reserves have run out and they can no longer avoid taking serious damage.

  1. Characters are fully operational as long as they have 1 hit point or more. They may have minor cuts, bruises, and superficial wounds, but they are are not impaired significantly. 
  2. Once they reach 0 or less hit points, they become Wounded (see below).That is, they have sustained a wound that impairs their ability to perform actions.
  3. If they reach a negative amount of hit points equal or greater than their Constitution score, they are Incapacitated. This means they are in critical condition and could possibly die.
  4. Characters will die if their hit points reach a negative amount greater than their Constitution score, plus their current level.

Unharmed: 1 hp or more
Wounded: 0 hp or less
Incapacitated: -(Constitution) to -(Constitution+Level)
Dead: Less than -(Constitution +Level)

Wounded
When the character reaches 0 or less hit points they become wounded. Wounded characters receive disadvantage on all attacks and saving throws until they heal back up to 1 hit point or more. This allows for a transitory stage between healthy and dying, without having to mess around with impairment rules while the character still has hit points left.

Incapacitated
Characters begin dying when they reach a negative amount of hit points equal to their Constitution score. At which point, they must make a DC 10 Constitution saving throw on each of their following turns (the disadvantage from being wounded does not apply for these saving throws).

If successful, the character remains dying, but their condition does not worsen.

If the saving throw fails, another DC 10 Constitution saving throw must be made. If that one fails, the character succumbs to their wounds and dies. If successful, the character stabilizes and is no longer dying.

Finally, if a dying character receives first aid or healing at any point, they immediately stabilize.

Dead
Characters will die if they reach a negative amount of hit points equal to their Constitution, plus their current level. Thus, if an 8th level character with a Constitution score of 12 is down to 4 hit points then takes 24 points of damage (reducing their hit points to -20) the attack kills them outright.

personaly i would like to see a sligtly difrent way of epic/high level play then we seen before.

baicly removing the level cap.
in AD&D 2nd edition hit dice stoped advancing at about level 10 and for me anything beond that level was considerd high level play.

What if in 5th the hit dice and atack bonusus max out at level 20 but you just keep advancing in levels, still gaining benifits from class and speacialty but advancement in HD and to hit basicly stops.
also classes run out at level 20 so you might have to advance side ways when you are maxed out in a class.

in my opinion this has the folowing benifits:
you can still advance your character in intresting ways.
level 20 monsters remain relevant becouse you might have more options to your disposel by advancing side ways but your still limited by what you can to in a round.
so you woulden't have to come up with stronger and stronger oponents just many that can still be intresting at lvl 20 
Here's a question, what if levels 11-20 were fundamentally different? Such as not having regular classes at all, which end at L10, and only having Prestige Classes or Paragon Paths at that point?

I think it would be neat if stats improved up to level 10, and then "epic" levels kicked in at 11.  That's kind of like what edwin_su mentioned, about AD&D.  Maybe classes advanced to level 10, with hit dice and bigger numbers (spell slots, CS, backstab, etc), but then the math just stops growing, so it never gets to a point where it's unwieldy, and advancement from 11-20 is by non-math methods.

Wasn't there a third edition concept where you would go epic at level 6?

Anyway, if they decide to overhaul the mechanics completely at level 11, then it makes sense to release that as a different book.  There's absolutely nothing wrong with having a core game from 1-10, as long as you can kill dragons and demon-lords at level 10.

The metagame is not the game.

I recall WotC mentioning they are considering changing the overall mechanics based on tiers, such that 1-10 would be the standard "adventuring" levels, but after that their scope changes such that a whole new set of mechanics may be needed. It sounded a little like the 1e name level concept, where 11+ would be much more about dealing with larger issues than that rampaging ogre over in Nexttownoverville. Perhaps classes only need to advance to level 10, and then a whole new page is added to the character sheet. Sure, it is similar to paragon paths and epic destinies of 4e, but if the concept was expanded, I think it might make for more enjoyable play. Rules/guidlines for building castles, establishing kingdoms, et al could be appropriate material after you've "capped" your class.

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Why don't we just bring the idea of tiers out back behind the barn and out a crossboow bolt in it's head.

The thing that makes D&D a bloated mess after a while is the constant addition of unnecessary class abilities each time a character gains a level. Just because a spell caster gets another spell to add to his list doesn't mean everyone else needs to add something to theirs too.

Rather than filling the player's hand book with a crap ton of garbage for each level of every class the space it would fill could be used for something else. that way they wouldn't have to split the game into a dozen core books. 

If this happens I'm not too sure I want to be a part of it. They did this with classes and races I use and include in my campaigns in 4e, it was one of many nails in that game's coffin for me. Splitting them up or leaving out levels because they crammed a ton of junk into a 300 page PHB is not going to fly with me.   
Why don't we just bring the idea of tiers out back behind the barn and out a crossboow bolt in it's head.

The thing that makes D&D a bloated mess after a while is the constant addition of unnecessary class abilities each time a character gains a level. Just because a spell caster gets another spell to add to his list doesn't mean everyone else needs to add something to theirs too.

Not that it necessariliy needs to inform what happens to the exclusion of anything else, but during 3.5, that many classes had "dead levels" - levels where a character doesn't get anything besides the HP/Saves/BAB that you always get when you level up - was unpopular and considered kind of lame, to the extent that one of the most heralded changes made with the revision to Pathfinder (as well as one of its guiding design principles) was the minimization of dead levels.

Does that mean that every class has to get something at every level? Nope. But it's likely that they're aware of the concept of dead levels and it's responsible for why classes tend to get stuff at every level. (For varying values of "stuff".)

It's also something that you notice a lot more in play than when designing a system as sort of a museum piece; leveling up and getting nothing noticeable isn't really that exciting (leveling up is supposed to be exciting), even if having a bunch of abilities makes the game look less like something you'd want to hang on your wall.
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I'm probably the only one who will agree with you Jester but I actually do think it would work better, 1-10, 10-20, or so.  I do think it doesn't need to climb beyond 30.  In turn it allows each tier to work on different focuses, monsters manuals to have different focuses, and makes it cheaper for people who do not play certain types of games. 
Hey if they have to design all tiers at the same time, they might as well give us all tiers at the same time.

That's like a person of your preffered attractive gender showing you the goods then keeping it hidden and away from you.

Why you gotta tease me, baby?

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Well if they did design the game that way then it'd make sense but I don't think they will. For a start, it's reinventing the wheel in a place nobody's particularly asking for a change. 1-20 is the traditional range, 4e did the 1-30 thing and that's fine too but really, there's a basic expectation in the player base that we're going to see at least 20, maybe 30 levels worth of game in the book.


Except 20 isn't the traditional range. It was the range in 2e. And 3e for all of 18 months before the Epic Handbook came out. But not 1e or 4e or Basic. 
And one of the problems with 4e was the hard camp on level 30, when monsters and threats could keep going up. Because they made the L30 powers so crazy they made it impossible to keep adventuring. Even if Epic Tier had worked and been played crazy amounts they'd never be able to add onto it because they wrote that as the cap. Leaving room to add more levels seems like a good plan.

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 Not that it necessariliy needs to inform what happens to the exclusion of anything else, but during 3.5, that many classes had "dead levels" - levels where a character doesn't get anything besides the HP/Saves/BAB that you always get when you level up - was unpopular and considered kind of lame, to the extent that one of the most heralded changes made with the revision to Pathfinder (as well as one of its guiding design principles) was the minimization of dead levels.

Does that mean that every class has to get something at every level? Nope. But it's likely that they're aware of the concept of dead levels and it's responsible for why classes tend to get stuff at every level. (For varying values of "stuff".)

It's also something that you notice a lot more in play than when designing a system as sort of a museum piece; leveling up and getting nothing noticeable isn't really that exciting (leveling up is supposed to be exciting), even if having a bunch of abilities makes the game look less like something you'd want to hang on your wall.



It seems to me that the thinking where every level needs some thing or people get bored or feel slighted isn't actually all that good an argument, especially if like in my groups no one really wants to play characters over a certain level or as in my case even eants to write adventures for them. 

It's too much to keep track of it's time consuming, no one wants to play because it's too much work.

Using D&D 3.75 aka pathfinder as an example isn't useful since it is far worse in many ways. Two of my nephews wanted to learn how to play after seeing us in action one week end. The minute I dropped the pathfinder core rules book on the table and invited them to read up on the classes so they had an idea what to do they balked. The book intimidated them. I had a sinilar experience with a niece a few years before when I slid the 3e players hand book over for her to look at.

The only players hand book that didn't drive players off was the 1e player's hand book because it was slender and the classes were condensed to one page or so. The only complicated class was the wizard and it wasn't as hard to figure out as any character in 3e because you didn't need to commit  reading and deciphering a crap ton of rules. unless next returns to that king of simplicity only those who really want to learn how to play and are not intimidated by thick books and complex systems are going to want to learn how to play. 

 My sister inlaw took one look at the playtest character creation rules and her eyes glazed over. She then went on to ask my brother to make a character for her. Admittedly she's not the most dedicated of players                   unless she is playing WoW, but she's the kind of person who would spend money on a system if it was easy and simple to use. 

Honestly, as a player, and especially as a DM, I like my rules light and clutter free, and I don't mind reading 800 page game manuals. The third reason I gave up on D&D when 4e came out was having to learn yet another covoluted system, especially since I was competent with at least one set of rules and intimate with another.

After the atrocitie of WotC games design over their tenure I'd assume that they would have learned that over complicated rules with dozens upon dozens of niggling little rules and a mountain of options isnt the way to go. If it continues as it is they wiil have failed in their stated purpose of bringing all of us they lost to their competition and bad design choices back into the fold.

Its happening already. 
Using D&D 3.75 aka pathfinder as an example isn't useful since it is far worse in many ways. Two of my nephews wanted to learn how to play after seeing us in action one week end. The minute I dropped the pathfinder core rules book on the table and invited them to read up on the classes so they had an idea what to do they balked. The book intimidated them. I had a sinilar experience with a niece a few years before when I slid the 3e players hand book over for her to look at.


To be fair, dropping a book in front of an interested player and saying "Read up!" is a terribly efficient way to kill that interest.

The best way to introduce someone to the game is to get them playing.  Make the character for them, as you talk to them and figure out what they want to play.  Then, let them learn the game as they play.  Then, in the next campaign, they can roll up their own character by themselves, with the knowledge of how the rules actually work.

My understanding is that 3e and later editions aren't any more complex than previous, only that players are expected to learn the rules instead of being completely at the mercy of the DM.
My understanding is that 3e and later editions aren't any more complex than previous, only that players are expected to learn the rules instead of being completely at the mercy of the DM.



It's not particularily clear to me that there's really all that much of a complexity gap period, let alone in expectations.

Putting my 2E handbook (excluding the pages of spell lists), my PF core rulebook (excluding the pages of spells/magic items/DMing stuff) and my 4E PHB1 (excluding the smaller list of magic tems/rituals)side by side... frankly they all come out to about the same.
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