Why "dead levels" don't matter.

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We role-play.  "Dead levels" seem to be the assumption that every class should receive something new at every level.  I'm not sure I agree with that.  At least you're getting one level closer to gaining a new ability.  What do you mean by "dead levels" anyhow?  How could it be improved within the mechanics of the playtest as presented?  Without those conditions?
Dead levels leave you feel like you've worked for nothing.

That said, I agree it's not that importaint. It's polish you put on. Something to be done after the construction is complete.

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F-111 Interdictor Long (200+ squares) distance ally teleporter. With some warlord stuff. Broken in a plot way, not a power way.

Thought Switch Higher level build that grants upto 14 attacks on turn 1. If your allies play along, it's broken.

Elven Critters Crit op with crit generation. 5 of these will end anything. Broken.

King Fisher Optimized net user.  Moderate.

Boominator Fun catch-22 booming blade build with either strong or completely broken damage depending on your reading.

Very Distracting Warlock Lot's of dazing and major penalties to hit. Overpowered.

Pocket Protector Pixie Stealth Knight. Maximizing the defender's aura by being in an ally's/enemy's square.

Yakuza NinjIntimiAdin: Perma-stealth Striker that offers a little protection for ally's, and can intimidate bloodied enemies. Very Strong.

Chargeburgler with cheese Ranged attacks at the end of a charge along with perma-stealth. Solid, could be overpowered if tweaked.

Void Defender Defends giving a penalty to hit anyone but him, then removing himself from play. Can get somewhat broken in epic.

Scry and Die Attacking from around corners, while staying hidden. Moderate to broken, depending on the situation.

Skimisher Fly in, attack, and fly away. Also prevents enemies from coming close. Moderate to Broken depending on the enemy, but shouldn't make the game un-fun, as the rest of your team is at risk, and you have enough weaknesses.

Indestructible Simply won't die, even if you sleep though combat.  One of THE most abusive character in 4e.

Sir Robin (Bravely Charge Away) He automatically slows and pushes an enemy (5 squares), while charging away. Hard to rate it's power level, since it's terrain dependent.

Death's Gatekeeper A fun twist on a healic, making your party "unkillable". Overpowered to Broken, but shouldn't actually make the game un-fun, just TPK proof.

Death's Gatekeeper mk2, (Stealth Edition) Make your party "unkillable", and you hidden, while doing solid damage. Stronger then the above, but also easier for a DM to shut down. Broken, until your DM get's enough of it.

Domination and Death Dominate everything then kill them quickly. Only works @ 30, but is broken multiple ways.

Battlemind Mc Prone-Daze Protecting your allies by keeping enemies away. Quite powerful.

The Retaliator Getting hit deals more damage to the enemy then you receive yourself, and you can take plenty of hits. Heavy item dependency, Broken.

Dead Kobold Transit Teleports 98 squares a turn, and can bring someone along for the ride. Not fully built, so i can't judge the power.

Psilent Guardian Protect your allies, while being invisible. Overpowered, possibly broken.

Rune of Vengance Do lot's of damage while boosting your teams. Strong to slightly overpowered.

Charedent BarrageA charging ardent. Fine in a normal team, overpowered if there are 2 together, and easily broken in teams of 5.

Super Knight A tough, sticky, high damage knight. Strong.

Super Duper Knight Basically the same as super knight with items, making it far more broken.

Mora, the unkillable avenger Solid damage, while being neigh indestuctable. Overpowered, but not broken.

Swordburst Maximus At-Will Close Burst 3 that slide and prones. Protects allies with off actions. Strong, possibly over powered with the right party.

We role-play.


Hey, that's cool.  Thanks for the insinuation that we don't.  Real classy.

But no amount of roleplaying harder excuses bad mechanics. 
Seriously, though, you should check out the PbP Haven. You might also like Real Adventures, IF you're cool.
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4enclave, a place where 4e fans can talk 4e in peace.
We role-play.


Hey, that's cool.  Thanks for the insinuation that we don't.  Real classy.

But no amount of roleplaying harder excuses bad mechanics. 



All of this.
Another day, another three or four entries to my Ignore List.
We role-play.


Hey, that's cool.  Thanks for the insinuation that we don't.  Real classy.

But no amount of roleplaying harder excuses bad mechanics. 



Just another continuation of the fighters can't have nice stuff in my opinion- of course dead levels don't matter for the fighter (or rogue or whatever martial character this applies to) because they can't have nice stuff anyway.

I think wizards shouldn't be able to learn any new spells or get additional spell slots at all on 50% of their levels.  After all they can roleplay studying for those levels.

We role-play.  "Dead levels" seem to be the assumption that every class should receive something new at every level.  I'm not sure I agree with that.  At least you're getting one level closer to gaining a new ability.  What do you mean by "dead levels" anyhow?  How could it be improved within the mechanics of the playtest as presented?  Without those conditions?


Honest question: Why shouldn't you gain something new at each level?  If you aren't gaining something new upon attaining a new level, why not simply fold it into the previous level and require 2x as much experience to get through that level?
There are a great many problems that can be circumvented by players and DMs having a mature discussion about what the game is going to be like before they ever sit down together to play.

 

The answer really does lie in more options, not in confining and segregating certain options.

 

You really shouldn't speak for others.  You can't hear what someone else is saying when you try to put your words in their mouth.

 

Fencing & Swashbuckling as Armor.

D20 Modern Toon PC Race.

Mecha Pilot's Skill Challenge Emporium.

 

Save the breasts.

i dont get why people keep complaining about dead levels. sure you dont get new abilities but you still get stronger...
If you don't mind not getting new stuff when you level, surely you don't mind not leveling, do you?

For those who do want levels to actually matter, they're the ones who get gimped out of this "dead levels" deal.
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57047238 wrote:
If you're crossing the street and see a city bus barreling straight toward you with 'GIVE ME YOUR WALLET!' painted across its windshield, you probably won't be reaching for your wallet.
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This is what I believe is the spirit of D&D 4E, and my deal breaker for D&D Next: equal opportunities, with distinct specializations, in areas where conflict happens the most often, without having to worry about heavy micromanagement or system mastery. What I hope to be my most useful contributions to the D&D Community: DM Idea: Collaborative Mapping, Classless 4E (homebrew system, that hopefully helps in D&D Next development), Gamma World 7E random character generator (by yours truly), and the Concept of Perfect Imbalance (for D&D Next and other TRPGs in development) Pre-3E D&D should be recognized for what they were: simulation wargames where people could tell stories with The Best Answer to "Why 4E?" Fun vs. Engaging
i dont get why people keep complaining about dead levels. sure you dont get new abilities but you still get stronger...


Barely.  Look at levels 5 & 6 for the fighter in the current packet.  Levelling up from 5 to 6 gives you no weapon attack bonus, no additional MDD, no MDB, and no class features.  All you get is roughly 8-10 hps (on average).  By contrast, the wizard never has a dead level because they always learn new spells with each level.
There are a great many problems that can be circumvented by players and DMs having a mature discussion about what the game is going to be like before they ever sit down together to play.

 

The answer really does lie in more options, not in confining and segregating certain options.

 

You really shouldn't speak for others.  You can't hear what someone else is saying when you try to put your words in their mouth.

 

Fencing & Swashbuckling as Armor.

D20 Modern Toon PC Race.

Mecha Pilot's Skill Challenge Emporium.

 

Save the breasts.

Dead levels leave you feel like you've worked for nothing.


I do not understand this sentiment. Please, anyone who thinks they can, explain it to me.

To help, I will give my own view - playing the game is fun. By playing the game, I mean the in-and-out procedure of every session as a whole... you adventure, crazy stuff happens, you fight to survive and accomplish your goal, and you move on repeating that process (more or less) for the entire campaign until the story is finished.

Why does gaining a level have to include some intersting choice or large mechanical benefit other than HP and maybe an attack bonus in order to be fun? Isn't the "point" of the game playing out the adventures and the role of your character?

I guess I just see it as playing a level 3 character is fun because the adventure creates lots of opportunities for fun, playing a level 4 character is fun because the adventure creates lots of opportunities for fun... but the tiny (in the scope of the campaign) moment when we stop playing and do the book-keeping of increasing from level 3 to level 4... why does that have to involve certain stuff in order to be fun? Isn't it actually a brief distraction from the fun? That's what I think of it as, especially when it takes more than a minute to do because you have to make (or have pre-planned) a choice with lasting effects on your character.

Careful, man. That much logic might be illegal on the internet. - Salla
Dead levels leave you feel like you've worked for nothing.


I do not understand this sentiment. Please, anyone who thinks they can, explain it to me.

To help, I will give my own view - playing the game is fun. By playing the game, I mean the in-and-out procedure of every session as a whole... you adventure, crazy stuff happens, you fight to survive and accomplish your goal, and you move on repeating that process (more or less) for the entire campaign until the story is finished.

Why does gaining a level have to include some intersting choice or large mechanical benefit other than HP and maybe an attack bonus in order to be fun? Isn't the "point" of the game playing out the adventures and the role of your character?

I guess I just see it as playing a level 3 character is fun because the adventure creates lots of opportunities for fun, playing a level 4 character is fun because the adventure creates lots of opportunities for fun... but the tiny (in the scope of the campaign) moment when we stop playing and do the book-keeping of increasing from level 3 to level 4... why does that have to involve certain stuff in order to be fun? Isn't it actually a brief distraction from the fun? That's what I think of it as, especially when it takes more than a minute to do because you have to make (or have pre-planned) a choice with lasting effects on your character.


Part of it comes from feeling left out.  Since this is the holidays, let's use a Christmas example.  The party rushes downstairs on Christmas morning, with bleary but eager eyes, excited to see what new toys they have toi play with.  The wizard gets an x-box, the cleric gets mountain bike, the rogue gets a skateboard, and the fighter gets that pair of socks his parents have been saying that he needs.
A dead level is socks for Christmas.
There are a great many problems that can be circumvented by players and DMs having a mature discussion about what the game is going to be like before they ever sit down together to play.

 

The answer really does lie in more options, not in confining and segregating certain options.

 

You really shouldn't speak for others.  You can't hear what someone else is saying when you try to put your words in their mouth.

 

Fencing & Swashbuckling as Armor.

D20 Modern Toon PC Race.

Mecha Pilot's Skill Challenge Emporium.

 

Save the breasts.

To help, I will give my own view - playing the game is fun. By playing the game, I mean the in-and-out procedure of every session as a whole... you adventure, crazy stuff happens, you fight to survive and accomplish your goal, and you move on repeating that process (more or less) for the entire campaign until the story is finished.

I entirely agree with you, and I don't really see the point of getting a million minor abilities across twenty levels, but someone above also raised a really good point: if you don't like getting new stuff, then why does it really matter if you gain a level or not?  Why not just stay level 4 or 6 or whatever, and play out the whole story that way?

The metagame is not the game.
If you don't mind not getting new stuff when you level, surely you don't mind not leveling, do you?

For those who do want levels to actually matter, they're the ones who get gimped out of this "dead levels" deal.


Levels matter even when all you get is more Hit Points - at least that is my view, and I don't mind if HP is all I get... as for not leveling... I wouldn't mind so long as the challenges stayed relevant to my level rather than accelerating while I get left weaker and weaker in relation.

The idea that a level is "dead' just because it has less numerous things that you gain than other levels... where does that even come from? I don't really follow the logic behind it... it seems way too all-or-nothing in application where there is some arbitrary threshold below which all levels are "Dead" no matter what they actually do for your character.

...and the fact that I have seen someone (can't quite remember who) declare that a level is "dead" even when you gain HP, attack bonus, and another martial damage die because "all of those are boring," actually kind of scares me - I feel like maybe I'm just not cut out for "new school" games when I see people so tweaked on crunch that it seems like they aren't even playing the game for the play (all that stuff that happens during a level) but just for the ding (the moment when you crunch some new numbers and jot down a new 'thing').
Careful, man. That much logic might be illegal on the internet. - Salla
Dead levels leave you feel like you've worked for nothing.


I do not understand this sentiment. Please, anyone who thinks they can, explain it to me.

To help, I will give my own view - playing the game is fun. By playing the game, I mean the in-and-out procedure of every session as a whole... you adventure, crazy stuff happens, you fight to survive and accomplish your goal, and you move on repeating that process (more or less) for the entire campaign until the story is finished.

Why does gaining a level have to include some intersting choice or large mechanical benefit other than HP and maybe an attack bonus in order to be fun? Isn't the "point" of the game playing out the adventures and the role of your character?

I guess I just see it as playing a level 3 character is fun because the adventure creates lots of opportunities for fun, playing a level 4 character is fun because the adventure creates lots of opportunities for fun... but the tiny (in the scope of the campaign) moment when we stop playing and do the book-keeping of increasing from level 3 to level 4... why does that have to involve certain stuff in order to be fun? Isn't it actually a brief distraction from the fun? That's what I think of it as, especially when it takes more than a minute to do because you have to make (or have pre-planned) a choice with lasting effects on your character.


Part of it comes from feeling left out.  Since this is the holidays, let's use a Christmas example.  The party rushes downstairs on Christmas morning, with bleary but eager eyes, excited to see what new toys they have toi play with.  The wizard gets an x-box, the cleric gets mountain bike, the rogue gets a skateboard, and the fighter gets that pair of socks his parents have been saying that he needs.
A dead level is socks for Christmas.



Exactly. +1
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Dead levels leave you feel like you've worked for nothing.


I do not understand this sentiment. Please, anyone who thinks they can, explain it to me.

To help, I will give my own view - playing the game is fun. By playing the game, I mean the in-and-out procedure of every session as a whole... you adventure, crazy stuff happens, you fight to survive and accomplish your goal, and you move on repeating that process (more or less) for the entire campaign until the story is finished.

Why does gaining a level have to include some intersting choice or large mechanical benefit other than HP and maybe an attack bonus in order to be fun? Isn't the "point" of the game playing out the adventures and the role of your character?

I guess I just see it as playing a level 3 character is fun because the adventure creates lots of opportunities for fun, playing a level 4 character is fun because the adventure creates lots of opportunities for fun... but the tiny (in the scope of the campaign) moment when we stop playing and do the book-keeping of increasing from level 3 to level 4... why does that have to involve certain stuff in order to be fun? Isn't it actually a brief distraction from the fun? That's what I think of it as, especially when it takes more than a minute to do because you have to make (or have pre-planned) a choice with lasting effects on your character.



Actually, I think you answered your own question (see bolded text).  If the only difference between level 3 and level 4 is 4-16 HP and nothing more...

  1. There is virtually no new opportunity made for fun, except maybe "you can now do the exact same thing, but with more HP to keep yourself from dying!"

  2. You are still stopping your play in order to do bookkeeping anyway


If the point of the game is "playing out the adventures and the role of your character", if mechanical progress is not a concern, then leveling in itself does not matter; you can run the game for years and you're still at level 1, but it should still be fun because you're still adventuring and you're developing your character in ways other than levels.  It's the exact premise as to why level-less systems like GURPS, FATE and GUMSHOE are fun, since you're roleplaying and adventuring, but without the need for level-based progression.

If levels are to be used, then make levels matter.  Otherwise might as well make D&D Next a level-less system so that we can have Bounded Accuracy work 100% as currently designed monster-side.
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57047238 wrote:
If you're crossing the street and see a city bus barreling straight toward you with 'GIVE ME YOUR WALLET!' painted across its windshield, you probably won't be reaching for your wallet.
I Don't Always Play Strikers...But When I Do, I Prefer Vampire Stay Thirsty, My Friends
This is what I believe is the spirit of D&D 4E, and my deal breaker for D&D Next: equal opportunities, with distinct specializations, in areas where conflict happens the most often, without having to worry about heavy micromanagement or system mastery. What I hope to be my most useful contributions to the D&D Community: DM Idea: Collaborative Mapping, Classless 4E (homebrew system, that hopefully helps in D&D Next development), Gamma World 7E random character generator (by yours truly), and the Concept of Perfect Imbalance (for D&D Next and other TRPGs in development) Pre-3E D&D should be recognized for what they were: simulation wargames where people could tell stories with The Best Answer to "Why 4E?" Fun vs. Engaging
It's really about how dead the level is.

Each level you something.

A bad dead level gives you something you barely care about.

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!

It's really about how dead the level is.

Each level you something.

A bad dead level gives you something you barely care about.


Check out the level 5 to level 6 increase as a fighter.  All you get is more HPs.
There are a great many problems that can be circumvented by players and DMs having a mature discussion about what the game is going to be like before they ever sit down together to play.

 

The answer really does lie in more options, not in confining and segregating certain options.

 

You really shouldn't speak for others.  You can't hear what someone else is saying when you try to put your words in their mouth.

 

Fencing & Swashbuckling as Armor.

D20 Modern Toon PC Race.

Mecha Pilot's Skill Challenge Emporium.

 

Save the breasts.

Only gaining HP feels like a dead level, but I'll accept a level where you gain a stat increase in conjunction with an HP increase as a non-dead level. (As long as it's the same for everyone else.)

Danny

If you don't like getting new stuff, then why does it really matter if you gain a level or not?

Not needing something new every level to be satisfied most certainly does not equate to not liking new stuff.

I love to play fighters, and I enjoy it when they pick up a new maneuver, more attack bonus, and more martial damage dice/bonus - but I don't need anything more than some HP for me to enjoy having gained a level.


Why not just stay level 4 or 6 or whatever, and play out the whole story that way?

If the story is only going to involve threats that can be handled effectively by a party of 4-8 characters of 4th or 6th level, I would do exactly that... most stories that happen at my table, however, tend to involve some very powerful beings that would require far to many characters of 4th or 6th level to handle, so we level up and get the things that were preventing 4-8 characters from handling the situation without extra help (namely hit points with which to survive the potent enemy's attacks long enough to fight back).

Careful, man. That much logic might be illegal on the internet. - Salla
Only gaining HP feels like a dead level, but I'll accept a level where you gain a stat increase in conjunction with an HP increase as a non-dead level. (As long as it's the same for everyone else.)


That's really part of the conversation that's missing.  For whom is it a dead level?  A dead level all around feels like less of a dead level.  A dead level for only one class, especially if it happens a couple times, feels pretty crappy.
There are a great many problems that can be circumvented by players and DMs having a mature discussion about what the game is going to be like before they ever sit down together to play.

 

The answer really does lie in more options, not in confining and segregating certain options.

 

You really shouldn't speak for others.  You can't hear what someone else is saying when you try to put your words in their mouth.

 

Fencing & Swashbuckling as Armor.

D20 Modern Toon PC Race.

Mecha Pilot's Skill Challenge Emporium.

 

Save the breasts.

Levels matter even when all you get is more Hit Points - at least that is my view, and I don't mind if HP is all I get... as for not leveling... I wouldn't mind so long as the challenges stayed relevant to my level rather than accelerating while I get left weaker and weaker in relation.

Not everybody subscribes to that idea, apparently.  Now, if one class gets dead levels, everyone should be getting those same dead levels, for equivalent parity's sake; or better yet, remove the dead levels completely and just cut down the power level of those who get more levels/level features than those with dead levels (who apparently get levels just for the sake of not going back to the AD&D-ish style of not everyone having the same EXP progression).

The idea that a level is "dead' just because it has less numerous things that you gain than other levels... where does that even come from? I don't really follow the logic behind it... it seems way too all-or-nothing in application where there is some arbitrary threshold below which all levels are "Dead" no matter what they actually do for your character.

Compare what a D&D Next Fighter getting absolutely nothing at level 6 other than more HP, with a Wizard or a Cleric getting one new spell slot (as well as a new spell), at level 6.  What justification is there for that presence or absence of equivalent features?  If the only justification is "magic", then it's a dead level.  If there's no justification, then it's a dead level.

Again: if all you care about is story rather than mechanics, not leveling, or gaining just part of a new level, should not be an issue.  For those who care about both story and mechanics, for only a select number of characters getting shiny new toys because of the classes they chose (rather than some in-story justification), dead levels should not exist.
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Take The Magic Dual Colour Test - Beta today!
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You are both rational and emotional. You value creation and discovery, and feel strongly about what you create. At best, you're innovative and intuitive. At worst, you're scattered and unpredictable.

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57047238 wrote:
If you're crossing the street and see a city bus barreling straight toward you with 'GIVE ME YOUR WALLET!' painted across its windshield, you probably won't be reaching for your wallet.
I Don't Always Play Strikers...But When I Do, I Prefer Vampire Stay Thirsty, My Friends
This is what I believe is the spirit of D&D 4E, and my deal breaker for D&D Next: equal opportunities, with distinct specializations, in areas where conflict happens the most often, without having to worry about heavy micromanagement or system mastery. What I hope to be my most useful contributions to the D&D Community: DM Idea: Collaborative Mapping, Classless 4E (homebrew system, that hopefully helps in D&D Next development), Gamma World 7E random character generator (by yours truly), and the Concept of Perfect Imbalance (for D&D Next and other TRPGs in development) Pre-3E D&D should be recognized for what they were: simulation wargames where people could tell stories with The Best Answer to "Why 4E?" Fun vs. Engaging
A dead level all around feels like less of a dead level.

PT3 used a subtle trick of its dead levels (5 & 7)  being slightly easier to get out of, relative to other level-gaps.
It's really about how dead the level is.

Each level you something.

A bad dead level gives you something you barely care about.


Check out the level 5 to level 6 increase as a fighter.  All you get is more HPs.




Which wouldn't be bad if you were a Cast-from-HP dark knight or warlock.

But not a fighter.

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 guess I just see it as playing a level 3 character is fun because the adventure creates lots of opportunities for fun, playing a level 4 character is fun because the adventure creates lots of opportunities for fun... but the tiny (in the scope of the campaign) moment when we stop playing and do the book-keeping of increasing from level 3 to level 4... why does that have to involve certain stuff in order to be fun? Isn't it actually a brief distraction from the fun? That's what I think of it as, especially when it takes more than a minute to do because you have to make (or have pre-planned) a choice with lasting effects on your character.

No one is saying they hate playing out the adventures during each level.  But if we're gonna take a brief distraction from the fun to level up, why shouldn't we actually get something exciting?  Why break up the fun just to get 5hp?  I'm perfectly fine with games where we don't level even every month(heck, I play pbp, I can honestly say I've been fine with campaigns where we level once anually), but when that time does come, and we do level, hey, let's actually get something we can get excited about.

...and the fact that I have seen someone (can't quite remember who) declare that a level is "dead" even when you gain HP, attack bonus, and another martial damage die because "all of those are boring," actually kind of scares me - I feel like maybe I'm just not cut out for "new school" games when I see people so tweaked on crunch that it seems like they aren't even playing the game for the play (all that stuff that happens during a level) but just for the ding (the moment when you crunch some new numbers and jot down a new 'thing').


Man, if this this person is calling HP, attack bonus and another damage die "boring", then calling him "tweaked on crunch" is nowhere near appropriate.  Those things are a hit of pure crunch, if they are not exciting him, tweaking on crunch is not his issue.
Seriously, though, you should check out the PbP Haven. You might also like Real Adventures, IF you're cool.
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so basically the complaint comes down to "not enough mechanical benefit" in a ROLEPLAYING game.

but the counter argument from the same people "then why bother levelling at all"

well in a roleplaying game, i like to take on the persona of myself as a character. gaining new abilities isnt so important to me every level but i like the feel of some progression. just HP is a big difference to me. i dont see it as "oh i only got 11 HP" i see it as "hmm, i feel stronger now. i wonder if i can take on three goblins at a time instead of two." my in-character perspective
We role-play.  "Dead levels" seem to be the assumption that every class should receive something new at every level.  I'm not sure I agree with that.  At least you're getting one level closer to gaining a new ability.

It's an easy answer to any criticism of an RPG to just say "you don't need that, ROLE PLAY!" but it's also a completely invalid one, and one that boils down to nothing more than a personal attack upon the critic.  


What do you mean by "dead levels" anyhow?  

Dead levels are just those where the class gets nothing new or interesting.  One of the appeals of D&D is level progression.  Some classes have never suffered from dead levels - most casters, for instance, get new spells/day at any given level, even if they don't get a new spell level, they can have one more spell on tap, giving them more options and greater variety at the start of each day.  Wizards, even back when they were magic-users, could even gain such between levels simply by learning a new spell.  Other classes, again because of their structural design, did not enjoy such an expansion of abilities with level, and might get new abilities or options at only some levels, while getting bland 'bigger numbers' in between (everbody gets bigger numbers at every level in every ed, even if its only some more hps).

4e and Pathfinder tried to avoid 'dead levels' because they were one of the complaints leveled against 3.0 and 3.5 over the years.  4e initially avoided dead levels, but later introduced some classes that deviated from the AEDU structure and ended up with some.  I'm not sure how successful Pathfinder was in avoiding dead levels, but I heard it made the attempt.  I thought 5e was also trying to avoid dead levels, though its return to traditional class structures (casters getting more spells at every levels, other classes not so much) makes that unlikely.

Want to see the best of 4e included in 5e?  Join the Old Guard of 4e.

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"You want The Tooth?  You can't handle The Tooth!"  - Dahlver-Nar.

"If magic is unrestrained in the campaign, D&D quickly degenerates into a weird wizard show where players get bored quickly"  - E. Gary Gygax

 

 

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so basically the complaint comes down to "not enough mechanical benefit" in a ROLEPLAYING game.

but the counter argument from the same people "then why bother levelling at all"

well in a roleplaying game, i like to take on the persona of myself as a character. gaining new abilities isnt so important to me every level but i like the feel of some progression. just HP is a big difference to me. i dont see it as "oh i only got 11 HP" i see it as "hmm, i feel stronger now. i wonder if i can take on three goblins at a time instead of two." my in-character perspective


It's funny, you start your post by contrasting mechanics and rp then end your post by combining them.
There are a great many problems that can be circumvented by players and DMs having a mature discussion about what the game is going to be like before they ever sit down together to play.

 

The answer really does lie in more options, not in confining and segregating certain options.

 

You really shouldn't speak for others.  You can't hear what someone else is saying when you try to put your words in their mouth.

 

Fencing & Swashbuckling as Armor.

D20 Modern Toon PC Race.

Mecha Pilot's Skill Challenge Emporium.

 

Save the breasts.

Dead levels are bad because they're boring and they make you feel like you didn't get anything for Christmas.  Even worse, the Fighter's spellcasting sister DID get something under the tree, breeding resentment and jealousy, which leads to anger, which leads hate, and ultimately leads to the Dark Side.  You don't want that, do you?  No, of course not. ;)

tl;dr - Dead Levels lead to the Dark Side and are therefore naughty.


so basically the complaint comes down to "not enough mechanical benefit" in a ROLEPLAYING game.

but the counter argument from the same people "then why bother levelling at all"

well in a roleplaying game, i like to take on the persona of myself as a character. gaining new abilities isnt so important to me every level but i like the feel of some progression. just HP is a big difference to me. i dont see it as "oh i only got 11 HP" i see it as "hmm, i feel stronger now. i wonder if i can take on three goblins at a time instead of two." my in-character perspective


It's funny, you start your post by contrasting mechanics and rp then end your post by combining them.



O.o how did i combine them?
so basically the complaint comes down to "not enough mechanical benefit" in a ROLEPLAYING game.

but the counter argument from the same people "then why bother levelling at all"

well in a roleplaying game, i like to take on the persona of myself as a character. gaining new abilities isnt so important to me every level but i like the feel of some progression. just HP is a big difference to me. i dont see it as "oh i only got 11 HP" i see it as "hmm, i feel stronger now. i wonder if i can take on three goblins at a time instead of two." my in-character perspective


It's funny, you start your post by contrasting mechanics and rp then end your post by combining them.



O.o how did i combine them?


By saying that you can get rp out of mechanics.  The "I have more hps so I feel stronger now an more capable of taking on more enemies at once."  For that matter, you're also integrating the mechanic of actually gaining a level into that same rp.
There are a great many problems that can be circumvented by players and DMs having a mature discussion about what the game is going to be like before they ever sit down together to play.

 

The answer really does lie in more options, not in confining and segregating certain options.

 

You really shouldn't speak for others.  You can't hear what someone else is saying when you try to put your words in their mouth.

 

Fencing & Swashbuckling as Armor.

D20 Modern Toon PC Race.

Mecha Pilot's Skill Challenge Emporium.

 

Save the breasts.

Actually, I think you answered your own question (see bolded text).  If the only difference between level 3 and level 4 is 4-16 HP and nothing more...

  1. There is virtually no new opportunity made for fun, except maybe "you can now do the exact same thing, but with more HP to keep yourself from dying!"

  2. You are still stopping your play in order to do bookkeeping anyway


If the point of the game is "playing out the adventures and the role of your character", if mechanical progress is not a concern, then leveling in itself does not matter; you can run the game for years and you're still at level 1, but it should still be fun because you're still adventuring and you're developing your character in ways other than levels.  It's the exact premise as to why level-less systems like GURPS, FATE and GUMSHOE are fun, since you're roleplaying and adventuring, but without the need for level-based progression.

If levels are to be used, then make levels matter.  Otherwise might as well make D&D Next a level-less system so that we can have Bounded Accuracy work 100% as currently designed monster-side.

It seems you are confusing "leveless progression" with "progressionless game."

See, in a lot of games out there "level" doesn't come into play at all - you gain small improvements to your character as sessions progress... about as many sessions as a level takes, actually.

So in those games the assumption is that every few sessions you get something that is effectively "you can do the exact same thing, but now with more [thing you improved] to keep you alive!"

Why does a level based system have to be inherently more than that? After all, you might only get HP at this level, but next level you also get a bonus to attack, and the level after that you reach another of your maneuvers/skill tricks/monk powers/spell levels/etc. - just like how eventually in a leveless game you are eventually significantly better because of all the small improvements you have been making.

I guess I am just confused as to why it is apparently okay to have leveless games improve in ways like "you got more stamina and now are harder to kill" and nothing else, but level-based games people insist each level has to give you that and at the very least something else "fun", all while constantly giving you "you get better at killing stuff".... what, because it's level-based players have to be greedy?

Progression is already tons faster in D&D Next than in all of the leveless systems I know of, why does it have to be even faster? (Note that by progession I am not meaning that any improvement at all does not happen faster than level systems in non-level system, but that the amount of chances present with each level already exceed the amount of changes present in non-level systems given the same play-time dedication.)
Careful, man. That much logic might be illegal on the internet. - Salla
so basically the complaint comes down to "not enough mechanical benefit" in a ROLEPLAYING game.

but the counter argument from the same people "then why bother levelling at all"

well in a roleplaying game, i like to take on the persona of myself as a character. gaining new abilities isnt so important to me every level but i like the feel of some progression. just HP is a big difference to me. i dont see it as "oh i only got 11 HP" i see it as "hmm, i feel stronger now. i wonder if i can take on three goblins at a time instead of two." my in-character perspective


Yes, it's "not enough mechanical benefit" in a roleplaying GAME.

The question is: how does gaining 11 HP translate to being able to take on 3 goblins at a time instead of 2?  And what is stopping a DM who doesn't subscribe to everybody gaining new stuff at every level from just saying "everybody gains extra HP"?

13th Age offers partial leveling, wherein you can get only a part of what you normally get when you level up (let's say, bonus to HP, to-hit, damage, or ability checks, but not all of the above).  You're getting some progression, just not an entire levels' worth of progression.  So why force those who want their levels to actually matter to not have levels matter?

Also, as mentioned already here, if there's going to be dead levels, have everyone have dead levels and we'll be fine.  If the Fighter has dead levels but the Wizard doesn't, then we're going to have problems especially if the only justification there is (if any at all) would be "magic". 
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57047238 wrote:
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This is what I believe is the spirit of D&D 4E, and my deal breaker for D&D Next: equal opportunities, with distinct specializations, in areas where conflict happens the most often, without having to worry about heavy micromanagement or system mastery. What I hope to be my most useful contributions to the D&D Community: DM Idea: Collaborative Mapping, Classless 4E (homebrew system, that hopefully helps in D&D Next development), Gamma World 7E random character generator (by yours truly), and the Concept of Perfect Imbalance (for D&D Next and other TRPGs in development) Pre-3E D&D should be recognized for what they were: simulation wargames where people could tell stories with The Best Answer to "Why 4E?" Fun vs. Engaging
so basically the complaint comes down to "not enough mechanical benefit" in a ROLEPLAYING game.

but the counter argument from the same people "then why bother levelling at all"

well in a roleplaying game, i like to take on the persona of myself as a character. gaining new abilities isnt so important to me every level but i like the feel of some progression. just HP is a big difference to me. i dont see it as "oh i only got 11 HP" i see it as "hmm, i feel stronger now. i wonder if i can take on three goblins at a time instead of two." my in-character perspective


It's funny, you start your post by contrasting mechanics and rp then end your post by combining them.



O.o how did i combine them?


By saying that you can get rp out of mechanics.  The "I have more hps so I feel stronger now an more capable of taking on more enemies at once."  For that matter, you're also integrating the mechanic of actually gaining a level into that same rp.


no. i didnt say that. i said i DONT see it as gaining more HP. im pretty sure in character i would be aware that i am stronger.
so basically the complaint comes down to "not enough mechanical benefit" in a ROLEPLAYING game.

but the counter argument from the same people "then why bother levelling at all"

well in a roleplaying game, i like to take on the persona of myself as a character. gaining new abilities isnt so important to me every level but i like the feel of some progression. just HP is a big difference to me. i dont see it as "oh i only got 11 HP" i see it as "hmm, i feel stronger now. i wonder if i can take on three goblins at a time instead of two." my in-character perspective




That's why I said.

A bad dead level gives you something you barely care about.

Gaining just 7HP when you have 12 HP is a big thing.

Gaining just 7HP when you have 40 HP is a "yawn" thing.

It's like a feat in 3E.
Your 3rd level feat is a major aspect of your PC either for power, versatility, or access.
Your 15th level feat is less impressive as feats tap out on power and usefulness at about level 9.

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 guess I am just confused as to why it is apparently okay to have leveless games improve in ways like "you got more stamina and now are harder to kill" and nothing else, but level-based games people insist each level has to give you that and at the very least something else "fun", all while constantly giving you "you get better at killing stuff".... what, because it's level-based players have to be greedy?



Levelless games can do whatever they like.  D&D however, isn't levelless.  By the way the classes are built, characters get stuff as they level.  That is the entire premise of levelling.  Sometimes what you get will be better or more useful, but it should never be socks for Christmas.
There are a great many problems that can be circumvented by players and DMs having a mature discussion about what the game is going to be like before they ever sit down together to play.

 

The answer really does lie in more options, not in confining and segregating certain options.

 

You really shouldn't speak for others.  You can't hear what someone else is saying when you try to put your words in their mouth.

 

Fencing & Swashbuckling as Armor.

D20 Modern Toon PC Race.

Mecha Pilot's Skill Challenge Emporium.

 

Save the breasts.

It seems you are confusing "leveless progression" with "progressionless game."

See, in a lot of games out there "level" doesn't come into play at all - you gain small improvements to your character as sessions progress... about as many sessions as a level takes, actually.

So in those games the assumption is that every few sessions you get something that is effectively "you can do the exact same thing, but now with more [thing you improved] to keep you alive!"

Why does a level based system have to be inherently more than that? After all, you might only get HP at this level, but next level you also get a bonus to attack, and the level after that you reach another of your maneuvers/skill tricks/monk powers/spell levels/etc. - just like how eventually in a leveless game you are eventually significantly better because of all the small improvements you have been making.

I guess I am just confused as to why it is apparently okay to have leveless games improve in ways like "you got more stamina and now are harder to kill" and nothing else, but level-based games people insist each level has to give you that and at the very least something else "fun", all while constantly giving you "you get better at killing stuff".... what, because it's level-based players have to be greedy?

Progression is already tons faster in D&D Next than in all of the leveless systems I know of, why does it have to be even faster? (Note that by progession I am not meaning that any improvement at all does not happen faster than level systems in non-level system, but that the amount of chances present with each level already exceed the amount of changes present in non-level systems given the same play-time dedication.)

Because in level-less games the progression is in small increments, whereas in level-based games, levels provide package increments.  If one class gets greater amounts of increments than others -- i.e. classes without dead levels vs. classes with dead levels -- and there only justifications cited are "tradition" and "because magic", then we're going to have problems, because the presence of magic in a story does not justify the relevance of options in mechanics unless the system explicitly states so (see: Ars Magica, compare with Legend of the Five Rings).
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Take The Magic Dual Colour Test - Beta today!
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You are both rational and emotional. You value creation and discovery, and feel strongly about what you create. At best, you're innovative and intuitive. At worst, you're scattered and unpredictable.

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57047238 wrote:
If you're crossing the street and see a city bus barreling straight toward you with 'GIVE ME YOUR WALLET!' painted across its windshield, you probably won't be reaching for your wallet.
I Don't Always Play Strikers...But When I Do, I Prefer Vampire Stay Thirsty, My Friends
This is what I believe is the spirit of D&D 4E, and my deal breaker for D&D Next: equal opportunities, with distinct specializations, in areas where conflict happens the most often, without having to worry about heavy micromanagement or system mastery. What I hope to be my most useful contributions to the D&D Community: DM Idea: Collaborative Mapping, Classless 4E (homebrew system, that hopefully helps in D&D Next development), Gamma World 7E random character generator (by yours truly), and the Concept of Perfect Imbalance (for D&D Next and other TRPGs in development) Pre-3E D&D should be recognized for what they were: simulation wargames where people could tell stories with The Best Answer to "Why 4E?" Fun vs. Engaging
no. i didnt say that. i said i DONT see it as gaining more HP. im pretty sure in character i would be aware that i am stronger.


How would you be aware?  Does gaining a level or gaining HPs make a character "feel stronger?"  A Strength increase probably would, but how does a level, or more hps, equate to "feeling stronger" for a person that isn't aware they have a level or a predetermined amount of HPs?
There are a great many problems that can be circumvented by players and DMs having a mature discussion about what the game is going to be like before they ever sit down together to play.

 

The answer really does lie in more options, not in confining and segregating certain options.

 

You really shouldn't speak for others.  You can't hear what someone else is saying when you try to put your words in their mouth.

 

Fencing & Swashbuckling as Armor.

D20 Modern Toon PC Race.

Mecha Pilot's Skill Challenge Emporium.

 

Save the breasts.

The OP doesn't make any sense to me. Yes, we roleplay. That doesn't make dead levels less lame. The fact that there are elements of the game that are fun in spite of what else is going on doesn't mean that we're not better with a better design. If my car A/C is busted on a hot day I might still feel all right if the radio's working and I get to listen to jammin' tunes. I might even think, "I don't care that the A/C is busted, because I've got these jammin' tunes". But if I was deciding what I wanted my car to be like, I would totally pick for it to have A/C, because A/C AND jammin' tunes is just better.
Dwarves invented beer so they could toast to their axes. Dwarves invented axes to kill people and take their beer. Swanmay Syndrome: Despite the percentages given in the Monster Manual, in reality 100% of groups of swans contain a Swanmay, because otherwise the DM would not have put any swans in the game.
no. i didnt say that. i said i DONT see it as gaining more HP. im pretty sure in character i would be aware that i am stronger.


How would you be aware?  Does gaining a level or gaining HPs make a character "feel stronger?"  A Strength increase probably would, but how does a level, or more hps, equate to "feeling stronger" for a person that isn't aware they have a level or a predetermined amount of HPs?

"more confident," perhaps?

Want to see the best of 4e included in 5e?  Join the Old Guard of 4e.

5e really needs something like Wrecan's SARN-FU to support "Theatre of the Mind."

"You want The Tooth?  You can't handle The Tooth!"  - Dahlver-Nar.

"If magic is unrestrained in the campaign, D&D quickly degenerates into a weird wizard show where players get bored quickly"  - E. Gary Gygax

 

 

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no. i didnt say that. i said i DONT see it as gaining more HP. im pretty sure in character i would be aware that i am stronger.


How would you be aware?  Does gaining a level or gaining HPs make a character "feel stronger?"  A Strength increase probably would, but how does a level, or more hps, equate to "feeling stronger" for a person that isn't aware they have a level or a predetermined amount of HPs?

"more confident," perhaps?


Couldn't you say that after any victory though?  Or, hell, even after a really good BM?
There are a great many problems that can be circumvented by players and DMs having a mature discussion about what the game is going to be like before they ever sit down together to play.

 

The answer really does lie in more options, not in confining and segregating certain options.

 

You really shouldn't speak for others.  You can't hear what someone else is saying when you try to put your words in their mouth.

 

Fencing & Swashbuckling as Armor.

D20 Modern Toon PC Race.

Mecha Pilot's Skill Challenge Emporium.

 

Save the breasts.

Star Wars Saga, Pathfinder and 4E (the good d20 games) avoid dead levels. Basically why play let alone buy D&DN when one can have fun with any of them?