Higher Levels Don't Feel High

I've been running the latest Playtest material lately, and a couple of my players have come to me stating that even at higher levels they still feel like low level characters. They don't feel empowered by by their abilities, especially the Cleric who doesn't think he has enough spells even at a high level.

Has anyone else felt this way while playing the playtest? 
My players made it up to level 3 in Caves of Chaos, and they were definitely taking out more and bigger enemies by then, and using additional class features. I think I can safely say that they felt more powerful because I remember them running into an Ogre and some hobgoblins when they were at 1st level, and they ran away from both. But at 3rd level they remembered and wanted to go back to them. They went in and wiped the floor with the hobgoblins, and took out 2 Ogres at the same time (when they were afraid of a single Ogre at level 1).

They haven't gone past level 3 since they started a new 1st level adventure that I created for them to try out, so I can't speak for higher levels.
An often cited proble with higher levels was that the game used to break apart, the monsters have to become silly powerful, and the pcs become too powerful for the game world so they have to wander the planes fighting gods for kicks.  If it still feels gritty and tough at high levels once they've sorted the maths, I'll be happy.

An often cited proble with higher levels was that the game used to break apart, the monsters have to become silly powerful, and the pcs become too powerful for the game world so they have to wander the planes fighting gods for kicks.  If it still feels gritty and tough at high levels once they've sorted the maths, I'll be happy.

I agree. From my experience so far it seems as if bounded accuracy is working. I like the way even in my 10th level playtest, I could have the PCs encounter ghouls, wights, gargoyles, and some modified skeletons (27 Hp with the ability to throw mini-fireballs). It keeps the game moving quickly enough, but it still can hurt the PCs and cause them to use resources.

A Brave Knight of WTF - "Wielder of the Sword of Balance"

 

Rhenny's Blog:  http://community.wizards.com/user/1497701/blog

 

 

Once you get past say, level 10, the characters are casting high-level "I Win" caliber spells. They can teleport, fly, scry and make things die.

On top of that, the martial characters have strong defenses, triple digit HP and the works. So how is that "gritty?"

Dungeons and Dragons from 3.5 once it hit 10th level onwards was never, going by base assumptions of wealth, spell availability and gear prices and availibity, "gritty." It positively falls apart at 15th level onwards.

What did they fight at low levels?

What were they fighting at higher levels?

What did they expect to be fighting?

"In the game there is magic" - Orethalion

 

Only got words in my copy.

Sign In to post comments