Advancement Rate

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I recently read a statement by one of the WotC designers (Chris Perkins I believe) saying that the advancement rate in 4E will actually be faster than 3E. He said that 4E characters will take roughly the same amount of time to get from 1st to 30th level as 3E characters take to get from 1st to 20th level. I almost fell out of my seat.

This has got to be one of the worst ideas I've heard in my 25 years of playing D&D. 3E advances WAY too quickly as it is and now they want to speed it up even more. Please, for the love of the game and everything it stands for, slow down the advancement rate! D&D isn't a video game and players don't need to hear a "PING" every time they sit down to play it.

With the current rules, it's almost impossible to create a great, epic adventure that doesn't bound levels at a ridiculous rate. I don't mean to offend anyone, but a 20-year old 20th-level (or 30th-level in 4E) character is ludicrous and destroys any verisimilitude a campaign setting may have.

How long did it take characters like Robilar, Mordenkainen, Bigby, Prince Melf Brightflame, Elminster, Raistlin and all of those other big D&D names to get to where they are? Suddenly, all these new fledgling adventurers go through a few adventures (or one adventure path that takes only a few months of campaign time) and they're rivaling the most powerful characters in any given campaign world. All this, most likely, before their next birthday.

I'm begging you WotC, PLEASE slow down the advancement rate so we can have long-lived characters that fight their way up the levels by playing through great adventures like Temple of Elemental Evil and Scourge of the Slavelords without having to retire them as soon as we're done with one of them.
I wont disagree with you, but I think we are in the minority on this one. If what they say is true, I'll probably end up halving the rate of advancement every 5 levels. Reaching level 30 while still 18 just rubs me the wrong way, and it does break the verisimilitude of a campaign especially in a points of light campaign. Oh we could hit 30 after a dozen adventures, but the world is filled with low level peons scared to leave there hut because all the monsters are out in the woods.

If its so farkin easy to hit 30, there would a level 30 or 2 in every town. While I hated the wealth/npc guidelines for population in 3e it did fit the stupidly fast advancement in the rules.

The 2e advancement was too slow but they vastly overcompensated in 3e when trying to correct that and going further down that road would be a mistake. This isn't a MMORPG we aren't racing to end game because that's where all the good content is.(that people will plow through in a month and then complain about lack of end game content) Considering the MMO feel thread I probably shouldn't of used that analogy but oh well.
Just take the number and divide by two. Problem solved.
I recently read a statement by one of the WotC designers (Chris Perkins I believe) saying that the advancement rate in 4E will actually be faster than 3E. He said that 4E characters will take roughly the same amount of time to get from 1st to 30th level as 3E characters take to get from 1st to 20th level. I almost fell out of my seat.

This has got to be one of the worst ideas I've heard in my 25 years of playing D&D. 3E advances WAY too quickly as it is and now they want to speed it up even more. Please, for the love of the game and everything it stands for, slow down the advancement rate! D&D isn't a video game and players don't need to hear a "PING" every time they sit down to play it.

With the current rules, it's almost impossible to create a great, epic adventure that doesn't bound levels at a ridiculous rate. I don't mean to offend anyone, but a 20-year old 20th-level (or 30th-level in 4E) character is ludicrous and destroys any verisimilitude a campaign setting may have.

How long did it take characters like Robilar, Mordenkainen, Bigby, Prince Melf Brightflame, Elminster, Raistlin and all of those other big D&D names to get to where they are? Suddenly, all these new fledgling adventurers go through a few adventures (or one adventure path that takes only a few months of campaign time) and they're rivaling the most powerful characters in any given campaign world. All this, most likely, before their next birthday.

I'm begging you WotC, PLEASE slow down the advancement rate so we can have long-lived characters that fight their way up the levels by playing through great adventures like Temple of Elemental Evil and Scourge of the Slavelords without having to retire them as soon as we're done with one of them.

Can you say "Overreaction"?

Rule Zero still applies. I played 2e with a DM and never got past 5th level, because that's what he liked. Because that's what he liked, advancement crawled by 2e standards. Why? Because, ultimately, the DM is the one giving out the rewards.

If the rate of reward exceeds the rate you're comfortable with, give less. As simple as that. I see a lot complaints along the lines of "but all of my players won't do it the old way once they see the 4e version" bandied about in the complaints forum and the doomsday thread. If that's the case, then you might want to rethink the rate of reward you like. You might be out of step with your players.

More than likely your players will deal with it. I didn't like having my advancement throttled and having the DM abandon the campaign every time we got near 6th level, but he was a good DM, so I kept playing the game. If you aren't DM, you might want to talk about the rate of reward with your group, and see if they can accommodate you.

See the DMG sidebar on page 40 of the 3.5 version or page 167 of the 3.0 version. Somehow I doubt 4e is going to change that.
Giving less than the standard amount of XP is fine if you're running a completely homebrew campaign. The problem arises when you need to run published adventures (especially campaign paths or an adventure series). Most, if not all, of these expect a core XP progression and a DM really has to work to fill in the gaps with extra encounters or time lapses (which are seldom possible due to plot expectations).
Where exactly is this statement? Linky, please? I like reading things for myself.

And how much information on the subject did it really reveal?
Giving less than the standard amount of XP is fine if you're running a completely homebrew campaign. The problem arises when you need to run published adventures (especially campaign paths or an adventure series). Most, if not all, of these expect a core XP progression and a DM really has to work to fill in the gaps with extra encounters or time lapses (which are seldom possible due to plot expectations).

Published adventures tend to go from one level to the next and, sometimes, to the one after that. So, if you character only grows one level, when the published adventures expects you to grow 2, it really wont be that big a deal.
Specially now that the wotc staff has explicitly stated that the difference between levels will be reduced.
... but a 20-year old 20th-level (or 30th-level in 4E) character is ludicrous and destroys any verisimilitude a campaign setting may have...

Remember,when you started actually playing 4E yourself (which I assume you have, as otherwise you wouldn't know this) this you signed an NDA. WotC might get mad if you spill too much more info about their upcoming release.
Where exactly is this statement? Linky, please? I like reading things for myself.

And how much information on the subject did it really reveal?

Check Chris Perkin's blog at:

http://forums.gleemax.com/showthread.php?t=906394
Remember,when you started actually playing 4E yourself (which I assume you have, as otherwise you wouldn't know this) this you signed an NDA. WotC might get mad if you spill too much more info about their upcoming release.

??? There was no new information in the original post of this thread. I just read the same on EN World. Advancement will be fast, and level 30 was confirmed weeks ago. (or was it just 2 weeks when 4ed got announced?)
I'm begging you WotC, PLEASE slow down the advancement rate so we can have long-lived characters that fight their way up the levels by playing through great adventures like Temple of Elemental Evil and Scourge of the Slavelords without having to retire them as soon as we're done with one of them.

I agree completely. :D
Slow and easy... What's the hurry.
Faster Advancement sounds like $$$$ for WotC.

The faster we retire high level characters and start fresh the easier it will be to incorporate newly released a source book (with new feats/spells/options) into our games.

More people will be willing to buy them because they are more ‘useful’ and thus more sales.

Yes I’m a cynic.
From Chris Perkins' Blog:

Has the road to the endgame been lengthened, level-wise, or is there a new upper limit to how powerful D&D characters will get? For example, will a level 30 character in 4th Edition be as strong as a level 20 in 3.5, or is a level 20 character in 4th Edition about as strong as an epic-level character in previous editions?

The way character advancement works now, it takes fewer encounters to gain a level, but it takes roughly the same length of time to reach 30 levels in 4th Edition as it takes to reach 20 levels in 3rd Edition. The rate of level advancement is still being playtested, however, so the jury’s still out on whether the final game will work this way.

Even he doesn't even know if this feature is going to stay.
Yes, I am a defender apologist. A Rock and a Hard Place: A Warden Handbook
3E's incredibly fast rate of leveling up, coupled with the large jumps in power-level between each level, caused be to 'blow up' the levels by splitting them in half. Well, almost. I made 3E's level 20 = my level 36.

The reasons I did this is exactly what these guys are talking about. I wanted each level to be more gradual and still maintain a reasonable rate of leveling up.

The Piazza A renaissance of the Old Worlds. Where any setting can be explored, any rules system discussed, and any combination of the two brought to life.

Giving less than the standard amount of XP is fine if you're running a completely homebrew campaign. The problem arises when you need to run published adventures (especially campaign paths or an adventure series). Most, if not all, of these expect a core XP progression and a DM really has to work to fill in the gaps with extra encounters or time lapses (which are seldom possible due to plot expectations).

I don't buy this argument. This is not a flaw in the system. This a logical consequence of you desire to have different advancement rate, and quibble about the structure of a supplementary product.

I recently purchased a canned adventure that doesn't exactly match the level of my group. So I have to go through it and adjust to their abilities and level. Unless you are lucky and find the adventure that fits perfectly in story and current campaign level, this is SOP for running a published module.

So adjust. Fill in down time with side quests, reduce the level of the monsters, or rearrange the encounters so that the PCs have a tactical advantage, and again, problem solved.

The same adventure I mentioned had a villain who wasn't high enough level to have cast a spell they'd said he'd cast (for plot purposes). Once I established that, I decided he'd used a scroll. (On a later, in depth, pass through the material I found a note saying he'd used scroll.) The point is, you can usually find an explanation for any inconsistencies that might crop up because you moved the encounter levels around.

Ask yourself where you want the PCs to be at a given level and prepare for it. I don't buy the excuse that this is more work for the DM. If you are using a published adventure, you should already be looking at the encounters in depth. Make re-leveling part of that in depth encounter work, and you'll have an even better grasp of the material. You can start the process with a high level overview of the encounter, and say "this guy need to shave off a level. That guy needs to lose his Harm spell." Make a check list of the steps you need to take to reduce a creature's level, or apply flat penalties to stats (-1 for each level on all d20 based checks, saves etc could work well). Make sure you know the aproximate level of spells you expect your PCs to be facing and don't use spells of higher level.

Is it work? Yes, but nothing you couldn't do in an afternoon off. And armed with that you can adjust any single published adventure on the fly!
Faster Advancement sounds like $$$$ for WotC.

The faster we retire high level characters and start fresh the easier it will be to incorporate newly released a source book (with new feats/spells/options) into our games.

More people will be willing to buy them because they are more ‘useful’ and thus more sales.

Yes I’m a cynic.

There's cynicism and there's grasping at straws. This sounds like the latter. The fact that a group has hit level 30 does not give that group more disposable income. Take that into account and your logic crumbles.

WotC wants more money. DDI is clear proof of that. Confessions of a Part Time Sorceress is proof of that. the plans for crunchless $20 preview books is proof of that. The rate of leveling in game is not.

You could accuse them of dumbing the game down, pandering to the power gamers or hack-n-slashers and make a case. Opinions of course will differ, but calling this issue a money grab isn't cynicism. It's paranoid lunacy...the seeking of nefarious motive in every aspect of WotC operations. It's anti-corporatism run amok.
Check Chris Perkin's blog at:

http://forums.gleemax.com/showthread.php?t=906394

Much thanks.