Level Progression - Way Too Fast!

27 posts / 0 new
Last post
In his blog, Chris Perkins writes:

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.

Now don't get me wrong, level advancement in 1E/2E was way too slow, but in my opinion in 3E it was totally overcorrected and became way too fast! If it speeds up even further, to every other game session or so, players won't even get to know their characters at any given level before they're off to the next one!

It's probably far to late to change this, but am I the only one out here that feels this way?
No, you're not. I prefer slower level progression.
No, you're not.

I disagree with you, but you're not the only one who thinks that.
Another day, another three or four entries to my Ignore List.
Better go check out the new info on this one. Per one of the staff blogs, they're aiming for 10 encounters per level, and there will be a section in the DMG about adjusting XP for faster/slower leveling.
I disagree that leveling is too slow. I personally enjoy having my PCs level after every session, at least in a high action type game.

However, I also understand the enjoyment of a slower leveling game, where you can really feel it when your character advances. In fact, I've been contemplating running something slower paced just like that for a while now.

Either way, I don't think that the RAW should ever have the final say in handing out Experience. Like your campaign's setting, the speed of leveling should always be up to the DM, and what he/she feels will provide the best playing experience for a given game. Thus, in my opinion, this change will not matter much at all.
Well, leveling speed really is super-easy to house-rule. And since a lot of people don't have years on end to dedicate to a single campaign, yet still might like to see the scope of more than a few levels, faster leveling makes sense.
Well, leveling speed really is super-easy to house-rule. And since a lot of people don't have years on end to dedicate to a single campaign, yet still might like to see the scope of more than a few levels, faster leveling makes sense.

I agree here, there is nothing easier to house rule than leveling...

If you don't want them to level as fast...hand out less xp! :P

Though on a personal level I prefer slow leveling to fast leveling, but ZRN has another good point in that some campaigns don't go that long but still want to see a lot of levels.
You will obviously never be able to find a consensus here. What is slow for some people may be too fast for others, and vice versa.;)
meh...since enounters (combat) usually dominate your means of level progression, even in 3E we never had trouble to make it last long, we roleplay a lot.

that being said, we had many chances to test our new combat abilities before moving onto the next level of power, but i'm just trying to illustrate that for me, this has never been a concern.
In his blog, Chris Perkins writes:



Now don't get me wrong, level advancement in 1E/2E was way too slow, but in my opinion in 3E it was totally overcorrected and became way too fast! If it speeds up even further, to every other game session or so, players won't even get to know their characters at any given level before they're off to the next one!

It's probably far to late to change this, but am I the only one out here that feels this way?

In 3.0/3.5 it was 1 level roughly every 4 game sessions. As most people play once every 1-2 weeks that means 1 month per level give or take. 20 levels at 1 month per level = almost 2 years to hit 20. Most people get stuck at 8-10 and there game ends. The point is, most people never get to play high level games when using that formula.
Slow levelling down: Divide all DMG-prescribed XP awards by a constant variable. That simple.

I much prefer slow levelling myself, but it's probably the easist thing in any d20 system to houserule, so I'm not distraught over this.
In 3.0/3.5 it was 1 level roughly every 4 game sessions. As most people play once every 1-2 weeks that means 1 month per level give or take. 20 levels at 1 month per level = almost 2 years to hit 20. Most people get stuck at 8-10 and there game ends. The point is, most people never get to play high level games when using that formula.

You must only do 3 to 4 hour game sessions. Using the xp system as presented in book we leveled much faster than that playing a varying weekly and biweekly.
Every player will have differing opinions on what is the proper speed in which characters gain levels. For people who play D&D often, they may want leveling to go more slowly so they get a chance to see how their character plays at each given level before advancing to the next. For people who do not get a chance to play very often, those people probably want the leveling to go faster or it will take many weeks or months of real time to go up levels.

The style of play will also affect how fast people want to level. Back in 2E, I was in a very low combat oriented campaign. I really enjoyed the game since there is a very rich story and a lot of role playing. We do not have combat in every session. My only beef was that it took several months to reach level 2.

I expect that there will be house rules or optional rules that allow you to tweak the how quickly or slowly players gain levels. The easiest way is to just add or subtract X percentage to the XP gained. I'm sure that after you gained a few levels, the DM can get a sense of whether players level too quickly or too slowly. It will then be an easy adjustment to the XP given out to make leveling appropriate for the playgroup.
<\ \>tuntman
Leveling speed is a joke in the books.

By the books, it's a certain number of encounters at equal CR to level. .. Except that really doesn't work.

If you have a 4 man party at level 5 fighting a single CR 6 critter. They get less XP that if they were fighting enough CR 3s to make it a CR 6 encounter. That right there throws that out the window.

How fast you level (real time wise), depends on your DM and your party. If your DM goes purely by the books and JUST awards XP for encounters, and purely by the books on said XP. It depends on how fast the party deals with the encounters. How long the sessions run, and how much time in between encounters there is.

And, any good DM controls the leveling speed to suit his campaign.

If you don't like the leveling speed. House rule to a different speed or find a DM who does.
Slow levelling down: Divide all DMG-prescribed XP awards by a constant variable. That simple.

That's not completely correct; you normally need to adjust treasure rewards by the same factor.

Otherwise, if you halve experience rewards, then in a level's worth of encounters, your party will have gained twice as much treasure as normal. With apologies for stereotyping, this seems like the last thing the slow-progression types would be after. :P

Another point to note is that this changes the value of consumable items somewhat. If you assume that a level takes 13ish encounters (the default in 3.5), then each consumable item is helping you for about a 13th of a level. If you double that number, then consumables become weaker (as you still have the same amount of money per level if you follow the above advice). If you halve that number (going for a faster game), then consumables will eventually dominate play.
One way to slow down leveling would be to use XP as a way to allow characters to purchase feats, talents, abilities, whatever they're calling them.
Then PCs have a choice progress normally and pick their talents as they come or purchase a extra talent now giving him an advantage over the other PCs but advancing slower.

From the other thread of the same name.
Originally Posted by WotC_RichBaker In related news, I'm afraid I'm going to have to confiscate your 3.5 rulebooks, and force you to convert to the new edition. Where do you live?
You must only do 3 to 4 hour game sessions. Using the xp system as presented in book we leveled much faster than that playing a varying weekly and biweekly.

Using the system in the book people leveled insaney fast in our games. Sure 13 encounters of there CR to level, but any somewhat tough fight and you oculd easily get 1/4 or your XP needed in that fight alone. Maybe I design things wierd, but in my game snot every fight is made to take only 20% of the parties resources.

The first campaign I ran, I ran exactly by the rules, we game once a week, the party was level 10 in 8 weeks, we ended the campaign at level 15 5 weeks later. 13 sessions to level 15, I'm from the time frame where 13 sessions might get you a level at level 10, not take you from 1 to 15.

I don't want it 2e slow but I don't want it 3e fast either. And yes its really easy to house rule, band i will if I have to but I'd be happier if I didn't.
We level almost every other game session.

The word that best describes our DM would be brutal.
Way too much combat for me. Problem is you've barely gotten a chance to cast a spell in combat before you're the next level, or heck two. It is a little wierd. I hope they have a good optional system for going slower.
If you have a 4 man party at level 5 fighting a single CR 6 critter. They get less XP that if they were fighting enough CR 3s to make it a CR 6 encounter. That right there throws that out the window.

4 man party at level 5 defeats:
* a single CR 6 critter: XP = 2250 / 4.
* 3xCR 3 (~ EL 6): XP = 750 * 3 / 4 = 2250 / 4

Looks pretty similar to me.
Well, as a DM I'd prefer slower levelling. However, I understand that leveling up is FUN for the players, and should be done about 1 every 3 sessions, presuming 4 encounters each session ( not necessarily combat. )
In 3.0/3.5 it was 1 level roughly every 4 game sessions. As most people play once every 1-2 weeks that means 1 month per level give or take. 20 levels at 1 month per level = almost 2 years to hit 20. Most people get stuck at 8-10 and there game ends. The point is, most people never get to play high level games when using that formula.

I remember in 1e where you didn't play a character from 1 - 20 but at a level the module was set for and progressed appropriately along the way. Like in the against the giant series. You didn't have to play the whole campaign (ending in the demon web) to have fun.

I prefer this and it almost lends to not awarding experience at all but leveling at the end of a module so you will be capable to handle stronger encounters in the next.

If you play a more free form campaign then i prefer slow leveling so you can enjoy each level and new power/ability gained before getting the next.

All this is very personal of course.
Well, in 3.5E levels 1-2, 14-20 and ALL of epic or pretty much unplayably broken.

Our games usually take place in that "sweet spot" between 6th and 14th level, a zone that's about 8 levels wide.

So you need slower advancement to stay there.

If the rest of the level range wasn't completely broken then maybe it should be sped up a bit so players can experience more of the game.

Really, it depends heavily on the group. If your group plays 30 hours a week (my group used to do that during summer break) then maybe it's going to seem too fast.

If your group plays for about 6-8 hours once a week, then it's probably just about right.

If your group lays once a month, you should probably be leveling up every session at least.
Also, did anyone stand to think that the level progression may be faster because the rules might be getting streamlined to the point that you can accomplish a whole lot more in a single gaming session?

Compare Star Wars Saga to previous editions of d20 Star Wars and you'll get what I mean.
Well, in 3.5E levels 1-2, 14-20 and ALL of epic or pretty much unplayably broken.

Our games usually take place in that "sweet spot" between 6th and 14th level, a zone that's about 8 levels wide.

So you need slower advancement to stay there.

If the rest of the level range wasn't completely broken then maybe it should be sped up a bit so players can experience more of the game.

Have no fear! The "sweet spot" was one of WOTC's primary concerns when developing 4E and their goal since development began has been to expand the "sweet spot" to include ALL levels of play.

They kept talking about it like crazy at Gen Con 07 so I know they are addressing the issue properly.
Have no fear! The "sweet spot" was one of WOTC's primary concerns when developing 4E and their goal since development began has been to expand the "sweet spot" to include ALL levels of play.

They kept talking about it like crazy at Gen Con 07 so I know they are addressing the issue properly.

The designers are trying to make the levels 1-20 in 4E feel more like the sweet spot of levels 4-14 (approximately) back in 3E. If this is the case, then advancing one level in 4E may feel more like just advancing half a level in 3E. If you then advance in levels faster in 4E than in 3E, but each level does not feel like that big of a jump, then over the course of several sessions and levels, things would balance out to feel like the same increase in power.
<\ \>tuntman
I also think that leveling in 4E will apparently be much too fast. Sure it can easily be houseruled, but when WotC starts to print 4E Adventure Modules they will use the default leveling speed and unless you change the adventure heavily you can't slow it down.
Yeah, we thought the level progression was too fast so we have gone to story-based leveling. Which could be bad with a stingy DM, but I am willing to work with them. If they complete an adventure, they level, if its short or they don't quite pull it off or whatever, they probably get 3/4 of a level. There is definately room for problems to arise, but so far it is working better than leveling every session. We play 6 hours a session every week and my sessions are pretty combat heavy with a lot of CRs one or two levels above the party. I thought about doing 1/2 XP, or 3/4 XP or something, but this is a lot simpler. I'm glad to hear that the 4.0 DMG will provide options for slower levelling.