APL (or equivalent)

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My friends and I are planning on signing up for LFR events at GenCon, including the special, which says that it is for characters level 1 through 4.

We're wondering if there will be different levels of difficulty within the adventure itself (like APL 2 and APL 4 for LG). Our characters will all still presumably be level 1 by the time we play the special, and we don't want to get our butts kicked against encounters designed for level 4 characters.
There is a built-in means to adjust the difficulty. First-level characters are not necessarily facing the same challenges as 4th-level characters.

Shawn
LFR Global Admin
Shawn,

Can you speak to the tiers at all? Will adventures be tiered for every 2 levels like in LG, or will they be tiered per level?

A party of level 2 PCs is likely to have the same bonuses as a party of level 3 PCs and so forth... but the level 3 PCs will have a whole slew of new encounter powers to use, giving them an advantage at "APL 2" (or whatever it will be called) over a party of level 2 PCs. However, those level 3 PCs would be at a large disadvantage playing at an "APL 4" tier simply because they would be under the curve regarding bonuses compared to the monsters they'd face. It seems much more unlikely for well-built PCs to play up and power through a module in 4e than it did in 3.5.

It almost seems like adventures need to be tiered for each play level and coming from an author's perspective, I can understand a tight level band on adventures because of this - an adventure for PCs levels 1 through 4 would likely need to have 4 separate "APLs." Any more becomes problematic when trying to reconcile adventure plot with balance.

I could very well be approaching this with too much of an "LG" mindset - which is certainly probable. I guess it's the only thing I have to compare to!
Dave Kay LFR Writing Director Retiree dkay807 [at] yahoo [dot] com
(No insider info here, just my recollection)
I believe they talked about this at DDXP and said that it was going to be more flexible, where the GM was to kind of judge the party's power level and adjust accordingly, like in a home game.
(No insider info here, just my recollection)
I believe they talked about this at DDXP and said that it was going to be more flexible, where the GM was to kind of judge the party's power level and adjust accordingly, like in a home game.

I have to admit, that's both encouraging and scary. One one hand, if you have an experienced, fair, and knowledgeable judge - I think that's an ideal situation. On the other hand, if you have anything short of the former, you might be in for an unbalanced and disastrous play experience. Furthermore, this decreases consistency in a shared gaming environment which is arguably not a good thing.

I think this notion would require very clear notes on how to scale an adventure on order for it to work well and I wouldn't be surprised if this evolved into an APL system within a year when it didn't work out. Fortunately, the 4e books seem to have very well-thought-out rules for advancing and tiering monsters, so creating an adventure that covers 4 levels of play with encounters designed for each should be rather easy and less subjective than LG.
Dave Kay LFR Writing Director Retiree dkay807 [at] yahoo [dot] com
Can you speak to the tiers at all? Will adventures be tiered for every 2 levels like in LG, or will they be tiered per level?

I can't be more specific than I was above. It will be tiered, and there will be adjustments in the text for more or less than 5 players.

In terms of giving the DMs more control of the game, that is going to be a theme: not just with managing challenges, but everything. Any campaign fails or succeeds on the backs of the DMs, whether it is a home game or a worldwide organized play campaign. Great DMs great games, and terrible DMs make terrible games. The more you can empower a DM to make the game fun for the particular he or she is running at the time, the better chance it will be fun for the players. We will do our best to support those excellent DMs with great material, as well as try to encourage DMs to get better at their "craft."

Shawn
I can't be more specific than I was above. It will be tiered, and there will be adjustments in the text for more or less than 5 players.

In terms of giving the DMs more control of the game, that is going to be a theme: not just with managing challenges, but everything. Any campaign fails or succeeds on the backs of the DMs, whether it is a home game or a worldwide organized play campaign. Great DMs great games, and terrible DMs make terrible games. The more you can empower a DM to make the game fun for the particular he or she is running at the time, the better chance it will be fun for the players. We will do our best to support those excellent DMs with great material, as well as try to encourage DMs to get better at their "craft."

Shawn

Fair enough. While I think that's a relatively Utopian perspective, I can't help but agree with it. I'm looking forward to seeing how things play out.
Dave Kay LFR Writing Director Retiree dkay807 [at] yahoo [dot] com
There is a built-in means to adjust the difficulty. First-level characters are not necessarily facing the same challenges as 4th-level characters.

Thanks for the prompt response! We're really looking forward to GenCon.
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