Days Go By

Recently I have noticed in games that I have played in and run that characters level too darn fast. Adventuring takes time. Heroes must venture out of town and across foreboding landscapes in order to reach the lair of some foul creature or evil villain. Depending upon terrain, method of travel, and the supplies carried characters have an overland speed that can be determined by looking up Movement in the SRD. Even before the heroes even leave town they have to meet with various NPCs to gather information and plot hooks, ready supplies, and plan their actions.

In a matter of a few weeks in game characters are able to go from puny level 1 stable boys to hearty 5th level heroes. This occurrence really breaks the suspension of disbelief for me, the difference between 1st and 5th level is far too great to have happen almost overnight. I have tried to slow down the leveling in my 3.5 game; I dispensed with experience points and went with “you’ll level when the story dictates,” but I still messed up and let the players level too rapidly when considering in game time.

In many movies and presumably just as many books (I don’t read nearly as much as I should) the characters involved in the story do not make any real progress over the course of their “adventures” unless there is a training montage or the point of the story is growth in which case much time passes. The Terminator is the Terminator and doesn’t get any more skilled as he tries to track down Sarah Connor and Mad Max is already an expert driver at the beginning of the first movie. There is still almost always character development, but nothing that would indicate gaining a level.

So from an in game perspective how long should it take for characters to gain a level? Are the early levels quicker to attain than later ones? Is a level cap appropriate for certain characters or classes? How would one become a 20th level commoner?


~ by katallos on January 14, 2010.

One Response to “Days Go By”

  1. In my experience I believe that you can only be an expert after learning and failing lot’s of times. But not just this, you have to have a good motive to use a power beyond your actual level.
    I believe that level-up should break-out at the moment you need most, just like in some good manga.

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