Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Levels & Limits

Art by Brian Lee O'Malley
Over the past few months, I've been toying with some ideas that I hope to bring together into a cohesive roleplaying game. Like with other games, this possible game will use levels/tiers. However, a thought occurred to me while I was jotting down ideas.

How many levels/tiers should this game have?

Before we can answer that question, we need to define what a level actually is. At its most basic level (ha!), a level/tier represents how powerful a character is at that point in time and their progression in power throughout the course of a campaign. For example, a 5th level character is generally more powerful than a 3rd or 1st level character. With that definition in place, the answer would probably be based on the maximum power limit for the game world. If you're running a game set in a world with a lower level of power and you would like things to be a little gritter, your game might only have 5 or 10 levels/tiers. On the flip side, if you want your characters to eventually have the power of demigods, your game might have 20 or 30 levels/tiers.

However, power limits shouldn't be the only factor into the number of levels you have within a game. You should also consider how many levels you personally enjoy playing with. Some people love having the ability to obtain 20, 30, or even 40 levels. Others, like myself, prefer a smaller scale of levels and are happy with about 10. Since most of us playing these games to have fun, what you actually enjoy should always be a factor.

Question Time: When playing a game that has levels/tiers, how many do you like to use and why?