So the game I’ve been planning for bloody ages is actually coming up fairly soon.

So the game I’ve been planning for bloody ages is actually coming up fairly soon.

So the game I’ve been planning for bloody ages is actually coming up fairly soon. There’s one problem I can’t seem to shake:

DW characters cap out at lvl 10. How do I play this game with a group that might want to run for a longish campaign? I’ve asked this before, and the answer is often something like “if you want a long campaign, play something else.” You’ll pardon me if that answer doesn’t quite satisfy. Beyond simply killing or retiring level capped characters, what are you folks doing to keep it interesting for folks that want a nice long campaign? Lowering sources of xp? Raising the level cap? What?

Thanks all!!

14 thoughts on “So the game I’ve been planning for bloody ages is actually coming up fairly soon.”

  1. You could possibly limit the amount of xp anyone can gain in a session or increase how much is needed to level. If neither of those suit you, you could maybe offer them the option of a compendium class that allows them to trade increasingly large amounts of xp to enchant things momentarily, sorta like an epic moment in an action movie.

  2. My current plans for this:

    – require level + 12 XP to level up

    – require days/weeks of downtime to trigger Level Up

    – give them something to spend excess XP on (I’m going with: when you have enough XP to level, you can spend 2XP to add +1 to a roll after rolling it.

    That last one isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, and I’m not sure it’s even necessary, but I don’t want folks to stop striving for XP after they get enough to level.

    Another observation: the shorter/less productive your game sessions are, the faster the leveling will feel. You typically get 3-5 XP per session due to the End of Session move. Assuming 1 in 5 moves a player rolls is a miss, you’d have to make 15-25 moves to get that much XP “through play.”

    All that said, I wouldn’t get rid of the end-of-session XP. It’s a good way to remind everyone what the game is about.

  3. Compendium classes. Introduce them early and force then to level them separately from their regular class. Also add companions and NPC’s for them to take over by level 6. This will encourage other growth patterns after level 10.

  4. Look into how Apocalypse World treat characters.  After a certain level, you can play a second character (your characters generally aren’t in the same scenes as each other, which doesn’t work as well with an adventuring party), or switch to a new character and retire that one to safety, or switch to a new class (keeping stats and the moves that are core to your character, but dropping the ones your character’s grown out of, like maybe your fighter’s given up his ancient blade and is devoted to a god now).  But yes, compendium classes are also really good.

  5. Use class warfare, stop increasing stats at lvl 10, let people keep adding specialties and moves. Just gives you more different stuff you can do. It’s fun 🙂

  6. You, know, I think you could just let them keep going without breaking things too much. When they reach Level 11 and up, they can choose another move from their playbook. They do not gain a stat point,, and max prepared spelll levels stay at 11.

    Basically, the characters don’t really get more powerful, but they move towards omni-competence. – a character that has every move in their playbook is going to have a lot of talents to respond to any given situation.

    A 20th level character is not going to be substantially tougher than a 10th level character who’s focused on all the combat moves, they can just do more and maybe are not as dependent on the rest of the party. There will be more overlap – anybody with a multiclass move will pobably piclup some sort of spell casting. Compendium moves could break this – just don’t let them stack “+1d4 damage” or “+1 armor” moves all over the place.

    Bust out tougher monsters and don’t hold back on the hard moves, especially the breadth of opposition. They have to face the Witch King, but also there’s a magic plague curse going on and invaders from the underdark and the ghost of the old king is angry about something again, and it’s all happening at the same time. Make them stretch their new muscles.

  7. I’m with Rich Glover in how I’d handle it.  A 10th level Fighter knows everything a Fighter could know about Fighting (capital F).  If they want to keep growing it’d be in a new direction, something they’ve earned.  Compendium Classes are great for that, and fit with the fiction more than allowing ongoing multiclassing.

    If one of my players wanted to level to 11 they’d need at least one advanced move from a CC.  I’d also consider allowing a stat to increase up to 21 from there.  No +4, but debility immunity.

    I’d allow stat point increases after 10.  I’d also ‘allow’ some jealous deities to get personally involved in these upstart mortals.

  8. My group and I have been playing a pretty long game of Monster of the Week and you’d be surprised how ready the players are to retire their character, create a new one, or change up the general structure of their character.

    It’s a natural progression. Story arcs do end and characters are no different. The options the game provides fit very well on both sides. They fit into the story and they fit the general ebb and flow of real life.

    Examples: I had one player introduce a new character with the old character being a “mentor” to the new one. Another player did a switcheroo when his old character was presumed dead (but everybody knows the original character is still alive somewhere), finally I had another player who took his character from a bookish know-it-all to a downright bad-ass.

    All this to say, just because a game lasts for a long time doesn’t mean the players are going to be, or even want to be, the same characters the whole time.

    And if they do, just stop stat progression and let everybody take moves from other classes or write their own moves (for those die hards that think the fighter can become even more fighter-y.)

    Have fun storming the castle!

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