17 thoughts on “How quickly do characters advance?”

  1. They level fast? That’s ok. In this game a 5th level character is only slightly more powerful than a 1st level one (as opposed as, let’s say, a D&D party where a 1st level character is useless if you put it in a 5th level party).

  2. Hah, I am not a grump, though I do have meanie pants.

    My point is an important one: you will not know if it is “too fast” until you play it. You don’t know how many rolls your specific table will spit out per session, to gauge progress due to failure. You don’t know when people will choose to switch playbooks, or retire their characters, etc.

    You will have to see how it works in play.

  3. As others have mentioned, you tend to hit levels 2-4 pretty quickly but it slows down a bit once PCs get a +3 in their primary stats.

    In addition to what Aaron Griffin points out, there are a whole bunch of variables that will affect it. Factors include:

    * Number of players… the more you spread out the spotlight, the fewer rolls each player makes, the fewer chances for XP-on-a-miss. Also, bonds are more spread out and resolve less quickly.

    * Length of sessions vs. how much you “do” per session: the end-of-session XP is a pretty reliable 1-3 XP. If you play for like 2 hrs every 2 weeks, and a quarter of that is your usual shit-shooting, the End of Session XP can greatly overshadow the XP-from-a-miss XP. (It’s also a little uneven, because some Alignments/Drives are stupid easy to hit, while others are super situational.)

    * Lethality. If you run a hardcore game, pull no punches, deal damage with gusto and rend and maim… or even if your players just take risks and are unlucky… character death slows advancement down quite a bit.

    If you get into the game and you find that you don’t like the pace, it’s pretty easy to adjust. In my home game, we’ve intentionally slowed down advancement a lot. To get there, we’ve done:

    * Require (current level x 2) + 6 XP to level

    * Level Up requires days or weeks of downtime, not just Making Camp

    * If you have more XP than you need to level, you can burn 2 XP to add 1 to a roll, after you roll. This helps prevent PCs from stacking up so much XP that they can double-level.

    We’ve got ~30 sessions under our belt and they’re all around level 6-7.

  4. Robert Harper​: don’t worry, the increasing need for XP to level up, plus the increasing stats (= less failed rolls) make the last level ups slower.

    By the way, your game doesn’t need to end with the PCs reaching level 10. You can end the game before that, or go on beyond that (maybe with new PCs)… Anything that you like.

  5. If players are failing often for xp to be going crazy, player death is preaty likely.

    Using XP as a currency or resource is another cool idea. One i have not tried in DW.

  6. We have a bunch of PCs at level 5 or approaching level 5. I suggested that instead of 7+level for the threshold, we go to 10+level to slow down the rate a bit. And it was adopted and it has really worked. I just tripped over level 6 last session, but I’m still level 5 as it was in mid adventure.

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