Vox Populi Forum
You can argue that Gary was right. Up is the only direction. Look at WoW; it's sort of made billions on being just another double the hp monster and triple the xp quest. This one needs five guys or three with best gear. WoW has the other advantage of watching the cartoon. It aslo keeps changing the mechanics because it seems to internally break itself by pushing ever upward.
You might recall the Monty Hall underworld arguments of the eighties. The articles were fun to read, but the examples of generated play were silly. Like the end of Time Bandits. Fun, but not an interesting rpg, bad campaign, bad stories, always became PvP.
No one should have tier twenty magic? Be a stretch to see them use fourteen? That too is an argument against Player Up&Up, Gary style.
So why have players only get more powerful? I think it's uninspired, single element. The heroic epic classically has a set-back or defeat. Achilles dies. The always gets better never concludes. Sometimes heroes, even good ones, must die or make mistakes. Redemption is interesting. The Paladin quest was all about redemption, then someone showed up with a +10 sword.
I enjoy a sweet spot of play at the point where I can do something finally and get away with it (at level five?) You're not on the verge of death for bad dice. You're not too tied to the campaign to prevent choice. But when everyone is at five or at level eight, it takes hours to roll fifty-six ability tests to see someone mildly panic. Mention Warped Outcome and people resist that unknown at every level.
The arc of character life goes up and peaks and falls. Then start again. In many ways that is also WoW. It would never have been as popular if the play was not repeated for so many classes of characters. They took a chance and didn't make the game a time sink all resting on one main character per player. The new content also adds even more classes to play. Can't say I've tried them all. But the differences between many are not really innovative. This guy does more dps vs DoT, this guy holds agro and this guy can't wear armor seems valid for the Gary model; it's okay. Definite advantages in mixed group play or having a stable of characters to do farming. Paladinsa re a bit over powered, heal and fight a tough chocie not to take. But it's not what holds my true interest? There was fatigue in getting to the next cut-scene (next Drudge color).
You do need improvement. Players do get powerful over the horus invested. Ten swagger is better than two. You have to have some xp. Every game with no xp reason to play was one-shot. Traveller failed because there was nothing truly to do after character creation. Get a bigger gun and shoot at ships; sell fruit? Other systems had mechanics for xps but the result got a bit silly. Original Fantasy Trip your intelligence became godlike, just so you could use a good many ordinary and useful skills.
During free-style Cutlass play, we learned some more about what works well in a group. We got a solid year of play, not so much from the Cutlass characters raising in level, having every skill, as from their failures. Most of the action was tempered by player choices. e.g. I must save him. I want to see every corner of the world. I would be loyal to the crown. Those were not part of play and each limited the characters, making them take risks.
The players need to see reward, but there needs to be a finality. Some will fight death as the reward. Some will embrace it as a finish; rebirth with the next guy. It's simply a matter of preferred taste.
I'm sure TORQ sold a bunch of books which gave the players 10d, 12d then 15d guns. I was asked by one player to Ref his game. I declined for my own design.
I could let a level twenty character get seven Q&D rolls and statistically only fail once in a million. I'm not sure that would be fun for me to play or Ref. Yet progressing out of the sweet spot, level five, and have all my campaign ties and adventures to remember and use in evenst, while new penalties slowly mount is interesting. A return to challenges of low level, even. A time when the next flip seems more deadly.
Is that done in any other rpg system?
Popular and easy to play are not my goal. I strive for both, but I could sell Jordans if my goal was stocking shelves.
Ask what's fun for you? Is your question academic or a personal goal of play? Demons gating demons was Gary's solution. Run or die. He never had a high level play that wasn't just a three saving throw you made once an hour. If you even had a Ref to get you past the turn to stone 60% chance. We all love Gary. But I play Gary if I have a choice, sort of like vanilla ice cream.
One way to handle leveling -- Fredrick Rourk (posted: 4/5/2019)
Meat of my Argument -- red (posted: 4/5/2019)
A mess of our own creation .... -- Iron Nusselt Number (posted: 4/5/2019)
The 5E Thing and the Talking ... -- Iron Nusselt Number (posted: 4/5/2019)
Nice analysis, but Somber -- red (posted: 4/5/2019)
The Shadowrun and Vampire Way -- Fredrick Rourk (posted: 4/6/2019)
Never played Shadowrun -- red (posted: 4/6/2019)
Just saying you don't need Geometric Progression .... -- Iron Nusselt Number (posted: 4/6/2019)
Seems like all RPG's use one of three... -- Opinionated Mike (posted: 4/6/2019)
Cthulhu Stinks -- red (posted: 4/6/2019)
But then wouldn't you want to die in a collision with a tree than ... -- Iron Nusselt Number (posted: 4/6/2019)
Cthulhu has its flaws.... -- Mad Mike (posted: 4/8/2019)
Cutlass style not so much a problem -- red (posted: 4/6/2019)