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    Default "Ding, you leveled up" question

    So you, as a DM, chose not to use experience point. Question: how do you handle LA-buyoff and resurrections? I don't want to level up PCs that lost a level at the wrong moment, because this could have a big impact on how the players consider death penalties.

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    SolithKnightGuy

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    Default Re: "Ding, you leveled up" question

    1. Don't have death penalties, they are a terrible idea.

    2. Simply have the player with LA gain 2 levels at certain levels, where the rest of the party only gains 1 level. Do this because as time goes on, LA abilities are less important than class abilities. So while a Half-Dragon Fighter 1 might be as or more powerful than a Warmage 5, a Warmage 10 is vastly superior to a Half-Dragon Fighter 6. So just use LA Buyoff, except just remove the LA at the level it says you can use Buyoff, don't charge XP for doing it, so the player essentially gains 2 levels at once instead of the normal 1.

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    Default Re: "Ding, you leveled up" question

    Quote Originally Posted by Rejakor View Post
    1. Don't have death penalties, they are a terrible idea.
    With death penalties I mean the level you usually lose when you get resurrected.

    2. Simply have the player with LA gain 2 levels at certain levels, where the rest of the party only gains 1 level. Do this because as time goes on, LA abilities are less important than class abilities. So while a Half-Dragon Fighter 1 might be as or more powerful than a Warmage 5, a Warmage 10 is vastly superior to a Half-Dragon Fighter 6. So just use LA Buyoff, except just remove the LA at the level it says you can use Buyoff, don't charge XP for doing it, so the player essentially gains 2 levels at once instead of the normal 1.
    This is exactly the kind of suggestion I was looking for. Thank you.

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    Default Re: "Ding, you leveled up" question

    Ding
    As a side point, I love how influential Everquest was for a game that never surpassed 500,000 active subscribers at its peak. (Of course, almost all those EQ players went on to play other more successful MMOs, infecting them all with "Ding!" as a notification of levelling up.
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    SolithKnightGuy

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    Default Re: "Ding, you leveled up" question

    Quote Originally Posted by Uncle Pine View Post
    With death penalties I mean the level you usually lose when you get resurrected.


    This is exactly the kind of suggestion I was looking for. Thank you.
    Parties that are at different levels is a terrible idea. Experience awards for lower level players being higher means they eventually catch up to at least only 1 level lower, but it's still a terrible idea.

    3.5 has too wide a power difference between different levels. 'punishing' players who die in a way that makes them more likely to die in the future (and thus start an endless cycle of suck) was a terrible idea and sacred cow holdover, and should be completely discarded.

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    Default Re: "Ding, you leveled up" question

    Quote Originally Posted by Uncle Pine View Post
    LA-buyoff?
    See at what point the LA advantage starts to fall, and at what point it becomes irrelevant. Spread the "buyoff" over this level span.
    Quote Originally Posted by Uncle Pine View Post
    resurrections?
    Slap in a negative level. If you really are so adamantly stuck with death penalties let it stuck for a few weeks.

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    Default Re: "Ding, you leveled up" question

    Quote Originally Posted by Uncle Pine View Post
    So you, as a DM, chose not to use experience point. Question: how do you handle LA-buyoff and resurrections? I don't want to level up PCs that lost a level at the wrong moment, because this could have a big impact on how the players consider death penalties.
    1. What Rejakor said.

    2. I don't allow LA races, or at least I don't allow them as such. LA is a terrible mechanic, and the buyoff fix does as much harm as good. If a player has his heart set on a LA race, I suggest writing up a 'lesser' +0 LA version. (Alternatively if you're into class tinkering, a racial class progression might work ala Savage Species.)

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    SolithKnightGuy

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    Default Re: "Ding, you leveled up" question

    Quote Originally Posted by Andreaz View Post
    Slap in a negative level. If you really are so adamantly stuck with death penalties let it stuck for a few weeks.
    That's still a terrible idea. Punishing players for dying is bad as it makes them feel bad.

    At the very most, if resurrection is a relatively rare event, i'd make it physically debilitating. Say that the player 'feels weak' and whatnot, and give them a -2 con penalty for a small number of in-game days(or for one action scene, whichever is shorter).

    That way you can fluff it as part of the resurrection process and get as far away from the whole 1e and 2e 'players are competing for levels lol you died you suck start at level 1 you noob' syndrome as possible.

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    SolithKnightGuy

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    Default Re: "Ding, you leveled up" question

    Quote Originally Posted by HalfGrammarGeek View Post
    1. What Rejakor said.

    2. I don't allow LA races, or at least I don't allow them as such. LA is a terrible mechanic, and the buyoff fix does as much harm as good. If a player has his heart set on a LA race, I suggest writing up a 'lesser' +0 LA version. (Alternatively if you're into class tinkering, a racial class progression might work ala Savage Species.)
    Problem is, that means that all races are created equal, which isn't satisfying for some people. If they want to be from a powerful race or bloodline or something, but not be as experienced or talented at combat as the rest of the party, that should be supported mechanically in the rules. You can fluff class abilities as coming from your race, but it's not really the same.

    I agree that LA is a terrible mechanic, but it does work well to show the whole 'your race is awesome, but you're not as good a wizard as the other wizard in the party' thing.

    Racial classes work fine, but it's a bit weird from a versimilitude perspective that you have to take levels to get racial features. A workaround is that your powers 'awaken' as time goes on and you get older, like a dragon's do, or whatever, but it's still a bit weird. Also, most of the racial classes take a ridiculous number of levels to give you the race's abilities. They take the already overcosted LA, and then make it 150%. You have to basically cut them down to a quarter the amount of levels to make them make any sense at all.

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    Default Re: "Ding, you leveled up" question

    better monster classes

    as a rule on the edge of OP, but worth scaling back to fit.
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    SolithKnightGuy

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    Default Re: "Ding, you leveled up" question

    Oslecamo's monster classes are actually low tier 4.

    They were specifically placed there because people had a problem with tier 3 monster classes, as people seem to freak out at stat bonuses or racial abilities, yet be perfectly fine with Polymorph and Druids.

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    Default Re: "Ding, you leveled up" question

    Rej, if there's no penalty for dying then what's the point? If you can die and come right back and nothing is changed then why bother even rolling dice?

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    SolithKnightGuy

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    Default Re: "Ding, you leveled up" question

    Because it still uses up valuable resources dying?

    Because if no-one brings you back.. you stay dead?

    Because the bad guys can do stuff like steal your soul that means you can't come back until the party completes a quest?

    Because typically the triumph of your enemies means they get so much power or control or destroy all your friends that you don't come back if you die, and worse, have no way to defeat them?


    There's many things in DnD that even high level heroes who come back from the dead every time they get killed have to worry about.

    At low levels death is a serious threat.

    At high levels death is simply another planar barrier - and other narrative threats replace it.


    But the simply fact remains that having people at different levels in the party places a huge weight on the DM. It's a terrible idea. Worse, penalizing dying simply makes what is often the weakest character in the group weaker and much more likely to die/get killed by level appropriate challenges. You want to penalize dying? Fine. Find another way of doing it that doesn't make it a crapfight for the DM or horrible for the player, and sure, go nuts.


    If you want death to be final, make it gorram FINAL. Remove any way to return people to life (except maybe as horrible liches) from the game. There you go.

    Don't half-ass it by smacking huge penalties on characters that make them essentially unplayable and leave a player shackled (by the time he's spent roleplaying that character) to an unworkable mess of mechanics.

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    Default Re: "Ding, you leveled up" question

    Quote Originally Posted by Rejakor View Post
    Problem is, that means that all races are created equal...
    I'm okay with that, even if it means telling a player no. I once had a player ask me "I want to play a wizard who hasn't stepped out of his tower since boyhood. So his magic is extra powerful, but he's not as experienced or talented at combat as other PCs. Can I trade my +1/2 BAB for extra spells?" (We were starting above 1st level.) It makes perfect sense, arguably even more than the RAW wizard...but I said no. It's okay to say no in the interest of avoiding imbalance. ;)

    (And yeah, I realize that LAs most often create the opposite kind of imbalance, but I'm just as okay with keeping players from shooting themselves in the foot.)

    Quote Originally Posted by Rejakor View Post
    Racial classes work fine, but it's a bit weird from a versimilitude perspective that you have to take levels to get racial features. A workaround is that your powers 'awaken' as time goes on and you get older, like a dragon's do, or whatever, but it's still a bit weird. Also, most of the racial classes take a ridiculous number of levels to give you the race's abilities. They take the already overcosted LA, and then make it 150%. You have to basically cut them down to a quarter the amount of levels to make them make any sense at all.
    I agree, it seems kinda weird; but then again there are PrCs and feats that represent burgeoning racial talents. So ultimately racial levels are nothing outside of D&D's established scope.

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    Default Re: "Ding, you leveled up" question

    Quote Originally Posted by Diarmuid View Post
    Rej, if there's no penalty for dying then what's the point? If you can die and come right back and nothing is changed then why bother even rolling dice?
    The penalty is that you lost. Also, you don't get to play for a while. It is possible to make death so cheap that it loses meaning, but I agree that it should not cause long-term problems because then you get a positive feedback loop which hurts feelings and fun.

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    Default Re: "Ding, you leveled up" question

    Quote Originally Posted by HalfGrammarGeek View Post
    I'm okay with that, even if it means telling a player no. I once had a player ask me "I want to play a wizard who hasn't stepped out of his tower since boyhood. So his magic is extra powerful, but he's not as experienced or talented at combat as other PCs. Can I trade my +1/2 BAB for extra spells?" (We were starting above 1st level.) It makes perfect sense, arguably even more than the RAW wizard...but I said no. It's okay to say no in the interest of avoiding imbalance. ;)

    (And yeah, I realize that LAs most often create the opposite kind of imbalance, but I'm just as okay with keeping players from shooting themselves in the foot.)


    I agree, it seems kinda weird; but then again there are PrCs and feats that represent burgeoning racial talents. So ultimately racial levels are nothing outside of D&D's established scope.
    Well, it limits stories you can tell in your setting if you can't have a town trying to care for a newborn cloud giant baby who keeps kicking down the houses accidentally, or yuan-ti children with poisonous fangs.

    It's also relatively versimilitude breaking for PCs when the cloud giant is no stronger than a regular man at first level.

    It's essentially a messy workaround. I understand why they went with LA and Racial Hitdie - I really do. It makes a lot of sense. It doesn't work in the game, though, for balance reasons, and monster classes aren't actually that much better for versimilitude reasons.

    Ideally you'd have a minimum buy-in of levels before you can play that race. So a Cloud Giant is always at least 8th level. That lets them have 8 levels in the cloud giant racial class (a proper one, not the crappy savage species one) and so be recognizably a cloud giant (big, strong, throws rocks) but not perhaps as tough as a MM1 cloud giant (which is at level 14 in the racial class).

    That's still messy, but at least it doesn't result in Medium sized Str 10 Giants.

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    Default Re: "Ding, you leveled up" question

    For dealing with LA, use the Point Buy rules included with E6; Pick a standard point buy for all the characters baseline, those who use higher LA get lower PB to start with. Those grabbing LA races/templates for nifty abilities as opposed to raw stats get some good stuff, while those grabbing massive stats (usually) don't end up too far ahead. Eyeball as needed.
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    Default Re: "Ding, you leveled up" question

    Quote Originally Posted by Rejakor View Post
    Ideally you'd have a minimum buy-in of levels before you can play that race. So a Cloud Giant is always at least 8th level. That lets them have 8 levels in the cloud giant racial class (a proper one, not the crappy savage species one) and so be recognizably a cloud giant (big, strong, throws rocks) but not perhaps as tough as a MM1 cloud giant (which is at level 14 in the racial class).
    Yup, that would be ideal.

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    Default Re: "Ding, you leveled up" question

    Interesting cause i have a player htat wants to be a doppleganger from RoD. We are Lvl 12 so the way i interpret it was you are 8 levels of doppleganger then you have 4 levels to be a class. Is this the right way to do it? The rules were read several times but still confised me cause htey have 2 different rule sets for the same race.

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    Default Re: "Ding, you leveled up" question

    Quote Originally Posted by Blue1005 View Post
    Interesting cause i have a player htat wants to be a doppleganger from RoD. We are Lvl 12 so the way i interpret it was you are 8 levels of doppleganger then you have 4 levels to be a class. Is this the right way to do it? The rules were read several times but still confised me cause htey have 2 different rule sets for the same race.
    Yup. 4 Racial Hit Dice + 4 LA = Effective Character Level 8, and then advanced by class from there, so any further levels will be in standard character classes.

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    Default Re: "Ding, you leveled up" question

    Do note that you only have 8 hit dice (because Level Adjustment is not hit dice) so you only have feats for 1, 3, 6 (unlike a normal character that would also have feats for 9 and 12), as well as some other stuff that depends on hit dice to increase.
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    Default Re: "Ding, you leveled up" question

    In my campaign we use the house rule that the more levels the players get the more powerful resurrection magic is required. Up to level 7 you need a Raise Dead or better. From 8 to 13 you need a resurrection, and 13+ requires a true resurrection. Getting revived like this never costs you a level, but the spells cost gold which then is the penalty for dying.

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    Default Re: "Ding, you leveled up" question

    Quote Originally Posted by Rejakor View Post
    Well, it limits stories you can tell in your setting if you can't have a town trying to care for a newborn cloud giant baby who keeps kicking down the houses accidentally, or yuan-ti children with poisonous fangs.

    It's also relatively versimilitude breaking for PCs when the cloud giant is no stronger than a regular man at first level.

    It's essentially a messy workaround. I understand why they went with LA and Racial Hitdie - I really do. It makes a lot of sense. It doesn't work in the game, though, for balance reasons, and monster classes aren't actually that much better for versimilitude reasons.

    Ideally you'd have a minimum buy-in of levels before you can play that race. So a Cloud Giant is always at least 8th level. That lets them have 8 levels in the cloud giant racial class (a proper one, not the crappy savage species one) and so be recognizably a cloud giant (big, strong, throws rocks) but not perhaps as tough as a MM1 cloud giant (which is at level 14 in the racial class).

    That's still messy, but at least it doesn't result in Medium sized Str 10 Giants.
    You could allow for gestalt with racial levels. It's not a perfect solution, but it allows players to progress in their race while not sucking at appropriate levels.
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    Default Re: "Ding, you leveled up" question

    Quote Originally Posted by tyckspoon View Post
    Yup. 4 Racial Hit Dice + 4 LA = Effective Character Level 8, and then advanced by class from there, so any further levels will be in standard character classes.
    That seems to confuse me, if it is 8 levels of that race why is the LA only 4 not 8? so very confused my LA and templates and that

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    Default Re: "Ding, you leveled up" question

    Quote Originally Posted by Blue1005 View Post
    That seems to confuse me, if it is 8 levels of that race why is the LA only 4 not 8? so very confused my LA and templates and that
    Effective Character Level is your Hit Dice + your level adjustments.
    A fighter 20, for example, has at least 20 hit dice.
    An adult blue dragon with 8 sorcerer levels has 29 hit dice: 21 from dragon, 8 from sorcerer.

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    Default Re: "Ding, you leveled up" question

    Quote Originally Posted by Blue1005 View Post
    That seems to confuse me, if it is 8 levels of that race why is the LA only 4 not 8? so very confused my LA and templates and that
    Level Adjustment (is supposed to) make up for a character that is powerful because of having unusual abilities. Racial HD makes you sturdier by giving you hit points, saves, and skill points. It also helps against some magical effects, Blasphemy (and Holy Word, Dictum, and Word of Chaos) being the big example.

    Think of it this way - three characters. X has 4 racial Hitdice, 2 hitdice from class levels, and LA+4. Y has 1 racial hit die, 2 hitdice from class levels, and LA+7. Z has 8 racial hit dice, 2 hitdice class levels, and no level adjustment. All of them are effectively level 10. (Yeah, I know that there aren't actually any creatures that would have Y and Z's stats, but just as an example).

    A bad guy, 14th level, casts Blasphemy. X is paralyzed, weakened, and dazed, since he only has 6 total hitdice (8 less than the caster). Y is killed - he has 3HD (11 less than the caster). Z is only weakened and dazed, since he has 10HD (4 less than the caster).
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    Default Re: "Ding, you leveled up" question

    Quote Originally Posted by Jacque View Post
    In my campaign we use the house rule that the more levels the players get the more powerful resurrection magic is required. Up to level 7 you need a Raise Dead or better. From 8 to 13 you need a resurrection, and 13+ requires a true resurrection. Getting revived like this never costs you a level, but the spells cost gold which then is the penalty for dying.
    Yep, this is pretty much 4e's solution too. A minor temporary death penalty and scaling res costs.

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