How much fighting?


most games I have been a PC in seem to have one common bond. Lots of fighting...The DM tends to think that throwing sword swinging bad guys at the part 3-9 times a game means action, and action makes for a perfect game.

Alot of DMs I have known have debated a point with me about "how much fighting is needed to keep a party happy"?

I found most GMs tend to find fighting to be the "money shot" of any session. but I beg to disagree (screw begging..I flat out say nahhh"...I have had players go through as many as three games without a single act of physical violence, or a scap of scrapping it out with fists or swords. I never found fighting to be as important as most of the GMs I have PCed for.

Now before you roll your eyes and think

"this kids a tree hugger...a winni the poo DM who makes his players struggle game to game scooping up honey"

Not true...I always tourture my players very souls with my games. I dont enjoy anything more in a game then seeing a players eyes go hay-wire while he studies his options and then says "F%%K!!! this is realllly bad"

I just dont use fighting as my most used mechanic for creating fear or tension. yes yes, a fight is great..the back bone, meat n potatos of RPGs, dungeons n dragons could easyly be renamed swords n blood, but Its not the gravity that draws a players fear to the story...its not the sun that all thing revolve around....quite the oppisit infact.

Fighting is either deadly or a waste of time. many problems can be resolved through parlay, and swords do not have to cut a man to convince him of not cuasing further violence.

I find many novice DMs chucking monster after monster at the party, creating that ever-so-humdrum feeling of an on-table arms race. The players get bigger, the monsters get stronger, soon there is no use or sight of an ork to the level of play so they become invisible to the story...the big monsters are the only ones left when everyone is 8th level, and the common world seems to dissipear as soon as the players reach levels of huge damage and distructive spell levels.

i think too many DMs give too much credit to death of the PC. Sure its horrible to lose your ranger to the umberhulk..but is that the only thing you got to scare me into fighting for this world? Big monsters? damage? Attacks vs AC? BAH!

I as a DM see killing you to be the fast-food of fear. If you reach 10th level orks can still be everything you fear more then losing those levels to the vampire camp that I had to invent to challenge you...

Insted of unleashing 5 vampires in hopes to hit your amazing ac and actually kill you with all I am legally allowed to throw at you...I much rather use my orks. My orks are nothing to the party...I assume they can now take 100 orks without getting close t dieing....fine..thats what? Your gunna go piss of th entire ork race cus your so much bigger then an ork...right?

Word arives from Fhalcore by falcon, the orks have sent two armies to the farmlands, they have captured an important diplomat who was there negotiating our food supply...They are going to kill him...this cant happen. thy also captured the duaghter of the leader of the Farmer's guild, and if she dies, they will surly blame your stupidity for starting crap with the you got a few options.

1-Go and work out a deal with the orks (in my game all negotiations run on a very simple system, dealing with carisma rolls vs three stages of any agreement...since there is a racial differnce here, the CHR score recieves a -4). They can go and work out a deal...and if the talks go well I have prepeared a counter offer....

"you want human's back?" You go kill stone giant in hilly hills...grunt grunt"

Go fight that...theres a good fight, but its optional and not really reccomended for those who think 2d6+8 might be deadly...thaco being 7 dont look good either.

2-March in there to fight them....make this choice look possible, but of course my notes will say sumthing along the lines of

"if party uses force, there is a 15% chance per hostage, per round of tribe being aware of attack that they kill both hostages"

The fight would be over in about 5-10 rounds depending on the huge numbers of the tribe...but fighting sure is easy, and we will surly kick easy butt....saddly after the battle we learn that that was stupid.

3- get a theive to hide in shadows n move silently a nessary amount of times, release the hostages and attempt to get them out with more rolls o move n hide (with a negitive -10% to all checks due to having non-theives present)

This sort of thing could work..but is dangerous. I would also prolly note

"if the party tries a less violent tactic like sneeking around in the dark and the attempt is found out...the hostages have a 10% chance of dieing that night

4-I would add in somthing like a small side plot
"the ork's warrior king's wife is travling by caravan, guarded by 30 orks, to mate with the other king across the mountains (to insure blood mixing between tribes)...if the party searches enough through communication rivers between humans and crude races- they can find this info...and exsploit it...take out the 30 orks (violently or just by bringing overwhelming numbers of hired mercs) and take the ork's main breeding queen hostage...gaining a +4 bounus to any negotiations with the orks in the future...this is how we run such negotiations in my game.

Now most DMs would do somthing like this.

You have followed the orks for days. Now you found them. The King has 4 oger guards, and the tribe watches as you battle for the hostages in some strange ork ritual where their king faces the enemy with nothing but his orger guards.

You fight them...Somthing dies. The hostages are honored and released, the party moves on, gaining respect and love from all.

Nah...Fights are great. But I always used the rule from the 2e system of D&D, if the party finds a way to defeat an enemy without cuasing violence, the party should recieve full XP for monsters as if they defeated them in battle...

Killing you in a fight is the leastbadass way to tourture a PC...mess with who they love, make a single kobold important enough that the entire game rests on him NOT getting killed, or just plain force them to return the cities favour and undieing respect with having to become the cities diplomat, having to negotiate the future of the people with CHR, and good choices...

Fighting is not my sword of choice.

Whoever typed this should be shot for his english...or lack of.

I bet he was drunk last night, and high when he decided to torture us with this cryptic code...

Oh wait...nevermind.

Basically...I agree. It's to the point where the battles are often my least favorite part of the game. In order for the battle to be fun...the stakes have to be pretty high...

...but, as a whole, I think my group prefers to *talk* to the dragon.

Right. Its like, if a fights gunna go down, lets not waste the parties time with this video game-esk first level ho hum bullcrike...I rather see a well told fight then play a bunch of meaningless stat vs stat piss races between slasher player and no-name NPC ork.

Like I even care if we both die here.

Fighting can be really cool if the GM and players make it descriptive and memorable.

While playing D&D 2nd ed. I had a fighter (mercenary) fight the commander of the town guard (who was a werewolf) in his quarters (study/greeting area).

Instead of the old "I hit him (roll the dice)", I got descriptive, the GM followed suite, and we had a fight that was so cool that everyone that was there in that group still talk about the fight to this day, 9 years later.

We rolled acrossed a table, under it, flipped it over, threw lit candlbras at each over, threw books, accidently set the room on fire, used a heavy curtain as a shield/net and ended the fight by having my character tackle the captain of the guard through a third-story window.

He broke his leg in the landing and I used him as a cushion for mine. I won a fight the I should have lost (I was 3rd level and he was 6th, both fighters).

It was cool because we didn't just roll a fight. Nor was this a prearranged fight. I had entered the Guard headquarters to free the other PCs from jail. I went after the Captain of the Guard because he was a jerk and my character wanted to teach him a few manners or give him a little taste of the old ultraviolence.

The GM never thought that I'd go after the guy, he'd planned to have the dear captain hunting after us and popping up when we least expected it. Oh well, guess he had to rewriite that one, eh?

When I DM a game, I always paint the fight in detail. I never just allow "you roll, you hit/miss". Each round of combat isnt one strike, then next PC one strike, then monster one strike...its a bunch of strikes, thrusts, perry, duck, swing, jump, strike again.

So during this dance of battle I always discribe the battle as somthing of a violent dance...with alot of attention to movie-esk movment and action.

Best fight I ever discribed was a recent battle with a thing called "A Hollow" like a Helmed horror but elven armor, and much quicker (4 attacks per round), and very crafty in battle.

My group is at the point where we actually get up and demonstrate moves in combat when we can't adequately describe the action.

"The BG is slashing down at my left shoulder with his broadsword, so I'm gonna parry like this" (swings sword in Wax-On motion)"and spin around" turns in place as BG stumbles past "and hamstring the fool as he passes me. How is the next BG coming at me?"

Even my wife does this and she is VERY pregnant (she's due in June). It's pretty funny watching a woman who is 5'7" and 8 months pregnant demonstrating moves that her 4'11" 100 lbs character makes.

This stuff makes combat really fun and exciting.

Of course, I love frustrating players by haggling over merchandise, hitting on people in-game, and translation problems between races. Good times...

Fighting the Hollow was a battle that made everyone say throughout the fight things like-
"Holy s**t!"
"you gotta be kidding me...damn!"

The funny part is they have beaten much tuffer monsters, plenty of times...but they see this as a monster they never want to fight again, out of fear and a general respect the the monster's battle skills...

The creature was discribed as a slim, agile suit of elven plate mail that attacked 4 times a round. It had the ability to split attacks between enemies, and didnt take any action to get up when knoked down (simply tumble flipped back to its feet). The armor moved silently and only made noise when connecting in battle...

I remember discribing the fight as we went...

"The Hollow stands silent and errect like a soilder, then it draws two short swords, the Hollow throws one sword (cus it would often use one sword much like a throwing dagger) and hits you in the chest, the Hollow then marches towards you, wasting two more graceful attacks on those between you and time he reaches you, he pulls the blade from your chest, back flips and attacks the dwarf behind him."

They all battle him, fighting best they could...its AC was a -3, and I discribed all attacks that missed as actually hitting, just not dealing damage...

Next round..

"the hollow flips up to a tree branch with amazing ease, throws two swords (both hit) into the ranger, flips down, kicks the ranger while pulling out the swords, then attacks the cleric twice with wide arching swings that cut through the air and your skin like butterfly wings through the summer light"

They fight another round...damaging it heavely. They know they might have this now...Its starting to lose its grace, twitching like a broken machien.

Next round

"The Hollow runs up the side of a tree, in mid air flipping over the party, sending one sword at the dwarf, lands on the dwarf's shoulders for a brife moment, grabbing the sword from his shoulder, ripping it out at the same moment attack the Mage (the mage died in this battle I saddly remember), walking down the dwarf's chest, almost knocking the dwarf down, the Hollow slices behind his own back, attacking without even faceing you, as he slices forward at the ranger...using one last attack on the cleric as it cartwheels towards the center of the battle"

The party wacks it a bunch more times, now its falling apart, but still able to fight with great speed and agility...

next round

"The Hollow throws the sword into a tree, grabs it with one hand and springs himself into the rees again, it runs along the limbs of the trees, flashing in and out of shadows, you lose sight of him breifly, then, wham, it drops from the sky taking two attacks on the ranger, and two attacks on the cleric...Both the ranger and the cleric were discribe as blocking dozens of lightening fast blows and strikes during the frenzeyed attrack...the ranger fell, but didnt die."

The the dwarf attacked, and the thing fell to the ground , limbs seperated but still twitching as if it wanted to still fight but stops moving...

DM- there is +4 elven chain of incredible make, such an artifact of armor that its equal has never been crafted in all the history of you guys take it?

Part- Hell no! grab the dead n wounded and lets get the hell outta here!

Now the party knows that the elves have 10 (now 9) of these, they are acient armors of Amamgod (old elven kingdom, now shattered anf forgotten), and the elvs themselvs feel fear of the armors...they think they are dangerously scary, and never fully trust them, or enjoy using them..they are a last measure tactic reserved for really really bad times...

The party knows why they had to fight it..and since they fouaght it, they have never pissed off the elven law again...

On another note, if the random list brings 10 orks agaisnt 8 higher level guys, I usually just say

"a fight happens, it is sluaghter. you are the winners"

I treat such meaningless fights like discription-candy, detailing the fight briefly and letting it go un-rolled.

A few people who have heard of my style with "waste o time fights" and allowing them to pass without much attention to play, often point out things like

Fumbles coulda happened, the orks coulda got a lucky critical hit, etc etc...yeah, it coulda went down like that, more likely it woulda just wasted 30 minutes of a great game that was prepaired to knock your socks off, not ment to galivant around slaying weak 1-hitdie losers poseing as danger ...

Similar here, although I may allow the fight to go a few rounds to satisfy the players' blood-lust (and for any chance fumbles). Once it seems it is well in hand, I will give the players the option of playing it out or just accepting victory (assuming the enemy hasn't failed their morale check against a superior foe, and hasn't already turned and fled).

While reading through the comments here, I got confused with Sifolis and Old Timers comments about 10 orcs taking on 8 higher level PCs not being a challenge.

That sounds like a pretty good fight to me until I realized that the two of you play a level based game wherein orcs are considered fodder and that as such, orcs are probably played as stupid creatures with no concept of tactics.

I whupped out my old Monster Manual (remember the hardback white book with the black binding? Good, then I'm not the only old school guy here) and looked up orcs. It states there that orc are stupid but cunning and that they are pretty decent fighters.

In other words, ten orcs should be more than a match for eight PCs, especially with surprise on their side.

Now, I can't do anything about your game system, but I implore you to consider playing your NPCs as the cunning vicious brutes that they are.

Have them ambush the party, targeting mages and animals first. Use guerilla (sp) tactics, traps, and wear them down by attrition. Make the players fear going through orc territory.

I once used a tribe of tiny creatures called Tasloi (?) to harrass a high level party (8-12th lvl) traipsing through the forest. Tasloi could only do 1 pt of dmg with an arrow and 2 pts of dmg with a spear. They could only hurt exposed skin since everything else is thick enough to act as armour against their weapons. The party barely made it out alive and had to leave most of their posessions behind. It was cool. They never went back to that forest again.

And these creatures had no magic, less than 1 hit die, low IQ, and stood 18" tall. They killed or drove off all of the party's animals, stole their food, poisoned their water, used pit traps other Rambo/Ewok style traps, and wore down the characters one hit point at a time.

Instead od meaningless fights that you wanna skip over, make the enemy interesting. Nothing sucks as bad as a fight with no challenge to it (other than a fight that you never stood a chance of winning).

The Orc is a cunning beast indeed...

In my realms, traps of races have a damage level suited to the entire race who made it.

Orc traps deal 1d4 to 1d12 depending on the leathality of the trap's design (Orcs from Bhad make better traps then those from Brakken, yknow how it is)

Orcs can and always will be a danger to those who confront them, no matter the level...but when you play D&D the way the game was designed (not this new-bee wizards of the coast crap) an orc is usally restricted to 1-8 hitpoints...meaning an orc with 8 hitpoints would be considered really strong for an orc...of course there are orc cheifs and larger forms of the common orc, but they are limited in numbers vs the rest of the tribe, or just different species altogether...

a common orc would need a roll of 20 to hit armor class 0, meaning most well armored enemies of the orc, at level 8, couldnt hit a player 90% of the time...and if they do, they are limited to small damage (as weapon)

Yes they can wear them down with traps (if they are set, not all lands run rampant with orc traps), or use ambush tactics...

but lets just point to the last fight my 8th level player (single handedly might I add) had agaisnt a group of 2d20 orcs. The roll was made to see how many orcs where present. The orcs numbered 40 (whole tribe) the random list showed that he was in the presence of 17 orcs (almost half the tribe).

The player destroyed all 17 in about 5 rounds. At 8th level your getting two attacks per round, with a thaco that insures almost total hits throughout the battle.

Look...orcs are not going to fight an 8th level anything face to face. I agree that a well planned area of orcs can take an 8th level group (if they had a year to get ready)....but by time a group has 8th level players, the healing, magics, weapons and skills (nevermind thacos, ac, and hitpoints) are well beyound anything the greatest orc can achieve to be without being a personailized NPC super villian.

Now I know alot of the fighting rules, and the ENTIRE game of D&D has changed for most players since the company that purchased D&D threw the entire game in the crapper just to change it into a game more like Magic the gathering. But I play Dungeons and Dragons, a game invented by Gary Gygax, In 1974, its been around for a long time...saddly, its not sold anymore...and it was (is) a great game.

if you wish to play it, email me- I'll tell you how to find an old copy of this classic game.

Um...anyway...I DO fully agree, most DMs think a race is harmless due to its stats...Tasoli (you spelt it correctly) are awsome creatures and exsist within a place called "Esia" in my main realm. But they do not pose such a danger to passing 8th level people cus there is nothing locally with such hitdice. They are used to battling nothing stronger or bigger then goblins...

I always put alot of thought to what a race deals with in a day to day life. What local dangers prey on the race. Whats the hitdie of the natrual preditors of the area? Whats the level of trap making skill, or numbers of the tribe that can be wasted in battle without damaging the breeding populace within the tribe....etc etc.

In all my realms, I never lose sight of one main thing. Most creatures (almost all) reguard their own life as more presious then any coin, tresure, cake or whistle. They will take great effort in assuring they do not die in a stupid manner.

For orcs to ambush a party of well armed humans (platemail), they would have to assume more then half of them are going to be seriously wounded or killed in the attack...why? cus platemail is fricking expensive (more money then anyone but the rich can afford...its like driving a new BMW, fully stocked...its just that expensive)...for orcs to even witness that sort of cash walking by in the form of human armor, is enough to cuase an ork to consider his actions wisely.

Saddly...they lack wisdom. usually what a result in meeting orcs in my random lists is
1-they simply avoid conflict, waiting fdor easyer prey.
2-leave quick, go get the rest of the tribe (and other tribes that are noted as friendly towards the tribe), returning with all said tribes to jump the party...this usually takes 1d4 to 1d20 days for the orcs to return with their back up. This is great when I check the local area and find orgers who are noted for trading with the orcs....they can come too!
3-They attempt to parlay...rarly, if the orcs think its such a civil area that forbids out right attacks (the law), they may attempt to talk to the party...usually I enforce a CHR to determin iof the crude attacks the second a player speaks to them...but in civil areas of my realms, all crude are treated as "civil crude" and do not suffer this CHR roll to see if they fight.

one more thing...The fighter who had hands at the 17 orcs, had more hitpoints then the entire band of orcs that jumped him.

Again...orcs are dumb, but they are smart enough to size up a fight (ints in their blood to do so).

Agreed. Was making a generalized point about party outmatching the opposition. Guess I should be more specific in the future. ;)

Damn it! I had most of a reply stating that the confusion and difference stem from your use of a level based game where you grow out of certain foes compared to my point based game where combat can be lethal no matter how powerful you are but I accidently erased it.

Needless to say, in your game an orc, while a deadly opponent for the first three levels or so, quickly becomes a joke.

In my game, an orc is a mansized creature that, while not very skilled, can still land a blow that will put your fighter down for the count.

An experienced knight on foot may be a match for eight orcs. But if he were on horse, he'd run.

I like the danger inherent in this game which is one of the reasons that I switched from D&D. Alas, my cool little post was lost and I'm left with this sad sorry shadow of a cool posts....

Cal, I totally agree. I have stated that me and my crew have designed a RPG table top, and are currently pursuing POD printing it and selling it ourselvs...

it is a point based system for the same reason. A child is a child, but a child with a gun is deadly...thats real, thats good. saddly, yes, D&D is flawed with a level based system...from a self-proclaimed designer's point of veiw I reconize every aspect of the advantage of point based vs level...and it was a large debate between us all in the first stages of game creation.

So, just so you know, im not being a jerk for jerk's sake...I agree, point based or simular matrixes are far superior to level based design...

Sif, you stopped being a jerk quite a while back. Now you're just a big softy.

You are an interesting GM to converse with and you have some pretty cool ideas. I enjoy our conversations and wish you the best of luck with your game.

I do have one question though. If you acknowledge the problems inherent in a level based game like D&D, why haven't you switched to a point based game like GURPS? I understand that you are working on making your own gaming system, but it seems from your postings that you are still running and playing D&D. Why?

Converting D&D is easy once you have a little practice, I still use my old D&D monsters manual for my games as it is far superior to any other games system that I know of. I also use some spells like magic missle and burning hands, two of my favorites.

So why do you still play D&D?

I must admit this, slowly, sheepishly...

D&D is a broken system...primitive and old...but damnit, I lived there for too long. the game has worked itself into our internal programing.

Our group has played so many RPGs, from shadowrun, to rifts, to vampire, to TMNT, to Marvel superheros...Alot of those games were great, alot of those games run on a better system in some aspects...but D&D has always been there for us, and we return everytime...even after we take a year long break swearing that we wont play that game again for at lest 5 years...we return in 1-2 years, drooling.

is it the fantasy aspect? The casual feel? The coolness in knowing the rules first hand? The fact that between us all we have every fricken book and theres no need to search or purchase any?

Or is that im just n old fart whos stuck in his D&D love affair since he was 12? dunno...could be all that.

Its just the game that seems related to me in every way.

Old habits are hard to break. We have the same problem in our group, which is also why we're stuck on AD&D 2nd Ed.

Have you guys tried GURPS? I've played and ran shadowrun, rifts, cyberpunk, TMNT, merps, timelords, and a host of others. The only one that I didn't have to change completely was GURPS. With Gurps, a little tweak here and there and the system runs great. I especially love the way that character creation, combat, and experience works.

Just my not so humble opinion...

I wanted to try GURPS for my new campaign...but anything not D&D was vetoed by one of my players.
oh, well...

- reading a signature is silly -

Maybe you could run a short side adventure with the players willing to try the new system. See if they like it. If they do, then they may convince your one player to give it a try.

It's weird how many people are afraid or unwilling to try new things. You'd think that roleplayers, generally being more open-minded and creative than normal people, would be less inclined to these limitations. But I fear that the opposite is true and most roleplayers in my experience tend to stick with a single gaming system, no matter how flawed it is or whether another system works better.

Oh well...

My group plays D&D and GURPS. We alternate between them.

The thing isn't whether one system is better than another. The important thing is a system+referee combination that works well for a given application.

And the most important thing of all is roleplay, creativity and enjoyment. The system is a secondary consideration, though not an unimportant one.

There is a certain security in the "known" and I think that is why some players are reluctant to try something new. Also, they'd rather play the game instead of trying to learn a new system... they may equate that with a waste of valuable game time (of which us older players have precious little).

See? thats my thought too.

System means almost nothing...seriously. its all the GM, his labor, and the PCs. Any system can capture my attention if the players are really serious about it, and the GM is a artist in his feild.

I gotta agree with anyone that feels system doesn't matter. In my experience it only makes a difference if you're relying on the system to help you tell your tales...which I don't.

On the topic of orcs being "bulk enemies" that don't mean anything at high levels of play...I don't agree. And it doesn't relate back solely to whether or not the GM uses them right. As they stand in the Monster Manual, the Orc is a weak enemy compared to high level PCs. But if you add enough levels of one of the PC classes to *any* race, they can be any level of challenge that you as the GM so desire. Who says orcs can't *also* be 18th level Fighters?

true...but all my realms I run, there has never been an orc above 3 hitdice.

Once an Orc was raised to supream leader of a small devil's armies. he was given 3 hitdice and alot of pull in the leader dept...but he was no challenge for anything of high level other then his army and its ability to wreck anything in its way due to sheer numbers.

I dont have many high level npcs either...levels above 5 are usually restricted for the truest of heros or villians in my games. The normal high-level for most non-players is 3. meaning, the world may have thousands of level 3 people, hundreds of level 4, dozens of level 5, and a handful of level 6.

There are higher leveled npcs, but they are world famous and considered scions gifted with the blessings of gods or amazing fate and destiny.

But thats just my games that have 15th level people everyhwere, I would see no reason to not have thousands of well trained high-level orcs.

I gather you have an alternate method of doling out xp?

- reading a signature is silly -

In my world, level higher then 3 are reserved for scions and mythical heros who are above any norm. A world leader with a huge history in battle may achieve 3-4th level, but he is one man in a kingdom of 0-1 level humans.

A normal NPC human has 1-3 hitpoints.

A well trained soilder has fighter levels of 1-2 (offering 2-20 hitpoints)

A historic knight whos adventures have been published and republished as some of the freekest/dangerous crap even done by a mortal may achieve 4-6th level, but haveing two men with these levels, in one kingdom, is more then rare.

The players themselvs are almost promised "higher then that" levels if they survive a campaign...they are scions, mythical figures sent every so often to the mortal realms (infact, scholors think they are reincarnations of every PC they have ever played).

The coming and going or parties of PCs are talked about throughout history. those who survive usually retire as kings or great wizards that command attention of all others. they are as mythical and grand as Hercxulease vs a normal man...PCs are scions and scions are weapons of the world's fate agiasnt all major evils.

Scholors call these PCs Lorrical Entities.

Now imagin my realm like this...most humans have 1-3 hitpoints, and so do most mansized races (orcs have 1-8, making them monsters and usually stronger then most humans)...a first level fighter (1-10 hitpoints) can see a single orc as a dangerous army of orcs outside yuour kingdom is even worse (hundreds of humans can die before the orcs are defeated)...

Now picture far away areas that are loosly discribe by man in tales of old, or lore of lost things...picture a giant with 69 hitpoints...picture how many 1-3 hitpoint having humans would have to be sent to defeat this beast...he is bnest left alone, and delt with only if he enteres the human lands...this is thought about most monsters.

Killing monsters on a regular basis is no normal human's job...those who do make a career off of this sort of thing, usually become scions themselvs...alot of my high level NPCs owe all there levels to working with or agiasnt past PCs in old campaigns. they are as historic and specile as the PCs themselves (Talisbane was a world famous NPC with 4 levels in the end of two campaigns with helping,tricking,and fighting the PCs, he achieved level 9. he is seen as one of the worlds greatest thinkers and wizards).

Low level worlds are not easy or weak...they limit the world's ability to deal with larger evils, to the point where sages and soothsayers seek out scions strong enough to handle things other games would have thier DM throwing at half the population. Its not easy for a race of any type when they are limited to what the book says is their "common" level or hitdice. I have always used the book's hitdice level to make 99% of that race/creature's numbers in my realms.

It allows the PCs to take the roles usually reserved for in greek mythology or Norse allows the players to feel like superheros in a world of normal men...infact, by mid-campaign the PCs start to assume they are scions, and those with magical background or schooling in the arts of mysticism can notice scions by studying their strengths vs the rest of the world.

So no..i dont limit xp to keep levels low.

Nice article sifolis.
probably like many of you ive had the level vs. allocation debate many times.
then suddenly the answer came in a flash... its all in the 'perception' of what a level game is. all a level truly represents is a measure of a characters experiences & deeds (and hence his rewards in terms of ep, xp or whatever the individual system uses.
whilst its easy to think of level system as bad and games such as gurps, runequest, vampire etc as good, they are in fact just a level system by another name - its just that instead of an arbitary point at which stage all the characters abilities etc improve (going up in level), it is a more gradual development (award of development points). for what its worth i havew time for both aspects of these differing system types (having NEARLY finished writing my own rpg which uses level - but only as a basic 'measuring stick' - where once characters do advance in level they are awarded a number of 'creation' points' - from which they may increase their SCL (skill competency levels ie. unskilled, novice, cometent, veteran, master etc.), or purchase new Virtues and Vices ( these represent any major deed (slaiing the dragon), roleplaying event ( marrying, having a dependant, if a noble having an heir and spare etc).
in such a sytstem its quite possible for the 30th level duke to be going head to head in battle with the orc commander (24th level and his 2 16th level guards) - a fight that by no means would be a formaility.
also as another note a further thing which you 'traditionally' get with level based games over 'non-level' based games is a prepensity toward large and easily available magic items - something which furthers the misconceptions of level being a 'bad thing'.
anyone have any thoughts on this idea then chip in?

sorry got a bit off topic there - basically mean to say that like many thing level is simply a word it is what it is used for thats important.

Oh and just read the opening article again.... my bad
yes sifolis i agree combat should be kept uncommon so that players think before they swing.

I like to set up adventures so that the party can avoid fights (as I GM cyberpunk, they've learned that when the guns come out, players tend to die almost as often as NPCs) if they THINK. Roleplaying, bribery, manipulation, and out-thinking the enemies are always healthier - but some players prefer to shoot anything that moves, using guns as the first, last, and only solution to problems. These are the players whose characters wind up running from the law - which is better armed than they are. Combat seems to be the first reaction of munchkins, and the last resort of roleplayers.

Stray Catalyst