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 Post subject: Level Equivalency?
PostPosted: Mon Jul 24, 2017 5:20 pm 
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Far-Sighted Wanderer
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Joined: Thu Jul 30, 2015 2:00 pm
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Location: Eugene, OR
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I've been trying to match the published modules with the ability level of my PCs, and each module comes with a recommended number and level of characters. It's pretty clear that Judges consider 3 or 4 zero level characters equivalent to 1 first level, which is what makes a first level module playable as a zero level funnel. When my players started to level up, I went with the idea that 2 first level guys equals 1 second level, but now 2 of them are about to hit third level and I'm eyeing the modules wondering how to gauge an appropriate difficulty. Does 2 second level make 1 third level?

I love the DCC dogma about "balance" (balance, like encumbrance, is obsolete), and I'm down with having encounters being "unfinishable", like The One Who Watches From Below (6-8 first level characters) has a level boss with 98hp and 3 attacks per round! Run boys! But the level boss of the Emerald Enchanter (8-10 second level guys) only has 24hp and 2 attacks, which is quite killable. Those who quit and run away live to fight another day, but those who go up against a too-easy adventure get bored and don't come to the next session. So what about balance in choosing a module that is "hard enough"?

Goodman Games must have some method of leveling their modules, or maybe they let the individual authors make that call. Does anybody know?

As a Judge, how do you decide if your group can handle a published module with a party recommendation like The Croaking Fame (6-8 third level) when you only have 2 third level but a gaggle of second and first level?

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 Post subject: Re: Level Equivalency?
PostPosted: Tue Jul 25, 2017 12:31 pm 
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I think the great part about DCC is that your player don't know (or shouldn't know) what they're getting themselves into when it comes to adventuring.
Sometimes it might be "easy" other times it might be not possible. I think player skill counts as much, if not more, than character level.
More experienced player might have an easier time with challenges than "n00bs".
So, I think it's hard to put a mathematical equation on how many level 2 it takes to get to a level 3 character.

If you feel the players aren't experiencing the appropriate challenge levels, you could increase the encounter power level.
I'd avoid just tacking on additional HP. I'd go for additional powers (spells, mutations, etc.), increased HP could be a result of that, but it shouldn't be just HP boosts.

I ran my group (a 3rd level, a few 2nd levels, and a handful of peasants) through Jewels of the Carnifex, which calls for 6-10 3rd level characters.
It was challenging, but not too much for them to handle. This was mostly due to player skill.

As for the Goodman writing process, I have no idea. Might have to summon one of the published folks to answer that one.

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 Post subject: Re: Level Equivalency?
PostPosted: Tue Aug 01, 2017 5:14 pm 
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Far-Sighted Wanderer

Joined: Fri Jun 23, 2017 5:39 am
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FLGS: Games Galore
Quote:
I love the DCC dogma about "balance" (balance, like encumbrance, is obsolete), and I'm down with having encounters being "unfinishable", like The One Who Watches From Below (6-8 first level characters) has a level boss with 98hp and 3 attacks per round! Run boys! But the level boss of the Emerald Enchanter (8-10 second level guys) only has 24hp and 2 attacks, which is quite killable. Those who quit and run away live to fight another day, but those who go up against a too-easy adventure get bored and don't come to the next session. So what about balance in choosing a module that is "hard enough"?


And 98 HP is still killable at level 1. We had a wizard do 80 points of damage in 1 round at level 1, this was against a mook with 5 HP. Good times.

(Positive int mod, level 1, wizard, mercurial magic said to roll 1d30 for magic missiles, nat 30).


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 Post subject: Re: Level Equivalency?
PostPosted: Wed Aug 02, 2017 6:07 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jan 24, 2016 5:23 am
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I enjoy running my party into adventures where the party has a level advantage. The party has five PCs, levels 6, 6, 7/8, 9, 10 and we just ran the croaking fane. Great time. I got to throw all of the random monsters, tossed in a trap everything I could reasonably muster to make it challenging. They became aware of a breaking point but never felt threatened. And, we had a blast.

I recall early DCCs having DM comments in the intro about adding or subtracting to the adventure. A, great inclusion in the module (I think that would be a good thing to include in every module). B, this offers a more technical approach for a DM to look at a module to consider who their party is and what do they have. I was all set to lose at least two party members in the Volcano Caves when a PC pulled out a Quails Feather Token, boat! As a result the Hydra was more difficult and the party all survived. I am also fine with creating situations where the party can use/spend their magic.

The module level recommendation is just that; a suggestion. Is your party crafty or have kit, or not. That noted, I love playing level 7-9 adventures as there are great monsters. It is not the bling but the different tactics that excite me.

Losloris
who will add an ability next time the module is low, thanks for the suggestion


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