Tuesday, August 9, 2011

High Level Fantasy and Super-heroic RPGs

There's a tendency to associate much old school gaming with low level adventuring.

And, truth be told, there are very good reasons for that -- two that come to mind (though I'm sure the more senior OSR folks could posit far more):

  1. the game has you start off at 1st level and if you die, you created another 1st level character and continued play. Until everyone had a whole bunch of characters beyond 1st to 3rd, much of the gaming tended to stay at that level.
  2. the ceiling was still low -- 10th level was considered frickin' monstrously high-powered. 12th level? What kinda Monty Haul campaign are you playing in, fool?
However, part of my experience in D&D was looking longingly at those high-level tournament modules -- the ones with tricks, traps, and monsters aplenty -- and wondering when the player PCs would reach that level and I could finally run them through those killer dungeons.

Furthermore, I was also a fan of the Arduin series of supplements and modules and not only were you always scared at higher levels of play, you tended to die a lot too. (Stay in the back till you're of some use, new guy).

But I think that when I began alternating play between superhero RPGs and AD&D, I finally got a good grasp of GMing high level play. Well, at least from the point of view of creating challenges for PCs, and for surviving things that nasty DMs throw at you.

So this week's attempted series will tackle several approaches that deal with superhero RPGs and high-level gaming (primarily in the Arduin vein). Topics will include:
  • Teamwork
  • Variety
  • Well-rounded characters (attack, defense, movement, and factor X)
  • Science and the rubber it's made from
  • Generalization, Specialization, and the trap of the Swiss Army Knife

1 comment:

That's my side of things. Let me know what you think, my friend.

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