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  • Done it. Love it!

    20 30.77%
  • Done it. Died!

    21 32.31%
  • If given the chance, i would.

    23 35.38%
  • If given the chance, i wouldnt.

    5 7.69%
  • Had a chance to do it, refused.

    1 1.54%
  • Dont really see the point, but if it floats your boat, go for it!

    6 9.23%
  • Dont believe i'm good enough to pull off that challenge, but very cool, anyway.

    7 10.77%
  • Gotta great story, see below...

    8 12.31%
  • Other. For there is always an "other."

    14 21.54%
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Thread: In over your head? Low level players playing high level modules...

  1. #1
    Arch Lich Thoth-Amon is offline Cursed by the Gods
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    Thumbs up In over your head? Low level players playing high level modules...

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    In over your head? Low level characters playing high level modules...

    Anyone ever do this? When i was younger, it wasn't uncommon for us (expert, or so we believed) players to try and tackle higher level modules with our low level characters. I remember attempting the GDQ1-7 series as well as S3: Expedition to the Barrier Peaks at levels much lower the recommended, to name a few. We've done it with modules of every edition, the last being with the 3.5E rules. Haven't done it with 4E.

    What was great about it is that it taught you to approach modules in an entirely different way. We sneaked around alot, had contingency plans always laid in place in case of discovery, and came up with some ingenious ideas that would increase our odds for our survival. In the end, it made us better players for it forced players to always think outside the box.

    So my question is posed to you, my family on P&PG: Have you ever done this either as a DM/GM and/or player, and what were your experiences and possible insights gleaned with said challenges.

    All rpgs experiences are welcome to share their stories.

    What share you?
    Last edited by Arch Lich Thoth-Amon; 05-28-2009 at 06:26 PM.
    Thoth-Amon, Lord of the Underworld and the Undead
    Once you know what the magician knows, it's not magick. It's a 'tool of Creation'. -Archmagus H.H.
    The first step to expanding your reality is to discard the tendency to exclude things from possibility. - Meridjet

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    So you tell the players OOCly (out of character-ly) not to go to a certain part of the world because they will die. You give them warning ICly (in character-ly) to stay clear. And what do they do?

    I run an open world. It's very much like an MMORPG in it's setup. For example. The characters start out in a little town called Mill's Crossing. Near to their homes, they have rats and bats to fight - 'rats and bats' are metaphors for low level monsters. They farther out they go, the more complex and dangerous the world becomes. This also applies to 'straying off the path'. For example; Well traveled roads are generally safer than pathways or the road less traveled.
    So, if a player character ventures too far out, or passes beyond common areas for his level, then the danger level rises. But, they're fully permitted to do this. They're free to step in front of a rampaging chariot or jump off a cliff. I don't limit their choices, but I do warn them.

    But what do they always do?

    "Hey everybody, this sign says, "Danger, do not enter, Plane of Fire beyond door." Plane of fire? Sweet, let's go!" - instant death follows.
    "And then you wake up."

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    I actually ran an altered version of TOMB OF HORRORS (altered a few traps, allowed saving throws, etc.) with low level characters and it was a blast. Two PCs actually managed to escape with some treasure, two were killed, one became a zombie slave, and one was permanently trapped. It definitely changed the players approach to adventures in general.

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    Always fun to do with pre rolled NPC's. Especially as something to do to kill time. As in two players late, know they will be an hour late. Lets take some 3rd level NPC's through this adventure designed for 15th level characters. Person who gets killed last (no hiding) wins.
    "Scary Monsters" Unknown Technician

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    Staying with the power curve versus "realism"

    I've always found it to be a little unrealistic that D&D campaigns are usually run with very few instances of the heroes meeting something that they can't handle in a standup fight.

    What I have done with some past campaigns is to expose the group to multiple plots/potential adventures that were a mixture of difficulty levels ranging from a bare few that were a little below their level, to a fair number (maybe 25%) that were anywhere from 2-4 levels above the group. I would drop clues about the power level of the villains and monsters and leave it up to the group to decide what they wanted to take on. If they bit off more than they could chew, I would do my best to leave them room to flee/escape. It made for what I feel is a more "realistic" milieu (I know, how can I apply the term realistic to a D&D campaign?) but, once, this led to a TPK. The players understood that it was their choice that killed them off, but that result still sucked.

    Now I do this to a far lesser degree. Once in a while, I'll throw in an encounter to which the best response is extreme caution or simply running away. Keeps the players on their toes and mindful of the fact that there's always something bigger and badder out there... somewhere.
    Last edited by Celebrimbdal; 06-01-2009 at 02:16 PM.
    Celebrimbdal


  6. #6
    Arch Lich Thoth-Amon is offline Cursed by the Gods
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    Question

    My players take jobs offered, usually from the town. Sometimes these jobs aren't too difficult, other times they find themselves in over their heads, and if they're smart, run like hell. Sometimes, they can tell right up front that it's too dangerous, like dealing with a fire-breathing serpent that has caused alot of problems in a town away from any nearby help, other times, complaints of undead roaming the forest are picking of merchant caravans. PC's need to determine if they feel they have the skills to accept said jobs, but mostly, they investigate and make last minute decisions. Makes for alot of fun. I'm really bad about this when running my WFRP campaigns. he he <evil laughter continues>
    Thoth-Amon, Lord of the Underworld and the Undead
    Once you know what the magician knows, it's not magick. It's a 'tool of Creation'. -Archmagus H.H.
    The first step to expanding your reality is to discard the tendency to exclude things from possibility. - Meridjet

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    Quote Originally Posted by Celebrimbdal View Post
    I've always found it to be a little unrealistic that D&D campaigns are usually run with very few instances of the heroes meeting something that they can't handle in a standup fight.
    I know that D&D is the "popular" RPG, but man I am so sick of that game! I got burned out on that game back in the early eighties. It is really hard to be "over your head" in that game. You are either overwhelmed with no chance or walking through with no challenge. There are so many better games to play. Don't get me wrong, these are my opinions and you know about those so don't get pissed off. I would recommend giving Warhammer a shot if you are into the fantasy myth magic and monster games. Currently I am hoping to get Thoth here to GM a Warhammer FRP campaign. If you are interested, check this out http://www.penandpapergames.com/foru...ad.php?t=10353 .
    Mike
    "Scary Monsters" Unknown Technician

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    I've done Tomb of Horrors with low-level characters. It's more a game of "see how far you can make it" rather than "see if you can win".

    I've been trying to challenge the PCs in my current D&D game- and there is a point between "no challenge" and "no chance"- it's right about at level +2 to +4. Even-level encounters are a pushover (esp with a wizard in the party), but that +2 to +4 zone is a real grind. Not in a good way- you're basically hitting a quarter of the time and taking a dozen rounds to get through the fight. Not fun when you're having to wait your turn so you can miss.

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    the tomb of horrors was the original low level character vs high level setting. mr. gygax would sit in a room with a line of people out the door, and take them on four at a time, all first level characters. and he would take and destroy the character sheets of those that died. harsh. ^^
    nijineko the gm: AG16, CoS. nijineko the player: AtG, RttToH; . The Journal of Tala'elowar Kiyiik! .
    CrystalBallLite: the best dice roller on the planet! . nijineko the archivist: the 3.x archive

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    Quote Originally Posted by nijineko View Post
    he would take and destroy the character sheets of those that died. harsh. ^^
    Not really harsh. We always destroyed any character sheets regardless of the game. Why allow people to rerun a character who died? I knew one GM who had photo albums and he took the character sheet of any characters who died and placed them in there. I think he had four full when I last saw him 17 years ago. He wasn't the type to try and kill characters, but if players got stupid... you know. Sort of like Thoth said on another thread, stand up and walk through a field you know has enemies on the other side and you will get shot.
    Mike
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    At one time, it was standard for us to do so.

    Of course, special circumstances applied. We were a very tight group that worked extremely well together, we all studied military history, and we all knew the system inside and out. It was more of a "keep the PCs from running roughshod over the adventure" thing than anything else.

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    My rifts players have several times been placed in situations they cant win. Admittedly it was more their doing than mine, but it happens none the less. And once they died I would allow them to roll new characters and place them right into the next game (Or current game if I killed the fairly early). This often places a level one character in amongst levels 4,5,6 characters. I try to be very realistic (Players say sadistic on occasion. and OK if the wife and I are in an argument I will take it out on them) and sometimes in life you come across things that will eat your face off and there is little you can do but run. However more and more its them and their mistakes or bad decisions that make the situation degrade to unmanageable. Its of of the things I like about rifts. Using the books alone and not going total GM munchkin on them I can still put them in over their heads and kick their butts or have them running with their tail between their legs.

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    what are we voting on?

    this is so stupid, they ask you to vote with out tellihg you the question.

  14. #14
    Arch Lich Thoth-Amon is offline Cursed by the Gods
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    Quote Originally Posted by berginyon View Post
    this is so stupid, they ask you to vote with out tellihg you the question.
    Stupid?

    You're kidding, right?

    Hint: What's the title of the thread?
    Thoth-Amon, Lord of the Underworld and the Undead
    Once you know what the magician knows, it's not magick. It's a 'tool of Creation'. -Archmagus H.H.
    The first step to expanding your reality is to discard the tendency to exclude things from possibility. - Meridjet

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    Thoth makes polls whether the thread needs one or not. And I always vote in them.

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