Monday, April 25, 2011


I think all my research into older editions of the game has caused me to want to further evolve my game with a few concepts that I believe are lacking. The main one is obviously the coddling of my players, which has been discussed a bit in the previous post by that title.

The second concept I'd like to incorporate has to do with power level. Pathfinder and 4th Edition have an almost super powered element to their structure. By 20th, Hell, even by 15th level, they are as gods compared to the common man. How many level one human warriors would it take to bring down a level ten or fifteen Pathfinder fighter? Would it be any easier if we strip him of the magic components of his gear? How many would it take to bring down a moderately prepared wizard or sorcerer? The abilities that go along with these levels make characters gods in all ways that matter, and 4th Edition is no better. What I would like to see is my players becoming Batman at 15th level, rather than starting out as Batman and becoming Superman. At least until they hit truly epic levels like thirty something and maybe once in a while try to do something that is actually epic. I guess my thought is that if you want to play at being a super hero, just play Mutants and Masterminds, or GURPS at 500+ points.

The Batman/Superman analogy was stolen from something I read recently. If I can dig up where, I will cite it. The gist of it is that Batman is only slightly above average in his strength, speed, intellect, training, etc. He can just afford a lot of nifty gadgets. Whereas Superman is just mostly invulnerable and powerful from the get go. It takes Batman a bit of experience and work to get to where he is, and a lot of his badassery comes down to his loot. I kind of feel that veteran adventurers, especially those of fighter and rogue type classes, should be the same way.

Another concept I'd like to add is that sometimes, things aren't even or fair. The game world is what it is, and if you are going to bite off more than you can chew, you are going to have to deal with the consequences of your actions. You aren't always entitled to a perfectly balanced encounter or a lock that is within your ability to open. This kind of refers to the number one way to not die that I refer to in a previous post, don't do stupid shit. There is an element of realism to this being a part of a campaign setting. Some dudes and places are just tough, and newbs just can't handle them. You have to find a way to work around the challenges, work towards overcoming them, or flee like little bitches. It happens.

Just a few thoughts and goals I guess. Kernels of some ideas. 

Edit After The Fact: Philontomy's OD&D Musings and a Quick Primer for Old School Gaming are both pretty interesting reads and where I got these ideas.


  1. I am not sure I agree with Batman being in there... I mean, he is pretty badass with or without his gear due to his intense training and brilliant mind.

    There is NOTHING average about Batman at all, except being a vanilla human. As it stands, I would see Batman as being an epic level character, as he could/ has taken Superman on in a fight, you see, he has a "magic" ring in his gear (Kryptonite) in one of his lead lined belt pouches...

    He is also a genius, a ninja, weight lifter, and... You know what? It would be easier to say what he isn't: a cross dressing lumberjack.

    He is everything we could be if we had billions of dollars and a want for vengeance, except way more intelligent, like Richards (CURSE YOU!) or Stark... I like comics.

  2. Precisely! Batman is badass and above average, after a lifetime of building gadgets and training. Day one Batman cannot take Superman. Veteran crime fighter Batman can, because he is more experienced and has cooler shit. How long has it taken Batman to get to this point? Not one, but two, lifetimes. His father spent a lifetime building an empire (perhaps longer, I am not sure how long Waynes have been professional collectors of cash), which allowed Bruce Wayne to finance a lifetime buying and building gear and training to become above average. It took you guys nine months to become Superman.