26 July 2011
Demi-Human Level Limits
But still, I forge on!
If you haven't heard, I plan on using Microlite 74 to run Q1: Queen of the Demonweb Pits the next time my buddies are up (whenever that is), and I'm actually kind of excited. I love the fact that Microlite 74's rules are maybe five sheets of paper, folded in half, including the monster and spell listing. I love the fact that there aren't specific saving throws, and that the optional rules contained in it are genius. Its brevity is compelling, its concision is great.
But it has demi-human level limits in it.
This is a problem.
The module I plan on running is for characters from levels 10-14, which is fine because Microlite 74's recommended max levels are 12-14. Cool, looks like we're about evening it out and besides, how much more powerful can you get than invading a god's homeworld and attempting to beat her up? Makes sense to me.
Given that, I can only assume that max level for a Dwarf and roughly max level for a Human Fighter should be equivalent. But it doesn't make sense. The Dwarf isn't hitting for as hard and doesn't have as much health, in exchange for the fact that he can detect doors and is resistant to magic. Makes sense to me, honestly-but why on earth will he have half the health of said level 12 Fighter? This game fiction is telling me that both Elves (with a max level of 8) and Humans are tougher than Dwarves. If you'll pardon my french, c'est merde.
What I'm thinking of is giving it a little tweak, by using the very excellent Ancient Auguries and letting Humans (and humans only) choose special abilities from the list given, with such cinematic choices as "dodging", "cleave", and "leadership". I like it a lot, not in the least because it helps fix Dwarves (and Elves too, I guess) right up by giving them a little something.
So my house-rule for Dwarves and Fighters is:
At 3rd and 6th level, a Fighter may choose a Special Ability from the list provided. Each Fighter ability may only be chosen once.
At 6th level, a Dwarf may choose a Special Ability from the list provided. Each Dwarf ability may only be chosen once.
And I'll write up some Dwarf Special Abilities later, or something.
The other course of action I could take would be to change the Experience Base from 20 to perhaps 22 or 24, making the Dwarf naturally level slower than his companions, and then giving the Elf an Experience Base of, say, 24 or 26 to make up for its natural advantages.
I guess that's what really gets me- the Elf gets better powers and gets a higher level, too. Well, no more of that! Equality for Dwarves! Or something!
EDITOR'S NOTE: I guess I looked over the part that said to give Dwarves, Elves, and Halflings an increase to their Experience Base if you don't like hard level limits (which I don't), but I'm still going to give Dwarves a lesser bonus to their fighting stuff. I guess honestly, once you give them a level penalty, they're basically fighters except slower-learning, with a couple of cool abilities, but I'll have to put more thought into it. I kind of like the way I have it, where Dwarves have a lesser experience penalty due to the fact that they only get one bonus special thing, but Elves have a pretty serious penalty (being two classes and all). Halflings seem fine to me, especially when you give them a miniscule penalty to round out their smallish benefits.