Friday, August 8, 2014

D&D 5e: Fixing Rapid Low Level Advancement

There has been a fair amount of discussion in the level advancement in D&D 5th Edition. One particular comment on Google+ that stood out to me is "Blink and you'll miss it." 

The comment was specifically noting that the early levels 1 through 3 fly by so quickly that you won't even notice before you are level 4. Even advancement through level 5 is fairly quick.

The designers have defended this by noting that in their surveys, few campaigns get past level 10 due to real life constraints on player groups. My opinion is that this defense is a crock of night soil. I believe the level advancement more reflects the designers' desire to quickly progress to level 5 because after level 5 the advancement slows to a more leisurely pace through to level 10.

It is easy enough to adjust the level 10 advancement without totally screwing up the experience levels prior to level 5. I propose a revised level advancement that still gets players to level 10 as quickly as the current advancement, but allow players to spend more than just a single session at levels 1, 2, and 3.

Level
Current XP
Proposed XP
Bonus
1
0
0
+2
2
300
1000
+2
3
900
2,200
+2
4
2,700
4,500
+2
5
6,500
8,500
+3
6
14,000
16,000
+3
7
23,000
26,000
+3
8
34,000
38,000
+3
9
48,000
51,000
+4
10
64,000
64,000
+4

Levels 11 through 20 use the same progression that is already in the rules. This modification fixes the progression. prior to level 6. From level 6 onward, the differences are fairly minor, but I did modify them slightly such that the progression curve doesn't have any jagged edges.

For those of you who are more visual, I created this chart that shows the relative curves. The current advancement is in green, the proposed change is in blue. Note that they meet at level 10 which means that the end goal of getting players to level 10 in a timely manner is still achieved.



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