Friday, February 26, 2010

The New Old Campaign Design - Part 9 - NPC Levels

My plan for this campaign is to emphasize the PC's power in the world more than in some campaigns. The highest level NPC rulers, movers, and shakers will be name level, about 9th or 10th. Characters who climb past 10th level will quickly become legendary figures whose fame will spread far and wide, attracting followers, opportunists, and rivals.

Typical village and town leaders will be about 3rd level - basically everyone starts as a Normal Man but greatness is thrust upon them when the well goes dry, the orcs attack, or something else goes wrong. Some strike out to settle things and end up looting a bandit camp or clearing out a dungeon, gaining wealth and enough XP's to make 2nd-3rd-4th level. These figures are naturally looked upon as the leaders of whatever town they live in if they choose to stay at home after their big adventure and this is how most adventurers end up.

This also has the side effect of limiting the availability of powerful magic to characters which is good in my opinion. It also limits the impact of easy magic on the world at large which D&D has never been good at explaining. Things like widespread healing magic, raise dead, cure disease, create food and water could have a major effect on the semi-medieval society found in most D&D worlds. I don't want to think through it for this campaign so making it not widespread and easily available solves that quite nicely for me.

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