Saturday, October 20, 2012
The Challenge of High Level Campaigns - Surviving to High Levels or Having the Campaign Survive?
It's probably why lower level adventures seem to sell best on places like RPGNow - more folks are just naturally playing at lower levels.
I'm sure part of it is player attrition and the struggle to keep a group together and gaming regularly to hit those levels. I'm sure part of it is GM (and even player) burnout - playing the same system, setting and characters can get old after a while.
There is also the challenge of balancing adventures to a higher level party. Things get pretty swingy in the higher levels compared to balancing challenges at lower levels. The power of the spells, magic, monsters is much more variable. The extremes of cakewalk and TPK are more common than at lower levels.
Then there is the definition of what actually constitutes "high level play". Is it hitting name level of 9 through 11, or is the 14-18 levels of play?
I have found my campaigns tend to die to a combination of DM / Player apathy after a certain point more than TPKs, but that might be because I'm an OSR system whore and love them all.
This question does not apply to 4e, which we know handles all levels equally well, and you are already designing you 20th level Wizard when you are just a 1st level apprentice ;)