Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Half a Hobbit is Better then None

Over the past few days there have been a couple of blog posts here and there dealing with the level limits demihumans in particular suffer in the various "old school" editions of D&D / AD&D.  Most, if not all of the suggestions, included giving humans an expo boost if one were to remove the level caps from the other races.  I lean in a different direction in my "solution" to the issue (assuming there is even an issue at all, as except for halflings in D&D, most races can hit a level well in the range that the vast majority of the campaigns I've played in have ended at... but that's a whole 'nother post for another day).

My way of dealing with it, if it comes up in the next game I run, will be to treat the level caps as "soft caps".  Once a character hits a "soft cap" on their level, they suffer a 50% reduction on all future expo (if they have an expo bonus due to an exceptional stat it lowers the penalty by the amount of the bonus).

Demihumans under the "soft cap" method will keep pace with their human companions for the early levels, but the advanced levels will come slower to them.  That being said, they will still have the opportunity to increase in level and power... they will not need to be retired, nor will they be forced to adventure for no experience gain.

Hmmm, unless someone plays a halfling in my next campaign it will be a while before this plays out.... assuming it even gets that far.  Time will tell.


  1. That's a novel approach to resolving the issue. I have only been running C&C sessions as GM, so it doesn't come up at all.

  2. I might never get to use this rule, but I think it keeps closest to the idea of level limits while still allowing the PC to level.

    In theory i like it... if reality ever reaches theory I'll post an update ;)

  3. I've never liked level caps (against the ofttimes stated purposes of balance and human centricity).

    This is one of the best "solutions" I've read. It follows the principal of "Saying yes, but..."

  4. That's the whole issue... I don't like crapping on a player's character concept by saying "once your halfling hits 4th level you might as well retire him and start fresh as 1st... again".

    This gives the option of "once you hit 4th level, its going to slow down for you compared to others... but you can still progress and maybe think of some creative ways to close the gap".


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