Page 1190 - Pace Keeper

5th Mar 2019, 6:00 AM
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Pace Keeper
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Author Notes:

Newbiespud 5th Mar 2019, 6:00 AM edit delete
Newbiespud
Looking back, I'm realizing that I use this device enough that it's basically its own trope – the "DM opens up about the challenges they're facing organizing and planning and running the campaign" page.

On the other hand, I've apparently stumbled onto a theme of "how do you pull together a campaign that keeps destabilizing" and chosen to be sympathetic to the DM's side of things as well as the players. And considering this comic is mostly interpersonal dialogue, it's the main narrative device I seem to have that lets me show that side of things.

Like any tool, narrative devices deserve inspection when you use them regularly.

38 Comments:

Digo Dragon 5th Mar 2019, 6:12 AM edit delete reply
Digo Dragon
I think most class/level systems get interesting after level 3-4 as a general experience, but my perception is colored by the fact I've rarely been a player to experience a character grow from 1st level up through the ranks to that.

Most of the time either the campaign never survives that long or it's a one shot at a higher level so either way I've missed out a lot in what I feel is an important character-establishing part of the level up process.
Winged Cat 5th Mar 2019, 11:58 AM edit delete reply
Winged Cat
Many times when people suggest a new campaign, I take a good look at the GM (virtually if online), evaluate the odds of the campaign lasting, and wind up optimizing a PC for no or little progression. (In systems where optimizing a PC for what they will be after several level-ups vs. optimizing to have what tricks they will have right out of character generation is a thing. Unfortunately, the very choice to use a system like that has often been, in my experience, a sign of a DM unlikely to keep a campaign together for many sessions.)
Mr_Some1 5th Mar 2019, 6:44 AM edit delete reply
Mr_Some1
Things get more interesting after level 4? As still sort of a DND newb that's great to hear. I've been playing for like 4 years, but sadly I've never been able to find a campaign that I can stick with, every one I join usually ends up slowly drifting apart, or just saying we aren't having any more sessions until the dm thinks of some new plans, and that usually never ends up happening. That's why I love comics like this and watching critical role and other things, cause it lets me actually experience this game.
Winged Cat 5th Mar 2019, 11:49 AM edit delete reply
Winged Cat
Yeah - DMs are supposed to plan much further in advance than they usually do. Some D&D DMs try to finagle this by starting everyone at level 3 or 5, on the expectation that the players will stop showing up after several sessions anyway.

There is a better way, though. There are ways to identify players likely to stay with the game - and ways to handle occasional emergencies so they don't encourage skipping a lot more sessions than one has to. Both of them involve thinking things through in advance, which a lot of people are unfamiliar with (and some seem to actively resist doing, for reasons I am not sure of).

I have run, and been part of, campaigns that took PCs from beginning level all the way through end. Not D&D specifically, but the range was equivalent to D&D's levels 1-20 - in some cases, equivalent to 1-30 (for editions that have support for 30th level).
albedoequals1 5th Mar 2019, 1:52 PM edit delete reply
albedoequals1
For characters that start at level 1, levels 4-10 are the most fun in Pathfinder, and probably 5E as well. Below level 4, you are in constant fear of sudden death, and above level 10, combat turns into an administration chore, and isn't as exciting anymore.