Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Thoughts on level drain

The Vampire steps forward out of the darkness and slams you…resulting in a loss of two levels! I’ve done a lot of rotten things as a DM, but level drain is the one that I just can’t get into. I’ve killed PCs many times, had them lose magic items, killed henchmen and animal companions, our last campaign ended with a total party kill of a group of level 11 characters. But I’ve never taken a level away. That is just heartless.

Honestly, I’m not even sure how it works. The rules are a little vague, but does the character lose everything that goes with the level? Feats and abilities, skill points and hit points? That really sucks. I think it is more fair to just kill them. Plus the bookkeeping that goes along with it seems very cumbersome. And I’m not really sure what it means. It’s not like “level” is really a term that characters are familiar with, it’s really just a numerical representation of experience and skill. So how does someone take that away? Do the memories and knowledge go along with it? Rest assured, players in my game. I may kill you (quite frequently it turns out) but that fourth level of rogue is all yours.


Emily Dickinson said...

That's a good point your making. Level drain isn't a 'fun' ability, it just seems like a punishment to the player. There's very little challenge to it, as opposed to something like a curse, or getting turned to stone, that opens up more adventuring possibilities afterward.

Matt said...

I like that you're bloodthirsty, Fran.