Wednesday, December 8, 2021

Gates, Scaling, and Power Levels

Just a quick thought as I let a few Felltower ideas stew around in my brain before I fit them in where they'll belong on the map(s.)

Felltower dungeon has a large number of gates - more than the PCs have found, and they've found a number of them.

Some of the gates are, basically, like dungeon levels. I made them, stocked them, and leave them to be found. The PCs might hit them "too early," and suffer a very high risk. They might hit them at just the right time, and have a risk and reward that matches their level. Or they might hit them "too late," and find a low risk but a reward that isn't really worth the effort.*

However, some gates are unabashedly gamey. I'll adjust their difficulty based on the power level of the group. You simply cannot overmatch the challenge behind it. You can undershoot it and get massacred, of course, but if you're more powerful than I expected I'll just ratchet up the difficulty level.

Is that fair?

Is that "old school?"

Is it "new school?"

Does that fit with the idea of putting down a sitation and letting the dice decide how it all goes?

I don't actually care.

I have an expected minimum level of toughness and reward for those places. I don't want to spend an exciting location, hand-picked foes, and an area of interest on the PCs going through them like a buzzsaw and sucking up some loot in the process.

I won't say which are which ahead of time. After, I might. The PCs have hit one of these "scaling" gates already, possibly more, and one that doesn't, possibly more.

Not a lot of real depth to this post, just a thought that might spark some thought or discussion. My game's only consistent aim is to be entertaining to everyone within a set of parameters.

* Some aren't like dungeon levels at all, and require something different than killing and looting.


  1. Isn't that approach about portals similar to a certain Munchkin expansion?

    1. It might be. I have Munchkin and the first half-dozen or so expansions but I didn't use Dungeons, if that's the one you mean. Own it, didn't really read it. Any resemblance there is accidental.


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