|One-Shot Adventure Level: High Heroic or Low Paragon?
||[Jul. 11th, 2010|01:06 pm]
Dungeons & Dragons 4th Edition
I'm in the process of planning a one-shot adventure for the benefit of some of my friends who haven't played 4E before. I'm not entirely sure who will be participating yet, but no one I plan to ask is new to roleplaying, so I'm thinking of making the adventure higher-level, in the neighborhood of high Heroic or low Paragon tier.|
What I'm not sure about is whether to plan for the low or high end of that range. The only 4E games I've run before this were 1st-2nd level and 5th level. I know that the start of the Paragon tier changes things, but I don't know how much. I don't really want to make the characters any higher than 12th level, just because that's the point at which you start replacing powers instead of gaining new ones. Anything lower than 9th or 10th level will probably be too low for the sort of adventure I had in mind, though.
What do you folks think? What's your experience been with the differences between Heroic and Paragon tier? Is it too much of a change for a GM and players inexperienced with 4E?
I would say Low Paragon.
Even in the higher Heroic levels you tend to get down to "At will, at will, at will" during a fight.
at the paragon levels, I have to work a bit to get my players out of encounters and dailies.
Last one-shot I did included two players wholly new to 4e, and we started in high paragon (10th level) for extra powers/more tactical options. It worked really well; so well that I'm reluctant to begin a non-long term campaign at 1st level ever again.
I'd suggest that if you're playing with people who aren't experiences, definitely DO NOT do Paragon. The game gets pretty complicated at that point. We switched our game over to level 12 in 4e a few months ago and many of the players are only just now starting to et the hang of how their powers, abilities, feats, etc all work together. Each person's turn was taking like 10 or 15 minutes as they tried to figure out which powers did what, what feats applied to an attack, etc--it was very slow and not very fun. I think starting at lower level (3 is good, with people having 2 encounter powers) is a better way to learn the game, before things get really complicated. Sure you may be reduced to only using At-Wills most of the time, but then you are able to figure out how conditions, movements, etc work, as well as understanding magic items and such. The shear array of options can be overwhelming, even for long-time players (simply because they're trying to keep track of everything).
If you're worried about "at-will" spamming (which I wouldn't be before 7th level), just shorten combats with the normal x2 damage, 1/2hp mods. As a player, I don't mind using my at-wills for 3-4 rounds (since I have two attacks, and mix in melee basics and stuff as well)--using at-wills does not necessarily mean a grind, particularly if you have entertaining powers (that move or control or do whatever).
Start simpler, then you can add complexity.
My main concern is that starting low is fine for a long-term campaign, but this is a one-shot; one of my potential players has said he simply doesn't have time for a long-running campaign. I have to assume that this group may never reform after the second or third session, so I won't have time to add complexity later.
I do see what you're saying, though, it's my biggest concern with starting at a high level. What I really want to do is showcase, not introduce; again, none of these people are new to RPing in general.
I'd aim for level 8 or 10. 8 if you're looking to only do two fights (so one for each daily), or 10 if you want to let the PCs go all out. Even level is good because the numbers are stronger, and that extra utility at 10 could be fun.