Jun 16, 2008

D&D Rules - Time to Train

I was recently writing up a post about one of the recent game sessions (I'm about three sessions, or two posts, behind the actual campaign) when I started going off on a tangent about Training.

As I started writing more and more on this "tangent" I realized this should be it's own post...

Here's the conundrum I run into with training in the D&D game... on one hand I like the logic that characters need to train to gain new abilities and powers. On the other hand, I hate the fact that long term adventures need to "grind to a halt" to allow PCs a couple of weeks to train.

I especially have this problem when the characters are in the middle of a big, epic, "save the world" kind of adventure. There are a couple of solutions, adventure-wise, but none that I like. I could just stick with dungeon crawls, so the characters can stop, train, and resume the crawl at their leisure. But I think a good campaign should have a bit more than just "break door, kill, loot, rinse and repeat". Alternately I could keep the adventures short to allow the logical end to occur around the time the character would be ready to train. I do that at low levels, but when I start getting into the mid levels (my personal sweet spot as a DM), I like epic stories, which rarely fit into 12 encounters or less.

Now I could just abandon training all together, which later versions of the game have done, but then I can't rationalize how characters seemingly learn abilities and powers spontaneously.

I've tried solutions that are a mix of the two... allowing characters to partially advance mid adventure (gaining hps and more existing spells/day, but not new feats, or new spell levels) and then train up later. In fact I had to update my ending to the previous adventure to establish that the Black Scourge was "contained", for a while at least, to logically allow PCs to stop and train and research what they could do next.

Lately I've been thinking of requiring characters to train at low levels (1-5) to advance and then advance without training (or "self-training") thereafter... just a thought.