When it comes to RPGs (both tabletop and video) my first love is fantasy. To be more precise, it is classic middle age euro based fantasy. I have been reflecting a lot lately on level based fantasy games, mostly D&D and its’ assorted variants. Some thoughts about Palladium fantasy as well (as a counterpoint).
I love D&D, this latest edition included, but there is something that has been bugging me. When I ran the last campaign of D&D it went well but character advancement felt too… linear? clean? Not so much the characters different abilities, they got to make their own choices, but with the general advancement. Kill monster, get XP, level up. Looking back it just felt weird.
It got me to thinking that it might be because of the leveling up process. In Palladium Fantasy, there are levels, but the monsters don’t have XP values. You give out XPees in a more storytelling fashion, based on challenges overcome, etc. No formula or anything just a chart with some guidelines and a handoff to the GM. That helps mitigate the level based weirdness a little. Now Palladium has its’ own problems that I could spend entire posts about but that would be beside the point.
I am not sure what I am even saying here, except if I run fantasy again I don’t know if I would use D&D. This may be because I just recently finished a year-long campaign. Maybe because I am a little burnt out on GMing in general.
Anyone had any non-level based Fantasy RPG fun lately? Any thoughts on why I get that weird feeling about D&D? Or what I should do about it?