Yeah, another 4E post. Those of you who can't stand to hear anything negative about that edition (Woodstock, I'm typing at you) feel free to click that back button on your browser right now.
In my post the other day about the skill chapter, I mentioned the lack of a feel of progress in certain areas due to shifting goal posts. Skill bonuses go up with level, but so do target DCs.* They'd do just as well having skills linked to your ability score, with bonuses for training, and that's it. Then just keep the DCs static as well. Same difference, and it would save everyone time erasing and rewriting their skill bonuses every two levels.**
The other thing that's bugging me right now is the idea that every battle must be EPIC!!! Seriously, do we need kobolds with 30-40 hit points? Does a fight with kobolds need to take an hour or more? I've still only played 4E at level 1, but wouldn't having these "epic" fights all the way from level 1 to level 30 make the ones up there at the top just feel like more of the same?
Basically both of these problems come down to a feeling of lacking growth/progress. There's something to be said about starting out weak and ending up strong. It felt good to have a 20-something level Fighter in BECM who only rarely failed saves and could face down dragons with relative ease, knowing that once upon a time he wasn't so strong and every group of goblins or giant spider potentially had his number. Or having a similarly leveled Magic-User, with Death Spells and Disintegrates and Teleports at his fingertips, who used to venture into the depths with a single or small handful of spells once upon a time.
|I used to be the weakling Bat-Boy. Now, I'm Batman!|
*I realize this was inherited from 3E. It's one of the things that soured me on high level 3E play.
**Yes, there are some skill DCs that are static, you get better at them as you level. Why not just add level bonuses to THOSE skill checks since they're in the minority? KISS principle failure here.