Thursday, December 1, 2011

Penny Arcade and Power Creep

Gabe at penny arcade occasionally lets the world in on his D&D campaign through the comic and in their blog. It seems they do some seriously awesome stuff during their games like this:

The newest comics over the past few days discuss power creep in the 4ed game. Power creep is when each product that is released tries to outdo the power level of the products that came before it. After several years of this happening the power level of the original game and the newest books is vastly different. So much so that playing a basic fighter is very unappealing next to whatever cyber ninja monkey warrior that came out in the latest source book. 

Power creep was very bad in 3rd edition some of the last source books that were produced had vastly overpowered abilities when compared with basic PHB characters. Another thing about power creep is as the players become more powerful it requires a similar buildup of power from the GM. What you end up with is a role playing arms race.

16 comments:

  1. That's pretty cool despite power creep sounding fairly confusing to me. No problem when it comes to viewing and commenting on your blog man, I like to comment on every blog I read and I quite like the stuff you do as I've learned quite a lot about D and D so why the heck not, know?

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  2. I love Penny Arcade and the comics about Gabe's play are usually pretty funny too. It does kinda lower the value of play though when essentially what you have is players being overpowered so a DM has to think of similarly overpowered things to beat them down with.

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  3. Power Creep sounds like a Dragon Ball Z season..haha

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  4. I too would like to be a cyber ninja monkey warrior, particularly one that dual wields a light saber and an enchanted battle axe while also being an expert in magic. I don't think that's too unreasonable a request.

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  5. I like that term, role playing arms race, lol. Isn't that what they basically are though? You try to get better and better equipment as you progress.

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  6. That happened in second edition too! I had a friend who would always try to twist things and use newer booklets to make himself more powerful! One time he started out with full plate mail! It just made the DM fight back even harder! Which was nice! He became a magnet for attacks and it certainly helped out my character!

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  7. @otter - not really, yes you are supposed to get better as you progress but thats in game, power creep is about starting out vastly more overpowered because of newly released material.

    Kind of like if in the original they hand you a 9mmm gun then int he book 3 years later everyone starts with ak-47s then 2 years later its rocket launchers

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  8. That arms race analogy sounds spot on.

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  9. It reminds me of WoW making things stupid easy for new players :(

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  10. the models look sweet and that sounds pretty cool.

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  11. That's the reason I decided to move back to 2nd ed... my players were asking to use more and more books and at the point when one of my players had to reference 4 books in-game to get information on his "skills" and "feats" I finally lost it and said enough!... now I've allowed a few 2nd edition books in but nothing that hampers play, and they are only allowed to play the core classes. Any changes in the characters has to come through role-playing and good old-fashioned ingenuity. not "super powers"

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