A few questions about Level 10

Just been mulling over some things regarding Level 10 in OL. I know it’s possible to play beyond it but for the sake of argument, let’s say the PCs are capped at level 10 and can’t progress further.

How do you feel about making human (or similar) NPCs beyond level 10? I’m considering a few NPCs that I want to be able to challenge the entire party but don’t necessarily want them to be ‘bosses’ - I’m just not sure how I feel about making a character that is beyond what the PCs can achieve - assume we’re using the quick build table here, again for simplicity.

Another question I have, if any of you have experience with this, when the players reach level 10 - does play become dull? I’ve never ran a game where my PCs hit max level before and my players are advancing quite quickly. I imagine they’ll be max level when the main campaign comes to a close (which is fine) but there may be other quests left over or character arcs left unexplored that they want to go back to - how do you keep a level 10 party happy and engaged when the reward of XP and progression is taken off the table?

Making things they fight be beyond level 10 I don’t feel is an issue. The level in this case is just for balancing an encounter, and doesn’t actually mean they are a higher level. It allows you to give them more HP and things like that to challenge the party with.

If you are really against this, then you have to give them either more people to have to fight (which can greatly increase the combat time) or give them special (extraordinary) items to aid them.

But again, the quick build table isn’t necessarily saying they are “5~10 levels higher than the PCs” as much as giving you values for HP and defense to give the NPC to challenge the party.

Play becoming dull has to do with the players and the GM more so than the level. At level 10 it is certainly harder to challenge the PCs because of all the things they have access to, but that too, is dependent on the type of game you are running. If you are running high power games, then it might not be an issue at all.

You also control how quickly your players are advancing, so if it is too quickly, slow them down. For my games I advance them faster at the start and then stretch it out as they progress.

You can award Legend Points in lieu of XP. Award interesting items, story progression, etc. If the players are playing only for XP and items, though, then you wouldn’t stop the progression of XP. Hopefully they are interested in a little more than just that though, and are invested in the story/world.

And like it has been said many times, and you even pointed out, it actually isn’t a problem to go past level 10. This just lets them get higher attribute scores, and more feats basically.

Hmm. I think that’s a good way to think about it - as more of a challenge rating than an actual level in the same way that the PCs have levels.

Luckily my players do seem invested in the world, I’m just somewhat concerned that they’ll lose interest if they feel like they’re ‘done’ and there’s no more progression since I’ve never had a group hit max level before.

I’m sure they’d still enjoy playing for the sake of playing but I’m not sure if they’d just want to roll some new characters to be able to progress again.

I’m unsure whether I’ll allow them to go beyond level 10 at the minute - it seems a fruitless exercise as I’ll just have to scale the world accordingly.

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I think it’s good to let players retire their characters.

Then their characters can become NPCs in the world. On some of my games I have even told players to think about a goal for retirement. “What would cause you to think your character is done, ready to retire from adventuring” or “What does your character want to do after they are done Adventuring?”

Then those are things they can focus on in session as well, something that drives their character.

“I want to be the best blacksmith there ever was.”

  • in game they are looking for materials, or old ancient tombs of blacksmithing knowledge
  • in game they are looking to build wealth to make an amazing forge

etc etc.