How fast should characters level up?
I was discussing on the D&D forums and started a thread on how fast should characters level up. The first reply to my post came about 10 minutes after I posted it and boldly stated that characters should level up once every 13.5 encounters. I thought the ridiculously precise number was pretty funny, but then came a second reply that claimed the number was actually 13.33 encounters per level. I was stoked.
Following the Dungeon Master Guide’s guidelines
On one hand, the challenge rating system is great for assigning experience, if everything goes according to plan. But which game ever does? The encounters I think will be difficult often end up being easy or vice-versa. And do you really want to go through 13 – excuse me, 13.33 – encounters at level one? Personally I don’t.
Many liberal replies also were posted on the forum and I strongly suggest that you spend some time on the message boards. I know it broadens my dungeon master horizons when I do.
My take on how fast the characters should level up depends on the kind of game I am playing. When I’m in a very laid back game with casual players, I’d say that I would level every 3-4 games. If my players are veterans, I’ll breeze through the first 10-12 levels (1 lvl / 1 or 2 games) and then slow down dramatically. I think that experienced players have fun roleplaying, but they can be bored with low-level character, and the higher levels offer so much more complexity.
What about you?
Your thoughts? Do you often start a D&D game that lasts only a few weeks or months – meaning you rarely get to play high-level characters?