Non-Level Specific Games

  • So I've just started on Fate's Harvest (, check it out, it's neat), which is a Changeling game that allows PCs to start at different tiers of XP: 100, 300, 500, 700, and 900. This, in my opinion, is really cool. You don't have to worry about getting the XP to do "basic" awesome crap; at this point in the game, further XP development is just basically icing on the cake if you're at the high end, you can have fully realized characters, etc.

    Led me to wonder: are there any other games out there like that? D&D, nWoD, other systems? I very specifically do NOT mean games that are all story-conflict with no dice, etc. etc.. I'm looking for the equivalent of games where I can start my character at 15th level in D&D terms, and so can anyone else.

    I've been gaming in various forms for more than 30 years. I am very tired of starting from scratch and fighting for XP to fully realize character concepts. I've been there, done that, and gotten the kewpie doll in more systems than I care to remember. The heroes' journey is no longer for me; I want to be the hero, not the person who has to grow up to be one...again.

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    @Shayd Maybe statless games? Not based on any system, no mechanics, just getting in there and playing anything you like.

    It sounds like anathema to many people in here but it actually works quite well (or no worse than anything else I've seen).

  • @Arkandel I've been on games like that (most superhero MU*s that I've checked out run like that). It's not that they have no value (they do), it's that my taste for games runs towards those where conflict resolution is measured by statistics and rolls and suchlike with NPCs and the like. There's no real risk/reward/chance involved in those sorts of games. I realize it's a stretch of an ask, but since I spotted Fate's Harvest and its method, I was curious if there were others.

  • In my history, most Transformers games were like that too. You had a max potential you started out with when you built, and that was that.

  • I have no idea if Road to Amber is still like this, but some years ago at least it kind of met the criteria.

    As long as you ignored the guidelines on their wiki and ensured you started with a stat at 10, you were a complete bad ass in your field fully capable of say, going on Combat Adventure Fun Time with Prince Benedict and pulling your weight.

    You were overmatched if you tried to face one of the Princes of Amber in their own field but you could certainly compete with them if your thing was matched against an area outside of your focus even right out of chargen, I had a character who beat up Prince Eric in unarmed combat for example.

  • FS3 is designed around the concept that you should be able to make a skilled veteran right out of the gate. Now it's configurable so not all games use it that way, but that idea was central to its design. Many of the Battlestar games have used it along with a hodgepodge of other MUs (Game of Bones, 100, Wing Commander, at least one Star Wars game, etc.).

    Because you can start high, XP is intended to be superfluous, and the slow advancement pisses some people off. Also some folks don't like it because not everyone starts out "even" in terms of their power level. But both of those things are by design, so c'est la vie. Can't please everyone.

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