Wednesday, December 8, 2010

To the OSR People: Level Titles?

Quick one today, directed mostly at the members of the OSR.

Do you like level titles?  Do you use them in your games?
Why or why not?

12 comments:

Shane Mangus said...

I like them, and think they add a bit of flavor to the game. The only drawback I see is when the level title and the character concept clash.

Dennis Laffey said...

I like the concept of level titles. There are a few individual titles I'm not too fond of, but the general idea is one I like.

I don't force players to use them, but I'm kinda happy when they do.

Evan said...

I like the idea of level titles but find the execution lacking.

Unknown said...

Agreed with Shane: the title is mostly a frame for working within. It also helps make things as byzantine as Tsolyani social structure a bit more sensible. "Oh, he's a Hero of the Pe Choi. I get it. I'll change my pronouns from 'you of squashable insect nature' to 'you of illustrious renown." "Cool. That changes his reaction to 'friendly' and he puts his swords away without stabbing you in the spleen..." I do allow the players to change and shift the titles as long as it doesn't improve or worsen the relative rank. Equally, the players *not* using the title can express humility and approachability - something else that can speak volumes about their character if they so choose. The opposite is true as well...
Some ranks are far too colorful to not leave alone. Grand Master of Flowers? Totally awesome.

Dyson Logos said...

I'm not OSR (I'm a traitor to the cause), but I am an avid B/X player and DM and we use level titles sometimes. I like them, and occasionally they are used. Particularly with NPCs ("Hurrek, the Robber, has been known to work these areas")

John Matthew Stater said...

Yes and yes.

akfu23 said...

I use them and agree that they add flavor to the game in many ways. Also as an OSR nitpicker I feel the need to point out that in the 0e LBB's they have *only* titles and XP totals for characters.

While I suppose they were theoretically implied, the concept of level numbers didn't come until AD&D (probably because of the 0e disconnect between levels and hit dice?)

John Higgins said...

I tend to use a more truncated system, where characters get one title at 4th level and another at 9th -- a "heroic" title to mark the transition to Expert play, and then a "super-heroic" title for name level.

I find this vastly reduces the chance of the title conflicting with character concept, as in "oh, my enchanter is suddenly a necromancer now?" or "why did I go from being a swashbuckler to a gladiator?"

Talysman said...

I'm leaning towards a truncated title system, too. One title for when you first start out, one for when you establish yourself (nominally connected to level 4, but available earlier if you can convince people you're worthy,) and one for "name level". And lots of alternates. I figure there's no reason why an M-U who knows Animate Dead wouldn't be able to use the title "Necromancer".

Joshua L. Lyle said...

I use a hybrid system of ranks (which I use instead of numbered levels, to avoid the problem of overloaded keywords) and titles. Each class has titles for levels 0, 1, 3, 6, 9, and 12, in several shades that somewhat track alignment (clerics vs. anti-clerics, free warriors vs. knights vs. rogues, wizards vs. warlocks), with a note in the advancement section about what is in-game and not (ranks are a mechanistic measure, titles are in-character content recognized by the other characters in the world).

Anonymous said...

I like them. They don't make sense depending on the character, but that's not the point. They add a level of fun, and when it does help with the character concept, great. Mainly it is used as a fun player thing, not an in-game character thing (unless it fits.)

Anonymous said...

Oh... and as with everything in D&D, treat the titles as suggestions. Ideally you could make your own titles that fit your home campaign perfectly.