Content of the article: "Temporarily taking levels away from PCs"
Hello all. I'm running a campaign that sprung from a tier 3 one shot. I suggested the one shot to friends I have abroad as a mean to catch up after a while, but then they wanted more and we kept going, picking up 3 additional players (to a total of 6) along the way. I should also note that we're all experienced players, with multiple campaigns both as players and DMs under our belt.
The issue, as you might've guessed, is that with the characters now hitting lv13, it gets progressively harder to plan encounters. But that's fine with me, I'm always up to a challenge, and it is not what I'm here looking for advice for.
In one of the possible paths they will take (they've just fought a Dragon and have to decide what to do next), they're likely to travel to the Underdark to delve further into one of their backstories. While doing this it is likely (or I can make it likely >:) ) that they get captured by the resident dark-skinned pointy-eared folk. You know, getting chained up, collared and all of that.
My question is: how would you feel as players/DMs if the magical collars around your neck were to literally sap your strength in form of (temporarily) losing class levels?
What I mean precisely is that, while collared (and I'm using collar as a placeholder, could be any sort of magical device/brand/spell), the characters would lose all class features/ASI/HP/etc. related to certain levels, effectively making them a lower level character.
I think this could be interesting for them to explore how strong/weak their class of choice would be at lower levels, with the knowledge that, upon removing the collar, they would snap back to their lvl13 selves. It would also make it easier for me to plan encounters.
The downside is that, beyond feeling "robbed", the players, if they go do this task immediately, would get to experience their lv13 features for a short period of time (as they just leveled up).
But then perhaps, upon removing the collar, I could make it so that, should they wish, they could pick different levels?
I'm undecided on this.
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