Paul's game is, I think, something I've been needing without me necessarily knowing. His initial pitch on our last Dark Heresy night was "Up to 10 ECL and 10 class levels" and then later supplemented via text with "In Droaam, working for Daughters of Sora Kell." Now, this already sounds fun. Monstrous PC working for the leaders of a monstrous nation. I really dug that, but the first thing that I latched onto was the leeway we were given with character creation.
I love crunch in game systems. It's not something I need, but I do like my fix now and then, and sometimes when given the opportunity, I like to fiddle with optimization. You see, I don't usually optimize my characters for other games, such as our Age of Worms campaign, because I don't care for the hassle of the bookkeeping, I don't wish to burden my GM with skews in character ability, and I don't wish to overshadow my fellow players' characters because I wish all of us to have a fun experience.
When Paul announced the levels for this mini-campaign, however, I jumped on the chance to push some limits. Not all of us did, mind you, but the impact is seemingly less, as each of our races have distinct advantages, and most of us went for acutely focused class structures, which means fewer instances of overlap and more fun as our characters do what they do. Taylor has mentioned not being entirely happy with his character as it stands, so he might ask Paul for a change, but I don't think he didn't enjoy himself during the game.
All of this is not to say that I don't have reservations! My fears, however, are that he might slip into a challenge fallacy with our characters. My sorceror, while powerful, is really only as potent as a 15th level character. David's living spell character, on the other hand, is teetering close to epic levels of power, because he was looking at gaming his character, as well. The others vary mostly by situation as to where they sit, but we're definitely not a 20th level party, no matter what our ECLs say, as racial ECL adds seem to not follow any particular scale, and it could be very easy for Paul to design encounters that would just be too powerful for us to really handle.
Part of our weakness vs. apparent power level stems from the allocation of gold. We built our characters with 10th level gold, then got a boost of 100k each by the Daughters as payment for this dangerous task. This effectively puts us at 14th level gold, but not 20th, which means power level will be curbed more, as D&D works off of a "your toys make you good" system. The fact that the extra 100k came after character creation makes a large difference, as well, as choices made are slightly more restricted than they would have been if we had gotten the starting gold for 14th level (150k) or higher.
I'm excited at seeing the challenges to come in the campaign, because I thought the three stone golems were rather clever, and despite my fears, I'm sure Paul will have an exciting adventure for us, and I'm interested in seeing his approach to the three-part model as far as pacing and scene breakup goes.