Alternate EXP Award Method

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Galadrin
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Alternate EXP Award Method

Post by Galadrin »

One misconception from my early D&D days was that I believed a monster's EXP total was the amount that all players in the party would receive if they beat the monster (I did not understand that it was divided between players). I also didn't realize that adding monsters would increase the EXP reward (I figured it just made the fight harder, and the option for combat less attractive to the players).

Years later, I find myself toying with this idea again. I am thinking of awarding OD&D experience for monsters (aka 1HD = 100 EXP), without any EXP reward for treasure (considering how DCC characters need half as much EXP to level as OD&D characters). However, my current plan is to give the highest monster HD reward as an encounter reward to all players in the party. If the fight was easy (for whatever reason), then they get half.

Thus, after a fight with (any number of) goblins, each player would receive 100 EXP (or 50 EXP, e.g. if the goblins surrendered). After a fight with bugbears, 400 EXP. After a fight with 1 bugbear and many goblins, 400 EXP (or 200, if it was a slaughter).

This seems to produce a nice, fast progression, with 70-90 HD of fights between level 1 and level 5. What do you think?
goodmangames
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Re: Alternate EXP Award Method

Post by goodmangames »

I like the idea of making it more simple! The longer I've played, the more I've tended toward very simple XP systems that don't require spreadsheet math after a game.

I, too, made the same mistake you did early in my gaming career, and didn't realize the monster XP was divided between all characters. I wonder if that was a common oversight?

The final DCC RPG XP system is really, really simple. There is a simple XP value awarded for each encounter depending on the difficulty of the encounter. No separate calculations or values by monster. I know that some players will layer in their own, more complicated variants, but in terms of "how do I actually enjoy the game?", I think it has to be said that many of us are getting older and prefer to spend time on the actual game play vs. "DM maintenance activities."
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finarvyn
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Re: Alternate EXP Award Method

Post by finarvyn »

goodmangames wrote:The final DCC RPG XP system is really, really simple. There is a simple XP value awarded for each encounter depending on the difficulty of the encounter.
It occurs to me that perhaps the best option is to simplify further.

Think about this -- in OD&D the fighting man XP chart looks something like:
0
2,000
4,000
8,000 and so on.

Why would we need thousands of XP? Why not make it:
0
20
40
80.

(Or even 0, 2, 4, 8.) Complex XP totals were designed to work with a "1 gold piece = 1 XP" system but there's no reason why it couldn't be simplified to "1000 GP = 1 XP" or remove gold from the equation altogether.
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jmucchiello
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Re: Alternate EXP Award Method

Post by jmucchiello »

That would be amusing. 3E's xp chart (where you have 13.33 encounters per level) would be something like:

1 0
2 13
3 26
4 40
5 53
6 66
7 80
etc

Don't even call them XP at that point. Just call it meaningful encounters per level. Then you have to argue with the player counting encounters of course.
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finarvyn
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Re: Alternate EXP Award Method

Post by finarvyn »

Remind me of TSR's old SAGA system, where they gave experience charts in terms of "quests." Essentially once you have played enough adventures you advance, no matter what the outcome might be (or perhaps they have to be "successful" quests, I don't recall for certain).
Marv / Finarvyn
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ThickSkullAdv
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Re: Alternate EXP Award Method (XP)

Post by ThickSkullAdv »

I'm currently toying with implementing a simpler XP method in for one of the modules I'm producing and I'm looking for some feedback.

For the 0-level module, I'm basically going to say:

Code: Select all

If you make through this module, surviving players will have advanced from 0 to 1st. 
That is consistent with some of the rules that have been presented already.

For the 1st-to-3rd level module (as it was played in its original incarnation) I've actually looked at the flow of the story/encounters and want to award experience based on completing chapters of the story. As the adventure is an island-crawl followed by a cavern-crawl finale, I was going to put in something that essentially reads (and I'm using examples):

Code: Select all

The island has 4 main overland areas each with at least 4-6 opportunities for combat encounters: The beach area, the ruined village, the mountains and the swamps. Once characters clear or complete 2 of the 4 overland areas they should advance from 1st to 2nd level. Once the characters complete the remaining 2 areas encounters, they should have enough experience to advance to 3rd level as they descend into the final caverns. If your characters avoid several of the keyed encounters in any given chapter, feel free to customize the game with wandering monsters until you feel they've earned advancement.
I personally like how it keeps the simplicity and I do want to keep the exploration/sand-box type feel of the island.

The risk is, given the module was designed open-ended so the PCs could explore different areas at different times,depending on which adventure paths the PCs make, some encounters will be played at 1st level, and others at 2nd level (the finale encounters require gathering clues/solving problems within the first 4 chapters so its safe that all players will be at 3rd level.)

So my questions become:
  • What do you think Too simplistic? Or, would you prefer to see this encounter is worth n points.
  • How do people feel about scaling information in modules in general?
  • This technique uses the you should play about 4-6 encounters fighting encounters more-or-less before advancing.
For the record, I too dislike all the XP math, but at least in the games I've DM'd, the PCs do look at me with googly drooling eyes after a particularly nasty battle asking, "Oh man, how much experience do I get FOR THAT?" And for that I almost want to continue to give them some sort of tangible reward, but just keep the advancement level kinda fluffy. i.e., "You need about 2 or 3 more fights like that to hit your next level."

Anyway, curious for other's thoughts.
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finarvyn
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Re: Alternate EXP Award Method (XP)

Post by finarvyn »

ThickSkullAdv wrote:For the 0-level module, I'm basically going to say:

Code: Select all

If you make through this module, surviving players will have advanced from 0 to 1st. 
That is consistent with some of the rules that have been presented already.
Nice and, as you noted, totally consistent with the DCC rules.
ThickSkullAdv wrote:For the 1st-to-3rd level module (as it was played in its original incarnation) I've actually looked at the flow of the story/encounters and want to award experience based on completing chapters of the story.
Your chapter concept is similar to the way I do XP. What I do is look for (1) the end of a module, or (2) a convenient "resting point" partway through the module and level up the characters together.

Basically, I shoot for every couple of game sessions modified this by the frequency of play. In other words, if we only get together once per month I may level them up each time but if we play twice per week I might go 3-4 sessions in between leveling up.

My goal is to have players see slow and gradual development but, as we tend to blow up a campaign and start over every 9 months or so, I need to be sure that they get to a decent level by the end of the campaign.
Marv / Finarvyn
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Galadrin
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Re: Alternate EXP Award Method

Post by Galadrin »

Hey Joe, any more or new hints on the EXP system for DCC? I'm really looking forward to your solution.
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finarvyn
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Re: Alternate EXP Award Method

Post by finarvyn »

The XP system is similar to the ones that jmucchiello and I posted in this very thread. The numbers aren't the same, and I'm not sure I'm allowed to share them yet, but the concept is pretty much as seen above.

XP is greatly simplified to the point where you aren't spending all your time counting numbers. It's a simple, clean, model that works quite well. 8)
Marv / Finarvyn
DCC Minister of Propaganda; Deputized 6/8/11
DCC RPG playtester 2011, DCC Lankhmar trivia contest winner 2015; OD&D player since 1975

"The worthy GM never purposely kills players' PCs, He presents opportunities for the rash and unthinking players to do that all on their own."
-- Gary Gygax
"Don't ask me what you need to hit. Just roll the die and I will let you know!"
-- Dave Arneson
jmucchiello
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Re: Alternate EXP Award Method

Post by jmucchiello »

finarvyn wrote:The XP system is similar to the ones that jmucchiello and I posted in this very thread.
Things like this kill me that I'm not an official play tester. <sniff>
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finarvyn
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Re: Alternate EXP Award Method

Post by finarvyn »

jmucchiello wrote:
finarvyn wrote:The XP system is similar to the ones that jmucchiello and I posted in this very thread.
Things like this kill me that I'm not an official play tester. <sniff>
Keep in mind that the algorithm is different. The actual XP numbers don't match what either of us posted, but the concept of simplification is in place. (I think it was proposed on some earlier threads as well.)

Essentially, the goal is to avoid having to spend lots of time counting numbers. XP is designed to be more global instead of nit-picky. (Is that a word?)
Marv / Finarvyn
DCC Minister of Propaganda; Deputized 6/8/11
DCC RPG playtester 2011, DCC Lankhmar trivia contest winner 2015; OD&D player since 1975

"The worthy GM never purposely kills players' PCs, He presents opportunities for the rash and unthinking players to do that all on their own."
-- Gary Gygax
"Don't ask me what you need to hit. Just roll the die and I will let you know!"
-- Dave Arneson
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