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Player vs Character XP
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Author:  Crossada [ Thu Aug 23, 2012 9:04 am ]
Post subject:  Player vs Character XP

Howdy all, first post here. I wanted to share a house rule that I'm using regarding XP.

I'm giving the XP to the players rather than to their characters.

What's the difference? Well, if Blackleaf the Thief dies then Marcy doesn't need to worry, she can come back into the game with a new character of equivalent level as soon as the story gives an opening for such a character to appear.

(Until then she can run the monsters for me...and bring woe to the PCs)

This little "security blanket" really helped the players to buy into the deadly nature of DCC play (they are used to playing AD&D3.5) and the fact I roll in the open with no kid gloves.

Crossada

Author:  GnomeBoy [ Thu Aug 23, 2012 10:35 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Player vs Character XP

Oh, yeah -- letting new characters come in with the same XP as the other characters is a perfectly viable option. Been doing it for years.

Author:  TheNobleDrake [ Thu Aug 23, 2012 11:05 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Player vs Character XP

I do the same in most games that I run.

I have been considering a DCC specific process of having XP be awarded to each character and having each player manage a stable of characters - one as their current "active" character and the rest as either subordinates to that character or the equivalent of allied NPCs that the players, rather than I, control - so as to facilitate campaigns where "the party" number around 12 to 20 (for 5 or 6 players) rather than being locked to a 1:1 player:character ratio.

In that instance is about the only time I could see XP being for the character instead of for the player... and I would probably have some rule about some XP being specifically for the active characters and another portion being for the player to assign as desired amongst inactive characters.

Author:  beermotor [ Thu Aug 23, 2012 11:41 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Player vs Character XP

Crossada wrote:
Well, if Blackleaf the Thief dies then Marcy doesn't need to worry, she can come back into the game with a new character of equivalent level as soon as the story gives an opening for such a character to appear.



haha, awesome Chick reference.

Author:  finarvyn [ Thu Aug 23, 2012 12:40 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Player vs Character XP

It's a great idea, but keep a couple of factors in mind:
1) Are there any players who can't make it to play on a regular basis?
2) Is the group okay with this?

I had one group where a guy had some financial issues and had to take a second job. As a consequence, he missed half or more than half of the gaming sessions. This could mean that he's 3rd level when everyone else is 6th (statment made without consulting actual XP charts; you get the idea). He might not find it fun to always be behind the group in power, and the group might want to discuss this sort of thing.

Author:  GnomeBoy [ Thu Aug 23, 2012 12:51 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Player vs Character XP

beermotor wrote:
Crossada wrote:
Well, if Blackleaf the Thief dies then Marcy doesn't need to worry, she can come back into the game with a new character of equivalent level as soon as the story gives an opening for such a character to appear.



haha, awesome Chick reference.


Wow, I totally missed that -- guess I was too busy fighting the zombie.

Author:  Ynas Midgard [ Wed Aug 29, 2012 12:41 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Player vs Character XP

In the Dragon Age campaign I play (and in my Barrowmaze-campaign too, for that matter) one always creates a 1st-level character. New player joins in? 1st level character. A character dies in the action? 1st level character. Want a change of pace and try another class? Y'know the routine.

Death should mean something - levelling up is the reward for not dying.

The most generous thing I would consider is losing 50% (or 75%) of XP, and going from there.

Author:  GnomeBoy [ Wed Aug 29, 2012 1:39 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Player vs Character XP

Ynas Midgard wrote:
levelling up is the reward for not dying.

There are absolutely players for whom that works, and works well.

There are players, like the group I'm in, where that line would be 'playing is the reward for playing'. No reason to 'punish' someone for a random die roll that means their character is dead. YMMV.

Some groups need a carrot and a stick. Some just need chips and salsa. And some need beer. DSFDF.

Author:  beermotor [ Wed Aug 29, 2012 5:21 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Player vs Character XP

GnomeBoy wrote:
beermotor wrote:
Crossada wrote:
Well, if Blackleaf the Thief dies then Marcy doesn't need to worry, she can come back into the game with a new character of equivalent level as soon as the story gives an opening for such a character to appear.



haha, awesome Chick reference.


Wow, I totally missed that -- guess I was too busy fighting the zombie.

:lol:

My brain is full of useless trivia. But that Chick pamphlett was pretty memorable.

Author:  Sir Robilar [ Thu Aug 30, 2012 10:24 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Player vs Character XP

I'm planing to use a modified rule from Adventurer Conqueror King that I really like:

When a character spends his gold for nothing of actual value (ale, whores, giving it to the poor, giving it to random strangers, throwing it in the sea) they gain a reservoir of XP that their next character starts with. That reservoir is 1 tenth of the gold they spend. So if they spend 100 gp "for nothing", their next character starts with 10 XP and thus first level. This counts only for their next character, not all future characters. If they spend 500, they can start at Level 2, and so on. Also, the maximum that they can invest in this way will never bring them above their current character's level.

Author:  Devil Swine [ Fri Aug 31, 2012 3:28 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Player vs Character XP

While some players might play well with your rules you should keep in mind not all will.

I have one player for whom this rule would ruin the game. With no real penalty to death for the player he would throw away his characters lives of a whim or a lark.

We tried this back when I was running pathfinder( we actually tried group exp rules,the party gets a exp total and all characters coming into the game received it on entry).

For this player because death had no bite he felt no need to treat the game seriously. If his character died he would simply pull out another premade character and begin play.

Only once this rule was removed did this otherwise good player pull back into line.

Author:  ragboy [ Fri Aug 31, 2012 10:24 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Player vs Character XP

We just use the tried and true henchman advancement rule from 1st edition. There are typically three or four henchman or hirelings that can easily be adopted as PC's when a "lead PC" dies. It pretty much becomes luck of the draw, though -- some henchman may still be 1st level, some may be higher. It worked great in our AD&D games, so we just brought it forward for DCC -- where it's even more lethal.

I agree that there should be consequences for death. That's the whole point of the funnel (which, in my opinion, does not stop at 1st level). That being said, though, we have started characters at higher levels -- just depends on the campaign.

Author:  Skyscraper [ Fri Aug 31, 2012 11:02 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Player vs Character XP

I used to track XP very diligently. Now, I couldn't care less. For one thing, XP is very arbitrary. What earns XP? Only combat? Why? What if you play in a low-combat, high role-play game, will you then level up less often? If a DM can decide how many XP (0-4) should be attributed per encounter, why not simply allow him to decide when the PCs level up? I do the latter. I let the PCs level up to spice things up, once in a while. There might have been more or less combat, RP, etc..., who cares, really?

On the matter of new PCs, I let them in at the level of the players. Consequence for death? Man, all players I've played with care about their PC. They don't like losing one. It's punishment enough to have one die. No need to rub it in, IMO.

Sir Robilar wrote:
I'm planing to use a modified rule from Adventurer Conqueror King that I really like:

When a character spends his gold for nothing of actual value (ale, whores, giving it to the poor, giving it to random strangers, throwing it in the sea) they gain a reservoir of XP that their next character starts with. That reservoir is 1 tenth of the gold they spend. So if they spend 100 gp "for nothing", their next character starts with 10 XP and thus first level. This counts only for their next character, not all future characters. If they spend 500, they can start at Level 2, and so on. Also, the maximum that they can invest in this way will never bring them above their current character's level.


This is kind of a weird rule, and I would run it by my players to see if they like it before houseruling it in, if I were you. If your players like to be immersed in your game-world, this rule might irk them, as useless spending of money would meta-buy XP for other PCs who are not even rolled up yet. It also pushes the players to spend money for no other reason than to buy XP, which again is a metagame reason. From a RP standpoint, why do you wish to push all PCs to throw their money away? Because let's face it that's what's going to happen, all players will want to have a pool of passive XPs to allow a new PC to be of equivalent level with their own PC in case their PC dies. So your game is going to include some whacky spending sprees, that make no real sense from the PC's perspective, only from the player's perspective.

If you want to allow your players to start at the same level as the others, simply... Allow it. If you want your PCs to have less money, simply have them find less. But buying XP for others PCs with money seems like a weird recipee to me.

Author:  Sir Robilar [ Fri Aug 31, 2012 12:54 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Player vs Character XP

Skyscraper wrote:
This is kind of a weird rule, and I would run it by my players to see if they like it before houseruling it in, if I were you. If your players like to be immersed in your game-world, this rule might irk them, as useless spending of money would meta-buy XP for other PCs who are not even rolled up yet. It also pushes the players to spend money for no other reason than to buy XP, which again is a metagame reason. From a RP standpoint, why do you wish to push all PCs to throw their money away? Because let's face it that's what's going to happen, all players will want to have a pool of passive XPs to allow a new PC to be of equivalent level with their own PC in case their PC dies. So your game is going to include some whacky spending sprees, that make no real sense from the PC's perspective, only from the player's perspective.


Guess I should have explained the intention of this rule. It gives the players a reason to have their characters behave like the heroes in Sword & Sorcery stories. "Heroes" that have the bad habit of senselessly spending their well earned coin on ale, wenches or losing it in the gutter between their adventures. So it makes sense from these character's perspectives and encourages an Appendix N fitting play style.

Author:  Varkias [ Sat Sep 15, 2012 1:16 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Player vs Character XP

I'm thinking of going with a "mentor" system of "Bonus xp for every level between a character and the highest level character in the group."

Highest level character in the group is 3rd level? 2nd level characters get +1 xp every time xp is handed out; 1st level characters get +2 xp; 0 level characters get +3 xp.

That way, lower level characters will catch up to but never quite equal the highest level character, and it sorta recreates D&D's system of having harder monsters grant more xp without changing the entire DCC xp system. All around, it's the best compromise I can think of between staying the same level (which I like for some games, but goes against a lot of the DCC 'feel,') and the sting of starting all the way back at 0 level and grinding your way back up.

Author:  nerdwerds [ Sat Sep 15, 2012 2:29 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Player vs Character XP

Varkias wrote:
I'm thinking of going with a "mentor" system of "Bonus xp for every level between a character and the highest level character in the group."

Highest level character in the group is 3rd level? 2nd level characters get +1 xp every time xp is handed out; 1st level characters get +2 xp; 0 level characters get +3 xp.


Simple and elegant. I like it!

Author:  GnomeBoy [ Sat Sep 15, 2012 3:19 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Player vs Character XP

nerdwerds wrote:
Varkias wrote:
I'm thinking of going with a "mentor" system of "Bonus xp for every level between a character and the highest level character in the group."

Highest level character in the group is 3rd level? 2nd level characters get +1 xp every time xp is handed out; 1st level characters get +2 xp; 0 level characters get +3 xp.


Simple and elegant. I like it!

Agreed.

I like partys of different levels, and I liked the way 3e handled differential XP, so I like this solution. :)

Author:  TheNobleDrake [ Tue Sep 18, 2012 6:59 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Player vs Character XP

GnomeBoy wrote:
...I liked the way 3e handled differential XP...


I knew there statistically had to be someone out there in the great, wide, wonderful world that would say that... I also knew the chance of me hearing/seeing them say it was equally slim. I feel like I have just won the lottery.

In all seriousness, I appreciate the desire for party members of varying levels and for rewards for overcoming challenges to scale to relative ability to handle the challenge (so that the underdog gets a bonus for pulling off a long shot and the super-power doesn't get even more super-powerful boiling ant hills)... but 3rd Edition D&D's giant chart-o-numbers was way too... something.

The whole thing could easily have been what we have in the DCC book - a 0 to 4 scale left to the judgement of the people playing the game, rather than some chart that says X monster is worth Y experience to a Z level character no matter whether the character had no trouble at all or lost multiple companions and nearly died as well...

I am probably jaded by players I experienced whilst playing that edition... the type to have it in their heads that if there were a high level party battling a dragon happened upon by a level 1 character that then threw a rock at the dragon and hid in the bushes until the battle was won, that said level 1 character would receive a share of experience as if he had defeated the encounter (despite any logical argument that an attack which has zero chance of causing damage does not constitute meaningful participation)

Author:  GnomeBoy [ Tue Sep 18, 2012 7:27 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Player vs Character XP

Always happy to provide you with a soapbox, there, Nobes. I have a surplus of them, and having an outlet for things unwanted is always a good thing.

Implicitly, you assume slavish devotion to the chart. Never mind the mind's never needing to use the numbers slavishly until a numbness of the mind sets in, never to know the freedom you enjoy. The structural scaffold of that 3e system is sound, and anyone can do what they want with it. If I were to use it as a guideline, and adjust as needed, why not? Because I simply don't need to, and could use pure reason to decide the numbers, perhaps?

The problem with that is I'm a brainless, twitterpated old fart who can't add too and too to get fore. If were better with numbers, perhaps I too could win the lottery.

Hey! Who threw that rock!

Author:  Sir Robilar [ Tue Sep 18, 2012 5:12 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Player vs Character XP

Varkias wrote:
I'm thinking of going with a "mentor" system of "Bonus xp for every level between a character and the highest level character in the group."


This is going straight into my House Rules. Thanks you very much!

Author:  CocoaRobbins [ Sun Sep 23, 2012 8:37 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Player vs Character XP

Crossada wrote:
Howdy all, first post here. I wanted to share a house rule that I'm using regarding XP.

I'm giving the XP to the players rather than to their characters.

What's the difference? Well, if Blackleaf the Thief dies then Marcy doesn't need to worry, she can come back into the game with a new character of equivalent level as soon as the story gives an opening for such a character to appear.

(Until then she can run the monsters for me...and bring woe to the PCs)

This little "security blanket" really helped the players to buy into the deadly nature of DCC play (they are used to playing AD&D3.5) and the fact I roll in the open with no kid gloves.

Crossada


Eh, I've always been a bit cruel then, all new characters have 0 xp. Its up to them to survive and grow even in these harsh conditions. But then I've got a good group of mature roleplayers.

Author:  GnomeBoy [ Mon Sep 24, 2012 6:42 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Player vs Character XP

CocoaRobbins wrote:
Eh, I've always been a bit cruel then, all new characters have 0 xp. Its up to them to survive and grow even in these harsh conditions. But then I've got a good group of mature roleplayers.

Surviving could be a tall order, if you happen to have a party that's, say, 5th Level and someone has to start with a Level Zero-er... But it might be fun nonetheless to see how that plays out! :mrgreen:

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