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 Post subject: awarding xp
PostPosted: Fri Aug 17, 2012 6:00 am 
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For 1st level chars, do you award XP on the spot after each encounter? I didn't do that during my session, but I'm thinking I may start. Seems like it would reduce upkeep. But, then I won't have as good of an idea about where they are, XP-wise. What's the conventional wisdom on this?

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Hamun Ry (Wiz 4)
Str 10 Agi 15 (+1) Sta 11 Per 11 Int 17 (+2) Luc 10 (Unholy House). Align: C. AC: 14. HP: 13. Melee +1, Ranged +2. Crit: d8, I. Save: Ref +5, Fort +3, Will +4.
Spells: 1: Choking Cloud, Comprehend Languages, Detect Magic (odd crystal growths), Magic Missile (mirror images), Runic Alphabet (Mortal) (ravenously hungry), Ventriloquism (rain of frogs)
2: Detect Invisible, Levitate (extremely difficult, d14), Mirror Image (20% chance to raise/lower luck by 1d3 points).
Equip: Ring of the Sand Djinn: +2 AC/saves, Invisibility for 1min/spellburn point, or unmake for great, unknown effect. Padded Armor, Longsword, Longbow, quiver w/20 steel-tipped arrows, 10 silver-tipped arrows, backpack, spellbook, quill and ink, sturdy parchment (10 sheets), 5 days rations, high leather boots, belt w/ belt pouch, gray robe, dark gray hooded cloak. Also carries 3 small mechanical toys: wind-up mouse, wooden puzzle cube, small jewelry box that plays a little tune.


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 Post subject: Re: awarding xp
PostPosted: Fri Aug 17, 2012 7:13 am 
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I don't do this. I award XP at the end of a session/quest. I mean, how many encounters do you have in a typical session? I'm running 4-6, which is really easy to keep track of.

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 Post subject: Re: awarding xp
PostPosted: Fri Aug 17, 2012 7:20 am 
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beermotor wrote:
For 1st level chars, do you award XP on the spot after each encounter? I didn't do that during my session, but I'm thinking I may start. Seems like it would reduce upkeep. But, then I won't have as good of an idea about where they are, XP-wise. What's the conventional wisdom on this?


I do, and it seems to work well.

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Cathbad the Meek (herbalist Wizard 1): AC 9; 4 hp; S 7, A 7, St 10, P 17, I 13, L 8; Neutral; Club, herbs, 50' rope, 50 cp; -1 to melee attack rolls. Hideous scar.


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 Post subject: Re: awarding xp
PostPosted: Fri Aug 17, 2012 7:52 am 
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At the end of session. Less erasing, longer lasting character sheets.

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 Post subject: Re: awarding xp
PostPosted: Fri Aug 17, 2012 8:54 am 
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If I use XP (and, frankly, I don't do it much anymore) I do it at the end of the adventure session or when they hit a convenient stopping point in the adventure such as ending a module.

Nowadays I mostly keep XP very loose and just let the group know when they level up. XP is one more detail that I don't always want to track when we play.

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 Post subject: Re: awarding xp
PostPosted: Fri Aug 17, 2012 9:22 am 
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finarvyn wrote:
If I use XP (and, frankly, I don't do it much anymore) I do it at the end of the adventure session or when they hit a convenient stopping point in the adventure such as ending a module.

Nowadays I mostly keep XP very loose and just let the group know when they level up. XP is one more detail that I don't always want to track when we play.


I hadn't used xp in years, and worked on precisely that method. DCC is the first ruleset with a sufficiently streamlined system that I am willing to put up with the "bookkeeping" and actually award xp. I find it's nice in this game, especially as characters die more frequently than in the D&D variants I'd played in recent years. It's harder to keep track of when PCs "should" level up when the party levels range from 0-2 and in between, rather than all being in the same place.

In any event, I award at the end of adventures, but am slightly intrigued by the idea of awarding "per encounter" as that would reduce my bookkeeping even further, and put it on players. Now I just have to decide whether I actually trust my bunch of yahoos to keep an accurate tally. :lol:


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 Post subject: Re: awarding xp
PostPosted: Fri Aug 17, 2012 10:10 am 
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I used to be firmly in the "end of the adventure/rest area" camp, but I find the DCC system works very well by just gauging each encounter as it occurs, and awarding XP in the moment. First off, even though PCs sometimes level up mid-adventure, it doesn't take long to deal with it. Second off, the relationship between action and reward is more direct. When some PCs are engaged in an encounter, while others do nothing at all, I can choose to make the difference very obvious....and immediately so.

In Sailors, a bunch of PCs levelled up after the aquatic encounter. Some of the other PCs were new acquires along the way, and were 0-lvl for the final encounter. My players really enjoyed it. I was told that the players felt that their characters, having survived a major encounter, felt more confident, and that they had "found their place". Gaining a level became part of the "story" of the adventure -- as much an event as the planned encounters were.

When I tried it this way, I discovered I really liked it.

YMMV, of course! :D

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SoBH pbp:

Cathbad the Meek (herbalist Wizard 1): AC 9; 4 hp; S 7, A 7, St 10, P 17, I 13, L 8; Neutral; Club, herbs, 50' rope, 50 cp; -1 to melee attack rolls. Hideous scar.


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 Post subject: Re: awarding xp
PostPosted: Fri Aug 17, 2012 5:27 pm 
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beermotor wrote:
For 1st level chars, do you award XP on the spot after each encounter?


With players controlling multiple characters, yes I do this.
The rulebook gives a pretty good guideline on page 359 for how much each encounter should be worth relative to the character level.

Say you've got a room with a fire trap that does 2d4+1 damage until the fire is put out. Well that trap is going to outright kill most 0-level and 1st-level characters, but 3rd-level characters will trigger it and possibly take a moment to heal and then move on. Disarming the trap would be worth 4xp to a 1st-level thief, but maybe only 1xp to a 3rd-level thief. The way I read the rules is that the room itself, with the trap and the possibility of disarming it, along with any other traps that might be on the door leading into the room, is one encounter. The character who handles the trap gets the xp, or the characters who survive the trap going off get the xp.

I don't worry about where characters are in relation to their level. It's all set up o reward the risks players take, and I think it works really well. If one player is volunteering his character to take a lot of risks on behalf of the rest of the party and he's surviving then he's going to be getting a lot of xp and levelling up faster than the rest of the other characters.

My house rule: The only problem I have with the rules is that they allow for 0 xp to be awarded. I think every encounter should have a minimum of 1 xp.

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 Post subject: Re: awarding xp
PostPosted: Fri Aug 17, 2012 5:58 pm 
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nerdwerds wrote:
My house rule: The only problem I have with the rules is that they allow for 0 xp to be awarded. I think every encounter should have a minimum of 1 xp.

I look at it as that rule being present to show players that it isn't just their Judge's fiat preventing "I go find a young street urchin and punch him in the face so that I level" sort of behavior.

People behave differently when they know that there is genuinely no reward waiting for them.


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 Post subject: Re: awarding xp
PostPosted: Fri Aug 17, 2012 6:13 pm 
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TheNobleDrake wrote:
People behave differently when they know that there is genuinely no reward waiting for them.


I find that people are simply weird, and I think each player is unique in how they approach a game. I've had a player walk out of one of my games because he thought I fudged a dice roll to allow an NPC to die. I'm incredibly blessed because I have players who genuinely role-play their characters and would only punch that street urchin if their character had a good reason to.

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"The Shamrock Shake is a frosty, minty symbol of all that we hold dear. It is shameful that we as a people cannot enjoy this proud, symbolic beverage any more than one week a year. Unless the British government loosens its iron grip on this most Irish of shakes, the streets will once again run red with English blood." - Gerry Adams, leader of Sinn Fein, the IRA's political wing.


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 Post subject: Re: awarding xp
PostPosted: Fri Aug 17, 2012 8:56 pm 
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nerdwerds wrote:
I'm incredibly blessed because I have players who genuinely role-play their characters and would only punch that street urchin if their character had a good reason to.


Someone needs to write a module: Urchins of the Abyssal Alleyway.


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 Post subject: Re: awarding xp
PostPosted: Fri Aug 17, 2012 9:28 pm 
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"Urchin Punching For Fun and Profit: Punch Your Way to Tenth Level"

Have you been denied the XP you've rightfully earned by miserly DMs? Are in-game insurance companies and assorted fatcats colluding to keep you down, wallowing in filth and degredation with the zero-level types and sundry scum, when by all rights you should be enjoying henchmen of your own, Inns of quality greater than "poor", and possibly even a quality horse with saddle? If so, know that with my book: "Urchin Punching For Fun and Profit: Punch Your Way to Tenth Level" you will soon learn the secrets of success, the secrets THEY don't want you to know.


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 Post subject: Re: awarding xp
PostPosted: Sat Aug 18, 2012 4:38 am 
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nerdwerds wrote:
I'm incredibly blessed because I have players who genuinely role-play their characters and would only punch that street urchin if their character had a good reason to.


"because it gets me enough XP to level" and "because I had a good reason" are not always mutually exclusive - and any action can be given a "good reason" if you are clever enough about it... so the point still stands: there are encounters worth 0 XP because it prevents finding a reason to get into a fight you have overwhelming chance to win just for the 1 XP to hit the next level, but does nothing to get in your way if you have a genuine reason to have the same fight.


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 Post subject: Re: awarding xp
PostPosted: Sat Aug 18, 2012 4:59 am 
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TheNobleDrake wrote:
nerdwerds wrote:
I'm incredibly blessed because I have players who genuinely role-play their characters and would only punch that street urchin if their character had a good reason to.


"because it gets me enough XP to level" and "because I had a good reason" are not always mutually exclusive - and any action can be given a "good reason" if you are clever enough about it... so the point still stands: there are encounters worth 0 XP because it prevents finding a reason to get into a fight you have overwhelming chance to win just for the 1 XP to hit the next level, but does nothing to get in your way if you have a genuine reason to have the same fight.


Do players actually do that?
The only time I've ever had this kind of problem with players was with teenage gamers who were less concerned about role-playing and plot than they were with leveling and killing things.

I've been playing with roughly the same group of people for over a decade so my viewpoint might be a little insulated, but I haven't seen this behavior in the one-shots or mini-campaigns with other groups that I've played with over the last decade.

Bilgewriggler wrote:
Someone needs to write a module: Urchins of the Abyssal Alleyway.


I'm going to do it right now!
Here are my initial notes:
-teleporting alley serves as a gateway to Hell
-demons posing as children
-kidnapping other street urchins and taking them to Hell
-PCs must venture into Hell and bring back the still living mortals
-a level 10 adventure :twisted:

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"The Shamrock Shake is a frosty, minty symbol of all that we hold dear. It is shameful that we as a people cannot enjoy this proud, symbolic beverage any more than one week a year. Unless the British government loosens its iron grip on this most Irish of shakes, the streets will once again run red with English blood." - Gerry Adams, leader of Sinn Fein, the IRA's political wing.


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 Post subject: Re: awarding xp
PostPosted: Sat Aug 18, 2012 7:54 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jun 16, 2012 9:25 am
Posts: 78
ScrivenerB wrote:
"Urchin Punching For Fun and Profit: Punch Your Way to Tenth Level"

Have you been denied the XP you've rightfully earned by miserly DMs? Are in-game insurance companies and assorted fatcats colluding to keep you down, wallowing in filth and degredation with the zero-level types and sundry scum, when by all rights you should be enjoying henchmen of your own, Inns of quality greater than "poor", and possibly even a quality horse with saddle? If so, know that with my book: "Urchin Punching For Fun and Profit: Punch Your Way to Tenth Level" you will soon learn the secrets of success, the secrets THEY don't want you to know.


I just want to thank you for your book, "Urchin Punching For Fun and Profit: Punch Your Way to Tenth Level." Before UPFFPPYTTL, I kept finding myself dead, corrupted beyond recognition, dead, or dead -- often before even reaching fourth or fifth level. But thanks to your practical advice on the slow and steady pummeling of cherub-cheeked mendicants, I have already attained eight level, and feel that tenth is within easy reach. I hope you'll soon consider a sequel, as I've recently experienced the temptation to try your techniques on a variety of vulnerable non-urchins (for example, fishwives, cripples, and the infirm elderly), but I really hate to take a wrong step and find myself back in the doldrums of being dead.

nerdwerds wrote:

Bilgewriggler wrote:
Someone needs to write a module: Urchins of the Abyssal Alleyway.


I'm going to do it right now!
Here are my initial notes:
-teleporting alley serves as a gateway to Hell
-demons posing as children
-kidnapping other street urchins and taking them to Hell
-PCs must venture into Hell and bring back the still living mortals
-a level 10 adventure :twisted:


Hah! I can't wait!


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 Post subject: Re: awarding xp
PostPosted: Sat Aug 18, 2012 9:40 pm 
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Cold-Blooded Diabolist

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Posts: 525
nerdwerds wrote:
Do players actually do that?


I have one player in particular - he is a fellow that got introduced into gaming in the mid nineties by White Wolf's Storyteller games like Vampire: the Masquerade, games that focus very heavily on a "story first" approach to role-playing - who to this day cannot seem to stop himself from chasing down rewards, especially XP, and only hesitates in that pursuit long enough to make a thin in-character reason for the behavior.

Age has nothing to do with it. First game learned has nothing to do with it. Some players just crave levels and can't help themselves.


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 Post subject: Re: awarding xp
PostPosted: Sat Aug 18, 2012 10:10 pm 
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TheNobleDrake wrote:
Some players just crave levels and can't help themselves.


Like I said, I might be a little insulated from this behavior. Blessedly.

I'm sure there's a way you could give him an incentive to role-play instead of roll-play, but without knowing him personally or what kinds of characters he plays I wouldn't have any concrete ideas on how to do so.

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"The Shamrock Shake is a frosty, minty symbol of all that we hold dear. It is shameful that we as a people cannot enjoy this proud, symbolic beverage any more than one week a year. Unless the British government loosens its iron grip on this most Irish of shakes, the streets will once again run red with English blood." - Gerry Adams, leader of Sinn Fein, the IRA's political wing.


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