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83

The GM taking away XP is not really your core problem. Your core problem is the game you want to play as a group is not the game he wants to run. The solution is simple - go find a GM who does want to run that kind of game, or have one of you GM (or take turns GMing) to run that game. Regardless of how "good" of a GM he is, he's not the GM that's good for ...


61

The ultimate and most ancient point system for "quantizing success through a numerical method" is, of course, money. Or perhaps predating even that, number of cattle, sheep, size of land controlled, etc. And war and trade were very early human activities to optimize that quantized success. History aside, LordVreeg's answer above looks the most promising ...


53

In 'Different Worlds #3' (June / July 1979), Dave Arneson describes his adding experience points (and a few other ideas) to the Chainmail rules after he and Dave Wesley started playing a medieval version of Braunstein's games. It was certainly not in Chainmail and it was in the original OD&D booklets from 1974. So this makes perfect sense to me. It's ...


46

I know of two approaches to resolving this issue. Give everyone the experience: Instead of giving a player XP if they write a summary, give every player XP for each player that writes a summary. This keeps the footing level for all the characters, but also encourages players to write summaries (and to harass the rest of the party about writing summaries). ...


37

Punishment ... wait ... what!? RPG are supposed to be fun. From what is said, the games the GM wants to run and the one the players want to play are different. So, have a assertive conversation with your GM and agree on a game that you all want to play. Be careful to never criticise your GM personally, only things he has done. So never say BAD Your ...


36

Your fellow player is wrong, and the book is right. You track total XP and never reset it to zero. This is the way it works in every version of Dungeons & Dragons.


36

You should give the players full experience for the creatures they kill. If using clever tactics results in a decreased reward, you are effectively disincentivising playing tactically and encouraging your players to turn every encounter into a straight-up fight. However, if you're going to be fair about the rewards of clever strategies, you should be fair ...


34

This system seems arbitrary to the player, because it is. There are no objective criteria to be met, and all the decisions are being made by the GM who already has huge power over the game. It's hard not to see not getting the highest reward as being snubbed. Which is not to say you can't or shouldn't ever award things this way: without trust in GM's ...


33

In this reply, I will attempt to address, solely at first, the "Boy Scout merit badge" subset of your question: "Did D&D inherit this concept from anywhere? Can plausible arguments be made to, for example, Boy Scout Merit Badges (where, from my hazy understanding, certain sets of merit badges are needed for advancement)". I will also proceed to trace ...


31

Going back in The Strategic Review, issue 2 (Summer 1975), I see an XP table for the Ranger class, which shows that experience points were in play in the original White Box. My copy of Chainmail is boxed up in storage, and it's a later edition anyways, so I couldn't tell you whether or not it had a point progression system for levelling up individuals or ...


30

No, this isn't novel (although that does not mean that it isn't clever design in Numenera). There are two separate things married in that mechanic as you've described it. Both have been done before, and I can think of at least one game that has married them in the same way before. First there is the concept of a pull mechanic. Most GM-initiated events are ...


28

Using Hero Points, an optional rule from the Pathfinder Advanced Player Guide, functions rather well in rewarding as well as encouraging awesomeness.


27

The relevant bit of the Pathfinder Society Field Guide: At character creation and each time you gain a level, you decide if you would like your character to be on the standard or slow advancement track for the entirety of that level. Primarily, the "slow" XP gain is so that you can keep playing with a particular character longer. Note that when you ...


27

DMG p. 260 When adventurers defeat one or more monsters-typically by killing, routing, or capturing them-they divide the total XP value of the monsters evenly among themselves. If the party received substantial assistance from one or more NPCs, count those NPCs as party members when dividing up the XP. (Because the NPCs made the fight easier, ...


26

Same answer as to how to deal with characters levelling too quickly. Don't use XP. Just level the entire group at appropriate times - appropriate plot milestones for example. It removes a huge amount of busywork from the GM and players to calculate and award XP, avoids this problem entirely, avoids characters leveling at different times, etc. Our gaming ...


26

It does cause problems; not insurmountable problems, but problems The problem is that when characters get different amounts of XP, they end up with different levels. A level in 3.5 is unbelievably massive – particularly at higher levels with higher-power classes. For example, spells tend to grow exponentially in power – and if the sorcerer’s class level is ...


24

If an XP reward doesn't fit, I'm a big fan of something in the story as a reward: An important NPC becomes a contact/fixer for the players (someone they can tap for information, rare items, warnings, work). Along the same lines, instead of a close contact with an important NPC, their actions have gained them audience with someone VERY important in your ...


23

From the D20 Pathfinder SRD: At 4th level, a character can increase one ability score by +1. This is a typeless, nonmagical bonus that cannot be changed once selected. For example, a fighter with Dex 13 could use this bonus to increase his Dex to 14. A character can also increase one ability score at 8th, 12th, 16th, and 20th level; it does not ...


23

I need to reward them some other way. No, you don't. Are you actually having a problem where they're not doing those things? If not, then just don't. I actually had a long conversation with my players about this in a similar vein - I wanted to give tangible rewards for certain behaviors in game. They replied (to my surprise) that they don't like ...


22

XP in 5e is generally rewarded for two possible reasons. You reached an important plot point and the characters go up a level. The characters have defeated an encounter and receive XP for that victory. Defeating an enemy does not necessarily mean that they killed the enemy. You can defeat an encounter by bypassing it completely, or using clever ...


21

There are three ways to approach this: Decrease the overall experience for each encounter (for example, only award 500xp for an encounter that would normally award 1,000xp "by the book"). Progressively increase the difficulty of later encounters (add monsters, increase monster challenge rating, or add environmental effects) to account for the higher-level ...


21

Many modern games now have a concept of "do cool stuff points". Examples include Hero Points Pathfinder Advanced Players Guide Action Points D&D 4e D&D 3.5e Eberron D20 Modern Fate Points Fate Bennies Savage Worlds Image courtesy of F. Randall Farmer These are great because they give the players more power for a day, but don't ...


21

Really, experience points are just a game mechanic, used to incentivize and/or reward certain behaviors As noted in the passage you quoted, they are meant as rough indicators of the experiences that help a character learn, grow, and improve herself...but any close mapping to how real people learn and grow is tenuous at best. Would apprenticing with a high ...


20

I hate to say it but I don't think it was for a game. I think it might have been for something called "College", where you get credits for tasks & defeating courses. "The idea of quantizing success through a numerical method" applies to a lot of things, really. I swear no snark intended...Using Experience Points for a Fictional Avatar could totally have ...


20

Docking XP isn't always bad, but here it indicates a problem I have played with DMs who will dock XP for breaking the social contract of the game—how we're all going to play together, why, and in what style. However, this only works when there is an existing group that knows how the group is supposed to play together, and the XP docking is there to ...


20

A possible (and sufficient) motivation is to avoid encouraging players to game the difficulty system for greater experience gain. A player aware of the XP system might be tempted to fight enemies in as large of a group as possible to ensure maximum XP gain. This would result in an over-difficult campaign and less fun for everyone, as the GM would have to do ...


19

If the EXP system isn't working for you, throw it out all together and hand out levels as you see fit. This can be done after x number of sessions or after some in game adventuring milestone. My group has done this for a while and have never had a problem. Pathfinder eliminated XP costs that DnD3.5 had so the only time XP is an issue will be when the ...


18

As you say, this house rule works well for your group. A new player objecting to a house rule they don't understand is no reason for you to change it. And they don't understand the point of the house rule. They've observed their fellow players and seen the rule's results, and are trying to adjust their actions to fit what the rule is meant to encourage — ...


17

BFRPG is a very tidy clone of Basic D&D with some mechanical heritage from d20, but it's still very much BD&D at its core. Judging what feel and style of campaign you're going for by your question and comments, giving full XP for gold will level them too fast for your taste: The Game Master may also assign experience points for treasure gained, ...


17

Reward player-driven awesome with the same kind of awesome. The players are showing you, by their character actions, the kind of game they want to play. As DM, you have limited time and energy to keep things running smoothly. It seems from your question that adding some new number or thing to track/handle is not the kind of reward this group is looking for. ...



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