Sunday, October 12, 2014

Experience Points: Two Methods

When I decided that I wanted to teach some role-playing basics as part of my Adventure Games Class, I chose to create a simplified homebrew that has D&D (specifically 5th edition) in its gaming DNA.

One thing I decided to bring over intact from the new boxed set was the rapid low level advancement system. However, while rewriting the rules and pairing them down to a kid-friendly digest, I offered my neophyte GMs two different ways to calculate earned experience:


Experience points (XP) are awarded for treasure successfully recovered at the end of the adventure, for traps dealt with, and for creatures slain or neutralized through trickery or negotiation.

There are two methods for calculating XP earned.  
The GM should announce to players which method is being used at the start of the session:

  • PARTY XP: At the end of a session, total the XP for all creatures neutralized, traps survived or detected and bypassed, and treasure recovered.  Divide by the number of surviving characters and award each character an equal share, dropping any fraction.

  • INDIVIDUAL XP: Throughout the session, immediately award XP to the character who deals the killing blow to any hostile creature (killing non-hostile creatures grants no XP).  Throughout the session immediately award XP to the first character to detect and bypass or trigger and survive any trap (bypassing known traps grants no XP).  At the end of the session, for each recovered treasure, award XP only to the character carrying it.

1. I think that these two methods could mean the difference between this adventuring crew ...

  ... and this one ... 

2. Party XP means that the surviving explorers will progress at the same rate, but with the Individual XP method that's highly unlikely.

3. With Party XP, hanging back and letting others take the risks (e.g. NPC meat-shields) is a great strategy, but with Individual XP that just means falling behind.

... and finally ...

4. The Satipo-factor "Throw me the idol. No time to argue! Throw me idol, I'll throw you the whip!"

Hopefully we'll get far enough by the end of the year for me to develop some impressions on how each system actually works!

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