Apr 27, 2010

How are you calculating XP?

XP SPREADSHEET (current character levels etc)

Due to some of the unorthadox XP awards, I thought I'd extrapolate a little.

The following, are some of the methods I've been using.

Experience is calculated via:

- Doing things contrary to your alignment (ie breaking the law, or being unethical) would be negative bonus/penalties for a lawful good character.
0 Just walking around and being somewhat lawful good etc would be a 0 bonus. ie you don't really make any decisions one way or the other,
but didn't do anything "wrong" -- the proverbial "how are you doing" answer of "not bad". Non-commital alignment or "follow the crowd" type play.
+ Doing things within the alignment, even when they are difficult choices, or against the party's decisions etc.
"Its easier to just kill the children, but, gosh darn it, that would be kind of evil, now wouldn't it."

- Doing things that fit the player's personality, not the character's. A tacturn homicidal maniac doesn't joivially save someone from drowning just
because they're important to the plot or a player character etc. Also, taking player-knowledge and giving it to the character. "Yeah, I know
they have this item because I read their character sheet earlier, so..." or, saving that drowning character due to player-knowledge and making a transparent excuse.
0 Didn't really do much, followed the crowd, killed stuff when appropriate etc. Think "Diablo" vs "DND"
+ Had realistic emotional reactions to events. Your sister was skinned alive in front of you. You didn't search her body for treasure, or attempt to seduce
someone on top of the corpse. In fact, you're a little upset about it, and aren't acting at all rationally. Those undead were scary, maybe you panic a little.
Taking the character's thoughts and emotions into consideration when taking actions. Just because there's a sword of ultimate
power in front of you doesn't mean you pick it up. Would you be delirious or in shock from a situation? Would your character attack another PC if they weren't a PC?
would they fear that much power would corrupt them?

Overcoming Challenges (Killing Stuff, disabling stuff, sneaking around stuff, and other desired outcomes)
Nuff said? If you die or are removed from combat you'll recieve less experience for an encounter, but you'll still be in the positive.
Dying from poor decisions is a much greater penalty than dying from poor dice rolling. (Shitty dice happen)
Similar to above, but more plotvelopmental. ie a fairly specific DM-assigned quest would be "Protect the queen". She lives throughout the campaign and
makes it to the sanctuary, you get mo' exp. She dies, you get mo' penalty. Quests sometimes become a shoot-from-the-hip situation, where an actual
quest-completion becomes impossible, and the character must find the best possible solution. "Okay, I can't extinguish the flames of ergamore... which is
really really important... maybe I can grab some flame-retardant thiniges and..." -- Think outcome over syntax. It doesn't matter if you actually extinguish
the flames if the things that you're protecting from getting burnt don't get burnt, right? The reason the queen had to stay alive was not just because she
was nice, but, because she was the only one who knew how to cast the right shield spell against the evil wizard of foopie. So, what if we take out the evil
wizard of foopie before he can cast the ultimate zap?

Sometimes people do things that are just bad-ass, unexpected, cool, creative etc that deserve an extra tip o' the hat.
Realising that if you donn some spiked armor, and through a collection of well timed spells, some gunpowder and a catapult,
you become a firey spikey cannon ball of ultimate death is creative, cool, and couragous, and makes for a great story down the road.

How could you best encourage a blogger to blog?

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