Author Topic: XP and Advancement  (Read 1797 times)

Vaal

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XP and Advancement
« on: December 14, 2015, 07:46:49 PM »
I'm not a fan of XP It's fiddly, it encourages players to get into unnecessary encounters or just to beg for a few more points to level, and creates a lot of odd meta issues where characters can level in the middle of the dungeon between battles and come out swinging with new powers.

I'm thinking of just saying 'screw it' for WoED20. Instead, I'd just lay out guidelines for organizing encounters by story arc, mission, goal, etc and then leveling the party as dramatically appropriate times, hopefully after a satisfactory numbe of encounters and achievements.

Of course, this once again goes to the 4e method of not having XP costs, level drain, etc in keeping with my 'Pathfinder is Paizo were allowed to learn from 4e' and 'you are playing out a story from the books, not simulating living in the world' philosophies.

Thoughts?

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Malacai

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Re: XP and Advancement
« Reply #1 on: December 14, 2015, 08:14:21 PM »
I totally agree with that. Also because having levels be based on numbers means that some people can get less than others, potentially making levels within a party uneven. The first and last of role playing games is to have fun, and stories are more fun than the mundane details of real life, usually.

Mazzon

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Re: XP and Advancement
« Reply #2 on: December 14, 2015, 08:46:13 PM »
Different people derive their fun from different things, and play role-playing games for different reasons. Yes, if what you're playing for is the story then it makes sense that characters gain power not as function of what they've done but as a function of how strong they need to be next. If you're playing for the 'game'-part of 'role playing games', then rewards should follow achievements and there should be a progress bar towards the next level-up to avoid a frustrating feeling that you're making no progress. And if you're playing to immerse yourself in the life of someone else, then you should probably get rid of the concept of levels and learn stuff by studying and training.

Vaal

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Re: XP and Advancement
« Reply #3 on: December 14, 2015, 11:34:20 PM »
I have never met a set of training rules that didn't make me flee, screaming, into he night.

I get the game theory reason to still have XP, I just don't like playing with or devving with it. It especially got ridiculous when 4e was designed to be 10 challenging encounters per level... and yet somehow still used XP even though it was just a marker of encounters and how they were tuned. The most it was really used for was calculating what monsters to use with an XP budget.

Levels still have uses in the meta, but I'm not all that sure what I would be using XP for if I put it in WoED20 if not just because it's in Pathfinder/D&D.

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AVR

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Re: XP and Advancement
« Reply #4 on: December 15, 2015, 12:17:39 AM »
Paizo beat you to the punch on XP costs (eliminated) and negative levels (now a debuff until you get the restoration spell.)

No argument from me that XP/level or even a fixed number of challenging encounters/level is a waste of time. Some sort of guidelines are fine.

Mazzon

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Re: XP and Advancement
« Reply #5 on: December 15, 2015, 02:03:29 AM »
I have never met a set of training rules that didn't make me flee, screaming, into he night.
I'd again refer to Ars Magica. People get exp for each season that passes according to how they spent it. Most activities just give two points of 'exposure' exp to whatever you were doing, 'adventure' gives 5-10 points on stuff you used during the adventure. Practice gives moderate amounts depending on conditions, reading a book gives a good amount depending on the book's quality, and someone actually teaching you gives assloads depending on the teacher's stats and their Teaching skill and the phase of the moon and who's your daddy.

Quote
I get the game theory reason to still have XP, I just don't like playing with or devving with it. It especially got ridiculous when 4e was designed to be 10 challenging encounters per level... and yet somehow still used XP even though it was just a marker of encounters and how they were tuned. The most it was really used for was calculating what monsters to use with an XP budget.
Yeah well, 4e also still had money but also strict rules that doing anything for money is never worthwhile because you're just robbing your next loot. Even making items yourself generates no savings. Basically 4e was all about making it more like a meatspace computer game that consists of level-appropriate action sequences and cut scenes where people talk but it doesn't actually affect anything so you really could just as well skip it. Except now and then there's a QT event where you have to roll X in time or your characters fail at life (skill challenge).
« Last Edit: December 15, 2015, 02:07:50 AM by Mazzon »

Vaal

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Re: XP and Advancement
« Reply #6 on: December 15, 2015, 03:18:15 PM »
Yeah, I'm not going to get into any edition warring crap. 4e wasn't a computer game and it had plenty of support for non-combat that got honed as the product matured. It was a good system with some flaws that got screwed over by exactly that kind of misinformation.

What I will ask is what's the time scale of the typical Ars Magica game that the season thing manages to run smoothly? The major problem of most training systems is the 'realistic' time training takes vs the much, must shorter timescale of even things like adventure paths (not counting Kingmaker, whose first module could take 6 months because hex-exploration for the win).

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AVR

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Re: XP and Advancement
« Reply #7 on: December 15, 2015, 04:36:47 PM »
Ars Magica's default timescale is about 1 adventure a season, with not all the characters in the adventure (you have multiple characters per player.)

Mazzon

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Re: XP and Advancement
« Reply #8 on: December 15, 2015, 05:05:24 PM »
One adventure per season is the slowest possible pace you can play at, and it's definitely not the default at least in fourth or fifth edition. It means that the game will focus on the mundanes as the magi don't have time to get anything done. An adventure per two seasons is frankly the slowest I find at all palatable.

But yeah the time scale is quite different from typical D&D. Even a short campaign spans decades, characters get married, have children, retire, and are replaced by their children. Spending a year or two preparing for a dangerous expedition is normal.

Vaal

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Re: XP and Advancement
« Reply #9 on: December 15, 2015, 05:40:58 PM »
Yeah, then I can see that trianing system working... and I figure it's roughly equivalent to what I'm doing: you get your bennies after each adventure.

Meanwhile, during the adventure, your loot, hero points and Intangible Rewards are your rewards. I'm already sort of devving the Intangible rewards in the JKF game. They don't count toward your wealth by level and are mostly opened up opportunities for the characters.

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Jeremykix

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XP and Advancement
« Reply #10 on: June 06, 2019, 09:34:16 PM »
If it bugs you now, chances are it will bug you even more as the time goes by. Its not an extremly expensive pb so pounding  now and saving later shouldnt be a big problem

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