Thursday, 25 June 2009

Experience points as class rewards

I was reading a blog entry recently Meta-Plot Special! Why EXP is the Ultimate Meta-Plot Device and it got me thinking, what if experience points were ONLY awarded as class rewards that advanced the quest?

  • Fighters would gain it for defeating creatures that stood in the way of solving the quest, through strength of arms.
  • Thieves for picking locks, climbing walls and using any other abilities to overcome obstacles that stand in the way of completing quests, or for sneaking past enemies so they do not need to be fought.
  • Clerics would gain for using magic to aid the party and for turning undead.
  • Mages would gain them for using their magic to overcome obstacles and enemies.
There would certainly be less fighting as fighting by itself wouldn't net a specific reward, except to the fighter - and even then only for defeating enemies that were part of the quest at hand. Thieves could gain the same experience for using their sneaking and hiding skills to avoid that same fight, or for backstabbing. Clerics and mages would only gain if they used their skills in the same combat to overcome enemies; e.g. turning undead, cause light wounds, magic missile, etc. But overall, I think it would de-emphasise combat as a means of advancement for non combat focussed classes and let them concentrate instead on what they are good at. What do you think?


Norman Harman said...

I think this has been done, several times. RoleMaster did this, CoC had in the same spirit advance what you use system.

It gets too faniggly and hard to manage unless you like math, spreadsheets and complex rules/record keeping.

Better to just do one or more of the following:

Every one gains a level at conclusion of plot arc.

Give xp for treasure(of all types) and little or none for murdering innocent dungeon critters.

Your xp is multiplied by .5 to 1.5 depending on how well you acted with archetype.

Award xp for roleplay, story, etc.

The Recursion King said...

I'm doing Dave Arneson's method of awarding roleplay points for good roleplaying, which can then be spent by the player on rerolling any dice the player has rolled, in the session that it is awarded.

BTW have updated my experience rewards idea here

vadlym said...

I totally agree with Norman Harman here.

It has been done different times, with different results.

I usually prefer to play point-buy systems, and I sometimes reward specifical advancements instead of "generic" experience. Eg. the fighter just solved a complex riddle. Does this make him a better warrior? No, but he might have become smarter.
In this way, players are induced to play as the role requires.

In d&d, I usually award the same amount of XP to all party members, with substantial bonuses based on RP. Eg. A thief that hides away and runs for his life can get more XP than one that fights against all odds.