Saturday, 19 February 2011

Singing those XP blues no more

I was so impressed by Alexis's XP system I finally became a follower of his unique blogging style - anger and genius.
Alexis's system is:
A) 20 X.P. are awarded for every point of damage a character suffers.
B) 10 X.P. are awarded for every point of damage a character causes. 
C) All damage caused against the party is totaled, multiplied by 20 and then distributed to those party members who were witnesses and who specifically took some kind of action in the events, even if that action failed to cause damage or the member was unharmed. 

Cutting and pasting part of my own comment on his blog I said, 
The system is intriguing, as are many of your others that have inspired me over the last six months. I am particularly attracted to the reward for risk and activity your XP system invokes. I am slightly concerned about my ability to track the XP in game, as even with your Excel program, I struggle to keep all the other rules I have in my head.

HERE to take you to the post I commented on the next two links take you back in time...
Here next to read more.

I was commenting on Old School Psionics Post - Advancement Rules the Easy Way.
He proposed 
Complete one adventure - level up to 2nd
Complete two more adventures - level up to 3rd
Complete three more adventures - level up to 4th

I said:
Thanks for this post I found it very liberating. I am trying to convince my novice friends to play once a month for three sessions. After session 1 they all had approximately 190XP. At the end of three sessions, assuming they find the 'boss' monsters and garner the loot at best the thief and cleric may make 2nd level. I know purists will disagree, and even I rebel somewhat but - how boring for them. How boring for me.
After your post, I think I might let them all advance to second level at the start of the next session.
I'll save proper XP advancement for a real campaign not a demonstration series.

I suffered turmoil pangs of turmoil
Pang 1: Thou shall not house rule to allow DM fiat.
Pang 2: But I am running a demonstration game (perhaps 3 sessions only)... not a full campaign.
Pang 3: What about all the work I did on rescuing Intelligence as a dump stat = IQ bonus = XP bonus.
Pang 4: My players only did three encounters last session and chatted a bit in town and I am thinking about  letting them be level 2!

Oh the pain and blues.

But I have found an answer. Well hopefully.

Basic Procedure: 
At the end of each full gaming session each character is awarded 1 XP and rolls 1d20. Each XP provides a +1 modifier to this roll. If the total equals or exceeds the required Roll to Advance for the character’s class and level (see Table 1) plus racial modifier (see Table 2), the character advances to the next level. XP needed to reach this number are deducted from the character’s running total. Unused XP accumulate from session to session. 

So at the end of 1 session a cleric gains 1XP and gets +1 on the roll  to advance = a 1st level cleric needs  17 on a D20 to advance. If the cleric doesn't, than at the end of the 2nd session a second XP is awarded (+2) and the cleric rolls again.

But what if I added the IQ bonus to that score - keeping sweet with all my previous thoughts that if you are smart you 'Catch on Quick'

Got to love a random roll in OSR D&D. The tension at the end of a session, in that last roll of the night, to see if one has advanced!

But what of Alexis's system - that is still genius. I like it a lot. It seems true and incentivises the play I want to see.
But I am playing a demonstration game, it may be all over in two more sessions. What to do, what to do........

The blues are coming back.


  1. LOL, great post! High stakes die rolling is definitely one of the joys of D&D.

  2. I think you're doing fine given the nature of your game. I have certainly been tempted by alternate xp systems, especially Lord Kilgore's with the random rolling. That really appeals to me (and might be your best solution as well). But despite my daydreaming about all these cool alternate xp systems, we actually use straight LL rules, xp for monsters and treasure, in my home campaign.

    What will be your leaning for xp distribution in a more regular "campaign" game?

  3. In a campaign I would lean toward Alexis's system - though I remain concerned by my ability to track XP in play.
    Very much enjoying Carter's and Spawn's 2d6 bard. If I had bards I would go your way and thanks for introducing me to Dyson's 2d6 thief. Got to love 2d6.