Rose of Waterdeep
Standard Experience Points
Of course, experience is awarded for combat, or we wouldn’t be able to call
the game we play D&D. However, non-combat earns experience as
well. Experience points will be awarded for obstacles overcome without
resorting to melee. In all cases, this experience reward will be the same,
and sometimes greater, as what would have been awarded if the obstacle was
overcome through combat.
Additionally, non-combat obstacles, such as traps, riddles, etc. will be
assigned an appropriate difficulty rating, and experience will be awarded for
overcoming these obstacles accordingly. In the case of traps, setting off
the trap by blundering into it, will not earn any reward…it is only through
discovering and then disarming a trap that a reward will be earned.
Experience for all of these things will be split evenly, between all PC’s
present, irregardless for their contribution in earning the reward. This
is done for two reasons: 1. To further nurture and encourage the ‘team’ view,
rather than individual competition, among players., and 2. Because even a pc not
involved in actually overcoming a given obstacle is ‘support’ if present.
A thief, for example, would not be so inclined to risk himself continuously
scouting for and disarming traps if he didn’t know that the warriors were behind
him to assist should he stumble on a hoard of opponents and that the priest is
back there ready to heal him if the trap blows up in his face. So,
although the warriors and priest are not ‘actively’ involved in disarming a
trap, the entire party, not just the rogue, earns experience for the action of
PC’s who are present, but whose Player is not at a session, will earn between
50% and 100% of these exp awards for the session, dependent upon the DM’s ruling
of how integral the pc was during the session. This is done as an
incentive to encourage attendance at games whenever possible, and no rationale
other than that exists for it.
Note, all things are given a CR rating, whether they be combat encounters or
not, based upon the difficulty presented to the party. In all cases for
these standard experience awards, half of the value listed on the CR
table for experience will be awarded. The other half is intended to be
made up by Story-based awards, detailed next.
Story based awards:
I take the section in the DMG about story based awards to heart. Arcady0
stated, "I suspect that in the design of the game the story and dungeon
crawl camps bickered over this issue and the dungeon side won with a minor
concession that let the other side get mention in the book but without
details." He’s probably right.
The concepts behind how this part of the xp will be awarded is highly
weighted based on the feedback given to me by the players in the poll held last
month. Those activities not covered in the Standard-experience award which
you all said you liked in the game are awarded here. Those things weighted
most heavily by yourselves in the poll, are most heavily weighted here as well.
I prefer to detail out the story awards side of things in order to make it
fair and objective. Without this I find in play that the player who gets
remembered most tends to get all the role-play XP. And that’s often the player
who was loudest or most obnoxious. Which is not necessarily the deepest role
player. Granted, this player still may get the Hero point awards, so its
fair this way.
Unlike Standard XP rewards, the PCs won’t get the same amount every session and thus will not get complacent about those activities which are awarded for these story-based awards.. This system is designed to favor players who put forth more effort; those who put the most effort into the game will get the largest rewards.
Therefore in addition to the half Standard Awards the following system will
The base number is 100*character level.
- 10% of this given for each of a PC’s plot hooks a player manages to get
introduced into the game per session. 20% if it plays a big role.
- 30% for achieving the current plot’s goals or 10-20% for progressing
- 20% for giving me, or keeping an up-to-date web-site with, a written
journal for the character, which includes their thoughts on adventure
happenings, current events and any other topic the character might
come up with. This should be written completely from the character’s
point of view. (This helps me out a lot. So I reward
it. You could say the character is learning by reflecting on their actions.)
- 10% for demonstrating a ‘shining example’ of the character’s core
concept. 20% if it also exemplifies their alignment. Shining example
means just that, you must exceed far and beyond the typical role-playing of
your core concept. For the alignment portion, you must perform in deed
and in word completely within the tenants of your chosen alignment.
- 20-40% for active participation.
- A player who does little to nothing that session gets 0 of this.
- One who only does the occasional thing gets 20%.
- Most people will get 30%.
- The most active member(s) will get 40%. But limited to the two most
active. However, if activity is counterproductive to other PLAYERS
enjoyment it is cut to 0. Note that I say PLAYERS and not the
adventure or the characters. You can completely destroy the adventure
and lay waste to half the party and still get this award if the players
present all had fun doing it.
- 15% for consistently using ‘in character descriptive narrative’ in
combat or out of combat. 30% if in both. This is a bonus
for describing your actions in non game-mechanical terms. How your character
does it. Conversing with the PCs and NPCs rather than stating what you
said. Basically, acting in character, and using in character
terminology and speech.
- In combat example, instead of saying "I attack
with my longsword for 4 damage", say "I slash my longsword
towards the orc’s exposed midriff, striking a deep cut into his side, .
. . for 4 points of damage." I KNOW that the DM does a lot of
this sort of descriptiveness for you, but it sure makes life a LOT
easier for him if the players shoulder some of the burden of
descriptive flavour for their own character’s for him.
- Out of combat example, instead of saying "I
will use my track feat, taking 20 gives me a 24 with my
bonuses" you would say, "I crouch down over the
entranceway and examines the ground and doorframe, carefully looking for
signs of traffic through this area, …. 24 on my track."
- An NPC interaction example, instead of saying
"I ask the shopkeeper if she sells crossbow bolts" you would
say, "I stroll into the shop and remove my cap as I enter, so as
not to be rude. I give the shopkeeper a friendly nod and approach her,
’Good morning to you good merchant, would you perchance have crossbow
bolts amidst all of these other fine wares I see?’:
- Getting into the habit of this is difficult, at
first, if you aren’t used to it, but if you keep at it, you fill find it
becomes very easy AND it makes the game a lot more fun for both
yourself, and your fellow players.
- Consistently performing totally out of character
actions and speech will negate this portion of the award entirely (both
types, for a total possible elimination of 30%!. (Examples: Regularly
advising other pc’s what they should do even when your PC is NOT
present; showing amazing insight and deduction despite having low
intelligence and wisdom stats, etc.)
- In combat example, instead of saying "I attack
If you total this all up it does exceed 100%. That is intentional as I don’t
expect everyone to pull off everything all the time.
The goal here is to have one level progression for every
3-6 sessions, based on the two types of awards.