Experience rules

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

doing so.

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

be used.

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

    towards them.
  • 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.)

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.

Experience rules

Rose of Waterdeep josiahknight