Monday, December 12, 2011

Experience Points Revisited

The Degenerate Elite has offered some very valid commentary about my proposed xp progression. I'd like to address that in more depths.

  • "your xp will result in ridiculously fast leveling for this system" - Correct. That is by design. I am not in favor of skipping the first couple of levels, but I am also not in favor of having the characters stuck at level 1-3 for any longer than absolutely necessary. So I am handing out enough xp to get them to higher levels pretty quickly. I want them to advance quickly.
  • "the +100 per hit die is especially out of scale with normal monster encounters..." - You hit a nail there. I wasn't thinking when I did this. Mechanically, there would be no difference between hunting nine orcs and encountering a 9HD dragon. Except that surviving the orcs would be much easier. I don't like the table on page 32, because I think that the progression is too slow for my tastes. Also, I don't like referencing tables. Lotfp has nicely done away with most of the tables during actual game play.
  • "for treasure to count for xp - it has to be returned safely to civilization" - I don't want the game to depend upon collecting treasure. I don't want to hinder mechanical character growth. I want the characters to advance.
So in order to address the second issue, I need to reconsider the table. I should mention that I don't expect the game to consist of that much combat, and therefore I want the xp gained from combat to count. Currently, I am seeing a formular for exponential xp emerge:

(HD x HD) x20

That would give an orc a value of 20 xp, a gnoll a value of 80 xp, and the 9HD dragon a value of 1.620 xp (or rather 2.000 xp, because due it's breath weapon and other abilities, it counts as a 10 HD monster).
Now hunting nine orcs will net the group 180 xp, and hunting nine gnolls will net 720 xp. Still considerably less than defeating one dragon.

1 comment:

  1. The exponential xp progression is a neat way to handle it.

    I think that the same sort of effect could be created by simply incorporating the +5% for 13-15 and +10% for 16-18 prime stat bonuses.

    I went back and looked at some sources and oD&D awards xp based solely upon a monters treasure value, so the amount found converts to the creatures xp and then there is no further award for treasure values.

    Greyhawk adds in a taable on page 12 for direct HD to XP awards, with the odd quote "Rather than the (ridiculous) 100 points per level for slain monsters...". So apparently your 100 per HD may have been a common sort of thing back in the early days.

    The table itself is exactly the same as the B/X tables, with the inclusion of separate +1 HD breaks.

    The LotFP table actullay awards more XP for HD levels 2 and 3, and then starts to have odd variations.

    Here's a quickie chart.

    HD oE B/X LotFP
    >1 5 5 5
    1 10 10 10
    2 20 20 25
    3 35 35 50
    4 75 75 75
    5 175 175 100
    6 275 275 250
    7 450 450 500
    8 650 650 750
    9 900 900 1000
    10 900 900 1250
    11 1100 1100 1500

    Past 12 D&D keeps going up in a staggered fashion while LotFP peaks at 1500 for all higher.

    The bonuses are another matter. D&D says to either add double for special abilities or to use an extra bonus column that the table also gives.

    I think LotFP is geared towards sub level 5 play, especially given that character mortality is so prevalent. I often have 3 to 4 characters die per session when running some of Jim's published adventures. Players accept the game as deadly and focus on avoiding fights and problem solving rather than trying to fight bigger beasties.