Death to XP?

17 posts / 0 new
Last post
I've decided to save myself the trouble of assigning experience points next time I run a GW campaign. Since all they do is add up to determine when the next level is reached, I'm thinking about a simple, arbitrary method.

I'm basing level gains around sessions played.

When a character participates in a number of game sessions equal to their current level, they advance to the next level. This means after one game night, characters advance from first to second level. After two more sessions, they advance to level 3, etc. No need to divide XP every night, or try to figure out how much a trap or adventure hook should be worth. Characters just level up for participating in the fun.

The interesting thing about this method is that it takes 45 game sessions to advance a campaign from level 1 to level 10. This matches quite well with other math that indicates at the suggested XP awards it takes 44.8 game sessions to reach the level cap.

Try it and see! Let me know if it works for you.
I like it, I think I will start using that method my self.
That's awesome.
I haven't used experience points since D&D 3.5 was released. I wasn't about to start with Gamma World! However, I advance the party much faster than that -- roughly every other session. If we only had a single encounter session, I may stretch it to three sessions for that level.
Here are the PHB essentia, in my opinion:
  • Three Basic Rules (p 11)
  • Power Types and Usage (p 54)
  • Skills (p178-179)
  • Feats (p 192)
  • Rest and Recovery (p 263)
  • All of Chapter 9 [Combat] (p 264-295)
A player needs to read the sections for building his or her character -- race, class, powers, feats, equipment, etc. But those are PC-specific. The above list is for everyone, regardless of the race or class or build or concept they are playing.
I always have my players level at story-appropriate points.  Before or after a climactic encounter, upon completion of a big plot thing, right before a major cliffhanger, etc...
My group also does plot-based level progression.
I'm thinking about a simple, arbitrary method.
I'm basing level gains around sessions played.

Interestingly: even the RPGA (normally big on playing by the book and crunching numbers) is doing that now for Epic levels: 3 sessions= 1 one level (three sessions per level was exactly how RPGA sessions worked out before that anyhow).

Also, DMG p.121 gives XP-less D&D as an option: "If you want to...""Tell the players that they gain a level after they complete eight to ten encounters."

I was under the impression that Gamma World advanced even faster (I'm advancing my group every two sessions). How did you arrive at 44.8 sessions to get to level 10?

I think LFR would have moved to a "play 3 adventures and level" system if it had not been for poor reactions from players when they floated the idea. Ashes of Athas uses the system and it hasn't been an issue. (In LFR, an adventure is roughly 3 at-level encounters plus a tiny bit more, so it ends up mirroring the DMG guidelines very closely).

Most prominent bloggers and WotC employees seem not to use XP. I don't use it in home campaigns for D&D (I do for some other systems). I find that XP is work for the DM and doesn't link to campaign goals or to what the PCs actually "earned". Tracking XP adds no value that I can see.

Follow my blog and Twitter feed with Dark Sun campaign design and DM tips!
Dark Sun's Ashes of Athas Campaign is now available for home play (PM me with your e-mail to order the campaign adventures).

I only use XP when the system lets you spend it organically. A level based system does not need it, at least not a tabletop one. Works for computer games, but for a table top game, it just slows down the story. 

I go by number of encounters, generally 4-6 per level or a flat rate of 8-10. Depends on the game and how fast I want them to grow.  
No one wins in the Edition Wars. The whole hobby loses. Wizards did not lose me as a DDI subscriber with the Online CB, they lost me long before that. And I have let my Herald Level GM Status lapse after 8 years. Wizards lack of support and the Edition Wars Trolls that are poorly moderated just managed to take all the fun out of public events. ~~ KT
In 4e I haven't used XP either.  The one campaign I ran I leveled the party every 2 or 3 sessions.  I have thought about the 1 session at 1st,, 2 sessions at 2nd, etc., but haven't used it yet.  I think it makes sense for GW since it ends at 10th (I though of using this system if I ever played B/X again).

 Any Edition

I don't use XP, either, though I have to restrain myself on the levelling rate; one of my players doesn't 'get it', so I need to make sure he fully understands his abilities before I give him any new ones.
Another day, another three or four entries to my Ignore List.
I was under the impression that Gamma World advanced even faster (I'm advancing my group every two sessions). How did you arrive at 44.8 sessions to get to level 10?




Someone more mathemagical than myself crunched some numbers over at boardgamegeek...
rpggeek.com/thread/585322/gw-campaigns-s...

Perhaps I'll just stick to an automatic advancement every 3 sessions as mentioned above. It makes the progression more linear than my suggested method, but that's not a bad thing.
How did you arrive at 44.8 sessions to get to level 10?

Someone more mathemagical than myself crunched some numbers over at boardgamegeek...
rpggeek.com/thread/585322/gw-campaigns-s...

Ah. Yes... that's 44.8 'encounters' rather than 'sessions'. There are usually 3-5 encounters in a session.

I really like Gamma World, but I can't see playing 45 sessions of it. To me, it's just not that kind of game.
Ah. Yes... that's 44.8 'encounters' rather than 'sessions'. There are usually 3-5 encounters in a session.



That makes more sense... I'm too used to games where XP are participatory rather than encounter-based. It's been a long time since I've played a game where they are awarded by the encounter.

I'm too used to games where XP are participatory rather than encounter-based.

Curious: what games give XP by session rather than by the objectives overcome?
(although that's actually my preference, I didn't know of many that did that, and I wasn't sure how they might account for sessions being variable in length)

I typically run games like Savage Worlds and PDQ, where an evening's experience award is fairly arbitrary. For instance, in Savage Worlds I typically award 2-3 XP for a good play session.  Since a character levels up at every 5 XP in that system, the PC's level about every other session.