Experience Points

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For how many different things, besides killing an opponent, do you award XP?
One dagger is a plot point. A thousand daggers is inventory. Thank you for disrailing this thread.
I don't award XP at all.  We level up every few sessions, once it fits the story needs and everybody has a grip on their new abilities.
Another day, another three or four entries to my Ignore List.
I award a quarter of the normal XP for combat. I award a little bit more if they were really unlucky and rolled badly, to help make up for the stress off the encounter. I make up for this somewhat by awarding bonus XP if the players handle a role playing situation well, and make decisions and take actions that are consistant with their character's personality et c (but still keep it lower overall than the combat initially would have given, as I prefer a slower, more stable feel to my world- which I personally achieve by slowing the leveling progress). I would also award some bonus XP after a combat encounter if the players role-played well during it- and encouraged others to do the same. I also award for inginuity and problem solving, and more if they do it in a novel way that makes the story more interesting for everyone.

As a one off, I awarded my players with some XP and gp for an activity they did OUT of the game. I'll just quote what I wrote to them. My main reason to do this was to get my players into the mindset of their characters more, and it worked very well as following this they really got into character and where much more consistant with how they played him or her. But I never told them the main reason, just what follows:

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I’ve been thinking of ways to improve the game and make it more interesting for you guys. One of the things that would help a lot with this is to know who your characters are so I can adapt situations/story with them in mind. This is optional, so if you don’t have the time to do it that’s totally fine! But read to the end before deciding if you want to do so. I want to ask you guys to write a background story and biography about your character. A physical description. What disposition and personality do they have? His or her place of birth, where they grew up, how they ended up in the city. Is there anyone they hate or love, like or dislike? Are there people they are tracking down, running away from? What are some significant events in their lives? Do they have hobbies or interests? What motivates them, and why do they choose to adventure? What do they do in their spare time when in a town or the wilderness? And any other things you can think of really. You don’t have to do this, but if you do I am sure it will make for a more immersive, rewarding and richer gameplay experience for everyone, plus you will be rewarded with gold and experience points! For each paragraph (about 5 sentences) you write you will get 50 gold pieces, up to a total of 1000gp. I have something special in mind which you can spend this money on in game (a one time event), so you won’t want to miss out. You will also get 150 experience points per 500gp awarded for writing. Plus extra rewards of you go above and beyond. (For an easy ten gold and 30 experience points, give your biography a witty and or punny title. For example, one of the guys out of the monkees called his "They made a Monkee out of me". Or "david Hasselhoff's Dont hassel the hoff". Both terrible, but you get the point.) Sent it to me by email ( xxxx@xxxx.com), PM me here on facebook or print it out and give it to me in person. See you all on Friday!
Besides killing enemies, I tend to reward XP to my players for advancing the plot in some fashion (be it by discovering the clues, by getting the enemy to do something they want rather than having to kill them, solving a mystery, etc.), for doing something particularly spectacular (as a friend of mine puts it when adjudicating XP gains in his WoD game, there's a range from "defeated a major villain" to "punched out Cthulu", and various things in between), for interesting roleplay, and in general for things that impress me.

In general, anything that I think went above and beyond the requirements for a scenario, be it a creative solution or even just giving me something that drops a new plot hook or twist on things tends to warrant at least a little extra experience.  It can be something planned, like a skill challenge, or just an interesting thing that comes about through organic roleplay--just so long as I look at it and go "hey, that was kinda nifty!"
I generally level up the party once per big adventure.  So a fight or two with some orcs on the road wouldn't count but killing that evil wizard who has been experimenting on homless people in the sewers does.
Aside from fights I award xp for bypassing fights, completing quests, and on occasion I award xp because they are close and it will be easier to level up between sessions than an hour into the next one or i get scared that the next fight is going to be too hard if i don't level them up before it and i don't want to subtract anything from the upcoming battle if they continue on their current path.  I usually make this extra xp seem like it is from another source, but really it is just xp.  I also award xp for skill challenges.
For how many different things, besides killing an opponent, do you award XP?

Quests and skill challenges, but I don't track it that closely. But I haven't given up on it either.

Killing monsters should be the least effective way of gaining XP. I see that now.

[N]o difference is less easily overcome than the difference of opinion about semi-abstract questions. - L. Tolstoy

I don't award XP at all.  We level up every few sessions, once it fits the story needs and everybody has a grip on their new abilities.


This. 

But you are supposed to award XP for overcoming a challenge. So any challenge, from convincing the king to lend you some horses to killing a dragon gives XP.

Anytime someone attempts anything, and is successful you award XP. Some things are so small a challenge that they no longer award XP, but they would have if the PCs were lower level.  Climbing a cliff face is hard for level 1 PCs, but not level 6 ones who can fly. 

I recomend awarding XP evenly to the group.

"In a way, you are worse than Krusk"                               " As usual, Krusk comments with assuredness, but lacks the clarity and awareness of what he's talking about"

"Can't say enough how much I agree with Krusk"

"Your advice is the worst"

The only way I "award" extra XP is in the form of putting more challenges into a session.
  
Interesting. So how would you quantify challenges in terms of XP. Say, 10 points for outwitting the town watch? 1,000 points for running a con on an adult red dragon? Could you give a list of your non-combat challenges and what they're worth in terms of XP?
One dagger is a plot point. A thousand daggers is inventory. Thank you for disrailing this thread.
Anything that is a challenge the PCs choose to participate in. I generally use the same XP chart as I would for an encounter with monsters of their level. An easy one might have less XP and a hard one might have more.  Use the same chart or method used to determine XP for a fight, but there aren't monsters. 

I can't give a list because I don't use one. And only use XP with one of my groups that demands it.

"In a way, you are worse than Krusk"                               " As usual, Krusk comments with assuredness, but lacks the clarity and awareness of what he's talking about"

"Can't say enough how much I agree with Krusk"

"Your advice is the worst"

your town watch and dragon example with level 1 PCs. 

This is an average challenge for them, so I give XP as though a level 1 challenge. (Whatever number that is). Them running a con on an elder dragon is very hard. Ill award XP based on a very hard, or level +2, or level 3 Challenge.  Check the XP budget and use whatever number they provide for a level 1 or 3 challenge. 

For level 10 PCs, outwitting the town guard isn't a challenge anymore. So no XP. Running the con on the dragon is an average challenge, so they get XP for a level 10 encounter.  

"In a way, you are worse than Krusk"                               " As usual, Krusk comments with assuredness, but lacks the clarity and awareness of what he's talking about"

"Can't say enough how much I agree with Krusk"

"Your advice is the worst"

Interesting. So how would you quantify challenges in terms of XP. Say, 10 points for outwitting the town watch? 1,000 points for running a con on an adult red dragon? Could you give a list of your non-combat challenges and what they're worth in terms of XP?



Page 72 in the DMG has advice on this, but I didn't really get most of it until I read a couple of the pre-made adventures. Something like the post-tidal wave challenge on page 95 of Revenge of the Giants is probably one of the most prominent examples that comes to mind
I don't award XP at all.  We level up every few sessions, once it fits the story needs and everybody has a grip on their new abilities.

This. 

But you are supposed to award XP for overcoming a challenge. So any challenge, from convincing the king to lend you some horses to killing a dragon gives XP.

Convincing the dragon to lend you the horses so you can go kill the king might be worth even more XP. (If you actually track XP.)

Identify what the real goal of a specific adventure is. It doesn't have to be, and often shouldn't be, killing something. Maybe the dragon has a particular relic you need for a longer-term quest... then the goal is to get the relic and get out of there safely, and killing the dragon is just one of several possible ways to achieve that goal. It might even be a bad idea.

But what if the party fails to get the magic item?

First, if YOU have no idea how to proceed in that event, then the event can't happen. The party WILL get the relic and get out of there.

But that doesn't mean failure is impossible. It just has to take a different form. They get some sort of extra challenge or complication, have to perform a quest for the dragon, or something.

Always make sure failure will be interesting. There are even ways to make a TPK interesting and not story-ending. (But you almost never want to need those techniques. Unless you've been planning and foreshadowing the event - in which case it hardly counts as a failure.)
"The world does not work the way you have been taught it does. We are not real as such; we exist within The Story. Unfortunately for you, you have inherited a condition from your mother known as Primary Protagonist Syndrome, which means The Story is interested in you. It will find you, and if you are not ready for the narrative strands it will throw at you..." - from Footloose
I have stopped handing out xp some time ago. Earning more or less xp has no real impact on the game beyond the DM adjusting the difficulty and the difference must be pretty significant if you want to reward individual players for cool stuff (at which point it disrupts the balance of the game). All it does is tell the players how far they are from leveling, and if you have a bit of rules lawyer types something to complain about (did you give enough xp for a particular encounter, did that environment count or not, was that a proper challenge?). Now I just level them about every 9 or 10 significant encounters, or at points that make sense for the adventure pacing.
I don't award XP at all.  We level up every few sessions, once it fits the story needs and everybody has a grip on their new abilities.


This. 

But you are supposed to award XP for overcoming a challenge. So any challenge, from convincing the king to lend you some horses to killing a dragon gives XP.

Anytime someone attempts anything, and is successful you award XP. Some things are so small a challenge that they no longer award XP, but they would have if the PCs were lower level.  Climbing a cliff face is hard for level 1 PCs, but not level 6 ones who can fly. 

I recomend awarding XP evenly to the group.



Who cares?  All XP is is a means to make sure the party levels at appropriate points in time.  You can ignore it entirely, and then level the party at appropriate points in time.  XP is not, and should not be, an extra bennie for doing something awesome, ESPECIALLY not on an individual basis.

Were I running a home campaign instead of LFR, I'd be levelling the party on a roughly three-sessions-per-level basis.
Harrying your Prey, the Easy Way: A Hunter's Handbook - the first of what will hopefully be many CharOp efforts on my part. The Blinker - teleport everywhere. An Eladrin Knight/Eldritch Knight. CB != rules source.
I don't award XP at all.  We level up every few sessions, once it fits the story needs and everybody has a grip on their new abilities.


This. 

But you are supposed to award XP for overcoming a challenge. So any challenge, from convincing the king to lend you some horses to killing a dragon gives XP.

Anytime someone attempts anything, and is successful you award XP. Some things are so small a challenge that they no longer award XP, but they would have if the PCs were lower level.  Climbing a cliff face is hard for level 1 PCs, but not level 6 ones who can fly. 

I recomend awarding XP evenly to the group.



Who cares?  All XP is is a means to make sure the party levels at appropriate points in time (and a means to set appropropriate-level combat encounters, for which it undeniably is useful).  You can ignore it entirely, and then level the party at appropriate points in time.  XP is not, and should not be, an extra bennie for doing something awesome, ESPECIALLY not on an individual basis.  As an analogy, I would be awarding XP for all these challenegs - I just wouldn't bookkeep exactly how much, preferring insteasd to look at the overall picture, which is that for the average group doing roughly at-level encounters for 4-hour sessions, they level roughly every 3 sessions.  The rest is meaningless number tracking, so I wouldn't bother.

Were I running a home campaign instead of LFR, I'd be levelling the party on a roughly three-sessions-per-level basis.



Harrying your Prey, the Easy Way: A Hunter's Handbook - the first of what will hopefully be many CharOp efforts on my part. The Blinker - teleport everywhere. An Eladrin Knight/Eldritch Knight. CB != rules source.
Were I running a home campaign instead of LFR, I'd be levelling the party on a roughly three-sessions-per-level basis.

Which is exactly what is happening if you run the LFR campaign with the same players/PCs all the time ;)

Note that in a home campaign I would (and do) count encounters more than sessions. After all, one session could last 12 hours and the next only 3, not to mention that each group has a different speed. The core leveling speed is about 9 encounters per level, which includes skill challenges and quest xp.

Mm, we're nto running a single party though - we rotate DMs.
Harrying your Prey, the Easy Way: A Hunter's Handbook - the first of what will hopefully be many CharOp efforts on my part. The Blinker - teleport everywhere. An Eladrin Knight/Eldritch Knight. CB != rules source.
I don't award XP at all.  We level up every few sessions, once it fits the story needs and everybody has a grip on their new abilities.

This exactly describes my method as well. I ditched XP back at the end of 3.0 and never once used it in 3.5 or 4e. And I like it much better that way.

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.
Who cares?  All XP is is a means to make sure the party levels at appropriate points in time.  You can ignore it entirely, and then level the party at appropriate points in time.  XP is not, and should not be, an extra bennie for doing something awesome, ESPECIALLY not on an individual basis.

Were I running a home campaign instead of LFR, I'd be levelling the party on a roughly three-sessions-per-level basis.



XP is a tangible reward mechanic for the game, not a method for pacing leveling.

Personally, I use XP mostly as a mechanical reward for success in combat where-as I use treasure as a reward for exploration. Monsters rarely drop treasure as nice as can be found elsewhere through exploration...but exploration does not reward with XP as well as monsters. It creates a nice balance in that way where players get rewarded for taking part in the game no matter what but in different ways.

I also award XP for challenges where skills COULD be used but the players navigate it without doing a roll as I consider it a smart move to leave as little up to the dice as possible since dice are a risk mechanic. It's not a lot of XP, mind you, but it can make a difference in the long run.

I also rewarded the creation of players 3x3s (sorta like backgrounds) and getting dice and a miniature with XP to give a reward for putting some buy-in towards the game. That is good form.

On an individual basis, players also sometimes get XP as an extra bennie for doing something awesome.

I'm on a journey of enlightenment, learning and self-improvement. A journey towards mastery. A journey that will never end. If you challenge me, prepare to be challenged. If you have something to offer as a fellow student, I will accept it. If you call yourself a master, prepare to be humbled. If you seek me, look to the path. I will be traveling it.

 

Proudly playing in many wrong ways. I'm not afraid of playing wrong according to the rules. Why are you?

 

100 Crack Reply of the Yagamifire. You are already wrong.

Nope.  XP is how you measure a: encounter difficulty and b: time between levels.  It is not a tangible anything, being as it is, an entirely metagame concept.  It makes game FAR simpler and easier to manage, to ignore the awarding of it entirely.

And it DEFINITELY should never be awarded to the party unequally.  If you want to give out bennies for cool play, give out bennies for cool play (such as reroll or bonus chips, an idea which I've seen used to good effect, drama/fortune cards, etc), not XP, which is a levelling or encounter difficulty mechanic.  Levelling the party unevenly is a bad thing.
Harrying your Prey, the Easy Way: A Hunter's Handbook - the first of what will hopefully be many CharOp efforts on my part. The Blinker - teleport everywhere. An Eladrin Knight/Eldritch Knight. CB != rules source.
Nope.  XP is how you measure a: encounter difficulty and b: time between levels.  It is not a tangible anything, being as it is, an entirely metagame concept.  It makes game FAR simpler and easier to manage, to ignore the awarding of it entirely.

And it DEFINITELY should never be awarded to the party unequally.  If you want to give out bennies for cool play, give out bennies for cool play (such as reroll or bonus chips, an idea which I've seen used to good effect, drama/fortune cards, etc), not XP, which is a levelling or encounter difficulty mechanic.  Levelling the party unevenly is a bad thing.



Simpler does not equate to better.

One could simplify football by eliminating points and making the team that earns the most yards the winner. That doesn't necessarily mean anything...it just s what it is.

In game terms, xp IS a tangible reward BECAUSE it's a game concept. Just like how points are a tangible in-game reward in football. And no, it's not a metagame concept...it's a game concept. (EDIT: Just wanted to add, I think what you mean is that it's an Out-Of-character concept...which it is)

You are stating unequivocally that leveling unevenly (or awarding xp to the party unequally) is a bad thing...please present points that prove this, otherwise you're just stating an opinion.

I'm on a journey of enlightenment, learning and self-improvement. A journey towards mastery. A journey that will never end. If you challenge me, prepare to be challenged. If you have something to offer as a fellow student, I will accept it. If you call yourself a master, prepare to be humbled. If you seek me, look to the path. I will be traveling it.

 

Proudly playing in many wrong ways. I'm not afraid of playing wrong according to the rules. Why are you?

 

100 Crack Reply of the Yagamifire. You are already wrong.

Levelling unevenly is a bad thing, because it makes encounters far more difficult to balance.  If one person hits more easily and does more damage, has more HP and defences than someone else (an undeniable by-product of them levelling faster), then you either have to throw bigger mobs at the party, and risk squishing the lower-level PCs, or throw smaller mobs and risk the higher-level PCs splatting them and invalidating the lower-level ones.  The wider the split grows (and it's likely to; in my experience, the sort of play which earns these sorts of bennies tends to come from a particular type of person, who is likely to consistently earn them more often), the bigger the problem, until your mobs are either a decent challenge for the low level PCs, and a pushover of the high level PCs, or they kill the low level PCs in no-time, whilst being a decent challenge for the high level PCs.

The game (and I'm talking about 4e here, in case it wasn't clear) is designed around a party all of roughly the same level - and the variance becomes clear even with PCs less than 3 levels apart.

Simpler is neither good nor bad.  Easier to manage is definitely good.

If you equating XP to scores in football, you're playing the game for the wrong reason.  XP isn't something I'd give out as a bennie for doing something cool, because it's not designed for that.  It's designed as a balance mechanic, and a levelling mechanic, no more, no less.  If you weant to give bennies for cool play, say 'hey that was cool, *cool in-world thing* happens because you did that'.  The game is not about scoring XP, it is about telling awesome stories with your friends.

Naturally, all of the above being my opinion, just like your post is yours.  If you disagree, feel free to expound, but don't necessarily expect responses, because I'm not interested in butting my head repeatedly against a brick wall.
Harrying your Prey, the Easy Way: A Hunter's Handbook - the first of what will hopefully be many CharOp efforts on my part. The Blinker - teleport everywhere. An Eladrin Knight/Eldritch Knight. CB != rules source.
My method amounts to not really using XP, simply because I tend to forget about it

Levelling unevenly is a bad thing, because it makes encounters far more difficult to balance.  If one person hits more easily and does more damage, has more HP and defences than someone else (an undeniable by-product of them levelling faster), then you either have to throw bigger mobs at the party, and risk squishing the lower-level PCs, or throw smaller mobs and risk the higher-level PCs splatting them and invalidating the lower-level ones.

I generally agree that levelling unevenly is a bad thing, and I used to agree with the reason you give, but not anymore. All that's necessary is to focus on making encounters that aren't entirely or even primarily about one side destroying the other physically.

So, do level characters evenly, but don't do it just for the above-quoted reason.

[N]o difference is less easily overcome than the difference of opinion about semi-abstract questions. - L. Tolstoy

My method amounts to not really using XP, simply because I tend to forget about it

Levelling unevenly is a bad thing, because it makes encounters far more difficult to balance.  If one person hits more easily and does more damage, has more HP and defences than someone else (an undeniable by-product of them levelling faster), then you either have to throw bigger mobs at the party, and risk squishing the lower-level PCs, or throw smaller mobs and risk the higher-level PCs splatting them and invalidating the lower-level ones.

I generally agree that levelling unevenly is a bad thing, and I used to agree with the reason you give, but not anymore. All that's necessary is to focus on making encounters that aren't entirely or even primarily about one side destroying the other physically.

So, do level characters evenly, but don't do it just for the above-quoted reason.


Don't get me wrong, I agree entirely with the premise.  But even if you do go for things where murderdeathkill is not the sole and only victory condition, it's difficult to deny that any sort of combat is very difficult to balance if PCs in the party are more than 2 or 3 levels apart, simply because attacks are either so much more deadly to some, or so much less to others.
Harrying your Prey, the Easy Way: A Hunter's Handbook - the first of what will hopefully be many CharOp efforts on my part. The Blinker - teleport everywhere. An Eladrin Knight/Eldritch Knight. CB != rules source.
Don't get me wrong, I agree entirely with the premise.  But even if you do go for things where murderdeathkill is not the sole and only victory condition, it's difficult to deny that any sort of combat is very difficult to balance if PCs in the party are more than 2 or 3 levels apart, simply because attacks are either so much more deadly to some, or so much less to others.

This is probably better discussed in another thread, but what it comes down to is not really bothering with balance, because losing doesn't mean that the characters died. The enemies might not be attacking the PCs at all, or not giving chase to PCs that move out of melee to approach the challenge from another angle.

But still, in general, it's good for everyone to have pretty equal capabilities.

[N]o difference is less easily overcome than the difference of opinion about semi-abstract questions. - L. Tolstoy

Don't get me wrong, I agree entirely with the premise.  But even if you do go for things where murderdeathkill is not the sole and only victory condition, it's difficult to deny that any sort of combat is very difficult to balance if PCs in the party are more than 2 or 3 levels apart, simply because attacks are either so much more deadly to some, or so much less to others.

This is probably better discussed in another thread, but what it comes down to is not really bothering with balance, because losing doesn't mean that the characters died. The enemies might not be attacking the PCs at all, or not giving chase to PCs that move out of melee to approach the challenge from another angle.

But still, in general, it's good for everyone to have pretty equal capabilities.


When I say deadly, I mean 'knocking someone below 0hp means he spends his turns doing nothing except rolling death saves, which is boring', not outright deadly.  I try to avoid that kind of all-or-nothing result.

But equally, D&D in general, and 4e in particular, is very combat oriented, and when all you have is a hammer, you wanna go beat up some monsters with it... Wait, I think my metaphor got a bit mixed there :P
Harrying your Prey, the Easy Way: A Hunter's Handbook - the first of what will hopefully be many CharOp efforts on my part. The Blinker - teleport everywhere. An Eladrin Knight/Eldritch Knight. CB != rules source.
Levelling unevenly is a bad thing, because it makes encounters far more difficult to balance.  If one person hits more easily and does more damage, has more HP and defences than someone else (an undeniable by-product of them levelling faster), then you either have to throw bigger mobs at the party, and risk squishing the lower-level PCs, or throw smaller mobs and risk the higher-level PCs splatting them and invalidating the lower-level ones.  The wider the split grows (and it's likely to; in my experience, the sort of play which earns these sorts of bennies tends to come from a particular type of person, who is likely to consistently earn them more often), the bigger the problem, until your mobs are either a decent challenge for the low level PCs, and a pushover of the high level PCs, or they kill the low level PCs in no-time, whilst being a decent challenge for the high level PCs.



This, of course, assumes that balancing encounters in that manner is necessary. And even then, again, "harder" does not mean worse. Playing golf is harder than playing mini-golf...it does not mean mini-golf is preferable to all people.

Your statement also assumes that all matters of encounters are resolved through Damage-per-round for or against an individual when there are FAR more ways to contribute than just that. It also assumes that the players themselves are static and won't pick up on a desire to ALSO earn XP to close those gaps. When something is desirable in a game, people will try to achieve it. That's good & fun for most people that play those games.

The game (and I'm talking about 4e here, in case it wasn't clear) is designed around a party all of roughly the same level - and the variance becomes clear even with PCs less than 3 levels apart.



This statement disproves your own point. If the game is designed around a party all of "roughly" the same level, it means the system is balanced to account for uneven leveling. I wasn't talking about 4E specifically though...just how a good system should work in general. Good to know 4E can handle that, but I thought it could anyway. It seems well-structured mechanically.

Simpler is neither good nor bad.  Easier to manage is definitely good.



Easier to manage is subjective. Hell, "easier" is subjective. Some people prefer to manage things that are more complex because they are bored by things that are too simple to them. So "easier" equates to boring for them. Again, not provable.

If you equating XP to scores in football, you're playing the game for the wrong reason.  XP isn't something I'd give out as a bennie for doing something cool, because it's not designed for that.  It's designed as a balance mechanic, and a levelling mechanic, no more, no less.  If you weant to give bennies for cool play, say 'hey that was cool, *cool in-world thing* happens because you did that'.  The game is not about scoring XP, it is about telling awesome stories with your friends.



Wow, jumping straight to me "doing it wrong" huh? The point of the game of D&D is to amass power...XP is a good means to power so its not bad to approach the game to earn XP. I thought everyone was embracing an uber-cuddlie "Every way is the right way!" fallacy around these parts? Here, I'll let you in on a secret (that's not a secret)...the GAME is about scoring XP/finding treasure/gaining levels/building a power base...it's the point of the game itself. Anything else is a byproduct of the game and the fun you derive from that is a byproduct as well.

This is also easy to prove. You can tell awesome stories with your friends without playing D&D...as written, you cannot take part in (or advance in) the mechanical GAME of D&D without earning experience. Ergo, D&D cannot be "about" telling awesome stories with your friends as there is no way for the game to make have this happen or even judge it. This is the same way that a toaster is not designed to prevent starvation...it is designed to toast bread...some people eat toasted bread to prevent starvation, however.

Naturally, all of the above being my opinion, just like your post is yours.  If you disagree, feel free to expound, but don't necessarily expect responses, because I'm not interested in butting my head repeatedly against a brick wall.



Do not state opinion as fact though. And I'll also point out a number of my points are in fact, NOT my opinion...like the point of the game of D&D.

I'll also point out that you're saying I'm a brick wall, but you are the one telling someone they are "playing the game for the wrong reason". Do you understand the irony of that?

In the game of D&D, I play to earn XP (well I DM but lets move on...) and wealth and power for my character...in doing so the narrative around those mechanical game-events create stories...I personally find all of this fun (sometimes...it can also be bad and boring and dull and infuriating and anything else). However, those things are not the point of the game...the game itself is ignorant of those other things.

To quote the designers themselves on the topic of what D&D the game is...

"Players create heroic fantasy characters -- mighty warriors, stealthy rogues, or powerful wizards -- which they guide through an ongoing series of adventures, working together to defeat monsters and other challenges and growing in power, glory, and achievement."

That's a design-statement. Pretty iron-clad one too.

I'm on a journey of enlightenment, learning and self-improvement. A journey towards mastery. A journey that will never end. If you challenge me, prepare to be challenged. If you have something to offer as a fellow student, I will accept it. If you call yourself a master, prepare to be humbled. If you seek me, look to the path. I will be traveling it.

 

Proudly playing in many wrong ways. I'm not afraid of playing wrong according to the rules. Why are you?

 

100 Crack Reply of the Yagamifire. You are already wrong.

The characters work together to defeat monsters and grow in power and save the world.  The players come together as a group to have fun.
Harrying your Prey, the Easy Way: A Hunter's Handbook - the first of what will hopefully be many CharOp efforts on my part. The Blinker - teleport everywhere. An Eladrin Knight/Eldritch Knight. CB != rules source.
The characters work together to defeat monsters and grow in power and save the world.  The players come together as a group to have fun.



B.I.N.G.O.
Another day, another three or four entries to my Ignore List.
The characters work together to defeat monsters and grow in power and save the world.  The players come together as a group to have fun.



So you agree with me? Cool.

The point of the game itself is to amass power. People get together to play the game to have fun. Fun, however, is not the point of the game itself.

I'm on a journey of enlightenment, learning and self-improvement. A journey towards mastery. A journey that will never end. If you challenge me, prepare to be challenged. If you have something to offer as a fellow student, I will accept it. If you call yourself a master, prepare to be humbled. If you seek me, look to the path. I will be traveling it.

 

Proudly playing in many wrong ways. I'm not afraid of playing wrong according to the rules. Why are you?

 

100 Crack Reply of the Yagamifire. You are already wrong.

Also:

"working together to defeat monsters and other challenges and growing in power, glory, and achievement"

Please point out where that requires experience points, as opposed to doing it when it fits the story/every few sessions as appropriate.
Harrying your Prey, the Easy Way: A Hunter's Handbook - the first of what will hopefully be many CharOp efforts on my part. The Blinker - teleport everywhere. An Eladrin Knight/Eldritch Knight. CB != rules source.
When I say deadly, I mean 'knocking someone below 0hp means he spends his turns doing nothing except rolling death saves, which is boring', not outright deadly.  I try to avoid that kind of all-or-nothing result.

So do I. That's what I'm getting at: encounters in which the enemy isn't directly served by taking actions even to knock out the PCs. Or, if the characters are all neutralized, the encounter wraps up quickly with their failure rather than with the enemy executing them

But equally, D&D in general, and 4e in particular, is very combat oriented, and when all you have is a hammer, you wanna go beat up some monsters with it... Wait, I think my metaphor got a bit mixed there :P

D&D in general, and 4e in particular, have their basis in adventure stories in which "on-screen" combat is rarely, if ever, just about wiping out the other side. The Lord of the Rings is the quintessential D&D influence, and that party was highly "imbalanced" and the fights they were in also highly "imbalanced." And the party regularly "failed." Yes, a few of them died (not, I'll note, the weakest ones) but they could have failed even if every one of them had survived.

[N]o difference is less easily overcome than the difference of opinion about semi-abstract questions. - L. Tolstoy

Which is all very well, except that when I pick up my 4e rules compendium, probably 75% of it is devoted to combat, and rules for playing it.  If you're playing a game where the combat doesn't matter and/or mostly happens off-screen, there are probably better systems to play it in than any edition of D&D.
Harrying your Prey, the Easy Way: A Hunter's Handbook - the first of what will hopefully be many CharOp efforts on my part. The Blinker - teleport everywhere. An Eladrin Knight/Eldritch Knight. CB != rules source.
We should have a thread about fun not being teh point of D&D, yes? I would like.
Also:

"working together to defeat monsters and other challenges and growing in power, glory, and achievement"

Please point out where that requires experience points, as opposed to doing it when it fits the story/every few sessions as appropriate.



For this I refer to another design article from WoTC...the makers of the game...

"Experience points are a measure of accomplishment. While they partially represent training and learning by doing, they mostly illustrate the fact that, in fantasy, the more experienced a character is, the more power he or she possesses. Experience points allow a character to gain levels and are thus at the center of two of the most important concepts of the game: level advancement and character improvement. Gaining levels keeps the game moving and heightens the fun and excitement."

So, one gains power by gaining levels...one gains levels by gaining experience points...

Again, iron-clad. As written, that is the mechanical basis for XP and what they are used for...they're a tangible in-game reward for doing the things the game is based around having you do. Like I said earlier.

I'm on a journey of enlightenment, learning and self-improvement. A journey towards mastery. A journey that will never end. If you challenge me, prepare to be challenged. If you have something to offer as a fellow student, I will accept it. If you call yourself a master, prepare to be humbled. If you seek me, look to the path. I will be traveling it.

 

Proudly playing in many wrong ways. I'm not afraid of playing wrong according to the rules. Why are you?

 

100 Crack Reply of the Yagamifire. You are already wrong.

We should have a thread about fun not being teh point of D&D, yes? I would like.



Already exists.

I'm on a journey of enlightenment, learning and self-improvement. A journey towards mastery. A journey that will never end. If you challenge me, prepare to be challenged. If you have something to offer as a fellow student, I will accept it. If you call yourself a master, prepare to be humbled. If you seek me, look to the path. I will be traveling it.

 

Proudly playing in many wrong ways. I'm not afraid of playing wrong according to the rules. Why are you?

 

100 Crack Reply of the Yagamifire. You are already wrong.

Which is all very well, except that when I pick up my 4e rules compendium, probably 75% of it is devoted to combat, and rules for playing it.  If you're playing a game where the combat doesn't matter and/or mostly happens off-screen, there are probably better systems to play it in than any edition of D&D.

I'm not saying it doesn't matter or mostly happens off screen. I'm saying wiping out the other side rarely matters. Combat is usually about other things than that. One side can be wiped out and still win, or not take a scratch and still lose. "Balance" matters a lot less when encounters are set up like that, and there are lots of examples from fiction and non-fiction that are like that.

[N]o difference is less easily overcome than the difference of opinion about semi-abstract questions. - L. Tolstoy

We should have a thread about fun not being teh point of D&D, yes? I would like.



Except, of course, that having fun IS the point of D&D.

As much as you like kissing YagamiFire's butt, I am seriously starting to suspect that you're just a sock puppet.
Another day, another three or four entries to my Ignore List.
We should have a thread about fun not being teh point of D&D, yes? I would like.



Except, of course, that having fun IS the point of D&D.

As much as you like kissing YagamiFire's butt, I am seriously starting to suspect that you're just a sock puppet.



That's like, seriously, the third person you've accused of being a sock puppet for me. Can you really not accept that SOMEONE might agree with me?

Also, if having fun IS the point of the game of D&D, I suggest you take it up with the designers...they disagree. Which, of course, is only natural...since it's impossible to design a game where the point is "have fun".

If you took the time to read what I write, I think you'd actually agree with my points...but that requires getting past the emotional response of "D&D IS FUN SO IT MUST BE ALL ABOUT HAVING FUN OTHERWISE ITS NOT WORTH DOING! FUUUUUUUUUN!" and realizing that you are talking about the wrong thing. The point and design of the game of D&D is not to have fun...but people should play D&D (like any other game) if they find it fun to do so.

I'm on a journey of enlightenment, learning and self-improvement. A journey towards mastery. A journey that will never end. If you challenge me, prepare to be challenged. If you have something to offer as a fellow student, I will accept it. If you call yourself a master, prepare to be humbled. If you seek me, look to the path. I will be traveling it.

 

Proudly playing in many wrong ways. I'm not afraid of playing wrong according to the rules. Why are you?

 

100 Crack Reply of the Yagamifire. You are already wrong.