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  1. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rune View Post
    For the purposes of this conversation, I will refer to the light-prep sandbox that is created as the game unfolds as a pseudo-sandbox...
    I would prefer quasi-sandbox.
    ***Henry/S'mon Super Quick d20 NPC Generation System*** The Gods of the Copybook Headings With Terror and Slaughter Return!

    eriktheguy, on S'mon's latest idea:
    There are 2 major problems with your idea:
    1: It is far too awesome
    2: see 1

 

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    Quote Originally Posted by S'mon View Post
    I would prefer quasi-sandbox.
    How about "Streamlined Sandbox?"

  • #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rune View Post
    How about "Streamlined Sandbox?"
    That would be acceptable.
    ***Henry/S'mon Super Quick d20 NPC Generation System*** The Gods of the Copybook Headings With Terror and Slaughter Return!

    eriktheguy, on S'mon's latest idea:
    There are 2 major problems with your idea:
    1: It is far too awesome
    2: see 1

  • #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rune View Post
    Right off the bat, I'm going to throw a proposal out here. Ditch the Experience Point system. It is cumbersome and, frankly, encourages a style of play (that is, combat-driven) that will make your life more difficult.

    Some DMs simply advance PCs whenever it feels appropriate. If you would prefer a little more structure, however, I recommend advancing the PCs in level as they accomplish quests (say, 2 major quests, with 3 minor quests counting as a major). There is some degree of tweaking that you can do here, as well. For instance, if you want earlier levels to come quicker than later levels, you could add 1 major quest to the total needed every time a level is achieved.

    With this simple substitution, we eliminate the need to figure out how much XP a party earns, how to divvy it up, how many combats you need to plan for so the party can level, and how to advance the PCs if they take an approach that isn't combat. These things may not seem significant, but they add up, and they eat away your prepŚand playingŚtime.
    IMXP most players really want to receive XP points after every gaming session. But I agree that since they don't need to know how you calculate them, you don't have to calculate them by any rules, you can ad-lib your XP rewards based on how often you want them to level up.

    A couple of more ideas to consider:

    - I want my players to be focused on advancing the campaign plot (if any) and completing adventures. I don't want them to go looking for random encounters to level up and be stronger for the next chapter, in fact I prefer random encounters to be a punishment for wasting time. If you're of the same opinion, you may want to let the players know that random encounters and unnecessary combats (from the story point of view) will give them reduced rewards, maybe 50% XP and treasure, or something like that.

    - [WARNING: controversial topic] As as experiment, I would like to try a strange approach where I would use XP as a reward for players' efforts rather than achievement. Thus failing to defeat the BBEG in combat would still result in XP earned as long as the players didn't play poorly. The rationale for this comes from real life: we learn from our mistakes as well, not only from successes. In the game, sometimes the players manage to advance in the plot fast and avoid unnecessary combats, thus reach the BBEG when they are still too weak. Not wanting to downplay the BBEG but neither to force them to go something else for a while to "harvest XP", how about granting them XP even if defeated (assuming survived, of course)? After all, if the fight proved too hard to be won without sheer luck, this can be interpreted as "the goal has shifted from defeating the BBEG to surviving the encounter", so you're still technically handing out XP for achieving the goal At the same time, treasure can still used a a reward for in-game achievements such as actually defeating the opponents.
    "There is no survival without order, there is no evolution without chaos."
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  • #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by Li Shenron View Post
    - [WARNING: controversial topic] As as experiment, I would like to try a strange approach where I would use XP as a reward for players' efforts rather than achievement. Thus failing to defeat the BBEG in combat would still result in XP earned as long as the players didn't play poorly.
    That's fine IMO, as long as you don't allow 'farming' of the same unkilled foe. I'd typically give around half XP if the PCs fought well but had to retreat. Giving XP as for a 4e skill challenge would work, too.
    ***Henry/S'mon Super Quick d20 NPC Generation System*** The Gods of the Copybook Headings With Terror and Slaughter Return!

    eriktheguy, on S'mon's latest idea:
    There are 2 major problems with your idea:
    1: It is far too awesome
    2: see 1

  • #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Li Shenron View Post
    IMXP most players really want to receive XP points after every gaming session. But I agree that since they don't need to know how you calculate them, you don't have to calculate them by any rules, you can ad-lib your XP rewards based on how often you want them to level up.
    This is why I shared my formula. Once you realize that XP can be handled as a % of level progress times 1000 times party level, you can skip the encounter counting and just hand out a portion of a level's advancement.

    Quote Originally Posted by Li Shenron View Post
    - I want my players to be focused on advancing the campaign plot (if any) and completing adventures. I don't want them to go looking for random encounters to level up and be stronger for the next chapter, in fact I prefer random encounters to be a punishment for wasting time. If you're of the same opinion, you may want to let the players know that random encounters and unnecessary combats (from the story point of view) will give them reduced rewards, maybe 50% XP and treasure, or something like that.
    one way to do that is to not hand out XP for encounters, killing, treasure or skill usage. Instead, hand it out by achieving PC/party goals (which might be defined as quests/plots depending on style).

    If the PC wants to explore and clear out a 1st level dungeon, that's 500XP. If they want to become sherriff (possibly broken up into steps), that's 2000XP total.

    By giving out XP for job completed (or steps of job completed if you can break it down that way), the methods used by the PC are his own business. Plus, you don't have to add it all up or reward "wasteful" work that would get him more XP the old way.

    I wouldn't fully worry about S'mon's point on re-defeating the same bad guy (farming). Batman captures or defeats but doesn't capture bad guys all the time. He still gets better at his job each time (if it were an RPG). It's in the comic genre that heroe's don't kill, and they often face the same foe repeatedly.

  • #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by S'mon View Post
    That's fine IMO, as long as you don't allow 'farming' of the same unkilled foe.
    I don't think any DM would allow that, but also I don't think any player would have fun doing that

    But if the players really want to try, there are in-game ways to prevent it being worth. For instance, some PC may die in the process, and if no one is at risk of dying maybe they shouldn't deserve any more XP for such encounter. Alternatively, you may also give the foe XP as well every time the party tries farming without killing it
    "There is no survival without order, there is no evolution without chaos."
    "You have to see past the RAW to understand the rules of the game."
    "And rules are OVERRATED by the way!

  • #38
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    ° Ignore lin_fusan
    I'd add a couple that I've found important:

    Rule #0(?): Buy-In: Make should your players not only know up-front what the campaign is all about (tone, flavor, even what you want out of the game), but that they are excited at best or interested at least. For example, if no one wants to play your military-style campaign, with rigid hierarchies and focused combat goals, then your players will be off doing things they find interesting but contrasting with your perceived idea of what you think a military-style campaign is.

    Maybe Rule #4.1(?): Constantly ask questions of the players, not only what their characters do, but what they think their characters are thinking/feeling and what they think their characters have done in the past. Have them answer (quickly) simple questions as you go, slowly filling in backstory. Every-so-often they will give you a nugget of gold about their character and it won't be tied to mechanics or the main "plot". Even something as simple as, "Would your character know this blacksmith? What do you think of him? Is he a jerk or a stand-up guy?" will give you clues on how they perceive the world you are creating (with them).
    Monte Lin, Game Writer, Twitter: @Monte_Lin, Blogginess: www.monte-lin.com

  • #39
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    For my 1e AD&D campaign I'm running, I've asked the players for feedback re XP awards, in general terms - are they happy about getting XP for roleplaying & non-combat, non-treasure achievements, for instance. If you're not sure about your approach you can try it for a few sessions & then ask for feedback.
    ***Henry/S'mon Super Quick d20 NPC Generation System*** The Gods of the Copybook Headings With Terror and Slaughter Return!

    eriktheguy, on S'mon's latest idea:
    There are 2 major problems with your idea:
    1: It is far too awesome
    2: see 1

  • #40
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    Lesson 14: Look everywhere for inspiration.

    Whatever inspires you (gaming material, or not), incorporate it into your idea mill. Especially look for short adventures or adventure seeds that you can cannibalize.

    There are many excellent sources for these (many on these very boards), but I'll point you to one collection I assembled (and rated) specifically for this purpose.

    I pulled these from among the best of the Iron DM Tournaments because these tournaments have, over the last decade, produced some very inspiring and creative pieces and tend to be rules-light or neutral (and, thus, easy to incorporate).

    Even if you don't use one of these adventures wholesale, I'll bet you can take something from each and every one of them.
    Last edited by Rune; Monday, 10th December, 2012 at 09:57 PM.

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