Homebrew Need More XP Categories for Homebrew XP System
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  1. #1

    Need More XP Categories for Homebrew XP System

    Constructive feedback requested. Can you suggest any additional XP awards (with catchy phrases, if you feel so inclined) to add to the ones below?

    General Awards (+1 XP/award)

    • Danger (Survived one or more potentially lethal encounters/situations)
    • Mortal Combat (HP reduced to/below Proficiency Bonus b/c of combat)
    • Cry Havoc! (Chose the path of violence, despite other options being available)
    • Clever Girl...(Succeeded through guile or wits, rather than violence)
    • The Salmon Mousse (You were forced to make a third death save)
    • D'oh (Failed one or more important skill rolls or saves, including death saves)
    • Impressive (You rolled one or more natural 20s)
    • Most Impressive (Your choice of what to do and when to do it rocked!)
    • Not a Jedi Yet (You rolled one or more natural 1s)

    Exploration Awards (+1 XP/award)

    • Lewis and Clark (Fulfilled an exploration goal)
    • Sacagawea (Fulfilled a friendship or diplomacy goal)
    • To Dungeons Deep... (Entered and explored a new dungeon)
    • ...and Caverns Old (Entered the next lower level of a megadungeon)

    Roleplaying Awards (+1 XP/award)

    • Bueller? (You attended the session)
    • Stay on Target (You role-played your character well, re: Aspects)
    • Oath Keeper (Kept your oath to achieve an important personal goal)
    • Face Palm (One or more of your Aspects caused a major complication)
    • White Hat (Performed one or more heroic or altruistic deeds)
    • You Laughin' at Me!? (Caused everyone to bust out laughing)
    • Suck it, Trebek! (You stumped or bewildered the DM)
    • Jar-Jar (Despite your best efforts/intentions, you got egg on everybody's face)

    Special Awards (+3 XP for your first award; +1 thereafter if you qualify for more):

    • Jean-Luc Approves (Displayed exemplary diplomacy and/or peacemaking skills)
    • The Corbomite Maneuver (Saved the day because of your gigantic balls of steel)
    • Excalibur (Displayed exemplary heroism/altruism/self-sacrifice)
    • Hannibal's Cigar (Your wise/cunning plan was crucial to achieving your main goal)
    • The Oscar (Not only did you role-play well, you were impressive)
    • Napalm in the Morning (You were the sole survivor of the session)
    • Who Needs Enemies? (Caused a PC death through action/inaction)

    edited for clarity re: xp categories only
    Last edited by canucksaram; Wednesday, 25th October, 2017 at 03:16 PM.

  2. #2
    The Great Druid (Lvl 17)

    Join Date
    Nov 2015
    I think you need to first explain what your XP system is attempting to accomplish and what the benefits of it might be.

    The only thing I can understand about your system is that you are requiring in game elapsed time is required in order to level up. imo, that means that your system will require a specific type of campaign, specifically one that requires significant downtime between adventures.

  3. #3

    More details


    I find D&D's regular XP system to be too much accounting. This system is meant to be simpler in that XP points accumulate from categories similar to video game "achievements."

    I am looking for new XP awards to add to the ones I already have. New "'achievements," as it were.

    At the beginning of each session the players recount the events of the last session and hand out XP collectively, helping each other remember who did what. The DM listens and has veto power over awards that seem gratuitous.

    As for how the XP system works, well:

    • To advance to the next level takes (new level squared) in XP (and in my home game a period of downtime is also required). Going from Level 1 to Level 2 takes 4 XP. Going to Level 3 takes another 9 XP. Going to Level 4 takes another 16 XP. And so on.
    • One of the drains on XP is that it can be traded in for Inspiration. This can be done a number of times per session equal to your character's Proficiency Bonus, with 1 XP buying you 1 Inspiration. Roleplaying your character well is one of the award categories for the XP system, so the system feeds itself...it's up to the PCs to balance squirreling away their XP or parting with a few of them to ensure survival.
    • Before the sessions starts I offer each PC the chance to buy Inspiration at a discount rate: 1 XP for 2 Inspiration, or 3 XP for 5 Inspiration.
    • Bonus XP can be earned for facing particularly dangerous foes and for "burning" gp's of treasure by carousing (think of newly-paid sailors spending a weekend on shore leave flush with money and coming back to the ship broke but happy, with new stories of drunken debauchery to share).
    Last edited by canucksaram; Sunday, 22nd October, 2017 at 11:33 PM.
    XP TwoSix gave XP for this post

  4. #4
    The Great Druid (Lvl 17)

    Join Date
    Nov 2015
    If it works for you, go for it.

    It's not simpler for me, because now rather than just have XP awarded for challenges overcome and quests completed, you have to figure out if each condition or achievement was met. I've never had problem calculating XP for defeating 8 bugbears and a chieftain and then adding in the rescue the damsel quest reward and dividing it by the number of PCs.

    I do sort of like the XP for inspiration idea, that's new to me. And getting your players involved in determining the amount of XP certainly will get them engaged.

  5. #5
    Greater Elemental (Lvl 23)

    Blue's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Cedar Grove, NJ 07009
    We had something similar but less structured back in the ... oh, now I feel old. It was in a AD&D 2ed campaign.

    At the end fo each session, the DM gave out XP based on what the group accomplished. This wasn't a carefully tabulated monster XP bonus, more of a gut number they made up based on what we accomplished and/or good general RP.

    Then we went around the table three times. When it got to you, you said the most impressive thing you think your character did that deserved XP, and he would give a bonus for it (or not). The three chances only in retrospect may have helped to not enable those who would be otherwise inclined to steal the spotlight every scene.

    I think we also experimented with once more around the table, saying the best thing you think somebody else forgot to mention, giving XP for the others. But we ended up just people reminding each other so it wasn't needed.

    It was less codified than above, and could be more focused on the character. For example, if a generic character had stolen a gem the reward would have been just the GP. But if someone who had the thrill of stealing or was sliding on overcoming their criminal background, they would also get some XP. And another character might have gotten XP not for stealing the gem, but for returning it to the rightful owner, or donating it to their church, or whatever.

  6. #6
    Thank you for sharing the anecdote, Blue.

    I am still hoping to get more categories from folks, however.

    I might also break down the XP award phase into different parts, similar to your anecdote:

    Part 1: Player Awards:
    • Each player suggests one group award.
    • Each player suggests one award for his or her own character.
    • Each player suggests one award for each of the other player characters.

    Part 2: DM Awards:
    • The DM grants one group award.
    • The DM grants one award for each individual player character.
    • The DM grants bonus XP, if any (this could be based on achieving certain in-game goals, or for facing powerful foes, etc.; season to taste, as it were).

    With three players, this would result in 6+ XP per session: 1 group award, 1 personal award, 2 other player awards, 1 DM group award, 1 DM individual award, and possible bonus XP.

    For bonus combat XP, I had this idea: A party is considered to have four PCs. Each party has an Average Party Level (APL), which is measured against a creature's CR. If a creature's CR is greater than or equal to the average party level (APL), then bonus combat XP can be earned. Note: Bonus combat XP is calculated just once per session, not for each combat encounter. Choose the "fattest" (typically highest CR) combat encounter to calculate bonus XP:

    • Bonus Combat XP = CR x (1+[CR-APL])
    • A larger or smaller party increases or decreases a creature's final CR by one for each extra or missing PC. More PCs=lower CR; fewer PCs=higher CR.
    • For multiple creatures of the same CR, the final CR value is determined by adding 1 to the highest base CR for each creature beyond the first one.
    • No bonus combat XP is earned for creatures that have a lower CR than the APL.
    • These XP are shared out equally to the surviving characters; leftover points are lost.
    • Example: a party of four level 5 characters faces a CR 5 monster. If they defeat it, the bonus combat XP they will earn is 5 XP (5 x [1+(5-5)]). If there were two such creatures, the CR would be 6, and the PCs would earn 12 bonus XP (6 x [1+(6-5)]). If there were three such creatures, the party would earn 21 bonus XP (7 x [1+(7-5)]).

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