Proposal: Increasing adventuring experience

Theroc

Visitor
I hope no one is too upset with this proposal, and I'm not really well versed in making such things.

But I found myself thinking, after looking at the Learner PrC, about how I'd love to play one. Then I remembered some of the calculations and how long it takes players to gain levels in general.

I won't propose increasing time experience, because that seems contrary to D&D, where you are supposed to be rewarded for particupation, but maybe a 25% to 100% increase in monster experience or the like could be instated, so that players can actually anticipate possibly seeing their characters progressing a bit more levelwise towards any PrC goals they may have within the next decade.

If no one agrees with me, that's okay, but I felt that it should be discussed a bit. Apologies if I needed some form of math behind the proposal, for at the moment, I have none.
 

Phoenix8008

Visitor
Seeing that this has gone a week without other comment says all that needs to be said about how inactive LEW is now unfortunately. I would agree with your proposal as I did for a similar proposal in L4W, but it may be too late to garner much interest here. I hope I'm wrong about that, but seeing that nobody else posted to this in the last week kinda points in that direction. If the XP amounts had been doubled from the beginning, then more than a handful could have made it into double digit levels. Doing it now though? Not sure how many are still actively playing to make it worthwhile. But perhaps that would bring a few back if it were passed.

I don't have an official vote unfortunately, but I'd be in favor of it.
 

Trouvere

Visitor
I'm still interested!

I held off on posting because I was considering putting together some sort of table showing the XP record of my PCs. But, oh well. I cannot be bothered following all the links.

I'd be against the proposal.

Now, I know it can take a very long time for PCs to level and it seems like an eternity to reach 6th or 8th or whenever you can qualify for a PrC. Two of my characters have reached 5th level in 2.5 years. The other is at 3rd after 1.5 years. Our highest level PC, Rinaldo, has reached 12th in 6 years. It seems 10 years to take a PC from 1st to 20th is about what we can expect. Okay, that's a fair chunk of a lifetime.

However, in standard play, a party is supposed to level after every 13 encounters, no? In LEW PbP, assuming time XP awarded is roughly equal to game XP, that might be 6 encounters. In practice, I seem to have levelled faster than that, after maybe 3 or 4 encounters, at most.

Keldar went from 3rd to 4th as a result of one single fight with pirates which, unfortunately, went on long enough that we lost two players (they were losing interest anyway). He reached 5th after one-and-a-bit combat encounters and a lot of talking to people. He didn't in fact use any of the abilities he'd acquired at 4th before he reached 5th.

Conuld reached 2nd in a vignette, casting one Color Spray and some cantrips. He reached 3rd after casting Expeditious Retreat and Grease. 4th required one Scorching Ray that missed and Enlarge Person (and an awful lot of behind the scenes daily Endure Elements). 5th needed nothing more than Message and Prestidigitation. That's a lot of levelling for casting less than one day's full load-out of spells. He had 3rd level spells before he'd cast more than one 2nd level.

Now, I'm definitely not denigrating those games. They were/are fun (when they were moving, at least). But at each individual level, with very few exceptions, I really don't feel as though my characters have done anything very much to deserve their levelling.

We spend 6 months or a year at a particular level - but in that time, we manage 3 encounters. We don't really get very much in-game time to get used to a level before the next one pops up, even if we've got a little greyer in the real world.

At least in my case, I don't really see the attraction of racing to 20th level just for the sake of it. The fun is in the journey there. Otherwise, I could just play a game that starts at 20th. Yes, Keldar's build comes together, such as it is, around 9th level. But I only get to play him once... I don't want to skip 5th through 8th. Yes, Conuld (if I keep playing him at all) will go for both Loremaster and Archmage, but I don't want to fast-forward to 8th and 14th levels, just because they're more landmark-y than the levels in between.

If encounter XP were doubled, well... it would feel even more as though they were just automatically levelling without earning it at all.

Basically, if people want to level faster, then, for goodness' sake, let's start posting again!
 

Theroc

Visitor
Basically, if people want to level faster, then, for goodness' sake, let's start posting again!
I've been here seven months. No adventures appeared for a lower level character until Holyman came around and started one.

I post where there's activity. Anyways, I'm glad some discussion started here.

I was afraid my proposal had disgusted everyone so much they couldn't even stand to reply to me, thinking my intent was just powergame... which, it may partially affect my thinking, but wasn't the sole motivation.

I just find it disappointing that the really cool Homebrewed things like the Dervish of Sairundan and Learner PrC's are something one has to dedicate ten years(DM's willing) towards achieving.
 

Trouvere

Visitor
I've been here seven months. No adventures appeared for a lower level character until Holyman came around and started one.
You did arrive at a very bad time, though. HolyMan jumped in right as a few new 1st level PCs appeared, and a couple more got out of a stalled game. Like buses, we had no clerics, and then several came along at once. I still think we're in a vicious circle situation, where a small part of the reason no one's offering to run adventures is that there aren't enough characters around to make up decent parties.
I was afraid my proposal had disgusted everyone so much they couldn't even stand to reply to me, thinking my intent was just powergame... which, it may partially affect my thinking, but wasn't the sole motivation.
No, I didn't think that. Although some kinds of powergaming are kinda pointless in a PbP starting from 1st level. You need to play something that you find interesting from lowest levels, rather than planning for something that only works at upper-middle levels when a feat chain completes. Unless of course you do mess with XP advancement to get to middle levels within a reasonable time, but then you'll just find that you zip right through the remaining levels without ever doing anything!
I just find it disappointing that the really cool Homebrewed things like the Dervish of Sairundan and Learner PrC's are something one has to dedicate ten years(DM's willing) towards achieving.
Not quite so long, if it takes 10 years to go all the way to 20th. More like 3 or 4 years before entering the PrC. Which isn't really all that long (at least, at my age it doesn't seem very long :uhoh: ). Learner is a hideous abomination, incidentally, that was only approved because the judges of the time were worn down by GnomeWorks' persistence, after 2 years (!) of discussion. At least, that's how I heard it. It suffers from a conceptual problem in that its list of learnable abilities covers only SRD monsters, whereas many adventures use creatures from MM II-V, or other sources.
 

Theroc

Visitor
Yes, I realize my arrival was a bad time, but I was worried that the 'bad time' would extend and grow unless something breathed action back into things. I thought perhaps the incentive to get into adventures might spur more activity.

As for the second part, I'll admit I have no experience with actual PbP play here for any length of time, and that I wouldn't be an expert. My intent wasn't to make it all a cinch zip-whiz to 20, just something to provide a little more incentive, and not set those niftier concepts beyond the reach of the general userbase(though, I suppose level 1 is not the 'general userbase' at this point)

To the 3rd portion, lol, I'm 21. 3-4 years is College. I don't think waiting an entire college career to play a desired character concept is something most people would want to do. (Now, if they are having fun doing adventures and other things with that character, it's a different story... and I suppose I can wait a few more months to see if things pick up before I get really impatient... ;) ) Then again, I'm a 'youn'un', so my perception might be skewed due to my 'now' generation and a general dislike of long waits.

Thanks for the replies, like I said, I was kinda nervous I shot my 'reputation' in the foot with the suggestion. Glad the idea wasn't taken the wrong way.
 

orsal

LEW Judge
My thinking is close to Trouvere's. We already have new rules that can speed up advancement -- time XP and DM credits. Are they inadequate? Do we need to speed it up even further? I've yet to be convinced.

I generally consider advancement should be one level at a time. By that I don't mean, earn XP to not quite advance two levels, then swat a fly to go over the top. That's unfortunately how the "one level at a time" cap occasionally works out in practice, but it's a perversion of the spirit of the rule. I tend to think that you should gain 4th level only after you've had enough practice to get used to your 3rd level abilities. So I don't want to accelerate advancement too much. (This, in fact, is one of the reasons I wasn't keen on DM credits. I've reconciled myself to them, but I've never spent any myself, and if I ever do, it'll most likely be to create a character with LA, not to advance an existing character.)

Right now, characters aren't advancing because characters aren't in adventures. Changing the rate of advancement for those who are won't help. Encouraging more DMs to start adventures will.

I originally delayed responding because I didn't want to shoot it down without further reflection, not as an intentional snub. I don't think ill of you for suggesting it, I just don't support this proposal.
 

Rae ArdGaoth

Visitor
I have to echo the sentiments of the other judges. Though games here seem interminable at times, the true sickness is not lack of experience but lack of interest. I am guilty of it myself, I'm sad to say.

So with that in mind, I suggest to you a solution that will kill two birds with one stone: start an adventure! Not only will you kick advancement into gear for idle characters, you will also gain DM credits that you can use for your own character.

We don't require that you have any experience to be a DM, especially not now, in the middle of our recession. And if you're worried about lack of experience, there will be a judge watching over your shoulder, there to give advice when it's needed and even take over for a time if necessary.

Might not be what you wanted to hear, but I think if you want to get to PrC levels more quickly, DM credits are the way to do it. They won't give you much of a boost, admittedly, but you'll be envigorating the community and getting small kickbacks for your efforts.

PS: Thank you for your proposal. It gives me hope to see that people are still becoming interested in LEW.
 

Theroc

Visitor
>.> Honestly, I attempted looking at the CR ratings in the DMG and my head started spinning (not literally though, it didn't set off my vertigo). I was rather thoroughly lost with simply that.

I might look into this in the future, particularly once I can discipline myself not to join every single game that appears in talking the talk! x.x And try to come up with a small adventure for a few PC's. I'm not sure they would be anything particularly epic.

Though, while I'm thinking of my many roadblocks/excuses for not attempting yet, I'll add this:
I have no real method of establishing a map to give to the PC's.

Thanks for the reply, I'll think more on this in the next few days, (As I'll be running a brief single encounter to teach a prospective new member how combat runs in D&D so she won't be totally confused when she submits her character on LEW)
 

Bront

The man with the probe
Just to chime in on this a bit as a former LEW vet.

XP is one of those things that can vary. Of my first 2 characters, the first one (Vanitri) shot up in level quickly (he was in the top 5 in XP when I left, having started before all the others), and the other (Cade) languished with not only few XPs, and no physical reward of any kind over that same timespan.

It depends on the group, and the GM. It's one of the reasons I suggest GMs give out RP experience or bonus XP outside of simple CR and Time XP, especialy since PbPs are a good forum for RPing more than combat (IMHO).
 

HolyMan

Thy wounds are healed!
I failed to chime in do to not ever going to the LEW front page :blush: I just go straigt to my adventure.

Keep up with MotM Theroc I will be proposing a part two to the adventure (say mid Feb) and see who wants in.

HM
 

Manzanita

Visitor
Interested people might be reading this. We could use some new blood in LEW (not to mention some old). I think we should be open to introduce, or swap out some judges. If any of you excited youth wants to get more involved, let us know!
 

HolyMan

Thy wounds are healed!
I was already proposing something in the Talking the Talk thread, was wondering how to write it up. For the short version I was going to ask anyone with new adventure ideals to think about running them first in LEW. New games start all the time (some mostly using other systems) and I know these guys have their 3.5 sitting around collecting dust, so just thought I would let them know their is still an outlet to both use their old books and try somme new adventure ideals.

About XP (since that's what this thread is about) I think that maybe the judges could be allowed to add XP to a character for a great post. Like the little button that let's you give 1 XP to someone this could be something like 10 x character lvl XP reward for a great posting that the judge liked.

HM
 

covaithe

Visitor
I somehow failed to notice this thread until now; sorry about that.

I'd be happy either way on this.

In L4W and LEB, we've doubled XP awards, and it works reasonably effectively. It does require more frequent XP awards; you don't want to bunch up awards from a handful of encounters, time xp, and quest awards all at once, or PCs will pass more than one level at once. We usually manage to avoid that by handing out XP more often, possibly multiple times a day, when there's a reasonable break in the action. That works well for 4e, where things like xp and training are a bit more hand-wavy; might not work so well in 3.5e. We'd have to try it and see.

On the other hand, I do agree with the other judges that levelling does go reasonably quickly, when you've got an adventure that moves along pretty well. Although, I would say that getting from level 1 to 2 takes an unreasonably long time in a lot of cases. It seems to get better from there, for some reason.
 

renau1g

Visitor
More powers + magic item seem to speed things along. It now takes 3-5 encounters for a level (depending on size and speed of posts), which is fairly quick, but it can take 3-4 months for that to happen, even in good circumstances.
 

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