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PF2 XP for Gold

CapnZapp

Adventurer
My question is "how easy or hard is it to use xp-for-gp in Pathfinder 2?" (based on the playtest and any available info on the completed game)

First I should probably explain what xp for gold even is:

Instead of getting xp for killing monsters, or even for completing "milestones" (quests), you can spend gold for xp (likely back in your home town). You decide for yourself what's more important, leveling up or purchasing that juicy Magic Sword. You might want to try this simply for variety, but the main reason would be to encourage players to play smarter - they no longer need to kill or defeat the goblins, all they need to do is to steal their gold. Of course, there are challenges too: if the players can simply teleport in, the fun and challenge is gone. If one character plays a sneaky master thief and the others agree it's simply best for him to rob the place solo, the fun is gone too.

What you need to make xp-for-gp happen is:

First, you need to know the "expected wealth per level". That is, if you use the random treasure tables in the rulebook, what amounts of gold do you get (on average)? Then you'd need to compare that to the XP levelling chart.

This tells you the "currency conversion rate" you need to adopt, so that PCs still level up at about the same pace as usual.

Here's an example of the deliberations involved for D&D 5E Edition:
http://blogofholding.com/?p=6760

Now then, has anyone of you given this matter any consideration regarding the upcoming Pathfinder 2? Are all the required data available from Paizo?

Edit: crosslink to corresponding 5th Edition discussion:
https://www.enworld.org/forum/showthread.php?511382-XP-for-gold-5th-Edition-campaign

PS: This entire thread presumes rewards do not change from the Playtest.
 
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CapnZapp

Adventurer
As I understand it, the only way to make it happen is to abandon the regular xp per level chart (which is real easy: 1000 xp each level) and instead create an accumulated expected wealth per character table, and use that for xp.

Trouble is, neither table 11.1 nor table 11.2 (of the playtest) is that table.

So here's the accumulated version of table 11.1, per character, rounded off:

Level 1: 10 xp
Level 2: 25 xp
Level 3: 55 xp
Level 4: 100 xp
Level 5: 180 xp

Take level 3 for instance. To complete level three, you will have gotten 8+16+30 gold which is ~55 gold.

Now then, this means you can't spend any of that money on potions and such or your leveling will be delayed. (Your level-up will always be delayed by purchasing stuff, but I'm talking compared to the baseline)

On the other hand, your party will have looted about two permanent items each. Assuming not everything is to your liking, you can sell something like a Bracers of Missile Deflection and spend it all on wine and wenches - this gives you 30 XP, a fairly hefty boost towards level four.
 

CapnZapp

Adventurer
It strikes me the value of permanent items you find is considerable compared to the xp you need to level up (which are set by the amount of "loose gold" you gain).

It seems any campaign interested in xp-for-gold should consider increasing the ratio of gold to items in any loot, to make it less appealing to sell off items in order to level up faster.

Having more cash relative to the value of any items should also mean that characters (eventually) will start to actually purchase items - a mainstay of this type of campaign. I mean, as long as a +1 magic armor costs you an entire level (from the viewpoint of a level four party: 100 gp/xp) you will never buy it - no way +1 AC can compare to everything you gain from leveling up!

As a tentative suggestion (consider this more of a starting point to discuss than anything else), how about doubling the amounts in the table 11.1 column Party Currency (and, of course, Additional Character).

For our XP table (still only five levels long), that would mean:

Level 1: 20 xp
Level 2: 50 xp
Level 3: 110 xp
Level 4: 200 xp
Level 5: 360 xp

The reason this needs to be hashed out before campaign start is that while I can obviously hand out more or less loot during the campaign (an "invisible" change) I very well can't change the listed price of items. And I do not want to change the XP per Level table once play has started - it would give off the impression XP isn't scientifically accurate ;)

Thoughts?
 
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CapnZapp

Adventurer
An alternative solution: encourage barter instead of selling loot.

A simple example:

The sell price is 25%, except if you accept "store credit". Then you get 50% (for permanent items) or even 75% (for consumables).

If you sell your magic sword (market price 100 gp) you get either:
- 25 gp (which you then can spend for xp)
- permanent items as if you spent 50 gp
- potions, scrolls etc as if you spent 75 gp

Whether you force players to actually trade item for item (as in real barter) or you introduce a new currency ("credits", redeemable in any store at any time) just to make things easier (since players don't have to decide right away what to buy instead, and that they can even save up credit for a bigger purchase later on, maybe not even in the same store) is an entirely aesthetic decision I leave up to you! :)

This way you wouldn't need to tweak the xp tables or the gold-to-item ratio from Table 11.1. It would encourage you to purchase consumables, something players generally don't do (except for healing potions). It would not shaft you when it comes to the core purpose of selling items, the ability to change one item for another to get stuff you actually use.
 

CapnZapp

Adventurer
Here's my complete XP for level table. I find it natural to list the XP to reach a given level as opposed to XP you need to leave a level, so 10 XP is listed as the requirement to reach level 2 instead of the xp you need to complete level 1. The numbers are rounded off.

Level Required
1
2 10
3 30
4 60
5 110
6 190
7 320
8 500
9 750
10 1100
11 1600
12 2300
13 3300
14 4800
15 7100
16 10000
17 15000
18 23000
19 35000
20 55000

For instance, you need 60 XP to reach level 4 because you're expected to gain 8 gold at level one (rounded to 10), 16 gp at level two (rounded to 20), and 30 more gp during your time at level three. And 10+20+30=60.

Note: this isn't the doubled amounts. Before I do that, let's discuss whether its better to just differentiate the sell prices to continuously encourage player characters to keep their loot (or trade it in for other loot) over treating it as "vendor trash" to be converted into XP.
 

CapnZapp

Adventurer
The above table is for the players to use. As the DM, you need something else - you need to know how much gold to place by each creature.

Whereas a steady diet of encounters alternating between High and Severe difficulty lets each character level up after ten such encounters, now the amount of gold depends on level.

Whether you choose party level or monster level is up to you. Personally I suggest monster level since this means risk is met with reward, while trivial encounters give trivial rewards.

A party of four level 3 adventurers need to carouse up a total of 120 gp to level up. This means each encounter that previously yielded 100 xp (per character) now needs to yield 12 gp (in total). You need one creature of the party's level plus one creature of one level higher to make up a 100 xp encounter. This leads to the suggestion a level 3 creature, should carry 5 gp, while a level 4 creature should carry 7 gp.

A party of four level 4 adventurers need to carouse up a total of 200 gp to level up. This means each encounter that previously yielded 100 xp (per character) now needs to yield 20 gp (in total). You need one creature of the party's level plus one creature of one level higher to make up a 100 xp encounter. This leads to the suggestion a level 4 creature, should carry 8 gp, while a level 5 creature should carry 12 gp.

Then you have the matter of distinguishing between individual treasure (carried by a single monster) and treasure hoards (suitable for a whole tribe of goblins, but maybe still a single dragon...)

As you can see, arriving at suggested individual treasure per monster level is not an exact science. I'll be focusing on treasure hoards here, mainly because that is in line with the playstyle (if all gold is carried by individual monsters, you pretty much need to kill them all anyway, and you could just keep using the default xp system) and because I used treasure hoards much more often than individual treasure when I ran 5E.

Level Gold per monster
1 2
2 4
3 6
4 10
5 16
6 26
7 36
8 50
9 70
10 100
11 140
12 200
13 300
14 460
15 580
16 1000
17 1600
18 2400
19 4000
20 7000

Note: these numbers do not impact items. It corresponds to the "Party Currency" column of table 11.1. Hand out permanent items and consumables just like before.

Now an Orc Warrior (a level 1 monster) carries 2 gp. Or maybe the band of six Orcs have no individual treasure, but carries a pot containing 12 gold.

Defeat or outwit twenty of these suckers, and the party have gained 40 gold. This is enough for all four heroes to level up! If you take them on two at a time, this (not so) coincidentally would have yielded 100 xp per encounter (for each hero), which also is enough for everybody to level up.

(Obviously you can and should vary these rewards. It is entirely okay that some monsters have little or no gold. You can have other, richer, monsters have more. Or you can place treasure in places you can't easily visit without defeating or outsmarting the treasure-free monsters. The only thing that matters is that each character gets the gold he or she needs to level up at the rate you had in mind)
 

CapnZapp

Adventurer
Of course this "Gold per monster" is not really meant to be used. You're supposed to be able to use the existing random treasure tables, after all!

Also: if you routinely offer quests with gold rewards, feel free to hand out less random gold. If you want a faster leveling pace, hand out more.

All we can discuss here is a baseline.
 

amethal

Explorer
First I should probably explain what xp for gold even is:
I'm not quite sure I follow your explanation.

Does the gold effectively have to be wasted in order to gain XP? Also, does it matter how you got the gold in the first place (i.e. does it have to be from adventuring)?

However, it doesn't really matter how mathematically rigorous or elegant your system is, since if I keep having to choose between a cool magic item or gaining a level I'm going to choose to play a different game instead, one where I can get both.
 

CapnZapp

Adventurer
I'm not quite sure I follow your explanation.

Does the gold effectively have to be wasted in order to gain XP? Also, does it matter how you got the gold in the first place (i.e. does it have to be from adventuring)?

However, it doesn't really matter how mathematically rigorous or elegant your system is, since if I keep having to choose between a cool magic item or gaining a level I'm going to choose to play a different game instead, one where I can get both.
Ah the entitlement of youth! ;)

But to answer your question: "yes" and "if you're not gaining your gold from adventuring, you're not an adventurer, you have a job".

I'm sure you can find plenty of xp for gold resources, especially from the OSR community if you want to know more about the variant :)
 

zztong

Explorer
Does the gold effectively have to be wasted in order to gain XP? Also, does it matter how you got the gold in the first place (i.e. does it have to be from adventuring)?
It seemed to me to hearken back to various systems where you paid for training. The costs were coin and time.

However, it doesn't really matter how mathematically rigorous or elegant your system is, since if I keep having to choose between a cool magic item or gaining a level I'm going to choose to play a different game instead, one where I can get both.
You're certainly free to reject a game based on its system -- I do it all the time -- regardless of if there is a method to the madness. Back in the days when I encountered such systems, the settings did not usually including buying magic items. You had what you found or made. In some games, all magic items were "invested" with magic giving them charges. Essentially, there were no permanent magic items.
 

CapnZapp

Adventurer
Nice find. That means they've tweaked the expected character wealth somewhat.

I'll update the tables when I find the time.

Edit: Nope, the values have stayed the same. This table (10-10) is for new player characters joining an existing group - what stuff should you give to a brand new character starting above level 1?
 
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Colder

Villager
Nice find. That means they've tweaked the expected character wealth somewhat.

I'll update the tables when I find the time.
Yeah, from what I hear they're moving to a silver standard to keep gold values from getting ridiculous when making expensive purchases.
 

CapnZapp

Adventurer
Yeah, from what I hear they're moving to a silver standard to keep gold values from getting ridiculous when making expensive purchases.
Well, already in the Playtest you start out with silver.

The numbers in the picture aren't drastically different from the playtest. Just different. Like, IIRC, the first three levels giving 15, 20, 25 gold instead of 8, 16, 30 gold; the table ending in 20,000 gold instead of 55,000 gold or some such. That's a tweak, not a change

I'd be interested to know if there was a discussion around these tables. That is, have Paizo ever hinted at why they'd bother "massaging" these numbers?
 

Colder

Villager
Well, already in the Playtest you start out with silver.

The numbers in the picture aren't drastically different from the playtest. Just different. Like, IIRC, the first three levels giving 15, 20, 25 gold instead of 8, 16, 30 gold; the table ending in 20,000 gold instead of 55,000 gold or some such. That's a tweak, not a change

I'd be interested to know if there was a discussion around these tables. That is, have Paizo ever hinted at why they'd bother "massaging" these numbers?
I meant that in relation to PF1 and 5e, where it actually is a change. I didn't know how much you'd sunk your teeth into the playtest rules.
 

CapnZapp

Adventurer
I can add I finally understood the PF2 experience system the other day. Some helpful user over at Paizo forums.

It's not particularly to my liking, which makes it even easier to dump for a "traditional" XP system.

With xp per level requirements that are *exponential* - you pretty much need to have that to make xp for gold work
 

CapnZapp

Adventurer
Okay, with the final rulebook let's clear one thing out the way: the treasure amounts are very similar (if not identical) to the playtest. So my tables above stand.
 

CapnZapp

Adventurer
It strikes me the value of permanent items you find is considerable compared to the xp you need to level up (which are set by the amount of "loose gold" you gain).

It seems any campaign interested in xp-for-gold should consider increasing the ratio of gold to items in any loot, to make it less appealing to sell off items in order to level up faster.
After having thought about this, I have a new (better?) suggestion - increase the xp amounts you need to level up.

I'm talking about the table that currently reads like this:

Level Required
1
2 10
3 30
4 60
5 110
6 190
7 320
8 500
9 750
10 1100
11 1600
12 2300
13 3300
14 4800
15 7100
16 10000
17 15000
18 23000
19 35000
20 55000

That is, in order to level up from 5 to 6 you need to go from 110 to 190 xp, an increase of +80 xp. (Unlike the core rulebook system, you don't ever subtract any xp as you level up)

Now let's say you carry around a level 4 permanent item. Let's say an Animal Staff valued at 90 gp. If you were to sell this at half market price, you could spend 45 gp to gain 45 xp - more than half you need to level up!

Do you think players will be tempted to off-load their items in order to rise through the levels? Well, I can't blame you - at least for the lowest levels, you gain much more survivability by gaining a level than any single pesky thingamagog can ever provide.

---

Let's say we simply double the xp requirements. Now, you need to go from 220 to 380 xp, an increase of +160 xp. Selling that staff still nets you 45 xp, but now that's only a quarter of what you need.

Maybe this enough to make the players keep their items. At least it's a start.

---

And oh. Of course, you double the loot monsters drop so the speed of levelling remains the same. That is:

Level Gold per monster
1 2
2 4
3 6
4 10
5 16
...

becomes

Level Gold per monster
1 4
2 8
3 12
4 20
5 32
...

---

In summary, I believe I have found a much more elegant solution than having to mess around with sell prices, virtual currencies and store credit.

In short, you always get half market price, you always get real solid gold, only each xp is worth half as much, so in practice the result is the same:

You gain more bang for your buck if you spend your gold on items than if you carouse it up on xp.
 

CapnZapp

Adventurer
Note: to be clear, I still expect any 1st level hero to pursue xp over all other considerations. The difference between level 1 and 2 is the greatest survivability gain in the entire game, so there's nothing untoward by the notion that leveling up from first level is (much) better than any item - especially since level 1 or 2 items are all you're likely to find ;)

I fully expect it to take a couple of levels before the players start to seriously consider buying items instead of xp, even with the half rate detailed by my previous post (not that you should tell them the rate is halved).

Maybe as soon as level 3, maybe as late as level 5, I honestly do not know. (Feel free to report back if you test an xp for gold system though! :)
 

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