Level Up

  • 37 Replies


  • 134
Re: Level Up
« Reply #30 on: June 21, 2011, 06:16:00 PM »
The first few editions of D&D gave out XP for recovering loot, but not for defeating monsters.  2e gave out XP for both.  3e changed to just XP for defeating monsters, but made it a spendable currency.  4e made it a meaningless pacing mechanism for PCs, and an encounter design tool for DMs.  But all editions have had XP as the thing that contributed to leveling.

If you want that "old school, dungeon crawlin'" feel, give out the bulk of XP for retrieving loot.  Use that to replace the XP currently gained from highlighted stats.  That'll pretty tightly focus the players on getting in and out, grabbing the most goods with the least peril. 

On top of that, I'd recommend 2-3 keys that each PC picks (like the current alignment keys).  I'm thinking each PC should have 3 keys:
  • One that's hit during violent conflict, based on how you fight or what you do during a fight.  Example: the good cleric's "bring someone back from the brink."
  • One that's hit by interactions with other players or PCs.  Example: something like the wizard's Often Right move
  • One that's hit by interactions with NPCs and/or the environment. Example: the neutral ranger's "help or defend an animal."
Maybe you can tag these keys as "good," "evil," chaotic," or "lawful." Can't have two keys that contradict each other. Maybe change one of your three keys every level?

Bonus: if you keep track of the "loot" XP as a whole for the party, you can use it as a "group XP" number, ala Storming the Wizard's Tower. When a new PC joins the party, they start with all the "group" XP. But they don't have all the XP the established characters got from hitting their keys.

Re: Level Up
« Reply #31 on: August 02, 2011, 10:33:47 AM »
I just wanted to point ya'll to Marshall Burns' MADCorp, esp. the experience and improvement system. I don't think it's publicly available anywhere, but I'm sure he'll let you check it out if you ask him, and it's quite relevant.

- AD

Re: Level Up
« Reply #32 on: August 13, 2011, 11:09:47 AM »
Here are my ideas for Keys to replace stat-highlighting.

Class: Of the 7, you choose 1, 1 is chosen by the PC with most +bond, 1 is chosen by the GM (most are worth 1 XP, a few are worth 2)
Race: Of the 3, choose 1 (these are worth 2 XP)

Reset the class ones at level-up and/or at the beginning of each session; the race ones should only be reset once accomplished.  The reason being that the class Keys are things you already are, but the race Keys are things you strive to become.

Cunning Distracter: A foe engaged in melee with you is taken out by another member of the party (max 1/fight)

Beast of Burden: Carry an important piece of equipment for another character throughout a Perilous Journey and a dungeon crawl

Reckless: Charge headlong into battle/danger without a plan

Swashbuckler: Use a weapon to inflict a “status effect” (knocked down, disarmed, etc.) on a foe, rather than dealing direct damage

Piñata: 5 or more different enemies take a swing at you during a single fight

Swiss Army Knife: Successfully use 4 or more different weapons in the same fight

Military History Buff: Discover a new piece of information about an important weapon, piece of armor, group of soldiers, or military leader

Missionary: Win a convert to your god (only counts once if you convert an entire horde of mooks)

Avenger: Defeat a foe who had insulted/defiled your church/god

Archivist: Uncover an important piece of information about the history of the gods
and/or the church

Martyr: Go without something you need (food, healing spells, sleep, etc.) in order to
help other members of the party

Prophet: Information granted to you by your god helps the party avoid or mitigate danger

Mediator: Help to peaceably resolve an argument between two or more other characters (not necessarily PCs)

Doctor: Cure a party member (including yourself) of a medical condition, such as a poison, disease, or fungus

Cat Burglar: Enter into a dungeon or encounter by an unusual means or from an unexpected direction

Connoisseur: Forgo a large amount of cash in favor of a single or small number of well-crafted items

Assassin: Kill a target on behalf of someone who is a) paying you to do it and b) not present in the scene where you do the killing.

Fence: Sell an item of great value on the black market

Minesweeper: Face a natural or crafted threat so that the other members of the
party don’t have to.

Blackmailer: Use a piece of embarrassing or harmful information you have about someone to get them to do what you want

Spy: Give important information learned on a quest to a member of your government (2 XP)

Evoker: Use magic alone to kill a foe (max 1/fight)

Abjurer: A spell completely negates harm to you or a party member from one attack

Transmuter: Turn one subtance into another or one creature into a different type of creature

Illusionist: Trick or bamboozle an enemy, avoiding direct confrontation

Enchanter: Create a magic item (2 XP)

Diviner: Knowledge you gained through arcane means helps the party either bypass
a danger entirely or be better-prepared to face it

Conjurer: Successfully interact with other planes of existence or their representatives

Diplomat: Turn a potential/likely (non-human) foe into a friend

Colonist: Bring other humans to an area you and the party have explored to set up a

Strider: Form a multi-racial coalition in order to hold back a Dark Threat

Evenstar: Successfully but tragically romance a member of another race

Tree-friend: Destroy some major work of one of the sentient races (including “monster races” like Orcs or lizardmen) that was encroaching on the natural beauty of an area

Star-vault: A doom you foretold comes true

Craftsman: Complete the creation of a great piece of art, be it a weapon, a suit of armor, a stronghold, or something else

Oathkeeper: Avenge or undo a great wrong done to your family or your clan

Miner: Find and exploit a hitherto unknown natural resource deposit

Gourmand: Discover and take possession of a treasure trove of creature comforts, such as delicious food, comfy furniture, or of course pipeweed

Scourer: Permanently rid a normally peaceful village or city of a source of oppression and danger

Bullroarer: A new cultural tradition is named after or inspired by one of your exploits

Re: Level Up
« Reply #33 on: August 13, 2011, 11:42:20 AM »

Why build a new XP structure when you can just bang! attach one to what's already there? You have Bonds; when you use a Bond (yeah, none of that baroque AW 'reset' business) you get xp. When you render a threat nonthreatening, get xp=its level.

Done! Inherent to the moves and Bonds, the way you do this will fulfill the strictures of your identity without requiring additional tracking of stuff.

Plus Keys stink of TsoY. Stink of it.

Re: Level Up
« Reply #34 on: August 13, 2011, 12:13:30 PM »
Shreyas—sure, that could work, too.  But do all threats have levels?  If we fight 10 level 1 goblins do we get 10 XP?  Do we split them?


Re: Level Up
« Reply #35 on: August 13, 2011, 12:43:36 PM »
I dunno. I'm not the boss! The way I'd run it, though, it's "you as a group" getting all of the XP equally - if there's 3 of you you all get 10xp, and if there's 5 of you, you all get 10xp too.



  • 549
Re: Level Up
« Reply #36 on: August 13, 2011, 12:44:31 PM »
It's like somebody's been reading out emails...

Re: Level Up
« Reply #37 on: August 26, 2011, 03:05:25 PM »
I think I'm going to use Shreyas' suggestion in my Gateway game next weekend.

My first impression is that some of the starting bonds might not work so well with this method, but I bet I'll be surprised by the ways my players use them.