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FabulousFizban
2014-09-09, 07:02 PM
The past two sessions I had with my players were almost completely roleplay and investigating - there were only two encounters, and I want to know how to adjudicate xp for roleplaying... or what other experience or rewards I could give.

Edit: Wow, the composition of that sentence is terrible... I'm not going to fix it.

Edit 2: found this online and like the idea for future games, but doesn't help my original situation. However!, what is your opinion of this idea
I've never seen any "official" guidelines, but in my group we handed out 1-2 poker chips to each player. Throughout the session, they could give those chips to any player that had an instance of exceptional role playing. At the end of the session players could hand in their chips (only those received from other players, not those given to them at the start of play) for rewards. Those rewards could include experience, loot, or even ability score increase or a new power.

Lord Torath
2014-09-09, 07:59 PM
Question: How frequently do you want them to level? Every ten sessions? Every five? Assuming you are pleased with the roleplaying they did, and want them to advance roughly once every N sessions, give them xp equal to 2/N times the amount required to go from the current level to the next one for the two sessions.

JusticeZero
2014-09-09, 09:06 PM
Give XP for achieving in character goals as you would for achieving them in battle.

veti
2014-09-09, 09:38 PM
Question: How frequently do you want them to level? Every ten sessions? Every five? Assuming you are pleased with the roleplaying they did, and want them to advance roughly once every N sessions, give them xp equal to 2/N times the amount required to go from the current level to the next one for the two sessions.

The problem with that is, what do you do once they get back to the usual pattern of "beating things up", but continue roleplaying? If you continue to reward it at the same rate, they'll be levelling twice as fast.

(You could say there's "not as much" roleplaying going on while in combat, but that's pretty arbitrary.)

My favoured approach is: only a minority of XP ever comes from "overcoming obstacles" or "defeating enemies", the majority in every session comes in the form of bonuses: for roleplaying, for being clever or amusing, or in some cases just for surviving. It's very rare that a session is so brutal that the XP value of enemies overcome exceeds that given in bonuses, and if it does, then the Survival Bonus will probably be pretty hefty that week too.

(Of course that means scaling down or throwing out the XP guidelines in many games, but that's no loss.)

jedipotter
2014-09-09, 11:13 PM
I will give:

*A clever idea:50-100 XP
*Role plays the character well:100-200
*Encourages others to participate:100-200
*Use of a spell, ability or power to further ethos:10-1000

Any time a player says ''the wizard Zordar'' and not ''that um wizard guy'' I'll mark down 1 XP. And if they do say '' Lord high huntmaster Kordon Bloodwater'' that will be 3-5 xp.

Using more immersed slang and not 21st century slang gets 1-5 xp. Even better if the player makes up their own. I like the flavorful ''By the Black Fist of Bane!'' then the ''Aww, man, that like suck big time''.

Firest Kathon
2014-09-10, 04:34 AM
Just give the XP for the encounter or quest, not for the specific method of overcoming the encounter or solving the quest. If the encounter is a creature, the CR is easy. But for roleplaying encounters, you have to assign the CR beforehand.

Mastikator
2014-09-10, 06:19 AM
In my current group we get xp from roleplaying well (as in trying to the best of our ability), it can be as much as you'd get from advancing the story, winning actual battles and overcoming individual obstacles doesn't give any exp. It has lead to people trying their best and looking to become even better. We don't play that often tho.

But yeah, whatever you were expecting to give players for doing stuff, give the that amount in exp. And don't focus on individual obstacles and defeating enemies, that encourages the players to metagame, keep the OOC reward and the IC actions as separate as possible. You can give them IC rewards directly, like gaining an ally or loot or some secret information.

Garimeth
2014-09-10, 09:01 AM
(Of course that means scaling down or throwing out the XP guidelines in many games, but that's no loss.)

I agree, but I say take it one step further:

STOP USING EXPERIENCE POINTS.

Slipperychicken
2014-09-10, 12:36 PM
Dungeon World handles this in a way which I kind of like. At the end of a session, it basically asks: "Did you defeat a powerful foe? Great, take 1XP", "Did you have meaningful social interaction with other PCs? Great, take 1XP", "Did you find cool treasure? Great, take 1XP", "Did you have meaningful social interaction with NPCs? Great, take 1XP".

Of course, that solution is pretty tightly connected to its own XP mechanic, and would be difficult to convert to the 3.P one.


EDIT: Maybe you could give a CR-appropriate encounter's worth of experience for each session in which the PCs have sufficient roleplay? Perhaps exceptional roleplay could give CR+1 experience.

draken50
2014-09-10, 03:57 PM
I've played with flat XP per session, which tends to work pretty well when sessions are consistent in length and players stay engaged.

Personally though, and I run a fairly RP heavy game with entire 5-6 hour sessions without real or challenging combat. I tend to give XP based on accomplishment. Building allies, catching an illusionist paid to bring trouble down on the PCs head, resolving simple conflicts and problems in the pursuit of a greater goal, ultimately result in XP.

The players time and investment should be worth more XP in my mind. In a session I ran, the players all the equivalent of level 2 begin to have their goals undermined by a level 2 illusionist. The spent the session resolving difficulties created by him, tracking him down and eventually capturing him. There was barely any combat what-so-ever, but they did have a number of "encounters" along the way. If they were only getting XP for enemies defeated ect. they would have been better served by killing anyone and everyone remotely involved.

How you reward the players, will to some measure dictate your players behavior. In my games, magic items are more often given as reward or out of respect/friendship than found on a corpse. XP is gained from all manner of challenging activity, and while "roleplaying" isn't rewarded as such, the players are more motivated to act in character as they have seen themselves rewarded in game for it. Brash outspoken characters may earn the disdain of the bookish or cultured, but the easy friendship of more brash or lower class NPCs.

Of course, you have to provide challenges suitable to the behavior you want to see as well, and your descriptions are important for getting that across. Enemies that are willing to talk before fighting may not have weapons drawn, and will probably approach more casually, perhaps circling around the PCs while the leader approaches. Enemies dead set on fighting will have weapons drawn and spittle flying as they cry their battle rage. Sadly a player who declines to defend themselves really deserves what they get.

daremetoidareyo
2014-09-13, 03:18 AM
If d&d, overcoming obstacles in predictable ways for a single session should grant 75% of the xp to level at the median character level. Overcoming obstacles in that crazy wtf way PCs sometimes do gets a full level. This is my basement upon which I add xp bonuses for excellent roleplaying and insight.

In games where you use xp to increase skills I grant " skill xp" bonuses. If there was a lot of horse riding or swimming or mountain climbing, the PCs would get bonus xp that can only be used to raise that skill.

nedz
2014-09-13, 05:23 PM
I'm very wary of giving different players different xp awards because you can quite easily fall into the trap of inadvertent favouritism, or even just appearing to play favourites when you aren't. This is especially true of RP xp when you could easily end up giving out xp to someone for playing their character the way you would play it, rather than letting them do their own thing. This is a kind of rail-roading, albeit a subtle one.

That said xp should be awarded for non-combat encounters, or even resolving encounters which were expected to result in combat by using non violent means.

Zombimode
2014-09-14, 01:10 PM
I'm very wary of giving different players different xp awards because you can quite easily fall into the trap of inadvertent favouritism, or even just appearing to play favourites when you aren't. This is especially true of RP xp when you could easily end up giving out xp to someone for playing their character the way you would play it, rather than letting them do their own thing. This is a kind of rail-roading, albeit a subtle one.

That said xp should be awarded for non-combat encounters, or even resolving encounters which were expected to result in combat by using non violent means.

I'm feeling the same way.

In consequence I don't award XP for roleplaying. I award XP for overcoming challenges. In some cases, naming combat and stuff like traps and some natural hazards, I use the rules my system of choice (D&D 3.5) presents me. In all other cases where the rules remain silent, I use the following simple but useable guidelines:

First, I classify the challenge as one of three difficulty ratings in relation to the party/the character: medium, hard, very hard
It is deliberate that there is no "easy" challenge, because you can see almost everything as an easy challenge. I try to only award XP for actual challenges (you know, that that are challenging).

Then I calculate the XP award per character using the following formula: 50 * DC-mod * ECL
the DC-mod is 1 for medium challenges, 2 for hard challenges, and 3 for very hard challenges.

The results are close to XP awards for combats of similar level of challenge.

nedz
2014-09-14, 03:22 PM
Nice formulae I normally just eyeball it.