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    RedSorcererGirl

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    Question Linked Party XP?

    Consider the following houserule: All characters in the party share an XP pool. Everything happens as before (such as rate of leveling), except whenever an individual character does something to gain or lose XP, it instead affects the pool, i.e. is divided among all characters equally. XP is an OOC abstraction, where OOTS comics even make fun of it, e.g. how you have to kill monsters to learn new spells, or even to become a better baker.

    In a party of four, if one character would get 400 roleplay XP, the other characters technically also contributed, by allowing them the spotlight, so the end result is everybody gets 100 XP. Similarly, if one player gets killed, ultimately the whole party is at fault, for not planning, buffing, healing, or whatever in the right manner. If one character spends XP crafting gear for the group, everybody benefits or sacrifices for that situation.

    This means players are always at the same level, and always level up (or down) at the same time. If a character dies and is brought back through Raise Dead, the amount of XP they would have lost in standard play is divided among the party members. That means casting Raise Dead may cause no players to lose a level (if they were close to leveling up), or may cause all players to lose a level (if they had just leveled up).

    Note linked XP is only recommended with mature players who know each other well. Otherwise players may get annoyed at others who they perceive are “riding their coattails”, or get annoyed at others who make bad decisions, e.g. “stupid, you went and died and caused me to delevel as well!” Of course, that already happens to a certain extent, e.g. “stupid, you went and caused a TPK!”

    Many players prefer point buy, and/or average hp on level up, to avoid randomness affecting party balance. Certainly a much greater difference between players is level, where if one player had died a few times and is 2-3 levels behind the party, they may feel behind to such an extent they’ll want to quit the game and enter with another character, or secretly hope or surreptitiously arrange for characters ahead in XP to have an “accident”.

    With separate XP, a game is higher stress and people may be (openly or secretly) competitive with other players. With linked XP, the game seems more casual, and more a group endeavor. What other effects can you see in a game with linked XP? Would you play in a such a game?

    [Posting in 3.5/PF group since focused on games of those versions, although a similar concept could apply to any roleplaying game with XP.]

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    Default Re: Linked Party XP?

    This would run into all sorts of nasty problems with level adjustment buyoff and crafting.
    Quote Originally Posted by JaronK View Post
    Frankly, a Wizard can suck even more than a Fighter could ever dream of sucking. A Fighter can stab himself to death, but only a Wizard could Plane Shift to some horrible far realm to be tortured for an eternity of insanity.


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    Default Re: Linked Party XP?

    Crafting isn't so bad as long as you play nice and make items for the party too.

    My bigger concern is death, level loss and new characters. I know a lot of people remove the level loss, but that makes people too casual about dying. The built in way for dealing with being a level behind is to give higher xp to that player, about 25% more on average (16.67-33.33%). And he's only halfway to the previous level not all the way. The equivalent with this system would be to have a player who is behind a level catch up after 3 levels. It would be 2 levels (25% is half of 50%) except under the normal system there are times when you are behind on xp but on the same level so you don't gain xp faster. If a player is 2 levels behind then he catches up twice as fast. So every time his allies gain a level he gains an extra 2/3 of a level until he is 1 level behind, then he continues to gain an extra 1/3 of a level until he is caught up with the party.

    The alternative is to make the entire party share the xp loss on the dead guy, for failing to keep him alive. But then there will be infighting any time someone gets reckless. Or people will be afraid to take risks they would normally take out of fear of ticking off the party whether other players express disapproval or not. Besides making the game less exciting and uncomfortable people tend to be excessively cautious when there is something more to lose than the game and it can actually be to the party detriment.
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    RedSorcererGirl

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    Default Re: Linked Party XP?

    Quote Originally Posted by Flickerdart View Post
    This would run into all sorts of nasty problems with level adjustment buyoff and crafting.
    If a game allows LA buyoff, that's indeed an issue in a game with linked XP, to avoid one player paying off his LA at other players' expense. If everybody plays with the same LA and buys it off, that avoids the problem since everybody's spending the same amount of XP. However, the best way to handle it is to treat XP for LA buyoff as a special case that's not taken from the party pool. LA buyoff XP is already a special case, since it's "spent" as part of character creation OOC, as opposed to within the game in character (where in character actions is what linked XP is supposed to balance).
    Quote Originally Posted by ericgrau View Post
    Crafting isn't so bad as long as you play nice and make items for the party too.
    Indeed, as the OP says, linked XP needs a semi-cooperative group to work. If a selfish character crafts a bunch of gear for himself and not the party, that's unbalanced the game for him since the party is paying XP for his gain. Of course, there are many other things a selfish character can do to gain an advantage over the party, such as stealing from party members, a Rogue keeping extra loot for himself, the Paladin smiting the party Necromancer, etc.

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    Default Re: Linked Party XP?

    One issue I would have with this system is that it discourages the really risky self-sacrificial plays (e.g. a Paladin staying behind to hold off an entire army of goblins while the rest of the party escapes). This is because the player is risking not only his or her XP, but the XP of the whole group. Sacrificing oneself for the good of others is a big part of many character concepts and by disallowing someone to suffer for others it makes those concepts harder to make work well.
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    Default Re: Linked Party XP?

    I actually usually play with the shared xp because my players very much prefer it over the more individualistic xp system. I dosen't really change the game very much, player who get raise dead'ed still loses a level. Players won't always have the same amount of xp, because some players may not be present some days ect. ect. But all active players participating in the battle share xp.
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    Default Re: Linked Party XP?

    That's just how the game normally works though.
    Quote Originally Posted by JaronK View Post
    Frankly, a Wizard can suck even more than a Fighter could ever dream of sucking. A Fighter can stab himself to death, but only a Wizard could Plane Shift to some horrible far realm to be tortured for an eternity of insanity.


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    DwarfFighterGuy

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    Default Re: Linked Party XP?

    Bad idea if the others didn't do anything they dont deserve xp

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    Default Re: Linked Party XP?

    XP from each according to his ability. XP to each according to his needs.

    Yeah, that will work.

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    Default Re: Linked Party XP?

    Quote Originally Posted by navar100 View Post
    XP from each according to his ability. XP to each according to his needs.

    Yeah, that will work.
    IT IS THE PEOPLES partys XP
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    Default Re: Linked Party XP?

    The funny part is I just got home from watching Atlas Shrugged at the movie theater then I see this thread.

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    BlueKnightGuy

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    Default Re: Linked Party XP?

    Yeah, this is a combination of two good ideas (xp tracking / group level advancement) which comes out to a really awkward idea. Like a peanut butter and salsa sandwich.

    There are the obvious cases where this is going to be an issue; crafting, spells with xp components, LA buyoff. On top of that, you run into problems with multiclass xp penalties (which, admittedly, no-one uses) and character who have lost levels through Energy Drain or Resurrection. It will also throw monkey wrenches into your calculations when fewer players show up but the xp total applies to their characters as well; PCs might advance levels despite having been trapped under fallen masonry for weeks ("trapped under fallen masonry" is my default answer to the question where was my character).

    So yeah, I wouldn't recommend it. It's possible if you're willing to fudge enough but is going to be awkward.

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    Default Re: Linked Party XP?

    XP is not about killing monsters. All jokes about that are just that, jokes. Don't take them seriously. Instead, read what the DMG has to say on the subject. XP is about surpassing challenges. Not necessarily combat, not necessarily killing, just challenges. Succeeded on a skill check to get past a guard? You get XP for his challenge. Survived damage from a trap? You get XP. It is all about learning from the challenges you surpassed. Yes, it is an abstraction, but then again anything in the game is.

    If you don't like XP, you could use any of the variants in the DMG or DMG2 to do away with it or change the way it's awarded.

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    Default Re: Linked Party XP?

    I plan on having these rules in my game and I already made few adjustments to that:

    1) No XP cost for item creation, everything now needs 3 times more gp.
    2) No ressurection, no spell can bring you back to life, unless you wanna be a zombie or something.

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    Default Re: Linked Party XP?

    1.)
    Quote Originally Posted by Water_Bear View Post
    Yeah, this is a combination of two good ideas (xp tracking / group level advancement) which comes out to a really awkward idea. Like a peanut butter and salsa sandwich.
    Peanut butter and salsa are delicious together.

    2.) Y'all are missing possibly the biggest problem with this: negative level effects. Lots of undead or spells drop your level with a touch, and I see no way to make a mechanic that works smoothly and is anything like good to deal with this problem, short of not using those spells or enemies.

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    Default Re: Linked Party XP?

    Quote Originally Posted by Man on Fire View Post
    I plan on having these rules in my game and I already made few adjustments to that:

    1) No XP cost for item creation, everything now needs 3 times more gp.
    2) No ressurection, no spell can bring you back to life, unless you wanna be a zombie or something.
    So if crafting an item costs 1.5 times more than just buying it in a store...why would anyone craft anything? Every magic item ever sold would be sold at a huge loss.
    Quote Originally Posted by JaronK View Post
    Frankly, a Wizard can suck even more than a Fighter could ever dream of sucking. A Fighter can stab himself to death, but only a Wizard could Plane Shift to some horrible far realm to be tortured for an eternity of insanity.


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    Default Re: Linked Party XP?

    Quote Originally Posted by Flickerdart View Post
    So if crafting an item costs 1.5 times more than just buying it in a store...why would anyone craft anything? Every magic item ever sold would be sold at a huge loss.
    Exactly the result that's expected to happen with a philosophy such as this.

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    Default Re: Linked Party XP?

    Quote Originally Posted by Flickerdart View Post
    So if crafting an item costs 1.5 times more than just buying it in a store...why would anyone craft anything? Every magic item ever sold would be sold at a huge loss.
    Who said NPCs follow the ame rules PCs do?

    Okay, I said 3 only because I tought you people are gonna say 2 is not enough. it may be 2 tmes as well.
    Last edited by Man on Fire; 2012-10-15 at 02:02 PM.

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    GnomeWizardGuy

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    Default Re: Linked Party XP?

    Quote Originally Posted by Man on Fire View Post
    Who said NPCs follow the ame rules PCs do?

    Okay, I said 3 only because I tought you people are gonna say 2 is not enough. it may be 2 tmes as well.
    It just seems like taking away players' options for, in my opinion at least, rather unsatisfactory reasons. I'd argue against it on the "that's just not as fun, and the goal is fun, right?" basis.

    Edit: Assuming the x3, on x2 it seems ok to me.
    Last edited by Aegis013; 2012-10-15 at 02:09 PM.

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    Default Re: Linked Party XP?

    Quote Originally Posted by Man on Fire View Post
    Who said NPCs follow the ame rules PCs do?

    Okay, I said 3 only because I tought you people are gonna say 2 is not enough. it may be 2 tmes as well.
    Perfect! Adds in a dash of everyone is equal but some people are more equal than others!
    Last edited by navar100; 2012-10-15 at 05:14 PM.

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    Default Re: Linked Party XP?

    Quote Originally Posted by Man on Fire View Post
    Who said NPCs follow the ame rules PCs do?

    Okay, I said 3 only because I tought you people are gonna say 2 is not enough. it may be 2 tmes as well.
    1) The XP cost of crafting is utterly trivial. If EVERY BIT of loot the PCs pick up from level 1 to 20 is sold, and EVERY COIN that this gives them is then crafted by one PC, then that PC will NEVER be more than one level behind, and will spend most of his time at the same level as everyone else.

    Double or triple is too much added cost, the crafting feats are virtually worthless at those.

    2) The game GIVES you a cost for XP points, 1 XP is worth 5 GP. If you want to replace XP costs of crafting with GP costs then use that ratio, which comes out to paying 70% of base cost (rather than 50%).

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    RedSorcererGirl

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    Post Re: Linked Party XP?

    Quote Originally Posted by CthulhuEatYou View Post
    I actually usually play with the shared xp because my players very much prefer it over the more individualistic xp system. I dosen't really change the game very much, player who get raise dead'ed still loses a level.
    Some games already have what amounts to linked XP. I've played in more casual games where players don't keep track of XP numbers individually, but rather the DM just tells the party when it's time for everybody to level up (based on story, time since last level, when it feels right, etc). Of course, in such a game level loss is a greater burden, because normal rules allow those behind in level to gain XP at a slightly faster rate. If the DM has everybody level up at the same time, if you're behind a level now you'll always be behind. In these games I've seen the DM take the lower level player aside and do a mini-adventure with them so they can "gain XP" to catch up with the rest of the party. That's effectively linked XP.

    Quote Originally Posted by Noctis Vigil View Post
    2.) Y'all are missing possibly the biggest problem with this: negative level effects.
    Negative levels are handled normally. Each negative level gives you -1 on skill checks/ability checks/attacks/saves/caster level, and -5 hp, in the standard way like any debuff. However if you fail your save and actually lose a level, that requires a little math:

    For example, consider a party of four level 10 characters. They each have 47000 XP (1/5 way to level 11). One character dies and is raised. Normally they would drop to level 9.5, and their XP total would be 40500, for a loss of 6500 XP. However with linked XP, the party as a whole loses 6500, or each character loses 1625. Everybody now has 45375, and are still level 10 (although just barely).

    Quote Originally Posted by Bakkan View Post
    One issue I would have with this system is that it discourages the really risky self-sacrificial plays (e.g. a Paladin staying behind to hold off an entire army of goblins while the rest of the party escapes). This is because the player is risking not only his or her XP, but the XP of the whole group.
    Actually I would think linked XP would encourage more risky play. Normally players are cautious due to fear of dying, where if they die they are now a level behind the party, and effectively nerfed forever. However if everybody is always the same level even if you die and are raised, there's no risk of falling behind in power. Barring the case where the whole party delevels (which can happen in TPK situations already) the only penalty of death is a slightly slower advance to next level. That may annoy other party members who want to become high level quickly, but again we have the assumption that the player who died served the party, or died due to party error, as opposed to individual error for which the raised player should be "punished".
    Last edited by Cruiser1; 2012-10-15 at 03:40 PM.

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    Default Re: Linked Party XP?

    Quote Originally Posted by navar100 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Man on Fire View Post
    Who said NPCs follow the ame rules PCs do?

    Okay, I said 3 only because I tought you people are gonna say 2 is not enough. it may be 2 tmes as well.
    Perfect! Adds in a dash of everyone is equal but some people are more equal than others!

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    Default Re: Linked Party XP?

    Quote Originally Posted by Cruiser1 View Post
    Actually I would think linked XP would encourage more risky play. Normally players are cautious due to fear of dying, where if they die they are now a level behind the party, and effectively nerfed forever. However if everybody is always the same level even if you die and are raised, there's no risk of falling behind in power. Barring the case where the whole party delevels (which can happen in TPK situations already) the only penalty of death is a slightly slower advance to next level. That may annoy other party members who want to become high level quickly, but again we have the assumption that the player who died served the party, or died due to party error, as opposed to individual error for which the raised player should be "punished".
    It would encourage more risky play for those characters/players who are primarily interested in their own advancement, since they are only risking a third to a sixth as much as they would under the normal system. It would discourage risky behavior by those players/characters who wish to take the risk so that others don't have to, since now everyone shares in all risk. In short, it eliminates or greatly reduces the possibility for altruistic self-sacrifice.
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    Default Re: Linked Party XP?

    Quote Originally Posted by Cruiser1 View Post
    In a party of four, if one character would get 400 roleplay XP, the other characters technically also contributed
    What if they didn't contribute at all?

    Or if they actively worked against the RP opportunity? Like a character trying to be dramatic about his addiction to heroin... until the Cleric facepalms, walks in, and slaps him with Remove Addiction.


    Or suppose a character "pulls a leeroy", ignoring the party's plan and getting himself killed with sheer stupidity? Is the party responsible then, too?
    Quote Originally Posted by Emperor Tippy View Post
    By level 20 though, you aren't capturing a wizard. A character lives to level 20 by being the most ruthless, lucky, capable, and paranoid bastard around. A wizard is throwing around a 30+ Int score and has, entirely in character, planned contingencies for his contingencies. He may well be running around with flat out total immunity to harm, he does not walk outside without an entire bevy of defensive magics around him and enough magic items to buy himself a nation.

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