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Level advancement 
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Mogrl

Joined: Mon May 01, 2006 7:00 am
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Post Re: Level advancement
MrGrim wrote:
I've never liked the way D&D's experience and leveling system worked. I've replaced it with my own house ruled system...

MrGrim's Experience and Leveling House Rules

Players need 5 Experience Points to gain each level. In a standard game players get ONE experience point in the following ways...

1. Completing a major objective in the game (the equivalent of a standard module)

2. Players who made the session particularly fun for everyone, get a bonus Experience Point for the session
(Assume everyone but players you don't want to keep anyway get this one. )

3. When players do something colorful and particularly awesome, where they create a great moment for everyone around the table, they get an Experience Point. I limit this to no more than 1 per session. (When this happens, other players almost always nominate the player in question, "HE SHOULD GET AN EXPERIENCE POINT FOR THAT!"...this should be awarded for player creativity though, NOT because someone just made a lucky roll at just the right moment.)

4. Since thieves/rogues are to level more quickly, they "steal a point" and level with only 4 experience points (which makes them track pretty closely with what is intended for them on the leveling table compared to other classes)

5. As the GM, I can also award an EXP point for any reason I see fit.

Since 5 points levels characters (excepting the 4 points for rogues as noted above), awarding an experience point is a big deal. Once players get how this works and see how the fun they contribute to the session directly relates to their advancement, the effects can be quite positive upon your gaming group.

This approach is also much simpler on the GM. I like to avoid every distraction (logging data for tallying experience is one of them) when I am running a game so I am focused on keeping the narrative going, alive and colorful. I've found this system is a nigh perfect fit for the style of game I run.


You know, having played other RPG's where XP requirements are much smaller numbers, but still take a lot of time to earn, I always wondered why we had to track thousands, then hundreds of thousands, and then millions of XP points. The XP requirements can certainly be scaled down by multiples of a hundred, or even a thousand, to at least give us smaller numbers to work with, and then keep them still just as hard to earn by also scaling down the reward just as much.

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Since its 20,000 I suggest "Captain Nemo" as his title. Beyond the obvious connection, he is one who sails on his own terms and ignores those he doesn't agree with...confident in his journey and goals.
Sounds obvious to me! -Gm Michael

Grand Knight Commander of the Society.


Sun May 04, 2014 2:57 pm
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Greater Lore Drake
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Post Re: Level advancement
In my Delving Deeper game we went with the OD&D method, later declared ridiculous by Gary Gygax, but seemed to work fine. 100xp per HD of creature defeated. Seemed to work fine for a game that we were playing intermittently.

It's amazing how many crazy things don't really make the world end when you try them.

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Sun May 04, 2014 3:01 pm
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Greater Lore Drake
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Post Re: Level advancement
Treebore wrote:
The XP requirements can certainly be scaled down by multiples of a hundred, or even a thousand, to at least give us smaller numbers to work with, and then keep them still just as hard to earn by also scaling down the reward just as much.


I thought about that but could only scale down by a factor of ten (lopping off a zero). The little guys like orcs & goblins, et al, can't be factored if you reduce by 2 decimal places.

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Sun May 04, 2014 3:02 pm
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Mogrl

Joined: Mon May 01, 2006 7:00 am
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Post Re: Level advancement
Arduin wrote:
Treebore wrote:
The XP requirements can certainly be scaled down by multiples of a hundred, or even a thousand, to at least give us smaller numbers to work with, and then keep them still just as hard to earn by also scaling down the reward just as much.


I thought about that but could only scale down by a factor of ten (lopping off a zero). The little guys like orcs & goblins, et al, can't be factored if you reduce by 2 decimal places.


I was thinking in those cases you require they kill MORE of them to earn any XP's. Like maybe 10 to get 1 XP, or if you scale it down by 100, require they kill 100 Orcs, or the like, to get 1 XP. Its Math, its all proportional.

_________________
Since its 20,000 I suggest "Captain Nemo" as his title. Beyond the obvious connection, he is one who sails on his own terms and ignores those he doesn't agree with...confident in his journey and goals.
Sounds obvious to me! -Gm Michael

Grand Knight Commander of the Society.


Sun May 04, 2014 4:14 pm
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Greater Lore Drake
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Post Re: Level advancement
Treebore wrote:
Arduin wrote:
Treebore wrote:
The XP requirements can certainly be scaled down by multiples of a hundred, or even a thousand, to at least give us smaller numbers to work with, and then keep them still just as hard to earn by also scaling down the reward just as much.


I thought about that but could only scale down by a factor of ten (lopping off a zero). The little guys like orcs & goblins, et al, can't be factored if you reduce by 2 decimal places.


I was thinking in those cases you require they kill MORE of them to earn any XP's. Like maybe 10 to get 1 XP, or if you scale it down by 100, require they kill 100 Orcs, or the like, to get 1 XP. Its Math, its all proportional.


Sure. But then you are keeping track of another set of numbers. The amount of bookkeeping wouldn't really change.

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Sun May 04, 2014 4:26 pm
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Greater Lore Drake
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Post Re: Level advancement
You could also make the xp award constant, and assign die percentages to see if it is awarded. You'd need to calculate or play with the numbers, but you could start out with, say, a 500xp award and say, roll a d20, and if you roll the HD or lower, you award the XP. Less to track and calculate. Whenever you are dealing with averages, you can do things like this.

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Sun May 04, 2014 4:58 pm
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Mogrl

Joined: Mon May 01, 2006 7:00 am
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Location: Arizona and St Louis
Post Re: Level advancement
Arduin wrote:
Treebore wrote:
Arduin wrote:
Treebore wrote:
The XP requirements can certainly be scaled down by multiples of a hundred, or even a thousand, to at least give us smaller numbers to work with, and then keep them still just as hard to earn by also scaling down the reward just as much.


I thought about that but could only scale down by a factor of ten (lopping off a zero). The little guys like orcs & goblins, et al, can't be factored if you reduce by 2 decimal places.


I was thinking in those cases you require they kill MORE of them to earn any XP's. Like maybe 10 to get 1 XP, or if you scale it down by 100, require they kill 100 Orcs, or the like, to get 1 XP. Its Math, its all proportional.


Sure. But then you are keeping track of another set of numbers. The amount of bookkeeping wouldn't really change.


I wasn't looking to change the amount, necessarily, just the size/scale of the numbers.

_________________
Since its 20,000 I suggest "Captain Nemo" as his title. Beyond the obvious connection, he is one who sails on his own terms and ignores those he doesn't agree with...confident in his journey and goals.
Sounds obvious to me! -Gm Michael

Grand Knight Commander of the Society.


Sun May 04, 2014 6:32 pm
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Greater Lore Drake
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Post Re: Level advancement
Treebore wrote:
I wasn't looking to change the amount, necessarily, just the size/scale of the numbers.


Same here. The purpose being less bookkeeping though. Not just because to make the digit smaller.

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Old age and treachery will overcome youth and skill

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Sun May 04, 2014 7:10 pm
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Mogrl

Joined: Mon May 01, 2006 7:00 am
Posts: 20518
Location: Arizona and St Louis
Post Re: Level advancement
Arduin wrote:
Treebore wrote:
I wasn't looking to change the amount, necessarily, just the size/scale of the numbers.


Same here. The purpose being less bookkeeping though. Not just because to make the digit smaller.
Well, if I can write a 1 to 3 digit number instead of a 5 to 6 or even greater digit number, its still a bit less writing. A good start in my books.

_________________
Since its 20,000 I suggest "Captain Nemo" as his title. Beyond the obvious connection, he is one who sails on his own terms and ignores those he doesn't agree with...confident in his journey and goals.
Sounds obvious to me! -Gm Michael

Grand Knight Commander of the Society.


Sun May 04, 2014 8:49 pm
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Lore Drake
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Post Re: Level advancement
Here is a table of all the base classes, levels 1-5 for this example, I divided each class either by the Fighter or the total, by level, average. Not much difference as the Fighter is pretty middle of the road. I like a simple base 10 value and increase or decrease from there. As noted before, I will award 2 points per average night of gaming so after 5 nights the average character will level up. If we have a short night 1 point or a super long gaming session 3. This table assumes that rewards, risks, treasure, experience points etc. awarded increases with each level comparable to the increase in the tables. If I want to slow or speed this up as levels increase I would just decrease the awarded points or put an arbitrary increaser with each level, but we decided 1 level every 6 months or so... we only play 4-6 hours per month and we want to see 10th level before we die.

I see two options, keep it in whole points, making them hard to earn, or allowing 1/4 points for special awards. Such as, group votes for "player of the game" or "best roll player of the night" or "hero or savior" of the night. Gets all the PCs involved. Then I can also award 1/2 points or 1/4 for great roll playing, amazing acts, etc.

I will be adding multi-class and class and a half examples soon. I'm also going to see if excel has a "round to the nearest quarter" option to go with my "no points less than 1/4 point" awards idea noted above.

Any thoughts or input, I'm all ears.


Attachments:
Level.png
Level.png [ 55.03 KiB | Viewed 6991 times ]

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Thu May 15, 2014 2:12 am
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Greater Lore Drake
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Post Re: Level advancement
Treebore wrote:
Arduin wrote:
Treebore wrote:
I wasn't looking to change the amount, necessarily, just the size/scale of the numbers.


Same here. The purpose being less bookkeeping though. Not just because to make the digit smaller.


Well, if I can write a 1 to 3 digit number instead of a 5 to 6 or even greater digit number, its still a bit less writing. A good start in my books.


Not when it requires you to keep track of ANOTHER figure too.

Treebore wrote:
I was thinking in those cases you require they kill MORE of them to earn any XP's. Like maybe 10 to get 1 XP

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Old age and treachery will overcome youth and skill

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Thu May 15, 2014 2:17 am
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Skobbit

Joined: Fri Dec 07, 2012 3:50 am
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Post Re: Level advancement
I personally never liked the slow level advamcement. While I don't think each session should be about obtaining 'cool new powers', I don't like the idea of playing a years long campaign. Unfortunately, with real life taking over, neither I nor the people I game with have the time to devote to a massive multi-year epic campaign in order to reach higher levels. Hence, I usually give out generous XP as story rewards.


Sat May 17, 2014 1:40 am
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Ulthal
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Post Re: Level advancement
There is no max level in my games.The highest character I had had at my table was 28th and it took her almost 20 years of playing to get there(though she plays many many other characters so perhaps that is one reason why it took her so long!

I find high level play just as fun as low level play (if a lot different)but regardless of levels I award exp the same.

I give it for killing stuff,playing in character and making the game fun for everyone. It takes a long time to level up sometimes but it is what it is.

I don't DM to tell a story,I don't advance characters as needed or hold anyone back for the game. What you earn is what you earn. If you are too low to go messing around with those killers who murdered your father,you better go fight and get better somewhere else or you are gonna die.


Experience Points and levels are like dice. Perhaps not the best way to decide what goes on in our shared fantasy adventures but its one we all agreed to so we might as well just get on with it.

I guess I never bought into the leveling up is something you owe players or that it is even something the players should really strive towards.After all as soon as you level.....you find harder foes so..that little wheel your running on might not be the best thing for you.


Sat May 17, 2014 7:55 pm
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Lore Drake
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Post Re: Level advancement
The whole thing on Exp pts is arbitrary. Why would a powerful monster who eats souls only look for PCs that are slightly more powerful than it is.. a soul is a soul for dinner, 1st lvls are more plentiful, dinner time.. If the CK arbitrarily sets the world to just be powerful enough a little high a little low but able to be beat every time, that is totally arbitrary.. in the end, most PCs win, they advance at a pretty consistent pace and if the group starts at the same time and is the same level (which I assume is most common), then they just advance. My point is mainly to take out all the details I must track as a DM, award and try to "justify" 250 exp for good roll playing to Bob and 10,000 to Sue because she used a magic item or found a treasure hoard.. Simple points, less book keeping means for me, more time to play.

Below is the table of PH experience reduced to "smaller" values. I even found an excel function "MROUND" that rounds to the nearest 1/4 point so I can give out 1, 2 or 3 points per night of adventuring, and 1/4 or 1/2 points for "great stuff". I don't give out experience for treasure nor for magic items used unless you learned something using it.. so it keeps it simple for me, and easy to keep track of for the PCs. The classes are still at their base points, ratios one to the other, and level progression rates, each levels little ups and downs are still in their unless you want to use the average for the levels noted (2nd-6th). We'll be using it this year to see how it works.


Attachments:
Levels.png
Levels.png [ 145.13 KiB | Viewed 6949 times ]

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Tue May 20, 2014 1:30 am
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Ungern
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Post Re: Level advancement
I've been running games since 1979 and have always given XP for challenges/creatures overcome, plus story/plot point rewards. The amount of the later rewards is roughly enough to advance any PC who didn't advance through regular play, but made a solid contribution. In general, this is ~ 25-35% of what is needed by the average PC in the group. So, higher level PCs quicken the advancement of the lower levels, and lower levels slow the advancement of the higher levels. This gives me exactly the feel I want for my game.


Sun May 31, 2015 10:01 pm
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Hlobane Orc
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Post Re: Level advancement
I have noted this elsewhere, but it seems germane to this thread:

I'm playing a game with a young child that wants to see quick increases like he gets in the video games he plays that are similar. So, for playing with my family (me, wife, child), we simply level up after each completed adventure. The first adventures ran only a single session, but as the characters have grown in power, I'm able to make longer ones. Right now they're level 7, and each adventure is running 3-4 sessions.


Thu Jun 18, 2015 11:02 pm
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Hlobane Orc

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Post Re: Level advancement
I've never heard of anyone else dong it this way, but the method I use is to assign XP as normal and simply not divide it between the players. If the five PC party kills a 10 XP orc and finds 70gp, everyone gets the same 80xp award. It is based on my earliest (mis)understanding of the AD&D 2nd edition rules as a child. When I realised my mistake much later in life, I decided that it worked well anyway and kept it. I hate having to break out the calculator and divide up XP anyway... Too much work! The result is a faster XP progression without having to apply a lot of extra house rules. I also tend to give random XP awards on the spot for clever/amusing play (largely in place of story XP awards).


Wed Jun 24, 2015 10:35 pm
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Hlobane Orc
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Post Re: Level advancement
Galadrin wrote:
I've never heard of anyone else dong it this way, but the method I use is to assign XP as normal and simply not divide it between the players.


When I do use points, I do it that way, too, but I have always done it on purpose: my first and longest running fantasy game was T&T, and that was one suggested method of allocating points. So when I went to other games and saw you were supposed to divide them among the characters, I tossed that out immediately.

Frankly, I think that system is best suited for larger groups. Larger groups can fight more foes and tougher foes, so they get more points right from the start. My groups have always been small... sometimes not even a group, but just one other player. I don't think I've had a group larger than 5, and they usually are just two or three. In all of these cases, progression is slow enough without dividing the points gained! They can't fight but a few monsters, and the monsters have to be weaker, thus, lower point values. Letting them have the whole value each seems to me to be a good way to build them faster.


Thu Jun 25, 2015 2:56 am
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Red Cap
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Post Re: Level advancement
For what it's worth, I also do not divide total XP between characters. I award full XP totals to everyone in the group. It works really well for seeing measurable character advancements within a reasonable period of time.

In my face-to-face game, we play twice a month, each session about 3-4 hours. We started the campaign in January and all characters are now about 3rd level using this method. For those of us who don't play marathon sessions every week, giving full XP is a good way to go to make sure players see appreciable advancements without having to trudge through hordes of goblins.

In my longest running PbP game, which has been going for three years, characters are now 5th level. Little bit slower, but not bad by PbP standards.

Had I been dividing XP, characters in both games would still be 1st level, which pretty much sucks from a player's perspective.

There should be a t-shirt:

"I've been adventuring for three years and all I got was 1st level!"

I think the divide XP model only works well if you play often, and long sessions at that...or your game has tons of treasure and you award XP for GP. Or, if you just like having characters remain 1st level for multiple sessions.

A good rate of advancement (for me) looks something like this:

1st to 2nd level: 1 to 2, action-packed sessions
2nd to 3rd level: 2 to 4, action-packed sessions
3rd to 4th level: 3 to 5, action-packed sessions
4th to 5th level: 4 to 7 action-packed sessions
etc.


Thu Jun 25, 2015 5:52 am
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Ungern
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Post Re: Level advancement
For normal advancement, depending on the type of adventure, I would say 4-5 gaming sessions of 3-5 hours per session are typical of a level advancement. I would also say that this tends to slow based on a curve to begin lower level characters and slows down during higher level adventures.

-mM


Mon Aug 10, 2015 1:43 am
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