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EotE, XP and absent players


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#1 Chobbly

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Posted 24 July 2014 - 04:02 AM

Hi all,

 

In my play group I have two regular members, one who can make it most of the time and one who (for real-life reasons) can only join us once in every four, maybe five games. Where we can one of the other players runs the missing PC(s).

 

In the past, the play group has awarded full XP to both present and absent players. A lot of this was arguably down to the d20 system and progression, but EotE is far more open and it seems characters with different XP totals can still work together really well as there are no 'levels' to be aimed for.

 

So, what my question is - what does everyone else do about awarding XP to absent players (even if their character are still utilised)? Full xp, no xp or maybe given my group's past history, does half XP to cushion the blow sound fair?

 



#2 Josep Maria

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Posted 24 July 2014 - 04:54 AM

Hi there!

 

I have an ambiguous answer but it can be useful: Do the best for your game.

 

No need to "punish" absent players (not saying that you do it of course) but if the game needs that the Doctor Who  (yes XD) stays behind, because the player was out, just give him the XP amount decided by the entire group.

 

Hope I helped :D


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#3 SaraMcDohl

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Posted 24 July 2014 - 04:54 AM

If you are still using their characters , I would personally use my companion rule, they gain half as much as a PC. If you have time to get with them on a one on one you could run some misadventures and make up for it that way too.
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#4 Skie

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Posted 24 July 2014 - 06:02 AM

I'd ask the occasional player how s/he feels. Perhaps s/he might be overwhelmed with new talents and skills waiting on him every game session? Or is he ok with all the new stuff?

As you said EtoE is more lenient with power curve and it's easier to be useful and have fun with the group of non-equal (xp-wise) characters. If his character brings fun to the group because of roleplaying aspects maybe it's enough for him?


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#5 2P51

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Posted 24 July 2014 - 07:37 AM

If the PC is used I'd just award full XP. If they aren't used we don't award any. We use Obsidian Portal and to help flesh out the campaign info the GM will assign 'homework' on a volunteer basis. It takes the form session recaps or fluff background stories or just helping with the site. The GM will give small bonuses like 5 or 10 XP. It's a good way to keep people with limited attendance.


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#6 R2builder

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Posted 24 July 2014 - 07:52 AM

Don't use Obsidian Portal, and DON'T look at 2P51's Portal!! It is the worst ever-est!!!  :P

 

I too recommend using the Portal. I have one as well. (that others rip off)  ;)

 

I do not advise in giving absent members the same amount of XP as the ones that are there. I encourage my players to use "character voices", that way I know what is being said in in character or out of character, and for playing to their motivations.

I feel by giving every character equal XP detracts from the others Role Playing. 

So let's say that the adventure was 15 XP

using "Character voices" 5 XP

playing to motivations, etc. 5 XP

So the session is worth 25 XP, I could see giving the absent players the 15 XP. 

But like Josep said, "Do what is best for your game". 


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#7 CaptainRaspberry

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Posted 24 July 2014 - 09:46 AM

In the past, when I ran a weekly game, I awarded five XP for completing the session. Since you really can't split the XP into increments smaller than five, absent players had to go without XP for the session; then again, since we played every week, missing one session wasn't really an issue and the lost XP could be made up by completing goals or stellar roleplaying.

 

However, if your group awards more XP per session -- say, ten -- then I'd give absent players five if they give the group permission to make use of their characters while they're away.


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#8 progressions

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Posted 24 July 2014 - 10:15 AM

Why can't you split XP into increments smaller than 5?

 

Note, I'm not saying you should aware 3 XP for a session, but why wouldn't you be able to aware 12 or 23 or something?


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#9 Riggswolfe

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Posted 24 July 2014 - 11:31 AM

I've never awarded less XP to PCs when a player can't make it. It always felt like punishing a player for having obligations outside of the game. I've walked out of games with GMs who did that because it just feels like the game is no longer about having fun, rping and socializing but is instead about attendance.

 

Now, that said, they obviously won't get RP awards but if each PC gets, say, 20 xps for the session plus any RP bonuses, the absent player gets that 20 xp. 


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#10 Jamwes

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Posted 24 July 2014 - 02:58 PM

I'd say, you should talk with the group and find out what's the most fun and fair for them. Is it more fun and fair to play what they actually earn or is it more fun and fair for everyone to be at the same footing? In my group, we're always at the same XP because we like to have everyone on the same footing. For us the fun is playing the game and we don't care if it's "fair" that someone else played less and "earned" the same XP. But we're also a group that has been playing together without many skips for about a decade.

 

The nice thing about this game is that players who have less XP are only so far behind the curve. If they make a character who fits a niche, then they'll always be useful even with less XP.

 

Really, as long as you're all having fun, it doesn't matter.


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#11 Joker Two

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Posted 25 July 2014 - 01:09 PM

As others have said, whatever works for you.

 

I've got a group with 3-4 "core" players and another 5-6 who rotate through depending on availability.  Characters whose players aren't present are "off running errands" or "staying in their bunk", and I don't award them any XP for missed sessions.  The "core" players are just over 300 XP, while the others are in the 150-200 range, but nobody feels overshadowed.

 

As long as you reward a wide variety of capabilities in characters, XP gaps shouldn't become a problem unless two players are competing over a specific skill (which is a problem in its own right).  For example, the star of last night's session was a Politico "face" with ~175 XP, even though the Scoundrel "face" with ~325 XP was also present.  Despite similar characteristics and skills, the two players prefer very different circumstances.


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#12 LibrariaNPC

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Posted 25 July 2014 - 03:08 PM

As others have said, you need to do what's best for you and your group.

 

The Long Answer:

 

I tend to be the Forever GM, so I run into stuff like this a lot. I've seen it from start to finish, and it's always something different. I tend to handle it as follows:

 

1) Is it a legitimate reason? 

I know this is a bit nitpicky, but it's true. Being told an hour before game that a family member is in the hospital is one thing; getting a call because the one player doesn't want to put on pants walk down the hill to get to the game is another.

If it's a legitimate thing that has major real-world implications, I still award some XP so the player isn't far behind. Crap stuff gets a goose egg.

 

2) Were instructions left regarding what the character is doing?

This was a favorite of mine in a FATE game I was running. One guy was getting called in for OT for a month (he knew a few weeks in advance) and would miss the games we had scheduled. I already had events planned, so we sat down over lunch one day and mapped out what his character was going to do behind the scenes. He wrote a note for the party, told me where he was going, who he was talking to, what information he wanted, and who he'd be threatening if it really got down to it (he was the second son of a noble house living in Victorian London with a military background).

 

When someone puts enough awesome thought into the game to RP when they are away and even designs props to leave behind (like finding a "proper" font for the note they left), I'm fine with giving full XP.

 

3) Was the character trailing along and offering assistance in some way?

If you've seen The Gamers, then you know about Mark, the Berserker. The player here was late because of being with his girlfriend, then bailed after the first major combat. The players kept him around following them, and they eventually got into a major fight that the players controlled him for.

 

In situations where the character could face major harm (possibly death!) and played a part in some way (even if they are just offering moral support and giving boosts that way), I award XP based on how dangerous the situation was.

 

4) How important is it in the game to gain XP?

This is one I've always had to balance. In some games, being off by session is HUGE and can slow you down for a good long while. I'm looking at AD&D, where if you were a wizard, you were looking at twice the number of XP needed to level up.

 

EotE isn't that bad, but if the party completes the story arc and does major things, that could be 20-40 XP they missed due to sitting in the hospital or having a family emergency. It could take multiple sessions to get caught up, and if they miss more games, they may feel they are being ostracized or even useless when the dice start rolling.

 

So if it's important for your scaling purposes and for party cohesion to be in the same XP range, then offer some if not all of the XP.

 

 

5) What is best for group cohesion, both in and out of character?

I've been on both sides of this one in college, and it's never fun. I would miss a game due to being called in at work (I was the only one with a job) and I'd get an XP hit. Next thing I knew, I was levels behind, couldn't keep up, and eventually dropped the game.

I later learned the GM was trying to ostracize me since I was one of the other major GMs on campus. Some of the players, when they realized that, left. The game collapsed shortly afterward.

 

Another GM always negated XP if you were absent, and would sometimes even dock XP if you were late. He did this to force players to be so far behind they would quit, which really caused some lines to be drawn and friendships to be tested (and broken).

 

Sometimes, you just have to be careful what someone will think if they get docked, how they will react, and how the rest of the table will act. It might not mean much to a group of close friends, but if you get that one anti-social guy who is nervous in groups larger than 3, it might mean a whole lot more.

 

 

 

Just putting my two credits out there for you. I hope it helps in some way!


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#13 kaosoe

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Posted 25 July 2014 - 07:00 PM

3) Was the character trailing along and offering assistance in some way?

If you've seen The Gamers, then you know about Mark, the Berserker. The player here was late because of being with his girlfriend, then bailed after the first major combat. The players kept him around following them, and they eventually got into a major fight that the players controlled him for.

 

In situations where the character could face major harm (possibly death!) and played a part in some way (even if they are just offering moral support and giving boosts that way), I award XP based on how dangerous the situation was.

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#14 ianinak

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Posted 28 July 2014 - 01:01 AM

This thread may have some good info for you...

http://community.fan...erienced-group/

 

I'll say here what I said there.

 

Each session, I usually give everyone the normal xp plus 5 bonus xp (to everyone present) if they play to their motivations or for fun roleplaying.

If you miss a session or start your character after the campaign has been running, you miss out on the bonus 5 xp per session, but get the same normal xp as everyone else. This keeps everyone pretty close in terms of power level.

I also give players the option to email me privately what their character was doing during the downtime, or make up a fun short story from the character's past, in order to get the bonus 5 xp per session they missed.

If a character dies, the new character has the same total xp earned as their last one. The player did the work already and I see no reason to penalize them.

 



#15 2P51

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Posted 28 July 2014 - 05:28 AM

Another idea we used during BtR when a couple regulars couldn't make it was to have them handle one of the side missions. They wrote a short story and made a couple skill checks at the beginning of the next session and the GM awarded XP based on those results. It wasn't quite what we all earned but it added  a layer to the adventure nonetheless.


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#16 Jedi Master Gunner

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Posted 02 August 2014 - 02:56 PM

We have been playing for almost two years now, having started the September after the Beta was release. We had the discussion about what to do with XP, having a mixed group of (generally) d20 and World of Darkness players, with different expectations. It was decided players that missed would get no XP for the session, but they might be able to earn XP by doing extracurricular writing and the like.

 

We thought that characters would grow broadly with skills, because of the increased cost for each tier. Instead, everyone specialized in their "role" skills or raced towards the Dedication talent.

 

One player could only make half the games. A bit after the Age of Rebellion Beta came out, he was really frustrated. He had about three-fifths the XP of the highest player, and about half the XP of the player with the most XP. It came to a head when I was GMing (we have switched roles over the last two years but keep the same characters), and his character heroically killed himself.

 

It was pretty sweet: during the Argovia Strike adventure from WEG, he flew the bulk cruiser into the Imperial base to cover to escape of the other Pcs. I let him bring in a new character at a more equitable XP level. I forget how much he got, exactly.

 

I feel like Players are already losing out when they miss the game. They don't need to be double-penalized by falling behind XP wise. They will probably be behind gear-wise as well, since they miss out on contracts and looting.

 

If a player's character is used as an NPC while they are away, they get full XP, too.


Edited by Jedi Master Gunner, 02 August 2014 - 02:57 PM.

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#17 Josep Maria

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Posted 03 August 2014 - 01:17 AM

Hi there!

 

I have an ambiguous answer but it can be useful: Do the best for your game.

 

No need to "punish" absent players (not saying that you do it of course) but if the game needs that the Doctor Who  (yes XD) stays behind, because the player was out, just give him the XP amount decided by the entire group.

 

Hope I helped :D

 

Quoting myself XD

 

I will add to that another option:

 

Create an "acting scheme" with your players. The ones that want to be 100% involved on the conflict, gain the 100% rewards (XP, other) but also is exposed to bad things like get imprisoned, material destrucction/stolen.

 

If they just want to be a "far supporting" observator, then adapt the reward up to 75, 50 or 25% (maybe 0 too?)

 

But I'll focus first on my main exposure: Do the best for your game :D


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#18 bsmith23

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Posted 03 August 2014 - 06:52 PM

Just adding my 2 credits from my game today.

I usually give a base 10xp per session, plus players can nominate points to others up to 5 points.  I had 2 players absent, one who couldn't find his sheet, and another friend sitting in.  So I had them run the absent player's characters.  I awarded the 10 to the 2 absent characters, and the 10+ to the ones doing the filling in.

 


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#19 Peroxis

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Posted 15 August 2014 - 07:51 AM

I am hoping to make spending experience something that has to be roleplayed, not neccesarily actively but if they want to get better at slicing they should buy some unimportant encrypted datapads to practice on with another datapad for youtube tutorials lol. okay no just whatever instructions people would learn from in star wars lol 

Or if they have done a particularly good job roleplaying or coming up with creative ideas to use skills during an encounter may also allow for spending,

I am sitting on the fence with giving exp to missing players or not I dont want them to not played for 10 games and come back to this now significantly different character.

I would rather have their character not exist in adventures whilst they arent there I know that.

i just think it makes a more interesting storyline if the character does join and leave at different points and can use it as a means for the players to practice having their characters converse with each other. The player that left can discuss what his character was doing in his time away, and the other players can discuss what they have done on the adventures.






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