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New GM Question: Experience Points

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I think it gives some guidelines on xp rewards in the back, but it's really a matter of how quickly do you want the PCs to develop and how long a campaign do you envision.  The game itself is geared towards a very long term approach RAW.

 

I typically hand out something like 20 ish per session, maybe more, maybe less, just depends on how it all played out.

Edited by 2P51

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Depends how long a session is.  The most common "per hour" number I've seen is about 5XP.  For an evening of play that's about 20XP.

 

Personally I ignore the guidelines given in the modules, I find them somewhat stingy, and also they reward following the script rather than rewarding dynamic play.

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An average of 20/session is the 'standard' rate. (This doesn't necessarily mean 20/session since some of that will probably come in the form of bonus XP for objectives, but if you want to keep things as simple as possible then a flat rate works too.)

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Due to time constraints and the like, I tend to run my games in a big '2pm till 10pm at the earliest' session once a month or so when we can all get together.  I tend to consider the length to be about equal to two sessions so give them 30xp for attending (it says in the book to give between 10-20xp per session, so I split the difference and say 15) plus bonus xp for achieving goals and roleplaying etc which usually winds up being about 50-60xp.  Thinking about it now though, I may go back and re-read that chapter since I now realise it may have meant 10-20 xp INCLUDING bonuses, but meh, just means they get to try out more stuff.

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I give, on average, 20-30 per session, depending on what goals the group had been given, if they achieved them, and how they achieved them. (For example, one session in which I expected a lot of shooting, the players totally talked their way through their opposition, walked in, and got everything done. I tossed extra XP their way for creative thinking.)

I'm considering doing something that one of the rotating GM's from an old (WEG) campaign did, as well (which I occasionally adopted when running sessions for that campaign). That is, when working out the session's goals, settings, etc, build in an "Easter egg" - something not necessarily essential to the story, but a cool situation or object that might even set up future story books - and any player(s) that discover the Easter egg get 5-10 bonus XP.

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I tend to award my flat rate XP per session based on how often we meet. A game every week would be 10 XP, every other week is 15 XP, and once a month is 20 XP. For reference, my sessions tend to be 3 hours for weekly, 4 to 5 hours bi-weekly, and 6 or more hours monthly.

 

Beyond that, I occasionally award 5 XP for good roleplaying and minor milestones, 10 XP for major and/or group milestones, and more whenever the group finishes a major arc of the campaign.

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I consider it based on three factors: frequency of gaming, things accomplished in the session, and time spent gaming.

 

Frequency of gaming: if the party only gets together monthly, consider upping awarded XP in order for the players to actually see growth in their characters over time.  15xp every month and it'll take literally 6 months to get to a straight-route Dedication.  If the party is getting together weekly, or even more frequently, consider reducing the XP if you want to make sure that the party doesn't get too powerful too quickly.

 

Things accomplished: if the party dithers around and doesn't do much during the session, consider reducing the awarded XP.  Conversely, if they accomplish a lot (e.g. wrap up a major plot line, defeat an ongoing Nemesis, find out a crucial piece of information), consider increasing the awarded XP proportionally.

 

Time spent gaming: generally the base amount of XP to be awarded (according to most consensus) is about 5 XP/hr.  If the party is going to be playing for 8 hours, base awards of 40-50 XP are not unreasonable.

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I try to go for about 20 XP per session, even with my short sessions.  We don't get to play too often so I try to amp up the rewards a bit to progress a little faster.
 
Here's how it breaks out:

  • 5 XP per hour of play
  • 5 XP for exceptional roleplaying
  • 5 XP for random management tasks (managing initiative, journaling - never the same player twice)
  • 5-10 XP for accomplishing goals or reaching milestones

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I try to go for about 20 XP per session, even with my short sessions.  We don't get to play too often so I try to amp up the rewards a bit to progress a little faster.

 

Here's how it breaks out:

  • 5 XP per hour of play
  • 5 XP for exceptional roleplaying
  • 5 XP for random management tasks (managing initiative, journaling - never the same player twice)
  • 5-10 XP for accomplishing goals or reaching milestones

 

 

Something like that. Though I'm more miserly:

 

only 2 XP for roleplaying,

and none for bywork,

but 2 XP for major story-changing ideas like workarounds or special insights.

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I tend to be stingy, 10-15, unless something really big happened and then I'll give 20. Then again, I run very long campaigns. One of my current groups is almost to 300xp, and have had about 20 4-hour sessions.

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I tend to be stingy, 10-15, unless something really big happened and then I'll give 20. Then again, I run very long campaigns. One of my current groups is almost to 300xp, and have had about 20 4-hour sessions.

 

We're still running the first campaign; the front runners just surpassed 700. I can't tell the exact number of sessions; at 22 adventures and said XP somewhere in the thirties, probably.

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I tend to be stingy, 10-15, unless something really big happened and then I'll give 20. Then again, I run very long campaigns. One of my current groups is almost to 300xp, and have had about 20 4-hour sessions.

 

We're still running the first campaign; the front runners just surpassed 700. I can't tell the exact number of sessions; at 22 adventures and said XP somewhere in the thirties, probably.

 

 

What are they still putting XP into? They have to be total monsters by now.

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My group is 500+, they aren't monsters.  Nobody has a higher dice pool than YYYY.  What it means is breadth, so, for example, the Enforcer is starting to be decent at Charm as well as having the full Enhance tree, plus a smidgen of piloting and gunnery.  If you focus too quickly on your core ability, you'll quickly max out, sure, but there's a lot of room to explore outside your core strengths.

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I've struggled with this one two.   To frame this: we play online (using Roll20), which is awesome for geographically-challenged groups and has a great API for SW RPG dice.   That said, it also tends to play slower, I think, than live tabletop play.   So, I initially followed the general guidance of 5 XP per hour of play (I used a timer and paused it during bio / beer breaks, out of character discussion, etc) with bonuses for extraordinary accomplishments within the storyline.

 

BUT... with 25+ sessions behind us, my players are approaching 500 xp and yes, almost each of the "original" PCs has YYYY in at least one area.  They typically roll 12-14 damage on a hit.  So, I've found myself adding Adversary to all Rivals, Adversary 2 to all Nemesis in the published adventures, increasing the size of minion groups - just to keep combat interesting.   I've also increased the difficulty of certain tasks by a purple or upgraded a purple to a red - again, just to create some drama.  They are less invested in social skills (this is a legacy d20 D&D group), so THOSE encounters tend to play as written.   We've reached a point where we have the dilemma of having powerful PCs that the players are invested in, and ALOT of material still "on the shelf" to play... but we're considering when we might do a "reboot" and roll new PCs to enjoy that "low level" range again.

 

In retrospect, I would probably reset my XP meter to 5 xp per "act" or "scene" - as I THINK I've discovered that scenes in published material appear to be playable in about an hour of "live" play.   Then I might add 5-10 xp as bonus XP for overcoming particular challenges, doing side quests, or having extraordinary success in completing the adventure's primary purpose.

Edited by Khyrith

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I tend to be stingy, 10-15, unless something really big happened and then I'll give 20. Then again, I run very long campaigns. One of my current groups is almost to 300xp, and have had about 20 4-hour sessions.

 

We're still running the first campaign; the front runners just surpassed 700. I can't tell the exact number of sessions; at 22 adventures and said XP somewhere in the thirties, probably.

 

 

What are they still putting XP into? They have to be total monsters by now.

 

 

Not at all! For most of them it only means they can at least hold their ground in almost any encounter (combat, social, space). Well, the mechanic, on the other hand, he is kind of a two trick pony at Computers and Mechanics: He can produce some weird stuff, and make regular stuff do weird things.

 

Of course, there are YYYYG combat skills here and there. Nothing, terrain, numbers, and tactics can't contain.

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25 xp is a good number I find.  No matter how advanced a PC is, except for SAs, 25 xp will always buy everyone something, skill rank 5, bottom Talent, etc.  I know I like, and so do the PCs, the steady trickle of advancement every session with the game, and 25 xp allows that.

 

I'd not thought about it this way.  Good thought.

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I think it gives some guidelines on xp rewards in the back, but it's really a matter of how quickly do you want the PCs to develop and how long a campaign do you envision.  The game itself is geared towards a very long term approach RAW.

 

I typically hand out something like 20 ish per session, maybe more, maybe less, just depends on how it all played out.

 

You mean that the xp rewards (for completing specific goals) on the adventures aren't meant to be in addition of the normal xp reward for each session?

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If you need to break it down like that.  I don't bother personally and just give whatever I am going to give.  If something super stupendous occurs during the session I might add in 5.  If the PCs are total friggin lunkheads I might subtract 5, but I always already know what I plan on giving for the session.

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My Range goes from about 10 to 35 XP per Sessions, (PC a scratichg 450 XP right now)

 

it differs on the difficulty of the sessions and how my players are doing in terms of roleplay.

 

e.g. the session has 3 main encounters (social, battle and an tempel puzzel) they'll get 15 xp, if they have some good ideas in the tempel part and conquer the solution better than I Imagined they'll get a bosst of 5-10,

if they blow an encounter by stupidity (e.g. the social, On a banquet step up to the System-Governeur an thread him loud in front off his guest to uncover his conspirancy with black sun... will earn them only a fight with the gouverners guards... but no exp)

 

BE AWARE: only really stupid play is going to reduce the XP on my table, not something that was determined by bad dice luck.

(e.g. if during the talk with gouverner a dispair shows up an he thinks he is threatened, it is a hole other story!)

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I think it gives some guidelines on xp rewards in the back, but it's really a matter of how quickly do you want the PCs to develop and how long a campaign do you envision. The game itself is geared towards a very long term approach RAW.

I typically hand out something like 20 ish per session, maybe more, maybe less, just depends on how it all played out.

You mean that the xp rewards (for completing specific goals) on the adventures aren't meant to be in addition of the normal xp reward for each session?

The way I run it is, sessions within an Episode of a module get 20xp, plus the odd 5xp bonus for motivations.

At the end of each episode, instead of the normal 20xp, I reward the recommended xp in the book. This usally equates to about 35-45xp, plus some duty that was relevant if it wasnt triggered.

It gives the players a milestone to achieve upon completing an important act of the story, and also represents that most breaks between episodes have a few days in between (game time) to rest, recover, train and repair/upgrade equipment

(I usually run a between session facebook one-on-one with each player for this, to save game night time with 'Workshop roleplaying')

Edited by Funk Fu master

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I think it gives some guidelines on xp rewards in the back, but it's really a matter of how quickly do you want the PCs to develop and how long a campaign do you envision. The game itself is geared towards a very long term approach RAW.

I typically hand out something like 20 ish per session, maybe more, maybe less, just depends on how it all played out.

You mean that the xp rewards (for completing specific goals) on the adventures aren't meant to be in addition of the normal xp reward for each session?

The way I run it is, sessions within an Episode of a module get 20xp, plus the odd 5xp bonus for motivations.

At the end of each episode, instead of the normal 20xp, I reward the recommended xp in the book. This usally equates to about 35-45xp, plus some duty that was relevant if it wasnt triggered.

It gives the players a milestone to achieve upon completing an important act of the story, and also represents that most breaks between episodes have a few days in between (game time) to rest, recover, train and repair/upgrade equipment

(I usually run a between session facebook one-on-one with each player for this, to save game night time with 'Workshop roleplaying')

 

 

I did something similar, i was giving them 10-15 per session and at the end of each episode i gave them xp for the session plus the xp recommended in the book.

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