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XP for Missing Players?

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34 minutes ago, TwitchyBait said:

 I feel no need to further punish by withholding exp 

And there it is again: “Punishment.”

After all this time, I still don’t understand this idea that not receiving something one wasn’t present to receive is “punishment.”

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11 minutes ago, Nytwyng said:

And there it is again: “Punishment.”

After all this time, I still don’t understand this idea that not receiving something one wasn’t present to receive is “punishment.”

You fall behind the rest of the group, you have an intrinsic disadvantage in comparison to every other player. I might understand it if players where blowing off sessions but I’ve never had that be the case.

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Just now, TwitchyBait said:

You fall behind the rest of the group, you have an intrinsic disadvantage in comparison to every other player. I might understand it if players where blowing off sessions but I’ve never had that be the case.

Punishment implies that it is an intentional negative reinforcement, akin to the GM swatting the player on the nose with a rolled-up newspaper.

To illustrate: This year, I chose to go to GamerNation Con instead of volunteering for a work trip that I go on every year. By making that choice, I didn’t get approx 30 hours of OT that I would have for going on the trip. By the yardstick above, I was “punished” by not receiving that OT.

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Posted (edited)
3 minutes ago, Nytwyng said:

Punishment implies that it is an intentional negative reinforcement, akin to the GM swatting the player on the nose with a rolled-up newspaper.

To illustrate: This year, I chose to go to GamerNation Con instead of volunteering for a work trip that I go on every year. By making that choice, I didn’t get approx 30 hours of OT that I would have for going on the trip. By the yardstick above, I was “punished” by not receiving that OT.

I disagree it’s punishment in that having a life or obligations outside of the game will occasionally cause people to miss sessions, they are now less effective than every other player and the campaign grows more difficult for them than anyone else. That’s a negative gained via choice of the GM solely for actions and occurrences typically outside of the players control, ie a punishment.

From the system it doesn’t make much sense anyways. The player character still exists, they’re still doing something even when not present even if outside the scope of the story. This isn’t DND where you get exp based on the challenge rating of fights, it’s meant as a narrative device that allows the characters to progress through a story and take on bigger challenges.

Edited by TwitchyBait

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8 minutes ago, TwitchyBait said:

I disagree it’s punishment in that having a life or obligations outside of the game will occasionally cause people to miss sessions, they are now less effective than every other player and the campaign grows more difficult for them than anyone else. That’s a negative gained via choice of the GM solely for actions and occurrences typically outside of the players control, ie a punishment.

From the system it doesn’t make much sense anyways. The player character still exists, they’re still doing something even when not present even if outside the scope of the story. This isn’t DND where you get exp based on the challenge rating of fights, it’s meant as a narrative device that allows the characters to progress through a story and take on bigger challenges.

Yes, such obligations will occasionally call for players to miss sessions. As noted earlier, I’ve recently had to miss sessions due to such obligations, myself. I received no XP for those sessions. Nor did I expect to. And, I don’t believe I’ve been “punished” for meeting those obligations.

Meanwhile, as you’ve pointed out, this system’s XP gain isn’t tied to specific challenge levels...but at the same time, that allows for the system to not require and rely on characters having the same XP levels. Upon rejoining those campaigns, I’ve not been at any disadvantage compared to the others.

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Posted (edited)
13 minutes ago, Nytwyng said:

Yes, such obligations will occasionally call for players to miss sessions. As noted earlier, I’ve recently had to miss sessions due to such obligations, myself. I received no XP for those sessions. Nor did I expect to. And, I don’t believe I’ve been “punished” for meeting those obligations.

Meanwhile, as you’ve pointed out, this system’s XP gain isn’t tied to specific challenge levels...but at the same time, that allows for the system to not require and rely on characters having the same XP levels. Upon rejoining those campaigns, I’ve not been at any disadvantage compared to the others.

You have objectively been at a disadvantage, even something as a single rank in a skill, a single boost die etc objectively makes you stronger. It’s fine that you’re good with it and don’t mind, that doesn’t make it any less true that you are now functioning at a disadvantage. Also the game does have challenge levels, a group of characters starting at just racial exp isn’t going to be as good as taking on challenges as knight level players. The GMs job is to slowly scale up the challenges ie higher difficulty checks, more opponents with better gear and talents etc. There is simply no chart rating individual enemies as appropriate for players with certain accumulations of exp, yet the challenge creep is still there.

Edited by TwitchyBait

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1 minute ago, TwitchyBait said:

You have objectively been at a disadvantage, even something as a single rank in a skill, a single boost die etc objectively makes you stronger. It’s fine that you’re good with it and don’t mind, that doesn’t make it any less true that you are now functioning at a disadvantage. 

I must respectfully disagree that I am functioning at a disadvantage. I am not rolling dice against the other players, but against the challenges presented to me by the GM.

But, for the sake of discussion, let’s take your stance here as a given.

How, exactly, does my not receiving something that I wasn’t present to receive constitute a “punishment?” My GM sometimes orders pizza, as well. Am I also being “punished” by not receiving pizza? Should I expect him to order me extra pizza the next time I’m there?

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Posted (edited)
16 minutes ago, Nytwyng said:

I must respectfully disagree that I am functioning at a disadvantage. I am not rolling dice against the other players, but against the challenges presented to me by the GM.

But, for the sake of discussion, let’s take your stance here as a given.

How, exactly, does my not receiving something that I wasn’t present to receive constitute a “punishment?” My GM sometimes orders pizza, as well. Am I also being “punished” by not receiving pizza? Should I expect him to order me extra pizza the next time I’m there?

You can disagree but math is math. Let’s go with the smallest die, a boost die. Not rolling it gives you a 100% chance of no benefit, rolling it gives you a 50% chance of no benefit. If you don’t get the exp to have an ability/rank whatever to roll that extra (or upgraded) die you objectively have worse odds on your rolls. That’s math, not opinion. Talents provide more options or more strain, you can happily claim those benefits don’t make a huge difference in small increments but saying they make no difference is just objectively false.

Your pizza analogy is poor. As a GM as my players earn more exp I am able to reasonably tone up the difficulty of challenges. Present more difficult checks for more experienced missions. Ie first session it’s unlikely they’ll face a Sith but months in? Sure thats possible. This is basic GMing, the players characters grow stronger and more capable and thus to keep the story interesting they must face tougher challenges. If one guy misses a few sessions it might not be a big deal but for campaigns that go on for years suddenly the one guy that can always make it because he doesn’t have much going on else-wise he suddenly becomes much better at handling these challenges. Not having pizza doesn’t in any way effect how that players character can perform in contrast to the power creep.

Again you’re free to not value these lower capabilities as punishments but as a direct decision of a players not to attend the GM is denying the abilty to keep up with the power creep as well as others and thus make that characters time more difficult. I feel that’s a punishment, a meaningless one that accomplishes nothing as keeping the exp doesn’t harm anyone and simple keeps the playing field negative.

Why do you feel a player should be weaker than others who can attend more frequently and why is being present at all relevant as the character didn’t cease to exist? By this same logic a brand new player coming into an existing campaign should have 0exp and be just fine. Isn’t the lack of ability to play and have fun in itself enough of a lack of benefit?

Edited by TwitchyBait

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39 minutes ago, TwitchyBait said:

they are now less effective than every other player

I again can only speak for my own game, but I've not found this to be the case at all.  

As of the end of my last rotation there was a gulf of nearly 200 XP between the PC with the highest XP total and the PC with the lowest.  The one at the low end of the spread told me after a dozen sessions that she'd had a fantastic time and never once felt inadequate.  Meanwhile, the person at the top of that spread told me that he didn't feel relevant enough in combat.  

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1 minute ago, Vorzakk said:

I again can only speak for my own game, but I've not found this to be the case at all.  

As of the end of my last rotation there was a gulf of nearly 200 XP between the PC with the highest XP total and the PC with the lowest.  The one at the low end of the spread told me after a dozen sessions that she'd had a fantastic time and never once felt inadequate.  Meanwhile, the person at the top of that spread told me that he didn't feel relevant enough in combat.  

You're conflating how people feel with how likely their PCs are to succeed at rolls. Those are two different things. Related, but different.

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Posted (edited)
12 minutes ago, Vorzakk said:

I again can only speak for my own game, but I've not found this to be the case at all.  

As of the end of my last rotation there was a gulf of nearly 200 XP between the PC with the highest XP total and the PC with the lowest.  The one at the low end of the spread told me after a dozen sessions that she'd had a fantastic time and never once felt inadequate.  Meanwhile, the person at the top of that spread told me that he didn't feel relevant enough in combat.  

Well yes it’s entirely possible to dump your exp in different areas and be less effective in different areas you didn’t put that exp. Ie player who focuses 200exp on melee and stealth but has low agility and no ranks in ranged will be a worse shot than a starting character with high agility and ranks in ranged but that 0exp character will be far worse at melee/stealth let alone the plethora of talents and abilities and the character with the 200xp lead has. 

Math is hard objective truth, how someone feels has no bearing on it and the simple fact is that having more exp gives you more options, more dice and statistically makes you objectively more effective in general. Players are free to “feel” differently and whatever works at your table works at your table. But if we’re talking purely hard objective fact less exp = less ability

Edited by TwitchyBait

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, TwitchyBait said:

You can disagree but math is math. Let’s go with the smallest die, a boost die. Not rolling it gives you a 100% chance of no benefit, rolling it gives you a 50% chance of no benefit. If you don’t get the exp to have an ability/rank whatever to roll that extra (or upgraded) die you objectively have worse odds on your rolls. That’s math, not opinion. Talents provide more options or more strain, you can happily claim those benefits don’t make a huge difference in small increments but saying they make no difference is just objectively false.

Ah, so that "withheld" XP would allow me a boost die in every single skill or talent that I could conceivably use at the next session? Sorry, but no. "Math is math," yes (I work with it daily), and I understand what you're trying to say, but I must still respectfully disagree with your conclusions.

 

1 hour ago, TwitchyBait said:

Your pizza analogy is poor. As a GM as my players earn more exp I am able to reasonably tone up the difficulty of challenges. Present more difficult checks for more experienced missions. Ie first session it’s unlikely they’ll face a Sith but months in? Sure thats possible. This is basic GMing, the players characters grow stronger and more capable and thus to keep the story interesting they must face tougher challenges. If one guy misses a few sessions it might not be a big deal but for campaigns that go on for years suddenly the one guy that can always make it because he doesn’t have much going on else-wise he suddenly becomes much better at handling these challenges. Not having pizza doesn’t in any way effect how that players character can perform in contrast to the power creep.

Sorry you feel it's a poor analogy, but it speaks directly to the subject that I was pointing out, prior to your diverting that subject to character advancement, and that's the concept of not receiving XP for a session a player wasn't at being viewed as a "punishment." Yet you once again diverted when I specifically said I'd accept your premise as a given in order to get back on track to this idea of "punishment." And at this point, I'll repeat the question: If I don't receive the pizza, am I being "punished," and should I expect the GM to provide me, specifically, with extra pizza so that I'm not being "punished."

Or, we can strip away the analogy, and I'll just ask directly (again): How, exactly, is not receiving something that one wasn't present to receive the infliction or imposition of a penalty as retribution for an offense?

1 hour ago, TwitchyBait said:

Again you’re free to not value these lower capabilities as punishments but as a direct decision of a players not to attend the GM is denying the abilty to keep up with the power creep as well as others and thus make that characters time more difficult. I feel that’s a punishment, a meaningless one that accomplishes nothing as keeping the exp doesn’t harm anyone and simple keeps the playing field negative.

Words have meaning. "Punishment" is a word, and has a meaning. How someone feels has no bearing on it.

1 hour ago, TwitchyBait said:

Why do you feel a player should be weaker than others who can attend more frequently and why is being present at all relevant as the character didn’t cease to exist? By this same logic a brand new player coming into an existing campaign should have 0exp and be just fine. Isn’t the lack of ability to play and have fun in itself enough of a lack of benefit?

Why do you believe I feel a player should be weaker or stronger than the others?

Why do you feel that a player should receive experience points for not participating in the group's experience?

Edited by Nytwyng

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Posted (edited)
39 minutes ago, Nytwyng said:

Ah, so that "withheld" XP would allow me a boost die in every single skill or talent that I could conceivably use at the next session? Sorry, but no. "Math is math," yes (I work with it daily), and I understand what you're trying to say, but I must still respectfully disagree with your conclusions.

 

Sorry you feel it's a poor analogy, but it speaks directly to the subject that I was pointing out, prior to your diverting that subject to character advancement, and that's the concept of not receiving XP for a session a player wasn't at being viewed as a "punishment." Yet you once again diverted when I specifically said I'd accept your premise as a given in order to get back on track to this idea of "punishment." And at this point, I'll repeat the question: If I don't receive the pizza, am I being "punished," and should I expect the GM to provide me, specifically, with extra pizza so that I'm not being "punished."

Or, we can strip away the analogy, and I'll just ask directly (again): How, exactly, is not receiving something that one wasn't present to receive the infliction or imposition of a penalty as retribution for an offense?

Words have meaning. "Punishment" is a word, and has a meaning. How someone feels has no bearing on it.

Why do you believe I feel a player should be weaker or stronger than the others?

Why do you feel that a player should receive experience points for not participating in the group's experience?

Math is math, no one ever said that die would effect every roll your character ever did. But if you’re just as effective in every check but miss that die in one check you are over all less effective, this lack of effectiveness increases the larger that xp gain becomes whether you wish to play stupid and ignore it or not. Period, that’s objective fact you ignore.

Your pizza analogy is still meaningless, xp earns effects what that character can do in every session down the road and makes them less effective than they would be if they hadn’t received it. Similarly if you’re seriously going to stick with this idea that xp doesn’t translate directly into how effective a character is then awarding any xp period is meaningless, have fun with those party wipes as difficulty increases.

You ask a lot of questions but answer none of mine despite me answering yours, typically the same one over and over. I’m not playing the “how dense can you be game”. How would giving that player the xp hurt the game? 

Edited by TwitchyBait

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10 minutes ago, TwitchyBait said:

Your pizza analogy is still meaningless, xp earns effects what that character can do in every session down the road and makes them less effective than they would be if they hadn’t received it. Similarly if you’re seriously going to stick with this idea that xp doesn’t translate directly into how effective a character is then awarding any xp period is meaningless, have fun with those party wipes as difficulty increases.

Once again, the pizza analogy has absolutely nothing to do with how XP is spent, how effective a character is, or "math." It is presented to discuss this nonsensical idea that a player not receiving XP for a session they were not present for is a "punishment." Aside from your "feeling" that it's a punishment (made in the same post in which you state that a player's feelings are irrelevant to facts - and the definitions of words are, indeed facts), you have yet to explain how not receiving that XP is the infliction or imposition of a penalty as retribution for an offense.

14 minutes ago, TwitchyBait said:

You ask a lot of questions but answer none of mine despite me answering yours, typically the same one over and over. I’m not playing the “how dense can you be game”. How would giving that player the xp hurt the game? 

Please show me where I've said it would "hurt the game" (or, for that matter, help it). Don't worry...I'll wait.

(instrumental of "The Girl From Ipanema" begins playing)

What I've said - and you've chosen to ignore (while castigating me for what you feel is ignoring your own points) in favor of diverting to the subject of character advancement - is that not receiving XP for not being present at a session is not a "punishment."

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Nytwyng said:

Once again, the pizza analogy has absolutely nothing to do with how XP is spent, how effective a character is, or "math." It is presented to discuss this nonsensical idea that a player not receiving XP for a session they were not present for is a "punishment." Aside from your "feeling" that it's a punishment (made in the same post in which you state that a player's feelings are irrelevant to facts - and the definitions of words are, indeed facts), you have yet to explain how not receiving that XP is the infliction or imposition of a penalty as retribution for an offense.

Please show me where I've said it would "hurt the game" (or, for that matter, help it). Don't worry...I'll wait.

(instrumental of "The Girl From Ipanema" begins playing)

What I've said - and you've chosen to ignore (while castigating me for what you feel is ignoring your own points) in favor of diverting to the subject of character advancement - is that not receiving XP for not being present at a session is not a "punishment."

So the pizza analogy has nothing to do with anything I said. Cool then I’ll happily ignore your straw man.

Its not me feeling a punishment, I explained how it had a measurable negative effect on the character, the fact that you choose to ignore that explanation is entirely on you.

I didn’t say you said it would hurt the game, I asked how it would as a justification for imposing that ruling. Reading comprehension is important.

You then proceed the ask the same question I’ve answered several times. If you’re going to play stupid you can gladly continue to do so by yourself.

Edited by TwitchyBait

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4 minutes ago, TwitchyBait said:

So the pizza analogy has nothing to do with anything I said. Cool then I’ll happily ignore your straw man.

What straw man? You characterized it as a "punishment" (which is a concept that has come up many times in this discussion before). I responded to that aspect. At which point, you did, indeed, swerve to the whole character advancement tangent. If either of us tossed up a straw man, it was you.

6 minutes ago, TwitchyBait said:

Its not me feeling a punishment, I explained how it had a measurable negative effect on the character, the fact that you choose to ignore that explanation is entirely on you.

It's not? Really? Then I imagined it when you said

6 hours ago, TwitchyBait said:

I feel no need to further punish by withholding exp as the character didn’t really cease to exist and exp is not often reflected by the difficulty of fights or any particular challenge but rather is just used as a mechanic to slowly scale up the capabilities and thus challenges the players face.

That is what I initially replied to.

10 minutes ago, TwitchyBait said:

I didn’t say you said it would hurt the game, I asked how it would as a justification for imposing that ruling. Reading comprehension is important.

What ruling am I supposed to be "justifying," exactly? I made no ruling.

11 minutes ago, TwitchyBait said:

You then proceed the ask the same question I’ve answered several times.

You'll have to point me to those "several times."

Besides...didn't you just say that you don't feel it's a "punishment?" If you don't feel it's a "punishment," then why would you explain how not receiving something you weren't present for is a "punishment?"

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39 minutes ago, Nytwyng said:

What straw man? You characterized it as a "punishment" (which is a concept that has come up many times in this discussion before). I responded to that aspect. At which point, you did, indeed, swerve to the whole character advancement tangent. If either of us tossed up a straw man, it was you.

It's not? Really? Then I imagined it when you said

That is what I initially replied to.

What ruling am I supposed to be "justifying," exactly? I made no ruling.

You'll have to point me to those "several times."

Besides...didn't you just say that you don't feel it's a "punishment?" If you don't feel it's a "punishment," then why would you explain how not receiving something you weren't present for is a "punishment?"

Translation “dur dur repeat the same answer for me to ignore again, also irrelevant pizza”

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48 minutes ago, TwitchyBait said:

Translation “dur dur repeat the same answer for me to ignore again, also irrelevant pizza”

Yes, that’s exactly how you replied.

But, don’t let me stand in the way of you continuing to respond by going off about a different topic, contradicting yourself several times, then insulting me for trying to stick to the point I was talking about in the first place.

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7 hours ago, TwitchyBait said:

Im kind of shocked by the people calling this method things like “participation trophies”, yikes what an awful table to be at where you treat it like a job instead of what it is, a game to hang out and have fun with. 

I'm kind of shocked by the people who judge my table based on my point of view, without actually knowing whether we have fun or not.

There's no One True Answer. We can both enjoy the game different ways, so please stick to sharing your experience and stop judging the rest.

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Posted (edited)
6 hours ago, TwitchyBait said:

 Math is hard objective truth, how someone feels has no bearing on it and the simple fact is that having more exp gives you more options, more dice and statistically makes you objectively more effective in general. Players are free to “feel” differently and whatever works at your table works at your table. But if we’re talking purely hard objective fact less exp = less ability

You are right that upgrading your pool via XP increases your chances, but the difference in the odds between YYGG and YYYG for example on an avarage check is marginally. So it doesn't matter if you have 85 or 89% of success, it's still stays overwhelmingly positive. 

You are effectively the desperate Math prof from the Joke, who never gets to the girl because only can make half the distance with each step.

Also you seem to assume that as a GM I should pump up the challenges every single session.

Well you are wrong. 

The challenges are set according to the players strengths, as it should be. If someone has less xp, I take it into account. They are not let on the roadside, just behind with 10-20 xp...

Edited by Rimsen

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3 hours ago, Rimsen said:

I'm kind of shocked by the people who judge my table based on my point of view, without actually knowing whether we have fun or not.

There's no One True Answer. We can both enjoy the game different ways, so please stick to sharing your experience and stop judging the rest.

Pot meet kettle, judging others calling it participation trophies while not wanting to be judged, sure ok then

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I've been handing out full XP for every character for the first 9 sessions. I didnt want the balance to be screwed early game but the XP have been rather generous so I dont think missing one or the other session is doing much now in that regard. Then I talked about missing sessions with my players and we agreed that they should get half the xp, rounded up. Their characters usually have smaller roles when they dont participate in a quest, for example being ready to pick up the rest of the group with she ship or other minor tasks. 

I personally don't think it is punishing. Every character in our game has something unique to him/her that no other character is very good at. For example if my slicer is missing 3 sessions in a row because of a business trip, he is still the slicer of the group once he comes back. If you had multiple characters in competition that try to do similar things, e.g. multiple force users then yes, it may cause someone to feel less significant in the long run. 

It really comes down to preference but also how much XP is actually earned in a session. We play every sunday for something like 6-8 hours and I've been giving 5xp per hour. So one player missing 3 sessions can later come back with over a hundred XP for not playing and that just doesnt sit right with me.

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, TwitchyBait said:

Pot meet kettle, judging others calling it participation trophies while not wanting to be judged, sure ok then

Please quote me back, where exactly I judged the others. I am curious.

Edited by Rimsen

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