Jump to content
warchild1x

XP for Missing Players?

Recommended Posts

3 minutes ago, Archlyte said:

Cool. Yeah right after I posted that I agreed it was a bad analogy but that was not visible enough I guess. Welcome to the argument :) I don't know how it's a No No as what flies is what will fly in the real world of games. The kind of stuff that goes on in community games is appalling. Sometimes these behavioral things are done in response to a player rather than some overbearing initiative by the GM. 

Well, OK, I'll admit that I mostly play with friends, and we are all adults around the 40-year-mark. But my basic point stands: Communicate, be fair, and it will usually be OK.

And generally, trying to correct player behaviour using in-game rewards and punishment is a losing strategy. Talking is the way to tackle problems.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Nytwyng said:

But, this constant characterization that the mere concept of not receiving XP must be a deliberate, punitive act by the GM is inaccurate.

If someone has a different opinion than you do, it can only be because of some inherent character flaw that they have.  Don't you know that?  Have you been living under a rock since 1990 or something?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, Franigo said:

Well, OK, I'll admit that I mostly play with friends, and we are all adults around the 40-year-mark. But my basic point stands: Communicate, be fair, and it will usually be OK.

And generally, trying to correct player behaviour using in-game rewards and punishment is a losing strategy. Talking is the way to tackle problems.

I envy you. My original organic group is all over the world so even online isn't an option because of timezones. I agree that given a normal organic group some of this stuff would just be vulgar, but man the stuff I have seen in recent years has been kind of disheartening in many ways. I have found some people to be diamonds in the rough and just victims of bad groups, but there is a lot of anti-social behavior out there in community groups because these people are displaced and some for good reason. I have built a small but positive group from people I have gamed with who are of a like mind, but the struggle is real lol. Thanks for your input. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
41 minutes ago, Franigo said:

They are not. I have been playing like this well back in the nineties, and I know tons of people who did the same. I also played Rolemaster 1st Edition back then and we earned and calculated every single XP. It is just different ways of handling things, and no big deal, really. It only gets to be a bid deal if folks make it one.

Fair.

And, that last is pretty much how I view it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
15 minutes ago, Archlyte said:

*snip* I

 

The way you describe this stuff reminds me of Con-Sessions I either participated myself or was told from close friends. I think a big part of my mindset of today comes from the fact that our originally formed group was huge (~20 members at peak and almost half of them were also revolving GMs at one point). Most long-term GM decisions had to pass a brainstorming and voting of all active GMs at that time. And at that point, it was really no big deal to only get XP when attending and for new players, we had a ruling of bonus XP equal to the XP of the active Character with the lowest score at that time.

Nowadays we got molten down to 5 people max and I already posted how we handle stuff today.

I would never say that any way to handle such things in itself is right or wrong. It is like anything worldwide: If it works in practice depends on the humans interacting with it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 5/20/2019 at 4:56 PM, kmanweiss said:

Again, if everyone gets a fair share of the fake currency, everyone is happy.  If some people get more of the fake currency, the people that didn't get as much feel cheated because it has no value, so why short me?

Lets say you have a family of 5.  You have a reward chart on the wall where you stick stars next to people who help out.  You ask 2 children to set the table.  The older child sets 3 spots and the younger child sets 2.  Give them both 2 stars for helping out and they are both happy.  Give the older child 3 stars and the younger child 2 stars, the younger child will be discouraged and start to resent the system.  It doesn't matter how many times you remind them that you give stars based on accomplishments and the older child accomplished more, the younger child will start to despise the older child and the parent.  It's human nature, it's part of our psychology.

I know... late to the party...

Let's say you have a family of five You have a reward chart on the wall where you stick stars next to people who help out.  You ask 3 children to set the table (show up to game).  The older child sets 3 spots, the younger child sets 2, and the middle child didn't show up to help(missed that session).  The oldest and youngest both get stars (XP) for helping out and they are both happy.  The middle child may be upset they didn't get any stars (XP) but they weren't punished by definition.  Give all three stars and now the older and younger children will be discouraged and start to resent the system.  It doesn't matter how many times you remind them that you give stars based just being part of the family the older child and the younger child will start to despise the middle child and/or the parent.  It's human nature, it's part of our psychology.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 hours ago, Franigo said:

Well, OK, I'll admit that I mostly play with friends, and we are all adults around the 40-year-mark. But my basic point stands: Communicate, be fair, and it will usually be OK.

And generally, trying to correct player behaviour using in-game rewards and punishment is a losing strategy. Talking is the way to tackle problems.

I think we can close the topic. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, Ahrimon said:

Let's say you have a family of five You have a reward chart on the wall where you stick stars next to people who help out. 

Why do so many gamers see gaming as a chore, or work, or something else that needs rewards to be worthwhile? I mean, why are these always the first metaphors that pop up? 

Gaming itself is the reward. It is an activity that folks enjoy, that they do "for free". It is time spent with friends, telling stories, having fun. Or at least it should be.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, Franigo said:

Why do so many gamers see gaming as a chore, or work, or something else that needs rewards to be worthwhile? I mean, why are these always the first metaphors that pop up? 

Gaming itself is the reward. It is an activity that folks enjoy, that they do "for free". It is time spent with friends, telling stories, having fun. Or at least it should be.

If there wasn't a reward, what is the point of anything.  Whether it's the good times, hanging with friends, the rush of the challenge, getting sweet imaginary loot, the joy of the story, or something else there is a reward.  People place different emphasis on different parts because, well, different people are different.  Dismissing any one because it's not the way we feel is no more right than them dismissing us.

It does compare to chores or work as well.  What you see as a chore another may see as a fun activity and enjoy it.  What you classify as work another may find an exciting challenge.  Ultimately gaming, chore, or work it's an activity that you participate in for some type of expected gain, and if that gain wasn't there or there wasn't something that you received from it that made it worth your time, you wouldn't do it.

That's what the crux of this argument comes down to for me.  Some argue that by withholding that return from a player that wasn't present you are somehow punishing them.  Others see it as something that is earned through by being present at a minimum in the event.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
46 minutes ago, Ahrimon said:

If there wasn't a reward, what is the point of anything. 

There is always a reward for being at the table, and that is doing what we all love: gaming.

46 minutes ago, Ahrimon said:

It does compare to chores or work as well.  What you see as a chore another may see as a fun activity and enjoy it.

But that was not your argument. If you enjoy doing something, you do it because you enjoy it. I do not need XP or stars to read a book or see a movie, I do not need stars or anything to spend time with my hobbies. The work and chores examples, like yours, are always about treating gaming as something that people have to be rewarded for, or they will not do it. That is fundamentally flawed.

If your hypothetical kids like setting the table, they will do it, stars or not, because the activity in itself is fun. But again, that was not your argument, because you specifically chose a chore, something that has to be done, not something that is done because it is fun. Gaming is optional, something you chose to do. Working / doing chores is something that has to be done. Do you really not see any difference?

And that is why the analogies always fall flat on the face. One is voluntary, the other has to be done. Folks game because they want to, so the time spent on it is obviously already a reward for them.

EDIT: Of course, that is all pretty meta and not really an argument for or against giving XP only to attendees. I just feel that both notions, i.e. not granting everybody the same XP is always a punishment and gaming needs a reward apart from, well, gaming, are off the mark.

Edited by Franigo

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, Franigo said:

There is always a reward for being at the table, and that is doing what we all love: gaming.

But that was not your argument. If you enjoy doing something, you do it because you enjoy it. I do not need XP or stars to read a book or see a movie, I do not need stars or anything to spend time with my hobbies. The work and chores examples, like yours, are always about treating gaming as something that people have to be rewarded for, or they will not do it. That is fundamentally flawed.

If your hypothetical kids like setting the table, they will do it, stars or not, because the activity in itself is fun. But again, that was not your argument, because you specifically chose a chore, something that has to be done, not something that is done because it is fun. Gaming is optional, something you chose to do. Working / doing chores is something that has to be done. Do you really not see any difference?

And that is why the analogies always fall flat on the face. One is voluntary, the other has to be done. Folks game because they want to, so the time spent on it is obviously already a reward for them.

EDIT: Of course, that is all pretty meta and not really an argument for or against giving XP only to attendees. I just feel that both notions, i.e. not granting everybody the same XP is always a punishment and gaming needs a reward apart from, well, gaming, are off the mark.

That is my argument though.  There is a reward of some kind.  It's not an all one thing or another situation.  What I'm saying is that a person wants to receive something they value in exchange for their time and effort.  Whether it's pure enjoyment, enjoyment and XP, a gold star, cash and prestige, it doesn't matter what it is, there is a reward.

It doesn't matter if it has to be done.  At a minimum the reward for accomplishing the task is not being in trouble.  A chore is just a task with consequences for not accomplishing it.  I beleive the term is positive punishment, where the punishment is designed to change the behavior.  In your example, if the kids like doing the activity and the enjoyment they get from doing is all of the reward that they need then that's all that it takes.  Whether the reward is enjoyment, XP, or any combination of anything else, the one who was unable to participate may have negative emotions about not getting their reward but that doesn't mean that they are punished.  They simply didn't receive the reward.

It's Meta, but I think it's getting to the heart of the different viewpoints between those that feel that not giving XP is punishment vs those that feel it's not.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Ahrimon said:

That is my argument though.  There is a reward of some kind.  

Yes, and for activities that you enjoy doing, the activity itself is the reward. And if you do not enjoy gaming enough, and need something else to bring you to the table, it becomes a chore, work, whatever. 

Also, while "withholding" XP does not have to be a punishment for absentees, it can be, if the GM intends it to be. There are examples of people thinking like that in threads like this one all the time. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Something that just occurred to me... 

Because of the size of my group, it's actually a touch easier to manage when we have one or two people missing.  So if I was actually trying to modify my players' behavior as some might suggest; not only would I have an incentive to give out absentee XP, I'd actually be better off giving extra to people who don't show.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, Vorzakk said:

Because of the size of my group, it's actually a touch easier to manage when we have one or two people missing.  So if I was actually trying to modify my players' behavior as some might suggest; not only would I have an incentive to give out absentee XP, I'd actually be better off giving extra to people who don't show.  

Well, if a couple of XP are worth more to your players than spending the time gaming with you / their friends, that might actually be true. I don't think that's the case, though, but if it is, there are worse problems in your group than the question of how to handle XP. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 5/21/2019 at 8:30 PM, Ahrimon said:

I know... late to the party...

Let's say you have a family of five You have a reward chart on the wall where you stick stars next to people who help out.  You ask 3 children to set the table (show up to game).  The older child sets 3 spots, the younger child sets 2, and the middle child didn't show up to help(missed that session).  The oldest and youngest both get stars (XP) for helping out and they are both happy.  The middle child may be upset they didn't get any stars (XP) but they weren't punished by definition.  Give all three stars and now the older and younger children will be discouraged and start to resent the system.  It doesn't matter how many times you remind them that you give stars based just being part of the family the older child and the younger child will start to despise the middle child and/or the parent.  It's human nature, it's part of our psychology.

 

How do people keep missing one of the major elements?

If the middle child didn't help out because they were lazy, you'd have a discipline issue that would need to be worked on.  If the middle child had a valid excuse (was busy doing other chores like mowing the lawn) and you didn't reward them while rewarding the children for setting the table, that would just be cruel.  If a player is missing sessions because they felt like watching netflix was more important, then that's a discipline issue.  If they missed because their dad was in the hospital, then shorting them xp is cruel.

The issue at hand comes down to participation.  My argument is that if if all players showed up, and participated, they should be rewarded the same even if one or more players had a stand out performance.  My argument is that if someone misses for a valid reason, they should still get the xp so that they can stay in line with the other players.

If you have players that are not showing up because they are lazy, or don't value your time, or are just jerks, then that is a separate issue.  If you have people that show up to sessions, don't contribute at all, wait to be told what to do, don't attempt to RP at all, dink around on their phones the entire time, and are just a drag on the group, then that is a separate issue.

If you have problem player, deal with that player.  If everyone is participating, and players only miss for valid excuses, then why don't they have the same xp?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 5/20/2019 at 11:08 PM, Rimsen said:

I understand that, but somehow you seem to assume, the other way doesn't have any downside, which is simply not universally true.

Also for me you apparently contradict yourself, by stating the XP holds no value. If it holds no value, then why the fuss? Shouldn't cause disparity either way. But it definitely does and as a GM our task to find the right amount of balance based on our group. 

It is universally true (well, nearly).

If all players are participating, and someone does more (creative solutions, great RP), but the entire group gets bonus xp (You get 10xp for the session, and 5 bonus xp for scott's RP with the station administrators and staff), then scott is proud for helping the entire group, and everyone is reminded that creative solutions and great RP reaps rewards for the entire group.  The behavior you want is encouraged which is the goal of the bonus xp right?  The 'well, nearly' comment is because there is a subset of humans that are so petty and selfish that if they were in scott's shoes, they would be offended.  But this is a single digit % of the population, and these people tend to make bad RPG group members anyways.

If all players are participating, and someone does more, and only that player gets the bonus (lets say scott again), then Scott feels proud, although not as proud as he would have if he helped all the players.  In fact some people can be negatively encouraged to participate due to this as they don't want to be a stand out even for positive reasons.  They fear that people may despise them, or they may feel pressured to continue at that rate, or they may feel guilty for getting a reward they don't think they deserve.  The other people may very well feel slighted.  These bonuses are subjective after all.  If they disagree with the decision, or feel they were overlooked, or feel like they didn't have a chance to shine, then they feel slighted.  If they participated to the best of their ability but didn't get rewarded while others did, they get discouraged, not encouraged to try harder.  It's human nature, it's human psychology, it's sociology.  It's scientific fact.

The person achieving a group reward will almost never feel cheated (assuming everyone was participating).  The person not getting rewarded despite participating to the best of their ability will more often than not view it as a punishment, or simply think less of themselves for failing to live up to the subjective bar set by the GM.

Players will not mind a missing player getting xp (if the player had a valid reason).  The person falling behind in xp because they had a valid reason will more than likely be discouraged on some level due to this.

The fact that a valueless reward actually means something to those receiving it isn't a contradiction, it's human psychology.  It's why such reward systems can be so effective.  Humans crave approval, and fake currencies are viewed basically as social currency.  If you give fake currency to someone, you are telling them you appreciate them, you respect them, you love them.  If you give different amount to people in front of one another, even with valid reasons, it sparks controversy.

I can't help but think that xp rewards, or withholding xp form people missing sessions all comes from poor group management in previous situations.  Someone missed sessions all the time because they were a slob.  Or they showed up just to drink beer, dink around on their phones, and be disruptive.  As a result, the GM now 'rewards' showing up and doing certain things in the game to discourage the negative behavior instead of just dealing with the negative behavior.  But the systems they set up often create  more problems than what they intended.  If someone isn't participating, deal with them directly.  If everyone is making every session they possibly can, and participating to the best of their ability, then reward them equally.

As I said before, I too was once a proponent of varied XP rewards and only getting XP if you show up.  We had a large group with problematic players.  The GM didn't deal with the problems, and instead thought they would use rewards and only giving xp to those that show up as a system to encourage proper behavior.  It didn't change negative behavior at all.  But it did create new problems.  I wrote it off as a fluke.  Came across another GM that did this.  I didn't care as I wasn't a problematic player.  But I saw the problems it created when there wasn't even a problematic player to correct.  I came across a third GM that instead of dealing with all that nonsense just actually dealt with problematic players.  That was a breath of fresh air and made me re-evaluate my opinion on the matter.

Look.  I know I'm not going to change your mind.  That's also human nature.  When presented with clear evidence, the human mind will often double down on what they believe as the human brain doesn't like to be wrong.  Humans also won't stop defending their beliefs to others to prove their superiority.  So naturally both sides of this argument will continue ad nauseam.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
15 minutes ago, Archlyte said:

I'm just wondering who these people are who show up and go "hey where is my XP from the session when I wasn't here?" That's just a **** move. 

Nothing but straw men and insults.

The idea that it's a GM's failure that leads to this conflict seems more and more obvious with every post the no-xp side makes. It's all power-trips and schoolyard putdowns.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
49 minutes ago, Stan Fresh said:

Nothing but straw men and insults.

The idea that it's a GM's failure that leads to this conflict seems more and more obvious with every post the no-xp side makes. It's all power-trips and schoolyard putdowns.

 

Do you have actual concrete examples of this happening? Of people showing up and going "ok I will take my XP from last time." ? That was the main point of my post, that I doubt there are real people actually doing this as it seems like it would be rude enough to not happen. 

XP is not a human rights issue. Folks can always just decide not to play, but they won't because it's not really that important, so instead they will complain and ***** about it. 

Edited by Archlyte

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, kmanweiss said:

I can't help but think that xp rewards, or withholding xp form people missing sessions all comes from poor group management in previous situations.

 

1 hour ago, Stan Fresh said:

The idea that it's a GM's failure that leads to this conflict seems more and more obvious with every post the no-xp side makes.

 

Exactly.  Like I said earlier; if someone does something different than you do or has a different opinion about something, it can only be because you're better than they are.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
5 hours ago, Archlyte said:

I'm just wondering who these people are who show up and go "hey where is my XP from the session when I wasn't here?" That's just a **** move. 

I find myself agreeing with Archlyte. Which can only mean one thing...

crop.php?r=p-0ruhGGIEBEbZF4z4MSD0NWSFSLr

Edited by Nytwyng

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I wanted to insert a Breaking Bad meme about this constantly reopened debate, but rather risking someone took it the wrong way, I just ask:

Is there anything left to discuss here? We are running in circles. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...