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XP for Missing Players?

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I found this thread eye openingly interesting 🤯.  Never once in my 36 years of playing role playing games have I seen a player receive XP for a game they didn't attend.  

i especially find it interesting for this system, when missing a game or doesn't really mean that you are far behind the other players.  It is actually one of the reasons I love the system.  Over balancing is pretty rare. 

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6 hours ago, Vorzakk said:

 

 

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.  

Good thing that's not what I said. Or anyone, probably.

 

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Posted (edited)
12 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. 

Ever heard of Session Zero? Of talking about a campaign, its organization and logistics before starting? 

Is the concept of communicating such simple concepts really so difficult to understand? 

EDIT: Arguing in bad faith and using straw men is also a **** move. Just sayin'.

Edited by Franigo

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As stated sometime before.

In all my current RPG groups, if I am Player or GM, everybody gains the same amount of XP each session.

We have pretty good atmospheric game sessions, mixed with a little action and everybody just have fun playing.

Nobody is aiming for more XP than the others.

There isn´t any drawback regarding enthusiasm, roleplay or creating ideas.

It works out just nice and everybody is happy.

Doing it that way since the late 90ies

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45 minutes ago, Franigo said:

Ever heard of Session Zero? Of talking about a campaign, its organization and logistics before starting? 

Is the concept of communicating such simple concepts really so difficult to understand? 

EDIT: Arguing in bad faith and using straw men is also a **** move. Just sayin'.

Having the conversation in session zero presupposes that it even occurs to anyone in the group that this subject is one that needs to be discussed. Here’s where some of us establishing our RPG history comes into play, as it provides that context.

As I’ve mentioned before, in some 35ish years, on and off, as both player and GM, in a variety of systems, with different groups, of different ages (often in the same group), with varying degrees of experience with RPGs, in different venues, in locations thousands of miles apart...it wasn’t until this very thread began that the idea of players receiving XP for a missed session was one that I’d even heard of, let alone encountered. It’s never come up, in a session zero or at any other time. It’s apparently not a generational thing, as my current GM is 20+ years my junior and has never brought it up, while some of the players in the games I play in or run are of similar age and have never brought it up. And there’s never been an issue. Archlyte may have put it indelicately (he excels at that), but not once in all of that time have I even heard of, let alone encountered, a player asking why they didn’t receive XP for a missed session (no matter the reason they missed).

So, if it’s an unheard-of concept, and has - without fail - been a non-issue among (at least) dozens of people from multiple age, geographical, and experiential demographics as the unspoken default, why would it be discussed during session zero?

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Posted (edited)
7 hours ago, Andreievitch said:

I found this thread eye openingly interesting 🤯.  Never once in my 36 years of playing role playing games have I seen a player receive XP for a game they didn't attend.

I'll make a video of me handing out XP to my players when one wasn't there so you can scratch it off your bucket list. Or at least we'll have video evidence of the exact moment when the pits of **** open up consuming the world in the inevitable apocalypse.

Edited by kaosoe

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44 minutes ago, Nytwyng said:

So, if it’s an unheard-of concept, and has - without fail - been a non-issue among (at least) dozens of people from multiple age, geographical, and experiential demographics as the unspoken default, why would it be discussed during session zero?

First of all, did you not realize reading this thread that there are other ways of doing things out there? And if you realize that, why not talk about it in Session Zero? Especially when gaming with as of yet unknown players? I mean, if one way of handling things is the consensus anyway, it takes about half a minute. Again, the fact that your experience is not as wide as that of others does not mean that your way is the only way - as evidenced in this very thread, by many other gamers. Communication is better than assuming; I would have thought that this is obvious. 

Secondly, I was responding to a post in which made-up players created made-up problems, i.e. a classic straw man. But in that case, having talked about it in Session Zero would have been good, don't you agree? 

Thirdly, if there is an established consensus, a shared history and expectation, like with your peers, sure, there's no need to talk. Doesn't hurt to be clear, though, even then. Maybe folks might want to try new things. If not, again, it takes pretty much no time at all. 

In any case, if things are handled in Session Zero, the straw man that has been presented is easily dealt with. 

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That something isn't openly talked about isn't an indication that no one is bothered by it,  or that no one has an opinion that differs from a group's default. It's often less of a hassle to just go with it instead of dealing with being singled out for ridicule from the GM.

 

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14 minutes ago, Stan Fresh said:


That something isn't openly talked about isn't an indication that no one is bothered by it,  or that no one has an opinion that differs from a group's default. It's often less of a hassle to just go with it instead of dealing with being singled out for ridicule from the GM.

 

"Punishment."

"Ridicule."

Man...you guys have some horrible GMs. Or, at least, very low opinions of them.

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5 minutes ago, Nytwyng said:

"Punishment."

"Ridicule."

Man...you guys have some horrible GMs. Or, at least, very low opinions of them.

I'm going by what's being said by the no-xp side here in this thread.

Don't try to put the behavior of these people on someone else.

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Just now, Stan Fresh said:

I'm going by what's being said by the no-xp side here in this thread.

Don't try to put the behavior of these people on someone else.

Then you'll have no problem pointing out instances of "the no-xp side" inflicting a penalty as retribution for an offense or subjecting someone to dismissive language or behavior. (Well, Archlyte aside on that last one. But then, he's established a pattern of doing that on...well...just about every topic.)

It seems those on the "other side" are the ones ascribing nefarious intent to GMs where there is none. Seems like the tree on Dagobah...what you find is only what you take with you.

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Posted (edited)
12 minutes ago, Nytwyng said:

Then you'll have no problem pointing out instances of "the no-xp side" inflicting a penalty as retribution for an offense or subjecting someone to dismissive language or behavior. (Well, Archlyte aside on that last one. But then, he's established a pattern of doing that on...well...just about every topic.)

Dismissing an example beforehand... 

In this very thread, people discussed punishing players for missing sessions; I distinctly remember a post about making them buy pizza the next session, i.e. actual financial consequences for missing an RPG session, which is so very weird to me. 

Others talked about their groups laughing at the very idea of awarding the same amount of XP to everyone - I dare say anybody thinking differently or having different experiences in that situation might feel ridiculed.

Do you want me to search the quotes about young people and their mindsets, too? Because there are posts like that, again, in this very thread. 

But to be honest, I do not think that it is actually such a big problem. Lots of groups will have established a baseline anyway, and in my experience (with every side of this debate 😉 ), pretty much everybody goes with the GM's idea anyway. 

Still, communication does not hurt. 

Edited by Franigo

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10 minutes ago, Franigo said:

Dismissing an example beforehand... 

Considering that the person in question has outright blatantly insulted others for not sharing his opinions...yes, acknowledging his behavior is the right thing to do. Is it not?

12 minutes ago, Franigo said:

In this very thread, people discussed punishing players for missing sessions;

Yes, they have. And the ones characterizing not receiving XP for a missed session as a "punishment" tend to be the ones who prefer players receiving XP whether they attend or not.

13 minutes ago, Franigo said:

I distinctly remember a post about making them buy pizza the next session, i.e. actual financial consequences for missing an RPG session, which is so very weird to me. 

It is a bit weird. Is it a "punishment?" Don't really have the opportunity right now to go back through 16 pages to find it, but wasn't it presented as sort of a quid-pro-quo for receiving that missed XP? If so, is that really a "punishment?"

15 minutes ago, Franigo said:

Others talked about their groups laughing at the very idea of awarding the same amount of XP to everyone - I dare say anybody thinking differently or having different experiences in that situation might feel ridiculed. 

More specifically, they talked about discussing the idea with their group after the subject came up in this thread. Your conclusion here goes hand-in-hand with the determination that not receiving XP for a missed session is a "punishment" because that's how the player feels, even if it's not imposed as retribution or intended to correct behavior.

18 minutes ago, Franigo said:

Do you want me to search the quotes about young people and their mindsets, too? Because there are posts like that, again, in this very thread. 

And there are also posts - some by myself - saying in so many words, that claiming it's due to a generational "entitlement mentality" is a too-simple, wrongheaded crutch of reasoning. Some of us have even specifically pointed out that we haven't observed it to be a generational mindset, seeing players and GMs of all ages default to not receiving XP for a missed session with no trouble faced on either side.

22 minutes ago, Franigo said:

But to be honest, I do not think that it is actually such a big problem. Lots of groups will have established a baseline anyway, and in my experience (with every side of this debate 😉 ), pretty much everybody goes with the GM's idea anyway. 

Still, communication does not hurt. 

I don't see it as a huge problem, either. What's stood out to me the most, however, is the apparent near-zealous desire to ascribe bad intent upon GMs in groups that don't receive XP for missed sessions.

And while I certainly agree that communication doesn't hurt, I still have to wonder: Why would someone communicate about a subject that's never been a factor going back decades? Going back to a previous analogy, when you plan cookouts and send out the invitations, do you specifically establish whether or not anyone who can't attend will still have a burger prepared and saved for them for the next cookout?

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15 minutes ago, Nytwyng said:

Yes, they have. And the ones characterizing not receiving XP for a missed session as a "punishment" tend to be the ones who prefer players receiving XP whether they attend or not.

Well, they would be, wouldn't they, because they are used to handling things differently. I think it stems from the idea that missing a session is bad in itself.

But I agree with you that assuming malice is not okay, as it is just different ways of gaming. In my most recently started campaign, I only award XP to attending players, and that is a feature, not a bug, and certainly no punishment for those not attending. 

20 minutes ago, Nytwyng said:

And there are also posts - some by myself - saying in so many words, that claiming it's due to a generational "entitlement mentality" is a too-simple, wrongheaded crutch of reasoning. 

Yes, and that is commendable, but it does not negate that others wrote it. 

22 minutes ago, Nytwyng said:

And while I certainly agree that communication doesn't hurt, I still have to wonder: Why would someone communicate about a subject that's never been a factor going back decades? Going back to a previous analogy, when you plan cookouts and send out the invitations, do you specifically establish whether or not anyone who can't attend will still have a burger prepared and saved for them for the next cookout?

Nope, but I might inquire about diets and dietary restrictions, for example, aka communicate about stuff that might come up. 

I get your point. When playing with friends, a lot is assumed anyway. And yes, I do not think it is such a big issue, so even if things are handled differently than you are accustomed to, it is probably okay as long as it is fair. 

But there are different styles and different views and even expectations, as evidenced by this thread, and communication helps (usually).

This thread, and some of the more entrenched positions, make it seem as if it was make or break, which from experience is far from the truth.

My main point is that there is no right or wrong way, and that establishing a common baseline is best. 

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4 minutes ago, Franigo said:

Well, they would be, wouldn't they, because they are used to handling things differently. I think it stems from the idea that missing a session is bad in itself.

But I agree with you that assuming malice is not okay, as it is just different ways of gaming. In my most recently started campaign, I only award XP to attending players, and that is a feature, not a bug, and certainly no punishment for those not attending

And yet they are not only assuming malice, but asserting - despite evidence to the contrary - that malice is inherent in not receiving XP for a missed session.

6 minutes ago, Franigo said:

Yes, and that is commendable, but it does not negate that others wrote it. 

One other wrote it, not “others.” Considering that allowance has already been established for the existence of GMs who do utilize malicious behavior, with the assumption being that they are outliers, it’s more than commendable but necessary to acknowledge such a recent outlier in the conversation, when the suggestion has been floated that a player should expect ridicule by their GM simply for broaching a subject and that suggestion is being challenged. “Yes, there are the occasional person like X, but if this response is as universal as you suggest....”

11 minutes ago, Franigo said:

Nope, but I might inquire about diets and dietary restrictions, for example, aka communicate about stuff that might come up. 

Well, I suppose we should all start planning multi-day session zeroes so that we might communicate about any potential subject that might come up but never has before in years. 😜

14 minutes ago, Franigo said:

I get your point. When playing with friends, a lot is assumed anyway. And yes, I do not think it is such a big issue, so even if things are handled differently than you are accustomed to, it is probably okay as long as it is fair. 

 But there are different styles and different views and even expectations, as evidenced by this thread, and communication helps (usually).

But I’m not just making a point about playing with friends. It’s even been the case in joining groups of (mostly) strangers, including groups that remain open to new players who haven’t played with anyone else in the group before. It’s just never come up. Ever. So, what that would suggest to me is that - while I agree with you that neither way is inherently right or wrong - receiving XP for missed sessions is the (for want of a better term) exception; that it’s more likely to be brought up of that exception is in play or if a player who is accustomed to that exception being in play wants to know if it is/will be.

I would suggest that most players understand that this is the “default setting” for RPGs, and - if they hoped/expected to receive XP for missed sessions - would ask the GM about it, in the group or in private. (I say it that way, allowing for those new players that join existing games already in progress.) I’d further suggest that most GMs would gladly answer in a civil manner to the effect of, “That’s not how I handle XP.” I’ll grant concession that, if awarding XP for missed sessions is a wholly foreign concept to them - as it seems to have been for quite a few of us - the GM might be taken aback by the question at first, but then circle back around to answering civilly.

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2 hours ago, Franigo said:

Others talked about their groups laughing at the very idea of awarding the same amount of XP to everyone - I dare say anybody thinking differently or having different experiences in that situation might feel ridiculed.

If you're referring to me, I never said that anyone was laughing at anything.  I said that I broached the subject with my players, that none of them thought that they were entitled to absentee XP, and that the person who would actually benefit most from such a policy found the idea absurd.  

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5 minutes ago, Nytwyng said:

 

😜But I’m not just making a point about playing with friends. It’s even been the case in joining groups of (mostly) strangers, including groups that remain open to new players who haven’t played with anyone else in the group before. It’s just never come up. Ever. 

Anecdote is not data and your experiences do not invalidate those of others (of which we have plenty in this thread alone). 

Maybe start some sort of poll if you want to know more. But right now, your experience is just as valid as that of those who handle it differently. 

And if you think that such a miniscule question will take up days in a Session Zero, I cannot help you. In my experience it does not, but each group is different. 

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Posted (edited)
14 minutes ago, Vorzakk said:

If you're referring to me, I never said that anyone was laughing at anything.  

I am actually not quite sure. I looked at your post and I may be misremembering things. Sorry if I misrepresented your group. 

But the word you used was ridiculous, which is actually exactly what had been talked about before. So, actual live people have said that other players' ways of gaming are ridiculous.

Edited by Franigo

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Posted (edited)
14 minutes ago, Franigo said:

Anecdote is not data and your experiences do not invalidate those of others (of which we have plenty in this thread alone). 

At what point did I remotely suggest it invalidated the experiences of others? Answer: none.

Of course, the reverse is also true: the experiences of others don’t invalidate mine. (Although you’re coming awfully close to suggesting yours do.)

You seemed to draw a conclusion that my experiences come solely from “playing with friends,” and I corrected that conclusion, as my experience come from a variety of groups including friends and strangers alike.

14 minutes ago, Franigo said:

And if you think that such a miniscule question will take up days in a Session Zero, I cannot help you. In my experience it does not, but each group is different. 

Well, I’d hoped the emoji would convey that I was exaggerating for (hopefully humorous) effect, but either it didn’t or you chose to ignore it. My point still remains: You loop back to suggesting that groups “communicate about stuff that might come up,” with the implication that the subject of XP for missed sessions is part of such “stuff.” Meanwhile, I’m still curious why those who have never had to deal with it before would even consider this as part of that “stuff.”

ETA: The “multi-day session zero” remark was meant to convey that, if we expect session zero to cover any and all circumstances that might come up, including circumstances that had never even crossed the minds of any group members before, that’s setting a pretty high bar for session zero to clear.

Edited by Nytwyng

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Posted (edited)
9 minutes ago, Nytwyng said:

Of course, the reverse is also true: the experiences of others don’t invalidate mine. (Although you’re coming awfully close to suggesting yours do.)

I'm doing the opposite (which I actually spelt out). I am just pointing out that you inferring that your experiences indicate some kind of generally accepted way of handling things is a logical fallacy.

Again, anecdote is not data. In addition, there are data points in this thread showing that it is not so clear cut. Both ways have handling XP have their proponents in this thread. 

I did not mean to imply that your way of gaming is wrong or anything like that. If it does not come up, great. I just think that you are making this a bigger issues than it is. 

EDIT: This is going in circles, though. So time to bow out.

Edited by Franigo

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1 minute ago, Franigo said:

I'm doing the opposite (which I actually spelt out). I am just pointing out that you inferring that your experiences indicate some kind of generally accepted way of handling things is a logical fallacy.

My experiences, which sync quite nicely with the general wording in various systems’ rulesets for awarding XP (X points for Y amount of game time, X points for accomplishing certain goals, etc), I would say do tend to lean towards a “default setting” intended in the design and understood by most players. A setting that groups are free to keep or adjust as they see fit.

5 minutes ago, Franigo said:

Again, anecdote is not data. In addition, there are data points in this thread showing that it is not so clear cut. Both ways have handling XP have their proponents in this thread. 

I did not mean to imply that your way of gaming is wrong or anything like that. If it does not come up, great. I just think that you are making this a bigger issues than it is. 

Interestingly, it appears that most who are saying one way is “wrong” are those on the “other side” (since Stan seems intent on drawing lines in the sand on the subject). Like you, I say that whichever method floats a group’s boat, butters its muffin, toasts its marshmallow, etc is fine for that group.

Admittedly, though, I am flummoxed the the repeatedly stated belief that there is inherent malice involved with not receiving XP for a missed session.

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6 hours ago, Franigo said:

Ever heard of Session Zero? Of talking about a campaign, its organization and logistics before starting? 

Is the concept of communicating such simple concepts really so difficult to understand? 

EDIT: Arguing in bad faith and using straw men is also a **** move. Just sayin'.

Did this actually happen to you? In real life did someone show up to a game you ran and wanted their XP from the last game when they did not show up? I'm asking about an actual situation. I have never had this happen. Condescension in the bit about Session Zero (as I don't believe you really think I am ignorant to that practice) is also a nice tactic. In Session Zero I would never set up a rule about giving XP to absent players, as I would formerly have assumed that it would not be a reasonable expectation. 

But without real examples of how people showed up and wanted their free back XP my point is to illustrate that it's a situation where the GM would have to be doing this on their own in all likelihood. 

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5 hours ago, kaosoe said:

I'll make a video of me handing out XP to my players when one wasn't there so you can scratch it off your bucket list. Or at least we'll have video evidence of the exact moment when the pits of **** open up consuming the world in the inevitable apocalypse.

So you initiate this behavior though right? The player didn't show up and officiously declare they should receive XP for the session they missed did they? 

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