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warchild1x

XP for Missing Players?

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1 hour ago, Archlyte said:

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? 

As said before, we have been switching between different ways of handling XP, levels, whatnot since the Nineties, so talking about stuff like this at the beginning has been important for 20+ years, as there often is no simple assumption of how things are done. 

I have never had any problems that I remember when it comes to it, for whatever that is worth. But as I said so often, that is simply down to communication. 

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Posted (edited)
10 hours ago, Franigo said:

As said before, we have been switching between different ways of handling XP, levels, whatnot since the Nineties, so talking about stuff like this at the beginning has been important for 20+ years, as there often is no simple assumption of how things are done. 

I have never had any problems that I remember when it comes to it, for whatever that is worth. But as I said so often, that is simply down to communication. 

Well doesn't it come down to how you handle people really? I think that this issue has been made into a big problem for the sport of argument but in reality it would not likely be a big deal. I play with people who can adapt to my way of doing things or they don't stay long. I am sure this is pretty common, but alternatively there may be some GMs who are more passive and are happy to be so. The GMs who allow for the extra XP are obviously not bothered by doing so or they wouldn't do it. 

If as a player I was in a game where the GM gave XP to absent player my respect for the GM would go down a bit and I would see the game as a progression-focused game, but if the rest of the game was good I would not quit, nor would I badger the GM about it. It would not be nothing, and some games get the death by a thousand cuts as little offenses are committed and not addressed or the style is revealed to be something other than what was expected, but it wouldn't be the end of the world. On principle I still think it's dumb, but if I'm being honest it's just a medium to low offense in my book. 

Edited by Archlyte

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5 hours ago, Archlyte said:

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?

It has happened in a group I was in.  But the player in question is a whiny little power gamer that only cares about how many credits he can sell the gold teeth from the dead guy in an alley for and how powerful he can min-max his character.  He got what he wanted because otherwise he would have complained about it the whole night and ruined everyone else's fun.  In effect we would all have been punished for him not receiving his precious XP.  🤣

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11 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.

Please do share the video. I look forward to seeing the smug looks on the faces of the players that missed almost being killed by the nasty Nemesis of the game before, yet still received the XP reward despite their absence.  

 

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Can I take back my earlier agreement with Archlyte? I mean, I was on board with that earlier post’s sentiment, even if it was put forth indelicately. But, true to form, he’s decided to get personal and nasty about it.

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7 hours ago, Ahrimon said:

It has happened in a group I was in.  But the player in question is a whiny little power gamer that only cares about how many credits he can sell the gold teeth from the dead guy in an alley for and how powerful he can min-max his character.  He got what he wanted because otherwise he would have complained about it the whole night and ruined everyone else's fun.  In effect we would all have been punished for him not receiving his precious XP.  🤣

If I can ask, did he stay in your group long? If he stayed did anyone ever attempt to address his behavior? 

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16 hours ago, Archlyte said:

If as a player I was in a game where the GM gave XP to absent player my respect for the GM would go down a bit and I would see the game as a progression-focused game, but if the rest of the game was good I would not quit, nor would I badger the GM about it. It would not be nothing, and some games get the death by a thousand cuts as little offenses are committed and not addressed or the style is revealed to be something other than what was expected, but it wouldn't be the end of the world. On principle I still think it's dumb, but if I'm being honest it's just a medium to low offense in my book. 

I really, really shouldn't wade into this...but I'm bored at work. Tally ho!

If a player cannot attend a session, why should their character suffer a mechanical penalty for it? Does it make the game 'progression-focused' if one of the characters is absent from a particular set of events which the other characters are involved in?

I find the idea of you losing 'respect' for a GM who gives XP to a player who was absent laughable. I find the idea of it being a 'little offense' even more so. Maintaining a (nominal, as player agency in spending their XP can create radical power differentials) parity in XP figures helps to keep the party on a (nominal!) power level, and helps prevent any hard feelings for having missed out on events. It's one thing for a player who had to drop out at short notice due to illness to have missed a dramatic reveal or a particularly tough fight, but it's another to then say that their character stopped existing and did nothing of note and therefore gained no experience while their compatriots have mastered new skills or abilities.

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12 hours ago, Andreievitch said:

Please do share the video. I look forward to seeing the smug looks on the faces of the players that missed almost being killed by the nasty Nemesis of the game before, yet still received the XP reward despite their absence.  

 

Nah. More likely they'll be bummed that they missed such an epic fight.

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4 hours ago, AceDogbert said:

I really, really shouldn't wade into this...but I'm bored at work. Tally ho!

If a player cannot attend a session, why should their character suffer a mechanical penalty for it? Does it make the game 'progression-focused' if one of the characters is absent from a particular set of events which the other characters are involved in?

I find the idea of you losing 'respect' for a GM who gives XP to a player who was absent laughable. I find the idea of it being a 'little offense' even more so. Maintaining a (nominal, as player agency in spending their XP can create radical power differentials) parity in XP figures helps to keep the party on a (nominal!) power level, and helps prevent any hard feelings for having missed out on events. It's one thing for a player who had to drop out at short notice due to illness to have missed a dramatic reveal or a particularly tough fight, but it's another to then say that their character stopped existing and did nothing of note and therefore gained no experience while their compatriots have mastered new skills or abilities.

Well that's fine but I was just being honest about it so it is what it is. The GM is managing the game so how they deal with the various currencies and availability of things in the game is something I don't think of as being whimsical or unimportant. If you're a really casual hobbyist in this stuff then I can understand your disdain for looking deeper and trying to fine tune the carburetors of the game mechanisms. 

People who are adults don't need to be coddled and given a woobie for missing a game, especially not in this game where the XP for one session is not gonna do much at all. The NPC'd or ether-floating PC who isn't there doesn't need to be constantly upgraded. XP addiction it seems is a real thing. 

Also how is the character "suffering" ? That seems like patent nonsense. Of you didn't get to take your box of Improved Speaks Binary in the timeframe you originally imagined. Why even play? 

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1 hour ago, Archlyte said:

Well that's fine but I was just being honest about it so it is what it is. The GM is managing the game so how they deal with the various currencies and availability of things in the game is something I don't think of as being whimsical or unimportant. If you're a really casual hobbyist in this stuff then I can understand your disdain for looking deeper and trying to fine tune the carburetors of the game mechanisms. 

People who are adults don't need to be coddled and given a woobie for missing a game, especially not in this game where the XP for one session is not gonna do much at all. The NPC'd or ether-floating PC who isn't there doesn't need to be constantly upgraded. XP addiction it seems is a real thing. 

Also how is the character "suffering" ? That seems like patent nonsense. Of you didn't get to take your box of Improved Speaks Binary in the timeframe you originally imagined. Why even play? 

By that same card, players who are adults don't need to be given participation tokens to guarantee their good behaviour and attendance, and shouldn't view someone who was absent gaining XP as a problem.

Due to the frequency of when I run my game, I tend to award anywhere between 10 to 25xp, depending on the significance of what transpires; were a player were to miss a session or two due to illness, they could find themselves looking at being two end-of-tree talents 'behind' the rest of the party. That then impacts a great many things, especially encounter design. But what do I know, I'm merely a casual hobbyist who has no idea how to fine tune the game to provide a challenge for the entire party so they have fun?

 

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1 hour ago, AceDogbert said:

By that same card, players who are adults don't need to be given participation tokens to guarantee their good behaviour and attendance, and shouldn't view someone who was absent gaining XP as a problem.

Due to the frequency of when I run my game, I tend to award anywhere between 10 to 25xp, depending on the significance of what transpires; were a player were to miss a session or two due to illness, they could find themselves looking at being two end-of-tree talents 'behind' the rest of the party. That then impacts a great many things, especially encounter design. But what do I know, I'm merely a casual hobbyist who has no idea how to fine tune the game to provide a challenge for the entire party so they have fun?

 

Neither of those should be needed, neither giving them crap to make them happy nor having to make sure everyone is even stevens and it's all kindergarten fair. If you need to have a sick-day policy for your games that's on you, and in that very post you originally quoted you may have noticed I said that it's kind of not a big deal either way. Also Two talent boxes.. are you ******* serious? 

So what I really should respond to is you getting bent because I referred to such things as offenses and said I would lose a bit of respect for that GM. I don't know if that imaginary scenario somehow hit close to home for you, or you projected it onto yourself somehow, but really it shouldn't matter a wit to you in the end. The very idea that a player could be forming such judgments while in the game seemed to be somehow anathema to whatever it is that your working model is for running games or something. I think it is very natural for a player who also runs games or who is just interested in the overall process to be evaluating the experience. Not everyone just sits there with their eyes tracking out at opposite angles, nods constantly, and accepts everything as automatically cool. 

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16 hours ago, Archlyte said:

If I can ask, did he stay in your group long? If he stayed did anyone ever attempt to address his behavior? 

Saddly, yes.  I bowed out last summer when they switched game systems but came back in the fall for DnD 5e.  I played for a few months and then took over as the DM.  I have some experience running the game in the past and thought I could help things.  He is on the autistic spectrum so I gave him as much extra leeway as I could.  I've talked with him a more than a few times both before and after I became the DM, but he was super defensive and would always have an excuse for everything.  I was really hoping that I could help make him a better player.  I even used the milestone leveling system but he would ask for XP every single session regardless.  He's gotten better, but it's too little too late for me.  I'm no longer enjoying the game, so it's time to either quit or ask him to leave.  Many of the other players feel the same and I recently found out that he cost us another player that dropped out a while ago.

So, I'm going to finish up the story arc that I'm in and we're going to wrap up the game and start up a Rise of the Seperatist game without him.

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On 5/29/2019 at 1:22 PM, Archlyte said:

Well doesn't it come down to how you handle people really? I think that this issue has been made into a big problem for the sport of argument but in reality it would not likely be a big deal. I play with people who can adapt to my way of doing things or they don't stay long. I am sure this is pretty common, but alternatively there may be some GMs who are more passive and are happy to be so. The GMs who allow for the extra XP are obviously not bothered by doing so or they wouldn't do it. 

If as a player I was in a game where the GM gave XP to absent player my respect for the GM would go down a bit and I would see the game as a progression-focused game, but if the rest of the game was good I would not quit, nor would I badger the GM about it. It would not be nothing, and some games get the death by a thousand cuts as little offenses are committed and not addressed or the style is revealed to be something other than what was expected, but it wouldn't be the end of the world. On principle I still think it's dumb, but if I'm being honest it's just a medium to low offense in my book. 

Conversely if I had a GM who was being fussbudgety over Xp totals, and snippy about a player missing a game, I would more than likely roll my eyes and eventually fade out and lose interest in such a campaign unless the story and RP was good.  Though it's been my experience that those kind of Gm's also tend to be combative and railroady as well.   To each their own.   To me the story matters more, and the xp is the natural growth of PC's.     

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Posted (edited)

In all seriousness, I would recommend just toning down the "extreme" certainty in everyone's posts. There is a fair bit of passive language that indicates whether one side or another is "wrong". It's been going on for a while now where people have been making regular snipes, either unconsciously or otherwise about the apposing opinion. I feel that is why people are getting annoyed over the perceived insults. Needless to say, the debates exist for the audience to make up their own mind.


My group doesn't reward XP for absence. It has never been a problem and if there was a session where we all had to be together for a pivotal session? Well, we are polite to hold fire until we can all be together for it. Roleplaying is it's own reward and XP is the reward for your actions, a price paid for being "immune" to events that happen in that character's absence. Silly as it sounds, being absolutely certain that my character isn't going to get bumped off, handed over or whatever during my absence is well worth any XP I don't gain from sessions I'm not present. It isn't so much that I dislike complications but I would rather be able to interact with it. Hehe

 

2 hours ago, Ahrimon said:

Saddly, yes.  I bowed out last summer when they switched game systems but came back in the fall for DnD 5e.  I played for a few months and then took over as the DM.  I have some experience running the game in the past and thought I could help things.  He is on the autistic spectrum so I gave him as much extra leeway as I could.  I've talked with him a more than a few times both before and after I became the DM, but he was super defensive and would always have an excuse for everything.  I was really hoping that I could help make him a better player.  I even used the milestone leveling system but he would ask for XP every single session regardless.  He's gotten better, but it's too little too late for me.  I'm no longer enjoying the game, so it's time to either quit or ask him to leave.  Many of the other players feel the same and I recently found out that he cost us another player that dropped out a while ago.

So, I'm going to finish up the story arc that I'm in and we're going to wrap up the game and start up a Rise of the Seperatist game without him.

Aye, the only way to deal with players like that is to address it directly and be firm. I had a player who thought it was alright to be snide. It wasn't really a problem until he exploded on the group social chat on someone being a power gamer and made all kinds of assumptions about them on a open chat, and responded to any attempt to de-escalate the situation by insulting other players. As the host of the venue I made the decision to exclude him from my venue (and the campaign my GM ran by extension) until he apologised. Being the self righteous fool that he was he still hasn't apologised for insulting half the group to this day, and had only apologised for "making a limited character", which wasn't the point of his exclusion at all.

If that person happens to read this thread then my message is simple: the only regret I ever made was even considering letting him back in before he took responsibility for his behaviour. I also am on the autistic spectrum and in my eyes that isn't a free pass to being a gaming pest; if anything I'm just deeply disappointed in the most selfish of individuals who couldn't see past their own noses to see the greater tables enjoyment.

Edited by LordBritish
Tidying up second paragraph.

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2 hours ago, Raicheck said:

Conversely if I had a GM who was being fussbudgety over Xp totals, and snippy about a player missing a game, I would more than likely roll my eyes and eventually fade out and lose interest in such a campaign unless the story and RP was good.  Though it's been my experience that those kind of Gm's also tend to be combative and railroady as well.   To each their own.   To me the story matters more, and the xp is the natural growth of PC's.     

Yeah I think this is just the natural way of things. Not everyone is gonna see things the same way and I feel that players who have a big enough problem that they can't get past something like missing out on some XP should go find a game they will enjoy. Easy and permissive GMs outnumber more discerning GMs by a vast number in my experience, so finding that game with the guy who will give XP for whatever should be a cinch. 

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3 hours ago, Ahrimon said:

Saddly, yes.  I bowed out last summer when they switched game systems but came back in the fall for DnD 5e.  I played for a few months and then took over as the DM.  I have some experience running the game in the past and thought I could help things.  He is on the autistic spectrum so I gave him as much extra leeway as I could.  I've talked with him a more than a few times both before and after I became the DM, but he was super defensive and would always have an excuse for everything.  I was really hoping that I could help make him a better player.  I even used the milestone leveling system but he would ask for XP every single session regardless.  He's gotten better, but it's too little too late for me.  I'm no longer enjoying the game, so it's time to either quit or ask him to leave.  Many of the other players feel the same and I recently found out that he cost us another player that dropped out a while ago.

So, I'm going to finish up the story arc that I'm in and we're going to wrap up the game and start up a Rise of the Seperatist game without him.

OK yeah that makes sense. It's important to note that in the case of developmental disorders and mental health diagnoses the approach changes somewhat. I have kicked players who had a diagnosis before, but I gave them a lot more latitude. I generally have a good idea when it is pathology and when it is behavioral most of the time, so it was only in the case of someone using their diagnosis as a crutch that I gave them their shuttle ticket to other games besides mine. 

It's a tough call but if you are not having fun then you can't martyr yourself. If someone has a diagnosis then it is important that they are trying to socialize as normally as they are able, and to not argue with feedback they get from others who are essentially dealing with symptoms or convenient behaviors wearing the sheep's hide of pathology. It is surprising to me how many people I have run into in the hobby recently who have a mental health diagnosis or are on the spectrum. I don't know what the population ratio is as I haven't seen any studies, but anecdotally in the community game crowd such as game stores and Roll20 it seems quite high. 

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We have games playing it both ways. It is GM choice.

Myself and another GM prefer to keep all players at the same XP for balance purposes and to aid bookkeeping because sometimes our players aren’t great at tracking their own xp.

Another GM gives XP only for attendees.

Neither has attracted any player complaints. Both work.

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Posted (edited)

Currently I am GM but usually I am just a gamer. In almost all of the cases we have everybody at the same XP level because a) it helps having all players at the same rate b) we feel that the GM shouldn't judge people if they are playing "correctly" (we're doing if for fun not as acting class). But this is definitely something that will be different for every group with no universal right or wrong.

Well, most has been said anyway, but I had an interesting encounter when I was a player in a different group with no overlap with my other groups, that underscores this viewpoint a bit. We played the first adventure and that took about four to five sessions out of which I was present for all but one. That turned out to be the last one where the other players got XP. When I showed up next time and was told that the first adventure had ended. When I inquired about XP I was told I wouldn't get any because I had not been present. Everybody else had been rewarded for their contributions and I did feel cheated out of my XP of the previous sessions. For this and for other reasons it was my last session with this particular group.

Edited by Spraug

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On 8/28/2018 at 7:08 AM, warchild1x said:

Just looking for a general opinion on how everyone handles xp for players that intermittently miss play sessions.

What are everyone else's thoughts? How do you handle it?

We give missing players the same experience points as attending players.

 

Seriously, life is too short to Scrooge make-believe points from social entertainment as punishment for being absent.

 

If you have a problem with the player, speak to the player. Don't withhold experience in a pique of passive-aggression.

 

Cheers,

 

C.

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