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7 hours ago, Archlyte said:

Also this could be a sign that maybe he regular XP scheme results in power gaming. If the big bads in the book are not crazy why do the PC's need to be? 

This is certain point of view heavy. 

How long should a campaign last? How much XP is enough? Are the players supposed to be comparable to Movies, or not? Are the players in your group going for fluff builds, or hardlining Specs so they can get ranks in dedication as fast as possible? What's the party composition and resources? 

All these will matter, and again, is good reason to really work those pre-campaign events and get a feel for everything. But yeah, it's also stuff that will vary wildly from group to group and campaign to campaign.

I'm not of the opinion that a low XP campaign automatically bad. One of the campaigns I eventually would like to run is intended to see relatively little character advancement in the (XP realm anyway) but I'm also building the campaign around that concept to help keep it fun. 

However, the argument that this GM appears to have: that XP needs to be kept low because of how certain characters in A&A were statted... Well that's not a very good reason. You shouldn't build your campaign  around how someone else envisioned an NPC that likely won't even participate in your campaign. If the monster manual says Orcs are level 4, but your campaign needs them to be level 10 if you follow normal XP awards... It's probably going to be more fun for all if  you just level the Orcs up rather than keeping the players down.

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4 hours ago, bblaney001 said:

The game initially started a few months ago, though due to his work we've only had 4 sessions, and the GM recently got Allies and Adversaries. He did a reboot and some of us made new characters, which is no big deal. I went from my attached character at the beginning of the thread, to a Wookie Hired Gun Marauder.

 

Also, what fun is it to play a character that is 1st level for the foreseeable future, so to speak?

I have sympathy for him and hope his next group works for his style of play. 

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1 hour ago, Ghostofman said:

This is certain point of view heavy. 

How long should a campaign last? How much XP is enough? Are the players supposed to be comparable to Movies, or not? Are the players in your group going for fluff builds, or hardlining Specs so they can get ranks in dedication as fast as possible? What's the party composition and resources? 

All these will matter, and again, is good reason to really work those pre-campaign events and get a feel for everything. But yeah, it's also stuff that will vary wildly from group to group and campaign to campaign.

I'm not of the opinion that a low XP campaign automatically bad. One of the campaigns I eventually would like to run is intended to see relatively little character advancement in the (XP realm anyway) but I'm also building the campaign around that concept to help keep it fun. 

However, the argument that this GM appears to have: that XP needs to be kept low because of how certain characters in A&A were statted... Well that's not a very good reason. You shouldn't build your campaign  around how someone else envisioned an NPC that likely won't even participate in your campaign. If the monster manual says Orcs are level 4, but your campaign needs them to be level 10 if you follow normal XP awards... It's probably going to be more fun for all if  you just level the Orcs up rather than keeping the players down.

Thanks for a thoughtful response Ghost. In the same token the High XP game is not automatically bad, but it does seem to be ubiquitous. Fun is fun, and I understand that for many people the ego trip of the 2000xp character is the thing they want. For me that is just one type of story among many though, and I think that alternate styles of campaign are undervalued because of the structure of the game, which seems to have been modeled somewhat on CRPGs with the trees. In CRPGs to not advance is to do nothing pretty much. This is not so in a TTRPG where the whole progression thing can literally have nothing to do with what is going on. 

A&A statted those characters a certain way. What was the design behind that? You know my explanation but what is your explanation for it ? I don't build my games around those characters but I do see them as defining the upper limit of power because I don't really want to play Star Wars and have PCs eclipsing the main characters with ease. If I wanted to play a game where PCs could be the king of all lands I would use some homebrew setting. If you let your players faceroll Vader or Boba Fett then they weren't really as significant as they were thought to be. I'm not saying I'm against changing things in the setting, but I consider the power of those characters to be terrain features to orient by. I personally don't feel the players' egos are worth more than that characterization of the setting. 

I think that upping the Orcs is just the Zero-Sum Game, 1 vs. 1 = 5 vs. 5. It just keeps going. I've experimented with giving the players the ability to give themselves XP in whatever amount they wish at the end of a game. What I found was that the most story-oriented players would often not want any XP at all while the player that contributed nothing other than combat rolls was all about the XP. Because I don't play these games to resolve matches like a wargame I have no desire to encourage that behavior in the players. I explain all of this fully as people look to join my game as I never want to bait & switch. It's funny though how nobody who is just playing to wargame is ever forthcoming with that and just says oh ok I don't want to play. 

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48 minutes ago, Archlyte said:

You know my explanation but what is your explanation for it ?

I consider them to be merely one Dev, Staff Writer, or Freelancer's take on a general purpose option for those characters. Not a definitive statting, or even much of a power gauge, but just a "here's what I think this guy should kinda look like." 

In most cases, these stats are probably fine. I have no problem with players being able to curb-stomp major characters because major characters will most likely never, ever, ever directly confront the players unless either they have the advantage, or it's in circumstances I set up for them to be curb-stomped. And even then it's Sci-fi/Fantasy... only the deadest of the dead have to stay that way. If the players kick Boba off a cliff, no biggy, he miraculously survives because it's what characters like that do.

Moff Tarkin is a bad dude, but he isn't gonna have soak 6 cortisis armor, so a good shot or two from a blaster should do it. That said, it's unlikely that Tarkin will ever look the party in the eye unless he's already in total control of the situation. He didn't get to be Grand Moff by taking silly risks.

By comparison Boba and Vader are pretty dang nasty, even for a higher tier player, though not really the party as a whole simply due to how the game works. That said, as seen on TV these NPCs wouldn't solo the party anyway. Based on the films and series, Boba won't come in alone, he'll have backup, be it Imperial or a crew. If he does come in alone, he'll also isolate the players first, so he doesn't have to tackle them as a group. Again, not stupid. Vader likewise wouldn't go against the group without plenty of backup (and preferably host a dinner party at the same time) , and would try and isolate the players to take on one-on-one if he could.

All things said and done though, these characters as statted are just a sample, an option, a possibility. If you as the GM run the numbers and find them lacking or too much, you darn well should pump them up or dumb them down. One of the fantastic things about tabletop RPGs is the customization. It all goes back to that baseline concept of replicating what's on screen.

 

Quote

I think that upping the Orcs is just the Zero-Sum Game, 1 vs. 1 = 5 vs. 5. It just keeps going.

99% true. The trick is the perception. The goal should be to give the players the perception they are getting a leg up while still keeping the same baddy challenging. Think of a system like in the current Fallout video games. The bad guys tier up with the player, getting better weapons and gear and skill. But by comparison the player also gets perks and develops a playstyle that works for them. So even though the Raiders are getting tougher they don't feel THAT tough because by that point the player has also figured out how to fight (or not fight) them on his terms where he still has the advantage.

Edited by Ghostofman

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4 minutes ago, Ghostofman said:

I consider them to be merely one Dev, Staff Writer, or Freelancer's take on a general purpose option for those characters. Not a definitive statting, or even much of a power gauge, but just a "here's what I think this guy should kinda look like." 

In most cases, these stats are probably fine. I have no problem with players being able to curb-stomp major characters because major characters will most likely never, ever, ever directly confront the players unless either they have the advantage, or it's in circumstances I set up for them to be curb-stomped. And even then it's Sci-fi/Fantasy... only the deadest of the dead have to stay that way. If the players kick Boba off a cliff, no biggy, he miraculously survives because it's what characters like that do.

Moff Tarkin is a bad dude, but he isn't gonna have soak 6 cortisis armor, so a good shot or two from a blaster should do it. That said, it's unlikely that Tarkin will ever look the party in the eye unless he's already in total control of the situation. He didn't get to be Grand Moff by taking silly risks.

By comparison Boba and Vader are pretty dang nasty, even for a higher tier player, though not really the party as a whole simply due to how the game works. That said, as seen on TV these NPCs wouldn't solo the party anyway. Based on the films and series, Boba won't come in alone, he'll have backup, be it Imperial or a crew. If he does come in alone, he'll also isolate the players first, so he doesn't have to tackle them as a group. Again, not stupid. Vader likewise wouldn't go against the group without plenty of backup (and preferably host a dinner party at the same time) , and would try and isolate the players to take on one-on-one if he could.

All things said and done though, these characters as statted are just a sample, an option, a possibility. If you as the GM run the numbers and find them lacking or too much, you darn well should pump them up or dumb them down. One of the fantastic things about tabletop RPGs is the customization. It all goes back to that baseline concept of replicating what's on screen.

So Ghost what is your response concerning the Zero-Sum Game. This seems like something that to you is not an issue. Have you experimented much with not following the cultural standard of just leveling to the top as fast as is feasible? If so I'd be interested to hear your thoughts on the phenomenon of constantly increasing the characters' power versus a more metered approach. 

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2-4 xp is a joke.  Doing anything less than 5 is a total insult.  Everything is done in increments of 5 in this game.  It depends on what is accomplished, and what the long term goals of the group are.  If you are doing just a couple one off adventures before retiring characters, give a ton of xp.  If you are using the same characters for years, give 5-10 xp a session.

I typically give 10-15 xp per session. A base of 5 with an additional 5xp for every major event completed.  But my group is a long haul group.  They have received over 500 xp.  We've probably had 40 sessions or so.

As for enemies, minion groups of even low level enemies remain dangerous for the entire span of the game.  A minion group of 4 stormtroopers can do 10-15 damage.  Even with 8 soak (which is an extreme build), you are going to find that minion groups can be a threat for a long time.

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I think that saying 2-4 XP is a joke is like me saying that 500 XP characters are a joke. The GM does not want to have a lot of progression in the game. If it is not the players cup of tea they can vote with their feet, but there is nothing wrong with wanting a slower progression game, or a game that progresses in XP dumps. The GM obviously has something in mind from what I can tell and is not doing this to make fun of his players. 

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37 minutes ago, Archlyte said:

I think that saying 2-4 XP is a joke is like me saying that 500 XP characters are a joke. The GM does not want to have a lot of progression in the game. If it is not the players cup of tea they can vote with their feet, but there is nothing wrong with wanting a slower progression game, or a game that progresses in XP dumps. The GM obviously has something in mind from what I can tell and is not doing this to make fun of his players. 

There is a problem with it if the players are not on board for it. Which is why communication needs to happen. And really should have happened before the game.

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If session 5 is about to happen, I'd say to make that a session 0-point-5.

It is clear that the players don't like the apparent lack of progress. I think we can all agree this is a very subjective matter; one likes slow progress and much character immersion, the other relishes the thought of adding another talent, skill rank, and what not after each session. If all players feel like they are being held back, or at least the majority does, it is time for a good concersation about this. In any group of adults who all want to have fun together, it is never too late for that session 0.

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3 hours ago, Archlyte said:

So Ghost what is your response concerning the Zero-Sum Game. This seems like something that to you is not an issue. Have you experimented much with not following the cultural standard of just leveling to the top as fast as is feasible? If so I'd be interested to hear your thoughts on the phenomenon of constantly increasing the characters' power versus a more metered approach. 

Yes I have, and no it's not an issue....well not yet anyway. 

So the last two major campaigns I've run (D&D 4E and FFG Star Wars respectively) were relatively slow paced. The D&D game I just didn't award as much XP as I probably could have, and the Star Wars game had a complex Troupe style to it where everyone had enough XP to be pretty competent, and a big pool of characters to pull from. In both cases, I was worried at the start, but found the player power level didn't matter much. The story was as the story did. While the Star Wars game proceeded at roughly the advancement pace I expected, and ran well as I could bounce complex problems off the players, the D&D one just felt like a grind a little too often, advancement wise. That said, in the D&D game the players liked Advancement, got new options and powers and such... but it was the story and encounter navigation that mattered to me. I realized that if they got to the point they could lay waste to armies... I could just throw an army at them, and we'd all have fun. They never got that powerful, and I kinda regret it, as I think the story could have gone somewhere nifty if they had.

Bu the thing is, I realized  that I really didn't care if the players were actually "challenged" in combat. I only cared if they felt challenged, and if the story progressed. Even then only about one  out of three combats needed to be tough. The players would feel good kicking donkey a few times, and then I'd throw something that actually was tough at them and they'd walk away with a story of how the two fighters got KOed and the Orc chief chased the druid and the wizard around a table for the rest of the encounter.

And this carried. In Star Wars I later had the high XP players in an encounter where they would be sniped at, and knowing they didn't have long range weapons, I had planned a complex rooftop chase sequence... and it failed. The players got sniped at, took cover and waited for the sniper to leave... And it was good! The players totally had the skills to take on the sniper, but they FELT challenged by the format of encounter and decided it was better to ride it out, and the Adventure was actually better for it. They still continued on the Adventure story I'd planned, but the story of their contact getting greased changed the narrative, made them more desperate, and lead to one of the better RPing encounters I'd had.

 

So in the end, leveling the opposition isn't a big deal because I now look less at the "challenge" of the opposition, and more a the objectives of the encounter. Of the scenes I want to insert the players into. I don't care if the players defeat the opposition because in most cases, that's the entire idea of the encounter. In the case of BBEGs, I run it more like a Film. Darth Vader just plain doesn't put himself in a position to fight the whole party often, and if/when he does, he's scaled specific to that encounter and the intended outcome and not some arbitrary opinion of how powerful he "should be" based on some other work of fiction or wiki entry.

 

Now.. that leads to GM evolution and I think I should also mention my current outlook, as that plays a part here.

My last 4 or 5 campaigns I either GMed or played in all suffered from a critical problem... they were too darn long. I had always planned my campaigns like a season of television (10-20 Adventures per Campaign), and GMs I played with did the usual "and then" method of just pushing forward from wherever they left off. It's just too much, and yeah, in that case there's a real temptation to also hobble the Advancement to ensure by the time you get to Darth Vader 30 sessions down the road I don't also have to make him Force Unleased level powerful.

So... Now I'm looking at Campaigns more like a Film Series. Films are bigger and more epic than television (traditionally speaking anyway anyway), and so Films, until fairly recently, tended to cap out a Trilogies. Star Wars even takes this format, as the main saga is really 3 Trilogies, with the PC's from one trilogy returning as NPCs for the following.

So, with that in mind, cutting a campaign from 10 or so Multi-Session Adventures down to around 3 Multi-session adventures makes advancement less of a concern. You can only accrue so much XP in a dozen sessions of play. And yeah, it does mean that you'll hit the end faster, but it also means you won't suffer from campaign fatigue, and will be more likely to end the campaign on a high note instead of just wrapping it up before people get tired of it.

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1 hour ago, Daeglan said:

There is a problem with it if the players are not on board for it. Which is why communication needs to happen. And really should have happened before the game.

Yes for a game in progress I personally would just kill the game if the players had any problems with such a change. 

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45 minutes ago, Ghostofman said:

Yes I have, and no it's not an issue....well not yet anyway. 

So the last two major campaigns I've run (D&D 4E and FFG Star Wars respectively) were relatively slow paced. The D&D game I just didn't award as much XP as I probably could have, and the Star Wars game had a complex Troupe style to it where everyone had enough XP to be pretty competent, and a big pool of characters to pull from. In both cases, I was worried at the start, but found the player power level didn't matter much. The story was as the story did. While the Star Wars game proceeded at roughly the advancement pace I expected, and ran well as I could bounce complex problems off the players, the D&D one just felt like a grind a little too often, advancement wise. That said, in the D&D game the players liked Advancement, got new options and powers and such... but it was the story and encounter navigation that mattered to me. I realized that if they got to the point they could lay waste to armies... I could just throw an army at them, and we'd all have fun. They never got that powerful, and I kinda regret it, as I think the story could have gone somewhere nifty if they had.

Bu the thing is, I realized  that I really didn't care if the players were actually "challenged" in combat. I only cared if they felt challenged, and if the story progressed. Even then only about one  out of three combats needed to be tough. The players would feel good kicking donkey a few times, and then I'd throw something that actually was tough at them and they'd walk away with a story of how the two fighters got KOed and the Orc chief chased the druid and the wizard around a table for the rest of the encounter.

And this carried. In Star Wars I later had the high XP players in an encounter where they would be sniped at, and knowing they didn't have long range weapons, I had planned a complex rooftop chase sequence... and it failed. The players got sniped at, took cover and waited for the sniper to leave... And it was good! The players totally had the skills to take on the sniper, but they FELT challenged by the format of encounter and decided it was better to ride it out, and the Adventure was actually better for it. They still continued on the Adventure story I'd planned, but the story of their contact getting greased changed the narrative, made them more desperate, and lead to one of the better RPing encounters I'd had.

 

So in the end, leveling the opposition isn't a big deal because I now look less at the "challenge" of the opposition, and more a the objectives of the encounter. Of the scenes I want to insert the players into. I don't care if the players defeat the opposition because in most cases, that's the entire idea of the encounter. In the case of BBEGs, I run it more like a Film. Darth Vader just plain doesn't put himself in a position to fight the whole party often, and if/when he does, he's scaled specific to that encounter and the intended outcome and not some arbitrary opinion of how powerful he "should be" based on some other work of fiction or wiki entry.

 

Now.. that leads to GM evolution and I think I should also mention my current outlook, as that plays a part here.

My last 4 or 5 campaigns I either GMed or played in all suffered from a critical problem... they were too darn long. I had always planned my campaigns like a season of television (10-20 Adventures per Campaign), and GMs I played with did the usual "and then" method of just pushing forward from wherever they left off. It's just too much, and yeah, in that case there's a real temptation to also hobble the Advancement to ensure by the time you get to Darth Vader 30 sessions down the road I don't also have to make him Force Unleased level powerful.

So... Now I'm looking at Campaigns more like a Film Series. Films are bigger and more epic than television (traditionally speaking anyway anyway), and so Films, until fairly recently, tended to cap out a Trilogies. Star Wars even takes this format, as the main saga is really 3 Trilogies, with the PC's from one trilogy returning as NPCs for the following.

So, with that in mind, cutting a campaign from 10 or so Multi-Session Adventures down to around 3 Multi-session adventures makes advancement less of a concern. You can only accrue so much XP in a dozen sessions of play. And yeah, it does mean that you'll hit the end faster, but it also means you won't suffer from campaign fatigue, and will be more likely to end the campaign on a high note instead of just wrapping it up before people get tired of it.

First off I really enjoyed reading this so thanks for taking the time to write it up. I liked the play experience descriptions. It is funny to me that you brought up D&D because this is actually the issue that made me quit playing D&D after 30 or so years. I have to say that this game is MUCH better than D&D at not being so determined by progression. In D&D you gain levels and start to leave your mortality far behind except in the case of your level appropriate enemies. This was where the zero-sum game really got to me as the pressures of normal life are left far behind by the characters (a dagger at my throat? please. don't make me laugh I have 80 hit points) who start to become something other than people so that the treadmill can be appeased. 

This is a matter of taste at the end of the day, and I will admit that in this game getting 5 XP increments is not going to result in your typical Forgotten Realms god-character complex. My thing is that new characters are fine and even Jay Little said that he likes to start slow with XP in order to let people make decisions in a planned way with their characters. 

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4 minutes ago, Archlyte said:

In D&D you gain levels and start to leave your mortality far behind except in the case of your level appropriate enemies. This was where the zero-sum game really got to me as the pressures of normal life are left far behind by the characters (a dagger at my throat? please. don't make me laugh I have 80 hit points) who start to become something other than people so that the treadmill can be appeased. 

EXACTLY!

And that's kinda my angle now. 1) Level Baddies so that the players get more options and capabilities, but don't become invincible, and 2) Pace the Campaign so that the players level at an appropriate rate, but also plan the campaign to end within a certain level bracket. That way your players feel rewarded for their efforts and get to do cool stuff, but as the GM you can roll credits before things start to go beyond what you are comfortable supporting for the setting and story.

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30 minutes ago, Ghostofman said:

EXACTLY!

And that's kinda my angle now. 1) Level Baddies so that the players get more options and capabilities, but don't become invincible, and 2) Pace the Campaign so that the players level at an appropriate rate, but also plan the campaign to end within a certain level bracket. That way your players feel rewarded for their efforts and get to do cool stuff, but as the GM you can roll credits before things start to go beyond what you are comfortable supporting for the setting and story.

The nice thing about this system is even storm troopers are still dangerous to high powered characters because wound thresholds dont really go up much. and difficulties to hit dont go up that much.

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Often times you can just make the number of minions bigger to make then hit harder and be scarier longer. 4 stormtroopers as a starting character is dangerous. But when your jedi are able to kill 2 a round make the group 8 stormtroopers. and now they are still scary

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22 hours ago, Archlyte said:

It's perfectly valid to have a slow progression where the characters are more about what they do than how many boxes on the talent tree you are filling. As a player you can always vote with your feet and not play, or you can run your own game and give 50xp twice a session.

No disrespect intended but your suggestion was hyperbole and there is middle ground which is actually what I believe the OP is asking for.  And even if 5xp per hour is too much for the GM, 5 xp every 2 hours should be a reasonable compromise.  But in the same situation I would probably vote with my feat and leave without a compromise.

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1 hour ago, EliasWindrider said:

No disrespect intended but your suggestion was hyperbole and there is middle ground which is actually what I believe the OP is asking for.  And even if 5xp per hour is too much for the GM, 5 xp every 2 hours should be a reasonable compromise.  But in the same situation I would probably vote with my feat and leave without a compromise.

As I were. I accept that feedback Elias and you are completely right. 

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Reading through the posts I can see a theme that all the problems with XP come with making combat easier. Characters get too powerful and Darth Vader suddenly seems less scary (but remember that three red fear check!).

In the group I GM for we have two combat heavy players (Sniper and Tank) and three non combat specialists (Mechanic, Doctor, Pilot). Yes combat can feature a lot but if we have to remember the other challenges that should occur through play. So if you holding back players with 2-4 XP (such a weird number for this system) then how will it ever be interesting because it seems like they will be rolling the same dice pool for sessions at a time.

My mechanic rolls 4 yellow on a regular basis on his rolls so I ensure he is doing difficult work. Throw in some red die for fun! If characters aren't getting to these skill levels then how can you ever justify a red die?

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On 5/19/2019 at 12:22 PM, Archlyte said:

I don't think you are going to enjoy this game if you need to have progression above any other consideration such as story or getting new equipment and money. Your GM is trying to run a game in which the players are meant to value play at the start as well as at the end, instead of just seeing the beginning character as an unacceptable state of being. 

If you try and force the GM to have a higher power game what will likely happen is that the GM will start to not like the characters as they become more and more powerful and he has to throw rancor death squads at the PCs to even challenge them. The GM will lose interest and the game will die as the GM starts to see it as a job instead of as a means of creative expression and fun. 

I am the aforementioned GM and you hit right on the head. And I've been seriously misquoted. I said a min of 5 XP should be expected, not that more would not be handed out for exceptional play. Furthermore,  I find the notion of XP based on the number of hours per session = something I'll be skipping.

Also, the problem isn't character progression here, its that I let the players start with too many points. The game is unbalanced. I even told my players it was MY MISTAKE but that I wanted a re-tool and gave everyone base+25.

I do not run "Monty hall" games in any setting and what Brian is talking about are my corrective steps to wrangle the game back down to a manageable level, not deprive the characters OR the players of character progression...

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17 minutes ago, Sunspoticus said:

I am the aforementioned GM and you hit right on the head. And I've been seriously misquoted. I said a min of 5 XP should be expected, not that more would not be handed out for exceptional play. Furthermore,  I find the notion of XP based on the number of hours per session = something I'll be skipping.

Also, the problem isn't character progression here, its that I let the players start with too many points. The game is unbalanced. I even told my players it was MY MISTAKE but that I wanted a re-tool and gave everyone base+25.

I do not run "Monty hall" games in any setting and what Brian is talking about are my corrective steps to wrangle the game back down to a manageable level, not deprive the characters OR the players of character progression...

5xp is still super low and the game recommends 10 to 15. Which is much more reasonable. I doubt your game is unbalanced. I think it is more likely you may need help with setting up good encounters in this system. As I know many GMs who run games just fine at +800 XP and the system works fine.  so if you are having trouble balancing encounters we can help.

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3 hours ago, Sunspoticus said:

I am the aforementioned GM and you hit right on the head. And I've been seriously misquoted. I said a min of 5 XP should be expected, not that more would not be handed out for exceptional play. Furthermore,  I find the notion of XP based on the number of hours per session = something I'll be skipping.

Also, the problem isn't character progression here, its that I let the players start with too many points. The game is unbalanced. I even told my players it was MY MISTAKE but that I wanted a re-tool and gave everyone base+25.

I do not run "Monty hall" games in any setting and what Brian is talking about are my corrective steps to wrangle the game back down to a manageable level, not deprive the characters OR the players of character progression...

SURPRISE REVEAL!! lol. I'm glad you posted because I was wondering if people thought maybe I was the GM. Nobody said that but I was defending the right to throttle the game so much. 

Can you maybe give me some details about how you feel the game is unbalanced? Did they use the extra 25 XP on Characteristics? What did they spend it on that made you feel it was over the top? 

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6 hours ago, MrTInce said:

I find in this system the great unbalancer can be equipment.

I agree. I use the Rarity system religiously, keep crafting on a tight leash, and use damage rules for equipment. 

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Posted (edited)
15 hours ago, Sunspoticus said:

I am the aforementioned GM and you hit right on the head. And I've been seriously misquoted. I said a min of 5 XP should be expected, not that more would not be handed out for exceptional play. Furthermore,  I find the notion of XP based on the number of hours per session = something I'll be skipping.

Also, the problem isn't character progression here, its that I let the players start with too many points. The game is unbalanced. I even told my players it was MY MISTAKE but that I wanted a re-tool and gave everyone base+25.

I do not run "Monty hall" games in any setting and what Brian is talking about are my corrective steps to wrangle the game back down to a manageable level, not deprive the characters OR the players of character progression...

An alternative I use is 5 XP per encounter (and those only encounters that advance the plot, so no shopping trips, etc.). It often adds up to about 15 XP per session, but it seems more logical to me than a per-hour conversion.

I'd echo others here that 5 XP per session will likely frustrate your players. I understand how this might seem to make sense if you're trying to regain control after being too generous at the outset. But as others have suggested, making encounters balanced can be done in other ways "under the hood" that aren't so player-facing and potentially frustrating. It's possible some groups will be OK with very slow progression, but it sounds like your group is like most others in wanting that Skinner box thrill of buying a new talent or a new rank in a skill every session or so.

Edited by SavageBob

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