Monday, December 10, 2012

XPs For GPs: Demi-humans

I won't lie to you, I don't award XPs for GPs and I never have.  Old schoolers praise the crap out of XPs for GPs as the be-all end-all of XP systems, but really, it's very deeply flawed premise and we all know it.  Dare I say it... XPs for GPs can suck it.

That's why OSRians started requiring players to actually spend the money before they got XPs every time they returned a case of Mountain Dew empties for the deposit.  This notion has much more to offer, but, as it applies to demi-humans, I'd like to take it further; to do something with it that will make demi-humans feel more different from humans.

One of the prime differences between humans and demi-humans, I'm thinking, is their particular relationship with material wealth.  Us humans, we like wealth for the power of buying whatever the heck we want, be it hot tubs, influence, chain mail, cock rings, what have you.

This oughta' get ol' Blodgett up to 5th level
Elves are indifferent to the baubles and gew gaws that impress the other adventuring races.  Rather, they prefer the beauty of the ephemeral arts such as music, performance art and ice sculpture.  If they do invest in things of long term value, it will be in the preservation of sacred places; stands of ancient trees, significant rock formations, that sort of crap.  As such, they gain XPs only for those GPs spent commissioning works of poetry, songs, or flower arrangements, and the creation and maintenance of nature preserves, public parks, and gardens.

For dwarves, the value of wealth is not the spending of it, but the hoarding.  They derive ecstasy from the gathering and stockpiling of precious metals, gems and other products of the earth.  XPs are not actually earned until treasure is safely stashed either in a secure financial institution, the vault of a trusted ally, or a dwarf's own personal storage structure; somewhere where it is safe from being spent.  Many "dungeons" are actually the treasuries of dwarves of legend.  Bonus XPs can be earned for transforming gold and gems into fine jewelry, ornamental weapons and other such eccentricities which can be given as gifts or worn about.

Halflings view material wealth as a means to domestic tranquility; as such, they gain XPs only for GPs spent on the acquisition and improvement of real estate.  This ties halfling characters to place in a very measurable way.

As you can see, humans can drop their cash in G'hawk, Mordor, or Lankhmar, and it doesn't much matter.  But for demi-humans, their wealth will be closely affiliated with a place somehow.  Either in the grove of oak trees in Sherwood Forest that Melf has endowed, the treasure hoard and associated safeguards that Gimli has stashed under Mount Fuggitt, or the plantation that Poblo Fraggins owns in Aquilonia, demihumans have some sacred place that they need to be tend to.  Or they can just forego XPs for GPs; which is fine by me.

PS.  The photo was swiped from  They've got other photos of hobbitty places if you're into that sort of thing.


kiltedyaksman said...

I'm not sold. GP for XP forever! :)

Timrod said...

I'm not sold either. Despite my own proposal, I'm still not going to give XPs for GPs.

Hedgehobbit said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Brendan said...

There is more discussion of this post over on Google Plus here:

Timrod said...

Thanks for the link Brendan, but by the time I got there the party had apparently moved elsewhere. Anything interesting come of it?

Brendan said...

You have to be in my circles to see the thread. Did you get a could not find error or something?

"Interesting" is a strong word, but there was certainly some back and forth about whether GP = XP is "deeply flawed" or not.


Timrod said...

Ah. I'm not sure how the G+ stuff work. Surprisingly, I'm a bit of a Luddite.

Brendan said...

Add me here:

Then I will add you back, and after that you will be able to see my posts.

Timrod said...

Cool. I've added you, but under my Google + handle:
Rodney Nozkowitz

I'm not sure why, but I used a separate gmail account when I set up G+.