Thursday, November 7, 2013

XPs for Other Stuff

I've gone on record as an XP for GP maligner and, while I've come to accept that the principle has its merits, I still don't see it hap'nin' at my table.  Partly because hanging at a table full of scavenging, haggling bean-counters seems like it would get old after a while but, mostly, because none of you advocates has come up with a solution for its biggest drawback: who wants to count all those stupid GPs? 

So how do I propose levelling-up the sorry chumps who have the great misfortune of sitting down at a game table with me?  Here's how: XPs are awarded for surpassing certain milestones in your quest for adventure.  For instance, the first step in getting to the next level is getting off your ass and doing something: the first milestone worthy of XP award would be partaking in an adventure of some sort.  Below is laundry list of achievements which could be rewarded with Points of Experience at the MC's discretion.

Please note:
  • Underlined items denote this XP is mandatory to raise level.
  • Nominal, excessive, nefarious, or gratuitous application or interpretation of any of these achievements to the player's benefit will result in the offending player's character  permanently losing 2d8 levels.  Surplus lost levels beyond 0 are to be applied to PC's ability scores.  A second offense will result in the player being pilloried and banished.

  1. Seek out and/or enter a Dungeon--"Dungeon" here meaning "place of known or presumed danger and/or treasure." 
  2. Engage in an Encounter of Note--you have to interact with a potentially significant  NPC, trap, or other encounter such as a parlay with a bandit chief, negotiations with an informant, brawl with a press gang, faceoff with the goblins, whatever.  The success of the endeavor is not important, merely that it was initiated.  Law of diminishing returns applies.
  3. Survive a life threatening situation--so you engaged the encounter, could it have gone ugly pretty easily?  The best way to tell if a situation was life threatening is...
  4. Lose a party member*--party member has to die or turn to The Dark Side or something tragic and final.  No gain if Thad the Destroyer disappears because his PC failed to show up on game night.  Subtract 1 XP if the party kills off one of their number.
  5. Half the party killed*--1 XP for every 2 PCs killed to a max of 3 XPs.
  6. Sole survivor*--receive 1 XP per offed-PC to a max of 5 XP.
  7. TPK*--if your entire party dies, each PC receives 12 XPs/PC killed.
  8. Outsmart the Big Bad--Dupe the hooligans into raiding a decoy town several miles distant, dump the ring into the crack of doom, convince Galactus to spare your planet and accept your girlfriend as his new herald, etc. More than one XP may be offered depending on the stupendousness of the feat.
  9. Hire a hencher--Hire a hencher.
  10. Establish a stronghold--I'd allow this at pretty much any level though the "stronghold" must be commensurate with character's class and level; i.e. 8th level fighter builds a palisade around a tent = not quite buddy.  But a 2nd level fighter could get credit for building the same defensive installation.  A 4th level MU could build a Laboratory of Thaumauturgical Arts, say, or a 5th level thief might establish an insurance brokerage, etc. Upgrading a previous "fortification" also counts.
  11. Party like it's 1992**--This was covered in a previous post, except I'm expanding it from solely a capstone-type event to an XP-worthy achievement in itself.   
  12. Impress me--do something so badass that the MC is taken aback. 
  13. Anyone got any suggestions?  

* These XPs are forfeited if any "lost" PC is raised, resurrected, reincarnated, regenerated, robo-copped or otherwise resumes living in some manner. There is no statute of limitations on this rule; one of those bastards comes back to life during your lifetime, you lose the XPs.
** '92 was a good year for me; I think I made it to 9th level.  You may want to select an alternate year as your benchmark. 
Obviously, if you had to accumulate XP-worthy achievements in the thousands--a la traditional XPs--you'd need the lifespan of an elf to ever hope to see second level.  So I'm resetting the scales.  These haven't been playtested or anything; just a recommendation to get things started:

XPs per level:
Thief: 5
Cleric: 6
Fighter, Assassin: 7
Ranger: 8
Druid, Illusionist: 9
Magic User, Paladin, Monk: 10
Bard: 0.5 

Best idea ever, right?  


Zenopus Archives said...

Persuading monsters to join the party? I'm thinking of the "Enthusiastic, volunteers help" from the old HOSTILE/FRIENDLY REACTION table.

Lum said...

How about Treasure? The famous/magical kind anyway. Walking into the tavern, ordering a drink and sliding it into the "Beer Cozy of Vecna" oughta be worth some XP.

Timrod said...

Converting monsters and cool treasure: Done and Done.

Also Lum: my kid thinks that that's Scooby Doo's Mystery Machine parked behind the fence. Are you tight with Fred and Velma?

Anonymous said...

Pendragon is a great source for this kind of thing. Raising monuments, gaining titles, and getting married also come to mind.