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Advanced Table-Top RPG Thread: 2nd Edition

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    Endless_SerpentsEndless_Serpents Registered User regular
    I find that I suffer from anxiety when I think about DM'ing. I haven't dm'ed my daughter in months, and when I tried to.play my undersea campaign, we ended it after about an hour. I just... can't seem to think when I'm behind the screen.

    I really wanted to finish up the Lost Mines of Phandelver and get back to my own stuff too.

    I’m feeling something like this right now, less anxiety, more a lack of drive to DM for more than a session. I’m pretty free wheeling, but the thought of once again juggling all the stuff is too much right now.

    Have you considered playing troupe style? That’s where you rotate the DM each session. It’d be pretty gonzo tone wise, but your daughter might like taking turns at the reigns. You’d have to figure out how you wanted to hand-wave who’s active in the party, but it’s an idea.

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    Hexmage-PAHexmage-PA Registered User regular
    edited January 2021
    I'm a little bit surprised by how much you guys here dislike XP in D&D. I'm not using the rules exactly as written because I want every member of the party to always be the same level, but all I really have to do is load up Kobold Fight Club, select the monsters I'm using, and look under Total XP to find the amount per player, which I use to add to the party's XP total.

    In my first 5E campaign I did use milestone leveling. However, said campaign also followed a general plot I had planned in advance with events that could clearly be designated as milestones. With this campaign I've instead set-up a central hub area with multiple factions in and around it to allow the players greater freedom of choice to pursue what they're interested in. In this case, using XP gives me a structure to use to pace when the characters gain a level.

    Hexmage-PA on
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    gavindelgavindel The reason all your software is brokenRegistered User regular
    Don't limit yourself to the set of natural numbers, guys! Give your players irrational XP! Use infinite sets and limits! If you can't prove Cantor's diagonalization using XP, what's the point?

    Book - Royal road - Free! Seraphim === TTRPG - Wuxia - Free! Seln Alora
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    MahnmutMahnmut Registered User regular
    Hexmage-PA wrote: »
    I'm a little bit surprised by how much you guys here dislike XP in D&D. I'm not using the rules exactly as written because I want every member of the party to always be the same level, but all I really have to do is load up Kobold Fight Club, select the monsters I'm using, and look under Total XP to find the amount per player, which I use to add to the party's XP total.

    In my first 5E campaign I did use milestone leveling. However, said campaign also followed a general plot I had planned in advance with events that could clearly be designated as milestones. With this campaign I've instead set-up a central hub area with multiple factions in and around it to allow the players greater freedom of choice to pursue what they're interested in. In this case, using XP gives me a structure to use to pace when the characters gain a level.

    For me the beef is, it’s clearly an incentive system, but it’s not thoughtful or useful in what it incentivizes. It’s D&D, they’re gonna fight the kobolds anyway! I like an XP system that gives me a nudge towards good character or plot beats, or gives me a consolation prize when I take a big risk and roll badly.

    Steam/LoL: Jericho89
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    joshgotrojoshgotro Deviled Egg The Land of REAL CHILIRegistered User regular
    That's not D&D.

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    StraightziStraightzi Here we may reign secure, and in my choice, To reign is worth ambition though in HellRegistered User regular
    It's mostly a side point to the actual reasons I dislike XP, which are similar to everyone else's, but I've never used digital tools to assist with my game, so calculations when I did them were always more two open books and a piece of scratch paper, which isn't ideal if you're trying to do them on the fly.

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    SleepSleep Registered User regular
    edited January 2021
    Honestly I don't know how folks are even doing exp in 5e because calculating the actual exp for the encounter is kinda dumb (if you're just looking at the monster exp pool you're doing it wrong).

    Shoot I'll give players levels when I get bored of their character abilities. I once gave a character 2 levels because I designed an entire scene and encounter thinking they had an ability that they didn't get for two levels. (They would have fallen to their death if they couldn't transform into a bee, whoops)

    In the game in running right now getting knocked out gets you a level

    Sleep on
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    joshgotrojoshgotro Deviled Egg The Land of REAL CHILIRegistered User regular
    Goblin is worth x. You fought six goblins.

    XP= 6x

    Divide 6x by n, n= number of pc.

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    Hexmage-PAHexmage-PA Registered User regular
    edited January 2021
    Mahnmut wrote: »
    Hexmage-PA wrote: »
    I'm a little bit surprised by how much you guys here dislike XP in D&D. I'm not using the rules exactly as written because I want every member of the party to always be the same level, but all I really have to do is load up Kobold Fight Club, select the monsters I'm using, and look under Total XP to find the amount per player, which I use to add to the party's XP total.

    In my first 5E campaign I did use milestone leveling. However, said campaign also followed a general plot I had planned in advance with events that could clearly be designated as milestones. With this campaign I've instead set-up a central hub area with multiple factions in and around it to allow the players greater freedom of choice to pursue what they're interested in. In this case, using XP gives me a structure to use to pace when the characters gain a level.

    For me the beef is, it’s clearly an incentive system, but it’s not thoughtful or useful in what it incentivizes. It’s D&D, they’re gonna fight the kobolds anyway! I like an XP system that gives me a nudge towards good character or plot beats, or gives me a consolation prize when I take a big risk and roll badly.

    For the campaign I'm running now XP is purely a character advancement pacing mechanism. I don't tell the players how much XP their characters have earned. I didn't even tell them I was using XP at first.

    Treasure is more of an incentive in this campaign because I've essentially raised the prices on a lot of things (the magic item shop owner is chaotic evil) and made it so the area that is essentially free to live in is also run by sketchy people, so if they want to create a safe headquarters somewhere else then they're going to need a lot of money.

    Hexmage-PA on
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    NarbusNarbus Registered User regular
    edited January 2021
    Hexmage-PA wrote: »
    Mahnmut wrote: »
    Hexmage-PA wrote: »
    I'm a little bit surprised by how much you guys here dislike XP in D&D. I'm not using the rules exactly as written because I want every member of the party to always be the same level, but all I really have to do is load up Kobold Fight Club, select the monsters I'm using, and look under Total XP to find the amount per player, which I use to add to the party's XP total.

    In my first 5E campaign I did use milestone leveling. However, said campaign also followed a general plot I had planned in advance with events that could clearly be designated as milestones. With this campaign I've instead set-up a central hub area with multiple factions in and around it to allow the players greater freedom of choice to pursue what they're interested in. In this case, using XP gives me a structure to use to pace when the characters gain a level.

    For me the beef is, it’s clearly an incentive system, but it’s not thoughtful or useful in what it incentivizes. It’s D&D, they’re gonna fight the kobolds anyway! I like an XP system that gives me a nudge towards good character or plot beats, or gives me a consolation prize when I take a big risk and roll badly.

    For the campaign I'm running now XP is purely a character advancement pacing mechanism. I don't tell the players how much XP their characters have earned. I didn't even tell them I was using XP at first.

    As you're currently using it, in that you are/were preventing the players from knowing that you're using it, then you are functionally using milestone leveling. Clearing two goblin camps to get a level is the exact same as clearing two goblin camps to get 300 xp to get a level, except you've made extra work for yourself. If the players don't know about the xp, then they have no way to engage with the xp system. A system they can't engage with is one that is immaterial to the game they're playing.

    Even if players know that they're leveling via xp, then DnD doesn't give them, DM included as a player, good tools to engage with the system outside of killing enemies. This is some the way DnD presents things, and some the xp system they use. There's some talk of encounters in the RAW, but all xp is presented as either a discrete sum for killing one jerk, or a 'bonus' for finishing an arc. There's no built-out way to determine how to get xp from either of the other two "pillars" of the game. The DM can try to cobble something together with the adventuring day, average xp per encounter, and quite a bit of guessing about the difficulty of their non-combat encounters, but that's a lot of work for the DM, and the official sources give zero help on the topic.

    Even if you are the sort DM who will do that work, then it's still hard for any of your players to engage with that system. There's not really a way for them to try and squeeze out that last 100 xp to hit a level, without you just giving them a random free day to go hunt an owlbear, in which case you may as well just save everyone the busy work and give them a level in which case we're really back to milestone leveling.

    I suppose a good question to ask is, "what changed once the players knew you were you were using xp to track levels?" If the players' behavior didn't change in any noticeable way, then you're just making more numbers for you to keep track of.

    Narbus on
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    Virgil_Leads_YouVirgil_Leads_You Proud Father House GardenerRegistered User regular
    XP can be more of a thing in dungeons. There is several ways into room or path x, some with monsters some with traps. Do you clear all of them for the sweet xp or minimize your resource loss in the dangerous dungeon.

    VayBJ4e.png
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    DenadaDenada Registered User regular
    joshgotro wrote: »
    Goblin is worth x. You fought six goblins.

    XP= 6x

    Divide 6x by n, n= number of pc.

    5E has some "fun" with this, in that:
    1. For encounter building, add up the XP Threshold value for each PC from the XP Thresholds by Character Level table
    2. Add up the XP value of each monster in the encounter, using the XP value in its stat block.
    3. IF the encounter has more than one monster, multiply the XP total of the monsters according to the Encounter Multipliers table
    4. UNLESS the monster's "challenge rating is significantly below the average challenge rating of the other monsters in the group"
    5. UNLESS "you think the weak monsters significantly contribute to the difficulty of the encounter"
    6. UNLESS your party is less than three characters, then use the next highest multiplier from the Encounter Multipliers table
    7. OR your party is more than five characters, then use the next lowest multiplier from the Encounter Multipliers table
    8. BUT if your encounter is split into multiple waves, then each wave should be calculated as a separate encounter
    9. HOWEVER if a single wave's adjusted XP value is higher than one third of the party's expected XP total for the adventuring day, then the wave will be harder than the calculations indicate
    10. FURTHERMORE, if one side of the encounter has an advantage or a setback, the encounter will be easier or harder relative to that situation, with advantages and setbacks cancelling each other out as appropriate
    11. THEN, when all the fighting is done, flip ahead five chapters in the DMG to finally learn that you should throw all that math away and just divide the base XP total of the monsters by how many PCs were in the fight when awarding XP

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    SleepSleep Registered User regular
    edited January 2021
    joshgotro wrote: »
    Goblin is worth x. You fought six goblins.

    XP= 6x

    Divide 6x by n, n= number of pc.

    Ah yeah they do ease that half of it, i was conflating the encounter building guidelines which takes into account a bunch of variables and the experience awarding rules which are in fact super straightforward.

    Sleep on
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    MaddocMaddoc I'm Bobbin Threadbare, are you my mother? Registered User regular
    The big reason I don't do XP is that it's boring and I don't think it adds anything for either me or the players

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    Endless_SerpentsEndless_Serpents Registered User regular
    The thing about D&D experience points is like a lot of things in D&D; it only works because we collectively shrug and fudge it. It’s fine to dish out 200 experience each here for winning a fight, and 45 extra to one player there for doing a kick flip, but we all know the DM is making sure everyone levels up at the same time. It’s fine, and I even run games that way occasionally, but if you compare it as a system to other experience systems it doesn’t hold up.

    That said, if you want to do a Devil May Cry end of level splash screen with tonnes of ranks and numbers, which get rolled into a shared experience pool for the party, go for it.

    S RANK solving the trade dispute
    A RANK dunking on the wizard
    FAILURE hunting wolves for the captain
    TIME 4 hours 12 minutes
    Fashion bonus 38%
    Secrets found 4
    Total Experience 1450.5

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    DepressperadoDepressperado I just wanted to see you laughing in the pizza rainRegistered User regular
    I generally level players up at milestones, after a boss fight/adventure, you know, the usual

    this campaign though, I'm instead adding Important Items that level you up, with extra levels to distribute to the NPC companions they're gonna get.

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    joshgotrojoshgotro Deviled Egg The Land of REAL CHILIRegistered User regular
    edited January 2021
    I generally level players up at milestones, after a boss fight/adventure, you know, the usual

    this campaign though, I'm instead adding Important Items that level you up, with extra levels to distribute to the NPC companions they're gonna get.
    @Depressperado
    Elaborate on those weapons/items please.

    joshgotro on
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    BahamutZEROBahamutZERO Registered User, Moderator mod
    XP made more sense mechanically in D&D when it was GP and was how much value in treasure you had in your hoard.

    BahamutZERO.gif
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    ElddrikElddrik Registered User regular
    edited January 2021
    Denada wrote: »
    joshgotro wrote: »
    Goblin is worth x. You fought six goblins.

    XP= 6x

    Divide 6x by n, n= number of pc.

    5E has some "fun" with this, in that:
    1. For encounter building, add up the XP Threshold value for each PC from the XP Thresholds by Character Level table
    2. Add up the XP value of each monster in the encounter, using the XP value in its stat block.
    3. IF the encounter has more than one monster, multiply the XP total of the monsters according to the Encounter Multipliers table
    4. UNLESS the monster's "challenge rating is significantly below the average challenge rating of the other monsters in the group"
    5. UNLESS "you think the weak monsters significantly contribute to the difficulty of the encounter"
    6. UNLESS your party is less than three characters, then use the next highest multiplier from the Encounter Multipliers table
    7. OR your party is more than five characters, then use the next lowest multiplier from the Encounter Multipliers table
    8. BUT if your encounter is split into multiple waves, then each wave should be calculated as a separate encounter
    9. HOWEVER if a single wave's adjusted XP value is higher than one third of the party's expected XP total for the adventuring day, then the wave will be harder than the calculations indicate
    10. FURTHERMORE, if one side of the encounter has an advantage or a setback, the encounter will be easier or harder relative to that situation, with advantages and setbacks cancelling each other out as appropriate
    11. THEN, when all the fighting is done, flip ahead five chapters in the DMG to finally learn that you should throw all that math away and just divide the base XP total of the monsters by how many PCs were in the fight when awarding XP

    This is because 5E uses two different mechanics with very similar names; an "Encounter XP Budget" which is used the same way as Encounter Level from 3.X. It's used to predict how difficult an encounter will be.

    And actual experience points, which are the amount that the characters gain.
    The thing about D&D experience points is like a lot of things in D&D; it only works because we collectively shrug and fudge it. It’s fine to dish out 200 experience each here for winning a fight, and 45 extra to one player there for doing a kick flip, but we all know the DM is making sure everyone levels up at the same time. It’s fine, and I even run games that way occasionally, but if you compare it as a system to other experience systems it doesn’t hold up.

    That said, if you want to do a Devil May Cry end of level splash screen with tonnes of ranks and numbers, which get rolled into a shared experience pool for the party, go for it.

    S RANK solving the trade dispute
    A RANK dunking on the wizard
    FAILURE hunting wolves for the captain
    TIME 4 hours 12 minutes
    Fashion bonus 38%
    Secrets found 4
    Total Experience 1450.5

    This is because D&D used to actually use experience points as they should be used. Characters did not automatically level up at the same time in older editions; they had different amounts of XP required to level, even if they had all gained the same amount! In the beginning, XP were awarded primarily for GP earned (or equivalent) and for magic items found, which is a strong incentive to play the way that you were intended to play. Combat was an obstacle, not a goal; you did gain a little XP from combat, but it was pretty much always better to just get the loot and get out if you could. Combined with the general threat level of combat, and the danger and risk that was always there, this led to interesting decisions; should you try for more loot, knowing that you might face a wandering encounter at any time, or should you get out alive with what you have?

    Over the years, change after change made to the system has worn away at the edges and a huge amount of difference in systemic assumptions (like the idea that everyone levels up at the same time, and the fact that combat is assumed to be balanced, and characters are generally not at risk of sudden death, and so on) has made it difficult to play like this, even if you adjust your XP usage to a more old-school fashion. XP in modern D&D is like an appendix. It used to be important, but in the modern world, with the modern body and health care and diets, it just doesn't do what it used to do.

    (That said, I still prefer XP to single-level milestones. The whole-level milestones are too arbitrary for me. Even if the DM (or me if I'm DMing) is just counting steps toward the next level, I like having the sub-separations and seeing the progression a bit at a time. It doesn't have to be the full thousands of XP thing, it can be round numbers or just be counting a few ticks per level or whatever, but I'm not a big fan of the 'you just level when told' kind of milestone leveling.)
    I generally level players up at milestones, after a boss fight/adventure, you know, the usual

    this campaign though, I'm instead adding Important Items that level you up, with extra levels to distribute to the NPC companions they're gonna get.

    I do like it with important items, though. I've got something like that in one of my settings where you need the crystallized blood of a dead god to level up, and you do E6-style incremental advancement with your XP earned outside of that.

    Elddrik on
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    DepressperadoDepressperado I just wanted to see you laughing in the pizza rainRegistered User regular
    joshgotro wrote: »
    I generally level players up at milestones, after a boss fight/adventure, you know, the usual

    this campaign though, I'm instead adding Important Items that level you up, with extra levels to distribute to the NPC companions they're gonna get.
    @Depressperado
    Elaborate on those weapons/items please.
    I would be delighted.

    I haven't fleshed it out all the way yet, I'm a fly by sight kinda DM, but usually they'll receive an item related to their personal goal/backstory that'll inspire them to level up.
    The Undying Warlock destined to be a lich gets evil/necromantic trinkets.
    Monk/Chef gets pamphlets that teach martial arts moves or a particularly magical and dope cooking utensil.
    Barbarian will probably get totems/tokens, depending on what archetype they pick.

    the first item though, is The Brew That Should Not Be, a liquor brewed from magic and souls that an undead moonshiner created.
    it has 2d4+1 chugs in it, one chug per person, the leftovers are to level up their NPCs.

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    Endless_SerpentsEndless_Serpents Registered User regular
    On a related note, I’m making a game as my ancient curse dictates every third month, and I’m thinking of having a lot of levels. However, each level is very minor, as every single aspect of your character must be bought one level at a time (you get a robust initial set of stuff at 1st level). I was going to say players level up at the end of every session.

    That’s a bit vague, but does it sound awful, fine, or neat?

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    joshgotrojoshgotro Deviled Egg The Land of REAL CHILIRegistered User regular
    Does someone have a hacked together roleplay xp
    On a related note, I’m making a game as my ancient curse dictates every third month, and I’m thinking of having a lot of levels. However, each level is very minor, as every single aspect of your character must be bought one level at a time (you get a robust initial set of stuff at 1st level). I was going to say players level up at the end of every session.

    That’s a bit vague, but does it sound awful, fine, or neat?

    Can I get by with just Con and +swinging swords?

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    StraightziStraightzi Here we may reign secure, and in my choice, To reign is worth ambition though in HellRegistered User regular
    That sounds fine, but I question whether it's actually level based?

    Like, if it's just "when you move from level 1 to level 2, improve a skill that you used during this session" or whatever, does that actually require the opening clause?

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    DenadaDenada Registered User regular
    edited January 2021
    Elddrik wrote: »
    This is because 5E uses two different mechanics with very similar names; an "Encounter XP Budget" which is used the same way as Encounter Level from 3.X. It's used to predict how difficult an encounter will be.

    And actual experience points, which are the amount that the characters gain.

    Yup that's what the list was, the encounter difficulty system and the experience points awards system, which interestingly have about the same proportion of time spent on them in the DMG as my post (though my post benefits from not having five chapters of content separating the two).

    It is a bad system. It's needlessly complicated and, in my experience, actively discourages new DMs that think 5E actually gives you rules that you can follow.

    And their advice for non-combat XP rewards? Well, just imagine that your non-combat challenge IS a combat challenge, and then go through that list for this imaginary combat encounter to figure out how hard your non-combat challenge was, and award XP "accordingly".

    Of course I also hate the encounter difficulty / CR / XP system in 3.X and can't believe it made it to print, so I agree that that comparison is apt.

    Denada on
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    DarkPrimusDarkPrimus Registered User regular
    Denada wrote: »
    joshgotro wrote: »
    Goblin is worth x. You fought six goblins.

    XP= 6x

    Divide 6x by n, n= number of pc.

    5E has some "fun" with this, in that:
    1. For encounter building, add up the XP Threshold value for each PC from the XP Thresholds by Character Level table
    2. Add up the XP value of each monster in the encounter, using the XP value in its stat block.
    3. IF the encounter has more than one monster, multiply the XP total of the monsters according to the Encounter Multipliers table
    4. UNLESS the monster's "challenge rating is significantly below the average challenge rating of the other monsters in the group"
    5. UNLESS "you think the weak monsters significantly contribute to the difficulty of the encounter"
    6. UNLESS your party is less than three characters, then use the next highest multiplier from the Encounter Multipliers table
    7. OR your party is more than five characters, then use the next lowest multiplier from the Encounter Multipliers table
    8. BUT if your encounter is split into multiple waves, then each wave should be calculated as a separate encounter
    9. HOWEVER if a single wave's adjusted XP value is higher than one third of the party's expected XP total for the adventuring day, then the wave will be harder than the calculations indicate
    10. FURTHERMORE, if one side of the encounter has an advantage or a setback, the encounter will be easier or harder relative to that situation, with advantages and setbacks cancelling each other out as appropriate
    11. THEN, when all the fighting is done, flip ahead five chapters in the DMG to finally learn that you should throw all that math away and just divide the base XP total of the monsters by how many PCs were in the fight when awarding XP

    I hate to sound like a broken record, but wow, 4e really did all this so much better, didn't it? It had numbers provided based on what level your party was and how many party members were playing, and you then you took that number and added monsters until the experience point total of the monsters more or less equaled the recommended encounter number from the book.

    Now, obviously, there's more nuance to encounter-creation than just "do the numbers line up" but that's why 4e also had monsters labeled with different nomenclature to indicate the sort of role they were to serve in the encounter, much like how PC classes were sub-divided based on if they were big HP sponges, DPS glass cannons, crowd-control debuffers, etc. And wouldn't you know it, the encounter building notes also recommended what sort of compositions of these different monster types made for generally interesting encounters!

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    ZonugalZonugal (He/Him) The Holiday Armadillo I'm Santa's representative for all the southern states. And Mexico!Registered User regular
    edited January 2021
    I played in a D&D game two years ago where me and another player, separated from the rest of the party, encountered a bear.

    Playing a Forest Gnome Mastermind Rogue, I immediately ran behind a tree while my companion, a Half-Elf Beastmaster Ranger, attacked the bear (with support from his panther).

    Well, we were level three and the bear was a formidable opponent. Our Ranger got hurt A LOT and I eventually decided to contribute and just shoot the bear in the face with a crossbow (with sneak attack), killing it instantly.

    But afterwards... Oh boy...
    Ranger Player: That was awful! I'm at three hit points! *to the DM* But at least I'll be getting a nice chunk of XP for killing that bear.
    DM: About that... I don't really do traditional XP in my D&D games.
    Ranger Player: What?
    DM: Yeah, I find it a bit antiquated and instead do a milestone leveling approach.
    Other Player: Ah, yeah, I've played in a lot of games that have ditched XP for that approach.
    Ranger Player: So I'm getting no XP? That's what you're telling me?
    DM: Sadly... yes.
    Ranger Player: Well if I had known that I would have just ran from the bear!
    DM: And that would have been a valid choice.
    Ranger Player: So you're telling me I'm not getting any XP for killing that bear.
    Me: I don't know what you're talking about... I'm the one that killed that bear.
    Ranger Player: I'LL KILL YOU

    Zonugal on
    Ross-Geller-Prime-Sig-A.jpg
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    MechMantisMechMantis Registered User regular
    Awright time for MAGE DAY!

    Playing in one game, then running in another, in which my Storyteller for the first (who has been doing WoD things since the early 90s) made a 9th Gen Brujah since the players of my game were All In on having an older Vampire as a friend/ally.

    They are just now realizing that, y'know... Old Vampires don't really so much have "friends" as "assets", and since they're now aware of some weird new Tremere bullcrap, and they ran to that Brujah about it, he responded with:

    "Okay you need to figure out who all is involved in this Tremere stuff, and get back to me, so I can deal with them. Or forget EVERYTHING YOU KNOW about this new Thaumatergy implementation, permanently. Or uh, I'll have to pay each one of you a visit. I won't LIKE it but this stuff could blow back on me, and I just can't have that."

    After getting that voicemail (which my Storyteller voice-acted perfectly), the person who pushed the hardest for the "Old Brujah buddy" thing got back to me with this:

    "I'm really not sure if I'm being threatened or not but this is really quickly making me reassess whether Reynardine is an ally, an asset, or a liability"

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    joshgotrojoshgotro Deviled Egg The Land of REAL CHILIRegistered User regular
    Fuck that.

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    DenadaDenada Registered User regular
    DarkPrimus wrote: »
    Denada wrote: »
    joshgotro wrote: »
    Goblin is worth x. You fought six goblins.

    XP= 6x

    Divide 6x by n, n= number of pc.

    5E has some "fun" with this, in that:
    1. For encounter building, add up the XP Threshold value for each PC from the XP Thresholds by Character Level table
    2. Add up the XP value of each monster in the encounter, using the XP value in its stat block.
    3. IF the encounter has more than one monster, multiply the XP total of the monsters according to the Encounter Multipliers table
    4. UNLESS the monster's "challenge rating is significantly below the average challenge rating of the other monsters in the group"
    5. UNLESS "you think the weak monsters significantly contribute to the difficulty of the encounter"
    6. UNLESS your party is less than three characters, then use the next highest multiplier from the Encounter Multipliers table
    7. OR your party is more than five characters, then use the next lowest multiplier from the Encounter Multipliers table
    8. BUT if your encounter is split into multiple waves, then each wave should be calculated as a separate encounter
    9. HOWEVER if a single wave's adjusted XP value is higher than one third of the party's expected XP total for the adventuring day, then the wave will be harder than the calculations indicate
    10. FURTHERMORE, if one side of the encounter has an advantage or a setback, the encounter will be easier or harder relative to that situation, with advantages and setbacks cancelling each other out as appropriate
    11. THEN, when all the fighting is done, flip ahead five chapters in the DMG to finally learn that you should throw all that math away and just divide the base XP total of the monsters by how many PCs were in the fight when awarding XP

    I hate to sound like a broken record, but wow, 4e really did all this so much better, didn't it? It had numbers provided based on what level your party was and how many party members were playing, and you then you took that number and added monsters until the experience point total of the monsters more or less equaled the recommended encounter number from the book.

    Now, obviously, there's more nuance to encounter-creation than just "do the numbers line up" but that's why 4e also had monsters labeled with different nomenclature to indicate the sort of role they were to serve in the encounter, much like how PC classes were sub-divided based on if they were big HP sponges, DPS glass cannons, crowd-control debuffers, etc. And wouldn't you know it, the encounter building notes also recommended what sort of compositions of these different monster types made for generally interesting encounters!

    Yeah I'm there with you, I had to stop myself from adding "but 4E did it so much better" because man it really did. Building encounters in 4E was so easy, for one reason because it assumed - perhaps too radically for its time - that PCs would typically be fighting more than one monster. So instead of: "A monster is worth its XP value, unless there's more than one of them, in which case it might be worth more, unless it's super weak, then it might be worth less, unless it's weak but still hard, then it's worth more again, but also some monsters are harder than their XP value says, so they might actually be worth more than they're worth, unless the thing that makes it secretly harder doesn't actually make it secretly harder for your particular party, then..."

    you got: "A monster is worth its XP value. Don't go more than a few levels above or below your party, otherwise the monsters might be too hard or too easy."

    And in 4E, non-combat challenges actually had a system! Sure it wasn't a great system, but it was more than just "I don't know, 5E really only has combat rules, so just make up an encounter and kind of do that if you must." Personally I think the 4E DMGs are much better books than the 5E DMG, even if you're still running 5E.

  • Options
    ElddrikElddrik Registered User regular
    DarkPrimus wrote: »
    Denada wrote: »
    joshgotro wrote: »
    Goblin is worth x. You fought six goblins.

    XP= 6x

    Divide 6x by n, n= number of pc.

    5E has some "fun" with this, in that:
    1. For encounter building, add up the XP Threshold value for each PC from the XP Thresholds by Character Level table
    2. Add up the XP value of each monster in the encounter, using the XP value in its stat block.
    3. IF the encounter has more than one monster, multiply the XP total of the monsters according to the Encounter Multipliers table
    4. UNLESS the monster's "challenge rating is significantly below the average challenge rating of the other monsters in the group"
    5. UNLESS "you think the weak monsters significantly contribute to the difficulty of the encounter"
    6. UNLESS your party is less than three characters, then use the next highest multiplier from the Encounter Multipliers table
    7. OR your party is more than five characters, then use the next lowest multiplier from the Encounter Multipliers table
    8. BUT if your encounter is split into multiple waves, then each wave should be calculated as a separate encounter
    9. HOWEVER if a single wave's adjusted XP value is higher than one third of the party's expected XP total for the adventuring day, then the wave will be harder than the calculations indicate
    10. FURTHERMORE, if one side of the encounter has an advantage or a setback, the encounter will be easier or harder relative to that situation, with advantages and setbacks cancelling each other out as appropriate
    11. THEN, when all the fighting is done, flip ahead five chapters in the DMG to finally learn that you should throw all that math away and just divide the base XP total of the monsters by how many PCs were in the fight when awarding XP

    I hate to sound like a broken record, but wow, 4e really did all this so much better, didn't it? It had numbers provided based on what level your party was and how many party members were playing, and you then you took that number and added monsters until the experience point total of the monsters more or less equaled the recommended encounter number from the book.

    Now, obviously, there's more nuance to encounter-creation than just "do the numbers line up" but that's why 4e also had monsters labeled with different nomenclature to indicate the sort of role they were to serve in the encounter, much like how PC classes were sub-divided based on if they were big HP sponges, DPS glass cannons, crowd-control debuffers, etc. And wouldn't you know it, the encounter building notes also recommended what sort of compositions of these different monster types made for generally interesting encounters!

    The 3E and 4E encounter-building system are, to the best of my recollection, mathematically identical.

    They just changed the way it was presented, making it an XP budget instead of a CR/EL calculation. The encounter budget method was a better way to present it, but it wasn't a ground-shaking change or anything.

    4E gave advice based on the role of monsters, 5E gives advice and tries to make math changes based on terrain and being outnumbered; it's a reaction to how important action economy was in 4E/5E.

    I don't think the 5E encounter building works especially well, but it was a good thing to try and came from good intent.

  • Options
    Hexmage-PAHexmage-PA Registered User regular
    edited January 2021
    Narbus wrote: »
    As you're currently using it, in that you are/were preventing the players from knowing that you're using it, then you are functionally using milestone leveling. Clearing two goblin camps to get a level is the exact same as clearing two goblin camps to get 300 xp to get a level, except you've made extra work for yourself.

    I suppose a good question to ask is, "what changed once the players knew you were you were using xp to track levels?" If the players' behavior didn't change in any noticeable way, then you're just making more numbers for you to keep track of.

    I'm using Kobold Fight Club to figure XP, so honestly that's probably the absolute easiest part of DMing as far as I'm concerned.

    It's 2:12 PM where I am as I type this. Let's see how long it takes me to figure out the individual XP for a party of four PCs for an encounter with an aboleth, two drow elite warriors, and six kuo-toa monitors.

    It's 2:14 PM now. The XP per individual for that encounter would be 3,425 per player.

    I could just say "oh, you beat an encounter with a boss-like aboleth monster, so go ahead and level up", but I personally don't like how arbitrary that feels.
    Denada wrote: »
    Yup that's what the list was, the encounter difficulty system and the experience points awards system, which interestingly have about the same proportion of time spent on them in the DMG as my post (though my post benefits from not having five chapters of content separating the two).

    It is a bad system. It's needlessly complicated and, in my experience, actively discourages new DMs that think 5E actually gives you rules that you can follow.

    I've always figured up XP with Kobold Fight Club, but if KFC (heh) didn't exist then yeah, figuring out XP and encounter budgets would be a pain.

    I also didn't start making custom monsters and NPCs until I found online tools that did the work faster, such as AnyDice, and I wouldn't be running combats with as many different monsters as I am at the same time without a dice roller app on my phone.

    Hexmage-PA on
  • Options
    Endless_SerpentsEndless_Serpents Registered User regular
    joshgotro wrote: »
    Does someone have a hacked together roleplay xp
    On a related note, I’m making a game as my ancient curse dictates every third month, and I’m thinking of having a lot of levels. However, each level is very minor, as every single aspect of your character must be bought one level at a time (you get a robust initial set of stuff at 1st level). I was going to say players level up at the end of every session.

    That’s a bit vague, but does it sound awful, fine, or neat?

    Can I get by with just Con and +swinging swords?

    Absolutely. The terminology is different of course, but yeah. You could build a tank in human form, if you’re okay with having no skills or tricks.
    Straightzi wrote: »
    That sounds fine, but I question whether it's actually level based?

    Like, if it's just "when you move from level 1 to level 2, improve a skill that you used during this session" or whatever, does that actually require the opening clause?

    I’m not sure if they’re levels as we think of them. You don’t get any automated upgrades, like health increasing, bonuses going up, instead you make a choice each level. Maybe you’ll take a move, or increase your health (I’m not using HP but that’s for another time), or maybe upgrade a thing you already have or gain a resource, workspace or something.

    @joshgotro might be a 4th level Beast that has only increased their health, while you could be a 4th level Machinist that has taken four different moves pertaining to say, making bombs, investigation and the like.

    You can build any playbook into a fighter or rogue, in essence.

  • Options
    DenadaDenada Registered User regular
    edited January 2021
    Straightzi wrote: »
    That sounds fine, but I question whether it's actually level based?

    Like, if it's just "when you move from level 1 to level 2, improve a skill that you used during this session" or whatever, does that actually require the opening clause?

    I’m not sure if they’re levels as we think of them. You don’t get any automated upgrades, like health increasing, bonuses going up, instead you make a choice each level. Maybe you’ll take a move, or increase your health (I’m not using HP but that’s for another time), or maybe upgrade a thing you already have or gain a resource, workspace or something.

    joshgotro might be a 4th level Beast that has only increased their health, while you could be a 4th level Machinist that has taken four different moves pertaining to say, making bombs, investigation and the like.

    You can build any playbook into a fighter or rogue, in essence.

    Couldn't you just skip the "levels" and spend the XP directly on the upgrades? Instead of 300 XP = 1 Level = choose one advancement, it's 300 XP = choose one advancement. What are the levels doing?

    Denada on
  • Options
    Endless_SerpentsEndless_Serpents Registered User regular
    edited January 2021
    Denada wrote: »
    Straightzi wrote: »
    That sounds fine, but I question whether it's actually level based?

    Like, if it's just "when you move from level 1 to level 2, improve a skill that you used during this session" or whatever, does that actually require the opening clause?

    I’m not sure if they’re levels as we think of them. You don’t get any automated upgrades, like health increasing, bonuses going up, instead you make a choice each level. Maybe you’ll take a move, or increase your health (I’m not using HP but that’s for another time), or maybe upgrade a thing you already have or gain a resource, workspace or something.

    joshgotro might be a 4th level Beast that has only increased their health, while you could be a 4th level Machinist that has taken four different moves pertaining to say, making bombs, investigation and the like.

    You can build any playbook into a fighter or rogue, in essence.

    Couldn't you just skip the "levels" and spend the XP directly on the upgrades? Instead of 300 XP = 1 Level = choose one advancement, it's 300 XP = choose one advancement. What are the levels doing?

    Well there is no XP. You level up at the end of a session, no matter where you’re at. Which means you could come back next session in the middle of a battle with a new power. Every advancement costs 1 level.

    Endless_Serpents on
  • Options
    DenadaDenada Registered User regular
    Denada wrote: »
    Straightzi wrote: »
    That sounds fine, but I question whether it's actually level based?

    Like, if it's just "when you move from level 1 to level 2, improve a skill that you used during this session" or whatever, does that actually require the opening clause?

    I’m not sure if they’re levels as we think of them. You don’t get any automated upgrades, like health increasing, bonuses going up, instead you make a choice each level. Maybe you’ll take a move, or increase your health (I’m not using HP but that’s for another time), or maybe upgrade a thing you already have or gain a resource, workspace or something.

    joshgotro might be a 4th level Beast that has only increased their health, while you could be a 4th level Machinist that has taken four different moves pertaining to say, making bombs, investigation and the like.

    You can build any playbook into a fighter or rogue, in essence.

    Couldn't you just skip the "levels" and spend the XP directly on the upgrades? Instead of 300 XP = 1 Level = choose one advancement, it's 300 XP = choose one advancement. What are the levels doing?

    Well there is no XP. You level up at the end of a session, no matter where you’re at. Which means you could come back next session in the middle of a battle with a new power. Every advancement costs 1 level.

    I guess it's just semantics then. A level is an Advancement Point, and you get one AP every session. Personally I would just call them points, but I can see some value in using "Level" to tap into a bit of that term's familiarity.

  • Options
    joshgotrojoshgotro Deviled Egg The Land of REAL CHILIRegistered User regular
    @Endless_Serpents Yeah. Can I be real shit at dodge to get an extra point?

  • Options
    StraightziStraightzi Here we may reign secure, and in my choice, To reign is worth ambition though in HellRegistered User regular
    Yeah to me, level implies a sort of overall advancement

    Depending on the system, that might be more or less balanced across the board, but if you're just gaining a point in one place it doesn't feel like a level up to me

  • Options
    Endless_SerpentsEndless_Serpents Registered User regular
    joshgotro wrote: »
    @Endless_Serpents Yeah. Can I be real shit at dodge to get an extra point?

    Have some options from the Beast, my barbarian/big guy equivalent.

    Path of Thorns. You take no distance penalty when you move through hazards. When you willing move through a hazard, you inflict +2 harm when you skirmish this turn.

    Blood and Guts. When you suffer 7 or more harm from a single skirmish, take an encounter die*.

    Edge of Oblivion. When your poise** is reduce to 0, your harm is doubled until you recover it.

    Unchained. When you vanquish a target, you gain 1 action point this turn.

    Path of Arrows. Whenever you take harm, you may move 1 square.

    *Encounter dice are d6s you can throw at anything you do, like more damage, extra move distance, maximise that spell.

    *Poise is just HP, but things above cannon fodder, like players and bosses, need to be vanquished to actually die. Dealing that killing blow uses up all action points that turn, so it’ll involve teamwork and manoeuvring to make it happen. You can survive at 0 poise and recover it a bunch of ways. If you’re crazy you can just keep fighting and using abilities and stuff to dodge killing blows against you. A big boss might have two poise bars. The main reason for the poise system is as an anti-one shot device. Even if you mess up your campaign villain and the party effectively one-shot them, you’ve still got their next turn to try and pull it out of the bag (that is to say, still lose, but lose with style).

  • Options
    DevoutlyApatheticDevoutlyApathetic Registered User regular
    Elddrik wrote: »
    DarkPrimus wrote: »
    Denada wrote: »
    joshgotro wrote: »
    Goblin is worth x. You fought six goblins.

    XP= 6x

    Divide 6x by n, n= number of pc.

    5E has some "fun" with this, in that:
    1. For encounter building, add up the XP Threshold value for each PC from the XP Thresholds by Character Level table
    2. Add up the XP value of each monster in the encounter, using the XP value in its stat block.
    3. IF the encounter has more than one monster, multiply the XP total of the monsters according to the Encounter Multipliers table
    4. UNLESS the monster's "challenge rating is significantly below the average challenge rating of the other monsters in the group"
    5. UNLESS "you think the weak monsters significantly contribute to the difficulty of the encounter"
    6. UNLESS your party is less than three characters, then use the next highest multiplier from the Encounter Multipliers table
    7. OR your party is more than five characters, then use the next lowest multiplier from the Encounter Multipliers table
    8. BUT if your encounter is split into multiple waves, then each wave should be calculated as a separate encounter
    9. HOWEVER if a single wave's adjusted XP value is higher than one third of the party's expected XP total for the adventuring day, then the wave will be harder than the calculations indicate
    10. FURTHERMORE, if one side of the encounter has an advantage or a setback, the encounter will be easier or harder relative to that situation, with advantages and setbacks cancelling each other out as appropriate
    11. THEN, when all the fighting is done, flip ahead five chapters in the DMG to finally learn that you should throw all that math away and just divide the base XP total of the monsters by how many PCs were in the fight when awarding XP

    I hate to sound like a broken record, but wow, 4e really did all this so much better, didn't it? It had numbers provided based on what level your party was and how many party members were playing, and you then you took that number and added monsters until the experience point total of the monsters more or less equaled the recommended encounter number from the book.

    Now, obviously, there's more nuance to encounter-creation than just "do the numbers line up" but that's why 4e also had monsters labeled with different nomenclature to indicate the sort of role they were to serve in the encounter, much like how PC classes were sub-divided based on if they were big HP sponges, DPS glass cannons, crowd-control debuffers, etc. And wouldn't you know it, the encounter building notes also recommended what sort of compositions of these different monster types made for generally interesting encounters!

    The 3E and 4E encounter-building system are, to the best of my recollection, mathematically identical.

    They just changed the way it was presented, making it an XP budget instead of a CR/EL calculation. The encounter budget method was a better way to present it, but it wasn't a ground-shaking change or anything.

    4E gave advice based on the role of monsters, 5E gives advice and tries to make math changes based on terrain and being outnumbered; it's a reaction to how important action economy was in 4E/5E.

    I don't think the 5E encounter building works especially well, but it was a good thing to try and came from good intent.

    I think the other issue is that 4e had monster levels instead of directly using HD and then some scaling factors based on type for + hit/hp/saves and other stuff. I can't recall if the encounter systems were effectively different but the components that fed into the systems had some pretty large differences that made a big impact in the quality of the final output.

    Nod. Get treat. PSN: Quippish
  • Options
    DenadaDenada Registered User regular
    Elddrik wrote: »
    DarkPrimus wrote: »
    Denada wrote: »
    joshgotro wrote: »
    Goblin is worth x. You fought six goblins.

    XP= 6x

    Divide 6x by n, n= number of pc.

    5E has some "fun" with this, in that:
    1. For encounter building, add up the XP Threshold value for each PC from the XP Thresholds by Character Level table
    2. Add up the XP value of each monster in the encounter, using the XP value in its stat block.
    3. IF the encounter has more than one monster, multiply the XP total of the monsters according to the Encounter Multipliers table
    4. UNLESS the monster's "challenge rating is significantly below the average challenge rating of the other monsters in the group"
    5. UNLESS "you think the weak monsters significantly contribute to the difficulty of the encounter"
    6. UNLESS your party is less than three characters, then use the next highest multiplier from the Encounter Multipliers table
    7. OR your party is more than five characters, then use the next lowest multiplier from the Encounter Multipliers table
    8. BUT if your encounter is split into multiple waves, then each wave should be calculated as a separate encounter
    9. HOWEVER if a single wave's adjusted XP value is higher than one third of the party's expected XP total for the adventuring day, then the wave will be harder than the calculations indicate
    10. FURTHERMORE, if one side of the encounter has an advantage or a setback, the encounter will be easier or harder relative to that situation, with advantages and setbacks cancelling each other out as appropriate
    11. THEN, when all the fighting is done, flip ahead five chapters in the DMG to finally learn that you should throw all that math away and just divide the base XP total of the monsters by how many PCs were in the fight when awarding XP

    I hate to sound like a broken record, but wow, 4e really did all this so much better, didn't it? It had numbers provided based on what level your party was and how many party members were playing, and you then you took that number and added monsters until the experience point total of the monsters more or less equaled the recommended encounter number from the book.

    Now, obviously, there's more nuance to encounter-creation than just "do the numbers line up" but that's why 4e also had monsters labeled with different nomenclature to indicate the sort of role they were to serve in the encounter, much like how PC classes were sub-divided based on if they were big HP sponges, DPS glass cannons, crowd-control debuffers, etc. And wouldn't you know it, the encounter building notes also recommended what sort of compositions of these different monster types made for generally interesting encounters!

    The 3E and 4E encounter-building system are, to the best of my recollection, mathematically identical.

    They just changed the way it was presented, making it an XP budget instead of a CR/EL calculation. The encounter budget method was a better way to present it, but it wasn't a ground-shaking change or anything.

    4E gave advice based on the role of monsters, 5E gives advice and tries to make math changes based on terrain and being outnumbered; it's a reaction to how important action economy was in 4E/5E.

    I don't think the 5E encounter building works especially well, but it was a good thing to try and came from good intent.

    I think the other issue is that 4e had monster levels instead of directly using HD and then some scaling factors based on type for + hit/hp/saves and other stuff. I can't recall if the encounter systems were effectively different but the components that fed into the systems had some pretty large differences that made a big impact in the quality of the final output.

    Yeah the underlying math and system assumptions between 3E and 4E monster and encounter design are quite different.

    In 3E, one CR1 creature is supposed to be a challenge for 4 level 1 PCs (leaving aside how a level 1 PC is a CR1 creature, meaning a CR1 creature is an even challenge for four of itself, but then each one of those is an even level challenge for four more, and so on). In 4E, PCs and enemies are built using distinctly different sets of rules and math, and one Level 1 creature is supposed to be a challenge for one Level 1 PC, but they are not supposed to be equivalent.

    Also you can fit 4E monster design math on a business card, which I don't think can be done in 3.X or 5E.

This discussion has been closed.