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-   -   What's your advice on how to hand out experience points? (http://forums.sjgames.com/showthread.php?t=118041)

Loukas 10-15-2013 08:16 AM

What's your advice on how to hand out experience points?
 
I don't like it. I tend to give everyone a flat 3 pts per session, and that's not fair to the good roleplayers. But pointing out people for being "better" or "worse" players is hard for me. Maybe it's because my group is very new and I'm not confident enough to assume they'll take it the right way.

I've even considered a RuneQuest system where you get a "gains" roll to build up xp towards improving a skill, if you've made a skill roll under pressure... But that still penalises roleplayers with respect to diceroll players, and gives no points towards attributes or advantages. But I'm tempted, since it impersonalises at least one aspect of character development: skills.

Do you have a clear framework for awarding cp, so people know why they are being rewarded/punished?

Christopher R. Rice 10-15-2013 08:37 AM

Re: What's your advice on how to hand out experience points?
 
I use the following:
  • For showing up for the game: 1 pt
  • For good roleplaying, within the original concept of the character: 1 to 3 points per play session.
  • For excellent roleplaying, even if it imperiled the mission: 4 or 5 points per session. (doesn't stack with good roleplaying).
  • For poor roleplaying, ignoring or violating the stated personality or objectives of the character: -1 to -5 points.
  • For metagaming and/or ruleslawyering: -1 to -5 points.
  • For successful completion of the mission, or progress toward its completion in a multi-session adventure: 2 to 4 points.
  • For partial failure, or significant setbacks in a multi-session adventure: -1 or -2points.
  • For disastrous failure of the mission: -4 or -5 points.
  • For a clever action or solution to a specific problem, as long as it is in character: 1 point per character per action.
  • For a character journal for one episode: 2 points.
  • For a character portrait: 3 points.
  • For each additional page of expanded character history: 2 points per page.
  • For each short story written about your character: 3 to 5 points.
  • Game Bounties (this is doing things for me for the game itself, like you creating a template I need done, worked on a map, etc. I will send out emails and you guys can decide if you want to do them or not): 1 to 20 points

Aneirin 10-15-2013 09:08 AM

Re: What's your advice on how to hand out experience points?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Loukas (Post 1662370)
I don't like it. I tend to give everyone a flat 3 pts per session, and that's not fair to the good roleplayers. But pointing out people for being "better" or "worse" players is hard for me. Maybe it's because my group is very new and I'm not confident enough to assume they'll take it the right way.

I've even considered a RuneQuest system where you get a "gains" roll to build up xp towards improving a skill, if you've made a skill roll under pressure... But that still penalises roleplayers with respect to diceroll players, and gives no points towards attributes or advantages. But I'm tempted, since it impersonalises at least one aspect of character development: skills.

Do you have a clear framework for awarding cp, so people know why they are being rewarded/punished?

Never a perfect way. I make it a communal pot, good roleplayers benefit everyone, bad roleplayers drag everyone down, that way my players beat the bad ones into behaving better :)

All depends on the group though, I have a group of good roleplayers so they are all rewarded together and have been awarded more than regular character points due to good roleplaying on most sessions.

whswhs 10-15-2013 09:23 AM

Re: What's your advice on how to hand out experience points?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Loukas (Post 1662370)
I don't like it. I tend to give everyone a flat 3 pts per session, and that's not fair to the good roleplayers. But pointing out people for being "better" or "worse" players is hard for me. Maybe it's because my group is very new and I'm not confident enough to assume they'll take it the right way.

I've even considered a RuneQuest system where you get a "gains" roll to build up xp towards improving a skill, if you've made a skill roll under pressure... But that still penalises roleplayers with respect to diceroll players, and gives no points towards attributes or advantages. But I'm tempted, since it impersonalises at least one aspect of character development: skills.

Do you have a clear framework for awarding cp, so people know why they are being rewarded/punished?

I give either 2 or 3 eeps all round, depending on whether the session was low-key or accomplished something substantial. I give one extra to players I think came up with something memorable for their characters to do. I often ask the players if they think anyone did something especially memorable; sometimes they speak up on their own.

Once I penalized a player 1 eep for abuse of process—he had tried to dictate something that wasn't under his character's control in order to have a big psychological impact on another PC. I've never done it again—or had reason to.

What I grant people for making skill rolls under pressure is letting them spend eeps they've earned on buying up a skill directly, rather than making them invest the training time. They still have to earn the eeps.

Bill Stoddard

PS. It seems to me a big part of the issue for you is not being comfortable with making the decision that one player's roleplaying was good and another's was bad. That seems like partly a psychological issue, and I can't help with that. But bear in mind that the players are already trusting you to create an interesting world, to come up with appropriate challenges, to figure out how people in the world will respond to their characters' actions, to interpret the rules—and to do so more or less fairly. Giving eeps isn't a big thing compared to that. I think everyone knows that the award of eeps is partly subjective; so long as you're making a reasonable effort to be fair, and not systematically playing favorites, so that the awards average out over time, reasonable players will accept that. And if you have unreasonable players who are going to try to manipulate the process by pressuring you, they'll cause problems long before you get to giving out eeps—but it doesn't sound as if you do.

whswhs 10-15-2013 09:26 AM

Re: What's your advice on how to hand out experience points?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Ghostdancer (Post 1662384)
I use the following:
  • For a character journal for one episode: 2 points.
  • For a character portrait: 3 points.
  • For each additional page of expanded character history: 2 points per page.
  • For each short story written about your character: 3 to 5 points.
  • Game Bounties (this is doing things for me for the game itself, like you creating a template I need done, worked on a map, etc. I will send out emails and you guys can decide if you want to do them or not): 1 to 20 points

That's all stuff I would never reward with eeps. It gives the character a payoff for things the player did that were external to the character's actions and to the narrative of the game. I'm really big on player/character separation.

Bill Stoddard

Christopher R. Rice 10-15-2013 09:31 AM

Re: What's your advice on how to hand out experience points?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by whswhs (Post 1662401)
That's all stuff I would never reward with eeps. It gives the character a payoff for things the player did that were external to the character's actions and to the narrative of the game. I'm really big on player/character separation.

Bill Stoddard

That's cool. But I'm not, because its allowing the player to participate as their character outside of the game environment which allows them to expand their own story. I use "game bounties" because sometimes I need help and I like to reward those who are willing to give a hand. Not every game is about the characters who are in it, sometimes its about building the world the characters are in. Most of my players are more like junior-GMs even though I control the vertical and horizontal. I don't just get to tell a collaborative story with my players - I get to build a world with them and that is very satisfying.

DangerousThing 10-15-2013 09:38 AM

Re: What's your advice on how to hand out experience points?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by whswhs (Post 1662401)
That's all stuff I would never reward with eeps. It gives the character a payoff for things the player did that were external to the character's actions and to the narrative of the game. I'm really big on player/character separation.

Bill Stoddard

To me, the game is all about the players.

I award 3 EP for showing up and having fun. If somebody does something that spoils the game for the others, the lose the 3 EP.

I award 2-3 bonus points depending on what happens during the game. I also use a lot of Ghostdancer's list.

Usually I award the 3 EP at the end of a session, and the bonus points at the end of the adventure.

Christopher R. Rice 10-15-2013 09:49 AM

Re: What's your advice on how to hand out experience points?
 
I personally find that if I continuously reward my players for things like building their character story up and the like that they get into the habit of doing it and really get into it so that they do it now without me even asking. Most of my players use points for buying successes (and when PU5 came out, a butt-load of stuff in there). Most of the time they don't even upgrade their character abilities unless the story calls for it.

Nosforontu 10-15-2013 10:00 AM

Re: What's your advice on how to hand out experience points?
 
My last campaign I was inspired a bit by a deadlands game that we were playing before hand and roughly stole their systems. At the begining of the game they draw three chips from a common pot white chips are worth 1 point, red chips are worth 2 points, and blue chips are worth 3 points that they can turn in during the game for one shot benifits. At the end of the night I hand everyone 2 points. Overall it does lead to more rapid character advancement, but my players prefer campaign styles that lend themselves more to high level of cinematics/high powered big stakes gaming.

Rocket Man 10-15-2013 10:19 AM

Re: What's your advice on how to hand out experience points?
 
I may be unusual but I don't do EP-per-session much these days; instead, I tend to give awards at the end of significant arcs. (Such as completion of an adventure or reaching a major goal within one.) Part of this comes from GMing In Nomine so much, where every-session awards can inflate the character fast, part comes from having a PC in my one-on-one sessions who's more into the roleplaying than the point totals, and part (admittedly) has been my own absent-mindedness on occasion, when we break up a virtual session late at night and don't rejoin the action for a while.


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