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Old 06-24-2018, 04:28 PM   #135
Steve Jackson
President and EIC
Join Date: Jul 2004
Default Re: Experience Points

And here's a modified and number-crunched experience section for you to look at.


Experience Points
GMs can reward their players in two ways. The first is in-game – gold, magic items, reputation. The second way is through experience points, which allow characters themselves to improve. This section, even more than most, should be taken as a suggestion to the GM rather than Orders From Above. Every group has its own style and every GM will work differently with their group.

The whole party should get an XP reward at the end of each play session, based on how well they played as a group. For instance, the GM might award 60 points for the session, which would mean each player gets 60 points to improve their character.

Rewards might also come instantly, in the middle of play – for instance:
• For an outstanding example of cooperation.
• For working as a group to solve a puzzle.
• For finding an unexpected solution to an in-game situation.

The GM should also award XP to individuals during play, when a player does something that improves the game. For instance:
• For making everyone in the party gasp, exclaim, or laugh – provided it was by an in-character action.
• For achieving some important part of the objective – striking down the orc leader, convincing the dwarf-lord to show you a map, distracting the dragon for that crucial minute.
• For saving the day (or the party) through some in-character action.

Players keep track of their own XP and spend them as described below.

XP should not be mechanically granted just for slaying things. It’s a GM decision, and it’s first and always for good roleplaying.

A rate of 25 to 100 experience points per player per session will be appropriate for most campaigns, but this is a GM call. That rate will allow new characters to improve themselves after every session or so. Later, as the campaign itself becomes an important reward, the character advancement should slow down. The GM should try to provide challenges appropriate for the increasing competence of the party.

Spending Experience Points
XP are normally spent at the end of the expedition, when the characters are safe at home and at least mostly healed. GMs may allow exceptions as they see fit.

Experience points can be spent in several ways:
• To improve your basic stats: ST, DX, or IQ. This will improve all talents and saving rolls associated with that stat, but it’s expensive.
• To learn new spells and talents.
• For gold! Sweet, sweet gold!
• For a Limited Wish, which can save your life if luck turns against you.
• To improve your staff’s Mana stat, if you are a wizard. This lets you cast more spells.

Improving Basic Stats
You may use XP to buy up to 8 additional attribute points. These may be divided up between Strength, Dexterity, and IQ in any way you choose. After you have your eighth additional attribute point (which gets humans to a total of 40), attributes may only be increased further by very potent magic, such as a Wish.
The cost to improve a basic attribute depends on the current total of your attributes. Super-high stats will come at the expense of other stats, so there will be few geniuses and Olympic athletes. The highest “normal” attribute would be 24 – the character starts with 16 in the chosen stat and miraculously survives long enough to add all his optional points to that same stat.

Added attribute point - XP cost
33rd or lower – 100 XP
34th – 200
35th – 400
36th – 800
37th – 1,200
38th – 1,600
39th – 2,000
40th – 3,000
41st and later – Magic is needed.

Learning New Spells and Talents
Each new spell or talent learned costs 500 XP – or 1,000 for talents marked (2) in the listing, or 1,500 for those marked (3). It does not matter how many spells or talents you already know.
However, you may not learn a spell or talent unless you meet the minimum IQ requirement, as well as any prerequisites (such as other talents) shown in the listing.
When you add a new spell or talent, you may use it immediately. It is assumed that you were practicing or studying during the time you were earning the experience points.
As when the character was created, spells cost triple for a non-wizard, and talents cost double for a wizard.

A character who needs mundane wealth between adventures may, if the GM permits, cash XP in for 1 gold piece each. The player must suggest a good in-game explanation of where the money came from. “Found it in the street” should work zero times, and “Rich uncle died” once at most. In general, XP are best spent improving your character, and money is best earned by slaying brigands and vile monsters. But – again, if the GM permits it – the money option is there.

The Lesser Wish
A Lesser Wish (see p. 00) is useful for controlling or rerolling single die rolls. The GM may allow characters, between adventures, to “purchase” one Lesser Wish for 500 XP, and hold it for emergencies. This rule is specifically intended to help players keep their experienced characters alive, if they are willing to invest XP in the insurance.

Mana and the Wizard’s Staff
(Much of this would be moved elsewhere, mostly under STAFF in the section on wizardry.)
Mana is a stat, not of the wizard, but of the wizard’s staff. When a wizard first creates a staff, it has 0 mana. By spending 200 XP, the wizard may add 1 to the mana of the staff, up to a limit equal to the wizard’s current IQ stat. Each point of mana can be spent like a point of ST to power spells.
Once spent, the mana must be replaced. To “recharge” his staff, the wizard must either spend 5 ST points, or spend a half-day in contemplation, for each ST point replaced. (An exploit is clearly possible here using the Drain ST spell and a lot of prisoners. It will at least encourage evil rulers to keep their prisoners alive so their evil wizards can farm ST. Maybe good rulers would do it too, at least as part of some punishments.)
If a staff is lost or destroyed, the wizard’s next one will have the same mana stat. The XP was spent, not to enhance a stick of wood, but to improve the wizard’s understanding of the spell. However, the new staff will contain no actual mana until the wizard puts it in.
A wizard may have only one staff at a time. If he loses his staff, the act of making another will disempower the old staff. Most staves are wood, but silver, and wood-and-silver, are allowable, and gem decorations are common for wealthy wizards.
No one but the creating wizard himself may draw ST from a staff.
The “Staff of Power” spell doubles the ST that a staff can hold, so the limit becomes twice the wizard’s IQ.

The wizard must be holding or wearing the staff for it to be useful.
A “staff” does not have to be a literal staff. Common forms include:
• An actual staff. Advantage: has other uses, including walking and whacking foes. Disadvantage: bulky.
• A wand. Advantages: light, stylish. Disadvantage: does no damage of its own if you strike with it.
• A necklace, bracelet, or even ring. Advantage: discreet; remains in touch with your skin but you don’t use hands. Disadvantage: cannot be used for a staff strike. You may not punch someone with a “staff ring” and do extra damage.
• Sword (must be silver, or it’s just a club). Advantage: deadly weapon, can be enhanced by staff-strike power. Disadvantage: of less use unless you have Sword training.
• Dagger (must be silver, or it’s just a stake). Advantage: last-ditch weapon, cleaning fingernails, gesturing emphatically. Disadvantage: less effective if you don’t buy Knife skill.

Unlike other spells, the Staff spell can be learned only by a wizard; it is the very mark of wizardry.

Staff strike: If a weapon-type staff contains mana, a wizard who hits with it may spend a single point of mana to do one extra die of damage with the staff. This attack is rolled separately and is not stopped by armor!

There is no longer a need to forget abilities, so all that stuff gets removed.
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