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Old 10-16-2013, 06:02 AM   #31
Dammann
 
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Default Re: What's your advice on how to hand out experience points?

Our campaign is a Dungeon Fantasy game that is growing into a more low fantasy game. Characters started at 250, and are between 255 and 325 now. The campaign has been running for a year and a bit, with 18 sessions behind us.

I give out 5 points per sessions, -1 for a character death, -1 for failing to explore/interact with NPCs/generally being wimpy, -1 for consuming more resources than are gained. All players get that base point award if they're able to attend.

Sometimes we do world-building mini games at the beginning of the session, and the player who wins gets a bonus point. If there are more than three players, they vote for an MVP, who gets a bonus point. If something happens that is awesome/funny enough that I feel it stands out, everyone gets a bonus point. MVP and mini game winners are by ballot.

Mini games we've done include: who were your character's parents, teachers, and friends growing up; what are some place names your character has visited or would like to visit; what are some rumors your character has heard.
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Old 10-16-2013, 06:02 AM   #32
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Default Re: What's your advice on how to hand out experience points?

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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 rulesóand 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 eepsóbut it doesn't sound as if you do.
I take your point. Thinking a bit more about my motivations, I think it comes from my idea of what roleplaying is: collaborative story telling. While I'm very happy to create well-functioning social simulations, my players see this as just the stage for their own actions, and often "break" my preparations, they deform and re-route events. And that's what they should be doing.

But when I'm in the position of handing out xps I'm suddenly an interventionist god, a parent giving rewards, Pavlov in his lab. I'm trying to tell them what "the universe" approves of about their actions...

All things being equal - assuming a fairly like-minded group with no outright disruptive people - then I think its best to aim for the maximum collaboration, input from all.

I think the suggestion to have an open question to the group, about who gets the bonus roleplayng point for the session, is a good one. It also helps people have a public discussion about roleplaying, and hence take responsibility for their own performance.
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Old 10-16-2013, 08:09 AM   #33
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Default Re: What's your advice on how to hand out experience points?

I usually give three points per session, since I can trust my players pretty well to turn up, stay in character and contribute. I don't want to encourage them to compete for airtime, since the focus of sessions moves between characters in a fairly natural way at present, and I like that. The PCs started at 300 points and passed 400 some time ago, but they've mostly becoming more cosmopolitan and versatile rather than better at killing things.
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Old 10-16-2013, 08:17 AM   #34
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Default Re: What's your advice on how to hand out experience points?

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I take your point. Thinking a bit more about my motivations, I think it comes from my idea of what roleplaying is: collaborative story telling. While I'm very happy to create well-functioning social simulations, my players see this as just the stage for their own actions, and often "break" my preparations, they deform and re-route events. And that's what they should be doing.

But when I'm in the position of handing out xps I'm suddenly an interventionist god, a parent giving rewards, Pavlov in his lab. I'm trying to tell them what "the universe" approves of about their actions...

All things being equal - assuming a fairly like-minded group with no outright disruptive people - then I think its best to aim for the maximum collaboration, input from all.

I think the suggestion to have an open question to the group, about who gets the bonus roleplayng point for the session, is a good one. It also helps people have a public discussion about roleplaying, and hence take responsibility for their own performance.
I see the concern you're raising, but I don't think that's what's happening when I give out bonus eeps for roleplaying. I don't have a preplanned way for things to go, and I don't use eeps to influence players toward a particular plot. If anything, I'm more likely to give eeps for coming up with an action that takes the storyline in a direction I had never anticipated. But I may also give them just for turning in an intense, dramatic performance.

In a sense, what I'm doing is putting on my audience hat, and asking what scenes in the play stood out for me. So in effect I'm calling not for a particular plotline, but for a high-drama style of play. I'm telling the players that intense roleplaying and good characterization will be recognized and that they're the point of the exercise.

I'd also note, though, that my players in my current Laundry Files campaign, which is run under a BRP-derived system that doesn't use eeps in any way, are also doing a lot of roleplaying and character interaction. So the use of bonus eeps, and indeed the use of eeps at all, doesn't seem to make a big difference to outcomes. By now I have a player group that values drama and will make that known.

Bill Stoddard
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Old 10-16-2013, 08:49 AM   #35
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Default Re: What's your advice on how to hand out experience points?

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Naturally, this has made their in-game progress pretty "quick," but no one seems to mind.

Speed of advance is all about genre. in DF or 'lost wanderer in a new world' games, rapid progress is part of the genre. Supers.... not so much.
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Old 10-16-2013, 10:21 AM   #36
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Default Re: What's your advice on how to hand out experience points?

Personally I give 2-3 for turning up and roleplaying

and then extra for extra quality role-playing, or doing something brilliant in game.

Big goal achievements I've tended to apportion as follows:

60% gets split evenly, 20% gets given to the player who did the single best thing (as voted on by the table) in the relevant sessions, the next two great things get 10% each.

That said I've been playing with the same guys (in this group) since I was 18, our expectations and tastes are pretty much gelled by now.

So what could be a recipe for a row, is actually a series of "mate that was awesome when you......" in the pub, for us!

I do probably award quite a lot of CPs in total but my players have tendency to broaden their characters out rather than going for big powers.
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Old 10-16-2013, 01:49 PM   #37
corwyn
 
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Default Re: What's your advice on how to hand out experience points?

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Reading over these more detailed systems, my players probably hate me. Personality-wise, I've never been fond of individual rewards, so for many, many moons I've given all players the same amount.

I'm currently running two monthly games, so that amount is generally 10 points per game (when we played weekly, the average was 3 points per game, so I was hoping to keep the progression close to the same despite playing less frequently). For nights that just stand out as above average, or completion of a long-running goal, I might bump it to 15.

Naturally, this has made their in-game progress pretty "quick," but no one seems to mind.
I would expect the high advancement rate would more than compensate for not getting individual rewards.

Personally, it's been about five years since I've handed out individual rewards. Running mostly Savage Worlds and DnD, I decided that I didn't want to deal with individual xp amounts and just started "levelling up" PCs when I felt it was dramatically appropriate.

Now I am going to be running GURPS for the first time in about 10 years, I'm not sure what I'll do about xp - leaning toward handing out the same reward with individual points at the table for being really impressed. I also hand out xp for journal entries (in character perspective) because i like encouraging it.
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Old 10-16-2013, 02:51 PM   #38
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Default Re: What's your advice on how to hand out experience points?

I'm kinda sorta jumping in, but I'm pretty sure nobody mentioned John Wicked's "Playing dirty". He had a whole article talking about experience points, and how to handle them. One of his technique, directly appliable to GURPS, is the reward-by-proxy: giving a single point to each character, and tell them that they can award it to anybody, except themselves.

Also, I have a personal technique (tried it, loved it, sticked to it), but it can only works easily for GURPS or other points-heavy systems: giving a flat amount of points per session for the characters to spend, and then "giving" each of them from 1 to 6 points regarding to their participation. The trick is, they never actually get to spend said points. Worse: they don't ever know how many they won. But sometimes, during the game, they'll discover some strange abilities lying within them. Or get the occasion to make stronger bonds with a Contact, propelling him to the rank of Ally. Or save a cyberdoc's life, and get an amazing discount of 100% on a cyberlimb. See where I'm getting at?

Well this only works, of course, with players willing to wholly entrust you with their characters, and never question what you do.
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Old 10-16-2013, 02:53 PM   #39
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Default Re: What's your advice on how to hand out experience points?

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John Wicked's
Wick. I'm actually in a LARP right now that he played in at one point (although he's not currently, I don't think, but there are a lot of "Johns" and I don't know everybodies last name yet); the gaming world is a small one.
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Old 10-16-2013, 03:05 PM   #40
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Default Re: What's your advice on how to hand out experience points?

And this is the confirmation that I shouldn't post anything after 10 PM. And I'm jealous.
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