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Old 11-18-2022, 09:07 AM   #21
Kromm
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Default Re: Points per each Game Session? What is average or normal?

Quote:
Originally Posted by tshiggins View Post

Some of my players are, quite frankly, better role-players than others. But, when they show up, everybody pitches in as best they can.
That's the important part.

I regard a gaming group as a team. If it were a sports team, it isn't as if non-MVPs would be left out of the celebration of a championship win. If it were a project team promised a bonus for early delivery or a sales milestone, it isn't as if non-MVPs would be denied benefits if the team hit the goal.

Yes, Type A overachievers and self-promoters love to grouse about having to "carry" the team. I can ignore that because it isn't directed at me. Whereas I can't ignore than the gamer equivalent of lawyers showing up to demand why I, the employer, showed favoritism. ;)

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Originally Posted by tshiggins View Post

At this late point in the campaign, I do have some wide point disparities between characters. However, that's because some players have missed fewer sessions than others.
That's a whole other matter. I don't award points to absentees. Belaboring my analogy to the breaking point: If the lawyers showed up and I could demonstrate that the team member had lousy attendance, I think the discussion would end right there. That's fine; it's an airtight justification for not paying someone, whatever form that pay would take.



To be clear, I'm not a "participation trophy" kind of guy. I think that's silly. But RPGs aren't a competition, so there are no losers to receive participation trophies. RPGs are cooperative and collaborative.

I think MVP trophies have their place, but I handle that through opportunity, not payment: Those who play well get to spend their points on a wider range of stuff than those who do not, because they were implicated in more things that could justify interesting improvements. Generally, in a group where all are equally good about showing up, everybody has about the same point total but the better roleplayers have more of their points in A-list options.

Consider a military game. Everybody can improve Guns or Soldier, justify better ST or HT, or add Combat Reflexes or Fit if they lack it . . . I won't deny that to anyone. Only engaged players are likely to convince me that they should have more Rank, or Reputations that reflect decorations or honors. And that stuff will matter, because as GM, I have no problem enforcing, "I don't care that you're a good shot! The Captain is in charge, and you'll do what the Captain says or face military justice, and if you decide to use your shooting skills to avoid that, you'll meet the MPs and be dragged in front of the JAG."
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Old 11-18-2022, 10:44 AM   #22
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Default Re: Points per each Game Session? What is average or normal?

I give same points to everyone, some are better roleplayers than other, but I prefer to have my players at the same level. And I can imagine that some people think it's boring to get less every time.

We "only" play once every month or sometimes less than that, so I give around 10 every time we play.
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Old 11-18-2022, 01:53 PM   #23
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Default Re: Points per each Game Session? What is average or normal?

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Originally Posted by Kesendeja View Post
I found that giving out individual experience tends to lead to hurt feelings. So I do it as a group.
One idea I liked that I read about in TKD's Felltower campaign logs, and that I think I'll use if I ever actually run a game, is to have all the players vote on which character was the MVP for the session; whoever gets the most votes gets an extra point. Of course, if it winds up as something like the Pirate King (or whatever the title was) in the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise, where nobody ever wins because everyone is greedy and votes for themselves, I'd discontinue it. And maybe look into finding a better group to play with...

Outside of the MVP point, of course, all the characters get the same reward.
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Old 11-18-2022, 02:12 PM   #24
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Default Re: Points per each Game Session? What is average or normal?

I don't give points to individuals for good acting, but I do give points for playing out quirks and mental disadvantages when the game doesn't force you to. And by "playing out" I don't mean the acting part; I just mean taking the kinds of actions or saying the kinds of things you agreed to do or say when you took the trait. If you take Gullibility, for instance, you should sometimes intentionally skip the self-control roll and say that you believe some outrageous fabrication.

If you go through a session without making a good-faith attempt to play up your quirks and mental disadvantages, you won't get the bonus character point for it. I won't let you blatantly violate your mental disadvantages — at that point, your character is out of your control. I might allow an exception, but it'll probably come at the cost of some new or a worsened mental disadvantage (for which you don't get more points).

I also don't give points to individuals for good ideas, but I do give every character equal points when one player's good ideas result in an important achievement for the entire group. If Bob single-handedly tricks the bad guy into failing and Joe was just standing by the door on guard, Joe gets the same number of points as Bob for that act, because Joe was doing his part.

Games that I run don't tend to focus on character improvement as an important goal, so I don't feel any need to hand out lots of points. Usually just one for the roleplaying bit described above, and each important goal will have a number of points assigned to it, usually one or two depending on how important they are.
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Old 11-18-2022, 02:30 PM   #25
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Default Re: Points per each Game Session? What is average or normal?

I tend to give a lot of points. Typical base is 1 or 2 points/hour of play with bonus amounts for accomplishing goals.
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Old 11-18-2022, 04:34 PM   #26
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Default Re: Points per each Game Session? What is average or normal?

I'll buck the tide: I'm quite content giving XP to individuals, and thus some will outpoint others.

First off, I'm airily unconcerned with eventual point disparities. If Player A gets 3 pts per session and Player B gets 2 pts per session, and they each make every single one of my biweekly games, then we're talking a disparity of what, 20-25 pts over the course of a full year? Under what circumstances would that unbalance a campaign? Seriously?

Secondly, we often get that anyway. A character dies and is replaced, a player drops out and is replaced, you're going to get a disparity. Do we tell the higher point characters that they're compelled to trade out every time a newbie shows up? (The record disparity in my campaign was 180 pts, which I admit was a bit challenging, but that's an extreme example.)

Nor do we (or should be, anyway) nerf excellence in other areas to avoid bruised feelings. The PC with skill-17 in her main weapon is going to hit more often and have more feasible combat options than the one with skill-14.

The one concession I make is that I not only hand out XP only every three sessions, but I include any left over "bank" from the previous set of sessions -- "Jillian, you have 7 pts to play with, including bank" -- and the only valid totals are what I keep in my own records. That shortcircuited the "How come Doug got more points than I did?" mutterings.
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Old 11-18-2022, 06:13 PM   #27
kenclary
 
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Default Re: Points per each Game Session? What is average or normal?

I haven't run a GURPS campaign in ages, but were I to nowadays, this is how I would do point rewards:
  • 1 CP to everyone per "stopping point" (generally once per session, give or take)
  • 1 CP to everyone whenever some plot or other gets resolved.
  • 2 CP to everyone whenever there's an "act break" or "lots of time passes" type of thing

Which would be pretty slow growth, I'd think. But, augmented by:
  • Remove / not use any "spend CP for success" meta-mechanics
  • Blatantly steal the "inspiration" system from That Other Game, wherein if someone roleplays well, makes the table laugh, or otherwise earns a cookie, they get an "inspiration" point. And any given character can only have one inspiration point at a time.
  • Let inspiration be spent to re-roll any roll of the dice (skill check, active defense, damage roll, HT check to survive, whatever) and take the better result.
  • If the campaign is suitable, allow the group-as-a-whole to have an inspiration "slot" like this, filled when I say so or when someone who already has inspiration gets more. This group inspiration can be spent by group consensus (though if it's in combat time, they need to reach consensus in 10 seconds).
  • Possibly, group inspiration can also be spent to force the GM to reroll something and take the better-for-the-PCs result.
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Old 11-18-2022, 06:29 PM   #28
johndallman
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Default Re: Points per each Game Session? What is average or normal?

There is a different set of guidelines for experience awards on p. 42 of Dungeon Fantasy 3: The Next Level. Those are intended for dungeon-bashing, but I'm not sure what style the OP's game uses.
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Old 11-18-2022, 06:33 PM   #29
Anaraxes
 
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Default Re: Points per each Game Session? What is average or normal?

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Originally Posted by RGTraynor View Post
A character dies and is replaced, a player drops out and is replaced, you're going to get a disparity. Do we tell the higher point characters that they're compelled to trade out every time a newbie shows up?
You could just start the new character at the same level as the surviving ones.

If you're airily unconcerned with point disparities, you should be equally unconcerned about point similarities. Why shouldn't the brand new character have the same number of points as the ones that have been played for a year, regardless of where the old characters started off? That's just a point disparity in their starting points, after all.
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Old 11-18-2022, 07:29 PM   #30
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Default Re: Points per each Game Session? What is average or normal?

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Originally Posted by RGTraynor View Post
I'll buck the tide: I'm quite content giving XP to individuals, and thus some will outpoint others.
I do it that way, too. I like the symbolic effect of being able to say, "So and so gave us some really excellent roleplaying this time," by giving a one-point award.

It hasn't been my experience that any players monopolize experience gain when I do that. Nor, in general, do my players seem to worry about it.

I did have such concerns years ago, not in GURPS but in Godlike, where several players were concerned that one of the players had figured out how to game the experience mechanics and was gaining power disproportionately; but when I checked, I found that one of the players who were most strongly concerned with that was actually well ahead of the player he was concerned about. So I don't think that was actually a reflection of disparate awards, or not entirely; I think that concern was a stalking horse for personal antipathies of some sort.
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