6/16/13

Awarding Experience in My Montporte Dungeon Campaign

My Montporte Dungeon campaign started out as a one-shot, using a dungeon that I had started creating a few years ago with something different in mind. The groovy thing is that the repurposing of the dungeon worked and we are now adding some Montporte sessions in between Rob's (Bat in the Attic) Majestic Wilderland's GURPS campaign. However, I still playing catch up with things like basic house rules and a lot of setting creation stuff. I actually think the campaign is going well because I didn't prepare much in advance. Even so, I have to catch up on a few things, including how I award experience points.

We started with AD&D 1e and then switched to Blood & Treasure, but I have continued to use a simplified version of the AD&D 1e experience award rules (such as they are). I want to modify that approach a bit, using the following thoughts:
  • Experience points awards will be given equally to each party member who is part of that session, although I will prorate things if people come in late or cut out early.
  • Experience points will be based solely on what happens in play and not on the experience level of the character. In other words, first level characters and third level characters will get the same x.p. in a given session.
  • The number and involvement of NPCs will not affect the amount of experience awarded to player characters.
  • Dungeon play is based on exploration, encounters, and extraction. Therefore experience points will be awarded in all three areas.
I want to expand on that last point. Experience points will be awarded in three different categories:
  • Exploration: X.p. for finding new rooms, new areas, and new levels. X.p. will also be awarded for finding hidden objects, compartments, secret doors, etc.
  • Encounters: X.p. awarded for killing opponents, overcoming opponents, wooing or gaining info from important NPCs, solving puzzles, opening locks, removing or avoiding traps, etc.
  • Extraction: X.p. for currency, items with tangible value (including livestock, pets, etc), profit from trade and transactions, magic items, etc.
Even as I wanted to expand things for which I am awarding experience, I wanted to avoid some things as well:
  • Awarding experience based on individual player role-playing and other things that put me in the position of making excessively subjective judgments. 
  • Giving out individualized experience awards, based on what individual characters do. This seems like a lot of bookkeeping for me and possibly punitive for guys in our group, depending on their character classes and ability.
  • Too slow or too speedy of a pace for level advancement.
  • Rewarding only killing and taking. Not that it isn't rewarded, but it is not the only thing rewarded.
I will post more details after I test this out. There is nothing radical here. I mainly wanted to ensure that player characters get experience for all aspects of dungeon play.

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