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  • Ideas for eliminating the XP/BP split?

    Title.

    Anyways, I've been having problems with the split between these in my games. The way they are set up can lead to drastic XP differentials between player characters, which is never a good thing.

    I was wondering if anyone had ideas for how exactly to fix this with houserules. What would the new costs (for both) be? I want flat costs for everything. Personally, I'm partial to making the first three dots of an ability cost less for non-favored/caste abilities, for extra niche-protection (encouraging PCs to not take those abilities all the way to five, so as not to step on the other PCs toes).

  • #2
    The best I had seen mentioned before was just get rid of xp and have it so that you get some set bonuses per-session, if things like xp parity are something folks worry about. Something like a dot in Ability or specialty one session, a Charm or Attribute dot every other and some other things every more often. I think that if the worry is avoiding folks getting more points out of a system than others, you get rid of points entirely before trying to rework something to be fair.

    And stuff.


    And stuff.
    My DeviantArt Page // My tumblr // Exalted 3e Houserules

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    • #3
      The way my group has always eliminated the split is to use XP-based character generation. It's a PITA, but it removes the incentive to make lop-sided characters, and the XP system in Exalted is a more sound math model for balancing progression choices.

      If you really want to run with a flat-cost system, at one point I did ratios for the XP/BP split and determined most things were way over-costed. You can pretty safely drop Attributes to 3BP, charms to 3BP, and Willpower to 1BP.;

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      • #4
        I prefer simply eliminating BP. Have everything cost xp at chargen, like it will afterwards.


        This post was made in a factory where hyperbole and sarcasm are handled.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Blaque View Post
          The best I had seen mentioned before was just get rid of xp and have it so that you get some set bonuses per-session, if things like xp parity are something folks worry about. Something like a dot in Ability or specialty one session, a Charm or Attribute dot every other and some other things every more often. I think that if the worry is avoiding folks getting more points out of a system than others, you get rid of points entirely before trying to rework something to be fair.

          And stuff.
          The problem isn't really that some people get more out of the system than others. Good choices should be rewarded. The problem is that the amount of exp it takes to get the same exact character sheet can be radically different depending on whether points were bought in chargen or during play. This incentivizes weird things - the best spread for primary attributes is 5/5/1, for example. This is why I want to make costs flat, to avoid these weird results of the system.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Blaque View Post
            The best I had seen mentioned before was just get rid of xp and have it so that you get some set bonuses per-session, if things like xp parity are something folks worry about. Something like a dot in Ability or specialty one session, a Charm or Attribute dot every other and some other things every more often. I think that if the worry is avoiding folks getting more points out of a system than others, you get rid of points entirely before trying to rework something to be fair.

            And stuff.
            This is what I do in my games. At the end a session players get say, one Ability point or a Charm and an Ability point or maybe an Attribute point. "You get a Charm! And you get a Charm! And you get a Charm! Everybody gets a Charm! But Joe can only choose a Favored or Caste Charm." So each player picks a Charm they want. I'll even give different players additional bonuses - "Your character did X cool thing in the game today, so your permanent Willpower increases by one point as well as getting those other bonuses."

            It allows for character growth, but it also helps players stay relative close to one another in power levels - I had issues in 1st Edition with some players not spending any exp except to raise Essence and other players building their characters organically, and this led to problems with the table balance so I adopted this system.

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            • #7
              While the suggestions of eliminating EXP entirely are interesting, they're not quite what I'm looking for. My players and I very much prefer the control over your own advancement the EXP system gives, but the differentials caused by its scaling costs cause problems.

              My own ideas for eliminating the scaling costs go something like this:

              - 3 exp for favored/caste increases and for non-favored/caste increases up to 3
              - 5 exp for the last two dots of a non-favored/caste ability
              - 8 exp for a dot of an attribute
              - 2 exp for a purchased merit

              Anyone have any better ideas for numbers, or changes to those costs as a whole?

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Totentanz View Post
                The way my group has always eliminated the split is to use XP-based character generation. It's a PITA, but it removes the incentive to make lop-sided characters, and the XP system in Exalted is a more sound math model for balancing progression choices.

                If you really want to run with a flat-cost system, at one point I did ratios for the XP/BP split and determined most things were way over-costed. You can pretty safely drop Attributes to 3BP, charms to 3BP, and Willpower to 1BP.;

                This seems like the way to do it, and also preserves the solar / regular divide in points which has been a pretty big deal in the games I've been in. Out of curiosity" Totentanz: how much xp do you start off with? (I'm assuming 1 in each attribute and 0 in everything else, maybe still 5 in WP).

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                • #9
                  I kept a bookmark to the last major BP/XP argument from RPG.net just for occasions like this. If you're wondering how to balance your fix for BP/XP here's a post by Holden on the proper pacing for advancement under any replacement system. There's probably a few BP based alternatives floated among those 1000+ posts, but I'd go with the one suggested here since it's the most straightforward:

                  -The first, second, and third dots of a Skill always cost 1bp whether or not it's Favored
                  -Essence 1 Charms and Terrestrial Circle spells always cost 4bp, whether or not they're Favored*
                  -Your starting 10 dots of Merits must be spent on Story merits only (if you have no ideas, you can hold them in reserve and throw them at your ST later)


                  In my own opinion I would definitely go with BP over XP. If you retain XP instead the core issue that distorts character generation is still present;it becomes better to skew your starting dots assignments, 5/1/1 is better than 3/2/2. Some might advocate for full XP gen, replacing starting dots with XP, but that makes creating characters prohibitively difficult for new players.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Shinjo View Post
                    I kept a bookmark to the last major BP/XP argument from RPG.net just for occasions like this. If you're wondering how to balance your fix for BP/XP here's a post by Holden on the proper pacing for advancement under any replacement system. There's probably a few BP based alternatives floated among those 1000+ posts, but I'd go with the one suggested here since it's the most straightforward:

                    -The first, second, and third dots of a Skill always cost 1bp whether or not it's Favored
                    -Essence 1 Charms and Terrestrial Circle spells always cost 4bp, whether or not they're Favored*
                    -Your starting 10 dots of Merits must be spent on Story merits only (if you have no ideas, you can hold them in reserve and throw them at your ST later)


                    In my own opinion I would definitely go with BP over XP. If you retain XP instead the core issue that distorts character generation is still present;it becomes better to skew your starting dots assignments, 5/1/1 is better than 3/2/2. Some might advocate for full XP gen, replacing starting dots with XP, but that makes creating characters prohibitively difficult for new players.


                    That thing with the pacing certainly helps balance it.

                    I want to stick with EXP but make EXP not scale because the exp costs are more balanced for in-game character advancement.

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                    • #11
                      My group did usual chargen and then used BP for things. We, generally cut advancement rules i n half (aka 2.5 bp a session, 2 solar BP a session) and made it so 1bp was worth 6xp to charms that cost xp (and we kept track of it if you didn't use all if said xp).

                      We made it so attributes cost 3 bp, not 4, but that was the only change we made. It worked very well, and we actually got to see someone use Wyld Shaping as the basis of their concept, since 1.33 bp is a lot cheaper per wyld shaping than 8 xp.

                      I enjoyed playing in it more than I do in ones with he XP system, because I felt no need to minmax, so my eclipse as manipulate 4, charisma 3, appearance 4, instead of the 5/1/5 i would usually do for that character

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by IgnisDomini View Post
                        Title.

                        Anyways, I've been having problems with the split between these in my games. The way they are set up can lead to drastic XP differentials between player characters, which is never a good thing.
                        I disagree with this premise. I think this is taken for granted that differences are inherently harmful or bad in some way and has been way overblown. The game is inequitable even when the numbers are equitable in ways that are simply not systemically (as in, in a game mechanics system) avoidable.

                        That said, I don't use XP or BP in my games, I just hand out dots and charm picks at regularly spaced intervals, not for any balancing reason (though it's a fine stand in at doing that), but because it's just less overhead and paperwork, and the ST always knows how many dots, charms, etc a sheet is supposed to have on it, so it has the added benefit of helping to police cheating easily. That has saved me a lot of trouble versus "backtracking and logging BP/XP expenditures".


                        Incentive is not permission or justification.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by IgnisDomini View Post
                          That thing with the pacing certainly helps balance it.

                          I want to stick with EXP but make EXP not scale because the exp costs are more balanced for in-game character advancement.
                          I wouldn't really say that's true, frankly, having spent time with BP only. There's a lot of inelegant design in the XP system: Solar XP is basically "we couldn't get players to buy this shit, so here's XP they can only use for this shit," then there's the band-aid on top of that of the Martial Arts merit, etc, etc.

                          That said, here's a flat XP costing posted on 4chan, which would be used for both play and chargen:
                          At character creation, characters gain 60 Solar Experience.

                          The following are the new, flattened, XP costs. They are used both for character creation and advancement:
                          Attribute: 10 XP per dot
                          Ability: 5 XP per dot (4 XP if ability is Caste/Favored, and/or the dot purchased is 1-3)
                          Specialty: 3 XP
                          Merit: 3 XP per dot
                          Willpower: 8 XP
                          Solar Charm: 10 XP (8 XP if Caste/Favored, and/or the Charm is Essence 1)
                          Martial Arts Charm: 10 XP (8 XP if Brawl is Caste/Favored, and/or the Charm is Essence 1)
                          Spell: 10 XP (8 XP if Occult is Caste/Favored, and/or the spell is Terrestrial Circle)
                          New Evocation: 10 XP (8 XP if the Evocation is Essence 1)

                          Any XP not spent at the end of this phase (e.g. because there's an extra point or two you *can't* spend) is kept to be spent later.

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                          • #14
                            This isn't the best way to solve it in terms of fairness, but as my players disliked anything more complicated, I eventually went with an array system for attributes.
                            Instead of fiddling around with bp/xp in order to solve the fact that having stats like 5/5/1 at char gen was best, I gave everyone the following attributes:
                            5/4/4/3/3/3/2/2/1. They can put those in any combination they like (no need for primary/secondary/tertiary).
                            This way, you can just keep the normal xp system and no-one's getting more out of it than anyone else, because they all put the same ratios into attributes. You can also keep the same bp system.

                            There's still a bit of an issue with ability dots... but frankly, almost everyone puts most of their bps into abilities anyway, with a bit in merits and willpower, that it doesn't make much difference.

                            I wouldn't say this system is perfect, but it's quick, elegant and simple, and mitigates the issues a lot. I'm reasonably happy with the results.

                            You could also apply it to abilities, giving people abilities of 5, 5, 4, 4, 4, 4, 3... etc, but I couldn't be bothered and it doesn't make nearly as much difference with abilities as with attributes.

                            Before this, I tried to try and XP-only system, but the players whined* about it so I didn't use it in the end, and I later realised it wouldn't have led to the results I wanted. At the beginning of my current game, I just gave them 50xp instead of 15bp, which I thought would work well, but surprisingly it didn't really, IMO (I mean, it wasn't awful, but I don't think really better than the normal system). It still had the attribute issue where some people got a lot more out of attributes than others.

                            *Most of my players deny the system is problematic, even though they have hundreds of xp so the issues are exaggerated. But hey, if they don't care about the problems, than maybe it doesn't matter. Which is why I haven't gone in for a more extensive change, just one that mitigates the issues so they don't annoy me so much.


                            ParanoiaCombo and others who just hand out dots/charms, what do you do about stuff like the xp cost of workings?


                            I play...
                            Kovan, actor, librarian, sorcerer, great bear, Lunar Elder from the First Age
                            Thutmose-Osiris, seventh son of a seventh son, descendant of the Supreme Deity Sukhmet, renegade demigod and bearer of the Ghoul-Banishing Bow. Also bright green.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Shinjo View Post
                              I kept a bookmark to the last major BP/XP argument from RPG.net just for occasions like this. If you're wondering how to balance your fix for BP/XP here's a post by Holden on the proper pacing for advancement under any replacement system. There's probably a few BP based alternatives floated among those 1000+ posts, but I'd go with the one suggested here since it's the most straightforward:

                              -The first, second, and third dots of a Skill always cost 1bp whether or not it's Favored
                              -Essence 1 Charms and Terrestrial Circle spells always cost 4bp, whether or not they're Favored*
                              -Your starting 10 dots of Merits must be spent on Story merits only (if you have no ideas, you can hold them in reserve and throw them at your ST later)


                              In my own opinion I would definitely go with BP over XP. If you retain XP instead the core issue that distorts character generation is still present;it becomes better to skew your starting dots assignments, 5/1/1 is better than 3/2/2. Some might advocate for full XP gen, replacing starting dots with XP, but that makes creating characters prohibitively difficult for new players.
                              This is the system I use. It works great. You can also use just XP if you prefer, but I like BP better because it makes it easier for players to buy up Abilities, Attributes and so on. Either are vastly superior to a system where you can have people accidentally coming out of chargen with huge XP differentials.

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