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  • V20 - experience rates

    Hello all,

    I'm currently a player in a long running chronicle and have played other shorter ones before and I'm thinking about trying to run a game as ST myself (hence my post about ghouls and embrace).

    I've been re-reading the core book but I haven't managed to find a clear reference on how to manage player progression.

    So my questions are as follows:

    -How do you give out xp? By the night passed in-game, by session played, by campaign "chapter"?

    -Considering the previous question, how to you rate the amount of xp provided.
    Let's say that you give out xp per night passed in-game. How much would you give for a very eventful night, a busy night, a regular night and a quiet nigh?
    If the per night is an issue, please use the time-frame of your choice withe the mentioned qualifiers.

    -Do you give the same amount of xp to all members of the coterie or do you individualize the xp given? If the later, what is/are your criteria?

    -finally, do you give xp during long periods of torpor to represent the "thickening of the blood"? If so at what rate and do you take the generation of the torpid vampire into account?

    Than you for your contributions! 🙏😁

  • #2
    I NEVER individualize the xp given, since I feel this is really unfair for players who are not as available as the other because of work/family and unfair for players with shy characters or who are shy themselves. Despite being one of the players who usually benefit from this system, I really have bad vibes about it and feels like it's good neither for the ST nor for their players.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Kalendeer View Post
      I NEVER individualize the xp given, since I feel this is really unfair for players who are not as available as the other because of work/family and unfair for players with shy characters or who are shy themselves. Despite being one of the players who usually benefit from this system, I really have bad vibes about it and feels like it's good neither for the ST nor for their players.
      That's also my feeling on it but since i don't have real ST experience, i wanted to have input from ST's who have.

      Thank you for the contribution

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      • #4
        I give xp per session longer downtimes/torpors might get some xp depending on the game but they are excellent opportunitites for spending xp collected.

        We also tend to spread xp around according to what the characters have been doing so that character progression feels a bit more natural, though it does tend to mean it is slower to raise Disciplines, attributes and other expensive or already high stats.

        Then again despite being old and having families and children we tend to play several times a week so progression can still be somewhat fast.

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        • #5
          I give XP per session but I only allow it to be expended after a time-skip , torpor or a dramatic event (Like comitting diablerie).The Max Amount of XP per session I give is 6.The amount of XP given is always said at the next session.To compensate my players start with 5 points in disciplines instead of 3 plus whatever they buy with frebbies.
          • 1 XP for participating
          • 1 XP for risking your resources
          • 1 XP for risking your life
          • 1 XP for using your powers with imagination
          • 2 XP to the best roleplayer
          This way you are giving your players power a progesion but this isnt inmediate and true power comes from knowing how to use your power and resources.

          My personal advice is to make players know their powers and strenghts.Make them start learning how their disciplines work via a training montage and invisible tutorials that will also help to build the relationship with their sires.Once your players start understand the world the game starts to run very smooth.

          Originally posted by DuncanD View Post
          -finally, do you give xp during long periods of torpor to represent the "thickening of the blood"? If so at what rate and do you take the generation of the torpid vampire into account?
          Long Torpor kinda weakens the characters in canon (see helena , Menele and others Metushaleah).What raises the power is the time you stay active I made a houserule for this.
          http://forum.theonyxpath.com/forum/m...of-hunger-dice


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          • #6
            Originally posted by Possessed View Post
            I give xp per session longer downtimes/torpors might get some xp depending on the game but they are excellent opportunitites for spending xp collected.

            We also tend to spread xp around according to what the characters have been doing so that character progression feels a bit more natural, though it does tend to mean it is slower to raise Disciplines, attributes and other expensive or already high stats.

            Then again despite being old and having families and children we tend to play several times a week so progression can still be somewhat fast.
            I see. Personally i don't expect to be able to play more than once a week at the utmost. The game I'm currently in gets one or two session a month tops and sometimes gets in a hiatus for a month or two. So I don't mind the slow progression of abilities, I'll just have to adapt the chronicle and encounters.

            Thanks for the input

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Leandro16 View Post
              I give XP per session but I only allow it to be expended after a time-skip , torpor or a dramatic event (Like comitting diablerie).The Max Amount of XP per session I give is 6.The amount of XP given is always said at the next session.To compensate my players start with 5 points in disciplines instead of 3 plus whatever they buy with frebbies.
              • 1 XP for participating
              • 1 XP for risking your resources
              • 1 XP for risking your life
              • 1 XP for using your powers with imagination
              • 2 XP to the best roleplayer

              This way you are giving your players power a progesion but this isnt inmediate and true power comes from knowing how to use your power and resources.

              My personal advice is to make players know their powers and strenghts.Make them start learning how their disciplines work via a training montage and invisible tutorials that will also help to build the relationship with their sires.Once your players start understand the world the game starts to run very smooth.



              Long Torpor kinda weakens the characters in canon (see helena , Menele and others Metushaleah).What raises the power is the time you stay active I made a houserule for this.
              http://forum.theonyxpath.com/forum/m...of-hunger-dice
              Thank you for the detailed answer. The chart is really nice, i may draw on it for inspiration

              I'd be more of the opinion of allowing players to spend xp at each rising to represent the self reflecting effect of their diurnal torpor. Up to them to be strategic and wait or go for the multiple small progressions.

              Since we're playing modern nights, i'd think young vampire characters might be able to use the modern world commodities against more powerful but less technically agile elders.
              So i am with you on the nature of true power.

              Funny how I thought that torpor would allow the vampiric powers to become more potent. So a 5th gen Neonate that gets thrown into torpor and wakes up being munched by a more develloped 13th gen is SOL

              That's what allowed really old vampires to be munched on by youglings !

              I might go for this kind of xp leveling but I might double or triple the rates is we're doing a fast chronicle with timeskips...

              Although this raises a question that I didn't foresee:

              How do you give XP for the time a character existed since the time of their embrace (and was active) before the chronicle. For the same matter, what about timeskips where characters go do stuff and come back to a chronicle some times later (let's say in the case a player is tired of his or her character and wants to back-bench it for a while)?

              Thaannnks for your help

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              • #8
                Originally posted by DuncanD View Post
                How do you give XP for the time a character existed since the time of their embrace (and was active) before the chronicle. For the same matter, what about timeskips where characters go do stuff and come back to a chronicle some times later (let's say in the case a player is tired of his or her character and wants to back-bench it for a while)?
                Short answer as the plot requires.

                Long answer it varies , not all characters have the same potential (The PC are kinda Zpecial in that regards) , neither are all characters active and interested in devoloping their powers.Personally and taking the suplement Elyseum in to acount I would give for 1 XP per year of activity to neonates ,1XP for each 5 years of activity to ancillae and 1 XP for every 10 years of activity for elders.For PCs or Important characters you can increase the rate of XP per time to showcase their great potential.

                Now about back-benching characters I would allow the players to transfer the XP of their new character to the old one but with two conditions
                • Each 2XP transfered becomes 1XP
                • Everything they do not interpretate is a ST and it´s fate is in the ST hands.
                Last edited by Leandro16; 10-21-2018, 02:02 PM.


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                • #9
                  We use campaign xp so all characters have the same pool. This is because we have several ST and two groups of characters (Sabbat and Camarilla) played by the STs/Players. It would just seem unfair that the one who ST more than the others would get less xp That also allow us to have occasional players coming once in a while when their schedule allow them to join.

                  As for Leandro's chart... this is exactly everything I hate, since half the xp depends on the ST's goodwill. Everytime a ST used that during our games, we ended up with pretty unfair results, and let us be honest, every ST has favorites. We just connect with some characters more than the others, so it's very easy to favor a character, not because his player is the "best roleplayer" but because his character just happens to be the one we like most. Furthermore, the very fact that someone gets the honor of being the best roleplayed turns the game into a competition.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by DuncanD View Post
                    I've been re-reading the core book but I haven't managed to find a clear reference on how to manage player progression.
                    Kinda curious are you looking for the book's stance on this since.. I mostly end up using the book as written.

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                    • #11
                      Well, my ongoing TC game is the only chronicle I've run recently for many of these concerns, and for that here's what I did:

                      I started with the general discipline expectation for ancillae and elders ( dots equal to square root of age), and figured out the amount of experience it would require to get there from character generation. Since characters can be expected to raise attributes, abilities, and virtues as well, I apply an equal amount of experience to those.

                      From there, I took the total pool of NPC's at each point in the chronicle (1180, 1197, 1216, 1225, 1241, 1289, and 1314 so far), plotted their experience as a factor of age, and figured out the best-fit equation:

                      Y=.85x-2.367

                      Where Y equals the expected experience total, and X equals age. So, a 300-year-old vampire should be expected to have somewhere in the neighborhood of 253 experience total (disciplines plus attributes/abilities/virtues). Now, the actual plot is cubic, but I'm referring the linear best-fit for simplicity and ease. I've ran the test against several characters whose stats are published, whether they be one-off, chronicle-specific, metaplot, or signature -- especially since I recreated several metaplot and signature NPC's under this rule -- and it's actually damned accurate to published stats.

                      The real feather in the cap on this is, having checked my equation against Lucita's, Anatole's, and Vykos' published stats at least throughout the several works, it's generally within 10-20 experience at least. There are some really interesting implications of the formula -- experience growth stays consistent and easily predictable between 0-300, and 500+ years, but in that 200-year "early elder" phase experience values can be all over the place within a certain threshold, depending on whether a given elder is mastering in-clan disciplines or branching heavily out-of-clan. Which makes sense, if a vampire is learning out of clan, then they're probably more active and engaging with vampires of other clans. And, the way I build NPC's, having Auspex and/or Fortitude in-clan heavily pre-determines experience expectation (Dark Ages, nasty brutish and short, yadda yadda).

                      The primary exceptions are blood sorcerers who actually tend under-curve due to experience costs for secondary paths, and the linear equation breaks down for vampires of extreme age, for whom the cubic fit applies accurately. And, I have tested this on the extreme end, too -- statted out Japheth, Baba Yaga, and ur-Shulgi just to see what happens. Boy howdy. And, having done it, if I were to bet on any of them in a knock-down drag-out Elder Fight, my money goes on Japheth every last fucking time, and his published stats from GC(?) are Kentucky Fried Bullshit.

                      When I can find the cubic equation again (dipshit me, for all the electronic records-keeping and tracking I'm doing for this damn game, put it on paper) I'll share, but for now I want to keep the post short and sweet. The best part of this, is it provides a nice benchmark for PC experience as a factor of age, and indicator of whether I need to provide more or less experience by default over the next few game sessions.
                      Last edited by Theodrim; 10-21-2018, 05:05 PM.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Kalendeer View Post
                        As for Leandro's chart... this is exactly everything I hate, since half the xp depends on the ST's goodwill. Everytime a ST used that during our games, we ended up with pretty unfair results, and let us be honest, every ST has favorites. We just connect with some characters more than the others, so it's very easy to favor a character, not because his player is the "best roleplayer" but because his character just happens to be the one we like most. Furthermore, the very fact that someone gets the honor of being the best roleplayed turns the game into a competition.
                        Tecnically almost all that happens in a desk is due the Master Good or Badwill.If a Master wants to be unfair he can be that without the need of XP , suddenly his GM Character does all that is interesting , moves the city politics , diablerices the elders but somehow maintains his humanity etc... as long as they decide to stay in the desk of that guy the players are destined to gack and stare as he railroads them into his power fantasy.That guy should never have the Crown of the GM even the Baali now that.

                        From my experience as a player this is the system that is the most used and in the hands of a semi-decent storyteller you have nothing to worry about your piece of XP cake becuase she will try to be kinda fair.That said my experience may not be extrapolable to yours becuase my group tends to use a stable Master we know is kinda good at his job instead of a rotative player/storyteller system.
                        Last edited by Leandro16; 10-21-2018, 06:48 PM.


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                        • #13
                          I've had problems before with this system with stable storytellers, and all of them were more than decent. The problem being that players who are less at ease, less talkative, or just less intelligent always get the lesser piece of the XP cake. Those players already get "punished" before they act less, giving them less XP feels like punishing them twice.

                          And from my experience, the moment when the ST decides who the best player was is never a good one, despite me usually getting the bigger share of the cake. I don't do roleplay to enter a competition about who is the best roleplayer.

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                          • #14
                            Well is kinda fair that for the players who risk more and learn to use their powers more efectively to get more XP.

                            From my point of view and experience what those passive players need is not some pity extra XP but some extra care and be provoked to interact with the group , make some choices and if they don´t know how to use the disciplines (I have seen that) made them pass a fast training montage , use NPC to teach them how things work and make them do invisible tutorials while pushing the narrative fordwards.It works pretty well.
                            Last edited by Leandro16; 10-21-2018, 07:35 PM.


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                            • #15
                              I just give out a flat 3 XP per session, roughly at a rate of 1 XP per hour of play. If characters reach particular milestones I might add more. I don't play favourites because I've seen shy or new players left behind before, while more confident players lap up the limelight.

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