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Experience Rewards

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  • Experience Rewards

    Until I started Passing Through Shadow I had actually been awarding Experience Points to my players based on the system I inherited from the GMs that had been running NWOD up until that point which I had thought would be the same in Trinity and Oh boy was a wrong.

    Since the end of the first episode they have been gripping a bit that 10 experience points is very little, but it double what seems to be the average max given by Trinity based on the Character Development chapters details. Who you folks be so kind as to share you input on this subject?

    Man's unfailing capacity to believe what he prefers to be true rather than what the evidence shows to be likely and possible has always astounded me. We long for a caring Universe which will save us from our childish mistakes, and in the face of mountains of evidence to the contrary we will pin all our hopes on the slimmest of doubts. God has not been proven not to exist, therefore he must exist. --Academician Prokhor Zakharov

  • #2
    Hmm, don't have the books to hand - and its been a little while since I GMd an Aeon campaign. Having said that, Aeon always felt like XP progression was a little on the slow side, but I actually preferred that (and prefer it generally). It never became an issue in the games I ran. Then again, I'm for slower character progression generally so YMMV.

    Ad Astra


    • #3
      10 points for Passage through Shadows sounds about right, depending on how fast the story moved it might even be a bit on the high side. Generally I award between 1-3xp per session with an extra 1 point given out for the player who contributed the most. That point is awarded by vote of the players.


      • #4
        Back when I was running Trinity and Adventure! more I think most sessions averaged 6-7 XP. But, back in those days we played A LOT so that would work out to 18-28 XP a month.


        • #5
          Ah, I think I understand now, it's a IRL time spent reward as much as an in game achievement reward. I came to Storyteller from Dungeons and Dragons so that origin tends to skew my perspective. I am inclined to agree with CHILL in that I feel character development in this game feels like it should be incremental and not too quick, so I think Incbill gives a good rating. I'll write out some more guidelines for myself, much like what I did for my understanding that F armour ratings in the game.

          If folks are interested I'll post what I figured out for the experience gain.

          Man's unfailing capacity to believe what he prefers to be true rather than what the evidence shows to be likely and possible has always astounded me. We long for a caring Universe which will save us from our childish mistakes, and in the face of mountains of evidence to the contrary we will pin all our hopes on the slimmest of doubts. God has not been proven not to exist, therefore he must exist. --Academician Prokhor Zakharov


          • #6
            When I gm (mostly aberrant/adventure/trinity) I award 4xp for normal story driven sessions and 5 for combat oriented ones. But I award it at the end of every block (4 sessions). We have another gm, and he awards 4 xp every other session...that feels SUPER SLOW, seeing as we play every friday from around6-7 to 1-2.



            • #7
              I generally give 4 exp per session, more if they do particularly well or complete a story arc or whatever

              My Commandments for GMs My Commandments for Players


              • #8
                I prefer to not bother with XP if I can help it.


                • #9
                  To address the OP, i generally hand out 1-3 per session - averaging 1. Normally this means little to no advancement during the course of a single scenario - but i am prone to hand out free backgrounds here and there to represent advancement through role-play. But i've never been entirely pleased with the approach - it works enough to use - but it doesn't quite feel whole for some reason. I would be interested to see any variant approaches folks have come up with over the years - all i did was unify the xp tables from the games so that all the 'morphs were gaining at a similar pace (outside of tainted short-cuts).

                  My god Wolfgar, how do you get away with that? How do you handle improvement? I would love to try something like that in a ST game - where the xp never 'levels' you up, so to speak. I picture something sort of like the Chaosium-style chance of improving in failed skills over a session. It sounds like a much more organic and narrative driven approach to growth - but how do you run it, if you don't mind?


                  • #10
                    The cheaty answer is more points at character creation, and then running one-shots or very short term campaigns - there isn't a whole lot of need for advancement over two or three game sessions, for instance. This is probably my preferred method, since it keeps things fresh and lets me run all the things I want to run; I have an extensive game library and tend towards swings of enthusiasm.

                    Outside of that, you can go with just downtime as a reward. Characters will have so much time doing stuff "off-camera" during major missions/adventures/events, and they can improve by an allotted amount of points during that time, varying depending how much time we are talking about. That's how characters in several other media improve: usually they will do so during a time skip or a montage or similar. The advantage here is characters will improve in a more realistic fashion, so I don't just suddenly become a better doctor overnight even when I haven't done anything medical related in-game except pronounce a guy dead.

                    You can also do it as a roll-based improvement. Here you could:
                    1) Improve a skill as a consolation when you botch/critically fail a roll with particularly disastrous consequences. Note that this means you didn't just crit fail, but you crit failed at the worst possible time. You make an Athletics check to catch your falling girlfriend, and instead of successfully catching her, or even just letting her take the falling damage, you crit fail and snap her spine in the attempt, killing her. That won't be a mistake you make twice. You badly botch an attempted parry, and leave yourself critically open to the sword of man who killed your father. He nearly mortally wounds you. You manage to hold back from being killed outright - maybe you spend Willpower, maybe you make lucky roll elsewhere, maybe you offer the ST a lot of cupcakes - and mange to come back with improved vigor, because once again, you won't make that mistake twice.

                    Trying to find the bad guys secret location, botching, and winding up horribly lost in downtown Boston traffic for hours on end would not let you get an improvement, but it might be worthy some other consolation.

                    2) Improve due to critical success on a difficult roll. Assuming critical success has no other real benefit, or in lieu of the normal benefit, you might improve your skill. Not only do you succeed, but you make a breakthrough that leads to a better understanding of the skill itself. Now, this does have to be difficult skill check. Routine actions shouldn't trigger improvement or else players will be too tempted to "grind" skills, but it can encourage action.

                    3) Call for improvement. A player could willingly ask for a roll to be made more challenging in return for gaining insight and thus improving the given skill in question. Then you put it all on the dice, double or nothing. Again, you need an appropriately challenging scenario, and you likely want to make the number of potential calls limited to keep ST pestering down, but it can help up tension.

                    You would want to scale this with level of the skill of course. Getting an improvement off on a low level skill is easier that getting that final bit of insight into a high level one.

                    You can also just give advancement out as a reward straight. Take a point of Athletics. Gain an Academics specialty. This is effectively what you are doing when you give out magic items in D&D - you make the PCs more powerful while bypassing the XP system entirely. If you can maintain balance in that, it works.

                    For powers, I prefer to wait for moments of great emotion, powerful loss, or other catharsis. Characters driven to the verge of death, or whose loved ones are imperiled, or those who have just simply lost everything may find themselves with greater inner reserves than they knew possible. Driven to the limit, the character finds new powers, and new levels to the powers she already had.

                    This is all just rough, unpolished ideas of course. It's best to have everything worked out with your group, and it can be fun to mix and match as best wanted for the story in question.