Simplify XP


Combat & Magic


If there is one thing I don't need to make my life as the DM more complicated it is a complicated XP system like Pathfinder's. 3e was already too complicated by requiring a chart. 3.5 made it more complicated by making different levels of characters get different amounts of XP. Now Pathfinder adds cross-reference charts and formulae. Sorry, but I'm not interested in that. Jason's attachment to the old Living Greyhawk ways of doing things is all-too-evident here. He needs to cut the umbilical cord.

I do like Pathfinder, but this is one portion of the rules I will not use. Simplify it, and I will consider it. I much prefer Erik Mona's ultra-simple XP system.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
airwalkrr wrote:
I do like Pathfinder, but this is one portion of the rules I will not use. Simplify it, and I will consider it. I much prefer Erik Mona's ultra-simple XP system.

I don't know if I've seen Mona's system. Where is it?

I have seen Star Wars Saga Edition's simplified system. Nice and clean.


I used the new XP chart in my last session, and I loved it. It didn't take any time at all to figure up what I had to, and I think if my experience from my last session is any indication, I may start handing out XP at the end of the night (the way my players like it) instead of waiting to figure in all of the various ins and outs of the current system.


I this one will never fly, but I won't use XP AT ALL.
I'll go the True20 way and just say to my players: "OK, time for a level up!", they cheer and go right away.

There is absolutly no need for this minuscule collection of experience points. My POV.


airwalkrr wrote:
I do like Pathfinder, but this is one portion of the rules I will not use. Simplify it, and I will consider it.

How complicated is it really? Every creature is worth a flat value. And if you are too lazy or too busy to divide the XP yourself, the chart gives suggestions on how much to give based on the size of the party. What else do you need to make it simpler?

Liberty's Edge

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure, Companion, Lost Omens, Pawns, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
KnightErrantJR wrote:
I may start handing out XP at the end of the night (the way my players like it) instead of waiting to figure in all of the various ins and outs of the current system.

That's how it should be IMHO.

FeranEldritchKnight wrote:
What else do you need to make it simpler?

He's too lazy, the new table no math table makes it even easier.

The fun part is the table is SOOOO small, you can literally cut it out and use it as a bookmark if you're DM and give out XP on the fly if you wanted.


Have to say I like the new table .Its alot simpler and so much better then the 3.5 one.Really it cant get much easier.hell Most folks could prob mesmerize a good chunk of it real easy.


The GM for my playtest group seemed to think it made life more simple than anything since the red box with the dice. ^_^ It's flat value, and has the xp already divided by group size on an uncrowded table the size of a coaster. The 3.5 tables are vast and complicated by comparison...well, to anything really. Those tables make going back to THAC0 seem reasonable.

I'm curious to know if the original poster has actually handed out XP using the table in Pathfinder.

Liberty's Edge

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure, Companion, Lost Omens, Pawns, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
NekoMouser wrote:
I'm curious to know if the original poster has actually handed out XP using the table in Pathfinder.

Of course not, most of the complaints are from people that haven't tried the new rules. :P


SirUrza wrote:
NekoMouser wrote:
I'm curious to know if the original poster has actually handed out XP using the table in Pathfinder.
Of course not, most of the complaints are from people that haven't tried the new rules. :P

Many of them certainly seem to be...I have trouble counting the number of posts I've seen that indicate that exactly. Haven't played it yet, but I hate it, etc. Pretty silly, forums are like fairy tale bridges that way.


DracoDruid wrote:

I this one will never fly, but I won't use XP AT ALL.

I'll go the True20 way and just say to my players: "OK, time for a level up!", they cheer and go right away.

There is absolutly no need for this minuscule collection of experience points. My POV.

This is the best way. But I agree that it probably won't go over because backwards compatibility involves bonus XP expenditures for various things. But it should probably be put in as a featured optional rule. Simply having all the players go up a level at the end of every major campaign milestone is a much better solution than anything involving juggling XP around.

I will say that the current Pathfinder system has problems. It is problematic in that it allows people to get meaningful XP rewards from smacking around challenges which are not meaningfully threatening, and it is problematic in that characters don't "catch up" to the pack the way they do in basic 3e rules, making missed sessions a real and persistent problem.

-Frank

Scarab Sages

I quite like the 3.5 experience point method... I'm not sure what the impetus was to come up with something so different for 3.P. I know it kind of hearkens back to earlier editions, and the table is nice and small, but my concern is what Frank just mentioned: characters catching up. I see what the change has done - instead of basing the amount of experience on the character's level and having nice-looking xp progression through the levels (a la 3.5), every challenge provides some experience to every character, but when you're a higher level, and need a couple hundred thousand XP to make your next level, the 400xp you get from a CR1 is nearly meaningless. I liked the new way of doing xp for 3.5. I know that we can't pull that out as is (non-OGL), but I think it would be better (and solve the catching up issue, which makes a lot of sense) to have something styled after the methodology of 3.5.

Of course, with there being such a wide spread of XP values for each level, being behind in XP by 5000 might not be such a problem. Even on the fast progression chart, by level 10 or 11, a 5000XP discrepancy wouldn't be all that troubling, perhaps.

Hmmm. Even if it doesn't amount to much of a game impact, it would still be nice for those players to be able to "catch up" their character with the rest of the party.

I shall have to ponder it further. :)

Scarab Sages

I quite like the 3.5 experience point method... I'm not sure what the impetus was to come up with something so different for 3.P. I know it kind of hearkens back to earlier editions, and the table is nice and small, but my concern is what Frank just mentioned: characters catching up. I see what the change has done - instead of basing the amount of experience on the character's level and having nice-looking xp progression through the levels (a la 3.5), every challenge provides some experience to every character, but when you're a higher level, and need a couple hundred thousand XP to make your next level, the 400xp you get from a CR1 is nearly meaningless. I liked the new way of doing xp for 3.5. I know that we can't pull that out as is (non-OGL), but I think it would be better (and solve the catching up issue, which makes a lot of sense) to have something styled after the methodology of 3.5.

Of course, with there being such a wide spread of XP values for each level, being behind in XP by 5000 might not be such a problem. Even on the fast progression chart, by level 10 or 11, a 5000XP discrepancy wouldn't be all that troubling, perhaps.

Hmmm. Even if it doesn't amount to much of a game impact, it would still be nice for those players to be able to "catch up" their character with the rest of the party.

I shall have to ponder it further. :)

(I think the board ate the post... so here it is again)


hmarcbower wrote:
I quite like the 3.5 experience point method... I'm not sure what the impetus was to come up with something so different for 3.P.

They can't use the old system. It isn't OGC.

To address the rest of the thread, although the text wasn't added into the current alpha doc (probably because they want to get the meaningful rules rather than the "rules that need to be spelled out for the LCD") it probably still applies that challenges that fail to challenge, such as monsters with no hope of encroaching on the PCs or difficulties that have no hope of failure, warrant no award.


To address the level differential issue, perhaps a bonus/penalty of 10% per difference in level would be acceptable and not too difficult to impliment. For example, a group of adventurers of varying level (level 4, 2 at level 5, and level 6) fight a CR5 encounter. The creature is worth 1600xp and divides evenly to 400xp per character. The level 4 character gains a 40xp bonus for being one level below the encounter and the level 6 character only gets 360xp, for a 40xp penalty for fighting a lesser challenge. Anything worth at least a CR1 is dividable by a party of four and then still be a multiple of 100 making an easy division. Anything less than CR1 should be encountered in large enough groups to be worth at least a CR1 anyway.


Just drop the entire damned system. XP is a relic that isn't necessary. Furthermore, it's not necessary for backwards compatibility anyway. Levels are needed, but not the actual XP component.

I haven't used XP since.. Well, never, really. And I've DM'd since '91.


I have checked the 3.5 XP award Table aginst the PRPG XP award Table and have found that they come out to being off by only a few points. So I kind of confused on what the problem is?
As far as players of deferent Lv.s, you simply averge the partys Lv.
For example a party of 2-1st Lv. Fighters,1-8th Lv. Wizard, and 1-6th Lv. Ranger, would have been treated as a party of 5-6th Lv.
If they took on a CR 7 and won, then they would each gain 800XP
this put the Fighters close to 2nd, but it a drop in th bucket for th Wizard.
So what is the problem here?


I have posted some notes on these very forums on an idea for a very, very simple and intuitive XP system that would require *no* charts, *no* memorization, *no* complicated calculations, and so on.

I think simplifying XP is a good idea. And I think I have demonstrated that it can be done without much trouble.


There is no real issue with the pathfinder xp system .It works fine.


seekerofshadowlight wrote:
There is no real issue with the pathfinder xp system.

I disagree. It has the same issues as all iterations of D&D. Not that it is something that has to be fixed. It is just something that *can* be fixed. And since it *can* be fixed without causing any compatability issues... it seems like something that *should* be fixed. But that is just my opinion.

seekerofshadowlight wrote:
It works fine.

Sure. If you like the idea of an experience point system that continues to reward the things that every single iteration of D&D has (primarily) rewarded. Then it works just fine. I agree. But it requires no effort (or little) to make it much, much more flexible, less complex, and more accomodating the various styles of play.

Paizo's call.


With Pathfinder's encounter-building table, XP isn't even needed:

Regular Progression: level up every 15 encounters. Most of these encounters should be at or near APL.

Fast Progression: every 10 encounters.

Slow Progression: every 20 encounters.

Really Slow Progression: every 30 encounters.

The only changes that needs to be made are for crafting items and powerful spells. Just remove the XP cost for items. For spells, one possibility is to change it to some other cost...or just drop it.

Ad Hoc or Story awards? Just count as one encounter.

This system is super simple for DMs when designing adventures. Just plan roughly 15 encounters between milestones. When a milestone is reached, the characters gain a level.


NekoMouser wrote:
I'm curious to know if the original poster has actually handed out XP using the table in Pathfinder.

I currently use the DMG variant of handing out free-form experience (pg 39). I can't imagine having to reference a chart be in any way quicker. Using a table with numerous columns and rows is utterly unnecessary when it makes little difference in the long run. If you use the tables, in the long run, your players might advance a bit sooner at times or a bit later at times, but it won't cripple your game. The Star Wars Saga Edition chart is about as complicated a chart as I would ever use.

SirUrza wrote:
Of course not, most of the complaints are from people that haven't tried the new rules. :P

And yes, smart-[donkey], I am actually using the rules. This is just one portion I choose not to adopt because it didn't fix anything.

Frank Trollman wrote:
It is problematic in that it allows people to get meaningful XP rewards from smacking around challenges which are not meaningfully threatening...

I don't think such rewards are truly meaningful. When a 10th-level party needs to slaughter at LEAST 680 1st-level commoners to go up a level, I imagine doing so would be quite a monumental task worthy of going up a level. I mean, were a villain to accomplish the task of sacrificing so many people through his own individual effort, I would think he's done some pretty impressive villainy.

Scarab Sages

hmarcbower wrote:
I quite like the 3.5 experience point method... I'm not sure what the impetus was to come up with something so different for 3.P.
Pneumonica wrote:
They can't use the old system. It isn't OGC.

Well of course, but I guess I should have been more specific. I quite like the way the 3.5 experience tables work. I'm not sure what the impetus was to change how they work.

Yes, change the numbers, provide three rates of advancement... but I like that the 3e system can compensate for different level characters in the same party, and that it acknowledges you just aren't going to gain anything from certain encounters.

As I said, though, the Pathfinder charts end up similarly, with the exception of being able to have lower level characters catch up.

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