XP / level penalties for bad players.


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion

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0gre wrote:
Kain Darkwind wrote:
If I get 24 hours notice, they get half XP for the session. If I get no notice, they get zero XP. If you aren't there, you aren't really doing anything to get XP...but I don't see that as a penalty. I think I'm being fairly generous with the half.

We used to give everyone experience after every session. You don't show up you miss out. We eventually gave up on that idea because some people miss sessions for legitimate reasons or are just less available to game.

If I have a buddy that is a lot of fun to play with but only shows up 3 out of 4 weeks due to life issues/ work/ family/ whatever, I don't want to discourage him or punish him for that. So we just keep everyone in sync now.

I guess I don't understand why you are 'discouraging' or 'punishing' him at all. Can you explain this reasoning to me? I'm genuinely curious. To me, if he doesn't show, he doesn't get the XP, if he doesn't show regularly, then he regularly doesn't get the XP. I've been a player in games with characters 5 levels apart. I don't think advancing at 75% the XP of the group, even regularly, would ever produce even that sharp of a gap. Why then, is it so bad if one player, who puts less into the game, for whatever reason (I'm going to assume the reasons are good, since bad reasons would imply he shouldn't be a player), ends up behind those who are putting 100% in?

Scarab Sages

I find that a swift, firm slap to the face every time a player does something stupid is penalty enough.

Hint: The back of my hand is REALLY sore after a night of Pathfinder.


Kain Darkwind wrote:
Why then, is it so bad if one player, who puts less into the game, for whatever reason (I'm going to assume the reasons are good, since bad reasons would imply he shouldn't be a player), ends up behind those who are putting 100% in?

Why is it necessary, or even desirable, to segment your friends?


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Patryn of Elvenshae wrote:
Kain Darkwind wrote:
Why then, is it so bad if one player, who puts less into the game, for whatever reason (I'm going to assume the reasons are good, since bad reasons would imply he shouldn't be a player), ends up behind those who are putting 100% in?
Why is it necessary, or even desirable, to segment your friends?

Let's try it from the other side. You are a player. You show up on time. Every time. You are always prepared. You roleplay.

The GMs best friend shows up at random intervals, shows up late, shows up early, is never prepared, forgets his sheet half the time, never roleplays, keeps his head buried in a rulebook, looks up when it's his turn for combat, asks what happened since his last turn, summons some creatures, looks them up in a new rulebook, etc.

Now, how do you feel that the GMs buddy get's the exact same experience you do for no effort?

Not awarding XP for missing a game or not roleplaying is not PUNISHMENT. It's simply a way to make sure the people who put forth an effort see a tangible reward for their effort.

Or do you think the two people above should get the same reward? I guarantee you the guy who puts in all the effort will feel slighted. Why do I know? I feel the same way when it happens to me, and I've had players come to me out of game and talk to me about how they feel like they're putting out effort for no reward.

That's why I use the rules I posted earlier in the thread. As a reward for putting in the effort.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
mdt wrote:

The GMs best friend shows up at random intervals, shows up late, shows up early, is never prepared, forgets his sheet half the time, never roleplays, keeps his head buried in a rulebook, looks up when it's his turn for combat, asks what happened since his last turn, summons some creatures, looks them up in a new rulebook, etc.

Now, how do you feel that the GMs buddy get's the exact same experience you do for no effort?

He wouldn't be in my game any more, so I wouldn't feel a thing. :)


mdt wrote:

Now, how do you feel that the GMs buddy get's the exact same experience you do for no effort?

I don't view experience as a wage I receive for showing up to the game. The game play itself is the reward for showing up and by putting more into it than that lax player, I am getting more out. I get drawn into the story more. My character gets spotlight time and the ability to shape the plot. I get to witness and share the party's triumphs and failures. That is the experience I want and what someone who doesn't buy in isn't getting.


XP isn't a 'wage', because the game isn't work. If we were playing Monopoly, and someone didn't show up, he doesn't get any money, because he's not playing that night. If we were playing chess in a club, he's not going to rack up any wins (or losses) when he doesn't show. If he misses a baseball game because his wife is giving birth to his child in the hospital, he's not going to get home runs added to his record.

Now, I don't have a problem with people saying "I give XP to players who don't show." Not in the slightest. What I do have a problem with is these assumptions of "segmenting the players" and "punishing the player" being tossed out at those who don't give XP to no-shows. First off, I don't understand how it is viewed as a punishment, and second off, I don't see what the opposite accomplishes as far as desirables.

Shadow Lodge

Kain Darkwind wrote:
I guess I don't understand why you are 'discouraging' or 'punishing' him at all. Can you explain this reasoning to me? I'm genuinely curious. To me, if he doesn't show, he doesn't get the XP, if he doesn't show regularly, then he regularly doesn't get the XP. I've been a player in games with characters 5 levels apart. I don't think advancing at 75% the XP of the group, even regularly, would ever produce even that sharp of a gap. Why then, is it so bad if one player, who puts less into the game, for whatever reason (I'm going to assume the reasons are good, since bad reasons would imply he shouldn't be a player), ends up behind those who are putting 100% in?

You don't think it's discouraging to show up for the game and be unable to effectively participate? I do, and I think a lot of other people do as well.

*shrug*

I don't really think of it as a punishment either and having run it both ways I agree, it works fine. We just don't mess with it anymore because it's simpler and we like to keep the party together.


TriOmegaZero wrote:

Yes, I have a penalty for bad players.

I don't play with them.

Excellent summary.

/end thread.


0gre wrote:

You don't think it's discouraging to show up for the game and be unable to effectively participate? I do, and I think a lot of other people do as well.

*shrug*

I think that might be discouraging, if it were the case.

I don't think that being 20,000 XP behind the lead guy at 13th level is 'unable to effectively participate.'

I don't think that being 10th level in a group of 11th level or even 12th level characters is 'unable to effectively participate.' (Sorcerers do it all campaign long, ZING!)

However, I think someone who regularly doesn't make the session isn't really going to be showing up for mechanical combat dominance. Like has been suggested throughout the thread, he may just enjoy the social aspect of the game, the company, or shooting the breeze with some NPCs.

Quote:
I don't really think of it as a punishment either and having run it both ways I agree, it works fine. We just don't mess with it anymore because it's simpler and we like to keep the party together.

We seem to agree here. I don't think it is bad to give everyone XP for a session. I just don't find it punishing not to if they don't show.


For me, as a player, the "reward" is playing a fun game with my friends.

XP is better as an abstraction for progress through the story and a representation of the characters growth compared to the world around them. It's not a reward/punishment, it's a story tool.

The guy who shows up, contributes nothing but still gets XP isn't being "rewarded". In fact, I don't care about that guy, cause he isn't doing anything, he's not participating and as long as he doesn't detract from my play experience, I don't care.

XP is not a "carrot" to hold out to players, while they do often desire it, months later, no one talks about "oh man... remember that time we leveled up, that was awesome". They talk about the cool scene where they did that cool thing that may or may not have had anything to do with the plot. They talk about the fun moments they had. The guy who doesn't show up has to get his fun memories somewhere else.

Liberty's Edge

Quote:
I'm a total softie when it comes to my players. Took a feat that sucked and want to swap it out? Go for it.

I was very surprised that Pathfinder did not incorporate the "retraining" rules from 3.5 -- there were one of the best features of the game (and eventually included in both the Living Greyhawk organized-play system, and SAGA Star Wars gaming). Upon each leveling, you'd get to swap-out one feat, one class feature, or four skill ranks, however you pleased so long as prerequisite chains were kept.


Mike Schneider wrote:
Quote:
I'm a total softie when it comes to my players. Took a feat that sucked and want to swap it out? Go for it.
I was very surprised that Pathfinder did not incorporate the "retraining" rules from 3.5 -- there were one of the best features of the game (and eventually included in both the Living Greyhawk organized-play system, and SAGA Star Wars gaming). Upon each leveling, you'd get to swap-out one feat, one class feature, or four skill ranks, however you pleased so long as prerequisite chains were kept.

I like it as an optional rule, but now as an ordinary rule. "Forgetting" how to do something ruins immersion for me if it happens all the time.

Shadow Lodge

wraithstrike wrote:
Mike Schneider wrote:
Quote:
I'm a total softie when it comes to my players. Took a feat that sucked and want to swap it out? Go for it.
I was very surprised that Pathfinder did not incorporate the "retraining" rules from 3.5 -- there were one of the best features of the game (and eventually included in both the Living Greyhawk organized-play system, and SAGA Star Wars gaming). Upon each leveling, you'd get to swap-out one feat, one class feature, or four skill ranks, however you pleased so long as prerequisite chains were kept.

I like it as an optional rule, but now as an ordinary rule. "Forgetting" how to do something ruins immersion for me if it happens all the times.

I usually allow it when there is extended downtime, usually between books in an AP I'll give people the option to bring a new character in or retrain but I give them a bit of a reward for sticking with their existing character at the same time.


In my games...
All new characters start at 1st level.
This not that big a deal to my players since I use both party and individual exp. If you earn enough exp to advance more than one level (this happens often with new characters joining a high level party) you may do so with but one restriction... the character must play each level for at least one session.

No exp is awarded to no shows.
If you give advanced notice (even if its just a call on game day) saying you cannot make it. There will be opportunities to make up the lost exp.

Want to alter a feat/power choice?
Okay.
But it will be an in game change and may take some time or become a plot point in the campaign.


Damian Magecraft wrote:

In my games...

All new characters start at 1st level.
This not that big a deal to my players since I use both party and individual exp. If you earn enough exp to advance more than one level (this happens often with new characters joining a high level party) you may do so with but one restriction... the character must play each level for at least one session.

No exp is awarded to no shows.
If you give advanced notice (even if its just a call on game day) saying you cannot make it. There will be opportunities to make up the lost exp.

Want to alter a feat/power choice?
Okay.
But it will be an in game change and may take some time or become a plot point in the campaign.

In a 10th level party, how do you not instantly kill the new character when an aoe attack is used? No level 1 character could survive a CR 7+ breath weapon, fireball, chain lightning, etc.


Damian Magecraft wrote:

In my games...

All new characters start at 1st level.
This not that big a deal to my players since I use both party and individual exp.

I presume all your games are E3 because any higher than that and there is no way it could possibly NOT be a big deal.


I gotta say that I don't see the value in starting new characters at anything other than current party level. At low levels, say 1-4, I guess it's okay (not really, just trying to be open-minded), but after that I think you're just being mean (whether or not that's your intention, only you can say.)


Irontruth wrote:
Damian Magecraft wrote:

In my games...

All new characters start at 1st level.
This not that big a deal to my players since I use both party and individual exp. If you earn enough exp to advance more than one level (this happens often with new characters joining a high level party) you may do so with but one restriction... the character must play each level for at least one session.

No exp is awarded to no shows.
If you give advanced notice (even if its just a call on game day) saying you cannot make it. There will be opportunities to make up the lost exp.

Want to alter a feat/power choice?
Okay.
But it will be an in game change and may take some time or become a plot point in the campaign.

In a 10th level party, how do you not instantly kill the new character when an aoe attack is used? No level 1 character could survive a CR 7+ breath weapon, fireball, chain lightning, etc.

By not running combat centric campaigns. My campaigns run heavy on the social interaction and can go 3 or 4 (8 hour) sessions without a single combat occurring. Although the build up to combat can occur in those 3 or 4 sessions.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Damian Magecraft wrote:
Irontruth wrote:
Damian Magecraft wrote:

In my games...

All new characters start at 1st level.
This not that big a deal to my players since I use both party and individual exp. If you earn enough exp to advance more than one level (this happens often with new characters joining a high level party) you may do so with but one restriction... the character must play each level for at least one session.

No exp is awarded to no shows.
If you give advanced notice (even if its just a call on game day) saying you cannot make it. There will be opportunities to make up the lost exp.

Want to alter a feat/power choice?
Okay.
But it will be an in game change and may take some time or become a plot point in the campaign.

In a 10th level party, how do you not instantly kill the new character when an aoe attack is used? No level 1 character could survive a CR 7+ breath weapon, fireball, chain lightning, etc.
By not running combat centric campaigns. My campaigns run heavy on the social interaction and can go 3 or 4 (8 hour) sessions without a single combat occurring. Although the build up to combat can occur in those 3 or 4 sessions.

OK, but then you're playing an entirely different game than the most of us (and actually I am curious why are you playing a social-focused game with a combat-focused ruleset, but that's a question for another thread).


Cartigan wrote:
Damian Magecraft wrote:

In my games...

All new characters start at 1st level.
This not that big a deal to my players since I use both party and individual exp.
I presume all your games are E3 because any higher than that and there is no way it could possibly NOT be a big deal.

And you assume we play our games in the same manner as you and if we do not then we must be playing the game "wrong".

Not every game must be about combat.
Not every game must use point buy.


Damian Magecraft wrote:
By not running combat centric campaigns. My campaigns run heavy on the social interaction and can go 3 or 4 (8 hour) sessions without a single combat occurring. Although the build up to combat can occur in those 3 or 4 sessions.

That doesn't resolve the inherent problem, rather it just delays the inevitable.

Wouldn't it just be easier, even in a combat-lite game, to just have everyone the same level? Life is hard all by itself, why make a complicated game even more so?


Gorbacz wrote:
Damian Magecraft wrote:
Irontruth wrote:
Damian Magecraft wrote:

In my games...

All new characters start at 1st level.
This not that big a deal to my players since I use both party and individual exp. If you earn enough exp to advance more than one level (this happens often with new characters joining a high level party) you may do so with but one restriction... the character must play each level for at least one session.

No exp is awarded to no shows.
If you give advanced notice (even if its just a call on game day) saying you cannot make it. There will be opportunities to make up the lost exp.

Want to alter a feat/power choice?
Okay.
But it will be an in game change and may take some time or become a plot point in the campaign.

In a 10th level party, how do you not instantly kill the new character when an aoe attack is used? No level 1 character could survive a CR 7+ breath weapon, fireball, chain lightning, etc.
By not running combat centric campaigns. My campaigns run heavy on the social interaction and can go 3 or 4 (8 hour) sessions without a single combat occurring. Although the build up to combat can occur in those 3 or 4 sessions.
OK, but then you're playing an entirely different game than the most of us (and actually I am curious why are you playing a social-focused game with a combat-focused ruleset, but that's a question for another thread).

Really this old saw?

The system does not matter only the players and the setting. We play using Pathfinder because that is the world we wish to use and do not want to waste time "converting" the setting to another system.
When we play Rifts we do not use White Wolfs rule set, when we play Mage we do not use Pathfinders rule set, and when we play Pathfinder we do not use Palladiums rule set.

A RPG is nothing more than "Lets Pretend" with rules. What does it matter which set of rules we use if everyone at the table is in agreement on them?


loaba wrote:
Damian Magecraft wrote:
By not running combat centric campaigns. My campaigns run heavy on the social interaction and can go 3 or 4 (8 hour) sessions without a single combat occurring. Although the build up to combat can occur in those 3 or 4 sessions.

That doesn't resolve the inherent problem, rather it just delays the inevitable.

Wouldn't it just be easier, even in a combat-lite game, to just have everyone the same level? Life is hard all by itself, why make a complicated game even more so?

Combat is not the only way to gain to experience...

in those 3 or more sessions it is possible for a PC to generate enough exp to level multiple times.
We run in a more dynamic world than most players...
No 2 party members are the same level.
Same goes for the bad guys they have varying levels of abilities as well.


Damian Magecraft wrote:
Really this old saw?

Dude, you've altered the game. No big deal, lots of people do it and have fun with it. That's the key; are you and your friends having fun with the group playstyle? If the answer is yes, then okay.

Damian Magecraft wrote:
A RPG is nothing more than "Lets Pretend" with rules. What does it matter which set of rules we use if everyone at the table is in agreement on them?

It doesn't matter, until you start discussing the game with others, who don't share your playstyle.


Damian Magecraft wrote:
Irontruth wrote:


In a 10th level party, how do you not instantly kill the new character when an aoe attack is used? No level 1 character could survive a CR 7+ breath weapon, fireball, chain lightning, etc.
By not running combat centric campaigns. My campaigns run heavy on the social interaction and can go 3 or 4 (8 hour) sessions without a single combat occurring. Although the build up to combat can occur in those 3 or 4 sessions.

It still seems highly unlikely that a lvl 3-5 character is going to have a high chance of survival in a CR 10-12 encounter, unless you are purposely pulling punches to allow that character to survive. If that character isn't being targeted, or only gets targeted by CR appropriate opponents, that's just giving plot immunity to characters in combat.

If it works for you, that's cool. I just don't see how if the DM isn't pulling punches, that a character death doesn't result in a downward spiral of further deaths for that player.


Damian Magecraft wrote:
Combat is not the only way to gain to experience...

says you, based on your playstyle. For those of us who don't play that way, it is. The game is based on that model, probably because there is no way to regulate how individual DMs choose to award RP XP.

Damian Magecraft wrote:
in those 3 or more sessions it is possible for a PC to generate enough exp to level multiple times.

Great, that's good the unlucky player with the new PC.

Damian Magecraft wrote:

We run in a more dynamic world than most players...

No 2 party members are the same level.
Same goes for the bad guys they have varying levels of abilities as well.

And again, great. That's not the base game, that's your own version of it.


loaba wrote:
Damian Magecraft wrote:
Really this old saw?
Dude, you've altered the game. No big deal, lots of people do it and have fun with it. That's the key; are you and your friends having fun with the group playstyle? If the answer is yes, then okay.

How is Playing a ROLE-playing game as a social game (when there are rules for it in the system) altering the game?

Damian Magecraft wrote:
A RPG is nothing more than "Lets Pretend" with rules. What does it matter which set of rules we use if everyone at the table is in agreement on them?
It doesn't matter, until you start discussing the game with others, who don't share your playstyle.

Only when the others insist that their way is the only way to play the game.

This is a discussion thread where the OP wanted to know if and how we dock players as GMs. I presented my methods of reward/punishment. I clarified how/why it worked for us when asked. Now I find at least 2 posters who are trying to tell me my way is badwrongfun. No wonder I am the only one in my local area (about 1000 players strong) that actively reads and posts on game site message boards...

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Damian Magecraft wrote:


This is a discussion thread where the OP wanted to know if and how we dock players as GMs. I presented my methods of reward/punishment. I clarified how/why it worked for us when asked. Now I find at least 2 posters who are trying to tell me my way is badwrongfun. No wonder I am the only one in my local area (about 1000 players strong) that actively reads and posts on game site message boards...

We're not saying you're playing badwrongfun, but if your first post on the topic doesn't indicate that you are playing an entirely different kind of game, eyebrows rise.


Damian Magecraft wrote:
How is Playing a ROLE-playing game as a social game (when there are rules for it in the system) altering the game?

Are there rules the delineate how much XP to give for X RP? No, there aren't, because there can't be. Every DM who elects to go that route will do it differently than someone else who decides to play that way as well.

The base game model presumes that XP comes from encounters with monsters. Individual APs will also offer additional forms of XP (Kingmaker gives exploration XP/per hex.)

I'm not saying you're doing anything wrong; rather I'm saying I don't see the need to ever alter an individual PCs XP level, from that of the other PCs. I think it creates a negative feeling at the table and it's an unnecessary addition to the game.

    I don't dock XP from players who miss a session
    I don't award individual XP
    I don't award RP XP
    All characters who start the, are usually the ones who end the game. Any new character (due to PC death, whatever), starts play at the current party level with the current party XP

My way is not the right way; it's the easy way that makes sense to my group. It just so happens to the way the rules say you should play.


Irontruth wrote:
Damian Magecraft wrote:
Irontruth wrote:


In a 10th level party, how do you not instantly kill the new character when an aoe attack is used? No level 1 character could survive a CR 7+ breath weapon, fireball, chain lightning, etc.
By not running combat centric campaigns. My campaigns run heavy on the social interaction and can go 3 or 4 (8 hour) sessions without a single combat occurring. Although the build up to combat can occur in those 3 or 4 sessions.

It still seems highly unlikely that a lvl 3-5 character is going to have a high chance of survival in a CR 10-12 encounter, unless you are purposely pulling punches to allow that character to survive. If that character isn't being targeted, or only gets targeted by CR appropriate opponents, that's just giving plot immunity to characters in combat.

If it works for you, that's cool. I just don't see how if the DM isn't pulling punches, that a character death doesn't result in a downward spiral of further deaths for that player.

You are thinking linearly. A CR 10 encounter does not have to be a single creature. Multiple creatures of a lower CR value will reach the same CR value.


Gorbacz wrote:
Damian Magecraft wrote:


This is a discussion thread where the OP wanted to know if and how we dock players as GMs. I presented my methods of reward/punishment. I clarified how/why it worked for us when asked. Now I find at least 2 posters who are trying to tell me my way is badwrongfun. No wonder I am the only one in my local area (about 1000 players strong) that actively reads and posts on game site message boards...
We're not saying you're playing badwrongfun, but if your first post on the topic doesn't indicate that you are playing an entirely different kind of game, eyebrows rise.

+1

Honestly I remember back on the 3.5 forums several people played with the reset to level 1 every time style. You got a similar reaction to most of those posters... granted they were running more combat oriented games.

I see nothing wrong with your playstyle. Sometimes we get too much combat in our games these days.

Legendary Games, Necromancer Games

Being a GM/DM is sometimes a younger person's first time having "power" so it can be a real learning experience in the use of power and leadership and group dynamics.

The GM is a co-equal with the players, but has the additional role and responsibility of rules arbiter (your rules are final, after input from the group), and usually organizer of the group. Often, the GM/DM has spent significant time beyond the players' time preparing a campaign, prepping for the night's adventure, etc. As a result, the GM gets to make some decisions that may not be pure group decisions. But you should try to develop interpersonal skills and leadership abilites to handle these out of game situations. We've all had them--the late player, the character sheet "adjuster" whose PC seems to have a few unaccounted for plusses, the complainer, the guy who is never ready when it is his turn to go and takes forever, the way too sensitive about his character guy, the guy who you can't ever seem to get ahold of for scheduling game time, etc.

Frankly, though I didn't know it at the time, the skills I developed learning to DM have been very important skills for me in life as a community leader, team leader, business owner and now as a judge.

Its been said above but it bears repeating: don't penalize out of game behavior with an in game sanction.

Its not surprising that young DMs would think to use the in game power they have as a means to control or influence out of game conduct. But don't do it.


loaba wrote:
Damian Magecraft wrote:
How is Playing a ROLE-playing game as a social game (when there are rules for it in the system) altering the game?

Are there rules the delineate how much XP to give for X RP? No, there aren't, because there can't be. Every DM who elects to go that route will do it differently than someone else who decides to that too.

The base game model presumes that XP comes from encounters with monsters. Individual APs will also offer additional forms of XP (Kingmaker gives exploration XP/per hex.)

I'm not saying you're doing anything wrong; rather I'm saying I don't see the need ever alter an individual PCs XP level, from that of the other PCs.

But the question remains is there any place in the rules that implicitly states that all PCs in a party must be of the same level?

If no then how is my method a deviation of the rules?


Damian Magecraft wrote:

But the question remains is there any place in the rules that implicitly states that all PCs in a party must be of the same level?

If no then how is my method a deviation of the rules?

Isn't it apparent that the party receives XP as a unit? Or am I just not understanding the XP table? Isn't it apparent that CRs are built for parties of X level?

You know this, of course; you play differently from the rules and I guess you don't want to admit it. Meh - if you're having fun and your group likes it, that is all the matters.


loaba wrote:
Damian Magecraft wrote:

But the question remains is there any place in the rules that implicitly states that all PCs in a party must be of the same level?

If no then how is my method a deviation of the rules?

Isn't it apparent that the party receives XP as a unit? Or am I just not understanding the XP table? Isn't it apparent that CRs are built for parties of X level?

You know this, of course; you play differently from the rules and I guess you don't want to admit it. Meh - if you're having fun and your group likes it, that is all the matters.

so your are making assumptions based on what you read in the rules.

Same as me and my group.
There are implications of the "ideal" party all being the same level but nothing concrete. Neither of us is right or wrong.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
Gorbacz wrote:
Damian Magecraft wrote:


This is a discussion thread where the OP wanted to know if and how we dock players as GMs. I presented my methods of reward/punishment. I clarified how/why it worked for us when asked. Now I find at least 2 posters who are trying to tell me my way is badwrongfun. No wonder I am the only one in my local area (about 1000 players strong) that actively reads and posts on game site message boards...
We're not saying you're playing badwrongfun, but if your first post on the topic doesn't indicate that you are playing an entirely different kind of game, eyebrows rise.

I don't really think he's playing a different kind of game at all. I find it curious that people are picking at his playstyle. Kind of reminiscent of when people say 'munchkins just play a numbers game'...


loaba wrote:
Damian Magecraft wrote:
How is Playing a ROLE-playing game as a social game (when there are rules for it in the system) altering the game?

Are there rules the delineate how much XP to give for X RP? No, there aren't, because there can't be. Every DM who elects to go that route will do it differently than someone else who decides to play that way as well.

The base game model presumes that XP comes from encounters with monsters. Individual APs will also offer additional forms of XP (Kingmaker gives exploration XP/per hex.)

Actualy the rules has stated since 3.0 that you gain exp. for defeating a encounter. It does not matter if you use combat...stealth...or RPing to get past a encounter.

The 'base game model' makes no assumption...you do.

Now I could turn it around and say you do penalize your players by not awarding exp. for thinking outside the combat box.

Personaly we keep the party about equal level...and using Exp has a stick to beat players with...is not a good idea. The penalty for bad players should be not playing.


Damian Magecraft wrote:
There are implications of the "ideal" party all being the same level but nothing concrete. Neither of us is right or wrong.

I agree - neither of us is right or wrong. Having said that, when I was 20 I would have been alright with groups of different-level characters. Of course when I was 20, I was playing 2e. Now, as I've gotten older, the cons of a multi-level party outweigh any benefits.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

A lot of people come for game solutions, rules solutions, when the actual problems really come down to people dealing with people.

If you and your players aren't in a mutual enterprise to have fun and be good to each other, don't look for a games mechanics solution, because nothing well get you home runs if your group is not even at the plate.

Maybe the Internet has led to a real decline in social skills, because with our typing we reduce our communication to the level of machines, unfortunately machine communication leaves us very unprepared for face to face interaction.


John Kretzer wrote:

Actualy the rules has stated since 3.0 that you gain exp. for defeating a encounter. It does not matter if you use combat...stealth...or RPing to get past a encounter.

The 'base game model' makes no assumption...you do.

actually, John, no... sorry, you're the one making assumptions.

Clearly I wasn't explicit enough for you; yes, if you talk your way out of the Lizardfolk encampment, that is the same as if you had fought your way out. The encounter is defeated, XP is awarded to the party.

So, yes, the base game model assumes that XP is given when X encounter is defeated.


loaba wrote:
John Kretzer wrote:

Actualy the rules has stated since 3.0 that you gain exp. for defeating a encounter. It does not matter if you use combat...stealth...or RPing to get past a encounter.

The 'base game model' makes no assumption...you do.

actually, John, no... sorry, you're the one making assumptions.

Clearly I wasn't explicit enough for you; yes, if you talk your way out of the Lizardfolk encampment, that is the same as if you had fought your way out. The encounter is defeated, XP is awarded to the party.

So, yes, the base game model assumes that XP is given when X encounter is defeated.

Not to be facetious. But...

If party "balance" is so important why is CR tied to APL (average party level)?
That would be an indication that disparate levels are expected in the game.


Damian Magecraft wrote:

Not to be facetious. But...

If party "balance" is so important why is CR tied to APL (average party level)?
That would be an indication that disparate levels are expected in the game.

For a time, perhaps after a dead character has been restored to the living, that character (say 1 of 4) might be lagging behind his friends. In that case, it would be good to reduce the party challenges a bit. Also, on occasion a player might find himself victim of a level drain. Again, perhaps that should be taken into account.

These are random game mechanics in play; not active DM machinations.


0gre wrote:

You don't think it's discouraging to show up for the game and be unable to effectively participate? I do, and I think a lot of other people do as well.

*shrug*

How many game sessions is this person missing? We play every tuesday, and so far this year I missed twice. I don't remember how much xp I'm behind right now... but all that means is at MOST, if they turn level 7 this week... I turn level 7 NEXT week.

I hardly feel like I can't participate being less than half a level behind the group.


phantom1592 wrote:
0gre wrote:

You don't think it's discouraging to show up for the game and be unable to effectively participate? I do, and I think a lot of other people do as well.

*shrug*

How many game sessions is this person missing? We play every tuesday, and so far this year I missed twice. I don't remember how much xp I'm behind right now... but all that means is at MOST, if they turn level 7 this week... I turn level 7 NEXT week.

I hardly feel like I can't participate being less than half a level behind the group.

Totally fair question; where are you guys at, right now, in real life? Are you 20-somethings, maybe in college (or not), working and dating and such? If the answer is yeah, that's where we're at, then okay. Your players have real choices for what they might want to do on game night. You've got players who show up and carry the load. You've got other players who don't.

Okay, cool: you're trying to get those no-show guys to make a commitment. XP penalties, in that situation, makes sense to me.

Later in life, I expect you'll be more forgiving when Real Life starts to take away your choice. :)


loaba wrote:
phantom1592 wrote:
0gre wrote:

You don't think it's discouraging to show up for the game and be unable to effectively participate? I do, and I think a lot of other people do as well.

*shrug*

How many game sessions is this person missing? We play every tuesday, and so far this year I missed twice. I don't remember how much xp I'm behind right now... but all that means is at MOST, if they turn level 7 this week... I turn level 7 NEXT week.

I hardly feel like I can't participate being less than half a level behind the group.

Totally fair question; where are you guys at, right now, in real life? Are you 20-somethings, maybe in college (or not), working and dating and such? If the answer is yeah, that's where we're at, then okay. Your players have real choices for what they might want to do on game night. You've got players who show up and carry the load. You've got other players who don't.

Okay, cool: you're trying to get those no-show guys to make a commitment. XP penalties, in that situation, makes sense to me.

Later in life, I expect you'll be more forgiving when Real Life starts to take away your choice. :)

NOT XP penalties. Penalties assumes that you've had something taken away from you. It isn't about forgiving anything.

Not getting rewards for something you don't do is not a penalty and not a punishment.


Kain Darkwind wrote:
loaba wrote:
phantom1592 wrote:
0gre wrote:

You don't think it's discouraging to show up for the game and be unable to effectively participate? I do, and I think a lot of other people do as well.

*shrug*

How many game sessions is this person missing? We play every tuesday, and so far this year I missed twice. I don't remember how much xp I'm behind right now... but all that means is at MOST, if they turn level 7 this week... I turn level 7 NEXT week.

I hardly feel like I can't participate being less than half a level behind the group.

Totally fair question; where are you guys at, right now, in real life? Are you 20-somethings, maybe in college (or not), working and dating and such? If the answer is yeah, that's where we're at, then okay. Your players have real choices for what they might want to do on game night. You've got players who show up and carry the load. You've got other players who don't.

Okay, cool: you're trying to get those no-show guys to make a commitment. XP penalties, in that situation, makes sense to me.

Later in life, I expect you'll be more forgiving when Real Life starts to take away your choice. :)

NOT XP penalties. Penalties assumes that you've had something taken away from you. It isn't about forgiving anything.

Not getting rewards for something you don't do is not a penalty and not a punishment.

Rationalize it however you like. If the player isn't there, and the rest of the party gains XP while and his doesn't, then he has been penalized. One time, no big deal (and that goes for both sides of the argument.) Lots of times, it's a big deal and it's got nothing to do with the XP penalty.

When a player is routinely missing sessions or coming late and/or leaving early, it's not about XP. That player is probably disturbing the rest of the group. You can put up with it for a little while (we did), but eventually you gotta call the guy out and let him know it's not cool. XP isn't even the issue.


loaba wrote:
Kain Darkwind wrote:
loaba wrote:
phantom1592 wrote:
0gre wrote:

You don't think it's discouraging to show up for the game and be unable to effectively participate? I do, and I think a lot of other people do as well.

*shrug*

How many game sessions is this person missing? We play every tuesday, and so far this year I missed twice. I don't remember how much xp I'm behind right now... but all that means is at MOST, if they turn level 7 this week... I turn level 7 NEXT week.

I hardly feel like I can't participate being less than half a level behind the group.

Totally fair question; where are you guys at, right now, in real life? Are you 20-somethings, maybe in college (or not), working and dating and such? If the answer is yeah, that's where we're at, then okay. Your players have real choices for what they might want to do on game night. You've got players who show up and carry the load. You've got other players who don't.

Okay, cool: you're trying to get those no-show guys to make a commitment. XP penalties, in that situation, makes sense to me.

Later in life, I expect you'll be more forgiving when Real Life starts to take away your choice. :)

NOT XP penalties. Penalties assumes that you've had something taken away from you. It isn't about forgiving anything.

Not getting rewards for something you don't do is not a penalty and not a punishment.

Rationalize it however you like. If the player isn't there, and the rest of the party gains XP while and his doesn't, then he has been penalized. One time, no big deal (and that goes for both sides of the argument.) Lots of times, it's a big deal and it's got nothing to do with the XP penalty.

When a player is routinely missing sessions or coming late and/or leaving early, it's not about XP. That player is probably disturbing the rest of the group. You can put up with it for a little while (we did), but eventually you gotta call the guy out and let him know it's not cool. XP isn't even the...

how is that rationalizing? giving xp to a player for non-participation is non-conducive to team play. Also it reinforces the poor behavior. Not to mention implies little to no respect for your players in general.


Damian - by penalizing the guy, you're creating a situation where the players are actually focusing on the XP numbers. We have more, you have less. By maintaining the same numbers, much like systems where the DM doesn't award XP at all, you are removing that emphasis.

If the player can't show up (for whatever reason), it's easy enough to play the PC as "Mark the Red". This way, the player gets XP for his character and the group gets the services of said character. No one is hurt. I should be careful to point out that is just one solution, not the "right way to play."

If the player misses a lot of sessions, you have a bigger problem. Penalizing XP isn't the way to solve it.


My take on someone not being there repeatedly is to solve it with something other than not handing out XP, like talking to them. It's disruptive and isn't something that should be solved inside the game.

For people that miss infrequently I always give XP these days because I don't want to worry about characters spanning different levels. Also they'll miss out on other things like gold and items which will already make them weaker. Treasure is not something I reward to someone that misses 95% of the time.

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