XP / level penalties for bad players.


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mdt wrote:

I posted something that actually happened to me while gaming. I was the guy who showed up regularly, roleplayed, let the GM know when I was going to miss, etc.

I sat and watched the game slowly get dragged down by the GMs jerkoff friend. Me and the other 3 players used to get together and complain to each other how the GM rewarded his friend who never showed up on time, slowed the game down, dragged it off focus, and so on by giving him exactly the same benefits as us. The GM went out of his way to 'be fair' he called it by rewarding this friend exactly the same as everyone else, because he 'didn't want to play favorites'.

Ouch... I feel for ya.

As a rule, When a new player comes in, we usually start them at LEAST at level 3, or the lowest level of the party. We've started iplementing a 'quickening' rule. Where if your character dies... your new one gets his xp and will be starting up at a similiar level (we do a lot of 2E still)

I've never had a problem with new guys joining in at similiar levels... HOWEVER... It's rarely come up. I WILL say, that we finished one AMAZING campaign with characters ranging from 16th level to 20th.... Now, we want to bring those characters back for a one night high-level game...

I've never actually PLAYED a 20th before... and REALLY looking forward to it. Honestly, I'm hoping its JUST the old group who join into that. because if other players (our groups altered a bit...) join in with their OWN 20th level character... It will be a little frustrating. Our characters EARNED those 20 levels... they fought gods and saved nations... They are in that 1 in 1,000,000 demographic... I'll be a bit annoyed if other random heroes show up.

However, that's a unique situation. In any other game, I'm fine with people joining in.

Once they're IN though....

Doesn't xp still stand for 'Experienc Points' as in... you get them for doing stuff? If you weren't there, then you don't get them.

Unless the DM is holding onto EVERYONE's character sheet (which ours doesn't want to do...) Then your CHARACTER wasn't even around... so the rest of us may have been counting on the healer, or the fighter and been horribly screwed without you there to help... If you DO leave your character.. then theres a chance he'll die. a very GOOD chance.

We don't know the other characters feats and bonuses... we don't know how to read his sheet... MAY not even be good at reading his handwriting.

What's a worse 'penalty'?

No XP for a night you didn't show?

OR....

No CHARACTER because we forgot you had a special feat or item and didn't play your character the way YOU would have...

If it was me, I'd take the no xp in a heartbeat. It would be heartbreaking to show up the next week and NOT ONLY have missed the fun of hanging out with friends... but Lost my character (who I put a lot of time into backstory) because my 'friends' played him WRONG...


mdt wrote:


Where is the benefit in having exactly the same XP and GP between players? No, seriously. If you look at the game itself, it is inherently set up to have different GP between characters (just look at starting gold entries, which vary by class).

I was *hoping* you'd ask that, rather than actually answering the damn question.

At any point in the game beyond initial character creation, there's an "Expected Wealth by Level" guideline. Note, "by level," not "by level by class." So, yes, a Fighter starts out with more gold pieces than a Wizard, on average (and generally has to buy more expensive toys with it, which is why he starts with more), but beyond that point, they're both expected by the game to have about the same amount.

Moreover, having all of your characters the same level and with roughly the same amount of gear makes balancing encounters easier for the DM.

So there are demonstrable benefits to having everyone at roughly the same gold pieces value and at the same level.

There is no demonstrable benefit to having everyone at wildly varying GP and level.

Quote:
As to different XP, are you one of those GMs that doesn't give XP for roleplaying, or for the guy who comes up with the most awesome solution to a problem that has everyone in the game excited?

Nope - as mentioned in the "Individual vs. Group XP" thread, we aren't even using XP at the moment. Characters just level up at appropriate places in the story.

That's the way the current DM is running things, and that's the way I ran things last campaign when I was DMing, and its the way I'll run it when I DM again (though my next game is probably going to be SW Saga Ed, rather than D&D).

The benefit of "com[ing] up with the most awesome solution to a problem that has everyone in the game excited" is that, for (sometimes) years afterwards, people say, "Man - you remember that time when [Character] did [that awesome thing]? That was cool."

Or, as is somtimes more likely, "Hey - you remember that time when [Character] did [that boneheaded maneuver]? That was funny."

Adding +100 XP to a good story that'll last for years is, frankly, meaningless. There's no need to poorly gild the lilly.

And you never answered my question.

Do you need some sort of in-game-reward carrot to get your players to show up? Do you need to offer treats to train them into "better roleplayers"?

Or do you, you know, actually play with friends who are excited to game because gaming, in and of itself, is fun, and it's even better with friends?


Exactly.. but apparently Patryn of Elvenshae seems to think none of that matters.
He want's his xp damn it.
Why should he care that 2 of the other pcs died in the battle with the BBEG last week. It doesn't matter that they might be alive if he was there. Or that he should be dead as well considering how the encounter went. No No... there was XP handed out and he wants (in his mind) his fair share.

Just because he was busy playing farmville for the last three sessions doesn't mean he can't get XP too!


ralantar wrote:
Just because he was busy playing farmville for the last three sessions doesn't mean he can't get XP too!

EDIT: Nah.

You really have managed to misread my posts. I suggest you try again.


I don't need to reread it. I understand completely what you are going on about. You think playing the game is the reward in and of itself. The fact that you don't even use XP is proof of that.
But for those of us that do use XP your philosophy is foreign. Really I don't see how you can have an opinion on this topic when you don't even use the system.


Patryn.

When a player draws the Comet, Fool, Jester or Sun card from a Deck of Many things, what happens?

Don't try to push your method as the only justified one. The game itself assumes that not everyone is going to be the same.

Shadow Lodge Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 8

phantom1592 wrote:

Unless the DM is holding onto EVERYONE's character sheet (which ours doesn't want to do...) Then your CHARACTER wasn't even around... so the rest of us may have been counting on the healer, or the fighter and been horribly screwed without you there to help... If you DO leave your character.. then theres a chance he'll die. a very GOOD chance.

We don't know the other characters feats and bonuses... we don't know how to read his sheet... MAY not even be good at reading his handwriting.

What's a worse 'penalty'?

No XP for a night you didn't show?

OR....

No CHARACTER because we forgot you had a special feat or item and didn't play your character the way YOU would have...

If it was me, I'd take the no xp in a heartbeat. It would be heartbreaking to show up the next week and NOT ONLY have missed the fun of hanging out with friends... but Lost my character (who I put a lot of time into backstory) because my 'friends' played him WRONG...

I've actually noticed that players tend to play someone else's character smarter than they play their own. I don't know if it's just the extra pressure to keep your buddy's PC alive, or being better at coordinating tactics between two characters, or just looking at the numbers with a fresh eye, but that's just the way it seems to go down in my games.

Being unfamiliar with the other guys build is theoretically an issue, but if you've been playing with him long enough, you should know how to run his character because you've been watching him do it for the past several levels.

And legibility isn't an issue because like I said earlier, I keep digital copies of everyone's sheet. Specifically, I build each character in HeroLab and update them as necessary. Not only handy when someone misses a game, but it's helpful to me as a GM to have all their stats on hand.

Mostly we keep characters in play when the player is absent because it makes sense in-game. If the PCs are exploring the Asmodean Knot, and one guy can't show up, where does his character go for that session? "So I realize we just went through hell to break into this extramidensional dungeon and all, but I really gotta step outside for a second, BRB, K bye!" Or maybe "You guys go on ahead without me, I want to wait in this incredibly spooky dungeon room by myself for the next hour or so, no really, I'll catch up!" Not to mention like you say, the party might be counting on it's fighter or healer to get through the next few fights.

So we ask the other player if they want us to run their character. If they do, their character gets xp because their character participated.


Kain Darkwind wrote:

Patryn.

When a player draws the Comet, Fool, Jester or Sun card from a Deck of Many things, what happens?

In my games? Nothing.

If I'm breaking out the Deck of Many Things, it's because I've already decided to end the campaign and at that point it doesn't matter.

My way is hardly the only justified one; it is, however, the one that works best in my experience, and the only one with any actual benefits (that cannot be achieved by just not playing with jerks).

Scarab Sages

ralantar wrote:
This whole concept reeks of "Me" mentality selfishness. You should get xp because you couldn't make it? What about the DM who actually spent hours crafting the adventure? That now has to readjust his work to compensate for you not being there. Where's his xp then huh?

Why does the GM have to adjust the adventure?

ralantar wrote:
Or what about the rest of the group that is now in danger of dying because you were the party's healer.. Or if it's a small group can't even play now.

Why have they not got a healer? They had one last time they looked.

What have they done with him?

Have they tried looking down the back of the couch?

ralantar wrote:
It seems to me the one being a selfish prick is the player who missed and gets something for nothing. Especially if this not showing up is a chronic thing.

What's the player getting? I don't understand.

Players don't get xp.

None of them do.
Even the ones who do show up.
Nobody's ever given me xp in my 30+ years of playing.
Just like I've never been given levels. Or treasure.

My characters? Oh, yes, they have. They got all that stuff.
XP, gp, magic items, elven babes, the jewelled thrones of the world to tread beneath their feet. They got all of that.
But me? Not a bean.

ralantar wrote:
In my groups the treasure found is the parties to do with as they will.

Quite right; split it between all the characters who were there.

Including the non-player characters, too, right?
They get their share, don't they?
Or do they lose out, due to the abstraction, that they don't have a flesh-and-blood agent to make their case for them?

If Tommy Torchbearer gets a masterwork sword from the stash, and Henry the Horse gets a saddle of fire resistance, and the Mysterious Patron Who Hired You gets the McGuffin, then why does one of the core members of the party get ignored? You know, that guy who accompanied you all every step of the way, pulling his weight in every encounter. That guy, in fact, who's standing right there, in front of you, witnessing the allocation of the spoils?

And if you do set aside treasure for NPCs, who have no player at the table to speak for them, why would you make an exception for a PC whose advocate is temporarily absent?

Especially given that none of the PCs, or NPCs, have any way of determining who is a PC, and who is a NPC? Or even that such terms exist?

ralantar wrote:
If they want to put aside a magic item for someone who missed a session or give them a cut of the gold that's totally up to them.

That is noble, to put something aside for a character who wasn't present when the loot was found. But everybody is present, are they not?

ralantar wrote:
The XP though no, not happening. The end of the night I add up the xp and divide it by the people who are there. You're character wasn't there.. he didn't experience anything... so he doesn't get any!

If the character wasn't there, they shouldn't get xp for that encounter.

But why would the character not be there?


The changes Pathfinder made to xp (using it for item creation, being able to 'catch up' in xp over time) removed any need to track individual xp. We still do it in our games, not because there's a need to do it or because we view it as a reward system, but just because we're used to it. Aside for leveling, there's really no need for it anymore. I suppose I'll eventually get rid of it when I have the time to develop a good replacement system that works off of CR or HD of creatures and encounters, or plot/story points. I actually liked the 'catch up' system in 3.5, although at times it didn't work quite right.

If a character dies in game (a rarity, but it does happen), they make an equal level character with the correct starting gold. The party usually sells off the fallen characters goods, which balances any imbalance due to the new character choosing items. We usually have a couple of crafters in the party, so we don't rely on GM providing specific items. It's all just cash to us.

I primarily game with busy friends, so we're often short a player or two (due to work, family, weather, etc). Most of the time we just bring the missing character along but even when we don't, we give them xp. If the character isn't with us, it's assumed he's engaging in events that provide an equal amount of xp. As far as loot goes, we're not going to keep an item to sell, when it benefits the party to have another character use it. We're not particularly greedy group when it comes to loot. We usually have several crafters in the party which more than makes up for not selling items.

Several of us have tried providing individual xp awards, but in the end it made no difference on the game and was just one more annoying thing to keep track of. It's much easier to just have the same amount of xp for us. We also use max HP (monsters and characters) to try and remove variable issues, it's much easier if you make a mistake, to go back and correct it when you're using max HP. We're all busy folk who game for entertainment, outside of the game, we have other commitments that don't allow for much gaming.

If we had the time, we might consider going back to a variable system, but for now, whatever means less work, thought, and tracking, is more enjoyable. Back in the day, before responsibilities outweighed gaming, we were all over anything that added complexity to our gaming, but now, we're all about the less thought more dice rolling. We rarely have time to invest in plot devices or story arcs. Just give us a basic premise (invade the dungeon, kill the baddies, save the world) and lets roll some dice. It makes me sad sometimes, but at least we're gaming!


riiiight, okay so since we all don't get to play in Patyrn's perfect games back to the OP

stuart haffenden wrote:

Hey,

Do you, the DM's of planet Pathfinder, impose any penalties on your players for any reason?

For example, if a player kept on changing his character, would you make them start at a lower level? Or with less starting cash?

The problem with the above is that the knock on effects can potentially be bad for everyone - if the "tank" is a weakling, or has a useless weapon he could put the rest of the party in danger which doesn't seem fair.

Other possible player issues would include tardiness, not showing up often enough, doing stupid things in the adventure - endangering others etc.

So do you guys, and in what manner, penalise players for any reason?

There really shouldn't be a time as a DM where you have to go out of your way to penalize a player. Splitting XP among those that are actually playing isn't a penalty for those that don't show up.

Players that chronically don't show have a tendency to marginalize themselves.
Tardiness.. in my experience the players will handle this by berating the late person. Peer pressure if you will. No need to get involved as the DM unless the other players are complaining to you but won't confront the player directly.

Doing stupid things in the adventure... the consequences of any action is more then enough generally. Why would you penalize the player? The monsters/NPCs/Traps are doing it for you by reacting to the less then stellar choices.


mdt wrote:
Where is the benefit in having exactly the same XP and GP between players?

Two benefits that immediately leap to mind are A.) less work for the DM (no need to worry so much about encounters because everyone is the same level) and B.) emphasis on XP is lessened, thereby creating one less form of inner-party competition.

Overall, it just sets up smoother game play.

Shadow Lodge Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 8

Snorter wrote:
snip

+1


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Patryn of Elvenshae wrote:


I was *hoping* you'd ask that, rather than actually answering the damn question.

Nope, I don't answer Orwellian "Justify your wrongthink, so we can explain your wrongthink with rightthing" questions. When the other person words the question such that you are defending yourself, then you are letting them dictate their terms. For example, if I use the old saw "Have you stopped beating your wife yet?" I'm dictating the terms of the debate, and letting you decide which is the high road and which the low road.

Patryn of Elvenshae wrote:


At any point in the game beyond initial character creation, there's an "Expected Wealth by Level" guideline. Note, "by level," not "by level by class." So, yes, a Fighter starts out with more gold pieces than a Wizard, on average (and generally has to buy more expensive toys with it, which is why he starts with more), but beyond that point, they're both expected by the game to have about the same amount.

Which lasts for exactly as long as it takes to play one game. Because not everyone will have the same equipment, and some of it will be one time use resources, so after the first game, they will no longer have the same money more than likely. Wands will get used, and charges expended, potions drank, and so on. So at the end of that they no longer have the same GP. And each game after that will just expand the differences.

Patryn of Elvenshae wrote:


Moreover, having all of your characters the same level and with roughly the same amount of gear makes balancing encounters easier for the DM.

So there are demonstrable benefits to having everyone at roughly the same gold pieces value and at the same level.

There is no demonstrable benefit to having everyone at wildly varying GP and level.

Now you're moving the goalposts. Now it's "Roughly" the same gear, and the same level.

I have been doing RPGs for over 20 years. I've played in games that used character points, cash, experience points, levels, builds, etc. I have never seen a game where having people differ by 10% or 15% from each other makes a big difference. As someone pointed out above, if someone is as much as 25% off on experience in PF, that translates to about one level at most difference.

And I don't remember posting that I suggested 10 levels difference, did I? I originally posted I start new characters off at just a bit below the average, or at the lowest EXP, depending on the group. If someone misses every 4th game, they won't be more than 1 level behind.

Patryn of Elvenshae wrote:


Quote:
As to different XP, are you one of those GMs that doesn't give XP for roleplaying, or for the guy who comes up with the most awesome solution to a problem that has everyone in the game excited?

Nope - as mentioned in the "Individual vs. Group XP" thread, we aren't even using XP at the moment. Characters just level up at appropriate places in the story.

Expecting me to go read another thread to get your idea of how to run a game is unreasonable. I've played in games like you describe though, and I didn't like them. It always felt to me as if it didn't matter what I did, I got the exact same results. I'm a results oriented person, and most of the people I've ever played with are. We put in effort and expect to see a result from that effort.

If that works for your group, that's great. But posting on here that everyone else is full of Wrongthink for not following your methods is something that makes my blood boil just a bit.


ralantar wrote:
riiiight, okay so since we all don't get to play in Patyrn's perfect games back to the OP

You know, you can play in games like mine. All it takes is playing with a group of friends.

Of course, you need some friends to start with. Or you need to make some.

In either case, "Sorry, Bob, you couldn't make it last time, so you didn't get any of the gold that So-and-So handed out, and everyone else is 3rd-level now; you'll catch up eventually" is a good way to encourage Bob to find a better table.

EDIT: And MDT still can't just answer a question.


Patryn of Elvenshae wrote:

Of course, you need some friends to start with. Or you need to make some.

In either case, "Sorry, Bob, you couldn't make it last time, so you didn't get any of the gold that So-and-So handed out, and everyone else is 3rd-level now; you'll catch up eventually" is a good way to encourage Bob to find a better table.

I think this mind-set is key. If you weren't able to make it that night, wouldn't you want friends to see to your character for you? Wouldn't they want to do that for you? I mean you'd do it for them, right?

It's about mutual respect.


Snorter wrote:
ralantar wrote:
This whole concept reeks of "Me" mentality selfishness. You should get xp because you couldn't make it? What about the DM who actually spent hours crafting the adventure? That now has to readjust his work to compensate for you not being there. Where's his xp then huh?

Why does the GM have to adjust the adventure?

ralantar wrote:
Or what about the rest of the group that is now in danger of dying because you were the party's healer.. Or if it's a small group can't even play now.

Why have they not got a healer? They had one last time they looked.

What have they done with him?

Have they tried looking down the back of the couch?

ralantar wrote:
It seems to me the one being a selfish prick is the player who missed and gets something for nothing. Especially if this not showing up is a chronic thing.

What's the player getting? I don't understand.

Players don't get xp.

None of them do.
Even the ones who do show up.
Nobody's ever given me xp in my 30+ years of playing.
Just like I've never been given levels. Or treasure.

My characters? Oh, yes, they have. They got all that stuff.
XP, gp, magic items, elven babes, the jewelled thrones of the world to tread beneath their feet. They got all of that.
But me? Not a bean.

ralantar wrote:
In my groups the treasure found is the parties to do with as they will.

Quite right; split it between all the characters who were there.

Including the non-player characters, too, right?
They get their share, don't they?
Or do they lose out, due to the abstraction, that they don't have a flesh-and-blood agent to make their case for them?

If Tommy Torchbearer gets a masterwork sword from the stash, and Henry the Horse gets a saddle of fire resistance, and the Mysterious Patron Who Hired You gets the McGuffin, then why does one of the core members of the party get ignored? You know, that guy who accompanied you all every step of the way, pulling his weight in every encounter. That...

Hurr Hurr.. deliberately misunderstanding the text. very funny.

In my games if there is an NPC, or as you are describing it GMPC, then yes they get a cut of the XP and the gold, they are participating in the accrual of such aren't they?
I understand what you are driving at about isn't the character there even though the player is missing. We don't play that way. If you don't make it, your pc isn't present. Yes it's handwaved. But none of my players over 20 years have liked either giving their character to someone else or suddenly being responsible for the well being of someone else's pc.
Beside that makes no less sense then.. "aw crap guys Bill the Barbarian has gone catatonic on us again"


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
loaba wrote:
mdt wrote:
Where is the benefit in having exactly the same XP and GP between players?

Two benefits that immediately leap to mind are A.) less work for the DM (no need to worry so much about encounters because everyone is the same level) and B.) emphasis on XP is lessened, thereby creating one less form of inner-party competition.

Overall, it just sets up smoother game play.

I disagree.

I find I have to adjust combats no matter what, because each player is a better or worse player than the next. Player A is very effective using his character, and he's dangerous even with a sub-optimum build. Player B (my wife for example) is not a powergamer, and she could have the most uber-optimized character in the group and still not be as commanding in combat or RP as the rest of the players (that's exactly how it happened in a previous game, the entire group made a competition out of trying to min/max her character). So how is that any harder than a character level to balance for? For goodness sake, at least the character level is objective and quantifiable. Skill in using said character is subjective and a lot harder to balance for.

And that brings up another point, when did it become evil wrongthink to have friendly competition amongst each other? This reminds me of the BS of getting rid of dodge ball in schools because the fat or uncoordinated kids get their feelings hurt that they aren't picked first.

It seems like some Politically Correct crusade that everyone must have the equality of outcomes instead of the equality of opportunities. That's BS.

Grand Lodge

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


Showing up to play is a social contract you have made with your friends, and while there are often good reasons for not doing showing up, that in no way changes the fact that they set aside their time for you, and you didn't do the same.

Did you not rag on Kaeyoss for twisting your post in his response? Is it not hypocritical of you to do the same exact thing to Patryn's?


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
TriOmegaZero wrote:
mdt wrote:


Showing up to play is a social contract you have made with your friends, and while there are often good reasons for not doing showing up, that in no way changes the fact that they set aside their time for you, and you didn't do the same.
Did you not rag on Kaeyoss for twisting your post in his response? Is it not hypocritical of you to do the same exact thing to Patryn's?

I did not twist what he said.

I took what he said, and changed it to be a similar counter argument. I never said that he said something different. I simply took his arguments, changed them slightly, and posted them again.

Scarab Sages

ralantar wrote:

Exactly.. but apparently Patryn of Elvenshae seems to think none of that matters.

He want's his xp damn it.
Why should he care that 2 of the other pcs died in the battle with the BBEG last week. It doesn't matter that they might be alive if he was there. Or that he should be dead as well considering how the encounter went. No No... there was XP handed out and he wants (in his mind) his fair share.

How are any of those events related to his prescence or non-prescence?

You could make up the numbers by rounding up the first dozen people who pass the door, but their prescence makes not one iota of difference to the performance of the PCs that were present at the encounter.
Which include the PCs of all the players, absent or not.

ralantar wrote:
Just because he was busy playing farmville for the last three sessions doesn't mean he can't get XP too!

Or he was sick.

Or his wife was sick.
Or his kid was sick.
Or his parent was sick.
Or his co-worker was sick.
Or it's the end-of-year stocktake.
Or he had to go out of town for an interview, because welfare runs out next week.
Or he was on a training course.
Or he's packing up for a move.
Or he's waiting in for a plumber to fix the leaking roof.
Or....yaknow, f&** that s~+@. They can all go to hell.

I'm gonna jump in the car, go pretend to be an elf.


Patryn of Elvenshae wrote:
ralantar wrote:
riiiight, okay so since we all don't get to play in Patyrn's perfect games back to the OP

You know, you can play in games like mine. All it takes is playing with a group of friends.

Of course, you need some friends to start with. Or you need to make some.

You're full of it. I've actually never played with strangers like you are implying. My current table and past ones have always been groups of people I hung out with beyond DnD.

And NONE, NOT ONE SINGLE PLAYER, ever thought they should get XP when they didn't show up.

This is crap too your whole
"Sorry, Bob, you couldn't make it last time, so you didn't get any of the gold that So-and-So handed out, and everyone else is 3rd-level now; you'll catch up eventually" is a good way to encourage Bob to find a better table.
BS.. Bob showed up this week in your scenario so chances are the other players are what? 5-600 xp ahead of him? whoopie do! Bob will level this week. Hardly anything for Bob to cry about. but we've already established that you are sensitive about your XP and can't feel like you've missed out.. are you bob?


mdt wrote:
And that brings up another point, when did it become evil wrongthink to have friendly competition amongst each other?

PF isn't about party competition (usually, anyway), rather it's about teamwork. Having people at various levels is fine, but it can lead to conflict within the group. For me, I've found that the Cons outweigh the Pros.

Clearly you have a differing opinion and that's cool. To each his own.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
mdt wrote:
I took what he said, and changed it to be a similar counter argument. I never said that he said something different. I simply took his arguments, changed them slightly, and posted them again.

Which is exactly what you berated Kaeyoss for doing.

mdt's post:
Patryn of Elvenshae wrote:
ralantar wrote:
It seems to me the one being a selfish prick is the player who missed and gets something for nothing.

Oh, horrors!

You, who did not show up to the game last weekend, have just as many imaginary currency units and arbitrary nerd advancement points as I, who did!

Truly, the entire imaginary economy is on the verge of complete breakdown! Whatever shall we do?

Oh, horrors!

You, who did not show up tot he game last weekend, have a few less imaginary currency units and arbitrary nerd advancement points than everyone else, who did!

Truly, the entire imaginary economy is on the verge of complete breakdown! Whatever shall we do?

Patryn of Elvenshae wrote:


Nevermind that I actually got to have fun last weekend, made a bunch of jokes with everyone else, got to figure out a devilish riddle, fought off a squad of attacking orcs without taking any damage by making clever use of terrain, and had some decent pizza, while you were stuck at work.

Nevermind that you made money while everyone else didn't, or perhaps you got to go out on a date with the cute blonde from the coffee shop, or you got to go to the big football game, or you made your sick child feel better by taking care of them and bonding with them in a way that the other people didn't have a chance to.

Patryn of Elvenshae wrote:


In short, your comparison to Little League scoring is telling, because roleplaying games are not a competition, and it is not necessary for me to have more XP and GP than you to prove that I am somehow winning D&D.

Showing up to play is its own reward, and missing a session of fun is its own punishment.

In short, roleplaying games are not a competition, and it is not necessary for you to have the same XP and GP than anyone else to prove that you are just as good as them.

Showing up to play is a social contract you have made with your friends, and while there are often good reasons for not doing showing up, that in no way changes the fact that they set aside their time for you, and you didn't do the same.

Kaeyoss's post:
mdt wrote:


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.

Or maybe you are a player. You have no life. You show up because it's a nice break from endless WoW sessions, and the servers are down again, anyway. You're only there for fighing with your min-maxed munchkin character and winning, but you're always there.

...

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.

...

Or maybe the other guy shows up as often as he can, but because he does have a job where he often has to work weekends, he can only be there every other session. But when he's there he's really there. Great roleplaying, shares his snacks, is focussed on the game, doesn't try to "win" by meta-gaming, rules-lawyering, or secretly reading the module to find the best treasures. Doesn't hog the spotlight either.

...

mdt wrote:


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

...

Now, how do you feel that the smelly prick who might be present all the time physically (and his stench surely is) only to play lone wolf, argue with the GM, fudge his rolls, hog the spot-light and eat everyone else's snacks without ever bringing anything of his own, is given more XP than the nice guy who gives his best?

See what I did there? Just like you, I made up a lot of stuff to support my side of the argument.

Now, let's forget all that. Let's focus on the core issue: Someone not being there all the time.

Doesn't have anything to do with interpersonal skills. Doesn't have anything to do with good or bad roleplaying. Doesn't have anything to do with anything, except that he's not there every session and why he's not there every session.

The way I see it, there are basically two scenarios here:

In one, the guy has life, work, or something else that is really important getting in the way of roleplaying, which can happen. Maybe he can't be there all the time on the day the group meets, but since too many others can't play on any other day, it's the only workable solution. This usually means that it is clear up-front that he won't be there all the time, and the schedule is usually quite clear. In this scenario, the only alternative is not having the guy around. And personally, I'd rather have my friends at the table half the time than not at all, and I won't decide that they'll get less XP. They're already missing out on the fun, let's not make it worse by having him lag behind when he can play instead of working.

The other scenario is the guy who will bother to show up when there is nothing more interesting going on. You'll probably know that he won't be there an hour or two before the game starts, or maybe half an hour after. In that case, I won't dock him any XP. I'll just throw him out of the group. End of story.

This is totally separate from putting an effort into the game or being a good roleplayer. I remember the time when I had tons of spare time, but working life did clamp down on that to some extent. And I'm relatively lucky in that regards. Others have longer work hours, and have to work on weekends, and have personal obligations they can't just ignore.

Don't get me wrong, I won't begrudge anyone their tons of free time, but I do get a bit cranky when they start going on about how they're better players than others because they can sink more spare time into the game than other people even have.

As far as I can tell, you got upset that Kaeyoss did it because he disagreed with you, but it was okay when you did it because Patryn disagreed with you.


mdt wrote:


And that brings up another point, when did it become evil wrongthink to have friendly competition amongst each other?

It's not; I just don't see the need to turn D&D into that, when I've got tactical skirmish battles, poker night, Risk, and a hundred other board and other games to do that and do it better.

And of course we are still competing: competing to come up with awesome ideas, with the best after-action stories, with the best description for a goblin beheading, and, most importantly, against the DM's NPCs' plans. We don't need "Tommy gets +100 XP tonight for [his idea]" to keep score when, "Man - Bob's idea was so cool that one time" is so much better.

So when Steve doesn't manage to make it to Saturday's game because he works at FEMA and they had a "situation" he had to deal with, his only penalty is missing the fun, and not being part of that night's stories. He doesn't need to get docked XP and GP, too.


Snorter wrote:


How are any of those events related to his prescence or non-prescence?

You could make up the numbers by rounding up the first dozen people who pass the door, but their prescence makes not one iota of difference to the performance of the PCs that were present at the encounter.
Which include the PCs of all the players, absent or not.

Really? your individual pcs matter that little in your games? I mean in my groups the players work as a team and when one is missing they are lacking the skill set that pc had. Like I said if you aren't at the table your PC isn't with the party. Call it whatever you like.. an extended break in the celestial bathroom. So yes not showing up can hurt the party. Or increase the workload of the DM to compensate for your absence. You really don't see this?

ralantar wrote:
Just because he was busy playing farmville for the last three sessions doesn't mean he can't get XP too!
Snorter wrote:


Or he was sick.
Or his wife was sick.
Or his kid was sick.
Or his parent was sick.
Or his co-worker was sick.
Or it's the end-of-year stocktake.
Or he had to go out of town for an interview, because welfare runs out next week.
Or he was on a training course.
Or he's packing up for a move.
Or he's waiting in for a plumber to fix the leaking roof.
Or....yaknow, f&#$ that s!#&. They can all go to hell.

I'm gonna jump in the car, go pretend to be an elf.

Sure and then next week it will be Sally who has one of these issues and can't make it. So then she won't get XP.. oh look.. you didn't fall that far behind the party after all.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
TriOmegaZero wrote:
mdt wrote:
I took what he said, and changed it to be a similar counter argument. I never said that he said something different. I simply took his arguments, changed them slightly, and posted them again.
Which is exactly what you berated Kaeyos for doing.

No it's not, Kaeyoss took something I said, twisted it to say I said something else, and then posted a response to that.

I am kind of shocked you don't see the difference ToZ. He didn't take a posting I put up, make a counter argument that was similar to it. He respnoded to a post I made, snarked at it, said I made it up, and then belittled me for making it up.

I didn't bother responding to the rest of his post, because I saw no reason to justify his snarking out saying I just made up arguments to support my side. If you can't see the difference between calling someone out as a liar and making fun of them for it, and simply responding with their own argument against them, then I don't know how to respond to you in this thread.


To you guys preaching this "XP even if I don't show up" or who don't use xp.
Do you extend this to other things? IS the concept of risk(work)/reward really that foreign?
Do you expect to get paid if you don't show up to work? Or credit in a bowling league for games played when you didn't actually bowl? Do you expect your merit badge when you didn't sell any cookies?
I'm just curious if this is a philosophy you live by or just something you feel about pathfinder.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
TriOmegaZero wrote:
mdt wrote:
I took what he said, and changed it to be a similar counter argument. I never said that he said something different. I simply took his arguments, changed them slightly, and posted them again.

Which is exactly what you berated Kaeyoss for doing.

** spoiler omitted **...

No, it's not. If you go look at the part I quoted, that was the part I got upset about ToZ. That's why I, you know, quoted it? I didn't even bother reading past that line, as it ticked me off too much to bother.


ralantar wrote:

To you guys preaching this "XP even if I don't show up" or who don't use xp.

Do you extend this to other things? IS the concept of risk(work)/reward really that foreign?
Do you expect to get paid if you don't show up to work? Or credit in a bowling league for games played when you didn't actually bowl? Do you expect your merit badge when you didn't sell any cookies?
I'm just curious if this is a philosophy you live by or just something you feel about pathfinder.

Life is hard, D&D 3.75 shouldn't be. When it stops being fun, that's when I stop playing.


ralantar wrote:

To you guys preaching this "XP even if I don't show up" or who don't use xp.

Do you extend this to other things? IS the concept of risk(work)/reward really that foreign?
Do you expect to get paid if you don't show up to work? Or credit in a bowling league for games played when you didn't actually bowl? Do you expect your merit badge when you didn't sell any cookies?
I'm just curious if this is a philosophy you live by or just something you feel about pathfinder.

Why, yes, obviously I do just skip out on work everyday and still expect to be paid a full-time salary.

Actually, I'm one better than that - I live entirely at the taxpayers' expense. I don't do a lick of work on my own, and I just let the rest of the party--- I mean country support me.

I never sold a single scouting cookie, and yet I got all kinds of merit badges.

One of these things is not a lie.

Grand Lodge

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

To you guys preaching this "XP even if I don't show up" or who don't use xp.

Do you extend this to other things? IS the concept of risk(work)/reward really that foreign?

Nope. And I'm insulted you even asked.

mdt wrote:
No, it's not. If you go look at the part I quoted, that was the part I got upset about ToZ. That's why I, you know, quoted it? I didn't even bother reading past that line, as it ticked me off too much to bother.

So you got mad at someone on the internet for not knowing your personal gaming history? Or did I miss the part of the thread where you explained the circumstances before Kaeyoss posted?

Shadow Lodge Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 8

ralantar wrote:
Like I said if you aren't at the table your PC isn't with the party. Call it whatever you like.. an extended break in the celestial bathroom.

Is this perhaps the crux of the disagreement here? Because I don't play that way, your PC is here no matter whether you are or not. In my games it takes a valid in-game reason for a PC to sit part of an adventure out.

Not saying either way is the right way, but the way I play it would be punitive to deny a character xp simply because their player didn't show up. Regardless of the player, the character contributed. Playing like you do, that isn't necessarily the case.


Benchak the Nightstalker wrote:
ralantar wrote:
Like I said if you aren't at the table your PC isn't with the party. Call it whatever you like.. an extended break in the celestial bathroom.

Is this perhaps the crux of the disagreement here? Because I don't play that way, your PC is here no matter whether you are or not. In my games it takes a valid in-game reason for a PC to sit part of an adventure out.

Not saying either way is the right way, but the way I play it would be punitive to deny a character xp simply because their player didn't show up. Regardless of the player, the character contributed. Playing like you do, that isn't necessarily the case.

We don't go "Poof, Tim's gone, there won't be any enchanting tonight..." If Tim's player can't show up, and we're out in the middle of nowhere, than so is Tim. The party tries to be play Tim as best we can, and we try not to get him killed while we're at it.

Why do we do that? Well, it's because we think Tim's player is an alright guy and we know he'd do the same for us.

And we're adults. :P


TriOmegaZero wrote:
That was uncalled for, friend.

I disagree, obviously, but I've removed it because that doesn't mean I should post it. :)


Benchak the Nightstalker wrote:
ralantar wrote:
Like I said if you aren't at the table your PC isn't with the party. Call it whatever you like.. an extended break in the celestial bathroom.

Is this perhaps the crux of the disagreement here? Because I don't play that way, your PC is here no matter whether you are or not. In my games it takes a valid in-game reason for a PC to sit part of an adventure out.

Not saying either way is the right way, but the way I play it would be punitive to deny a character xp simply because their player didn't show up. Regardless of the player, the character contributed. Playing like you do, that isn't necessarily the case.

Benchak if that's the way you play then it makes perfect sense to me that the character would get XP and his share of anything else. He contributed.

For my groups over the years they didn't like having their character included if they weren't there to play it. I don't think there is a disagreement between myself and the style of play you are describing.


Patryn of Elvenshae wrote:
TriOmegaZero wrote:
That was uncalled for, friend.
I disagree, obviously, but I've removed it because that doesn't mean I should post it. :)

yeah well I saw it and your still a twit.

It was ment as an honest question. You act like there aren't people who have the mentality I described. There are plenty. I was just curious if your view on this XP for lack of participation was an aspect of your world view.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
TriOmegaZero wrote:


mdt wrote:
No, it's not. If you go look at the part I quoted, that was the part I got upset about ToZ. That's why I, you know, quoted it? I didn't even bother reading past that line, as it ticked me off too much to bother.
So you got mad at someone on the internet for not knowing your personal gaming history? Or did I miss the part of the thread where you explained the circumstances before Kaeyoss posted?

I thought it was fairly obvious I was posting about something that actually happened, however, if he was confused about that, then I'll take that part of the rant back.


ralantar wrote:
Benchak the Nightstalker wrote:
ralantar wrote:
Like I said if you aren't at the table your PC isn't with the party. Call it whatever you like.. an extended break in the celestial bathroom.

Is this perhaps the crux of the disagreement here? Because I don't play that way, your PC is here no matter whether you are or not. In my games it takes a valid in-game reason for a PC to sit part of an adventure out.

Not saying either way is the right way, but the way I play it would be punitive to deny a character xp simply because their player didn't show up. Regardless of the player, the character contributed. Playing like you do, that isn't necessarily the case.

Benchak if that's the way you play then it makes perfect sense to me that the character would get XP and his share of anything else. He contributed.

For my groups over the years they didn't like having their character included if they weren't there to play it. I don't think there is a disagreement between myself and the style of play you are describing.

Using the "Tim" example - if Tim's player said "guys, you always get my character killed, so hands off", then we'd do our best to respect his wishes whenever possible. That means that if we're not out in the middle of nowhere, than Tim can hang out in his room or whatever.

Regardless, Tim would still get any XP that the rest of us got. Because we're just nice like that and we don't see the need to let him fall behind.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
mdt wrote:
I thought it was fairly obvious I was posting about something that actually happened, however, if he was confused about that, then I'll take that part of the rant back.

Just pointing out that some people need to be hit with a clue-by-four to realize some things. It didn't even cross my mind that your example was drawn from experience until your rant.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
ralantar wrote:
It was ment as an honest question. You act like there aren't people who have the mentality I described. There are plenty. I was just curious if your view on this XP for lack of participation was an aspect of your world view.

As I said, your questions read very insultingly. While I agree there are people with that mentality, you can remove XP from your game without being that kind of person.


loaba wrote:
ralantar wrote:
Benchak the Nightstalker wrote:
ralantar wrote:
Like I said if you aren't at the table your PC isn't with the party. Call it whatever you like.. an extended break in the celestial bathroom.

Is this perhaps the crux of the disagreement here? Because I don't play that way, your PC is here no matter whether you are or not. In my games it takes a valid in-game reason for a PC to sit part of an adventure out.

Not saying either way is the right way, but the way I play it would be punitive to deny a character xp simply because their player didn't show up. Regardless of the player, the character contributed. Playing like you do, that isn't necessarily the case.

Benchak if that's the way you play then it makes perfect sense to me that the character would get XP and his share of anything else. He contributed.

For my groups over the years they didn't like having their character included if they weren't there to play it. I don't think there is a disagreement between myself and the style of play you are describing.

Using the "Tim" example - if Tim's player said "guys, you always get my character killed, so hands off", then we'd do our best to respect his wishes whenever possible. That means that if we're not out in the middle of nowhere, than Tim can hang out in his room or whatever.

Regardless, Tim would still get any XP that the rest of us got. Because we're just nice like that and we don't see the need to let him fall behind.

OKay I get that, but isn't everyone going to miss a session eventually? In my experience they do and the party stays within a couple 1000 xp over the course of a campaign. Who does it hurt if the guy who shows up all the time might level a week before the rest? Especially since 3rd ed when everyone started using the same XP table.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Patryn of Elvenshae wrote:
TriOmegaZero wrote:
That was uncalled for, friend.
I disagree, obviously, but I've removed it because that doesn't mean I should post it. :)

And this will be the end of my posts with you. If you want to get to making personal attacks (which you've done several times), then it is worthless to bother responding to you further.

Grand Lodge

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


OKay I get that, but isn't everyone going to miss a session eventually?

I didn't. It's why my scout was 6th level in a party of 1st-5th level characters until I had to move.


TriOmegaZero wrote:
ralantar wrote:
It was ment as an honest question. You act like there aren't people who have the mentality I described. There are plenty. I was just curious if your view on this XP for lack of participation was an aspect of your world view.
As I said, your questions read very insultingly. While I agree there are people with that mentality, you can remove XP from your game without being that kind of person.

To you then my apologies. The removal of XP entirely, seems to mesh far less with the something for nothing mentality then the I want my XP even if I didn't contribute crowd.

Removing XP entirely seems to be a different animal to me then the argument taking place in this thread.


ralantar wrote:
OKay I get that, but isn't everyone going to miss a session eventually? In my experience they do and the party stays within a couple 1000 xp over the course of a campaign. Who does it hurt if the guy who shows up all the time might level a week before the rest? Especially since 3rd ed when everyone started using the same XP table.

Y'know, I was thinking about my own group, and who has missed any games. The answer is that I (loaba) am the only member of my group who has made EVERY session. The other players, in 3 years or so, have all missed 1 or 2 sessions for various reasons.

Know what, I don't care that they all have the same XP as me. :) It's all good.

Note: the fact that I have perfect attendance is a bit of a sticking point with Mrs. loaba... I should probably be sweeping or vacuuming right now...


ralantar wrote:


OKay I get that, but isn't everyone going to miss a session eventually?

No, and there's no reason why the XP per missed session would be equal.

Joe missed twice; at each session 300 XP was "earned."

Bob missed once; at that session 1,000 XP was "earned."

We're playing at Steve's house; if he can't make it, we don't game, so Steve never misses a session.

Bob's now 1,000 XP behind "the group," and Joe - despite missing twice as many sessions as Bob - is 600 XP behind the group and 400 XP ahead of Bob.


Can we dial back on some of the naked nerd hostility here?

I'm still of the opinion that giving XP to those not there is a bonus, and not doing so isn't a penalty.

And that's the crux of my issue.

When you say the above, I don't have an issue playing that way (Ral and mdt might), and you're really nice.

When you say 'giving XP to those not there is standard, and not doing so is a penalty', you imply the way I am doing it is wrong.

And that's not true. I have very good reasons for doing it the way I do, and would regardless of whether I was playing online or face to face with friends.


ralantar wrote:
Removing XP entirely seems to be a different animal to me then the argument taking place in this thread.

That's the thing I just can't do. I cannot remove XP from the game. I respect the fact that other groups and can do just that. Sorry, gents, I just can't take that trip with ya. :)


TriOmegaZero wrote:
ralantar wrote:


OKay I get that, but isn't everyone going to miss a session eventually?
I didn't. It's why my scout was 6th level in a party of 1st-5th level characters until I had to move.

okay you have to admit that sounds like some extreme session attendance issues. I don't see how the DM could hold together a solid story with that sort of erraticness. If my groups did that we would have to reassess the scheduling or even the group viability. If you're going to miss that much that you're 2nd level while others are 6th.. Do you even remember what happened last time you played?

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