XP / level penalties for bad players.


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
loaba wrote:
mdt wrote:
Now can you see why people are getting upset at you on this thread?

I'm not upset, I haven't gotten that vibe from anyone yet... Well, until now. You strike me as being very upset.

Why do you care? Could it be you've thought about past campaigns and said to yourself "well, there was that time the prick Thief/Magic-User put everyone to sleep, stole their stuff and made off with everything..."?

I mean, that's what I think of when I think about games with Individual XP awards and (not so)friendly player rivalries. You can go a long way towards cutting that crap out by making XP a universal award for everyone. You can keep it from even being an issue. Or is it that you like that kind of stuff?

I've already posted why I am upset by the idea of giving out exp to everyone equally. I've been in games before where the GMs best friend got the same rewards as everyone while disrupting the game, not showing up, not telling anyone when or if he would be there, and me and the other players felt like our contributions were useless. The games shredded.

I've run games where people complained that the jerk player was getting rewards he hadn't earned, because he didn't show up but still got magic items. Or he cheated on a dice roll and claimed first pick of loot because he killed the BBEG.

What annoys me is that people like Patryn and Kaeyoss argue that it's just not true, and that you should just bounce the guy. And if you say 'Well, I can't bounce him, I'm not the GM' they say 'Don't play', as if it's easy to find a game.

I wish I lived in an area (over the last 20 years) where I could just take my marbles and go home and have my pick of 20 games the next week. But I don't and haven't.


MDT - I gotta say that I feel really lucky to have found the group I have now. Really good guys, what's more we're friends outside of PF. We actually see each other outside the game. I cannot overemphasize how cool that is. Our party/game dynamic is pretty incredible for it.

I won't say everything is rosy all the time; one guy had to quit because of work and we just lost another because priorities changed (he picked his kids over gaming, go figure.) But in the end, the core is still going strong.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
loaba wrote:

MDT - I gotta say that I feel really lucky to have found the group I have now. Really good guys, what's more we're friends outside of PF. We actually see each other outside the game. I cannot overemphasize how cool that is. Our party/game dynamic is pretty incredible for it.

I won't say everything is rosy all the time; one guy had to quit because of work and we just lost another because priorities changed (he picked his kids over gaming, go figure.) But in the end, the core is still going strong.

I've been mostly lucky with players, but mostly unlucky with games I play in.

Bad GMs (GMs who do things like say you don't know that the zombies are actually zombies, so you can't chop their heads off afterwards, even though you've fought the same group of people 7 days in a row). Bad players in the games I'm playing in, etc.

But even with the games I've run, there have been bad patches. Two players who quit the same day, both with no notice, no explanation, and no responses to e-mail ever after (still no idea what that was about).

A female player who divorced her husband (also a player), who then quit and left the city. Then she dated Player A for half a year, dumped him when he asked her to marry him, and then started dating Player B a week after she dumped A.

A cheating player I finally had to ban.

Players going off to college.

Players moving to a new state for work.


Dude - Married Couples Need Not Apply!

crikey - that's material for a whole new thread...


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
loaba wrote:

Dude - Married Couples Need Not Apply!

crikey - that's material for a whole new thread...

I'm running a Champions game right now with a pair of married couples, and I'm playing with my wife in a PF campaign... so... nah, not goin there. :)


mdt wrote:


Sheesh, if you'll shut up about me dodging questions I'll answer this one, although it should be fairly obvious :

Weren't you ignoring me for the rest of this conversation? :P

Quote:


I'm sure I could come up with some more, I'm also equally sure you'll dismiss everything I've just posted with an insult. *shrug*

You could drop the passive-aggressive b+~%!$+%, and we'd all go a lot farther.

Quote:
A) The system is built around the idea of EXP/Treasure/etc.

Sure - but this in no way applies to differentiated EXP / Treasure / etc.

Quote:
B) Keeping track of EXP can help the GM identify areas where players may need some help or something in the game needs to be looked at. If a player is consistently not getting Roleplay Exp, the GM should be looking into why. ... A GM is very busy on game days, he may not notice things every time, and an EXP guage is a good way of keeping track of things he might be missing.

Certainly a [potential] benefit, but it seems to require a lot of additional bookkeeping - is John up 400 XP vs. the group average because he hasn't missed a session and everyone else has missed one, or is it because I gave him +100 XP for good roleplaying a few times?

Maybe he's at the group average because he missed three sessions, but did a really cool job on two of the sessions he was here for and picked up a bunch of bonus roleplaying XP. Susan's at the group average because she just shows up every time and hasn't done anything spectacular in-game, but she seems to be having fun rolling dice.

But just looking at John's total XP and Susan's, I can't identify any particular issues - I need to review which games they were here for, how much XP they got, why they got those XP, etc., which means I need to keep detailed records of all of that.

On the other hand, what's wrong with asking your players - perhaps face-to-face, perhaps over email, perhaps with anonymous surveys, depending on your comfort level and theirs - how they're enjoying things? Asking them what they'd like to see? Having an open-door policy on character sheet reworks?*

So, I agree with you that there's a potential benefit here, but I think that there are far superior ways to go about doing it.

Moreover, this point, and D, really seem to address "bonus" XP more than anything else - as in, the encounters the party overcame were worth 1,000 XP to the players, but you gave Joe another 100 XP for doing a good job of roleplaying a Monk of Sarenrae when they met the traveling actor troupe. They seem to handle the case of Susan being 1,000 XP behind Joe because she got called in to work less well.

And, for some reason, I find it hard to tell someone, "Yeah, sorry you missed the last three games because your daughter got sick, which got you sick, which got your son sick, and you had to stay home - you missed a hell of a good time when the party destroyed that nascent lich in the catacombs under Waterdeep. Also, you're a level behind everyone now and didn't get a reward from the town council. You might catch up eventually if you really roleplay well."

Quote:
C) A good way of keeping track of his campaign. If there's no EXP being given out, then maybe the GM is not giving the characters their levels fast enough? Or maybe he's giving out the levels too fast, or highly inconsistently. Maybe he went 2 games between levels, then 10, then 3, then 7.

This is potentially a benefit of XP, but it is not tied to differeniated XP (and, in fact, differentiated XP makes this harder to do because maybe Steve's on the right track, but Bob's ahead of the curve, and Joe's a couple sessions behind).

Moreover, if the end goal is that the characters advance from 3rd-level to 4th-level at the end of the Tomb of Whosiwaht in order to prepare them for the Caves of Generic Humanoids ... isn't it better just to tell the players, "Congrats - you've leveled up to 4th-level" upon completion of the Tomb?

Rather than calculating how much XP they have, realizing that they're coming up a little short because they skipped out on the second underfloor of the Tomb's east wing, and then adjusting the remaining encounters or the quest bonus or whatever to get them there anyway?

Quote:
D) It gives the players positive feedback on whether the GM thinks they are playing their characters appropriately for their concept (RP EXP). This can be very important with certain classes, and can tune the player into what the GM expects from tricky classes such as Paladin or Monk or Barbarian (all of which have alignment...

This one, as mentioned before, seems a little tricky - because it also implies that, if Bob isn't playing his Cleric of Sarenrae as well as you'd like, he'd be docked XP.

And, let's be honest - we really mean Paladin here. :D I can't ever remember there being a "Should my Barbarian turn Lawful?" thread, and I've been playing 3E since it came out. :D

Again, this seems like it could be a benefit of differentiated experience points - but it equally seems that a conversation, or just praise at the table, or recognition by NPCs, would be just as or more effective than the XP carrot.

And, as a benefit, such rewards don't complicate the bookkeeping or cause disparities in PC power level.

* This is anothe thing that seems to draw a lot of controversy - retraining rules and the like. A lot of people like to enforce some kind of, "If you picked it, you're stuck with it" rules, even if the player isn't particularly enjoying the way the mechanical construct character is matching the imagination construct character in their heads.

When I DM, I have an extremely permissive retraining rule: feel free to rework your character as much as you want as long as it's recognizably the same character, make sure to send me the updated character information, and you have to do it away from the table (e.g., over email in the two weeks between sessions).


loaba 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.

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

I see this type of play bandied about alot (playing someones character for them).

Is this common?
In this small corner of the world a players character is sacrosanct you do not do that. Just like you do not use another players dice without permission. Just as if you are not the host then you bring "something" to the meeting (be it drinks, chips, cash for pizza later, etc...)
Someone up thread said the game is a social contract.

They are right it is.
But that contract covers more than just the rules of the system.
It is also about how you treat each other with respect.
Joe-bob forgot his dice? ok, here JB use a set from the bowl of cast offs.
Jimmy forgot to grab some drinks and is short on cash? OK Jim you go fetch dinner tonight and we will cover you tonight.
Frank is hosting tonight and his wife is not feeling all that well tonight so we gotta tone the volume down a bit tonight and quit and clean earlier than usual ok?
Dick and Jane could not make it tonight but they and I have made arrangements to do a mini quest to make up the "lost" exp.
Fred pulled his second no call no show last week...that is two levels he is behind now. But he is interested in continuing. That still cool?

That is how sessions go around here.


Darkholme wrote:

Wow. umm. I dont think I'd ever want a party with a level difference of 13 between lowest and highest. I'd be iffy on anything above like. 4. (If the highest is level 13, I can't see including people below 9. Not in a game with such wide power gaps as Pathfinder. In a system where a level one has a decent chance of success against a level 10 I'd be fine with it (WoD, Warhammer?(I forget)).

The level 13 won't even be challenged by that CR 6, and will likely be very bored, and I'd be wondering why he's not actively looking for more of a challenge, and the CR one guy is going to spend most of the fight against the CR 6 cowering and hiding.

My group got all whiny because I put them Lv 4, 5, 5, 5, 6 against a party with an Lv 2, 2, 2, 3, 3, 5, 5, 6, 6; as the final encounter for the campaign.
Group: "And you don't see a problem with this?!"
Me: "Not for a campaign finale. I'd see it as too hard if the campaign was going to keep going after tonight. For a finale I'm okay with a high risk of casualty."
After which they all went silent. Apparently they didn't have a rebuttal for that, but still thought it was too hard. I can't imagine having the Lv 1 fight a bunch of Level 6es.

Actually the level 1 guy is often the one jumping into the fray first.

As an example:
My name sake started as 1st level in a party with a 15th level Barbarian, and a 12th level ranger. (and others of varying level next lowest being 6th). we encountered an Adult Red Dragon. I was the only one to make his fear check. So what to do? Well if you cant dazzle them with your brilliance baffle them with Bull****. I "convinced" the dragon he was aerodynamically unsound and there for incapable of flight. (High Int, Wis, and Cha character.)


Patryn of Elvenshae wrote:
Kain Darkwind wrote:


1. The game itself is unnecessary.

Of course it is.

So, maybe you'll answer the question that MDT keeps dodging.

What actual benefits do you get out of differentiated experience and treasure gain, that you would not otherwise get from just playing with friends?

They've been answered before. By mdt, I think.

1. A sense of fair play. Those that contribute, gain. Those that don't, don't.

2. A sense of in-game verisimilitude. Those that adventure around, level up. Those that oftentimes need to "hang back" (as their character isn't participating in sessions they are absent for), don't do so a quickly.

3. A sense of responsibility. I give 1/2 XP for timely notices of absence. My online game isn't one played between RL friends and doesn't have time for people who are continually absent, so this doesn't apply as much to a scenario where friends just want to see each other around the gaming table. The way I do it, however, promotes a sense of personal responsibility and rewards communication with the DM.

Quote:
Why is there a need for your carrot (or, alternatively, why is there a need for my stick)?

This is a different question, and goes back to 'need'. There is no need involved.


Damian Magecraft wrote:
I "convinced" the dragon he was aerodynamically unsound and there for incapable of flight. (High Int, Wis, and Cha character.)

Luckily he could still breath fire, use 5 attacks, and cast spells as a 7th level sorcerer.

Grand Lodge

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

Actually the level 1 guy is often the one jumping into the fray first.

As an example:
My name sake started as 1st level in a party with a 15th level Barbarian, and a 12th level ranger. (and others of varying level next lowest being 6th). we encountered an Adult Red Dragon. I was the only one to make his fear check. So what to do? Well if you cant dazzle them with your brilliance baffle them with Bull****. I "convinced" the dragon he was aerodynamically unsound and there for incapable of flight. (High Int, Wis, and Cha character.)

I'm reminded of A Flight of Dragons. :)


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Patryn of Elvenshae wrote:

mdt wrote:

Sheesh, if you'll shut up about me dodging questions I'll answer this one, although it should be fairly obvious :

Weren't you ignoring me for the rest of this conversation? :P

ToZ pointed out I was letting my irritation get a little too far, I could go back to ignoring you if you like? :)

Patryn of Elvenshae wrote:


Quote:

I'm sure I could come up with some more, I'm also equally sure you'll dismiss everything I've just posted with an insult. *shrug*

You could drop the passive-aggressive b!++*!!$, and we'd all go a lot farther.

I'll do so if you do so as well?

Patryn of Elvenshae wrote:

Quote:

A) The system is built around the idea of EXP/Treasure/etc.

Sure - but this in no way applies to differentiated EXP / Treasure / etc.

You did not limit the question on giving out EXP to just why A & B get different, you asked why EXP was needed, when you could just grant levels after such and such a time. So, this is a valid response to your posit of an EXPless game.

Patryn of Elvenshae wrote:


Quote:

B) Keeping track of EXP can help the GM identify areas where players may need some help or something in the game needs to be looked at. If a player is consistently not getting Roleplay Exp, the GM should be looking into why. ... A GM is very busy on game days, he may not notice things every time, and an EXP guage is a good way of keeping track of things he might be missing.

Certainly a [potential] benefit, but it seems to require a lot of additional bookkeeping - is John up 400 XP vs. the group average because he hasn't missed a session and everyone else has missed one, or is it because I gave him +100 XP for good roleplaying a few times?

This is not a granular thing. I don't bother keeping up with the character's EXP, that is their job. What I keep track of is when someone levels. When someone says "Hey GM! I leveled, WOOHOO!" then I nod and ask around to see what everyone else needs to level. If I get another person saying "I leveled too" and two more people saying "500 exp" and "850 EXP", and the fifth guy says "3500 exp", then I stop and ask question. "Are you sure? Wow, that's a big gap. How many games have you missed? Are you not getting any RP time? Did something happen to it? Did you miss some?" And usually as a group we iron out the issue. It might go something like this...

E : Well, I don't think I missed anything I was here for. I did miss two games in the last 3 months. But A ran my character both times, so I got 50% EXP for those.
A : Wait, did you add in the experience I wrote on the back of your sheet? I didn't know for sure how you were doing your EXP, and he handed out EXP one of the nights you were gone.
B : Yeah, I remember, that was the night we got the experience from the big Ogre.
E : Oh fudge, yeah, I didn't see that. That's part of it, 1200 EXP, that's a nice bunch. Ok, I'm only 2300 behind then.
ME : That's still a bunch, you know, you haven't been doing a lot of RP lately, something wrong with the character?
E : No, I like the character, but there's not a lot of stuff for me to do usually in town. That whole Druids hate city stuff, so I'm missing out on some stuff there I guess.
C : Hey, we had that guy in the woods tell us about the springs? Maybe E can do a one-on-one or Play By Post or something to find out why the dryad isn't keeping the springs pure anymore.
ME : Yeah, that works, and I need to put more stuff in outside of town.

Patryn of Elvenshae wrote:


Maybe he's at the group average because he missed three sessions, but did a really cool job on two of the sessions he was here for and picked up a bunch of bonus roleplaying XP. Susan's at the group average because she just shows up every time and hasn't done anything spectacular in-game, but she seems to be having fun rolling dice.

And I don't see any problems with that. It seems like it's working pretty well, Susan's consistent, while John's good but flaky. That seems like a good balance between the two of them. If the players aren't minding, and John's pulling his own, then it's not too bad. I never said it's the begin all end all of what I look for as a GM, but it's one tool of many. If the other players aren't complaining about John's absences messing things up, then that's fine.

Patryn of Elvenshae wrote:


On the other hand, what's wrong with asking your players - perhaps face-to-face, perhaps over email, perhaps with anonymous surveys, depending on your comfort level and theirs - how they're enjoying things? Asking them what they'd like to see? Having an open-door policy on character sheet reworks?*

And who says that I don't? Anyone who uses only one method to figure out what's broken, what's out of whack, and what's working well in their games is a bad GM in my book. I always ask for feedback from my players, and I tell them to let me have it with both barrels. I do the same thing when I give them feedback on their characters. I let them know if I think they are going in a direction I don't think they want to go. I've never ever had a player blink at me and say "Woah, my Paladin's in trouble? Over what?".

Patryn of Elvenshae wrote:

So, I agree with you that there's a potential benefit here, but I think that there are far superior ways to go about doing it.

That's the point. You believe it should be dropped completely. I believe it's a valid tool as a GM to keep a game on keel and help players enjoy it.

Patryn of Elvenshae wrote:

Moreover, this point, and D, really seem to address "bonus" XP more than anything else - as in, the encounters the party overcame were worth 1,000 XP to the players, but you gave Joe another 100 XP for doing a good job of roleplaying a Monk of Sarenrae when they met the traveling actor troupe. They seem to handle the case of Susan being 1,000 XP behind Joe because she got called in to work less well.

And, for some reason, I find it hard to tell someone, "Yeah, sorry you missed the last three games because your daughter got sick, which got you sick, which got your son sick, and you had to stay home - you missed a hell of a good time when the party destroyed that nascent lich in the catacombs under Waterdeep. Also, you're a level behind everyone now and didn't get a reward from the town council. You might catch up eventually if you really roleplay well."

Now you're putting words in my mouth. I never advocated that. I've had players who couldn't make games regularly due to illness, family issues, chemotherapy. When things like that happen, I talk to the group when they aren't there, and ask everyone's feelings on giving the person going through the life issues full EXP for the duration. I've yet to have anyone disagree with that.

Where I don't give EXP, or give half, is when people are being a flake. And I've never had any complaints over it, especially from the people who weren't being a flake. I had a guy who, for awhile, would get to playing WOW and just not bother showing up. Or he'd be playing Forza, or something else. No calls, no nothing. He got nothing for not showing up, since he didn't call ahead of time. I had another guy who consistently showed up late, he got docked. Not because he had any reason for being late, he just couldn't be anywhere on time. Anything that happened while he wasn't there, he didn't get EXP for. Again, no complaints from either guy, nor the other players.

Patryn of Elvenshae wrote:

Quote:

C) A good way of keeping track of his campaign. If there's no EXP being given out, then maybe the GM is not giving the characters their levels fast enough? Or maybe he's giving out the levels too fast, or highly inconsistently. Maybe he went 2 games between levels, then 10, then 3, then 7.

This is potentially a benefit of XP, but it is not tied to differeniated XP (and, in fact, differentiated XP makes this harder to do because maybe Steve's on the right track, but Bob's ahead of the curve, and Joe's a couple sessions behind).

Again, you have advocated doing away completely with exp earlier in the thread, so this is a valid response to 'why keep EXP around'.

Patryn of Elvenshae wrote:


Quote:

D) It gives the players positive feedback on whether the GM thinks they are playing their characters appropriately for their concept (RP EXP). This can be very important with certain classes, and can tune the player into what the GM expects from tricky classes such as Paladin or Monk or Barbarian (all of which have alignment...

This one, as mentioned before, seems a little tricky - because it also implies that, if Bob isn't playing his Cleric of Sarenrae as well as you'd like, he'd be docked XP.

And, let's be honest - we really mean Paladin here. :D I can't ever remember there being a "Should my Barbarian turn Lawful?" thread, and I've been playing 3E since it came out. :D

As I said earlier, I've never had a player blink at me and be shocked his paladin/monk/barbarian got in trouble alignment wise, because I let them know ahead of time.

You assume it's a Paladin. To be honest, I've had exactly one Paladin in a game I've run in the past 20 years. No problems on alignment at all, guy only came close to failing once, and that was him getting impatient and frustrated in a fight and losing control OOC and translating that to IC actions. And he asked me after the game if he came close to violating his code, and I confirmed he just missed it, and was going to have a few dreams from Bahamut telling him to cool his jets and use his brain going forward, not his muscles.

I am very cognizant of alignments, they are an integral part of the game. Many enemies have attacks that target specific alignments, NPCs react differently to various alignments, etc. I don't like surprising people by willy-nilly altering alignments. If someone is acting chaotic IC with a Lawful alignment, I tell them that they are not roleplaying their character as they have described them. Are they feeling the character's outlook has changed? If so, are they wanting to take him in a more neutral direction? Or are they feeling like maybe he should be Chaotic? I work with them to redefine the character's personality as it's changing, and then they get RP exp for working toward what they've set as an OOC goal for RP.

I also give EXP for players making IC goals and working towards them. A character wants to take Leadership at 7th level. He begins grooming an NPC he meets at 5th level, establishing a relationship, etc. When he get's to 7th level, he get's his cohort, and he get's exp along the way for putting effort into it.

As to your barbarian and lawful... I've actually had that conversation before. :) But it was me. :) I wanted to play this horribly disfigured and irascible elf barbarian (CHA 6). However, the group I was playing in were all playing CN, while I was CG, and I had to step in repeatedly and calm things down before they got us killed (Actually, they were playing Chaotic Stupid to be honest). I actually had to talk to the GM about my Barbarian switching classes, because he was behaving too lawful. :)

Patryn of Elvenshae wrote:


* This is anothe thing that seems to draw a lot of controversy - retraining rules and the like. A lot of people like to enforce some kind of, "If you picked it, you're stuck with it" rules, even if the player isn't particularly enjoying the way the mechanical construct character is matching the imagination construct character in their heads.

When I DM, I have an extremely permissive retraining rule: feel free to rework your character as much as you want as long as it's recognizably the same character, make sure to send me the updated character information, and you have to do it away from the table (e.g., over email in the two weeks between sessions).

I don't mind people changing things, if they want. I'm relatively open to it. I have problems with class changes, those are more fundamental. I'm open to it, but I need a REALLY good reason. Usually, if they want to make that big a change, I just suggest they 'retire' their current character at the earliest in game opportunity, at which point they become an NPC. Then bring in a new character.

If they want to make relatively minor tweaks, like changing feats, or skill point allocation, or something. I'm usually ok with that. What I usually do is tell them they can't use the skill point(s) or feat for an entire level. Once they've done that, then they can reallocate the feat/points. This represents them Retraining over time. I do an entire level because it more accurately simulates that someone who is still learning the basics can more easily unlearn and relearn something than someone who is more dedicated to it. In other words, it's easier to retrain a feat at 2nd level than it is at 20th.

Dark Archive

*Ahem* Bweare the ides of march. Err. Wall of text..

Patryn of Elvenshae wrote:

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.

Well... *I* give flat amounts per session, and encounter xp only makes up a small portion of what you get. I also play a fair amount of WoD and a bit of Unisystem where this is the norm, and have found I like that it brings a little more consistency for the value of a session.

I do it because there are often encounters where only half the party is there, or one party is off somewhere else, etc, and I wanted to make sure everyone got exp if they were present for the session.

So joe would miss the flat xp value for 2 sessions, bob would miss the flat xp value for one session.Joe wouldn't be eligible to be voted best RPer (gaining 1.5x the value of the session instead of 1.0) twice, and bob only had that happen once. Finally; even if they had both been present, no guarantee that joe or bob would have gotten the same encounter xp, because they may not have participated in the same encounter. they could have split the party, or bob might have had an encounter of a dangerous variety while joe was buying gear, or whatever.

Additionally, with regard to Steve, I think it's bad form for the player to provide the gaming environment; but I can see situations where a group might be unable to avoid it. Personally we always either go to the GM's house, or book a room in a public space (at the local university or a library or wherever).

loaba wrote:
PF isn't about party competition (usually, anyway), rather it's about teamwork.

I always hear this. I rarely encounter it. Pathfinder seems to be almost as much about competition as it is teamwork. The characters dont necessarily have the same goals, ideals, or values, and therefore clashes happen. One Character's success can be another character's failure, or might not be success OR failure for that character.

One character might be a Chelaxian noble, and another might be an Andoran Soldier. Presumeably they were made with some commonality because they're in the same party, but the Chelaxian likely doesn't see a problem with slavery, and is likely quite racist toward halflings and tieflings.

PVP Conflict happens. It's interesting, and doesn't always end with a fight to the death (but even when it does, that high level party fracture due to different characters' moral beliefs is entertaining and makes for a good story).

loaba wrote:

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

It's cool if that works for you, but in my experience, Tim's player won't want the group monkeying with his character, and the group likely doesn't have a copy of Tim's sheet to begin with. And Tim's player will be pissed if he comes back to find out he died because Schmoopy's player forgot Tim could cast that one spell. In some games, Tim's player may actually want to avoid having the other players see what he has on his character sheet, for whatever reason. Maybe he's planning a coup, or maybe he just wants to pull out a Boo-Ya! maneuver of some kind at a crucial moment and pull something the other players didn't expect. Maybe he's been passing notes to the GM, and he's taken more than his share of the loot when the party wasn't looking. There are any number of reasons Tim's player may not want to have Tim be public property, as it were.

The GM may not *Poof* Tim out of existence, but he'll usually come up with some sort of situation that splits Tim from the party and then Tim will be found later, on a day when Tim's player comes back.

I will say that I as a player am more of a "I earned it" type than some of the more communal sharing type games I've seen, and I usually play neutrally aligned characters (With a lawful neutral seeming to be where I'm most comfortable). I've seen groups that use a shared party loot pool instead of individually tracking their own treasure - and that concept is alien to me. Right now the rest of the party does shared loot, and I "cash out" my fair share after each big win. Last year a player's character died and I shocked the other players by telling them I didn't think it was fair for me to absorb the cost of his death. He didn't die because we screwed up. I said something along the lines of: "Last session I went to the church and put a downpayment on my own resurrection in case I die in the dungeon. If he didn't do the same, then we resurrect him with his own funds. If he can't afford it; I'm not totally heartless, I won't leave him dead, but he's paying us back in installments." Once one or two other players decided they saw my point, most of the party got more careful about not being so reckless.

Later in the campaign, the character was acting suspiciously (I thought he was an imposter), and I was the only one who thought something was up. I (the monk/rogue) knocked him unconscious and tied him up. After an interrogation where I was pretty sure he was an imposter; I suggested we off him and use speak with dead to get info when he can't lie. The rest of the party was shocked. I said I'd pay for the resurrection out of my own pocket if I was wrong, I was that sure of it. They refused to let me kill scotius, and at the most inopportune moment the doppelganger scotius' player had been playing for 5 sessions turned into a dragon and ate a party member. I had *You should have listened to me* face for like 4 sessions. After that they conceded that if something similar happened again, I could kill the suspected imposter and we'd pay for the resurrection if necessary.

KaeYoss wrote:
There's the case where there's no possible game day where everyone can play all the time, and the best solution is playing at a day where one person can only be there half the time, because of work or other commitments. And in most cases where the players are all friends, I'd say they'd rather have their friend at the table half the time than not at all.

That's a valid view. In the circles I game in, attendance is part of the social contract. If you aren't going to be able to make it at least 75% of the time, you don't sign up for the game (We all list our games on a forum). If part way through you find out you cant meet the time commitment, you bow out. Usually the player bows out long before the GM has a 50% attendance problem. Often the player bows out after one missed game when they say "Yeah it looks like I won't be able to do saturdays for the next month or so; sorry guys." And there are no hard feelings about it, and the guy usually knows that if there's still a slot open when his schedule frees up, and he's able to make 3 weeks out of 4 (on average) again, he's welcome to come back.

Right now it's been 3 weeks since I made it to my friday game, though last week nobody could make it except one guy so the game was cancelled. Once exams are over, we'll get back into it.

And Finally:
You guys have been talking about tracking xp; and the bookkeeping involved. mdt has the Players do the tracking and seems to use the honor system. As of my most recent campaign I've adopted a new stance. The player does all the bookkeeping. At the end of Each session, they post the amount of xp they got, and what they got it for, and their new total xp (and in sessions where xp are used like currency to get new abilities, they also note how much xp theyve spent). For future campaigns I think I'll be having them post their full characters as they progress, If something seems problematic (*player is cheating, or whatever) then I have detailed records for each player to figure everything out with. I got annoyed when a player said: "I leveled" enough to put him above the rest of the group; with bad recordkeeping to show me it was legit.

He probably wasn't cheating; but he could have been, and I'd rather know for sure what's going on in my games.


Cartigan wrote:
Damian Magecraft wrote:
I "convinced" the dragon he was aerodynamically unsound and there for incapable of flight. (High Int, Wis, and Cha character.)
Luckily he could still breath fire, use 5 attacks, and cast spells as a 7th level sorcerer.

yes he could... but the debate on his ability to fly was too compelling to allow him to think straight. Of course my name sake also commented that given enough time he could have "convinced" the dragon he was nothing more than an over grown gecko.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Darkholme wrote:
mdt has the Players do the tracking and seems to use the honor system.

Well, I sort of cheat at the honor system. :) Remember I said I have everyone state what they need to next level when someone levels. Usually the other players catch if someone is going too fast. :) I learned that when I had that player I mentioned earlier who cheated all the time. What I found was that sunshine is a wonderful disinfectant.

Of course, banning the player for a year seemed to work too, just had to make sure nobody was going to be upset about banning a friend first.


mdt wrote:


ToZ pointed out I was letting my irritation get a little too far, I could go back to ignoring you if you like? :)
[...]
I'll do so if you do so as well?

Deal!

Quote:
You did not limit the question on giving out EXP to just why A & B get different, you asked why EXP was needed,

No, in this specific case, I was asking why you needed differentiated experience - e.g., A and B not getting the same XP over time; what benefits that had that could not be accomplished just by playing with friends.

If that affects your answer[s], let me know - I won't natter on about anything else in this post directly related to this.

The completely separate question was ... uh ... someone else (sorry, whoever you are!), mentioning that they needed to see the experience numbers increase, but that everyone had the same number regardless of actual "performance." I was asking, separately, what the functional difference was between that an XP-less game.

Quote:
This is not a granular thing. I don't bother keeping up with the character's EXP, that is their job. What I keep track of is when someone levels. When someone says "Hey GM! I leveled, WOOHOO!" then I nod and ask around to see...

That seems like it's a lot of bookkeepng to get to the question of, "Hey, guy-with-the-druid, you having fun?"

I mean if it works, it works, but it seems easier to me to accomplish that via a different system (player polling, emailing, GM's notes, etc.).

Quote:
while John's good but flaky

See, you keep saying things like this. John isn't "flaky;" John's a cop, or in the Navy, or a nurse, or works at a high-pressure consulting firm, or, or, or. Or maybe his wife is, and sometimes he gets stuck with the kids.

John's a great friend, and he actually tries to make it to every game; he is not completely in control of his schedule, though. Given that John's a great friend, and I enjoy having him play in my game (even if he can't always make it), why am I going to disincentivize him from showing up?

I mean, if I'm a canny, story-focused DM, I'm already going to be working his inability to guarantee his presence into the narrative, and the other players are going to be the more important driving forces of the campaign. What benefit is there to making John take an effective attack, save, ability, and hit point penalty besides?

Quote:


Now you're putting words in my mouth. I never advocated that. I've had players who couldn't make games regularly due to illness, family issues, chemotherapy. When things like that happen, I talk to the group when they aren't there, and ask everyone's feelings on giving the person going through the life issues full EXP for the duration. I've yet to have anyone disagree with that.

Where I don't give EXP, or give half, is when people are being a flake.

NOW WE'RE GETTING SOMEWHERE! :D

See, in my group, we've got a group of friends who all want to get together to play D&D with each other. If someone can't make it, it's always due to illness, family issues, work issues, etc. (No chemotherapy, thank God.) If they weren't having something unavoidable come up, they'd be at the game. I don't have to make up social rules to enforce "Don't be a flake," because I game with friends, and "Don't be a flake" is part-and-parcel of being a friend.

We had a guy leave our gaming group just recently because his career as a stand-up comic is kind of taking off (at the same time his law career is getting busier). He didn't think he'd be able to routinely make the sessions, so he begged off. He's still on our email list, and if his schedule frees up, he'll be more than welcome back in the group - and his character will, in all likelihood, come in at the same level as everyone else when he does. (We may be playing a different campaign by then, so the point might be moot.)

So, again, are you better served by coming up with some form of game rule to enforce basic courtesy, or are you better off just addressing this as an out-of-game issue in the first place (e.g., don't play with jerks; play with your friends!)? In my [vast] experience, you don't solve out-of-game issues with in-game artifacts; you have to address out-of-game issues out-of-game.

Quote:


I also give EXP for players making IC goals and working towards them. A character wants to take Leadership at 7th level. He begins grooming an NPC he meets at 5th level, establishing a relationship, etc. When he get's to 7th level, he get's his cohort, and he get's exp along the way for putting effort into it.

See, IMX, working towards and achieving in-character goals has always been its own reward. Any sort of extra XP award is, at best, icing on a pretty sweet cake to begin with, and I think there are far more meaningful, in-game ways to reward this sort of thing than some extra XP.

But, I agree with you, that adding some extra XP here can certainly work as a nice carrot - I'm just not sure the benefits outweigh the other costs. And, again, this is largely dealing with bonus experience (probably in relatively small amounts) given to players who go above and beyond, rather than docking experience from players who miss a session (which can vary wildly in terms of how much is missed).


Darkholme wrote:
Additionally, with regard to Steve, I think it's bad form for the player to provide the gaming environment; but I can see situations where a group might be unable to avoid it. Personally we always either go to the GM's house, or book a room in a public space (at the local university or a library or wherever).

That's ... well, that's weird.

We play at this one guy's house (well, his, and his wife's, and their son's) all the time.

He's got a basement room set up for it. He owns hundreds (thousands?) of miniatures. He's got a 6'x15' table. He owns minis-scale terrain, buildings, vehicles.

He's run games in the past, and he probably will again in the future, but right now his friend from years and years ago is running a PF adventure path, previous to that I ran a Forgotten Realms game, before that was a spate of miniature wargames, before that I ran an Eberron one-off, before that someone else ran a homebrew fantasy game ...

I mean, we could play at an FLGS - but why? :D

EDIT: Eberron one-off, not Dark Sun. Derp.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

My house is an hour away from where my players live.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Patryn of Elvenshae wrote:

See, you keep saying things like this. John isn't "flaky;" John's a cop, or in the Navy, or a nurse, or works at a high-pressure consulting firm, or, or, or. Or maybe his wife is, and sometimes he gets stuck with the kids.

John's a great friend, and he actually tries to make it to every game; he is not completely in control of his schedule, though. Given that John's a great friend, and I enjoy having him play in my game (even if he can't always make it), why am I going to disincentivize him from showing up?

I mean, if I'm a canny, story-focused DM, I'm already going to be working his inability to guarantee his presence into the narrative, and the other players are going to be the more important driving forces of the campaign. What benefit is there to making John take an effective attack, save, ability, and hit point penalty besides?

*sigh*

Please quit telling me what John is? I've already specified that if John is ill, or has really good reasons for not making it, and the group is ok with him staying at the bottom of their stack (IE: Equal to the lowest XP total elsewhere), then he does.

Therefore, by process of elimination, if I am not awarding him XP because he wasn't there, then John is a flake. Please note I have not told you that your Susan is a borderline passive aggressive neurotic with no husband or kids, no life, and no happiness other than showing up at your game, now have I? I haven't specified that she's so emotionally needy that if you give her less XP than someone else she'll commit suicide have I? So, please refrain from telling me what John is. He's a flake. He makes Corn Flakes weep for how much less they feel of their flakehood when he's around. Milk trucks crash and spray him with milk he's such a flake.

Go get your own Fireman John who's not a flake, ok? ;) That's irritating the way you keep running off at maximum speed making me out to be some jerkfaced monster out to punish a guy for getting shot in the leg while coming out of his cancer treatment while carrying his 5yo on his shoulder, all because he was wearing his cop uniform.

Patryn of Elvenshae wrote:


Quote:

Now you're putting words in my mouth. I never advocated that. I've had players who couldn't make games regularly due to illness, family issues, chemotherapy. When things like that happen, I talk to the group when they aren't there, and ask everyone's feelings on giving the person going through the life issues full EXP for the duration. I've yet to have anyone disagree with that.

Where I don't give EXP, or give half, is when people are being a flake.

NOW WE'RE GETTING SOMEWHERE! :D

See, in my group, we've got a group of friends who all want to get together to play D&D with each other. If someone can't make it, it's always due to illness, family issues, work issues, etc. (No chemotherapy, thank God.) If they weren't having something unavoidable come up, they'd be at the game. I don't have to make up social rules to enforce "Don't be a flake," because I game with friends, and "Don't be a flake" is part-and-parcel of being a friend.

See, this is where we differ. I have some people I really like as friends, but they are complete flakes. I don't limit my friendship to people who are not flakes. If I did, I wouldn't have half the friends I do, and I would not have half the interesting stories to tell. If you don't want to have friends who are flakes, that's fine. But I try to keep an open mind about people. However, just because I'm willing to be friends with a flake, doesn't mean he gets a free pass on being a flake.

Honestly, your post here reads a lot like you're up on a high horse, whether you intend it or not. "Hah! See, I have better taste in friends, I don't pick flakes, I only pick people who are exactly like me! hahahaha!"

Patryn of Elvenshae wrote:

So, again, are you better served by coming up with some form of game rule to enforce basic courtesy, or are you better off just addressing this as an out-of-game issue in the first place (e.g., don't play with jerks; play with your friends!)? In my [vast] experience, you don't solve out-of-game issues with in-game artifacts; you have to address out-of-game issues out-of-game.

With all due respect, nobody died and made you grand pooh-bah in charge of how people should game. Your way is not the only way to play, but you post as if it is. Please climb down off the high-horse and realize that different people play different ways. If you don't like the way they play, that's fine, but quit calling it wrongthink. I am not better served coming up with a different way. You are better served by accepting that everyone is not going to agree with you, and that all gaming groups are different.

Patryn of Elvenshae wrote:


Quote:

I also give EXP for players making IC goals and working towards them. A character wants to take Leadership at 7th level. He begins grooming an NPC he meets at 5th level, establishing a relationship, etc. When he get's to 7th level, he get's his cohort, and he get's exp along the way for putting effort into it.

See, IMX, working towards and achieving in-character goals has always been its own reward. Any sort of extra XP award is, at best, icing on a pretty sweet cake to begin with, and I think there are far more meaningful, in-game ways to reward this sort of thing than some extra XP.

You are again making judgements about other peoples method of play, and coming down on them as not being the 'correct' way to play. You state that it is it's own reward, and should be enough. Why do you insist on denigrating someone elses pleasure in both achieving the goal, and seeing an RP reward for a job well done? Why is it anathema to you to reward good roleplaying? It seems as if you wish that all people get equal outcomes regardless of effort, I see it differently. You can all be friends, but if someone is working their ass off to roleplay to the hilt, they deserve a bit of recognition for that. EXP is a very tangible way for a GM to reward someone for that effort. Your denigration of it cheapens it, and to be honest, is quite insulting whether you mean it to be or not.

I'll note that every game system I've ever run except D&D/PF explicitly calls out Roleplaying as a MAJOR reason to give XP, and outstanding roleplaying should be rewarded even more. I think I will value the views of hundreds of RPG designers, and thousands of RPG participants in this over your interpretation.


To OP: I award additional xp for good play but don't bother penalizing the bad. I tend not to tell folks how much xp they have but just tell them when they did good and that I am awarding additional xp.
Generally I will just tell my players when they reach the next level or are about to reach a new level.


loaba wrote:
KaeYoss wrote:
Hm.. the more I think about the abolition of XP, the more I like it. I don't use it as either carrot or stick, anyway, and since I run APs, I have perfectly good guidelines as to when it's optimal to let them level up.
I'd rather have the chance, however slim, to level before the optimal time. XP is what makes adventuring and taking risks worthwhile.

For us, adventures are what makes adventuring and taking risks worthwhile. Oh, and treasure. Those whores won't pay for themselves.


loaba wrote:


If the DM isn't using XP, then, as a player, I have no idea whatsoever as to whether or not I'm close to levelling. I have no way of weighing the risk/reward ratio. While that's meta-gaming, that's not to say it's "bad."

Just as not using XP can be bad (but doesn't have to), this can be bad. Doesn't have to, but it can be.

As you said, it's metagaming. The characters don't know that if they hit the hill giant lair before going to fight the orc horde, they'll probably be just powerful enough so that the fighters can attack twice as often as before, the whole level thing is an abstraction, anyway.

For us, the knowledge will still be there, since the milestone system where you level-up at certain points usually means that you level up either before or after significant events in the adventure. So the players will know that they'll either get to level before they hit those orcs, or right after. Well, it can also be during, since an orc horde isn't just a swarm creature.

Still, you can never be too sure about how many XP you will get from a side quest, anyway.


Stomphoof wrote:
No one is "right" or "wrong" in how THEY handle a situation (unless they use murder as a penalty for bad players, but thats a different story 0_0)

You might not agree, but I found it quite effective...


Kain Darkwind wrote:


KaeYoss, the group gets the Deck of Many Things from whatever plot that introduced it.

But I control the plot. And I didn't put any Deck of Anything in there. :P

Kain Darkwind wrote:


The comment is in response to a comment to the effect of "The game assumes you are all exactly the same level, always, with the same XP total." If you are not supporting that point, then ignore the comment, it has no bearing on anything else.

Always is a big word. One people just don't understand fully. Usually, they mean "except in very special situations".

The game does indeed assume that the characters are usually on equal footing. It doesn't dictate it, and it's not "always" or automatic, and dramatic events like Artefacts can change this balance (the Deck is about as dramatic as it gets), but that doesn't mean the game doesn't work best when everyone is on the same (power) level.

The Deck is a pretty bad argument. Its powers can be extremely disruptive. Not just in the party level thing. Many cards will mess up one or more of the assumed guidelines the game operates with, which is not an indication that the guidelines don't exist but rather that this is a very volatile component that shouldn't be used lightly. Especially since this all depends on chance, not on anyone's actions.

  • The Balance card flips your alignment. LG becomes CE. The game normally assumes that there are no evil characters.
  • Ruin will make you lose all wealth and property. That can be absolutely devastating. Imagine a 20th-level fighter with 0gp worth of equipment.
  • Talons takes away all your magic items.

    Other cards will unbalance things in a less dramatic fashion, but can still mess with the game big time.

    Every GM who introduces the Deck (and since it's an artefact, nobody but the GM can introduce it) will have to know what can come from it. You can have one character simply gone forever, another loses all his possessions, a third is suddenly evil, but another is a couple of levels ahead and richer.

    A lot of campaigns will simply end at this moment.


  • Arnwyn wrote:
    stuart haffenden wrote:
    So do you guys, and in what manner, penalise players for any reason?
    I don't play with them.

    And you're sure that's not a reward? ;-P

    Dark Archive

    TriOmegaZero wrote:
    My house is an hour away from where my players live.

    I can see how that would complicate things. For me that would probably mean booking space to play (usually an empty class at the university, since we tend to game from 8pm-2am or so). But I suppose players' houses would work; I just wouldn't want to be in a situation where we have to cancel the game if one guy can't show up.

    Patryn of Elvenshae wrote:
    I mean, we could play at an FLGS - but why? :D

    Specifically to avoid relying on the players to have a place to game. So the GM knows "If I can run the game, and enough players show up to play, then I know the Game will happen, and I won't have wasted my time."


    TriOmegaZero wrote:

    Yes, I have a penalty for bad players.

    I don't play with them.

    +1 Totally agree there!

    penializing with experience and money does hurt the entire team as another poster here says.


    TriOmegaZero wrote:

    Yes, I have a penalty for bad players.

    I don't play with them.

    After reading this whole frigging thread.... THIS

    Look, if you're not having fun, why in the name of all that is holy are you still doing it???

    I am truly lucky that I GM for 3 groups and each is totally different except for one player.

    One is over 8 hours away from me, one is local and the new one is an hour distant and we have all turned into good friends and THIS is the key. The dinks get weeded out and we move on.

    Oh, and for the final word...

    Have Fun out there!!!!

    ~ W ~


    KaeYoss wrote:


    For us, adventures are what makes adventuring and taking risks worthwhile. Oh, and treasure. Those whores won't pay for themselves.

    +1


    Darkholme wrote:
    TriOmegaZero wrote:
    My house is an hour away from where my players live.
    I can see how that would complicate things. For me that would probably mean booking space to play (usually an empty class at the university, since we tend to game from 8pm-2am or so). But I suppose players' houses would work; I just wouldn't want to be in a situation where we have to cancel the game if one guy can't show up.

    +1 I have that situation right now, and we game online! My computer won't let me host a Maptool server no matter what nonsense I do to enable port forwarding, so I rely on one of the players to do so. So far we've not had to miss, but it just feels wrong.


    "Experience"

    Right in the name. If the player/character did not experience anything that session (ie were not there), they gain no experience.

    You guys are making it far more complicated than it is, the concept is fairly self explanatory.


    Alchemistmerlin wrote:

    "Experience"

    Right in the name. If the player/character did not experience anything that session (ie were not there), they gain no experience.

    You guys are making it far more complicated than it is, the concept is fairly self explanatory.

    But it's also just as simple to give everyone the same experience.

    *shrug*

    I think it just comes down to playstyle. Half the time I just level the party together at certain points. The other half I'll use experience, depends on the game.

    EDIT: I'd rather use their lack of gold and such as a 'penalty' if I have to. Honestly as a GM I prefer all my characters to be on the same level. To each their own.


    Darkholme wrote:


    Patryn of Elvenshae wrote:
    I mean, we could play at an FLGS - but why? :D
    Specifically to avoid relying on the players to have a place to game. So the GM knows "If I can run the game, and enough players show up to play, then I know the Game will happen, and I won't have wasted my time."

    I wouldn't play in an open place. I don't want strangers wandering in while we play. I don't want to pay for a place.

    So we play either at the GM's place or at one of the players' home. Not a specific one, necessarily.

    This means that if Joe can't make it, we can still play at Jack's place.


    Alchemistmerlin wrote:

    "Experience"

    Right in the name. If the player/character did not experience anything that session (ie were not there), they gain no experience.

    You guys are making it far more complicated than it is, the concept is fairly self explanatory.

    Right. Because XP isn't an abstraction in an abstract game, actually encompassing several different concepts.


    To further convolute this thread... people often learn more from their failures than their successes, but the game is geared to only award experience for success.

    Another system I like quite a lot is Swashbucklers of the Seven Skies (think Princess Bride, Three Musketeers and Final Fantasy all mixed together). In that game the PC's start out as pretty highly skilled individuals, so they only get XP when they fail a skill roll (max 1 per scene).

    Grand Lodge

    Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
    Darkholme wrote:
    TriOmegaZero wrote:
    My house is an hour away from where my players live.

    I can see how that would complicate things. For me that would probably mean booking space to play (usually an empty class at the university, since we tend to game from 8pm-2am or so). But I suppose players' houses would work; I just wouldn't want to be in a situation where we have to cancel the game if one guy can't show up.

    Patryn of Elvenshae wrote:
    I mean, we could play at an FLGS - but why? :D
    Specifically to avoid relying on the players to have a place to game. So the GM knows "If I can run the game, and enough players show up to play, then I know the Game will happen, and I won't have wasted my time."

    We tried gaming at Dragon's Lair in Austin, but with the three other groups in the den, it was hard to hear each other for just character generation. Plus the time slot my players have open (7-11PM Sat) is booked solid with a prior group indefinately.

    My wife and I did some investigation of other places, but the UT requires student membership (which I may have in a year or two), the library bans private events, and the business center at the hotel we contacted was $100 a night. Sure we could do a gaming club thing with dues to pay for it, but we didn't really want to charge for the game. :/ It would solve the 'players not showing up' provided they actually put their money in...


    Irontruth wrote:
    Swashbucklers of the Seven Skies

    I hope they never shorten the end of that name.

    Swashbucklers of the SS. Sounds like a pulp fiction comic. :D

    Dark Archive

    TriOmegaZero wrote:
    Darkholme wrote:
    TriOmegaZero wrote:
    My house is an hour away from where my players live.

    I can see how that would complicate things. For me that would probably mean booking space to play (usually an empty class at the university, since we tend to game from 8pm-2am or so). But I suppose players' houses would work; I just wouldn't want to be in a situation where we have to cancel the game if one guy can't show up.

    Patryn of Elvenshae wrote:
    I mean, we could play at an FLGS - but why? :D
    Specifically to avoid relying on the players to have a place to game. So the GM knows "If I can run the game, and enough players show up to play, then I know the Game will happen, and I won't have wasted my time."

    We tried gaming at Dragon's Lair in Austin, but with the three other groups in the den, it was hard to hear each other for just character generation. Plus the time slot my players have open (7-11PM Sat) is booked solid with a prior group indefinately.

    My wife and I did some investigation of other places, but the UT requires student membership (which I may have in a year or two), the library bans private events, and the business center at the hotel we contacted was $100 a night. Sure we could do a gaming club thing with dues to pay for it, but we didn't really want to charge for the game. :/ It would solve the 'players not showing up' provided they actually put their money in...

    Me and some other people started a University club. Anyone can join, but it costs 5$ a year. And so long as the people running a club are students, we're golden. We can book empty classes so long as they're available (which means during exams, no room bookings), but other than that, we're good to go. Every game can get its own room any night of the week so long as they give 3 weeks notice before the campaign starts.

    KaeYoss wrote:

    I wouldn't play in an open place. I don't want strangers wandering in while we play. I don't want to pay for a place.

    So we play either at the GM's place or at one of the players' home. Not a specific one, necessarily.

    This means that if Joe can't make it, we can still play at Jack's place.

    So long as you're not screwed if Joe Bails out, it all works out.

    Our setup works well. We pay next to nothing, have unlimited room bookings, and once booked, they're private spaces. We have the rights to the room during our booked time. If someone is there when we get there, we show them we have it booked and kick them out.

    We've done it without bookings too (before we were an official club); just find an empty class an play. Problem that way is if someone else booked the room or a class is in there you get kicked out (which is annoying, but what can you do).

    So go to the local university at night; and just walk into an empty classroom and play. Close the door; odds are nobody will question a thing. I've been asked to prove I was supposed to be there *Once* in 2 years, and thats at my ridiculous 3 games per week. If I hadn't have been able to prove it it would have meant finding another empty room. Here, if it's empty after 7 (when night classes start), you're pretty much guaranteed to have the room the rest of the night. lol

    *Just make sure you clean up when you're done or you will have problems in future weeks.

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