Alternatives to Gold XP

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zontoxira
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Alternatives to Gold XP

Post by zontoxira » Mon Jul 08, 2019 2:48 pm

My group dislikes the idea of rewarding the characters with tons of gold for accomplishing any sort of task. Even fabled treasures aren't that magnificent (the contents of those ancient tombs been long looted), and of course, rulers don't keep piles of gold to hand over to any adventurer willing to risk their skin on a perilous mission (these piles could be used for various other investments).
So when we read that the local baron offers 2,000 gp to those who will get rid of a goblin raid, or when we reach the ogre chieftain's stash and find 4,000 gp worth of treasure, we (start groaning and) kinda find it too unrealistic.
But, with a system like Classic D&D, which relies heavily on Gold XP, one would have to hunt down treasures of gold, if they wish to increase their characters in power. What alternatives would you suggest for a penniless campaign?

Some of my thoughts include:
* Exploration: reward characters for each new hex explored.
* History: reward characters for each bit of the region's history uncovered.
* Plot: reward characters for advancing their agendas.
These would take up 3/4 of total XP needed for each level, leaving the rest to combat, successful skill use, social interaction etc.
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Re: Alternatives to Gold XP

Post by Sturm » Mon Jul 08, 2019 3:07 pm

You could also reward any action done in-character, any use of the PC's background and any success in getting a NPC to have a good reaction toward the PC, this could be called:
* Character
* Background
* Social
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Re: Alternatives to Gold XP

Post by Boneguard » Mon Jul 08, 2019 3:37 pm

My GM (1st Ed) rewards player for "playing their class" so offer's XP for use of class ability (thief skill, turning, tracking for ranger, etc.), spellcasting, a flat +50% for fighter in defeating opponent in Combat (their only class ability really)), he also offers reward for "playing your race" (use of racial ability, promoting racial agenda, etc.).

It does help move beyond the "Door-Monster-Treasure" phenomena (to use a common French term for that) and encourage some roll play.
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Re: Alternatives to Gold XP

Post by Havard » Mon Jul 08, 2019 3:52 pm

There are many ways to handle this. I've some times just awarded XP based an hour's of real time play. I also like rewarding XP for performing tasks and quests for NPCs and for achieving individual goals.

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Re: Alternatives to Gold XP

Post by Dread Delgath » Sat Jul 13, 2019 5:25 pm

zontoxira wrote:
Mon Jul 08, 2019 2:48 pm

Some of my thoughts include:
* Exploration: reward characters for each new hex explored.
* History: reward characters for each bit of the region's history uncovered.
* Plot: reward characters for advancing their agendas.
These would take up 3/4 of total XP needed for each level, leaving the rest to combat, successful skill use, social interaction etc.
I've often thought of implementing XP awards for these, hiding under the umbrella of "story awards". I've designed vast, unexplored sections of land with this in mind, awarding XP to the PCs that actually take the time to sate their curiosity and seek out landmarks to see what's there. Some landmarks are low in value, like 50xp, up to a maximum of 500xp. The average is 100xp. There is usually something else associated with exploring the unknown, such as investigating an event (plot) or confirmation of something historical, thereby increasing the potential for gaining XP by doing something other than killing/defeating monsters and taking its treasure.

(I must admit that I've never encountered any single player that dislikes treasure, let alone an entire table full of them!) :shock:

Unfortunately, none of my current players are even remotely interested in exploring new, unexplored territory, nor do they care one whit about the campaign's history or events (plot) that swirl around them. The only thing they care about is the next power/ability they get at next level or the next character build they want to try. ;(

Fortunately, I'm in the market for players that are interested in exploring the campaign setting, discerning current events and delving into the history of the land. :twisted:
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Re: Alternatives to Gold XP

Post by shesheyan » Sat Jul 13, 2019 6:47 pm

Don't use XPs anymore.

Make a chart that summarizes at what speed each class gains a new level and divide that into «X sessions» that you feel comfortable with. This is similar to the Milestones approach in 4e an 5e, but keep the staggered leveling up of earlier editions. Not every class levels up at the same time in Classic D&D.

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Re: Alternatives to Gold XP

Post by torkill13 » Sat Jul 13, 2019 8:24 pm

I can't say I do not enjoy using gold and treasure as rewards to characters, I mean who doesn't love loot?! But, I would expect a hoard to be properly hidden/guarded, not just lying around in a pile next to the ogre chieftain's bed. However, I do not like the idea of XP for gold/treasure. I prefer awarding XP for encounters, as well as for completing quests or other achievements. This way you can still award a smaller cash reward from an in character perspective and grant XP for achieving their goal to ensure a proper pace for level advancement.

A while back, I too was searching for alternative ideas and found the following. I wish I could remember who and where I found this so I could give them proper credit. I like the scaling by party level, so it stays effective as the group increases in level. I also like the MVP Bonus, as I think it encourages players to take risks, use their character abilities, etc.


STANDARD XP REWARDS
Standard XP is awarded for all encounters & challenges that are overcome, whether by combat or any other means.

Encounter XP: Add XP for all enemies that have been overcome, then divide that by the number of PCs for that session.
Treasure XP: No XP for gold or treasure
Bonus XP: See below.


BONUS XP REWARDS
Bonus XP is awarded for showing up on time, completing difficult encounters, accomplishment of goals/missions, and session MVP based on peer voting.

Base XP Bonus by Party Level:
1-5: 100 XP * (current party level + 1)
6-10: 200 XP * (current party level + 1)
11-15: 300 XP * (current party level + 1)
16-20: 400 XP * (current party level + 1)
21-25: 500 XP * (current party level + 1)
26-30: 600 XP * (current party level + 1)
31-35: 700 XP * (current party level + 1)

Bonus XP Multipliers by Bonus Type:
Session On-Time Bonus: Reward for showing up on time for the session. (Base Bonus XP x1)
Minor Group Achievement: Reward for completing minor, but important goals. Usually involves uncovering important information about a current mission, impressing a major NPC, or circumventing a particular challenge. (Base Bonus XP x1)
Major Group Achievement: Reward for completing major group goals. Usually for completing side quests, or reaching milestones in the main story line. (Base Bonus XP x2)
Ultimate Group Achievement: Reward for the achievement of overarching campaign goals, like finishing a difficult adventure, banishing the most evil demon, saving the Kingdom, etc. (Base Bonus XP x3)
Voted Session MVP: The players vote for the session's top player that made the session fun or that pulled of that clutch move to save the party. (Base Bonus XP x1)

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Re: Alternatives to Gold XP

Post by Cthulhudrew » Sun Jul 14, 2019 1:37 am

I had a post on the v4 boards starting a discussion about this several years back (it doesn't seem to have made the migration). I have the same issue that you do regarding xp for gold, and therein posited liking the alternative XP for magic-users that cropped up in Gaz3: Principalities of Glantri by Bruce Heard.

Havard pointed out, quite rightly, that most of the activities in that particular product focus on non-combat, non-adventuring xp, which wouldn't be entirely suitable. Still, I think a system that comes up with class-based xp (for both adventuring and non-adventuring) activity would be very useful. The 2E DMG has some guidelines for setting class-based XP rewards. The Rules Cyclopedia also has some general suggestions for other forms of XP (story based, etc.) I know that- particularly in latter products for Pathfinder- there are xp rewards baked into encounters that deal with things like scenario based activities (ie, saving hostages in an encounter), and both story based and action based activities (ie, convincing a bad guy to stand down or change their ways rather than killing them counting as a success).

I think raising the xp rewards per monster is a good start in many ways (anywhere from 2x to 10x, depending on your tolerance level), or else reducing the per level xp costs, as some later editions of the game have done.
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Re: Alternatives to Gold XP

Post by agathokles » Sun Jul 14, 2019 6:50 am

A quick and dirty option for pre-built scenarios is to drop treasure by a factor of 10 without decreasing the XP allotted.

Another alternative is to consider XP for monsters and goals as per PC rather than as a total to split (works best with 5 PCs or 4 PCs and 2 henchmen).

Both options should leave the total XP relatively unchanged.

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Re: Alternatives to Gold XP

Post by Havard » Sun Jul 14, 2019 12:51 pm

agathokles wrote:
Sun Jul 14, 2019 6:50 am
A quick and dirty option for pre-built scenarios is to drop treasure by a factor of 10 without decreasing the XP allotted.

Another alternative is to consider XP for monsters and goals as per PC rather than as a total to split (works best with 5 PCs or 4 PCs and 2 henchmen).

Both options should leave the total XP relatively unchanged.
I like these options!

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