Character Advancement in Crumbling Epoch

I have struggled with this. I don’t like the DM having to track minute calculations (like amount of loot gained, hit dice of monsters killed, and subsequent math to divvy up experience.) I understand why D&D bases experience on loot first, with monster slaying a distant second, but man… I don’t like it.

Okay then, what will I do instead? I messed about with several iterations and attempts to arrive at a simple experience system that was flexible enough to reward desired character behavior, but nuanced enough to support games that were more than killing and looting.

I ended up with something that rewards characters based on the difficulty of what they do, scaled by level. Also, provisions for spending money for fleeting or more substantial advantages. Also, provisions for making money at down-time occupation. Finally, a sweet little bonus of giving players some experience they can keep or share, when they level.

What do you think?

Character Advancement

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2 Responses to Character Advancement in Crumbling Epoch

  1. dither001 says:

    I’ve been struggling with this myself in my home game. We’ve been using 4e but as I’m sure you know, combat-based EXP rewards in 4e combined with longer and longer individual fights means character advancement slows to a crawl as soon as Paragon tier.

    I’ve been trying to switch my group to a scene-based EXP system, where EXP is awarded on a per-encounter basis rather than for completing fights or quests. When it comes to handing out awards, I don’t care *how* the players handle an encounter, just that it happens.

    –Dither

  2. fictivite says:

    In some games I award a flat experience amount for showing up and playing (especially when I feel the story and characterization and in-game rewards far overbalance any experience point award.)

    In a White Wolf game I used to ask players to tell me what new things they did, awarding 1 experience for each (up to 5 per session.) So if they did the same things over and over with nothing new, they didn’t get more experience; they had all the expertise they needed.

    I really love the Hack method of players spending points to advance in level; those who push themselves level up, those who stay in their comfort zone don’t, and the DM doesn’t have to do a thing.

    Lots of methods. A perpetually difficult issue. I think this version has some good to offer.

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