Hello friend, here is Doctor Frikistein to tell you about the XP in RPGs: what they are, how they are won (if you are a player) or when they are given (if you are Master).
What are XP?
Before starting, although they are very well known, I would like to explain what are the XP to review concepts.
The XP is the abbreviation of Experience Points.
The Experience Points are a score that is accumulated by the characters in role-playing games to measure how much they learn, acquire knowledge or improve their skills.
Normally Experience Points are administered by levels. Every certain amount of XP accumulated your character reaches a certain level. And against more accumulate more levels reaches.
Upon reaching a new level the player can choose to improve new skills, get new powers or spells to improve their character.
However, not all RPGs use XP; there are systems that contemplate the experience of the characters in other ways. For example another system that I personally like a lot is the one used in D100 Rune Quest, Aquelarre and The Call of Chutulhu. In this games the character marks the skill that he successfully achieves and then he has the opportunity to improve it. In this way the characters improve only the skills they use. Does it seem more logical, right?
But it is also true that the systems with XP give an extra reward, that apart from the booty, it is very attractive and likes the role players. In addition, XP are used in the vast majority RPG video games.
I want to explain 4 ways to win / give PX in a role game:
XP per Death
In the XP per death the characters acquire the Experience Points when they kill (or defeat) the enemy.
The player who gets the XP will be the one who inflicts lethal damage to the enemy.
This implies that even if you have taken most of the enemy’s life, if another player gives the coup of grace it will be who takes the XP.
Although it may seem unfair, it can also be very fun. Add a competitive component to the game as long as all players are warned that XP is earned by Death.
Normally they are games with many enemies and with a great content of combat in the games, reason why the players usually focus their characters towards fighting.
XP per Team
In XP per Team, the Experience Points no longer are only earned by the character that inflicts lethal damage to the enemy, but the XP are shared among the entire group of characters that have intervened in combat in some way.
This method allows certain classes not specialized in combat to also earn XP.
For example a Cleric who had not inflicted damage but was all time healing and supporting the other players would also receive their XP.
XP per Challenge
Until now we have reduced XP to combat, but RPGs are much more than fights.
In an adventure you have to overcome traps, find secret doors, guess riddles, climb walls, or interact with non player characters.
Many character classes have skills just to be competent in non-combat actions. Should be fair they can get their XP for using them too.
Although there are many ways of How to be a Good Master, particularly I like that the adventure is composed of 50% combat and 50% Not fight when I prepare a game.
Granting / winning XP in this way allows you to use all the skills of the characters, develop their potential and enrich the story.
But it is not worth taking an action repeatedly until the success is achieved. XPs must be awarded when using the skill is a challenge or when a failure also is a risk to the character.
XP per Roleplaying
When I am Master I like to reward with XP per Roleplaying too. This is when a player takes actions that are not dice rolls, but when performing an interpretation or making an outstanding decision with his character.
Usually they are experienced players who already know the basics of How to Roleplay but it is a way to encourage all players to see beyond their character sheets and dices to put themselves in the shoes of their character.
From my experience I think that XP per Roleplaying encourage the willingness of players to roleplay the characters well. This not only enriching for the story, but it helps the Master a lot to create a good environment for the game.
When to give XP?
As Master you can give XP in 2 moments:
1) At the moment. When the action that rewards XP is materialized.
2) At the end of the session. Carrying a count and giving the summary of XP to each player at the end of the session.
If the characters can level up during the game, option 1 is the most logical.
But if giving XP interrupts the game too much, or the players become too obsessed with XP distracting them from the game, then I would choose to give the XP and level up at the end of the session.
My experience tells me that new players like XP at the moment, while veteran players worry more about Roleplaying and less about XP.
As a Master you have to assess well what effect you want on the players when you give them XP.
Well, if anything helped you in this post, then you also won PX! Invest them well in your Master or Role Player skills. And as always do not hesitate to comment or go to my query to ask me any questions or clarification.
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