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Adventure! RPG: American Revenants - American Revenant Experience


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I’m going to try and hand out xp to you guys once a month (I haven’t set a particular day yet, but I’m thinking I’ll just try to get it out on the first of every month). You’ll be getting xp for all the usual sorts of things that STs hand out xp for in a PbP game (quality and quantity of posts, amazing results on dice rolls, major plot developments that your character was central in moving forward, good character interaction, etc), but I’m going to be using a different system for handing out the xp than what is normally used.

The xp will be divided up into four separate categories: General Experience, Trait Experience, Background Experience, and Inspired Experience. Each of these experience types will be useable for very specific areas of your character sheet (as listed below), with the exception of General Experience, which can be used exactly like normal xp is used in any other game.

Experience Types:

Trait Experience: is useable for raising/buying Attributes, Abilities, and Specialties for Abilities. Players will likely receive more Trait Experience each month than any of the other categories, though this won’t necessarily be the case all the time. Trait Experience points will be awarded for regular, and noteworthy, use of Attribute and Ability dice pools in a given month. “Noteworthy” does not necessarily mean “successful”; your character could fail in a noteworthy manner as well, and it’ll still count.

When you use the experience gained to buy a dot in an Attribute or Ability, I will expect you to spend it on a Trait that was actually put to use recently (though it doesn’t have to be the trait that was used the most, I just don’t want to see someone’s Appearance suddenly going up two dots when they haven’t made a single Appearance-based roll in the past month of IC-time or something).

Background Experience: is useable for raising/buying Backgrounds and Background Enhancements. Players will likely receive fewer of these points on average than any of the others, as opportunities to develop, or raise, backgrounds will probably not be very common. This will be awarded on a case by case basis, as appropriate.

As an example, especially good interaction between a PC and an NPC might net that PC’s player some Background Experience so that they can buy themselves an Ally or Contact (or maybe even a Nemesis). As with the Trait Experience above, Background Experience should be spent with an eye towards what is appropriate for your character at a given time. Note that you don’t have to spend experience points right when I award them, so while I may have given you 2 BEs for exceptional interaction with an NPC two months ago, if you decide to save your points until you have enough to buy the fourth dot in your Sanctum background instead (and provided there isn’t some IC reason why a fourth dot isn’t really feasible), I won’t stop you.

Inspired Experience: is useable for raising Inspiration, Temporary Inspiration, buying Knacks, and raising Willpower. Inspired Experience will be awarded for clever use of knacks, facets, and Inspiration points, as well as for noteworthy uses of the character’s Willpower dice pool/points. This will be one of the more difficult categories to score high in, but I do want you guys to be able to develop your Inspired traits as well as your normal ones, so I’ll keep a careful lookout for opportunities to award Inspired points to each of you.

What is, or is not, an appropriate use of Inspired Experience points at any given time will be handled on a case by case basis. In general though, I’m going to give you guys as much freedom as possible when purchasing knacks, raising Inspiration, etc.

General Experience: is useable for anything that regular xp can be used for. Players will almost always be awarded at least one point of General Experience point each month, though the exact amount will likely vary each time. General Experience is the most flexible of all the experience types, and can be used to purchase dots in any part of the char sheet. Firstly, you can add General Experience to the experience you’ve saved up in any of the other three categories to purchase things you might not otherwise be able to afford. So if you’ve managed to save up 6 points of Inspired Experience during the last two months, and you’ve also managed to save up another 6 points of General Experience, you can add the two together for a total of 12xp and buy yourself a Level 2 knack. Second, you could use the 6 points of General Experience to purchase dots in a category that you don’t currently have any xp in at all. Or third, you could just keep saving.

I will award General Experience points for such things as outstanding posts, and post regularity. I will also award General Experience anytime I think a player deserves experience for something, but can’t decide which of the other categories to put it in. ::wink

The reason I’m doing things this way is because, as I’ve stated in the General Forums before, I don’t like the incredibly slow rate at which players generally accrue xp in a normal PbP game. But at the same time, I can understand why STs are leery of just handing out gobs of xp every month or so, because it presents the temptation of buying up lots of high-powered goodies in only a few weeks, or even days, of IC-time. On the other hand, I myself am constantly frustrated by how hard it is to raise base Attributes and Abilities, or Backgrounds for my PCs. When I realize that buying that fourth dot of Perception, and a third dot of Awareness is going to cost me a full 16 xp, it’s just depressing. Especially in an Aberrant setting, where I could buy the first two dots of Mega-Perception for less. I end up sacrificing IC-Realism for Dice Pool efficiency. Not good.

So I’ve come up with this new system for handing out xp. Splitting up the xp like this gives players the opportunity to raise all those mundane traits and backgrounds that normally get ignored once play begins. At the same time it avoids the temptation to players (at least, it’d be a temptation to me) of using all those gobs and gobs of xp to raise your Inspiration to 6 and buy up all those level 2 and 3 knacks you couldn’t afford at CharGen, all in the IC-equivalent of two weeks!

Obviously, this is a never-before-tried system (so far as I know), so expect me to be feeling things out for the next couple of months or so. If I do decide to make any changes to the above system I will notify all of you immediately, but I’m not really expecting that to happen. My goal in creating this system is to give you guys regular, concrete rewards for the investment you put into your characters and this game. My hope is that being able to see your characters regularly grow and change in small ways, and occasionally in big ways as well, will keep them fresh and interesting in your minds, and greatly increase your overall sense of satisfaction and enjoyment in playing.

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I like the concept of specified experience, it smooths out some things by forcing development in certain areas. For example if we were playing an elites game then the amount of background experience might be quite high.

At first glance it was VERY tempting to burn through all my General Exp by combining it with one of the other catagories and buying something. After further thought I decided to wait.

General Experience is by far the most valuable experience you can have. Not having any on hand limits your options and flexibility a lot. As Cottus will be accepting purchases as things go along, not having any on hand may prevent you from taking advantage of oppunities. This is especially true if you don't have enough Background experience (or whatever) to spend.

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Being relatively new to PbP games (haven't played in any that have lasted long enough to actually gain any experience), I haven't experienced the problems with accruing experience but I do know what its like to want to use all your points as efficient as possible (to the detriment of realism). I think this looks like a great system, a good way to keep our characters balanced as we improve.

I like that you're tweaking the system to make this game exactly how you want it. Without even thinking about the prospects of fighting zombies, I'm excited for it.

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Thanks for the positive responses guys! I really appreciate it. ::biggrin

And Alex is correct, the General xp will probably be your best friend when it comes to developing your characters. It's purpose is to ensure that you still have freedom in directing the course of your character's development, rather than being railroaded into only developing those areas I specifically give you points in (which I would find very annoying as a player). Spend them wisely, and they can be every bit as useful as Dramatic Editing (possibly more so), spend them foolishly and you'll be kicking yourself for months to come. Have fun with it guys!

And again, thanks for the kind words.

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