engine
 member, 574 posts
Tue 6 Mar 2018
at 14:56
D&D experience rules
I never played with this rule, but I'm told that there was a rule at one time that enabled characters to earn experience points by taking actions tied to their class. That is, wizards could gain experience by casting spells, thieves by stealing, fighters by fighting (even in as a sporting event).

Can anyone confirm this and explain some of the details about this rule?
Faceplant
 member, 51 posts
Tue 6 Mar 2018
at 15:34
D&D experience rules
Yeah, this was something in 1e and 2e DnD. You got more xp doing the things your class made you good at.

But you want crazy?

You also used to get XP based on how much gold you picked up. Not just thieves, every class. 1gp recovered = 1 xp. So the more financially successful your adventuring was, the faster you went up in level.
engine
 member, 576 posts
Tue 6 Mar 2018
at 15:55
Re: D&D experience rules
Thanks for the background.

Faceplant:
But you want crazy?

You also used to get XP based on how much gold you picked up. Not just thieves, every class. 1gp recovered = 1 xp. So the more financially successful your adventuring was, the faster you went up in level.

Yes, I actually played an edition of D&D with that rule. It was in the original Red Box books.

At the time, I saw it as crazy too. Maybe it was just because our DM liked to hand out tons of treasure, but we felt like we just jumped through levels. Some of us assumed it was a mistake and that we were meant to level only once per pile of gold.

Now I realize that this might have been subtly clever. While I, in my youth, was focused on how everything had hit points and gave experience for zeroing those out, others were focused on how they could gain experience without ever having to get into a fight. I gather that that's how many groups approached the game. Me, I wanted to fight, but others preferred not to risk their characters if they didn't have to.
Faceplant
 member, 52 posts
Tue 6 Mar 2018
at 17:02
Re: D&D experience rules
Modern systems tend to award xp for roleplaying rather than in-game accomplishment. Not all of them, mind you. But most.
engine
 member, 578 posts
Tue 6 Mar 2018
at 20:17
Re: D&D experience rules
Faceplant:
Modern systems tend to award xp for roleplaying rather than in-game accomplishment. Not all of them, mind you. But most.

That's cool, but I want them to roleplay achieving those in-game accomplishments, so I'm not sure what the modern approach gains me.
Faceplant
 member, 53 posts
Tue 6 Mar 2018
at 21:37
Re: D&D experience rules
You just need to figure out how much you want to emphasize story vs gamishness vs whatever other elements of the game. What is "gaining a level" in terms of the shared fiction? Suddenly increasing in capability because you collected an arbitrary number of coins or killed an arbitrary number of orcs?

Older games used to make you spend time and money training before going up a level... but this implied that without the XP, spending time and money training was useless. A peasant could spend ten years training without improvement if he didn't go out and kill some goblins and nick their stuff.

But that's where the "game" comes in. "What's the most fun way to play?"
DarkLightHitomi
 member, 1305 posts
Wed 7 Mar 2018
at 03:26
Re: D&D experience rules
The gold = xp wasn't about gaining xp for picking up the gold, it was gaining xp for everything you went through to get that gold.

I prefer that idea of gaining xp for accomplishment because it means that you are free to approach a problem in a way that fits the character.

Though, gp ends up being troublesome, so I tend tl give it out like quest completion xp.
Ameena
 member, 184 posts
Wed 7 Mar 2018
at 17:52
Re: D&D experience rules
In my DnD game I haven't been giving exp at all, just letting the characters level up when they've achieved some general amount of progress in the story or just generally done a bunch of stuff since they last levelled up. Right now they've just arrived in one of the main cities after travelling for a while, meeting a load of NPCs along the way, and having a fight with some goblins, so when we get to the end of the day and they're settling down for the night in an inn, I'll tell them they can level up :).
LoreGuard
 member, 658 posts
Fri 16 Mar 2018
at 18:56
Re: D&D experience rules
Yes, I think early on, the Gold rule was a way of expressing the point that XP represented rewarding the characters personally for what they accomplished.  And at that point in the game, it amounted to overcoming your obsticles (the monsters) and reviving the spoils or rewards of their adventuring.  It wasn't just the gold they picked up, as I recall, any value in GP of the things that become theirs (they earned) became XPs.

In early editions, adventurers were the ones who advanced via XP.  The non-adventurers got their levels not per-se by experience points, but by the need of the community.  If the community needed guards, someone would learn to become a first level fighter to be a part of the guard.  If they needed a sergeant to lead a squad of 1st level guards, they would find one of them would advance to being a second level fighter.  The adventurers were wildcards that moved between communities and acted on their own, able to advance beyond their communities needs and rewrite the stories being written.

But as mentioned, there are plenty of ways of dealing with leveling up that don't even necessarily have to be tied to XP.  Story Arc leveling is common in many series's of modules/adventurers where they are designed for the players to be certain levels at certain states.  Unless there is really some specific reason to further reward them with faster advancement, or slow them down for some reason, it is perfectly reasonable to just have them advance according to the needed plan.

But if you want to stick to a more regimented distribution of XP, certainly anything that is an accomplishment for them either personally or as a group should be capable of granting XP.  If you want to make certain types of accomplishments more significant to some than others, that could make sense, but it depends on people's play style what they need to motivate them to continue to enjoy the game.  [the real purpose behind everything]
GamerHandle
 member, 960 posts
 Umm.. yep.
 So, there's this door...
Tue 20 Mar 2018
at 13:33
Re: D&D experience rules
Just a random note - one of the purposes behind "gold = xp" was to help level the field of averages between power level of monies/gear that characters had relative to their level.  Remember, it was also "gold value = xp" - picked up that +2 sword? well, it was worth X gold, and that therefore gave you quite a lot of XP, and pushed you towards a level that "matched" that item's power level.  Thus, if characters were brought together from differing campaigns: your character may have an amazing suit of armor, and be level 4 - whilst I may have a smattering of utility gear and a decent crossbow - and also be level 4.