donsr
 member, 2306 posts
Mon 5 Jul 2021
at 17:38
XP vs Milestones
Ski-Bird

 that last   line 'focusing on the story' m, is what is  importasnt  for me, and..those  players who are in the game for  'the long haul'

 rthey undestand there  are three types of  Plot lines,

1..the Main Plot line

2..subplaots they may activate ( or miss) through thier RP

3..Plot Lines that have been created ...BECAUSE..of thier RP

NPCs   have become mainstays, that should have  been 'one offs',,i had  'major  NPCs'  that fade off because no one cared!

 its  fun for me as well as my players...

 there  are folks who like the dicerolling-check -the-numbers things...but those gave have short lifespans.
Ski-Bird
 subscriber, 174 posts
Mon 5 Jul 2021
at 17:48
XP vs Milestones
donsr:
its  fun for me as well as my players...


That's mostly why I do it (keep the mechanics in the background, I mean).  It keeps the story fresh and fun.  There is an element of peril as well, when folks don't quite see what is going on under the hood.

Truth be told, I end up DM-ing more far often than I play, and if a game becomes just a series of number-crunching ... the thrill is pretty quickly lost for me.
donsr
 member, 2307 posts
Mon 5 Jul 2021
at 18:04
XP vs Milestones
yep yep...when i first started  here years and years  ago..( 2005)..i wasn't ever going to GM/DM..i was on  the EZ-Board sites  as a plyer ( dozens of them)..but hackers  flat out killed them all..

 I found this  place, which ( for me) is the very best..everything on one page, don't have to dig through  sheets  and sheets of mindless games  just to find the one you play/run.

 My players know   two things.. I don't kill characters   just for the 9 hells of it....but if you do somehting stupid..you can/will die..

the  quote i use in my interviews  with RTJs is " if you walk into the mouth of a dragon to get the gem from between its  teeth..you're gonna get eaten"

 That being said, I love when a player  finds   a 'way out" of something that i had planned..again?  it makes it  fun for me as well..

 my space game here , i started  because a starship troopers  game died   after  a month?  there were some  great players  there..so i sued   the backround from a book i wanted to write.  and here we are 10+ years later.

 Players can have fun if the GM doesn't have fun..and Vice a versa..

 i guess the bottom line is...make the game  how you would like it run for yourself..
facemaker329
 member, 7351 posts
 Gaming for over 40
 years, and counting!
Mon 5 Jul 2021
at 18:39
XP vs Milestones
My favorite GMs for tabletop games (which I haven't had time to play in over a decade, sadly) adopted an approach for awarding XP that was almost completely independent of the usual "kill the monsters and get the gold" focus.  First off, there was a basic award for just showing up and being part of the game.  The GM added points for outstanding moments...great RP, creative problem-solving, sacrificing an opportunity for individual glory for the sake of the group, etc...then they also went through the group and players could each award a point for someone (not themselves) who'd done something noteworthy (which was a great time for shy players to get recognized for more subtle contributions to the game)--the GM could (but rarely did) veto those if the point was for something that had already been recognized.  The GM would also occasionally award spontaneous points if someone did something totally unexpected that made that session particularly enjoyable or memorable (in a good way)--a well-timed joke, an action that uniquely embarrassed the bad guys, etc...

I know some people will say, "But the rules say you get XP for this!" but I've always felt that XP is a great way to encourage focus on those elements of the game you want highlighted.  You want to run a muder-hobo meat-grinder, give points for monsters killed and treasure accrued.  You want focus on RP?  Award points for solid playing.  Trying to strike a balance between the two?  Go for it.  It's just important that you let people know WHY they got points, so they know what to focus on in the future.

Milestone awards are good for encouraging g everyone to stick with the game...but they can turn into some players just tagging along for the ride and actually contributing little to the game...ideally, a mix of the two seems like the best approach.  Milestones mean everyone is making some progress, but awarding XP for specific points in the game also encourages individual efforts to make the game better.
engine
 member, 840 posts
 There's a brain alright
 but it's made out of meat
Mon 5 Jul 2021
at 18:58
Re: XP vs Milestones
Doom Shoom:
Been a while since I used XP anywhere, because most players just don't like it,and it is more work, especially because you need to figure XP for non-battle stuff if you do not want a murder hobo game - anbd I definitely don't.

I try to use skill challenges for non-combat stuff, including exploration. Then it's a simple matter of setting the level to the DCs (or vice versa) and multiplying the standard XP for that level by the complexity. Done.

Doom Shoom:
Usually, players do not even want to bother with XP anymore because some roles would inevitably fall behind, and it disadvantages the shyer players at least at the table.

Why would they fall behind? All roles should be equally important.

Why would more shy players be disadvantaged? Just divide the XP equally.

Doom Shoom:
Also, it encourages teamwork and discourages murder hobos.

It sounds like you think you players are desperate to "murder-hobo." I have yet to meet anyone who claims to enjoy "murder-hoboing" so I recommend talking to you players about your concerns and asking if the could help prevent that outcome.

Doom Shoom:
But on RPoL, there seem to be various people preferring XP and I'd like to know why. Are there any advantages to XP besides seeing the numbers go up or trying to outpace your team mates?
That phrasing seems dismissive if the idea that their can be any advantages, and also seems to misunderstand how people use XP. So, I don't say the following to change your mind, merely to inform.

First of all, not all approaches to XP are the same. The approach you seem to be thinking of sounds bad to me.

I use XP, for a few reasons.

I like using the game as written, until I run into issues with it.

I like the idea of incentives for taking on tougher challenges, and while treasures and boons are not always appropriate, XP always is.

I like the pacing of XP. The players get to use their abilities a good number of times before things change with the level increase.

I don't control it. I control the difficulty of the available challenges, but I don't control whether or not the players succeed at those challenges.

This message was last edited by the user at 18:59, Mon 05 July.

Heath
 member, 2988 posts
 If my opinion changes,
 The answer is still 42.
Tue 6 Jul 2021
at 07:18
Re: XP vs Milestones
I use XP for the same reason as engine.

However, I created a chart for "bonus" XP for RPoL, so those who participate more fully receive extra XP--posting frequency, roleplaying, etc. They also get XP for getting past major events (end of adventure, meeting goals, etc.). And to some extent, this is based on characters--warriors get more for fighting, thieves for using their skills, mages for casting spells, and so forth.

So it is definitely not just a killfest for XP but all actions play a part in how much is awarded. I don't really buy into the idea of milestones--too general and vague.
engine
 member, 841 posts
 There's a brain alright
 but it's made out of meat
Tue 6 Jul 2021
at 14:43
Re: XP vs Milestones
In reply to Heath (msg # 10):

I am familiar with the approaches you mention. I myself don't give out bonus XP for participation or performing certain actions. For one thing, I want the group to level together, not at different times. I'll grant that in games in which classes require different amounts of XP to level, the bonuses from skills might balance things out, though I prefer not to risk that. I assume that part of the point of milestone leveling is also to have everyone level together.

I can see the logic of granting experience for doing what a character is good at, though I think I prefer mechanics to provide the incentives for that. The thief should use skills because they have useful skills. The wizard should cast spells because that's what wizards do. I try to make an effort to make situations that involve multiple types of goals, not just killing things, which everyone can do.
Doom Shoom
 member, 43 posts
Tue 6 Jul 2021
at 17:49
XP vs Milestones
If they share all the XP I can use milestones right away. Sure, XP from a joint action is split, but the group almost always splits up a lot, and then inevitably, based on what's going on, XP people get will be different. I have found this a problem in the past.
donsr
 member, 2308 posts
Tue 6 Jul 2021
at 18:01
XP vs Milestones
 i use the view from my games, since..i know my games?..

 i don't want 'cookie cutter' characters... at the begining , when they dole out thier points and  i add spheres for thier  training and Back story..that's it..from then on out,  they build.

 Milestone points  are 98% of the awards...with no levels  its you  rolls with the Mods from the stats  and  the spheres that will help decide  success or failure.

 there are times  when some one goes  above and beyond..and I'll PM then another point or so.

 Its my way of keeping things 'real'. a new guy can't  fight  as good as a vet who has been 'out there'..but they still fight the same bad guys.
 with out 'levels' and such  to pursue, the players  can concentrate  on buildign thier characters.

 There are a million  ways to use  XPs..and the best way is to eliminate the  'rules lawyers'...not   sucks the life out of a game, more then some one whining  about some  5 word sentence buried in a 200+ book of rule, that no one follows  anyway!

 YOU..are god in your  game, set it up  for you to run, and the players to have  fun...there are thousands of games on this  site..if they aren't happy, they can find another one.
engine
 member, 842 posts
 There's a brain alright
 but it's made out of meat
Tue 6 Jul 2021
at 19:48
Re: XP vs Milestones
Doom Shoom:
If they share all the XP I can use milestones right away. Sure, XP from a joint action is split, but the group almost always splits up a lot, and then inevitably, based on what's going on, XP people get will be different. I have found this a problem in the past.

That doesn't have to be a problem.

I grant full XP to everyone that is in a situation, say a fight, because even if one didn't take the most crucial action, one's presence in the situation probably altered it in some way. If they are ready doing absolutely nothing and their presence truly doesn't matter, then that's an issue outside the scope of what XP is meant to handle.

So, if a group splits up it's very likely because the existence of others in the group means that they can split up, with some taking on one thing, and some another, equally important thing.

If not, and if the people out there earning the experience really don't need or benefit from the existence of the other PCs, then, again, this strikes me as a game design issue, not an issue with how XP works.

Also, it was suggested that the best use of XP is to eliminate "rules lawyers." That is inadvisable. Using rules to stop rules lawyers only eliminates them until they become better rules lawyers. Better to talk with one's players and not play with them of they're not interested in playing one's preferred way (assuming one cannot compromise).
donsr
 member, 2309 posts
Tue 6 Jul 2021
at 20:34
Re: XP vs Milestones
as to the rules  Lawyer thing... when my fantasty game was D7D i used  both  2e  and 3e.. you filled your sheet out for which ed you wanted.

 once every so often you would get  some players say "  according to  page 116 paragraph 5.."..

 yeah?..No... if you need the book to RP...then just go straght  arena..or maybe   a good game of   'battleship'

 This is PBP... GMs/DMs do not have the time, nor should they  tolerate  folks who tie up the  game because  they want somehting   that 'suits' them... Table top?  sure.. The   showrunner can  just  say " this is how we're playing'..too many games have been killed, by folks  waving rule books  around  like the town crier..

as a side bar?..it  cost me some players, but the game is better for it. people want to play..they don't  what whiney   folks  spamming   PMs  and OOC.
engine
 member, 843 posts
 There's a brain alright
 but it's made out of meat
Tue 6 Jul 2021
at 21:06
Re: XP vs Milestones
In reply to donsr (msg # 15):

Different topic. All I'm saying is that using XP to try to stop rules lawyers is unlikely to work. It might make them change tactics, but but it doesn't do what really needs to be done (and it sounds like you do) which is make it explicit that their approach is not appropriate for that particular game.
Tileira
 member, 530 posts
Thu 8 Jul 2021
at 13:36
Re: XP vs Milestones
It depends on system.

For D&D 5e where advancement is about unlocking the next level, I do milestones. I prefer games that progress in chapters and advancement happens when it feels earned, not in the middle of nowhere after killing your 10th crocodile. It's needed for Adventurers League, I think? But most campaigns don't need it. That said, play-by-post is very slow, so maybe some games track exp to try and keep players interested.

Other systems use exp as a currency for character advancement. For example, it costs 10xp for a merit/feat; it costs 35xp to increase an attribute; it costs 5xp to raise a skill level; and so on. In those systems how much exp you have has to be counted because there are no level ups and/or levels don't give new advantages to your character.

This message was last edited by the user at 13:37, Thu 08 July.

facemaker329
 member, 7352 posts
 Gaming for over 40
 years, and counting!
Thu 8 Jul 2021
at 19:44
Re: XP vs Milestones
It does depends on the system, very heavily.  If you're running a system that isn't level-based for character advancement, characters can and often do improve at random intervals and at a relatively constant pace, so you don't have the potential headache of a character suddenly an inexplicably becoming better and gaining new skills in the middle of an adventure because that last orc village they mowed through gave them enough points to level up.

But even then, different games can take different approaches, and so can different GMs.  I had a GM running a home-brewed fantasy game, using a skill-based system--you could advance skills any time you got enough points, but if you were trying to advance a skill that you hadn't been using, you had to get GM approval, and had to get approval to start a new skill unless you made some IC effort to validate it (one of the guys in the group had his character practice throwing rocks whenever the party had some down-time.)

Just because the RAW lay out a method for awarding and using XP doesn't mean you can't modify that to suit your own tastes.
Doom Shoom
 member, 44 posts
Thu 8 Jul 2021
at 20:08
XP vs Milestones
From the GM side, this is But the players,why do you like XP over milestones as players? What difference does it make for your characters? Specifically those of you who absolutely don't want milestones.
engine
 member, 844 posts
 There's a brain alright
 but it's made out of meat
Thu 8 Jul 2021
at 20:22
XP vs Milestones
In reply to Doom Shoom (msg # 19):

I have some interest in seeing how the game works, rather than how the GM would prefer it works.
donsr
 member, 2313 posts
Thu 8 Jul 2021
at 20:34
XP vs Milestones
In the end.. it depends  why you run the  game? or why you play.

 if your roll dice..you want to XPs  to reach that  next level of 'power'

 If you want RP, the  you have the Milestones set with  ways for  players  to grow thier  characters.

Bottom line, folks fine the games they like?  if they don't like it, tell the GM thanks for thier   time and go on your merry way. I would never   change  my game because   someone didn't like it..when vets who have put   years into the game ove it..

 Nor  would i presume to tell a GM in a Game i joined 'what  they should do'.

None of us are getting paid to play, or run a game....do what is fun.
engine
 member, 845 posts
 There's a brain alright
 but it's made out of meat
Thu 8 Jul 2021
at 20:38
Re: XP vs Milestones
donsr:
if your roll dice..you want to XPs  to reach that  next level of 'power'

 If you want RP, the  you have the Milestones set with  ways for  players  to grow thier  characters.

This generalization is inaccurate and potentially divisive. Just because someone wants to use XP advancement doesn't mean they don't roleplay just as much as anyone else. Just because someone wants milestone advancement doesn't mean that they care about character growth.
donsr
 member, 2314 posts
Thu 8 Jul 2021
at 20:44
Re: XP vs Milestones
again...we all have  our viewpoints, this one is mine.
Talon
 member, 398 posts
Thu 8 Jul 2021
at 21:31
Re: XP vs Milestones
Granting xp is one more form of reward to give. It gives people a small hit of dopamine to gain something. Id say xp is superior gameplay mechanic to milestone leveling for that reason, but its so much work to manage and dole out properly that I never use it myself.

 Milestone leveling is a lot more convenient for the GM, xp leveling is a lot more satisfying to the player.
engine
 member, 846 posts
 There's a brain alright
 but it's made out of meat
Thu 8 Jul 2021
at 21:37
Re: XP vs Milestones
donsr:
again...we all have  our viewpoints, this one is mine.

I'd like to make sure I'm understanding. Is your viewpoint that people who use XP connot really be roleplaying, in the sense of playing and developing a character?
donsr
 member, 2315 posts
Thu 8 Jul 2021
at 23:08
Re: XP vs Milestones
::chuckles:: you do this all the time, in these forums?..I dunno? maybe to get chatter started... Its stated simple enough. Some folks   Like  RP..some  folks like to gain power  and levels

can you do both?..you bet! That's  why i designed my system the way i did...but i have seen enough PMs  as a Co-DM with people saying..  "..i should have 1450 xps, instead  of  1425..i want to get that (  fill in blank..armor, spell talent  ect.)

 so relax  you condescending chatter, and  revel in the posting
Vatticone
 member, 26 posts
Thu 8 Jul 2021
at 23:11
Re: XP vs Milestones
In reply to engine (msg # 25):

Remember what Mark Twain said about arguing and just move on...
engine
 member, 847 posts
 There's a brain alright
 but it's made out of meat
Fri 9 Jul 2021
at 01:24
Re: XP vs Milestones
In reply to donsr (msg # 26):

I like to hope that I'm at least showing some respect by asking instead of assuming. And asking got me the clarification I was hoping for, so thanks. It's clear you dislike how certain specific individuals play, and that's understandable.
donsr
 member, 2316 posts
Fri 9 Jul 2021
at 02:46
Re: XP vs Milestones
whatever?  take it  and run with it.