Sunday, May 16, 2010

Stellar Quest: Thoughts on Experience...

Good Morning, All:

In thinking about how I would want to handle experience points in Stellar Quest, I quickly realized that simply awarding XP for monsters slain and treasure gathered would not work in a Trek-inspired game. With that in mind, I borrowed the core concept of my own OGL Alternatives: Alternate Advancement System, modified it a little, and came up with the following concept.

The Referee awards XP based on three components: time spent adventuring, completing adventures and performing class-related tasks. At the end of each night's session, the Referee consults the following table and adds up the XP awards earned during that session:

Table: XP Awards
ActionXP Earned
Every hour spent actually adventuring75 XP/hour
Completing an adventure or "episode"150 XP
Performing class-based tasks75 XP
Performing class-based tasks that have significant impact100 XP

Other awards can be added, such as "Excellent Roleplaying", for 50, 75 or even 100 XP. Nothing should go higher than the Completion award, and most bonus awards should equal roughly an hour of significant game time. Note that even if your session is scheduled to run for four hours, if the guys show up late and don't make much forward progress because they are chatting instead of playing the game, you as the Referee are empowered to reduce the XP above based on the number of hours actually spent gaming instead of measuring "butt in seat" time.

Assuming that a single adventure is two four-hour sessions long, and everyone performs class-based tasks every session, the average XP award for the first session would be (4 hours = 300 XP, plus class-based tasks = 75 XP, for a total of) 375 XP, and the second session would be (same as the first session plus completion = 150 XP, for a total of) 525 XP, or 900 XP for the entire adventure. If we use the Fighting-Man XP table, then we're looking at something like two adventures or so before advancement from 1st Level to 2nd Level, which isn't bad.

Anyway, these are some basic thoughts on Experience in Stellar Quest. What do you think?

With Regards,

1 comment:

Fred Vincy said...

Hey, I actually like the idea a lot. It's similar to the advancement I am using in a freeform adventuring roleplaying game I'm working on now. I think I like these types of ideas more than the straight experience-for-kills and/or -gold method.

For my system:
+1 exp for sitting down to play
+1 exp for a particularly good session, be it several hours of dungeon crawling with everyone paying attention or a shorter session with good RPing. Up to group and referee
+1 additional exp for completing a milestone (adventure, big level of a dungeon, whatever)

With this system, the group usually earns a very minor reward at the end of every good session, or every two mediocre sessions. It seems to keep the pace fairly well: rewards make the players feel like they are accomplishing something, but it never feels like they're overpowered because a big improvement (raising a stat) should take about a month of in play time.

I'll probably blog about this on my own site eventually, but just wanted to say that I like and agree with what you've got going on here. Looking forward to hearing more about Stellar Quest.