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Sunday, February 24, 2013

A Thought About Excess XP

I don't recall anything in the OD&D books that mentions what happens when you gain enough experience to increase two or more levels, instead of just one. I know in AD&D, you only get enough XP to increase one level, plus one point shy of the next level; anything above that is excess XP and is lost. I referred to the AD&D version when I came up with the house rule that level drain does not decrease experience points, and you can regain one lost level by going on an adventure and earning at least one point, which assumes that the "you only gain one level per adventure" rule is in effect.

But now I'm thinking: why not expand that rule? You still only earn one level at most per adventure. But forget the bit about losing excess XP, You earn what you earn, and your XP never decreases. If a 1st level thief somehow earns 5,000 XP, the thief goes up to 2nd level, but after two more adventures worth at least 1 XP, the thief will be 4th level.


  1. I stopped using XP a long time ago...
    i PREFER RANDOM experience generation:

    Part of the fun of role playing games is that players can develop or customize their characters throughout the course of adventuring. As they face and overcome challenges, characters gain experience and knowledge, which allows them to fulfill the role demanded of them. In game terms, this equates to increases in the character’s level, abilities, skills or other attributes.

    At the end of each game session, each surviving character who has not significantly disrupted play is awarded an experience throw; rolling d6 for PCs and d4 for NPCs:

    Experience Table

    1) + 1 level if preferred class
    2) +1 to randomly determined ability score
    3) +1 skill or language
    4) DMs choice
    5) + 1 level
    6) + 1 skill or feat

    1) Characters level increases by one if he belongs to the character class preferred by his race. If the character does not belong to a class preferred by his race (seperate Table ), then increase his primary ability score by one point. Humans with a primary ability score of 15+ will treat any class to which they belong as if it were their preferred class. Belonging to your race’s preferred or favored class increases speed of level progression, it does not increase your hit points, skills or competence.

    1. I like the idea of rolling to see *what* advances. I once did some random advancement rules, but didn't do a table like that.

      However, I haven't used random advancement in play. I just like the XP system.

  2. @clovis: That's a notion I could really get into.

  3. Why not junk XP and just have one level per adventure?

    With my home-grown middle grade RPG, I am tinkering with 12 points per adventure, this divided by (1+times I had to fudge).