... now with 35% more arrogance!

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Concealed XP

For a good long while, I've been pondering an idea that would "conceal" the experience point system, apparently eliminating it (but secretly keeping it.) The idea is based around the fact that most experience comes from treasure, so cumulative experience points are, effectively, cumulative wealth... and since weekly expenses/taxes are based on 1% of experience, we could actually build something around that. The table would look something like:
Fighter Level Weekly Expenses
1 10
2 30
3 60
4 120
5 240

This is based on the midpoint between the experience needed for the current level and the experience needed for the next level, divided by 100. Every time you go on an adventure and return successfully, you add 1 to your weekly expenses: when your expenses meet the amount listed for the next level, you gain a level. Thus, your level is based on your perceived wealth + your perceived adventurousness.

This approach does leave the door open for "cheating" (spending more than needed to trick people into thinking you are more successful than you really are.) This would work something like carousing rules, with a reaction roll every time you spend money equal to the expenses for the next level; on a Good result, your current expenses go up by 1. Spending double on one party/project gets a +2 increase, triple gets a +3, and so on. There would, of course, be drawbacks for a Bad or Very Bad reaction, and bonus effects for a Very Good reaction, but I haven't decided on those just yet. If you brag about monsters slain on your last expedition, for every monster of equal or higher level slain, you earn a +1 bonus to expenses if the reaction roll is a success.

It's something I want to think about some more, but I think it has potential.


  1. Now see, I'd really love to have something like this, but based on the assumption that level reflects actual capability.

    1. Agreed. I really like the idea of shielding players from the mechanics of the game (I actually have a post scheduled in the next couple of days about this on Spells and Steel), but I just can't get behind this whole notion of experience as reputation. It just doesn't make a lick of sense any way you slice it.

    2. As far as I can tell, Talysman accepted how players accumulate XP and found a way that THAT makes sense, whereas you seem to be more concerned about actual advancement in a character's capabilities (which the original gp=XP model never supported, I must add).

    3. I think experience as reputation makes perfect sense. Experience as experience, ironically, needs a little effort to make sense. However, I have a fix for you tomorrow.