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Post Posted: Wed Oct 25, 2006 12:06 pm 
 

Deadlord--is there usually a rule-of-thumb regarding XP's where a player should gain only one level per adventure; or something like a player can earn XP's up to just below going up a second level (or is that dependent on something else)?

  

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Post Posted: Wed Oct 25, 2006 12:19 pm 
 

Well, the fact that a Deck was introduced to low level characters isn't really THAT bad. From a realism standpoint, it could very well happen. What I typically do with powerful items is create a history which runs right up to the time the characters discover the item.
Years ago I had a group of low/mid-level adventurers who found a Staff of the Magi on a band of orcs. I had randomly rolled the staff, and I do not usually change roll results. What I did was provide a history (for myself). The staff had belonged to a very powerful wizard, who was in a duel and had it randomly teleported by an opponent. It was found by a woodcutter, who was killed by the orcs. The wizard eventually caught up with the PC's and offered them a handsome reward for the staff, which they took, also gaining the friendship of the wizard. Had they decided not to take the reward, I would not have stripped the staff from them. I am not much in favor of campaigns that strip "excess" loot from characters. I prefer as much realism as possible, and that includes rich/powerful low-level characters as a possibility.
With the Deck, what could have been done is perhaps have all the cards coated with contact poison, or have it be the possession of a powerful creature who would be supremely pissed to see any cards missing. Or, have the experience points granted only after completion of a certain task. When the character drew a card, he/she took a chance on being utterly destroyed, along with other possible bad things, so the fact that he got a huge reward is the offset of the risk. What was clearly done wrong is allowing more than 1 level per card. You should have been 3rd level.


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Post Posted: Wed Oct 25, 2006 10:08 pm 
 

Memories probably a bit dodgey...

When you had enough experience for advancement to the next level, wasn't there an obscure guideline (not rule) that you needed to seek out an NPC of higher grade (I think 2 levels higher), to hone your skills to be able to get the higher level also, hence you couldn't suddenly get extra hp/spells etc in the middle of a crawl?


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Post Posted: Wed Oct 25, 2006 10:12 pm 
 

AdderMcOne wrote:Memories probably a bit dodgey...

When you had enough experience for advancement to the next level, wasn't there an obscure guideline (not rule) that you needed to seek out an NPC of higher grade (I think 2 levels higher), to hone your skills to be able to get the higher level also, hence you couldn't suddenly get extra hp/spells etc in the middle of a crawl?


That whole training thing is in the DMG. I never used it in my campaigns. One of our DMs did, and it was lame as hell.


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Post Posted: Wed Oct 25, 2006 10:22 pm 
 

Thanks B, anyone else'e thoughts on it as well - if it was used and the best way they handled it.
I think it makes a kind of sense, but the practicalities of it were very hard.
One of our Dms tried, but it ended up being a pain in the arse.
There is a lot of opportunity for roleplaying but it would depend on the depth you wanted to take the realism aspect to.
We just wanted to get out there and get our hands dirty at that stage - eager low level characters taking on the world.


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Post Posted: Wed Oct 25, 2006 10:59 pm 
 

AdderMcOne wrote:Thanks B, anyone else'e thoughts on it as well - if it was used and the best way they handled it.
I think it makes a kind of sense, but the practicalities of it were very hard.
One of our Dms tried, but it ended up being a pain in the arse.
There is a lot of opportunity for roleplaying but it would depend on the depth you wanted to take the realism aspect to.
We just wanted to get out there and get our hands dirty at that stage - eager low level characters taking on the world.


I looked at gaining levels as more of a progressional thing. But within game terms, you have to have a system. So when characters acquire enough experience, they level up. I let PCs gain levels in the middle of an adventure without a second thought. Again, I just figured the character had been gaining "experience" throughtout and now he is better at what he does. The simple act of gaining a level was just the formality that had to be there for sake of a rules system.  Of course, spellcasters still had to rest and/or study/pray for their new spells. But everyone gained hit points and whatever else that was applicable.

I just never bought the arguement that characters had to train. It is not like they have some sort of experience bank account and when they accumulate enough they go find some powerful joker and trade their experience in for a level. Please.

Wizards had the hardest road because they had to find spells or buy them from other wizards.

All in all, I was never one to worry about things like the logic of gaining levels. If you got the exp, roll your hps and adjust your saves and to hit charts and let's move on ...


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Post Posted: Thu Oct 26, 2006 12:33 am 
 

In my campaigns, exp. was toted up at the conclusion of the adventure, not in the middle. That way, I sort of anticipated the training thing that we put into the DMG.

After all, how did you rationalize some PC running around looking to kill just three more orcs, or 4 goblins, or two fleeglebuntzels or whatever so that all of a sudden, in the middle of the third room entered on the second level explored, you got tougher? That was absurd. C'mon, you mean that halfway through fighting off a band of goblins you got better because your EPmeter hit an arbitrary number? Really... give me a break.


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Post Posted: Thu Oct 26, 2006 12:52 am 
 

After all, how did you rationalize some PC running around looking to kill just three more orcs, or 4 goblins, or two fleeglebuntzels . . .


Kaskoid, I hope that a "fleeglebuntzel" isn't a new monster going to be in the new "Monster Manual V"! :D  :lol:  :!:  :idea:

  

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Post Posted: Thu Oct 26, 2006 6:42 am 
 

Kaskoid wrote:In my campaigns, exp. was toted up at the conclusion of the adventure, not in the middle. That way, I sort of anticipated the training thing that we put into the DMG.

After all, how did you rationalize some PC running around looking to kill just three more orcs, or 4 goblins, or two fleeglebuntzels or whatever so that all of a sudden, in the middle of the third room entered on the second level explored, you got tougher? That was absurd. C'mon, you mean that halfway through fighting off a band of goblins you got better because your EPmeter hit an arbitrary number? Really... give me a break.


How do you rationalize ANY sudden jump in multiple abilities, at any time? Why would it be at the end of an adventure? The PC retires to a tavern to rest after killing orcs, and suddenly realizes he is better/stronger/faster? This is exactly why I developed a skill-based system. PC's CAN gain abilities on the spot, but only in the skill they are currently using. They don't gain 10 HP, +1 to attacks and damage, and the ability to summon giant butterflies all at once. That throws realism out the door no matter WHEN they acquire the abilities, if they are all acquired simultaneously.
In the end, I think each DM and player group has to go by what Gygax intended: the rules are GUIDELINES, not dogma. If someone wants to allow a PC to go from level 1 to 7, so be it, as long as the group is enjoying the game.


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Post Posted: Thu Oct 26, 2006 7:36 am 
 

I find the best place to tot up XP and gain levels is during a logical break in the adventure. An extended R&R period during which a MU can find time to research and others can find time to train.

XP I see as a reflection of what the PC's have learned and the excersize they have undergone.

I split XP into XP gained from the adventure, and XP gained from treasure. I apply adventure XP after a 2 week R&R period (sometimes less), and I apply the treasure XP on a discretionary basis when the PC's make descisions on how to use/spend/invest their gains. They get no XP for amassing anything over 100gp. It's just a big box of cash. If a fighter decides to build a stronghold, barters with the locals and sets the project in mothion, he will gain a corresponding value of XP for his troubles. If a Magic User investigates a magic item, maybe buys in a little expertise or consults on the matter, he'll gain the XP corresponding to the item's value.

It's all a DM's call at the end of the day. You just have to find your own way to maintain ballance and pace.


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Post Posted: Thu Oct 26, 2006 10:31 am 
 

Kaskoid wrote:In my campaigns, exp. was toted up at the conclusion of the adventure, not in the middle. That way, I sort of anticipated the training thing that we put into the DMG.

After all, how did you rationalize some PC running around looking to kill just three more orcs, or 4 goblins, or two fleeglebuntzels or whatever so that all of a sudden, in the middle of the third room entered on the second level explored, you got tougher? That was absurd. C'mon, you mean that halfway through fighting off a band of goblins you got better because your EPmeter hit an arbitrary number? Really... give me a break.


         Years ago, after running through L1 and tallying experience one night, one of my brother's characters was about 50 Exp pts of of going up a level. Everyone else in the party had leveled except for him, he was pleading with me to send a couple of orcs or skeletons against him so he could go up.  I explained that it didn't make "game sense" to have a couple of creatures lurch out of the shadows of Restenford just so he could grab some experience pts; but soon the other members got in the whining so I gave in, as long as it was his player alone in just the condition he was now (no resting and getting new spells).  I believe he was a cleric, I sent a couple of skeletons against him.  His turn failed, then the skeletons proceded to beat the living crap out of him!   I don't think he hit them once. They just kicked the snot out of him and left him lying in the dirt outside the tavern in Restenford.  I let the other party members find him before he bled to death, at this point we were all laughing our ass off although my brother was so pissed I remember he just grabbed up his books and left in a huff (he thinks it's funny now though with 20 years to think back on it....)  Anyway, no one ever asked me for such a special favor ever again (the group was quite superstitious, if something you did got your clocked cleaned against all odds everyone else avoided it also...).
    I never used training as described in the books, I just figured that was non-game stuff that was boring to roleplay, so I'd say something like "Your mentor teaches you some new spells, you are now 5th level". I did use the idea of mentors quite a bit, a grizzled old fighter or scholarly mage that would take the party of characters under his wing and "teach" them stuff about life.  They would never actually go on adventures, but they would have advice about how to fight monsters, they might have a +1 dagger or set of platemail squirreled away to loan to the party, or minor curing powers to help out the party in need. After about 5-7th level they were experienced enough not to have to rely on a mentor (as well as being higher level at that time) so they would fade into the background, I did have a few memorable storylines involving mentors.
  I like Deadlord's idea; I wish I had thought of that during the day.  Sounds like a lot of extra work though that I would have been too lazy to do.  But I do like the idea; if your thief doesn't Hide in Shadows the entire adventure, why does this suddenly get better while his other skills he might have used don't?  I did have a somewhat similar rule, I said a fighter character (or any character, actually) that wanted proficiency in a new weapon had to USE that weapon in combat at least once (with all the attendent negs).  I mean, suddenly the Fighter who has never even SEEN a halberd can whip one around like an expert?  I know it's a fantasy game, but still....

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Post Posted: Thu Oct 26, 2006 12:57 pm 
 

It really depends on what you want out of the game. If you want to just have fun, whatever rules you like will work. If you want realism, the rules do require major custom tweaking.


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Post Posted: Mon Dec 08, 2008 11:33 pm 
 

Just re-discoverd this old thread while looking for something else..some fun stories on there, thought some of the "newbies" here might want to read.  Anyone else got any "back in the day" tales?????

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Post Posted: Fri Dec 19, 2008 12:52 pm 
 

I remember back when I was introduced to the game as a kid all we had were paper, pencils and a handful of six siders for dice.

The guy who first introduced me and my friends to the game had parents who were very strict Baptists, and they absolutely FORBADE him to play D&D as it was "demonic"  (I'm sure I've mentioned this before on this forum)

He had a couple of books and some dice but he had to hide them all the time so his parents wouldn't confiscate them.   Of course none of us had any of that stuff,  so we'd just play games from his memory of the rules and our collective imagination.  We raided all our boardgames for six sider dice and used them to make rolls, adjusting all the numbers accordingly.  For instance, if you had to roll a twenty, you'd toss 4 D6. Etc.  We drew up everything by hand in pencil on notebook paper.  We made our own char sheets, dungeon maps, everything, from scratch.

Of course, it wasn't too long before we began to acquire real books and dice, etc.  But some of the best memories I have of playing (and in general)  are of these improvised pickup games with really nothing at all.

  

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Post Posted: Fri Dec 19, 2008 7:04 pm 
 

The first D&D campaign group I joined with was right outside of college. It was a friend of my older brother [He who introduced me to D&D in 1979 - Thanks John]. This was around 1989 or so...

The first character I played in that group was a 9th level cleric of Dionysus, Sheldon of Budwisr. A few weeks into the campaign, we pulled from the cursed deck of many things.

I chose to draw twice:
1) removal of all magic items
2) Donjon - soul stripped from the body.

Am I lucky or what...   :wink:
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As to training goes... In this home campaign (with these same group of guys), we're now running a different group of lower level characters, where you pay for training, where it is (like) 750 gp per level. In a campaign where gold is... limited... where you have to sell your precious magic items to pay for training...

At the lower levels, this is suprisingly appealing to me.

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Post Posted: Fri Dec 19, 2008 8:09 pm 
 

I remember going to NC State to a D&D Club meeting in the early 80's.  After the D&D meeting, I participated with a group of random adventurers who explored Ravenloft.  We started about 8PM and went until 5 o'clock in the morning, ending only with the death of Strahd.  I didn't know any of the people in the group and didn't even know the DM, but wow, what fun.  I was a Paladin and pretty much saved the day.  We started with seven people and ended with three or four of us alive at the end.  While most of us died, we didn't mess around and took about as direct a route as we could to the bottom level, doing a fairly good job of handling problems and monsters.

Ravenloft is one amazing dungeon, especially if you have a DM who knows how to run Strahd well.  I still think it's one of TSR's best.  :)  Good times.


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Post Posted: Sat Dec 20, 2008 11:48 am 
 

Ah yes, the training rules in the DMG.  BITD (at this point, over 25 years ago), as a DM I tended to be a rules lawyer, and since it was in the DMG, it was law.

So I'm DMing a party of low-level characters (generally 2d level, I think).  They finish an adventure heavier on slaughter than treasure, and at least two of them get enough XP to go up a level, but don't have enough cash to pay for the training.  (Under the rules in the DMG, if you're second level, and the quality of your play is scored as only fair, you would have to pay 9000 GP for the training to go to third level.)  So, just to be able to pay for the training for the XP earned in one adventure, I have to run them through another adventure, a little heavier on treasure.

Problem is, for many of the classes, it takes less than 9000 XP to go from third to fourth level.  Yep -- by running them through another adventure with enough gold to pay for the training from 2d to 3d level, a couple actually made 4th level, which meant they needed even more money they didn't have . . . .

And that was the end of my use of the "pay for training rules".


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Post Posted: Sun Dec 21, 2008 7:41 pm 
 

Bracton wrote:Ah yes, the training rules in the DMG.  BITD (at this point, over 25 years ago), as a DM I tended to be a rules lawyer, and since it was in the DMG, it was law.

And that was the end of my use of the "pay for training rules".


Our group had several DMs and one of the guys decided he would use the training rules. Too bad this particular DM was also the stingiest DM on planet earth. Treasure was always at a premium and dead PCs were not.

On the rare occassion we laid our hands on a magic item, we generally had to sell it to help pay for training. You see where this is going...By the time we hit lower mid-level, say 3-4 and started running into those pesky monsters that require our PCs to actually have a magic weapon, guess what...no dice. Slaughter city. Then our jovial DM actually has the balls to wonder why we got slaughtered and hit us with comments like, "You guys really messed up that encounter." or. "You should have run away." Nevermind, defeating said wights was the entire point of the scenario.

Sure, kinda difficult to go toe to toe with a few wights when the only character with a magic weapon is our magic user who has that ripper of a +1 dagger.

Training. Sucked.


And I could've bought these damn modules off the 1$ rack!!!

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