Experience Points

(Book 1, pp51-52)
Experience Points are the means by which PCs rise in rank and thereby acquire greater skills for their profession.

Three issues canvassed here on the subject of Experience Points are:
  1. Other ways of gaining Experience Points
  2. The one XP dilemma for creatures encountered
  3. Magically generated creatures (e.g. Phantasm*, Battlemaster*)


1. Other Ways of Gaining Experience Points

Generally, Experience Points are gained only for defeating (either killing, or routing) opponents, or for completing selected missions. This can give rise to a culture in gaming where people are kill-happy and do not roleplay accurately, say, if they are a noble Knight*.

In Book 1 we learned that combatants in Disputations* can earn less XP for a mock fight, and in Book 6 we were told that in Tourneys* experience points can be gained.


Wayne Imlach suggested on Dragwars on September 29, 2006, the following additional means of gaining Experience Points:

Merciful
This ability is at odds with the rules somewhat - in traditional Dragon Warriors* you get experience points for 'defeating' opponents, which doesn't necessarily mean killing them. I would suggest intead that a Knight* who shows mercy (spares a deafeated opponent) gains additional 1 XP for doing so. Killing is easy - sparing your opponent is often more difficult and also dangerous, especially in the case of dishonourable foes who might take advantage of such mercy to continue their attack. Note that the XP is awarded only if the victim lives - sparing a fallen foe only to have your adventuring companions deal the killing blow does not count! One trouble with experience points can be that PCs play for them - in other words, they will chase down the pack of wolves that are trying to run away for those precious XP, whereas playing in-character they would leave them alone so as to save energy for the real enemies.

RJ Lambert in his DW-Clyster PBEM had a situation where dwarf shadows were created by ancient sorcery as, in effect, a training program for Dwarfs* marching to battle. In those encounters, players could not die in combat but rather knew once they had lost as the shadow withdrew once it had 'won'. In that situation, full XP were available for a PC win, but only half XP for a PC loss.

Cameron Smith prefers to award the XP from the "mission" bit by bit as parts of the mission are completed. Not everyone gets the same XP here - more is awarded to those PCs who /in-character/, contributed more to the mission's success. This is to encourage each player to RP to his/her character's strengths rather than just being "kill-happy" as mentioned above.

2. The One XP Dilemma with Creatures Encountered

A number of creatures in Legend* carry only one XP, and in a large battle an unkind GM would award no XP as no one PC has slain a given enemy all on their own. The solution is to take the sum of all XP belonging to all the slain enemies in a given battle, then distribute XP based on the contributions (combat, and otherwise) to the outcome of that battle. So, say, if your group all contributes to slaying 7 Orcs*, XP might be awarded to the person who found / surprised them, the person who intimidated them into leaving the magic users alone, as well as those who actually laid the killing blows.

A slight variant of this rule is to award FULL xp per "defeat" to those PCs who did take on an enemy more-or-less alone, and half-xp to those who either contributed or at least did a lot of "their kind of fighting". For instance if a certain Knight* spends several rounds trading blows with a Goblin* without managing to kill it, and said Goblin* eventually runs away as the Knight's* pals have dispatched its brothers, he would receive half an XP for that Goblin* (since it is a Rank 1 creature). After all, he has gained valuable real life experience in tactics that DO NOT work so well - most people can learn from that.

3. Magically Generated Creatures

RJ Lambert, in his games, had to think about what XP to award when PCs defeat a Phantasm* or Battlemaster*. The simple answer, he felt, was to award an amount equivalent to the XP required to summon the creature. This puts a Phantasm* as worth 6 XP and a Battlemaster* 10 XP.

However, stat for stat, a Phantasm* is equivalent roughly to a 4-5th rank Knight*, the Battlemaster* is a much higher equivalent so there could be an argument for a lesser value for Phantasms* and a higher for Battlemasters*.

More pages