Monday, September 13, 2010

My way to play D&D and Answering onlinedm for previous posts comment

onlinedm said... It's been a while since I played 3rd Edition, but I don't think gold counts as experience points in that edition as it did in earlier editions. Gold is one bucket, which is used to buy stuff. Experience is another bucket, which is used to level up.

From looking at the table on page 166 of the 3rd Edition Dungeon Master's Guide, it looks like a CR1 monster/trap/situation is worth 300 XP, so that should probably be LuvMina's total right now (plus whatever she might have earned from catching Francis the thief). Yes, that puts her 30% of the way to gaining a level, but that's because this is an encounter above her level. A CR1 challenge is EL1 for a party of four characters. For a one-character party, a CR1 challenge is a higher encounter level, so she SHOULD get more than a "normal" encounter worth of XP.

As for treasure, that's in addition to XP as explained on pages 169-170 of the Dungeon Master's Guide.

It sounds like LuvMina is doing great!

@onlinedm: Actually she's at 500 xp now, because she had previous xp also.
But I calculated that that encounter was CR1 (okay, not sure how to calculate those, but I _decided_ it's CR1) what is worth of 300xp divided between party members. There was also NPC, so it was 150 xp per character (NPC or player). I added that gold there also what they looted for extra flavour. So basically I think dealing with NPC and tracking him and stuff was worth of 150 for character and It lasted for 2 sessions. As the gold they looted was additional, I decided to give additional reward for that.
That is true, that gold is for stuff and exp is for character, but if you think it a bit wider, with gold you buy stuff what makes your character better. So as with experience points you get stuff what makes your character better.
But to use some stuff, you need experience points to be able to use them if they are depending on your level.
So if you think this way, both gold and experience influence each other so I think I give some exp from gold.
Well, actually I just decided to award experience from loot, but meh, I tried to think some (il)logical reason for it.

And there is another point. Maybe Luv's character advancement is faster that a party would do, but party has fun having several players co-operating and having generally fun together. As Luv's player is single player, she gets only fun in what happens in game, not telling jokes with friends and being nervous about critical situations when rolling D20.

And I gotta say, that I haven't read DMG or BHP fully yet :D I just... well, say we play D&D because I got D&D book closest from me when we play, and we use D20.
I know I bend rules and make them so much simplier than indended (what I might post next).

But thank you for comments. Actually my last D20 experience was with True20 and in that game (Blue Rose) you don't give experience points but decide when character levels up. I did not like it, as I like to "award" players. That way players know when and what good they or their characters did instead of giving levels or other benefices automatically. It is encouraging to player to see him/herself when he/she does well.

Another thing with experience points will be multi-class. I know that in some conditions you gain 20% or something less experience if your level gap between your multi-classes is higher than x... or something. I quess I wont use that rule. I don't know does it make multi-classed characters too good to gain experience points as fast as others, but I think that 20% is not that significant difference to use. I mean, basically you gain level 1/5 slower. It's not that big difference that I think I have to keep account on it.
And multi-class has it's own flaws. You multi-class to wizard-fighter. You aren't as good fighter as others of your level and not as good wizard as others... if you would use single build for your character. If you know how to hit a bit better with melee weapons but aren't as good as sorcering...

I know that maybe best balance in experience points and rules would be going with book. I know also if you fix or change one thing, it could affect something else straight away or later. Still, this is my first D&D run and I like to keep things simple. After all, I come from World of Darkness or Storytelling. I think that my D&D is more of storytelling and doing neat fantasy stuff than actually rules crunching.

And I am not sure do I play by-the-rules or not, as I haven't yet read them all.

But here are basics how I run D&D 3rd edition:
  • You use bonuses and attributes and skills as in rules. Roll D20 and add/decrease modifiers against DC what is determined by situation or when hitting AC of enemy.
  • I use exploding dice (roll again and add to result if you score highest number of a die) for the reason, that if you are really, really lucky you can kill or wound bigger mob with smaller weapon. You just hit really well. I know that there is critical hits for that but meh, you can hit your opponent exceptionally well (critical hit) but also the weapon can cut or crush or what ever in really good spot. And meh, player(s) love it when they score exploding die. And are afraid of it.
  • In spell casting, if it is not touch attack or ranged touch attack you don't roll dice. You put sleep spell and it automatically hits opponent. It only needs to take effect, what is saving throw for your enemy. So you only roll dice to hit spell if you need to hit (shoot rays, poke). Not sure how this works, but as I see it fun and cinematic way to do magic, I don't read how it really works. And DC for saving throw is 10 + spell casters level + umm... (this I check from the book).
  • No encumbrance. Well, you can carry reasonable amount of stuff with you. I don't count your basic items and weaponry as your encumbrance. They are kinda part of character. But loot is calculated. You cannot carry that golden statue of 10 feet, or ten bags of diamonds. Common sense in normal equipment, encumbrance when carrying "extra"
  • No miniatyres, or battle grid. So no AAO. Character might get a free attack when I think situation is suitable (long run to character, preparing to swing a sword and if character has stood still he actually might get extra attack; enemy runs past character without a purpose to hit him can be a free attack). Other rules or feats or actions what might need to use miniatyres and grid are decided is it possible. Maybe even using dice (ie. there are 6 orcs and wizard casts area of effect spell on them. I roll D6 how many of the orcs are in the area or something like that).
  • And last but not least... if I don't remember or cannot find it in less than minute, I use my imagination to handle it. Well, this is the situations I don't know how they work or don't want to houserule everything. Player knows that and I always tell her (or always have told every player) that "sorry, don't remember how it works and don't want to delay this action packed adrenaline flowing situation by reading the book and trying to find it). It's D20 game, so D20 I use with something else from character sheet or out of my head.
I don't know how wrong I do play or how not D&D this game is I am running. But I take my D&D books next to me, mainly roll D20 and think that I actually play D&D so it's D&D then?
But take me into your D&D group and I think me playing with you is... n00b partykiller.


Anonymous said...

I think you're playing it just right! And I agree that saying "You level up when it's time to level up" without tracking experience points is a very good way to go, especially in your campaign. But since you talked about the rules, I figured I'd dig out my old book and look at the rules!

By the way, I'm surprised nobody else is commenting here. I don't comment on a lot of blogs, but I'm having fun reading yours!

Unknown said...

Well, actually I do track experience, but merely give it a bit more openhanded or... from the feeling rather calculating exactly how much character earns. Experience points are good track for player to know how his/her character is doing.

I am waiting for your new post. Enjoyed reading TraCon reports!